Handloads: Reduced-Recoil .30-’06 Springfield

posted on December 30, 2020

Not all of the energy that a rifle cartridge can develop is necessary all the time, and excess power can be detrimental to meaningful practice. That’s where reduced-recoil handloads come in.

.30-’06 SpringfieldAn easy method of developing reduced-recoil loads is with Hodgdon Powder’s 60 percent formula for H4895 propellant that can be loaded in a variety of cartridges from .243 Win. to .300 WSM. Take the maximum amount of H4895 listed with a bullet in a reloading manual and multiply it by 60 percent to arrive at a starting point for a reduced-recoil load that can be increased slowly to attain the desired velocity and accuracy.

Hodgdon’s reloading manual lists 51.0 grs. of H4895 as maximum for Nosler 150-gr. Ballistic Tip bullets loaded in the .30-’06 Sprg., and 60 percent of that charge is 30.6 grs. Increasing that slightly to 32.0 grs. resulted in a velocity of 1957 f.p.s.; however, it also produced a three-shot group that measured nearly 2" at 100 yds. and an extreme spread of velocity of 135 f.p.s. Bumping up the charge up to 34.0 grs. increased velocity to 2056 f.p.s., but the group size was still nearly 2" and extreme spread of velocity was 99 f.p.s. The sweet spot came at 38.0 grs., which boosted velocity to 2263 f.p.s. with 81 f.p.s. velocity spread over nine shots with an average group size of 0.91" at 100 yds. 

At that muzzle velocity, 150-gr. Ballistic Tips are traveling 2078 f.p.s. and carrying 1,438 ft.-lbs. of energy at 100 yds., and still moving 1900 f.p.s. and packing 1,202 ft.-lbs. of energy at 200 yds. Hitting on aim at 100 yds., the bullets drop 6.5" at 200 yds. That mirrors the .30-30 Win. and would make a good deer-hunting load. Most importantly, recoil is half that of the maximum .30-’06 Sprg. load—the perfect prescription for plenty of practice.


Marlin firearms lever-action rifles left and right side quatering views
Marlin firearms lever-action rifles left and right side quatering views

Ruger Re-Energizing Marlin Enthusiasts

Honoring the legacy of a 152-year-old legendary gunmaker is no easy task, but Ruger’s remains squarely focused on that mission while it resurrects a brand that languished under Remington Outdoor management.

I Have This Old Gun: British Snider Enfield

Watch this American Rifleman Television segment of "I Have This Old Gun" from 2020 to learn about the British Snider Enfield.

Blast From The Past: Revisiting The 9 mm Magnum 'Super Cooper'

Follow Brad Miller as he takes a closer look at the 9 mm "Super Cooper" magnum handgun cartridge, which can have cases made for it from cut down .223 Rem. casings.

Smith & Wesson Model 10: A Legendary K-Frame Available Today

Today’s Model 10 chambers .38 Spl. and can handle +P loads. Cylinder capacity is six cartridges in the single/double action. Its frame, cylinder and barrel are carbon steel, blued in classic fashion and the grips are wood. It’s a timeless look.

Tips & Techniques: A Penny For Your Dry-Fire Thoughts

When performing dry-fire practice with an AR-15, there are a lot of reasons you might not want the bolt to lock to the rear. You can use dummy rounds, snap caps or other safety aids, but there’s another trick used in training circles requiring far less investment.

NRA Foundation Grants $252,000 For Ammo To USA Shooting

The NRA Foundation Board of Trustees has approved a $252,000 grant for USA Shooting to purchase the specific shotshells used by the National Team, National Development Team and National Junior Team.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.