30-06 220 Grain Bullets

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by dmyers, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. dmyers

    dmyers AH Veteran

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    Has anyone used 30-06 220's for african game (or anywhere/anything else)? I've used Rem. Core-lokts 220 (factory loads) for a couple late season northern whitetails but not a ton of experience with them. I like the idea of heavy for caliber bullets but interested in others experiences with them. Btw- I rarely want or need to shoot further then 200 yards.
     
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  2. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Ask your PH first off. But what are you hunting and is there a good possibility of shooting some small critters? If so, go with the 220's. They will hit hard and penetrate on bigger animals and be moving slow enough to not blow apart little critters.
    Great option on both ends of the spectrum, just zero in for them and know your drops at range.
     
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  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    How accurately do they shoot? That's a long bullet and with the .30-06 case, my concern, perhaps invalid, would be that they're not running fast enough to stabilize and giving mediocre or worse accuracy. If that's the case, I'd be inclined to back down to 200gr, that's still a fairly heavy bullet in a 30 cal.
     
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  4. dmyers

    dmyers AH Veteran

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    The 220's I'm shooting group as well as I can shoot out to 200 yards. Haven't tried them further yet. I haven't had to take a quick second shot yet while hunting but seem to feed ok in my rifle.
     
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  5. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    I would consider a better quality and lighter bullet. I used 150gr TTSX in my 30-06. A Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frame would also be better. The core-lok bullets will work but a better bullet give a bigger margin in performance especially if a less than ideal shot
    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  6. Rickmt

    Rickmt SILVER SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Divernhunter, I am expecting a New Ultralight Arms 30.06 and was planning on using Nosler Accubonds in 165 grain . How do you think that compares to Barnes TTSX 150's. I have never shot a Barnes ammo. I am from Montana and the rifle will be deer,elk antelope under 300 yards
     
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  7. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I think @Velo Dog has first-hand experience with 220s in an 06 in Africa.

    I would not hesitate to use a good 220 on PG. It is mostly about shot placement regardless.

    The 220gr Partition is known to open at 06 impact velocities and of course, we know it will penetrate.

    Is it the most versatile bullet you could use? No. But if it is what you want to use, and you are willing to accept the limitations, go for it. Just put them where they belong and you'll do fine.
     

  8. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I would agree it is not a first choice for the regular African Plains Game. A 180 grain Troohy Bonded Tipped or Aframe would be a first choice.

    However I reiterate that it really depends upon what you are after. Any 150 to 180 grain soft in a standard factory type load is going to make big holes in the smaller critters. So if you want good trophies for taxidermy, are likely to be shooting duiker and smaller critters, as well as large ones... I would go with 200 or 220 grain bullets that will be moving slower.

    Another couple of good choices would be a 375 or one of the 9.3's and have both quality softs and solids in 300 or 286 grain standard loadings.

    I had my 505 Gibbs and a 30-06 on a hunt that included giraffe down to Genet. My PH recommended 220 grain softs for zebra on down. I thought I was smarter and found some 180 grain round nose solids to use on the little critters. I was terribly dismayed when I shot a vervet monkey and sit it in half... that solid tumbled and made a mess. Thinking the bullet hit a branch I tried on another with similar results. I had splattered one at distance with my 6.5 Creedmoor on a previous hunt. Finally borrowed a 12 gauge and #4 2 3/4" shells and got one that worth mounting.
     

  9. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    Rickmt--I prefer A-Frames or swift Scirocco to the AB bullets. The AB will work but do not get the expansion the Scirocco does.

    I shot Diker/Steenbuck/Baboons//springbokwith a 338win mag using 225gr A-Frames, a 257Roberts with 120gr A-Frames, 30-06 with 150gr TTSX and a 257Weatherby with 120gr A-Frames and 100gr Barnes TTSX. I did not ruin any capes or mounts. I also shot a whole bunch of monkeys with a suppressed 22RF for some varmint control. I used the 257W with both bullets on 13 baboons and the Diker/Steenbuck withTTSX bullets as well as some monkeys.
     
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  10. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    If you shoot that well and will shoot at your stated 200 yard limit there is no need to change anything for Plains game. I’ve shot core lokt in a few calibers with good success.
     
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  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello dmyers,

    For your hunting of presumably large (northern) whitetail deer, the Remington round nose 220 grainers, in your .30-06, aparently are about perfect so far.
    I expect they will continue to remain so.
    Likewise, for most African conditions (thorn forest and in a few places, very thick riverine forest) when using a .30-06, they are as close to perfect for antelope hunting as you could ask for as well IMO.

    I’ve used 220 Hornady RNSP at approximately 2300 - 2400 fps, both in Africa and in Alaska, always with perfect results.
    Up to about 30 years ago, the 220 grain load for .30-06 was very popular here in Alaska.
    But now, many of us old buzzards are dying off and these kids up here all seem to only want the highest velocity possible, for any animal, even large animals in thick cover.
    They usually don’t even want a .30-06 caliber rifle, and especially not loaded with heavy, blunt shaped projectiles.

    Well any whoooo, my personal experiences with this load are that, when zeroed at 100 yards, it is still flying flat enough to hold only a tic above dead-on, out around 200 yards.
    Somewhere out around 300, it is by then losing enough speed so that, one needs to hold about a foot and a half high.
    But even with that, if one practices often, it’s still surprisingly easy to hit well with it that far down range.

    Even at extremely close range, it is very easy on the meat (and skins for taxidermy) of smallish animals yet, is very capable of breaking the heavy shoulder bones of large antelopes and large N. American game, such as elk and moose.
    I often say that the 180 grain is my personal minimum in the .30-06 for Africa but, the 220 grain is my favorite.

    As for bullets, the Swift A-Frame, in my opinion is the best of the best in soft points, that are widely available today.
    However, the Remington Core-Lokt at 2400 fps would be a very good choice for Africa’s so called “plains game” (again, in my opinion anyway).

    All that being said, admittedly in wide open conditions, such as South Africa’s Eastern Cape and much of Namibia, a hunter would likely be better off with a 180 grain spitzer for large antelopes (and/or for North American elk, etc. in parts of the western states and parts of western Canada.)

    NOTE:
    Once again - only in my opinion, the .30-06 is a little on the light side for eland.
    But, if for some reason I was to hunt them with that caliber, I’d load it with 220 grainers.
    And as such, I’d bet a fair stack of cash that it would work, however not exactly perfect for eland that it might be.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018

  12. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    220 gr works great for African plains game. Big or small...
     

  13. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Sorry no experience with 220 grain, but the 200 premiums have worked well for me here in the USA. I would talk to your PH just to be on his “good side” no matter what I take to Africa.
    I only take a 375 H&H to Africa. You just never know what will show up and it pays to be ready for anything you might want to take. Worked on duiker (solids) to Cape buffalo in 300gr.
    Africa is a good excuse to buy a bigger rifle, IMO.;)
     

  14. dmyers

    dmyers AH Veteran

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    Interesting thoughts. I should also say that my 30-06 has normally been loaded with nosler accubonds but I've had some problems with them on deer. It's not the accubonds fault- they work great most of the time, but I have had issues with expanding at close range (under 30 yards) on smaller deer. Went with a 308 with 165 grain core locks and no more problems. I just think it was too much bullet (accubonds) when shooting a doe at 20 yards or so- which I have often done around my stomping grounds. Accubonds zipped through without expanding - resulting in long tracking and revival jobs. They have been outstanding on every other type of shot and animals up to and including moose however.

    I also like the versatility that the 220s might give my 30-06. When I hunt deer I normally hunt with the 308. But there are times when I could shoot anything from a wolf or small deer up to big deer, black bears, and bull moose- all the same day and most likely under 200 yards.

    I like the thought of shooting a big bullet at decent speed for versatility. With like bullets the 308 and 30-06 give me similar results. But with 220s in the 30-06 I get a bit more of a shorter range thumper. It's a little like getting a second rifle for nothing. I can put the money saved for something practical better glass or something fun like a 404 Jeffrey!

    *I have only limited experience to prove I infact I get "second rifle" performance out of my 30-06 with 220s. Initial results look promising.
    **If bringing the 30-06 to africa, I would load the accubonds again.
    ***I wouldn't bring the 30-06 to africa. I have a 375 H&H.
     

  15. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    dmyers, take both and never look back. You can load heavy for caliber bullets i.e. 350 gr. in the 375 H&H and be covered for just about any situation.
     
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  16. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Dmyers, I really like your idea! A two rifle Safari consisting of a 30-06 and a 404 Jeffrey would be pretty perfect coverage of everything!:A Banana:
     
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  17. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    I shoot nothing but 220 grain loads in my 30-06 (Nosler Partition handloads and Remington Core-Lokt factory). They fly true, hit hard and dive deep.
     
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  18. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    Only will dirty my barrel with 220 grn bullets and the sako hammerhead are what we get here and work very well. Even MR VD @Velo Dog would like them.....:D but i like heavy bullets .....think someone asked if I still used rocks once....(y)
     

  19. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    I used a .30-06 for my only hunt in Africa; I used a 200 grain Nosler partition.....the reason being that bullet/load (H414) shot a 1/4 " group at 100 yards consistently over 30 years of playing with it. Farthest shot was a Kudu bull at 300 yards.......one shot kill. I wouldn't hesitate to use a 200-220 grain bullet for PG in Africa; just know your trajectory for the longer shots.
     

  20. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I personally used the 168gr Barnes TTSX. Excellent results from Springbok to Eland.... and 20 other PG in between.
     
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