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30-06 As A Varmint Caliber?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by CCF, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. CCF

    CCF

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    Loaded with some kind of a light-grained bullet, can the 30-06 be used effectively on varmints (coyotes, in particular)?
     
  2. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

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    I know somebody that does exactly that for a farmer in Ketttleman City, California. He uses 100 grain solids for the coyotes. They aren't those two piece bullets that seperate after leaving the barrel. They are normal bullets, just light, solid and small.
    He doesn't keep the pelt though, too much damage. If you want to keep the pelt, get a good centerfire .17 or maybe a .204.
     

  3. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    I second that. Actually I'll 3rd and 4th it just to keep the ball rolling.

    Would you shoot a deer with a .50 BMG?

    The light grain .308 bullets and the sabot loads are for guys with too much time on their hands and enjoy trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Even in ADC I use an appropriate tool for the job.

    If you're looking to join the 'red mist' crowd and just head out and blow up critters, I suggest starting with politicians.
     
  4. noway

    noway

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    ditto for what the above posted. Much better options exists for varmint size critters than what a 30-06 offers.
     
  5. CCF

    CCF

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    Noted. I'm learning & really just wanted to know the capability of the .30-06. I'm pretty sure what it can do on the other end of the spectrum (bigger game). I guess you can load it down fairly small, but I'm assuming accuracy suffers, etc. Thanks, guys. :thumbsup:
     
  6. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

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    I don't think his accuracy suffers any. He works the plains and calls them in from far away. I've seen him rip the heart out of coyotes from 250-300 yards. That's a small area to be hitting consistently.
     
  7. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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    Sure it will work it's just not the ideal tool for the job. Never used a .30 caliber on a 'yote, although I have used a .270. It worked, but again was more than needed. Another neat caliber that's a bit more versatile, imho, than high speed 20 and 22s is a .243. Loaded light for varmints and heavier for deer and antelope sized game.
     
  8. CCF

    CCF

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    Interesting. As far as the pelts, is the smaller caliber better only because you can use a lighter-grain bullet?
     
  9. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Mass, velocity and bullet design are what determines a good fur chambering.

    I can toss a 25gr Berger Match @ 3850fps into a coyote and have no noticable entrance and no exit. Do the same thing with a Hornady V-max of the same weight and you'll get an entrance splash most likely.

    Subsiquently I can take a 45gr Sierra SP or Nosler Solid base and poke a .22 hole entrance and nickel sized exit out on a coyote with a .22 hornet or .22 k-hornet. The same bullet out of a .223 or .22-250 will explode much more and leave big holes.

    Coyotes are actually pretty forgiving compared to bobcats and fox. If you're marginal on coyotes you'll most likely tear the other two in half.
     
  10. thetoastmaster

    thetoastmaster NOT a sheepdog!

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    Jack O'Connor talked about light loading the '06 in his book The Hunting Rifle, I think it was called. I can't remember if they were 100 or 125 grain bullets he mentioned. He was describing the versatility of the cartridge. Excellent book, very old-timey. I lost my copy the last time I moved.
     
  11. charlisity

    charlisity is full of it

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    Harvesting the pelt requires keeping the damage to a minimum. The bigger the bullet, the harder it gets to do this. As we've read, the smaller bullets make this almost an easy thing to do:

    "I can toss a 25gr Berger Match @ 3850fps into a coyote and have no noticable entrance and no exit. "

    Those 250-300 yard shots aren't really necessary for coyotes anyway so the need for wind bucking bullet mass is not a major concern. Good camo, positioning and the wind will let you walk them in close.

    Were you going to start hunting them or are you just curious about your rifles versatiliy?
     
  12. CCF

    CCF

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    Both, really. Coyotes are thick around here & I've decided to get back into hunting since my kids are getting older (I have more free time now). Basically, I want to hunt all kinds of game. Anyway, if you haven't noticed some of my other threads, I don't even own a hunting rifle right now.

    However, once I decide on a hobby, I tend to go all out. I started a thread awhile back about a 3-rifle battery for hunting. Thru a lot of help on this site, I've just about decided to get a .204 & a .30-06. I also have a .22 rifle & will be buying an "all-around" shotgun, as well (probably a 12-guage capable of chambering 3.5s with a 26" barrel). If I ever need to get the 3rd rifle for REALLY big game (Africa, etc.), I believe I'd get a .416 Rigby.
     
  13. CCF

    CCF

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    BTW, thanks for all the help, guys. :thumbsup:
     
  14. swatemintx

    swatemintx

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    Why not, the only caliber of rifle I have is 30.06, and when I can buy a box of ammo at Cheaper Than Dirt (local, I live in Texas) for less than 6 bucks, it makes even a big gun affordable for shooting at whatever the heck you want.
     
  15. noway

    noway

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    why not ?

    Will for 1st off the 30-06 is a hard hitting caliber. Where others calibers are not, that are gear'd for actually varmint shooting.

    Second alot of the actual varmint calibers have higher velocities than anything that a 30-06 could achieve even with it's lighter bullets. So this equals into less drop and more room for errror when trying to kill a ground squirrel at 275yrds that's the size of a coke can ;)


    Also as stated before, unless you want a red-mist, and don't want an actually pelt,trophy, or meat, the 30-06 does more damage depending on what load you use.

    Nobody saying you can't use a 30-06, just like you can use a 50bmg to hunt deer but other calibers in rifles do exist that actually gear'd for hunting varmint regardless if it's a ground squirrel or a coyote ;)
     
  16. MARTIN FISHER

    MARTIN FISHER

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    When I started calling coyotes, all I had was a 30-06. I hand loaded Sierra 110 gr. HP bullets. I was shooting them for control and not for pelt, which was a good thing, since the exit hole was the size of the palm of my hand.

    They would hit the ground and fur would fly everywhere. The 125 gr. soft points which are commercially loaded would be a good bet if you did not want the pelts to sell.
     
  17. noway

    noway

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    softs noses are too much bullet for a varmint size critter, but great for deer tho.
     
  18. Hummer

    Hummer Big Member

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    I have handloaded a wide variety of bullets in .30-06, from 110 to 220 grains. It's an amazingly versatile cartridge and I keep several thousand rounds in various loadings. The 110 grain RN round nose and 125 gr. BT ballistic tip can be loaded light and still be very accurate at 100 & 200 yards. With more powder the 125 gr. can be devastating on mule deer at 200 yds. The majority of what I load is 168 gr. Hornady Match for my Garands.

    For deer I prefer Nosler Partitions from 150 to 180 grains. They usually pass through, creating an exit wound without tearing up the innards like BTs do. I use Nosler Partitions for elk too and see little difference between the 180 and 200 gr. bullets, both mushroom well but also fragment when they hit bone. I'm still partial to the old 220 grain round nose bullet that has been around since the .30-06 was developed 100 years ago. Although it's a bit slower than the 180 gr., I find the performance of the 220 gr. RN to be awesome on elk. It mushrooms beautifully and seldom fragments. I've killed a lot of deer and elk with the 200, 210, 215 and 220 gr. round nose.

    Just for the fun of comparison, here are a few bullets in .30-06. From left to right are the Nosler 125 gr. & 180 gr. Ballistic Tips, 168 gr. Hornady Match, 220 gr. Hornady Round Nose, and a 110 gr. Hornady Round Nose next to a 115 gr. 9mm FMJ from CMP.

    On the box is an original swaged Nosler New Partition in 180 gr. in a Norma case. There's also U.S. incindiary, armor piercing, and some FN22R National Match made in 1924. For versatility you gotta love the .30-06, effective for all kinds of varmints from squirrels to Dodge Power Wagons. :supergrin: --Hummer

    [​IMG]
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  19. m1shooter

    m1shooter

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    I love shooting my M-1, but that caliber seems like a little over kill for varmit to me.