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hunting with 30.06, best round?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Kevinkris, May 23, 2013.

  1. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    so i got my hands on a decent 30.06 today and i plan to get into hunting this year. now i realize i made a thread a couple weeks ago talking about likely hunting small game, well this rifle rules that out. now i will be seeking deer or elk because they dont bite i guess :paranoid:, i hope.

    now for the can of worms, does anyone have a recommendation on the type of round i should use? i dont suppose this needs to be a lengthy thread, i just want a round that wont make the animal suffer more than it has to. i know that using FMJ is cheap but im willing to spend a bit more for the sake of the animal, if thats not a good round for hunting.
     
  2. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    180 grn Remington core lokts have put a lot of game on the table over the years and will be as available as any once this nonsence clears up
     
  3. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I think it's illegal to use FMJ for hunting in Oregon (see Page 30)

    I'll also be curious to see what others recommend. I just got a 30.06 and picked up some 180 gr Federal blue-box and Fusion (which I think is also made by Federal). Both soft-points.
     
  4. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    im glad you posted that link, i havnt seen that yet. good to know i cant use it instead of going out there and committing a crime by mistake.
     
  5. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    also that round seems to cost only a little change more than FMJ anyway. seems like it will be a great round.

    thanks guys.
     
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  6. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    I would agree with sheepdip, a good 180 gr bullet will do a great job on elk, and the 30-06 pushes it at a good enough velocity to give you about 280 yards point blank range. The is farther than most folks have the skill to shoot, so it saves a bunch of ammo sighting for different loads. I use a 180 gr nosler partition, and I reload, so it is not too expensive to shoot those. Are you a reloader?
     
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  7. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    no i dont reload. i think i may do that some time in the future but my budget keeps me from being able to at this time. as far as the 280 yards thing, the only deer ive ever killed was at 400 yards with a 270 :thumbup:. my grampa said it was luck but i hit right where i intended to. i think i made him jealous because it was his rifle.:laugh:
     
  8. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    Yeah, that is a heck of a shot. You have quite a bit of drop out there. Good luck with your new gun, it will reach out almost as far as that 270, and have more poop when it gets there.
     
  9. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    yea i dont know if i will be able to sight the scope as well as he could do it but ill see when i get a chance to get outside with it. definitely looking forward to making some noise with it.
     
  10. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have hunted with a 30-06 since 1980. I use a 130 grain Sierra hollow point for Antelope and small game like coyotes. I use a 150 grain slug either a Hornday Spire point or Nosler Ballistic tip for deer both western blacktail and Mulies. I use a 180 grain round nose for Elk in brush and a 180gr Nosler Ballistic tip in open country. For Bear I like a 200-220 grain round nose as my bear hunting is short range Western Oregon stuff.
     
  11. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    So, do you need to re-sight-in your gun before each hunt?
     
  12. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    180 when I was young for elk and 165 for deer. It is usually available in my recent ammo shopping experience, but usually only 1-2 boxes of each on the shelves.

    Brutus Out.
     
  13. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Is there any reason you can't use 180 grain for everything? What's the downside of using this for deer?
     
  14. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    No by adjusting velocity I can shoot a 3" group at 100 yards with all three. Since I know the 130gr prints at the top of the group and the 180 prints at the bottom I can easily Kentucky windage for a 1.5" group at 100-200 yards. Same deal as my muzzle loader I might shoot it anywhere from 25 yards to 150 yards all with the same load and fixed sights but by knowing the bullets path I hold over for the range I'm shooting.

    Also since hunting antelope is a once every 7-8 years kind of thing Of course I would sight the rifle in prior to going on the hunt. I shoot my 30-06 pretty regular so its always being tuned.

    My Gun Club is only 20 min from home and on the way home from work so sighting it in is just more fun.
     
  15. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

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    The best round for hunting in your 30-06 will be the most accurate round in your 30-06. It is up to you to find out which that is, as different rifles prefer different loads. For deer, any 150, 165 or 180 gr bullet will do the job if put in the right place (as long as it is a legal hunting bullet). If you are talking factory ammo, I suggest trying to find some Federal Power Shok (Blue Box) or Remington Core Lokt on sale. Some people will say you need a premium bullet for hunting, but the 30-06 has been taking game with standard cup and core bullets for over a century. If you want to spend a little more, I have heard very good reports on the accuracy of Federal Fusion loads and it does have a bonded bullet that is supposed to perform very well on game. I have shot Fusions in different cartridges and have been impressed with their accuracy. I confess that my limited experience with medium game has all been with handloads, so I am not an expert on factory ammo performance on game. If I were in your shoes, I would grab some Federal Blue Box in 150 gr soft point and 180 gr soft point and see if your rifle likes them. If they shoot well, you should be good to go. IF they don't group well, try some Remington or Winchester or the Federal Fusions. Chances are your rifle will prefer one of them. Good Luck.
     
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  16. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I too am a life long .30-06 fan. I own 3 and I've owned 3 others. I reload. When you're young and excitable and everything is a learning experience and fun....Knock yourself out and try every bullet weight and powder combo....change it up a lot ! You'll learn much. When you're older and have learned a couple things...it's all about simplicity and cost. I use 180 gr. 30.06 on everything. There is no downside to using it on deer except that you won't ruin as much meat as you might with lighter bullets at higher velocity. 180 gr. won't shoot as flat as a lighter bullet....but who really cares ? It shoots flat enough for most and trajectory is a given that can be comped for. I cannot speak for all the deer/elk snipers who shoot 500 to 1200 yds. They know a lot more about the science at extreme ranges but for normal people....there is no sense in usng much else unless you're just playing.
     
  17. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    lots of insight from you guys. ill have to experiment i guess. first and foremost ill have to get it to the range and sight my scope in, then see what i can scrape out of my budget to try a few different kinds. thanks for the help guys.
     
  18. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    My bullets were checked once to make sure they were soft points while i was hunting. Of corse i was legal and was using soft points but its proof they do check.

    Personally my all around favorite 30.06 bullet is the 180 gr. good for both deer and elk.
     
  19. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Yes, 180 gr in a .30-06 will work for everything. I use mostly Remington PSP (Pointed Soft Point) Core-Lokt, but last year I tried the Fusion rounds and they performed well. I hunt some high desert ranches where the wheat fields are broken up by lava fingers and canyons, with juniper and sage brush. You'd think I'd get mostly long shots, but of my 5 deer in the last 7 years all have been about 100 yards or a little less. Last year, using the Fusion 180 gr rounds I hit a muley dead center, off hand at 100 yards and he died after running 50 feet. It made me a believer.

    deer2012-2.jpg

    I haven't seen any silver tip ammo in a few years, but my dad used to favor it. I'd probably use it if I could find it somewhere.
     
  20. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    See everyone has an opinion. And like bench racing, bench hunting tends to bring out differences in opinions likes and dislikes. I got no problem with a one size fits all type of hunter. Personally I fall into the I been reloading for 40+ years and over the years I have developed loads I like for various things...

    Some guys wouldn't have a 22-250 a .243 and a 30-06 (and about to build a .35 Whelen) to hunt with. But I like Firearms I got a bunch I try to find something to do with all of them,

    The OP's choice of a 30-06 as a hunting rifle in my opinion could not be bettered if he's only going to have one hunting rifle. 105 years as a favorite hunting round that's available in every mom and pop gas station/gunshop/variety/hardware store in the country says a lot about what the hunting public at large says about it.

    I got 4