22" Barrel - 30-06 or .308?


May 19, 2011, 09:12 PM
I realize all barrels are unique, but let's keep it simple. Which round would you prefer when shooting from a 22" tube?

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May 19, 2011, 09:24 PM
.308 for anything up to deer, .30-06 for anything over deer. (white tail)

May 19, 2011, 09:37 PM
I should probably clarify that the rifle would be used primarily for hunting, including mostly deer sized game and possibly larger.

May 19, 2011, 09:52 PM
not a dimes worth of difference between them

Art Eatman
May 19, 2011, 10:05 PM
22"? The .308 will equal the '06 until you get to bullets long enough to protrude back into the powder charge. 165s don't, SFAIK, but the 180s do, a bit.

An '06 with a 26" barrel will generally have a 300 ft/sec edge over a 22" .308, particularly with 180-grain bullets or heavier.

.308 = shorter action = slightly handier and a tad less weight. Plenty good as a basic deer or elk gun.

May 19, 2011, 10:12 PM
I like 24" barrels on my hunting .30-06's. 22" is fine for a .308.


May 19, 2011, 10:20 PM
It would make sense if you start with the bullet.
What bullet you need, what purpose?. Then decide what case and barrel is more suited for sending that bullet for the purpose.
Very rarely will find a need for a longer barrel than 20" in .308win and 22" in 30.06 also if you want better accuracy. All things being equal, the shorter the more accurate the barrel is but if you need long reach then see how much speed you need. in 20" the .308win is almost done pushing the bullet. Anything too long will hurt more than help.
I would not take it to the extreme of some swat snipers that use 18" barrels. Normally their engagements are 100 yards or less in urban encounters and compactness and extreme accuracy is more important than military situations when the extra reach is needed.
So define the purpose and bullet and the rest leave it to the math.

May 19, 2011, 10:25 PM
I like a 22" barrel best on either. It has everything to do with looks and balance. There ain't an animal on the planet that will ever know the difference in velocity from either caliber in either barrel length.

May 19, 2011, 10:26 PM
If all I had was a 22" barrel option, I'd be picking the .308 The 06 will still be burning powder (bigger charge to start with) when most bullets leave a barrel that short. So, you will have more muzzle flash and report w/o any more speed or power. If you hand load maybe you can get the burn rate to match better?

May 19, 2011, 11:35 PM
The '06 doesn't suffer in a 22" barrel. Pick your game, then pick your bullet weight. Once you've done that, the cartridge is chosen by defacto.

If you intend to use it for elk, moose or bear with 180 or 200 grain bullets, the '06 is optimal. For Deer and other medium game, 150 gr. pills work fine, and the .308 will launch them at the same velocity with a smaller charge (hence slightly less recoil).

If you're after a lightweight rifle, the .308 will save a couple ounces. There is no difference in ammo cost.

May 20, 2011, 12:24 AM
For hunting and if extreme accuracy is not a concern then look for the great deals in many versatile hunting rifles like Savage, Remington, Tikka, Browning, etc...

There is nothing in this continent that either cartridge with a Barnes TSX 168 or 180gr bullet cannot take. If you want to do long range then you can jump into the big magnums but then the least of your worries is what system to choose but the gear and training that is where the big dollars must go.
The advantage of the 30.06 is the capability to get the extra fps. unless you need to kill two in a row at the average hunting range I would not worry about this as you also have the new superformance ammunition in both chamberings. I am currently doing testing with the new ball Superformance powders.
The .308win is our current military standard, it is short action, very reliable and versatile and can be found in great package deals/surplus for target/ training.


May 20, 2011, 08:15 PM
For hunting, my preference would be the 30-06 as it's more versatile. However, I don't think there is anything that I'd hunt with a 30-06 that I'd hesitate to hunt with a 308.

Barrel length makes little difference between the two. As to whether a 20" is too short of the 30-06 or the 22 is too long for the 308 depends on the powder selected. As for myself, the shortest I go with a 308 is 18". 16" has too much muzzle blast

May 20, 2011, 09:21 PM
MistWolf, Wise words.

I think the perfect barrel size for the .308Win is 20". I think in a Bull barrel is the perfect compromise between speed and accuracy.
Also I think the 30.06 needs the two extra inches minimum and can even use extra two more specially using lighter grain military loads (more powder M2 ball cartridge)
.308 win BBLs with 26" barrels are hard to fill with hot gases no matter what powder, even the slowest ones.
30.06 loads in a 26" can provide maximum speeds that is what some manufacturers use so they can advertise a larger speed/energy and write the BBL in little letters or not even mention it but the down side with the largest barrel is that you will have A) Extra weight B) less accuracy (Again all other things being equal) The longer the barrel the lower the tune of that barrel. The lower the tune the less accuracy nodes at your disposal. Can they become accurate, yes? but they need more work with the loads or other methods of harmonic tuning. Also the weight is a factor. Not a huge concern for the bench rest shooter but a big issue for the hunter, a military sniper or the Swat/police operator.

I do hunt with a bull barrel but I can understand folks like something lighter
to carry all day. My primary objective is extreme accuracy even if I have to carry the extra weight. I also understand this is not needed for most hunting situations. When I say extreme accuracy I mean systems that are capable of delivering 1/2-1/4MOA consistently so this allows me to take neck shots if I want at longer ranges. Not that I need this most of the time but in a few occasions has been very handy. As I enjoy the challenge of hunt so much I do not care too much the easy shots but I take whatever the lord has to offer.

.308Win / 7.62x51 NATO.

16" in .308Win only special purpose (socom) and some assault rifles and patrol systems.
18" in .308win some Swat snipers and other special operators. Also some assault weapons.
20" in .308Win is the Sniper/Swat standard, specially urban scenarios. Many hunting rifles and assault rifles.
22" in .308win Many hunting rifles. Some Bench rest rifles.
from there even some 24" and 26" inches...Also Bench rest shooters and high power (long range) shooting to squeeze the last FPS possible with special powder but in reality IMHO totally unnecessary and contra productive but some can make it work for them.


18" in .30.06 Never saw one. Would be a big boom!.
20" in .30.06 I have seen some custom rifles for bush hunting but this is a waist of powder that burns outside. Milder loads can be use that save barrel and case life. .308Win would be better here.
22" in .30.06 many hunting rifles and other type of systems around the world. Manageable blast and recoil though.
24" in .30.06 The M1 Garand standard BBL. perfect for the military loads but can do the job even with less length.
26" in .30.06 Can squeeze a little bit more with the right powders but keep in mind the purpose. This is what some manufactures use to put the max speed and
energy in the boxes they sell. Again, weight not a concern for the bench but I don't like that long in these casings.

Going back to my statement about why to start with the bullet is so important is because in the end everything balances itself out.

If you like a military load then the Garand lenght is ideal or the 20" in the .308 win. but if you want more reach then the first thing is that you have to look for better bullets. Even if you consider using the BArnes or other modern all solid copper bullets this is a consideration as they are longer due to the lack of lead. In other words, to meet the grain they are longer, they have to...
Just a quick example of what I mean....

150gr vs 175grSMK vs 168grTSX

168grTSX and 'big momma' 180gr TSX.

Those bullets are normally much longer that means they seat deeper, that means you have less case capacity, more pressure so powder load has to come down. Then the length of the barrel is ok to come down too as there is no so much powder to burn but it is ok to loose speed because low drag bullets fly much better that you can reach longer anyway. The concept of starting slow and ending fast like Bill Alexander preached to sell the grendel.
Now you have more parabola so you need to know your optics and ballistics charts but that is a different story.

I hope this makes sense.

May 20, 2011, 11:38 PM
My pick will always be a 3006, I dont care a bit if its 22 or 24'', it would take a chrony and a slide rule to tell the difference. And before you guys start about powder burn and flash , you know darn well either could be addressed with a change of propellant. The only use for a .308, is a M1a or a M-14,
Got ya didn't I. the .308s ok too. I was just playing. @#$ I forgot M-60!

I think 99% of the .308 rounds,I have fired was through a 22" barrel,....... on a M-60

May 20, 2011, 11:53 PM

here ya go guys,compare the ballistic charts

May 21, 2011, 04:14 AM
I'd lean to the .308, but there's really not enough difference to worry about it.

May 21, 2011, 05:00 AM
I am really liking the 308. It is such an efficient cartridge. If you look at it, it has nearly identical ballistics as the '06 but in a short action case using less powder. For game in North America, there really isn't anything it cant handle.

May 21, 2011, 09:23 AM
The true is that the 30.06 gives you a tad more to play with but the .308 win gives you plenty of room too. The differences are there but I doubt this is something that it is going to make a real difference for the purpose and in the 99.9% of the situations the average hunter encounters.
If you like an extra boost you can use the superformance ammunition or powders be you need to make sure you have the right barrel to squeeze the extra fps.
Whichever cartridge is hard to go wrong.

May 21, 2011, 12:01 PM
You're talkin out your a--, Chumley. .308 might match 30-06 in a narrow range of bullet weights, but you'll dedicate your life to playing catch up to the 30-06, just trying to develop " as good as" loads. Give me a matching load for 180 grain. Or 220.

I also would not choose a lesser cartridge just so I could have a short action, not worth what you give up.

May 21, 2011, 12:28 PM
30-06. I submit that a 30-06 will outperform a .308 regardless of the barrel length. I do not like short actions either.


May 21, 2011, 12:58 PM
Check the history, the .308 winchester and the .300 savage were both designed with the GOAL to be "as good as" the .30-06 Springfield. It is not my opinion either achieved that goal. Pretty close but no cigar.

May 21, 2011, 08:52 PM
There's a 200fps difference between the .308 and .30-06 with the heavy bullets, a little less so with the lighter bullets. With the 190SMK, I am able to get 2900fps with the '06, and 2700fps with the .308. This is with specific powders that are ideally suited for this, and a 26" barrel in both cases. Personally, I don't consider 200fps inconsequential, but I like and use both cartridges.


May 21, 2011, 09:01 PM
If I were going to own just one a 308 or 30-06 I'd pick the 30-06. But like most people I'm not limited to just one rifle and have plenty that are all virtually identical in capability.

Pick the rifle that fits you and is of good quality and no matter the cartridge you'll always be happy with it.

May 21, 2011, 09:07 PM
how do you get a 190gr bullet at 2700fps out of .308Win case?
What powder and load?

May 21, 2011, 09:16 PM
Here are two superformance loads that can give a big boost on a 24" barrel if ever is needed....



I am playing with these loads and hogdgon powders to see what we can do.

May 21, 2011, 09:19 PM
how do you get a 190gr bullet at 2700fps out of .308Win case?
What powder and load?

I'm going to guess long barrel stout load of slow powder and that load is only good in his rifle you'll need to work up your own loading.

May 21, 2011, 09:27 PM
I do work my loads from the ground up for barrels from 16" to 26".
I have been shooting .308win for 30 years including in the service and I have never seen a .308Win load do those numbers with any barrel and any powder.
I am worry someone is going to blow up their rifle.

May 21, 2011, 10:07 PM
Its an apples and oranges comparison. I've thought on it some more, and have arrived at the following conclusions. I think I would like to have a Remington Model 7 Carbine, in .308 , with an peep sight, no scope. I would also like to have another 60s vintage 700 in 30-06.(can't have too many) I don't think the 30-06 is practical in the model 7. I also would like another 760 pump in 30-06, 270, 280. In a 760C carbine I would like 30-06, 300 sav. or 35Rem. For some odd reason, well no reason, it actually makes no sense, I would pass on a 760c in 308. It just doesn't sound interesting. Absolutely no logic to that, I think I'm a cartridge snob.

May 22, 2011, 02:01 PM
how do you get a 190gr bullet at 2700fps out of .308Win case?
What powder and load?


With a heavy bullet in the .308, THE powder is VihtaVouri N550. Use .308 brass that is light with a large case capacity, such as Winchester or the Hornady Match that I use, and work your way up to 47.0 - 47.2gr while looking for high pressure signs. This load has been run thru Quick Load, and does not exceed the 62k pressure spec's of the cartridge. I have heard that RL17 also works well with heavy bullets in this cartridge, but I have no experience with it. While there are a lot of slow burning powders out there, in almost all cases (no pun intended), you simply cannot get enough powder into a .308 case with them to get good velocity. With VV N550, you can.


May 22, 2011, 03:24 PM
Many thanks. I know the case is one issue and the other the length of the 190 to 210 grainers. I am going to run it through QL and see what it says.
If you are around the canandaigua region we can get together one day and exchange impressions live and in person.

May 22, 2011, 09:01 PM

I am at the south end of Seneca Lake, so we are not that far away from each other. Would love to meet up with you sometime and shoot the breeze.


May 22, 2011, 09:17 PM
That would be great. We should meet with the toys. The dinner or drinks after are on me. Now I am playing with the hodgdon superformance powders.

May 22, 2011, 10:10 PM
Anything you can do with a 308 you can do with a 3006,but not the other way. And before you say it , I'm talking about the shot you can make not rounds per minute.

May 22, 2011, 10:25 PM
I think the question is, what is it that you would want to do with a 30-06, but cannot do with a .308. If all of your needs would be met by a .308, then get a .308. I don't know how much you shoot, but if you shoot a lot, .308 has its advantages. Long barrel life (over 5000 rounds), less recoil, more compact action. There's a lot to be said for a .308.

Of course, if you NEED an '06, then go for it. I went with a .308 because there's just nothing that I do that would require a 30-06 and I shoot a lot. Something around 600-800 rounds a month. If I was building a toting rig, I'd go 20".

May 22, 2011, 11:21 PM
Flip a coin as far as performance goes. Put a bullet from either a .308 or .30-06 (or a .270) in the boiler room of any animal on this continent and it won't know the difference.

Personally, what helps me decide is the model of gun and how it fits me. I'm a smaller guy, so usually short actions feel better. A Remington Model 7 fits me better than a Remington 700 - so, I pick .308.

May 22, 2011, 11:35 PM
I don't think the 30-06 is practical in the model 7.

It's also not available in the model 7. Model 7 is short action only.

May 23, 2011, 08:12 AM
Mach IV shooter, then its not practical, right? So thats why a .308 would be better in a 722, and a 30-06 in a 721? Man i thought you guys would be all over that.

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