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History of the 30.06 Springfield

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by stinger 327, May 14, 2010.

  1. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know when the US Army issued this rifle to its snipers and what was the last war this rifle was used?
    Which type of bullet?
    Weight in grains used?
  2. desidog

    desidog Well-Known Member

    There's books written on this. Try Google.
  3. exbiologist

    exbiologist Well-Known Member

    It's my understanding that it wasn't long after World War I started that they begun informally using the .30-06 as a sniper rifle.
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    There was some work done on dedicated sniper rifles during or at least right after WW I, but budgets were low and I don't think many if any were actually issued.

    WW II had the 1903A4 and the USMC 1941 sniper rifles built on the Springfield pattern.
    I don't know how long they stayed in service, probably through Korea, even though the M1 C&D were supposed to be standard by then.

    Ammunition was probably GI M2 ball or M1 AP. I don't think the then sniper programs were well enough developed to supply match ammo like we do now. If anybody did, it would have been the Marines.
  5. Ret.CWO

    Ret.CWO Well-Known Member

    The origional M1 Ball was 174 Gr. bullet. They changed the M1 ball to 152 Gr. FMJ and changed it to M2 Ball for use in the both rifle and MG. I think this was done at the beginning of WWII. The Marines found the old 174 Gr. M1 Ball more accurate for sniping up through Korea. This came from a artical writen by Scott Duff.
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    The last American War the 03 was used had to be Vietnam. I saw a picture of an 03, leaning against a trench wall, in a Vietnam firebase.

    They were still around in the 60's. An AMU shooter, a guy who shot when Garands were the match rifle, told me he was serving time in Korea. Right on the DMZ. He found an 03 in the Armory. There was this North Korean strolling in the DMZ. The AMU shooter had the North Korean in his sights but his Officer would not let him shoot.

    Thirty years later, he is still frustrated that he could not be the last guy to shoot an enemy with 03.:cuss:
  7. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    So the ideal weight for the 30.06 used in the war was in the 170 grain area?
    There is also the 180 grain.
    Why didn't they use the 220 grain bullet for this? Not enough range because it's heavier or not as accurate as lighter loads?
  8. exbiologist

    exbiologist Well-Known Member

    Because the 220 was a round nose and was slower, so the trajectory was a lot worse at extended ranges. Going to a spitzer 220 likely would have required an increase in twist rate in all the rifles already produced. They changed to a lighter spitzer in response to similar German changes with the 8mm as part of the old arms race.
  9. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    The 220gr round was the 30-03. The 30-06 was the improved round with the Spitzer bullet.

    The 1903 rifle was changed to use the new 30-06 round at the same time as they changed from the old rod type bayonet that president Teddy Roosevelt blasted as being flimsy and unsuitable for combat.

    I never read anything about changing the rifling twist, just that they set the barrels back and rechambered existing rifles because the 30-06 case is shorter than the 30-03 case. Perhaps new rifles had a different twist rate.

    30-06 rifles can not chamber 30-03 cartridges, and even if they could, the ammo is exceptionally old and rare. The Army just did not use it long at all.
  10. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    It's my understanding that the original 30-06 round was around 150gr. They increased it to 174gr with the M1 round due to lessons learned in WWI and to give the machine guns better ballistics and better penetration. The return to the 150gr bullet in the M2 round was either because of problems with over penetration at peacetime rifle ranges or because of the semi-auto M1 Garand rifle. I'm not sure which was the actually trigger to develop the M2 round.
  11. exbiologist

    exbiologist Well-Known Member

    Thanks for correcting me... I tend to kinda lump .30-03 and .30-06 history together. The twist rate change is just an assumption on my part, given match bullet manufacturer recommendations of faster twists being needed with long, heavy spitzers versus shorter roundnoses.
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    The Army used a 10" twist from the Krag through the .30-03 to the .30-06. It worked fine with 150 grain 1906 and M2 Spitzers, 165 grain M2 AP, 173 grain M1 boattails, and the original 1892/1903 220 grain roundnose.

    There is a legend that once upon a time, a worker picked up the wrong sine bar and set a rifling machine for an 11" twist. Barrels from that machine were consistently more accurate than barrels off of other rifling machines. But when they checked the equipment and found what had caused it, they changed it back to 10". Official specification, don'cha know. But the 11" twist came back into the limelight for M14/M1A NM rifles.
  13. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    What were they shooting through the NM rifles? Standard 147gr M80 Ball?
  14. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    What does the military or police use now in 30.06?
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    stinger, odds are that extremely few military or police use the '06 for anything. Police, it would likely be .308; they don't need anything more. Military, for sniper use, have the .308 and then various magnum cartridges...
  16. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    There are books written on just about every topic we discuss on THR. Why don't we just shut the forum down?
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Not hardly.
    I think there was some 7.62 military match ammunition with the old 173 grain M1 boattail, most was "special match" with a 168 grain Sierra MK, now there is "long range" with a 175 grain Sierra MK.
  18. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    Thank you I agree.:)
  19. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

  20. stinger 327

    stinger 327 Well-Known Member

    If .308 is similiar but with a smaller casing and less powder charge what grain bullet is used in this caliber?
    The .308 and 30.06 are probably very similiar.

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