View Full Version : .30-06: Still a great choice?
March 4, 2000, 02:59 AM
Please indulge a question from a pistolshooter, who is getting back into rifle hunting.
I have a Browning BLR in .308, but want a bolt rifle (or single shot) in another caliber. I'm a slight traditionalist, but am open to some of the newer calibers too. My first inclination is to go with the venerable .30-06 (or maybe .270). Bullet weights for everything from antelope to elk, off the shelf ammo everywhere, proven performance. On the other hand...
The other side of my brain says "don't be boring". So, I consider calibers like 7mm STW, which a friend says is his desert island choice (what would he shoot there? coconuts?) Or maybe 7mm Rem Mag... not exactly new, but higher performing.
Not trying to start yet another caliber war. To me though, the .30-06 is like a Brooks Bros shirt or the .45acp... it will never go out of style. Any thoughts?
March 4, 2000, 01:21 PM
If I already owned a .308 I probably would not buy a .30-06.Just because they are ballisticly so close especially with bullets up to 150 grain.Just 2 cents worth from a guy who has owned as many as 4 30-06 rifles at the same time (down to 2 now but I nearly bought one last week).
[This message has been edited by wildcat (edited March 04, 2000).]
March 4, 2000, 01:32 PM
My first question would be what are you planning on hunting? If you are looking for a varmint/medium game you may want to look at something like a .243 or 25-06. If you want deer and elk maybe even black bear a 30-06 is good because of the wide range of bullets and rifles chambered in that caliber. The big sevens are nice if you plan on hunting wide open country where long shots are common. I only have one high powered rifle right now and it is a 30-06. I like it because with so many bullets available I can use it for just about everything. I think that if you only want one rifle you can't go wrong with either a 30-06 or a big seven. If you have any friends with rifles get them to take you shooting. In truth there are many suitable calibers out there, just pick the one you like best. My only warning is that if money is an option the more exotic calibers usually cost more for the rifle and the ammo. Let us know what you decide and best of luck.
March 4, 2000, 01:39 PM
Check out the .280 Rem. It's splits the difference between the .30-06 and .270. Seems that the .30-06 or .280 would be great choices for all-purpose North Am hunting.
March 4, 2000, 07:33 PM
This is almost like Chevy or Ford.
The loads that are out there for both 270 and 06 are numerous.
I am a 270 lover. Hornady has a neat load in their "Custom" loads. 140 gr and it will drop an elk in hs tracks at 300 yds. if you put it where it should go.
I also shoot one in a Browning 1885. The bbl is 28" and to me tht is significant. This gun shoots well under 1" with above ammo.
I vote for 270.......and single shot.
"Single shot shooters onlyshoot once"
March 5, 2000, 02:21 AM
Huntschool. I like your attitude. One shooters rule! :) I have #1's in 7x57, .270, 30-06,.300 Win. Mag. .375 H&H, and 45-70.
However the question concerns the 30-06. As he already has a .308 Win.,I would have to agree that an 06 would be a bit superflous.
But, if he used one of the high powered loads By Hornady or Federal in his .308, he would be so close to what the 06 is supposed to put out, that having an 06 would be redundancy. Using the same type ammo in an 06 would be pushing the .300 magnums. Well, I have both. The best of both worlds.
I'm not too big a fan of the super magnums like the .300 RUM or 7MM STW. I like to get close to my quarry. Long shots don't thrill me. I prefer to shoot at 200 yards or less, and preferably, much less. In 40 years of hunting, I have made only two shots past 200 yards. One, a deer at about 250 yards and a deer that was getting away wounded at 427 paces. Both shots were made with a .308 Win., so this proves to me at least, that the .308 is fine for antelope. The 150 gr. Sierra was used on the longer shot, and the 165 gr. Speer on the shorter of the two. I have settled on the 165 gr. Speer for all my hunting, from antelope to elk with my .308's.
Don't get me wrong. I use .338 mags, .35Whelans, .375x338 Mag., and a few other large caliber rifles. Try varminting with a .375 H&H sometime. Ground squirrels with 300 gr Silvertips. It was great practice for an elk hunt in open timber. The rifle was new and it was the best way to get used to it. Hell on the squirrels too.
Let's face it. .270, .308, .280, 30-06; these rifles are basically all in the same class. The 06 might give you maybe 50 yards over the .308. The .300 mag. about 100 yards more usable range than an 06, if you are capable of shooting that far. Most of us, if we are honest, are not. Yes, I made a shot at 427 paces. I'll be the first one to admit itthough, it was a luck shot. Good luck for me, and bad luck for the deer. Or maybe it was good luck for the deer at that. It did end his suffering.
I don't have much love for the 7MM mag. A .270 or .280 with proper reloads will come close to thje 7MM mag., especially the .280 Rem. with proper reloads, and it will handle the same bullet weighs as the 7 mag. up to 175 gr. Wasn't much help, was I?
March 5, 2000, 10:43 AM
A direct answer to a direct question: The old '06 in a good bolt gun is still one of the best choices you can make.
March 6, 2000, 09:45 AM
In real estate it's "Location, location, location". In guns it's "Application, application, application".
I like my '06 because I can handload up or down in power for any given bullet, and use bullets from 80 grains to 220 grains.
But if varmint hunting is the plan, it's my .243 or .223...
Because of the better relative velocities with bullets above 150 or 165 grains, I'll take the '06 over the .308. Again, because I handload.
The consensus from about 18 months of this forum seems to be that if you're skilled with whatever gun you use, a .308 will pretty much take any game animal the law allows. Why beat your shoulder to death becoming very skilled? That is, anything from .243 or .257 Roberts on up will work just fine...
I guess I'd recommend a bolt-action .22 and a whole bunch of off-hand shooting at beer cans at 100 yards. You'll figure out just how good you can get. THEN do some figuring about a "real" hunting gun. :)
March 11, 2000, 09:17 PM
rifles are like golf clubs.you could play golf with only one club but you always play better with a full bag.if you own more that one rifle try very hard to keep everything the same.scopes,slings stocks and action.that way whatever you take to the field will be familiar to you.word of caution must be used here.in terms of bolt action rifles if you practice with the short actions make sure you
get use to pulling the bolt all the way back on your long action or you are in for one pretty jammed up rifle.see ya ed
[This message has been edited by gunmart (edited March 11, 2000).]
March 11, 2000, 10:31 PM
Gunmart that's a great analogy! Mind if I borrow it?
March 12, 2000, 12:15 PM
go for it.i stole it from someone so feel free to steal it from me.
March 14, 2000, 01:42 AM
thanks for all the good advice, even if some of it conflicts! ;)
btw, isn't the 7mmSTW a necked-down .280 Remington? Or is it a necked-down 8mm Rem Mag? thanks
[This message has been edited by Covert Mission (edited March 14, 2000).]
March 14, 2000, 11:04 AM
Covert. A necked down 8MM Mag.
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