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Thread: Best 30-06 factory load for sheep?

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    Smile Favorite 30-06 factory load for sheep?

    Hey Guys, just writing from the Yukon, Starting to plan my dall sheep hunt for this comming august.

    I want to experiment and find what shoots best out of my rifle ( 30-06 WIN model 70 extreme weather w zeiss conquest 3x9 40) But I am looking for some advice as to your favorite 30-06 factory loaded ammunition for 200-300 yard shots on dall sheep.

    I guess anything will do the job as long as it goes in the vitals, just wondering pros and cons of monometal bullets vs the old nosler partition standby etc.

    sort of thinking 165 grain for relatively flat trajectory and down range energy.

    thoughts?

    thanks

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Since every rifle shoots bullets different, I would go out and buy a couple boxes and see what works for your gun. My personel choice would be to stick with the 165 grain in either Barnes or even the Nosler Custom ammo with the Accubond. The Nosler Custom is cheaper and should perform great for sheep. I think they are about $36 a box. The Barnes TSX are about $10 more. I personaly shoot the Barnes but I handload them also. The nice thing about the Nosler Custom is after your done shooting you have some great brass to load up if you ever wanted to get in to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukongonda View Post
    Hey Guys, just writing from the Yukon, Starting to plan my dall sheep hunt for this comming august.

    I want to experiment and find what shoots best out of my rifle ( 30-06 WIN model 70 extreme weather w zeiss conquest 3x9 40) But I am looking for some advice as to your favorite 30-06 factory loaded ammunition for 200-300 yard shots on dall sheep.

    I guess anything will do the job as long as it goes in the vitals, just wondering pros and cons of monometal bullets vs the old nosler partition standby etc.

    sort of thinking 165 grain for relatively flat trajectory and down range energy.

    thoughts?

    thanks
    It will be interesting to see what suggestions you get. I shoot a .338, and have always shot fed premium 250 grain noslers.

    This year I experimented with the SST round in 200 grain.. it has an amazing ballistic coefficient.. and is remarkably flat.. almost 3000 fps in 200 grain. I was told it is not a good round for larger game.. but the caribou I shot.. it cut the spine right in half right above the lungs.. and is considerably flatter than the 250 nosler.

    Groups as well as the fed premies for me.. I am looking at it as a sheep round.

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    Member AKHunterNP's Avatar
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    I've never bought any 06 ammo so i couldn't tell you which factory ammo, I've only handloaded. Any 30 caliber bullet will be good for sheep. I'd pick a couple different brands and see which one your rifle likes, not which one you like. Let your rifle make the decision for you, feed her and she tell you what she likes and doesn't like.
    "...arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe...Horrid mischief would ensue were the good deprived of the use of them." -Thomas Paine

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    Member ramhunter's Avatar
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    165 gr would be a good around sheep bullet

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    I agree that any of the 165's would be a great all around bullet. While I handload, many many non-handloaders have found the cheapest ammo was the most accurate. You don't need a premium bullet for sheep which lends itself to the cheaper "cup & core" brands. Its a test - only your rifle can decide the outcome. Good luck.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I've taken sheep (and moose, caribou, and deer) with 150 grain Remington Core-Lokt. Nothing fancy, but they fly straight.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I've done the same with 180 grain Core-Lokts. Frankly, sheep aren't that big. Buy a few boxes of ammo starting with 150 grainers and 165 grainers. Even some cheap ones like Federal Fusions or Rem Core-Lokts. Shoot them and go with the ones that are the most accurate out of your rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKHunterNP View Post
    I'd pick a couple different brands and see which one your rifle likes, not which one you like. Let your rifle make the decision for you, feed her and she tell you what she likes and doesn't like.
    I couldn't agree more! Theoretical discussions aren't very relevant when you're in the field miles from home. I have always believed confidence was 90% of any good shot - if you know its going exactly where it should the rest should take care of itself. I guess you could say; feed her what she likes and she'll feed you well...

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    Ditto with Brian M. The 150 corelokt has always worked for me. Just pratice at the range you are going to shoot at. I belive that is more of the key than the bullet weight, persay
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    I've killed a couple with Federal 180 gr Nosler Partition High Energy... super effective. Any round you can shoot well out of a 30-06 will be effective at that range. Have even used hand loaded 7x30 waters with 120 gr ballistic tip, its a pee shooter but does the trick.

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    I dislike the Core-lokt bullets. Shot a small mule deer in the ribs with one and the bullet blew up. Killed him instantly, but not a very good performing round.

    Nosler Partitions are the way to go.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    That you Dave?
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    Core-lokt's would be my starting point also. They've always shot well for me. I honestly wouldn't worry about a lack of "controlled expansion" on sheep. In fact, Boddington recommends "cup and core" bullets for sheep rather than controlled expansion. Also, I tend to agree with starting with the 165 grains. Just my $.02.

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    Whatever one shots best.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    My .30-06 (Rem 700) and my Dad's .30-06 (Win 70) both shoot significantly better with 220gr bullets. And I've never found/used any "premium" 220's, so all of these 220 loads have been plain vanilla CL, ST, etc. Yet, they always beat very expensive 150-180 ammo!

    My theory for this is that the 1-in-10" rifling twist that most .30-06 rifles have was "designed" for 220gr bullets: Way back in 1892, the .30-40 Krag and then later the original .30-03 cartridge were both "designed" to use 220 grain bullets with 1-in-10" twists. When the .30-03's was re-chambered into the .30-06 in 1906, 150 grain bullets were loaded to get higher velocity, not accuracy. But, the barrels retained the same 1-in-10" twists. When the M1 Garands came along just before WW2, they also kept the 1-in-10" rifling, but the "new" M1 ammo was loaded with longer 173gr BT bullets for better extreme-long-range performance. Follow-on M2 ammo went back to 150gr bullets to produce lower recoil, and long range performance suffered. When the M2AP rounds were issued late in the war, they went back up to 168grs. And because AP slugs had less-dense steel penetrators instead of all-lead cores, the bullets were longer than "regular" 168's. Longe range performance improved once again.

    National Match shooters always use longer (heavier) bullets for better accuracy and wind-bucking qualities.
    Even modern M-16 .223 shooters go up to long 69-80gr HPBT's for better long range performance in their 1-in-7" twist barrels.

    (side note: M1 rifles should not be fired extensively with really heavy bullets (like 220's) because of higher gas pressures at the muzzle gas-port, not because of any accuracy reasons. M1's should also avoid use any "light-Magnum" ammo, even with lightweight 150gr bullets, for the same muzzle pressure issues. Also caused by using really slow burning gun-powders. None of these M1 specific gas-system issues concern other type actions.)

    When the Army designed the .308 (7.62x51mm) to replace the .30-06 in the M14, they wanted a shorter OAL cartridge. So, the ability to use really long bullets was sacrificed to gain faster cyclic rates, in what was now a full-auto capable weapon. Accordingly, .308's are usually rifled with a slower 1-in-12" twist. It made sense for those shorter (lighter) bullets.

    Bottom line, best accuracy is found when the length of the bullet matches the rate of rifling.
    That's OK, as long as that's what you plan to use in your rifle. Example: Roy Weatherby wanted to promote high-velocity. So, most of his cartidges were loaded with relatively light-for-caliber bullets. And he built his rifles with slower twists than standard cartidges of the same diameter. It worked for him.

    Back to the .30-06 . . . . . a 1-in-10" twist is pretty quick for a .30 caliber bullet, so the longer that bullet is, the better!
    I haven't tested or loaded any of the all-alloy Barnes bullets yet, but that's gonna change, soon. Bronze-alloy bullets are less dense, and therefore are longer than "regular" lead-core bullets. Add boat-tails and hollow-points filled with polymer tips (TTSX) and the length of the bullet really starts to stretch out. So, accuracy should improve, too. The higher BC of these slugs and the
    uniformity of homogeneous metalurgy, are added bonuses.

    Hope to find out over the summer.

    PS - alot of shooters want "flat-shooting" ammo. No doubt, shorter (lighter) bullets start out faster and shoot "flatter" for the first few hundred yards. But, the longer (heavier) bullets catch up and pass them farther down range, and carry more power/penetration and accuracy all the way. The secret to harnassing these attributes lies in accurate range-estimation. Target shooters who know exactly how far away the target is, and hunters who use laser-range-finders, can "dope" their longer/heavier ammo very "accurately"!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    That you Dave?

    Yep thats me, Hows it going Paul, did you shoot a ram near gladstone lakes this year?

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    Great advice, thanks guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukongonda View Post
    Yep thats me, Hows it going Paul, did you shoot a ram near gladstone lakes this year?
    Good to see another Yukon lad here.
    Yessir, it was a good trip in there, covered some mile to find that ram. Lots of staking activity had really displaced the rams.
    Drop me a PM.
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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Since the 30-06 is a nice long case that allows surprisingly good velocity with long bullets, I'd go with a factory load that shoots the 180 grain accubond. It will be a good bullet to have should a bear challenge yah for your pack full of meat.

    Here's a factory load:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/756...tzer-box-of-20

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