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Old September 8, 2013, 09:11 AM   #1
shell waster
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.308 vs. 30-06 vs. 300 win mag, not just ballistics??

My spouse and are going to nfld for moose. She's taking a .308 a-bolt micro hunter. I am looking for at bolt actions to take. I have blr .308 and a bar .300 win mag. How much more knock down does a 30-06 have over .308. With 2 other .308's in house would keep all the same, or get something different. Looked at .300 win bolt, thought getting savage or browning with muzzle break , and turning break off when hunting. Outfitter said .308 plenty of gun. Have looked ballistics energy charts, but want layman's terms/example's for energy differences at different yardages. Thanks, sorry if made glaring ballistic mistakes, trying to educate myself

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Old September 8, 2013, 10:22 AM   #2
allaroundhunter
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.308 vs. 30-06 vs. 300 win mag, not just ballistics??

Pick which one you shoot best, they are all capable. More important than the cartridge is the bullet that you choose. You should take a premium hunting bullet with proper construction to get you the penetration that you need to get to the vitals.
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Old September 8, 2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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I agree with allaroundhunter. But I will add the why.

The energy that creates knockdown power is based on velocity and weight of the bullet. Given that all 3 shoot the same bullet to different velocities, they will perform the same way at different ranges. The 30-06 is about 200 fps faster than 308 win, and 300 wm is about 200 fps faster than 30-06. They all loose about 200 fps velocity every 100 yards. So what the 308 does at 100 yrds, the 30-06 does at 200 yrds, and the 300 wm does at 300 yrds.
Basically each step up in cartridge gives you another 100 yards of effective range. Your moose hunt is likely in dense woods/brush. You probably won't need longer range capability. It is far more important to have a good bullet that will hold together and hit exactly where it needs to.

Use the heaviest bullet that shoots well in your gun, preferably a bonded core or other controlled expansion bullet.

And welcome to the forum.
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Old September 8, 2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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+11111111111111... for Big AL

Clearest explanation of the differences between the .30 cals fired from different shell cases I have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would also echo the comments of allaround hunter. "Take the one you shoot the best and feel most comfortable with!!!!!!!! Better to place a good kill zone shot from a lighter recoiling rifle than to flinch and move off the kill zone when shooting a higher recoil. Bullet composition and bullet placement are KEY when harvesting any animal. Enjoy your trip and GOOD LUCK to both you and your wife
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Old September 8, 2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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The 30-06 can shoot bullets heavier than the 308 Win, it can handle bullets up to 220 grains without any real disadvantages. The 308 runs out of gas around 180/190 grains. I would not go any heavier than a 175 in 308. The 300 Win Mag is too hard kicking, I don't like recoil and I am not tiny, flinching is a real consideration. But, the 300 Win Mag will handle any bullet and even heavier bullets than a 30-06.

So, if you choice is based on bullets, these might be considerations.
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Old September 8, 2013, 11:05 AM   #6
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It is all about range. A 165/180/200 gr from any of the 3 will kill moose just fine at typical ranges. Even as light as 150 gr in some of the premium bullets. The only real difference is how far you plan on shooting. The 308 will reach the point where it's velocity and energy drop off too much. A 30-06 will be good for at most 50 more yards and a 300 WM about 100 yards farther than a 30-06. At under 200 yard no moose will ever know the difference.
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Old September 8, 2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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there are 3 different tools that i use a lot.
1. midway USA. I like their website because they list ballistic coefficients and muzzle velocity for most of their products. go on there and find two bullet options you would consider for such a hunt.

2. hornady ballistics calculator. it's free, just google it and it pops right up. enter ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity, zero range, sight height and how far apart you want your increments calculated. this will give you a
complete breakdown of wind drift, bullet drop, velocity and energy in FTLBs.

3. if midway does not list a ballistic coefficient or velocity some ammo companies publish their data like ATK.
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Old September 8, 2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Moose aren't necessary that tough, not near as tough as elk.

I've killed several with a 357 revolver.

If I was in your position, I'd take the 308 or '06, both loaded with some 180-190s.

Normally I use a 270 Win with 150s but for this years elk hunt I'm taking a '06, simply because I want to use my M1903A4 vintage sniper rifle.

I'm using 190 Berger's loaded to 2650 (trajectory wise, it matches my 168 A-Max.)

I figure its good for 500 yards without much of a problem. Judging from my 600 yards scores at the Cody CMP Vintage Sniper match I figure my zeros will be good to go keeping the shots in the vitals

Like elk, you shoot a moose in the heart lung area you'll do good. Don't try to break down the shoulder, too easy to muff that shot. You blow out the lungs you'll get your critter.
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Old September 8, 2013, 12:34 PM   #9
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The 308 will be at a disadvantage to the other two when it comes to bullet weight. 30-06 should do well with a bullet of 200 gr. Moose may not be armor plated, but they are heavy animals. If your hunting area has a large variety of terrain (close shots to long shots), that is where the 300WM will shine. The trajectory is flatter, so if you sight in at 200 yds, you will not have to make very much allowance for bullet drop. Downside to the 300WM is the recoil. Most find it unpleasant (personally, it dosn't bother me) but you can have a brake and it will reduce the felt recoil quite a bit.
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Old September 8, 2013, 12:45 PM   #10
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Obviously if you have a 300Win Mag and shoot it well, then that's your gun for moose. That said, with today's better bonded bullets, you could easily use the other two calibers. Thousands have killed moose with the good old 30-30 so a magnum is not nessisary.
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Old September 8, 2013, 01:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
The 30-06 can shoot bullets heavier than the 308 Win,
I hear this all the time, and it has always irked me. Its a (possibly) valid opinion, but as a fact, its simply not true.

Any bullet that can be fired from a .30-06 (or for that matter a .30magnum) can be fired out of a .308. Period. The difference is what speed you can get. And what speed you, personally, consider good enough. Much is said about the advantage of the 06 over the .308 with heavy bullets, but the .300 magnums have the same advantage over the 06, and I never hear about that...

A .308 with a 200/220gr bullet is basically the same as the .30-40 Krag for speed. And the Krag has taken untold numbers of deer, elk, and moose (as has the .303 British and the "lowly" .30-30). The biggest grizzly on record for the continental US was taken with a Krag IIRC. Enough performance to take the game is clearly there. Enough performance to satisfy the shooter, is another matter.

Each has enough "oomph" to do the job well. The practical differences are personal. How well you shoot each rifle, how accurate they are in your hands, how well you tolerate the recoil, etc.

At even the longest practical ranges, the difference in drop and wind drift between all three is a matter of a few inches. If you can accurately compensate for drop and drift with one, you can do it for any of them just as well. its just a matter of learning how much is needed for each.

Where the faster rounds have the advantage is covering for our mistakes. Faster means flatter shooting, which means that if we make a mistake in estimating the range (or the wind) the faster bullet might still strike in the vital area of the game, while the slower one, with a more arched trajectory might be too low, or even too high, depending on if our range estimate was too low, or to high.

But that is a matter of shooter performance, not the cartridge or bullet performance. Pick the rifle, and caliber you want, and like best, for any, or no particular reason, use it correctly and within its capabilities, and yours.

Bigger (alone) isn't always best. Sometimes, good enough is well, good enough.

Good luck!

always been impressed by moose...even Bullwinkle
anything that can carry a 5 foot rack, and slip between trees a foot and a half apart, at speed is impressive to me!
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Old September 8, 2013, 01:30 PM   #12
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With today's bullet designs, 180s are giving right at equal penetration as yesterday's 220s.

In the common 22" barrels, the muzzle velocity of a .308 is right at the equal of a .30-'06 for bullets of 150 and 165 grains. I dunno. Maybe down a hundred for a 180.
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Old September 8, 2013, 02:01 PM   #13
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None of those cartridges have "knock down" power. None of them will knock a moose over. They will kill a moose quite easily, with the right load, though, and that can cause the moose to fall over or drop rather quickly.
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Old September 8, 2013, 03:06 PM   #14
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to kindof reiterate what art has already said.
308 can shoot the same bullets that 300 win mag, weatherby mag, remington ultra mag, 30-06, 30-30, and 300 AAC blackout can shoot. if it has a slower twist rate and shorter barrel then it may not do quite as accurately as one of the larger cartridges but to say that a a 308 is incapable of using a 220 grain round nose bullet is 100% false.

with that said. I would much rather load up a 180 grain speer deep curl in a 308 than I would a 220 grain bullet in a 300 win mag. the superior ballistics of such modern bullets designs tip the scales away from sheer starting weight and into penetration, weight retention and expansion.

I use 180 grain deep curls in my 300 weatherby mag not because I think that this is necessary to drop something but because that thing is a shoulder crusher and I can load down to 300 win mag velocities and still get equivalent performance to standard factory weatherby ammo loaded with standard soft points and save my shoulder a little recoil in the process.
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Old September 8, 2013, 03:57 PM   #15
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"The 30-06 can shoot bullets heavier than the 308 Win, it can handle bullets up to 220 grains without any real disadvantages. The 308 runs out of gas around 180/190 grains. I would not go any heavier than a 175 in 308. The 300 Win Mag is too hard kicking, I don't like recoil and I am not tiny, flinching is a real consideration. But, the 300 Win Mag will handle any bullet and even heavier bullets than a 30-06."

I'm afraid I must strogly and emphatically disagree with most of your comment. As has been said by others, the .308 Win. can shoot anybullet that the 30-06 and .300 Mag. can.
I'm one of those people who don't believe everything I read by the "egg-spurts" in the gun rags and sometime spend a few buck just so I can find out for myself. One instance requred building a rifle. As we're discussing the .308, I can and have shot 220 gr. Hornady and Siera round nose bullets from a Winchester M70 Youth Ranger with 1 in 12" twist at a velocity of 2300 FPS. Charts that show factory ammo/velocity show the 30-06 shooting a 220 gr. bullet at an advertised 2400 FPS. WOW! Big whoopie! A whole 100 FPS faster.
Oh wait! A 1 in 12" twist won't stabilze a 220 gr. in a 30-06. How can a .308 do what the 06 can't. The answer is the 30-06 with 1 in 12" twist can and will stabilize a 220 gr. round nose bullet. I haven't had time to try one of the 220 gr. spitzers yet but I'll get around to it. In the early 1900s, the 30-04 Krag was considered a better elk rifle than the 30-03/30-06. Why? Bullet construction.
No one knows who first came up with that thing about the 1 in 12" twist but many "eggspurts" have repeated it as gospel.
Oh yes, that .308 with the 220 gr. bullet. More than once I've put 5 shots into .375" at 100 yards. The 06 is good for 5 in .75".
Would I hunt a moose with a .308 and 220 gr. bullets? Yup! Te only reaso hunters don't like 200 and 220 gr. bullets in the .308 and even the 30-06 for some is they don't go fast enough. When was the last time you saw a box of 30-06 220 gr.loads on your LGS's shelf? AFAIK, only Remington might still be loading the 06 with a 220 gr. bullet advertised at 2400 FPS. Come to think of it I haven't seen and 220 gr. loads for the .300 magnum either.
For the record, my normal hunting loads run to the 165 gr. Speer Hot Core for .308, 180 gr. Sierra Pro-Hunter or Nosler Partion and the 200 gr. Speer Hot-Core or 200 gr. Nosler Partition in my .300 Win. Mag.
For the OP, usually moose country also has some very big bears. I'm not sure I'd be all that comfortable in Grizzly country with a .308. I'd be happier with a 30-06 and a good bullet ot better yet the .300 Mag. with a good bullet. Under those circumstances premiums rule.
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Old September 8, 2013, 05:03 PM   #16
shell waster
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I guess I was looking more at the 06 to diversify the portfolio but was thinking to keep it simple to have both my wife and I shooting .308. I love my .300 win bar but the semi worries me on as trip of lifetime. Keep the info rolling, it's all very good.
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Old September 8, 2013, 05:49 PM   #17
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It really sounds like to me you want a 30-06 and want us to tell you to get one. So get one. I just bought a very clean Ruger 77 MKII off Gunbroker for $419. With shipping and transfer it was $466 total. And I suppose its a little better than the 308 even though I think a 308 is a fine round. And remember cartridges don't kill animals. Well placed bullets do.

Here is a thread that you may not have seen. Go to the bottom of the page and see what this old time hunter did with a Savage 99 in 250-3000 with an 87gr bullet. A 308 is a monster by comparison.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...=531560&page=2

I am reading some of the old articles written by Finn Aagaard (one of my favorite writers) and he had an article one "One rifle, one load" and he summed it up with his thoughts on the 30-06 loaded with 180gr Nosler Partitions or Swift A-Frames. He said in his notes, why bother with anything else? Thats good enough for me.
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Old September 8, 2013, 05:51 PM   #18
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I am glad I gave something for people to comment over. I have shot tens of thousands of 308 and 30-06 rounds in competition, most of them out to 600 yards, but at least a couple of thousand rounds at 1000 yards.

I have spent plenty of time on the bench developing loads for my 30-06 and 308. If I push 190’s much faster than 2525 fps in my 308’s I get leaking and pierced primers. I have pushed 200 grain bullets at 2600 fps in the 30-06 and they shoot well at 1000 yards. There are people using 230 grain bullets in the 308, I have not tried those.

All of my match barrels, 308 or 30-06 are 1:10. I think the 1:12 is a passing fad.

But, if you are happy with a 220 grain Bullet at 2200 fps stick with a 30-40 Krag. It is also an excellent cast bullet cartridge.
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Old September 8, 2013, 05:56 PM   #19
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I'll stick with my .300 win mag, thank you. It will do anything the .308 and the 30-06 can do, do it better and still make a better "when you absolutely have to kill something" round. I can load a 130 gr. Barnes TTSX to over 3,600 fps which when sighted in an inch high at 100 is right an inch low at 300. I can load a 200 gr. Accubond (which has a nice high b.c.) to 3,025 fps which ought to deliver the k.e., at 300 yards, of a .308 at the muzzle. I've shot prairie dogs with it at 400 yards, deer beyond 300 when I have to, elk WAY out there and big hogs that need a lot of killing.

For moose, I'll take the .300 any day of the week.
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Old September 8, 2013, 07:46 PM   #20
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Call it a "penetration test comparison", sorta, from a 26" '06. All Sierra bulllets, on steel at 500 yards. My home range.

150-grain SPBT: A very slight dimple.
165-grain HPBT: A wee bit more dimple, maybe 1/16" deep.
180-grain SPBT: A 1/8" dimple with the beginning of a crater's splashback.

All I have to go by is the Sierra Handbook charts, but my trajectory indicated a muzzle velocity of right at 3,100 for the 150-grain load. All three loads, with no sight adjustment, hit within four of five inches of a single point of aim. Ergo, about the same trajectory for the three bullets.

Wuz I going after elks or meese, I'd quite likely use that Sierra 180.
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Old September 9, 2013, 09:34 AM   #21
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I am shooting Hornady 208's out of my 24" Savage 10FCP at 2565 fps. This is a mild load compared to what others are loading out of their Savages. Some guys are getting an extra 3 grains of powder in the case. Guys using Rem 700's (which have longer factory throats) are getting 2600+ fps using 47-51 gr RL17.
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Old September 9, 2013, 12:09 PM   #22
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I remember reading, somewhere, that the 6.5x55mm Swede is the most used round for moose in Scandinavia. Also seem to remember that some of those places have a range with a "running moose" setup, and you are required to shoot & pass a certain score before you get your license for moose.

the Swede has incredible penetration, particularly with 140-160gr bullets that are designed for controlled expansion.

That being the case, I have no issues with any of the .308-06-300Mag rounds being "enough gun".

If you are just looking for something different to use, (and a good reason to get a new rifle), you might consider the Swede. Particularly in a new made rifle capable of taking handloads above what's good for the old Swede military rifles. Its a really good round, and amazingly flat shooting, even without stepping up the original load levels.

On the other hand, if commonality with the wife's .308 is a factor, you certainly aren't going to be under gunned with the .308, even for moose.
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Old September 10, 2013, 07:27 AM   #23
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A 308 will shoot 200 gr bullets just fine. Just a little slower than a 30-06 or 300 mag, but if it imapcts a moose at 2000 fps (which is more than enough speed and energy for any moose ) from any of them how is the moose going to know which gun it was fired from.

Using 200 gr Accubonds in my handloads

A 308 drops below that threshold at just under 400 yards.
A 30-06 at just below 500 yards
A 300 mag somewhere around 600 yards.

At these ranges energy numbers wll be almost identical. Choosing between the 3 is all about the ranges you anticipate shooting. I have all 3 and wouldn't say any is a bad choice. I will say that my 308 is getting in more hunting time because it is almost 2 lbs lighter than the other choices, is more accurate, and provides all the power I need at the ranges I plan on shooting.
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Old September 10, 2013, 10:14 AM   #24
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From (mostly) the Nosler reloading guide:

200 gr. Accubond b.c. .588 (not even listed in the Nosler guide for .308)

.308: max muzzle velocity 2374 fps: 2,000 fps at approx 250 yards*

30-06: max mv 2688 fps: 2000 fps at approx 480 yards

.300 win mag: max mv 2972 fps: 2000 fps at approx 625 yards

Sorry: I see that as a huge disparity. I didn't even calculate energy.


*Used Barnes 200 gr. TSX data for muzzle velocity
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Old September 10, 2013, 10:56 AM   #25
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A 308 168 gr Barnes TTSX will go through a full size elk lengthwise. Unless your moose has vitals more than 6 ft in, the 308 will be enough for a stalking type hunt distances. If you're planing on sitting in a blind overlooking 5 square miles of swamp, get a 300 WSM or 300 RUM. Lead sled optional.
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