Sierra GameChanger Hunting Ammo in an old 30-06 Mauser

   10.22.20

Sierra GameChanger Hunting Ammo in an old 30-06 Mauser

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

Avatar Author ID 61 - 1336214273

Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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