The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 27, 2018, 11:40 PM   #1
Junior member
Join Date: July 11, 2018
Location: Baytown, TX
Posts: 220
Why not the 30-06?

I see people every day come into the store and want a long reach rifle to go hunt with. They usually insist on the calibers 270, 7mm, 308, or any 300 besides the 30-06. What doesn’t make sense to me is that everyone knows that the 308 is just a few feet slower per second than the 06, and that the 270 is a flat and fast round that’s in a necked down 06 shell. Of course the 7 and 300 mag are great long distance rounds. So why does the 06 get looked over? One can shoot 100gr Bullets all the way to 220gr so if someone is willing to hunt with the 150gr 308, the 150gr 06 performs better. If a 140gr 7mm will do the job at 500 yards, what about a 140gr 06? I think it’s a great round although I prefer a 270 for white tails because they don’t tend to ruin as much meat but usually it’s less than 150 yard shots.
Roamin_Wade is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 12:05 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: October 23, 2005
Location: US
Posts: 3,083
I love the -06. It’s a good balance of bullet weight, raw power, and acceptable trajectory. All the rage is in those 6.5s and their 130-140 grain bullet. A 180-200 grain bullet will take virTually any game in North America. You can’t say that about a 6.5 rifle. I also like 270, but a 30-06 can do everything it can on game and slightly more.
Support the NRA-ILA Auction, ends 03/09/2018
5whiskey is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 12:58 AM   #3
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,671
Since the 308 & 30-06 are near identical in velocity the only real difference left is a fellows preference for a long or short throw bolt? I myself wouldn't choose neither.

I like fast and flat bullet shooters. 270 Win & 1/4 bore 06 are ideal for my use.

Again 7mm & 300 Win Mag calibers are not preferenced cartridges in my neck of the woods.
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 01:14 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: April 3, 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 999
I have hunted for more than 50 years with a 30-06 or 30-30 depending on terrain. I will never change as I know the short and long of the 30-06. I believe what has turned many people away from this round was the recoil, and the low BC of the bullet design for long distances. With the new modern designs and higher BC's provided, the 30-06 rival the 300 win mag at a lower cost now. You can't beat a 30-06, it will handle anything in this country and it won't break the bank buying bullets for it...just my 2¢.
ms6852 is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 01:16 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 13,598
Why not the 30-06?
OK, I give up. Why not? It has been one of the top cartridges in sales for the past 50 years, it is accurate, powerful, and common. That's probably the reason nobody is singing its song anymore, there are newer and sexier things nowadays, no need to get another 30-06. Hows about the new 6.5 Whatchamacallit? Or a 338 Superboom? Haha! Guaranteed to detach a retina in 10 shots or so. No, everybody is trying to sell something new, the same old same old just isn't fun to talk about.
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 02:35 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 6,251
OP,you mention "the shop".I take it you are in the gun biz.Sales pay your wages.
For whatever reason,Fred Customer saved his money and decided he(or she) WANTS a 6.5 Whizzer. "Wants" is a key word.His buddy bought one or he reads gun magazine articles....doesn't matter much.He's hungry for the 6.5 Whizzer.

I mostly believe in the freedom to have preferences.I don't even feel like I need to be able to justify my preferences.I might decide I really want a .250 Savage,Its a fine cartridge.

As my boss used to tell me "If Itell you a chicken can pull a freight train,you just hitch him up"

If a customer comes in with the money and wants a 6.5 Whizzer,or a 308,smile,show him what you have,and close the sale.

Don't kill the buzz by talking about the 30-06

The guy might be like me.I have 3 30-06's. You go talking sense to me,I might not buy anything.That is not the path to success in retail,guns or anything else.

I agree,the 30-06 is an excellent choice.If you hire a big game guide and show up with a 30-06,he will say "Good Gun".

I will suggest this: The "110 gr thru 220 gr bullets" thing,while true,is overstated. Muzzle velocity does not mean much.There are diminishing returns at the extremes.

Generally,the 30-06 is best with bullets from 150 through 180 gr. I'd include some 200 gr Noslers. The customer gets to choose .They all work.I figure a 165/168 is only 15 gr of lead away from a 150 or a 180.Thats the "balanced" zone.

I prefer,most of the time,one load,one rifle. One sight in,one trajectory...Keep it simple.But,thats just me.
HiBC is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 06:17 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 6,777
I dunno.
I shot a 30/06 exclusively for nearly 20 years before getting a 243 for coyote hunting. The 30/06 remained my "buck hammer" for another decade until I discovered a handloaded 7x57 did just as well with 40% less recoil.
I have 8-10 30/06 rifles of various types but haven't shot any of them for many years and now I can't physically tolerate that much recoil so they're just "inventory".
Mobuck is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 08:07 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 455
Once again,

“The 30-06 is never a mistake.”

Col. Townsend Whelen (a.k.a. Mr. Rifleman)
reinert is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 09:10 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,490
Short answer, newer cartridges will deliver the same performance on game with better accuracy, significantly reduced recoil, and often from smaller, more compact rifles.

I hunted with 30-06 from the 1970's up until about 10 years ago. I still have a couple of 30-06 rifles, but they almost never come out of the safe any more. But you'll never get me to say anything bad about the 30-06.

The only true advantage 30-06 has over 308 is the ability to shoot bullets weighing over 200 gr. The 308 will handle 200 gr bullets just fine, although not many try. If you want to go to 220-240 gr bullets you can do that with 30-06. But if you need bullets that heavy, what you really need is a 375.

But for the vast majority of hunters a 308, 7-08 or 6.5 CM is a better choice. I debated hard between 7-08 and 308 years ago before going to 308. Both offer near identical performance on game but 308 ammo is cheaper and easier to find. As a hand loader who also has a 30-06 it simplified bullet purchases as well.

Compared to my 30-06 I have the option of using a 308 rifle of equal weight, but with 25% less recoil. Or I can hunt with a 308 rifle 2 lbs lighter with the same recoil as 30-06.

As a hand loader I can use 22% less powder in 308 and give up about 3% muzzle velocity. I figure my 30-06 is good for elk size game out to about 500 yards. The 308 is shooting the same bullets to the same speed with better accuracy at 450 yards. I figure my shooting skills are only good for 400 yards under ideal conditions. Realistically closer to 300. At 300-400 yards no animal on earth will ever know the difference.

A 7-08 will have about 2 1/2" less drop, and about 35 ft lbs more energy at 500 yards compared to 308. With 1 ft lb less recoil.

If someone has the skills and desire to hunt beyond 500 yards that is where the magnums come into play and the 30-06 starts running out of gas.

For the target shooter 308 has dominated 30-06 for years. Flat trajectory means nothing when shooting at known ranges. Sights can always be adjusted for the range. With todays optics and range finders that applies to hunting as well.

And today the 6.5 CM will outdistance 308 by nearly double the range. A 308 starts running out of gas at about 800 yards, a 30-06 at about 1000, the 6.5 CM is still in the game at a mile.

As a hunting round the 6.5 CM also shoots the same bullet weights as 270 about 200 fps slower. But the better SD's mean better penetration than 270 at any range. And the better BC's mean they will catch up to 270 speeds at around 200-250 yards. In a nutshell 6.5 CM performs on game just like 270. With 1/3 less recoil.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 09:58 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 7,115
Because the .30-06 is vanilla ice cream, everyone likes it but what they really want is chocolate.
NRA Life Member
taylorce1 is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 10:18 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: June 14, 2018
Posts: 589
Caveat: My opinions most likely have already been expressed by others. Sorry for the redundancy.

There will always be a warm spot in my heart for the 30-06. I can find ammo for it wherever I go and it's not expensive or elite. I prefer the Winchester Model 70 when it comes to the 06. I don't know exactly why that is but that's what I've always had.

Comparing the .308 (which is a fine round) to a 30-06 is probably not a good choice. The only thing they have in common is the caliber/bullet diameter. The muzzle velocity and energy of the 06 is superior and therefore broadens the range of game animals that can be ethically taken.

I heard one of the best justifications for the 06 a while back. The question posed was would the .308 or a 6.5 Creedmoor be ok for taking Elk. The answer was yes, just don't stop shooting until your gun is empty. The next question was "which gun should I buy if I can only get one" and the unanimous answer was the 30-06.
LineStretcher is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 10:43 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 4,739
Why not the 30-06?
It is not the best.

It is that simple. In the age of the internet and cheap tooling, we have to have the of everything.

In times past, you buy what your friends, dad, gun store clerk suggested....that usually stemmed from a first rifle being a 1903 or 1917 or even a M1 Garand. Then a commercial .30-06. Then another, then yours. Magazine writers came along as well as the M14 which drove the 308, 270 Win and 7mm/300 mag. A few more tried their way through the gun writer route, but it was still hard to end up in hunting camp without having to explain yourself.

Some people are in they want a better .30-06....some people see themselves as innovators...they want the best. Now with the internet, people are always searching out the best or following what is said to be the best.
Nathan is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 12:33 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2, 2002
Location: Only1/2WayThere
Posts: 1,289
To echo Nathan, the 30-06 isn't the best. Or the newest, flashiest, etc. It's boring. It generally works without any fuss. And in my experience most 06 rifles aren't terribly picky about what you feed them with regards to accuracy.

I have in my cabinet a long action Remington 700 ADL in .30-06, a short Marlin 336BL in 30-30 and a tang-safety Ruger Model 77 in .308 Winchester. If I had to pick only 1, it would be the 06. But I argue with jmr's 25% recoil reduction claim for the 308 versus the 06. Between my 2 rifles I can tell the 308 kicks a bit less, but marginally. And the rifles are about the same weight, same length barrel, shooting factory 150gr hunting ammo.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
P-990 is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 12:57 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 6,251
Define "Best"

True,there are many excellent choices. Try them all!

Much over 400 yds is meaningless to me,as far as hunting.

IMO,the shorter bolt stroke ? Meaningless to me.The first shot matters. any perceived fraction of a second gain for a follow up shot is insignificant. 63 mm vs 51 mm is 12 mm. About 1/2 inch. I prefer the longer magazine.

Lighter rifle? Some. But not that much.Section out the difference in length from the receiver rails,mag,and stock. A few oz.

Recoil? The 06 is not a problem for me.

If you want something else,go for it. That might be "better" for you.

I'll say the 30-06 is "Among the best"
HiBC is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 01:10 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 2,607
Nothing at all wrong with a 30-06.

The thing about the new 6.5MM craze is less recoil at a given velocity, with a given BC. To get the same BC at the same velocity with a 30 cal as you can with a 26 cal you double the recoil.

If that is not a problem for the shooter I see no reason to go with a 6.5 instead of the grand old 06 if you want an all-around hunting rifle.

If nothing larger then deer and just occasionally an elk is in the future, the 6.5s do fine. But if you hunt elk as the common game and occasionally a moose, I would take the 30-06 over the 6.5, (any 6.5) every time.

I see no virtue in recoil at all, but I don't mind it either. I shoot a 375H&H very well, so nothing I will load into a 30-06 bothers me.

The target shooter needs to pay attention far more then the hunter because they fire strings of fire from 40 to 80 rounds at a time and the effects of recoil is accumulative. You simply shoot better scores with less recoil even if recoil is not a big deal to you in a hunting rifle.

So there are good points to both sides.

I am not interested in target shooting any more. I have gotten bored with it, so for me it is the 30-06 over the 6.5s if I were to be asked to simply choose one.
Wyosmith is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 01:36 PM   #16
Join Date: October 25, 2018
Location: Idaho
Posts: 78
I think the 30-06 is still the second best selling big game cartridge after the 308 so I wouldn't say it's overlooked. In terms of a versatile hunting round for North America, I don't think you can beat a 30-06 or 7mm Mag. They won't necessarily be the best choice in all cases, but on any game short of a big Alaskan brown they won't be a poor choice either. Both are going to have more recoil than some of the mid-range calibers but that's only important for target shooters, not most hunters - or at least not this hunter. They're both pretty manageable in the recoil department compared to most magnums.
IdaD is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 01:53 PM   #17
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,548
Compared to my 30-06 I have the option of using a 308 rifle of equal weight, but with 25% less recoil. Or I can hunt with a 308 rifle 2 lbs lighter with the same recoil as 30-06.
I understand the principles but I don't see where you're getting 25% from. Likewise the specific difference in weight equaling recoils. My experience with felt recoil is a light .308 kicks as hard as a 7mm Magnum, which is worse than a .30-06. Of course the rifles involved have a lot to do with it. And so does the shooter.

I've shot a Rem 600 carbine in .308, alongside a 700 in both 06 and 7mm Mag. FELT recoil between the carbine and the 7Mag was the same to me. The 06 was a bit less.

so where does 25% come from??
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 02:46 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 6,003
Others have pretty well said it, I will add my 2 cents as I have a bit different take.

I do regrest the 7mm I hunted with, 30-06 would have been fine. A 6.5 would hve been fine as well, but I did hunt in Grizzly country and did in fact wind up with my back to a very creek skinning out a moose that we agreeed we would have to stand our ground (a griz did take a moose kill away from a Fish and Game agent that same night about 2 miles away - so not theoretical)

For anything short of a Grizzly, anything form 6.5 on up will do the job. People hunt deer with 300 WM and poke holes through them, or they can hunt with a 243, bullet expansion and they drop.

I never though much of 6.5 (actually disdained it) but the last 10 years have made ti clear that the 6.5 was used to perfectly good affect to take moose in Scandinavia and was an eye opener.

As the OP stated, the 30-06 has a wide capability (and shot with 140 gr bullet will be very close to a 270 trajectory) - maybe the same with an ELD.

So for versatility you can't beat a 30-06 and with modern bullets you can make it dance with the best of them.

One of my target guns is a Savage 110 with a 06 Bull barrel (and yes I had to wait 4 months as they simply do not make bull barrel in 30-06 - it was special order only)

Its my best gun though the others are showing promise.

Its only downside for me is the recoil. I don't flinch but I do tend to tense up after 8 hours of shooting 30-06, 7.5 and 308 (which is the mildest) -

6.5 is popular target wise for two reasons. BC and those rounds can go forever above sonic and its got low recoil (and more so in a heavy target gun) - its a great caliber for hunting as well.

Adn there in lies the aspects. Target shooters seek the minutest aspect advanage wise beucase that is what wins and looses. Low recoil is a major advanrtage and the accuracy is there.

They actually have a 30 caliber target round (30 PRC I believe) now because the 30 cuts a bigger hole and that can mean the difference between first place and 5th. That is for the 100-300 yard shoots. Very specialized.

For someone like me who is just a recreational target and maybe amateur competition if I manage to retire, its fun to shoot an icon. Some of my good loads are less kaboomy and that helps the shooting days (I hate to not shoot all 8 hours daylight permitting thsi time of the year - if I am going to shoot I want to maximize it not dilute it with other things)

300 WM, never got it. 06 is close enough, its more a image thing in my mind, the military aside who has use for what it can do way out there.

7mm, I got that because my brother like it and we could exchange data. I missed one long shot that if I had 30-06 I would have got. sigh. We got it in the end only by lucky shot in the leg and a long chase.

Now what I do contend, the 7.5 Swiss is the least appreciate overall cartridge in the 30 caliber line out there.

Shape wise the shorter and fatter with the sharper shoulder is a modern 6.5 CM or RUM.

If it saw wide spread use it would match the 06 even up and a way before its time design case. That is extremely impressive for a 1900s cartridge.
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 03:06 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: February 11, 2011
Location: So-Cal
Posts: 700
Over the last few years, I have scaled back my hunting. A lot. Sold or traded off all my CF rifles except my Mod 94[30-30] and a Ruger No.1B in 30-'06. Bought a Henry in .357, but, I don't hunt with it. Currently looking to get another Henry in .45 Colt. Won't hunt with that either. Or the 30-30, or the 30-'06. But, I'm not getting rid of my one '06. All the others, gone. .270, 25-'06, .308, 7x57[friend's ranch in Idaho], 22-250. Gone. Not my 30-'06.
Rifletom is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 03:12 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: January 7, 2008
Posts: 2,701
If anybody has a 308 that will match the 30-'06 for velocity in a certain bullet weight, it will have the same recoil in rifles of the same weight. Maybe some factory-loaded 150 grain bullets might achieve this. If the 308 kicks less, it's because the 30-'06 is more powerful.
"My 308 is the equal to a 30-'06 and it kicks less, too." This cannot be true. But the 270 Winchester does kick less than an '06, right? Well, yeah, but, not if you load some high-performance 150 grain bullets at 3,000 fps; then you're right back up there.
"Why not the 30-'06?" Probably because it can be perceived as old-fashioned by many folks that want to be more contemporary or even perhaps avant-garde. No one needs a sports-car, but the more practical station-wagon is hard to sell anymore. The '06 is perhaps ideal for Elk; more than adequate for Deer; and less effective than a 375 magnum for Brown Bear, though proven to work with heavy bullets. It's a jack-of-all-trades-expert-at-one. From varmints to dangerous game, it's the perfect choice for the man that can have but one rifle that must do it all.
So, who is there among you that has but one center-fire rifle?
In The Great Depression, a lot of folks had but one pair of shoes.
Pathfinder45 is online now  
Old December 28, 2018, 03:18 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: April 22, 2016
Posts: 1,903
Can't the same be said for any of them though?

Why not the .270?

Why not the 30-06?

Why not the _________________

There is a great plethora of calibers in that area that are far more similar than not. None of them really stand head and shoulders above the rest so one can expect to here about any number of them more than any single one of them

I mean if you see 30-06, .270, 7MM, 30-06, .300 Win Mag, 308, .270, .308, 7MM, and 30-06 it seems like the 30-06 is the "not" most of the time when it is in fact over represented. Of the 10 choices made its only made 3 times. But if you consider that those three are more than any other single caliber it becomes clearer. Throw in a myriad of other choices beyond those 5 (why are none of the quarter bores mentioned or the .338) and it becomes more diluted.
Lohman446 is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 04:11 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: December 10, 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,719
So, who is there among you that has but one center-fire rifle?
Long ago, I had just one rifle. It was an 03 that my Dad bought me in 1963.

A few months after that, I had two. I talked him into buying a 98K (8x57 of course) with me paying half the cost. The first one was $24.95 and the second was $14.95 at the same store that no longer exists.

I have owned 30-06, and 8x57 since that time.

At one time I had 5. Now I only have 4.

I have one center fire rifle that is less than 30 cal. I have 30 caliber and up to 45 caliber center fire rifles. Guess which caliber is shot the most.
Dufus is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 04:13 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: October 3, 2013
Location: windber, pa
Posts: 266
you can go for '06. i mean the Col. Townsend Whelen said it best “The 30-06 is never a mistake.”

i've used '06 in 4 different guns( rem adl/ bdl/ 700 mountain rifle, sav m116, ). they were all accurate(except for the mountain rifle and handloads). i don't know how many deer i and the '06 have put down.

but its not my choice of rifles. for deer, using factory ammo only, then i like 7-08 . using handloads, 7x57. i have hunted with both of them.

what i use, is another thing. i use a tc encore with a 23" MGM barrel in 444 marlin with a 300gr fn gc and 2400/tuft of dacron. i have a 23" MGM barrel in 500 linebaugh in another tc encore. i have a 9.3x57 in husqvarna m46 that still needs d&t and bend the bolt handle to accompany my scope. theres also the 30-40 krag, 45-70, 30-30......
"democracy is just a stepping stone on the way to socialism." -me REPUBLIC of the USA

​Μολών λαβέ ! todd
tdoyka is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 04:39 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: June 23, 2013
Location: Central Taxylvania..
Posts: 2,529
Personally, i loved my old 06'. Still miss it! Dang thieves!!!
Being young and inexperienced when i owned it the furthest i shot game with it was about 20p yards. Before the days of me having a range finder.
Never had to chase/track an animal. I always found it right where i shot it.
The 165gr Nosler Ballistic Tips did well by me!

Yeah, one of these days one will be back in my cabinet.
This country was founded on two beliefs.
And I'm pretty sure pork rinds was one of them!
std7mag is offline  
Old December 28, 2018, 04:48 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 4,739
Originally Posted by Col. Townsend Whelen
The 30-06 is never a mistake.
Best quote ever!
Nathan is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 06:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11184 seconds with 9 queries