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Thread: How slow can I go with a 30-06 and still takedown Bullwinkle?

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    Default How slow can I go with a 30-06 and still takedown Bullwinkle?

    I'm looking for any info on just how much I can take out of a 30-06, likely with a 180 grain bullet...and still humanely harvest Moose? Here's my dilemma, I've got a 12 year old granddaughter who is a great shot and has her heart set on trying to bag her 1st moose this year. Her 4 older brothers all hunt and have rifles, but they're not all hunting this year...so she has been shooting one of their 30-06s with a cutdown stock. She's a real trooper in continuing to practice with some federal 180 factory loads I've got, but I see her developing a bad flinch. Her mother and I plan to likely get her a Savage youth model in 7mm-08 for Christmas, but for now it's the borrowed -06. I'm setup to reload that caliber and have been looking at published data on reduced youth loads in that caliber, but most are using lighter bullets. I'm thinking I want a bit more weight and am looking specifically for input from those with experience, just how slow can I push a good quality 180 grain (165-168 maybe if really needed)...and still cleanly and humanely take out a moose, provided she does her part in sending it through the boiler room? Any input from those with similar experience would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGrizz View Post
    I'm looking for any info on just how much I can take out of a 30-06, likely with a 180 grain bullet...and still humanely harvest Moose? Here's my dilemma, I've got a 12 year old granddaughter who is a great shot and has her heart set on trying to bag her 1st moose this year. Her 4 older brothers all hunt and have rifles, but they're not all hunting this year...so she has been shooting one of their 30-06s with a cutdown stock. She's a real trooper in continuing to practice with some federal 180 factory loads I've got, but I see her developing a bad flinch. Her mother and I plan to likely get her a Savage youth model in 7mm-08 for Christmas, but for now it's the borrowed -06. I'm setup to reload that caliber and have been looking at published data on reduced youth loads in that caliber, but most are using lighter bullets. I'm thinking I want a bit more weight and am looking specifically for input from those with experience, just how slow can I push a good quality 180 grain (165-168 maybe if really needed)...and still cleanly and humanely take out a moose, provided she does her part in sending it through the boiler room? Any input from those with similar experience would be much appreciated. Thank you.
    Recoil is effected by bullet weight too,, lighter bullet, less powder, heavy rifle,, all dampen recoil. I know many folks that use a 270 for moose using 140 grainers and all kill effectively.

    I would have no issue downloading some 150 grain Accubonds and going out and getting it done.
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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    243's and 30-30's have taken their fair share of moose as well. Hell, so has now and arrow! Just take the appropriate shot for what you are holding in your hands.

    Another option is to build some very tame, light loads for her to practice with. Then step up to a more factory type round for the hunt. I know I always feel recoil when I poke holes in paper, but never ever feel the recoil when pointed at an animal. Good luck to you and your young hunter.

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    A slide on limbsaver and the Remington low recoil rounds.

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    Member coop22250's Avatar
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    A 30-30 is running at 2300 +\- with a 160 gr. Will kill anything in Alaska with a good hit. I read a book (Last of the brown bear men?) killed a 10' brownie with one back before anyone really knew much about ballistics or bullet construction. I don't know your loading experience so I will throw in a disclaimer....be careful with reduced loads and use a reputable source, some reduced loads with certain powders can create unsafe pressures. I think in that range with a bullet that will mushroom at low velocity and you will be fine with a close shot. The 300 win mag is going 2100 at 400 yards and I think that has put away a lot of game. Good luck.

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    Thanks for the input to those who replied

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    I've seen moose taken with .223 out of a mini-14.
    I dropped my first moose with a 165 grain 30-06. Dropped like a sack of rocks.
    I also bought some reduced recoil 30-06 rounds for my wife to use. We haven't shot them yet, but that's because we decided to let her hunt with the 243.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaGrizz View Post
    I'm looking for any info on just how much I can take out of a 30-06, likely with a 180 grain bullet...and still humanely harvest Moose? Here's my dilemma, I've got a 12 year old granddaughter who is a great shot and has her heart set on trying to bag her 1st moose this year. Her 4 older brothers all hunt and have rifles, but they're not all hunting this year...so she has been shooting one of their 30-06s with a cutdown stock. She's a real trooper in continuing to practice with some federal 180 factory loads I've got, but I see her developing a bad flinch. Her mother and I plan to likely get her a Savage youth model in 7mm-08 for Christmas, but for now it's the borrowed -06. I'm setup to reload that caliber and have been looking at published data on reduced youth loads in that caliber, but most are using lighter bullets. I'm thinking I want a bit more weight and am looking specifically for input from those with experience, just how slow can I push a good quality 180 grain (165-168 maybe if really needed)...and still cleanly and humanely take out a moose, provided she does her part in sending it through the boiler room? Any input from those with similar experience would be much appreciated. Thank you.
    With 30-06 loads, the bullet usually weighs considerably more than the powder charge, so reducing bullet weight is first up.

    I agree with stid. I suggest a 150 grain bullet, choose a powder like IMR 4895 that is midrange burning speed in the 06, so the charge is less, then using a low end load from the data.

    l'm guessing, that 2500 to 2600 fps would be the result, and as slow as I'd wanna go. I'm sure you have your own ideas, too.

    At any rate, you have a good plan goin.

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    A bud of mine has a Ruger Ultralight 77 in 06, and factory loads just beathell out of him when he first got it. At his request I took it and did some serious load testing and shooting, finally settling on 180-grain Speer Hot Cores pushed to 2500fps with IMR4064. Moderate load that seemed to cut recoil about in half, yet fast enough it's comparatively flat shooting. Coulda gone even lower and done well on game, but he likes the trajectory being a bit flatter than the 30-30. Certainly flat enough for all his needs. He's no longer bothered by the recoil of factory loads and shoots them now and then when he gets low on reloads. But mostly he's still shooting that 2500fps 180-grain load. Must be working for him, because he's sure flattened a lot of moose, elk, deer, bou and black bear with it. It's accurate, he's confident in it, and it's easy to shoot well and comfortably. Kind of "super" 30-30 in his mind, but in truth more like a 300 Savage. And that one certainly is no slouch.
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    Use a well constructed lighter bullet (maybe a 165g A-Frame?) at around 2400 fps would be plenty. You're talking less recoil than a 270 shooting 130g factory bullets at this point. I really like the idea of a slip on limbsaver, I use one for my 500 Jeffery, but there's an issue. My LOP is 14 1/2 and my rifle was built for 13 3/4" so it's perfect for me. I'm guessing she needs a shorter LOP then your rifle has so a slip on recoil pad will only worsen the fit. If she likes it though it really makes a difference. Then as someone else mentioned the Remington Managed Recoil ammunition as an option. I would have her quit shooting the 06 for awhile so she doesn't develop a flinch. I had to do that with my 500 Jeffery when I first got it, because I put way too many rounds down range when I first got it. Then go lighter loads/slip on pad and have her do lots of dry firing a the range and put a few down range with it. Work her way into it. Sounds like you have an avid hunter, congrats!

  11. #11

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    My 11 year old daughter shot her moose last year with a 30-06 that I loaded down for her. I used 130 gr TTSX at 2900 fps using H4895. One shot and down, complete pass through at approx 70 yards. Both of my kids have started out with this rifle combo and between the two of them they have taken 2 black bear, 2 caribou, and a moose(cow youth hunt). I loaded them up in increments until they cried uncle and backed it down a notch.

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    What "FootedShaft' said. Those light for caliber Barnes X bullets seem to work well and I am re thinking my love of the 250 grain Barnes X in my .338 Mag. The old 30-30 Winchester has laid low many a deer, elk and moose. So any thing with equal ballistics at a fairly close range should work if put through the lungs.

    The right bullet at the right velocity in the right place always seems to give good results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    The right bullet at the right velocity in the right place always seems to give good results.
    A nugget of wisdom right there.
    In my 7mmRM, I've settled on 61 gr. of RL22. It's giving me just under 2800 with a a 160 gr. Accubond. Point is, I could load it right up and get 3000 FPS, but why? Burning much more powder, much more recoil for very little return. The hotter loads kick like a mule in my Tikka, and this load I'm using is just a pleasure to shoot. It seems to shoot just as flat out to 300 yards as the hotter loads, and I'm not going to shoot that far anyhow.
    So sign me up for lighter loads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    A nugget of wisdom right there.
    In my 7mmRM, I've settled on 61 gr. of RL22. It's giving me just under 2800 with a a 160 gr. Accubond. Point is, I could load it right up and get 3000 FPS, but why? Burning much more powder, much more recoil for very little return. The hotter loads kick like a mule in my Tikka, and this load I'm using is just a pleasure to shoot. It seems to shoot just as flat out to 300 yards as the hotter loads, and I'm not going to shoot that far anyhow.
    So sign me up for lighter loads.
    Agreed. Add to that barrel life with hot loads. I more or less follow your strategy with my own 7mmRM. It's just a year or so shy of 40 years old now, and I've put many thousands of rounds through it. Yet is still clips 2" groups at 200 yards. I'll take that kind of life and accuracy over a few extra fps any day. I know guys who snorted up their 7mmRMs trying to beat "factory," and they sold them in disgust with burned out barrels after less than 1k rounds. Senseless to me, but their guns and their money. Kinda nice to have cheap donor rifles floating around for my other projects, so I dare not discourage them.
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    I used to reload the old Barnes 115 gr RN for a fellow who shot a Rem 600 in .243 and he killed some whoppers with it. I bet out of that short barrel it wasn't going 2200 fps at the muzzle. Shot placement with a good bullet and it kills well...shoot em in the butt and not so much.
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