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Forum Index > Precision long range hunting and shooting > Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)

Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)

04 Dec 2018
@ 08:42 pm (GMT)

Todd Free

Testing these with the new barrel.

Rem 700
Sightron 8-32x56
Timney Trigger
HS Precision Stock
True Flite 26", 1:10

Hornady 168gr ELD-M
Lapua Brass (fire formed)
CCI 200 Primers
Reloader 17 Powder (max 59.2gr accord. to hornady)
COAL (ogive) 2.620" Max Coal 2.660"

57.7gr - 3015,3053,3051 avg 3039 0.58" group

58.2gr - 2995,3061,3071 avg 3042 0.44" group

58.7gr - 3097,3092,3091 avg 3093 2.1" group

59.2gr - 3127,3095,3098 avg 3106 2.9" group

59.2 showed slight pressure signs and lousy groups.

ES for all loads is all over the place (except 58.7) and i suspect this is me. I think it is neck tension. I have checked and double checked my scales, I have a Hornady balance and a Lee digital and use them both to keep them honest. I don't weigh twice but I will check randomly.


05 Dec 2018
@ 06:53 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)
Hi Todd, just be careful with that because the throat is short. It might be pressure spikes that are causing the high ES. Keep an eye on primer pockets.

If you have time, have a play between 2850 and 2950fps and up to 3000fps if the primer pockets are looking OK. A generic 24" barreled .30-06 will normally have a sweet spot at 2850fps. Yours has a 2" longer barrel so it will go into the low 2900fps range without much fuss but the throat length may not yield the higher velocities without issues. Just be a bit careful when guys talk about new or specialized powders giving large increases in velocity. Some powders do, but sometimes the reviews are over optimistic and do not take chamber dimensions into consideration. One thing to understand is that a .30-06 loaded to 2900fps with a 168gr bullet is simply awesome. Anything above this is just an added bonus.

Hope that helps a bit.
05 Dec 2018
@ 08:17 am (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)
I have often wondered what my life would have been like had I bought the 30.06 inateadif the 308... just that little extra power to push some heavier projectiles...

Don't get me wrong I cannot fault my rifle... but you know us humans have a tendancy to not be satisfied with what we have...

Good luck with your experimenting. I have come to a nice load but it needs more testing to be sure. I think it's the rifle to be honest but need to confirm.
A one hole group with a flyer about 2cm low (4 shots). Earlier tests had the flier on the high side... load was 168gr ZMAX (ELD-M) over 47.5 and 48 grains of AR2208 powder. Velocity was 2800+ with ES at 13 and 7 for he respective charges.

I have hijacked your question... I hope you get it sorted. Time and testing!

Enjoy the journey :)
05 Dec 2018
@ 09:20 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)
Andrew, I love the .30-06. LOVE it. I can't imagine not shooting it regardless of what else I try out through the years. But "I have often wondered what my life would have been like had I bought the" .300 Win Mag. Human nature, right?

Todd, I've had some really nice groups shooting the 168 gr. Amax at 2,800 or a shade faster from a 24" barrel with H414. I'm interested to see what you can accomplish and what load you settle on with your longer barrel. I hope you'll keep posting as you fine tune.
10 Dec 2018
@ 10:19 am (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)
Todd .
If you have a ordinary chronograf with two optical sensors you must be sure not to have it to close to your muzzle.
The muzzelblast will make the chrono to get funky numbers ..!

5 meters in front of the muzzle is the closest !
10 Dec 2018
@ 11:24 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)
My son's Sako is in 30/06 and we had a bit of a time reloading for her.
It turned out that finding the seating depth that it liked was the key. Once that had been determined it shot Nosler 180 grain and 150 grain partitions into groups averaging under an inch at 100 yards.

We recently took it to a very able gunsmith and had the barrel as well as the action Ceracoated in black, and the action and barrel were epoxy bedded and the stock was refinished. Very nice now and shoots the Hornady 178 grain Amax bullets into bughole groups. It is an older carbine model that I think is called the Bavarian, but I am not 100% certain on that.

We also found it strange but it shot the low priced Federal Blue Box ammo into 1 inch groups at 100 yards as well...always had.
11 Dec 2018
@ 08:10 pm (GMT)

Todd Free

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)
I will keep posting results when i make the time to get out and shoot again.

Anders, I have the chrono well away from the muzzle.

04 Feb 2019
@ 09:15 pm (GMT)

Todd Free

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)

Hornady 168gr ELD-M
Federal Brass
CCI 200 Primers
Reloader 17 Powder (max 59.2gr accord. to hornady)
COAL (ogive) 2.600" Max Coal 2.660"
MV 3089 fps
ES 8 to 14
Group 0.25" worst group was 0.44"

So I did some more testing. Repeated good groups at .02, .04 and .06 off the lands. 0.06 was the best.

Chamber does not like Lapua brass. A projectile would not fit through neck on fired Lapua brass so I switched to Federal. Thus I have Lapua brass x 100 I do not need (32 unfired, 68 twice fired and FL resized).

28 May 2019
@ 12:20 am (GMT)

Todd Free

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)

Was having trouble with erratic ES and consistent groups so I did some more testing and have sorted out both issues by changing powders. Reloader 17 was all over the place with ES averaging 25+ and up to 40. I tried three different scales to see if that was the issue.

End result has a slower MV but better results.

Hornady 168gr ELD-M
Federal Brass
CCI 200 Primers
49.8gr Varget (ADI 2208) Powder (max 51.7gr )
COAL (ogive) 2.600" Max Coal 2.660"

MV 2869 fps
ES 3 to 5
Groups are 0.25" to .3" consistently.

28 May 2019
@ 03:35 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Hornady 168gr ELD-M 30.06 (testing)
It looks as if the RL-17 was too slow. I wonder if you could pick up some more velocity with Superformance. It is supposed to be pretty good in the '06.


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