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30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

Old 12-29-2003, 09:07 AM
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Default 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

Hey all, I'm looking for some scope recommendations for a Springfield 30-06 that my father owns.

The primary hunting will be for whitetails in the Northeast (PA and NY), and a trip I have planned to go out to Wyoming on a deer (whitetail or mule) hunt next season.

I've never been out west to hunt, and in fact have never hunted with a high powered rifle. Here in NJ, we are limited to shotgun and ML. So, I'm really not sure what to get in terms of magnification that will be applicable both out west (for next year and future hunts for mulies, elk, etc) and for eastern hunting (whitetails).

Right now, I have a Burris Fullfield 3-9x40 on my ML and absolutely love it. I hunt some really thick areas and it offers some nice optics, especially in lowlight...but I do find it difficult to "track" moving deer at times. 3-9x is probably overkill for an ML in NJ anyway, but I honestly really like it and have been fortunate to take a few with it! What do you think of the Burris line?

Anyway, I'm thinking along the lines of a Leupold VX-II 3-9x40 or VX-III 3.5-10x40 or 3.5-10x50. Any thoughts on these scopes? How about the magnification, good enough for hunting out west? I'd imagine our shots are going to be out to 300 yards (max), but I'll likely try to keep mine to 200 or so on a spot and stalk.

BTW, I'd love to get a nice Zeiss or Swarovski, but honestly cannot afford the $1,000+. I'm looking to hover under $600 if possible. Eventually, I plan on getting a new rifle down the road and will outfit it with a Zeiss/Swarovski, but just can't afford it right now. I also know it is very important to spend the money on quality optics...hence my current dilemma. I think I'd be better off focusing my money towards a scope for the 30-06 I can currently use rather than splitting it up on a rifle/scope combo...and just save up for a future purchase.

Now, since we are on the topic of rifles and considering I've never shot a HP rifle, do you think a 30-06 is good for elk and mulies? My father has used it mostly for whitetails, but from what I understand it is an effective weapon for most all big game.

One final question is a recommended bullet/load for a Springfield 30-06?

Sorry to hammer you with a ton of questions, but this seems like a great and knowledgeable forum. Hopefully I can learn a bit from the extensive knowledge here!

Thanks all
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:17 AM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

The .30-06 is an excellent choice for deer and big game. I haven't hunted out west myself, but my .06 has done the job on many deer and a couple moose. I'm sure it would do equally well on elk or mulies.

You can't go wrong with a Leupold scope. I have a Varix II on my .06 and I love it. Mine is a 3-9x which is more than I need for my hunting situations. I'm not sure if you would want a little bit higher power for out west or not, maybe 4-12x would be better for longer ranges.

As far as choice of ammo, it's best to try a few different loads to see which works best for you and your gun. I use 180 gr. Remington corelokts and they work great for me, although many people seem to dislike them. Winchester and Hornady also make quality ammo. Buy a few different boxes and try them out, then go from there.
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Old 12-29-2003, 11:58 AM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

Some followup info from my dad on the gun:

Gun is a 30-06 Remington model 700. He used a core lock 180 grain bullet for deer, 150 for varmints...and says it shot extremely well.

He used to have a Leupold 2-7x33(?) VX-II on it, but I took it off to put it on his ML...since he/I didn't hunt with HP rifles at all anymore.

I've been doing some research on the 30-06 ammo, and it seems like there are ALOT of options. Core-Lokt, Accu-Tip, etc, etc, etc...but a bunch of different manufacturers (Remington, Winchester, Hornady, Federal, etc)

How does one determine what is best for a given application? Can anyone direct me to any articles or recommended reading?

Thanks again for the info!
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:05 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

Interesting and informative page from Remington's site:

http://www.remington.com/ammo/ballis...lts.asp?cal=30

I like the Premier® Scirocco™ Bonded 180 grain, looks pretty nice...might give that a try. Anyone ever shoot these?
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:21 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

Those Barnes X bullets look pretty awesome too, reading some good things about them. Great all around bullet, even over long distance and for big game (elk for example).
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:19 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

180 grain corelokt should be plenty for Elk. I use 165 grain for Whitetail. the 180 would expand nicely and give very good penetration. It will however kick more than a slightly lighter bullet like the 165 or 150 gr. Good luck. Sounds like a nice trip. Sooner or later I will get to do a nice unt like that.

David
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Old 12-29-2003, 07:00 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

BNJ, I had a vari-x-III 2.5x8 on 30/06 for some time. I recently went to a 3.5x10 vari III and like it alot more. The 50mm grabs more light than the 40. I also changed bullets. Went from 180gr corelokt to 180gr Ballistic Silvertips. The bullet proved itself on a Maine whitetail this year. The 30/06 will work on just about all North American big game.
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Old 12-29-2003, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

BowhunterNJ, you can get a Zeiss Conquest 3.5x10x44 for around the same price as Loppy Varix III. It might be worth a look. I have used the Vari XIII and never been unsatisfied with its performance, so I can say it is a good scope with conifedence. I also think the Zeiss is a good scope very comparable for sure and has some features like fast focus and fixed 3.5" eye relief that would be considered to be improvements over the Vari X III. Leupold will be replacing the VarixIII with the VXIII and it would be worth it to wait and see what improvements or enhancements maybe be included with this offering. It may further reduce the cost of the current model as well(Vari XIII) like it did when they phased out the Vari X II's. Something to think about.

As far as load combo's for whitetails or mules anything from 150-165 will work fine. I prefer boattails or Ballistic Tip offerings for deer like Federal Premium Seirra Gamekings or Nolser Ballistc Tips, Hornady BTSP or SST & Winchester Supreme Ballistic Tips. For elk I would suggest a Failsafe(winchester-like an x bullet), Nosler Partition, Grand Slam, Swift Aframe, Trophy Bonded or Barnes X bullets in 180 gr. I personally don't like the corelokt bullet at all and would never suggest or consider using it on an elk. The bullet you chuck will depend on your guns preference and experiences. Everybody has their opinion and preferences just match the bullet to the game and you should be fine.
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:33 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

I can't give you very much imfo on scopes, but I do have a Rem 700, 30-06 and use 180 gr. coreloks because of elk/ bear/ or encounter, 180's are kinda powerful for deer, especially back east, but this load works best for me outta my rifle and I use it the entire season. I don't like the noslers, because they don't shoot very well outta my rifle, even though they are a good choice.
Best thing to do is to take several boxes of different types and find out what works best. Make sure you keep the rifle clean each time after a few groups with each kind. Good Luck, Bobby
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:38 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 Scope and load recommendation?

my dads gun is a 30-06 and shoots 180 grain bullet ballistic tip. murders deer.

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