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30-06 Whitetail Cartridge

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by superspud, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. superspud

    superspud Ninja

    Jul 10, 2006
    The Lone Star State
    going to be doing some whitetail hunting and need to get a good 30-06 load.

    i know nothing about what grain or type of bullet for this, im more of a small game type of hunter.

    i was told by my hunting buddies to look in the 150-165 grain market with a soft tip bullet, which narrows it down to about 150 different types of bullet / manufacturers...

    please advise, links are welcomed...
  2. pennlineman


    Feb 16, 2009
    I've killed a lot of deer with a .30-06. For factory ammo the plain old Remington 150 grain core lokt bullets have never failed me. They've been working for years. 165 grain Sierra game kings worked well with my reloads.

  3. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    If you reload, you can utilize the lighter .308 bullets like a 125-30gr bullets for small game. But for deer, I'd recommend the 150-180-gr SPs.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  4. davsco


    Feb 27, 2011
    my favorites for 308 and 30-06 for deer are the winchester ballistic silvertips 150g. can find at walmart and certainly true gun stores. with thin-skinned game like deer, they provide explosive wound channels.

    definitely look online for pics showing where the vitals are on deer so you know the best place to aim. and of course, shoot your rifle using the loads you will be hunting with at various distances you expect to shoot at so that you know where the bullets are hitting and what holdovers you may need.

    also set up some pie-plate-sized targets at various distances (50, 100, 150 yds) and shoot them offhand. if you can't hit them offhand, then you know you will need steady rests when shooting at deer at those distances.

    good luck!
  5. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    I have often wondered what deer hunters do to take deer without too much meat damage. Is most of the meat far away from the heart-lung wound channel?
  6. yellolab


    Apr 15, 2008
    Yup. Stay away from the shoulder.
    And use a strong bullet such as Barnes- not that they are needed for whitetail, but they just blow apart like a softer lead core would.
  7. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    I always hunt deer in thick wooded areas where shots are usually fairly short. So I usually used Remington 180 Soft Points. Not the PSP (pointed soft points) but the SP (soft points). The soft points open up a little faster and have more frontal area on the bullet. Also a load that will work for black bear. The 180s are on the heavy side for deer but they work well for my situation.
  8. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    You didn't mention your caliber - is it .308 or .30-'06? Or something else? But wait, the thread title says .30-'06. Duh
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  9. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    That 180 SP load is available in both .308 and 30-06. Just goes a little slower in the .308. I would drop down in weight for deer if the blunt SP bullet profile was more available. Even loose bullets are limited. Just make sure to shoot them before you go out to double check accuracy and scope zero.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  10. I have killed several whitetail with my 270 loaded with 130 grain Federal Premium Sierra Gamekings. The deer have consistently dropped in their tracks. Not one deer has taken more than one step. The bullets are usually recovered with the lead and copper jacket separated and resting just under the skin on the off side.

    I believe that the 150 grain 3006 ammo of the same make and model will deliver identical results.

    My $.02 worth.
  11. siberian505


    May 5, 2012
    I use 240 graIin Woodleighs at 2325 fps. Oh but we have both kinds of bears at times in the yard....................
  12. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Deer just aren't that hard to kill. I'm not big on the silvertips, nosler ballistic tips, or that style of bullet construction. You will get stories of deer dropping like they were hit by a lightning bolt from Zeus, but you're going to have a lot of bloodshot meat. Realistically, if you're using a regular soft point, you might have to track them a whopping 50-100 yards, but you'll be able to eat it. :cool:

    If you're picking one all-rounder for the .30-06, it's hard to beat a 165 grain boat tail design. I've never had a deer stop a 150 grain bullet, but the 165's just seem to fly better and buck the wind better on those longer shots.

    I haven't bought factory ammo in several years, but I can tell you that you don't need a bonded bullet, or even a boat tail (200+ yard shots are really rare) for white tail. Again, they just aren't that hard to kill. Last muley I got was with some wheel weights I cast into a .44 mag lswc.

    Go shoot a few 150's or 165's and see what your rifle likes.

    Federal Power shok, Winchester Super-X, Remington Core-lokt... the old school soft points will serve you well.

    Waidmanns Heil!
  13. shawnbryan


    Oct 8, 2012
    Central Vermont
    150 grain silvertips have worked extremely well for me here in Vermont.
  14. accuracy is paramount if you want to save the most meat possible. You did not mention what brand rifle. each brand and each type of barrel like a specific factory load better than the rest. In my case, I have a savage with a stainless steel heavy fluted barrel that is 26" and the Remington Core-Locks 150gr. are its favorite factory load. Of course I reload better more accurate loads than those, but if I feel lazy, I can just pick up a box of the core locks and know I won't miss the shot. By the way, I like to hunt my white tail facing me. I aim right under the jaw and always place my bullet right in the middle of the neck breaking the neck bone and spinal cord, so the meat is not as thought as if the deer survives for couple of seconds after impact.
  15. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    For a couple of decades my "factory" deer round in the 30-06 has been the Remington 165 gn "corelockt". Not quite as easy to find as the 150s or 180s but it has been worth it.
  16. A quality 150 grain is all you need. I have shot a lot of deer with the Remington, Nosler and Winchester loads. All work well.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  17. Jake Starr

    Jake Starr

    Jul 30, 2005
    Louisville, KY
    For WT deer any 06 will do.
  18. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    Howdy, neighbor. I am going after deer this year with a 12ga Slug Gun. :cool:
  19. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    .30-06 is more than enough for deer. I doubt you could find a load that a deer would limp away from.

    Remington Core-lokt and Winchester Power Points have been killing deer for a long time, and depending on your individual gun it may shoot one of them very accurately. My rifle shoots them about 2.5" at 100yds.

    If you want a "better" load try the Federal Fusion. They are a bonded soft point and will generally shoot more accurately than the Remingtons or Winchesters, once again though depends on your individual rifle.

    I would stick with the 150g varieties for .30-06. More than enough for deer, and will recoil less than the heavier loads. I also prefer soft points to ballistic tips for deer.

    I would try the proven cheaper loads I listed above first, and if they shoot an acceptable group in your gun go with one of them as they are several dollars a box cheaper than the premium loads. My hunting buddy's Savage 110 shoots Core-lokts at an inch all day long, no reason to buy a more expensive load for deer IMO.

    Hornady also makes some great loads for deer, but are more expensive and I haven't tried many of them.

    I bought several boxes of ammo when I bought my .270win Rem700 CDL. I found the Fusions shot a .75" 3 shot group and 5 shot groups just a hair over an inch. I am not the best shot with a scoped rifle so thats assuming I did not part. That was considerably better than any other load I tried. I went back and bought them out of that load in the same lot number.

    At my hunting property 99% of the shots I am gonna get are under 100yds, so the extra accuracy I get from the Fusions is probably not needed, but I get them on sale for $23/20box so why not?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  20. Arvinator


    Jan 16, 2011
    For 15 years, I have been using the Federal 30-06A load, the plain jane Federal 150 grain soft point. Not sure how many Deer I've taken, but is has worked great.
    It has been very accurate in my Remington 700ADL I bought new in 1997.