Most widespread CF rifle ammo?


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gbw
May 2, 2013, 01:09 AM
I googled this but didn't get much, it's just speculation of course.

If I surveyed ten million homes in the U.S., what caliber of centerfire rifle ammo would I find most often? NOT by number of rounds, I suspect .223/5.56 would win here, but which caliber would I find most often regardless of total number of rounds?

I'm guessing .30-30 or .30-06? What do you think? If you still think .223/5.56, what's your second guess?

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dak0ta
May 2, 2013, 01:17 AM
Probably 30-30, 308, and 30-06

sixgunner455
May 2, 2013, 01:18 AM
My FIL has only one centerfire rifle, the one his parents gave him when he graduated from High School. It's a .30-06.

Funny, his father owns a .308, and his brother owns a .25-06.

I'm guessing that the most common rifle caliber in the country is .30-06. But it would not surprise me if it has changed to the .223/5.56. 30-30 probably used to have the throne, but I doubt that it still does.

NOLAEMT
May 2, 2013, 01:25 AM
My guess would be 5.56/.223. It seems that AR15 and other similar rifles shooters seem to shoot more rounds, and keep more on hand than many other CF rifle shooters.

I've never meet someone who buys 30WCF by the case.

Bobson
May 2, 2013, 01:29 AM
My bet would be on .30-06, by a landslide.

There are three types of gun owners:
The (#1) "I love guns" type, the (#2) "I use guns to hunt" type, and the (#3) "Yeah, I've got a handgun up in the attic just in case" type. Type #2 owners probably have a shotgun and a rifle, and that's it. These are people who own guns for practical use only, not because they enjoy blasting away at targets or they fear an uprising.

Type #1 people most certainly have a rifle in .223/5.56, but most of us (ofc I fall in this category; most of us do) also have hunting rifles - and even here on THR, .30-06 seems to be among the most commonly recommended hunting rifle caliber. It's North America's big game rifle.

So while tens of thousands of people likely own an AR15, countless more must own a .30-06. Makes sense to me anyway. :p And yes, I do know several people in each category... even #3 :banghead:

mljdeckard
May 2, 2013, 01:31 AM
As popular as the AR is, it still has a LONG way to catch up for all the households that have been and continue to use '06.

gbw
May 2, 2013, 01:31 AM
NOLAEMT & perhaps others to come:

I'm NOT asking about the total number of rounds.

I'm ONLY asking y'all to speculate on the frequency of occurance, i.e., if you go into 1000 homes, how many would have at least one round of any particular caliber?

My guess is Mr. sixgunner455, mljdeckard and Bobson are correct, but only a guess.

dak0ta
May 2, 2013, 01:42 AM
9mm, .45 ACP, 12 Ga, 30-06, .223 most likely.

peyton
May 2, 2013, 01:47 AM
30-30 or 30-06 in a neck and neck race!!

Dr.Rob
May 2, 2013, 01:54 AM
Those who own a 223/5.56 will have more than a couple boxes of it on hand.

But I suspect 30-06 rules the roost as most popular with 30-30 a close 2nd. 270 and 308 somewhere as 3rd.

Based ENTIRELY on what calibers are stocked in small mom n pop gas stations in rural areas.

firesky101
May 2, 2013, 08:54 AM
I would also guess '06 in America. Funny enough I do not currently own one. I have sold or converted every one I have ever owned. Just took the barrel off a bubba'd 1917 to do a magnum conversion of some flavor.

gbeecher
May 2, 2013, 09:15 AM
I would lean toward the .223 Remington, but I agree also on the .30-06 and I suspect you might see the 7.62x39 in the top 5. Worldwide, I know the .30-06 has been in the top 3 for ages. Also, don't forget us Mosin owners - 7.62x54R rocks! :D

baz
May 2, 2013, 09:19 AM
9mm, .45 ACP, 12 Ga, 30-06, .223 most likely.The OP asked about CF rifle ammunition, so that rules out the first three. 30-06 wins again.

I understand the reasons everyone is saying 30-06. But I have to wonder about it, because while gun ownership is on the rise, hunting is not. More and more people are buying for other reasons -- home defense, target shooting, TEOTWAWKI -- and 30-06 is not a common choice for those uses. So if it hasn't happened yet, it must be coming soon that 30-06 will be replaced as the most common caliber found in any given household.

In that case, .223/5.56 is probably the replacement.

Dr T
May 2, 2013, 10:18 AM
About 35 years ago, I would have said 30-30. Now I would guess it would be 30-06.

Owlnmole
May 2, 2013, 10:39 AM
I agree that back in the day it would have been .30-30 and .30-06 but today I wonder if .223 and .308 have made enough inroads to edge out the old standards. They certainly seem to be far and away the most sold calibers today. For that matter, I suspect that a lot more 7.62 x 39mm rifles have been sold in the last 20 years than .30-30, but I doubt that the SKSs and AKs have caught up with the previous 100+ years of lever action deer rifles.

Darkbob
May 2, 2013, 10:51 AM
As cheap as Mosin Nagant rifles are selling for, Id think that they are rapidly climbing the charts. I know more people who own one or more $80 Mosin's than I do folks who own 30-06's, and most of the guys I know who have a 30-06 also have a Mosin!

If we have a few more years of ~$100 Mosin's and relatively cheap 7.62x54r ammo for em, they may end up at #1.

Lj1941
May 2, 2013, 11:22 AM
One of the indicators is loading die sales and 30/06 is right at or near the top of die sales. I would say 308 Win, 30/06 & 223/556x45 are at the top but not in any particular order.Personally my list is much different but that is just me.:)

InkEd
May 2, 2013, 11:32 AM
.30-06 because of all the hunting rifles.

ldlfh7
May 2, 2013, 12:06 PM
.22 lr - even with the shortage you know everyone still has some laying around

sixgunner455
May 2, 2013, 01:30 PM
And yet, the .22LR is not a centerfire rifle cartridge. :D

USSR
May 2, 2013, 01:32 PM
Definitely got to be the '06 - myself alone, I've got 7 of them.

Don

dagger dog
May 2, 2013, 02:17 PM
I would be willing to bet a cup of coffee, that the 223 Rem-5.56 Nato has overtaken just about all other center fire rifle cartridges.

Ironman615
May 2, 2013, 03:42 PM
I have three center-fire rifles--one 30-06, one 30-30, and one .223. Yes, I do put more rounds through the .223, but I usually take them all to the range every time I go. I just like shooting center-fires!

HoosierQ
May 2, 2013, 03:55 PM
The one that's still most commonly sitting on the shelves here in Indiana (which I realize is not the question) is .270...boxes and boxes of it just about everywhere I look. I figure .270 is a dedicated big-game cartridge that is just that much less popular than 30-06 so that here in Indiana where you can't hunt with either, more people have a 30-06 either "just because", they've got a milsurp, or maybe they hunt elsewhere. Varmits people hunt with .243. Nobody hunts anything with a .270 in Indiana...legally anyway.

Just an observation.

jrdolall
May 2, 2013, 03:59 PM
My guess would be 30-06 by a landslide. Virtually everyone I know all over the country has at least one 30-06. "Gun people" have .223 but I don't know of a single gun person that does not own a 30-06. How many safes out there with a 223 also have a 30-06 as compared to those that have an 06 but no 223? The .223 is a relative newcomer to the centerfire world and will probably surpass them all as less people are getting into hunting. When did the .223 round come into common use for civilians? By common I don't mean just the gun lovers but the average household.

30-30 is probably next because they have been around for so long and .308 and 270 may have surpassed them by now.

The only long gun that I think is more prevelant than the 06 is the 12 ga shotgun and I bet that has them all beat and then some.

mljdeckard
May 2, 2013, 04:11 PM
I don't know at all that hunting is on the decline. In states where it is popular, it is as popular as ever, if not more. for the last few years, Utah's restricted deer tags have sold out state-wide.

kBob
May 2, 2013, 04:15 PM
I think nationally it would be pretty close on .30-06, .30-30, .270, .243.....

Mostly depends on where those houses are...... Form Virginia on around to Mexico along the coasts and one state deep I would bet it is still the .30-30.

Some places out west the .30-06 (where there are Elk) and others (where there are not .270. Moose states in the North east likely have .30-06.

I think the .30-06 and .30-30 are likely too close to call nationally.

Of course some one mentioned the Mosin imports........actually I suspect there are more SKS imports as some estimates of 6 million or more were imported, that and the various AK clones, Mini-30s and CZ bolt guns might just make 7.62x 39 a strong contender as well.

I do believe that most folks really under estimate the number of 5.56/.223 ARs out there and that it has a good chance of displacing the three .30s if not now maybe next week.

So I guess my answer would be I don't know and neither does anyone else really.

-kBob

Warp
May 2, 2013, 04:22 PM
My guess would be 30-06 by a landslide. Virtually everyone I know all over the country has at least one 30-06. "Gun people" have .223 but I don't know of a single gun person that does not own a 30-06. How many safes out there with a 223 also have a 30-06 as compared to those that have an 06 but no 223?

That's a good way of looking at it.

I'm with you, I'd wager there are more with an -06 and no 5.56 than the other way around.

Of course, there might only be 14 rounds of .30-06 in many of these households, or some such number. I think we can all probably agree that in terms of volume/quantity, rather than rate of incidence, 5.56/.223 easily wins. The AR15 has, we believe, been the best selling rifle-type for awhile after all. I wouldn't be surprised if, down the road, the answer to his question changes.

baz
May 2, 2013, 04:44 PM
I don't know at all that hunting is on the decline. In states where it is popular, it is as popular as ever, if not more. for the last few years, Utah's restricted deer tags have sold out state-wide. I didn't say it was on the decline. I said that while gun ownership was on the rise, hunting is not. That's different (think about it). In some places, hunting may be as popular as it ever was (http://oi39.tinypic.com/4ijyvd.jpg), but as the population ages and grows, hunting at least declines as a percentage of population, and perhaps in absolute terms also (http://www.iwla.org/index.php?ht=display/ContentDetails/i/19047/pid/203).

baz
May 2, 2013, 04:49 PM
How many safes out there with a 223 also have a 30-06 as compared to those that have an 06 but no 223?And what abut those that have a 223 but no 06? All of the people getting into shooting for self/home defense and target/fun shooting are more likely to buy a MSR than an 06.

I don't know that 223 has replaced 06 as the leader, but most of the new shooters are not hunters.

mljdeckard
May 2, 2013, 04:49 PM
I still say it varies by region. Some places are completely maxed out. And in many places, the fact that .223 can't be used for hunting may actually hurt its popularity.

baz
May 2, 2013, 04:57 PM
Somebody who knows how to create a poll should poll the THR readership. We're a pretty diverse lot, and may well provide a snapshot of the gun owning populace. I think the relevant categories would be:

- Own a rifle in 223 but not 30-06

- Own a rifle in 30-06 but not 223

- Own rifles in both 223 and 30-06

I don't think we need a "don't own either" category, as folks in that category should simply not respond at all.

Somebody up for this?

Warp
May 2, 2013, 05:06 PM
Somebody who knows how to create a poll should poll the THR readership. We're a pretty diverse lot, and may well provide a snapshot of the gun owning populace. I think the relevant categories would be:

- Own a rifle in 223 but not 30-06

- Own a rifle in 30-06 but not 223

- Own rifles in both 223 and 30-06

I don't think we need a "don't own either" category, as folks in that category should simply not respond at all.

Somebody up for this?

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=715239


I'm not sure that the rifle section is really the best place due to lower viewership than a general firearms forum, but that's where I put it.

joeschmoe
May 2, 2013, 05:21 PM
.30-06 because of all the hunting rifles.
Everyone seems to be forgetting the millions of Garands, 1903's and other military guns in 30.06 out there.

Warp
May 2, 2013, 05:31 PM
Everyone seems to be forgetting the millions of Garands, 1903's and other military guns in 30.06 out there.

Yes.

I almost responded that I had a 5.56/.223, but no .30-06...then I realized I have a Garand chambered in .30-06, lulz. I just forget about that caliber because I bought all of my ammo from the CMP. I don't know how that makes sense, but it does. To me anyway

OleReb
May 2, 2013, 05:41 PM
I bet it would be .308 with .223/5.56 coming up fast,atleast that seems to be the most common in my area with 30-30 and 7.62x39 very close behind. I know 30-06 has been around for along time but i dont see it as being nearly as common/popular as it once was,the people that are buying 1 gun nowdays arent buying a 30-06 usually.

Don357
May 2, 2013, 05:56 PM
Without actually crunching numbers, 1. .223/5.56x45 or 7.62x39, 2. 7.62x51/.308 or 7.62x63/.30-06. from there it's pretty much a mish-mash of the other 'uber-magnum' hunting rounds, many of which have found their way into the military inventory.

FSJeeper
May 2, 2013, 08:27 PM
A recent study on this topic based on centerfire rifle cartridge sales list the top ten as follows:

1. .30-06 Springfield
2. .223 Remington
3. .270 Winchester
4. .30-30 (first on some lists)
5. .308 Winchester
6. .243 Winchester
7. 7mm Remington Magnum
8. .300 Winchester Magnum (.303 British on some lists, .30 Carbine on one list)
9. .22-250 Remington (.222 Remington on one list)
10. .338 Winchester Magnum

The 30-30 was number one for a long time.
.338 WM surprised me as number 10.

rondog
May 2, 2013, 08:36 PM
I vote for .30-06, although I actually have more in .303 than any other. But the '06 has been around over 100 years in the US, most USGI milsurps are '06, as are a huge majority of bolt action US sporting rifles.

baz
May 2, 2013, 08:40 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=715239


I'm not sure that the rifle section is really the best place due to lower viewership than a general firearms forum, but that's where I put it.

Thanks. The OP did ask about CF rifle so the rifle forum makes sense to me.

Right now, with ~30 responses, it is neck and neck. I hope others who have participated or read this thread will go over there and vote.

Ash
May 2, 2013, 08:41 PM
I have several 30-06's (bolt actions as well as a Garand), several 7.62x54r's, some 308's, a 7mm Mag, 30 carbine, 7.62x39, and exactly one 5.56.

To me, 30-06 remains the most versatile round in America. Were I to only own one rifle, it would be 30-06.

DeadFlies
May 2, 2013, 08:47 PM
I would bet it's .30-'06. But I also would bet .223 will soon overtake it as most popular.

justice06rr
May 2, 2013, 09:31 PM
Well if you're talking mostly civilian only, I would guess that the -06 might be a little ahead.

But consider all the new shooters that have recently bought AR15's during the last 2 panics. I don't see anyone going out and buying 30-06 rifles during the panic.

I've owned about 6 AR15's, a couple of AK's, and a few bolt action rifles, but no 30-06.

If you consider that our military uses 5.56NATO, I would think that is more widely used than -06.

oldpapps
May 2, 2013, 11:22 PM
Speculation on my part.

I would think that in general a .22RF and a 12 Gage is universal. But for center fire rifles and pistols, I think that is going to be regional.

When I was a kid my dad had two British 303s and one uncle had a 300 Savage. I knew people that had 32-20s and 30-30s. But I can't say that I knew of anyone with a 30.06. If anyone had an 8MM Mauser, that fact would have been hidden from my uncles.

To the point of this post. In the open ground, flatter shooting rifles would become more prominent. In the hills and forests, the more traditional rounds would continue to dominate. Some areas are going to be pockets of one or another rifle.

The same may be said about pistols. But I would put my money on pistols chambered in .32 S&W, .38 S&W and even some .38 Specials. Well around where I grew up anyway.

Today, all bets are off. Mass marketing and greater supplies and hype are changing the mix.

baz
May 3, 2013, 08:42 AM
The poll Warp put up here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=715239) now has .223 ahead by a considerable margin: 71 votes for those who have both, 40 votes for those who have .223 only, and 16 votes for those who have .30-06 only. So in terms of the OP's original question, out of the total of 127 respondents, you would find .223 in the homes of 111, and .30-06 in the homes of 87, a margin of 34 in favor of .223.

Scientific? Of course not.

Suggestive? I think so.

blindhari
May 3, 2013, 09:12 AM
As I am getting to be an old man I have consolidated my firearms and reloading into fewer and simpler. I sold or gave away to relatives those rifles that reached out beyond my eyesight. I have a single shot 45-70 that is too much fun to let go of but all of the true hunting calibers are gone. What I have done is kept a 357 mag rifle and pistol.
Buffalo Bore has turned 357 mag in a rifle into an old mans close up hunter, hog killer, home defense, plinker, fun gun and easy reloader. I think oldpappas and I are onto something here. If center fire pistol calibers can be thrown into this mix, you will find an awful lot of homes with 38sp and 357 mag. Ruger, Rossi, H&R, Winchester have figured this out and sell niche rifles to old coots like us, and there are getting to be more and more old coots as the baby boomers age.
I agree that 38sp and 357 mag are not normally considered centerfire RIFLE cartridges but there are an awful lot of them found in homes.

blindhari

USSR
May 3, 2013, 09:40 AM
What you have to understand when you are doing polling within a site such as this is, you are polling a younger and more involved in the shooting sports audience. I have no doubt that the .223 will outpoll any other rifle cartridge here. What you have to remember is, you have several states in which you have more than 500,000 hunters taking the field during deer season, and most of these guys are not represented here, and the number of these guys who own .30-06's for hunting and don't own .223's is enormous. So, for the purposes of determining the "most widespread CF rifle ammo", ammunition sales as reported by the manufacturers is likely to be a more accurate answer to the question.

Don

baz
May 3, 2013, 11:31 AM
What you have to understand when you are doing polling within a site such as this is, you are polling a younger and more involved in the shooting sports audience. Are you sure about that? Back in 2007 when there was a poll of THR members' age, there were more aged 35 and over, than under. Nearly half were 40 and over, and nearly a third were 50 and over. If anything, the membership skewed older, not younger. Has it changed? I don't know. I do know that I was over 60 at the time of that poll, and am even older now. :D

So, for the purposes of determining the "most widespread CF rifle ammo", ammunition sales as reported by the manufacturers is likely to be a more accurate answer to the question.This would be informative. Do you know of any good data sources on this?

USSR
May 3, 2013, 11:43 AM
Quote:
So, for the purposes of determining the "most widespread CF rifle ammo", ammunition sales as reported by the manufacturers is likely to be a more accurate answer to the question.

This would be informative. Do you know of any good data sources on this?

See post #38 above.

I do know that I was over 60 at the time of that poll, and am even older now.

Yeah, same thing is happening to me.:D

Don

gbw
May 3, 2013, 11:45 AM
So, for the purposes of determining the "most widespread CF rifle ammo", ammunition sales as reported by the manufacturers is likely to be a more accurate answer to the question.

I don't believe this to be so, because I'd guess 5.56/.223 owners purchase far larger quantities of ammo for their rifles than most other rifle owners do. If I'm right the sales numbers would be misleading.

For the purposes of this question, an exaggerated example:

Of 5 people, if 3 each own only 1/3 box of .30-06, and the other 2 own 5,000 rds each of .223, then .30-06 is more widespread among that population than .223.

btw - this is not a poll - just asking folks to speculate based on their own experience. Answers have been interesting so far!

USSR
May 3, 2013, 01:24 PM
Well, it certainly would be more "widespread".:D Shows you the importance of semantics.

Don

baz
May 3, 2013, 01:46 PM
See post #38 above.
No source cited. I've seen the list before, and no source was cited. Does anybody have a source?

Update: I think I found it here (http://www.chuckhawks.com/best_selling_rifle_cartridges.htm).

But there is no date, the methodology described is ad hoc, and the conclusion is said to be "approximate."

Cee Zee
May 3, 2013, 06:01 PM
I think 7.62 x 39 has made a big dent in the 30-30 base. At one time the 30-30 would have been more popular than the 30.06 but now people looking for a centerfire rifle with about the same ballistics will split between the 7.62 x 39 and the 30-30. So that leaves the 30.06 as the clear leader.

I know that .223 has made huge jumps in popularity in the past two decades but before that pretty much the only people who owned one were gun collectors and military collectors. You'd see an occasional TEOTWAWKI owners but there just wasn't that many of them. The 30.06 has been accumulating owners since WWI and the huge surplus of Springfield 1903's. The cartridge became a huge hit about that time and it's never stopped growing. All those rifles people have been buying for almost 100 years (yes some bought before that but the real jump in sales occured in the 1920's) are mostly still around somewhere. Many have rusted away I guess but new ones are still being sold. It is an American classic caliber and it will take a long time to surpass the number of rifles out there in the established base. People still buy them to hunt deer too. You don't see a lot of people using .223 for deer hunting. There are some but most people (and some states) consider it underpowered for whitetail. There's ammo to go with a lot of those rifles too.

So 30.06 it is (IMO).

BTW that list in #38 must be skewed by US manufacturers only. I am not going to believe that more .338WM is being sold than 7.62 x 39. A heck of a lot of people own AK's and SKS's. I don't think I know a single person that owns a .338WM. I probably know some but I don't know they own that caliber of a rifle. I know literally dozens of 7.62 x 39 shooters.

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