Testing 30-06 reloads today

Discussion in 'Reloading Talk' started by Arkie74, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    I've started my journey to find a more accurate load for a Wyoming Muley hunt I have planned for October. I've reloaded for this rifle in the past and settled with hornady 165 btsp and a moderate load of imr 4350. Has been a good load and I've killed several deer with it, including a few Wyoming Muleys. I've held 1" to 1.5" groups with that load (with an occasional .75-.8) and that's worked fine for my hunting as I mostly hunt in Arkansas woods with an occasional Western trip.

    Bought 2 boxes of 165 accubonds and loaded up 5 different powder charges 4 loads each of imr 4350 to test today. As I've seen a few 300-350 yard shots in Wyoming, and have been Leary of them, I'm gonna work up a few loads, find the best one, and then do some 300 yard practice.

    In truth, my first loads are just fine for this, but I enjoy tinkering a bit. This'll be fun! Wish me luck.
     
  2. peteo

    peteo Member

    Messages:
    333
    State:
    Springfield, Il
    That is the fun stuff. Enjoy your testing and good luck!
     

  3. J_Carter

    J_Carter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,218
    State:
    Va.
    Take pics of your groups with your load combos....I'd like to see if there is much difference
     
  4. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    I shoot accubonds from my 264 WM and 280 Rem..Outstanding accuracy and on game performance is spectacular! I worked with my brothers 30-06 for his Africa trip and we settled on 57.5 grains of 4350 and 165 gr accubonds seated .030 off the lands...Absolute tack driver in his bone stock savage 11..Three holes you could cover with a dime @ 100 yards...Not sure of the velocity but it was a very flat shooting load out to 400 yards....And the Kudu, Wildebeest, and impala all were one shot kills and total pass-through on the impala and wildebeest. And he took some crap from the guys with the high dollar Blaser's for his cheap savage, and "light weight" 165 bullets, but the proof is in the pudding!! LOL
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    Howard, that exact load performed best today. I'm gonna tweak it a bit and test again but right now I'm at 57.5 and .030 off lands. I'll post pics when I'm back to my computer.
     
  6. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    BTW, my experience is that the Accubonds do favor between a .020 to .030 jump.
     
  7. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    Cool! What's the odds? He uses that same for load for whitetail and black bear and they don't know what hit them...And he hit a black bear square through both front shoulders @ 25 yards and the AB held together and exited with about a 1" hole...They are the reason I dusted off my reloading equipment..I had bad experiences with some boxed cup and core bullets, I tried Nosler custom with AB's and fell in love, but couldn't keep coughing up $57 for twenty cartridges in the 264 WM...
     
  8. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    Here's the data and the pics

    Fired from a Weatherby Vanguard, .030 headspace, IMR 4350, 165 Nosler Accubonds. Scope is a Leopold VX-3 at 9 power. 10 mph variable wind at 100 yards. Shot from a dead sled.

    First pic has 5 targets.
    Top left was 56.5 grains.
    Top Right 56.8 grains.
    Bottom Left 57 grains.
    Bottom Right 57.2 grains.
    Center Target 57.5 grains.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Next pic is the best group at 57.5 grains.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    I think I'm a little limited by the 9 power scope as far as group size goes, but this is the scope I prefer for hunting. Ill try to tighten up the 57.5 grain load a bit, but I can't complain too much about that group at a bit over an inch - 1.5 or so. I still don't see any pressure signs, so I might try a few more at tenth grain intervals to see if that helps as well, but so far the 57.5 grain is the winner.
     
  9. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    You're correct a 9x can be a little limiting when striving for the tighest groups at 100+ yards. Not that there is anything wrong with a 9x, it's what I use on all my rifles. When we were working up the load, once we got about 1" groups, we found playing with seating depth really tightened the groups more than adjusting the charge.
     
  10. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    Yeah, I agree about the scopes. I really don't care for the great big scopes. All of mine are 2-7x or 3-9x. I plan to play around just a tad over 57.5 grains (my other 165 load shot best at 57.9, but with a different bullet), and watch for pressure signs. Once I'm sure I have the right load, I'll play with seating depth a bit. I can't get much closer than .030 though as this rifle seems to have a really long chamber. I tried to start at .015 and had trouble with the magazine length and feeding. If I can get that group down to about .75 - 1 inch with this setup, I'll be happy with that for this season.

    For anyone reading this, the Nosler data on this load does show 57 grains as max. A few other sources show 60 grains max, but with different bullets (typically sierra). I'm going real slow from here on out just in case.
     
  11. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    A lot of folks set them back as much as .050 to .100...Nosler recommends about .020 but the guys out there shooting them swear by around .070 as the sweet spot. I've just never found that I really need to invest that much in powder and bullets trying to get a hunting rifle to put them through the same hole every time..I like the most accuracy I can get, but I'm very happy if I achieve .75 groups..That's way more accurate than I'll ever need in the woods, around here anyways, where a long shot is 200 yards. Probably 80% of my kills have been 20-75 yards. And you're right, pushing the book recommended max needs to be done with caution, but I've pushed the max more than a few times by going up very slowly, reading the chrono, and looking for pressure signs. Usually, but not always, I can safely exceed the book max by a few grains, but often I don't need to, groups tend to start to open back up after I pass the "Goldilocks" point. I found this very true with my 280 rem, most book loads were on the mild side because the cartridge was first developed to be shot in old Rem semi auto's so they kept the pressures down. Anyway, I didn't mean to get off on a tangent...Looks to me like you've got a great load there already and even if you can't improve on it, I'd say you're good for 300 yards.
     
  12. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    Howard,

    I was doing most of my typing on my phone and couldn't see the pics earlier. Man the good ole 30-06 works for about anything huh? Great post and great pics. I'm gonna load up a few more tonight and try again later this week.
     
  13. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    You're probably right and I should quit tinkering now that I have found a decent load, but I sure do enjoy the tinkering. I loaded another dozen rounds tonight and will test one more time, then settle on one. My chrony is no longer functioning but I don't care too much about velocity once a certain point is reached. Beyond 2750-2800 or so I call it good with this caliber.

    Here in the Ozarks I hunt with one of my lever guns as a long shot is about 75 yards, like you. Out west though, I take the 06 and like to know I can reach out there a bit. I missed a dandy Mulie 3 years ago and blame part of it on not having the right rifle. I can shoot my lever guns into some tight spots around here but at 225 it was tough to get steady when the adrenalin got going.
     
  14. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    Have you tried Ramshot Hunter? It showed a lot of promise in his '06 but didn't have time to work with it much..
     
  15. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    I haven't but I've heard good things about that powder.

    I was planning to test a few more loads today, still with IMR 4350, but it appears its going to rain me out. If I can put together another decent group with 4350 I'll likely stick with that for this particular hunt. We leave on October 11th and I don't get much range time, so if I can get 1" groups or something close, I'd like to spend the rest of my range visits seeing how this load performs at different distances, etc. I'm getting the fever. Is it bad that I don't leave for my hunt for 6 weeks, but have already started packing?
     
  16. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    Nope, never too early..I just had my backpack out going through it the other day. Well if you can hold a 1" group, I'm telling you now. Anything you smack with a 165 gr accubond from an '06 is going down fast. My brother proved that with some pretty big/tough critters in Africa. even if you can squeeze out a little more speed, I doubt 30-40 extra fps will make much difference with terminal performance...But I do the same thing, if there's a few fps left on the table, I try to squeeze them in..Although that can lead to premature throat erosion, especially in overbores like my 264 wm.
     
  17. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    Yeah I'm not gonna push it too much. Based on what I see I've loaded up a few more within .4 grains of where I stopped. I'll shoot those and then pick one. Might have time to play with seating depth after that but I'm ok with my load if not. Shot a doe with a 165 hornady last year at 125 or so and she fell right there. Legs buckled. Tried to stretch the distance too much with my buck and didn't get that same drop. Still recovered the buck but I will choose my range more wisely in the future. For what it's worth, a hornady 165 interlock still does a lot of damage at well over 300 yards. I just didn't hit where I intended. My fault for taking that shot. Last day of a 3000 mile hunt will make a person make decisions they shouldn't.
     
  18. Arkie74

    Arkie74 Member

    Messages:
    125
    State:
    Fay. Arkansas
    Update for anyone still interested.

    Went back to the range today. 57.5 grains shot about the same as the best group last time but a bit larger group than last time. Expected that since I swabbed my barrel after the last trip. 57.6 tightened up a bit. 57.7 was the best group I've shot so far.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Went up to 57.9 grains but everything above 57.7 started opening up again. I'm gonna stick with this load for my upcoming hunt. Might tweak it later with seating depth just for fun, but I can't complain about where I'm at right now. Plenty good enough for a deer hunt.
     
  19. hct236

    hct236 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,837
    State:
    virginia
    Yep, looks to me like you found the "Goldilocks" spot at 57.7gr and you're plenty good enough for hunting..If you wanted to you could take that 57.7 and play around with the seating depth and might pull it in a little more. Or even try a magnum primer. But I would probably leave it where it is for hunting purposes.
     
  20. TAC81

    TAC81 Member

    Messages:
    188
    State:
    NWKS
    Name:
    Troy
    If it was me I would be looking for a little more optical power. 9x is going to limit you more than the load at this point. I've lived in Kansas my whole life and hunt mulies every year. I've found that the more scope, the better. You can't be over-scoped in my opinion. Not out here anyways.