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30-06 for whitetail

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by OFFGRID, Nov 6, 2022.

  1. OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Member

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    it seems the 30-06 can be had in just about anything. its probably the most versatile cartridge around when it comes to bullet options. what do you guys go to for whitetail?

    im headed to the woods tomorrow with this one for the first time. i spent today getting it zeroed out with hornady 150 grain soft point at 100 yards. now im wondering if i would have been better suited with one of the many other options on the store shelf like 180 soft point, 165 tipped, 200 grain, etc.


    all i really know is theres a deer on the ammo box. :rofl:
     
  2. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Entrance wound from the deer I took today with 30-06 180g bonded (behind the shoulder double lung shot at 105y). It’s a mule deer but would translate on whitetail.

    Your 150g soft points will do fine :)

    10BADA84-D47E-421A-A0D3-F0E09FD25EAC.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2022
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  3. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I use 165 grain bullets, but that's just because that's what my rifle likes.
    If you're getting good accuracy with the 150s, you have nothing to worry about. It is more than enough for whitetails. The Hornady bullets expand very well in my experience, and will take deer quickly with no trouble.

    Happy hunting.
     
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  4. Wolfshead

    Wolfshead Member

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    I handload for my 30-06.
    I’ve taken 9 whitetail with it since 2014.
    Some have been DRT apwhile others have gone no more than 30 yards.
    I use 150 grain Nosler Accubonds and imr 4064.
     
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  5. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    The -06 has been killing deer for years. Your 150’s will do fine.

    I reload 165 gr Sierra Gameking JSP for deer and 180 gr Nosler Partitions for Elk. Both with IMR 4350 and both have done their job filling the freezer.
     
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  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    If anything, your 150 gr 30-06 load is overkill. I used 30-06 almost exclusively for the better part of 40 years and killed a few deer with generic 150 gr bullets. They kill just fine. The heavier bullets will still work, but are better suited for game larger than deer.

    While it earned a reputation as a versatile cartridge, that was 75 years ago. Things have changed a lot and with modern bullets, powder, and cartridges 30-06 is a bigger, more powerful cartridge than most hunters really need in the 21st century.
     
  7. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Yes, your choice of bullet should do fine.
    Happy Hunting.
     
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  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    My 30-06 stopped deer in their tracks with 150 gr., back in the 70/80s. A much needed trait in the heavily hunted Hopewell Big Woods.

    One year, dropped my buck. Deer down, not moving. Guy in tree stand pumps 2 rounds into my deer. Being that i shot it almost under his tree stand, he gets there first & claims it. I let him have it.

    Then 20 minutes later, here comes another buck. I drop him dead, real fast. No time for the 3th hunter to get a bead on the buck. There was shooting at this buck before he got to me.

    The 3th hunter & i are standing over my 2nd deer. Here comes 2 guys that fired at this buck. They think its their buck. Thank god for the 3th hunter, he watched me shoot the buck & told the 2 hunter what he saw.

    Only 1 hole in my 2nd buck. So they let me have it.

    Needless to say, i hate hunting on public land & quit in 1981.
     
  9. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Member

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    Change that to H4350 and I do the same exact thing.
     
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  10. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    That 150 grain SP will do just fine as long as you put it where it belongs. If it works (and it will) don't fix it.
     
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  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I know there is the feeling that heavier bullets are going to be somehow better. At close range, if the bullet does not expand, all that happens is a small through hole. A bud of mine, shooting 308 Win with 150 gr Hornady SST bullets found that lung/rib cage shots allowed the deer to run off and die. There was not enough meat to make the SST bullet expand, and he would find the deer eaten by coyotes the next morning. However, when he aimed between the point of the shoulder and neck, there is a lot of bone and shoulder muscle in that location, the deer would fall, feet flay in the air, and die quickly. You have to adjust the construction of the bullet for the game, and impact point. Gut shots with 220 grain bullets are just as ineffective as 150 grain bullets.

    Now this is a comment, out to 300 yards, I don't see why a 130 grain bullet would not be dynamite on deer. I did shoot one with a 130 gr in the 30-06, first bullet hit the hip/leg joint and totally broke the leg bone down to the knee, and hamburgered the leg meat. The next shot was through the neck and that ended the poor animals pain. A 30-06 will push a 130 faster than a 270 Win, and ole Jack OConnor made the 270 Win famous with 130 grain bullets. Stands to reason, a 130 in a 30-06 ought to give similar satisfaction.

    A 150 grain expanding bullet will do everything you need in white tail. Get a good bullet, one that will reliably expand, and place it so it goes through the body cavity between the shoulders. Draw an imaginary line through the animal, to the shoulder point on the opposite side. There are lots of arteries, blood veins, lung tissue, and a heart in that area, and if you get any of those big ones, the animal will bleed out quickly.

    Develop some loads, and verify for yourself that a 150 shoots well in your rifle.

    CxAvvog.jpg


    2u4Glrd.jpg

    don't go shooting at things 600 yards away unless you have a 600 yard zero, and a range finder. I got sighting shots.

    kmgedxu.jpg


    G6QeJtm.jpg
     
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  12. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    I've been shooting 165 grain Interlocks for over 15 years with great drop dead results out to 300 yards. Prior to that were 165 grain Core-Lokts. I've used 150 grain from time to time, however, I'm shooting sub-MOA with 165's. "Aim small, Miss small." I've used 4064 and Varget, but lately with powder shortages I am now using 4350.
     
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  13. giggitygiggity

    giggitygiggity Member

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    When using .30-06 for hunting whitetail, I just use 180gr soft points. I’ve used Rem Core Lokts, Winchester PowerPoints, and Hornady Interlocks with similar performance and success. I’ve fired the Remington and Winchester as factory ammo, but have used all three bullet types in my hand loads. Are there bullets that’s might be a little more accurate or inflict better damage? Probably, but these have worked well for me so I don’t have a compelling reason to change.
     
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  14. Roverguy

    Roverguy Member

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    Very pertinent for the OP. You don’t want to kill it too much; it only wants just enough killing :p
     
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  15. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    Maxim 37: There is no such thing as overkill.
    ;)
     
  16. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    DD0450A9-9CB2-4C4B-B3C4-B03F57CEA4D4.jpeg
    “While it earned a reputation as a versatile cartridge, that was 75 years ago.”

    Ok, what new cartridge is more versatile? There is absolutely no problem with “overkill” either. I took this public land mulie meat buck yesterday with my ‘06 loaded for elk (180g). Zero meat damage and he didn’t go far.

    Diameter, impact velocity, and above all bullet construction mean something. Keep your 6.5 where it belongs, back East hunting dog sized whitetail.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2022
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  17. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    150s for the ‘06 is about the same as 130s in a .270win. Just flat out works. Fast, flat, and effective.
     
  18. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Varget with 165g? I’m interested.. what sort of velocity and accuracy are you getting?

    I’m sitting on a diminishing supply of 180g Accubonds and Reloader 22.
     
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  19. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I'm pretty sure he was referring that it was versatile decades ago, therefore is even more better in present time... Comforting OP in his choice of fine cartridge.

    And no one mentioned 6.5, but I'm glad it's living rent free in the 7.62 guy's head.

    The 6.5 PRC hands down is better than the -06.
     
  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Overheard at Aeromarine Supply.
    Customer "That 180 grain bullet isn't putting the deer down, gimme some 220s."
    Salesman "I think these 130 grain hollowpoints will work better."
    Later visit chancing across the same guy
    "Those hollowpoints kill like lightning."
     
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  21. OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Member

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    thanks for the replies guys
     
  22. Thomasss

    Thomasss Member

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    Scan_20221107.jpg
    I'm shooting at just over 2800fps. Max., just under 2900fps, is too hard on my shoulder.
    Fps has dropped a little since they added temp insensitive additive.
    Picture is 3" high at 100 yds. @ approx. 5/8" MOA shown in 1 inch squares.
    Note: Varget has varied fps bottle to bottle since I started using it years ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2022
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  23. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    The 06 with 165gr bullets begs for IMR-4350. That is my test load for any 30-06. If it doesn't shoot well it will probably need some bedding or trigger work. That said, the old, ancient Springfield round is not too picky when it comes to powder. I usually have several cans of IMR-4350 laying around but there is R-17, IMR-4831, and R-19 next to them.
     
  24. OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Member

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    it worked out.
    20221106_161716.jpg
     
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  25. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    The most perfect mushrooming I've ever seen on White-Tails and a cougar was with the Hornady 165 grain BTSP. That is one good bullet. On the cougar, a very "light" animal, the went all the way through of course, but you could tell from the holes that they had expanded perfectly. I've never had one go through a deer, but they were always recovered on the off side, with "picture perfect" mushrooming.

    I shot deer (white tails and one muley) for years with a 7.7 using Hornady 150 grainers, and they always worked perfectly. (not to mention a truckload of coyotes) 150 is a pretty perfect White Tail bullet.
     
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