Versatile caliber/reloading?


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shadow9
October 30, 2013, 03:45 AM
I'm about to sell a 6.5x55 for a .30-06.

My main reason is I've fallen in love with .38/.357 and all the stuff you can do with it. Granted, .38 will do the trick MOST of the time, but I like the .357 to be able to handle the heavy stuff sometimes too.

Potentially a silly question, but am I wrong in thinking that for the BEST reloading versatility, while avoiding serious recoil (.45-70), I'd be best going with .30-06? Or can you do .30-06 work with a 6.5x55? I know the 6.5 can keep up with the .30-06 in MOST cases, but something tells me the .30-06 edges it out when you push both to the limits.

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PO2Hammer
October 30, 2013, 03:58 AM
Can't argue with the 30-06 there.
My choice would be the .308 for all the same reasons.
I just have a strong preference for short action rifles, much faster and easier to cycle for me without moving it off your shoulder.
I think the .30 caliber rifles have a better selection of bullets that the 6.5s and they are easier to find locally.

USSR
October 30, 2013, 08:51 AM
Potentially a silly question, but am I wrong in thinking that for the BEST reloading versatility, while avoiding serious recoil (.45-70), I'd be best going with .30-06? Or can you do .30-06 work with a 6.5x55? I know the 6.5 can keep up with the .30-06 in MOST cases, but something tells me the .30-06 edges it out when you push both to the limits.

The answer totally depends upon your definition of ".30-06 work" and "push both to the limits". The 6.5x55 will recoil less, shoot flatter, and handle anything in North America except the big bears. The .30-06 is more versatile in reloading due to more readily available brass and bullets. I have them both, so am not really prejudiced one way or the other.

Don

ranger335v
October 30, 2013, 05:02 PM
No one ever made a mistake buying a .30-06 for a hunting rifle.

I can't tell a bit of difference in using a bolt rifle in .308 and a 1/2" longer cartridge, I can easily work the bolt of anything much quicker than I can properly aim for a follow-up shot. Not that I've ever needed a follow-up with my -06. Or my .243. Or my .35 Reminton...??

How that affects the issue of .38 vs. .357 handguns I don't know.

Arkansas Paul
October 30, 2013, 05:15 PM
No one ever made a mistake buying a .30-06 for a hunting rifle.

Wise words right there.

noylj
October 30, 2013, 05:59 PM
Being Tacticool calls for .308, but it can't do anything the .30-06 can't do. Almost every rifle cartridge is judged in comparison to the .30-06.
Recoil? I get beaten up more from my M94 .30-30 than from any bolt action .30-06 I have ever fired.
You can load the .30 calibers down quite low with cast bullets.

Jesse Heywood
October 30, 2013, 06:01 PM
Helps to know what kind of critters you're after.

IWAC
October 30, 2013, 06:37 PM
Well, It depends on what you want to do...hunting the great bears of Alsaka, Siberian Tigers, Polar Bears or maybe a feral Brahma bull? 30-06 for sure, as a minimum. 338 better!
But, for most anything else you can find in the rest of the Nothern and Southern hemispheres except Africa, the '06 has done/will do very well.

The 6.5 X55 has racked up impressive scores of other critters, inclulding the Scandinavian Elk (a variety of Moose, iirc.)

Heavier recoil for the '06, for sure, but the first big game rifle I ever shot was a restocked '03 Springfield, and it didn't kick all that much, because of the recoil pad and weight, but a Remington autoloader with a rubber pad that had hardened to the resiliency of a brick wasn't much worse.

Having a gunsmith install one or two recoil reducer units under the buttplate will increase the weight, and reduce the recoil...maybe to a tolerable level. A good recoil pad will also help, and one of the strap-on PAST recoil pads ...wear it under your shirt if the remarks get too much..after all,. we just want to shoot better, right?

The '06 has a great selection of bullets available for it, but really, how many of us regularly load for more than 3 bullet weights?
But it is a truth, you shoot best with what kicks you least.

Now, the .38/357 Maggie is my favorite handgun cartridge, and like the 30-06 or 6.5 Swede has a great usefulness, in a reasonable-weight gun, and is very easy to load for, despite "expert opinions" to the contrary!

shadow9
November 6, 2013, 01:34 AM
IWAC - Exactly! I can do 358429's over 3-4gr of W231 for a little jouncing/plinking load, or run a cast/GC 190gr over 12-13gr of 2400 for a serious thumper...likewise, the store was out of 135gr Speer GDHP .38 ammo, so I snagged a brick of the bullets and will likely do a .357 Lite/.38 +P+ load for SD. Also - I've successfully broken down a 9mm, and used the powder and bullet into a primed .38Sp case with success. If you ever look at load data, ~90% of .38 recipes are identical to 9mm when sharing weight of bullet. Also, SAAMI spec barrels for .357 are .355, same as 9mm.

Jesse - Big-five is out of the question, and I wouldn't really go out of my way for a Grizz/Brownie, and I doubt I'll find my way into polar bear country anytime soon. However, my ideal setup is a one pistol/one rifle and make them versatile. Possibly adding a .22LR and/or shotgun to round things out - but that comes later. :P

I LOVE the accuracy and easy-to-shoot values of the 6.5, but it's bullet selection is rather limited for US bullets, and the craze means manufacturers are focusing on the popular stuff instead of the "niche". The Redding Body Die just got pushed from 10/25/2013 to 2/4/2014 for restock on Midway...meanwhile .30-06 things are not only in stock there, but at nearly every LGS.

Also what attracted me to "Maggie" was when I went to my local True Value and saw a box of .38's sitting on the shelf. Granted, they were Rem Express Lead-nose, but it was ammo. In the same sense, I'd find .30-06 in a store WELL before I find 6.5. Worst case? I've checked across the pages of loading books, and unless I'm off here, breaking down a .308 case and re-loading the powder/bullet onto a .30-06 would work - it seems like top-end .308's are low to low-mid .30-06 charges.

witchhunter
November 6, 2013, 10:28 PM
Can't go wrong with a .30/06, .357 mag .22 lr 12 ga combo. But you will want a .22 centerfire too.

splattergun
November 6, 2013, 11:00 PM
I'm keeping an eye out to buy a 6.5x55 Swedish mauser, in addition to my 30-06. not an either/or proposition for me. I love both cals

greyling22
November 6, 2013, 11:08 PM
I sold the 30-06 I bought because the recoil beat me to death and the case was sooooo big that I couldn't download it very well. And yes, I"m sure you could look hard enough and find something with trailboss or some such, but for me, 30-06 gets a frowny face. :(

I can't think of a think in north america I couldn't hunt with a 6.5x55. (maybe large bear at short ranges, but I have no business hunting that anyway.)

James2
November 7, 2013, 12:51 AM
Years ago I picked up an Enfield 30-06 that had been sporterized (new stock). The barrel was not much good, so I had a smithy re-barrel it with a new 26 inch barrel. Now that is some shooter. The 30-06 can handle some heavy bullets and shoot 150 grainers fast, so it is a versatile piece. Mine has easily killed all North American game with the exception of bears. (Not that it couldn't, just never had the opportunity) Hard to go wrong with a 30-06. Ya, it has a recoil pad installed.

Andrew Leigh
November 7, 2013, 01:23 AM
Given the one rifle one pistol scenario and given your target prey I would strongly recommend that you stay with the 6.5mm. You did not say if you had a modern rifle which can handle the higher chamber pressures?

I have loaded 120, 130 and 140gr. bullets, and frankly it is hardly difficult to work up decent loads. It is so bullet friendly it is amazing. I get just 0.6MOA on all these bullets, Sierra Pro Hunter, Nosler Accubond and Sierra Game King respectively. One of the the things people don't tell you is that the reduced recoil adds to accuracy as the shooter is more comfortable.

The 30-06 on the other hand is considered to be on the limit of most shooters recoil threshold and if it is on the limit of yours then you will develop a flinch and you will shoot poorly. This may lead you to download so you may as well kept the 6.5mm.

I have both calibre's in CZ and love both but given what you will be shooting I would stronly advise that you stick with the 6.5mm.

conrad427
November 7, 2013, 02:02 AM
I don't know all the circumstances, but I would keep the 6.5 and buy a 30-06.
There is not much you cant do with an '06. I have always liked the fact that I can buy bullets from 110 to 240 grains for thirty caliber and the fact that you can load them down to powder puff levels if you want. I load my own 95 percent of the time but am prone to buy a box once in a while, and I could count the times I have seen a box of 6.5x55 on the shelves on three fingers. Might be the area I am in, hard to say. I can always get a box of '06. And for the record, I have a .260 and two .264's, versus only two 30-06's.
(I have always wanted a 6.5x55.)
Heck, do what you want but NEVER pass up the opportunity to buy components for your 6.5x55 if you decide to keep it.

Poper
November 7, 2013, 02:44 AM
I would advise you keep the 6.5x55 and buy an entry level .30-06 such as a Stevens Model 200, Ruger American or Remington 783, all of which are street priced less than $400 and can often be found at $350 and below. Check Gunbroker or Bud's Gunshop online and see for yourself. Another option is to find a nice used '06 at a pawn shop or LGS. Good luck finding a nice one for less than $350, tho.

I love the .264 calibers and currently have four different .264 bores, including a CZ 550 American in 6.5x55. But I have 3 different .30-06's (Weatherby Vanguard, Tikka T3 Hunter and Browning 1885). All are easy to load for and a .30-06 with a 150 grain bullet really doesn't have that much more felt recoil than my 6.5x55 with a 140 grain bullet. I find my '06's every bit as comfortable to shoot as my CZ 6.5x55.

Tough choice you have there, but I think finding ammo and components for the .30 calibers, and the .30-06 in particular, is much easier than the .264's. Also, when it comes the time you are strapped for cash and have to sell a gun, the .30-06 will almost always sell before a 6.5x55. And often for more money, too.

Just my 2 cents. I hope it helps. ;)

Poper

Comrade Mike
November 7, 2013, 11:48 AM
I'll keep my 6.6x55 thank you!

mtrmn
November 7, 2013, 01:44 PM
30-06-----me likey!

shadow9
November 7, 2013, 04:42 PM
For clarification - the 6.5x55 I'm cutting loose is one of the CZ550 FS's (new stock style - elongated grip base, slender stock up front and palm swell - the barrel is marked "13" indicating a 2013 manufacture). However, for such a light kicking rifle, it's heavy (certainly NOT the 7.2lbs listed - my old Ruger #1 was 7.1 and this is definitely heavier).

The .30-06 in question is the new Guide Gun. I know many people aren't fond of it, but for the value I find it very hard to beat. I don't mind the looks, in fact I kind of like them. The easily-altered stock length is VERY handy. It has a VERY good recoil pad, and for $950 street price, it comes with Irons, recoil pad, AND Threaded Muzzle. If you go for a similar Stainless rifle (~$800 with rings IF a Ruger) and add in all the work to rival it, you're spending WAY more than the GG is on the street. Most iron sight installs are ~$200-300 front and rear for decent Express sights, threading a barrel is usually $125, and attaching a barrel band is around $80-100.

As for the 20" BBL - well, that's why I went .30-06 as opposed to the .308 Win in 18" (GSR SS) - also I like the ability to use 200gr+ bullets if possible.

Manny
November 7, 2013, 07:34 PM
For an all around hunting and rough service rifle that ought-six guide gun should be second to none. I'd love to have one, but living in Ohio it wouldn't get much use other than as a range toy.

jr_roosa
November 7, 2013, 07:39 PM
Look up the Rifleman's Journal. German Salazar is a competitive prone shooter. His favorite is the .30-06 and he wins matches out to 1000 yards with it.

He has dozens of articles on the .30-06 including reloading, having custom rifles built around it, history, etc.

-J.

Andrew Leigh
November 7, 2013, 10:24 PM
For clarification - the 6.5x55 I'm cutting loose is one of the CZ550 FS's (new stock style - elongated grip base, slender stock up front and palm swell - the barrel is marked "13" indicating a 2013 manufacture).

That has to be one of the nicest looking rifles around ............

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