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30-06 as a long range round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by o Unforgiven o, Mar 1, 2011.

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  1. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    It seems every time I read a thread about long range shooting, .308 seems to be the undisputed favorite. I am not really into long range shooting and have only shot at greater than 300 yards maybe a dozen times and would be a (self professed) rookie at long range shooting. Most of the rifles I shoot and have grown up with have been an '06, and have only shot a bolt gun in .308 a handful of times with maybe a 100 rounds downrange.

    Firing up the old ballistics calculator and running a few scenarios, I can't find anything that makes the .308 a better choice for long range shooting with a lot of evidence supporting the opposite.

    So I guess what I am asking is aside from the obvious differences of the two, what makes the .308 the preferred long range round compared to the 30-06?
     
  2. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    Cheap .308 ammo makes it popular. I would take an odd six any day!
     
  3. Col. Plink

    Col. Plink Member

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    that's 'aught six' :)

    I've heard 270's are better than. True?
     
  4. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    .308 remains very popular here in Alabama; with the .270 Winchester, 270
    WSM, and .30-06 Springfield running neck n' neck for a close second place.
    However, one friend of mine shoots everything [even a little ole' 60 lb white
    tail] with a .300 Weatherby Magnum. He usually shoots from a 'shoot house"
    and rarely climbs in a tree stand. He owns a total of five Weatherby's, and
    all are chambered in the .300 Weatherby Magnum~! :scrutiny: :eek: :evil:
     
  5. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    I can't really see expense from the view of long range benchrest guys.

    As already stated that is aught six. :neener:
     
  6. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    Maybe, but let's focus on .308 and 30-06. :)
     
  7. Frozen North

    Frozen North Member

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    I aught not call it odd or they might get upset!
     
  8. USSR

    USSR Member

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    First, it's a current military issue round with tons of load development work having been done with it by both military and civilian teams. As such, it has benefited from advances in recent years in both propellants and bullets. Also, match loads are offered commercially by several manufacturers for the .308, while the anemic Federal Gold Medal Match with the 168gr MatchKing bullet is the only match load commercially available for the '06 that I know of. Yes, if you run the numbers over an external ballistics program, the '06 comes out ahead, but these are not match loads using match bullets. Unfortunately, the .30-06 for LR match shooting is a handloading proposition. I used it for 3 years in 1,000 yard F Class, but using it puts you in the unlimited class, and you do not directly compete with the .308 which is in the T/R class. If they ever put the '06 in the T/R class with the .308, I predict that many guys would quickly switch to it due to it's superior ballistics. Try running a 190SMK at 2900fps through your ballistics program, and you will see what a properly handloaded '06 is capable of.

    Don
     
  9. terryknight

    terryknight Member

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    when you know what you like why change

    more match grade ammo is made in 308 than anything else and that could be a reason. When handloading you can come close to 30-06 ballistics with the 308 as well.
     
  10. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    Black Hills makes an excellent 168gr match load for 30-06, ballistics are similar to the Fed GMM. The 168 Fed GMM is a pretty popular choice in .308s for the few match shooters who don't reload, and all things equal the 30-06 has an advantage, even though it is a relatively light load for the caliber.

    Hornady had some heavier offerings in their light magnum line, although that has been discontinued and replaced with the superformance line. There is a 180gr loading that I'd like to get my hands on, even though its not advertised as "match" ammo.

    While heavier bullet choices are appealing, I have found that I get the best performance out of my -06 with 168s all the way to 600m. Haven't done enough shooting beyond that to know how much of a difference 190s might make.

    Yes, this sucks. Fortunately the match at my local club allows me to use my 30-06... we're not competing for anything more than bragging rights. Plus, most guys are shooting hotter loads from their .308s than I am.
     
  11. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    So what you are saying is 30-06 is superior to the .308 with a few caveats like different classes, and lack of good match ammo correct?
     
  12. bk42261

    bk42261 Member

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    Short action "stiffer"?

    I have read that the short action for the .308 makes for a more solid, or "stiffer" action. I don't shoot long range here in Maine, so I can't say if that's true.
     
  13. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    For long range target shooting, with handloads, yes. For long range hunting, definitely.

    For absolute accuracy within about 600m, maybe. There is a bit of dispute over differences in the inherent accuracy of the cartridges, with many claiming the shorter powder column in the .308 allows for more consistent and uniform ignition, which translates to better accuracy. However, I have a 30-06 that is an honest 1/4 minute gun, so I really don't think it makes that much of a difference.
     
  14. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    That and many factory tactical and target rifles are chambered for the .308. Also the .
    .308 is a higher pressure cartridge in factory loads.
     
  15. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    How does that translate into improved accuracy?
     
  16. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Ballistically, yes, with proper handloads.

    Not with the bullet weights most suited to the .30-06's case capacity. I run 190SMK's at 2900fps out of my '06 - the best I can do with my .308 is 2700fps. I don't consider 200fps insignificant.

    Don
     
  17. blackops

    blackops Member

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    I don't get how you do this Don. I run 165gr and can only pull like 2800 fps tops out of my 06 hunting rifle.
     
  18. merlin390

    merlin390 Member

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    I remember a Marine who won the Wimbledon Cup in 1965 using a 30-06.
     
  19. crossrhodes

    crossrhodes Member

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    Both Are Good

    Let's put it this way. A lot of bad guys and deer have been taken with both.
    It depends who you ask and you'll get many different answer on WHY. The soldier's load had an influence too, one of the many reasons they/we went to 5.56. In short I cant say anything really bad about ether round.
     
  20. gearchecker

    gearchecker Member

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    Can somebody give some actual ballistics on the 06' and the .308?
    We should assume the same basic rifle design for both. Same barrel length, twist rate & same manufacturer for both rifles

    Compare both with a "Match Grade" load 165 Gr. bullet of equal design.
    How do they compare at 300, 400 & 600 yds for bullet drop and velocities?

    I have a modified Savage 30-06 and a Remington .308. I prefer the 30-06 for all it does for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  21. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    He's definitely going well above maximum published loads, but you can get away when shooting older cartridges out of modern guns... if you are VERY careful during load development.

    Sierra has max loadings for the 190 SMK maxing out at around 2700 FPS, still not shabby.

    A 30-06 will give about 200 fps more on most .30 cal bullet weights.
     
  22. crossrhodes

    crossrhodes Member

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    Ballistics

    Pick up any reloading manual and look in the external ballistics section or go on line to your favorite bullet, powder of ammo manufacturer and they will have an on line program for you to compare.
     
  23. gearchecker

    gearchecker Member

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    I've never reloaded, so I never thought about getting a manual for the ballistic information. I guess it's another information source I should be looking into.
    thansk for the info.
     
  24. Cryogaijin

    Cryogaijin Member

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    I did some research on this 6 years ago as I was thinking about getting back into firearms ownership. The answer I came up with that made the most sense was that the .308 is a shorter case, which allows the powder to burn more evenly. While the 30-06 may have an extra 100 fps on the .308 in the same load, the smoother burning .308 leads to a greater inherant accuracy.

    This is also part of the reason for the recent upsurge in "short magnums," improved internal ballistics. . . and fitting into a shorter bolt gun.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  25. winchester1886

    winchester1886 Member

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    If I remember right the 30-06 held the record at Wimbledon England until 1923 and was beaten out by the 300 H&H mag.I think it was for 1,000 yards.
     
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