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220 grain 30'06: what's the point?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tommer, Nov 20, 2007.

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  1. tommer

    tommer Member

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    Does anyone here hunt or do anything with a 220 grain 30'06?

    Is there any animal that'll drop when hit by a 220, but which would get up and run when hit with a 180?

    Also, since most 30'06 barrels probably come with a twist rate optomized for 150-180 grain bullets, won't a 220 be unstable?
     
  2. Kimber1911_06238

    Kimber1911_06238 Member

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    I don't know, I've heard for 220's being used for moose and bear, but with high quality, premium 180 grainers....I doubt that the moose or bear would know the difference.
     
  3. First Shirt

    First Shirt Member

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    I've found the accuracy is pretty good with the 220s, at least in my rifles, but I've never found a 220 that I liked in terms of bullet design, and at max load, the recoil in a 7# rifle is just enough too much to be annoying.

    I'm perfectly happy with the 165 gr Hornady BTSP in handloads, and, more importantly, both my '06's like them best, too.
     
  4. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    The 220 gr bullet is probably a holdover from the original .30-03 load, which in turn goes back to the Krag load. It may carry on just through force of tradition.
     
  5. Twud

    Twud Member

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    All depends on shot placement. Standing broadside and properly placed a 180 will do just fine on any North American critter. If you've got to get through bone it's another story. I would prefer to expend the energy on 180's and velocity, you never know when that long shot's gonna come along. If I know the animal I'm hunting needs a heavy bullet I think I step it up a notch to one of the 338s. As for twist check out the link.

    http://www.shilen.com/calibersAndTwists.html

    Looks like 220's are the max for a 1 in 10 twist. Might have to ratchet up the velocity to get them to work.
     
  6. waffentomas

    waffentomas Member

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    I actually load the 220gr Nosler Partition in my .308 (Win.) Weatherby Vanguard.

    I haven't hunted with it yet, but it's been quite accurate at the range, and it's been a fun round to play around with. I always keep a few in my pack if I have to guard meat while the guys go get the horses.

    It's not an ideal load for a .308 win, but it's not horrible either. I can get it up to 2300 fps with Winchester 748.

    Tom
     
  7. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    The '06 with 220s is a great general purpose rifle for Africa. It has served my father and uncles admirably.:)

    I've heard its good medicine for moose and bear, but any moose or bear where I live would be hanging in a garage with a kiddie pool under it within 10 minutes of crossing the state line.:)
     
  8. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    Back in the day bullet making technology was not where it is now and the 220 could give you just that bit more penetration. So yes, i's really just a holdover. Although in the magnum .30's it can be usefull.

    Personally I think in a 30-06 that the 200 should be the heaviest load. For me 220's are just down too much on velocity to be worthwhile, if I need 220's then I might as well go to a .338 Win with 225's or 250's.
     
  9. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Tommer...

    That 220gr bullet is a holdover from the military use of the 30/40 Krag circa 1890s. After the Spanish-American War the military went to a new design - the 1903 Springfield - but kept the 220 bulllet chugging along at about 2200fps. But in 1906 - and in response to the German development of their 8x57 (154gr @2800fps), the U.S. revamped to the '06 Springfield using an 150gr. bullet at 2700fps.

    In the hunting fields - remember these were the times when people still argued about the effectiveness of the big bullets of BP days over the "little" bullets of "smokeless" days. The 220gr. bullet was touted as necessary mostly for moose and the large American bears plus lions, tigers and larger African antelopes. Part of that line of thinking was the "need" for a bullet that could "break 'em down" at the aniticpated moderate ranges.

    By the mid-1930s bullet design had taken quantum leaps forward and several of the top gun scribes of the day questioned the need for the 220gr bullet in the '06 because they had shot numerous large and/or dangerous animals with the 180gr. in '06 with perfectly satisfactory results. And most of them would go on to say the real "end of discussion" cartridge for lions, tigers etc. was the .375 H&H Magnum - for obvious reasons.

    Moose shooting has, theoretically, not often been a really long range affair so I suppose manufacturers were/are not too concerned about less-than-optimum twist for the 220 grainers.

    As you point out, the 220gr. load for the '06 really doesn't seem to cover any real need, especially with the onset of the later magnums. But who knows what goes on in the minds of the Marketing Dept. ?


    HTH :cool:
     
  10. CheyennePilot

    CheyennePilot Member

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    30.06 loaded with 220 gr. round nose.

    I also like using a 220 round nose when deer hunting in brush where long range shooting is not an option. I may be wrong, but I believe a heavy round nosed bullet will penetrate small brush with less tendency to deflect, than a lighter spitzer shaped bullet. I would not use them for beyond 80 yds. I am no expert on this subject, but I have seen the results in the deer killing fields of northern Minnesota.

    Happylandings!
    Cheyenne Pilot.
     
  11. PTK

    PTK Member

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    220? That's really light. I like using 240s for serious stuff. :D

    [​IMG]
     

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  12. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    in a 30-06 i feel anything over 200 grains is an antiquated holdover, and have no use for anything over 180... that said: i know a guy who loves 220 hornadys for elk, and i just so happen to have a box of 250 grain barnes on the shelf that i'll probably run through the 30-06 (near useless bullet for an obsolete cartridge - sounds like a match made in heaven).
     
  13. JesseL

    JesseL Member

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    Did dakotasin seriously just call the 30-06 obsolete?

    Old? Definitely.
    Outclassed by newer magnums? Without a doubt.
    Obsolete? Never (or at least not in the foreseeable future).
     
  14. lencac

    lencac Member

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    How is a 30.06 an obsolete cartridge? Sure you got your magnum this and magnum that but in North America if you can't kill whatever type of animal you choose with a 30.06 then perhaps hunting is not your cup of tea. It's hard to improve on the near perfect. There is a reason the 30.06 is the most widely used cartridge EVER in North America. Obsolete? Not hardly.
     
  15. CheyennePilot

    CheyennePilot Member

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    I would care to wager that the people who reply with the words " holdover", and "obsolete" are reading too much and not taking the time to actually test fire a 30.06 at their local range. I'm sure they would have a different opinion once they felt the recoil and saw the performance on target. If the .308 was developed first and then the .308 Magnum ( 30.06 ) Maybe then they wouldn't call it obsolete?
    just a thought.

    Happylandings!
    Cheyennepilot.
     
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    220's have a higher SD and give you better penetration than a 180, at least in theory. Until the .338 got so popular around here the heavy loaded '06 was a very common brown bear round. I don't use it myself but I have worked up a similar 215 grain 54R.

    As a general matter I think in our quest for more speed we often forget the importance of weight. Or more specifically, of sectional density. The long heavy bullets of old give you a lot of killing power with far less recoil than a magnum. I would argue that the *real* point of the magnums is not so much killing power as greater range. And if you don't need the range you don't need the magnum.
     
  17. PTK

    PTK Member

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    Cosmoline, how dare you make sense! That won't sell any super-duper ultra-short 10,000 FPS magnum calibers, you know.
     
  18. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The .30-06 is a versatile round.

    Slower and heavier is a formula that works quite well in other cartridges for large game. Note that the .45-70 limps along at a snail's pace by modern standards, but a 500+ grain bullet will drop damn near anything that walks.

    Why not do the equivalent in .30-06? Twice as fast, half as heavy as the .45-70.

    You don't HAVE to buy a different gun for every bullet weight, if you don't want to, or if you don't have money to burn.
     
  19. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    yes, unstable, that is the best, for hitting hard, i would not fear a 220 grainer against a moose or such. This was the origional , and useful, purpose of the ar and the 55 grain bullet, barely stable, to hit hard and rip things apart, until the stupid air force, cried about it being completely inaccurate, in sub freezing temps. so they upped the bbl twist, and waa laaah!!! ruined the purpose of the origional 55 grainer.
    But i digress; a barely stable 220 grainer , charging out of a 30.06, will drop big things like a lightning shot.
     
  20. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    Shot my first deer, and a couple of hogs with a 220 30-06. Kicked like a mule but sure did put'em down. Never had any problems with accuracy myself. Now over the years I changed where I hunted, from thick brush to longer hill to hill type hunting, and dropped down to the 180's and then the 150's. Really don't need the bigger bullet for deer or hog, but out to about 160 or 180 yards the 220's were pretty good.
     
  21. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    settle down, fellas... i'm only half serious. funny nobody had hurt feelings over calling the 250 grain barnes bullets useless...

    yeah, i hunt - a lot. and i shoot - a lot. and i even have a 30-06. doesn't mean i necessarily like it, but i do have one, have shot several, and i do know what the cartridge is capable of.

    lencac- hunting is my thing... an average year will net me about 3 whitetail bucks, 2 whitetail does and 1 mule buck and 1 mule doe, and 1 buck antelope and 1 doe antelope - just for big game. nevermind things like fox, coyote, badger, prairie dogs, etc. i spend a lot of time hunting, and even more shooting. if you want to argue near-perfect, you cannot discount the 338 win mag... tolerable recoil, flat trajectory, and more versatile than the 30-06. doesn't tear up a deer, flings prairie dogs 4 feet up, and will flatten an antelope.

    cheyenne- i don't need to test fire one at my local range. i used to have 2 (remington 721 and 200th anniversary ruger 77), but now have one (the ruger) and i handload - and i thoroughly wring out my loads before using them for hunting - as far as 1000 yards if the rifle is capable of that sort of accuracy (i don't currently have a 30-06 that is capable of that, so mine stops at 600 yards).

    anyway, loosen the shorts a little. some sarcasm isn't the end of the world.

    however, i digress... the topic at hand was the 30-06 and 220's. and i reiterate that i don't think much of the combination, but know some folks love it.
     
  22. aspade

    aspade Member

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    In the bad old days, bullets were, well, old and bad.

    A softpoint that was soft enough to reliably expand could also be pretty well counted on to come apart on a close shot, or hitting heavy bone. A softpoint that would stay together through a shoulder at 50 yards probably wouldn't open at all hitting flesh at 300.

    Adding more weight was the only way to get penetration with a bullet that was still soft enough to reliably open. The slower impact is less stressful on the bullet for higher weight retention. And the heavier bullet has a larger core to carry on penetration after nose - and often the jacket too - shear away.

    With modern bonded and monometal construction, a 180 grain - or a 150 grain for that matter - bullet will through and through anything you'd care to shoot with it. The only tangible thing 220 grains gives you is more recoil.
     
  23. lencac

    lencac Member

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    I can have my panties in a bunch if I want. Dakotasin everything you said is true EXCEPT that the 30.06 is obsolete. That is definately not true. Now a 30-40 Krag, yes. A 30.03, yes. A 30.06, no. Anyway big bullets definately do a number. Even if they aren't going licky split out the barrel. Couple of years ago I hit a mule deer in Colorado at a little over a 100 yrds. with what was at the time my new lever-action Marlin chambered in the 450 cartridge, 405 gr. going about 2100 fps. It looked like it was hit by a speeding freight train. Took it completely off its feet. It was awesome. Hell, this thing looks like a toy but acts like a howitzer.
     

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  24. Twud

    Twud Member

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    Why drive a Chevy when you can have a Mercedes for the same price?
    I'll take a 300 any over an 06 anyday. The flat trajectory of a magnum is reason enough to own one. I've never owned an 06 and never will. Why handicap yourself?
     
  25. Rob96

    Rob96 Member

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    My brother used a 220gr Bronze Point to take a 230lb whitetail buck. Shot was 200+yds. That buck was leveled by one hit.
     
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