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Best 30-06 bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Shouthern Hunter, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Shouthern Hunter

    Shouthern Hunter Well-Known Member

    What is the best 30-06 bullet to reload with for whitetail deer? I am shooting about 100yds.
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    A 150 grain bullet is best, and you can use about any on the market. Remington bulk or other cup-and-core bullets work well on deer.
  3. Michael Courtney

    Michael Courtney Well-Known Member

    Just about any reliably expanding bullet in 150-180 grains will work well. Deer at 100 yards aren't demanding in terms of accuracy or bullet performance if you aim for the center of the chest and can follow a blood trail 50-100 yards.

    I've done some high-volume deer work that is a bit more specialized than most, so I've worked hard to find deer loads that maximize accuracy and minimize drop distance. When you've killed 5 deer in one hot summer evening, your begin to see the advantage of this. An accurate bullet (and a good rest) allows for hitting the shoulder reliably which produces a very high percentage of instant drops. Rapid expansion transfers energy quickly which also leads to quick drops for shots which miss the shoulder but still hit the heart/lung area. My deer bullet choice is the 125 grain Nosler ballistic tip.

    On the other hand, if I was hunting for the buck of a lifetime and only had one deer to recover on that hunt, without doubt I would shoot the 165 grain Nosler ballistic tip. It's just as accurate, penetrates better, and is more likely to still do its job if I happen to hit an unseen branch before hitting the target.

    Even with the range limited to 100 yards, there is no such thing as "too accurate" in the hands of an experienced rifleman who wants the best chance to make every opportunity count. It doesn't happen often, but there are occasions where the hunter only has the head and neck to shoot at. There are also occasions where one has to thread the bullet through a small window in branches or intervening vegetation. I also once shot a buck in the heart from directly behind him without hitting him in the backside. (The heart is at the lowest part of the chest, and can be hit from the rear by threading the bullet between the deer's rear legs and under the backside and abdomen.)

    Michael Courtney
  4. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip...deadly on whitetails.

    Just my .02,
  5. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Well-Known Member

    I've been using the Sierra GameKing 165 gr BTHP's with IMR 4064 powder for many years. These are the hollow points with the crimped tips.
    They give me great accuracy and good terminal performance. I've never had to shoot anything more than once with them.
  6. dakotasin

    dakotasin Well-Known Member

    165 sierra gamekings or 165 hornadys have worked very well for me.
  7. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Speer 170 gr. FNSP for .30-30. W-748 CCI 200
    Sierra 165 gr. BTHP for my .30-06 deer and smaller. H4831SC WLR
    Sierra 180 gr. BTSP for my .30-06 deer and larger. H4831SC WLR
  8. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    Speer 130 gr.hp,most lethal bullet I've found for 30 cal.for close in work(under 500 yds).Will hold moa out to 400 yrds in my 2 06's,300 win.,opens up a little in my 300 wthby.
  9. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    I don't hunt with anything other than 180s in my .30/06.

    A 180 Nosler Partition is my usual load, on top of a max charge of ReLoder 22. IMHO this load is adequate for all thin-skinned, non-dangerous game worldwide with the possible exceptions of eland and giraffe. Naturally, it works just fine on whitetails.

    If I know I'll be shooting smaller or softer game, I'll substitute a 180 Nosler Ballistic Tip for faster expansion, better accuracy, and a marginally flatter trajectory.

    I've chronographed both bullets leaving the muzzle of my 22" barreled Model 70 at a bit over 2700 ft/sec.

    For 100 yard deer . . . I agree with previous posters, just about any .30 caliber expanding bullet ought to work just fine if you do your part and place it properly.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  10. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    165 gr Sierra Gamekings in either the HPBT or the SPBT.

    I currently have a great HPBT and IMR 4350 pushing right at 2900fps and grouping under an inch at 100yds.

    Currently working on SPBT and IMR 4350 reload just for fun.

    Platform is a Savage 110 stock model rifle with a Burris 3X9 scope.

    Will put the load to the test in Missouri in less than 2 weeks. :D
  11. sumpnz

    sumpnz Well-Known Member

    :scrutiny: That's quite a different definition of "close in" than I'm used to.
  12. Shouthern Hunter

    Shouthern Hunter Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the info.
  13. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Yer welcome...Anytime...:)
  14. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Well-Known Member

    One thing I'd like to mention:

    While those ballistic tip loads will dump a deer "right now", they usually do so at the expense of much damaged/bloodshot meat, especially when closer than 200 yards if you've loaded them fast.

    I hunt table meat, not trophies so I prefer something along the lines of a sierra game king or a remington core lokt, either 150 or 165 grain loaded to a moderate velocity if I'm confident my shot opportunities will be inside 300 yards. Your shot HAS to be better placed than with a rapidly expanding design, but you damage A LOT less meat. I would rather track 100-200 yards on a lung shot than lose 15 pounds of meat.

    To each his own however. Not saying anyone is wrong, just stating my preference.
  15. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    I do agree with Ben...Shot placement is a must. If you can't place the projectile then you need to spend more time at the range until you can...:)
  16. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    We are talking about the 30-06 here aren't we.:cool: 100 yrds is pistol range imho.
  17. sumpnz

    sumpnz Well-Known Member

    I hope you just forgot the sarcastic smilie.
  18. mohican

    mohican Well-Known Member

    disclaimer-buckeyes cant uses centerfire rifles on deer

    except with "kill" permits - So I don't know about shooting deer with an '06.

    I have two 30-06's, both military flavor - 1917 eddystone enfield and a Garand

    The Garand (with side mounted scope) shoots very well at 100 yards with 165 grain Nosler BTs, which many say is fine as white tail medicine. the Sierra 165 gr pro hunter BTHP also shoots well for me.

    The Eddystone has just the peep sights, but at 100 yards from a rest, kneeling, prone, and standing I can put them into a deers vital zone.

    more economically, the Rem 165 gr core lockt psps are available in bulk as components (the same with similar winchester bullets) and have been killing deer for longer than I've been on earth. You can buy a box of 500 and practice all year long for what some of the "premium" bullets cost for a box of 50 or 100. And after shooting that much, you'll be confident of you, your load, and your gun, which probably means a lot more than a better load with a "super" bullet that you haven't shot as much..........
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  19. NCP24

    NCP24 Well-Known Member

    See below
  20. NCP24

    NCP24 Well-Known Member

    Sierra 168 gr. BTHP MatchKing for medium to large deer or 165 Nosler Ballistic Tip.

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