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30-06 or .300 Help?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Northslope Nimrod, Aug 13, 2004.

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  1. Northslope Nimrod

    Northslope Nimrod Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    Northern Utah
    The issue: I have hunted big game with a 30-06 for over 15 years. It has served me well. However, last year I took a record bull at 400 yards....Two shots took him down...One would have been sufficient. However, I doubted my cartidge at that range and considered myself lucky to hit him. (I'm not a precission shooter...I don't use mil dots or any other specific technique for long distance....I just guess). I'm only concerned about elk hunting....BIG game. Most shots are close but occassionally I must reach out there. I also hike VERY far and appreciate a light gun.

    Question: Should I buy a .300 to fill this niche? Are the ballistics that much better for long range elk shots? Will my 30-06 suffice? Are there 30-06 rounds that are loaded "hotter" for those long distance shots?

    Question: Should I get a WSM due to the lighter weight? Which has the cheapest bullets?
  2. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 24, 2002
    Fort Collins, CO, USA.
    There's no need to "guess" holdover.

    Use a scope with an exposed elevation knob. Zero your load where-ever you want, plug it all into a ballistic computer, and write it down on a small "MOA hold-over" card on your stock. From a supported position, hits on 10x10" squares should be easy to 500 yards.

    Something like this: [​IMG]
  3. Savage99

    Savage99 Member

    Aug 13, 2004

    There is more than one right answer to upgrade your long range hunting. Today the laser rangefinders have made it much easier to be precise in estimation.

    As to the cartridge I consider the 30-06 to be outstanding. When one goes to the 300 magnums there is even more recoil. You could try high energy loads from Hornady and Federal and see how they shoot in your rifle.

    I would not bother with a scope with elevation knobs. If you want to try them the StoneyPoint knobs only cost a few bucks and fit many scopes.

    Download the free program "PointBlank" at www.huntingnut.com and carry a copy of the data.
  4. Red_SC

    Red_SC Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    South Carolina
    Start reloading.

    What kind of rifle are you hunting with? The .30-06 is purposefully downloaded because there are alot of 100-year-old guns around that couldn't handle the stress of a hotter load. If your gun is modern, you can safely load it hotter to get more on-target energy. Factory .30-06 loads are barely more powerful than the much smaller .308 Win rounds. With handloads, you can easily and safely bump the power up until they are about midway between the .308 and .300 Win Mag.

    Go to SnipersHide.com and do some a search. There are a couple of guys who are taking their .30-06's to 1000 and 1200 yards regularly with warmer loads. It is easily capable of taking elk at 400-500 yards.

    As far as hitting consistantly at longer range, the only thing that will help you is a little practice. Target turrets are great, I have them on a couple of rifles. But, if you don't practice with them at longer range, you won't know how much elevation and windage to dial in for the range and wind. And, at the ranges you're interested in, you can figure out how much to hold over with a duplex recticle without much problem. Just remember that the distance between the thick part of the post and the middle of the crosshairs changes when you change the scope's power!
  5. priv8ter

    priv8ter Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Poulsbo, Wa
    I Agree

    I'm gonna go along with everyone else. From personal experience, there is no need to doubt that the .30-06 has the ENERGY to get the job done on an elk out to 400 yards.

    Like eveyone else says, the trick is to either reload, or pick a particular factory load and Stick With It. Learn the ballistics, and get the laser range finder...you should be a-okay.

    But, if you want to spend more money for kick, and still have a load where you need to hold high at 400 yards(just not as much) then buy all means, get a .300 Magnum.

  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    With modern loads, today's .30-06 is the equivallent of yester-year's .300 Mag. If you have access to an external ballistics program, plug in a decent zero (say 225 yards) and you'll see how little you gain, trajectory-wise with a .300 Mag.
  7. mete

    mete Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    For elk at 400 yds I'd get a rangefinder and use a 300 win or better yet a 338win. Lots of practice at that range would also be valuable.
  8. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    The .30-06 will do the trick, just get better and practice more with long range shots. A laser rangefinder or a Shepheard ( I believe it is) scope which has little circles representing say a deer sized chest at a certain distance make it easy to snap shoot one round out to ungodly distances (600+ yards) on game animals or human targets depending on the scope.

    The mildot holdover would work too. Barnes or maybe Hornady makes a Light Magnum round, which is basically a .30-06 +P (not for use in old Springfields, etc but in a modern hunting rifle, just fine) for exactly this sort of situation.
  9. Marshall

    Marshall Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Oklahoma, Green Country
    I think the answer to your question is clearly stated above! :p
  10. LtBlue425

    LtBlue425 Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    You may want to consider one of the short magnums available. More power plus a short action. On the 308 vs 30-06, I've owned more 30-06's than 308 but have hunted more with 308 rifles since I like the short bolt throw. There isn't an animal around that has or would notice the difference being hit with an 06 or 308.
  11. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

    Mar 9, 2003
    Fairbanksan in Aleutian Hell
    Your .30-06 will everything you need it to do. You can handload your '06 hotter for the longer range shots or you can go with factory ammo.
    Federal High Energy (Vital-Shok) and Hornady Light Magnum loads push the .30-06 into .300 H&H performance territory. They also have the added benefit of being available with premium bullets from Nosler, Trophy Bonded, and Barnes. Hornady of course, uses their own bullets in their Light Magnums including the standard Interlock, SST and the newer Interbond.
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