2428 miles

Well-Known Member
Hi Gents,
I’m just looking for some general banter about this calibre. I stalk a lot and presently use the trusty .243. I love it and have no intentions of ever selling it. However, I am looking to expand the family living in the gun cabinet and was looking at the .30-06.
I want it mainly for hill stalking, the odd fallow if I’m not using the .243 and to take abroad.
The vast majority of people I speak to about getting a larger calibre always opt for the .308 but I want something that is versatile and can handle big game as well as british deer.
I have not fired a .30-06 and wandered what sort of kick it gave and if the muzzle jump was bad. I really want a rife that is steady and you can watch the bullet strike through the scope. Something that really irritates me about the .243 but getting a T8 fitted next month so that should help that!
Anyway, would love to hear all your thoughts.


.30-06 it's magic

buy one, they are great. You can shoot 110grain varminters, 130 grain (some use them for roe) 150-165 grains for any deer, one bullet for all occassions. You can load 180s for pigs and when you go away you can go upto 220 gr. Upto 150 grains it performs similarly to .308win. This is a suprise as it has a much longer case, but .308 win uses faster burns and higher pressures. But above 150 grains it is head and shoulders above. It gives great performance and does not use as much powder asthe magnums that are a step up. componants and factory ammo is readily available world over. there is a huge choice of bullets.

i use a 243 as well. when using 150 grain bullets the .30-06 has a very similar trajectory out to 250 yardsas 243 with 100s.

The chairborne rangers will say it is too much gun. thats bollocks. It is less damaging to carcasses that light .243 loads, it kills things very well. there is no such thing as "too dead", but you can get "not enough dead!"

HOWEVER you will not see your bullet strike unless you have arms like arnie. it is loud and, depending on load, does recoil.I don't feel it when stalking only when i put 30+ rounds on the range.

the .30-06 is 101 years old for a reason. It is unfashionable at the minute so they will be cheap. but it is a true game getter.


I like .30-06

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that, very interesting.
So are there any calibres similar to the .30-06 that are not effected by muzzle jump. I feel it is one of my main issues that I cant watch the bullet strike. It would be particularly important with big game.
Also do you think a T8 would help that then?


Well-Known Member
Hi 2428 Miles,

I've got a 30-06 and wouldn't swop it for a .308. Have aslo got a .243 and as Swampy says the trajectory for 150 grn bullets are very simular to that of 100grn's fired from a .243.

I also find it more plesent to shoot than a .308, although the rifle has got a muzzle break fitted to it which does have an effect on recoil and also seams to cnfuse the deer as to were the shot has come from so they stand around long enough for a secon shot on another deer.

The recoil isnt for the faint hearted but you do get use to it and when you take the shot on an animal you do see the strick as the muzzle flip isn't to bad.

In addition there is a varst array of bullets available for the caliber but would recomend sticking to 150 grn.


Well-Known Member
Swampy... I like your thinking!

I've used a 30-06 with a t8 and it's just nice, cuts down the kick and muzzle flip,and lets you whatch the deer fall over instead of running off with a little hole in it!

People slag off the 30-06 and 270 saying they are a bit brutal, but you stick a can on them and you got a comfortable flat shooting animal stopper. Muzzle brakes are also good but a bit harsh on your ears.


Well-Known Member
Your right about muzzle brakes being harsh on your ear's, but until I fit a moderator to my boomer then got to live with it.

Yes and people do have a go at the old 30-06 but there's a good reason why it's been around since 1906 and still going strong. It's a good caliber which wouldn't feel out of place in Poland on boar and in Africa on some of the plan's game or Scotland.

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
o.k well I’m still set on the old 30-06 but what are your thoughts regarding a different calibre that doesn’t have too much muzzle flip but similar performance to the 30-06.


Well-Known Member

Hi 2428 Miles,

You can add my vote to all the above posts for the 30-06, I also use a 150 grain head in my reloads for fallow, munty and roe (not shot red yet). Like the others I also shoot a .243.

I have not found the 30-06 to be hard on the shoulder unless I'm putting 50+ rounds up the range seated behind a bench. I actually find it a very pleasant calibre to use but you won't keep a sight picture unfortunately.



Well-Known Member
if muzzle flip is your main issue and you don't want to mod or brake it, then i'd reccommend a heavy barrelled weapon.

The only other calibre that i've used that might be suitable for you is the 7x57, but it doesn't cut the mustard velocity wise with comparable bullet weights. Upto 140 grains it's as sweet as a nut and tends to kill very well.

the 25-06 gives minimal muzzle flip but only really effective with bullet weights upto and including 100 grains.
There are an awful lot of really capable calibres between the pussy-cat .243 and the seriously serious 30-06. I tried one on the range and it beat the bejeasus out of me. I wouldn't take one as a gift. I'm sure it's a very capable calibre, but sighting-in alone would give me flinch-enough to worry me about pulling my shots. I thought it made a nicer sound than the .270 I tried the same day, which had a tremendous bark; but it sure kicked harder. With big bullets I reckon it would kick you out from under your hair. This is meant to be fun.

Wanting a particular calibre can become quite a 'thing' for a shooter. Living with it can be less of a wonder. It's a great puzzle to me that shooters buy new rifles without actually trying them. Certainly, before making this GIANT leap in whoosh-ability, you should put a few score rounds through one. As has been mentioned, the 30-06 ain't easy to sell, so you should be able to pick one up cheaply. I'd have thought the heavier the better.

I'm married to a remarkably pretty doctor, who recommends witch-hazel for nasty bruises. It doesn't actually do any good, but as long as you THINK it helps, there will be some soothing effect.

If you must have a 30 cal. think about a 7mm-08. I haven't got one, but I'm convinced by all I've read from the States, that it's a good capable calibre.

I wonder what the ACTUAL difference would be if you equipped a 30-06 with a really good moderator - perhaps a PES T12. Perhaps you could then get all that hellfire with a gentle push at the shoulder. Again though, I'd have to try before I'd buy.



Isn't that a necked down .308 to 7mm? then it isn't 30 cal? i might be wrong, it has happenned in the past.

it's right about rifles being cheap I have a parker hale lieghtwieght safari (lightwieght... my arse!) it was pristine but it only cost me £200.




2428, where are you? i am in lincolnshire, if you want to come and shoot one, give me a PM

I shoot .243,.308 and 300wsm.375h&h the .308 I have shot a lot of deer with and rate it highly, the 300wsm is an animal without a moderator, a pussycat with one but lots of meat damage. I've just purchased a Heym 44b singleshot rifle in 30.06 and must admit i wasn't looking foward to shooting a 180grn "pig load" but it was sweet a fair bit of muzzle flip but kind on the shoulder in a 6lb rifle very impressed. I'm sure with a moderator it would be excellent no flip at all.


The 7mm-08

You are absolutely correct. I've just dialed 7mm into my vernier, and it proves to be .2760 inches. My mistake.

All the same, the reports about it are glowing, and it only gives about 12 lbs of recoil pushing a 140gr at 2860fps. The much-loved and proven-capable calibre 7x57 gives 14 lbs of recoil for 139gr at 2800fps. Both in 8 lb rifles. The 7mm-08 would appear to offer a lot of poke for your pound.

It won't be long before someone suggests a 6.5x55 SE, but I shall not go there.

The offer to shoot a 30-06 is a good one. It might be interesting to have some others around at the same time, to compare.

You mention shooting abroad with the 30-06. I'm told firearms through any Customs post are a right regal thief of time, and paperwork. Would it be worth the hassle? I'll ask the question.

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the info, I’m so glad I stumbled on this site it’s a wealth of knowledge!
Yeh, I really would like to have a play around with some different rifles and especially shoot the 30-06. like someone said it’s a mystery why people buy new rifles without firing them, you might as well just hand over your heard earned cash blind!!

I think I’m going to go for the 30-06 with a moderator.

Regarding shooting abroad, I know the hassles involved can be huge but on the flip side I have heard many people who said they were fast tracked through customs and the airport because they were prioritised.
I just think that if you are taking a fantastic hunting trip abroad one of the great pleasures is using your own rifle that you know inside and out.
If you are out in the field for ten days you are holding, handling and using the rifle all day and therefore it is vital that you are 100% happy with it.

I’m actually studying up in Newcastle uni I’m only 21 but keen as mustard. I got myself a job last summer in Canada working for a big game hunter and instead of being paid money I took two weeks hunting. I bagged a 12 point bull elk and a black bear. An amazing experience but I have been bitten by the bug.
I don’t expect to be going abroad for a few years now but I’m thinking in the long term.

OK. At this stage the best thing you can do is to go to amazon.com. This is the USA branch of Amazon. If you punch in Jack O'Connor The Hunting Rifle, you will see that you can buy this in paperbook form used for $5.

O'Connor was, right rightly, the Doyen of American gun writers, and he wrote a lot about the 30-06. Speculate $5 and see what you think. It's a fantastic read. I was given this book when I first starting killing animals about thirty years ago, and was Mesmerised. You'd better be quick - there's only one, and someone else might snitch it from under your nose. If you don't want it, I'll have it. My dog-eared old copy is falling to peices from being read twice a year for thirty years.

Bear in mind that things have moved on a lot since the 30-06 was designed. It's still a good round, but there are many less punishing alternatives.

You say you'll probably have the 30-06 with moderator. Whoooooa. You haven't tried it yet. Promise yourself you will throw two boxes of ammo down the range before you decide.


Well-Known Member
Watermain makes a very valid point.. Try before you buy!

a moderator really does cut down felt recoil and muzzle flip, do bear in mind though that different countries have different laws regarding the use of moderators so look into it.

2428 miles

Well-Known Member
Yeh, I couldn’t agree more, I will indeed try and fix up to shoot one and carry on doing some research before the wallet come out.
I know that moderators are banned in the US and Canada but does anyone know the score in Europe and New Zealand?

On a slightly different note, lets drop the 30-06 for a minute.
If I was looking for a deer rifle more powerfull than the .243 for use on British deer only which was very accurate didn’t kick too bad but most importantly had little or no muzzle flip, what would you recommend?
You may have already read much of what was written recently within this forum along this line of enquiry. I suspect it will all be said again here.

What you will eventually gather is that there is a tremendous enthusiasm amongst SERIOUS stalkers of high reputation, for the 6.5x55 Swede.

Everyone extolls the wonders of his own choice of calibre; me included. Most significantly though, the smart money often ends up with the Swede. It does the job brilliantly, and most importantly is is the kindest round to shoot that you can imagine. A Swede, with a PES T12 moderator is as close as you can get to perfection. Even without a moderator it makes a rather nice noise. Some calibres make a sound that just goes through you like a barking dog. The .308 sounds nice too, but it kicks too hard for me. If you're used to a .243 you are going to HATE the clout of some calibres. It will also be inclined to make you MISS.

The 6.5x55SE has rivals to its crown. In lovability the closest is probably the 7mm-08 as previously mentioned. But look at the comments from the pro gun-writers and you will likely come to the conclusion that the Swede has got CLASS credentials that please long-time connoisseurs of the sporting rifle.

The old Skandawegian military rifles are cheap and accurate, but perhaps not as strong as one might like. Modern versions for this round are a better bet. Mine is a Sako 75 Hunter. You can spend less, and you can spend more. Your problem may be to find a good one that's actually for sale. I discovered when I was looking recently that Swedes often change hands from shooter to shooter, rather than end up at the dealers' shelves. If it's going to be some time before you need an African Plains cannon, you might consider buying something you can just LOVE for use here. If you go for a Swede, I would predict that you will use it as your kill-everything-cleanly rifle in the UK, and will therefore eventually sell the .243 to buy your way into the hellfire club for foreign pastures.

Note: My FAC states that my 6.5x55SE is approved for FOX destruction. I didn't ask for it because I don't care to shoot foxes: they just included it gratis.

As I said before.... TRY it.