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Thread: My .30-06 small game load

  1. #1
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Default My .30-06 small game load

    I really enjoy being able to use my big game rifle very often. Normally that urge is satisfied by doing a lot of shooting with affordable handloads using Remington 150 grain PSP bullets. Recently I came across a small game load for the .30-06 and decided to give it a try.

    The author attributed the load to Townsend Whelen, who claimed to have repeatedly filled his pot by taking various forms of small game with the load. His load used 150 grain FMJ bullets, but since I had the 150 grain PSP bullets on hand I decided to give those a try. The load consists of 18.0 grains of IMR SR 4759 over Federal 210 primers, claiming 1548 fps and 765 ft lbs. The author stated the load is roughly comparable to 45 grain bullet out of a .22 Hornet, which generates 624 ft lbs. I crimped my bullets lightly using the Lee FCD. My brass was some once fired Federal cases I picked up over the internet for a good price.

    I shot the loads out of my Kimber Montana and was rewarded with nice little clusters at 50 yards, comparable to the accuracy from a .22 LR. The recoil was negligble and would make an excellent starter round for a youngster. I anticipate trying the load on squirrels, rabbits, and grouse in the next couple of weeks. I don't think it will be nearly as devastating as the bunny hunting videos using full power big game rifles, but should still kill them cleanly and efficiently.

    One note, the POI was about 3" away at 50 yards from my normal 100 yard full power zero. This isn't an issue for me, because I use a scope with marked turrets, but could be an issue if you have to re-zero for these rounds and then are faced with a shot on a wolf while out small game hunting.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  2. #2
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Kay9Cop,

    I too have experimented a tad bit with 30-06 small game loads, although I was using the same cast bullets that I use for my 30-30 plinking loads. It’s a gas check 150 grain flat nose from an RCBS 30-150 mould and I was pushing them around 1800 fps and getting pretty good accuracy but kind of lost interest in it due to other projects. I think I also tried some SR 4759 but didn’t record the particulars. I even loaded some up with Unique and filler and they were about as cheap as you can get for an 06 load. They shot ok, but not great.

    A load that may interest you is the home made “accelerator” load with a 55 grain .22 caliber bullet in a sabot. I have been messing around with these on and off for a while now and have been able to get them up to 4200 fps, but found the best accuracy was at 3950 fps or there abouts and can routinely put 5 into about 1 ½” at 100 yards; not great compared to a super duper .22 cal varmint or target gun, but still, not all that bad for a run of the mill 06 that generally shoots factory ammo into similar sized groups. The point of impact change from my standard 180 grain load is rather extreme though, so the plan is to just have two scopes on QRW rings to change out depending on the load in use at the time. Another interesting aspect of these loads is the relatively light report and very mild recoil. What those .22 cal hollow points would do to a bunny at close range is anybodies guess……………. But I bet it wouldn’t be pretty.
    FMJ bullets would probably be a better choice for game getting.

    If your interested in hearing more, let me know and I will post the particulars.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  3. #3
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    I have started to give some thoughts about reduced loads and they I came by the fallowing products. Seems like they are neat ideas.

    http://www3.telus.net/gamegetter/gamegetter%20v2.pdf

    http://www.mcace.com/adapters.htm

    I wonder how well they work? While a reduced load works as well it would be nice to use even less powder in a reduced volume case.

  4. #4
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    Default Small game load for '06

    I used a Lyman 3118 115 gr. bullet over 6.8 gr of PB shotgun powder years ago. I never chronographed it but it shot nice groups at 50 yds in every '06 I tried it in. I shot well in my 2 groove Springfiled that normally doesn't do too well with cast bullets.

    Plenty of power for small game and about as cheap as you can shoot an '06. When powder and primers were cheap years ago I could shoot it for about the same cost as a .22 LR.


    As I recall the point of impact wasn't too far off the normal loads. I'll have to load some more up and try them again.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bandhmo View Post
    I have started to give some thoughts about reduced loads and they I came by the fallowing products. Seems like they are neat ideas.

    http://www3.telus.net/gamegetter/gamegetter%20v2.pdf

    http://www.mcace.com/adapters.htm

    I wonder how well they work? While a reduced load works as well it would be nice to use even less powder in a reduced volume case.
    I've never found an adapter combo that worked all that well for me in any caliber I've tried, but I'm comparing them to handloads. For someone that doesn't handload they might be just the ticket.

    I've developed reduced loads for most of my rifles, cuzz like Kay9Cop, I find great value in using rifles all the time. Feels kinda foolish to be hunting snowshoe hares with a 458 Winnie for example, but it sure pays dividends when you use the rifle for big game. I don't own an 06 right now, but when I did I shot a whole bunch of cast bullets out of it with SR 4759. Great powder.

    One thing I might suggest is trying other bullet weights with your reduced loads to see if you can adjust your 50 yard POI without touching the scope. It's an advantage too, if your light loads use a completely different looking bullet than your full power loads if you're carrying both. Take that from a guy that once used the same bullets for both, then got some mixed in his pocket. Didn't even know it till I popped the cap on a deer. Fortunately it was a 50 yard head shot with a 375. Dead deer just the same, but it sure was startling to get a POP instead of a BOOM. I'm just glad it wasn't a 200 yard shot!

  6. #6
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    I appreciate information on this subject, because I'm interested in doing it.

    I've never come up with anything useful until recently, but now I have a load that shows some promise.

    7mm Weatherby Mag, 24.7 grains (Lee Dipper 1.9cc)
    IMR 4227 (I can't get H4227 anymore)
    with 140 grain Cast bullets from Bear Tooth Bullets.

    I disremember how I arrived at that load, and don't know what the velocity is, not having Chronographed it, yet. I shot 2 rounds at 25 yards the other day, and they were touching. Also, just maybe, 3/4 inch left of the very center of the bull, and dead on elevation wise. My rifle is sighted in for 160 grain Noslers, 2.5 inches high at 100 yards.

    I had fired some before, and when they showed promise, I ordered 400 more bullets. I got them several days ago, after waiting for months. (BTB orders take a long time.)

    I'm using 7mm Remington Mag. cases that I've resized for 7mm Wby. (They end up with necks a bit shorter than on an original 7mm Wby case.)

    The idea is what Townsend Whelen suggested. carry a few along when you're hunting big game, and there is no need then, to carry another gun for small game.

    So far, so good. I have high hopes.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I really enjoy being able to use my big game rifle very often. Normally that urge is satisfied by doing a lot of shooting with affordable handloads using Remington 150 grain PSP bullets. Recently I came across a small game load for the .30-06 and decided to give it a try.

    The author attributed the load to Townsend Whelen, who claimed to have repeatedly filled his pot by taking various forms of small game with the load. His load used 150 grain FMJ bullets, but since I had the 150 grain PSP bullets on hand I decided to give those a try. The load consists of 18.0 grains of IMR SR 4759 over Federal 210 primers, claiming 1548 fps and 765 ft lbs. The author stated the load is roughly comparable to 45 grain bullet out of a .22 Hornet, which generates 624 ft lbs. I crimped my bullets lightly using the Lee FCD. My brass was some once fired Federal cases I picked up over the internet for a good price.

    I shot the loads out of my Kimber Montana and was rewarded with nice little clusters at 50 yards, comparable to the accuracy from a .22 LR. The recoil was negligble and would make an excellent starter round for a youngster. I anticipate trying the load on squirrels, rabbits, and grouse in the next couple of weeks. I don't think it will be nearly as devastating as the bunny hunting videos using full power big game rifles, but should still kill them cleanly and efficiently.

    One note, the POI was about 3" away at 50 yards from my normal 100 yard full power zero. This isn't an issue for me, because I use a scope with marked turrets, but could be an issue if you have to re-zero for these rounds and then are faced with a shot on a wolf while out small game hunting.
    Fooled around a bit witht he concept in the 3006. Ace Dube's adapter in 32 HR mag shoots the factory loads with my hunting zero at 25 yds and accuracy is good.

    The gamegetter works great too. I have several. Nice company

    I use the FMJ 147 or 150 and the whelan load, the FMJ keeps the ammo separated for me and easier to ID.

    They all shoot good at 25 yds..

    I have, but not used, a 7.62x39 adpater for the 3006.

    My rifle is a 77 Ruger and a 4x leupold witht duplex. The thick part of the duplex provides another aimin point for the SG loads. Shot a few birds and a fox with these loads.

  8. #8
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I use Norma brass for my full power 150 and 220 grain loads. While not as easily recognizable as different bullets, the Federal brass for the small game loads lets me identify them.

    I haven't tried any adapters, but it sounds like mixed reviews on their accuracy.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Popular low power loads include:

    18 - 20 grains 2400
    20 - 22 grains 4227
    10 - 13 grains Unique
    10 grains Red Dot

    I've only used a couple of those loads with cast bullets in my '03A3, but I'd think they'd work fine with 150 grain FMJs too.

    Mike

  10. #10

    Default Adapter

    I have a Tikka T3 in 30-06 with a Burris 3x9 balistic Plex scope. It is sighted @100 yds with 165 grn ammo.
    Using the adapter to fire 32 acp ammo, I just use the second bar down like I'm correcting for a 200 yd shot. It gives me a zero at 25 yds.
    The 32acp from the 30-06 rifle is touted at 1300 fps with the bullet; I haven't chronoed any though. I shoot Fiocchi 73grn FMJ no leading.
    It shoots in at about an inch or less and works good on small game; making for easy head shots on bunnies.
    It's one drawback is it can be a little finiky to chamber the round from the magazine with no projectile to center the case in the bore.

    This lets me hunt and practice with my favorite big game rifle; IF i see something bigger just bolt the action and it's boggie time.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  11. #11
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    I use a 120 grain RNGC with about 14 grains of red dot forget how fast they move but its decent enough to tumble a coyote at about 100 yrds

  12. #12
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    Thank You, Mike.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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