06 and Unique

So I read some threads here about the 8.5 and 9 grain loads with 180ish weight bullets, then I looked at the RCBS cast book and it starts at 15 grains and go to 17 grains. Lyman starts at 12 gr. and works up to 17 as well, so one of my questions is, is the 8-9 grain loads position sensitive? Is anyone using a filler of any sort or doing the primer up, down prior to firing? Do those loads still perform well @ 100 yards?
I’m using the RCBS 180 SP bullet and will just be making holes in paper @100 yds. Previously I have used the RCBS 165 bullet with 17 grains of 2400 and been very happy with the results. Because this is just a paper puncher velocity is way down the list, I’m mainly focusing on being able to put them closely together.


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Unique is position-sensitive in the '06 no matter what. You will find no better example of harmonic nodes than in an '06 sporter using Unique and cast bullets. There's a full node cycle every 1.5 to 2 grains or so from 8 to 15.

Start at 8 or 9 and work up in .2-grain increments and keep very careful notes on your targets. 100 yards is easily within preactical ranges of these loads. 13-14 is quite pleasant and effective out to 300 if you have enough clicks in your scope.
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if I were chasing small groups a filler would be on my list of things to try for sure.
I have had a hard time shooting groups better without it than with it until I can get enough powder In the case for it to not matter.
I know 2400 shoots a lot better if I position it to the primer in the 0-6 too.
whether that's by tipping the rifle, or loading carefully, or using a powder positioner it shoots smaller groups.
unique by it's nature would also benefit if for no other reason than igniting it would be more consistent.
My $.02 worth. Unique will be position sensitive, just like A2400, until it gets to its minimum pressure range. In the '06 that seems to be about 14 grains. .30/06 barrels vary greatly in contour so the harmonics also vary greatly. 12 grains is the minimum for Springfield '03 barrels without tapping the case before you put it in the chamber. At 17 grains in a SAMMI barrel, the Unique press curve turns up sharply. Heed their warning. Unless you are willing to do the .2 grain ladder, just consider it a 2MOA powder and accept it. It is a great inexpensive plinking and close range varmint load. HTH's Ric

p.s. Fillers are not the answer for any bottleneck case.


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If you can't shoot one-hole groups at 100 yards with 13-14 grains (there are other nodes that are fun to find as well) then sum ting wong. I am not exaggerating when I say half-inch less, though a 2 mph full-value wind is enough to blow them around considerably. Somewhere in the workup groups will change shape from patterns to strings to holes to patterns back to strings and so on. This is your barrel whipping around. I only point all this out because it us a fun exercise to learn about how the load affects the vibrations of the rifle and how important muzzle exit timing is to group dispersion.
If I can get away without a filler that will be one less thing to deal with. Once I burn this powder up I plan on returning to 2400 but I thought I could have some fun and maybe learn something in the mean time. The barrel is a heavier profile not a hunting profile and it does seem to shoot pretty well with the 165.
It looks like I better prep some more brass if I’m going to work up in .2 grain increments, for me a range trip is an hours drive each way so I like to have what I need.