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Reloading The .30-06 Rifle



photos © MDS - 2009

Left to right:--170 gr FN -- 180 gr RN -- 220 gr RN -- 30-06 with 180 gr RN
-- 30-06 Military FMJ -- 180 gr SP -- 150 gr SP - Plus 2 lead 155 gr & 165 gr RNFP for plinking



(FN=Flat Nose, SP= Spire Point,
HP= Hollow Point, RN= Round Nose)
JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point, FMJ=Full Metal Jacket)

Loads for .30-06 Rifle: * SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM ABOUT TRAIL BOSS FOR REDUCED LOADS

(Note: These are near maximum loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet is .308" diameter. Lead bullets may be .309" or 3095" Due to different barrel lengths, type of bullet, seating depth, primer type and other factors, you may not get near the FPS charted. It is just a guide and the reason you should start under these charges and work up.
----------------------------------------
100 grain Plinker (Cup Jacket with lead nose)
    IMR 4895     56.0 gr.   3,276 FPS
    IMR 3031     48.0 gr.   3,017
    Reloader 11  50.0 gr.   3,154
    2400         31.0 gr.   2,825
    Trail Boss   14.5 gr.   1,716  Hi=1756, Lo=1583, ES=172 (very mild)
-----------------------------------------
110 grain Plated lead RN  bullet
    Trail Boss   14.5 gr.   1,718  Hi=1765, Lo=1625, ES=140
-----------------------------------------
110 grain JSP (Hornady Jacketed Spire Point)
    IMR 4895     54.5 gr.   3,265 FPS
    IMR 4895     56.0 gr.   3,303 
    IMR 4895     59.8 gr.   3,505 max
    H-4895       51.0 gr.   3,155
    H-4895       57.0 gr.   3,431 max
    H-4895       54.0 gr.   3,343
    IMR 3031     56.0 gr.   3,365
    Reloader 7   45.0 gr.   3,145
    Reloader 15  58.6 gr.   3,465
    2400         30.9 gr.   2,715
    H380         58.0 gr.   3,311
    A2230        57.0 gr.   3,385
    A2460        58.5 gr.   3,421
    748          52.7 gr.   3,230
    760          59.0 gr.   3,210
    IMR-4064     55.0 gr.   3,263 start
    IMR-4064     58.5 gr.   3.453 max
    IMR-3031     51.0 gr.   3,252
    IMR-3031     54.9 gr.   3,471 max
-----------------------------------------
125 grain JSP (Sierra Spitzer Point)
    Unique       15.9 gr.   1,866 Reduced velocity plinking load
    IMR 4895     53.0 gr.   3,176 FPS
    IMR 4895     53.0 gr.   3,137
    IMR 4895     57.2 gr.   3,331 max
    IMR 3031     49.0 gr.   3,091
    IMR 3031     52.8 gr.   3,298 max
    IMR 4064     53.0 gr.   3,129
    IMR 4064     56.5 gr.   3,334 max
    H-4895       48.0 gr.   2,977
    H-4895       53.7 gr.   3,229 max
    H-4895       53.0 gr.   3,176
    Reloader 7   42.0 gr.   2,915
    Reloader 15  56.8 gr.   3,275
    2400         30.0 gr.   2,575
    H380         56.0 gr.   3,151
    A2230        53.3 gr.   3,172
    A2460        53.5 gr.   3,125
    748          51.0 gr.   3,060
    760          57.8 gr.   3,125
-----------------------------------------
150 grain ( Berry's Plated RNFP bullet)
    Trail Boss   16.1 gr.   1,570  Hi=1599, Lo=1520, ES=78   
    Trail Boss   14.5 gr.   1,424  Hi=1490, Lo=1345, ES=146
    Trail Boss   16.0 gr.   1,550  Hi=1576, Lo=1500, ES=76
    IMR 4895     42.5 gr.   2,506  Hi=2527, Lo=2470, ES=57
-----------------------------------------
150 grain JSP (Spitzer or Spire Point)
    Trail Boss   13.3 gr.   1,061 (from Hodgdon)
    Trail Boss   19.0 gr.   1,477 max (mild loads)
    Trail Boss   14.5 gr.   1,392 Hi=1454, Lo=1324, ES=130 (Sierra JSP)
    IMR 4895     49.5 gr.   2,845 FPS
    IMR 4895     48.5 gr.   2,731 (in bolt action rifle)
      (Hi=2791, Lo=2628, ES 162.9 fps)
    IMR 4895     49.0 gr.   2,856
    IMR 4895     53.0 gr.   3,009 max
    IMR 4895     46.0 gr.   2,638 (Sierra JSP bullet) Hi=2699, Lo=2592, ES=107
    IMR 4064     47.0 gr.   2,743
    IMR 4064     51.0 gr.   2,928 max
    H4895        49.0 gr.   2,932
    H4895        46.0 gr.   2,806
    H4895        51.0 gr.   2,976 max
    IMR 3031     46.7 gr.   2,887 (2007 manual)MAXIMUM
    IMR 3031     43.0 gr.   2,697 start
    2400         29.4 gr.   2,330
    Reloader 7   43.8 gr.   2,780
    Reloader 15  53.6 gr.   3,005
    H380         54.0 gr.   2,921
    A-5744       29.1 gr.   2,155
    A2230        49.4 gr.   2,865
    A2460        49.5 gr.   2,862
    748          48.0 gr.   2,810
    760          54.0 gr.   2,900
    Varget       50.5 gr.   2,975
    Benchmark    49.5 gr.   2,944 (2007 loads)
    H-335        51.5 gr.   2,982
  Factory MIL OLD FMJ - 2,744  Hi=2819, Lo=2739, ES=80 (some didn't fire at all)
  Factory Greek Mil M-2 ammo Avg. 2,809   Hi=2842, Lo=2758, ES=83 Good stuff from CMP
-----------------------------------------
155 grain Lead RNFP plain base (plinking loads, reduced velocity)(Bullet .3095")
    Trail Boss   10.0 gr.   1,256  Hi=1273, Lo=1232, ES=42
    Trail Boss   10.0 gr.   1,267  Hi=1284, Lo=1251, ES=33 (different gun)
    Trail Boss   11.5 gr.   1,365  Hi=1373, Lo=1355, ES=18 (GREAT load)
    Trail Boss   13.0 gr.   1,456  Hi=1478, Lo=1400, ES=78
    Trail Boss   14.5 gr.   1,555  Hi=1561, Lo=1540, ES=28
-----------------------------------------
160 grain LEAD FP or RN  Plinking (may not cycle an auto-loader)
         (use a lead bullet with a Gas Check if you can find one)
    Trail Boss  12.0 gr.  1,036 FPS minimum
    Trail Boss  15.0 gr.  1,365 FPS MAXIMUM (but you can use up to 17 gr.)
  (Sometimes extra trail boss near max does not perform as well, even lower
    velocities and higher Extreme Spread)
-----------------------------------------
165 grain LEAD FP or RN Plain base  Plinking 
    Trail Boss   7.0 gr.    920
    Trail Boss   8.0 gr.  1,009
    Trail Boss   9.0 gr.  1,112
    Trail Boss  10.0 gr.  1,141
    Trail Boss  14.0 gr.  1,344
   (you can use up to 17 grains, but these are fine for plinking and not lead the barrel)
    5744        22.6 gr.  1,644 a bit hot with no GC, use hard cast .309" bullets
-----------------------------------------
165 grain JSP (Spitzer or Spire Point)
    IMR 4895     46.5 gr.   ----- FPS
    IMR 4895     49.0 gr.   2,768
    IMR 4895     52.0 gr.   2,888 max
    IMR 4064     49.0 gr.   2,752
    IMR 4064     52.5 gr.   2,901 max
    H4895        43.0 gr.   2,607
    H4895        47.5 gr.   2,782 max
    IMR 3031     47.0 gr.   2,785
    IMR 3031     45.0 gr.   2,707
    IMR 3031     48.0 gr.   2,825 max
    2400         29.2 gr.   2,295
    Reloader 7   40.5 gr.   2,610
    Reloader 15  50.5 gr.   2,835
    H380         52.0 gr.   2,792
    A2700        55.6 gr.   2,785
    A2230        46.0 gr.   2,663
    A2460        46.7 gr.   2,659
    Varget       50.5 gr.   2,873
    Benchmark    47.7 gr.   2,795
    H335         47.0 gr.   2,749
-----------------------------------------
170 grain Sierra Jacketed Flat Point (use amounts for 165 gr. bullet)
    IMR 4895     46.0 gr.   2,576  Hi=2599, Lo=2533, ES=66
    Trail Boss   14.5 gr.   1,298  Hi=1335m Lo=1189, ES=146
-----------------------------------------
180 grain JSP (Spitzer or Spire Point) or JRN
    IMR 4895     43.5 gr.   2,520 FPS
    IMR 4895     45.0 gr.   2,555
    IMR 4895     48.0 gr.   2,680 (2007 load from manual)(careful with this one)
    Trail Boss   14.5 gr.   1,242 Hi=1262, Lo=1209, ES=53 (RNSP Jacketed bullet)
    H4895        44.0 gr.   2,600
    IMR 3031     44.5 gr.   2,540
    IMR 4064     45.5 gr.   2,550
    IMR 4064     48.7 gr.   2,700 max
    H 4895       41.0 gr.   2,427
    H 4895       46.0 gr.   2,683 max
    2400         28.2 gr.   2,210
    Reloader 7   39.8 gr.   2,505
    Reloader 15  48.5 gr.   2,720
    H380         51.0 gr.   2,702
    H380         48.0 gr.   2,490
    H380         53.0 gr.   2,682 max
    H335         46.0 gr.   2,621
    Varget       47.0 gr.   2,668 max
    Benchmark    46.0 gr.   2,660 max
    A2230        44.0 gr.   2,568
    A2460        45.8 gr.   2,563
    748          45.0 gr.   2,540
    W760         53.0 gr.   2,725
    W760         50.0 gr.   2,528
    W760         55.5 gr.   2,743 max
-----------------------------------------
200 grain JSP (Spitzer or Spire Point) or JRN
    IMR 4895     43.0 gr.   2,445 FPS
    H4895        43.5 gr.   2,421 max
    IMR 3031     44.5 gr.   2,450
    Reloader 12  44.8 gr.   2,440
    Reloader 15  46.0 gr.   2,505
    A2230        43.5 gr.   2,386
    A2460        44.5 gr.   2,429
    WMR          55.7 gr.   2,435
    760          49.0 gr.   2,470
-----------------------------------------
220 Lead cast bullet (reduced velocity)(GC desirable)
    Alliant 2400 23.8 gr.   1,818 
-----------------------------------------
220 grain JSP (Spitzer or Spire Point) or JRN
    IMR 4895     40.5 gr.   2,230 FPS
    IMR 4831     54.0 gr.   2,438 max
    IMR 4831     50.0 gr.   2,275
    H-4831       54.0 gr.   2,342
    H-4831       57.5C gr.  2,448 max (compressed)
    Varget       42.0 gr.   2,279
    Varget       45.0 gr.   2,382 max
    H450*        57.0 gr.   2,423
    IMR 3031     42.5 gr.   2,300
    A2230        42.5 gr.   2,248
    A2460        43.0 gr.   2,268
    WMR          55.7 gr.   2,380
    W760         47.0 gr.   2,215
    W760         52.0 gr.   2,408 max
    W760         49.0 gr.   2,370
* use magnum primers
-----------------------------------------
250 grain Barnes JRN  (.308")
    H 1000       55.0 gr.   2,178
    H 1000       58.0C gr.  2,281 max
    H 4831       50.0 gr.   2,134
    H 4831       52.5C gr.  2,237 max
    H 4350       45.0 gr.   2,060
    H 4350       47.5 gr.   2,156 max
-----------------------------------------
* TRAIL BOSS: This is a very bulky powder originally for cowboy shooting, but it has been found it works pretty darn good in all kinds of reduced velocity loads for rifles, in plain or jacketed bullets. Above I have printed some of my early test. More later. But IMR (Hodgdon) says you can fill the case with trail boss, leaving room for bullet seating, and that's the Maximum load. Back off from whatever that weight is by 70% (multiply by .7) and that is your starting load. For my 155 grain lead bullet that was 18.7 grains for a case full (very bulky) and thus 70% was 13.0 grains. However, I saw other loads even lighter, so I started with 10.0 grains with a 155 grain lead bullet. (see loads above) I was very pleased with the light recoil and consistency and with 11.5 grains there was only a 18 FPS spread of all the shots. Next I will load and post some jacketed bullets, but so far, this is fantastic plinking and training kids and wives for a 30-06.

Discussion: IMR 3031 is a faster burning powder than IMR 4895, so you use less of it for similar volocities. I have listed powders of Hodgdon, Alliant and Accurate also. Use which ever you have handy. Slow burning powders generally work better in longer barrels and heavier bullets. 30-06 Cases will stretch, especially with hot loads, and you definitely need to check each in a case length guage and trim off excess brass. Of course, discard any cases that show a split anywhere on the case. For hunting at long distances with an unobstructed view, you should choose the spire point with a soft lead tip. The flat nose bullet is used especially in tubular fed magazines to prevent pressure on the primer in the cartridge above it.

There are a number of other high performance bullets on the market. The "boattail" is a very good long range target match bullet. It has very good wind performance. If you are shooting for precision, you should weight each powder charge and put exactly the same amount in each case. Each case should be exactly on specs and the bullet should not be crimped into the case. (These bullets don't normally have a crimp ring anyhow)

There is still much military ammo on the market, including the red tipped "Tracer" round. There is a blob of red phosphor on the back end of the bullet that burns. You can see the red dot heading for the target. A caution: clean the bore of the gun very good after firing tracer rounds in it.
Another military round is the armor piercing (black tipped) round. It has a hardened steel core inside the copper jacket, and it will penetrate an engine block or moderately heavy steel. If you can find an old junk car somewhere, it's interesting to see just what parts of the car it will penetrate, and how far it will go.

Actually ALL 30 cal. bullets are .308 in diameter.


*
#2400, Reloader 7, 11, 12, and 15 are products of Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
H380, H450 and H4895 are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR 3031 and IMR 4895 are products of IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company.
No. 2, No. 5, #2230, and #2460 are products of Accurate Arms Company
WMR, WSF, WSL, 760, 748, 231 and 540 are products of Winchester, Components Div.


References: Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet - - Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders' Guide (1995) - - Hodgdon's Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) & (2007) - - Speer Reloading Manual, #12 - - Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition - - Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. - - VihtaVuori Oy Company, reloading booklet (1995) - - Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted.

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This page created 12/30/95 by M.D. Smith and last modified on July 14, 2011 ©