30-06 Load Re-Do
As I poured through a ton of notes having to do with bullet used, primers, brass, powder, COAL lengths, and chrony readings – I became over whelmed at the amount of data I had amassed along with the amount of components used, money spent, time and effort expended. WOW!!!!
What did I accomplish that has not already been tried by so many who pursued load development for the 30-06? NOTHING!!!!!! I did have fun though and in all honesty did learn more than my 30yrs of past load work with the 30-06.
I am not going to bore anyone with the mountain of detailed data I have accumulated in some gratuitous effort to demonstrate what already has been done by so many professionals/lay shooters, hunters, and reloaders.
So let me summarize what generally works in most if not pretty much all 30-06 rifles that can shoot good. As much as I love a 30-06 and you all know I do, you will find at least 30% of the time a 30-06 takes a lot of work to get it to shoot. What I have found with most factory rifles is that a 30-06 will shoot or it won't. Some will shoot just one load or one factory ammo and nothing else. As versatile as the 30-06 is, it can be a nightmare to get it to group tight. Now I have owned 14 30-06 rifles and loaded and helped a bunch of friends over 35yrs with their 30-06 loads and rifles and I am here to tell you that a 30-06 from the factory will either shoot or it won't. I know there are exceptions to all things but generally I have found this true.
Powders that I liked:
MRP = gave the highest velocities and had average to good hunting accuracy. I was able to achive 3020fps out of a 24” Mark V with a 165gr bullet using published data. Reached 2710fps with 208gr A-max out of a Ruger Hawkeye 22” barrel.
RL-22 = good hunting accuracy, and was able to reach 2829fps out of a Ruger Hawkeye 22” barrel with a 180gr bullet and 2607fps with a 220gr bullet out of same Ruger.
H4350 = gave outstanding to very excellent accuracy with 150, 165, 180 and 208 A-Max. Reached 2689fps with a 200gr bullet and outstanding accuracy. And 2836fps with 1/2” accuracy using a 180gr bullet with a Ruger Hawkeye. Reached 2987fps with a 165gr bullet and most accurate load tested in any of my 30-06 rifles in a Mark V 24” barrel having ¼’ accuracy.
IMR4350 = was very accurate in my Ruger Hawkeye pushing a 165gr bullet at 2854fps.
I tried these powders and the above mentioned powders I just happen to like the most. Powders used: Varget, IMR4320, AA2495BR, W-760, IMR4064, IMR3031, IMR4831, IMR4350, IMR4895, H4350, H4831, RL-15, RL-19, RL-22, Norma MRP
Bullets that I liked (these are by no stretch not all that I tried:
Sierra = G/K 165gr HPBT
Nosler = BT 180gr
Nosler = Accubond 200gr
Hornady = A-Max 208gr
Seirra = Pro/Hunter 220gr RN
Woodliegh = 240gr PP
CCI200, CCI250, Rem 9 ½, Rem 9 1/2M, Fed 210, Fed 210M, Fed215M (I like the Fed 210M the best)
Winchester, Remington, Nosler (I like the Winchester brass the best)
Like I said, after all my work I discovered nothing really new under the sun when it comes to the 30-06 and loads, except components cost more today than they did in the past. I still had fun but I think that will do it for me and my load work for the 30-06 for the rest of my life. ☺