Sierra GameChanger Hunting Ammo in an old 30-06 Mauser – AllOutdoor.com

Russ Chastain   10.22.20

Sierra GameChanger 30-06 Sprg hunting ammo with 165-grain TGK bullets.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I recently posted about trying some Sierra hunting ammunition in my old faithful 308 rifle, with good results. Back when I was ordering ammo before this whole COVID-19 panic ammo shortage began, I also got two boxes of Sierra’s 30-06 165-grain groceries to feed Dad’s old custom rifle, the SpringMaus. I’ve written about that rifle here in the past, and even managed to finally take a deer with it last season.

Back of box for Sierra GameChanger ammo, load A4669--06 308 Win 165-grain TGK (Photo © Russ Chastain)Back of box for Sierra GameChanger ammo, load A4669–06 308 Win 165-grain TGK
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The chamber of this rifle is a bit long, made that way purposely so Dad could fire any sort of milsurp ammo he could put his hands on. I suspect that’s the reason most factory ammo doesn’t perform well in this old turnbolt… but I wanted to give Sierra a chance, so off to the range I went.

I used this ammo in a custom Mauser rifle with an old Springfield barrel. (Photo © Russ Chastain)I used this ammo in a custom Mauser rifle with an old Springfield barrel.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I fired my first two shots at 50 yards, and was pleased to see the impacts overlap on the Caldwell Orange Peel target. I later measured the spacing at 5/16″, which is really great — especially considering past experience with this rifle.

Backing off to 100 yards, I put a pair 7/8″ apart. Sub-MOA accuracy from factory ammo in this rifle? Suh-weet! Because the group was low and right, I adjusted the scope and fired a couple more. These were a bit farther apart at 1-1/8″, but about the right elevation (I was going for 2″ high & was aiming at the center of the whole target).

Three groups with Sierra 30-06 165-grin TGK ammo. 1 at 50; 2 and 3 at 100 yards. (Photo © Russ Chastain)Three groups with Sierra 30-06 165-grin TGK ammo. 1 at 50; 2 and 3 at 100 yards.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I changed the target and backed up to my longest range, which was 150 yards. I sent a pair downrange and was stunned to see them hit so close together; only 11/16″ between them, which is just shy of 3/4″. I never expected that from this rifle with factory ammo…

After I adjusted the scope, I tried again — and that busted my bubble. The first two shots hit in very different locations, 4″ apart. I slung a couple more out there and they were a bit more consistent with a spread of 1-1/4″ but they were also about 4″ high.

It was time to quit. The barrel had warmed up, and this rifle is fully bedded — which means a warm barrel will be subject to uneven pressure from the stock bedding. So I hung it up and went to work on other things for a few hours.

Two groups at 150 yards. The barrel had gotten hot, so it was time to quit. (Photo © Russ Chastain)Two groups at 150 yards. The barrel had gotten hot, so it was time to quit.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Some hours later, the rifle and I were both calm and cool. I pulled my second shot high, apparently juuuust missing the target — but 3 of the 4 shots grouped 1-1/8″, with the group’s center at the desired 2″ above point of aim. This should allow me to aim at a whitetail’s vitals without holding high out to almost 300 yards… and that’ll do just fine for me.

A 1-1/8A 1-1/8″ 3-shot group at 150 yards? Yes, thanks. Arrow indicates point of aim.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

If I was impressed with GameChanger hunting ammunition after shooting it in my 308 — and I was — I may be falling in love with 165-grain TGK GameChanger in 30-06 for the SpringMaus. Stay tuned, as I hope to lay down a critter or three with Sierra GameChanger ammo this fall.


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