30.06 owners :best projectile for deer ?


December 16, 2007, 12:59 PM
Interested to see what you folks find the best round for deer (gr. wt.) at 100 yds or more. I've shot 150 gr. projectile with relativley good sucess. I've also shot 180 gr. which I've found fair... Thinking about 165 gr. ........what's your favorite?

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December 16, 2007, 01:44 PM
I roll my own but love the Hornady 150 grain SST's for whitetail. Depending on the rifle my shoice of powder is Varget or IMR 4895.

Snapping Twig
December 16, 2007, 03:09 PM
I like the 165g best too.

Seems the military likes it for long range as well.

December 16, 2007, 06:03 PM
I have dropped many deer (Black-Tail and Mulies) with the 150gr Rem Core-Lokt. Nothing special, but it does the trick.

December 16, 2007, 06:05 PM
The 165 - 168 range is the ultimate bullet weight for the 30-06 if you look at downrange trajectory & energy figures.


December 16, 2007, 06:06 PM
I use Hornady 180gr BTSPs in my handloads... Verrrrry accurate and devastating... Not much body damage unless you hit a shoulder

December 16, 2007, 06:33 PM
For whitetail deer,Winchester 150gr Silvertips or Remington 150gr Core-lokts. Also like 165gr Hornady. 180 and 220 grainers are better for thicker skinned game like elk,moose or larger bears.

December 16, 2007, 06:46 PM
+1 165 Hornady

December 16, 2007, 07:11 PM
Hornady 180gr BTSP.

December 16, 2007, 07:21 PM
II use the hornady 165 grain SP for more then 42 years and never lost a deer out to 300 yards from my A3-03 Springfield.
I did switch this years only because hornady prices are skyrocketing
the above group from a H@R Handi at the 100 yard target from the bench 165Remington core-lock bullets using 4350 on the load end of the chart.
My other favorite load is IMR 3031 44.5 grains

December 16, 2007, 07:33 PM
Federal Power Shok 150gr (http://www.federalpremium.com/ballistics/Ammo_Ballistics.aspx?id=16&firearm=1&bc=0.313&muzzvel=2910&bulletwgt=150)work very well too...but for a little more doe or bucks, if you will, (pun intended) you can get the Premium VITAL-SHOK ammo and choose between the Nosler AccuBond, Nosler Partition, Barnes TSX Bullet, Sierra GameKing BTSP, Nosler Ballistic Tip, and Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. That's one heck of a line up for non reloaders!

Smokey Joe
December 16, 2007, 08:23 PM
165 grain weight bullet. My own preference is the Nosler Ballistic Tip in this weight for .30 caliber. That seems to be the ideal weight.

Second place goes to the 150 grain projectile--there are a lot of very successful deer hunters who favor that weight.

180 and 200 grainers are heavier than you need for deer.

December 16, 2007, 08:24 PM
Years ago I began reloading for my 30-06 and other family members in '06 and 308. I choose 150 grain bullets for a couple of reasons. Recommendation's on a older wiser hunter, and I figured 150 would be the best in a .308 and fine in a '06. I picked Core-lokts because of great bulk prices, results hunting, and they are a much better bullet than many guys seem to think.
Maybe 100 deer elk and antelope kills later it apperars to have been a good choice. I feel sure none of the critters shot would have been able to tell if my bullets would have been 165 or maybe even 180 or any quality huntig bullet. Bottom line is all were shot dead just fine using 150 Core-Lokt's, I still have a few hundred, so I am not about to change any time soon.
Any of the above weights are just fine if you use a bullet constructed for game hunting and your shot hits the animal where it should.

30-06 lover
December 16, 2007, 08:27 PM
I like 180 partitions for my do it all load, but for just deer, Federal Fusion 150 or 165 bullet is great.

December 16, 2007, 08:47 PM
For 30/06 I like the plain jane reliability of the 150 grain Remington core-lokt out to 150 yards on whitetails.

Considering that almost all of my whitetail hunts occur at under 150 yards, (many at half that distance or below) the core-lokt gets the job done. If I were doing longer shots I would very likely switch to Hornady loads

I also like the various core-lokt loads for my 270 and 280 as well.

I have not tried the 180 grain core-lokt in my 30/06 yet, but the 180 grain is simply devastating on whitetails in both 303 british and 30/40 krag.

I would without question use the 180 grain core-lokt factory loads in my 7.7Jap and 7.65 Mauser if Remington made them, although the Hornady load I currently use is likely superior in some ways.

December 16, 2007, 10:23 PM
Out to 400 yards, the difference in trajectory between the 150 and 165 bullet weights isn't really enough to nitpick over. It takes a stiff charge to get a 180 to shoot that flat, but its possible as Federal High-Energy with 180 gr bullets will shoot as flat as standard 150 gr loads. 165 and 180 gr bullets don't drift as much in the wind, but out to 400 yards, its not really enough to worry about. I know I can't hold within an inch or two at 400 yards in the field. Good thing a deer has a 10 inch vital zone, right?

With a 30-06 at ranges from 0 to 400 yards, the biggest issue will be bullet expansion. You want something that will hold together at close range. You will also want something that will still expand at longer distances. The Nosler Ballistic Tip is my favorite on deer because I don't care about saving rib meat. I want rapid expansion with lots of damage to the vitals. I hunt in an area where shots within 100 yards are rare. Because most of my shots take place between the 200 and 400 yard line, I want something thin jacketed that will open up at those ranges. The Ballistic Tip opens up nice at those ranges. I like the 150 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip at around 2900 to 2950 FPS out of my M70 with 24 inch barrel. Bucks wind very well, only drops about 18 inches at the 400 yard line.

December 16, 2007, 11:55 PM

I roll my own, for several different rifles. I've settled on one load for the .30-06. It uses 150 grain bullets, over 59 grains of IMR4350. That gives me a very good load for all the lighter game animals I hunt at anything approaching a reasonable range. Given the right shot, I wouldn't hesitate to take an elk with it either.


December 17, 2007, 10:29 AM
I load my own, too. I find the 165 grainers measurably more accurate than 150 grainers, out of my Ruger M77. I haven't tried 180 grainers, but have been told the 165 - 168 grainers are optimal for stabilization from most .30-06 rifles (rate of twist seems geared for this weight).

I have a good stock of Sierra 165 gr. Game Kings, and deeloped a load that's just a shade under maximum, per my manuals. Accuracy is superb (MOA or less, if I do my part, from a light-barreled sporter). Plenty of power for whitetails at 200 yards, anyway.

December 17, 2007, 04:52 PM
I have been using 180 grain Sierras for a good many years with
successful one shot kills. Kind of going to look at 165 grains as the
deer in my area are on the small sized. Accuracy counts more than
bullet weight. A well placed round that holds together pretty well keeps
the story short:)

Vern Humphrey
December 17, 2007, 05:15 PM
Just about any 150-grain bullet will do for deer. The 165 offers the best ballistic balance in the .30-06, and conventionally 180-grain bullets offer deeper penetration on large game (elk, for example.)

But Barnes has just brought out the Tipped TSX, which seems to be a major step forward. I've seen at least one article where the 130-grain TTSX was used on African game like wildebeast -- and exited!! That's stunning performance for such a light bullet.

From the .30-06, the 130-grain bullet can be driven to 3200 fps. It ain't your grandpa's .30-06 anymore!

December 17, 2007, 05:52 PM
I used the older TSX 150 grain on a buck this year. Nice exit hole, and a lot of blood spray/trail. If he'd walked more than 10 yards tracking would have been easy.

Full disclosure: It was loaded in a .308 not an 06.

December 17, 2007, 06:29 PM
+1 for 165's. Here in the Adirondacks some bucks go 200+ and I'de want 165. Hornady's 165 sp has been good for me in a .308 Winchester.

December 18, 2007, 10:57 AM
I like the 165 grain class. I am currently shooting 168 gr. Winchester ballistic tips. My gun shoots this grain bullet really well and the ballistic tips haven't failed me yet.

December 18, 2007, 01:36 PM
The 150-165 seem to work best for the white-tail class sized deer. If you get to some of the bigger deer varieties, may need a bullet.

(Not sure, but generally, are "mule deer" bigger than white-tails??)

December 18, 2007, 06:15 PM
180 gr winchester super-x

December 18, 2007, 06:23 PM
Try a howitzer?


December 20, 2007, 09:00 AM
Best 30-06 projectile for deer? It doesn't matter a whole lot - you've already got more than enough power. I'd shoot whatever was on sale, and shot well in your rifle. 150gr will be easiest on wallet & shoulder. The deer absolutely will not know the difference.

Grizzly Adams
December 20, 2007, 02:25 PM
Reload my own using 150 gr. Ballistic Tip for both 30.06 and 308!

December 20, 2007, 04:12 PM
Before saying 1 165, 150 or 180 is better, why not try loading each in you gun and find out what shoots best in your gun. I've handloaded 30-06 for years and found that in MY gun, the 165 works best. If you want an absolutely awesome load, look in the Lyman Manual using H4831. Not having my "little black book" with me, I think I load around 62 gr. Check in the loading manual first. It is truely an awesome load. As far as a brand name projectile, I found it doesn't really matter a whole lot. I generally load what ever is on sale. I found that the Remmington bulk bullets or Winchester bulk bullets both work equally well on deer sized crittersl

December 20, 2007, 05:46 PM
For deer in .30-06 I like 165 Sierra Game King. They are not exotic or new, but they are accurate, reliable and affordable. I have not had any Game King bullet fail me on deer from my .270 or the .30.06. I don't think any of the advanced bullet designs are needed for whitetail hunting.

December 20, 2007, 06:06 PM
I still like the 180 Grain Remington Core-Lokt in the. 30-'06 for deer hunting.
Sadly, Remington no longer makes the round nose version of this bullet available to reloaders.
I went with the pointed job this year and my grandson shot his first, a beanfield shot no less , dropping the buck in his tracks with this bullet.
Good exit hole, heart destroyed plus part of a lung.
My Ruger #1's are bullet fussy however.
The .270 likes 140 Sierra GameKings.
The.25-'06 likes 117 Hornadys.

December 21, 2007, 06:43 AM
In the .30-06, the 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip drops deer like lightning. Accurate, hits hard, flat shooting.

Just my .02,

December 21, 2007, 05:41 PM
Use nothing but 165gr Rem Corelokts in my .308 and 30-06 for antelope, deer and elk. My rifles like them and will put handloads into 1". Even my M1A likes them.

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