The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 20, 2012, 12:00 AM   #1
Rustle in the Bushes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2011
Location: Canada- West
Posts: 174
30-06 vs 6.5x55 versatility

Im trying to decide between the two cartridges. As a reloader I can load the 30-06 up and down, my question is how effective is it when loaded down? For instance lets say I want to make it shoot like a 6.5- Lower recoil, reasonably accurate- Can I achieve this by loading 140gr bullets in my 30-06? The rifle has an 11" twist.

Im wondering if the 30-06 can be loaded down and be made an effective lower recoil cartridge, or are there things the swede is just gonna do way better?

I ask because Im gonna be a 1 rifle guy for a while, want something I can shoot consistently and not feel beat from recoil and also something I can use from deer to elk.
Rustle in the Bushes is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 12:12 AM   #2
Regolith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 400
I don't know about Canada, but in the US the .30-06 is far more available, which would bump it up for a "just one gun" caliber.

And yeah, you can load a .30-06 down. 140 grain .30 caliber bullets don't have the best ballistic coefficient, but they'll work just fine within 300 or so yards. You can also back off the powder charge and get the velocities down to .308 levels for even more recoil reduction.

Last edited by Regolith; September 20, 2012 at 05:13 AM.
Regolith is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 01:09 PM   #3
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,145
Yes you can load down and you can get some amazingly accurate loads that way.

I have some 100 gr jacket lead noses that were loaded up with pistol powder (given to me). Will try them one of these days (not sure which 06 gets the test though!)

I loaded some 200 gr down to 2200 and got 3 touching at 50 yards. Works out to tad less than 3/4 MOA. Soft shooter.

I am skeptical on the 1-11 twist? 1-10 is universal unless you have some kind of custom. 270 also uses 1-10.

Bullet r range for the 06 is 100 up to the 220 grain bullets and usauly you can handload with someting that gives you good reustl (4350 in its various forms is a pretty good one to try as it does a good job and often most accuate in many loads)

You can push the 150 gr bullets up to 270 trajectory (Hornady has some new powders that get you more volcity for the same pressure as they ignite sequnetialy). Hornady is also make full roudns that do even a bit better.
If you need (Elk) the right size bullet pushed 300WM real hard.

Key is to be sure that whatever bullet you hunt with has enough penetration and expansion capability to do what you want.

You can shoot a deer with a FMJ 150 and do not damage and kill it (will go all he way through) , but an Elk is going to need a full up load with both good penetration and expansion to take it down decently.

30-06 has powders and loads that are well developed for any purpose as well as the huge range of bullets to go with it. I doubt any other caliber ahs the breath of not only grains but types.

I
Quote:
m trying to decide between the two cartridges. As a reloader I can load the 30-06 up and down, my question is how effective is it when loaded down? For instance lets say I want to make it shoot like a 6.5- Lower recoil, reasonably accurate- Can I achieve this by loading 140gr bullets in my 30-06? The rifle has an 11" twist.

Im wondering if the 30-06 can be loaded down and be made an effective lower recoil cartridge, or are there things the swede is just gonna do way better?

I ask because Im gonna be a 1 rifle guy for a while, want something I can shoot consistently and not feel beat from recoil and also something I can use from deer to elk.
RC20 is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 01:50 PM   #4
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 791
As a hard core 6.5x55 fan, I often ask myself if I would take mine out for elk. The answer is, if that's all I had, sure. Just make sure I've got a great shot not too far out. But I do have other rifles to hunt the big deer with, and my Swede for most everything else, so I take the magnum knock 'em dead out for elk. If you're bothered by '06 recoil, and you're patient enough to wait for the right shot, pack the 6.5. But the'06 is closer to a "do all" gun.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 04:08 PM   #5
emcon5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 1999
Location: High Desert NV
Posts: 1,681
That is a tough one. I am also a big fan of the 6.5, and could really go either way.
emcon5 is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 06:30 PM   #6
Shotgun693
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2011
Location: Poteet, Texas
Posts: 959
When loading down a rifle I've had better luck using a heavier bullet with a lighter powder charge. If you can get some try Trail Boss powder. It seems to be a do all powder for light loads.
Shotgun693 is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 06:35 PM   #7
arch308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 876
No contest in my mind, 06 all the way. As the saying goes..."If it can't be done with a 30-06 it probably can't be done at all". JMHO
arch308 is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 08:19 PM   #8
Regolith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 400
Quote:
I have some 100 gr jacket lead noses that were loaded up with pistol powder (given to me). Will try them one of these days (not sure which 06 gets the test though!)
Er....pistol powder in a rifle sounds like a Bad Idea to me. They tend to burn much faster and have higher pressure spikes. That's a recipe for a kaboom unless you really know what you are doing. And I sure as hell wouldn't shoot ANY reload that was given to me by another person unless I trusted them a great deal.

Quote:
You can shoot a deer with a FMJ 150 and do not damage and kill it (will go all he way through) , but an Elk is going to need a full up load with both good penetration and expansion to take it down decently.
I do not like FMJ for hunting. Yes, it can kill the deer with good shot placement, but there's a reason most hunters use expanding bullets, and why many states (and a quick search tells me Canada as well) outlaw hunting with FMJ's: they're simply not as effective at producing humane kills.
Regolith is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 08:38 PM   #9
SHR970
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2011
Posts: 557
In Scandinavia they use the 6.5 for moose routinely. Moose have a reputation for being stupid tough animals.

The 6.5 has the advantage of less recoil due to a lesser initial velocity and lighter bullets.

The -06 has the advantage of more power and heavier bullets....however:

To equal a 6.5 140 gr. spitzer in B.C a -06 needs a bullet of over 180 gr. assuming same style from same maker. The 6.5 will have a slightly better S.D.

In a 6.5 140 gr. vs. -06 180 gr. top velocity contest, the -06 bests the 6.5 by about 100 fps. according to my Hornady and Speer manuals.

The -06 can make a bigger hole since you have a bigger bullet to start with.

If recoil is going to be a deciding factor, the 6.5 is probably your better bet.
If total available power is the factor, the -06 wins.

If component or loaded cartridge availability is most important....see what's more locally available.

Edit: You can load the -06 down...the question is how well will your particular rifle shoot with starting loads under 130-150 gr. bullets.
SHR970 is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 08:50 PM   #10
Regolith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 400
Quote:
Edit: You can load the -06 down...the question is how well will your particular rifle shoot with starting loads under 130-150 gr. bullets.
It seems to me the slightly slower 1:11 twist should handle the smaller bullets better, actually, assuming that it works the same in .30 caliber as it does in .223 (i.e. slower twist for light bullets, higher twist for heavier). As others have mentioned most .30-06 and .308s have 1:10 twists, and tend to like 150-180 grain bullets best.
Regolith is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 10:16 PM   #11
Ridgerunner665
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2007
Location: Upper East Tennessee
Posts: 346
Both great, old, and proven rounds...being great and proven generally helps rounds grow old

I would go with the 30-06, especially being in western Canada, because you might just need a 200+ grain bullet someday...having said that, I'd much prefer a 30-06 with the standard twist rate of 1 in 10".
Ridgerunner665 is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 11:00 PM   #12
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,651
There are sabot rounds for the .30-06. It can be loaded real light. Technically it will do anything the Swede will do.

But it won't be the same. The 6.5mmx55 Swede is a heck of a round.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old September 20, 2012, 11:04 PM   #13
Rustle in the Bushes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 5, 2011
Location: Canada- West
Posts: 174
well, the sako I'm looking at has a 10" twist rate.

Im gonna be a one rifle guy for a good while, especially if I buy this sako $$$.


Think that Im gonna get decent accuracy out of this thing with recoil akin to the 6.5? If I can get an '06 and have decent low recoil performance, then be able to push out a 180-200gr for "game day" on an elk or something. Well, Id have it made.

My question is what am I giving up by not getting a 6.5 vs downloading a 30-06 for deer and range usage.
Rustle in the Bushes is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 12:36 AM   #14
Regolith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 400
Quote:
My question is what am I giving up by not getting a 6.5 vs downloading a 30-06 for deer and range usage.
6.5x55mm has a better ballistic coefficient than .30-06 for the same weight bullets, and it generally has less recoil. Other than that...not much.
Regolith is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 08:53 AM   #15
scotjute
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2001
Location: texas
Posts: 260
Beside less recoil and better SD, the 6.5 x 55 also makes less noise, and should have a flatter bullet trajectory. My vote for one gun would be the 6.5x55 round, but admit that I don't reload.
scotjute is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 10:11 AM   #16
mete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 5,492
Least you get the wrong ideas -- only SOME 6.5x55 loads are permitted for moose in Sweden !! All with 156 or 160 grain bullets !
I'm a great fan of the 6.5x55 having used it for my primary deer cartridge for25 years .That with the original 140 @ 2750 factory of handload. It's sad that they have wimped it out and I would never use it unless I handloaded to the old specs !
Swedish and Norwegian hunters now use more powerful rounds like 308 and 30-06.BTW the European moose is smaller than ours.
The 30-06 has proven itself as quite capable for hunting everything in N. America . The choice of ammo makes it very versatile and premium bullets even more so .Both are over 100 years old so they must be good !
__________________
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 12:00 PM   #17
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,145
E
Quote:
r....pistol powder in a rifle sounds like a Bad Idea to me. They tend to burn much faster and have higher pressure spikes. That's a recipe for a kaboom unless you really know what you are doing. And I sure as hell wouldn't shoot ANY reload that was given to me by another person unless I trusted them a great deal.
Normally I agree but I know the person and meticulous and careful are his first and middle names.

It is actually a know recipe in days gone by for a light plinking load for the 30-06. Speer made the "pellet" and was used a lot with those powders and developed recipes for it.


Quote:
I do not like FMJ for hunting. Yes, it can kill the deer with good shot placement, but there's a reason most hunters use expanding bullets, and why many states (and a quick search tells me Canada as well) outlaw hunting with FMJ's: they're simply not as effective at producing humane kills.
I am a bit contrary on this. FMJ was used by the military since ? And we can kill people but not animals with it?

Agreed it takes good shot placement, but it is an example of what you can do with the 30-06. We used to shoot tiny deer with it and it was a choice of blowing up an 80 lbs animal or a clean through shot and saving meat. I don't believe in abuse but dead is dead and we had little problem.
If all you own is an 06 then you can work it out to where it does what you need. Meat in the freezer for a family that lived close to the edge was more important than some idealized philosophical idea.

We once put something like 8 rounds into a moose. Bad shooting on my part to start with and we had to hunt down and finish an uncooperative animal. It was about as ugly as you get hunting wise. Not something I liked but then you just do the best you can with what you have gotten yourself into.
RC20 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 12:16 PM   #18
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,145
Quote:
well, the sako I'm looking at has a 10" twist rate.

Im gonna be a one rifle guy for a good while, especially if I buy this sako $$$.
Old or new Sako? Love that gun (older ones have not hadneld a new one).

You may not get sharp shooter accuracy with smaller grain bullets, but it will shoot more than good enough for hunting (we have an early Sako 270 that does about 1.5 inches at 100 (lack of load development I am about to correct ) but its shot 5 carrbiou just fine (may have shot deer with it as well but too young to remember)

Quote:
Think that Im gonna get decent accuracy out of this thing with recoil akin to the 6.5? If I can get an '06 and have decent low recoil performance, then be able to push out a 180-200gr for "game day" on an elk or something. Well, Id have it made.

My question is what am I giving up by not getting a 6.5 vs downloading a 30-06 for deer and range usage.
We are shooing 150s at lower loads and they work fine (1903 wihtout a but pad). Get a good lead tip in you will do fine.

Your bullet choices are the widest possible so you will find one that works well for each mission.

You can increase accuracy by a custom fit of the bullet to the chamber (bullet in a dead sized round with no powder of primer, chamber it, measure it and find out where it hits the lands and hold back .020 as I recall but research that last number).




[
Quote:
QUOTE]In Scandinavia they use the 6.5 for moose routinely. Moose have a reputation for being stupid tough animals.
Tough yes, stuipid NO!

T
Quote:
he 6.5 has the advantage of less recoil due to a lesser initial velocity and lighter bullets.

Quote:
The -06 has the advantage of more power and heavier bullets....however:

To equal a 6.5 140 gr. spitzer in B.C a -06 needs a bullet of over 180 gr. assuming same style from same maker. The 6.5 will have a slightly better S.D.

In a 6.5 140 gr. vs. -06 180 gr. top velocity contest, the -06 bests the 6.5 by about 100 fps. according to my Hornady and Speer manuals.
All theaorteicl, in real world hunting it makes no difference.

The -06 can make a bigger hole since you have a bigger bullet to start with.
The expansion of either makes that a mute and its penetration you need on Elk or moose. The tiny bullet size difference is irrelevant (we are talking of a difference of .030 here. Expansion penetration and how well the bullet hold together are what counts. Weight is a factor on large animals but on deer a 30-30 does fine as they re so small (size varies by location of course)


Quote:
Edit: You can load the -06 down...the question is how well will your particular rifle shoot with starting loads under 130-150 gr. bullets.
SHR970 is offline Report Post
[/QUOTE]

They get some really good results with the small grain bullets. Back to the 30-06 is just an amazing cartridge.
RC20 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 01:26 PM   #19
emcon5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 1999
Location: High Desert NV
Posts: 1,681
Quote:
Your bullet choices are the widest possible so you will find one that works well for each mission.
True, but there is a ridiculously wide variety of bullets available for the 6.5 as well, from 85 grain varmint bullets to 160 grain solids.

I would not be at all afraid to have a 6.5 swede as my only rifle in North America.

A disadvantage of the 6.5 is that the .264 bullets tend to be a couple bucks more expensive than a comparable .308, but the .30-06 also uses higher average powder charges per round, so you will get an extra ~15 rounds out of a pound of powder. .308 bullets in my experience are also a little easier to find locally, the same goes for .30-06 ammo and brass.

Really, it is kind of a wash between the 2 in my opinion, although the .30-06 would be a little better on larger game.
emcon5 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 01:51 PM   #20
jeffe65
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2012
Posts: 3
"Er....pistol powder in a rifle sounds like a Bad Idea to me. They tend to burn much faster and have higher pressure spikes. That's a recipe for a kaboom unless you really know what you are doing. And I sure as hell wouldn't shoot ANY reload that was given to me by another person unless I trusted them a great deal."

One powder that has proven useful for this application is Blue Dot; I'll post what I have when I can find the notes I've saved. It's slower burning than most pistol powders, and the general rule of thumb as I recall is, never go below 50% case capacity when using it. I've used it to get .22 Hornet & .22 Mag velocities from my .223, using 35 & 45 grain bullets. You can get very mild shooting loads from a 30-06 and cast lead bullets (if you can find them), and it's not very expensive to load. It also makes for a well-behaved 45-70 for days that I don't want to be beaten to death using high(er)-velocity loads in a 6lb single-shot rifle. Unique works well for this also, but I don't know about using it in a 30-06.
jeffe65 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 02:01 PM   #21
emcon5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 1999
Location: High Desert NV
Posts: 1,681
If I was planning on using radically reduced loads, there is only one direction I would look, Hodgdon and H4895.

Details here:

http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/H4895%20R...le%20Loads.pdf
emcon5 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 02:22 PM   #22
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,145
I would also add that you can use any of a variety of Limb Savers under various names.

Some are strap on and some replace the butt pad

I never notice recoil when shooting during hunting, but its a factor on the bench or sighting in (depending on how many rounds are shot).

May even be a strip on pad of some kind.

Lots of options that don't limit you to caliber and allow the best caliber for the activity
RC20 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 02:27 PM   #23
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,145
I
Quote:
f I was planning on using radically reduced loads, there is only one direction I would look, Hodgdon and H4895.

Details here:

http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/H4895%20R...le%20Loads.pdf
emcon5 is online now Report Post
Most excellent
RC20 is offline  
Old September 21, 2012, 02:52 PM   #24
bumnote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 374
I think the best answer isn't the caliber, either one is going to do what you intend to use it for just fine, which rifle do you like best?
If you're going to be a one rifle guy for awhile, IMO, is more important to choose the firearm you like best. I've never hunted w/ the 6.5x55, yet, but its my favorite rifle round and there's nothing I've hunted with my '06 or 308 that I wouldn't use a 6.5x55 on. The '06 and 308 just happen to be the only scoped rifles I have and the 3 6.5x55's are target rifles...that'll likely change soon.
If you're a good shot and a moderately experienced hunter, I see no reason not to use a 6.5x55. You've got two great choices regardless and I think you ought to pick the rifle you like best.
__________________
"And remember, Abraham Lincoln didn't die in vain, he died in Washington D.C." - Firesign Theatre
bumnote is offline  
Old September 22, 2012, 12:51 AM   #25
FairWarning
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: GA
Posts: 815
^^^^

I agree with this post. Sure 6.5x55 is less practical, but most gun lovers do things because they want to, not because it's the most practical.
__________________
Mauser Werke, Schmidt-Rubin, Remington, Colt, H&K, Weatherby, Browning, Ruger, Marlin, Mossberg, Saiga, S&W, Sig Sauer....a few friends of mine
FairWarning is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14081 seconds with 9 queries