Why 180gr over 200+gr in 30.06?

Sarg

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Same as most here, I have used the 30/06 on most game from Klipspringer Kudu Leopards to Elk & Sambar, I went with Hornady 220gr in the old days works great on all game & then 200gr Nosler Partions & later Semi Spizter 220 Nosler Partions but I used to change over to 165gr for Mountain hunting.

Our Sambar are a little bigger & more solid than a Waterbuck but similar animal to kill, the 220gr worked better on this size animal & still worked great on all the small game .

I had it sighted in for the 220gr NP & got a chance at a Fallow Buck hunt in some big country in the rut, took my range finder just in case, long story short ranged a Buck at 220yds & thought Hell better aim just above hair as I normally do at long range & Whoop rolled him when I got up to him he was hit only Six in low, so still not too bad on the drop.

If I had more & they were cheaper Id use the 200gr NP on every thing bar Tahr & Ibex hunts !
 

Leon123

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The barrels twist rate affect the bullet choices the most. I am also from South africa and just bought the new CZ557 eclipse wanted a 30-06 but could not find one so settled on the 308win model. They both have a 1in10 twist rate so they will shoot better with rounds in the 158gr to 180gr
 

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Same as most here, I have used the 30/06 on most game from Klipspringer Kudu Leopards to Elk & Sambar, I went with Hornady 220gr in the old days works great on all game & then 200gr Nosler Partions & later Semi Spizter 220 Nosler Partions but I used to change over to 165gr for Mountain hunting.

Our Sambar are a little bigger & more solid than a Waterbuck but similar animal to kill, the 220gr worked better on this size animal & still worked great on all the small game .

I had it sighted in for the 220gr NP & got a chance at a Fallow Buck hunt in some big country in the rut, took my range finder just in case, long story short ranged a Buck at 220yds & thought Hell better aim just above hair as I normally do at long range & Whoop rolled him when I got up to him he was hit only Six in low, so still not too bad on the drop.

If I had more & they were cheaper Id use the 200gr NP on every thing bar Tahr & Ibex hunts !
Hey Sarg.

I live in Vic and hunt Sambar regularly.

My usual combo are 220gn Cor-lokts fired from my old 7600 pumpy.

Very effective combination.
 

Cervus elaphus

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Help me out here as this question is bothering me and you tube is useless.

Im planning on buying a new 30.06 (my first rifle) as i always hunt with family and friend's rifles.

As i mainly hunt for meat here in South Africa i was always told that heavy slow bullets do less neat damage then lighter fast bullets. If this is the case then why are most people (research and reading I've done) using 180grain bullets over 200 or 212 grains?

The reason i am looking at the 30.06 is because with our red tape and issues owning weapons here in sunny South Africa, i want 1 rifle that can cover the bases from warthog to Kudu/Gemsbok.

This being said i also want a bullet that will do the same. Not excessive meat damage on an Impala, but also not to light in the pants for the Kudu. (seeing as you cannot always choose what you find in the bush)

Any information and/or recommendations from real word results would be much appreciated.
I used to use 150gr in 30-06 but found they caused too much damage, but this was before A-Frames and Woodleigh. Changed to 180gr which were good and less damaging on deer. Used some 220gr bullets for large red stags but the 180gr would have done the job anyway. Perhaps a good combo for the hunting you have in mind would be 165gr and 200gr both available to either handload or use as factory loads.
 

Hunter-Habib

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I predominantly prefer a .30-06 Springfield for plains game hunting on my African Safaris . Ever since I began going on African safaris in 1974 , I used the 180 Gr Remington Core Lokt soft points to good effect against the bulk of my plains game . However , I really like the 220 Gr Remington Core Lokt soft points too . They come in really handy for tackling the Kudus , Wildebeests and especially the elands .

Yeah , the old .30-06 will never die in Africa ( or the rest of the world ) . No matter how many modern high velocity Magnums hit the market .
Defassa.jpg
Greater Kudu 1.jpg
Greater Kudu 2.jpg
Sable 1.jpg
Zebra.jpg
 

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So, all excellent info above, but it appears you do not reload, so that reduces your bullet opportunities. What I would do is find a box of each brand of ammo with 180 to 220 weight bullets and test each one to see which is most accurate in the rifle you are buying. Look for only premium bullets in the loads. Some companies have a cheaper line with softer bullets that just will not hold together no matter what the range nor velocity is.

After finding the most accurate, the next step would be learning the drop. Zero it at 200 yards (any should be flat enough shooting for that). Set up targets at 200, 250, 300 and maybe 350 yards or meters (more likely). Shoot at each distance at the same target moving it for each distance and shot. This will let you know what your drop for each distance will be, consequently your hold over.
 

Puddle

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For Joe Average wanting to shoot a heavier bullet he's not likely to find these days factory ammo heavier than 180 grains on the store shelves. The demand is simply not there for anything heavier. Beyond 180 grains you're likely looking at handloads. BTW, the 240 grain Weldcore is an awesome bullet!
 

mark-hunter

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There is Sako Hammerhead 30-06 in 220 grain.
However, local availability is unknown to me.
1627837945522.png
 

1dirthawker

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elton,

i too have used and seen used the 30-06 for years. 180's are a good choice for most everything, but, as you stated above you are shooting at 150 meters and less. i tend to agree with IVW on his choice of 200 gr bullets. for some reason the 200 gr. 30 cal bullets are overlooked, even tho the 300 magnums do better work with the 200 gr than the 180 gr. if you can get some 200 gr bullets, i would zero them to cover to 200 yards and forget about everything else. the bullet will take anything you are likely to shoot, will not blow up or destroy meat, will penetrate better, etc.

the only caveat is...they need to shoot well in your rifle. if you can't get them to shoot in your 06, you might need to go to a high quality 180 gr bullet. good luck with your search.
 

Berettaco

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As most all have mentioned here - it’s what shoots good in your rifle. I had great success on PG from impala to kudu with 180 gr TSX in 30-06. You don’t need a super heavy bullet with the TSX or TTSX due to the retained bullet weight. I wouldn’t have a problem using a 165 gr if that’s what the rifle likes.
i have shot a lot of deer, elk and antelope with core lokt, partition, SST and interlock- they all worked well - again, proper placement is key. But in the last few years I have gravitated to using TSX for most of my hunting. Tons of articles and opinions out there - and everyone has their opinion or preference on shot placement but I prefer a clear heart shot on the near side and breaking the shoulder on the opposite. Limits the possibility of long hikes down the mountain. And with this bullet it allows for great penetration should you have to take a less than ideal follow up shot
 

Cervus elaphus

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And if you ever get sick of the thirty ought you can always rebarrel it to a 35 Whelen for very few dineros and start a new adventure
I predominantly prefer a .30-06 Springfield for plains game hunting on my African Safaris . Ever since I began going on African safaris in 1974 , I used the 180 Gr Remington Core Lokt soft points to good effect against the bulk of my plains game . However , I really like the 220 Gr Remington Core Lokt soft points too . They come in really handy for tackling the Kudus , Wildebeests and especially the elands .

Yeah , the old .30-06 will never die in Africa ( or the rest of the world ) . No matter how many modern high velocity Magnums hit the market
 

Zambezi

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Help me out here as this question is bothering me and you tube is useless.

Im planning on buying a new 30.06 (my first rifle) as i always hunt with family and friend's rifles.

As i mainly hunt for meat here in South Africa i was always told that heavy slow bullets do less neat damage then lighter fast bullets. If this is the case then why are most people (research and reading I've done) using 180grain bullets over 200 or 212 grains?

The reason i am looking at the 30.06 is because with our red tape and issues owning weapons here in sunny South Africa, i want 1 rifle that can cover the bases from warthog to Kudu/Gemsbok.

This being said i also want a bullet that will do the same. Not excessive meat damage on an Impala, but also not to light in the pants for the Kudu. (seeing as you cannot always choose what you find in the bush)

Any information and/or recommendations from real word results would be much appreciated.
I think the "heavy and slow" being better than "light and fast" is more about the calibre than the bullet weight. Taking a broadside shot on say an impala at 100m with a 150gn from a calibre in the 3000 - 35400fps range would probably cause more damage than 150gn out of the 30.06 at around 2900fps.... so that's the old light and fast side of it.

If you read up there are many stories of these fast and light bullets/calibres exploding on impact and doing horrific damage to meat. I'm not a fan of the fast and light, but then again I'm not hunting out to 400m where I need the flat trajectory.

In my Musgrave 30.06 I use 150gn - 165gn for longer hunting when called for. But 99% of my hunting is bushveld and max out at 200m so 180gn does it all for me from dung beetle to Eland (never taken a an Eland but would do so with a premium bullet in 180gn up to 200m). If I felt that I needed the extra oomph for an Eland I would move up to 200gn but I doubt it would make very much difference in meat damage.
 

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I used 168gr TTSX, everything Eland to Springbok. That grain marries speed, power, velocity, BC, etc. I thought it was perfect.
 

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Ballistics are all well and good but there is some "real word aspect" to also take in consideration. I mainly shoot within 150m so Ballistics dont play as much of a roll here in the bushveld as over 500yards? But meat damage does.
Hey Elton,

I would add bullet construction, design & materials type to your review. As example: Barnes TSX is a 100% copper & nose cavity is designed on impact to peel back 4/cutting petals, expand wound channel BUT retain nearly 100% of its original weight. Design: is a punch through muscle w/ ‘Shock & Awe’ effect on the vital soft organs ie Lungs, Heart, etc.

Other lead core bullet designs are meant to penetrate but then ‘fragment‘ causing muscle damage (some excessive) & vital organs damage. Most today have a shank design of copper or bonded material est. 50% - 60% total weight is retained for the continued penetration.

My son-in-law shots ‘06 w/ 180gn Barnes TSX, TTSX or Federal Premium in a similar construction the past 4 PG Hunts. We visit the skinning shed w/ each trophy for bullet recovery & a look @ the shot - zero complaints from Owners on meat damage. Black Wildebeest, Hartebeest & smaller are 90% pass thru shots & no bullet recovery … better bullet recovery w/ bigger shoulder beasts, Zebra, Oryx & Blue Wildebeest. Happy Trails!
 

Jaegger

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Both Barnes …

L: recovered from Kudu & near perfect 4/petal peel & outstanding shape/weight retention.
R: recovered from Oryx & you can see the initial impact was much more violent & compressed the bullet due to the heavier shoulder but still 4/petal & weight retention.

7C62FE43-62D1-4DBD-8441-78CB6AEFA466.jpeg
 

Areaonereal

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A 1 in 10 twist will stabilize a 200 gr and 220 grain bullet. I have shot both from a 1 in 10 and those heavier bullets were very accurate. The 1 in 11 twist Tikka and Sako will take the 200 gr, but could be questionable with the 220. Lots of custom 308’s in the 1 in 11 twist are fantastic with the 165 gr bullet for which it was matched for.
 

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