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



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.



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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.

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.




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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.



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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



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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.


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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.


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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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I had a 30-06 for 12 years and loved it. The round is cetainly effective. I found that 150 grn good for everything in the UK.

I now have a .308 and that's fine to shorter action which means you can chamber round quicker to drop more deer :lol: .

I think there is very little difference between the two caliber in reality except that the 30-06 is slightly flatter shoting than .308 except when you start to shoot 180grn bullet's, but 150 grn's can handle most things including wild boar and some of the bigger European stuff plus plains game in Africa.

It's a tough choice. but in reality they both good caliber's.

And the only reason I don't have a 30-06 on my ticket now is that the local FAO won't let me have 2X 30 cal's on my ticket otherwise I'd still one.


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I have a 30-06 (prohunter) and have often shot a friends 308 (also a prohunter) and both are equally effective. My 30-06 does not seem to like lighter bullets whereas my mates 308 will shoot tight groups using 123grains but that may just be particular to my prohunter(?) I put a 30-06 on my ticket for boar but also use it on fallow using 150 grain federal. With the 150 grain federal ammunition my 30-06 will shoot just over a 10p size group at 100yds which I am more than happy with given it is standard rifle using factory ammunition so it is an accurate calibre for sure. As for length of action I can't say that it made any difference to chambering a round any quicker or slower than when using a 308. I am more than happy with my 30-06 but I am sure you would not be disappointed with a 308 either.


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THe .308 is inherently more accurate than the 30.06 because of the short
fatter case.
Other than that and the fact that 30.06 can use heavier bullets, there isn't
anything of practicle use between them.


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Hi matty go for the 30-06.I have a custom borber barrels remmy left handed 06 with a 27inch barrel i load 155 Amax on 53.5 gr 540 vita it runs @3090 fps and will 1 hole group at 100 meters if i do my part.Thats nowere near peak speed but it gaves me the best groups. i have taken red stags to over 300 meters on arron this year with Griff.The history on the 06 speaks for its self not bad for a round over 100 years old.


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As there's not much between the two calibres, why don't you consider a .300 win mag. Especially if you're going to Africa.
The local department might not be delighted,but if it's just on your ticket as authority to buy a .30 cal rifle,you may experience no difficulty.
Downside is that I think ammo's pretty expensive.

Edit. I notice on the legal section you have to specify your calibres on application,bad luck,but at least your department isn't dead against you having a .30 cal!
really appreciate all your feedback/help guys- All the members on here and responses have been fantastic, this is one forum which is worth its weight in gold- long may it stay that way. I have put in for the variation from .308 to .30-06 and am awaiting the return of my certificate. Next issue will be what rifle to get - don't want to spend too much as have a newborn baby boy and the missus might go mad, but want to get something which will last and do the job, was told to go for a Prohunter, have also been looking at the Howa's.

Thanks once again for all the help



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Very easy, treat yourself to a howa sporter stainless in 308.
If you are strong, maybe the varmint with laminated stock.