.308 vs. .30-06 sniper round question


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TMM
October 16, 2005, 11:56 AM
hey...

i was wondering, with the .308 being merely a shortened version of the .30-06, why is the .308 more popular for sniper type rifles? both rounds were used by the US, so that's can't really change anything...

~TMM

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Medusa
October 16, 2005, 12:03 PM
Well, the .308 is same as 7.62x51 - NATO standart round, 30-06 is not very common outside US. even USA has to play at the big playground of world and it helps to use compatible toys. IMHO

TMM
October 16, 2005, 12:08 PM
ah - but don't they get ammo shipments from the US anyway?

~TMM

The Drew
October 16, 2005, 12:13 PM
I don't think that there is any reason NOT to go .308 in a military situation, Especially when the ballistics are so similar. Everything else is a negative for the 06 (longer action, heavier per round, not a nato standard, almost unheard of in other nations that we may be fighting in...)

Neither is "ideal" for the role of sniper, but can be adequate.

Darth Ruger
October 16, 2005, 01:16 PM
It's not a shortened version of the .30-06. The .308 was based on the .300 Savage case. They wanted to create a .30 caliber cartridge with ballistics nearly equal to the .30-06, but in a more compact cartridge that weighed less (which would also allow the use of a short-action rifle). And they succeeded. The ballistics are close enough to the .30-06 as to make the size and weight advantage of the .308 more desirable for military sniping than the .30-06 with it's slightly better ballistics.

atblis
October 16, 2005, 07:51 PM
.

JShirley
October 16, 2005, 07:56 PM
A .308 is theoretically inherently more accurate than a .30-06. Supposedly this is due to the "burn front" or somesuch. :confused:

John

CB900F
October 16, 2005, 08:42 PM
Darth Ruger;

The .300 Savage was developed by Savage in 1920, or 21, depending upon source material. "The .300 Savage was intended as a cartridge that would work through medium-length actions and deliver ballistics similar to the .30-06." Barnes. The 06 of .30-06 refers to it's introduction date of 1906, therefore it precedes the .300 Savage by over a decade.

Note that the .300 Savage has a .473" case head diameter and 20 degree shoulder. The .300 Savage is a derivative of the .30-06 itself. The 06 being .473 and 17.30 degrees. Regardless of any intermediary cartridges, such as the .300 Savage, the .308 is a child of the .30-06.

Of course the argument can also be made the the .30-06 is itself a development of the 8mm Mauser, as it shares the .473" case head with it. However, most sources regard the .30-06 family as being a separate development mostly due to the overwhelming preponderance of fractional rather than metric bores.

Sources: Barnes "Cartridges Of The World", Speer #13, Nosler #5, Hornady #6.
900F

jobu07
October 16, 2005, 08:47 PM
...almost unheard of in other nations that we may be fighting in...

Ask Germany if they have ever heard of it! :D I just had to say it.

Art Eatman
October 16, 2005, 09:25 PM
atblis, do you mean benchrest accuracy for the .308 vs. the '06? If so, yes, that's correct. For a hunting round to some 300 yards or so, the difference is largely imaginary.

Overall performance? No. For a given chamber pressure, the '06 will run some 200 to 300 ft/sec faster.

The USGI loadings for the '06 were some 47,000 psi. The civilian loadings, generally, ranged from 49,000 psi to 51,000 psi. The .308 was initially loaded to around 53,000 to 55,000 psi.

FWIW, Art

USSR
October 17, 2005, 07:42 AM
i was wondering, with the .308 being merely a shortened version of the .30-06, why is the .308 more popular for sniper type rifles? both rounds were used by the US, so that's can't really change anything...

From the viewpoint of the U.S. military, it's strictly a matter of logistics. The .308 will be the military's sniper round as long as the 7.62x51 round is being used in various other weapons. As for police and civilians usage, they tend to follow the military's lead. Although there are currently no factory tactical rifles being made in .30-06, there is absolutely no reason not to have one built for you, as I did. Should you go this route, the first thing you have to realize is, the .30-06 in a modern tactical rifle firing proper handloads, competes with the .300WM, not the .308 Winchester. Using the 190gr Sierra MatchKing bullet and modern powders (RL22), you will be able to reach 2900fps or slightly more, which puts you in the realm of factory .300WM ammo. I have been shooting at 1,000 yards for three years now (see rifle below), and a .30-06 set up like this has it all over a .308 at that distance in terms of both ballistics and wind drift. Drawbacks? No factory rifles and no factory ammo suitable to this purpose.

Don
http://people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/ussr/Win06t1.jpg

warth0g
October 17, 2005, 08:02 AM
"Well, the .308 is same as 7.62x51 - NATO standart round, 30-06 is not very common outside US. even USA has to play at the big playground of world and it helps to use compatible toys. IMHO
Yesterday 05:56 PM"

30.06 is the most common hunting round in my country.
And was one of the miltary rounds until we adopted hte G3 design in 1968.
Lots of Mausers in 30.06 on the norwegian surplus marked.
We converted german mauser to the 30.06, they did leave a heap of them here in 1945.

wart0g

cracked butt
October 17, 2005, 08:38 AM
To add to what USSR said, if you built two bolt action rifles one chambered in .308 and the other in 30-06, I doubt that there are too many shooters who could find a diference in accuracy between the two when both cartridges are loaded to their potential.

The idea that the .308 is more accurate than the 30-06 came when M1 garands were beginning to be converted to .308 for High Power Rifle match rifles. The gas sytem of the M1 is somewhat limited and cannot use the 30-06 cartridge any where near its potential, but it can with the .308. Consequently, people who had M1s chambered in 30-06 could not compete with those with rifles chambered in .308.

twoblink
October 17, 2005, 09:12 AM
i was wondering, with the .308 being merely a shortened version of the .30-06, why is the .308 more popular for sniper type rifles? both rounds were used by the US, so that's can't really change anything...

The 308 is a smaller, shorter casing, and so it has less tendency to "flexing" it's a little bit more rigid than the 30-06, and so it should give a more consistent shot.

Also, afaik, the 308 was one of the first rounds to have computer assisted shoulder slope angle optimization.

Given a 308 vs. 30-06, a 308 casing will flex less, and be more consistent in powder burning, thus a more consistent round.

That said.. If you are shooting from stance, within 300 yards, and you think you "see" a difference in a 308 vs 30-06, then what you are smoking is not banana peels my friend, and it ain't oregano either!!

is there a difference? Yes. Is there a difference a shooter will notice? Probably not.

The quality and consistency of the loading will play a bigger part than the difference in the cartridge type.

Darth Ruger
October 17, 2005, 05:38 PM
The 06 of .30-06 refers to it's introduction date of 1906, therefore it precedes the .300 Savage by over a decade.
I know the .30-06 is older than the .300 Savage. And about three decades after the introduction of the Savage, the 7.62 NATO (T65) was introduced. I don't understand your point about their age.

Note that the .300 Savage has a .473" case head diameter and 20 degree shoulder.
Wrong. The .300 Savage has a shoulder of 30 degrees. The .308 is 20 degrees.

The .300 Savage is a derivative of the .30-06 itself....Regardless of any intermediary cartridges, such as the .300 Savage, the .308 is a child of the .30-06.
I think what you're saying is the .300 Savage was based on the .30-06, which would make the 7.62x51 more of a 'grandchild', rather than the 'child' of the .30-06, is that right? I haven't been able to find specific references about the development of the .300 Savage, but I think it was based on the earlier .250 Savage, which was developed in 1912 by Charles Newton for Arthur Savage and also had a head diameter of .473".

Many people think the .308 is nothing more than a shortened .30-06 case. Simply saying the .308 is a child of the .30-06 and disregarding everything in between is like saying I'm a child of my great grandfather, regardless of the people in between. You could also say the metallic cartridge is a child of the flintlock, but that's inaccurate if you leave out the steps inbetween. You have to consider the invention of the percussion cap, which in turn led to the development of the primer used in the base of the metallic cartridge. You have to include everything to give an accurate description of it's development.

The 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge started out as the experimental T65 cartridge... The T65 was basically a lengthened version of the .300 Savage case & was a joint effort between the U.S. military & Winchester...The T65 if you haven't guessed became the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge (actually the T65E3 was the final version before it was adopted if I recall). But Winchester introduced their version of the T65 in 1952 as the .308 Winchester.http://carnival.saysuncle.com/002453.html


Winchester introduced the 308 in September 1952 as a sporting cartridge. It was a commercial adaptation of the Army Ordnance T65 rifle and machine gun cartridge....Post war ammunition research lasted nine years and experiments ranged from a cartridge closely resembling the 300 Savage to the T-65 round. The main difference between the 300 Savage and the T-65 was the 3/16" longer neck of the latter.http://www.users.fast.net/~jasmine/308.htm


The development work that would eventually develop into the 7.62 × 51 started just after World War I, when it became clear that the long cartridge of the US standard .30-06 round made it difficult to use in semi- and fully-automatic weapons...The test program continued for several years, including not only the original .30-06, but a modified .300 Savage (then known as the T65) as well. In the end, the T65 design demonstrated power roughly equal to the original .30-06, while being somewhat shorter and much more reliable in feeding.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62_x_51_mm


...the .300 Savage went on to become one of the most popular short action .30-caliber deer and elk cartridges of all time. Later it was to become the basis of the experiments conducted by the U.S. military when they began developing a replacement for the .30-06 service rifle cartridge. Ultimately, the 7.62mm NATO/.308 Winchester was the result.http://www.chuckhawks.com/savage_99.htm


...the .308 owes it's existence to Savage's .300. In the early 1950's, when ordnance experts were looking for a cartridge to replace the .30-06 in battle rifles, they turned first to the .300 Savage. They knew it would function well in short actions and that it had enough punch for most applications. But when they found it's neck was too short for reliable functioning in some mechanisms, they redesigned the cartridge by lengthening the neck and reducing the shoulder angle by 10 degrees. This experimental round was called the T65 at first, then the .308 Winchester. The U.S. Army adopted it as the 7.62 NATO in 1955. - America's Great Gunmakers, Wayne Van Zwoll, 1992

CB900F
October 17, 2005, 09:41 PM
Darth;

You are quite correct. The proper given angle for the shoulder of the .300 Savage is indeed 30 degrees. My book flopped a few pages & I didn't notice, my bad.

The point of the dates of introduction were to establish that the 06 preceeded the .300 Savage & therefore the Savage is considered a development of the .30-06. As would be the .250 Savage as well.

The context is not all firearms, ie flintlocks to vulcans, the context is the .308's development. So, in that context, the .300 Savage & the .308 do share the same case head diameter, and not much else. Not even the same rim thickness. In fact, other than primer size, I can't find a common sizing point between the cartridges other than the one's mentioned.

Therefore, if the .308 was developed from the .300 Savage, a [B]whole lot[B] development went on. Enough to make me strongly doubt that the developers did much more than look at the .300 Savage, and discard it for an independent project. Which brings us right back to the .308 being a child of the .30-06.

900F

browningguy
October 17, 2005, 10:29 PM
The 30-06 remains the most popular hunting cartiridge in the world. Not just the US. I have a 308 and four '06's, both fine rounds. However as mentioned the 308 is the current NATO medium round so that's what sniper rifles are built in. It has a little less recoil than the '06, all other things being equal, but that's the extent of it's advantages.

Sam
October 17, 2005, 10:53 PM
Right now it is logistics driven anyone want to make book on why the M24 is built on a a long action?????

308/7.62 won't be there forever folks and bigger and better has been in the works from day 1.



Sam

Darth Ruger
October 18, 2005, 03:24 AM
The point of the dates of introduction were to establish that the 06 preceeded the .300 Savage & therefore the Savage is considered a development of the .30-06.How ever these two cartridges may or may not be related, the simple fact that one is older than the other doesn't automatically mean the older one was the basis for the later one. If that's the case, then the .270 was based on the .22 rimfire.


The context is not all firearms, ie flintlocks to vulcans, the context is the .308's development.The flintlock thing was just an example to illustrate my point.


...the .300 Savage & the .308 do share the same case head diameter, and not much else. Not even the same rim thickness. In fact, other than primer size, I can't find a common sizing point between the cartridges other than the one's mentioned. Therefore, if the .308 was developed from the .300 Savage, a whole lot development went on.You're right, there isn't much that's the same. That's because, as you said, a whole lot of development went on. I never said the cases were identical. Remember, the .308 is a later variation of the T65 (later named the 7.62 NATO, or 7.62x51). The .300 Savage was altered in various ways because it was for NATO use. It had to be reliable in a bunch of different types of weapons, so it was designed to have more of a loose fit to ensure feeding and reliability. To compensate for the looser fit, the case walls were made thicker to better withstand the stretching that happens upon firing. This cartridge, the T65 (the final version was actually called the T65E3), was later named the 7.62 NATO (commonly referred to as the 7.62x51) when it was adopted by the military. Then Winchester made a variation of that, with tighter tolerances than the 7.62 NATO that would be more conducive to better accuracy, since reliability of feeding in semi-auto and full-auto weapons wasn't necessary for a civilian rifle cartridge (incidentally, Winchester introduced it's new .308 a couple of years before the 7.62 NATO was officially adopted by the military, so it may appear that the .308 came first, but the 7.62 NATO was designed first and was the basis for the .308 Winchester). That's why the 7.62x51 NATO and the .308 Winchester are not the same, contrary to what many people believe. Firing a .308 cartridge in a weapon chambered for 7.62 NATO can be dangerous, and vice versa (before I get beat over the head for saying that, note that I didn't say it is dangerous, but it can be, depending on the circumstances). Check out these articles for detailed explanations of how the 7.62x51 and the .308 differ, including the measurements, and why mixing them up can be dangerous:

http://carnival.saysuncle.com/002453.html

http://www.thegunzone.com/30cal.html

http://www3.sympatico.ca/shooters/7_62vs308.htm

So no, you won't find identical case measurements with the .300 Savage. The .300 Savage was the platform, then they altered it as necessary to fit their needs, and that result was later altered again. Comparing the case measurements shown in a loading manual for the .300 Savage and the .308 Winchester and then saying that they're not related simply because the measurements aren't all the same is as uninformed as saying one cartridge must be the parent of another simply because it's older.

Enough to make me strongly doubt that the developers did much more than look at the .300 Savage, and discard it for an independent project. Which brings us right back to the .308 being a child of the .30-06.
That's pretty good. I admire the way you're able to interpret history according to your own opinion in order to suit what you prefer to believe.

Well, that's enough of this topic for me. There are too many other threads to read to keep beating this one to death. I wonder if there are any new 'pit bull' threads in the general section... :D

R.H. Lee
October 18, 2005, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the links, Darth. Interesting reading, but I zoned out. Is the bottom line that if I reload 7.62x51 too many times and continue to fire it in my .308 that eventually I'll have a case failure/rupture/kaboom?

444
October 18, 2005, 09:44 AM
Thank you guys for the excellent discussion.
I enjoyed it.
It is extremly rare to get a discussion between a couple guys that post facts and back them up with references etc.
99% of the stuff on this board is wild speculation. If you disagree with anyone or attempt to use logic to refute what they are saying, you are accused of starting an argument.

Darth: I am sure you won't have any trouble finding a thread on dog shooting. There is a new one posted almost every day. :rolleyes:

USSR
October 18, 2005, 09:48 AM
Is the bottom line that if I reload 7.62x51 too many times and continue to fire it in my .308 that eventually I'll have a case failure/rupture/kaboom?

Not likely. Using once-fired USGI 7.62x51 brass in your .308, you will likely get more reloads out of it than you will out of commercial brass due to it's heavier construction. However, I would stick with M118 Match brass, as most of the M80 brass has been fired in machineguns which will shorten it's life. Also, be sure to drop your powder charge down by 1 or 2 grains because of the reduced capacity of mil brass.

Don

Darth Ruger
October 18, 2005, 01:28 PM
Is the bottom line that if I reload 7.62x51 too many times and continue to fire it in my .308 that eventually I'll have a case failure/rupture/kaboom?Dunno, never tried it myself. With the potential safety problem and with commercial stuff being so readily available, I wouldn't use milsurp 7.62 brass in a .308, but that's me. So I can only go by what the experts say in this case. As the first article explains, I think an important factor is the condition of the rifle's chamber. If you continue to do that, you should probably have the headspace checked on a regular basis (depending on how much you shoot) to make sure the numbers are within the safe parameters as explained in that first article. USSR's advice above also sounds good.

However, if you shoot loaded milsurp 7.62 ammo in a .308, there's yet another glitch you should be aware of. 7.62 milsurp ammo has a wide variation in ballistic performance, depending on where and when it was manufactured (this is probably not as important as the safety concerns, but you still might want to be aware of it if you shoot milsurp ammo in a .308). You'll find all the details here:

http://www.cruffler.com/trivia-June01.html

R.H. Lee
October 18, 2005, 01:35 PM
The reason I have a .308 (Savage 10FP) in the first place is so that I can use milsurp 7.62x51 ammo. I've not heard of bolt .308's ka-booming, so I think the subject is largely academic.

Darth Ruger
October 18, 2005, 01:44 PM
...I think the subject is largely academic.
Probably. I'm aware that lots of people have been doing it for years. Still, these issues do exist and the info is there for anyone that wants to look into it. And the fact remains that the 7.62x51 was based on the .300 Savage. :D

Now, where did I see that pit bull thread...? :confused: :D

Powderman
October 18, 2005, 01:48 PM
From the viewpoint of the U.S. military, it's strictly a matter of logistics. The .308 will be the military's sniper round as long as the 7.62x51 round is being used in various other weapons. As for police and civilians usage, they tend to follow the military's lead. Although there are currently no factory tactical rifles being made in .30-06, there is absolutely no reason not to have one built for you, as I did. Should you go this route, the first thing you have to realize is, the .30-06 in a modern tactical rifle firing proper handloads, competes with the .300WM, not the .308 Winchester. Using the 190gr Sierra MatchKing bullet and modern powders (RL22), you will be able to reach 2900fps or slightly more, which puts you in the realm of factory .300WM ammo. I have been shooting at 1,000 yards for three years now (see rifle below), and a .30-06 set up like this has it all over a .308 at that distance in terms of both ballistics and wind drift. Drawbacks? No factory rifles and no factory ammo suitable to this purpose.

Don
http://people.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/ussr/Win06t1.jpg

Would it be poor form to drool all over your rifle? Pleeeeeeese???;)

R.H. Lee
October 18, 2005, 01:50 PM
It is however an interesting subject, as I've been pondering .308 vs 30-06. In addition to the 10FP, I have a Garand and a P17 Enfield. I'm considering rechambering the Garand to 7.62x51 simply for the milsurp ammo availability.

OTOH, I was also considering buying a nice scoped rifle, maybe a Model 70 or somesuch in 30-06 and working up some energetic accurate loads for it.

Too many decisions.............

USSR
October 18, 2005, 01:52 PM
R.H. Lee,

Shooting 7.62x51 in your .308 is not a problem, although, stay away from the Indian stuff. It's going the other way (.308 fired in a 7.62x51 chamber) that is potentially hazardous. The CMP was selling the current issue sniper ammo (M118LR) which uses the 175gr Sierra MatchKing for awhile, but I believe they are sold out. In any case, you are liable to find that Federal's Gold Medal Match and Black Hills Match ammo shoots better out of your Savage anyways.

Don

USSR
October 18, 2005, 01:56 PM
Powderman,

No problem, it's a tactical rifle and the scope caps are on.;)

Don

artherd
October 18, 2005, 02:24 PM
Right now it is logistics driven anyone want to make book on why the M24 is built on a a long action?????

To accept .300WinMag

USSR
October 18, 2005, 05:14 PM
Right now it is logistics driven anyone want to make book on why the M24 is built on a a long action?????

To accept .300WinMag

Yeah, the Army wanted both .308 and .300WM sniper rifles. The bean counters said "You only get one". Result: Army specified a long action thinking that sometime in the future they could convert them to .300WM. Doubt it will ever happen.

Don

Sam
October 18, 2005, 08:54 PM
Actually the spec ops types wanted the 300 and the Benning Boys wanted the 7.62. The Specops guys already had a few done.

Sam

MachIVshooter
October 19, 2005, 12:13 AM
A .308 is theoretically inherently more accurate than a .30-06. Supposedly this is due to the "burn front" or somesuch. :confused:

John

The most common arguments cite a short action as being more rigid (a component of the gun more than the cartridge itself) and the shorter powder columns giving a more uniform burn (debateable; depends on load density as well)

Having discussed this issue at length with several gunsmiths, it tends to be more a trend of factory short action guns being more rigid and having slightly tighter tolerances than their standard or long action counterparts. In the world of tuned custom riflesm, however, any cartridge can be made a precision round (available bullets providing).

I have shot both from many different factory rifles and could not tell any difference in accuracy and very little in terms of recoil.

Ballistically, they are all but identicle with light to medium bullets. With bullets of 180 grains and up, the .30-06 outclasses the .308 considerably.
I tend to favor the '06 because I like using 180 and 200 grain pills.

USSR
October 19, 2005, 08:36 AM
MachIVshooter brings up some interesting points. First, let me say, there are no "inherently" accurate cartridges. Some cartridges get this attached to them for various reasons. It may be that they come along at a time when there has just been a breakthrough in powder performance or bullet availability, or they may be the darling of the benchrest set and only highly accurate benchrest rifles are chambered for it. I guarantee you, that if you take a cartridge for which quality components are available, have a top-notch gunsmith chamber a premium barrel for it, you will have a great shooting rifle. As pointed out, a shorter cartridge has a theoretical advantage in having a shorter powder column and being chambered in a slightly stiffer short action. However, what we are talking about here are differences that could only be measured by firing from a machine rest in a controlled atmosphere. The biggest variables will always remain the consistency of the ammunition, the quality of the gunsmithing, and the ability of the shooter. Just MHO.

Don

Darth Ruger
October 19, 2005, 10:32 AM
+1 what USSR said. That reminds me of something I read in one of the gun magazines last year. Someone wrote asking how one cartridge can be more "inherently" accurate than another. They replied, admitting that they aren't and that many people, including gun writers, use that phrase just because it's become a common belief that the cartridge is a major factor in determining the accuracy. The .308, for example, is generally regarded as one of the most accurate calibers for 1,000 yard target shooting. In reality, the determining factors are the rifle and the shooter. Other cartridges can be just as accurate within a reasonable range, but the .308 has become the cartridge of choice over the years because it's ideally suited to that application, leading to a common perception that it's #1 for accuracy. But within a reasonable range, any cartridge can be "inherently" accurate, if the rifle is done right and the shooter has the ability. Handloads can get more accuracy out of it, but that rule applies to all other cartridges as well.

I've heard of people getting sub-MOA accuracy out of customized bolt-action rifles chambered in .30-30, handloaded with spitzer bullets.

CB900F
October 19, 2005, 09:52 PM
Fella's;

I'd sure like to see Dr. Lou Palmisano or Ferris Pindell check in on the above two posts. Seeing as how they spent much time & energy creating the .22 & 6mm PPC cartridges to be inherently accurate. Of course all the benchrest competitions won by those cartridges are immaterial.

But that's just my poor little ole opinion.

900F

cracked butt
October 20, 2005, 12:50 AM
I'd sure like to see Dr. Lou Palmisano or Ferris Pindell check in on the above two posts. Seeing as how they spent much time & energy creating the .22 & 6mm PPC cartridges to be inherently accurate. Of course all the benchrest competitions won by those cartridges are immaterial.

But that's just my poor little ole opinion.


Its all relative. The two you mentioned work very well at short distances 100-200 yards, but how do they stack up to the .308 at 500 yards?

I have a .22 that will shoot <.75" groups at 50 yards, but that doesn't make it an inherently more accurate cartridge than my 30-06 that will shoot 3" groups at 200 yards.

Darth Ruger
October 20, 2005, 02:31 AM
Its all relative. The two you mentioned work very well at short distances 100-200 yards, but how do they stack up to the .308 at 500 yards?You beat me to it. It's relative because the cartridge is better suited to that application.

Of course all the benchrest competitions won by those cartridges are immaterial.Okay, if you want to play that card... Then I guess all the long-range competitions won by the .308 are immaterial.

Formula 1 and NASCAR both use pretty awesome cars, but you wouldn't choose a Formula 1 car to race NASCAR, or vice versa. They both excel at what they were designed to do, but they wouldn't be the best choice for other types of racing. Choose the design (whether it's cars or cartridges) best suited to a particular application for best results. That doesn't mean a rifle in a certain caliber that gives you 1/2MOA performance at 100 yards is more accurate than a rifle in another caliber that gives you 1/2MOA performance at 500 yards. In that case, I'd call them pretty much equally accurate, relatively speaking. If all you're concerned about is making the smallest groups possible at 100 yards, then forget the 6mm PPC. Get a .17HMR.

To get back to the original question, why is the .308 more popular for sniper rifles than the .30-06? As pointed out, the military wanted a cartridge that was more compact and lightweight (desirable features for military use) that could do the same thing as the .30-06 at 1,000 yards (put enemy soldiers out of action) and also work well in a variety of other weapons. Simply put, they came up with a cartridge that does that. Don't forget that the military's choice of calibers always has a big effect on what civilian shooters want, no matter how good or bad that choice may be. The .308 has been the cartridge of choice ever since, so you'll find more tactical rifles chambered for it than for .30-06. But you could also go with a .30-06 for a sniper rifle if you want and get great results. That's the simple answer and I'm officially tired of this thread now, so I'm done here.

CB900F
October 20, 2005, 11:02 PM
Fella's;

I see we're now going from: "First, let me say, there are no "inherently" accurate cartridges." & "+1 what USSR said." To: Quote:

Originally Posted by cracked butt
Its all relative. The two you mentioned work very well at short distances 100-200 yards, but how do they stack up to the .308 at 500 yards?

And:

You beat me to it. It's relative because the cartridge is better suited to that application.

Methinks they changes the rules in the middle of the argument to suit themselves.

900F

USSR
October 21, 2005, 08:59 AM
CB900F,

Allow me to expand upon the statement "There are no inherently accurate cartridges". If a cartridge were "inherently" accurate, it wouldn't matter whether the action was trued or not, what grade of barrel was used, or even the skill (or lack thereof) of the gunsmith. I think we all know, this is not the case. The PPC cartridges were designed to work within a specific framework: benchrest shooting. It's designers took advantage of the benefits of a short powder column to design a cartridge having optimal accuracy potential and low recoil at a specific benchrest distance. All PPC chambered rifles are custom built using the finest components, as is the ammo they shoot. I think if you had Bubba, the backyard gunsmith, chamber a factory rifle in a PPC cartridge, using a barrel he bought for $79.95, the cartridge's "inherent" accuracy would not be able to overcome Bubba's (my apology to anyone named Bubba) lack of sense and skill. On the other hand, you take a quality gunsmith such as George Gardner of GA Precision or Terry Cross at KMW, and I have no doubt that they could turn out a precision rifle in the most obscure and unlikely cartridge that would run rings around Bubba's creation, provided that quality reloading components are available for it. In summary, I would be more likely to say specific cartridges have "a reputation for accuracy", rather than being "inherently accurate". Again, just MHO.

Don

CB900F
October 22, 2005, 10:01 AM
USSR;

Let's take a look at your argument from the other side of the coin, as it were.
And, while I'm at it, we'll cover the longer range fantasies also.

The benchrest and 1000 yard shooters, the serious one's, dump serious money into the guns. Stolle and Nesika actions aren't cheap to say the least and that's just the start of the check writing. But, these people are dedicated to pursuing the last .001" in accuracy and are willing to pay the price to get it. Which is also to say that they'll switch out a barrel and absorb the expense without qualms, if it'll give them that accuracy.

So, given that they'll have the best equipment they can afford, the question has to be asked; why are they moving away from the .308 and into the 6.5 and 6mm cartridges? Because they've found those cartridges to be inherently more accurate than the various .30 caliber rounds, .308 most assuredly included.

When you've got equipment equal in quality to the guy on the next bench, and he consistently outscores you at 600, 800, and 1000 yards, you get an eye exam, and you pay very close attention to the round he's shooting.

Recently, the world 1000 yard record was set by Kyle Brown of Whitefish Montana. He used a Nesika action, Shilen barrel, and the cartridge was 6mmBR. Lapua brass and Hornady 105 grain A-max bullets, which have a book B/C of .500. And the group size? 4.2278" at a thousand yards.

900F

vmfrantz
October 22, 2005, 11:40 AM
hey everyone is straying from the two calibers in question. When i was in the USMC there was a sniper in my platoon. there is a big difference between 1000yd bench comps and putting a bullet into a human at 1000 yd. in a bench comp. you mesure your groups, in combat it just matters that your target is dead.

Gewehr98
October 22, 2005, 05:58 PM
Recently, the world 1000 yard record was set by Kyle Brown of Whitefish Montana. He used a Nesika action, Shilen barrel, and the cartridge was 6mmBR. Lapua brass and Hornady 105 grain A-max bullets, which have a book B/C of .500. And the group size? 4.2278" at a thousand yards.

Because Rich deSimone's 1000 yard 5-round group went into 1.564" from this 6.5x284 Improved rig, and it still holds last I looked.

http://www.6mmbr.citymaker.com/i/Reader%20Photos/DeSimRedx620.jpg

http://www.6mmbr.citymaker.com/i/Reader%20Photos/RecordTargetTrue.gif

Is the .308 Winchester more inherently accurate than the .30-06 Springfield? I'm one who will never buy into that gunrag lore. Rather, I'd support the notion that it's easier to tune a precision rifle to the interior ballistics of the .308 Winchester than it is the .30-06 Springfield. Easier, but not impossible.

Give me the money to properly smith a Nesika Bay action with Krieger or Hart barrel, and I'll deliver a .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield that will both give equally tight groups, although I'd lean heavily on the .30-06 for accuracy past 800 yards. And that's where the sniper application of those two rounds comes into play, too. Sniper guns don't have to be 1/8 MOA benchrest rigs. They do, however, need to have predictable cold-bore first shot accuracy, out to their intended range. I don't consider my Remington 700PSS to be a 1000 yard sniper rig. 800, maybe 900 yards, but out towards 1000 I'll switch to either a .30-06 or 6.5-06, because I know they have enough steam to reach out there without going transsonic and losing accuracy. Plus, they're gonna work well on living, breathing targets, vs. paper.

As for the PPC and BR family of squat little cartridges, they're simply tuned well for their particular application, which is 200 meter benchrest. They're so specialized, they even run flat based bullets, because they don't need the extra BC for that 200 meter run to paper.

The next big thing in long range centerfire accuracy will be the barrel tuners/harmonic balancers already in vogue on the rimfire benchrest circuit. Mark my words, the Browning/Winchester BOSS was just the beginning. ;)

JShirley
October 22, 2005, 06:23 PM
If all you're concerned about is making the smallest groups possible at 100 yards, then forget the 6mm PPC. Get a .17HMR.

Well, actually, that's false for a bunch of reasons, but you're trying to be ironic. The thing is, you're going the wrong direction w/ your caliber. All other factors being equal, a LARGER CALIBER (in context, diameter bullet) could shoot a SMALLER group because group size is measured from the center of your bullet holes. ;)

I've read some reports from snipers going from Winchester Model 70s to Rem 700s in 'Nam, and the snipers thought they lost some range. Hell, I remember reading an article some years ago from some folks named...hm, who were they...oh, McMillan, saying basically the same thing, and suggesting that the .300 Win Mag was a much better sniper round than .308.

John

Hugo
October 22, 2005, 08:22 PM
I think we've found a new argument to replace the 9 mm vs .45
:)
.308 vs .30-06 !!!????!

Just flip a coin already and buy the other caliber next month or next year! They both work great!!!

idakfan
October 22, 2005, 09:02 PM
I'm surprised somebody hasn't mentioned the availability of .30-06 AP projectiles... It seems to me that the .30-06 is most versatile, ESPECIALLY since you can buy and load your own AP.

I guess I'm thinking beyond hunting though...

USSR
October 23, 2005, 08:36 PM
Sniper guns don't have to be 1/8 MOA benchrest rigs. They do, however, need to have predictable cold-bore first shot accuracy, out to their intended range.

Well said, Gewehr98. A couple other points that need to be made is: wind is a factor, A BIG FACTOR, when shooting at long range, and the 6mm's just don't cut it on anything other than a calm day at 1,000 yards. At Williamsport, PA where I shoot, the ability (or lack thereof) to read wind is the difference between a good score and a so-so score. And while Stolle and Nesika actions may be the actions du jour for the benchrest set, the tight tolerances in these actions will quickly put them out of action when deployed in a tactical situation, which is what I believe we are talking about. Once you are laying down prone on a 1,000 yard range with the wind flags blowing various directions, all those 1/8 MOA groups fired at 100 yards are meaningless.

Don

vmfrantz
October 25, 2005, 07:04 PM
I agree ussr on that. a 6mm round could not compete in a tactical situation with the 30 cal rounds. and the 1/8 inch moa wont mean much eiter

Beethoven
October 26, 2005, 06:17 PM
Right now it is logistics driven anyone want to make book on why the M24 is built on a a long action?????




Because the military wanted the ability to snipe in .300 WM if it so desired.

However, the M24/M40 has been in use for at least a decade, if not more, and I've seen no hint that they plan on switching anytime soon.

Do you have any concrete information that contradicts me?

CB900F
October 26, 2005, 10:52 PM
Gewehr98;

Just took that off the Nesika site.

900F

benEzra
October 27, 2005, 08:20 AM
So, given that they'll have the best equipment they can afford, the question has to be asked; why are they moving away from the .308 and into the 6.5 and 6mm cartridges? Because they've found those cartridges to be inherently more accurate than the various .30 caliber rounds, .308 most assuredly included.
It would seem to me that the higher sectional density of the narrower bullet, rather than the interior ballistics of the cartridge case, would be the dominant factor here?

Geno
October 27, 2005, 08:41 AM
My friend told me (for what that's worth) that the long-action was desired becuase the projectiles could be loaded long...heavier projectiles accomodating longer lead. Is this accurate? I don't know.

Doc2005

Doug b
October 27, 2005, 09:17 AM
I believe the 308 Win. was originally called the 30-06 improved. Shortened for better feed in full auto mode.Anyone that thinks the .308 can out shoot old venerable hasn't tried loading speers 130 gr.hp on top of a stiff charge of IMR4064.Also deer don't go anywere but down when hit with this fun to shoot pill.

CB900F
October 27, 2005, 10:00 AM
benEzra;

The advantages of B/C & sectional density have been known for quite some time now. Let's say something in excess of 50 years, as I doubt anyone can provide an exact date. Could be in excess of a century, but the point being it's not cutting edge knowledge these days.

However, the new wave cartridge cases, 6mm/.284, the PPC's, etc, post-date the B/C & S/D knowledge. Which would tend to make one think that the development of those cases was fueled by the search for accuracy. The adoption of them would tend to confirm the success of the development.

900F

Red_SC
October 27, 2005, 01:19 PM
I'm surprised somebody hasn't mentioned the availability of .30-06 AP projectiles... It seems to me that the .30-06 is most versatile, ESPECIALLY since you can buy and load your own AP.



Those bullets can be loaded into .308 cases just as easily as .30-06 cases.

USSR
October 27, 2005, 02:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by idakfan
I'm surprised somebody hasn't mentioned the availability of .30-06 AP projectiles... It seems to me that the .30-06 is most versatile, ESPECIALLY since you can buy and load your own AP.


Those bullets can be loaded into .308 cases just as easily as .30-06 cases.

Don't try this at home, folks. Since various single shot handguns have been chambered in .308, loading a .30-06 AP bullet in a .308 case will bring the Fed's down on you REAL fast. I know it don't make sense, but that's the way it is.

Don

Gewehr98
October 27, 2005, 09:48 PM
Don't try this at home, folks. Since various single shot handguns have been chambered in .308, loading a .30-06 AP bullet in a .308 case will bring the Fed's down on you REAL fast. I know it don't make sense, but that's the way it is.

That's NOT the way it is. The ATF has yet to, and most likely won't, classify the .308 Winchester/7.62x51 NATO round as a pistol round, unlike their earlier decision to classify the 7.62x39 as a pistol round. The only reason they did so designate the latter as a pistol round was due to Olympic Arms and their pending debut of the OA-93 autoloading pistol chambered in 7.62x39. That led to the import ban on steel-core 7.62x39 ammo. They weren't really concerned about the single-shot Springfield SASS, Thompson/Center Contenders and Encores, Remington XP-100, Wichita Silhouette, and other single-shot handguns chambered in rifle cartridges. The laws that are on the books concerning AP ammo revolve or focus on handgun chamberings or rounds which there are handguns readily available, and the ATF has left alone those single-shot examples I listed above. The autoloading OA-93 got their panties in a wad, however. Some say it was just a matter of time, because AK-pattern pistols were next on the docket.

Nor was the ATF terribly concerned about the Magnum Research SSP-91/Lone Eagle rotary breech single-shot pistol, which came out right away chambered in .30-06 Springfield.

For the record, federal law does not prohibit one from buying bulk AP .308 caliber bullets (Wideners.com) and loading them into .30-06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, .30-30 Winchester, .300 Savage, .30 BR, .30 Herrett, .300 Whisper, .30 PPC, .300 Win Mag, .300 Remington Ultra Mag, and so forth, there just aren't that many pistols readily available and chambered for them, especially "evil" autoloading versions. Likewise, when you make those handloads, don't sell them. (Which you're not supposed to do anyway, unless you're a Type 6 FFL holder)

Interestingly enough, SS109 and M2 .30 AP ball have been specifically exempted from the list of "AP" ammo, so they can be imported and sold by dealers. Here's the ATF page on the matter:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/legal/armor.htm

idakfan
October 28, 2005, 04:43 PM
That's NOT the way it is. The ATF has yet to, and most likely won't, classify the .308 Winchester/7.62x51 NATO round as a pistol round, unlike their earlier decision to classify the 7.62x39 as a pistol round. The only reason they did so designate the latter as a pistol round was due to Olympic Arms and their pending debut of the OA-93 autoloading pistol chambered in 7.62x39. That led to the import ban on steel-core 7.62x39 ammo. They weren't really concerned about the single-shot Springfield SASS, Thompson/Center Contenders and Encores, Remington XP-100, Wichita Silhouette, and other single-shot handguns chambered in rifle cartridges. The laws that are on the books concerning AP ammo revolve or focus on handgun chamberings or rounds which there are handguns readily available, and the ATF has left alone those single-shot examples I listed above. The autoloading OA-93 got their panties in a wad, however. Some say it was just a matter of time, because AK-pattern pistols were next on the docket.

Nor was the ATF terribly concerned about the Magnum Research SSP-91/Lone Eagle rotary breech single-shot pistol, which came out right away chambered in .30-06 Springfield.

For the record, federal law does not prohibit one from buying bulk AP .308 caliber bullets (Wideners.com) and loading them into .30-06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, .30-30 Winchester, .300 Savage, .30 BR, .30 Herrett, .300 Whisper, .30 PPC, .300 Win Mag, .300 Remington Ultra Mag, and so forth, there just aren't that many pistols readily available and chambered for them, especially "evil" autoloading versions. Likewise, when you make those handloads, don't sell them. (Which you're not supposed to do anyway, unless you're a Type 6 FFL holder)

Interestingly enough, SS109 and M2 .30 AP ball have been specifically exempted from the list of "AP" ammo, so they can be imported and sold by dealers. Here's the ATF page on the matter:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/legal/armor.htm

Great post :)

Does anybody have links to other dealers who sell .30 AP bullets?

Red_SC
October 28, 2005, 05:03 PM
Don't try this at home, folks. Since various single shot handguns have been chambered in .308, loading a .30-06 AP bullet in a .308 case will bring the Fed's down on you REAL fast. I know it don't make sense, but that's the way it is.

Don

I have heard that this was a myth also, but never followed it up to find out for sure. I don't have a need for AP rounds, so I've never loaded any, though I've thought about getting some 'just because'.

For sources, http://gibrass.com/ has some sometimes, but not at the moment.

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