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30-06 vs. .308 which one should I get?

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by ajm_g22rtf, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. ajm_g22rtf

    ajm_g22rtf

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    Hey guys, I'm planing to buy my first bolt action rifle, and I'm down to 30-06 and .308 right now.. between these 2 calibers, which one do you guys think should I get? what are the advantage and disadvantage of these calibers? I want a good all around versatile caliber. I'm planning to get the Remington 700 SPS but it's now down to these 2 calibers. any suggestion between these calibers?

    Thanks.
     
  2. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

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    The only reason to get the .30-06 is to shoot heavy bullets. If that's important, get it. Otherwise, stick to .308.

    I'm a .30-06 guy and am sticking to it, but it's not the choice that suits most people.
     

  3. Mungrol

    Mungrol Wanabe Like RTN

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    I went with 30-06 since there seems to be a greater variety of bullet weights to choose from. Many think it is "old" or "outdated" compared to other calibers. I guess I am just old school. When I was a kid in the outback and other places the best rifles were 30-06 for all around. So I did a lot of research when I went to purchase my own a few years ago and settled on it. You can't really go wrong with either one though. It is a matter of preference and what you shoot better with.
     
  4. -gunut-

    -gunut-

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    What benefit does the .308 have?

    Isn't .30-06 more powerful and less expensive to shoot?
     
  5. eXistenZ

    eXistenZ Play it.

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    My next and main bolt action will be in 308.
     
  6. TrooperBrian

    TrooperBrian

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    I have the 700SPS right now, and its nothing short of spectacular. Can't load out to the lands though. I'd recommend you stick to the .308, the options are limitless.
     
  7. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    The 308 round is shorter than the 30-06 round. Therefore it will operate in a shorter action. Faster operation and shorter throw.

    100 rounds of 308 will weigh a little less and take up a little less room then 100 rounds of 30-06.

    It is generally accepted the 308 is the most accurate cartridge because it makes more efficient use of its powder charge (less unused space).

    Because the 30-06 cartridge case is a little larger then the 308 it will handle the heavier bullets (220 grain) better. This may be important if you hunt moose or the big bears.

    Both types of ammo are quite common. While the 30-06 was the number one hunting cartridge for many years it has lost its title to the 308. Many modern assault rifles are chambered for 308 making it even more common.

    However, here is the deciding factor for me:
    The 308 came into being in 1952 so any modern rifle chambered in 308 should be a safe firearm with factory ammo.
    The 30-06 has been around since 1903 (maybe even a little earlier). There are still many 30-06 rifles around from that era. So factory ammo is not loaded to its full potential because some of those old rifles just weren't made from the best metals. In a modern 30-06 rifle the cartridge can be loaded to levels approaching 300 Winchester Magnum.

    I vote for the 308.
     
  8. Jdog

    Jdog

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    i've shot both and agree the 30-06 has more power for taking larger game. Unless you plan on shooting 7.62 nato round, I'd stick to the 30-06 as a main hunting round.
     
  9. EL COLONEL

    EL COLONEL

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    So if you use 180 grain for both which is more powerfull all things being eqall ?..................:dunno:
     
  10. alwaysshootin

    alwaysshootin

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    Hands down get the 06, ammo can be found anywhere. Wait a minute, so can the .308.

    Definitely get the 06, it was a military round, but then again so was the 7.62x51.

    You know what, get the 06, other than a shorter bolt throw, an 06, can do everything a .308 can do and then some!

    Damn, now I'm confused. Just get one of each, and have all bases covered!:supergrin:
     
  11. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    .30-06, you are close enough to areas with big game animals like elk and larger bears to make the ability to use bullets heavier than 180 grains worthwhile.
     
  12. up1911fan

    up1911fan

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    If I could only hunt big game with one rifle for the rest of my life it would be an '06.
     
  13. vafish

    vafish

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    .30-06 gives you about 100 fps more velocity with equal bullet weights then the .308 does. More velocity means more kinetic energy. But it's not that much more.

    There isn't and animal on the planet that can tell the difference between the two given the same bullet weight and same shot placement.

    As already stated the .30-06 does better with heavier weight bullets of 200 and 220 grains. But a premium 180 gr bullet in a .308 will work just fine on the bigger animals and if you want to go after big bears I'd really suggest something bigger than a .30-06 with 220 gr bullets.

    I have a .30-06 for my all around hunting rifle, I got my first .30-06 about 30 years ago. One of the primary reasons for getting the .30-06 was that both my dad and brother already had rifles in that caliber and about half the people in deer camp used the .30-06. Having once forgot to pack any ammo for my rifle it's really nice to be able to bum a few rounds off of your hunting buddies. If most of the hunt camp had been using .308's I probably would have bought one of them instead.

    Arguing about which is a better caliber between the .308 and .30-06 is almost silly because they are nearly identical in ballistics.

    Pros for the .30-06:
    Works better with heavier bullets.
    Can be hand loaded even a little hotter.
    Most popular hunting rifle caliber in America.
    Ammo is available every where (not that .308 is hard to find)

    Pros for the .308:
    Shorter action length means lighter rifles.
    Shorter action length means stiffer rifles and slightly more accuracy.
    Shorter action length means slightly faster to work the bolt action.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2010
  14. byf43

    byf43 NRA Endowment Life Member

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    Great post, vafish!!!


    There are a couple of things that I would add to his post.

    IF you ever desire a rifle to shoot High Power Rifle with, or, just want a Garand, go with the .30-'06. Now, before somebody says that you shouldn't shoot 'hunting ammo in the M1 Garand', I am fully aware of this, so, I'll say that there is an adjustable gas plug (forget the name) that allows you to shoot other ammo in the M1 Garand.
    On the other hand. . . the M1/M14 platform rifles are in .308/7.62x51mm, so, that caliber/cartridge covers that.



    Right now, '06 ammo is a little less expensive than .308/7.62x51mm ammo.
    How much less???? Depends on the area and the availability.
    As for hunting, there's not much that is going to shrug off a 165 gr 'pill' from the '06 or the .308.
    For big bears or moose, I'd step up to a 180 gr projectile.
    Still, shot placement is 'key' and paramount.




    Me???? I have both calibers/cartridges covered. I've got .30-'06 and .308/7.62x51mm.
     
  15. ChaneyD

    ChaneyD

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    Almost identical ballistics. .308 has a slight advantage at longer distances. Not much difference out to 500yds. 30-06 a bit cheaper, easier to find.
     
  16. Ahmid

    Ahmid CLM

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    I have had a half dozen of each. I still have my 06's. Got rid of my 308's. Never could get my 308' to shoot as good as my 06's. 06 also feeds a lot smoother.
     
  17. 1006

    1006

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    I faced this same choice -- getting into hunting as a 40 year old for the first time. I did all the reading and put lots of thought into it, and went with the 30.06 for all the math based reasons. I regret it.

    The 308 has a noticable reduction in recoil, and the extra velosity of the 30.06 is small in comparison to the shootability of the 308. Historically, the 308 was invented after smokeless powder. The thought was, I read somewhere, that there was no reason to keep the longer case of the 30.06 when a shorter one with newer powders could make the same power.

    If doing it again, I would get the 308 from a manufacturer that makes one with a 1 in 10 barrel twist. The 1 in 10 will help with the heavier bullets, and heavier, longer bullets will help you if you are a reloader trying to load out to the lands of your barrel. Also, to reload to the lands, you need a gun that will accomadate the longer bullet in the magazine area, or use your gun as a single shot. I have found that bullets weights of 170 or less work great in the 1 in 12 barrels used by many 308 makers.
     
  18. 1006

    1006

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    ChaneyD --

    I don't understand how the 308 has a distance advantage over the 06. The 308 has a slightly greater amount of "inherent" accuracy, but the 06 is more powerfull.
     
  19. jimmygun

    jimmygun

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    as much as I love the 30-06 for its dependability and all options of rounds available from varmint rounds to heavy game rounds, I think the .308 its an excellent round that can do more or less the same as the 30-06 except the heavy bullets, I would go with the short action .308 and make it a sniper looking rig.
     
  20. dorkweed

    dorkweed

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    This is so true. All things being as equal as they can be, the Win. 308 is more "inherently accurate" than the 30 '06. This comes from 2 friends of mine, one army and the other a marine, that do a lot of long range rifle shooting. All I know, is my Remington 788 left hand in 308 will do everything I ask it to out to 500 meters if I do my part. That's putting the group on a human sized target.