.30-06 load development

A couple weeks ago I took my new Remington 700 out to the range to get it sighted in. I was able to get it dialed in well enough to get my rounds withinin a 5″ circle at 100 yards. Needless to say, I was a little underwhelmed by it’s accuracy. Some of this could be attributed to being a new rifle and not having a feel for the trigger. Plus the barrel had not had a proper scrubbing beyond a pass with a bore snake soaked in CLP, and I had a poor bench rest setup to shoot from. So over the past couple weeks, I took the time to give the barrel a proper cleaning, and upgrade to a proper bag setup on the bench.

Today I had the opportunity for a little alone time, so I did what I always do when some thinking time is needed, I took my rifle out to a MDC range about 40 minutes away.

When I loaded up some rounds for this rifle, I arbitrarily picked a load based on the powders I had on hand and the load data from my copy of Lee Modern Reloading, Second Edition.

All I had left of that initial batch was about 20 rounds 180 grain Sierra GameKing SBT bullets loaded with 45.5 grains of Hodgdon Varget.

The best grouping of the day was within a 1 1/8″ x 1 5/8″ rectangle. I typically try to shoot 5 rounds in a group, but the wind got the best of my target stand before I could get that 5th round down the tube, so 4 will have to do.


This is much closer to the accuracy I expected from this rifle, so I’m going to consider this a good spot to start testing various loads. I recent found out about BulletSamples.com from AccurateShooter.com, so I’ve ordered several rounds to try out. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working up several loads to see what my rifle likes best and seeing what kind of accuracy can be gotten from this rifle. I’d be interested in hearing what other folks use, so feel free to drop your favorite 30-06 load in the comments.

Oh yeah, the standard disclaimer applies:
Don’t be a idiot and take my word for the recipe for this load.  You are responsible for double checking your load recipe against the manufacturers data for the bullet and powder that you are using.  If you don’t, you’re a dumbass and deserve any damage that happens to you or your gun.

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