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Old September 10, 2009, 11:19 PM   #1
cbuchanan87
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30-06 180 gr. vs. 150 gr. (distance question)

With a 30-06, how far out does a heavier 180 gr. bullet need to travel befoe it starts to noticeably drop vs. a 150 gr. bullet of the same type?

I hunt whitetail in a blind and the furthest shot I can take from this spot is about 80 yards (maybe 100 in some spots); after that there are too many trees and the brush gets too thick to see or hit anything. At this range, I imagine that both a 150 gr. and a 180 gr. bullet from a 30-06 will still be traveling flat enough that they will het roughly the same spot. I am not competition shooting, I just want to be able to hit a kill zone.

First, am I correct that either bullet will still be traveling rather flat within 100 yards and hit around the same spot at 80 yards? and if so, how far out does a target have to be before a shooter starts noticing the drop?

Second, between the two sizes, wouldn't the larger bullet be better for hunting whitetail deer?

Thanks.
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Old September 10, 2009, 11:24 PM   #2
pmrtruck
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I was hitting center-left at 50 yards today and when I moved to 100 yards my sight was approx 2" low.
Another words, I sighted in the target at 2" low of center at 100 yards and was 8/9 ring.
I was shooting Remington 150 gr.
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Old September 10, 2009, 11:55 PM   #3
Bowes
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re: 30-06 150gr v 180gr

Both weights will do fine well beyond 100 yds. I have taken whitetails at a measured 325 yards with my 30-06. I nicknamed it "The Telephone Company" because it will reach out and touch someone (or thing). However, you'll get a bigger exit wound (ie, better blood trail) with the lighter-jacketed 150gr., and the 180gr, which is designed to penetrate deeply, could pass through without enough damage to put your game down quickly. The 180gr is just too much bullet (and recoil) for your purpose. I load the Lyman Accuracy Load of 48gr H-4895 with a 150gr Speer Mag-Tip and a CCI Standard Lg Rifle primer. It is deadly accurate, expands well whether or not it strikes bone, and leaves enough exit wound for a good blood trail but doesn't damage much meat. Just about any 150gr bullet will work well, but the Speer Mag-Tip is the best one I've found.

Last edited by Bowes; September 10, 2009 at 11:57 PM. Reason: line spacing
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Old September 11, 2009, 02:35 AM   #4
wyobohunter
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easy as pie

If your longest possible shot is 80 yds sight in dead on at 100 yds. and you will not need to adjust for elevation from 0-100 yds with any bullet you pick assuming you are using factory ammo or reloads near the center of the charge range.
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Old September 11, 2009, 05:36 AM   #5
taylorce1
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I agree just sight your rifle in for 100 yards and go home. However if you switch ammunition make sure you re-zero your rifle. Going from 150 to 180 grain can have a dramatic change on your point of impact. You may get lucky as well and have it stay the same but don't change bullets and go hunting without punching paper first. Too many times you hear of guys sighting in with differnt ammunition than what they hunt with and they can't beleive they missed their animal if they were lucky and if they weren't they had a wounded and never recovered it.
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Old September 11, 2009, 07:01 AM   #6
DiscoRacing
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I accidentally used 180 grain on whitetail once.... will not do it again... left an exit hole big enough for me to put two fists in side by side...
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Old September 11, 2009, 07:41 AM   #7
300magman
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I agree that either the 150gr or 180gr will be excellent for your choice of distance and you will see very little difference in trajectory (though you should check your zero) But I HEAVILY disagree with the two posters who said the 180gr round is a poor choice. I LOVE IT! The 30.06 is my choice for short to medium range whitetail (10-300yards) and I have used the cheapest ammo possible (Federal PowerShok Softpoints) for nearly 10 years now. It gives me expectional accuracy from my particular 30.06 and absolutely hammers deer (from 140-280lbs).
Some bullets have heavy jackets, some do not, it depends more on the bullet than the weight 150 vs 180..pick a soft bullet like the one I favor and it will not over-penetrate. I've always found the round I shoot to do an exceptional job of transfering energy, it does often exit through smaller or shorter ranged deer...but just barely. I actually prefer a bullet that exist (with a decent sized hole and most of its velocity expended) over a bullet that stays inside, you get more blood to follow if the deer runs...which seldom happens with this round and good shot placement. My one issue with this bullet, in 30.06, is that its a bit too soft or lacks the energy to punch through large deer or longer range deer (I often find it just inside the rib cage or sometimes through the ribs but still stuck on the inside of the fur)...but now that I handload perhaps I can get a bit more energy out of it for those longer shots. Regardless you won't have to worry about that at less than 100 yards.
I say load the Federal 180 softpoints and hammer away
Btw, I've once shot a 165lb buck at 75 yards, the bullet went straight through a rib on the way in and on the way out it broke 2 ribs...the exit hole was big enough for a 12 year old to put One first through...not excessive to me, infact thats just about pefect in my book. I can't speek for others experiences. The only negative experience I had with this round was shooting a 150lb buck in the shoulder at 5 yards (I know, how could I miss at 5 yards, Long story) anyway the bullet turned to powder, and so did the bucks shoulder, he ran 70 yards (on 3 legs) then dropped dead, the bullet did not penetrate much beyond the shoulder as it literally turned to powder, but the impact was so fierce it caused significant internal trauma...all the "good eating meat" was still unharmed, but that shoulder was a bloody, crushed, write off.

Last edited by 300magman; September 11, 2009 at 07:52 AM.
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Old September 11, 2009, 07:49 AM   #8
skydiver3346
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.30-06 bullets:

Both will do the job on whitetails for sure. But over the years, I have leaned more to the 150 grain instead of heavier grain bullets. Why, because they worked better for me on deer size animals. Also, got a great grouping with the Remington Core-Lokt ammo in 150 grain, (inexpensive and accurate).
I were hunting Elk or larger game, I would definitely use the 180 grain.
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Old September 11, 2009, 07:52 AM   #9
GeauxTide
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From the Barnes Ballistic Calculator.

A 150 Hornady at 2900fps compared to a Hornady 180 at 2700fps, zeroed for 200 yards gives the following result:

At 350 yards, the 150 is 14.7 inches low and the 180 is 15.9 inches low. The MV is almost identical. I always stuck with the 150 because a 200# animal was the upper end.
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Old September 11, 2009, 08:03 AM   #10
mpd61
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WOW!

The OP says he'll NEVER get a shot past about eighty yards and asks about point of impact differences of 150 and 180 grain bullets at that distance. Then a whole slew of guys start talking about 300-365 yard shots and why 180 beats 150 etc...YIKES!

back to the question: At the range you stated (up to 80 Yds) just shoot any 150's that are cheap, group best, and you'll end up happy. BTW 150's usually kick a tiny bit less too! Your assumptions were all correct too.
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Old September 11, 2009, 08:42 AM   #11
Doyle
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Quote:
BTW 150's usually kick a tiny bit less too!
Oops, I misread your line. 150's do quick quite a bit less.

Last edited by Doyle; September 11, 2009 at 12:34 PM.
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Old September 11, 2009, 09:30 AM   #12
Waterengineer
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I have a huge appreciation for the 30.06 but if I am hunting Whitetails with shots no longer than 80 yards, I would want a different gun.
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Old September 11, 2009, 09:58 AM   #13
Bud Helms
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Quote:
With a 30-06, how far out does a heavier 180 gr. bullet need to travel befoe it starts to noticeably drop vs. a 150 gr. bullet of the same type?
Any decent reloading manual will have trajectory tables in them. Of course I have never seen a "noticeable drop" column in any of these tables.
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Old September 11, 2009, 10:00 AM   #14
Art Eatman
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I've loaded 150s, 165s and 180s for my '06, and messed around to 500 yards here at the house. I've always sighted in for two inches high at 100, putting me dead on at 200, as near as makes no nevermind. That's roughly six inches low at 300.

With boattails, they all seem to track pretty much together, at least for all practical purposes.

I've stayed with the 150s for my deer hunting; those work quite well out to 500 yards, per my father's successes, and 450 for me on one buck.

But 80 yards or so? Whichever 150-grain bullet groups nicely in your rifle. Brand and type won't matter, up close and personal like that.
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Old September 11, 2009, 02:05 PM   #15
imacanuk
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Quote:
I agree just sight your rifle in for 100 yards and go home. However if you switch ammunition make sure you re-zero your rifle. Going from 150 to 180 grain can have a dramatic change on your point of impact. You may get lucky as well and have it stay the same but don't change bullets and go hunting without punching paper first. Too many times you hear of guys sighting in with differnt ammunition than what they hunt with and they can't beleive they missed their animal if they were lucky and if they weren't they had a wounded and never recovered it.
This answer is right on the money!!! If all I wanted was to shoot 100 yards at deer, I'd get a soft point bullet of whatever weight/manufacturer grouped best. 150 grain will knock'em dead. So will 180 grain. So will 165 grain. Just find the best grouping ammo, sight in for zero at 100 yards, and you're golden . With each grain size at 100 yards your bullet will still be rising. All things being equal, your 150 grain should be going the fastest, and should have risen the least, but that's only theory. Your barrel harmonics may react differently with each grain size, and so point of imapct could change dramatically. Maybe not. Any time you change ammunition in any way [manufacturer, grain size, powder charge, primer type, etc] you should punch paper and see if your zero has changed. That way you know for sure and you will take a better shot at your game.
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Old September 11, 2009, 09:40 PM   #16
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Ballistic tables are your friend,,much more accurate than our opinions. 80yds is like no distance at all. I agree w/ a 100 or 200yd zero. That being said, get out there and shoot it enough to feel confident w/ it. Bullet construction is much more important in these conditions. I love Hornaday BTSP's. They are accurate and kill well but have one glitch IMHO.I have found they don't open up well under 100yds. 250yds,,great. 80 not so much. Accuracy still kills at that range but I'm sure another bullet design would work better for closer shots
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