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Thread: Deer stalking with a .30-06

  1. #1

    Deer stalking with a .30-06

    OK please only post if you have actually used a .30-06 rifle when deer stalking.......

    What are your opinions of this calibre for Sika and Red stags?

    Have you ever taken a roe with a .30-06 and was there much venison damage?

    What grain bullets are best in your opinion and why?

    What are the main pro's and cons for this calibre with UK deer?

    I'm aware it's unusable in France and great for plains game in SA etc, so am just after opinions from those who have used it to shoot deer here in the UK.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Well I haven't shot much with my .30-06 so far, but with regard to meat damage it really isn't that bad at all in fact, as is often reported, it can be less than the .243 for example.

    I shot a muntjac with 150gr speer soft point and whilst the exit wound was significant, the damage was confined to the immediate vicinity of the wound channel and there was none of the surrounding bruising you often get with smaller, higher velocity rounds.

    The angle was awkward, shooting down from above and slightly quartering and unfortunately the bullet just clipped the edge of the shoulder blade on entry. If it wasn't for that I'm sure the exit would have been significantly smaller.

    I use 150gr speer sp for deer and 180gr speer sp for boar.


    Muntjac Exit Wound .30-06 150gr Speer SP

    Last edited by csl; 28-01-2011 at 21:51.

  3. #3
    I've used a 30.06 to take all the other UK species of deer apart from those two!

    Rest assured it has enough poke to do the job on the biggest Red or Sika with well-constructed, and this is the key, bullets.

    The main problem you will have is meat damage from soft bullets and poorly placed shots.

    I am of the opinion that a decent 150 grain bullet is good enough for all uk species if pushed at 308 speeds of about 2800 fps. I load speer 150gr BTSP ( Acknowledged to be a softer bullet ) over 51 grains of H4895 for that role. It'll drop anything you care too shoot at any reasonable angle of presentation. The largest deer I have shot with this load was a monster fallow (It was witnessed at 90 kg clean at larder ) on a quartering presentation. shot straight through and the deer went 20 yards.

    Should you choose to push these bullets at closer to 3000fps, easily doable in a 22" barrel with a full case of H4350, you may encounter the small-deer-detonation effect I did......150 gr at 3000fps is like a bigger, nastier .270.

    I have now settled on plain jane hornady 180gr interlocks for all species knocking along at about 2700 fps. Good knockdown power and typical heavy bullet/slow velocity meat damage. I have loaded some barnes TSX 168 grainers that scream along at 2800 fps for Africa this year. I have yet to test them on game but judging by the width and depth of the holes they blow out the backstop.....

    I've got a few injury pics and load data if you're interested?

    Good calibre IMO, my armory is a .22, 30.06 and 12 bore SxS, never felt under or over gunned.

  4. #4
    It has been written that if you set out to test every previously established accurate load for the 30-06, shooting two different loads every weekend, you'd die of old age before you got to the end of the list. I have never hunted deer in the UK but I have shot everything from paper and prairiedogs, wild turkey to large mule deer with the 30-06 in the US. There just isn't a more versatile cartridge out there. I have four of them in different configurations. I wouldn't be without one.~Muir

  5. #5
    I've been using 30.06 for the last 5 months and just can't get over the excellent performance it has over my .243,i have only used it on roe so far and the meat damage is less than the .243 and the knock down effect far better due in my belief to the slower heavier bullets i've only had 3 runners out of 21 that i have shot with it and the furthest one made it was 40m had a much higher ratio than this with the .243.I home load a moderate load using 165gn nosler bt and have no doubt it would do an admirable job on any deer out there and boar,can't see myself ever wanting another calibre,my .243 has been demoted to foxing duties now.

  6. #6
    Hmmmmm, there might be a few people on here that know what I think of the 30-06
    I got mine in 1994, bought it to go to Africa for the first time.
    I had 243 at the time.
    The 243 and the 30-06 were exactly the same rifles,Heym sr30, swarovski 2.5-10 x 42 scopes, and after I got the 30-06 I never used the 243 again and stupidly I sold it should have kept it and had a sr30 trio.
    The 30-06 does everything its says on the box and it does it proficiently and regularly without fuss, it just does it.
    I have used it on Red,Roe,Fallow,Boar, plains game,Leopard,foxes,goats,dog,possum,magpies,I think that covers it
    I used to use 180 gr RWS mantle tips, and its what I liked and they worked very very well,then my supply of RWS dried up so I started using 165gr Federal and they work just as well.
    I`m not into whizz bang superfast all singing all dancing new rounds,you need a good lump off lead that will make a decent hole do some damage and stop the animal, not one that will whistle on through at a zillion feet per second and the animal don`t even know it`s been shot'.
    I`ve shot long range with it and close up too and when I carry my 30-06 I`m pretty confident if I can get a shot, I will kill it.
    30-06 been around since 1905 and I think it will be around for a while yet.
    I used to worry what I`ll do when I wear it out, but I think my 2 1/5 year old son will have that worry as it will probably outlast me

  7. #7
    I have a .243 and a .30-06, I have used the 30-06 on Roe, Fallow, Sika and Muntjac ( although only one munty) and I find it a very versatile round. I started reloading it using 165 grain Ballistic Tips, downloading it for Roe, and got a fair few runners, with minimal meat damage?? I concluded that the large bullets weren't going fast enough to mushroom sufficiently, and didnt have enough knockdown power. I changed to .243 and the Roe mostly dropped on the spot. Then I got a T8 for the 30-06, and have never looked back. The recoil is tamed, and it is now my gun of choice for all deer species, maybe with the exception of muntjac, where I consider it too much gun. I shoot factory Federal rounds with 150 grain Ballistic Tips, and do not get excessive meat damage. Usually there is a lot less bruising that I get with the .243, and if the odd big Sika or Fallow turns up I never feel undergunned ( which I did with the .243) . The factory round go out at around 2800 ft/sec and the gun is zeroed 1" high at 100 metres. It is good out to 200 metres with next to no aim off, and if I zeroed at 150 I am sure it woulb be good out to 250.


  8. #8
    i agree with lakey about the too much gun for munjac,the exit hole is no worse than the 243 but i find it absolutely minces the heart and lungs into a brown soup which is very messy on the gralloch

  9. #9
    ..and not just muntjac. 30-06 AI with a 125 gns Nosler BT has the same effect on roe and fallow. They tend to fall where hit, even in the boileroom - no prancing around around after the shot. Humane? I should say so. My benchmark.
    KevinF -

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
    ..and not just muntjac. 30-06 AI with a 125 gns Nosler BT has the same effect on roe and fallow. They tend to fall where hit, even in the boileroom - no prancing around around after the shot. Humane? I should say so. My benchmark.
    You were obviously impressed with Ivans!

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