What grain 30-06 for long range

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by marine04, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. marine04

    marine04 New Member

    Got a 30-06 and I want to be able to reach out and touch something 500-800 yards an need to know what grain round would work for this. I am on a budget my kids cost me a bunch of money so less money for higher quality ammo. I was thinking a 150 grain to keep my rounds trajectory a little flatter and keep the velocity up. Am I right or wrong? Any suggestions? Also the rifle is a Remington 710 so I was a little iffy about putting a 200-220 grain round in?
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    Its a little counter intuitive. But slightly heavier bullets with a good design tend to have better ballistic coefficients. Light bullets tend to decelerate faster the further out they go. Golf ball and pingpong balls approximately the same size which go further when thrown with the same force??

    your typical hunting bullet is kinda like a pingpong ball smooth round no special features to help the ballistics in the long run as those things would make it a poor choice for playing pingpong.

    Then you have target grade bullets like hollowpoint boattails which are more like golf balls. Lots of features like the truncated base and hollow tip and more mass much like a golf ball. Makes it terrible for hunting but fantastic for long range accuracy.

    Finding off the shelf ammunition with the characteristics for long range accuracy at a good price... not going to happen. There is pretty much zero market for it. Most people who go after that sort of shooting make their own ammo and will not buy mass manufactured ammunition. However there is some out there. Federal match blackhills and a few others.

    Out of my cheap rcbs single stage press using milsurp brass and cheap russian wolf primers i can turn out more consistant shooting ammunition than anything you get of the shelf.

    I highly recomend looking into taking up reloading. Its not that pricey at today's 30-06 ammo costs its just a few boxes worth for all the basics. Then you can turn out match grade ammo tuned to whatever gun you have for muuuuuch less than store shelf ammo. You also get access to much better bullets for hunting than what you find on the shelf at walmart.

  3. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    Jon is right. It can be supper expensive to get started. But it doesn't have to be. You can buy a cheap press, a seat of dies and a scale for about $100. I have expensive equipment. But I started with a Lee hand press. It cost $26 if I remember right. I make a 150 grain round that will shoot 1 inch groups at 200 yards out of my 770.
  4. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    Does this help.............SIERRA.........The Bulletsmiths........But I may be a little prejudice, being they are made right here, in Sedalia, MO.

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  5. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    First, each weapon is an inanity unto it's own and will react differently with different components.

    This is generalities only, no set laws.
    Heavy bullets will hold energies/velocities better.
    Heavy bullets are harder to get going, normally slower out of the gate.
    Lighter bullets start off faster/easier.
    Lighter bullets drop velocity/energy faster.
    Boat tailed bullets have better ballistics coefficient.
    Better ballistic coefficient bullets hold velocities better.
    Greater velocities, the flatter the trajectory.
    An item (bullet) dropped from your hand will hit the ground at the same time as one fired from your weapon (from the same height, over flat ground).
    Everything in loading is a compromise.

    More pointed data.
    Boat tail bullets don't add much at ranges less than (insert range - 200 yards or 300 or what ever the prevailing view of the person picking the range).
    The general consensus (less people will disagree but many will) is bullet weights of 165 to 180 grains are better for longer shots at 30.06 velocities. 150 grain bullets and less don't carry as well and 220s just don't have the velocities.

    Now, 800 yards is a long way. To shoot longer ranges, you must learn your rifle very well, practice a lot and have very, very consistent ammunition. I'm not going to say that commercial stuff won't do the job, but that quality of stuff is going to run a pretty penny. Load you own, to get the quality you will need to do any good, constantly, at 500 to 800 yards, without breaking the bank. Start loading with cheaper bullets that are close to the same weight of what you will want to do your long shots. When you get your 100 yard grouping down, then move to the better/more expensive bullets and start extending your range, little by little.

    Hope this was of some help.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  6. marine04

    marine04 New Member

    Yeah that all helps. Thanks for the info. I was going to buy some rem core lokt to try them out and see how they shoot. I saw good things online about those rounds for hunting. Those should work for deer since most shots won't be over 100 yards. As for my long range shooting I just want to develop long range shooting skills so it would be more target shooting at those distances. I might take those core lokt rounds and set a 3/4 in board with targets and back up every 50-100 yards once I get dialed in at each distances and see how far I can go before the round doesn't penetrate the board. Just until I get me the equipment to reload my own.
  7. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    Bear in mind that 300 yards is considered maximum range for most experienced big game hunters and professional guides.

    If you can't get 300 or closer, you don't need better equipment, you need to learn how to hunt.

    Once you've wasted 2 days of your hunting time (like I, and many others have) tracking a trophy elk that some jerk wounded at 500 yards, you start to look down your nose at "wannabe" snipers:mad::mad::mad:

    Leave the over 300 stuff to match competitors, and professional military snipers.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  8. marine04

    marine04 New Member

    Yeah definitely won't take a shot like that hunting. But I was a expert rifleman in the marines and always wanted to learn sniper skills so I'm taking that up as a hobby or just for fun but just engaging targets.
  9. NC Ken

    NC Ken New Member

    Agree with JonM. Taking up reloading and maybe even pouring your own moulds has much to recommend it. I have a good friend who shoots at 600-800 yards with his K31, Garand and Enfield, and who has developed very effective caste bullets and home made gas checks that have brought his cost per reloaded round down to about 14¢ per shot.

    Find a patient, experienced reloader, especially someone shooting vintage military pieces. Getting started is not expensive ... of course neither was tying salmon flies at the outset; ounce for ounce more expensive than restoring Bugattis ... ;O)

    Reloading your own you'll learn a ton about yourself, shooting fundamentals and about your rifles.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  10. The_Kid

    The_Kid New Member

    It'll penetrate the board a lot further than the round will remain precise. The Transonic Problem, is what sets the limit on a long range bullet.

    I developed a load with my Springfield 03 a few days ago; it using a Hornady 150gr FMJ, (target round,) will get to 900 yards before precision falls off; whereas, the energy will be about that of a 357magnum round at the muzzle.

    Your twist rate at the velocities your specific rifle can achieve will determine what bullet length you can shoot for long range. I've found that my 30-06s can stabilize a 190gr SPBT which has a ballistic coefficient of .452. That gets me out to 1100 yards before precision drops off.
    That round at 1600 yards, (double your 800,) hits with the energy of a 38 special. At 2000 yards it has twice the energy of a 22.
    It'll go through boards waaaaaaaaay out there.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  11. gunnut07

    gunnut07 New Member

    IN a 30-06 a 168gr will get you to 800 BARELY. 175 would be better and 1850gr would be even better. Your, not going to find much most will be 168gr match ammo.

    Here is a place that will load exactly what you you want. http://customcartridge.com/products/custom_orders.php

    It is going to cost quite a bit though.
  12. Steel_Talon

    Steel_Talon New Member


    I would start with a 168 grain BTHP and start working at 500 yards. Hand loading would be best. You need to be able to drive your rifle properly, understand your optic, and start getting Dope on your rifle. You need to start mastering yourself your respirations and concetration, you also need to understand the math of Mils, parabalas etc. @ 500 yards things tend to be a bit easier then you move on from their.

    Truly I believe the proper caliber for 100 yards is the .300 win. and for hunting applications the .338 win mag.

    Good Karma
  13. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    With the right rifle and scope, the .30-06, handloaded with 190 Sierra Matchkings should get you to 1000 yards.

    Don't expect to hit prairie dogs, but it should hit a military/police silhouette if you have the skill.:)
  14. NC Ken

    NC Ken New Member

    Here's what you can do when you get serious. From a bud who shoots regularly on the 1000 yard range at Quantico ...

    I just came back from the range with my 1917 Aussie No1MKIII* Lee Enfield which saw
    service in WWI and WWII, maybe Korea but definitely both World Wars.

    Don't need to shoot FMJ full up 303 ammo in it as I got the No.4 for the long distance heavy work and thought I would develop a cast bullet service load, with Unique powder that would be a nice soft but accurate training round (like I did for the M1 rifle I got for lead bullet shooting). Its taken me 4 range sessions and some more than normal load, alloy development and finding the right sizing die but with a .314 sized bullet it will do an inch easily and a bit better if I use a magnum rifle primer with this pistol powder loading.

    Load shot today was 175 gr cast with gas checks (my aluminum ones), sized .314, reg CCI 34 primers, 14 gr Unique pistol powder, Carnuba Red hard stick lube by White Label. Cases were all neck sized brass.

    From a cold barrel the first shot group is wide and high and on second , I was adjusting sight far too low but as you can see, with some fiddling around with rear leaf sight using the "worm screw" on the leaf, I was able by group 5 to have a tight group. This target shows the Pt of Aim to be the white tape as noted. Load is 14 gr Unique, 180 gr Lee 303 mold which drops bullets 175 with 60% wheel wts & 40% Linotype, sized .314. Regular CCI 34 primer used.

    Second target shows same load but with magnum primers with a 6 o'clock Pt of Aim on bulls eye. This load might do okay at 200 yds ... or maybe not. Anyhow its accurate and shot 1.5 inches high of POA while the regular primed load shoots basically point of aim at 100 yds.

    I got a few hundred mag rifle primers to use up so here is a good way to do it. The mag primers showed a beginning of primer flattening with 14 gr Unique and the non mag primers showed zero flattening. Goes to show: change primer and things can get interesting.

    The rifle wanted a .314 sized bullet. I knew that once I had a 3 inch group (finally after many range trips and loads tested) with same alloy, load and a .313 sized bullet. Things worked out nicely. Now it may or may not make any difference but my cast bullets are 175 grain and the rifle was made to shoot 174gr bullets so perhaps rifle twist of barrel matches well with these 175 gr bullets of mine.

    This load feels like a M1 carbine to fire , very easy on the old rifle and brings out its accuracy.
    Will be a fun training rifle for 100 yd and the load costs me 9 cents a shot so its easy on the wallet as well. Shoot more for less money,less wear on me and rifle but allow me to get better at off hand and other position shooting. Reduced bulls eye targets at 100 yds can make it seem like the sight picture is 200 and 300 yds. Very fine training situation and more shooting fun.

    Conclusion : 1917 war horse has its long term 100 yd shooting load and she still can bring in the accuracy if fed what she wants and shooter performs to standard. Anyone who says a light cast bullet load won't punch accuracy at 100 yds has not tried hard enough in load development.

    Yes: time to retire these two target boards as I have worked them to death. Just be advised the target backer boards are provided to me by Democrats who graciously left the signs on the road leading to my house in hopes of being re elected to office. I thank them for contributing to my shooting program and I voted all of them out of office. Every round shot into the boards is a shot into a liberal who is against gun ownership... so even my shots that
    go astray are well spent !

    The day at the range would have been perfect had not my son Colt not showed up at the house just prior to departure to range, cleared my shelf of all 45acp and 9mm ammo loaded up and then shot it all today...leaving me with a huge bag of fired brass. Last night I was feeling kind of good as I had a great reserve of all flavors of ammo loaded up and would not be making any ammo in the near term. Now that supply is long gone on pistol ammo !


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