.30-06 handloading


December 2, 2012, 09:24 AM
Please excuse my English, as I'm not a native speaker.

I registered today in order to find out some recipes for .30-06 reloading, as I'm having a lot of difficulties finding the correct data on European forums.

For reloading, I use Vithavuori N140 as my all-round powder. It simply works best with my rifle calibers (7.62x51 and 7.62x63/.30-06).

A large part of my shooting fun comes from practical shooting matches, in which we usually have some reactive targets like bowling pins, pressed wood and HDPE plates. For these targets I require softpoints, as typical FMJ ammo simply punches holes without delivering sufficient energy to drop the targets. I'm not looking for superior accuracy, as I don't have time to find the sweet spot. The nationals are coming up (16 Dec 2012) and I would like the ammo there. 3 MOA is already sufficient, as the use will be on relatively short ranges (1 (yes, one) to 100 yards)

For my G3 I use Prvi brass with 41.5 grains of N140 with a 150gr Sierra ProHunter roundnose (JSP). The trouble is that I'm not able to find data for my Columbian K98 in 7.62x63 / .30-06.

The european tables don't list a lot of US components; and the US tables don't list a lot of european powders. Unfortunately I don't have access to Quickload. I also didn't find a lot of useful information on the internet.

I was planning to use the following components;

- DAG military brass (Boxer primed)
- Sellier&Bellot LR primers
- Vithavuori N140 powder (Specifically NOT N150, as I'm legally restricted to 2 KG of powder in my home, so I don't have space to buy it)
- Sierra 165gr GameKing SBT (Spitzer boattail softpoint) or Sierra 150gr ProHunter 150gr (Round nose softpoint)

I'm looking for a intermediate load which isn't that explosive on target, but has enough energy to properly expand in the wooden/plastic targets. So I think it's best to be in the middle of the min/max. Hunting loads don't always do the trick, as penetrating soft points (for example SAKO hammerhead) usually only deform after they passed clean through the target.

I would really appreciate any input or recipes.


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December 2, 2012, 09:27 AM
IMR 4350 @ 59 grains per 150 grain bullet and 57 grains for a 165 grain bullet. Work up in your rifle of course. Accurate load. :)

December 2, 2012, 09:40 AM
I'm unfortunately not able to purchase all US powders over here. I'm also not allowed to have more then 2kg of gunpowder due to legal restrictions. The only readily available US brand is Hodgdon (I think).

So I'd like to work with Vithavuori N140 as I have it in my supply room, I know it's used in the US and the popularity is increasing. It's a rather expensive powder but works great over a large range of different calibers (.30-06, .308, 7,5 swiss, 8x57, 7.62x54R etc).

I did find loads for N150, but I'm not willing to spend 70 on a kilo of powder which I don't use that often, limiting my space for N140.

The only IMR powder that I can find around here is Trailboss.

Other brands that I can obtain are (not sure if they are pistol or rifle powders);

Accurate arms: No5, No7, 8700
Alliant: Reloader15
Vithavuori: Full range of rifle powders
Hodgdon: Full range of rifle powders
Lovex: Full range of rifle powders

I would be willing to buy a LB packaging of other powder, but most rifle powders come in KG packagings on this side of the ocean.

December 2, 2012, 09:45 AM
I've found that either H-4350 or IMR-4350 is the most accurate powder for full power loads in a 30-06. Not sure how accurate they would be with more intermediate loads you want, or if that powder is available to you.

Here are some powder manufacturers websites that may be helpful




December 2, 2012, 09:45 AM
Good English. I suggest you download Reloaders Reference. It is full of data & free. I don't is your power to know it is in there but I'd be shocked if it wasn't.

December 2, 2012, 09:49 AM
Hogdon has reloading data for 30-06 on their website. It can be found at http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp You will have to scroll through to 30-06 and select rifle to find your loads. Have fun with the reloading...it's a hobby in itself!

December 2, 2012, 10:15 AM
The second addition of Vithavuori's manual lists for the 150gr bullet a starting load of 48.2gr and a max load of 53.2gr of N140. The 165gr bullet lists starting load of 45.5gr and a max load of 50.2gr. I hope this helps.

December 2, 2012, 11:33 AM
As you have probably gathered, your ability to write in English is better than our ability to read all the way through your post to the part where you want to know about N140 only!

The Lapua online data lists N140 for 2 different 150gr bullets. They also list loads for 2 different 170gr bullets, which should be reasonable starting points for a 165gr Sierra.

I feel that their maximum loads in general are truly maximum, and if you are not using their precise components you should make sure to leave yourself a considerable safety margin. Many of the loads listed in their manual are above max loads in US manuals that I use.


My Hornady manual 7th ed lists 42.0 to 47.5 grains as the range for N140 with their 168gr bullets for the M1 Garand, giving 2300-2600 fps. M1 Garand rifles needs slightly faster powders and lower pressures than are acceptable for bolt guns (I won't go into the details here), so these are moderate loads.

The Hornady manual also lists N140 for their 150gr bullets with loads from 43.7 to 51.2 grains to give velocities from 2500-2900fps. This is from their regular .30-06 section, and represent full-power loads.

I have used N150 data from the Hornady manual and find that their data are accurate for 175gr bullets based on the velocities over my chronograph. I would assume that they did as good a job with N140.

I don't have a Sierra manual, but on the bootleg copy I have of one page, they do list N150 for heavier bullets. They might have data for N140 for the bullets you want to use, and the manual would definitely have the proper seating depth listed for the bullets you want. Perhaps somebody with the Sierra manual will post with data from there.

Good luck!


Postscript: I agree that the VV powders are really nice. They meter well and burn cleanly. The only shortcoming of using the N140 is that it is a little faster than optimal for .30-06, which makes it hard to get to maximum velocity without having excess chamber pressures. If you want moderate velocities, then that does not matter. Also, you will have a lot of air space in your .30-06 cases with N140. You may find that you need to raise your rifle up after chambering a round to get all the powder to the rear of the case for more consistent velocities.

Jake in TX
December 2, 2012, 06:04 PM
I saw in the Vihta Vuori load data that there is a load for 30-06 and a 167 grain Scenar bullet, for 45.5 grains of N140, starting and 50.1 grains maximum. Usually, using a slightly lighter bullet will not be dangerous; however, I would definitely start at the starting load and carefully work up from there. I found this at http://www.lapua.com/en/products/reloading/vihtavuori-reloading-data/relodata/5/73. Good luck!

Jake in TX

T Bran
December 2, 2012, 06:22 PM
My Sierra manual lists only Viht 150 for the 150 grain bullets.
It lists Viht 150 and Viht 550 for the 165 grain bullets.

Unfortunately Viht 140 has no data in the book for the combination you requested.

December 2, 2012, 07:00 PM
If you can get RL-19 powder where you are grab some! My 30-06 with 150gr accutips loves that stuff, easly the most accurate bullet/powder combination I have found to date for the 06, hella fast too. Every test load was touching holes. Even more accurate in my 6.5x55 with 120-130gr bullets very versatile powder.
If I had only one powder to load with in my 06 it would be either H4350 for 165gr or RL19 for 150s.

Kevin Rohrer
December 2, 2012, 07:16 PM
Hodgdon: Full range of rifle powders

H4895 and BLC-2 are good bets for the '06.

December 2, 2012, 07:31 PM
Welcome to THR, ttiel.

Here's a link to a reload site with a list of VV N140 loads for the 30-06 that may help. Just start low and work up.



December 2, 2012, 11:49 PM
I was going to suggest checking the Lapua site for Vithavuori load data but it's been done above. Here is the link to the main page for Vithavuori load data.

According to Vithavuori, using a 9,7g /150grs Sierra bullet the powder charge using N140 powder is between 8,03g /47.5gr and 3,42g /52.8gr. (COL is 84mm /3.307")

The Vithavuori data for the 7.62X63mm lists Hornady, Lapua, Sierra, Nosler and Barnes bullets so you should be able to get what you need.

Welcome to the forum...

December 3, 2012, 12:24 AM
All suggestions I have read are all great, I use Hodgdon Varget is a good all around powder if you can get your hands on it. I have used it in my .223 M1 and my 1903A1 and have had no trouble with it. It is a dirty powder but very consistant and accurate even in my .300 WSM I shoot Sub MOA at 100. I do recommend going to the Serria Match King though you will get better grouping no matter the powder you use. Another would be the Hornady Match A-Max, I used that in my M1 and 1903A1 for the wood matches at Camp Perry Ohio and shot a bronze medal score.

December 3, 2012, 03:34 AM
I'll try some of the Vitha loadings you guys recommended and update you guys on how it went.

I do have plenty of AMAX lying around (155 and 165gr) because of my G3, but they don't expand properly as it's a match hollowpoint. The Zmax rounds performed much better, but are way to expensive compared to Sierra softpoints (which kill the bowling pins less dead, but still do the trick perfectly).

My experience with the AMAX is that they simply punch holes like the FMJ ammo.

December 4, 2012, 10:05 PM
not sure if youve found your answer yet but this is what the hornady manual has in it for n140 and bullets from150-155grs

43.7 gr starting load = 2500 fps

51.2 gr max load = 2900 fps

hope this helps

December 28, 2012, 07:32 AM
I didn't had the 165gr bullets in time for the match, but a friend helped me with some Sierra 125gr spitzers (soft points) that I had lying around. They were truly explosive on wooden targets. The downside is that the sights on my K98 are for early 20th century .30-06 rounds with the heavy bullets. Not supervelocity 125gr bullets, the POI is aprx. 2 ft above my POA at 100M (roughly 110 yards).

I wasn't able to get the 150gr roundnoses to him on time, which might perform better with slower loads due to their shape.

10 Spot Terminator
December 28, 2012, 09:41 AM
I cant give you a load for your VV powder but I have a Modello 98 made in the 30-06 as a contract Mauser for Chile prior to World War II and it shoots those Sierra 165 Game King boat tails extremely accurately. At 200 yds with my scoped rifle it will put 5 rounds in a 1 inch dot consistantly with a charge of 45 grs. of IMR4064. It also shoots the Remington factory loaded 165 gr. Core-Lokt ammo equally as well . Of the 4 30-06 rifles I have owned over the years the all gave the accuracy edge to a 165 gr. bullet. Food for thought and good shooting to you sir !

10 Spot

December 28, 2012, 10:01 AM
The downside is that the sights on my K98 are for early 20th century .30-06 rounds with the heavy bullets.I think you will find you need a taller front sight on your Mauser no matter what bullet weight you use.

Military rifles of the day were always sighted to shoot high at intermediate range.

This was because of the "battle sight" setting of the day that called for being able to aim at an enemy's midsection and hit him somewhere above the belt line from point blank range all the way out to several hundred yards.

If precision shooting is called for, and it will be on bowling pins.
You need a taller front sight so you can file it down a little at a time to get a precise 100 meter zero.




December 28, 2012, 10:11 AM
The second addition of Vithavuori's manual lists for the 150gr bullet a starting load of 48.2gr and a max load of 53.2gr of N140. The 165gr bullet lists starting load of 45.5gr and a max load of 50.2gr. I hope this helps.
The Vithavouri manual should suffice for your needs. The ones I have give both metric and English/US measurements for each load. It doesn't have a lot of calibers listed but it does list .30-06.
Are you in Germany or Austria? I didn't realize that they restricted you to 5 lbs. of powder. I'd be in BIG trouble there.

December 28, 2012, 10:27 AM
Guys, I supplies the link to Vithavouri load data in post #14 so he's not looking for the data any longer. I posted the link because the OP said that's the powders he has access to.

The Bushmaster
December 28, 2012, 10:59 AM
ttiel...If you can purchace Hodgdon powders then give H4831 or H4831SC a try. I have had great results with this powder in my .30-06 and 165 grain and heavier bullets.

December 29, 2012, 06:23 AM
@ Pato,

I'm currently situated in the Netherlands. The restrictions are not under the firearms law, but under enviromental law.

You can own;

3KG of smokless / nitro
1KG of blackpowder

If you have both, the blackpowder counts double so you can own 1KG of nitro and 1KG of blackpowder.

It not directly enforced, but you can get into trouble with your home insurance in case of a fire and stuff like that. No need to find out ;)

Funny facts;

You are restricted to 10,000 pieces of ammunition (counted by the amount of life primers; so primers as reloading components count as cartridges aswell). The fun part is; your allowed to have 10,000 pieces of .50 BMG (if you're able to get a permit for it, which would be extremely hard.. but just for illustration of this law) which would contain roughly 150KG of powder with 10,000 heavy primers that when individually used would most likely blow up a pistol/revolver.

The amount of powder is therefore limited to reloading powder which is in "bulk" instead of individual units which limit the risk of mass explosion in case of a fire.

Other European countries have similar laws, so therefore we tend to stick to a nice all-round powder like Vithavuori N140. The downside, some pistol and riflepowders are often out of stock as they are extremely popular.

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