Q: The only high-power rifle I own is a Mark X Mauser in .30-06 topped with a 3-9×40 Zeiss Conquest scope. It is consistently accurate, punching 5 shots into 1.5 MoA at 100 yards. I’ve been using 150 and 165gn bullets in my reloads for pigs, but you wrote recently that a 130gn bullet can be loaded to 3200fps. This would probably shoot a bit flatter, at least over normal game ranges which can reach 300 metres in my hunting area. Can you recommend a good 130gn bullet and the best powder and load for pigs in my gun? Would your load be any good for fallow deer as I often come across them.
George Hamilton Jr.
A: In my own Mauser 98 .30-06 I have gained excellent results on goats and pigs shooting the Hornady 130gn SP bullet and 56gn of AR2208 which gives about 3200fps in a 610mm barrel. Work up from 2 grains below. If you find that bullet lacks enough penetration, try the Barnes 130gn TS-X BT and the same charge and standard LR primer. The Barnes has a very short shank and the maker recommends lightly crimping the case mouth with a factory crimp-style die to increase neck tension. However, I struck no problems with it in my rifle. I’ve often heard the saying: “beware the one-gun man.” If he owns a .30-06 it’s probably true because the cartridge is so versatile that the hand loader can cook up a suitable load for almost everything from rabbits to rhinos.