Hep me pick a rifle caliber


December 21, 2008, 07:27 PM
I want to get a rifle for target shooting at 100-200yds. Should I get a .308 or .30-06? How much more recoil in a .30-06 over the .308?

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December 21, 2008, 07:37 PM
Um, yes, the 30-06 will recoil more than the 308 becasue it pushes teh bullet faster. The .308 will have cheaper ammo and such, but really, for 200yd, why would you need a .308? Any .223 remington or other similar cartridges will do just as good (if not better) with cheaper ammo, less recoil, and cheaper ammo. Since you are only target shooting, there is no need for the recoil.

December 21, 2008, 07:53 PM
yes young skywalker 223 ,you for well.

December 21, 2008, 07:55 PM
Get a .223 Remington!

December 21, 2008, 07:56 PM
+1 for the .223


December 21, 2008, 08:24 PM
.223 for me

December 21, 2008, 08:24 PM

December 21, 2008, 08:26 PM

Rifleman 173
December 21, 2008, 08:31 PM
At the distance you suggest, the 7.62 X 39 will work well too and it is a more effective bullet than the wimpy, anemic .223. Go big or go home.

December 21, 2008, 08:35 PM
The 7.62x39 has the problem of no factory match ammo, and the fact that he isn't wanting it for hunting, the .223 is generally a better choice for targets than the 'x39 (krochus with his match 7.62 excluded)

So, with more recoil, and less ammo options, how is the x39 better?

December 21, 2008, 09:21 PM
I'd get the .308. Heck, who am I kidding? I am getting a .308 right after Christmas. The OP never mentioned the 223, if I read it correctly, he mentioned the 30.06 and .308.

Nothing wrong with the 223, but supposing the OP starts to branch out in his interests? Longer targets? The .308 will be better. What if wants to hunt with it? The .308 will handle tougher game than the 223.

Resale will be better with the .308 over both the other calibers too. How many freaking 30.06's are on the market today? And the 308 will appeal to a broader audience of buyers than the 223 since hunters and target shooters might give it a look. On the same note, trade in value would be higher for a gun dealer who already has seventeen 30.06's on the racks and only one .308.

Pat S
December 22, 2008, 01:53 AM
Get one of these in the caliber you like and go shooting:http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_SPS_varmint_specs.asp
If you want to shot farther then 200 go to a 308. Chances are after a while you'll get bored at 200.

December 22, 2008, 03:57 AM
At that range, go with a .223. Cheaper ammo and a great selection.

December 22, 2008, 10:05 AM
+ # for the 223 if all you want to do is paper punch @ less than 200 yards. no sense beating your self up shooting an 06 when you can "plink" in total comfort with a 223! if you shoot 3 boxes of 06, your shoulder will feel it for the next couple of days. you can shoot a hundred rounds from a 223 and still be very comfortable. paper does not die hard. punch the middle of the target out and replce it with a new one. it is that easy. besides, 30-06 shells cost more, and there is an increased chance of liability if one gets away from you (30-06 bullets will travel further, and do more damage than a 223 bullet). now, if you want to hunt with the rifle later, then the 30-06 IS the rifle to have.

December 22, 2008, 12:20 PM
Between these two very similar rounds the felt recoil will be much more a product of the rifle than the caliber. Recoil will be similar although the '06 will be slightly more, probably not enough to notice. I'd say go with the .308, I've read it's a more inherantly accurate round.

December 22, 2008, 12:42 PM
Get a Garand in 30-06 while you still can. There is more surplus 30-06 ammo out there right now than .308.



December 22, 2008, 12:59 PM
+ (what number are we on?) .223

December 22, 2008, 01:21 PM
What targets? How accurate do you want to be?

Almost any of the calibers that end in "BR".

Marcus L.
December 22, 2008, 02:01 PM
If all you're doing is target shooting out to 200yrds just about any true rifle caliber on the market will do well. 5.56(.223) will do just fine for that. Ammo is very readily available, there are plenty of platforms to shoot it from, and it will be cheaper to shoot than anything else out there except less accurate 7.62x39mm. Next choice would be 7.62 NATO(.308), but unless you plan on hunting or shooting at 500yrds it's a little over kill for target shooting.

December 22, 2008, 02:02 PM
.300 Win Mag :D

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 22, 2008, 04:20 PM
+100 for .223 rem, or .204 Ruger, .22-250, or .243 win. Or if you like oddball, then 6mm BR, 6mm PPC, 62x45mm, etc.

December 22, 2008, 04:28 PM
+1 on the garand. 30-06 ammo can be had for the same price, if not cheaper than .308.

more factory match ammo for the 308.

.308 is sopposed to be more inherintly accurate, but i believe that thats a farce. accuracy has to do with the barrel, matching bullets to proper twist, matching powders to proper bullet and twist combos.. so on so forth. you can make any cartridge shoot as long as you use proper reloading and shooting technecks.

either the 30-06 or the 308 will serve you well. both have been used for numerous years to shoot highpower matchs, and take every species of animal on this conteninent

as to the .223. its a beautiful cartridge that dosent get the respect it deserves.

December 22, 2008, 05:15 PM
+1 for .30-06.

December 22, 2008, 05:45 PM
I for one feel there is nothing on the market capable of reaching out past 100 yards besides the .50 BMG. Get yourself a Barret and be done with it.

oh - sorry - been reading too many gun mags.


.223 will work just fine, along with 22-250, 243, 6.5mm, etc.
It really comes down to what exactly you want to do with it. If you're only ever going to be plinking paper at the range - don't bother going up to a .30-06. It's overkill on your shoulder.

Realistically - even if you might end up getting into hunting/etc at some point - i'd still go with a lighter caliber now. Use the lighter/easier to shoot/cheaper to shoot caliber gun for getting down your technique and practicing - and if/when you decide to step up to something bigger, it's an easier transition.

Range Sessions lasting more then a handful of shots with something like a .270, .308, or .30-06 are just asking for a flinch develop. I actually just went through this myself - and made the (somewhat) mistake of picking up a .270. The idea being to get back into shooting, and hopefully next year get back into hunting - without having to buy two different rifles. As it stands right now - i'll be buying a lighter recoiling gun as soon as I can, since after about 60 rounds of the .270 across 2 range sessions, i'm already developing a flinch (luckily it's the "finger doesn't want to pull the trigger" flinch, and not the "body jerks violently" flinch).

So I guess in short - do yourself a favor and get a smaller caliber lighter recoiling rifle for range-only work. Heavier hitting hunting rifles are not something you spend hours on end shooting if you value having a working shoulder.

dagger dog
December 22, 2008, 06:26 PM

Is there a reason you want to get into a .30 cal ? You got the right idea on those two they are just about the 2 best target rounds going.

In a similar bolt gun the '06 is going to recoil more, longer case = more powder, and if shooting heavier bullets than the .308 it is stiffer on the shoulder.
If your shooting semi autos that kind of tames the recoil a bit.

Felt recoil is relative to the guy that dong the shooting so if you heart is set on either round I suggest you shoot before you buy, if you have a local rifle club, or range some of the people there will be glad to help you out.

The '06 to many shooters is right on the cusp of being enjoyable to shoot, the semis soften the recoil but after several mags it can wear you down. The .308 is definitley more pleasant to shoot but it also can wear you down after a while.

Both have ammo available, surplus and retail , you will have no trouble in feeding either one.

The advantage of the .30 cal is it can be used for taking of game up to and including moose, bear, just about any thing that walks on this continent.

If you have centerfire rifle experience, the .30 is the way to go , if it is your first centerfire you may want to go with the .223, as the previous posters have stated. It is a nice starter and you can take smaller game and up to whitetail deer, if you state laws allow, and with the proper shot placement and correct bullets.

I wish I had the "problem" of selecting a new caliber! Some people have all the luck!

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