Effective range for a 30-06?


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Big Boomer
June 8, 2008, 01:33 AM
I was just thinking about my collection and long range shooting. Now going by my name here I'm mostly a big bore type of guy.

Center fire Rifle calibers that I own are:

7.62x39
270
30-06

Kinda like on the long range stuff here. So the question is what is the longest effective range for the 30-06? Someone had posted about hitting targets open sight at 600 yards!

What with a good scope? Will the 270 reach farther? I'm assuming the 06 has the advantage here.

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Ridgerunner665
June 8, 2008, 01:38 AM
The 270 will shoot flatter...but the effective range is pretty much the same.

About 600 yards on targets, or 400 yards for hunting...IF you can do your part.

Rugerlvr
June 8, 2008, 01:41 AM
The .30-06 will shoot effectively at 1000 yards if the shooter is trained for it.

R.W.Dale
June 8, 2008, 01:42 AM
I believe that USSR is using his custom 30-06 for 1000M competitions

The 270 will shoot flatter...but the effective range is pretty much the same.

Not when you load the 06 with heavy high BC match bullets

Big Boomer
June 8, 2008, 02:48 AM
So kinda along the same lines here I don't suppose there is really a need then if I can do my part, to go out and buy say a 300 ultra mag or a 30-378 weatherby?

Unless I get some serious optics, recoil pad, and some sniper training it would be kinda pointless except for causing more noise on the range and greater barrel wear right?

Although I have been oogling the 338-378 for quite some time now. Have you SEEN the cost of ammo for that?!? Even the reloading supplies will break your bank! I think it would be more cost effective to shoot one of the Big 50's

blitzen
June 8, 2008, 03:31 AM
similar thread to one I just replied to. For paper targets shoot as par as you can see. for living breathing animals let's keep it to 300 yards or so.

Kind of Blued
June 8, 2008, 03:43 AM
The .30-06 will shoot effectively at 1000 yards if the shooter is a trained sniper.

...or just a civilian who happens to be a good long-range target shooter.

jmr40
June 8, 2008, 06:41 AM
The .270 shoots slightly flatter at normal hunting ranges. When you start shooting beyond 400 yards or so the 30-06 with the right loads starts shooting flatter.

Jeff F
June 8, 2008, 09:10 AM
I shoot Enfields in .303 British at some outrageous distances, with iron sights and have done very well. The 30-06 has quite a bit more power then the .303 and a much better bullet selection. It will way outshine the .308 - 7.62 NATO rounds after you get out past 600 yards or so. If you want to get really good at long range shooting you have to use good form and learn the cartridge that you are shooting and you have to put rounds down range, lots and lots of rounds.

CB900F
June 8, 2008, 09:25 AM
Big Boomer;

If you want to getcher jaw dropped, do some research & find the accounts of WW1 Western Front trench warfare. The major players were the .303 British, the 8mm Mauser and, to some extent, the .30-06.

Devices were perforce invented that allowed the gun to be extended above the trench & aimed using mirrors. It's said that it was done because trying to fire by sticking one's own head above the trenchline was virtual suicide.

In other words, in a combat situation, an opposing rifleman frequently could pick a mud-colored head from a mud-colored background & hit it at extended range. Presumably without taking much time to aim himself. Ranges of course varied, but a quarter-mile, 440 yards, was not at all unusual.

900F

BsChoy
June 8, 2008, 10:41 AM
+1 to Krochus....30-06 is being used alot with heavy bullets for 1000yrd comp. With the right velocity and bullet it will stay flat waaaayyyyy out there

Art Eatman
June 8, 2008, 10:55 AM
I've played with both the .270 and the '06. As near as I can tell, there's no pragmatic difference in the trajectories within some 400 yards. The .270 is pretty much limited to bullets of no more than 150 or 160 grains. The BC of the heavier 30-caliber bullets is better, so the trajectory is better for Ma Bell distances.

The '06 does best with barrel lengths of 24" to 26". It's a bit overbore, and benefits from the use of slower-burning powders such as 4064 and H414.

I get sub-MOA at 500 yards with my medium-weight sporter-barreled '06.

Purely opinion, but the major factors for 1,000-yard shooting have to do with the quality of the build of the rifle and the experience/skill of the user. There are many cartridges which would be effective insofar as group size and hitting the desired POI.

Art

SlamFire1
June 8, 2008, 01:05 PM
Years ago I used to shoot High Power Silhouette. The range we had access to we could shoot out to 500 yards on the rams.

Because I was just having fun, I would shoot my sporting rifles, one a 24” barreled 30-06, and one a 24” 270.

At 200 yards the 130 grain 270 severely pitted the steel chickens. (the match director fussed at me) I could not tell any real difference in either the 270, or 165 grain bullets in the 30-06 out to the 400 yard Turkeys.

However, at 500 yards, a 180 grain 30-06 smacked the steel rams noticeably harder than a 150 grain 270 round.

Both rounds kicked too much for offhand shooting and I remember winning one match with 18 hits out of 40 targets. If I was not flinching each shot, I might have hit 20.

rcmodel
June 8, 2008, 02:01 PM
...or just a civilian who happens to be a good long-range target shooter.I was gonna say that, but you beat me too it.

The 30-06 has been winning 1,000 yard NRA matches since it's inception when fired in the 1903 Springfield rifle & Model 54 & 70 Winchester bolt guns.

With iron sights!

rcmodel

308sc
June 8, 2008, 02:21 PM
I was going to say just use a .308 but it seems as if the .30-06 is alot better

how much of a difference between .308 and .30-06? I had always heard the .308 will do anything the .30-06 will do?

Ol` Joe
June 8, 2008, 02:53 PM
The 308 does very well with bullet up to 150-165 gr, the 30-06 takes over from there and throws 180-190 gr bullets at better velocity.
The heavier bullets resist wind and drop better because they have a better BC.
The 308 has seen use at 1K too. It isn`t a pip-squeek by any means.

steveracer
June 8, 2008, 03:09 PM
At Navy matches in the 60s, there were guys shooting 3/8" groups with Garands with open sights at 300. There are today guys hitting basketballs (9") at 900M. The '06 will do its part, for certain. Bolt gun guys seem to like the shorter action of the .308, but the '06 rules the roost for military type rifles shooting ~200 grain bullets.

Archie
June 8, 2008, 03:42 PM
"Effective Range"? Just exactly what is to be effected?

1,000 yard rifle matches are shot all the time and the .30-06 in some loading does well. But this is only poking holes in paper.

A .30-06 will take a moose; it's a bit light, even with 220 grain bullets, but it will serve. The "maximum effective range" is considerably less than 1,000 yards in this case.

The old military loading of the .30-06 was the M2 round, and according to the literature, it was duplicated ballistically by the standard 7.62 mm NATO round. According to that, the U. S. Marine Corps taught me the maximum effective range of that round is 460 meters. That implies shooting enemy soldiers under field conditions.

I'm not sure to what your question pertains. In actual terms, a .30-06 will kill most game animals and or enemies of the Republic about as far as an average person can make reliable hits.

Does any of that shed light on what you want to know?

Vern Humphrey
June 8, 2008, 04:31 PM
There are four controlling factors in long range shooting:

1. The shooter. If you can hold 'em and squeeze 'em, the .30-06 will do its part.

2. Wind (and mirage.) If you can dope wind and compensate for mirage (heat waves), the .30-06 will do its part.

3. Range. If you can estimate, measure, or know the range, the .30-06 will do fine for anything out to 1,000 yards.

4. Velocity. The key is to keep the bullet supersonic all the way to the target. Long range shooters tend to favor heavy, low drag bullets which are available for the .30-06, which, thanks to an accident of history, was designed to stabilize heavy bullets.

SlamFire1
June 8, 2008, 04:52 PM
The 30-06 has been winning 1,000 yard NRA matches since it's inception when fired in the 1903 Springfield rifle & Model 54 & 70 Winchester bolt guns.

If you attended Camp Perry, up to the middle 80's, the military furnished the ammo for the service rifles. Even in the match rifle category, you were required to shoot 30-06. You shot 30-06, or 308 when the M14 arrived on the firing lines in the middle 60's.

Most civilian shooters used the free brass for their long range loads. By the time you get into the 70's the majority of civilian competitors are shooting state M14's, only shooting Garands if they have to. When the civilian M1a came out, the Garand went out very quickly.

Something else that was true at the time, the only good match bullets were in 30 caliber. That began to change, and change fast, in the 80's. The last guy to win NRA week at Camp Perry with a 308 was Tom Whitaker in 1996.

The military stopped furnishing free ammo in the 80's, and almost everyone is shooting .223 in the service rifle.

Though I shot my M1a yesterday in our club 100 yard reduced course match. Shot a 480/500 with the thing. Still, the good .223 shooters all left me in the dust.

The 308 is used by the Palma group, but it is due to the rules. What has really taken over the 1000 yard line are the 6mm and 6.5 mm rounds. Things like the 6.5/284. The wind ballistics were always so superior, it just took decades to get them on the market.

I don't know what was the last year the 30-06 won a 1000 yard match at Camp Perry. It has got to have been a while. Maybe a civilian with a 30-06 Garand got into the shoot off's. A shooting bud of mine got into the shoot off's (Porter Cup?) around 2000 with a triple lugged Fowler 308 Garand. He placed second, behind a Marine shooter. The Marine he was shooting against, and the ones behind the line, were all pleased and surprised to find out that when my friend was in the service, he carried the Garand in basic, at Camp Lejeune!

rcmodel
June 8, 2008, 05:03 PM
I agree.
I over-simplified my answer in that post.

Back in the day when I was shooting for 5th. Army AMU, the .308 won the service rifle matches, because the M-14 was the service rifle.

But the 1,000 yard stuff was still the bull-barrel 30-06 bolt guns.

Up until just recently, whatever the military used was the caliber to use. All the major accuracy break-through's were made by the service AMU folks back then.

From 1906 till the 60's, that was the 30-06. Then the .308 took over when the M-14 came along.
Then the M-16, and a shorter course of fire became the norm.

Now, it seems, with what little I know about it anymore, that the AMU teams are having to shoot whatever the civilians dream up next in order to stay competitive.

rcmodel

Nhsport
June 8, 2008, 06:17 PM
I agree will all that has been said. The top competitive guys will allways grab at what ever little thing that will give them some small advantage.
The hot magnums are no more accurate in a sporter rifle ( I assume that is what your 30-06 and 270 are) but are usefull in match rifles as the bullet gets to the target faster and wind has less time to affect its path. Adjusting for wind (corectly) takes quite a bit of skill and experience, many a long range competition is won or lost due to it!
The hot magnums are more expensive in both ammo and barrel life and will tend to punish the shooter . Unless you are getting into some type of shooting where you feel you need it you are better off without them.
I know some pretty high level competition shooters and they will use a 308 or a 6 mm on normal shoots and only break out the 300 win mag when the wind forces them to.

If you are getting involved in any organised competition you generally have to play the equipment game if you want a decent chance.
If you want to shoot long distance just to see how you do and for the fun of trying to wring the best performance out of your gun and load then anything that you are shooting is part of the fun!

USSR
June 8, 2008, 06:24 PM
4. Velocity. The key is to keep the bullet supersonic all the way to the target. Long range shooters tend to favor heavy, low drag bullets which are available for the .30-06, which, thanks to an accident of history, was designed to stabilize heavy bullets.

+1. With my 190SMK (BC of .533) load at 2900+fps, the bullet remains supersonic to 1400 yards. Because of the excellent selection of quality, high BC .30 caliber bullets, a properly loaded .30-06 will eat a .270 for lunch at LR shooting.

Don

BsChoy
June 8, 2008, 06:37 PM
Darn it Don, thats the sexiest thing I have ever read...LOL

06
June 8, 2008, 06:49 PM
In '67 we shot man sized targets with iron sights at 500 yards with the M-14s. I have an M1A now and with 33 clicks am on target at 220yds. 270s are merely "necked down" '06 casings. You can easily tell by my "handle" that I favor the '06 round and have a few shooters in my favorite caliber. Don't tell anyone but I have been known to use a '51 from time to time(hard to say 308)--since it is such an inferior round-snicker. I like '06s for hunting and use 150 grain "Silver Tips"(not the new grey tipped thingys) for deer--works just fine on the critters. Hit one two yrs ago at 280 yds while he was trotting across about 100 feet from the back side of my barn. If you can "hold 'em and squeeze 'em" the rifle will do its part. Just practice practice practice. Let it become part of you and the results will show, wc

crebralfix
June 8, 2008, 09:09 PM
The gun will speak with authority at 1,000 yards. It can certainly hit steel at that range, as shown this week at Long Range International's Long Range Hunting course.

BTW, 600 yards is easy with a decent scope.

Competition, hunting animals, and hunting men are all different 'games' with different requirements.

Modtodd82
June 8, 2008, 11:28 PM
Good discussion guys!!!

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