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Thread: Preferred calibre .308 or a .30-06

  1. #1

    Preferred calibre .308 or a .30-06

    I have just recieved my renewed firearms cert and have got provision for a .308 calibre. I was unsure of which .30ins calibre to apply for and my FEO said it was best to put in for a .308 and then make a change later if needed. I have been since advised by a friend of mine who is a professional stalker both here and abroad that I should get a .30-06 as it is much flatter shooting and has more oomph! Does anyone here have experience in both calibres and what would you recommend! I will be using it for red deer and possibly a trip to africa in the future!

    appreciate any advice



  2. #2


    Hi Matty
    I owned a .308 for a long time very good calibre,
    I now use a 30.06 not a lot in it, but if you are Stalking most Reds the 30.06 will definitely have the edge with 180+ bullets.


  3. #3

    308 v .30-06

    Wayne has it dead on. I would say that upto 150 gr bullet they are evens, but over that the .30-06 steps up. I use 165 gr sierra gamekings from mine. book velocity is something like 2950 fps. it is a superb round.


  4. #4
    Thanks guys, appreciate the help, thought I would get a few opinions before sending in the variation - will let you know how I get on.



  5. #5
    According to the speer manual up to 165gr with a 22" barrel the 308 even has the edge.
    With a longer barrel or heavier bullets it changes.
    I'd say for africa 30-06, for here 308

    So little difference, might be more important you find a rifle that suits you, in either caliber.


  6. #6


    Hi edi,
    That is an interesting point. the more modern .308 cartridge uses faster burning powder so will get more for a lighter bullet in a shorter barrel. the .30-06 uses lots of slower burning powder and from a longer barrel uses it well.

    Trappers .308 with 150 gr bullet 47 gr of re 15 is good for (bookprice) 2919
    with 165 gr bullet hodgdon say with varget it is good for 2773
    with 180 gr bullet hodgdon say with imr 4064 it is good for 2683

    my .30-06
    with 150 gr bullet and 62 gr of h4350 it is good for 3068
    with 165 gr bullet and 60 gr of imr 4350 it is good for 2934
    with 180 gr bullet and 57.5 gr of h4350 it is good for 2798

    so really, when they are placed together and out of the same length barrel there is little difference. but with a 20 inch barrelled sporter i think the differences will be the other way. My rifle has a 24 inch barrell so i use the slower powders. if it had a shorter barrel i would run 150 gr over varget or h4895.

    i am thinking of replacing the .30-06 for another one. I will probably look at a remmy 700 sps with a 24 inch barrel. I want to use this rifle for when i am shooting over longer ranges, it is a flat shooting load using a good bullet.

    It really all depends on what you want to shoot, at what ranges and what you like! it would be better to get a longer .30-06 if you feel you will be shooting over longer distances or with heavier bullets. If you feel you will be stooting upto 150 gr (which is ok for everything we have) then a .308 win would be ok.

    they are both excellant rounds and either would be good. but for your needs a longer barrelled .30-06 would be the ticket, especially for africa and longer reds


  7. #7


    308, shorter bolt throw, smaller lighter action, more efficient round. Only opt for 30/06 if you are contemplating 220gn bullets as these are too long for the 308 case.

  8. #8
    +1 re Mack's comments. Cheers, Rene.

  9. #9
    Firstly, both are excellent calibres.

    The bottom line is in my opinion unless you are intending to flirt 180 grn bullets or above stick with the .308

    Both calibres are inherently accurate (contrary to some opinions re the .30-06) but the .30-06 will have more perceived recoil.

    There is absolutely no point in sending a light bullet out of a .30-06

    Think about the type of hunting you intend to do. If you are hunting within the UK my advice is stick with the .308

    If you intend to hunt abroad and intend to take game such as wild boar etc then the .30-06 will offer greater versatility but the .308 would serve you proudly in the same scenario anyway - you may want the psychological edge however.

    I use a .308 pretty much exclusively nowadays but have used a .30-06 and was very impressed with this cartridge as well (don't mean to sound like a Lib Dem here).

    If I was starting again from scratch I would have to say that I would be leaning towards the .308

    It is a fantastic calibre and I trot this one out on a regular basis but if the British forces use it in a theatre of war (with all the extensive research they have done along the way) then you can't go far wrong.

  10. #10
    Just re-read Mack's response as per below:-

    Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:08 pm Post subject: 308


    308, shorter bolt throw, smaller lighter action, more efficient round. Only opt for 30/06 if you are contemplating 220gn bullets as these are too long for the 308 case.

    This summarises perfectly really what I am trying to say.

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