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The great flexibility of the ever popular 30-06 continues to increase with new and better powders. I have a new Rem 7600 carbine in '06 with the stubby 18.5 inch bbl, and imediately fell for its strength and agility. To cut dowm on muzzle blast and flash, i went to work with some fairly fast powders and 150 gr Nosler BTs as well as 165 gr Hornady PSP BTs.

Hodgdon provides data for Benchmark in the '06, which is faster than H4895 and very uniform in the velocity department, so I tested it in the short barrel.

It works extremely well. The max load given by Hodgdon for the 150 grainer is 49.5 grs for 2944 fps in their 24 inch test barrel. It did 2874 fps in my stubby bbl with no pressure problems, normal report and small flash. The 5.5 inch loss in bbl length gave only a 70 fps velocity drop, or 13 fps per inch. My hunting load will be 47.0 grs for 2792 fps. Similar results can be obtained with Varget, using about 3 more grains.

I only wanted 2700 fps from the 165 grain bullet, to duplicate the factory 308 offerings. This was achieved with 46.5 grs of benchmark @ 2706 fps. Hodgdons max load is 47.7 grains @ 2795 fps in the 24 inch bbl. Again muzzle blast and flash are not a problem.

As you might expect, these doses of powder and velocities are dead ringers for the 308 in a full sized rifle, including recoil levels. I frankly was very surprised how adaptable the '06 is to such a short barrel, and how little effort it takes to craft special purpose loads for it with new data, powders and equipment.
 
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