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Thread: 30-06 Brown bear load

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    Default 30-06 Brown bear load

    What bullet and bullet weight do you reccomend for the 30-06 for brown bear? Do any of you have a handload recipe that you have used for brown bear in the 30-06? I'm planning on a hunt in the next decade and can't afford to get a 338 or 375.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockchuck View Post
    What bullet and bullet weight do you reccomend for the 30-06 for brown bear? Do any of you have a handload recipe that you have used for brown bear in the 30-06? I'm planning on a hunt in the next decade and can't afford to get a 338 or 375.
    If you have taken a bear with the 30-06, even if you don't have a handload, please tell me what factory load you used.

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    In my 375 H&H I load the 260 partition and god forbid If I would have to ever use anything less on a Brown Bear.... But if I did have to and it was a 30.06, I would load a 220 grain Nosler Partition Semi Spitzer at 2600 FPS behind 57.0 grains of Re 22. One of the best bullets ever made and with a Section Denisty of .331, it should penetrate from Boise to Anchorage.

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    This reply will stir the pot, here goes anyway. I would load my usual 180 grain Woodleigh bullets with my same load that shoots best in my rifle.

    A lot of folks think the 240 grain Woodleigh bullet may be a better choice, I don't know, It probably is. I don't give load data out, so I recommend you find a loading manual and use a starting load. The one thing I'm sure of more than any other, is my use of Woodleigh bullets.

    To be perfectly frank with you, I would much rather use a .375H&H. I'm not saying the 30-06 won't do the job, just that you had better be able to shoot well with it. Used it a lot and have complete confidence in your shooting skills. Have the discipline and knowledge when not to shoot. You need a complete understanding of bear anatomy. Factor in the fact you will most likely be shooting in the brush.

    You need to be confident in your skills and ability, no matter what you are going to use.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    To be frank I would also prefer the 375, but I can;t afford 1 and don;t think I could handle the recoil, my 30-06 is a Tikka T3 Lite stainless, I like the load posted earlier and I'll chack out how well it works in my rifle.

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    I'd try some 180-grain Barnes TSX bullets myself.

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    Default 200 gr. Swift A-Frame

    I saw that swift has a 200 gr a-frame available, that should penetrate well and expand too, there are alot of options I'm finding, there always is when your talking about the -06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockchuck View Post
    I saw that swift has a 200 gr a-frame available, that should penetrate well and expand too, there are alot of options I'm finding, there always is when your talking about the -06.
    I know the details of six brown bear taken with 30-06. Four were using Nosler 180 grain partitions, either handloads or Federal factory loads. Two were Federal's basic 180 grain soft point, but at the moment I'm drawing a blank on whose bullet is used in that load.

    All but one were either one-shot or two-shot kills. The exception was a DLP charge that took 4 hits. That was due to poor shooting rather than caliber fault, because hit #3 was finally into the boiler room and turned the bear, and hit #4 was a finisher to the back of the skull from a few feet away.

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    I use Federal Vital-Shok High Energy 180 gr Nosler Partitions.

    It kicks the '06 up into .300 H&H territory.
    Now what ?

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    The 30-06 will do the job I would just do two things with it to make it more effective. First add bullet weight, meaning heavier than the 180 grain and I would also use a more stongly constructed bullet than the partition.

    I love the '06 and the 180 partition but for game more suited to the caliber. When we must stretch it to the upper end of the envelope heavier is better. Also slowing the bullet down will lessen the demands on the bullet construction. So high energy partition ammo, in my opinion would be going the wrong way with both velocity and bullet weight.

    My recommendation would be to hand load the 200 grain Swift Aframe or the 220 grain Kodiak. I have loaded both those combinations for Alaskan hunters seeking brown bear. One such load was loaded for an individual who never picked them up, I presume the hunt fell through, but I have some 220 grain Kodiaks loaded in new 30-06 brass to about 2500 fps. This load was used two years ago out around Nome to take a good brownie.

    I would also say the 200 grain partition load would be good and if the 220 can still be found it would be also. The Barnes TSX is certainly a stong enough bullet for this task but spitzer are not the best type bullet because of terminal energy transfer and they are so long at 180 grains we can't load any heavier.

    I'll look tonite to give some data for these loads with heavier bullets.
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    Default Best Cal.!!!

    A 30-06 will work just fine, just take good shots. I’ve said it before, a shot in guts is a shot in the guts even if you’re shooting a cannon, use what your comfortable with.

    I don’t think you can do better than 180 grain Nosler Parition for an 30-06, but 200 grainer would work fine. You may not have the best trajectory with a 200 gain, but long shots on a Brown Bear is a bad idea anyway.

    If you were buying facoty ammo I would recommend Federal Vital-Shok High Energy 180 gr Nosler Partitions, great bullet and great load. I killed a very nice bear that’s in my Avatar with a 30-06 factory Honady light mag. ammo 180 interlock 2900 FPS. One shot dropped him at 100 yards.

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    I picked up some 220 grain Woodleighs for loading in my -06, but when I got them I found they didn't have a cannelure like I wanted. Any recommendations for a well constructed 220 RN bullet with a cannelure? Wanna trade for some Woodleighs? I picked up some 220 Hornady Interlocks, but I haven't had a chance to test them in wet newspaper and plywood yet. Any thoughts on the Interlock construction for brown bear?
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    My choice would be the 200 grain partition. It has been one of the most accurate 30 cal bullets I have tried and Ive tried many. RL19 really makes it sing. I cant see the extra 20 grains being necessary for penetration with the 220's, unless you want RN profile, which is a good reason imo. Really hard to argue with success, many have used the 220 for years on big stuff and have had good luck. Ive heard from a reliable source that the 220 grain partition penetrates equal distance to the 375 with 300 partitions in wet newspaper. Granted the -06 is not going to have the same knock down, or energy transfer.

    Kay9Cop, shoot me a PM if you want to trade those woodleighs. I have lots of 30 cals, let me know what you are looking for.

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    I have never hunted a brown bear with any rifle much less a 30-06. Black bear yes, large Russian boar (400 plus pounds) yes and these with a 30-06. I have used on them 150, 165, 180, 200, 220 and once a 240gr. Now everything I hit with the bullets I used in my 06 died and only twice have I had to take more than one shot with the above bullets and it was on two large hogs at very close range using 150gr and 165gr bullets. The most impressive kill on a boar that was just over 450pounds was with a 240gr Woodleigh bullet at 2450fps. I said all of this to say that the 240gr Woodleigh is not a joke or mistake for the 30-06 when the game is big and dangerous. It passed through the hogs chests and out the right hind quarter. It was like the boar ran into a brick wall. If one is not taking long shots which to me would be a mistake on Brown bear, I think (note I said I think) the 240gr Woodleigh bullet that was design just for the 30-06 and it's use on buffalo and other dangerous game up close might work well on a Grizzly.

    Here is the range tested trajectory of my load out of my rifle with the 240gr Woodleigh.
    +2.7" at 100yds
    .0" at 200yds
    -10" at 275
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    The world record brown bear was taken with a 30-06 and a 180 grain bullet,If I was to choose a brown bear load for the 06 it would be the 180 grain partition.But with that said I would never choose the 30-06 as my first caliber choice for coastal brown bear

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I picked up some 220 grain Woodleighs for loading in my -06, but when I got them I found they didn't have a cannelure like I wanted. Any recommendations for a well constructed 220 RN bullet with a cannelure? Wanna trade for some Woodleighs? I picked up some 220 Hornady Interlocks, but I haven't had a chance to test them in wet newspaper and plywood yet. Any thoughts on the Interlock construction for brown bear?
    You know that you can put a cannalure on your self don't you? There is a tool or two out there that you can buy for this operation. I guess that I just have to ask, why? Why would you want to weaken the jacket with a cannalure.

    Working the brass with a cannalure further work hardens the jackets. This makes them more brittle.

    I have had reported failures by my guide clients using Interlocks on coastal brown bear. This after many years of success with that bullet. The 300 grain Interlock's in .375 were a long time favorite until the last few years.

    If I wasn't shooting a 12 twist barrel in my hunting .30-06 I would trade you in a hart beat. I'm limited to up to 180 grain bullets in that rifle. I have two boxes of New Old style 200 grain Nosler Partitions .308. (the ones with the good tube jackets) I would trade for 3 boxes of the Woodleigh's never the less.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    I said all of this to say that the 240gr Woodleigh is not a joke or mistake for the 30-06 when the game is big and dangerous. It passed through the hogs chests and out the right hind quarter. It was like the boar ran into a brick wall. If one is not taking long shots which to me would be a mistake on Brown bear, I think (note I said I think) the 240gr Woodleigh bullet that was design just for the 30-06 and it's use on buffalo and other dangerous game up close might work well on a Grizzly.

    Here is the range tested trajectory of my load out of my rifle with the 240gr Woodleigh.
    +2.7" at 100yds
    .0" at 200yds
    -10" at 275
    Beartooth, I would think you would need at least a 10 twist for a 240 gr bullet? I checked the Woodleigh site and I couldn't find a recommended twist for their bullets. I know Barnes recomends at least a 10 twist for their .30 cal 200 gr TSX. What twist does your .06 have and I'm assuming you have no stability problems with the 240?

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    A ten inch twist will handle the 240 grains just fine. The 30-03 ctg first used by the government was a ten inch twist barrel and made for the longer 220 grain issue bullets. When the government switched over to the 30-06 they just set back the barrels and re chambered and re threaded. Over the years the bullets got lighter in weight all the way down to the 155 grain bullets. The twist always stayed the same, one in ten.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I picked up some 220 grain Woodleighs for loading in my -06, but when I got them I found they didn't have a cannelure like I wanted. Any recommendations for a well constructed 220 RN bullet with a cannelure? Wanna trade for some Woodleighs? I picked up some 220 Hornady Interlocks, but I haven't had a chance to test them in wet newspaper and plywood yet. Any thoughts on the Interlock construction for brown bear?
    Is there a reason for wanting the cannelure? Crimping isn't necessary, nor needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    A ten inch twist will handle the 240 grains just fine. The 30-03 ctg first used by the government was a ten inch twist barrel and made for the longer 220 grain issue bullets. When the government switched over to the 30-06 they just set back the barrels and re chambered and re threaded. Over the years the bullets got lighter in weight all the way down to the 155 grain bullets. The twist always stayed the same, one in ten.
    I checked most of the major gun manufacturers... apparently almost all of them use a 10" twist for their .30 cal rifles. Sako (which I have) uses an 11" twist... I wonder why that is?

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