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Thread: 30.06 Why is everybody using 180 grains and not 220 grains???

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    Member SoldotnaDave's Avatar
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    Default 30.06 Why is everybody using 180 grains and not 220 grains???

    From reading alot of the forums here, im seeing people using 308's or 30.06 rifles and shooting 180 grain noslers, etc. Why not the heavier 220's for the dangerous game?
    Formerly known as one who clings to guns and religion

  2. #2

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    I use the 180 grainers because there is a wider variety of ammo available in that weight. Mostly, I hunt deer so the 180s provide a better trajectory than the 220s. It is harder to find 220 grain .30-06 bullets that are solid enough to penetrate deep on extra heavy game like the big bears.

    For big heavy game, the 180 grain Winchester Fail Safe load will probably penetrate better than the 220 grain Core-Lokt.

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    From my perspective, it's all about balancing your priorities. I tend to hunt more sheep and caribou than brown bear. I actually use 150 grain bullets most often, and step up to the 180 for moose. It's a balance between accuracy at long distances and knock-down power. Personally, I think 180 is plenty of bullet for most anything in Alaska.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    the difference on game is minimal, you can make up for the weight differnce by using a better bullet and those are more avaialbe in the 180's.
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    You have to realize that some of todays bullets outperform others and therefore a reduction in weight does not reduce the effectiveness of the weight for caliber bullet chosen. A 180 A-Frame, TBBC, or TSX will outperform most any soft point 220 grain bullet and will provide much flatter trajectory. There are calibers out there that some would say are too small for Alaskan game that make fine killing tools with the right bullets.

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    if you are worried about it use a 200 grain nosler, best of both worlds. it's a deep penetrator

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    I shoot 150 grain for moose w/my .06, however I carry a sidearm too. 220's seem to be too heavy and drop off too much at longer distances.


    Tim

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    Default ammo

    I usually buy Federal Premiums in the 165 gr. boat-tails. This is the factory ammo I've found to shoot most accurately in my gun. I don't like changing bullets during the season as there is always some sighting in to do, so I stick to the one load. It's taken deer too numerous to count, a couple moose and an elk and there's never been an issue with not having enough bullet. And I've plucked a lot of heads off grouse with it.

  9. #9

    Default 220 grainers

    Last year I visited a half dozen ammo retailers looking for 220 grain premium factory bullets for my .06 because the guide I was working for did not allow his guides to use reloads. Only thing I could find in 220 were Rem. Core-locks. Best bullet I could readily find off the shelf were Federal Nosler Partitions in 180 grains. On my personal hunts I mostly chase sheep and caribou and use 168 triple shocks. My rifle prefers them. I wouldn't get the ballistics I want for sheep hunting with 220 grain bullets, and I feel comfortable enough with the 168's in an emergency.

  10. #10

    Default It's all about being a flatter shooter

    I've found that the 180's are a flatter shooter. I would only bump up to the 220's if I was going to be hunting grizz exclusively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterTom View Post
    I've found that the 180's are a flatter shooter. I would only bump up to the 220's if I was going to be hunting grizz exclusively.
    And that makes lots sense, since to hunt bears one should get closer. At closer ranges the 220 travels much slower, but provides the hardest punch possible. I feel the same way about the 275 to 300 grain bullets for the .338WM. For most situations a 210-250 grainer works fine, but for the biggest and meanest game, hunted at closer ranges, the heavier ones offer great penetration and still expand as designed.

  12. #12

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    I would never bump to a 220 Core-Lokt over a 180 grain TSX or A-Frame.

  13. #13

    Talking 180vs?

    I could be wrong, but to my reasoning, it would take a 260 grain conventional lead core at 70% weight retention to equal a Barnes 180 tsx at near 100% retention. Therefore, I'd say take advantage of the faster and flatter shooting 180gr premium bullet.

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    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default 180

    Someone already mentioned that 180s shoot flatter. If I think I need a bigger bullet, I'll use my 35 Whelen. IMO the 180s are perfect for the '06.

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    Default 180's all the way.

    I love my 30-06. Before I moved up to Alaska 5 years ago I use to hunt deer with 150's and elk with 180's. I thought because of Alaska's danderous game (bears that could eat you) I would need to shoot 220's. So I purcheased a box on factory 220's and went to the range. Two boxes later I descovered my accuracy went out the window especially with distance over 125 yards. My confidence in my shooting also went down.

    So I went out and purchased a new 375 with scope, (which now lives in my gun safe) and went back to my trusty 30-06 with 180's. I am confident in shooting it and shot placement is everything.

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    SD:
    Even though everyone agrees on the 180's and they make a lot of sense if you only want to shoot one bullet. But I thought I would offer another perspective. I keep my .300 loaded with 220 at all times for bear protection (I would consider the 220 nosler partition a good choice). Then when I am ready to shoot something smaller I use my 168 grains.

    My reasoning is: I have never had a problem with underpenetration, only OVERpenetration. That is on many shots and many angles the fast magnums go through with no shock and not a clean fast kill if I dont hit bone. People are right about the trajectory of the 220 but its not important inside of 100 yds where I use them. An interesting example is the loading manual I have which measured penetration found a heavier slower bullet actually penetrated further than the faster bullet. (doesnt make sense to me either)

    Just another perspective, Pete
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    The Barnes TSX 165 grain bullet is perfect for the 30-06. Way, way better bullet than a 220 grain core-lokt!

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    Member SoldotnaDave's Avatar
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    Thanks Pete, I aggree totally.
    Formerly known as one who clings to guns and religion

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    Let me remind the handloaders ...there are 250 grain Barnes bullets also.There a roundnose design.I shoot them from my .300 winchester magnum,and at 100 yards they hit quite nicely with the 180's my gun is sighted in for.They leave the gun at about 2600fps.

  20. #20
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    Sollybug:

    The reason why a 220-grain bullet penetrates so well is because of its greater SD, coupled to the slower speed when it comes out the barrel. At close range, lets say 75 yards, a lightweight and relatively soft bullet that is made to expand, can achieve expansion very fast when it hits the target. If the same bullet is driven too fast, it could fail to penetrate and hit the vitals of very large game with tough hides and muscle. This is not always the case, but very possible. The 220 grainer shot at the same distance may also expand as designed, but its greater weight and mass help it travel further through the same medium.

    So, the 180 grainer may be an excellent all around use bullet for most hunting situations, and the 220 grainer provides the biggest punch possible at closer ranges, which makes it a sort of a special-use bullet. If the hunter takes all his shots within 100 yards, the 220 grainer could very well be an all around bullet.

    Somewhere around 150 yards, give and take a few, the 220 grainer out of a .30-06 may drop sooner than a 180 grainer, but the reduced speed helps retards expansion, further helping with penetration. If one compensates more and more to keep the bullet on the target, all expanding bullets will reach a distance where expansion is not possible. This distance on the 220 grainer, makes it act like a solid sooner (or closer), than a 180 grainer.

    From my .338WM shot within 100 yards, nothing beats a 275 grainers launched somewhere from 2,450 to 2,500 fps, or a 300 Woodleigh launched approximately 50 fps slower. To achieve greater penetration, the next step would be using a semi-solid (Barnes 3-Shock, FS, etc.), and further, a solid.

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