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Question by Douglas. Uploaded on January 08, 2014
There is a vast number of powders that will work.
I would make a list of powders from your loading manual. Take that list to your local sporting goods store and compare your list to what's available, noting which powders you prefer.
Make your selection from there.
I prefer IMR powders. Others prefer Hodgdon or Alcan or Win.
My No. 1 requisite for ANY load is that the desired charge is more than half the case capacity. This helps circumvent double charges.
I like IMR 4350 for the 30-06 in a 22" barrel. In a Remington 7400 carbine in 30-06 with the 18 1/2" barrel I use H4895 or IMR 4895 to cut down on muzzle flash.
If I were to experiment with more powder for the -06 I would try the Reloader powders.
Hornadys manual lists the BTSP 165 gr with Varget and IMR 4064 as their first two loads. It also goes on to say that the 30-06 has the widest variety of suitable powders listed in the Hornady handbook. I don't own a sierra handbook and am not much use aside by fun facts for the day...
IMR4350 or 4064 are old 'go to's' for the venerable 30/06. H4831 should be on your bench also.
I have been using IMR4064 with good results and was thinking of trying reloader 22. I was kind of wondering what you all use.
In that case you can't go wrong with IMR 4350. I guarantee you can find a load with 4350 that will shoot, just do a little experimenting and you will find a load.
My go-to load through five 30-06 (I do not have a problem, honey) is a slightly below max load of IMR 4831, Hornady 165 gr SP's. I use Remington brass and whatever primer I can get my hands on. This has proved to be an accurate and effective load. Plus, I like the way the IMR powders smell when you open them.
An Aliant replacement would be more towards the RL19 than the RL 22. I would love to find some of the latter to work up a few 300 Win Mag loads.
IMR 4350 would be a great powder too. the 4064 would be fine, although starting to get a little fast for max velocities with a 165 gr pill.
I will say this about IMR powders: They meter crappily through my Redding measure. I weigh each charge, which gets tedious. Alliant powders and ball powders are much better in this regard, as are the RL-series and Varget.
IMR 4350 as stated above has been the "go to" powder for many years and that is what I use when I reload the '06. FirstBubba is 100% right on seeing what is available, I spent over 45 minutes in line at the Bass Pro in Baltimore a few weeks ago just to be told that there was no powder in stock, even though there was an entire top shelf loaded with the display jugs. Would have been nice for them to at least put up a sign telling us there was no powder avalible. Anyways off of my soap box, Amflyer is also spot on with some IMR being hard to meter. I put the micrometer adjustment screw on my RCBS powder measure and that cured that problem. I still check the weight on every 5th load just to keep consistant.
My Old Ugly Gun really likes 57 gr. of H4831SC in an almost identical load to what you have described. Brass does not seem to make much difference, and I shoot mostly Nosler BTs or Accubonds.
One of the 4350's is hard to beat.
I've used both IMR 4350 and 4064. Both work well but I settled on the IMR4350. It just seemed a bit more accurate and consistent.
Guess I'm going to pick up some IMR4350 and try it out.
You can't go wrong with IMR4350 for '06 with 165 and 180gr bullets. The 4064 works best with lighter bullets like 150gr. The guys that shoot M-1 garand's at Camp Perry 1000yd match like IMR 4198 with the 168gr bullet.
I have used 4831 in 200 and 220gr but did not get the performance as the case is not big enough. Can the -06 shoot the heavy bullets, yes, but it is not optimum for that round.
The IMR 4350 will get maximum performance from the -06 with the 165 and 180gr and accuracy is amazing. If you load too much and get flat primers, back down the load or get a bigger gun as you have exceeded the maximum potential of the -06.
I have been practicing with my Remington 700 off hand and you can see the target results in my profile pictures. Not all shots are like that but it can be done. Good luck and happy loading.
You can't go wrong with hogdon Varget. I shoot long range with a leupold BDC for 165 grain rounds. I have had nothing but success with the Varget. the Bullet velocity is consistent and my benchrest groups at 300 yards just as tight as 100. I am shooting a Rem model 700 threaded barrel with a diamond etched bolt. Timney trigger system and love every pull.
My top choice is Varget for accuracy in that size bullet. Next would be IMR 4350.
Douglas, to give you an idea of how much I like Varget for that size bullet in 30-06, I stopped at over 25 large reloading supply stores between Atlanta GA and Butte Montana last Fall looking for Varget. I had to borrow enough Varget from my brother to load 10 rounds for my 2013 elk hunt (using 168g TTSX). 2013 was a bad year for Varget... it was very difficult to find.
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