Getting into 30-06


May 1, 2013, 01:06 AM
Hi everyone,

I am new to reloading. Last summer I finished up my research and bough my equipment in the fall. Up until now I have only loaded 9mm. 1000 of 1000 have gone bang with no problems at all. I have worked up a fairly light load (not snappy at all, not sure on velocity) using Unique that burns very cleanly compared to a few heavier loads I tried. I have been working on my first box of 4000 115 grain FMJ from Montana Gold and I have Penn, Dardas, MBC, and a few other companies bookmarked as good sources of handgun bullets.

Next move. I am planning to sell most of my 30-06 ammo and start loading for it. I haven't done much research on it yet, in fact just started looking at load data for a few minutes tonight. I am in no rush and I know that bullets are probably scarce. Imagine as if times were good, where do you go for affordable 150, 165, and 180 grain 308 diameter bullets for target shooting or hunting? I don't think I would mind pull downs unless there is a good case against them and new bullets are fine too. Imagine this is last fall, how much would I pay per bullet, $.20? I can buy in bulk but not necessarily looking for a ton as I don't shoot it too often. I am looking to buy online as local stores are not really an option.

Really just open to any suggestions you guys have.

Oh, and any recommendations on cheaper powders? Clean powders? Any other thoughts on 30-06 powders.

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May 1, 2013, 01:42 AM
Need just a bit more info to help you out a bit better.

A hunting bullet and a target bullet are pretty different, but if you want a single bullet to serve double duty, you're better of target shooting with your hunting bullets than visa-versa.

An idea hunting bullet will depend on the game and the gun. For an all around hunting bullet, I like the Hornady 150gr JSP, I'll have to find the box on my shelf to give you a model number, but a good bullet, and about $25/100. I'm not a big hunter, so I don't have a whole lot of experience with other hunting projectiles, I usually just grab Federals from Wal-Mart.

For target bullets, distance, barrel twist and barrel length play a big role. Need that into to dial in on the ideal bullet, but generally speaking, a Sierra Match King in whatever weight you chose will serve you well, at $33/100, they're not too expensive either. If yo just want to buy one and run with it, I think 175gr is the most versatile, though it's also the hardest to find.

For cheap plinking rounds, watch Miday for blemished bullets. I picked up 500 150gr blems a few weeks back for about $100. Good enough for blasting steel with my Garand.

Powder is more or less a fixed price. There are expensive, $35ish/pound, and not expensive $20/pound. Within the not expensive options, look at 4064, 3031, 4895, H4895, 414, Varget, and the "Reloader" series. Lots of other options for 06, but I've loaded with all of the above and been very happy with them all. These days, just figure out everything that works with the bullets you chose, and buy what's in-stock.

May 1, 2013, 01:54 AM
If I am reading you right, OP you are going to sell your 30-06 ammo, then start reloading. Why do that? Your ammo is an excellent source of primed brass and bullets to reload. Dump the powder and work up your own load.

May 1, 2013, 01:56 AM
or you could sell to me. :) im happy to take it off your hands and shoot it to reload the brass. haha

May 1, 2013, 08:55 AM
Yes, I am planning on selling it since prices are a little inflated. I already have about 400 fire formed cases from my 700 adl so I figure that is enough brass to get me started and perhaps last me a while. Do you guys think that is a dumb idea?

Thanks maxyedor. That is the type of info I am seeking. So maybe $.20 per round on plinking bullets and $.35 or even more I am sure on hunting bullets.

Any other ideas on websites for quality target or pulled bullets. I would like to have as many choices as possible.

Any thoughts on dies? I just barely started browsing last night. Redding deluxe die set caught my eye. I have their Big Boss press and really like their products. Worth it, or should I just go with Lee dies or something?

May 1, 2013, 09:28 AM
John, your experiences are very similar to mine. I started reloading with 9's and once I felt more confident I started on bottleneck rifle cases and pulled bullets. I quickly learned that consistency and repeatability and pulled bullets didn't go together very well. Pulled bullets were great for practice in both reloading technique and shooting technique but did little to help me develop a consistent, accurate load.

So it depends on what you're after. I wanted small groups and couldn't achieve those with pulled bullets but I did get a lot of practice reloading and did become a better shooter. Once I started buying a higher quality bullet I finally achieved my ultimate goal of small groups but that was certainly helped by the time I'd spent reloading and shooting many, many rounds of 30 caliber pulled bullets. When I was going through this experience powder, primers, brass and bullets were in abundant supply. Given the situation today I'd probably skip the pulled bullets.

May 1, 2013, 10:09 AM
For a 30-06 buy some H-4350 or IMR -4350, whatever you can find. Both are very similar and will give the best combination of bullet speed and accuarcy. You can easily beat factroy ammo speeds by 100-150 fps while staying within safe pressure limits and with extreme accuracy. Most guys get 25-50 fps more speed with the IMR version. The H version is more stable and relible in extreme temps which makes it slightly preferable to me.

I've gotten the most consistent accuracy with bullets in the 165-168 weight range. That is a good compromise weight for hunting as well. 150's are really all that is needed for deer, 180's are generally the go to weight for larger game such as elk. The 165's will work for either and allow you to stick to just one bullet weight and learn only 1 trajectory.

I've had good results with plain old Hornady Interlokt bullets. A lot depends on what is available locally and that means Hornady around here. I'm sure other locations might be different. I'd be careful about going too cheap. The point is to hit your target, and you won't get good results with some budget bullets.

For a slightly more expensive bullet I like the Bergers Hunting bullets. I can get Hornady's for around $33/100. The Bergers are $44/100. That is 11 cents more per shot, but it is a match grade bullet designed to expand. They are extremely accurate and deadly. Not what I'd use for plinking at the range, but for serious work where you want to get that last bit of accuracy.

May 1, 2013, 10:27 AM
Hunting and Tgt shooting are the same but also two different animals. There are several questions you need to ask yourself.
1) How much time and money do you want to envest in this project.
When you start looking or loading for a Tgt load the combinations are just about endless when it comes to components (Powder,Primer,Bullerts and Brass) not to mentchion what do you want to do to your rifle Bedding,Trigger. Another thing you the shooter you still have to do your part.
Each rifle will perform different so asking on a forum page load information is a help but you still have do your part.
Your Brass prep is a lot more involved than loading for your 9mm trimming,reaming,deburring.
As for dies they are all made to very tight tolerance some maybe polished a bit more but I don't know this for a fact I have a set of Lee and RCBS and the work fine for me.
For my bullets I'm useing Sierra pro hunter and Remington corloc both have shot great for me and and both have performed very well on big game.
As for Tgt shooting 1"MOA on paper or 100 works for me.
I hope I've helped.

May 1, 2013, 10:29 AM
I agree completely with jmr40 because I too get the best results with 165/168gr bullets in the 30-06 using H4350 or IMR4350.

I like to shoot a 168gr Hornady or Sierra Match bullet for practice and killing paper and I use the same load for hunting Deer with a 165gr Sierra GameKing bullet. For larger game where a premium bullet is required I like a 165gr Nosler Partition or what I've been using more recently, their 165gr AccuBond bullet.

H4350 delivers extreme accuracy and it's very clean burning. I have shot a .314" group with a 168gr MatchKing using H4350 from a Howa 1500 rifle. I have shot backup groups at no more than .350" using the Sierra bullets and Hornady 168gr Match bullets too with most groups being just over .320". It's hard to ask for more especially when even the hunting bullets group right around .400". Any time you can shoot under 1/2MOA it's a very good day IMO and game doesn't stand a chance!

Good luck finding what you need to load your 30-06 ammo in these lean times. Hopefully things will get better soon. (but don't hold your breath)

May 1, 2013, 10:45 AM
Why not just shoot it?

May 1, 2013, 12:18 PM
I personally wouldn't sell anything (ammo) until I had a good supply of reloading components. I'm in the process of getting an M1 Garand from CMP and have been looking for reloading components for several weeks. Nada! As popular as the 30-06 is, all components are unavailable, plus I'm trying to keep my reloads to M2 specs. which narrows down my powder choices. I expected the shortage when I ordered my Garand and check my suppliers every morning for powder.

May 1, 2013, 04:01 PM
I'd keep the ammo. Reload it as you fire it. With powder being as scare as it is at the moment throwing powder away isn't something I'd do. Just me though. Your mileage may vary.

May 1, 2013, 08:11 PM
Another vote for 4350, either one.

For bullets, I would use Sierra GameKings in 150, 165 or 180. SGK's offer target accuracy and hunting effectiveness at affordable prices. If they're not in stock at your LGS, go to the Midway website and have them send you notifications when they are available.

41 Mag
May 2, 2013, 05:26 AM
Another vote for the 4350 powder and also 4895 as well. Either of these in which ever brand flavor seem to hit a nice match with the "06 sized case. I've got great loads with them in every caliber I use with the '06 as a parent case including several '06's. The advantage of H-4895 is they have a list of Youth or Reduced loads on their website. You can really cover a broad range of loads with it using them and can easily have some light target plinking loads to go along with full tilt hunting loads using the one powder. This also data can be used for any caliber listed with this particular powder in it. Just something to look into before you settle on one powder. I primarily use Winchester or Remington primers with all of my rifle loads, and either will produce great results with the above powders.

The 165gr is and has been in my mind the best all around bullet for this caliber. It has or gives, as mentioned, the best of both worlds. It is heavy enough to get plenty of penetration in just about anything your likely to hunt, and you can stoke it up plenty fast to shoot flat enough for a good 300yd shot with little to no hold over.

As for bullet brands, I've shot them all and a couple of years back settled on the plain ol Cor-Lokts. They are simply hard to beat for day in day out shooting and hunting. They are plenty accurate enough for informal target practice, and have a long running history of being reliable in the field. Also while not as cheap as they once were, they are usually available in bulk 500 - 1K if you wanted to go that route.

Others I like and still use, are the Hornady and Nosler. With the Hornady it's also hard to beat their Spire Point. It is a very good bullet and has shot some great groups for me. In the Nosler I admit I like the Solid Base which is no longer available. The closest thing to it IMO has been the Accubond in terms of drop dead impacts with less meat damage. THe Ballistic Tip is a good bullet, and has shot some stellar groups, but in every weight I have used them they leave a bit to be desired in the meat trimming dept. I have similar feeling about the Sierra as well. Great bullets, but just a touch explosive for my taste.

With your in hand ammo, I personally would simply hang on to it. Even with prices inflated, you have ammo to shoot or hunt with, and all that is needed is to pull out what you want to use and go to it. Gather up your components first and foremost, then decide if the factory fodder is still needed. Somewhat like the old saying, "a bird in hand...... "

May 2, 2013, 08:19 AM
Thanks guys. I appreciate the information.

I have done a little more research since the other day based on sugguestions here. Of course a lot of bullets are out of stock but I have seen some Sierra Match Kings at MidSouth with appear to be cheaper than Midway (which I always find to be a little more expensive).

Haven't checked out any of the powders, but I 41Mags idea of youth or reduced loads under H4895. My girlfriend shoots 22lr buckmark, M&P9, Ruger 10/22, but I haven't gotten her behind the 30-06 yet and I know the kick be totally new to her.

May 2, 2013, 09:30 AM
For hunting, 165gr Sierra Gameking soft tip for deer and 180gr Nosler Partitions for elk. Both over IMR 4350. Those two are excellent out of my Savage 110.

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