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.308 or .30-06, and which bullet weight?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kymasabe, May 13, 2012.

  1. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Active Member

    May 28, 2006
    Northern by birth, Southern by choice.
    Here's the deal. I have a single shot Rossi 7.62x39 that's just not impressing me. Only have about 10 rounds down the pipe and I'm ready to trade it in already. Gonna take it back to the gun shop that I bought it from and want to walk out with another rifle. They have some used Rem 700's in stock but they're all in .30-06. Some with scopes, some without. They also have a brand new Savage in .308 with a scope for around $349. Got me wondering, which was better, .308 or .30-06? Rifle would be for range use, scoped, who's-the-best-shot bragging rights, and the occasional hog hunt.
    Looking at ammo prices, both calibers seem pretty equally priced.
    But, I did notice a bing range of bullet grains in both calibers. Why? Does barrel twist make a difference? Or for larger game do you need the higher grain round for more take-down power?

    I could really use some advice here. I've been shooting 7.62x39 a LONG time and I'm a little outside my comfort zone with a new (to me) round.
  2. Happypuppy

    Happypuppy New Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    I used 180 grain loads for both. IMO its the sweet spot for both. I hand loaded and the 30-06 was easer to use the 200 grain loads as the bullet does not have to be seated as deeply to to the additional length. However in hunting use up to big hogs and bear I never saw a difference and the 180's shot flatter

    Sent from my 300 baud modem
  3. SimplyChad

    SimplyChad Active Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    Montgomery Co TX
    You have opened a can or worms. Id take the 06. I like heavy bullets 200ish grainers. I hunt in thick brush tho.
  4. redneck2

    redneck2 Mentor

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    IMO caliber is of the least important factors. A given .30 caliber bullet is the same whether shot from a .308, .30-06, or some magnum. 2,800 fps is 2,800 no matter the size or shape of the case. The critter you shoot won't know what caliber the rifle was.

    Idiots sit and argue for hours about how great their super dooper magic cartridge is because they changed the shoulder angle one degree. They should spend less time arguing and more time shooting.

    The only reason guys argue caliber is so they an feel more secure in their own decision. I bought a .308 because I got a great deal on it. Could have just as well been a .30-06. Doesn't matter in the real world.
  5. joed

    joed Senior Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    I have to agree with redneck2, that is a good description of people with opinions. Never owned a .30-06 but did get a .308 because it was the only .30 available in the rifle I wanted.

    My .308 will only handle bullets to 168 gr though because of the twist. But I'd limit the .308 to no more then 175 gr, that's my opinion.
  6. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    My favorite load is a Hornady 165 grn BTSP at 2700 fps from the 30-06.

    Nothing the matter with a 308 chambering and the same loading may give good results as well ?

    SANDRAT New Member

    May 10, 2012
    Either one is plenty of gun for anything you will hunt in the Lower 48 at a reasonable range.If you don't reload,I'd go for the 308 as there is a better supply of cheaper/surplus ammo available these days than for the '06.
  8. 303tom

    303tom member

    Jul 16, 2011
    I have both & 150 to 180gr. bullet out of ither will knock the dog sh...........well you know out of anything in the Americas..................
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    I agree with SANDRAT. I've been reloading for the '06 for many a decade, but I'd go with a .308 if I were not reloading.

    I see no reason to use bullets heavier than 150 grains if the main game is Bambi, though. 165 or 180 for elk; 110 for varmints.
  10. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Active Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    It doesn't really matter much as there isn't a lot of difference between the two. The 308 will be a shorter action, at least in the Rem 700's. I'm not sure off the top of my head if it will be shorter in the Savages also. The 06 will handle the heavier, 180-220 gr. bullets better as the 06 has a little more case capacity and the longer, heavier bullets are usually seated a little deeper in the case. To answer your question on rate of twist; the standard rate for 308 is 1 turn in 12 inches. The standard for the 06 is usually 1 in 10. This does vary a little between manufactures. Generally speaking, longer, heavier bullets of a given bore diameter require more twist than shorter, lighter bullets of the same diameter, fired at the same velocity. In the end the rate of twist is usually a compromise and it's really not going to be much of an issue for you when you use any commonly available factory loads. Rate of twist is usually more of an issue for the Black Powder shooters when choosing between conicals and round balls. My personal preference is that the 308 is a slightly better paper puncher and the 06 is probably a little better choice for hunting really big game. But again, this is just my preference if I was forced to choose and the differences are pretty small. For the purpose you have in mind I'm sure you will be happy with either that you chose. Good Luck with your new rifle choice.
  11. j1

    j1 Active Member

    Oct 17, 2011
    The way you describe your situation sounds like you want the 308. Not much difference till you get up to the really heavy bullets anyway, then the 06 is better. The 308 wins more competitions lately.
  12. T.R.

    T.R. Participating Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
    I've hunted with my .308 Savage levergun for 40 years and its still a keeper!



  13. T Bran

    T Bran Active Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Homestead FL
    Forget the caliber question they are close enough to each other. Go handle some rifles and pick the one that fits and balances best in your hands. I have both Savage and Remington rifles and both are good shooters so see what you like best and go with it.
  14. CountryUgly

    CountryUgly Active Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    The Dirty South
    For what you described as your criteria/intentions for use I'd say .308 but if it was going to be a pure hunter I'd say '06. As far as the rifle goes try 'em on and see what fits you. I'm personally partial to Savage rifles. When it comes to ammo I've had great luck with Federal's Vital-Shok and Hornady's new Superformance as of late.
  15. ball3006

    ball3006 Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Either caliber is just fine. I use pulled 150 fmj bullets most of the time. I no longer hunt but if I did, I would use the bullet wieght that IS MOST ACCURATE in your rifle.....chris3
  16. oldpapps

    oldpapps Active Member

    Aug 23, 2011
    Middle America, Mo now East of I-435
    Mox Nix

    ".308 or .30-06, and which bullet weight?
    Here's the deal..... used Rem 700's in stock but they're all in .30-06. Some with scopes, some without. They also have a brand new Savage in .308 with a scope .... Rifle would be for range use, scoped, who's-the-best-shot bragging rights, and the occasional hog hunt.....Does barrel twist make a difference? ... higher grain round for more take-down power?"

    Oh boy.
    Let me start with, the above responses just about cover it all. But, I'll throw my bit of nose in too.
    In a reverse order:

    "higher grain round for more take-down power" - a heaver projectile will penetrate farther with all other factors being the same. They never are. Heaver takes more to get it going, so it is slower out the barrel but carries farther. The difference between the 06 and the 308, with the same bullets, is hardly noticeable on target. But the 06 would have a minimal edge.

    "barrel twist" - In general, heaver bullets will stabilize better with a tighter twist. A tighter twist erodes faster (not proven to me, but what I'm told). The rifle you select has the barrel with what ever its twist.

    "....range use, scoped, who's-the-best-shot.... occasional hog hunt" - For range use a heaver weapon will spread the recoil over a longer time, thus making it seem to not kick as hard. For hunting, the comparatively small number of rounds fired in the heat of the hunt will not be realized by the shooter and a lighter, handier rifle carries better for hours and hours.

    "Rem 700's ... in .30-06....new Savage in .308 with a scope" - Scopes first, everyone likes different scopes for different reasons. Pick a rifle that has the scope you like or plan on changing it out. Rifle brands, some hate/love Rem/Savage brand. It is personal thing.

    ".308 or .30-06" - As you don't indicate that you are a re-loader, I will go with a 'NOT'. Hunting grade factory ammunition will cost with in cents for each flavor. Cheaper surplus stuff is more available for the .308. An action for a .308 can be shorter than that for a 30.06. This can cut some weight.

    Summing up. If having 'NEW' makes a difference, go with the Savage. What scopes are mounted on each weapon and is one what you like? Go with that weapon. The actual chambering between the two option is all but a dead heat. My deciding points would be; condition of the used weapon, scope/s and wood. Not the chambering.

    I hope I didn't muddle your decision.
  17. Moose1995

    Moose1995 New Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    Algonquin, Illinois
    I say go with the savage in .308. Savage rifles shoot great, its cheaper, the 308 will have slightly less recoil, and if you want to shoot off the bench, there's no real reason to go with the heavier rounds you can shoot from the 06. As for ammo availability, both seem plentiful in my area. But if you re-load, the 308 uses less powder, therefore you'll get a bit more loads from a lb of powder.
  18. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Senior Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    For general hunting with the .308, up to Elk size game, I think a bonded 165 grain bullet would be ideal. For deer, the plain old Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain is fine. For punching paper out to 300 yards, I use Nosler custom comp 168 HPBT's.
  19. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Aug 2, 2007
    If you're going to load for it, the 30-06 is king. Everything from a 110 to a 220gr bullet. And you can find 06 anywhere they sell rifle ammo.
    If not, the 308 is good. Lots of cheap surplus for plinking.
    Not a bad choice there though.
  20. MrDig

    MrDig Participating Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Where all the women are strong, the men are good l
    Personal preference for me is the .308 but I own a 30.06 too. For multiple reasons I still like the .308, it can do several jobs and remain configured the same.
    I'm not a sniper and don't need 700 or 800 yard shots which the 30.06 can do more readily than the .308

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