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.30-06 Whitetail Load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Smith357, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. Smith357

    Smith357 Member

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    I'm looking for a load for small whitetail, I know the best thing would be a .243 but I'm cash poor for a while and the 06 will have to do. All of my reloads up till now have been geared toward accuracy not killing game cleanly and humanely. I'm looking for a powder and bullet combination that will take a medium to small white tail without vaporizing it. :) and not having to worry about an over penetrating bullet hitting something a mile away.

    My current accuracy load in my M70 is the 168 grain A-Max and 47.9 grains of IMR 4895 but I'm not so sure the A-Max is a good hunting bullet.

    Should I use a heavy or light bullet, is max velocity the best or should i turn it down a notch or two?
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  2. JASmith

    JASmith Member

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    If you like the 168gr bullet for target shooting, any 165 grain hunting bullet should do. If you like Hornady, the 165 gr Interbond loaded to about the same level as your targets loads would be very difficult to beat! You could also go with the 165 gr Sierra GameKing. Premium bullets would work too, but not needed for deer.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. Idano

    Idano Member

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    I have had very good success with 125 gr Sierra SP driven with 50 grains of IMR-3031 using CCI-250. This load gives me 2900 fps and a MOA of .73 out of my M70.

    Bad typo that was 50 grains not 90!
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  4. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Yikes!:eek: 90 GRAINS? I know for a fact it is impossible to get 90 grains of any powder in an 06! It's very helpful to proof read your post if you're giving load data!:what:
     
  5. AStone

    AStone Member

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    <Snickers>

    Yup.

    I doubt 90 grains of powder, but suspect 125 gr bullets could do the trick.

    Those of us shooting .30-30 have started this thread.

    Might be helpful, even if indirectly.
     
  6. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    You could go to www.grafs.com and try some of their Privi-Partisan 165gr BTSP's. They're about 16.90 a hundred. Grafs shipping is a flat $4.50 but they do have a minimum order of about $35. I've shot the Privi-Partisan .224" 55gr Spt. They're about like the Remington, Winchester, or Hornady bulk bullets. 1.0-1.5moa.
    But, I don't think the deer will know the difference between a P-P or a Nosler Part. 165gr .308 bullet...... And just use the same powder charge and zero setting.

    As far as I'm concerned- Sierra, Speer, Hornady, Nosler's ARE premium bullets..... And yes, you can't do better than a .30/06 for deer. I think you'd be dissapointed with a .243 on deer. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't..... I know, I've lost some deer hit well with a .243.
     
  7. bchris2146

    bchris2146 Member

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    I shoot the 165 gr Hornady SST. Excellent bullet for deer, you just need to find the sweet spot load for your gun. I killed a 200 pound whitetail last year with a factory load of Remington Core lokt 165gr. Minimal damage to meat, deer didn't take a step! Good luck.
     
  8. WV_Vizsla

    WV_Vizsla Member

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    Placement is always more important than weigh or speed. That said... Hornady 165g seemed to always flip em' harder than Rem 150g, Rem 180g or Hor 150g. Killed more than 20 WV & MD deer with Hor 165 over 4350 or 4064.
    Back to using the 150g due to the LNL AP bullet rebate. No need to run max speeds, just remember that 308Win work just fine also.
     
  9. youngda9

    youngda9 member

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    Any "small deer" that you hit with anying out of a 30-06 will be deadly.

    Check out powder manufacturing sites for loading information. Be sure to buy a loading book as well.
     
  10. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    I wouldn't use any "premium" bullet in the .30-06 if cost is an issue at all. Just not needed for deer. I wouldn't use any standard bullet under 150 grains or over 180 grains. Standard cup-and-core hunting bullets in that weight range at standard .30-06 velocities will do everything you need, and do it better than any load in the .243 Win.
     
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Why go heavy, why not go lighter?

    I followed the advice of Ralph Walker of Walker Arms in Selma and loaded my 30-06 with 125-130 grain bullets. Worked great.

    The 270 Winchester made it reputation with 130 grain bullets going 3000 fps. You can push a 125-130 grain bullet in the 30-06 faster and do it accurately.

    And a box of 130's cost less than a box of 165's.


    30-06 Finnbear SAKO 1:10 twist 24" Barrel

    130gr Hornady Spire Pt 53.7 gr IMR4064 (Lee Scoop 4.0) thrown Fed cases Fed210M

    Ave Vel = 3185
    Std Dev = 33
    ES = 68
    Low = 3156
    High = 3224
    N = 5
     
  12. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    as slamfire I use a 130gr, the Speer soft point. over varget but I don't have my notes handy for powder charge. accurate too groups good in my M77 '06 all weather.
     
  13. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    My load this year is a 125grn Nosler Ballistic tip fueled by a start load of Reloader7 39.0grs

    This load is a delight on the shoulder at 2700fps and groups on targets are OUTSTANDING 2.2" at 300 meters. From my ruger77 all weather

    And if the load profield in my top sig link worked that well at almost 300yds with this bullet I can only imagine how good it'll work with another 300fps

    Inside normal hunting ranges on whitetail IMO there's no reason to shoot full throttle loads. You just create more recoil, burn more powder and destroy more meat. The trajectory doesn't even change that much
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    A heavier bullet will kill the deer just as dead without making bloodshot hamburger out of it.

    In the 30-06, a 165 grain hunting bullet is as good as it gets for game killing performance without lighter varmint bullet distruction of the eating parts.

    rc
     
  15. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    RC is correct (as usual)...My pet load is a 165 grain Sierra HPBT over 58 to 59 grains of H4831SC in Winchester or Remington cases and CCI-200 or WLR primers...

    Any of the 150 to 165 grain bullets will do the job quite nicely if you do yours...
     
  16. interlock

    interlock Member

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    if you used a speer hotcor 165 gr bullet from a .30-06 it will kill all deer dead and not case excessive meat damage. it will penetrate very well. I have used thier 150 gr hot cor at about 2800 fps from my .30-06 on roe and muntjac, both smaller than your deer. it kills very well
     
  17. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I'm not sure why you think a .243 would be better. Unless you're shooting varmints, there's nothing a .243 can do that a .30-06 can't do better. I agree with the larger bullet for less meat loss. I like 165 grain SSTs in front of 54 grains of H414. My rifle likes it. You'll have to find out what's best for yours. You asked about velocity and also mentioned not vaporizing the animal. The two factors that cause meat destruction are high velocity and fast expanding bullets.
     
  18. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Member

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    In weights of ~165gr, any of the hunting style bullets(A-Max intended as a target style) from brands like Hornady, Sierra, Speer, Nosler, etc. will work well on whitetail.
    No need for any those 'fancy' hunting bullets, like Nosler Partition etc.(they're more intended for larger animals).

    By using a similar weight(165gr-170gr) hunting bullet, to your target load, you've already done most of the load development (just have to workup the load your happiest with) rather than a whole new load search for bullets of say 125gr-130gr. Which in full power loads of the 30-06 exit the barrel at ~3000fps + <150yrds = lots of expansion and destruction with less penetration.
     
  19. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    whatever you load, load some extras to sight in with. you have to make a killing hit first and foremost to get your game.
    good luck and hopefully good eating.
     
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I shoot a 168gr Sierra MatchKing bullet at paper and a 165gr Sierra GameKing at Deer. I don't need to change powders, charge weights or scope setting to use either. IMO that's a good combination...
     
  21. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    The 130 grain .270 is a hunting bullet. A 130 30 cal is a varmint bullet. May be the same weight, but not comparing apples to apples.

    A bunch of years back I happened into 10 boxes of factory 30-06 shells made by winchester. They were 125 grain IIRC power points. They were half price, just a bit over what new brass would have been, (gunshop owner had gotten them by mistake). So I bought them to shoot for the halavit. My M-77 liked them but I got tired of plinking.

    An out-of-work nephew called 2 days before deer hunting wondering if I had a rifle he could borrow. I was hunting with my .280 so I said the 06 was available, but I had no hunting shells loaded. I gave him a couple boxes of that 125 stuff, he went hunting. A big doe came through, he plastered it square in the ribs with one. It went down, got right back up, ran in front of his brother. He hit it in the neck, put it down for the count.

    The 125 had hit a rib, blew up, only caused superficial damage to the lung. It may have died a long lingering death.

    Now, the 125 BT IS a hunting bullet. At 2700 it should be a fine load. I used them in 7.62X39 for my mini thutty. My son got his first deer at 12 YO. with it, the 125 BT did a fine job at 2500 from the mini.
     
  22. interlock

    interlock Member

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    it is nice to see some good sound advice here. Lighter bullet + higher velocity = meat damage and less humane kills. (of course the heavier bullet still has to be the right sort.)
     
  23. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I don't agree that high velocity and meat damage equals less humane kills. I've killed three deer with Winchester ballistic silvertips. On each occasion, very little of the shoulders were salvageable. A lot of meat destruction. But all three dropped right where they stood. That's as humane as it gets.
     
  24. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Paul, that's because the ballistic tips, ballistic silver tips are essentially the same bullet. That said, I refer to them as ballistic bombs. I have extensive experience with 7mm and 30 cal. BT's I loaded for 5 different rifles for my family, over a 10 year period, using 7mm 139 and 154, and 30 cal 150 and 165 BT's.

    After post mortem examination and descriptions of others, I came to the conclusion that the BT is just too fragile for use on even the thin skinned Wisconsin whitetails. They fragment or simply blow up, sometimes failing to penetrate fully. I switched to the then new Hornady SST, which was only marginally better. Then came the Hornady interbond, which is much better, but I had one blow up on a small sapling, costing me a deer.
     
  25. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    What I was trying to say is that massive tissue destruction equals faster kills. If you shoot a thin skinned animal through the lungs with a premium controlled expansion bullet, he will go farther than an animal shot through the lungs with a rapid expanding bullet. At least that's been the case in my limited experience. Common sense says that the more tissue a bullet destroys, the more hemmoraging (that's probably not spelled right) will occur, thus bringing on death faster. That's all I was saying. When talking about a humane kill, it would seem, that faster the death, the more humane.
     
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