.308 or .30-06 ???


November 5, 2003, 10:06 PM
I'm getting ready to purchase a Model 70 Winchester. This will be my dedicated utility, long range "sniper (so to speak)" rifle. It's going to be a standard barrel, not bull as I plan to hump through the woods alot in search of deer. It will be scoped of course. The only problem is that I'm torn between .308 and .30-06.

I already own rifles in both so ammo commonality is not an issue. I have an M1-A and FN-FAL in .308.
I have an M1 Garand and an '03-A4 Springfield in .30-06.
All are un-scoped except for the '03-A4.
The '03-A4 is almost surgically accurate, but the old Weaver 330-C just isn't powerful enough for what I'll be using the Model 70 for.
I've been told that the '06 has about 150 yards or so on the .308 and the flatter trajectory is very noticeable.
I've also been told that the '06 has about 100-150 feet per second on the .308 at 100 yards or so. So, which is it. Any input would be appreciated.

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November 5, 2003, 11:08 PM
For maximum reach, and maximum impact, why don't you add a German 88 to your battery. Just don't ask the wife to carry it.:D

Quintin Likely
November 5, 2003, 11:24 PM

At distances where you'd commonly take deer (at least in my parts of the woods), there ain't no difference between the .308 and the '06. Out to 800 yards or so, I don't think there's a big enough difference to be concerned about. Regardless of bullet weight, the .308 takes backseat to the '06 for the handloader. However, given today's factory loads, these differences are only experienced in the extremes.

Me personally, I don't own anything in .30-06 yet, and while I want a Garand, it's admittedly one of the last things on my list of wants. I like the .308. It's readily available in everything from hunting loads at Wally World to factory match loads to lots of military loaded surplus and brass. It's readily available and does the job, and sends bullets downrange a lot more accurately than I can tell.


November 6, 2003, 12:41 AM
As you know, the .308 is the defacto standard military bolt rifle ammo. This being said, good quality military surplus is easy to find and priced well (compared to '06). Also, due to the slightly smaller case, .308 loads have less "empty space" inside the brass, which leads to uniform powder ignition. This probably won't be an issue for you unless you get into really precise shooting, but I'll just throw it out for ya to chew on. Also, when loading for the '06, if not loading max powder charges, its sometimes difficult to find high volume, lower yeild powders which will fill the case, yet burn slower, thus reducing chamber pressure.

As I said above, these are just very minor points and their worth looking into if your comparision between the .308 & '06 stays neck & neck.

Mike Irwin
November 6, 2003, 12:55 AM
Flip a coin.

Either way, you win.

But, since you already own rifles in both calibers, why not go for something different?

Art Eatman
November 6, 2003, 07:20 AM
I'd suggest a handloader go for the '06; otherwise, the .308.

Now, if the barrel is not 24" or 26" inches, the only way an '06 will do better is with the 190- to 220-grain bullets. For a 20" or 22" barrel, the .308 will equal the '06 for velocity.


November 6, 2003, 07:21 AM
At the risk of asking the obvious, why not upgrade the glass on the Spfld? Dwonside is that this option doesn't get you another toy:mad:

November 6, 2003, 08:33 AM
Why not get one in 300 Win Mag? A friend of mine has a model 70 in 300 win mag and it is a blast to shoot.

November 6, 2003, 08:41 AM
I'd have to agree with Daedalus, .300Mag's a hoot! Also if you handload, check out the .338 lapua. The army & marine corps sniper teams have started deploying this round for those 1,000+ yrd shots. I checked into this round a couple months ago, and I'd only get it if you reload though. BTW, if you buy your bullets, powder & primers in large lots, the .338 lapua works out maybe $0.02-$0.05 cents more than top quality .308 handloads with sierra BTHP's. You can never have enough unique calibers :D

November 6, 2003, 05:44 PM
There is not enough difference between these two cartridges to worry about it, pick the one you want and be happy.

Quintin Likely
November 6, 2003, 08:32 PM
.300 Win mag and .338 Lapua are pretty brisk on both ends. They're not pleasant to shoot for extended periods at a bench, they're loud, and they're expensive to feed. Barrel life is short compared to an '06 or .308 as well.


November 6, 2003, 08:34 PM
The Speer reloading manual I have shows they are the same max velocities(within a few %) until you get into 180gr and bigger bullets, then the 30-06 has an advantage.

9 m&m
January 10, 2004, 02:56 PM
a .308 is a 30-06 short they use the same bullet weights and designs the biggest velocity difference i have seen in them is around 50-70 fps. I would go with the .308 because its more accurate.:cool:

January 10, 2004, 03:25 PM
Personal preference is the .308 but the .06 is a great weapon too. Both of them have a wide variaty of ammo that is available in nearly every country under the sun. I prefer the .308 because it perceived recoil for me is less which allows faster follow up shots if needed. I think it's a little more accurate too but that's just my opinion and not based in facts of my own production.

January 10, 2004, 04:13 PM
The .30-06 served the US military for nearly 50 years quite effectively.

Then they said "Hey, this round is great, really. But could you make it juuust a little shorter so it'd fit in a smaller semi-auto and maybe not weigh quite as much? *DON'T TOUCH IT'S BALLISTICS THOUGH! WE LOVE 'EM!*"

Then came the .308, which really did what they asked (ok, it lost ~100fps. Still pretty good.) It has served the military for another 50 years.

Literally .308 is a .30-06 case that's shortened. That's really it.

Both are great rounds, .308 is more 'modern' if you will, but .30-06 has not been ignored in the intermeaning time either.. (some loads do leave empty space in '06 cases.) It may be a twinge more accurate. .30-06 does have a ~100fps velocity edge, but 2900fps vs 2800fps?

Both have huge ammo selection and availability, at any place in the US and beyond.

.30-06 generally has a more 'hunting' selection of loads (heavier bullets by default.)

Also .30-06 M2 AP (surplus AP) is legal to own, one of the few noted exceptions. .308 AP is not exempted.

You really can't go wrong either way, it comes down to what other guns you have, and are likely to carry with the Win Model 70, just to have commonality of ammunition.

January 10, 2004, 07:59 PM

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