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.
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.