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.270 v. .30-30 v. 30-06

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by danxt, Oct 15, 2008.

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  1. danxt

    danxt Member

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    Hi there,
    Kind of a newb with rifles, here. Wondering for my first deer rifle if someone could compare these three calibers and give me the strong/weak points of each caliber.
    This would really help me decide.
    I am interested in things like "knock down power", effective range, product availability/versatility, and accuracy.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    Welcome!

    Lot's of articles on line, and searchable here. In short, the .30-06 Sprg is the best bet for what you described.

    Doc2005
     
  3. danxt

    danxt Member

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    Thanks Doc,
    But I was hoping to get some explanations as to WHY.
    Or some links to articles or threads that are worth reading.
     
  4. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    For all around versitility the .30-06 is the best bet. The 270 is not quite as versitile, but has a little less recoil (not much less). If you are dealing with 100 yards or less and in heavy timber. The .30-30 Lever is hard to beat.
     
  5. rondog

    rondog Member

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    A lot depends on where you're hunting, how big the deer are, what kind of ranges you're expecting, brush, trees, will you ever hunt anything else, etc. A 30-30 is a great deer gun in brush and short distances. A .270 will take 'em down farther out. A 30-06 will hit hard at longer ranges, like in the mountains, and will also work well for elk, moose, bear, etc. I personally would go with the '06, and choose my ammo to suit the need, but I live in Colorado.
     
  6. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    First, you are about to get bombarded by those who do not believe in "knock down power". There is no difference in knock down power between a .223 and a 45-70. The energy transferred by a bullet to a body is so concentrated and instantaneous as to not be capable of knocking anything over. (I do not believe this to be true in all circumstances.)

    If this is correct, then the two ways bullets kill are cavity trauma, and penetration. The cavity diameter of the 30-30 and the -06 will be about the same, since they are both .30 caliber bullets, and you would want to use good expanding bullets with either one.

    More venison has been put on the table with a 30-30 than any other cartridge. The elk population in America was seriously depleted with 30-30s. BUT, this was mostly either before much better cartridges were introduced, or while they were in the process of taking hold in the early 20th century. The 30-30 was the first cartridge introduced with the intent of being used with smokeless powder, a great improvement, but with the addition of jacketed, pointed bullets, cartridges were greatly improved again, leaving it in the dust. the 30-30 was designed to be used in lever-action, tubular magazine fed rifles. This meant that you couldn't put hard, pointed bullets in it, because the cartridges lined up in the magazine, nose to primer, would start going off as you fired the rifle. It wasn't until the last few years with the new (Hornady?) "Lever evolution" cartridges with the pointed nylon tip that we have been able to stretch the velocity of lever gun cartridges. IN THIS, the 30-30 doesn't really compare to the .270 or -06, it should be compared to other lever gun cartridges. (The ones I'm familiar with would include carbines chambered in pistol cartridges and older rounds like the .35 Remington.) Lever guns using the bigger cartridges would have to use a box magazine, not a tube magazine. I know such guns exist, but the ones I know of are chambered in short action calibers. (Like the .308.) If someone makes leverguns with box magazines chambered for long-action cartridges, I'm not aware of it. (Look at the Marlin and Winchester websites.) You might first decide if you prefer a lever gun or a different action. (Bolt, semi-auto, or pump.) This is where you you will find .270 and -06.

    The .270 is a 30-06 shell casing necked down to a .27 caliber bullet. This means that the bullet is lighter and has a smaller diameter, but goes faster. (You can load a .270 into a 30-06 chamber and not realize it by feel. DO NOT TRY THIS.) There is even one step further, the 25-06 is the same cartridge necked-down to take a .25 caliber bullet, which is faster and lighter still. We gun guys have argued for years, which is better, .270 or 30-06? The answer is, for most hunters and shooters, there is absolutely no difference at all. You have to shoot long distances, and with a lot of different loads for each, before you would know the difference. I have a couple of rifles for both, and when I hunt deer or elk, honestly, it depends on my mood, to determine which one I carry. Having said that. the -06 probably has more commercial loads and variety available off the shelf. You can get -06 loads anywhere from in the low-100 grain range to the 220 grain range. (Although I think 180-200 is the practical maximum for that round.)
     
  7. jbech123

    jbech123 Member

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    not the be all/end all...

    but the link below has a pretty common sense approach. There are some good articles under the bullets and ballistics section. If you want more specific advice, we'd need a bit more info on what you plan to do with the rifle. Although you said deer, are you talking whitetails in Florida, or mulies in Saskatchewan, or couse deer in AZ? Are you thinking you will do some occasional elk hunting? All 3 calibers you mentioned are proven and fantastic, but they are not designed to do the same thing. Many deer have been taken with all 3, so you will be fine no matter which you choose. Obviously there is overlap and both can be used for deer, but a 30-30 and a .270 are as different as Ford Mustang and a pickup truck.



    http://www.chuckhawks.com/index2d.rifles.htm
     
  8. georgeky

    georgeky Member

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    The Browning BLR is available in short or long actions. Even chambered in the magnum calibers such a 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag and others.
     
  9. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    What you need to ask yourself is what kind of ranges you will be shooting at. Any animal will be hard to kill if you don't have the skill or patience to place a shot in the vitals. Of the cartridges you named, all are very capable of taking elk sized game. The 25-06 has been argued to be capable of taking elk, but bullet selection, along with shot placement, is especially paramount.

    The benefit of a cartridge with a smaller diameter and lighter bullet in the same case (270 vs 30-06) is a faster muzzle velocity and a flatter trajectory when using similar bullets, but this is kind of circumstantial as the big factor is ballistic coefficient along with muzzle velocity. The faster the bullet gets there, the less time gravity will have to effect it. The downside of using a lighter bullet is less energy at range, but the amount of energy required to kill an animal is certainly not 3000 ft/lbs.

    What the terrain looks like where you are hunting should be the deciding factor. Where I hunt, 100 yard shots are not unheard of, while 400 yard shots (ridge to ridge) are well within the realm of possibility. I shot a calf elk at roughly 350 yards last week, so the 30-30 isn't exactly ideal, but the 270 is a great choice, with the 30-06 in close second. The rifle I used was a 25-06, but we weren't planning on seeing any elk, happened to get lucky ;).

    In the end, pick a cartridge that fits your hunting needs and practice practice practice.

    Edit: also, remember that the 270 will do the same job as the 30-06 with less recoil, so you can either carry a lighter rifle or not get kicked as bad. I've noticed that recoil is not as much of an issue when I'm focusing on shooting a critter as opposed to a piece of paper, but if you are recoil sensitive or not very husky, the 30-06 may be too much for you. You can always down-load if you hand load or buy managed recoil ammo, but what's the point of shooting a large cartridge if you're not going to shoot full house hunting loads?
     
  10. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    I'd have to go with the 30-06 as well for what you are describing. However, if you can find one of each to try beforehand it would really help you to decide. Do you know anyone at all that hunts? Or... where do you live? Maybe you are close to one of us and we could help you out?
     
  11. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Wow!! The man ask for information on .270, .30-06 and .30-30...I can't believe how many left out the .30-30 and substituted something else...Must be jealous of the .30-30 history...
     
  12. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    Short memories ;). Most would rule out the 30-30 due to it's limitations, but for me it's hard to recommend without knowing where he's shooting.
     
  13. danxt

    danxt Member

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    Thank you for all your comments so far.
    I do appreciate you taking your time to educate me.

    I have been shooting for years, but never owned my own.
    The past several years, I have been using a savage 110 .243 for deer hunting, and have found it to be adequate for my needs. However, I am skeptical of its abilities in the event that I get to go elk hunting in colorado sometime.

    Where I hunt: North Woods of Missouri.
    The woods are thick, and most likely would not have a shot at more than 150 yards.
    However, this does not mean that I will always hunt the north woods of missouri where the woods are thick.

    A couple have mentioned the "limitations" of the 30-30. I do not know what these limitations are.
    I understand that the 30-30 and 30-06 are the same caliber, but what does the -06 and the -30 represent?
     
  14. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    -30 is the amount of black powder the cartridge is loaded with, and -06 is the year of it's conception iirc. I don't know the ballistics of a standard 30-30 loading off the top of my head, but past 200 yards the combination of low ballistic coefficient and mediocre muzzle velocity make it drop considerably. For 150 yards you should be golden, assuming you've spent plenty of time behind the trigger. I'm not sure about modern 30-30 ammo in older rifles, but Hornady's leverevolution ammo is supposed to be the bees knees, i think I read somewhere they are pushing 300 fps. The major advancement is the use of soft polymer tips for increased BC; the problem was with tube fed rifles having spitzer bullets denting a primer from the round in front of it when the rifle is fired.

    Then again, I'm not all that knowledgeable on the subject so don't write that in ink.
     
  15. JeffDilla

    JeffDilla Member

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    I'm not trying to hijack this thread, and I think it's relative to the OP's question, but why is the 30-30 better in thick woods (shorter distance shots?) as opposed to the 30-06 or .270? I'm curious because when I used to go hunting with my grandfather when I was young, he used to always give me the 30-30, saying it was a better woods gun, while he'd use his .270 or .308. I always figured it was him just being thoughtful and giving me the gun with lighter recoil because I was young, masking it with the explanation of it being a "better woods gun", but it seems that this is actually the case. Is the 30-30 better in woods for shorter distance shots because of the different trajectory?
     
  16. danxt

    danxt Member

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    Great question JeffDilla

    I was wondering the same thing... but forgot to put that question in my last post.
     
  17. JeffDilla

    JeffDilla Member

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    I'm hoping it's not just because my grandfather thought I was a wuss.
     
  18. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Cartridge names do not always make sense. If you factor in names that aren't really the caliber they represent, and cartridges that are named after persons other than the one who actually invented, they make sense less than half the time. In the case of the 30-06 Springfield, it is named so because it is a .30 caliber bullet, in a rifle built by Springfield Armory in 1906. It was basically an improvement of the 30-03 cartridge, with several modernizations in the design.

    The .30-06 Springfield cartridge (pronounced “thirty-ought-six” or "thirty-oh-six") or 7.62 x 63 mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 (hence “06”) and standardized, used until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy and .30 US Army (also called .30-40 Krag). The .30-06 remained the US Army's main cartridge for nearly 50 years before it was finally replaced by the 7.62 x 51 mm (7.62mm NATO, commercial .308 Winchester).

    Stolen from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30-06

    also: In the case of the 30-30, it was so named because it's a .30 caliber bullet, loaded with 30 grains of smokeless powder.

    Naming

    Although the original name is .30 WCF, the -30 in the designation was added to the name by Marlin, who did not want to put the name of rival Winchester on their rifles when they were chambered for the cartridge soon after its introduction[3]. The -30 stands for the standard load of 30 grains (1.9 g) of early smokeless powder, which was on par with IMR/DuPont's 4064. Over time Marlin's variation on the name stuck, though ".30 WCF" is also used.

    again stolen from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.30-30_Winchester

    (I didn't know that about the 30-30, that's why I looked it up.) Some cartridges exist only because one was already in existence, and someone improved it with a different bullet type or powder load, to be able to use it in a different kind of rifle, and yanked recognition away from the original cartridge.

    The power of the 30-30 peters out after about 200 yards. (Perhaps more with some modern improvements.) Remember, this cartridge is so old, most hunters had neither the talent, the optics, nor the inclination to take shots beyond 200 yards anyway, so it was perfectly fine. There are probably old-timers who can shoot their lever guns further than that, from horseback, but I don't know any of them. It wasn't until they invented the jacketed spitzer bullet, that could handle bigger shell casings and higher velocities without breaking up in the barrel, that anyone thought it was necessary to issue such a rifle to the regular rank and file. (Model 1903-A3 Enfield rifles, with WWI technology, in the hands of good shooters, have taken shots beyond 1000 yards.)

    I know guys who hunt elk with a .243. I know guys who hunt mule deer with a .223. My dad killed three with a M-1 .30 Carbine. (A short pistol cartridge.) Doesn't mean I am going to try it. I don't know that I am either that lucky OR that good. :)
     
  19. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Bush gun

    For the last few years, me and my dad have been hunting in varied terrain, sometimes thick sagebrush, and his favorite rifle for it is his old Remington 760 in .257 Roberts. He's got a scope on elevated rings so he can still use the sights. I've been thinking lately, I would love a Remington 7600 pump with a short barrel, in .308 for the same purpose.
     
  20. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    The lever guns chambered in 30-30 handle so much better in the dense woods. Shorter barrel and lighter weight means a lot in dense woods.
     
  21. JeffDilla

    JeffDilla Member

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    Ahh, that makes sense. That never even crossed my mind. I guess I was thinking only in terms of ballistics, thanks!
     
  22. maineac

    maineac Member

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    I think the 30-30 has been called the brush gun as to its length and quick lever action.You have to remember the back in the days of the 30-30 being so popular there wasn't as large a gun choice and the lightness and shortness made it ideal in thick woods when fighting brush and branches,hence being called brush gun
     
  23. Wolfgang2000

    Wolfgang2000 Member

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    First I'm not knocking the 30-30. It's a great round.

    That said the 3006 is probably the most versatile round in this country. You can get factory loads from 110 to 220 grns. You use to be able to get 55 grn sabot rounds. You can hunt most anything in the lower 48, and you can find rounds at any mom and pop store that sells ammo. You can still find surplus ammo for plinking.

    I've seen everything from crows to Brown Bear taken with it.

    There is nothing "wrong" with the other rounds. They may even have and advantage in some areas. But as a general purpose round, the old 3006 spanks the but of the other two.
     
  24. bejay

    bejay Member

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    you cant go wrong with the 270 or the 30-06 the 30-06 may have more bullet options but they are both very similiar ballistic wise, even at close ranges they are still superior to the 30-30 and the 30-30 should be removed from your list the 30-30 limitations are its lower velocity and energy produced while alot will say its the best round ever and it has killed alot of deer mostly because it been around forever, it has also wounded alot of deer even when point of impact was in a vital area well within the guns range it just didnt have the energy to penetrate like a 270 or 30-06 does.
     
  25. georgeky

    georgeky Member

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    I killed two deer with one shot from a Marlin 30-30 at 70 yards. The Rem CL 170 grain bullet completly passed through both deer. One fell dead the other ran about 35 yards and fell dead. Dead is dead. The 30-30 has survived this long for a reason. It works and works well under 200 yards.
     
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