New Old School, Accurizing and Tuning the 30-06

Discussion in 'Big Stuff -- 6.5mm, 7mm, 30 Cal' started by mac86951, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. mac86951

    mac86951 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    Ok All,
    I've been sold on a larger caliber already, (currently a 3 deuce and 223 shooter) I am now the proud owner of a Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 30-06. Why you ask? Well, let me explain my reasoning. First, the 30-06 has plenty of history, and a small
    one with me as well I've always wanted one. Before today, My only experience with with M1 Garand, and how to NOT get M1
    Thumb! I picked the 30-06 for wide reloading capabilities, and overall equal or better performance than a .308. Even the military wanted to keep the 30-06, but needed a short action, so 7.62x63 was traded for 7.62x51.

    Why 30-06
    I like the long action, and I've got a ton of brass, and well there are quite a few who still use 30-06 for long range, so I still get the great selection of .308 bullets.

    Why Weatherby Vanguard Series 2?
    Action Action Action. Wow is this action nice and smooth. One piece bolt, way over built. AND there weren't any HOWA 1500s around. I'll also be looking forward to Accurizing this one, starting with hand loading a good amount. I've got some 173gr M118 bullets, and I'll be looking to move to the 208gr Hornady A-Max. I've got some good ol' IMR-4895 to start off with.

    Stage 1: Test Firing Rifle (this is mainly to cover my initial setup
    Millet Tactical 4-12 with target knobs. 30mm scope with 50mmAO.
    VersaPod bipod.
    30mm High rings and R700 bases installed by me, doing the @ home tricks.

    Wow, what fun, On first notice the barrel heats up quickly, and the Pachmyer recoil pad works great.

    Future Upgrade: Turner Sling 54" since I am a big guy.

    Next Step: Factory Loads, 200 meters, I'll check my scope alignment by using a level plumb line target and checking that scope elevation moves groups along the plumb line.

    Then begins the handloads, search for velocity (by ladder testing elevation) nodes, then start building a DOPE chart.

    I should also mention my cleaning procedure as it is entirely possible to ruin a barrel from poor cleaning.
    I'm not strictly following a break-in schedule for this barrel, I just put 20-rounds through it now I'll clean.

    bolt out, bore guide installed
    Starting with wet patch (twice and short stroking or scrubbing along the way) Hoppes#9 for removing powder solvent.
    Scrub with brush, down and back at least as many times as shots fired. (dewey rod, brass brush).
    Dry patches until no more Hoppe's (usually in 3-4 patches using both sides) again, using above method.

    Sweets 7.62 to check for and remove copper fouling (very little was found after 20rnds of Soft point 180gr Hornady.)
    I check for copper BEFORE I brush, and then remember that Brass is copper and zinc, so most small blue-streaks might
    be from cleaning equipment itself.
    I brush again with Sweets (after brushing I clean sweets off of brush with brake-cleaner to prevent it from eating brush).
    Dry patch (3-4 using both sides)

    Hoppe's#9 wet patch once (clean out the Sweets)
    Dry/wet/scrub as needed to get a clean bore.

    Once bore is clean and dry, I run a light coat of Moly Disulfide down the barrel with dry patches to remove excess.
    This worked wonders on my AR which DID have a barrel break-in and copper fouling was completely gone by the 20th round.

    While not following a strict barrel break-in procedure, I don't forsee more than 50 rounds at a time before cleaning anyway, so hopefully I'm not messing anything up along the way. I'm also using a little Moly Disulfide on the bolt wear surfaces for action movement, and after ~50 cycles it went from smooth and solid to smooth as butter. This means it isn't getting the standard hunter rifle treatment to begin with.

    -Mac
     
  2. RMulhern

    RMulhern

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Here's mine:

    [​IMG]
    UglyBastid by Sharps45 2 7/8, on Flickr

    You probably won't get many responses as the 'Ole Warhorse' just isn't romantic enough for the younger studs! Me thinks German Salazar and I were cut from the same cloth as we both still shoot a lot of '06 at long range....and it does quite well. German is living proof to it's competitiveness on a national scale! And I did quite well with it when I was still shooting competition. As you can see...I don't care for 'skinny' barrels!
     
  3. mac86951

    mac86951 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    That's Great! Left hand even! I like the barrel, I'll be there soon, though for tactical I'll probably flute mine (of course I'll say its cause it dissipates more heat, but I'll mean my heat from carrying the rifle).

    I don't know where I'll go for upgrades, for now I'll shoot what I got. I bet my first upgrade will be the stock however. I do like the Montecarlo design, but Weatherby doesn't free-float the synthetic stock without a huge price increase. Barrel will follow, but not until I'm tired of working with what I got.

    -Mac
     
  4. Gary in MD

    Gary in MD Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    214
    Another 06 fan here!
    I had decided to treat myself to something nice. So after selling a gun or two and saving for a while for that special rifle, I ordered a Cooper model 52 Custom Classic with upgraded wood. It would be in 30-06....the classic hunting round. The rifle shoots as good as it looks. Long live the 30-06!
    Gary
     
  5. mac86951

    mac86951 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    Glad to see another 06 guy. There are a few of us out there, and as you'll find, I'm on the younger side, so the '06 will live on.

    The way I see it, if the '06 was a new "wildcat" between the .308 and 300Win Mag, more people would pick up.
    As a hand-loader that is exactly what it is, however, I suspect that what is turning off most people is the long-action
    and the oversupply of cheaper hunting rifles vs. upgraded factory tuned rifles. I waited a year for a Weatherby Range Certified
    model (pillar bedded and free-floated from factory). None are readily available for 30-06, so I'll take my base rifle and upgrade it myself. The base rifle I'm sure is as good, or better than I am now, so I'll get even better experience along the way.

    -Mac
     
  6. RMulhern

    RMulhern

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    The 'Old Warhorse' does pretty fair from 1000 yds.:

    [​IMG]
    '061000 by Sharps45 2 7/8, on Flickr

    The white plate is 20" diameter. Rifle loves 195 gr. Hornady HPBT using 53.6 grs. H4350 and F210M or Russian Large Mag primers. Makes me grin!! ;D ;D ;D This was my old NRA HP Match Rifle. Removed it from it's comp stock and pillar bedded it into an older stock that was for a .458 Mag I had years ago. I love to watch coyotes run and then start looking back over their shoulder cuz I know they're getting tired and will soon stop and look back. When they do...their azz is grass and the 'Warhorse' is the mower!! ;D ;D
     
  7. jr600yd

    jr600yd

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    611
    My 06 is a Remmy I've had for 30 years. Yeah, I re-stocked the old girl and changed out a barrel or two but she's still my go to rifle when hunting season comes around. Yup, two legged or four the old girl will put 'em down.
     
  8. 45bpcr

    45bpcr Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Messages:
    93
    I'm a big fan of Old School 30-06 rifles
    Here's a couple of a 03 sniper clone I made and an old pre 64 m-70 marksman I bought awhile back.
    I've been working with cast bullets in the M-70 and hope to try them at 1K yds. when I shoot at Ridgway PA next summer

    45bpcr
     

    Attached Files:

  9. wapiti25

    wapiti25 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,312
    I have found that IMR 4064 works better in the 06 than IMR 4895. My current load has been using MR 3100 under the old 190 Hornady and Berger 185 for 600 yds. Last weekend I shot a full case of MR 3100 with a 168 and it did fine. I have not chrono'd yet but we were shooting in a 5-10 mi/hr wind. The 4350's have been a good 06 powder in the past but I have a lot of 3100. I'm shooting my old match rifle from the 80's, built on a pre-war M70 with a Douglas barrel. I still shoots about 3/4 MOA at 600 if I can do my part. Read German's rifleman's Journal. I'm still shooting prepped mil brass but I do have some Lapua but so far brass is not my limiting factor. We just got our 600 yd range up and running and planning to have 600 yd shoots once a month during the cool months.
     
  10. trailrider121

    trailrider121 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    353
    Same here another 06 owner. I'm on the younger side as well, not really that young mid 30's.. Anyways my dads 30-06 was the first big rifle I've ever shot, still have it. I built another for long range shooting 185 vld's and 208 amax's. The 06 still amazes me and my friends on how well it shoots.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. jonbearman

    jonbearman I live in new york state,how unfortunate ! Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    7,917
    I have 8 rifles in 06 and simply love them.They are inherently accurate.Just cant beat them.
     
  12. RMulhern

    RMulhern

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,084
    Try some Hornady 195 gr. BTHP and H4350 w/Russian primers!
     
  13. mac86951

    mac86951 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    First Loads will be with what I've got. IMR-4895 and the 173gr M118 FMJs. I'm working up from 42.5 in 0.5gr increments, starting
    right off with ladder testing at 300 yards.

    For now I'm just planning on using up my 1lb of IMR and my 100 M118s. I don't expect to buy more of either, IMR showed great consistency in the .223, but velocity was too slow. I expect it to do well with the 173gr .308 bullets, but I'll be moving to a heavier bullet like the 208 AMax for long-range capability. For now I can't argue, and this loading will get me more familiar with the rifle, and practice is always a good thing!

    I expect to be out at the range Thursday, so I'll post results then.
    -Mac
     
  14. DanConzo

    DanConzo

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    364
    The 30/06 is definetly the King of Rifles.
     
  15. arizonajake

    arizonajake

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    German Salazar wrote a really good article on the 30-06 and I borrowed a few pointers from him.

    My Winchester model 70 really likes 175 gr. and 168 gr. Sierra Match King bullets. Best accuracy with 168 gr. bullets was obtained with 57.0 grs. of H4350 in carefully prepped Winchester cases and Wolf Russian Std. Rifle. primers, with the bullets seated 0.010" from the rifling. The best load so far for 175 grain bullets was 54.8 grs. of H4350 in Winchester cases with Wolf Russian St. Rifle primers, also with bullets seated 0.010" from the rifling. Currently working on developing another faster load for the 175 grainers.
     
  16. mac86951

    mac86951 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    COL to lands length seems short?

    Not really sure, as this is a new factory rifle, but in determining seating depth to lands, I found that the 173gr M118 FMJ seated to 3.280" is right on the lands. This has been tested repeatedly and with several bullets from this batch, and my Sierra MK 180gr are also at the lands at ~3.270." Assuming worst case variance on measurement to rifle, this still puts me on the lands with rounds seated 3.280-3.290." To me this seems like a shorter chamber than I would have expected. I plan on trying heavy bullets for long range, however, it seems to me that Weatherby put in a 30-06 chamber for more popular hunting bullets in the 150-180gr range. I'll let everyone know how it turns out, but I can forsee using German's recommended Serengeti chamber from PTG when I'm ready to go custom barrel. If for some reason I can't get what I want out of this barrel, I'll see about getting a throat reamer.

    Questions: Anyone tried, or have loading data on the 208 A-max for COL? I've got 3.285" on Hodgdon website, anyone want to post their "customized" off the lands COL?

    Given my "tighter" chamber (meaning less throat) I expect my loads to show pressure signs earlier. Then to optimize seating off of the lands, I'll actually be seating deeper than the loading manuals suggest (~0.010"). Anyone else run into this with any caliber?

    Finally, I know this is mostly opinion based, but What are your go-to powders for the 30-06?

    My beginning loads with bullets from 168gr and up will use:
    IMR-4895
    IMR-4064
    IMR-4350
    Varget
    Reloader17

    -Mac
     
  17. Gary in MD

    Gary in MD Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    214
    Mac,
    I have had very good accuracy with IMR 4350, IMR 4064, and Varget out of my 30-OH-Sixes.
    4350 & 4064 do not meter very well from a measure, Varget goes through a powder measure better and is said to be less temperature sensitive. I like the Federal match primers.
    Gary
     
  18. mac86951

    mac86951 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    Thanks Gary,
    I've got an ok supply of the Federal match primers, so I'll be using them. I also saved the $70 and I don't own a powder measure. I've gotten great results with my own developed technique using a plastic spoon (rubbed with dryer sheet). I weigh every charge. I'll look at measures when I'm ready for mass-reloading, but for now I'm doing 50 rounds at a time to develop loads. Also good to know about the Varget, It's my go-to on the .223 with heavy bullets, but I'll be looking at Reloader 15/17/19 in the future. I hear R15 burns cleaner than Varget, not a problem in the bolt gun, but a little sticky in the semi-auto .223.

    -Mac
     
  19. bcarico

    bcarico Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    44
    May sound a bit strange, but my 30-06 is a hammer with 165 Game Kings and good ol Reloader 15.
     
  20. mac86951

    mac86951 Site $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    926
    Well sorry for the data delay, but it was worth the wait. I've got a Chrono on borrow so I can tune out my loads in the AR too this weekend, and I'll see how the 173 and IMR-4895 do.

    -Mac
     

Share This Page