.30-06= what?


December 26, 2002, 11:25 PM
what does the '06' in .30-06 stand for? what about the 06 in 25-06 ect.

If you enjoyed reading about ".30-06= what?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Col. Mustard
December 26, 2002, 11:34 PM
Originally posted by natedog
what does the '06' in .30-06 stand for? what about the 06 in 25-06 ect.

That particular ..30 caliber cartridge was introduced in 1906. The .25-06, IIRC, was based upon the .30-06.

This is a different naming protocol than, say, the .30-30, which has a .30 caliber bullet in front of 30 grains of smokeless powder.

Confusing, ain't it? :confused:

December 26, 2002, 11:41 PM
It started as the U.S. military's .30-03, or .30 Caliber cartridge of 1903. This was the replacement of the .30 U.S. Army cartridge, also known as the .30-40 Krag. An Ordnance Board change to a lighter spitzer bullet and cartridge neck length was completed in 1906, hence, the now-famous .30-06.

Wildcats developed from the .30-06 kept the -06 as a reference to the cartridge's parent case. Some wildcats were eventually taken up into production by the gun and ammo manufacturers, and "legitimized". The .25-06 is one of them. Others include wildcats like the 6mm-06, 6.5mm-06 (my long-range favorite), .277-06 (AKA .270 Winchester), 7mm-06 (AKA the .280 Remington), .31-06 (common in rechambered 7.7mm Jap Arisakas), 8mm-06 (common in rechambered 8mm Mausers) on up the chain, including the .35-06 (AKA .35 Whelen).

When wildcats were based on the .308 Winchester, they often, but not always, got a -08 suffix, hence the 6mm-08 (AKA .243 Winchester), 6.5-08 (AKA .260 Remington), 7mm-08, and so forth.

Mike Irwin
December 27, 2002, 01:56 AM
Ah, Gew...

You forgot the .30-01!

The virtually unknown prototype .30-cal. cartridge. Virtually the same dimensions as the adopted .30-03, but with a much thicker rim.

A very very few rifles were chambered for it, I believe Aberdeen may have the only one still known.

.30-01 cartridges are extremely rare.

December 27, 2002, 07:16 AM
I knew I was forgetting something there. :D

December 27, 2002, 09:50 AM
how could the 30-06 cartridge been completed in 1906 when there was a rifle chambered for it in 1903? )springfield 1903 )

December 27, 2002, 10:39 AM
You're right. The U.S. Springfield Rifle, M1903 WAS indeed adopted in 1903, chambered in the .30-03 round. Those that were already issued ended up getting rechambered from 1906-on to accept the improved .30-06 round. Unmodified 1903's in their original .30-03 chambering are almost as scarce as hen's teeth, and command a significantly higher price at the collector's table. Of course, they also probably have the original rod bayonet fittings and bayonet, too. :D

Jim Watson
December 27, 2002, 11:56 AM
They adopted the blade bayonet in 1905, along with the ladder sight. So there are really three issue Springfields; .30-03 rod bayonet, .30-03 with 1905 bayonet and sight, and .30-06. Not to mention a variety of prototypes, experimentals, and minor detail revisions of interest only to serious collectors. Nearly all the .30-03s were upgraded to .30-06 so either style .30-03 is a real rarity.

A friend has a Springfield of early 1906 manufacture; it would have been a .30-03 with 1905 sight and bayonet; they did not adopt the .30-06 cartridge until November 1906. It was probably upgraded to .30-06 by setting the barrel back two turns and rechambering in 1907 - 1910. It likely went to WW I and was used hard. It was definitely completely refurbished with a new barrel and stock in 1920, because the barrel is dated for that year and the stock is the style in use then. It may have gone to WW II, its replacement barrel and stock are well worn. It apparently was surplused or souvenired before it could be refurbished yet again like the rifles the CMP has been selling. Pity, it has a spectacular trigger pull and is amazingly accurate... for about 15 shots from perfectly clean. After that, the rough places in the barrel foul up and it gets wild.

October 27, 2004, 08:05 PM
06 = Spitzer ball ammo adoption,earlier mods had a round nose?

Jim Watson
October 27, 2004, 08:09 PM
.30-03 shot the same 220 grain roundnose as the Krag, but at higher velocity. Read about hard metal fouling in Hatcher.

October 27, 2004, 09:47 PM
The '06 in 25-06 means that it is a 25 cal bullet in a necked down 30-06 case. Same thing with a 338-06. .270 Win. is another necked down 06. ALso, 7mm-08 means a 7mm bullet in a .308 case.

October 27, 2004, 09:54 PM
Not to get picky, but I've been corrected on this before. The .270 Win is actually a necked down .30-03 case.

October 27, 2004, 11:11 PM
Ron Peterson in Albuquerque had an un-modified rod bayonet 1903 last summer. I even got to leave my nasty little fingerprints on it. It's cool once in a while to handle a $25,000 rifle. :D:what:

October 29, 2004, 01:32 PM
Don't you love the logic? Now try it on the .30-40 Krag. LOL :D

October 29, 2004, 05:28 PM
IIRC, I saw on some show or another (that means I forget when & where) that the .30-03 violated a Mauser patent, so the .30-06 was created.

at any rate, see:


October 29, 2004, 06:15 PM
You probably know this 45crittergitter, but the .30-40 was so named because of a convention used for naming blackpowder cartidges (such as the .45-70) where the first number is the caliber, and the second number is the grains of powder in the case. Sometimes a third number was added which is the bullet weight.

The .30-40 Krag is the last GI cartridge named following this convention of including the powder charge in the name. (That I know of!)

October 30, 2004, 02:15 AM
The '03 Springfield rifle was the patent infringement, not the cartridge. In court, Mauser won, but then got an out of court licensing agreement from Springfield that was vacated after WWI.

The change from the '03 to '06 cartridge was as others mentioned. Going from the 220gr RN to the 150gr Spitzer required a change in neck length and throating on the chamber for proper acccuracy. The shortening of the neck was just an economy measure as the neck for the '03 was longer to accomodate the LONG 220gr bullet.

The barrels were indeed set back two turns and rechambered as this did two things;
1. It placed the sights in the proper relationship alleviating the need to re-index the sights to the vertical plane
2. It allowed the new chamber reamer to go deep enough to get past the original "deep throat" of the longer bulleted and necked '03.

I had a Hunter Ed Instructor for my "Instructors" course who was around when this all happened! He knew what was done, but not why. I demonstrated this to him in one of our "practicals" with a couple of dummys (the .30/03 was from his collection, and a couple of chamber reamers I borrowed from a gunsmith friend. He was amazed and used the additional info in all his later courses. He even went so far as to get a pair of chamber reamers for students to look at. The difference was slight but obvious once pointed out.

Had to throw in my $.02 worth as I've been an '06 fan most of my life. My MkX Mauser that started life as a .30/06 and took my first deer in '75 is now a .338/06. A lot more gun than I realized I was getting, too!!

Jim K
October 30, 2004, 05:49 PM
Hi, Goosegestapo and guys,

The Model 1903 was a combination of features from the Krag and the Model 1893 Spanish Mauser. When the army realized in 1904 (?) that they had infringed Mauser patents on the rifle, they agreed voluntarily to pay money (I think it was $200,000, equivalent to $8 million today) to Mauser in full settlement.

The court case in 1914 was brought not by Mauser, but by DWM for patent infringement on the pointed "spitzer" bullet and the loading clips, after the U.S. Army turned down a royalty proposal. The U.S. Army claimed that a pointed bullet invented by a Lt. Col. J. P. Farley in 1909 showed that development of the pointed bullet by the U.S. was not based on the German invention. (The claim was silly on its face, of course, but at that time the U.S. did not wish to pay royalties to a German company.) The case never came to trial due to the intervention of WWI, when the patent was seized by the Alien Property Custodian and the Attorney General dismissed the suit.

In 1921, however, a special tribunal formed to settle German and Austrian claims decided to make an award to DWM based not on the actual infringement claim but on the issue that the patent seizure was unconstitutional. With interest accumulated during various appeals, the $300,000 award had become $412,520 and DWM received that amount in 1928.


If you enjoyed reading about ".30-06= what?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!