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Short-barrel (16") .30-06 loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Inebriated, Apr 5, 2013.

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  1. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    So, I've come across a Savage .30-06 for a steal of a deal, and I'm thinking about cutting it down from 22" to 16". My goal for the rifle is a gun that is short, light, and easy to get around in the woods with. Game would primarily be whitetail, but I wouldn't mind it being a hog or black bear rifle either, if I can get some good loads going. The biggest concern I have is velocity, and bullet performance at velocities lower than that of which the typical .30 cal bullet is designed. I've read velocity loss can be 25-75 fps/inch of barrel removed, so if that's accurate, there is going to be a considerable drop in velocity.

    Now, I know .30-06 does best with slower powders and a longer barrel, so I would guess that going with a lighter bullet and faster powder would make up for a lot less barrel, but I don't know. Can anyone give me some input on this? I'd really like to hear from you guys with a lot of experience, and if you have a guess at a powder/primer/bullet combo, I'd love to hear it. My goal is at least getting a 150gr bullet moving 2300 fps. Also, what bullet style would you recommend, if I were to get a 2200-2400 fps load? Soft points?

    Thanks!

    OH, and I'm sure someone will suggest another cartridge or gun, but I want to focus on what I can do with this cartridge, and this gun. It's going to cost me very little to give this a go, where any other option would increase the cost significantly (another rifle, bullets, brass, dies, etc). I'm aware that there will be a louder report, more flash, more recoil, and more bullet drop, but I'm really not concerned with any of that. There's a way to remedy all but bullet drop, and since it's not going to see shots past 150 yards, bullet drop is of no real concern either.
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Sounds loud, but no reason it won't work. I would load it just like for any other barrel length.
     
  3. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Well, I guess that would be the logical first step, lol.
     
  4. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    I would just load it up like a normal load. Yes it will be louder, if you want to direct to bang, you could thread the barrel and put on a flash hider with ports. It would redirect noise to the sides.
     
  5. Haxby

    Haxby Member

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    A 16" 30-06 should be good for 2700 fps with 150s and 2500 with 180s.
    A 19" 308 will do that without straining too hard.

    Edit, add:
    The Hodgdon site has data for a 15" '06 in their pistol section.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  6. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Thanks guys. I'll do as normal, and see how it does. I was just planning for worst case as far as velocity loss. I'll get the barrel cut tonight or tomorrow, and HOPEFULLY get my buddy's chrono this week.

    And .45lc, that's the plan if its too obnoxious. Lol
     
  7. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    I seem to recall a review of a Shuff's Mini-G (a cut-down garand) a few years ago in which the author reported a roughly 9% loss of muzzle velocity compared to the standard length.

    He shot old and/ or milsurp 30-06 and I believe most of his chrono'd vels were mid 2600 range.

    I would expect a lot more muzzle flash but still rely on it to take down anything with hooves.
     
  8. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "...30-06 for a steal of a deal, and I'm thinking about cutting it down from 22" to 16"."

    It's your rifle do what you want but if you cut it shorter than 20" for a game rifle you WILL regret it; if you haven't fired a short barreled cartridge like .30-06 you have no idea of a muzzle blast that will peel chrome off a truck bumper 20 years away. If you want a short barreled deer rifle find one of the short lever guns that has a smaller volume, lower pressure cartridge like .30-30.

    Anyway, chamber pressure peaks at about 3-4 inches of bullet travel so whatever powder and charge works best with a 22" barrel in any caliber will work best with a 16"...if you can stand it.

    IF you do try it, be sure to come back and - hopefully - say I'm wrong!
     
  9. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

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    What??? I can't hear you.
     
  10. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    Compare a M44 to an 1891/30.

    There will be a lot of unburnt powder to flash fire at muzzle. You might like it toward evening when you can see it well. There is a large difference in muzzle flash between the M44 carbines and 1891/30 full length rifles, probably 20 and 28 inch barrels. They shoot same cartridge with about .308 volume, a 7.62X54R.

    I believe you should leave the 22 inch barrel as is. You will have to crown it and the accuracy is unknown until you are through. You won't be able to trim any farther to fix it if it doesn't work for you.

    A 30-06 could use a barrel 24 inches. I believe a 22 inch barrel is already short.
     
  11. Haxby

    Haxby Member

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    It'll blow the chrome off bumpers that haven't even been made yet? That is severe.

    You could load or with 4198 or 4759, and duplicate a 30-30 load.
     
  12. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Well that's good to hear. Also, thank you for the urge for a mini g now.
    I've fired several short-barrel Mosins and a .308 that was 18". None of them were that awful. I hunt with electronic ear pro, and like I said... if it's too awful, it'll get either a brake or flash hider, depending on which it needs more. Also, I don't have the dies, bullets, brass, or gun to do .30-30. As I said in the OP... This is what I have, and I'm gonna run with it.
    I don't want to admit, but I am kind of looking forward to the fireballs. And I'm going to cut at 16.5" or 16.75" to keep a safe buffer for both ATF appeasement and any necessary corrections. I'm not worried about my abilities to crown the barrel (I've done a Mosin), but if I DO end up unhappy with the result, I still have enough barrel to send to a 'smith to do it.
    I actually read about that a few minutes ago... using 4198 and a 150 grainer to get what is essentially a .30-30 load with a better bullet. Worst-case scenario, that's probably what I'll do.
     
  13. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I have a cut down 760 in 30-06 that my oldest boy shot his first elk with when he was about 13, he is neither blinded nor deaf and still has all his chrome and that was about 12 years ago.
    It is the finest brush gun I have used, its light, compact, packs a punch and can comfortably reach out well beyond the typical short lever gun.
    I wouldn't advocate cutting every gun in the rack down nor would I go to the trouble of an sbr tax stamp but I also wouldn't be without a high powered carbine that is just north of legal in length. I don't believe you will be disappointed but let us know.
     
  14. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    I shoot alot of Contenders and Encores with 15"and 14" tubes and depending on the powder that you choose makes a difference in the amount of muzzle blast.
    One of my barrels is in 223 and with H335 is unpleasant but with IMR 8208 the blast is greatly reduced and it's still running at 2800fps with a 55 grain pill.
    As for bullet selection I use a Nosler BT in my 7mm hunting rig. So for your 06 a 150 grain BT would be my choice as for valosity it wouldn't suprise me one bit to see 2600 fps with a 150 grain bullet. Be shoure to stay over 16" with your Short Barreld Carbine.
    Flip
     
  15. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    I'm a big fan of shorter barrels they are amazingly accurate but you do give up muzzle velocity and get flash. but I would consider 18" instead of 16" you lose a lot of velocity with those 2 extra inches. If you are only going for whitetail only you could go to lighter bullet and keep your velocity higher. The most modern bullets will still hold up well on whitetail especially a bonded or monolithic bullet. Something like the 130g Barnes Triple Shock or 125g Hornady Interlock or even a 125g Nosler Ballistic Tip. Using faster powders will help keep the muzzle flash down. IMR 3031 would be my powder of choice. Its about the fastest burning you can use with lighter bullets. Go for it!!!
     
  16. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "muzzle blast that will peel chrome off a truck bumper 20 years away"

    It'll blow the chrome off bumpers that haven't even been made yet? That is severe.

    No ya dummy, I meant 20 years old! Or did I mean 20 yards?

    Ah well, a full pressure load from a sub 20" barrel .30-06 has to be experienced to believe. And it isn't from 'unburned' powder, it's the release of powder gas from what was burned and while the pressure is still unusually high; unburned powder gets quitely blown out as unburned powder.

    Modifying a servicable big game .30-06 bolt rifle to 16" and loading it for .30-30 performance just so it can be fired without shredding ear drums seems a strange path to me but that's fine, I ain't the one doing it.
     
  17. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    My wife used to watch Dr Phil when he first came on TV and I couldn't stand him. But he did have one phrase that fits a 30-06 with a 16 inch barrel. "What the hell were you thinking?"
     
  18. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    Thread it for a flash suppressor.
     
  19. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    Joe the reason he wants to cut it so short is ease of carry in the thick stuff. Why cut off 6" and then add a 3" flash suppressor?
     
  20. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I've shot Contenders in .270 win., 30-06, 7mm RM mag, 300 WM and although they were beastly to shoot, but they didn't burn my eye brows, or peel any chrome off of bumpers of the future. I say go for it if you if you feel confident doing the job.

    GS
     
  21. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I probably would just use a birdcage hider I've got from an AK, so not too much extra length. About 1.5".

    I'm about to cut it in a few, so I'll post up pics if it's worth seeing. lol.
     
  22. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    Get a professional to do it unless you have a re-crowning tool. A botch on the crown will do more to screw up accuracy than damn near anything
     
  23. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I have an 11* crowning tool available to me. A friend of mine has one, so I'll be using that whenever I get it from him. Just planned on actually cutting it today.
     
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Note: A muzzle brake will make a loud short barrel louder.
    A flash hider might, too. If by some rare chance it made it quieter that would make it a silencer which requires all manner of regulation.

    If you don't like it, at least a Savage is easy to rebarrel.
     
  25. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    To make the flash more reasonable. That's what FH's do. They do make smaller FH's, and if pinned/welded in place then he can make the barrel even shorter to equal 16.5".
     
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