History, and current 30-06

Roro

Well-Known Member
#21


I wasn't thinking about sporting ammunition but the cartridge in general, not that is seems to make much difference to poachers in some African countries from what we hear.
Half of the world has been awash in 7.62x39 at some time or other since 1944. It's probably cropped up in more conflicts and been produced in billions of rounds by almost every communist state plus some others. I'm willing to bet that the number of rounds produced in that cartridge would outnumber the number of rounds of .30-06 produced in its lengthy history by quite a margin.
The poachers just keep spraying lead until whatever unfortunate beast they are taking falls over.
 

Roro

Well-Known Member
#24
hahahaah and the .22 centrefire was the upper limit for quite a bit longer than it
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Yup, madness wan't it ? Using fox rifles for deer, pointless stupid carry on. It is still a bit stupid that calibres over .308 are restricted, rather than restricting on the basis of power.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
#26
The 30-06 has never been a standard military calibre in the UK and the British Empire. Between and post war the .303 was the go to calibre across the British Empire - usually some form of sporterised Lee Enfield. For deer / antelope if it wasn't the 303, then the 275 Rigby (7x57) and 6.5x54 (6.5 Mannlicher or 256 Mannlicher) were pretty widely sold in various Mauser or Mannlicher rifles - finished and branded by British Makers - Gibbs, Dickson, Army and Navy etc etc There were also things like to 240 H&H, but these were made in few numbers.


In the late 1950's when the FN / SLR became the standard infantry rifle the 7.62NATO / .308 became the norm. and rather took over from the 303. Sometime in the 1980's (I think) legislation was passed that effectively prohibited use of the 303 and 6.5 Mannlicher for deer stalking in Scotland because the standard loads with long heavy bullets did n't meet min 2400 fps muzzle velocity requirements. By this stage the 243 and 270 were becoming popular, and for Scottish deer stalking the 270 or 308 became the standard, with the 243 also being very popular, especially for lowland deer.

30-06 is viewed as being at the top end of power levels for British deer - we simply don't have by world standards, large deer in the UK. Our biggest lowland Red Stags are approaching 200kg on the hoof, most Scottish stags are 150 ish Kg weight, whereas the American Elk is well over 300kg and some of the biggest getting on for 400kg.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
#27
The 30-06 has never been a standard military calibre in the UK and the British Empire.
Not sure if you would call it standard but many British military armoured vehicles continued to use Browning .30-06 machine guns up until the mid 1970s.
Also we shouldn't forget that the Home Guard were issued with non standard P17 rifles during the second world war. Their rifles were marked with a big red .30 in the stock to indicate that they were non standard and not to be confused with the .303 chambered P14 rifle.
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
#28
Back in the 1990s, I purchased a tripod, two barrels, belts and pulled AP bullets from British Army 1919 Browning machineguns.

On the flip side, the P14 in .303 was standard issue to my State Guard. We had them from WWI, when the US stopped shipping them to the UK as we entered the war in 1917. These .303 rifles were carried by patrols during WWII who watched factories, shipyards, and the coastline. Later, we carried them while enforcing traffic and curfews during hurricanes.
 
#29
The 30-06 has never been a standard military calibre in the UK and the British Empire.
Not sure if you would call it standard but many British military armoured vehicles continued to use Browning .30-06 machine guns up until the mid 1970s.
Ah..but ONLY because the 7.92mm BESA guns were replaced by it. Which were, as many know, in fact the "Brit" name for what is now called 8x57 Mauser.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
#30
Ah..but ONLY because the 7.92mm BESA guns were replaced by it. Which were, as many know, in fact the "Brit" name for what is now called 8x57 Mauser.
I knew that the BESA was fitted to WW2 era AFV's but was it originally fitted to Saladin, Saracen, Centurion tank and Ferret, or was the M1919 .30-06 Browning the original fit?


Added.
Thinking further on it besides the post war vehicles that I mentioned that were fitted with .30 calibre Brownings, surely the wartime Sherman and Grant tanks made by the Americans and Canadians and used by the British would have been fitted with .30 calibre Brownings too. In which case the use of .30 calibre (.30-06) weapons by the British forces would have been fairly extensive for quite a lengthy period of time say from about 1941/2 until the mid 1970s.
 
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#31
Thinking further on it besides the post war vehicles that I mentioned that were fitted with .30 calibre Brownings, surely the wartime Sherman and Grant tanks made by the Americans and Canadians and used by the British would have been fitted with .30 calibre Brownings too.
Yes, you are of course correct. Sometimes the obvious is so obvious it gets overlooked. But, yes, of course, you are correct. Those M3 and M4 tanks would have had .30" Brownings. As would have had the Stuart reconnaissance tanks.

In fact ammunition supply for some armoured regiments must have been complicated! .380 for the crews' revolvers, 7.92mm for the BESA fitted tanks such as Crusader, Valentine, .30-06 (although the Brits labelled it as .300) for the Stuart reconnaissance tanks and .303 for the dismountable Bren Gun in the Dingo! And if some of the older officers, the Majors and long service Captains had kept their Webley Mk VI revolvers then .455 too!

By comparison for the Allies the Americans had only .45 ACP and .30-06 to worry about plus the odd .30 Carbine.
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
#32
Like you say Enfield armoured regiments could have been a logistical nightmare. (You could also add 9mm to the list if they also used stens.)

I was simply amazed by an article on a website that listed the different small arms cartridges used by British forces in the last 100 years. I can't remember the website but the list was very very lengthy. Perhaps someone like Flying Felix can point us in the right direction.
Most of the different cartridges listed were as a result of emergency acquisitions in times of desperation during the first and second world wars but some of them were simply as a result of inter-service rivalries. For example during the first world war we were in desperate need of pistols for use in the trenches as a result pistols in almost any calibre imaginable were taken into service from any country that would sell to us. A similar situation arose following our retreat from Dunkirk during the second world war when the British army left a good proportion of its armoury on the beaches. We even resorted to accepting donations of sporting firearms from the American public on that occasion.

I would like to think that we would never be in such dire straits ever again but can you recall when at the time of the Falklands war we resorted to plundering museums for M2 machine guns, or at the time of the first gulf war when the M.O.D. searched the country to buy back 9mm ammunition that had been sold off as surplus.
 
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#33
I would like to think that we would never be in such dire straits ever again but can you recall when at the time of the Falklands war we resorted to plundering museums for M2 machine guns, or at the time of the first gulf war when the M.O.D. searched the country to buy back 9mm ammunition that had been sold off as surplus.
A friend was a career RAF Vulcan navigator. As well as telling me about the secret trapdoor hatch in the James Bond Thunderball Vulcan (they never found it on their Vulcans...so it must have been well hidden on the RAF ones...LOL) he also said that shortly before the Falklands they had sold for scrap the bomb racks for conventional bombs in their Vulcans. So an officer, with his sergeant in a lorry, had to go to the local scrap yard and buy them back! As luck wold have it they had not been already cut up.
 
#34
The .30/06 is not popular in New Zealand. It is generally seen as really much too much recoil for a red deer rifle, and also, as well, a bit boring. People who want something bigger will get something a bit more exotic. It can be difficult to sell a second hand .30/06.
The most popular round here is the .308. A survey on a deerstalker range near me collected data for a few months, and the .308 was used by 50% of the deer stalkers for red deer and fallow, and Himmalyan tahr. Followed by the 7mm08, which is very popular here, and then the .270. After that comes the .243, .303, 6.5x55, and then all the others.

It is one of my favourite cartridges and I have owned, I think, four of them over the years. Currently I have a Winchester 70 featherweight from the 1980's which has seen many miles, worn the checkering completely off one side from rubbing against a pack frame. It will still shoot any load I have given it into an inch, and has accounted for everything from hares, goats and fallow, up to red stags and tahr. It's old push-feed action has never failed me. There is nothing I can't achieve with a 180 grain bullet at 2800fps, or a 150 grain bullet at 2950fps.
It is the foundational member of my 'collection". Anything else I own is simply indulging my interest in hunting rifles.
 
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J111

Well-Known Member
#34
I noticed there weren't many 06' about in NZ when I was there earlier in the year. Funny as there was plenty of 308, 270 and the odd 300 Winmag. Generally people seemed pretty positive about my 06'. Having done some research before I went I was actually expecting 223s and 243s to be widely used on deer out there but most of the guys I was with seemed to be in to bigger stuff saying 'better to have meat damage than no meat mate'.
 

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