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Old October 10, 2019, 11:32 AM   #1
idigg
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reloaded 30-06 thats similar to off the shelf?

hi folks. so im looking to work up some loads for my 30-06 for deer. im new to reloading, but my father, who would be doing the loading with me, is not.

he had made up some loads based off of the end result being very similar to what is found off-the-shelf remington green box. basically... go hunting, forget your ammo... you can still get by. alternatively, hunting season is tomorrow, and you just realized you are down to 3 bullets.

anyway... he wasnt really into it for max accuracy, and never shot beyond 100 yards... me on the other hand, i like longer distance shooting. nothing extreme. 200 yards often, 400 yards max. so im more concerned about the hand load than i am about being the same as off-the-shelf. as long as its within an inch or 2 at 100 yards of off the shelf, im fine with it.

so he currently has IMR4350, and Sierra150gr spitzer bullets. i dont mind buying other powder or bullets. in fact, id love to. his powder has been sitting around for a decade or more. not looking for top of the line top dollar stuff.

any load recommendations would be great. a starting point. im sure there is more info you need that im not thinking of.

gun is a 24" bergara b-14 ridge if that matters.
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Old October 10, 2019, 12:31 PM   #2
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One thing you didn't include is whether your B-14 prefers light or heavier bullets.
I expected my .30-06 to prefer light bullets like your 150s but after trying different weights, I found that it shot better with heavier bullets from 175 to 200 grains.
Also it likes powders liked IMR4350 or H4350. I think H4350 is a slightly better choice because it is temperature insensitive and IMR4350 is not. Since temperatures can vary so much during hunting season, I am more comfortable with a powder that will perform just about the same in temperature swings of 40 degrees or more.

You won't know what works best in your particular rifle until you try some variations.
I have two almost identical rifles in .308 and one shoots lighter bullets better and the other shoots heavier bullets better. You just can't be sure until you measure the results.
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Old October 10, 2019, 12:33 PM   #3
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Like above.

I am trying to untangle things a bit but my take is you want more accurate ammo.

The only way to do that is to start a load sequence. There are a lot of system out there.

Your biggest issue is that one of the keys is how long or should the speficiat bullet you are going to use like to be in regards to the lands on the rifle (you don't ever want it in the lands to where it sticks in the lands)

The only way you find that out is testing loads. I know where my Nossler 175 Match (I do't hung) l like so I can load fewer.

What I do if I know what it like is to load 10 rounds, staring say with IMR 4350 (watch it, there is a Hogdens 4350 as well and a different load chart) and start at 49.4 gr. 10 more at 49.8.

That is a 4/10 gr between bullet groups jump. As the range is not that long I am happy starting with the listed 2500 fpm loads. I just want accurate not very lowest bullet drop.

You can do 3/10 but that is so close your scale can overlap. I may miss (what we call an accuracy node) but it will show promise, possibly say both 53.8 and 54.1.

Then I can load more of both and play with how long the bullets are seated, or go for in between and do the same thing.

Nothing wrong with the 150 gr Sierra Spitzer and as long as the power is not discolored (should be some shade of gray/black) and does not have an ammonia smell (you don't list you are area so its hard to tell, high heat will break down powder)

Frankly, its a lot easier to load it yourself as you control the whole process and aren't trying to figure out what your dad is doing and if its to the standards you have set.

Its not that he will do it deliberately. but drift is alwyas an issue.

Ironic was I quite reloading years back when I found factory was as good as anything I could load up for my gun. Hmm, why bother for 10 rounds a years (most sight in confirmation) one to shoot the animal.

Your basis for 400 yards should be 1.5 inches. At 400 yards that 6 inches off (still ok)

But 2 inches and you are now 8 inches off.

Thanks for the gun data, that can matter as some guns are hopeless accuracy wise and best for 100 yards. Bagara seems to be a nice rifle and good accuracy possible.

I suspect it should be good for 1 inch at 100 with the right loads but those right loads take a lot of work.

4350 no matter what make is a good 30-06 powder.
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Old October 10, 2019, 12:34 PM   #4
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Remington 150's run at a MV of ~ 2910 FPS. IMR4350 Max loads are a bit faster than that. The Lyman manual has what they call 'Factory equivalent' loads too. Not all manuals have it though. And it'd be a 'close counts' thing. It will not guarantee accuracy out of your rifle. What you need to do is work up the load for accuracy out of your rifle.
"...400 yards..." Nearly every 150 grain bullet drops like a brick past 300 yards when sighted in at 200. Think in terms of a drop of about 16" between 300 and 400 with barely enough remaining energy.
However, as an 'incasea'(that's "in case" you get off hunting and find you let your ammo on the kitchen table.) thing, buying a box of factory and shooting it will tell you where your rifle shoots it. Not a bad thing to know.
Mind you, the .30-06 loves 165 grain bullets. A 165 will kill any game you care to hunt. Big bears included. And IMR4064 is your friend.
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Old October 10, 2019, 02:23 PM   #5
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im actually not even sure what weight bullets my gun prefers. ive only shot 150 out of it. his reloads, and off the shelf green box.

yes, my goal is to improve accuracy.

seems overwhelming. hopefully i can find somewhere to start. at $30 per 1lb tub of powder, and $30 for 100 bullets, i dont really want to buy 3 kinds of each. id just like to get down to somewhere close to 1moa. the green box is giving me something like 3, which is abysmal. would the better route to take be to buy a couple boxes of higher quality off the shelf ammo? 150, 165, and 180. and see which shoots best?
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Old October 10, 2019, 03:00 PM   #6
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Only if that is what you want to shoot with.

As 4350 is a go to powder for 30-06, its not a bad place to start.

Yes it can be overwhelming. There is no magic pat answer. mfgs put out ammo that is in the best zone they can figure for all guns (given the different mfgs and even types withing the mfgs, its impossible to get a good one for all)

You have a foreign rifle which is fine, but the throat may be a bit longer than normal (or a lot, Sako is famous for it) and standard US fare may well not like that.

You can either live with it or you can start down the road to confusion - nothing simple about it despite what is on the surface (anyone can load ammo, accurate ammo is like a different country)

Along with the techniques and leaning them for to accurate ammo, you have to come up with a rigorous testing process. Clearly what works for your dad is not working for you .

So the choice is to live with the situation or accept its a lot of work to get where you want to go.

My brother had me go down with him to shoot the family Sako 270 as his factory loads were all over the place (as much as 2.5 inches at 100) - back when we were kids it was a tack driver though we never did 100 yard bench tests)

I had years of target loading behind me, so I went with IMR 4350 (which I had) and 150 grain hunting bullets (flat base and lead tip) which I had and checked the chamber.

Now he could care less about velocity, he wanted accuracy so I start at mid range loads and ran groups on up to upper mid and loaded them longer.

The upshot was I guessed pretty well and got some decent loads, then I narrowed it down in the ones that looked best and change the over all length and came up with a tad under 1 MOA.

I have a Sako 30-06 I have yet to get to shoot even 1.5 inch groups. Sako made good gun (Finnbears in both cases) so I think it will and have not gone to the matt on it yet.

You can add in gun cleaning is a factor (and was part of the 270 issue). Hoppes does not do it. I use Carbon Killer 2000 and I clean at the range. That gets carbon out.

How much was the carbon build up in the 270 (first year so we go back to 1960) I don't know. But it took a lot of work to get the carbon out and there is nothing better at it than Carbon Killer 2000.

Some guns are sensitive to build up, some don't care. A good barrel tends to care.

The only way you find out any of it is by experimenting and its not a fast nor easy process.

You have to decide which way you want to go, but like all things worthwhile, there are no shortcuts or pat answers.

Its not just a bullet weight, its the bullet mfg and what shape it is.

If you are hunting then you want hunting bullets not target bullets.

So yes, to test, you need powder and you will go through pounds of it ans you need bullets.

Start with a known powder (4350 is good) and your 150s and you have to run the load range and see if anything looks good.

If not then a 168, 178/180. But you may also be running into using a different COAL than the reloads manual says for your rifle so you need to know the COAL for that bullet in your chamber to have an idea of where to start.

You can use standard, but knowing tells you about the rifle and what it might like length wise.
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Old October 10, 2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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do you think a good starting point that will likely get me closer to 1moa than where i am would be to get something other than the IMR4350, and a box of different bullets than what we have. i was thinking 165gr boattail softpoints.

then play with different combo's of bullets/powder and charges. see if any of them get me close and then go from there?

Last edited by idigg; October 11, 2019 at 07:59 AM.
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Old October 10, 2019, 07:07 PM   #8
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Most any 30-06 should be fine with any 150-180 gr bullet.

Pick a lower end load here to start with and go hunting tomorrow. The powder you have is fine and I'd use it up first. I have a preference for H4350 simply because it is more resistant to temperature changes than other powders. But as far as accuracy and potential velocity I find H4350 identical to IMR4350.

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/rifle


Most factory 30-06 loads are about the same speed as factory 308 speeds. One of the above loads on the lower end of the middle should be perfectly safe and get you close to factory speeds. Expect closer to 2800 fps with most factory loads and 150's. The premium loads may actually be closer to 3000 fps.

When you have time to experiment you may find that you want to try different bullets, bullet weights and you can safely get a lot more speed with handloads as well as better accuracy.
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Old October 10, 2019, 08:21 PM   #9
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You say you want to load some rounds equal to off the shelf ammo.

The first thing you should do is get some off the shelf ammo and chronograph at least half the box to get some indication as to what the rounds are actually doing.

It is traditional for ammo manufacturers to fudge quite a bit with their publications of performance.

Are they shooting it out of a Ruger, Winchester, Remington, and so on bolt action rifle? Probably not, so the stats can be quite different than what you actually get at the range.
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Old October 11, 2019, 07:07 AM   #10
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If I were loading 165 grn Sierra SBT'S using IMR 4350, I'd start at 50 grns and work my way up in .5 grn increments watching for pressure,.
I did this with my 03a3 sporterized and got to 56.5 grns with barely a flat primer to show but shoots less than MOA,. Sierra's manual says start at 47 and 56 is Max, but I don't get pressure just .5 over,
I did sight my rifle in at 100 yds, at 2.5 inches high.
This should be good to 300.
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Old October 11, 2019, 08:04 AM   #11
idigg
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Quote:
Most any 30-06 should be fine with any 150-180 gr bullet.

Pick a lower end load here to start with and go hunting tomorrow. The powder you have is fine and I'd use it up first. I have a preference for H4350 simply because it is more resistant to temperature changes than other powders. But as far as accuracy and potential velocity I find H4350 identical to IMR4350.

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/rifle


Most factory 30-06 loads are about the same speed as factory 308 speeds. One of the above loads on the lower end of the middle should be perfectly safe and get you close to factory speeds. Expect closer to 2800 fps with most factory loads and 150's. The premium loads may actually be closer to 3000 fps.

When you have time to experiment you may find that you want to try different bullets, bullet weights and you can safely get a lot more speed with handloads as well as better accuracy.
the more i think about it, the more i want to abandon the similar to factory ammo thing. i now have a vortex viper hst with exposed turrets, so i could zero it with my hand loads, and then note what i need to turn it to for remington core-loc in an emergency.

so if that changes your suggestions, lmk. so the max on the imr4350 isnt that much more than factory ammo. that seems limiting? would you say keep the imr 4350 and the bullets we have as well, and just try to work through that? or should i get myself a different bullet option too? we have a brand new lb of imr4350 that will last us forever. especially if i dont use it, as his 30-06 rarely gets used.

Last edited by idigg; October 11, 2019 at 08:23 AM.
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Old October 11, 2019, 08:05 AM   #12
idigg
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Quote:
You say you want to load some rounds equal to off the shelf ammo.

The first thing you should do is get some off the shelf ammo and chronograph at least half the box to get some indication as to what the rounds are actually doing.

It is traditional for ammo manufacturers to fudge quite a bit with their publications of performance.

Are they shooting it out of a Ruger, Winchester, Remington, and so on bolt action rifle? Probably not, so the stats can be quite different than what you actually get at the range.
im actually abandoning the similar to factory ammo thing for reasons mentioned above. its just too constricting for no reason. i dont have a chronograph and dont plan on investing that much money into this endeavour.
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Old October 11, 2019, 08:10 AM   #13
idigg
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If I were loading 165 grn Sierra SBT'S using IMR 4350, I'd start at 50 grns and work my way up in .5 grn increments watching for pressure,.
forgive my ignorance, but what does watching for pressure mean?
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Old October 11, 2019, 08:42 AM   #14
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forgive my ignorance, but what does watching for pressure mean?
It means that you load several rounds in small increments of increasing powder charge. When you shoot it to test for accuracy and pressure you check very carefully for signs that the load is too high. As pressure increases the primer becomes flatter. Craters can form around the firing pin mark on the primer. Extraction of the spent case gets more difficult. And marks start to show on the case head from the pressure inside the chamber pushing it against the bolt face.

If you have a loading manual, read the how to section. If you don't have one, I strongly recommend getting one. Speer, Hornady, Nosler and Lyman are some that I have read. They all explain this very well with photos and in depth explanation.
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Old October 11, 2019, 09:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
It means that you load several rounds in small increments of increasing powder charge. When you shoot it to test for accuracy and pressure you check very carefully for signs that the load is too high. As pressure increases the primer becomes flatter. Craters can form around the firing pin mark on the primer. Extraction of the spent case gets more difficult. And marks start to show on the case head from the pressure inside the chamber pushing it against the bolt face.

If you have a loading manual, read the how to section. If you don't have one, I strongly recommend getting one. Speer, Hornady, Nosler and Lyman are some that I have read. They all explain this very well with photos and in depth explanation.
thanks. funny you mention that, my dad is dropping off some stuff at my house this afternoon including his lyman manual. the whole process will be overseen by him, im just trying to learn some stuff before we go into it in case he is stuck in his ways or has any bad habits. additionally, idk what advancements have been made since he started loading in the 70s. for example, he doesn't understand the point of different powders other than he knows he wants a powder with a charge that takes up more than half of the casing so double charges are impossible.
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Old October 11, 2019, 10:06 AM   #16
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There is a list of pressure signs here.
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Old October 12, 2019, 07:07 AM   #17
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If you read back thru the post you can see a reoccurring theme with 150gr bullets and one or the other 4350 powders. It's simply a tried and true combination. Another thing that I didn't see was to make sure your barrel is clean. It does make a difference when working on group sizes.

I've been around the '06 my whole life. I actually started learning how to load with it and my pop a youth. He had me (with his supervision) loading hunting rounds at age 8 because I was so interested in the whole process. Since then I've loaded many hundreds of rounds for it and other calibers. Our goal was simple, accuracy counts, speed don't put meat in the freezer.

My staple load for any of the several '06 rifles I still own all use about the exact charge weights of H-4350 and a 150gr Spitzer soft point. The velocity runs right around 2850'ish on average and if we do our part when the rifle barks it's time to clean something.

Personally I start out with the max functioning length that a round will chamber from the magazine. Sometimes that is determined by the particular bullet. Once that is established, I work up from the low charge in .5gr increments watching for flattened edges on primers as well as group sizes. I also use a Chrony chronograph to check for velocity. I don't expect to see exact numbers as the manuals might have gotten, but I can see a jump between one load and another of 150-200 FPS, which will also indicate pressure is getting up there. Usually a .5gr increment will be a steady rise of around 75-100'ish FPS.

Once in the upper load listing if I feel everything is going well, and my velocity is about where it should be I then work on seating the bullets in .005" increments. Usually within about .025" or so the groups will close right up.

I cannot say that the Chrony is the absolute best chronograph on the market but its certainly better than any WAG of how fast the bullets are traveling. They aren't going to break the bank either. If you plan to do much more than a load or two I highly recommend looking into one. That said I loaded for years without having one and figured my velocity buy doing drop test at 200 thru 400yds and then checking drop tables in loading manuals for the bullets I was loading. It works but it's not nearly as accurate as looking at a number or average of a string of shots then being able to aim or dial in accordingly.
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Old October 12, 2019, 10:02 AM   #18
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My 49th edition of Lyman Reloading Handbook do not list "factory equivalent" loads. It does list "potentially most accurate load" in bold print.
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Old October 12, 2019, 01:20 PM   #19
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"...get me closer to 1moa..." That's more of a gun rag writer myth than anything else. Not all commercial hunting rifles are capable of it for starters. And you do not need it for deer hunting. A consistent 2 or 3 inches at 100 is plenty accurate for deer.
"...something other than the IMR4350..." I'm partial to IMR4064 for .30-06. Keeping in mind that I have no hunting rifles other than my .243. I have an M1 Rifle and a 1903A4 sniper rifle. Both of which love IMR4064. It's one of the favourites of target shooters for .30-06 and .308.
"...wants a powder with a charge that takes up more than half..." Not necessary when you look using one's Mk I eye ball. Oh and read the Lyman manual. Especially the Reference Chapters. There's a great deal of info in there.
"...start at 50 grns..." That'd be 4 grain below current minimum. Probably not enough to matter though.
"...traditional for ammo manufacturers to fudge..." Nonsense. All of 'em in the U.S., load to SAAMI spec. If they "fudged" anything they'd be liable for any damage to any firearm using their products.
"...My 49th edition..." Mine's an older edition. So old it's falling apart(mostly from lugging it around to quite it on these forums. $50Cdn for a new one.) The Accuracy load powder will do nicely though. I've always had good results starting with it.
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