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Powder , bullet or both?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Edmon, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Edmon

    Edmon Battle Ground Member

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    I reloaded some 30-06 rounds for a Browning X bolt looking for that load that would match the gun. I used both IMR 4064 and Ball C powder. I loaded 15 rounds from each with powder weight between 46.7 grains and 48.7 grains. The bullets I used were Speer Spitzer BT and Sierra Spitzer in 180 gr.

    Imr 4064 powder Speer Spitzer BT 180 Gr. bullet
    3 rounds 46.7 gr. avg. velocity 2481
    3 rounds 47.2 avg. velocity 2508
    3 rounds 47.7 avg. vel. 2529
    3 rounds 48.2 avg. vel. 2577
    3 rounds 48.7 avg. vel. 2665

    Ball C powder Speer Spitzer BT 180 gr. bullet
    3 rounds 46.5 avg. vel 2421
    3 rounds 47.0 avg. vel. 2465
    3 rounds 47.5 avg. vel. 2501
    3 rounds 48.0 avg. vel. 2512
    3 rounds 48.5 avg. vel. 2553

    Ball C powder Sierra spitzer 180 gr. bullet
    3 rounds 46.6 didn't record vel.
    3 rounds 47.0 avg. vel. 2463
    3 rounds 47.5 avg. vel. 2514
    3 rounds 48.0 avg. vel. 2565
    3 rounds 48.5 avg. vel. 2542

    Shot 1 round from load 1 then 1 from load 2 at different target then 1 from load 3 at different target ect. until all 15 loads were fired. waited between 2-3 minutes before each shot for barrel to cool. After 15 rounds cleaned barrel and went to next load. Cases were trimmed to 2.484 and COAL was 3.197. Did not get good groups on any load. At the end of day shot 3 factory loaded 165 grain core-loc and shot the best group. Want to load own because it is fun, cheaper and hopefully i can get better results.

    Sorry this thread is so long. My question is should I try different powder same bullets, different bullets same powder or find a totally new combination? Was thinking about trying 165 gr. bullets but I am not sure they are enough to put an elk down. Will not be shooting farther than 300 yards. Any suggestions?

  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    First thing I would do is pick one bullet and powder then do a Ladder Test. If you follow the Audette method of incremental load development you only need one cartridge per "load". Shoot at the longest practical distance using the SAME aim point for each load. When done you will have a vertical spread of hits but some will be closer together than others. The ones that tend to stick together are the loads that you should explore further.

    I then load 5 per "promising load" and shoot all 5 of each load with a cool off between each batch.

    Each of the bullets you've used are good for this caliber, it's just a matter of finding a load matches the accuracy node of your barrel. My old 1903 seems to prefer a stout load of 4064 with the 165 gr bullets. It also does well with a 220 gr JSP. Nothing in between.

    BTW, is the barrel free floated? Fully Bedded? Pressure Bedded? My rifle which has a sporter profile barrel is bedded to just ahead of the chamber and is very consistent, hot or cold.

    The 165 might be a little light for elk but with the right bullet it could do the job inside of 300 yards. Shot placement will be important.