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For years I've been using 57gr of IMR 4350 powder with a Sierra 165 SBT bullet. I'm out of powder and bullets. For no specific reason, I want to try a different setup. I'm thinking about VihtaVuori N550 powder under a Barnes 168gr TTSX. I've never used this powder or this bullet. Any input/suggestions would be appreciated. This is for whitetail deer with a shot almost always under 100 yards. (I zero at 100). Also, I usually shoot once pre-season to verify scope and then (usually) once per deer; which means I shoot about 3 times a year. The price of powder and bullets (I have brass) will be offset because I won't need any more for about another decade. Anyway, should I:
1) stick to what I've always used?
2) change recipes?
3) just buy a box of factory ammo?
Again, any input appreciated. Thanks!
 

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I do not reload so it’s factory ammunition for me. Also don’t have a 30-06. But that 168 Barnes is one of the most accurate bullets I’ve ever shot out of my 308. I also shoot the 165 out of my 300WM. Everything I’ve shot with either is DRT.

Good Luck on your decision.
 

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The load you are using is the exact one I have in my Remington 700 ADL and it is very accurate for me. I've been using it for about 5 years now. I've only tried to change once and dropped to 150 grain Accubonds but didn't get the accuracy I wanted, probably should have tried them in 165 if I was serious about a change. That being said, the Sierra is accurate, deadly, and i get 100 for the same price as 50 Noslers. I haven't found a good enough reason for me to change yet. So my advice would be to stick with what you know works [biggrin]
 

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That's a fine combo and if you are getting the accuracy you want with what you loaded in the past I would not change. That's my advice but if you got the time and money and really wanna try something different go for it
 

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The Barnes 165/168 pushed by 4350 has been my 30-06 recipe since 1991, started with the original X-Bullet in 165 then switched to the 168 when the TSX came out. Never saw need for the TTSX with my shots being virtually always under 300 yds. The magazine in my Vanguard is long and allows the rounds to slam forward during recoil which tends to deform sharp tips causing me to wonder if accuracy would be affected because of the off centered tip the fix was to not use lead nor polymer tipped bullets. Barnes cost has not been an issue since 2-3 rounds is all I shoot most years. My gun really does well with IMR4350 see no need to change due to the dependability. Some times boringly dependable is a good thing. And as has been stated the Sierra bullets are half the price.

Costing about the same as Barnes, bought some of the non-tipped 168 Cavity Back Bullets for use in my next load workup. Being designed to open aggressively to an average 0.80" diameter they should dump significantly more energy into the animal and waste less passing through the animal which has been my knock on the Barnes.
They also have it in a tipped version if that is your flavor.

Thinking about some of the 125 for my 308 Encore pistol.
 

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I've never tried any 4350 in my 30-06, even though I know it's the go to powder for it. I've have good success with H4831SC in mine. You may want to give that a try too.
 

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I load for four 30-06s:

My son's Savage - 165gr Speer Hot-Cor over a mild charge of IMR4064
My Winchester Model 70 Ranger - 150gr Barnes TTSX over med charge of Varget.
My Ruger M77 MkII - 200gr Speer Hot-Cor over med charge of H4831sc
My Winchester Model 70 Classic - 165gr Speer SBT over med charge H/IMR4350.

All of these have been used to kill deer. Of those particular rifles, my son's has killed the most (my main deer hunting weapon is a 35 Whelen Handi-Rifle), with the Ranger a close second. I can state 100% unequivocally that if you didn't tell me I'd never know one from the other. They ALL have proved themselves more than capable, and since I'm OCD they only get "approved" after excellent+ accuracy has been achieved through obsessive load development.

You are shooting one heck of a combo. I tend to prefer Speer over Sierra by a tiny, tiny margin, but not enough to matter. The Barnes is really attractive, mostly because it genuinely broke new ground in bullet design and performance, and I don't think I've ever encountered a product with so few negative testimonials. The darn thing just WORKS! But on "CXP 2" game like whitetails, so do many other - much more affordable - designs. And I shoot a lot. So that really does matter to me.
 

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I like heavier bullets. My ‘03 lobs 180gr nicely and I’m still using BT Noslers. Would use 220 bearballs but can’t find them anymore. IMR 4350 nice slow burner. My lighter loads 110, 150, 168 I like the faster IMR4064. ‘06 is the most versatile caliber around. Just me....
 

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I like heavier bullets. My 06 lobs 180gr nicely and I'm still using BT Noslers. Would use 220 bearballs but can't find them anymore. IMR 4350 nice slow burner. My lighter loads 110, 150, 168 I like the faster IMR4064. 06 is the most versatile caliber around. Just me....
Have you tried the Sierra 220 grain offerings?

Couldn't agree more on 4064 for the lighter loads. I also use Varget and IMR4320, both about the same burn rate.

As for the '06 being the most versatile? YEP x100. That's one of the reasons I own SIX 30-06 firearms. Just love working up various loads for various purposes. If every other cartridge was wiped off the face of the Earth, and all deer hunters were forced to hunt with 30-06, no one would be worse off. There's almost NOTHING you can't do with it. In fact, I'm not sure why the 7mm Rem Magnun even exists.
 

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In 220gr as slow as it would go needs to be round nose for expansion. Everything I see is spitzers. Only seen them in RemCoreLokt in the past; and that past is gone. Could order some they are around just not in stores. Brush load is the idea....
 

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Don't really know why but I have never owned a 30-06. I am 63 years old and have probably owned, still own or traded 200+ rifles. Just never an 06.
Wow...that is amazing to me, Mr. Drysdale! One of the main reasons I've owned so many rifles over the years is I've wanted to try out specific brands and models, and BY FAR the most common chambering in my part of the world is 30-06, followed some distance behind by 270 and perhaps 243. Sure, I'd love to find more obscure chamberings in the used gun shops and pawn shops, but seems like every rifle I pick up - especially bolt action - is chamberedf for 30-06. So for me it's always been a very practical matter.

[and my comment about the 7mm mag isn't meant to insult 7mm mag enthusiasts. it's just that this particular cartridge offers little - if any - practical benefit over the venerable '06 from a ballistics standpoint, and the '06 has so many more load options, the ammo is sold EVERYWHERE, and the hand loader doesn't have to worry with those belted shell casings!]
 
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