too many choices bullets, powder, etc


July 7, 2011, 05:51 AM
I guess everyone probably goes through this at some point early on in their reloading careers, but I haven't seen the issue come up too regularly.

I've been researching bullets ALL NIGHT! geezo weezo, there are so many to choose from and different stuff is out of stock on different websites.

Looking for my do-it-all hunting bullet. I will probably be taking southern antlered-dogs, er em, deer when I get out to hunting, and I do realize that there is a LOT more to hunting then bullet selection, believe me. I just want to have one load for my 30-06 that is accurate and heavy enough to take a moose (in case I ever get the chance). I figure that my "moose round" will do find on deer and make any smaller varments go ka-plooey, so I'm mainly attacking this from the moose angle.

Shooting remington factory ammo, my 700 seems to do fine with the 150-180gr fodder that I feed it at the range. Should I sample some core-lokts in 150, 165, and 180 to see which it shoots best from the factory ammo first, or just work up loads in all 3 weights to see what it likes to eat? If it does end up preferring the 150s then moose may be off the target list till I get a heavier gun. I understand some people out there take moose with a 150, but all of my stupid internet readings show it to be not the best weight for moosies from an 06, as the bullet construction for the 150s tends to be a little light. Is this correct?

then there is the bullets themselves and the powders. Choosing the right combination seems to be a crapshoot, though I hear really good things about Varget and H4350 in the 06. I have a bunch of remmington brass already saved up so that's an easy choice.

Core-lokt ultras would be my first pick on bullets, just because I'm used to them but from what I hear, these may not be as accurate as Sierras and Hornadys.

Picking through all this stuff is so overwhelming, how do you guys do it?:confused:

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July 7, 2011, 07:45 AM
I sure for a animal like moose the construction of the bullet is about as important as weight. The real beauty of the 30/06 is the varity of bullets that can be used why on earth would you want to use just one...

Jimmy K

July 7, 2011, 08:43 AM
Don't get too hung up with the hyperpluralism of component choices. If you are initially leaning towards the Rem CLUB bullets, go ahead and give them a shot. If you don't like the results, move on.

Many shooters have their preferences and bias. That usually dictates their starting loads and/or suggestions to others.

I have a finicky .270 that took a few bullets before I found a combination that worked. My initial trials ended in frustration until a different bullet came along and restored my confidence. On the other hand, I also have a .25-06 that doesn't know what a bad load is.

July 7, 2011, 09:48 AM
Myself I wouldn't use Cor-Loks or suggest them. The best advice I can give is just pick one & play with it. I was surprised with some 147gr pull down I bought. I have had best groups with Hornady. The choices never go away ether.

I wouldn't call it a "crapshot" there is variables involved. Twist rate has the most affect on bullet. Most 30-06 will work great with 165gr a lot work well with 150gr. Range will also affect your choice. I believe animal has the lest to do with what gr but does need to be a consideration. Powder will be decided by your choice of bullet & how fast you want it to go. All of this is limited by your rifle also. You will have more options with a bolt then you will with a auto.

The norm is the heaver the bullet the deeper the penetration & the bullet holding together. This is also affected by how fast you push the bullet. The faster you push the bullet the more it comes apart & less penetration(usally).

I would almost guarantee that a 165gr A-Max on top of IMR4064 will make you all giddy.

July 7, 2011, 01:20 PM
It really doesn't have to be complicated.

Buy a box or two of 'bonded' or 'partition-type' bullets in the 168gr to 200gr range.

Purchase a couple pounds of one of the powders that your manual recommends for that particular bullet.

Then develop your load from those components, using your Rem brass and whatever primer is also recommended.

When your load shoots whatever group size you are happy with, you're done. If your load shoots 1.5" groups "all day long", you've done very well. If you remember that you're developing a hunting load, not a benchrest load, you'll know when to stop load development. The moose will never know the difference.

July 7, 2011, 01:45 PM
If you are initially leaning towards [anything, really], go ahead and give them a shot. If you don't like the results, move on.

That's kinda what I did and it really helped me reload at first. I picked a powder that "looked right" and a bullet that was locally available and went to town. Especially for us at the beginning of our reloading career I really think practice matters a lot more than the materials used.
Use a commonly accepted bullet ... in commonly accepted brass .. with commonly accepted powder ... and commonly accepted primers ... and go from there? The best response from one of my students I ever hears was "I'm not sure if I even know enough to ask a meaningful question, but ..." and frankly at this point after reloading for ~three? two? years ... I don't feel I know enough to really delve into the thick of it. So I stick with lead bullets, bullseye, CCI primers and range brass and work more on my skill set.

July 7, 2011, 07:47 PM
Luckily the 45acp will be easy, just need them to cycle the slide. I'm not going to shoot better than 12 MOA offhand from my pistol yet so I doubt accuracy will be a concern.

Thanks for the advice guys, I guess I'll stick with my original plan to see what is availible locally, maybe try 2 or 3 of the bullets that I've researched if they are availible (same price category as the Remingtons) in 165gr and see which one ends up making the tighest groups and then buy those in bulk. Later on maybe I'll try another powder or two and see if my results get any better. I'll stick with 50yrd groups since I shoot much more consistantly at 50 then I do at 100, but all of my practice is at 100 now to improve my shooting skill.

Thanks again for all the help.

July 7, 2011, 07:50 PM
I would have to say stick with 4350 and get you a quality 180gr bullet . My suggestions on bullets would be a bonded bullet from sierra, nosler , or hornady.

July 7, 2011, 10:49 PM
"I'll stick with 50yrd groups since I shoot much more consistantly at 50 then I do at 100, but all of my practice is at 100 now to improve my shooting skill."

I would suggest staying at 100yards so you know what they are doing. Everything looks good at 50yards.
You might even want to give these a try. I found they work good for me. They are cheep & good to learn with.
Description 100/$12 500/$58 1000/$110 3000/$320 M80 - Ball - 147gr. - FMJBT - (for 308) - US Pulldown, Polished

July 7, 2011, 10:59 PM
There's no reason to limit yourself to one bullet and load for everything, that's the beauty of reloading. Even if you're buying ammo you can buy more than 1 load.

For Deer your choice of Remington Core-Lokt ammo or bullets is a good one. For Moose I would buy/load a round with a Nolser Partition bullet. (or even an AccuBond bullet)

July 7, 2011, 11:02 PM
I've been using Nosler BT 150 grainers and IMR 4350 in my Rem 700 for 2 decades. I use it for whitetail in the fall and keep sharp on groundhogs the rest of the year.

July 8, 2011, 09:05 AM
OP is looking at the CoreLokt Ultra, not just the standard CL. If accuracy is adequate for him, bullet construction shouldn't be an issue since it too is a bonded bullet.

July 8, 2011, 09:18 AM
180 grain Nosler Partition
All that needs to be said. :)

July 8, 2011, 10:00 AM
"Core-lokt ultras would be my first pick on bullets, just because I'm used to them but from what I hear, these may not be as accurate as Sierras and Hornadys."

Good thinking but accuracy will be determined by what your barrel likes, not the color of box the bullets come in. Fact is, any standard hunting bullet is generally capabile of quite sufficent accuracy for deer hunting out to 300 yards or more and very few hunters are capable of hits that far out with anything.

Our southern white tail are easy to kill and the old CoreLoks have long been the reliable hunting bullets for virtually all game animals. High cost 'premium' bullets have a place but they do not kill deer any deader or any more consistly than standard hunting bullets, of any brand; put a bloody hole through their boiler room and they lose all of their steam in a few seconds.

"Picking through all this stuff is so overwhelming, how do you guys do it?"

Exeprience. Which often means trying things that aren't really as good as we have been led to believe. I've been doing this a long time and once went with the fad or hyped bullets of the moment. I learned to ignore the sales pitches and wild claims of great accuracy and magic kills, now I stick with lower cost hunting bullets and start accuracy testing with them. ONLY if I cannot obtain the accuracy I seek at top velocity for my cartridge do I even consider any thing more exotic. And even that doesn't always work; some rifles just aren't as accurate as I want so they get sold, but the issue is rarely the bullets don't cost enough.

For the reliable old .30-06, suggest you try 150 gr. bullets with Varget, 4064 or 4895. If you really want more bullet weight (which I think would be unneccesary for anything you will be shooting in LA) try a 160-170 grainer over one of the 4350s.

I do use premium bullets when pushing the limits of what we have a right to expect from a given cartridge and bullet weight, like mule deer with a .243. But my .243 kills white tail as quickly as my .30-06/150 gr loads when I hit them with conventional Remington and Hornady 100 gr. spitzer bullets. So, for southern white tail, I no longer buy Partitions, etc, even in that light cartridge.

Have fun! ;)

July 9, 2011, 08:11 PM
I am with ranger335v.

The Core-Lokt bullet is hard to beat for Southern deer. It just kills em graveyard dead every single time you place the bullet properly, and generally give a good blood trail when you do not, assuming you hit something besides a leg. They are inexpensive to buy either factory loaded or as components.

Since I am not into shooting a magnum super shooter at 500 yards, they work just fine.

We had a guy at work shooting a .300 Win mag using a high tech bullet who was losing deer. His super bullet was zipping right through without expanding. I am sure it would have worked farther out there, but at the 30 to 60 yards he was shooting, it was not working. I talked him into buying some Core-Lokt rounds, and now he's a serious "let me tell you about these Core-Lokt wonder bullets" believer now. :)

July 9, 2011, 08:54 PM
With the right bullet, powder and properely placed shot, a 30-06 will do the job on just about any North American big game animal. I've taken elk and black bear and smaller species with a 130 gr. bullet from a .270 win. with no problems. If it were me I would load up a Nosler or Barnes 150 gr. on top of a hefty charge of RL19 for an all around hunting load. You'll appreciate the better trajectory of the lighter 150 gr. bullet. If you use a well contructed bullet there is little a high velocity 150 gr. bullet won't dispatch cleanly.

July 10, 2011, 01:06 AM
Ordered some 168gr CoreLokt Ultras yesterday. I think I will start with these. I have complete faith in core-lokts on animals, and the storebought loads in 150 and 180 grains have performed with my ability (about 1-1/2in at 100 yrds) so far, though I hated the 125 reduced recoil loads. I'll see how the 168s punch paper for different powder amounts and go from there, I guess. Maybe if I'm lucky I can even go hunting this year and get me a nice doe for the dinner table! I got the rifle and a worthy bullet, just need a hunting buddy now to help me with this procedural stuff (tagging, field dressing, and processing) and I should be all set. :) Thanks everyone for the advice.

DC Plumber
July 10, 2011, 10:49 AM
Just to add to the feedback Geckgo, I was in your exact same position when I started to load for my 06. After reading tons of forum posts, I decided on H4350 and H4895. They seemed to me to have a lot of flexibility regarding bullet weight range, though not always the highest velocity, but it was a starting point for me. I also didn't want 10 unused pounds of powder sitting around. I just wasn't going to shoot that many rounds out of my 06.

Then came selecting bullets. Same issue, I didn't want 10 different box of bullets with only 10 used out of each box, nor could I load and shoot 1000 rounds out of my 06 to find one good load.

For my midwestern whitetail load I settled on 165g Nosler ballistic tips. I like the boattail for easy case insertion, I like the poymer tip and I like the increasing thickness of the jacket as your approach the base of the bullet. It may not be the best bullet for shoulder smashing success, but in 25 years of hunting whitetails, I've never recovered a perfectly mushroomed bullet. Every bullet has gone right through the ribs and never stopped.

I grew up on Remington core-lokt factory ammo and it never let me down. I don't think ballistic tips are bonded, but last year I took my first buck with my H4350 loaded ballistic tip. At 75 yards, that bullet zipped right through and left a nice 1" hole on the other side. He may have made two leaps and died.

Shooting a deer with one of your handloads is awesome. Good luck with your search, do lots of reading and ask lots of questions.

July 10, 2011, 11:24 AM
moose- Sierra 180gr #2150 - IMR 4350 or IMR 4831- range within 250 yds.-

July 10, 2011, 02:29 PM
From my pops experience. I would say a 180 grain Federal Hi-Shock would do anything you needed from deer to moose.
A buddy loads 180 grain Combined Technologies silver tips (I use the 115 grain version in .25-06) for deer down south, and man. All I can say is that when it hits. It HITS hard. Very accurate as well. It does open really quickly though. Probably not the best for elk or moose, but will do a good job for you on deer. They are basically Nosler BT with a coating on them.

July 11, 2011, 05:22 PM
match your hunting bullet weights to your rifles twist rate, there is many online sources that will tell you what weights for what twist and caliber. then match your favorite hunting bullet to your cartridge.

July 11, 2011, 06:11 PM
Yeah, it can be intimidating and confusing at first. The OP plan is a good one at least to start with. You can do all the research you want, but in the end you just have to start somwhere and see what works. Hopefully the first bullet and powder combo yields at least decent results. But it seems inevitable that after getting "good enough" results, most of us are compelled to try to get "even better" results. But reading different shooters experiences will at least help to get a decent starting point.

It's hard to predict what bullets and powders will work the best in a particular rifle. For instance, I have 2 different 7 mm mags that I load for. My Browning BLR is not real picky, giving pretty good results for a variety of combinations. But it seems to prefer 140 gr or 150 gr the best, although 130 gr bullets work reasonably well too. For powder, plain old H4831 works plenty good, but even H4350 will get the job done. But for my custom Win Mod 70, that's a diferent story. It won't shoot bullets less than 154 gr worth a hoot. It's really happy with 160-162 gr bullets though. And it definitely prefers slower powder such as 7828 or H-1000 or W780. But not too slow. It doesn't like Retumbo. And about the fastest powder it will shoot with is H-4831. But when I give it the combos it likes, then it sure shoots some nice groups. So, it's almost like having rifles chambered for 2 different cartridges.

But after awhile, most of us find that the trial and error involved is what makes it fun.

July 11, 2011, 07:09 PM
Why don't you go right to the horses mouth and ask the Canadians what they use on moose. At one time the .303 British was king of the Moose whackers in Canada.

I have hunted with nothing but Hornady Interlock bullets and as far as I'm concerned they are in the same category as Nosler partitions for holding together.

Canadian Gun Nutz forums.

July 11, 2011, 07:38 PM
Geckgo I hear those Cagun Moose need a big gun like a .50 BMG to be dispatched correctly. :)

But I bet you will surprise yourself with a 30-06.

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