No need for more than 150 gr in 30 cal

Ryan

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This is interesting, as I’m just going to start cooking up a load for a 300H&H. Also, I picked up a box of 168 and 180 ttsx to test in two 30-06’s I bought and haven’t really had time to try out!

I was considering 200 or 180 for moose/elk, but maybe dropping down is in order.
I have used 168 grain TTSX in a 30-06 in my T/C Encore for caribou and everything I took with a rifle in Namibia with great success. Most notably to me was a zebra quartering to me at 120 or so yards that broke the front leg and still travelled intact completely to the far side hide. I still have the bullet, it's a perfect mushroom. The zebra only went a few yards. I went with 150 grain TTSX in my Ruger #1 in 30-06 and last year it dropped a decent sized caribou bull in its tracks with a complete pass through. I've worked up a load for a friend's 300 Win Mag Mag with 150 grain TTSX primarily for caribou, that gets a hair under MOA accuracy. I have no doubt it will drop a moose if he can get one in his sights, which is a bit of a running joke with us.
 

fourfive8

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It's funny, I worked up a load for the 149gr CEB raptors in my 308 Norma Mag, and was quite pleased...and then promptly bought 180gr Swift Aframes. I don't feel right going after a moose with the smaller projectile. Just a vague sense of insecurity

Good call!
Your gut and intuition are speaking clearly. Why not use the potential of the cartridge. Error on the "long" side- you'll never regret it. The last time I tried to outthink exactly the question posed in OP of this thread... things worked out OK in the end but did have a bullet failure with an '06 shooting a "bonded" bullet. It was a popular brand of bonded bullet in 168 gr. It came apart on a wildebeest when it should not have- simple as that. It was not at all loaded hot- actually quite moderate. The distance was fairly long at about 250 yds. But it certainly came apart and resulted in only a superficial wound. I would have not had that failure and long follow up and tracking and potential for loss of the animal if I had erred on the "long" side- a much tougher bullet especially a heavier tough bullet. If I were loading for targets or steel for the Garand no doubt I would choose the 150 gr. If I were shooting a normal 308 Win I'd choose a good 150 as they have always given me the best accuracy in the 308W. If I were shooting a 7x57 I might use a good 150. But for hunting big game, no reason not to use the full potential of the 308 Norma and use a 180, especially a tough 180 like the A Frame. You will never have a bullet performance excuse with that bullet :)
 

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If considering a medium or light for caliber Bonded bullet, it may be wise to first see what it is designed for. For example, when researching 30 cal Swift Scirocco (bonded) bullets, the 150 is said to be designed with lighter game in mind.
 

ldmay375

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For moose, I have used the 338 Winchester with the 225 grain TSX, the 375 Ruger with 270 grain TSX, and the 416 Ruger with the 350 TSX. I have no complaints with any of these. I do plan on loading the tipped versions of the same weights.
My plan for the 7mm WSM and 7mm Rem mag are 150 grain tipped monolithics.
The 300 WSM, 300 Winchester mag, 300 Wby is the 175 -180 Tipped.
308 & 30-06, 150-168 tipped.
270 Winchester and 270 WSM, 130 grain tipped.
Anyways my plan if I ever get back to handloading for the smaller cartridges.

I will say the 150 grain Federal Trophy Copper factory loads have grouped very well out of one 7mm Rem
 

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I shot a fair few sambar deer with my 30-06 this year,all I have ever used are 150 Gr Winchester factory loads. They do the job adequately too but i will add not with the authority of my 7mmRM with 150`s of the same bullet.
 

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I don't see the advantage of using light for caliber bullets vs medium or heavy bullets. Just because one .30 cal 150 gr. monumental bullet passed through a wildebeest, doesn't mean that it is always enough for the job. Penetration, and if possible a pass through is important to me, especially when hunting the larger varieties of game. Relatively fast bullets with rapid expansion result in impressively quick kills some, and perhaps even most of the time. But when it doesn't, the results are unpredictable and often disappointing. A shot though the ribs and both lungs will kill most any animal quite efficiently. Such a shot will provide a quicker kill when using relatively faster, lighter and more fragile bullets. Almost anything works for small animals like Whitetail deer or Impala. But change the angle of shot presented and point of impact just a bit, to the Humerus/Scapula joint. And increase the size of the game. I have seen several 150 grain .30 caliber bullets fail to make it through that joint on larger animals like elk and moose. A light monometal bullet compared to a medium weight cup and core bullet undoubtedly improves penetration, even through heavy bone. But by going lighter, the real potential of the improved design is somewhat wasted. Why not have the advantage of deeper penetration and more assured exit wound to aid follow up tracking rather than rely on "maybe" getting a quicker kill on the spot, or no exit wound to aid tracking? A light bullet may extend the "effective" range that looks good on paper, but I don't believe that it is an advantage in the field on real game.
 

mdwest

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I only shoot 168gr TTSX in my 308s, 30-06, and 300 H&H...

I’m sure 150gr would do just fine for 95% of what I hunt with my 30 cals.. but the 168gr TTSX is inherently accurate in all of my loads for all of my 30 cal rifles... so in the interest of keeping things simple... I stick with that one projectile...

If I need something bigger/heavier than a 168gr in a 30 cal.. I step up to the 375...
 

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First allow me to state that I do not reload.
We bought a 300WM and wanted to see what shot the best.
Picked up several bullets and bullet weights.
Swift, Norma, Barnes with bullet ranging from 150-190 grains.

The slower twist (1:11) of the barrel didn't stabilize the 180 & 190 grain bullets.
At least not as well as the 150 and 165's.
The Barnes 165 grain TTSX gave the best results, the 150 close behind.

I believe with a faster twist rate, I could stabilize up to 220 grain bullets.
Something like 1:9.5 would do the trick for that weight.
Or at least 1:10 would get me to 200 grains.
For now I will have to be happy with fast and light.
 

Divernhunter

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I don't see the advantage of using light for caliber bullets vs medium or heavy bullets. Just because one .30 cal 150 gr. monumental bullet passed through a wildebeest, doesn't mean that it is always enough for the job. Penetration, and if possible a pass through is important to me, especially when hunting the larger varieties of game. Relatively fast bullets with rapid expansion result in impressively quick kills some, and perhaps even most of the time. But when it doesn't, the results are unpredictable and often disappointing. A shot though the ribs and both lungs will kill most any animal quite efficiently. Such a shot will provide a quicker kill when using relatively faster, lighter and more fragile bullets. Almost anything works for small animals like Whitetail deer or Impala. But change the angle of shot presented and point of impact just a bit, to the Humerus/Scapula joint. And increase the size of the game. I have seen several 150 grain .30 caliber bullets fail to make it through that joint on larger animals like elk and moose. A light monometal bullet compared to a medium weight cup and core bullet undoubtedly improves penetration, even through heavy bone. But by going lighter, the real potential of the improved design is somewhat wasted. Why not have the advantage of deeper penetration and more assured exit wound to aid follow up tracking rather than rely on "maybe" getting a quicker kill on the spot, or no exit wound to aid tracking? A light bullet may extend the "effective" range that looks good on paper, but I don't believe that it is an advantage in the field on real game.
You seem to forget that the mono bullets need speed to have good terminal performance and expansion. Also that 150gr mono bullet will give terminal performance like a 195gr lead core bullet. Is a 195gr 30cal bullet heavy enough for you? The lighter mono bullet is and advantage on game in the field and not just on paper. Actually the mono bullets work even better when they hit bone.

Have you actually used the mono bullets on much game? If you use heavy ones they give worse terminal performance than the lighter ones. The Barnes TTSX and LRX are very good bullets and hold together well when pushed at mag speeds and hits at close range. Cannot say the same for many lead core bullets. I do like the Swift bullets a lot also.
 

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I’d like to have a vertical mill to do a cutaway of each of the Barnes bullets. Some are designed for 30-06 velocities and some for 300 WM velocities. I am assuming those for lower velocities have a deeper recess and possibly a thinner petals, but maybe not.
I know in the 30 cal lineup the 165 gr is actually designed for the 300 velocities and the 168 gr for the 30-06 velocities, at least per my emails with Barnes.
Also they told me their 150 gr bullets are different for reloading (designed for the 300) than 30-06 (Barnes factory loads). Refer to photos earlier in the thread. At least the groove locations are way different.
 

Longwalker

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To answer your questions Divernhunter, I have used Barnes TSX to take 6 species of plains game and several elk and some deer at home. I like them. In my limited experience I have mostly used medium weight bullets like the 165-168 grain in .30 cal and 225 gr. in .35 cal. However I do think your claim that a 150 grain gives the "same" performance as a 195 grain lead core bullet may be overstating the case a little. I agree that the mono bullets work very well when hitting bone. The point I was trying to make but perhaps did not state very well, is that the advantage of choosing a stronger mono bullet with more penetration may be offset by going too light. I prefer to have an exit wound on the largest game likely to be hunted. That's just my preference, and may not be for others.
I also wonder about the "need" to drive the Barnes TSX fast for them to work well. Last year in Namibia my brother took a leopard while using his outfitters 9.3x62, with standard weight 286 gr. TSX. Shot was through the ribs, double lung, and very quickly fatal. Seems to me a leopard is built lightly, with not much bullet resistance, and the 9.3 impacting at something like 2200-2300 FPS could hardly be considered fast.
If I was hunting eland again with a .30-06 I'd choose my .375 or 9.3 instead of the .30-06 with 165 gr. TSX. But IF I found myself hunting Eland with a .30-06 I'd choose the 180 gr. TSX over the 165.
For most game appropriate to hunt with a .30-06, I'm sure a 150 gr. TSX would do nicely.
 
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Professor Mawla

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“ Need “ is quite subjective . However , I have had great results with 220 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nosed factory loads in .30-06 Springfield . Especially for American black bear and Himalayan Ibex .
 

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