30-06 and Varget


January 17, 2010, 10:08 PM
I use several powders for the 30-06 and I have a favorite load using H4350. I now want to give Varget a try in the 30-06 using a Sierra 168gr MatchKing bullet. I wouldn't normally ask about charge weights but I'm low on powder so I'm looking for a good place to start.

The Hodgdon load data site lists a charge range of 47.0gr to 50.5gr Varget. Lyman #49 and a few other books I have list slightly different charge ranges. So, what is your favorite Varget load using a 168gr Sierra MatchKing in the 30-06??

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john wall
January 18, 2010, 02:35 AM
I have had good results with 50 gr using the 168 SMK.

My Ought Six prefers heavier bullets. I have some 170 gr Lapua Scenar bullets that out shoot the SMK. The rifle has a 1-10" twist, which often does better with heavier bullets.

My 1-12" twist 308 does not do well with the Scenar, but is lights out with the 168 SMK.

January 18, 2010, 05:06 AM
Thanks John and welcome to the forum...

January 20, 2010, 04:38 AM
Oh come on guys, I need a little help here... ;)

January 20, 2010, 08:28 AM
I'll attempt to give you an answer regarding 30-06 loads using Varget powder. First of all I love this powder and have been working up loads with it for my 308 and 30-06's for the past several months and have come to this conclusion. Neither of these cartridges seem to like Varget in any bullet weights over 150 gr. I have been trying to develop target loads for my NM Garand and NM M1A with 168 gr Sierra Matchking bullets and the best I can get is 2" groups at 100 yds. Both rifles are sub 1" shooters with other powders. I also tried this combo in my HB Mdl 700 in 30-06 with the same result. This rifle is capable of 1/2" groups if I do my part. In conclusion I would advise you to limit Varget to 150 gr or lighter bullets in a .30 caliber rifle. JMHO!

January 20, 2010, 08:57 AM
While Varget would be an acceptable powder for the '06, its definitely not the best for heavy bullets. For the heavier bullets slower powders are better (e.g., any of the 4350 powders). This is generally true for any bottle-necked rifle cartridge - faster powders for light bullets --> slower powders for heavier bullets. The recommendation above to limit Varget usage to 150 gr bullets or less is a good one.

I have a friend that uses Varget in all his rifles for economy's sake (from .223 to 8x57) and he's had reasonable success.

Marlin 45 carbine
January 20, 2010, 09:44 AM
I got good results useing varget under 147gr fmj slugs in my '06 Ruger. the only load I've tryed w/it.

January 20, 2010, 02:40 PM
Sorry I'm not helping, Arch. It's just that I don't have a favorite '06 load with 168SMK and Varget. 4350 is my favored propellant for bullets 180 or less (and those are actually hunting bullets, not SMK target loads). At 190 grain or heavier, it's R19. I really haven't favored Varget for this cartridge.

January 22, 2010, 04:49 AM
That's good info about the 150gr bullet and lighter for Varget. I see most of you like 4350 for the 30-06 and 168+gr bullets as I do.

Ky Larry
January 23, 2010, 12:14 AM
I have found AA-4350, Re-15, And IMR-4350 better for mid-weight bullets in .30-06. My CZ-550 likes 55.5gr of AA-4350 with 168gr Sierra HPBT Match Kings.

January 23, 2010, 12:38 AM
"...Hodgdon load data site..." Varget is a Hodgdon powder. Hard to beat the manufacturer's data.
Varget has a large following in match shooting circles. Mind you, I've never used it. My 1903A4 likes IMR4064 with Hornady 168's. There was no Varget nor much of anything but Hornady 168's when I worked up the load.
"...147gr fmj slugs..." 7.62NATO bullets and not in any way match bullets. Ok for screwing around though.

January 23, 2010, 08:35 AM
I use 47 gr. of Varget with a 155 gr. Nosler Competition Bullet in my 30-06.
2 inch groups is the best I can do.


January 23, 2010, 09:58 PM
"...Hodgdon load data site..." Varget is a Hodgdon powder. Hard to beat the manufacturer's data.
I'm starting to be a little leary of Hodgdon's load data; it seems like their loads are pretty stout. I know every rifle is different, but my Savage .22-250 can't go near their max. loads while it can shoot max loads from other sources without an issue.

As to the original question, I haven't shot any 168 gr. loads out of my .30-06, I've had great luck with W760, IMR 4350, and RL 17 loaded with 165 gr. SST's. Sorry no advice with Varget.

January 24, 2010, 12:21 AM
I use Varget for 125gr and 150gr bullets in the 30-06. I have to agree with the others: Varget doesn;t get along well with heavier bullets. For 165gr and up, my rifle likes IMR4895 and IMR4064.

Arkansas Paul
January 24, 2010, 12:39 AM
Never tried it with the heavy bullets. My Vangaurd really likes 51 grains of Varget behind a 150 grn ballistic tip. Very good groups.

January 26, 2010, 02:09 AM
I load 30-06 for a buddy i put 52 grains of varget behind 168 grain matchkings and he loves them, since I started loading his ammo he out shoots me Im thinking about powering them down so he starts to loose, i even shoot better with his rifle now than my own.

January 26, 2010, 03:15 PM
I have had success with Varget an 150gr. ballistic tips, but great results with H or IMR4350 with 168 gr. Btips.

January 27, 2010, 05:37 AM
It looks like my finding are in tune with everyone else here. Thanks for the information and I agree, H4350 and a 168gr SMK bullet are a good combo. I also have had good success with 4895 and 4064 like said above. Too bad Varget doesn't play well with heavier bullets. I was trying to combine a few calibers to one powder but I should have known better... lol

BTW, Varget does very well in the .223 with a 55gr Sierra or Hornady bullet.

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