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Old March 6, 2013, 08:31 PM   #1
HALL,AUSTIN
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Wondering about a new 308 vs 30-06 angle

I've heard that the .308 takes the win between the two, but why? I figured that with the 06 chucking heavier projectiles that it would be a bit better... But if one were to add a can and want to shoot 180-200 grain bullets, which one is better for the job?
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Old March 6, 2013, 08:56 PM   #2
Bart B.
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The .308 Win. case has shot 180 to 250 grain bullets with better accuracy than the .30-06. Yes, 250-gr. bullets in a .308 Win. case, but the throat has to be longer else one couldn't get enough powder in the case.

2150 fps with that 250-gr. Sierra match bullet in a 1:8 twist 28" barrel was a winner in the late 1980's. It got replaced with the 240 grain version.

Of course, the .30-06 case will shoot a given bullet out faster with the same peak pressure.

I've no idea which would better with a can, but that can may well degrade accuracy. I think you need a license to use one; costs $200 or something like that. And a dozen or so states don't allow them.
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Old March 6, 2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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With today's powders the difference is between eenie and meenie. I'm a fan of both and which one I pick for a morning's hunt is generally a spur-of-the-moment decision. I feel perfectly comfortable with both of them, a Savage 110 in .30-06 or an old Remington 700 in .308.

Bart's right that the .30-06 will throw a same-weight bullet faster than the .308 at safe pressures. How much faster depends on your load development in your rifle. I tend to like a 150 or 168 grain bullet for my hunting style and in my woods, the ranges are under 300 yards, so I can't speak intelligently to the long range ramifications of either round. My .30-06 load pushes a 150 grain bullet to 2900 fps and my .308 load pushes that same bullet to 2700 fps. Neither of these are max loads, but they're my loads that work for my purposes.
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:21 PM   #4
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The .308 is a somewhat more efficient powder-burner, so it gets about the same muzzle velocity with a 150-grain factory load as does the '06. The shorter action is a tad stiffer. The .308 does quite well for accuracy with relatively short barrels.

But my pet '06 over a thirty-year period always gave me groups inside one MOA, which suited me just fine. Bambi didn't appreciate it, but I did.
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:59 AM   #5
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I reload for my 30-06 and it easily outperforms the .308. If you dont reload and buy factory ammo, the 30-06 still outperforms the .308 but by a smaller margin. Some folks say they like the .308 because its a short action. I dont really understand what a 1/4'' difference in the bolt length makes but to some people I guess it does. My old Remington with a 24'' barrel will shoot under moa all day long so claiming the .308 is more accurate is dependant on the gun and shooter and load, not the caliber.

I have nothing against .308 but its not better than a 30-06
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Old March 7, 2013, 01:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
I reload for my 30-06 and it easily outperforms the .308. If you dont reload and buy factory ammo, the 30-06 still outperforms the .308 but by a smaller margin. Some folks say they like the .308 because its a short action. I dont really understand what a 1/4'' difference in the bolt length makes but to some people I guess it does. My old Remington with a 24'' barrel will shoot under moa all day long so claiming the .308 is more accurate is dependant on the gun and shooter and load, not the caliber.

I have nothing against .308 but its not better than a 30-06
Yesterday 11:21 PM
+1000
Since when is the .308 inherently more accurate than 30-06? It's not from what I can tell...
I'm in agreement on the action length as well, the negligibly shorter .308 action isn't going to improve rate of fire at all.
they are both great cartridges, IMO the 06 has the advantage because it has more powder capacity and therefore has a slight velocity advantage.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:03 AM   #7
allaroundhunter
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Quote:
Since when is the .308 inherently more accurate than 30-06? It's not from what I can tell...
I'm in agreement on the action length as well, the negligibly shorter .308 action isn't going to improve rate of fire at all.
they are both great cartridges, IMO the 06 has the advantage because it has more powder capacity and therefore has a slight velocity advantage.
The .308 is known to be inherently more accurate..... not a new thing.

And when the OP is wanting to run a can, he might not want the extra 1-200 fps of velocity... A higher velocity does not make one round better than another.
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Old March 7, 2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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If you are talking about hunting rifles, there isn't a nickel's worth of difference. UNLESS you're looking at 220 gr RN FMJ for dangerous game. On that one the '06 had the advantage.

If you are talking about target shooting. I think the 308 had the edge. International Shooters found out a long time ago the best accuracy for 30 cal bullets is about 2200 fps. Of course we had to step that up a bit to work the action in gas guns.

Because you don't need the velocity for accuracy, the smaller case of the 308 is more efficient in burning powders.

Again there are exception to every rule, if you're looking to shoot heavy bullets at long range, such as 220-240 grns, the '06 then has the edge.

I agree with the comments about short vs long action. I might want to stick my bullets a bit further out of the case in my 308s so I like the longer action.

Comparing the Army's M24 sniper rifle (LA Rem 700) to the Marines M40 sniper rifle (SA Rem 700), there really isn't an advantage in accuracy between the two.

So really what one needs to determine which is the best, is a coin.
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Old March 7, 2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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JD0x0, this thread needs a bit of "accuracy" history and facts. Based solely on accuracy, here's what happened starting 1963.

The first .308 Win. chambered in a match rifle was brought to the 1963 Nationals. It handily won. Within a year, several other top ranked high power match rifle shooters tried it out. Even the military match conditioning shops got to work rebuilding their M1 and M14 competition rifles to use it. 'Twas very easy to tell that with the same quality barrels, bolt action length (pre-' 64 Win. 70 contolled feed), bullets, case quality, powders, primers and all that stuff, the .308 shot 30 to 40 percent smaller test groups at 600 yards than the most accurate .30-06 chambered rifles in the country. Military shops rebuilding their M1's and M14's also saw better accuracy with the brand new 7.62 NATO M118 match ammo with the same bullet, powder and primers used in the M72 30 caliber match ammo after the first LC63 7.62 match ammo came off the production line. And Sierra Bullets' tests at the time showed the .308 case shot their 30 caliber bullets more accurate than the .30-06 ones did testing their ammo for accuracy.

From 1964 through 1965, high power match rifle scores went up; drastically. Most of the records held by folks shooting the .30-06 gave way to folks using the .308 Win. Most problematic was the number of unbreakable ties with perfect scores shot with the .308 cartridge on the old military A, B, and C targets with high scoring 5-rings near 3 to 4 MOA in size. By January, 1966, folks shooting the .30-06 were handicapped; the best accuracy from one tested in machine rests was about 5 to 6 inches at 600 yards. The .308's were easily getting 3 to 4 inches from that new, shorter, fatter case. It was no suprise that in early 1966, the NRA reduced the sizes (and changed values, too) of the 200, 300 and 600 yard targets used to about 2 MOA for their high scoring 10-ring. The military C target would still be used at 800 yards through 1000, but it finally gave way to a new target in the early 1970s with a 2 MOA 10 ring instead of the C target's 3.6 MOA 5 ring. In 1971, the NRA had took a poll of folks shooting 1000 yard matches and the vast majority agreed the old target should give way to the new one.

Since then, the .30-06 with a 1 or 1.5 degree leade angle has been shown to shoot about 90% as accurate as the .308 with its chamber's 1.5 degree leade angle. But with the same weight match rifle, folks using the .308 have less recoil during the bullet's barrel time so that cartridge is easier to shoot accurately; all other things being equal.
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:42 PM   #10
vba
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Uhm... Bart wow, thanks for the information!
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Old March 7, 2013, 02:30 PM   #11
HALL,AUSTIN
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But I'm wondering which one is better to use with a can. My assumption was that with the -06 case being bigger it would allow the use of longer, higher grain pills. I already own a .308 and it is a great gun... When you can find ammo for it, hence the 30-06. It is more abundantly available in my area.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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Hall, if you want bigger, why have you ruled out 300 Win Mag?
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Old March 9, 2013, 01:53 PM   #13
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Only because I thought the case neck length was about the same. And if the 30-06 can stabilize any pill the 300 can then it would just burn more powder. I know the 308 can shoot the same weight bullets but then you're using up powder space to seat the round.
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Old March 9, 2013, 08:59 PM   #14
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Stabilizing a bullet is dependent on twist rate. Velocity depends primarily on case capacity. The velocity difference between the 06 and Win mag definitely justifies the powder the Win mag burns up.
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Old March 10, 2013, 10:51 AM   #15
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Reynolds, 'tis my opinion that while twist rate is half of stabilizing bullets, velocity out the barrel is the other half. It boils down to whatever combination gives the bullet's rpm rate best for its shape and weight. The rpm rate can be lower in warm weather than cold, but not by much. And the rpm's need to be a bit higher when bullets leave at faster muzzle velocityes.

Best accuracy to stabilize the bullet all the way to the target's typically at the low end of its rpm band. Any faster and the slight unbalance all bullets have starts to cause inaccuracy as they jump further off the muzzle axis when they exit.

Best example of this for best accuracy is a 240-gr. HPMK from a .308 case needs a 1:8 twist to stabilize it to 1000 yards. A 135-gr. HPMK from the same case needs a 1:16 twist to stabilize it to 300 yards.
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Old March 10, 2013, 08:39 PM   #16
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I'd guess 308 is better with a can simply because it'd be easier and cheaper to find guns in that caliber with which to share the can. I suppose there may be more 308 repeaters readily capable of adjusting for can back pressure (I'm guessing there are components for AR10s to do this easily, whereas a BAR may have more trouble hacking it with a suppressor)

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Old March 10, 2013, 10:58 PM   #17
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The Springfield 1903 was originally intended for use with 220 gr round nose bullets ( the .30 of 1903), and they settled on a 1:10" twist rate for that long heavy bullet. The same rate of twist is commonly used for .30-06 rifles.
While still very accurate when the lighter 150 ball and 175 M1 or match grade grain bullets are used, the 1:10 twist was not optimal for that weight range.

The .308/7.62 NATO rifles commonly use twist rates of 1:12"-1:14", better suited for bullets of 175 gr or less.

I suspect that all other factors being equal the .30-06 rifle would outshoot the .308/7.62 when the heavier 220 gr boatail matchgrade bullets are used. You don't see bullets heavier than 175 gr used very often in long range match shooting, because its hard enough to maintain super sonic velocities to or past 1,000 yards with bullets of that weight range, loading the 220 gr to such velocities would require a magnum case to maintain safe chamber pressures.

One might build a .30-06 rifle on a 1:12-1:14 twist barrel and find out for sure just how well it stacks up when 150-175 gr bullets are used at the max velocity available with the longer case.

PS
Much match shooting with the .30-06 during the 1960's was done using the 168 gr AP bullets. A very good and highly accurate bullet, but not designed as a matchgrade bullet, and with 2-5 grs variation in weight from the factory specs.

As for use with a can, the .308 case with heaviest bullet available would be more efficient when loading for sub sonic velocity. Maybe not as accurate as it would be with a tighter twist though.

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Old March 10, 2013, 11:05 PM   #18
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Honestly, this can be argued all day. I prefer .30-06 but many will disagree. This boils down to 2 words...shooter preference.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:53 AM   #19
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Rainbow Demon, 190's from a .308 case can easily leave a 24" barrel near 2600 fps at a normal, safe max average peak pressure. They'll stay well above the speed of sound through 1000 yards. Such loads from 1:11 twist bolt gun and 1:12 twist military M1 barrels were the match winners and record setters when the .308 was popular for standard USA NRA high power rifle competition.

And 250's were leaving .308's from a 1:8 twist barrel at 2150 fps with safe max loads bucked the wind better than any lighter bullet.
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Old March 11, 2013, 03:01 PM   #20
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Rainbow, I dont really see a case where the O6 could ever outshoot the .308 in a fair comparison. To me a fair comparison is "target is at 1000 yards, shoot it with whatever bullet and load you choose." I am sure you could find a bullet made to some shape the 06 would shoot better than the .308. You could probably find 30 yards between where the .308 absolutely dies and the 06 dies where the 06 would be more accurate.
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Old March 12, 2013, 01:16 PM   #21
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Depends if you want a short or long action?
In 150 & 165 grain bullets you can queeze another 50 to 100 fps. out of the 30-06,but your using 10 more grains of powder to get it.
In 180 grain bullets another 100 to 150 fps. using 10 more grains in the 30-06.
In 200 & 220 grain bullets 150 to 200 fps.
I've read articles about how a 308 is inheritlly more accurate then the 30-06.
But as far as accuracy it's all in the gun & your loads. The 30-06 is flatter shooting.
With all that said I'm still a fan of my 308. I like short actions.
But I don't load anything over 180gr bullets. If I needed to shoot something heavier I'd shoot the 338.
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Old March 12, 2013, 03:57 PM   #22
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I like the 30-06 springfield between the two, because I never owned a .308, but I want one... I know that my 30-06 has killed a lot of deer for me, with "one shot" kills usually the norm.. I also have a friend that uses the .308 for deer hunting, and has killed more deer than I have,(I dont know how)but he says he uses the 150 grain CoreLokt bullets exclusively while I prefer handloading 150 grain Ballistic Tips from Nosler. We have never taken both rifles to the range at the same time since maybe 1985, at that time I was using 180 Corelokts, and open sights. He has a 4x Weaver on his rifle (it's a remington 700 like mine was) I schooled him long and hard about to the point where I could have bought his rifle for $100.00, but I digress.... The point I want to make is How cool is it to be Able to pick a caliber??? Huh???
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:54 PM   #23
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If one makes a comparison between these two using SAAMI spec bullets, barrels, velocity and pressure, it might be more realistic.

.30-06, 24" barrel, max average pressure 60,000 psi:
110-gr. bullet, 3300 fps
125-gr. bullet, 3125 fps
150-gr. bullet, 2900 fps
165-gr. bullet, 2790 fps
180-gr. bullet, 2690 fps
200-gr. bullet, 2540 fps

.308 Win, 24: barrel, max average pressure 62,000 psi:
110-gr. bullet, 3150 fps
125-gr. bullet, 3030 fps
150-gr. bullet, 2800 fps
165-gr. bullet, 2670 fps
180-gr. bullet, 2600 fps
200-gr. bullet, 2440 fps
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Old March 12, 2013, 06:56 PM   #24
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Nuff sed.
Actually I wanted to ask you Bart, do you still shoot ? And with what caliber, between the two, would you be using today in competition?
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:05 PM   #25
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My 30-06 handloads in 150, 165, and 180 gr loadings are beating those numbers by 100-150 fps. I'm loading about .5-1 grain below a max load that shows around 58,000-59,000 psi.

The velocities I get with my 308 handloads are right in line with the numbers you posted and I'm at about the same .5-1 grain under max.

I believe it is a lot easier to safely improve on 30-06 performance.

That said, I have a lot of respect for the 308 round. I started with a 30-06 almost 40 years ago simply because a family friend had almost umlimited access to military surplus 30-06 ammo at the time. That was a big decision for a 15 year old kid trying to buy ammo. I have no regrets, would do the same today under the same circumstances, but if not for that would probably have gone 308 if making the same decision today.

Recently i have found myself reaching for the 308 a lot more than the 30-06's I've had for years. I'm a hunter, not a target shooter. The decision for me is the rifle, not the chambering. My 308 rifles are trimmer, lighter and much more enjoyable to use for a day of climbing mountains. While I can always beat the 308 with my 30-06 by at least 150 fps with comparable bullet weights, both are really more than I need most of the time.
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