Reloading: The Flexible And Forgiving .30-06 Springfield


When it comes to powder and bullet combinations, few cartridges beat the grand old .30-06 Springfield.

  • Like its applications, the .30-06 Springfield’s reloading potential is incredibly versatile.
  • Its bullet section is vast, additionally, it might be compatible with the widest varieties of powders of any cartridge.
  • Given these factors, the .30-06 is open to a lot of experimentation.
  • Generally, the neck tension is good enough that it doesn’t require crimping.
  • The author has had the best results with Federal Gold Medal Match GM210M powder.
The .30-06 Springfield is highly versatile, capable of launching bullets with weights ranging from about 100 to 240 grains.
The .30-06 Springfield is highly versatile, capable of launching bullets with weights ranging from about 100 to 240 grains.

Just as the cartridge itself is incredibly versatile, so is its reloading potential. The .30-06 might be the cartridge that can use the widest variety of powders; I’ve personally used powders as fast as IMR3031, and as slow as Reloder 25, and just about everything in between. IMR4350 is a good all-around powder, as is IMR 4064, depending on the bullet style and weight.

The ’06 runs on a standard large rifle primer; I’ve had my best results with the Federal Gold Medal Match GM210M. I keep my cases trimmed to the SAAMI-specified length of 2.494 inches to keep things uniform, and as the case offers good neck tension, I rarely — if ever — crimp my cases.

All that versatility — in both powder choice and bullet type — can lead to quite a bit of experimentation, but after all, that’s half the fun of owning such a flexible cartridge. If you run a bolt-action rifle, neck sizing may tighten group sizes up a bit, but I’ve achieved really good accuracy in many .30-06 rifles without too much trouble or having to get too awful fancy. You might find it difficult to match the velocities of the factory ammunition, but I wouldn’t worry too much about that; the .30-06 gives you plenty of velocity for hunting, and 50 fps either way isn’t going to make or break your hunt.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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