30-06 vs 308


September 1, 2010, 11:56 PM
Ok guys, planing to buy one more rifle (although wife might do one of these :cuss: )
Well, I am not sure which caliber to go with: 30-06 OR 308 , it will be mostly used to hunt Deer / Hogs and maybe occasionally other North American game? :scrutiny:
Another use would be for my 13 yr old son if he come along while I use my 7mm mag. (less recoil for him - he loves his 22lr ;) )

Oh, and don't reply saying get both; Remember :cuss:

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Uncle Mike
September 2, 2010, 12:11 AM
That's easy....30-06!

If your going to use it for hunting, and the rifle will be sporting a 'sporter' taper, light weight barrel with a stock configured for field use, I would think the 30-06 would be best.

It offers a little more smack than the 308, and loaded with match grade projectiles will defend its honor at the range.

True the 308 is offered in a wider range of bullet weights, and there is more 'surplus' ammo to be had and on paper it may look like it is a bit more efficient, but for hunting, and if you have a choice between the two, the 30-06 would be my choice.

Recoil between the two in negligible, so that's not a factor.....

I don't know....get em' both! hehehehe

September 2, 2010, 12:19 AM
You can't go wrong either way. The 30.06 has the edge if you want to shoot heavy bullets (200+ grains), but other than that, it is even. The 308 is essentially a shortened 30.06 that was made possible by newer powders, and the ballistics are about equal. If it matters and all else being equal, the 308 will be about 1/2" shorter. Both are American icons, and you should be able to buy ammo anywhere for either. The 308 may have a little less recoil.

In other words, get them both.:rolleyes::D

September 2, 2010, 12:22 AM
308 has noticeably less recoil. go that route.

September 2, 2010, 12:24 AM
308. unless you reload, then you can load the 30.06 to be like the 308. What you hunt won't notice the difference, but you will on recoil.

September 2, 2010, 12:34 AM
I choose the 30-06, but in hindsight I wish it was a .308

This is because the .308 is more versatile; I could buy anything from an old Savage 99 lever action to an AR-10 or another battle rifle and not have to stock different ammo. Maybe it's a little less powerful, but from the damage the 30-06 does, I could get by with a lot less.

September 2, 2010, 01:00 AM
I choose the 30-06, but in hindsight I wish it was a .308

This is because the .308 is more versatile; I could buy anything from an old Savage 99 lever action to an AR-10 or another battle rifle and not have to stock different ammo. Maybe it's a little less powerful, but from the damage the 30-06 does, I could get by with a lot less.

Well, that's just another reason to get another rifle!

I had to make the same decision and purchased the .03-06 too. I'm very happy with it. I can shoot anything in North America with it.

I got a Browing X-Bolt Stainless Stalker, chopped the barrel from 22" to 18.5" and put on a Zeiss Conquest 3X9. The scope was $399 new on sale at Cabelas (sales still on) with free shipping. What a deal.

September 2, 2010, 01:02 AM
Recoil is a concern, is the difference noticeable? there should be a recoil scale of some sort :D :scrutiny:

September 2, 2010, 01:27 AM
The 308 will do mostly everything the 30-06 will, but not out to the same distance. I don't imagine your shots willl be over 200yds so a 308 is fine.

September 2, 2010, 06:37 AM
How old is your son? If he's still young and not yet full grown, I'd opt for the .308 in a short action carbine-length rifle, like a Remington Model 7. Ballistically, it makes almost no difference otherwise.

September 2, 2010, 07:32 AM
Buy the rifle, not the cartridge. Look for a well built, well fitting rifle, and whether it's a .308 or '06, so be it.


September 2, 2010, 07:34 AM
Buy the rifle, not the cartridge. Look for a well built, well fitting rifle, and whether it's a .308 or '06, so be it.

Looking st the Savage 110FX at Wallyworld, they have it in both

September 2, 2010, 07:46 AM
Recoil is a concern, is the difference noticeable?


Lloyd Smale
September 2, 2010, 07:52 AM
im a big fan of both. Probalby more so the 3006 though. But in your case id look at a smaller lighter 308 like a model 7 rem. It would give you the option of having a more compact lighter gun for hunting where shots arent going to be extreamly long and be a handy gun for your boy.

September 2, 2010, 07:57 AM
there should be a recoil scale of some sort

Recoil is largely dependent on the weight of the firearm. A single shot 12ga kicks like mule compared to a semi-auto gun in 12ga.

The Wallyworld Savages are good guns, but be wary of the scopes that come on them. Many are not the best quality. As far as the .308 vs. .30-06, it mostly comes down to personal preference, and neither is a wrong choice.

September 2, 2010, 08:10 AM
You can't go wrong with ether one. A lot of deer and moose have been taken with both. Also a lot of dead enemy soldiers form both. But your wife may not know that and would be a good reason to buy both.

Old Shooter
September 2, 2010, 08:10 AM
I've used the 30-06 for ages and love it. But today, if I came across a good buy on a
.308 I'd take it in a heart beat and not worry a bit about it. I don't believe I've done anything with the '06 that I could not have done just as well with the .308.

September 2, 2010, 08:23 AM
I own both and for me I don't notice the difference in recoil. Out of the two I've owned the 30-06 longer but have taken deer with both and the deer didn't notice any difference either.

September 2, 2010, 08:38 AM
Unless you handload up to the cartridge's potential, there's not enough difference in performance to merit a coin-toss unless you get into bullets over 165 grains, where the ought six has an edge.

More velocity serves mainly to flatten trajectory. For bullet weights in the 150-165 grain class, and the game they're intended to take...a hundred fps plus or minus means little in killing power unless the ranges go over 300 yards, in which case you should probably be using a .300 Winchester or 7mm Remington mag. At typical hunting ranges...from 250 yards in...if you need more power, you need more bullet rather than more speed.

September 2, 2010, 09:04 AM
I would get the rifle you like the best and then see which caliber it comes in. If the place you are going to buy it has the rifle in both, then handle them both and pick the one that "speaks" to you.

If you need a definite choice, pick the 30-06, why, because I said so. :)

September 2, 2010, 09:17 AM
One thing to keep in mind was that .308 dried up during the last scare. All the hoarders cleaned the shelves off because it's a military caliber. And surplus won't last forever. There is much less of it available compared to 20 years ago.

.30-06 was on the shelf at every Walmart, Academy, and gun store in my area, and no problem getting more. The popularity of .308 is also it's weakness, lots of sudden demand makes harder to find than Cabbage Patch dolls.

September 2, 2010, 09:21 AM
They are both great and you couldn't go wrong with either. Like 1911Tuner posted, they are basically the same at 150 grain bullets, slight advantage at 165 grain for the .30-06 and more advantage 180 grain and up. With the ought six's case capacity it can hold more grains of powder and a slower powder, for more velocity with the heavier projectiles. The .308 can be loaded with a bonded or all-copper bullet in 150-165 grains and still take fairly large game without losing too much velocity. It's a win either way.

September 2, 2010, 10:22 AM
I've hunted deer with both. There's not a thing the .30-06 can do that the .308 Winchester can't do for killing deer. Stated otherwise, there's no practical difference of performance between the two calibers for deer hunting. The .308 produces about 15% less felt recoil (my rough subjective estimate). A 165 grain .308 puts deer down hard, and with outstanding accuracy. Take your pick, it really doesn't matter which caliber you choose.

September 2, 2010, 10:25 AM
Thank you all for your input.

As all have said and I agree as well, both are great cartridges.

However I am going with the 308 for the following reasons;
+ Lesser recoil. (son can use without flinching)
+ I do not see me hunting for over 200 yards.
+ Ammo is a bit cheaper (surplus), so one can practice without breaking the bank.

Arkansas Paul
September 2, 2010, 10:35 AM
+ I do not see me hunting for over 200 yards.

That being the case, it doesn't matter one bit. It's good that you've decided and you won't be unhappy with the .308 win.
As far as the recoil, I am unable to tell any difference. If that is a concern with your son though, Remington makes reduced recoil ammunition that still shoots great. It should take the .308 or .30-06 down to .243 levels of recoil.

September 2, 2010, 10:50 AM
For what you want to do with it, you made the right choice. Short action rifle, mild recoil with 150 grain bullet weights, plenty of power for hogs and deer, great at ranges up to 300 yards, accurate. As others have stated, be mindful of the WallyWorld scope.

September 2, 2010, 10:58 AM
Be aware that a lightweight 308 may recoil more than a standard weight 30-06!

September 2, 2010, 11:44 AM
Good choice, .308 is what I will end up going with too!

September 2, 2010, 12:31 PM
I don't own a bolt gun, but shoot lots of them. Guys out at my range are really generous and I've been looking for a bolt gun myself. IIRC, the difference between the .308 and 30-06 is about 200 fps. Not that big a difference. In like rifles, there isn't that big a difference in recoil either. Remember, I don't own a bolt gun, but have shot a bunch. What this means is that all of my shooting with them has been done in comparison and I haven't gotten used to anything.

I chose the .308 due to a few considerations. First, how often is the rifle going to be shot? If you're like my uncle and rifles only get shot when there's a deer in the scope, it may not see more than 500 rounds in it's lifetime. If this is the case and you want to maximize your range, go with the 30-06. Good, accurate factory ammo is readily available. Again, in this case, buy the rifle and not the caliber (if maximizing distance isn't a concern). Either caliber will do, so just find a rifle that you like.

If you're more like me and will shoot the rifle a LOT, like at least 500 rounds a month, there are other considerations. I'm a reloader, so for me, the considerations are availability of brass and cost to reload. .308 is going to be cheaper because brass is plentiful. If you're not a reloader, but will still be shooting a lot, .308 is going to be easier on the barrel than the 06 will be. If you are a reloader, you can load the 06 to do what ever you want, but there's still the cost to reload issue, dependent upon how much you are going to shoot.

Just think it out and fall on what fits you the best. When comparing .308 to 30-06, I doubt that either one could ever be the wrong choice, although one may be the better choice for you.

I went with .308 and am now shopping for that deal that I just can't pass up, because it's going to be an easy transition. Cheap to load and finding a load that will work for what I want will be easy.

September 2, 2010, 12:36 PM
If it was me I would go with the 30.06 over the .308. In actual use I don't see a noticeable difference in recoil, and there is something about heavy bullets I like. For lighter recoil you could go to a .243 if need be later.
Of course you could split the difference and get yourself a Mosin Nagant for cheap $. I believe the 7.62x54r cartridge falls pretty much in the middle of the .06 and .308, and hunting ammo is ½ to 2/3s the cost of the other two. Who can resist shooting their Mosin Nagant whenever you get the chance? I know I can't!

September 2, 2010, 12:43 PM
It depends on how much trouble he's having with the recoil. If he's really having a hard time with .30-06 recoil, he'll probably have problems with the .308's recoil, too. If he's having significant problems with recoil, I'd take a look at the .243 or the .25-06 instead of a .308. And make sure the LOP on the stock isn't too long for him.

If recoil's a problem, switch him out of the 30 caliber down to something that shoots a lighter round. He can still kill deer just fine, just without flinching.

September 2, 2010, 01:14 PM
Fremmer, that brings something to mind. A few years ago a friend of mine bought a Remington 700 in 25-06. I remember giving him a hard time about it, but it shot mild and flat. I went out with him once. I don't remember exactly what it was, but he was running some sort of a stupid big Springfield scope. He shot a group at 300 yards that we covered with a quarter. Nice shooting round.

September 2, 2010, 01:42 PM
308 vs 30-06? If we keep going, there will be nothing left of the horse.

September 2, 2010, 06:56 PM
Purely subjective.

I prefer hunting with the 30.06 but it can be punishing at the range.

Clothing makes a lot of difference as does adrenalin. Taking a shot in winter hunting clothes with your heart racing, you'll never notice the recoil anyway. Much different at the range.

Robert Wilson
September 2, 2010, 08:58 PM
I use and like both. I suppose I prefer the .30-06 just for nostalgia, but from the standpoint of reality, they're essentially the same cartridge. In bullets up to 190 grains or so the .308 lags about 100 fps behind, on average. There's more difference in heavier bullets, but I'm the only one I know using 200+ grain bullets in either cartridge. With today's great bullets, it's kind of hard to make a good argument for more than 180 grains.

Regarding recoil, I have never felt a significant difference. Looking at the current Hodgdon load data, the top load for the '06/180 is 2800 fps (rounded up a bit). The top 180 load for the .308 is about 100 fps slower. The .308 load takes 45 grains of powder, and the '06 load takes 57 grains. Using one of the online recoil (http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp) calculators we see that, in guns of the same weight (I used eight pounds) the '06 generates 21.25 ft/lbs of free recoil and the .308 generates 17.5 ft/lbs (rounded to the nearest quarter pound). This is a bit more than 15 percent difference, which surprises me. Apparently that's not a noticeable difference for some of us (someone mentioned gun weight, and I have found that many .308 rifles weigh a bit less than .30-06s) but is for others.

September 3, 2010, 12:01 AM
The way a rifle fits the shooter, the quality of the scope and trigger are the most import factors in selecting a rifle.

Like it has been said before, buy the rifle that fits. There is no animal that a 30-06 can kill that a 308 can't. If a 308 won't do the job then you need to move up to a 338 win mag.

I own both and like both, but here a little secret. Many 30-06 rifles do not produce the bullet speed that some 308 rifles do in the same bullet weight. Two rifles of the same make, firing the same loading often will produce velocities spreads greater than the published differences between 308 & 06.

September 3, 2010, 12:26 AM
I've heard the recoil of the 7mm Rem Mag is about the same as a .30-06

Robert Wilson
September 3, 2010, 12:44 AM
The 7mm Remington Magnum can fire a 175 grain bullet at about 2950 FPS per the same Hodgdon website I used above. It takes about 65 grains of powder to do it. Using the recoil calculator (http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp) we see that the eight pound 7mm generates a bit more than 24 ft/lbs. of free recoil, or a bit over 10% more than the .30-06.

Isn't the internet fun?

September 3, 2010, 01:05 AM
The 30-06 is the way to go. Your son can use 110 grain bullets or 125 grains. Anyway recoil is no longer a concern with todays accessories and technology. I have an old savage model 110c which is about 30 years old. I replaced the recoil pad with a limb saver pad and put a vais muzzle break on it. Perceived recoil with a 150 grain and 165 grain bullet is that of a 243 winchester caliber. Biggest deer I shot weight over 200lbs dressed, with a 125 gr bullet. You want to do coyote hunting use 110 or 125. You want elk go 165gr or 180. Your son could grow with this rifle and literally hunt anything in North America.

September 3, 2010, 01:05 AM
I've always found that shooting the .30-06 offhand, the recoil is nothing special...especially compared to going out dove hunting with my Mossberg 500 12 guage with a recoil pad and shooting 40+ shells in a day. My .30-06 is at least 30 years old and has no recoil pad. Shooting it from sandbags on a bench, with your shoulder snug up against the butt gives a nice punch, but shooting it offhand is barely noticeable.

September 3, 2010, 07:17 AM
If you do a search on this you'll find more information about this cartridge comparison than you can probably read.

I hunt with a 30 06 because of the flexibility the cartridge gives you with handloads and the ability to use heavier bullets more effectively than the
.308. All of my other rifles are .308.

If you are not stuck on those 2 cartridges and are open to others, IMO the 6.5 x 55 Swede absolutely will fill your bill perfectly. Do some research on this cartridge and I think you'ss be surprised how versitile and accurate it is for North American game with very little recoil. I would also take a good look at the CZ and Tikka rifles that come in this caliber.

September 3, 2010, 07:54 AM
"there should be a recoil scale of some sort"

This is a very interesting recoil comparison chart.


September 3, 2010, 10:13 AM
.308 is roughly 92% of the performace of 30-06 in similar bullet weights.

September 3, 2010, 10:27 AM
A 13 year old would appreciate the 308 with the Remington Managed Recoil 125gr loads. Used them on hogs with great success to 200 yds. Would give your son hours of enjoyable trigger time and practice in preparation for full house loads. And enable him to get comfortable with a rifle that would last him a lifetime.

The Sarge
September 3, 2010, 10:40 AM
Blond or Brunette. 30-06 or .308 Your choice. Neither have a definitive advantage over the other.

evan price
September 3, 2010, 11:14 AM
One consideration is that in some rifles the 308 is a short action versus a long action for '06. Less bolt travel. IMHO if you don't NEED an '06 it's a bonus.

September 3, 2010, 11:17 AM
There isn't much that hasn't already been said, but here's the basic issue that made me choose .308 over .30-06:

Ballistically, they're quite close. However, in terms of getting milsurp or cheap steel-cased ammo for range plinking purposes, .308 only costs about half as much. If you're reloading, .308 is only a bit cheaper, and if you're buying quality factory ammo, then the prices are about the same, but if you're shooting the cheap stuff, then .308 is a lot less expensive to feed.

September 3, 2010, 02:40 PM
FL Hunter, your a good father...mine just told me to suck it up and quite whining. You can kill any animal in North America with a .308. I agree with many posters on chose the rifle (and would add the optics to that) not the caliber...although caliper is important. Both you selected meet my standards of being able to find anywhere in the world you are. My theory is less brawn and more brains (and skill). I know some guys who hunt with magnums because they can't shoot. If you are that lousy of a shot and you want to kill the deer that you hit in the ear, then carry a magnum. I've NEVER pulled the trigger on a deer that did not end up in the freezer and they very few have traveled more than 50 yards, even on shots 300+ yards.

September 3, 2010, 03:01 PM
Standard calibers are the best because of availability and cost. Gabelas and other stores have sales on expecially 30-06 I don't know about 308. Standard calibers 243,308,30/30.3006 will for the most part always be around to purchase.
Reloading is a lot of fun when your younger and enjoy going to the range to test different loads etc. As you get old (and I am ancient) alot of stuff builds up and takes up room unless you have someone to reload for such as kids and grand children which I do.
I vote 30-06 only if your going out to the plains to hunt. 150 - 180 grain for deer, 200-220 gr. for elk. be careful and safe and have fun

September 3, 2010, 07:07 PM
Flip a coin unless you plan on shooting 180 to 220 grain bullets and then, no brainer, choose the 30/06. I've never noticed any difference in recoil between the two.
If you plan on hunting larger game, despite opinions to the contrary, I will always recommend heavier bullets like 200-220 grain, hence the 06. As far as versatility, the first animal I ever hunted and killed was a woodchuck with a 110 grain Herter's HP fired from a Remington 30/06.

Art Eatman
September 3, 2010, 11:17 PM
See Post #24...

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