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Thread: .30-06 and 220 grain Hornady RN

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Default .30-06 and 220 grain Hornady RN

    Anyone have any hunting experience with the .30-06 loaded with a Hornady 220 grain RN bullet? I'm loading mine at about 2375 fps and curious about penetration on big toughies like moose through the shoulders, bison, or brown bear. Everyone really pushes the controlled expansion/mono-metal bullets, but I'm a fan of the good ole round nose. The 220 RN is shorter than the 200 grain Swifts and 180 grain TSXs I've also tried, giving more case capacity.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Default 30-06

    wouldn't use Hornaday Interlocks in an ´06 for bears , used the 220's for deer and such many years ago , then 250 gr. Barnes Originals . How about the 240 gr. Woodleigh in your .30 ?

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    Default good load

    I havent myself but a good friend uses that bullet in his 06, not sure of the powder. he takes this gun/load bear hunting every spring black and grizzly

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    This topic has my interest as well! I happen to have a box of these sitting on the bench in the queue for load development.

    I really, really like the Hornady RN 270 grn bullet for the 375 H&H. It is a total tack driver out of my Winchester and although I have not used it on game, my two best buddies have used it exclusively for decades on bear and moose with outstanding results. I am hoping that the 220 gr works just as well out of the 06

    I have read a considerable amount about these Hornady Round Nose bullets and their outstanding performance seems to be very much a result of proper velocity……… Apparently they were designed, the 220 that is, for velocity compatible with the 30-40 thru 300 H&H at moderate distances. Reportedly at impact velocities as high as 2700 fps the penetration is rather limited. But below 2500 fps they mushroom perfectly and penetrate very well. Should, in theory at least, be a great bullet for 30-06. Given what I have read, I don’t think I would load them in any of the magnum 30’s were a close in shot was a possibility, but I have a Remington 7600 carbine that should really work well for these guys. I will post my data as soon as I get it worked up, and you do the same…… I think we will be pleasantly surprised!!
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    Anyone have any hunting experience with the .30-06 loaded with a Hornady 220 grain RN bullet? I'm loading mine at about 2375 fps and curious about penetration on big toughies like moose through the shoulders, bison, or brown bear. Everyone really pushes the controlled expansion/mono-metal bullets, but I'm a fan of the good ole round nose. The 220 RN is shorter than the 200 grain Swifts and 180 grain TSXs I've also tried, giving more case capacity.
    I've only shot deer with the Hornady 220 RN, both in 06 and 30-40. It leaves a really decent wound channel, but I've never recovered one- including a Texas heart shot on a nice buck running straight away at about 80 yards. It penetrated end to end and came out high in the middle of the brisket. Arrow-straight penetration, so I'm guessing it held together really well and penetrated in a very straight line- another good sign. I use them for hunting tight brush in bear country specifically because of the bear.

    I load them for a friend who's a 30-40 nut, and he's taken all his moose and several black bear with it over the last 15 years or so. He's never recovered a bullet either, but has a perfect string of one-shot kills.

    The 220 RN was the gold standard for brown bear hunters pre-Nosler in the 1950's and earlier using the 06 as a more or less standard round. Not saying the 06 was a great bear round, but most folks had only one gun and used what they had.

    I'm with you on the premium bullet fad. Especially at non-magnum velocities it's a clear cut case of successful marketing solving a problem that doesn't exist. Sure the premiums are great bullets, but that doesn't mean you're not a man if you use something else. They are my bullets of choice in magnums, but I don't feel the need to use magnums all the time. Most of the time when I use Noslers it's more a question of concern about excess expansion and meat loss at very close range, rather than fear of bullet failure.

    In my own experience and in a heck of a lot of instances seeing other folks take game and following up with a careful postmortem, bullet failure is rare. An incredibly high proportion of the claims of bullet failure are pure ego-saving claims to cover rotten shooting. We've managed to recover game nearly lost to "bullet failure" after very long trail job. I'm yet to find a single one that was hit well and kept going after the bullet failed. It has all been rotten shooting.

    If premium bullets give a guy the confidence to shoot better, then they're a very good thing. But weighed against the high cost and tendency for guys to do less shooting these days, I'm afraid poor marksmanship is going to result in "bullet failure" for quite a few of the premiums, too.

    Nuff time on the soap box. Practice with those 220's lots and make good shots on game, and I really doubt you're going to see bullet failure even at the highest possible velocities out of an 06. Launch them at over 3000 fps from a mag and hit an animal at close range, and yeah, I bet they come apart.

  6. #6

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    I have not used the Hornady 220gr but have used the Sierra Pro Hunter 220gr on wildebeest and it was very effective. That was 18yrs ago and I have used it on large boar, white tail and mule deer. Exited the boars, white tail, mule, found under skin on opposite side of wildebeest but it was a 150yd shot. I think the 220gr bullet is a great fit for the 30-06.
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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I appreciate all of the info. I'm going to use them this spring on a spot and stalk black bear hunt and I'll post results. I'm setting a self-imposed range of 150 yards because I think that is appropriate for the velocity I'm loading these at. If they do well, I'll consider using them next fall for brown bear. I'm also going to do some testing using wet newspaper, inner tube rubber and plywood (when it warms up and the newspaper won't freeze) and I'll add pictures. Thanks again.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Personaly i would use Nosler Partitions. 200 grn would work great for Moose and Black Bear. You really dont gain much with the 220grn and they can be finicky to stabalize in many guns. The 06 rifling rate is not fast enough in MANY guns to give you the accuracy you need. That is the reason they dont shoot well out of many guns.

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    What is the best twist rate to stabilize the 220gr 30 cal rounds?

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    1:10 is iffy for some 220 grain bullets. Some of the longer bullets may not stabilize well and might need a 1:9, according to some formulas for twist rate. I checked them in my gun and they do just fine at the ranges I'm willing to take shots.

    I believe it's not so much the bullet weight as it is the length of the bullet that matters. In this case, the 220 Hornady RN are shorter than the Swift 200's and the Barnes TSX 180's.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I believe it's not so much the bullet weight as it is the length of the bullet that matters. In this case, the 220 Hornady RN are shorter than the Swift 200's and the Barnes TSX 180's.
    You got it. That's why for many years Weatherby was loading 117 grain RN bullets in their own ammo for the 257. The twist rate of their rifles was just too darned slow. I didn't like the performance of that bullet on game at such high velocity, but drop it below 3000fps and it was dandy. I got rid of both early rifles I owned. Now they're using a faster twist, and putting a 257 back in the rack is sorely tempting. Lots of folks seem to be happy with 100's in the 257 and 25-06, but I'm a heavy bullet guy for longrange shooting.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default The 220 Hornady is...

    my go-to bullet for .30-06 and .30-40 Krag rifles that have 'iffy' bores. 1-10 twist in those rifles seems to give plenty of rotational speed to stabilize them, even in the Krag at around 2000 fps. My rifles like 4350 with these bullets, and 41 grains of the IMR flavor is my most favoritest load for the Krag.
    NOW.....I'm a heckuva lot better shot than I am a hunter, so I don't have anything to report other than paper performance, and in that role, they work really, really well. I DO know that there's some cedar and pine stumps that were mighty impressed by them!
    I keep a few of 'em around in case sabre-toothed tigers and mastodons make a comeback around here after the Jellystone mega volcano goes boom......

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