Starting 30-06 reloading


September 13, 2012, 10:12 AM
I'm going to start reloading 30-06 in the near future and I was wondering what powders I should start out with, and with what bullet weights? I'm not looking for full-power loads all the time, some lighter target level would be nice too.

I'd like to keep it to 3 types of powder for simplicity. What have you had the best experiance with?


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September 13, 2012, 10:15 AM
For lighter target work, 4895 and a 168gr smk (or similar) is hard to beat.

September 13, 2012, 10:31 AM
If you are shooting 200 yards or less, I'd stick with 150g or go lighter to 152 or 130g. Recoil is greatly reduced and I find the lighter bullets more accurate at these shorter ranges. 4895, 4064 and Varget probably the best powder choices. All three of these can work from 125 to 180 grain.

Arkansas Paul
September 13, 2012, 11:20 AM
I like Varget for 150 grain bullets.
IMR4350 for bullets heavier than that.
For a light target load, H4895 is awesome.

That's the 3 I would choose.

Many powders will work however. You have to find what you like best.

September 13, 2012, 05:44 PM
As others have said for light loads try H4985. Depending on how light you want to go think about trailboss as well. Right now my 11 year old son is shooting 110gr sierras out of his 270 pushed by a load of 17grains of Trailboss.

The hodgdons website has load data for H4985 and Trailboss.

Good luck, safe loading and happy shooting!

September 13, 2012, 05:46 PM
Paul and I are on the same line. My goto load for any 30-06 is a starting load of IMR 4350 behind a 168gr Sierra BT Match or a 165gr Ballistic Tip. If the gun doesn't shoot this load it usually doesn't stay at my house. Other full house loads use H4831, IMR4831,and Reloader 22 for the heavier bullets and both IMR and Hogdon 4895 works well with the lighter stuff.

Flatbush Harry
September 13, 2012, 06:56 PM
My standard match load for .30-06 has been 47.0gr of IMR 4895 under a 168 gr Sierra Match King with CCI BR2 primers. I have gotten excellent results with hunting loads using IMR 4064 and also Hoedgdon's Varget, the latter being a little less sensitive to temperature changes. I use 168gr nobler Accubond and also Barnes TTSX bullets for hunting.


September 13, 2012, 07:14 PM
13.0 grains of red dot powder and a 150 jacketed bullet gave me 1400 fps in my short 30-06 and had very light recoil.

September 13, 2012, 07:23 PM
what type of weapon are you using?

September 13, 2012, 07:27 PM
I like 44.0-44.1 grains of BLC-2 with the 180 grain Core Lokt bullets for a good medium range load that does not recoil that much and is really accurate in several rifles that I own. Mostly one shot bang-flop kills for deer and moose.

September 14, 2012, 05:34 AM
what are you using your rifle for? what length is your barrel?

September 14, 2012, 08:25 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I was thinking about H4350, H4895, and Varget, sounds like those are the staple .30-06 powders.

I'm using a Weatherby Vanguard 2, 24" barrel

Just target shooting for right now, maybe hunting later.

Jim Watson
September 14, 2012, 09:29 AM
Those are three pretty similar powders.
I would start out with one, probably 4895 if wanting reduced loads.
That will let you shoot everything from .30-30 equivalent to old mil-spec.

If you want a real bear bumper load, 4350 is the old standard.

And the 13 grains of Red Dot or something similar with other pistol or shotgun powder for powder puffs.

But I would get through the learning curve with 4895, either IMR or H. You might never need anything else. I didn't until I got to 1000 yards.

September 14, 2012, 10:34 AM
I can't add any to the great advise stated above. I only had H4895 and loaded according to my Nosler book at the time for 165 and 150gr partitions. They shot quite well.

I read an article on Big Game, seems like a good powder and very small and may be easy to meter. I haven't shot it yet. Been busy with .45acp reloading.

Have fun!

September 14, 2012, 11:59 AM
With the RedDot or similar charges, what other pistol powders would work?

I have on hand
Titegroup, Unique, 800X, Blue Dot, 2400, and H110. Would any of those work for really light loads?

September 14, 2012, 01:38 PM
IMO, you would be better off to stay away from using pistol powders for reduced loads. If you want a really soft shooter, check out reduced H4895 loads on Hadgdons site or Trailboss.

September 14, 2012, 01:55 PM
IMR 4350, Sierra bullets and Lapua brass. Pistol powders burn too fast to be of any real use imo.

September 14, 2012, 03:29 PM
In my experience, H4895 works very well up and down the power and weight spectrum in .30-06. I have used it from 110gr SP's up to 220gr BT's- they all functioned very very well.

Reloader 19 can give you some additional power at the heavy end, if you so choose.

One benefit that H4895 has, and I really cant state this enough, is temperature acceptance. No powder is more accepting of temperature variance without compromising performance than H4895. There really was a reason the military used it, I swear......

None of the powders you list as on hand are really good in 30-06.

15grs of unique will function- I know this from personal experience, as I like to test it in everything- but its a far cry from the performance you will get from a true rifle powder.

If you like having one or two rifle powders that will really do it all- you cannot beat H4895 for 30ish caliber consistent loads with acceptable performance and recoil across all cartridges, and something from the IMI series for small rifle loads.

September 14, 2012, 09:51 PM
RL19 or IMR-4350 will work for anything you load. I've been using one or the other for all my 30-06 loads for over 30 years. That being said, for the 30-06 it really isn't necessary to to have mroe than one powder for that rifle.


September 14, 2012, 11:07 PM
I load a 168gr Sierra MatchKing or 168gr Hornady Match bullet for practice & range shooting. I load a 165gr GameKing for Deer hunting and I use H4350 under all of them with great success...

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