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Discussion Starter #1
I'm finally going to start reloading for my .30-06. :) That is, as soon as I get paid AND finish shooting the forty-odd rounds I have left. ::) I've been browsing catalogs for reloading components and here's what I've come up with:

Hornady Match .308 168gr BTHP bullets (100)
Sierra MatchKing .308 168gr bullets (100)
Hornady Match .224 52gr BTHP bullets (100)*

Hodgdon Superformance (1lb)
IMR 4350 (1lb)
Winchester 748 (1lb)*

CCI Large Rifle Primers (1000)

Sabot Starter Kit (components marked with an * go with this) (contains 100 sabots & special die)
http://www.eabco.com/reload02.html :D ;D

Remington Unprimed .30-06 Brass (4 bags/200 cases - I've only got a hundred right now)
(Or should I get Winchester brass? It's the same price as Remington. Nosler and Lapua are a bit pricy...even Hornady is too expensive...)

My uncle has all the necessary tools, it's up to me to supply the ingredients. :( Does all this sound okay? I think I should be able to create five different loads right off the bat. If you have had good results with another kind of bullet (A-Max?) or powder, please let me know. I'm kind of set on the sabots, though... ??? ::)
 

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1. Please describe your 30-06 rifle: brand, model, age, barrel length.

2. Please explain how you will load/use "sabots": Hornady Match .224 52gr BTHP bullets (100)*?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
1. I have a Marlin XL7.

2. The sabot kit includes a loading tool and 100 sabots. The 52gr bullets go in the sabots. The only purpose for these is to say "my .30-06 goes 4200 fps..." and to take out coyotes in places I don't really want a .308 bullet to go...

Is that better?
(Sorry Charlie98, that '03 isn't mine... :'( )
 

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As far as the hornady super performance goes, scratch it as you don't need it. There is nothing good ol' IMR 4064, IMR 4895, H4895, IMR4350, and the other good ones can't do that the hornady super performance can do.

As far as the hornady match kings go, throw them out to. The sierra 168gr. MK in my opinion is the SUPREME target bullet from 100-300 yards and even beyond that with a good marksman, and I absolutely love to shoot them out of my 308. Other than that, what you have there sounds good, especially the Sabot rounds. Our very knowledgeable member Papajohn did a test with sabot rounds out of his 30-30 and you might look up his test results, as it may help you with the sabot rounds in a 30-06.
 

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I don't have any experience reloading the "Accelerator" loads with .224 bullets and sabots, so won't speak to that. Also, have never loaded W-748 in the .30-06, but to me, it seems like it might be a fuzz too fast burning to work well in conventional loads in a .30-06. That being said, it may have an application with your saboted loads.

IMR-4350 and the .30-06 go together like peas and carrots though, especially with 165's and 180's for hunting loads. For the 168 gr match bullets, I have had good luck working with IMR-4064 and IMR-4320 - - I expect H-4895, IMR-4895, Varget, H-414/W-760, or Ramshot TAC would serve about as well. I have not worked with the H-Superformance at all, so can't speak to that either.

Using the IMR-4350 with the match bullets certainly puts you at no disadvantage, IMO. It is just a matter of finding that sweet spot load for the powder/bullet combination in your rifle.
 

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DWB said:
I don't have any experience reloading the "Accelerator" loads with .224 bullets and sabots, so won't speak to that. Also, have never loaded W-748 in the .30-06, but to me, it seems like it might be a fuzz too fast burning to work well in conventional loads in a .30-06. That being said, it may have an application with your saboted loads.

IMR-4350 and the .30-06 go together like peas and carrots though, especially with 165's and 180's for hunting loads. For the 168 gr match bullets, I have had good luck working with IMR-4064 and IMR-4320 - - I expect H-4895, IMR-4895, Varget, H-414/W-760, or Ramshot TAC would serve about as well. I have not worked with the H-Superformance at all, so can't speak to that either.

Using the IMR-4350 with the match bullets certainly puts you at no disadvantage, IMO. It is just a matter of finding that sweet spot load for the powder/bullet combination in your rifle.
+1 to everything said here.

I also use H-414 in the larger cases like the 30-06. It is a ball powder, and I use it by the metric ton, as well as IMR4895 for smaller cases like 303 brit, 308. There are a lot of good powders out there max, and they all just about work if you do your part.
 

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I'm with the others, I would probably stick with IMR's 4895 and 4064 with the heavier bullets. I don't really have any experience with the other powders, I started with IMR4895 in my M1 Garand, now use it as well in my M1a (Socom16, 16" barrel) and haven't found any reason to move away from it for my general purpose loads using either a 147grn FMJ or the Nosler BTHP 168grn.

T-Man is correct, in most circles, the Sierra MK is The Bullet, unless you can afford Lapua components. I use Noslers because I got a box of 1000 seconds for a very good price, and I'm not a benchrester, anyway.

RP brass has a bit of a bad rap, some find it too soft. I have 500 .308 RP cases, but I've not loaded them enough to comment on them. Winchester seems to be the case of choice amongst us commoners.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So how would it be if I substituted:

--Hornady 168gr A-Max for Hornady Match? Or should I go with the Nosler 168gr match bullets? I don't want all the same type (i.e. Sierra MK) as I'm trying to find what shoots best in my XL7.

--IMR 4064 for Superformance?

--Winchester brass for Remington?

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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When it comes to accuracy, if your rifle doesn't shoot good with say, bullet A, and doesn't work with powders ABC you have a bullet your gun doesn't like, but I have never heard of a rifle not shooting the 168gr. sierra match king. When it comes to working up loads you have a minimum and a max, and then you have a tolerance between those and you work up loads. You'll never find the true potential accuracy of your rifle with a certain bullet unless you work up a load with that one, and if you want to try another go with it. Just keep it simple while you're starting out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Keep it simple? Good idea, particularly after reading PJ's thread...I think I'll wait on the saboted rounds until I've been reloading for a while. :eek:

So how about 100 each of Sierra MK, Hornady A-Max, and Nosler Custom Competition 168-grainers? Or should I just get 300 MatchKings?
 

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MarlinXL7 said:
Keep it simple? Good idea, particularly after reading PJ's thread...I think I'll wait on the saboted rounds until I've been reloading for a while. :eek:

So how about 100 each of Sierra MK, Hornady A-Max, and Nosler Custom Competition 168-grainers? Or should I just get 300 MatchKings?
Just buy 1 box of 168gr. sierra match kings, and your powder of choice (personally I would go with IMR4064 or IMR4895), and get a recipe out of your manual(s) and work up in .3 or .5 gr. increments, loading 3-5 of each, marking them with a number or color according to the powder charge, and see which ones shoot the best. Again, go with the Sierra 168gr. match king. All others are imitations as they just wanted to steal some of sierras success. ;D
 

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I got to thinking about what I said earlier - - IMR-4350 and the .30-06 going together so well... I need to quantify that and say they do well together in bolt guns. Like Charlie98 pointed out, loads for the M-1 and M-1A require particular powders to keep the operating system working within certain pressure limits.

For your Marlin X-gun, IMR-4350 would be a pretty good place to start. After a while, give some of the other powders a try and see how they compare to your pet IMR-4350 loads.

Dittos to the Sierra MK's - - those have been a standard by which others are judged for a long time, and for good reason. As for brass, I like Remington. For the price, they are tough to beat. Yes... They are a tad softer than Winchester or Federal, certainly less expensive than some of the "cadillac" brass, readily available, and very consistent. I like them specifically because they are a tad softer - - I am usually getting eight to ten loadings from them before I start to see neck cracking/splitting issues and have to anneal them. For Winchester and Fed's, I usually only get six or so loadings before the same symptoms manifest.

Your choice of primers is a good start as well. If you venture into the ball powders, you might consider making a change to a magnum primer, especially for working up a load that is near the upper end of things. I have had good luck with the Fed #215 using H-414 and 165 gr bullets for a hunting load in my .30-06. They go bang every time, even when it is -25*F outside, are very accurate, and I am getting ~2,850 fps from my CZ-550. I reserve my supply of IMR-4350 for my 180 gr hunting loads, and they are nothing to sneeze at from a .30-06 - - they are producing just under 2,800 fps in my CZ-550 and just under 2,700 fps in my Ruger Int'l. Most of my extruded stick powder loads were worked up using Winchester LRP (Standards), and they do just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Man, I'm glad I posted here. :D Lots of good info from everyone, thanks a lot for taking the time to post.

Travis, do you work for Sierra? Why else would you be trying to sell me on bullets that cost $7 more per box? ;D Your salesmanshp must be good because you've convinced me...

DWB, would it hurt to go with magnum primers right from the start? They're only a couple dollars more per thousand.
 

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MarlinXL7 said:
Man, I'm glad I posted here. :D Lots of good info from everyone, thanks a lot for taking the time to post.

Travis, do you work for Sierra? Why else would you be trying to sell me on bullets that cost $7 more per box? ;D Your salesmanshp must be good because you've convinced me...

DWB, would it hurt to go with magnum primers right from the start? They're only a couple dollars more per thousand.
This is why I buy nothing but sierras.

5 shots, yes thats a dime, and yes I pulled a shot because I get the jitterbugs. ;D

I shoot Noslers sometimes, for hunting, and I load hornady bullets in 2 of my guns, but I just always find myself going to Sierra because they just work for me. They ALWAYS shoot good for me, and most of the time they shoot even better than good.
 

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I started with IMR 4350 in the '06, here is what I found:
150 gr sierra Prohunter- 59gr
165 Sierra Game King or anything- 58 gr
180 anything - 56-57
200 sierra bt - 54
Settled on CCI Benchrest Primers. Later in life I switched to H4350 for it's temperature stability, although I could never tell any difference between it and the IMR for that, I just felt better about it. I found that a production grade rifle usually can't tell the difference between a hunting bullet and a match bullet, so I suggest you just get some sierra 165 GameKings, the IMR 4350, pick a brand of case, and deburr the flash holes, and use a benchrest primer of either CCI or Federal. Start at 56 grains and work up .5 grain at a time, 4 or 5 rounds of each and stop when accuracy falls off or any pressure signs . Don't be surprised if 58 gr is your sweet spot! If you get consistent 1 to 1.25" groups, for a 30.06, that IS accurate for a production gun, anything smaller is "the berries"! Read any good books on "Benchrest techniques" as it takes skill to shoot good groups off proper sand bags. Good luck, and don't allow any distractions ( music/videos/TV, girlfriends/wives) while you are loading. Have fun!
 

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MarlinXL7 said:
DWB, would it hurt to go with magnum primers right from the start? They're only a couple dollars more per thousand.
Starting out with Magnum primers in load development won't hurt a thing. From my load work and experience, you really don't need a magnum primer for MOST loads. I have a limited supply of my Fed #215 LR magnum primers left (like 300 or 400 is all), and I use those specifically in my hunting loads with 165's and H-414. Dense, heavy charges of ball powder can usually benefit from the extra brisance of a magnum primer, but not always. Conversely, moderate and even heavier charges of an extruded stick type powder seldom need the extra brisance of a magnum primer.

When I was doing a bunch of experimentation with my loads, making the switch from the Federal #210 standard Large Rifle primer to the Winchester LRP (standard) tightened my groups up, reduced my standard deviations, but didn't have a huge impact on the velocity. This led me to believe that Winchester LRP are a fuzz "hotter" than Fed #210's, and gave me a bit better, more consistent ignition. These loads all work in pretty darn cold conditions, and haven't seen the need to use magnum primers in them. Mind you - those particular loads are with moderate to heavy charges of the extruded stick type powders.

Now the funny part, in my .35 Remington loads, I use nothing but the Winchester LRP, in spite of using a moderate charge of the H-335 - another ball powder, and they are very accurate and reliable. That is an example of a particular ball powder load in a particular cartridge not needing the magnum primer.

You don't have to use a magnum primer, unless you want to give them a try. Having a magnum primer won't put you at a disadvantage over using a standard primer, necessarily. Depends on what your particular rifle has a penchant for. Whatever you do, if you work up a load using the standard primer, don't just switch to the magnum primer out of turn. Work up a load using the magnum primers from the beginning as a seperate loading. It will be safer, and you will be able to document changes in velocity, accuracy, and consistency more objectively.

I guess this a long-winded way of saying the CCI LR standard primers you have on hand will more than likely work very well, but if you want to use magnum primers, and you work up your loads using the magnum primers, they will work also. Which one will work the best for accuracy is a function of your load and rifle combination. Sort of like getting a tattoo - - the only way to know what it feels like is to get one. The only way to know which of all the primers will work the best is to give them a try, document your results, and make the best decision you can, given what you see in your results.
 

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IMR-4064 for 150 gr and lighter.

IMR-4350, or H-4350 for 165 gr and above.

If you are going to load really heavy bullets over 200 gr. you might try IMR or H 4831.
 

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I had to look it up, but glad I did :)

"Brisance" is the shattering capability of an explosive. "It is a measure of the rapidity with which an explosive develops its maximum pressure."

Did not know this term and now I understand its' application to powder and primer choices. Thanks for the education DWB! I learn somthing on MO evertime I visit.! ;D ;D

CJ
 

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I use nothing but magnum primers in .30-06 (CCI arsenal primers, which are magnum level but also have a very hard cup), but I only reload this cartridge for an M1 Garand. The military used magnum primers in this cartridge with IMR 4895 and 4064 for powder. It had something to do with reliable ignition at arctic temperatures, IIRC.
 
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