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my next bolt action: 30-06?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jason41987, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    well, ive been wanting to get a new bolt action for a while now, been focusing on other types of firearms, and really only have a mosin nagant at this point, but i want a good bolt action, i mean, one capable of long range target practice.. as most mosins were made cheap and for a war effort, their accuracy isnt all that great, limited options for .311 bullets, etc

    so i think i decided i want a .30-06, ive considered .308, 6.5 creedmor, .300 winchester magnum, and a couple other 30 caliber magnums.. decided to skip the magnums because of ammo and reloading component availability, the cost is just too high for regular practice and target shooting

    ive come to really like the 208 grain hornady a-max bullet in .308... i could be wrong, but this should work well in a 30-06, i dont think theyd work well in a .308, and the -06 has a bit more powder to push it along, and the .30-06 is common enough to find less expensive ammo and an abundance of reloading supplies

    so does any of this logic seem flawed? would you recommend something besides the .30-06 for a roughly 1000 yard rifle (target shooting, not hunting of course) and which rifles would you recommend? ive been looking at ruger M77s which seem very mauser-like, as well as the savage rifles, but i hear sako and tika are pretty nice too

    i was going to use the money i had save on a new semi automatic.. something more modern, but decided id rather take this money to improve my AK-74, get a new long range bolt action, and then focus my efforts on collecting old military rifles
  2. firesky101

    firesky101 Well-Known Member

    I know you are concerned about component availability, but once you have the brass any of the .30 cals are in the same boat (seeing as you are not concerned about '06). The .300wsm will push that 208gr along much better than the '06. Sure the ol' springfield can do it, but 200gr really starts to stretch the limits of what that cartridge can effectively put downrange w/velocity (much like 180's in a .308).
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    There was a thread here a few years back with some posts by a couple of guys who were using '06s with 30" barrels and Berger VLD bullets (230-grain, IIRC) and getting MOA or better at 1,200 to 1,300 yards.

    I've never shot beyond 500 yards, but my Weatherby Mark V in '06 with a 26" barrel easily shot into one MOA or a tad better. I used Sierra bullets of 150, 165 and 180 grain weight.
  4. chaser_2332

    chaser_2332 Well-Known Member

    imho the 06' doesnt offer enough advantage over a 308 for targets at 1000yds to justify a long action and more powder vs the short you would run on a 308. A 308 shooting 175's has no problems at 1000yds
  5. j2crows

    j2crows Well-Known Member

    I always wanted a 30.06...Until I got one! Sorry , I found no mystic in the '06.
  6. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    another reason for me to go .30-06 is that i do intend on getting a garand, maybe even before this, and at some point a 1903 springfield, and i just cant imagine collecting either of these in any other caliber... but firesky is right, you can make a huge number of other cartridges based on 30-06 brass
  7. adelbridge

    adelbridge Well-Known Member

    If you are reloading looking at .260 Remington
  8. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    I'm biased towards .30-06, so naturally I'll say do it.

    But also, if you're not taking game, don't overlook .243, .260, 6.5, etc. The 6mm-6.5mm cartridges give you high BC bullet options, less recoil, flatter trajectory than the .30-06, and if you're reloading, they're not much to reload. Especially .243. For rifles, Savage and Remington dominate the aftermarket, so if you're going to be building a target rifle, you'll probably have the greatest ease with either of them. Savages tend to be sub-MOA out-of-box, and are generally going to cost less to get to the same level as accuracy in a Remington. Also, be ready to spend quite a bit on a scope. 1000 yards is going to be awfully frustrating looking through a lower-end scope at 50x.
  9. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    what attracts me to the .30-06 though is the availability, if there was a magnum cartridge just as available, i may go for it, but .30-06 is everywhere, i can still be convinced otherwise if anyone knows of any widely available magnum cartridges? 300 winchester magnum is all i can think of being relatively common

    if i was convinced to go with a cartridge that was less available, and stock ammo on it, then id be wanting something incredibly long-range, like a 338 lapua.. but inedbriated is right.. i still need a good scope
  10. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    Since you want to shoot considerable range I would opt for the 6.5 Creedmore, it is the only one on your list designed specifically for that task. Ammo is less expensive then I would have though by a considerable margin, and you can shoot it quite a bit if you want, the mid ranged 6.5mms have next to nothing recoil.
    308 lacks the case volume for my heavier bullets it would not make my A-list for long range shooting, 30-06 has that little extra case volume allowing me to use 200+gr bullets, but load data is slim for match bullets, Hornady does not even publish 06 data for their 208gr A-Max, I wrote them a nasty letter over that. While I love my 06 it will do nothing to paper at long range that my 6.5mm does not do better and with less recoil.
  11. mtrmn

    mtrmn Well-Known Member

    Townsend Whelen: "The 30-06 is never a mistake."
  12. Haxby

    Haxby Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with the '06. For the 208 gr amax, you might want to pick one with a 1/10 twist.
    If you want a factory 30-06 with a long, heavy barrel, for shooting targets at long range, I don't know if there is one.
  13. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    well, i have been getting into my own gunsmithing, currently building my second AK for example, have done some work on some of the other bolt actions i had.. maybe buying an action and customizing the rifle myself would suit me best for those longer bullets?

    should i go this route, could anyone suggest an action i should consider building upon?... i can get a 1903 springfield barreled action for about $200 i could rebarrel and rebuild, maybe hand-carve a new military style stock for it so itll look WWII.. i used to build guitars, so carving stocks requires the tools and skills i already have.. old mauser actions dont cost much either

    any new actions i should look at? if i went with a new action id be interested in one of the solid-top actions with a rail for scope rings
  14. chaser_2332

    chaser_2332 Well-Known Member

  15. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Well-Known Member

    Well if you went with a savage action, you could easily pick up an '06 barrel built to pretty much any spec you want and thread it on yourself. You would also have many different stock options. Have you looked at 30-06AI? I think a normal '06 will probably do what you want, but Nosler's reloading guide sure does show some impressive loads for the AI. If push came to shove you could still fire normal 30-06 from the AI.

    I'd also second Kachok on the 6.5 Creedmoor as an excellent option for you, very precise factory loads are available if you don't reload.
  16. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    ive never heard of .30-06AI, ill have to look that up
  17. mnhntr

    mnhntr Well-Known Member

    This is my response also
  18. publiuss

    publiuss Well-Known Member

    You can NEVER go wrong with an '06.
  19. jason41987

    jason41987 member

    is a 1903 springfield action strong enough for full powered modern loads or does it have to be down-loaded?.. i think building one on a 1903 action, and replicating a military stock for it could be kinda cool, but if the action cant handle it then ill probably go for a savage, or a ruger M77
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    The 03 action is the "weakest" among most modern bolt action designs. It's not "bad weak", of course, but I wouldn't load to the max pressures of most other actions.

    My limited understanding is that the firing pin is the weak link. Rare, for sure, but they can blow out to the rear.

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