30-06 Hunting Applications

30-06 Hunting Applications

The 30-06 is possibly one of the best cartridges for a baseline comparison against any hunting cartridge. I say this for two reasons. First, it is one of the oldest modern cartridges (it's been around since 1906 and some will argue 1903). Second, it is one of the most widely known and most utilized hunting cartridges the world over.

The 30-06 Springfield is best known, or recognized, for its ability to propel a 180 grain bullet at about 2,700 ft/sec. However modern loads allow the 30-06 to push a 180 grain bullet over 2,850 ft/sec. 180 grains in the right bullet structure leaving the muzzle at 2,850 ft/sec can do a lot of things very well. Whether punching paper at 1,000 yards, anchoring white tails or mule deer to busting the shoulders of Elk or Yukon Moose... This bullet weight and velocity is a great starting point for about anything you want to do.

Now just because the 30-06 is best known for shooting a 180 grain bullet does not mean in anyway that it is limited to this range in bullet weight (only having a sweet spot of 15-20 grains). The 30-06 offers factory loads from 150 grains to 220 grains. When hand loaded, it offers a range in bullet weight from 100 - 220 grains. Some will argue about the old accelerator sabot 55 grain bullets. But we'll leave those out of this discussion because of the incredible velocity one can get with a 100 grain hand load (3,470 ft/sec!!).

Quick Ballistics:

Bullet Weights: 100 - 220 grains

Bullet Velocity(s): 3,470 - 2,500 Ft/sec

Range in Bullet Energy @ the Muzzle = 2,700 - 3,300 ft-lbs

Optimum Hunting Load(s):

150 grains @ 3,080 ft/sec = 3,160 ft-lbs Energy & 66 lbs-ft/sec Momentum

168 grains @ 2,900 ft/sec = 3,136 ft-lbs Energy & 70 lbs-ft/sec Momentum

180 grains @ 2,880 ft/sec = 3,314 ft-lbs Energy & 74 lbs-ft/sec Momentum

220 grains @ 2,600 ft/sec = 3,301 ft-lbs Energy & 82 lbs-ft/sec Momentum

If someone compares their pet loaded 270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 6.5-284, even the 300 Win Mag or 338 Win Mag, I think they will see how comparable they are to the old, tried, (not tired) and true 30-06 Springfield.

As always, Good Hunting & Be Safe!