bullet weight


February 6, 2012, 05:14 PM
Hey all,

Just getting into hunting/shooting and picked up my first rifle in December. Remington 700 BDL in 30-06. I chose that caliber for its wide range of versatility. I've decided to hand load my rounds and have been having fun learning that hobby which saving some pennies in the process. My first batch were 150 grain Hornady FMJ/BT bullets which gave ok accuracy at 100 yds, but alot of that is probably me getting used to the rifle, and shooting in general.

I've been doing a lot of lurking on forums and a lot of people say that they get their best accuracy from a 165-168 grain bullet out of the 30-06. I was thinking that would be a little heavy for whitetail. What say you veteran hunters out there? I figure 150 grain bullet will kill a whitetail just fine, but if i can get better placement out of a 165-168 grain bullet, is the extra damage not going to be worth it?

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February 6, 2012, 05:19 PM
NT, The grs of the projectiles will help for distance and accuracy however depending on what type of bullet you use will decide and placement in the heart area will just determine how far or if he will travel its not fun tracking an deer at dusk and you would not have anymore meat loss shooting in the vital organs but most people go for the most damaging round that can shoot just for that reason.

February 6, 2012, 05:21 PM
It is for that reason you don't shoot FMJ's at game.

February 6, 2012, 05:22 PM
There will be no extra damage.

Good hunting bullets are designed to expand properly at the speeds they are shot at.
A 125 blows up much more violently then a 150 165, or 180.

The heavier bullets offer deeper penetration then the lighter bullets.

On deer size game, deep penetration is not needed nearly as much as it might be on an elk or a moose.

A 165 is a little slower then a 150, so is less likely to blow up on bone and damage the meat.

It also is a little better long range bullet as wind drift doesn't affect it quite as much.

In all, I think the 165 in a 30-06 is an ideal compromise in best long range ballistics and performance on game.
But thats just me.


February 6, 2012, 05:44 PM
There are several excellent hunting bullets in the 130-180 grain range. The most popular are 150 grain and 165/168 grain. Really, finding a good hunting load for the 30-06 is easy. Choose a hunting bullet, choose a suitable powder, and experiment to get the best accuracy. You don't need 1/2 moa to kill a deer. Honestly though, that rifle should be able to produce 1MOA results with a little bit of load development.

Obviously, you will want an expanding type bullet. I would avoid solids and thin jacketed bullets for deer. I prefer a softpoint bullet in the 150-165 weight range. I have had good results with the Sierra Gameking 165s on game and on targets.

I have a hunch that the damage difference between a 150 and 165 will be negligible. You will see a difference in the type of bullet and where you hit the animal. A Ballistic tip will pretty much detonate when it hits hard bone. Not all will, but most. A typical soft point MAY not cause as much damage in the same scenario. Either type will perform well if you put make a shot into a softer area such as the ribcage. Again, there is no definitive answer. The best you can do is to do research and select the components that seem to fit your hunting style the best. Hope this helps.

February 6, 2012, 06:24 PM
Defiantly all good and helpful information! My next box of bullets will be in the heavier weight and see which i can make smaller groups with.

February 6, 2012, 08:25 PM
I now have my dad's Springfield, 1903, and plan to deer hunt with it. I have been considering this same thing...150 or 165/168 gr. bullet weight. My next box will be the 168s and see if my reloads and gun like each other. This is a thread I needed.


February 6, 2012, 08:49 PM
I shoot them with 175s and 178s out of my 308. Works just fine. I use that because it is what I usually shoot with.

I have used 155s 165s and 180s on deer too. All worked just as well.

February 6, 2012, 08:51 PM
Anyone have experience with the Hornady .308 165 GR Boat Tail Spire Point? Looks like it would do the trick for both hunting and poking holes in paper for practice.

February 6, 2012, 10:17 PM
i shoot the 168 hpbt in my 308 and they shoot fine. i think the 06 benifits from the 165+ bullets. you can always load light bullets but you get away from what the cartrige was intended. its not a varmint round to shoot 100gr pills out of. i woundnt go lighter that 150. i shoot 155gr out of my 308 up to 190gr

February 6, 2012, 10:26 PM
I got my first large bore rifle over 30 years ago. Win Mod 70 per 64 in 30-06. Still have it - fantastic rifle and caliber. My general purpose go to bullet is a 165 gr boat tail soft point. Wouth step up te weight a little for E
Elk and moose, or down a little for all game (used to even shoot AccelerTors out of it!) but the 165 BTSP is a good starting point.

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