06 vs 08 and variants - which is better and why?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ru4real, Jan 22, 2022.

  1. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    I’m a big fan of 243, 7mm-08, 308, 338 Federal, 358 Winchester…all based on the 308 case.

    The older generation seems to have embraced the 25-06, 280 Remington, 30-06, 338-06, 35 Whelen…from the 30-06 case, none of which I have a single gun chambered in.

    One might be more inherently accurate. One is more powerful. Years ago, did I go down the wrong path?

    Note: I use 7mm Rem Mag for hunting distances past 300 yards.
     
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  2. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    No practical difference for most bullet weights. Except you can get a shorter action gun. I am an old guy with a .280 and a ‘06. I would go the 08 route if starting over. Or maybe just go to the newer fat cases. They have the advantage of not chambering in the older weak actions so they can load them to the max.
     
  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Defends on what the action will fit for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  4. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    Post WW2 the country was awash in 30-06 surplus ammo and rifles. It was the round that won the war, for us, and pretty much every hunter had also served so it was a natural fit. 308 came along later and was embraced by a younger generation. Neither is better than the other, both have their positives and negatives.
     
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  5. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    I can see both points. And in hindsight, if I went the 280 route instead of 7mm Rem Mag, I could have saved a lot of time and money building an accurate 600 yard hunting rig.
     
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  6. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    That depends. Do you like heavy bullets? The .308 compares well to the .30-06 until you want 200 or 220 grain bullets. The .308 just doesn’t have enough case capacity at that point.

    How often do you use 220 grain bullets in your -06? Because I’d rather have a lighter gun, all other things being equal.

    I’m still hoping for a .25-06 equivalent in a short action.
     
  7. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Fair point.

    The 358 Winchester does pretty well with 200, 225 and 250 grain bullets. But again, not 35 Whelen well.
     
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  8. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Basically that... in a nutshell.
     
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  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    The last 2-3generations born in the US don’t really care about either, so there’s that…
     
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  10. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Yea, probably so! After all, if you can get a 9mil in a rifle, why would you need something else? :)
     
  11. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I don't think you went down the wrong path. The 06 family of cases hold more powder, have a slight advantage with heavy bullets and a slightly longer range. These advantages are so small in my opinion that the choice becomes a personal choice. I went the 08 route. But I do have a few 06's!

    As far as the 308 family goes, has anyone held one of the Creedmoors up next to a 308? Cousins???

    Bill M mentioned the short fat cases. It seems like a good concept but doesn't appear to be catching on. I seldom find WSM or WSSM brass and only know a handful of shooters that have them. For the record, I do have a 300WSM.
     
  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Um…
     
  13. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    .260 Rem
     
  14. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    That's a 26cal.

    There was a 25cal -08 wildcat though.

    25 Souper
     
  15. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    WWI left the surplus of .30-06. Generations grew up shooting .30-06.
    40 years later and Korea before .308 came into being. MANY have their first experience with firearms in the military. And it gets more prevalent every year.
    Vietnam brought the .223 and 60 years later, still the military cartridge in use.


    I have .30-06, but I also have .260 Rem and .223, in bolt action. IF I feel a need for heavier bullets, .45-70 gets the nod.
     
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  16. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    Anything is available in a wildcat, if you are willing to pay for it.


    Grandson bought a .30-06 and a box of Remington 180 gr HogBust'r. They kicked.
    Loaded him some 120gr powder coated bullets @ 2600 fps. A mid-range .25-06 equivalent. It is accurate, easy recoil and works great on deer.
    Don't load .308, but no reason it wouldn't work.
     
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  17. md7

    md7 Member

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    Speaking strictly from a medium sized game, hunting perspective re: the calibers mentioned. If a caliber is effectively taking game at the distances I’m hunting, then no mistake or wrong path has been taken.

    I use a 270 Win. For my purposes, a 30-06, 308, 7-08, or any number of others would also be fine and I would happily use them if it’s what I had.

    If it effectively kills game at the distance I need, then I’ll use it and I don’t think twice about any other factors.
     
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  18. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    "Not enough difference to make a difference" as they say. Yes some of us still cling to the .30US. I for one see no "con", reason, or negative one could possibly put on the .30-06, that matters in actual real life.

    I still cling to heavy bullets, and shoot 220's in both the '06 and the 7.92X57mm. However, I don't use scopes, and have no desire to shoot over 150 yards. If I see "the trophy of a lifetime" 300 yards away, I say: "good luck old fellow, I hope you live through the season!!!" And go on with my life. !

    But of course, I am of a dying breed. Soon we will be no more! :( Oh woe is us!
     
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  19. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I don't know, Ru4real. I'm pretty old (74 soon), and while I like the 30-06 a lot, I'm not big on many of its "offspring." I mean, I'm okay with the 35 Whelen, but I just never had much use for the "necked down" 30-06 cartridges - and especially not the 25-06.
    On the other hand, even though I'm kinda old, I started with a 308 Winchester in 1962 or 1963. And now that the mountains have grown steeper and taller, I'm considering going back to the 308 Winchester in a lightweight "mountain rifle" of some kind. Either that, or a "mountain rifle" chambered for the 7mm-08 - my wife has had two 7mm-08s, and they both work exceptionally well on mule deer.
    On the other, other hand, I'm no fonder of 243s than I am 25-06s. As far as I'm concerned, both cartridges are okay for coyotes, but so is my 22-250. And while the 358 Winchester is interesting to me, it's not interesting enough for me to buy one.;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
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  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Not if you are happy.

    All things being equal the 30-06, having more case capacity is going to have an advantage as to power.

    308 has an advantage of being more prolific and fitting in short actions.

    “Better” is subjective and being so depends on your and our feelings, unless something changed since last night we are never going to agree across the board on that.
     
  21. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I chose the '06 because when I bought a deer rifle as the 308 was just barely in diapers. Later a guy I hunted with went with the 308. It seemed that each killed the deer just as dead and just as quickly. Now I would choose one of the 6.5 loadings.
     
  22. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Member

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    Other than the 270 and 30-06, the 06 cases seem to be rapidly losing what little commercial viability they had. At the 308 end, it seems to be the 243 and 308, the rest not so much anymore. The recent trend has been to pick whatever case works best, as with the 6.5 CM. We have so many rifle cartridges that are viable on deer and elk sized game at any conceivable range, that it is becoming hard to keep track of them.
     
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  23. Mr. Hill

    Mr. Hill Member

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    Completely subjective and probably applies to myself only, but I like the slightly reduced recoil impulse, combined with the less irritating retort, of the .308 Winchester over the .06. Jmho.
     
  24. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I lean toward the 06 and have since the 50s. I have both 270 and 30-06. Heck the 45 acp case is also the 06 case base.
    Skip ahead the 50 plus years I never owned the 08, I now have a set of 308 dies in route for my 1916 Spanish Mauser. Oh well.
     
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  25. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The last numbers I saw were from 2018. 30-06 and 270 had both fallen way out of the top list of cartridges sold. They were lumped together along with all the rest in the "Other" category. Some new rifles being introduced aren't even offered in 30-06 or 270 any longer. There are still a butt load of rifles out there in those cartridges but the trend is toward shorter versions. And I've moved in that direction.

    I started hunting in the 1970's with a 30-06 and used it almost exclusively for over 40 years. I tried 280, 338-06, 35 Whelen, 7mm Rem mag, 300 WM, 300 WSM, 30-30, 35 Rem and 45-70 briefly at times, but always came back to 30-06.

    I moved to 308 about a dozen years ago and have no regrets. I sold everything else except for one 30-06 with too much history to sell. But I haven't hunted with it in years.

    Here is why. In the 2000's a 308 will beat WW-1 or WW-2 era 30-06 performance by a wide margin. With the better handloads I can still beat most typical 30-06 factory loads today. Of course, with hand loads 30-06 will always beat 308. But you reach a point where you have to ask, why? If a 30-06 was enough in the 1960's, 308 beats that today. And 308 has proven to be slightly more accurate with less recoil, and available in lighter, more compact rifles. It's a win-win-win situation.

    Then be realistic about your skills. A 308 has enough power to take down an elk at ranges out to 500 yards +. Can you shoot well enough to do that? If not, why do you need a cartridge that will extend that range farther. Sure, some cartridges shoot flatter, but with modern optics and cheap range finders a flat trajectory isn't nearly as important as before.

    The trend with most guys now is toward the 308 based cartridges. And in a roundabout way the 6.5CM is a descendant of the 308. In fact, the majority of the most used cartridges today can be considered the descendants of the 7X57 introduced in the 1890's.

    The guys who want more performance are moving toward the 300 WM and other newer 30, 7mm, and 6.5mm magnum cartridges. Even though they may not have the word "magnum" on the headstamp. The 30-06 based cartridges are sort of stuck in the middle and being left behind.
     
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