30-06 Questions


August 22, 2011, 08:53 AM
Started to reload 30-06

1=for a bolt action gun do you have to crimp the bullets into the cannalure?

2=comparing my loads to a factory hornady load I can hear my powder moving around in the case...vs the factory load the powder seems compressed...is it ok for the poweder to be moving around in the case?

3=for deer hunting is the hornady 165gr SST bullet good? using 47grains of IMR 4064? or should i go to the max load of 52 grains?

new to reloading

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August 22, 2011, 09:24 AM
1. It is not necessary to crimp your loaded rounds for a bolt action rifle. Neck tension alone will keep the bullet from moving. Some reloaders like to use a Factory Crimp Die (FCD), but I find it just a wasted step.

2. It is qute normal to hear powder moving around in the case. Most powders do not completely fill the case.

3. Regarding powder charge, use the most accurate load for your rifle. In most cases the deer will not notice a difference of 200 to 250 fps.

August 22, 2011, 09:29 AM
No need to crimp the 30-06. I do not crimp my M1 Garands loads so your bolt rifle does not need the crimp.

No need to seat the bullet to the cannelure if some other cartridge overall length provides some advantage.

It depends on the powder used as to whether it fill the case completely. No problems if you can hear the powder shake in the case.

I cannot comment on bolt rifle hunting loads in 30-06 as all my 30-06 rifles are Garands. Bolt rifles offer some advantages that you cannot utilize in the Garand.

August 22, 2011, 09:39 AM
I would not crimp your loads, and don't worry about the air space in the case. You are just useing a faster powder than the factory load you are compareing it too, and your load uses up less space in the case. If your load shoots well, it's an non issue.

Those 165's should be just fine on deer sized animals.


August 22, 2011, 09:44 AM
I agree with loadedround. When loading for a bolt action rifle crimping could have a negative effect on accuracy. To keep the crimping action away from the case neck you set your seating die in a single stage press as follows: place a case in the shell holder, raise the ram to the top of the stroke, screw in the seating die until the die touches the case, and then back the die off one full turn and lock down the retaining ring. That way the seating die crimping ring is one turn away from the top of the case.

For a charge of some powders like IMR 4064 it is normal to have space in the case so you can hear the powder shaking. A 30-06 case will hold about 56 grains of most powders in the powder void, so with IMR 4064 you have at least 4 grains of space in the case. If you changed to IMR 4350 you probably couldn't hear the powder because a charge of 56 or 57 grains with a 165 grain bullet would fill the void in the case.

I would think 52 grains of IMR 4064 would be an excessive load for a 165 grain bullet. I personally would keep the powder charge at 50 grains or less. Starting at a charge of 47 grains and working up to 50 grains looking for pressure problems would be a good start. Good luck with your reloading. BW

August 22, 2011, 10:36 AM

Hodgdon list 52.5 grains IMR 4064 as a maximum load for a Sierra 165 gr bullet. Work your way slowly up to that maximum watching for pressure signs.

Jimmy K

August 22, 2011, 10:50 AM
You might copy the speed of a Hornady but Hornady Customs use a blinded powder so your not going to copy that to an exact. Wish you could because that is the best factory stuff I have ever used.

Arkansas Paul
August 22, 2011, 11:41 AM
1. As has been said, crimping is not neccessary for a bolt action. I have only been loading for about two years now, but I have never crimped a round.

2. It have found it to be pretty common. When I load a 150 grain bullet in .30-06 I like to use Varget and it does not fill the case. You can hear the powder very plainly. They shoot great though. No worries.

3. 165 grain Hornady SSTs are great for whitetails. I use them a lot myself and have had excellent results. Don't worry about the max charge. Find what your rifle shoots the best and use that. As loadedround said, the deer won't see a difference in a couple hundred fps.

I realize that some of this stuff has been said already, but it is very true.

August 22, 2011, 11:46 AM
Thanks for the quick replies guys

new to reloading , so I just want to make sure that I am doing things correctly

August 22, 2011, 12:16 PM
The concept of "working up" has already been mentioned, but I've seen a lot of questions from new reloaders that indicate it may not be understood.

Due to variations in bore dimensions, as well as numerous other things that affect pressure, it is considered prudent (that is, safe) to start toward the lower end of published load data and gradually increase the charge, watching for signs of overpressure.

These signs are also inexact, but a hard to lift bolt handle, flattened primers, and a significant increase in case head diameter show "too much".

You may encounter this limit before you reach the published maximum load. (There is no guarantee that all rifles will handle maximum loads.) This is what is sometimes not understood.

August 22, 2011, 01:15 PM
Yeah I will stick with the lower end 47grains and see how that goes...

one thing i noticed with this powder vs my hand gun powder (HS-6) is that the handle of my lyman powder measure is very hard to turn, and feels like its grabbing...

vs my handgun loads using 4.8grs of HS-6 the handle is very smooth to operate?

is this due to the long powder that the rifle charge is using getting caught up in the internal measure area?

August 22, 2011, 02:38 PM
Yes, when you run a long tubular grain like IMR 4064 through a powder measure some of the grains are cut as you work the handle. This cutting doesn't create any problems with dropping a charge that is near to what you want, but to get each charge exactly the same you must weigh each individual charge on a scale. I weigh every charge so each powder charge is exactly the same in every cartridge. BW

August 22, 2011, 04:55 PM
I've never crimped a bottle neck cartridge and never had a problem with adequate neck tension. Don't worry about the canelure, just seat your bullets to the OAL that performs best, which is usually closer to the lands.
If you switch to a slower burning powder, RL19, IMR4350 or one of the other slow one's, you'll eliminate the loose charge, if it really concerns you. I personally prefer to load with the slower burning powders and often load the data that gets them to a compressed charge or close. I feel like compressed charges are a more consistent performing load with regard to accuracy, and also bring velocity up some.

August 22, 2011, 05:37 PM
With a shorter bullet shank you may use a factory crimp, but I don't think it will be necessary in the 165 gr bullet.
As was said before, don't trust the powder measure. Just because it drops 47 grains one time, doesn't mean it will the next. Measure each one and make sure. Take them to the range, or wherever and use a rest to check the accuracy. If it is good enough for you then load them up and shoot the heck out of it.
If not then go up .5 to 1 grains to your max load and shoot the one that is most fitting for what you will be doing. If I am hunting squirrels, then a 2 MOA or 2inch grouping at 100 yards wouldn't work for me. just my .02.

August 22, 2011, 05:48 PM
Have been using 150 grain for deer "forever" and have been very happy with them. The slightly lighter bullet flies flatter, faster, and has a higher "shock value" because of it's speed. Just loaded some 150 ballistic tips. A bud wants them so we do a bit of "horse tradin".

August 23, 2011, 08:53 AM
I have been using the powder charge and then measuring each one after...

it has been throwing 46.7, 46.8, 47.1 46.9

is that close enough? how close is close? for just target shooting?

August 23, 2011, 09:02 AM
If you want speed and accuracy with the 165 grain bullets go with IMR4350, you will be happy that you did.

August 23, 2011, 09:03 AM
I have been using the powder charge and then measuring each one after...

it has been throwing 46.7, 46.8, 47.1 46.9

is that close enough? how close is close? for just target shooting?
With 4064 that is a very good average.

41 Mag
August 23, 2011, 06:02 PM
Well not sure what happened to the post, but I'll give it another try.

I usually do not go under about a half grain increment in this particular size case. I simply haven't found it prudent in all the rounds I have shot. I usually use the medium burn rate powders like one of the 4350's to start off with, and go slower from there depending on my results. To be honest, any of one of the 4350's are pretty hard to beat.

I will set up my powder measure and throw ten charges which are weighed, and then if things are within .2 or so I go for it. I just simply do not have the patients nor any proof that smaller increments are better in my rifles.

When I am developing a load I weigh out the start and max loads noting the setting on the measure for each. Then while at the range I move it up in 1/4 turns per increment, until I either find a node or until I hit pressure or the max listed load. If I don't find anything with that powder I switch to something else and go one. I can usually hit a good solid load with one powder in around 20 - 50 fired shots using this method and two rounds per charge. I clean the barrel every ten rounds.

For a 165gr bullet I have found that RL-22 it hard to beat, along with H-4350. They are pretty much a toss up in my rifles so I usually use which ever one I have the most of at the time.

Ray P
August 24, 2011, 12:02 AM
dmazur, Gab909;

When working up a load for .30-06, what interval do you use? there seems to be about 4 grains variation between min & max load for a 150 gr spire point over IMR4064.

If I made 5-rd batches at a 0.1 gr increment; that's about 200 rounds just for a work-up. What is a more rational value? Or is that the right way to go?

August 24, 2011, 01:57 PM
Ray P, when you start a new load for a 30-06, 150 grain bullet and IMR 4064 powder you are looking for accuracy and excessive pressure. I usually load 5 cartridgers with 49 grains, 5 cartridges with 50 grains, 5 cartridges with 51 grains and 5 cartridges with 52 grains. First I fire the 49 grain load from the bench at 100 yards and after I fire each cartridge I check for a flattened primer which indicates high pressure. After I fire the five rounds I look at the target to check for accuracy. If the 49 grain load doesn't indicate pressure problems I go the the next higher loading all the way through 52 grains. At that point you can tell which loads looks more favorable. If the 51 grain load tends to shoot the best then you can load again and play with 50.5 grains and 51.5 grains to look for a more accurate load. It may take several trips to the range to find the best accuracy. Good luck with your reloading. BW

Ray P
August 25, 2011, 12:36 AM
Shooter5907: Thanks! I'll try that. Looks like your data may have come from a Nosler book. My 1986 Nosler book shows the .30-06 load for IMR4064 & a 150gr spire as a grain higher than the latest Hodgdon annual: 47.0-51.0. Interesting, but probably meaningless.

August 25, 2011, 12:22 PM
I hand trickle each charge to exactly the desired grains. That gives the most consistant accuracy. The less variations from shot to shot, the better off you will be.

The 165 SST should knock a whitetail flat.

August 25, 2011, 02:32 PM
Ray P, I rely on my Speer manual for my reloading information but the Nosler manual that I have also lists 52 grains of IMR 4064 and the maximum load for a 150 grain bullet. 52 grains of IMR 4064 with a 150 grain bullet has been accepted for years as a great deer hunting load for the 30-06 in a modern bolt action rifle. BW

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