New (to me) Powder
As we know, reloading components are on a "whatever you can get" basis. So when I came across a can of Ramshot Big Game powder @ $40 I took it home. It was noted on the can as the "ultimate" .30/06 powder so I thought I'd try it there. I have a collection of Remington rifles in .30/06. My oldest is a sporter built from a model 1917, probably dates to 1918 and my newest is a 700 built in that short period when they didn't date code the barrels; call it 2000. It seemed a couple of good test vehicles. I loaded a couple of boxes with 168 gr. Hornady Z-max bullets and fired 5-shot groups with each rifle. I was very pleased with the 700: average velocity was 2757 fps and average group size was 1.44" with the best group @ .92". But the old 1917 stole the day with average velocity of 2841 fps and average group .96" with best group @ .71"! I don't get many sub-1" groups from .30/06 and it looks like those old WWI 5-groove left hand twist barrels will still shoot.
The experiment was a great success and next I will have to try that load in my Remington 1903 sporter and a Winchester 70. Now if I can only find some more Big Game powder.
Love those sporterized military rifles. Most of my deer were taken with a 7.7mm Jap sporter.
Even after all the new whizzbang cartridges hit the market taking the shooting world by storm the old 30-06 will still do a fine job of puttng meat in the freezer and poking nice small groups of holes in paper. My sporter 1903A3 with 2 groove barrel has been shot a LOT. It shows signs of throat erosion and has been shot to the point it was too hot to touch the barrel. It will still hit a pie plate with just about any bullet weight, mix or match at 100 yards. Just hold in the center of the target and the bullets from 125-200 grains will hit. I have a have a piece of tape on the scope telling me what cross hair to use when shooting cast bullets at 200 yards. The resounding ring of steel shot after shot shows it will still put them where I intended.
My current favorite load is a 155 gr Palma bullet pushed by 48.1 grains of H4895 powder. It shoots great in the Garand and every other 30-06 I have. My empty 30-06 cases are stored in a five gallon bucket, it is full now so the Dillon 650 is going to get busy loading soon.