Few rounds are as versatile, popular, and capable as the .30-06 Springfield. We recently had the opportunity to run many boxes of ammunition through bolt-action rifles ranging from the new Benelli Lupo to old and beautiful classics like the Belgian Browning High Power Safari. When we prepare for the next deer or big game hunt, the following ammo sections will be on the shooting bench. 

Sierra GameChanger

Sierra’s .30-06 GameChanger shot fantastic groups for our test at the range. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

Once known only for bullets, Sierra is altering the face of loaded hunting ammunition. GameChanger utilizes a 165-grain Tipped Game King (TGK) bullet. The projectile’s lead core is encased in a thick copper jacket and then tipped with polymer in a hollow-point design. Sierra advertises superior penetration and controlled expansion at any range and suggests using the .30-06 165-grain loads on anything from deer to moose. We found that GameChanger shot a fantastic sub-quarter-inch, three-shot, 100-yard group through Benelli’s Lupo rifle. Sierra’s recent acquisition of Barnes Bullets via the Remington bankruptcy debacle will only further add to the company’s growth and hunting success. Keep an eye on GameChanger ammunition going forward. MSRP is $41.99/20-rounds. 

Federal Premium Terminal Ascent

Federal’s Terminal Ascent ammo is great for performance at close and longer ranges. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

The latest launch from powerhouse Federal Premium is one of the company’s best hunting offerings to date. Terminal Ascent rifle ammunition packs match-grade, long-range accuracy into a bonded hunting bullet. The copper shank and bonded lead core of the bullet ride with a high ballistic coefficient. In the .30-06 offering, Terminal Ascent opts for a 178-grain projectile weight. While many brands offer long-range hunting ammo, few are designed to perform at closer ranges, leading to wounded game. Terminal Ascent was designed to be a true all-range performer, expanding better – and at lower velocities – than its counterparts. Quality doesn’t come cheap, though. MSRP is set at $48.99/20-rounds.

Hornady American Whitetail


If you just need to get the job done well, Hornady’s American Whitetail is a great option for the money. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

Hornady’s American Whitetail line of loaded ammunition makes use of the company’s proven InterLock bullets. The rounds are available tipped in two .30-06 soft points – either 150-grain or 180-grain InterLock weight choices. Though obviously optimized for deer given the product name, American Whitetail’s soft-point projectile is more than capable on bigger game, especially when opting for the 180-grain load. Though American Whitetail doesn’t always offer hair-splitting accuracy, it remains an incredibly capable option for hunters, and it’s also one of the most affordable .30-06 ammunition offerings. MSRP is $29.99/20-rounds. 

Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond


Nosler has a long history of hunting success, and their Trophy Grade ammo is no exception. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)

While there are many solid options in hunting ammunition from Nosler, one of our favorites for the .30-06 is the Trophy Grade AccuBond. Available loaded with either 165-grain or 180-grain AccuBond bullets, these .30-06 rounds will easily claim everything from deer to Elk-sized game. A lead-alloy core is bonded to a tapered copper-alloy jacket and suited with a white polymer tip. The end game is accuracy and terminal performance, backed by Nosler’s long history of hunting success. MSRP is $54.99/20-rounds. 

Take that .30-06 Hunting!

Whether tipped or soft point, heavyweight or light, these ammunition options have American hunters covered. Some offer long-range accuracy and performance for a price. Others simply get the job done while remaining easier on the pocketbook. No matter what brand is chambered when the hunt is on the line, hunters should have complete confidence in the performance of that round when the trigger is pulled and hunting memories are made. 

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