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Old August 18, 2018, 08:42 PM   #1
Roamin_Wade
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308 War

I’ve always heard that the 308 Win will do everything the 30-06 will do. I also know that Marlin wanted a comparable round to the 308 Win in a lever action and came up with the 308 Marlin Express. Does this mean that the 308 Marlin is as good, or comparable to the 30-06? Why do you suppose Marlin didn’t just make a rimmed case that matches the 308 Win case and make it exactly the same as the 308 Win? Is it because there is some sort of professional unwritten courtesy to not make rim cased bullets exactly like rebated rimmed cases?
And lastly, if the Marlin cartridge isn’t very similar to the 308 Win, what is comparable to it?
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Old August 18, 2018, 09:10 PM   #2
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Why do you suppose Marlin didn’t just make a rimmed case that matches the 308 Win case and make it exactly the same as the 308 Win?
Lever guns with tube magazines use flat or round nose bullets. Pointed bullets will have the bullet point of one bullet resting on the primer of the next bullet and it could discharge in the magazine during recoil or if the rifle is dropped.

Lever actions are not as strong as other designs and not loaded to the same pressures. The 308 Marlin is about 200-300 fps slower than 308 Winchester with 150 gr bullets even though the cases are similar. About 400-500 fps slower than 30-06. Plus the 308 Marlin uses flat or round nose bullets that lose speed very quickly compared to pointed bullets that can be fired in other designs.

At close range (50 yards or so) the 308 Marlin hits with about the speed as 308 Win does at 200-250 yards. Basically it is about range. If you can kill something with a 308 win at 250 yards the 308 Marlin does the same thing at about 50 yards. And while the 308 retains enough bullet speed out to about 500 yards for bullet expansion, the 308 Marlin drops below that threshold at about 200 yards.
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Old August 18, 2018, 09:54 PM   #3
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Thanks, JMR40. Yes, I know why tube magazines are loaded with rounded projectile/ rubber-tipped spitzer ammunition but as far as strength of actions, the Savage 99 and Browning BLR both shoot 308 Win and even more powerful rounds, but admittedly not Marlins even though there actions are stronger than the Winchester lever guns.
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Old August 18, 2018, 10:13 PM   #4
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There is also the 300 Savage. Which was the cartridge the 308 Win was based off of.

And no. The 308Win will not do everything the 06 can do.
For 150-165 gr bullets the 06 is about 200 fps faster. For 210gr it's about 100 fps faster.
While it doesn't sound like much you will get a longer mechanical distance ( bullets expand typically down to 1,800 fps) than the 308 Win.
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Old August 18, 2018, 10:44 PM   #5
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Why do you suppose Marlin didn’t just make a rimmed case that matches the 308 Win case and make it exactly the same as the 308 Win?
Prolly cause Winchester already did it. And they called it the 307 Winchester.
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Old August 19, 2018, 01:12 AM   #6
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Why do you suppose Marlin didn’t just make a rimmed case that matches the 308 Win case and make it exactly the same as the 308 Win?

Quote:
Prolly cause Winchester already did it. And they called it the 307 Winchester.

You need to look at the rifles, and not all lever rifles are the same. Some are stronger than others, and different actions do differ some in length, as well. Wiki says the .308 Marlin is based on a shortened .307 Winchester case. My guess would be they shortened the case a little, to "make it their own", or maybe to get a little better "fit" in the action of their 336 series.

And, just FYI, there have been tube magazine centerfires that could use pointed spitzer type bullets. Remington made them.

As to .308 will do everything .30-06 does, that comes at least partially from the fact that GI ball ammo in both calibers is the same. Same size and weight bullet at the same speed. Cases and pressures are different, but not what comes out the muzzle...

COMMERCIAL ammo isn't restricted to the GI specs, and there the bigger 06 case has more potential, but its still "only" 100-200fps, depending on the load.
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Old August 19, 2018, 12:29 PM   #7
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You know, I've heard about the 307 Win, or flipped through the pages of a book that had it in there. I didn't notice that it was comparable to the 308 Win. Thanks, Dufus. I'll go check it out.
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Old August 19, 2018, 04:32 PM   #8
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Winchester made a lever action called the 1895 with bottom magazine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Model_1895

Not sure how they stood up.
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Old August 20, 2018, 12:17 AM   #9
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as far as strength of actions, the Savage 99 and Browning BLR both shoot 308 Win and even more powerful rounds
The Savage 99 was never designed for 61,000 psi 308 rounds, it had enough trouble with the first generation 308 at 59,000 psi. SAAMI specs for the 308 and 30-06 were upgraded in the late 1980s. If you shoot hot 308s in your Savage 99, you will have extraction difficulties. The 99's action is stretchy, like most rear-locking actions.

The Browning Lever Rifle is a whole different beast, it has a rotating bolt head that locks into the barrel extension, much like an AR.

And as far as "more powerful rounds", the rifle doesn't care about your definition of more powerful, it just cares about pressure. "More powerful" is the realm of marketing people. A 358 Win is not significantly more powerful than a 308.
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Old August 20, 2018, 06:55 AM   #10
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As to .308 will do everything .30-06 does, that comes at least partially from the fact that GI ball ammo in both calibers is the same. Same size and weight bullet at the same speed. Cases and pressures are different, but not what comes out the muzzle.
Correct.

When comparing the .308 and 30-06 in military trim (150gn FMJ @ 2700-ish fps), it's a wash. I get the same performance value from my .7.62/.308 M1 as I do from my M1 with the '06 GI barrel.

Quote:
COMMERCIAL ammo isn't restricted to the GI specs, and there the bigger 06 case has more potential, but its still "only" 100-200fps, depending on the load.
Not only more velocity and greater energy 'oomph' (fps/fpe), but the '06 in hunting trim can push the heavier (200gn, 220gn) bullets faster. Try finding factory .308 hunting ammo loaded with 220 RN/SPs @ 2400+fps.

For the lower 48, it probably doesn't matter. But if we're talking about hunting or living in AK, or hunting in Africa with a non-magnum cartridge, the 30-06 is simply more versatile.
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Old August 20, 2018, 07:03 AM   #11
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I put up with a little more weight(less than half a pound) in my light weight 3006 to get 2900 fps with a 165gr bullet and a 308 will not do that safely. and that extra 300 fps adds more than a little energy advantage to the 3006.
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Old August 20, 2018, 09:11 AM   #12
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A lever-action with a rotating bolt locks up the same as a regular bolt-action rifle, so it will hold up with .308 pressures.

As to comparative performance. for decades the factories loaded the .30-'06 to about 50,000 psi. The .308 has always been loaded to about 55,000 psi. When the '06 is loaded to 55,000 psi, it has an advantage of roughly 300 feet/sec over the .308.
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Old August 20, 2018, 09:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scorch View Post
The Savage 99 was never designed for 61,000 psi 308 rounds, it had enough trouble with the first generation 308 at 59,000 psi. SAAMI specs for the 308 and 30-06 were upgraded in the late 1980s. If you shoot hot 308s in your Savage 99, you will have extraction difficulties. The 99's action is stretchy, like most rear-locking actions.

The Browning Lever Rifle is a whole different beast, it has a rotating bolt head that locks into the barrel extension, much like an AR.

And as far as "more powerful rounds", the rifle doesn't care about your definition of more powerful, it just cares about pressure. "More powerful" is the realm of marketing people. A 358 Win is not significantly more powerful than a 308.
Don't forget about a Winchester Model 88 in .308. I've got a beautiful 1959 version and it's a joy to shoot. With it's front locking bolt and strong action, it takes my full power .308 handloads, be they 150, 165, 168, or 175grn. As one of 8 leverguns, it's my hunter choice by far.

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Old August 20, 2018, 12:10 PM   #14
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"...comparable to the 30-06?..." Um, no. The .308 Marlin Express, semi-rimmed, was Marlin and Hornady trying to get .308 Win performance out of a Marlin 336. The .308 Win having too much pressure for the action. Plus a certain amount of Hornady trying to expand the Leverevolution marketing. Lotta stuff like it is the answer to an unasked question.
"...The 308 Win will not do everything the 06 can do..." Yes, it will. Does some things better. Difference between them is a half inch of case and about 100 FPS with like bullet weights. Ballistically they're identical. That being the whole purpose of the .308.
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Old August 20, 2018, 01:02 PM   #15
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By preferential data selection, one might say the .308 is equal to the 30/06 but in the same way, the 30/06 can be proven superior to the .308 just as often. The under fed .308's designed to work with the weaker actions will NEVER be equal to either.
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Old August 20, 2018, 04:55 PM   #16
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the 308 is not a 3006 and never will be equal to it on a fair test. load the 308 up with any bullet until its unsafe and do the same with a 3006 in comparable action,s, ie rem-win mauser. any one can run a 308 to a higher fps than a 3006 by using different powder and bullet weights, ie 150gr vers 180gr.
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Old August 21, 2018, 06:56 PM   #17
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"...The 308 Win will not do everything the 06 can do..." Yes, it will. Does some things better. Difference between them is a half inch of case and about 100 FPS with like bullet weights. Ballistically they're identical. That being the whole purpose of the .308.
Apparently you can't read.

The cartridges are 'equal' ballistically only in their military load format. The design-purpose of the .308 was to equal .30-06 M2 ball ammo in a more efficient case. The .308 does that in that format, but not in others, especially as compared to '06 hunting ammo that's loaded up to push the 180gn, 200gn, and 220gn bullets fast.

The .308, in it's hunting format, tops out at the 180gn bullet-weight in 99.9% of factory loads (boutique loads excepted).

As stated earlier, for hunting use at reasonable ranges in the lower 48, the .308 in a short-action rifle will suffice for virtually any big game not requiring the extra power or long-range reach of a Magnum to put it down (e.g., a 300WinMag).

If I lived in Alaska, I'd sell my 'hunting' .308 rifles and just stick with my '06s and simplify my reloading tasks.
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Old August 21, 2018, 09:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by agtman View Post
Apparently you can't read.

The cartridges are 'equal' ballistically only in their military load format. The design-purpose of the .308 was to equal .30-06 M2 ball ammo in a more efficient case. The .308 does that in that format, but not in others, especially as compared to '06 hunting ammo that's loaded up to push the 180gn, 200gn, and 220gn bullets fast.

The .308, in it's hunting format, tops out at the 180gn bullet-weight in 99.9% of factory loads (boutique loads excepted).

As stated earlier, for hunting use at reasonable ranges in the lower 48, the .308 in a short-action rifle will suffice for virtually any big game not requiring the extra power or long-range reach of a Magnum to put it down (e.g., a 300WinMag).

If I lived in Alaska, I'd sell my 'hunting' .308 rifles and just stick with my '06s and simplify my reloading tasks.
Well said. The development of W760 powder for the 30-06 to increase the case density over something like W748 while producing about a 200fps increase in MV with a 150grn bullet really woke up the 06's performance. I load .308 for a Win 88 and M80 Ball for my M1A as well as 30-06 for my Win 70 and M2 Ball for my M1 Garands. As I have a lot of it, I use BL-C(2) and Win748 for my Win 88, M1A, M1 Garands but I use W760 for my Win 70.
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Old August 21, 2018, 10:49 PM   #19
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The 06 has an advantage when using heavier bullets like 180gr. Other wise there's about a 90fps advantage for the 06 from most factory loads with 150 gr and 165 gr bullets. So, not a hill of beans difference. It will also kick and have throat erosion slightly more than the .308. The .308 is a more efficient cartridge and tends to come in a shorter package with the same barrel lengths. If you were to lengthen the .308 barrel by an inch to get similar overall lengths, the velocity advantage of the 06 is reduced some. The 06 is more popular than even the very popular .308. Both are very good all around cartridges.
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Old August 22, 2018, 03:21 PM   #20
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I regularly shoot my Savage 99 in .308... did so last weekend. I would not want to shoot modern full-power hunting ammunition in it, however, the action just isn't built for it.
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Old August 22, 2018, 05:25 PM   #21
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.308 can never be .30-06.
It just doesn't have the case capacity.
As such, neither can the 'lever gun .308s'. (.307 Win and .308 MX)


----

To clarify a few points on .307 Win (7.62x51mmR) and .308 MX:
When "Winchester" decided to chamber a ".308 equivalent" cartridge as the new flagship for the Model 94AE Big Bore*, they also decided to use the thicker case walls of their 7.62x51mm cases, rather than the thinner walls of .308 Winchester. Some people argue that this was done to 'toughen' the cases, so they would be more difficult to damage while cycling through a lever gun. Others argue that it was to aid in containing pressure greater than the 94 was ever designed to handle. I have no opinion on the matter, other than disagreeing with the latter.

So, .307 Winchester cases were, at least initially, a rimmed version of 7.62x51mm, or 7.62x51mmR; and loaded to slightly lower pressure (52k CUP). Later on, Winchester got lazy or failed to consult original drawings when new tooling was made (multiple times, possibly), and case walls have been made both thin and thick since the '90s.

Like Winchester with .307 Win, Hornady and Marlin wanted to get in the game and made some choices about their own cartridge. They took .307 Win, pushed the shoulder back to prevent .308 Win from chambering, cut the neck shorter to work with a bespoke 160 gr FTX bullet, and opted for the thinner case walls of later production .307 Win cases, in order to regain some of the capacity lost to the long bullet, shoulder relocation, and short neck.

For .308 MX (and .338 MX that was driving development), Marlin also wanted to run slightly higher chamber pressure than .307 Win, but the standard 336 couldn't handle it. So, they made changes to the rifle, as well. Most notably, heat treating was a bit different, tolerances are tighter, and they went to a V-thread instead of the classic Marlin square thread (saving precious receiver and chamber wall thickness in the process).

To me, the most impressive thing about either of the 'lever gun 308s' is that they can get so close to .308 Win velocities with 160-180 gr bullets, but with lower chamber pressure. Some Hornady Superformance loads even exceed the velocity of some equivalent .308 Win loads. On the other hand, the 'lever gun 308s' fall on their faces with light bullets, when compared to .308 Win.


*.307 Winchester was the first chambering available when the Big Bore 94AE was released.
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Old August 23, 2018, 06:09 PM   #22
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"Not only more velocity and greater energy 'oomph' (fps/fpe), but the '06 in hunting trim can push the heavier (200gn, 220gn) bullets faster. Try finding factory .308 hunting ammo loaded with 220 RN/SPs @ 2400+fps."

I have a better question. Where can you even find a box of 220 gr. factory ammo. I've been looking for just one for years to finish out a test I sarted several years back.

First, I'm somewhat doubtful a factory 220 gr. 06 load will do 2400 FPS. Bear with me. I was playing with a wild (?) idea and decided to see just what a .308 Win. could do shooting 220 gr. bullets. I used Winchester brass and WLR primers, W760 for the powder and carefully worked up the load in a Winchester M70 Youth Ranger I won in a raffle and restocked so it would fit me. Data was from one of those one book/on caliber books.

W760:
Start: 42.0 gr./2177FPS/42,000 C.U.P.
Maximum: 44.0 gr./2295 FPS/46,900 C.U.P.

I reached the posted maximum with no trouble and velocity was 2310 FPS. I also ran the load through a Ruger M77 RSI with 18.5" barrel and velocity was 2250 FPS.

I need a box of the 220 gr. 30-06 loads to chronograph to see if they actually do 2400 FPS or actually less.

My reasoning stems from a velocity check of 180 gr. .308 vs 180 gr. 30-06. The .308 averaged 2615 FPS and the 06 2630 FPS.

This kind of looks to me that at least in factory ammo using 180 gr. bullets the .308 and 30-06 are equal at least in my rifles.

FWIW, I also ran the 30-06 load through rifles with 24" and 26" barrels and the only time they came close to advertised speed was from the 26" barreled Ruger #1 at 2690 FPS. All speeds were five shot averages.
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Old August 23, 2018, 10:25 PM   #23
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Try finding factory .308 hunting ammo loaded with 220 RN/SPs @ 2400+fps."
I have a better question. Where can you even find a box of 220 gr. factory ammo. I've been looking for just one for years to finish out a test I sarted several years back.

I need a box of the 220 gr. 30-06 loads to chronograph to see if they actually do 2400 FPS or actually less.
HSM has a 210gr Berger VLD at 2,508fps that is the heaviest bullet for a factory .308 load that I see. BTW the same load in 30-06 is at 2,534 fps for a whopping 26fps advantage.

Factory 30-06 220 gr loads.

Federal 220gr Speer HC SP 2,400fps.
Remington Express 220gr Core-Lokt 2,410fps.
Sako 220gr Hammerhead 2,362fps.
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Old August 24, 2018, 12:50 AM   #24
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The 30-'06 is factory loaded to a lower maximum pressure than the 308. We can speculate as to why this is so; I expect it has to do with keeping much older rifles from blowing up. But for hand-loaders using rifles readily capable of handling magnum pressures, the 30-'06 has a lot of potential to safely increase its power by simply using optimal powders and loading to the same pressure as, say, a 270 Winchester. This would produce ammo that is technically over-pressure for that caliber, but not for the rifle or brass. Since the 308 Winchester is already loaded near this maximum pressure, it has less performance to be gained safely with hand-loads, though I'm sure it can be optimized to some extent. I believe that the 30-'06, loaded in this manner, will perform midway between the 308 and the 300 Winchester magnum. At least my rifle-nut-brother says so, though he was actually coming closer to the 300 Magnum with at least one of his '06 rifles.
The 308 is good, so is the 30-30 and 300 Savage. They all do a good job in the hunting fields and kill game just as dead as the 30-'06, even though none of them are quite as powerful. Big deal; I think we all spend more time arguing the relative merits of our favorite calibers when we ought to spend more time in the fields and forests. If only this modern life would allow us to do so.....
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Old August 24, 2018, 06:32 AM   #25
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dead horse, no minds are being changer here.
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