I haven't had a chance to shoot the 168 grain Hornaday A-Max Loads for the .30-06 yet, my NeuroDoc wants we to wait another week or so before shooting. While I'm waiting I'm loading up some light loads to make the rifle up into more of an all-round weapon.
Load number one is a less powerful load for light big game, deer and antelope, at closer range than the full charge 150 grain loads. This load is straight out of the Hodgdon Manual, 40 grains of H4895 behind the 130 grain Hornaday Single Shot Pistol Bullet. This load should clock about 2500 fps. This is slightly over the 7.62x39 ballistics and very close to .30-30 Winchester. The advantages of this load will be obvious to those thinking about it, lower recoil, less muzzle blast and almost no muzzle flash. The most obvious reason for this load is deer hunting for my daughter, the secondary use is to make bad guys want to leave the kids alone while they fight their way out here.
Once I have that load dialed in I've one more left to load, a cast bullet small game load. I've had some pretty good luck with Alliant's Red Dot shotgun and pistol powder behind my Lee 170 grain flat point 170 grain gas checked bullet in other '06s over the years. I got this load out of an old Handloader's Digest, maybe the late Seventies or early Eighties. Right at 13 grains is about as much powder as one wants there. This load is for small game and cheap practice. I've found that somewhere between 11.5 grains and 13, I've usually found a load that prints right at twenty-five to fifty yards or so with this light load with the sights right on two hundred for the big game loads. Once I get those four loads done I'm through with this rifle.
Anyhow, that what I'm up to, between dragging my hiney to various sawbones to get poked and prodded.