30-06 220 Grain Bullets

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

  1. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    They should work on steenbuck and duikers.
     

  2. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Magazine? We don't need no stinking magazines!

    :)

    Kudu Camp Kudu 1.jpg
     
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  3. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Did you look at that bullet Joe?? C'mon man!

    ;)
     

  4. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    The OP wants to use 220gr bullets for African plains game and limiting his shots to 200 yards. Nothing wrong with that and they will be devastating on the larger PG, up to LD eland.

    I would first check the twist of the barrel. If it is 1 in 10 it should stabilize the 220 grainer if 1 in 12 the 200 grainer may be a better option.

    As for the 350 grainer not being suitable for the 375 H&H well that is just a load of baloney....The 350 grain bullet is probably the best bullet ever designed for it and specifically for use on Cape buffalo is just about un beatable in the 375 H&H for that task as well as large plains game at normal hunting distance..Paired with a 340 or 350 meplat solid you have just improved the King of the medium bores for DG hunting.

    The only bullet that will beat the 350 grainer in the 375 H&H for buffalo is the 380 gr Rhino(yes 380 grains!). I was fortunate enough to help test this bullet when it was originally designed by a personal friend, Mauritz Coetzee(R.I.P) and Kobus. Exceptional bullet and devastating on DG out of the 375 H&H..

    The 340, 350, and 380 gr Rhinos as well as the 350 Woodies where designed to work at 375 H&H velocities and not 378 Weatherby velocities....

    Back to topic.

    Many many DG have been hunted in day's gone by with the 30-06 using 220 gr bullets. I never used it myself for such work, I used a 375 H&H and later my 500 Jeff, but others did with great success.

    Yes they may be old school but they sure do work.

    For African plains game(up to the largest) a 220 gr out of a 30-06 at 2400 fps or a 200 gr at 2500 fps will be devastatingly effective.

    These heavier bullets will never replace the "standard" 180 grain loads but for the OP's intended purpose may just be the best thing going.

    Are they really necessary?NO, will they get the job done for the intended purpose?HELL YA!

    Chuck did a great comparison that may be informative:

    Here are the bullet, powder and MV combinations on which the following comparative load performance analysis is based. (MV values are rounded to the nearest 5 f.p.s. for convenience in later calculations. All MVs are from 24 inch barrels.):

    • 180 grain Nosler Partition over 62.0 grains of IMR4831: MV = 2755 f.p.s.
    • 200 grain Nosler Partition over 55.0 grains of IMR4831: MV = 2560 f.p.s.
    • 220 grain Nosler Partition over 55.0 grains of IMR4831: MV = 2480 f.p.s.
    Data sources, Evaluation methods and Calculation tools

    Data sources: Besides the bullet weight and MV of each load, I needed the ballistic coefficient (BC), sectional density (SD) and cross-sectional area (A) of each bullet to do external ballistics analyses. I used BC and SD data provided by Nosler for each bullet and took the A of a .308 diameter bullet from the Guns and Shooting Online Expanded Bullet Cross-Sectional Area List. The cross-sectional area of all .308" diameter bullets is .0745 square inches.

    I also calculated the estimated recoil of each load. Input data needed to do this via an online recoil energy calculator are bullet weight, MV, powder charge weight and firearm weight. l assumed a field ready rifle weight (loaded, with scope and sling) of 9.0 pounds for a typical .30-06 rifle.

    Evaluation methods: The key to my evaluation of the downrange killing power of these loads is the G&S Online Rifle Cartridge Killing Power Formula. This formula calculates index values of the killing power of hunting loads, using downrange impact energy, bullet sectional density and frontal area as the input variables. Calling the output variable of the formula KPS (Killing Power Score), for a given load the formula is:

    KPS at y yards = (Impact Energy at y yards) x (sectional density x frontal area)


    • or simply: KPS = E x (SD x A)
    For instance, consider the following .30-30 Winchester factory load: .30-30 Win: Federal 150 gr. JRN bullet, MV 2350 f.p.s. BC = .218, SD = .226, A = .0745

    This load produces 1358 ft. lbs. of energy at 100 yards. Therefore, the 100 yard KPS of this load is KPS = 1358 x .226 x .0745 = 22.8

    KPS numbers generated from different data inputs (E, SD, or A) are directly comparable. This comparability can be applied to evaluate different loads for a particular cartridge, such as the three .30-06 loads for this analysis. (See The G & S Online Rifle Cartridge Killing Power Formula: Implications and Applications for further discussion of the killing power formula.)

    Calculation tools: I used three online programs to do the heavy number crunching. All are on ShootersCalculator.com, including their Point Blank Range, Ballistic Trajectory and Recoil calculators. I used a hand calculator to do the KPS calculations.

    Results

    In the tables below, the first (.30-06) row specifies the bullet, MV, BC and SD. The second row shows the +/- 3 inch (6" target diameter) MPBR of the load and the recoil of the load in foot pounds for a nine pound rifle. (MPBRs are rounded to the nearest five yard increment.) Next are rows showing KPS and impact energy values for the loads at 100 yards, 200 yards and the MPBRs of the various loads.

    .30-06 Nosler 180 gr. Partition: MV 2755 f.p.s., BC = .474, SD = .271
    +/- 3 inch MPBR = 275 yards; Recoil = 22.9 ft. lbs.

    • 100 yd. KPS = 53.1 (Energy = 2631 ft. lbs.)
    • 200 yd. KPS = 45.9 (Energy = 2271 ft. lbs.)
    • 240 yd. KPS = 43.2 (Energy = 2139 ft. lbs.)
    • 255 yd. KPS = 42.2 (Energy = 2091 ft. lbs.)
    • 275 yd. KPS = 41.0 (Energy = 2028 ft. lbs.)
    .30-06 Nosler 200 gr. Partition: MV 2560 f.p.s., BC = .481, SD = .301
    +/- 3 inch MPBR = 255 yards; Recoil = 21.8 ft. lbs.

    • 100 yd. KPS = 56.4 (Energy = 2518 ft. lbs.)
    • 200 yd. KPS = 48.6 (Energy = 2168 ft. lbs.)
    • 240 yd. KPS = 45.7 (Energy = 2039 ft. lbs.)
    • 255 yd. KPS = 44.6 (Energy = 1992 ft. lbs.)
    .30-06 Nosler 220 gr. Partition: MV 2480 f.p.s., BC = .351, SD = .331
    +/- 3 inch MPBR = 240 yards; Recoil = 23.7 ft. lbs.

    • 100 yd. KPS = 60.6 (Energy = 2453 ft. lbs.)
    • 200 yd. KPS = 49.0 (Energy = 1984 ft. lbs.)
    • 240 yd. KPS = 44.9 (Energy = 1817 ft. lbs.)
    These are, in effect, "light magnum" loads. This applies to both the down range power and recoil they generate. No one who shoots a .30-06 loaded to these levels is likely to mistake the recoil for that of a common small bore cartridge.

    Taking a closer look at down range power, the 220 grain load is the most powerful out to about 200 yards. The KPS values for that load exceed those of the 200 grain load within 210 yards, but the 200 grain load is stronger at distances beyond that. If one wants to have the most killing power possible in a .30-06 at ranges of 200 yards or less, a 220 grain bullet is the way to go. Significantly, 220 grains is the bullet weight Eleanor O'Connor used to shoot elephant, lion and tiger with her .30-06 rifle.

    The 200 grain load does some nice things. The KPS values it generates are a consistent six percent greater than those of the 180 grain load all the way out to 255 yards. To me, 255 yards is a very respectable MPBR for a 200 grain bullet driven at less than 2600 f.p.s. MV. Anyone who must have a cartridge with more power and distance than this is looking for a magnum rifle, preferably larger than .30 caliber.

    The data for the 180 grain load demonstrate why it has been so popular for so long. With a KPS value of 53 at 100 yards and KPS of 41 at 275 yards, this load carries a lot of power a long way down range. The 180 grain load was designed to be a proven standard against which heavier loads could be judged, and a stern judge it is. Yes, the heavier bullet loads are more powerful within their MPBRs, but only incrementally so. The 200 and 220 grain loads have their strengths, but they will never replace the 180 grain load.

    The relative sectional densities of the three bullets should also be noted. At SDs of .271 (180 grain), .301 (200 grain) and .331 (220 grain), these .308 diameter bullets all have the ability to penetrate deeply in larger Class 2 and Class 3 animals. Whatever the bullet weight, loads that are going to be used to hunt large or potentially dangerous game should feature bonded core, partitioned, or homogeneous copper alloy bullets. (See The Sectional Density of Rifle Bullets for more information.)

    My bottom line assessment is that the vast majority of hunters would never need a small bore load with more power than a 180 grain .30-06. If one really wants a bit more bullet penetration and killing power, at the expense of 20 yards of MPBR, then a 200 grain load is ideal.

    Finally, if one wants all the power and penetration attainable in a non-magnum, small bore cartridge, the 220 grain .30-06 load is the way to go. Just keep shots taken at game at 200 yards or less to take full advantage of the killing power of the 220 grain bullet.
     

  5. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    I agree and would suggest the 200 grain Bullets.
     
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  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    IvW, I never ever said the 350 gr .375 wasn't a great idea when it was developed. And yes, it will absolutely work now. I do however believe that a modern 300 gr bullet is a very different thing than a 300 gr cup and core of Ruark's day (so, of course is the 270 gr load). For me, the advantage of the .375 is as a single caliber rifle for an international client - like - well me. ;) The 300 gr bullet will do everything - and not just get by doing everything, but do everything well. If I were just going on a buffalo hunt - no other game - sure, I might use a 350, 380, whatever. But in that situation, I think I would bring along my .404 or 500/416. But I haven't done one of those hunts yet. However, I will absolutely concede the ballistic differences between a 300 and 350 gr .375 are rather small. I would simply note, that I also believe the terminal effects between a 300 gr A-Frame and a 350 gr whatever are also rather small. The 220 gr 30-06 seems to beg the same question, only much more so. Why lessen the point blank range capability of one of the worlds great general purpose medium game calibers, when a quality 165 - 180 gr bullet will now do the job very, very well. What I think the analysis shows above.
     

  7. dmyers

    dmyers AH Senior Member

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    Wow- this is more than I ever imagined. Well done!
     

  8. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    This is so true. I am blessed to have a load of custom rifles, they all shoot outstanding, many are crazy light, but when I leave the house on for a wilderness elk or horseback mulie hunt, I always take something with walnut stocks and high gloss blueing. It likely isn't as accurate and weighs a couple pounds more, but it is what I want to carry.
     

  9. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    And this defies logic. But our hunting doesn’t have to be logical.

    I would argue that often our most memorable hunts are the result of anything but logic.
     

  10. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    You grew up reading about it and I are up watching the men of the camp reach into the " Sacred Cigar Box" full of 220 grain 06 loads and 5 days later put most of them back in for next year.

    I have flash backs of the 3 day speeches of how "it" was the only real round that kills everything on the planet...after three days even they got burnt out and moved over to anyone who didn't use it was a communist.

    Over the years another Sacred Cigar Box was started for the 308 as it was finally deemed acceptable because one of the elder crazies said that it was just as powerful as the 06 because of " secret government powder" it was loaded with, but only with 200 grain bullets.

    All the old guys are long dead and gone now....as are most of the kids who started out there. These days they have tecno wizards with fancy cell phone computers who do all their discussing for them as none have any experience drawing blood.

    The only thing they have in common with the dead old ones is that they can't shoot worth a damned either.
     
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  11. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Ok, you are going to have to distill and translate that for me!

    I am pretty sure there was something meaningful there....but I am not sure I caught it!

    Help!
     
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  12. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    Great post! Reminds me of some days in camp almost 40 years ago with the old timers who are long gone. Many had well used .35 rem guns. I had my grandfathers pump .35 rem and also used the 200 grain round nose so I was instantly in their “club” even though I was an early teenager and 60 years younger. They had me believing it could penetrate 50 yards of thick brush, blow through a 3” tree and still kill a deer, unlike the bigger and fancier guns.

    They were all honest hard working men but were lucky if they put a shot down the barrel once every two years. There shells were dark colored and 15 years older than they were. But they always put the kids in the best spots during deer drives and made you feel good. I miss those days. We have too few young kids in our camps anymore...
     
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  13. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    @Red Leg
    Apologies if it come over that I meant you, I was not referring to your post...

    I agree, for a mixed bad hunt a premium 300 gr is probably the best option. For Buffalo the 350-380 gr is excellent.

    Another good all rounder would be the 340 gr Rhino(I know not available all over) for all PG and DG.

    Bottom line with a good quality 300 gr bullet, all though there are better and more specialized options, would be good enough for all hunting, when using the 375 H&H
     
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  14. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    IvW, thanks for sharing your insight on 30-06 bullet selections and their respective limitations.
     
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  15. Waterbuck2008

    Waterbuck2008 AH Senior Member

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    I agree. This is the kind of intelligent discussion and friendly debate I enjoy on this forum.
     
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  16. steve white

    steve white AH Senior Member

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    Some cartridges are magic if you mean they kill drt against all better judgement. The 35 Remington is one of them. Maybe Nathan Foster explains it by noting that 35 caliber is the demarcation line where the effective shock threshold is lowered from 2600fps to 2200 fps? I will tell you, it is a woods killer.
     
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