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SHTF availability: 30-06 or .308?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Aceman, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    I was a SHTF situation (let's ignore the definition for purposes of discussion) - which round is currently more available?

    On the one hand, 30-06: The great American hunting round. Been with us a long long time. Lot's of hunters out there who if they have one bolt rifle, might have this as the caliber.

    On the other hand, .308: The military round du jour in 7.62x51. Also with us for quite a while, and also a respectable and common round these days.

    But in reality, is it still mostly a military/LEO round, with some civilian use? Or has it overwhelmed the 30-06, which has nearly 100 years of market existence?

    For purposes of discussion, let's ignore the LEO/MIL use; My general consideration is that in SHTF those rounds are generally UNAVAILABLE - because they are in the possession of LEO/MIL. Feel free to add as a caveat if you want...

    SO my real question: In civilian circles - which would be more available in a forage for ammo situation? (Add "If LEO considered...if you want - but keep it separate.)
  2. Broncbuster

    Broncbuster Dying Breed

    Jan 7, 2009
    Georgia USA
    I would venture to say either. IMHO if you had 500 to 750rnd of either you should be GTG. I have a Win M70 in 30.06 with about 500rnds for large game and some long distance threats. Anything else would be handled with a AR or a AK.

  3. jellis11

    jellis11 Yippee-ki-yay

    Jul 27, 2011
    South Kakalaki
    I have a few hundo 30.06. I want more, because it's my favorite round ever, so that I can feel like I have enough. (although that doesn't seem to ever happen) IMO it would be the .06 for your question.
  4. Dexters


    May 3, 2004
    The 308 will be available through the black market as the LEO/Military sell it to raise cash for themselves.
  5. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    During the ammo crisis a couple of years back, surveying the empty shelves at WM the only thing worthwhile left on the shelf was .06.

    In a REAL've missed the mark entirely if you're thinking of turning the occasion into a bargain hunting opportunity.

    By then, its too late.

    The topic here is PREPAREDNESS. NOT "Just in time" inventory management.

    Get it now. EVERYTHING real cheap. Compared with having to acquire anything "after".
  6. LongGun1

    LongGun1 StraightShooter

    To answer your question....

    .308 Winchester (basically 7.62 NATO or 7.62x51mm)
  7. UtahIrishman

    UtahIrishman BLR Silver Member

    Nov 11, 2001
    I'm thinking you might want both.

    I originally settled on the .308 platform because I figured it would always be available at a decent price. Boy was I wrong.

    Like your financial portfolio I think diversification is the best way to go. Also buying ahead of time.

    My primary platform is still .308 but I also have an 8 mm Mauser for fun and also to diversify in case of shortages.
  8. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009

    Nope. More popular due to the market for semi autos that handle it and that also drives volume sales. More likely to get wiped out when the shelves are low.

    30.06 doesnt have much of a volume market...popular sure, for hunters with single shot (non-detachable mag-fed) unless you have a BAR....

    Garands and repros are sure out there, but having a box magazine makes .308 the volume round.

    You need SOME 30.06
    You need LOTS of .308.

    IE, you don't thumb 3 or 8 rounds or whatever in your 20rd mag for a FnFal or M1A. If its SHTF time, you pack all 20 in there and several backup mags.

    The volume demand will definitely hit .308 first and wipe that out before Old Soldier.
  9. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    Thus, I am asking this NOW. Honestly, I feel little/zero need for a .308 weapon. But if I were getting something in this realm. Which one...

    And Just in Time preparedness - interesting concept. Probably should be discussed!

    Basically noted...

    Well, before you diversify, you need to start somewhere! I feel between 9mm, .45, 7.62x39, .22 and 12g I have a pretty good range of common, yet diverse calibers available. .223 and 30 something would help, as well as .357/38, and 30-30....

    But overall, feeling ok.
  10. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    Well if you're not expecting heavy targets or serious distance and have at least an M4 and a minimum 1k rounds on hand on a bad day, well maybe.

    You need at least one good mag fed battle grade weapon and backup.

    Um, no. Oxymoron. Just in time means failure to plan and prepare with no margin for error. The opposite of what we talk about here.

    Don't see how close you can get to the cliff without falling off.

    See how far away from the cliff you can stay.
  11. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)
    There is far more 223/5.56 and 7.62/308 in this country than any other center fire rifle calibers.

    30-06 is a very popular hunting gun, but thats it. It doesn't get used as a mainstream anything else anymore.

    Match shooters, fun shooters, hunters, just about ever LE agency, all of the .gov agencies, the .mil etc have 7.62 or 308, and that means that in supply warehouses across the country, there is tons of that in various stages of shipment, or stockpile. In addition there is also a heck of alot of released to civilan market over-runs and surplus.
  12. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    Theres a reason for that. Its' more used. And therein lies the balance.

    Most popular
    Most used.

    Most likely to be demanded, used, stockpiled and wiped out when the surge comes.

    .06, not so much. A lot more slack in the line.

    Again, during the last ammo crisis....308 was off the shelves. And 06 one of the last things left on the shelves when all else was bare.

    Saw it with my own eyes.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  13. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)
    I agree, but to a point, it depends where you're located.

    In Phoenix AZ, I could probably find 5.56/7.62 before I found 30-06.

    In Cantwell AK, I would find 06, long before I found 5.56/7.62.

    There is certainly more of the NATO standard ammo running around, and thus I would venture if you were to look/scrounge you would be able to find more of it than anything else/be more likely to come across it and weapons chambered in it than anything else.

    The obvious solution is to have the ability to field both.
  14. Javelin

    Javelin Got Glock? Silver Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    N. Dallas
    In a SHTF it is a BYOB party (bring your own bullets). I don't think I would be counting on finding or having to barter for any ammunition necessities. That's why I stock everything I think I need and keep it on hand.

  15. LongGun1

    LongGun1 StraightShooter

    I gave the "short answer"...but not the logic driving the answer.

    Since you gave me is mine!

    If your idea of availability is going to the local Wal-Mart during a developing crisis..

    ..& getting the last few boxes of a less popular caliber...

    .. then may be correct.

    But my idea of availability during a crisis is what I have on hand..

    (maybe 4 figures quantity of 30-06... mostly 7.62x53 M2 AP..IIRC...

    ..but 5 figures of .308/7.62 NATO)

    ..and those amounts stocked by close friends/family.

    Most of the people I know with .30-06 firearms (with the exception of Garand & belt-feds)

    ..may have a box or 2 of .30-06

    ..those with .308 tend to stock cases.....not boxes.

    Leading up to & including the crisis...I am more likely to first call a supplier & have cases on the way....transit time sometimes one day!

    Just a guess...but I'd bet they stock 7.62 NATO vs. 30-06 at least 100 to 1.

    Even now...I am more likely to order a few cases from a favorite distributer..

    ..than I am to go to a local store & buy a few boxes (.22 LR is the exception)

    Then...if things get really gritty..

    ..consider the amounts of ammo in military/police/civilian stocks & supply chains.

    I would not be surprised if there are several to many 10s of cases of .308/7.62 NATO... every box of .30-06 somewhere in the country!

    From the civilian M-14/M1A, HK-91 & G3, FN-FAL/L1A1,etc...

    .. precision bolt actions to belt-feds..

    (including mini-guns....remember the story of one guy that ordered his Israeli surplus by the tractor trailer load :shocked: ) LEO/Security Agencies precision weapons & semi-autos... Military....there you have M-14, GPMG, SAW, name it!

    So while lots of 7.62x51mm goes downrange every day..

    ..much much more is waiting to!

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  16. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    NO! It is however, a barometer of public sentiment, and activity. I do grab some plinking stuff there when able. historically, the cheapest prices on some stuff.

    I tend to get my stuff of all stripes ahead of the crisis, hence, prepared!

    In which case, you are past the topic. You don't worry about availability, you are your own bottomless pit. A good place to be.
  17. Chuck TX

    Chuck TX CLM

    Jul 11, 2003
    Republic of Texas
    I'd have to go with .308 win.

    As far as use goes it takes the same amount of shots to go through a box of 30-06 as it does a box of .308 win.

    I don't know many folks that have stockpiles of 30-06. As LG1 pointed it tends to be a caliber for folks that keep a box or two around and that's it. There are plenty that do have a good bit of .308 win due to the popularity and variety of platforms available. If the goal is to be able to trade for ammo (or find it at the end of a rainbow), there's going to be a lot more folks with excess .308 to barter with or that they may leave behind if they split in in a rush.

    Of course, if you ain't got it, don't count on having it when you need it.
  18. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    Again - read my original post:

    FORAGING for ammo. I am sure there is more 7.62 at MacDill airbase than there is all 30-06 for 100 miles around. NOT relevant. I'm would suspect production is 10-1. Now, take LEO/Mil OUT OF THE EQUATION.

    I can't forage the local po-po. They will use the 7.62 ON ME!!!

    The question is 100 years of hunting in America vs maybe 25 of civilian/Mil crossover of the caliber; Which is more randomly available. Production is not the question.

    There is far more petroleum on earth than grain alcohol. Grain alcohol is easy to find.
  19. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    What I mean is "How do you deal with prepping if you get in a just in time situation?"

    Not saying JUst in time is a good prep approach. But if it becomes a needed approach, how does one go about it?

    i.e.; You have not prepped for Nuclear fallout - but it clearly becomes imminent. How do you deal with that? Besides go to Walmart,,,,
  20. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    Exactly a key point of consideration! The hoarding tendencies vs the casual user. Same with bottled water. There is water in tea, soda, everything. But Bottled water gets devastated at a hint of trouble. Thus if I develop a need for bottled water, I'm gonna be hurting...