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30-06 Springfield Rifle calibre Round

Pronounced "thirty aught six" on the American continent and thirty 'O' six in UK, this round has featured quite strongly in ammunition development and has spawned many wildcat calibres.

Disclaimer... This page is a collecting point for fragmentary information that comes to light during my wanderings through my old notes. As a result it may be incomplete or even contain some incorrect information. It would be unwise to rely on this page of information until this warning notice is removed.

The following text written by Ed Matunas, has been re-phrased from the book "Metallic Cartridge Reloading" edited by Robert S.L. Anderson.

This is probably the most popular centrefire rifle cartridge amongst reloaders, there is good reason for this, as this cartridge is extremely versatile and consistently accurate. It is also perhaps the upper limit with respect to recoil for many shooters.

The 30-06 is capable of taking any game available on the North American continent if the correct bullets are selected. For varmint shooting the 110-grain bullet is often used. However, the 125 grain bullets will usually perform with superior accuracy. Ed strongly favours the Sierra 125 grain Spitzer bullets for varmints. For game the size of deer and antelope, the 150-grain bullets are his best choices. He has used Remington Core-Lokts, Speer Spitzers and Speer Mag-Tips with excellent results in the 150 grain weight class. The 165 grain bullet is frequently selected by those whose bullet weight needs seem to vary between 150 grains and 180 grains. In this weight category the Remington Core-Lokts, Speer Spitzers and Speer Grand Slam bullets have all proven themselves in Ed's usage. He thinks the 180 grain bullet weight should be reserved for heavy game such as moose, elk, etc. Again. the Remington Core-Lokts, Speer Spitzers, Speer Mag-Tips and the Speer Grand Slam bullets are all excellent choices. The 220 grain bullet is not suitable for anything but the heaviest of game such as grizzly bear, brown bear and large Alaskan moose.

A great many powders have proven very successful in the 30-06 cartridge. Ed strongly favours either IMR-4064 or IMR-4350 for all bullet weights. IMR-4350 must be compressed heavily in some loadings, but this does not affect the value of the load. It simply slows down the reloading process by a small amount.

Due to the tremendous popularity of the 30-06 cartridge there are a large number of loads from which to choose. Most 30-06 rifles will shoot very well with almost any bullet and powder. However, if you wish to narrow down the selections, Ed suggests that you use 125 grain bullets for varmints, 150 grain bullets for light big game and 180 grain bullets for heavy big game. Try IMR-4064 and IMR-4350 as your first two powders. Ed has noted that more than one 30-06 rifle seems to prefer Remington brass and either Remington 9 1/2 or CCI Benchrest primers. The 30-06 works best with a 1-10" twist if you wish to take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights.

This cartridge owes some of its popularity to the ease with which it reloads and it's willingness to shoot well with a large variety of components. This calibre cartridge is an ideal choice for the one rifle, big game hunter. It will prove somewhat more versatile than either the 270 Winchester or the 7mm Remington Express due to the wide range of available bullet weights. The 220-grain bullet weight makes the 30-06 suitable for even grizzly and brown bears. The 175-grain 7mm bullet is on the light side for this application, and the heaviest 270 bullet of 150 grains is just unsuitable for the big bears.

Due to its fine accuracy, easy reloadability and extreme versatility, the 30-06 is certain to remain a very popular centrefire rifle cartridge for a great number of years to come.

The 30-06 Springfield offers another advantage over both the 270 and the 7mm Remington Express. This advantage is the lower pressure level at which it operates. This lower pressure level results in slightly greater case life as well as a somewhat longer barrel life.

30-06 cartridge dimensions

Date... 1906Originator... US military
Bullet Dia... 0.308" or 0.511"Main Usage... Springfield rifle
Die Set...
full length resizing Set... Lee 90615... 7/8"-14 thread
Neck Sizer Die... Hornady HOR044045
Intended barrel length... 22" is very common.
Primer... Boxer, large rifleMax overall length... 3.340"
Trim Case... 2.484"Max Case length... 2.494"
Shell holders... RCBS... 3Lyman... 2Pacific/Hornady... 1Bonanza... 1

Factory ammunition chronographed as follows: Remington 11O gr. 3175 fpsWinchester 125 gr. 3175 fps
Remington 150 gr. 2875 fpsWinchester 180 gr. 2650 fps
Remington 220 gr. 2350 fps

Favourite Accuracy Loads

53.0 gr of IMR-4064
Sierra 125 gr Spitzer
Remington 9 1/2 primer
Norma brass
Extremely accurate.
Ed Matunas
61.0 gr of IMR-4350
Sierra 125 gr Spitzer
Remington 9 1/2 primer
Remington or Norma case
Superb varmint load
Eric Matunas
52.0 gr of IMR-4064
Speer 150 gr Spitzer
Remington 9 1/2 primer
Winchester case
See note 1
Ed Matunas
60.0 gr of IMR-4350
Speer 150 gr Spitzer
Remington 9 1/2 primer
Case unspecified
Suggest Remington
Eric Matunas
57.0 gr of IMR-4350
180 gr Nosler Partition
Federal 215 primer
Case unspecified
Good at cold temperatures
J.D. Jones
57.0 gr of IMR-4350
Remington 180 gr Core-Lokt
Remington or Winchester primer
Suggest Remington case
A great heavy game load
Ed Matunas

Note 1... Shoots to the same point of impact as the 53.0 gr load of IMR-4064 with Sierra 125-gr bullet.

 Written... 20, 22 January 2007, Code Altered... 17 May 2008,
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