View Full Version : 30-06 Loads for Heavy Big Game
Looking for expert opinions on brand, weight, and type of bullet construction for hunting elk or moose using a 30-06.
Also, how would this round perform in the heart & lung area (behind the shoulder) versus a high shoulder shot more directly into the heart?
Are premium or bonded bullets more ideal?
Thanks in advance of your advice!
To me that depends on the range. Under 100yds, I LOVE the Federal Classic 220gr JSP. It's a stomper, and actually has less felt recoil for me than some of the premium 150/165/180gr offerings.
The only large animals I've used it on have been big ol' hogs and it really does expand and penetrate very well. The only drawback is it does have a pronounced drop at longer ranges (which may be common for elk depending on where you hunt).
If I had to pick a premium round, it would either the Federal Trophy Bonded BearClaw or the Winchester FailSafe. I used to really get a kick out of betting other shooters how many 2x4s or oak stumps the 180gr '06 FailSafe load would penetrate....it outdid some actual steel-core black-tip milsurp rounds I had on hand.
My experience is that critters never cooperate with my best laid shots, so I prefer hunting bullets that penetrate very deep even at odd angles through lots of bone/tissue.
Try some factory Rem. 220grn. SPCL's. The deer, elk, and bear I've killed with them just about dropped dead in their tracks. Deep penetration from any angle, never had one that didn't expand well. And, they don't cost an arm and a leg. Only problem is a lot of SG stores don't carry them in inventory due to small demand.
180 grn Winchester Failsafe
What do you folks think of Winchester's AccuBond round in 180-gr. or Federal's Grand Slam?
180 failsafe or nosler partitions would be my choice. might get by with the 165 grain loads too.
Check out Hornady Light Mag and Federal also makes ammo were the ballisics of a 30-06 are supposedly up there with a 300 win mag
Any reputable load using either a good bonded or partition type bullet of 180 grains that shoot well through your rifle should do well out of a .30-06. One of the most commonly seen loads for the .30-06 in Alaska was Federal Premium with 180 grain Nosler Partition. Strikes a good balance between ranging ability, penetration, expansion, and not overly expensive.
P.S. When I carried my .30-06 carbine for moose (hunting river beds, timber, not open tundra), I carried handloaded Semi-Spitzer 220 grain, Nosler Partitions. Not the best flat shooting, long range, load but very good at penetrating deep.
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