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Thread: Advice on .30-06

  1. #1

    Advice on .30-06

    I'm not looking to spark a 'what's better, .308 or .30-06' debate, but I could do with some advice from those that have experience of both calibre.

    I've shot a .308 on Roe and Red for the past 15 years and like it a lot. The recoil and flexibility of the calibre suits me well and I've found it doesn't make too much mess of the carcasses.

    However.... I sometimes wonder if the extra bit of power from the .30-06 would help with a slightly flatter trajectory and increased confidence on Reds and a Sika at the top end of my range (250m would be my max).

    I've been reading a bit on some USA forums recently where they describe the .308 as a "nice little tack driver", so I might be having some performance anxiety

    My experience of the .30-06 is that it isn't quite as inherently accurate as the .308 (still very good but not quite as tight) I'm happy to accept that this isn't the case - what sort of accuracy can I expect from .30-06 at say 150m?

    I've also found that there is too much meat damage on Roe and smaller species. I've seen .30-06 rounds absolutely destroying the front end of a Roe where the .308 would just punch a nice clean hole.

    both of the above comments come from using a Sako 85, firing Sako 123gr SP .30-06 factory loads.

    As mentioned, I'm not looking to ask which is better for any particular use, I understand that the .30-06 is only marginally quicker that the .308, and therefore any differences will also be marginal. I'd just like to know if my experiences of .30-06 are true to form. I wonder if both experiences are due to the lighter 123gr rounds and perhaps neither would gave been evident with a 150 or 165gr .30-06 round.

    if I'm wrong on both counts, and the extra fps doesn't bring any real disadvantages, then I could be convinced to jump ship.

    I'd be please to hear from anyone with experience of both.

    thanks

    Mac

  2. #2
    Personally I wouldn't shoot deer with less than 150 through a .308 or 30,06. I have shot a load of deer with both and shoot all my deer with 30,06 now from muntjac upwards. The 30,06 with reasonable weight heads will do v similar damage to a .308 you may find driving the 123s at 3000 plus is the problem causing hydrostatic shock causing huge bruising. In the past I have culled quite a few roe with .243 and .243 ~Ackley and got much more damage than I get with .308 or 30,06 and the only thing I can put it down to is velocity.

    The 30,06 does recoil more than the 308.
    My 30,06 shoots sub inch no problem when I do my job properly
    at longer range it doesn't mater what the drop is as long as you know what it is and are able to compensate for it

    Regards

    Dave

  3. #3
    Especially with reloading the 308 is absolutely the ballistic equal of the 06. Rifles made on the short-action 308 are generally lighter, and allow a faster bolt stroke. The only advantage of the 06 in my opinion is that it handles the 220 gr bullet. Matt

  4. #4
    Just got a 30-06 myself been using a 270 for years. Im the same as yourself wanting something a wee bit harder hitting on reds . Very happy at how little the meat damage is . As for bullet drop I am using federal powershok 150gr at 200yards its -3.6 and at 300 yards its-13.6 of a drop . Hope this is of any help to you .....atb scott

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mattmck View Post
    Especially with reloading the 308 is absolutely the ballistic equal of the 06. Rifles made on the short-action 308 are generally lighter, and allow a faster bolt stroke. The only advantage of the 06 in my opinion is that it handles the 220 gr bullet. Matt
    Cough!
    Not true. They are close at 140 and 150 grains (with the 06 still ahead on speed) but before and after that there can be as much a 200+ fps difference. Is it meaningful on game? Probably not. But it's not absolutely equal in ballistics. I do appreciate the 30-06's ability to digest 220 grain bullets, but more so the ability to toss ballistically sweet, game stomping 180's with authority -something the 308 has a hard time doing. I have about seven rifles in each of these chamberings and I consider the 308 to be a "30-06 Lite".

    As to the short action, lighter rifle argument. Does it really matter? A Tikka T-3 in 30-06 is a pretty light rifle and I never notice that 'long' bolt throw. I guess I've shot too many rifles from an era where short actions were the exception, not the rule. In any event, if that extra half inch of bolt throw and a few ounces in weight hinder a man's ability to hunt he needs to hit the gym.~Muir

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Cough!
    Not true. They are close at 140 and 150 grains (with the 06 still ahead on speed) but before and after that there can be as much a 200+ fps difference. Is it meaningful on game? Probably not. But it's not absolutely equal in ballistics. I do appreciate the 30-06's ability to digest 220 grain bullets, but more so the ability to toss ballistically sweet, game stomping 180's with authority -something the 308 has a hard time doing. I have about seven rifles in each of these chamberings and I consider the 308 to be a "30-06 Lite".

    As to the short action, lighter rifle argument. Does it really matter? A Tikka T-3 in 30-06 is a pretty light rifle and I never notice that 'long' bolt throw. I guess I've shot too many rifles from an era where short actions were the exception, not the rule. In any event, if that extra half inch of bolt throw and a few ounces in weight hinder a man's ability to hunt he needs to hit the gym.~Muir
    I took a look at hornady (I like there stuff ) 308 superformance 178g is within 50fps of 180g 30/06 superformance , not a big enough gain for me to bother ?

    The op will be served well with either but to buy the 30/06 for more oomph would be a waste of time IMO , if you absolutely have to have more clout then I'd say step up to 300 win mag but be aware that as recoil increases rifles become harder to shoot well.
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  7. #7
    I was looking across the spectrum of powders and bullet weights.
    Funny about the Hornady book. My favorite Hodgdon-provided light load for 150 grn 308 is almost max in the Hornady book. I can't help but think that if Hornady could provide pressures, they would. This is one of the reason's I like manufacturer data.~Muir

  8. #8
    I have both 30-06 is a heavy RPA and the 308 sako laminate stainless out to 250-300 there is nothing between two ballistically with 150g SST. both are zeroed at 150 yards at 300m the 308 is about 40mm lower so don't worry at all. They are both 1000m rifles either will be fine if anything I have shot a few of each I find the 30-06 recoil to be a bit more progressive push and the 308 a bit more on a crack, neither are anything of concern. Both will shoot consistently at 500m on a 150mm steel disc.

  9. #9
    If you are good enough to shoot deer in each of these calibtes at 250m, then forget the calibre,.... enjoy your stalking. Go for the better value/fit/feel/comfort. Changing aint going change your performance or (in my opinion shot imapct/meat but they might) make interesting. W.

  10. #10
    The .308 and .30-06 are both more than you need for most deer, inside 300 yards, and 150 grain bullets are the right size. As someone else pointed out, a 6.5x55 Swede or 7x57 Mauser are all you need for most anything inside 200 yards. But as Muir says, there is more difference on big game between the .30-06 and .308 than it might appear on paper.. not the yardage, but the punch.

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