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Thread: Bigger and slower or smaller and faster, 30-06 for deer?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Bigger and slower or smaller and faster, 30-06 for deer?

    I am going to be picking a mold to work with for 30-06 for deer in the near future. I definitely want a flat nosed design with the wider the meplat the better. It looks like I can go with a 170-something grain boolit, or something more like a 200+ grain boolit. Looking at the Lyman load data in the lead book, it appears the lighter boolit can be pushed faster within pressure limits (ignoring alloy considerations for now). All else being equal, am I better off with one or the other? My bias is the bigger slug.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  2. #2
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    You're going to get a bunch of answers both ways,,,,,,and both are valid, given proper shot placement. Hard to beat a 200 gr. flat nose at medium velocity for penetration.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    I've used both the Ranchdog bullet and 311041 and both worked fine and went clear through deer. Haven't used it on deer yet, but kind of think the RCBS 180 grain flat nose will be as good or better. Mine drop over 190 grains.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Get both and shoot them in the neck. Either will plow through the lungs like butter. See which one you like best. Maybe 150 gr too?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    The heavier boolit I was thinking about was the RCBS 180, in fact. I was thinking it would be a good hog boolit as well. My other alternative is a 35 Rem from RCBS that casts at 213 grains, but I am still working with it.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    BruceB (RIP) did a years long test on extreme accuracy out to 600 yards with I believe 190gr. Sure, it was .308 and you are talking 30-06. Either way you look at it, when shooting cast your velocity will be reduced from what the cartridge is capable of producing. I think the lightest you should consider is 170gr, think 30-30 capability. But, since you have more case capacity and the pressures will be negligible compared to the 30-06, 190 to 220gr would more appropriate. Your BC is already going to be down with the flat nose, it's going to arc anyway, hammer that deer with 200.

    The Lyman 311299, although not a flat point, has been a proven performer as a 200gr Boolit. According to Lyman manual 49, the accuracy load is 29gr of IMR 4227 for 1992fps. Running a ballistic check shows 1762 ft/lb at muzzle, and 1794fps for 1429 ft/lb at 100 yards. Not knowing your sight line over bore, I inputted 1.5" and sighted at 100 yards. The bullet is traveling upward for 70 yards where it peaks at +.59" before dropping down to zero. That comes out to a maximum point blank range of 2.1" which sounds to me like awesome performance for a deer slayer round. It shouldn't be too fast for cast, and the mass to pass through the deer that's near. (I couldn't resist)
    Last edited by fcvan; 01-10-2018 at 12:51 AM. Reason: typo
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    This is just an opinion from a deer hunter and reloader that has experience loading various calibers from 22 (very soon 204 also) to many of the standard belted and short mags.

    Like the post above suggests in the 30-06 with cast boolits I'd go heavy. You should still end up with a rifle capable of routinely taking a deer at 200 yards not to say that's it's main focus but saying that also means everything closer is going to be in serious trouble.

    A 30-06 with a 200 or 220 grain flat nose boolit cast to about 12-14 BHN powder coated and gas checked should easily out perform any flat nose 30-30 Win.(even J-words) With the PC making it possible to keep the alloy hardness below 15BHN you very well could see some expansion as well.

    The 180gr (dropping closer to 190gr) would probably be just as good.

    Motor

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
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    Good article to read here. I miss this guy.

    http://www.castbullet.com/reload/meplat.htm

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    go with the one that is most accurate
    just like jacketed if you miss with cast you miss
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  10. #10
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    Unless you're using a SS or sitting in a stand where you can load one round you'll want to pick one in the 170 - 200+ range that will feed reliably from both sides of the magazine. That means having the magazine full. Many cast bullets with wide meplats will not feed reliably from a full magazine in many rifles. I suggest a meplat design similar to Lyman's 311041 (a good choice btw) but even it has given some feeding problems. Actually with a correct alloy a large meplat isn't really needed for deer, especially if a HP is used. The Forster 1/8" HP tool is excellent for HPing any .30 caliber cast bullet after loading. I've used it with complete success for 40+ years.

    Also, given the probable 10" twist barrel of your 30-06, you will be able to drive a 170 to 220 gr cast bullets to the same velocity level before accuracy goes south (probably 1900 - 2100 fps) w/o pressure being an issue using medium or slower burning powders.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Another vote to read Juniors article posted above, I miss him too. In my opinion, you will get generally the same max velocity with any of the bullets you are considering. That is, about 2100fps or so it will become more difficult to maintain accuracy, maybe even easier with heavier boolits. Plenty case capacity so the heavier bullet will give a bit more pressure to get into the optimum burn range for more powder choices. You can go faster, just more trouble for negotiable gains. I chose a heavy for caliber with goodly size flat point. RCBS 180 is a good starting point, the 200 and up mo-betta. Bottom line if you put a 115gr thru the vitals he'll be just as dead as anything else. Dont think like high velocity/hydrostatic shock.... exploit the big flat nose and full penetration with ACCURACY.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for that link! I like large metplatselection. They just work.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Yes, I read the linked article, hence my interest in the rcbs mold. I suppose. I should look at even heavier boolits than that. Appreciate the warning on feeding issues. I was kind of thinking that would not be an issue with a bolt gun.

    Is a high tin alloy a candidate here? Maybe a 10 to 1 with range scrap as the base for a touch of antimony?
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  14. #14
    Boolit Master reloader28's Avatar
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    I use the RCBS 180 sp in my 06. Only shot one deer with it at about 70yd, but it worked fine with 1/16 HP about 1/8 deep with 50/50/2%. I'd have to look up the speed but I think its about 2050fps.

    My thought for this one was I would get better aerodynamics for longer range.

  15. #15
    i used boolits(308, 30-06, 30-30,30-40....) from 165 - 200gr. my first choice is a 165gr ranch dog, it weighs about 174gr. i use coww and a little bit of tin. 1700-1800fps is the sweet spot on any caliber. i like my rd so much, that i sold all of the others.

    my second choice the rcbs 180gr fn gc.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    I am using an Accurate 215 grain round nose with .18 meplat in a .30-40 at 2200 muzzle vel. It is good for me to a little over 200 and makes deer drop with no muss or fuss. At the speed which I am able to drive a cast bullet, I favor the heavier bullet to extend the practical range. The difference in drop between the 31141 bullet at 170 gr and this accurate bullet at 215 gr out to 200 is insignificant.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have killed several deer with both the RCBS and the Lee 180 out of the 06 at 1600 fps with a 20-1 alloy

  18. #18
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blanket View Post
    I have killed several deer with both the RCBS and the Lee 180 out of the 06 at 1600 fps with a 20-1 alloy
    Did you get expansion? I have been thinking that something like 20-1 based on range scrap (1ish percent antimony) might be a really nice mix.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Don't know all of them exited. Broadside shots thru the lungs or neck shots. Based on the exits I would say they expanded or more than likely the nose bent. 20 lead 1 tin

  20. #20
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Thanks, Blanket.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check