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Old January 15, 2013, 02:37 PM   #1
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.30-06 load

I have three .30-06 rifles. Two are extremely accurate and one is not. The accurate rifles are a Browning BBR and a Weatherby V with 165 g Nosler Ballistic Tips and H4350. Of course, they are thick, heavy barrels. The third is a 5.5 lb Remington Titanium with a thin, 'whippy' barrel. I want to carry this one when I climb and hike in the mountains; it feels like I'm carrying a BB gun, but I can't get the groupings I

out of the lighter gun/barrel does anyone have suggestions for: pushing the bullet faster or slower, or using heavier or lighter bullets? Different powder?

I've tried H4350 and 165g BT with charges from 50-59 g of powder with little differences in accuracy. I went down to 150g with no difference.

The BBR is about 9 lbs. with the scope and shoots under 2" groups at 200 yds. But I don't want to hike with it all day. I don't expect the same kind of groups with the lighter rifle, but I'd like to get the most I can, so would like some feedback on what others have found to fly better out of the light barrels.
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Old January 15, 2013, 03:28 PM   #2
William T. Watts
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I would assume the Remington rifle has a 20" barrel, I would further assume you have not tried factory ammunition?? Before I went any further I would try factory ammunition, 2nd a different powder such as IMR4064 which is a good/standard powder for this caliber with many handloaders.. My favorite loading (2) are 165gr Nosler Partition 48.5gr and 49.8gr of IMR4064, CCI LR primer, R-P cases. This combination works well with the older Solid Base Lead Tip projectiles, non the less both loadings are sub MOA out of my 30/06 rifles..

Nosler does not list this powder in their latest loading manual, My manual is the #4, start at 48grs and watch for pressure signs, DO ASSUME WHAT IS A SAFE LOAD IN MY RIFLE WILL BE SAFE IN YOURS. I usually do not share load data, I prefer you find what works well for your rifle.. William

Last edited by William T. Watts; January 15, 2013 at 03:50 PM.
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:33 PM   #3
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My experience with light weight barrels is that the 1st shot is the only one that counts. If the barrel will shoot to point of aim with the 1st shot today, will it impact the same or very close on the next day. Meaning to do a load test the barrel needs to be cold on every shot which could mean a long wait time between shots to check for accuracy. I'd also give IMR 4064 a try and possibly another brand makers bullets. Make sure the stock isn't touching the barrel on the right or left side of the forearm unevenly. Had a stock touching the barrel from warping of the wood and it threw off accuracy and opened up groups from 1/2" to nearly 3".
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:57 PM   #4
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Try IMR 4350 with those pills dude, I have a Savage 111 that digs it with 150 Ballistic Tips. To the tune of 3/4 inch at 100 yds consistantly.
Thanks for coming!
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:01 PM   #5
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I was going to suggest the dollar bill or even the business card test on the stock, too. A card should slip between the barrel and the stock without interference. If there's an intentional vibration node contact point (I think you have a Bell & Carlson Carbelite stock that won't likely have this) in the front, inadequate upward pressure could be an issue, too (the barrel hopping off the points).

Everything recoil related that causes trouble in a heavier rifle will be more likely in a light one. I would check the scope mounts. I would either swap in the scope from another rifle or swap out yours to another rifle to be sure it hasn't shaken loose inside. I would also check that the action screw torque spec is being met, as any slipping in the bedding would be unhelpful.

I would also do as you yourself suggested in the beginning, and that is to check different bullet weights. Every once in awhile you hear of someone with a rifle whose barrel just is not sympathetic with the barrel times typical of a particular bullet weight. I would try both 150's and 180's for this reason, if you can. For a systematic method of finding a best load, take a look at Dan Newberry's site.

Finally, if your bedding and scope are good and you still can't tune a load, you may want to look at some kind of barrel tuner. They will add a few ounces. Also, there is one device that wouldn't add significant weight, and that is an upward barrel tension device whose position can be changed with a set screw to tune the barrel to a load. That's here.
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:49 PM   #6
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What does inaccurate mean?

Frankly, a mountain rifle, due to it's weight is a 0-400yd max gun, so treat it as such. If it will shoot 2"@100yd groups off the bench, it is time to go to the next step of making yourself shoot like that from field positions out to 300-400 yards.

If it weighed more, it might be worth fiddling with, but weight and stock shspe mean too much over 400 yards, IMHO.
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:59 PM   #7
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Unclenick has it right. First look to see what barrel contact there is with the stock. You want absolutely no barrel contact with the possible exception of one pressure point at the front of the forend. Check to see what contact there is. Eliminate all contact that isn't supposed to be there.

With thin barrels, I prefer to sand off the pressure point first and check my groups. Then, I'll experiment with adding it back using folded paper. If it turns out that it does need a forward pressure point, add it back with a drop of epoxy or construction adhesive (allow to fully cure before putting the stock back on).

Also, while you are fooling around with the barrel check the crown. You may have a bad crown and don't know it.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:28 PM   #8
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In a light barrel, I'd use 150s, Sierra or Hornady. I've used 52gr of 4064 in RP or WW cases and CCI200s. In six different rifles, it shoots 5/8-3/4" cloverleaves. All. Day. Long.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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My CZ 550 in .30-06 didn't really shoot accurately until I tried 175 grain bullets with IMR 4350. Then it came into its own.

It also has a hunting barrel which heats up quickly with over 50 grains of powder behind those bullets, so I don't expect to shoot an accurate 5 round group without stopping and waiting between shots. But with a hunting rifle, you only need it to hit where you aim with the first round or at worst with the first two anyway.

I started with 150 grain and 168 grain ammo and was disappointed that it could barely break into the 1 MOA class. I expected more from a CZ since I have a CZ 527 .223 tack driver. But once I tried the 175 and 180 grain bullets, it made me a believer. My best loads to date with Nosler, Berger and Sierra bullets average groups of 0.538, 0.540 and 0.557 respectively and just slightly larger with 180 grain bullets.
So now I have a heavy bullet .30-06 that shoots them accurately and I didn't have to mess with the stock to get it to shoot well.

You might just have a .30-06 that likes heavier bullets.
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Old January 15, 2013, 09:15 PM   #10
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Just for fun, try a 165gr in a flat base bullet. I've always been able to find a group in the '06 with H4350, but some barrels just don't shoot BTs well. Usually best accuracy is in the 57 gr range but work up to it.
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Old January 15, 2013, 09:40 PM   #11
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I dont have the titanium, but I have a 700 S.S. Mountain rifle. It shoots 150 ballistic tips very well. Loads are old and I lost the dope book that had them in it, but it likes the 150 ballistic.

Last edited by reynolds357; January 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM.
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Old January 23, 2013, 12:08 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. The barrel is 22". The crown and bedding are okay. I will try a lighter and heavier bullet.
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