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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are some targets from two different loads that I tried out yesterday. These loads both used W760 (~51.5 grains and ~51.8 grains), Wolf large rifle primers, Speer 180 grain Spitzer Point Boat Tail bullets seated to a COL of ~3.305, and a light/medium crimp using a Lee factory crimp die. The weather conditions were around 55 F, dead calm, and light drizzle. All shots were made from a bench with a 6-9" Harris-style bipod and sandbags under the butt. I started out a couple weeks ago at the near starting load of ~50.2 grains, and then I worked up from there. I had very limited success with grouping until yesterday.

Up until a couple weeks ago when I loaded up my first 30-06 handloads, I had always used cheap-ish Remington or Winchester factory loads, with very limited success (2-4" groups on a regular basis). I knew the gun was capable of MUCH better performance, so I was starting to think that I just sucked that bad. I was getting a bit discouraged to say the least.

Well, yesterday was a little different for me. The first target is with the 51.5 grain loads. The second and third targets are both shot with the 51.8 grain loads. I noticed that the holes on the 51.5 grain loads were rather jagged and, as you can see, they didn't group very well at all. When I switched to the 51.8 grain load, I immediately shot the tightest group that I have ever shot out of the gun. I was elated! The next target with that load was not quite as good, but I'll still take it (never mind the flyer ;)).

Here are the targets.
 

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Thats some great shootin!!!!!! :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! Yeah, I was very happy. It's amazing what that extra .3 grains did for my accuracy. I never would have dreamed that that little bit would have that big of an effect. I assume the lesser load wasn't enough to fully stabilize the bullet, causing the jagged holes, but I'm not sure.
 

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Man, That is some good shooting. The best I have done so far is a .792 with Marlin XL7 with a Leupold XV-II.
I really need to get it together and find a load that works all the time. Im happy with that as well but your grouping is just fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the positive words. Now that I have the gun sighted in and know what it's capable of with that round, I'll trying adding the "me factor" back in next time. I'm sure my groups will open up significantly when I remove the sandbags, but at least I'll get a true picture of what I can do with the gun under more realistic shooting conditions. Now the real work begins: improving my accuracy with just a bipod and basic shooting fundamentals at play. I'll try to post some targets after my next range session and see how the two sets compare. Wish me luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Man, That is some good shooting. The best I have done so far is a .792 with Marlin XL7 with a Leupold XV-II.
I really need to get it together and find a load that works all the time. Im happy with that as well but your grouping is just fantastic.
By the way, .729 is pretty awesome also, and I would have been tickled pink if that would have been my results. The 1/2" group that I managed to get surprised the hell out of me. I was definitely not expecting anything that good. I feel very lucky to have found a round so quickly that works well. I know it normally takes a bit more time than that. But, that's fine by me... I'll take "lucky" any day. :D
 

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Nice group. My 06 seamed to like 4350 powders the best with 165 gr boat tails. Every gun will be different and takes awhile to dial them in. I got mine to dial in for groups and could shoot 300 yd groups under 3 inches and for a stock hunting rifle that was great. (it did harvest a moose and elk too)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Nice group. My 06 seamed to like 4350 powders the best with 165 gr boat tails. Every gun will be different and takes awhile to dial them in. I got mine to dial in for groups and could shoot 300 yd groups under 3 inches and for a stock hunting rifle that was great. (it did harvest a moose and elk too)
<3" groups at 300 yds is pretty cool. I'd love to get to a point of being able to do that on a pretty regular basis. My current range only has a max possible distance of 100 yds. One of these days I'd like to try my hand at shooting some longer distances. I just need to find a place to do it... and a lot of practice before that.

Congrats on the moose and the elk. In my mind, being able to put meat in the freezer is where the rubber really meets the road when it comes to accuracy with a rifle.
 

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Nice group. My 06 seamed to like 4350 powders the best with 165 gr boat tails. Every gun will be different and takes awhile to dial them in. I got mine to dial in for groups and could shoot 300 yd groups under 3 inches and for a stock hunting rifle that was great. (it did harvest a moose and elk too)
Thats funny, Because my 06 seemed to like 4350 as well with a 165 Gr BT
Hasn't harvested anything YET...
You beat me to that!
 

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PCSO1,

Try a 5 shot group.
Another forum that is mainly about reloading told me that 3 shots prove the rifle and 5 shots prove the shooter.
Give that a go before you make any other changes. As for my grouping, It was .792, Not .729. My mistake. I also used a bipod and sand bags for the rear.
Gonna try a sleigh maybe next time if I can find one for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
PCSO1,

Try a 5 shot group.
Another forum that is mainly about reloading told me that 3 shots prove the rifle and 5 shots prove the shooter.
Give that a go before you make any other changes. As for my grouping, It was .792, Not .729. My mistake. I also used a bipod and sand bags for the rear.
Gonna try a sleigh maybe next time if I can find one for cheap.
Actually, I looked back just now, and you had the right group size listed in your post. I just transposed it incorrectly. Either way, that's a great group size in my book. :thumb:

I'll give a 5- or 7-shot group a try next time I go to the range (using the same bipod and sandbag setup again) and see what happens. I honestly don't know how consistent I can be at this point. However, with two groups in a row under an inch though, it does boost my confidence in my shooting fundamentals a bit, and that's probably a good thing for me. But, who knows, I may have just gotten lucky. Like I said in an earlier post, I was beginning to have serious doubts about my abilities before last weekend, so I'm really not sure what I'm capable of. If it goes the same way it usually does when I shoot handguns, I will probably have some really good days, with quite a few not so good days mixed in. Oh well. That's what makes it fun. I like the challenge. I guess I'll find out soon.

I'll try to produce a couple more sub-MOA groups before ditching the sandbags, just in an effort to further prove the gun's capabilities with this round in my mind. I figure that once I've done that, I have no one to blame but myself when I have crappy range days in the future. ;) But, I also don't want to get too dependent on the sandbags because I don't fancy myself as being a benchrest-type shooter. I've always had more of a "hunter mentality" with shooting, meaning that I want to know what I can honestly do with my gun in the field under less-than-ideal conditions. Nothing at all wrong with benchrest shooting, I just don't envision myself doing much of it. Although, I have to say that it is pretty rewarding when I see small group sizes, regardless of what method is used to put them on the paper.
 

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Actually, I looked back just now, and you had the right group size listed in your post. I just transposed it incorrectly. Either way, that's a great group size in my book. :thumb:

I'll give a 5- or 7-shot group a try next time I go to the range (using the same bipod and sandbag setup again) and see what happens. I honestly don't know how consistent I can be at this point. However, with two groups in a row under an inch though, it does boost my confidence in my shooting fundamentals a bit, and that's probably a good thing for me. But, who knows, I may have just gotten lucky. Like I said in an earlier post, I was beginning to have serious doubts about my abilities before last weekend, so I'm really not sure what I'm capable of. If it goes the same way it usually does when I shoot handguns, I will probably have some really good days, with quite a few not so good days mixed in. Oh well. That's what makes it fun. I like the challenge. I guess I'll find out soon.

I'll try to produce a couple more sub-MOA groups before ditching the sandbags, just in an effort to further prove the gun's capabilities with this round in my mind. I figure that once I've done that, I have no one to blame but myself when I have crappy range days in the future. ;) But, I also don't want to get too dependent on the sandbags because I don't fancy myself as being a benchrest-type shooter. I've always had more of a "hunter mentality" with shooting, meaning that I want to know what I can honestly do with my gun in the field under less-than-ideal conditions. Nothing at all wrong with benchrest shooting, I just don't envision myself doing much of it. Although, I have to say that it is pretty rewarding when I see small group sizes, regardless of what method is used to put them on the paper.
Sound about right to me.
Nothing wrong on finding the ammo that your firearm likes best and then trying to see what you can do off hand since your going for hunting.
Kinda funny how we are doing the same thing. Bench rest shooting for max accuracy then trying off hand to see what it would be like in the field.

Let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Will do. Lots of yard work this time of year, so it might be a couple weeks... sigh. I'll post some more targets after my next range session.
 

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I agree with Josh45 - shoot a few more groups before deciding that you have "the" load. it's amazing how many times I thought I had found the magic combination, then couldn't reproduce the great groups next time out.
I think you are probably close though. If the next set is not quite what you want, you could try a smidgen higher or lower on the charge, seating a few thousandths deeper ( as I recall, you are .02" off the lands), or not crimping to see if it tightens up the groups.
 

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<3" groups at 300 yds is pretty cool. I'd love to get to a point of being able to do that on a pretty regular basis. My current range only has a max possible distance of 100 yds. One of these days I'd like to try my hand at shooting some longer distances. I just need to find a place to do it... and a lot of practice before that.

Congrats on the moose and the elk. In my mind, being able to put meat in the freezer is where the rubber really meets the road when it comes to accuracy with a rifle.
I lucked out with my 06 it was a Weatherby Vanguard, early model, and would shoot any bullet weight from 110 to 220's. Never seen an 06 do that. The 165 BT was the best for accuracy although the 110 hollow points harvested many prairie dogs at up to 300 yds with a very loud "Whomp".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree with Josh45 - shoot a few more groups before deciding that you have "the" load. it's amazing how many times I thought I had found the magic combination, then couldn't reproduce the great groups next time out.
I think you are probably close though. If the next set is not quite what you want, you could try a smidgen higher or lower on the charge, seating a few thousandths deeper ( as I recall, you are .02" off the lands), or not crimping to see if it tightens up the groups.
That sounds like good advice. Yeah, I'm hoping that I didn't just get lucky, but I would honestly be happy with anything that groups under 1 MOA. That was actually all I was really hoping for at this point. Of course, I would love to have tighter groups, but I tried not to set my goals too high being so new to reloading. If I can't reproduce good groups the next time, I just hope that I'm able to tell if it is me or the round that needs a bit of adjustment. :) I guess I'll just have give it a go and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I lucked out with my 06 it was a Weatherby Vanguard, early model, and would shoot any bullet weight from 110 to 220's.
That would be a very handy gun to have in the collection. I've always heard great things about Weatherby rifles.

...the 110 hollow points harvested many prairie dogs at up to 300 yds with a very loud "Whomp".
:shocked: :icon_ rofl: I would imagine so! Hunting prairie dogs sounds like a real hoot. I would love to give it a try some day. I don't know much about it, but I have a feeling it's one of those things that's a lot easier said than done.
 
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