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Old June 17, 2007, 09:49 AM   #1
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.30-06 reloading tips

My wife gave me some dies for my .30-06 for Fathers Day. I've been loading for several handguns to this point but haven't tried for a rifle yet. Besides needing to lube, deburr, trim etc the cases is there anyting else that I need to do differently than for a handgun? Just to double check also I'll need to use .308 bullets too right? Any powder suggestions? Thanks.
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Old June 17, 2007, 09:59 AM   #2
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Yes to the .308 bullets. I've used IMR 4320, 4895, and 4831. I've also used Varget, but I haven't had a chance to go test it at the range yet. You can't go wrong with IMR 4895, that's what they used in WW2 in the M1 round, which was 30-06. Just make sure you lube them before you size them! Good luck!
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Old June 17, 2007, 01:10 PM   #3
k Squared
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30-06 Reloading


If you are using RCBS dies, may I humbly suggest the Hornady Brand RCBS expander assembly. It will significantly reduce the force required to expand the neck of the case after it has been sized. It also saves the hastle of using a lot of lube in the case neck. The link below will take you to the Hornady site.

It would also be helpful to know what type of rifle you will be shooting and what type of shooting you do.

K Squared
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Old June 17, 2007, 01:43 PM   #4
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Welcome to loading the greatest rifle cartridge of all time. This is a splendid caliber for splendid shoulder mounted weapons (and crew-served,etc!). Enjoy!!
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Old June 17, 2007, 03:50 PM   #5
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Winchester 760 powder, Remington 9 1/2 primers, and Speer 150 grains bullets, and you should get one MOA and close to 3,000 FPS!
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Old June 17, 2007, 04:43 PM   #6
Ammo Junky
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150GR and less varget

165gr 57.5 H4350

180gr 54.5 H4350

Works for me.
Good luck
Will work for brass.

I apologise in advance for spelling errors.
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Old June 17, 2007, 06:30 PM   #7
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I'll second using W760 powder. Don't waste your money, use standard bullets like Hornady Interlocks, Remington corelokt, Speer etc. You don't need to crimp the bullets.
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Old June 17, 2007, 07:55 PM   #8
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I'll go along with WW 760 and add IMR 4064 and H 380. I'm using LC 67 military brass and my rifle just loves 760 and H380. Be sure to check case length and overall loaded length and you'll do just fine. No matter how many hot new calibers the factories come out with, the old '06 keeps hammering game year after year.
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Old June 17, 2007, 08:10 PM   #9
T. O'Heir
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The .30-06 loves 165 grain hunting bullets, 168 and 175 grain match bullets with IMR4064. If you have a semi-auto, full length resizing, every time, is required. Neck sizing is ok for a bolt action, but you can't use the brass in any other rifle without full length resizing first. Regular large rifle primers are fine for all rifles.
Read the rifle loading preamble in your manual and you'll be fine.
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Old June 18, 2007, 08:19 PM   #10
Join Date: August 15, 2006
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Thanks for the replys everyone. The rifle I'll be loading for is a Savage bolt action. For now it will be for target practice but by the time this fall rolls around I'll be loading up for deer hunting, the dies my wife gave me are LEE dies. Thanks again for the tips.
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Old June 18, 2007, 11:08 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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A good plinking round to get used to the rifle without undue recoil is 20 to 25 grains of 2400 and almost any El Cheapo bullet you find, jacketed or lead gas-check.

While 4895 allows loading the GI-equivalent, better velocity is achieved with 4064 with 150- to 180-grain bullets. I've recently found that H414 works very well for accuracy with 180-grain bullets. The Hornady book max is still not really max, but it fills the case; 54.0 grains.

One thing that makes life easy is to chamfer the inside of the case necks. Makes seating flat-based bullets much easier.

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Old June 22, 2007, 12:58 PM   #12
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While IMR-4895 is a fair powder for the 30-06, I would be careful with some of the data in some of the manuals. I strongly suspect that the current 4895 as made by IMR may be a lot faster burning than the original Du Pont version. My copy of a circa 1967 Lyman reloading manual shows 46.5 gr. of 4895 (no letter denoting either IMR or H for Hodgden) as the starting load and 51.5 gr. as the maximun load for that powder. I originally worked up to 49.0 gr. with the 150 gr. Sierra Pro-hunter (They didn't call then that back then.) but 49.5 gr. started showing signs of pressure. I don't know what the velocity was, but it sure was a deer killing load. Recently, I loaded up a few to run over my chronograph, just to see what the velocity was. The rifle was the same one that I uswed to originally worked up. The load was way too hot. I broke the rest of the loads down and check weighed them on two scales. They were right on the money. I did a load work up starting with the starting load and went back to the 49.0 gr. load. At 47.0 gr. things started to get sticky and at 47.5 gr., it was time to quit. The reason I mention this at all is that the latest Lyman manual has that exact same 1967 load data which has proved to be way too hot in my rifle.
Which brings me to my final thought. Originally, 4895 was made by Du Pont for the 30-06 ammo for the M-1 Garand. I have lots of sources of information, but none that tell when 4895 was first made. In the 1946 and later American Rifleman Magazine, you could buy surplus 4895 through the DCM. depending on the lot number, it could have a burning rate as fast as IMR-4198 to as slow as IMR-4320. Later, Hodgden bought up the whole pile and blended it into one basic burning rate powder. Du Pont brought it out for the civiliam market and their version was a bit faster than the Hodgden's, but not by much. many considered them interchangable. The Du Pont sold the powder business to IMR. Now the powder seems to be faster burning. I have heard that IMR substituted wood sawdust to make the nitrocellulose, rather than use the more traditional and more expensive cotton linters. Whether or not that's what makes the difference is something I don't know, but I do know that at least in my rifle a load that was once safe is now too hot for the rifle in which it was developed.
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Old June 22, 2007, 01:52 PM   #13
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Domino: You did not state whether you are loading for a semi auto (like a Garand) or a Bolt gun.

I am going to assume it is a bolt gun. If you are loading for a Garand there is much more you need to know.

For all my rifles, I full length resize for function. Partial sizing or neck sizing increases the chance that the case will be too fat or too long which makes the bolt hard to close. Neck sizing is advocated by people who will make unsubstantiated claims about longer case life, better accuracy, etc. Since I have taken brass twenty two reloads in a gas gun, and won matches using it, full length sizing is fine for me.

The set up instructions given with sizing dies assume a lot of things. And seldom following the instructions do you ever get the brass sized to the correct length. If possible you would like to set back the case shoulder about .003” less from its fired length. In no circumstance do you ever want to size it more than .006” as you are likely to get a case head separation on the next firing. There have been instances where I followed the set up instructions and I got a crush fit in the rifle chamber. The sizing die was too long and did not set the shoulder back enough. In those instances I have had to grind material off the bottom of a sizing die to get sufficient case sizing. Just take the instructions that the factory sends with their dies, and toss out the part that tells you to size to the shellholder. Or shellholder plus a ¼ turn. You will find that such guidance is inaccurate at best, rubbish on the average.

To properly size cases to a correct length you will need a new piece of equipment that has not been mentioned: case gages. I really like the Wilson type case gage. You size your round and drop it in the gage. This gage measures the distance between shoulder and base. It is a "go" and "no Go" gage. And it is a true measurement, as I have dropped my chamber headspace gages in my wilson gages and found perfect agreement between them. You want to size your case between “go” and “no go”, and for my rifles, I size everything to gage minimum.

This web site is really useful for showing how to use case gages. I recommend looking at the pictures, and it explains the special case gages needed for the belted cartridges.

The midsection of the Wilson gage is cut big. It only measures headspace. What the Wilson type gage and the other functionally equivalent gages do not measure is "fatness". This is an important measurement for gas guns and should be controlled.

For those who want more sophistication than Wilson case gages, Sinclair makes gages that will measure the fired length of a case, and allow you to set the shoulder back from that dimension. I do have these Sinclair comparometers, found them useful when case gages are not available, but they are more complicated than a “go”, “no- go” gage.
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Old June 22, 2007, 03:02 PM   #14
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He says above that he is loading for a Savage bolt gun. He doesn't have to worry about the pressure curve requirement of the Garand, so he probably now has enough info to get started.
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