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30-06 still King?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 357smallbore, Apr 20, 2019.

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  1. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    If rumors that the 30-06 case is such a poor design are true, it seems strange that so many have found it quite satisfactory as is over the years and still others have used it as a basis for wildcats from 223-06 to 35 Whelen.

    Obviously, no one round can be perfect for every hunting situation, but the '06 covers more bases than most and has been produced in everything from lever action to double rifles for a long, long time. May not be king, but dang sure a member of the royal court!:rofl:


    " The .30-06 Cartridge Family

    16GH-CartFamily.jpg
    By Ron Spomer

    Offspring of the .30-06 are popular and effective, just like their Ma.

    Most hunters know that the .30-06 Springfield, now 105 years old, has proven to be one of the most versatile hunting cartridges in the world. It’s been used to take everything from elfin squirrels to enormous elephants.

    Many hunters might not know that the .30-06 has also reproduced. That’s right. The mother cartridge has spawned a nice little family of other famous cartridges. You’ve probably shot some. You may own some and not even realize it.

    The .30-06 was created in response to the amazing and deadly performance of the German 7x57mm Mauser used by Spanish soldiers in Cuba during the Spanish-American War of 1898. This was one of the first military cartridges to use smokeless power to propel a spire-point bullet at high velocity. It flew flat enough to prove deadly when Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were attempting to take San Juan Hill in Cuba.

    16GH-CartFamily-1.jpg While the U.S. forces with their slower blackpowder-powered .30 Krag rifles were ultimately successful, it was obvious that America needed to upgrade its firepower. The .30-06 was developed at the Springfield Armory and adopted in 1906. Just three years later, Roosevelt was hunting with a sporterized .30-06 Springfield in Africa, and that set the stage for its quick rise to prominence.

    The cartridge’s ballistics is what truly continues to make it famous. It will fire bullets from 100 grains to 220 grains at velocities from 3,400 fps to 2,500 fps, respectively. This makes it suitable for everything, though perhaps ideal for nothing as critics claim. One doubts any animals shot with it would concur. Recoil from a .30-06 firing a 180-grain bullet from an 8-pound rifle is generally considered all the average hunter can easily tolerate for sustained shooting.

    The desire to make the .30-06 something better than the all-round cartridge it is has long inspired wildcatters to enlarge and reduce its neck. This has resulted in a family of cartridges nearly as well known as the original. Of these, the most successful is the .270 Winchester introduced in 1925.

    While essentially nothing more than .30-06 brass necked down to take a .277-inch bullet, the .270 is slightly longer to prevent it from being inserted into a .30-06 chamber.

    With a 130-grain bullet, the .270 shoots about 100 fps faster and subsequently flatter than the .30-06 pushing a 150-grain slug, making it popular in open-country hunting for mule deer, pronghorns and sheep. With a 150-grain bullet, the .270 has proven deadly on elk, moose and even the biggest bears, and 90- to 100-grain bullets at 3,600 and 3,400 fps make it an effective, comfortable-to-shoot varmint round.

    The .257 version of the .30-06, now known as the .25-06 Remington, actually pre-dates the .270. In 1920, it was introduced as the .25 Niedner wildcat to outperform the .250 Savage and another wildcat, the .257 Roberts. Remington didn’t legitimize it as a factory round until 1969. The cartridge was initially presented as a super-fast, long-range varmint tool throwing bullets as light as 75 grains as fast as 3,700 fps.

    Heavier 100-grain pills at 3,300 fps and 120-grain slugs at 3,000 fps make it ideal for open-country game. Premium controlled-expansion bullets in the higher weights made the .25-06 adequate for elk, but it is ideal as a pronghorn/mule deer/coyote rifle. The only faster commercial quarter-bore is the .257 Weatherby Magnum.

    16GH-CartFamily-2.jpg There is so little difference between a .277 and .284 bullet that many wouldn’t bother, but Remington necked down the .30-06 to make the .280 Remington in 1957. From the start, it had trouble competing with the established .270 Winchester, even though it can be argued .284 bullets make the .280 Rem slightly deadlier on larger game.

    Remington’s release of the 7mm Rem Mag in 1962 didn’t help .280 sales, so in 1979 Remington reintroduced it as the 7mm-06, then changed the name a few months later to 7mm Remington Express. That sounded too much like the 7mm Rem Mag, so a few years later, Remington went back to the original .280 Rem. Despite the name confusion, it remains an excellent all-round big game cartridge performing a smidgen better than the .270 Win and within 100 to 200 fps of its magnum cousin.

    Necking up the .30-06 to accept a .357 bullet in 1922 resulted in the superb .35 Whelen. Despite devastating punch and reasonable recoil suitable for any game in North America and most in Africa, the .35 Whelen didn’t reach commercial status until 1988, when Remington finally released it. They wisely kept the original wildcat name.

    Fans of this .35 claim it hits like a .375 H&H with less recoil. Trajectory is flat enough for a Maximum Point-Blank Range of 325 yards with a 10-inch target. It’s easily flat enough for big game trajectories to 300 yards.

    Even less popular than the .35 Whelen is the .338-06. This was another wildcat with an interesting past. First loaded with .333 bullets by Elmer Keith and friends and labeled the .333 OKH in 1945, the round suffered from a paucity of .333 bullets.

    16GH-CartFamily-3.jpg None were made in the U.S. But when Winchester released its .338 Win Mag in 1959, folks expanded their .30-06 brass to fit the slightly wider bullets, rebarreled their rifles and enjoyed shooting 200- to 250-grain .338 bullets 2,800 to 2,550 fps, making this another superb, reasonably mild-recoiling cartridge for big deer, bears, elk and moose.

    With the .338 Win Mag to compete against on one end and the .30-06 on the other, the .338-06 never drew a huge crowd. Nonetheless, the A-Square company legitimized it in 1998, and Weatherby started chambering rifles for it three years later. This is another excellent but overlooked child of the .30-06.

    Wildcatters have necked the ’06 case to just about every other bullet diameter possible, but none have achieved status as a factory round. A .243 version by Kenny Jarrett is called the .243 Catbird. It hits 4,100 fps with a 70-grain bullet.

    The .280 Ackley Improved is based on the .280 Remington case with the shoulder angle changed to 40 degrees and the wall taper reduced. This increases powder capacity sufficiently to add about 100 fps to .280 Rem loads. More importantly for handloaders, it minimizes the need to trim case necks, extending case life. Nosler recently legitimized the .280 AI as a factory round and began chambering its Model 48 rifle for it.

    The 6.5-06 wildcat is so popular that many reloading manuals list recipes for it. At least two blown-out versions — meaning the walls are straightened and shoulder is pushed forward — are fairly popular. The 6.5 Gibbs reportedly reaches 3,325 fps with a 120-grain bullet, and the 6.5-06 Ackley Improved hits 3,100 fps.

    Descendents of the .30-06 are numerous because so many rifles are available in .30-06 action lengths. Rebarreling and rechambering while maintaining the original head diameter and overall cartridge length makes things easy.

    The powder volume of the case is a nice balance, giving good to excellent velocity and energy without excessive noise, recoil and powder consumption. The .30-06 and its extended family should hang around for at least another 100 years.
    https://buckmasters.com/Magazines/GunHunter/Articles/ID/2646/The-30-06-Cartridge-Family "

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  2. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    I like them but like 55 Chevy’s the best.
     
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  3. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Psh. The 30-06 was quite a more advanced service round than the 6.5x55 Swede people love to love, not only at the time of its introduction, but also for decades afterwards :D all in all, as put in soldiers' hands in 1906, it was quite advanced in the world. They studied the Mauser's rounds after meeting the 7mm in Cuba, so it can't be too bad.

    If you want "very bad at cartridge design", head to Austria, 1930.

    qqagPtT.jpg
     
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  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    My grandma is the big Elvis fan, she had the ‘55 Fleetwood in classic pink, and the big red ‘57 Chevy. My only two of the era were a ‘57 Baby Bird in the robin’s egg blue (refurb) and a ‘52 Dodge B Series pickup (also refurb). I suppose I could count a ‘44 Willys Jeep I rebuilt as an off-road power wagon in there too, but that was a very different vibe than the low and slow lifestyle of the other 3.

    My T-bird had power seats with automatic retract, well beyond its time, but none made the same horsepower, steered as well, had as many creature comforts, were as safe to drive, or were as fuel efficient as anything I’m driving today. But they sure did turn heads.
     
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  5. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Nice cars. Your grandma is my kind of women. Probably closer to my age too.
     
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  6. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Sorry but your analogy does not quite fit. A better comparison would be that of engines as the .30-06 cartridge is more equivalent to the chamber in an engine that filled with a fuel-air mix generates power to move something.

    To fit your analogy, it would be that you would have to use an original 1903 springfield rifle with the sling, magazine, bolt, barrel, sights, action design, etc. when compared with more modern hunting rifles rifles. But, since you can get a .30-06 in most any flavor of modern rifles, barrels, bolts, sights, etc. you can have updated conveniences and still keep the same "motor" using your analogy.

    A closer automotive analogy would be comparing different engines, flat blocks, v blocks, inline, and the number of cylinders and individual cylinder displacement available.

    You might then compare the .30-06 to the classic V8 engine design while the newer cartridges might be high efficiency V-6's (the .308 family), and so on.
     
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    @boom boom - get off it dude. This ridiculously stupid thread is dying, and we have started talking about Elvis and classic Chevy’s.

    I wasn’t making any analogy in any way, and am not comparing these engines to cartridges. I made a very clear - and very LITERAL - statement that I get better mileage, more horsepower per cubic inch, better ergonomics, and greater safety out of my current vehicles than I did from my 1957 Thunderbird.

    Argue that one with yourself.
     
  8. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Sorry my post disturbed you. Carry on.
     
  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    She was fortunate as an Elvis fan. My grandpa was a raised a dirt floor wheat farmer, turned career development engineer turned strategic/c-level executive for multiple Fortune 500 companies, and an absolutely scrupulous miser. Such they could afford to splurge on luxuries. If he worked for money, it wasn’t wasted, but extremely high entertainment or life experience value wasn’t a waste in his mind. So grandma and he could rent a plane for a weekend and fly to a few dozen Elvis concerts, or splurge on a Cadillac to go with the Elvis scarf she caught at one particular show, and she drove the wheels off of it up and down the California coast.
     
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  10. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Cool. BTW you are younger than my kids, lol. Seems everything has changed in my lifetime.
     
  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’m celebrating my halftime show this year, as my genetic disorder means I likely won’t make it past 70. After riding bulls for 20 years and combative sports now for 25, and all of the damage and repairs I’ve had done because of it, I don’t think I’ll mind punching out a little early.

    Really seems like a lame duck excuse when older shooters/hunters point out “if you were older, you’d get it.” Ballistics are what they are. I have to also say, age doesn’t always dictate experience, and volume of experience doesn’t always dictate QUALITY of experience, or validity of knowledge. But age of contributors always tends to come up in these threads when old curmudgeons stir the pot to feel good about how they don’t like changes happening - when nobody is asking them to change at all. Very common theme here, unfortunately.

    If we’re bringing age into it - I have never had a millennial tell me bad science as if it were true. I’ve seen a lot of them chase ridiculous and fleeting trends, and make terrible financial decisions, but in general I find they are sharp enough to question things and tend to have a good BS filter because of it - they just don’t mind experiencing sillier things sometimes. Alternatively - I HAVE had a Boomer tell me that bass and catfish lose weight during a long fight, and I HAVE had a boomer and his son tell me in one of my rifle classes that shooting past 1,000yrds is impossible because the friction against the bullet in the air sands the bullet down to dust and there is nothing left by the time it gets that far out (minutes before I had them and their young grandson making impacts at 1,000yrds).

    The only thing that doesn’t change, is change. When I was born, the first phone calls I made were through an operator which worked out of the back room of our rural post office. We didn’t get pulse dial phones until I was in high school. My first school papers were typed on a typewriter. Now I’m typing on an Internet forum with folks all over the world. I’ve driven over 2 million miles in my life, and made a career of traveling to develop technologies around the country and around the world - I started in carbureted trucks and cars without power steering, let alone power windows, now I have a deposit on a car which won’t even need me inside of it to drive somewhere. As a kid, I remember pining to find a stainless steel rifle so I wouldn’t have to worry as much about rust developing if it rained or snowed during a pack hunting trip, now a guy has to dig just as hard to find a blued and walnut rifle.

    A great many things have changed in not so very long.
     
  12. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    I believe you are keeping it a live all on your own.
     
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  13. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    It’s dying because there’s not much point discussing it further. The thread is a good thread. Article after article has been referenced, cited, posted by many members making the claim that the 30-06 is King. You chose to stand firm in the face of overwhelming misguided patriotism. Instead claiming that two calibers not even popular in the US have been around longer (true), have dispatched more animals by a vastly smaller hunting population (don’t see how that is possible) and still continue to do so, and are apparently still sold in as great of numbers to hunters. How many are rifles still chambered in 6.5x55 and 7mm Mauser? A quick search of budsgunshop revealed something very interesting. If you took the 6.5x55 longguns in stock and multiplied them by the 7x57, you’d get....zero. Because there are no 7x57 rifles for sale. But I’ll be fair and we can give it 1. So multiple 6.5x55 rifles by 1 and you get 13. But there are 179 different 30-06 in stock for sale. So that’s 166 more varieties of 30-06 than your picks. So the numbers would say your two picks, even if they are correct, have lost popularity and therefore could not maintain the lead (assuming they ever even had it).

    Oh. And as an aside to your claim about the old timers and bass and catfish, they DO lose weight. Because in their effort to escape, they defecate and regurgitate their stomach contents. It’s what fish do when they are stressed not just during a fight. So at least in that aspect, they were right. As a tournament bass fisherman and an employee of the world’s largest professional bass fishing tournament trail, who does many things like filming the show and fish release, it IS true.
     
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  14. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I have state multiple times on this forum - I come here to waste spare time I have in my day. My job is such that I have ebbs and flows, and I “spend” that time between events keeping my mind occupied.

    So I’ll point out the logical fallacy in your last post above - you and others have claimed it doesn’t matter that the provided sales statistics have proven .30-06 has been outsold by other chamberings for DECADES because of its other virtues - including citing that the .30-06 has been used to kill every huntable species on the planet. But now when I point out that the 7mm Mauser and 6.5x55 Swede have also been used to kill every huntable animal on the planet (aka, matching the 30-06) and doing it for decades LONGER than the .30-06 (aka, beating the .30-06), your only retort is to compare sales volumes?

    Cliff notes version:

    A: the .30-06 isn’t the leader in sales
    B: Sales don’t matter because the .30-06 is older and has killed more species
    A: These two Mauser cartridges are older than and have killed just as many species as the .30-06
    B: But those two Mauser cartridges don’t sell as many!

    So either sales matter - and .30-06 isn’t the king, or sales don’t matter, only species count matters - and .30-06 isn’t the king... so how do you want it?
     
  15. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    @Varminterror

    As I stated in post # 204:

    “Furthermore, as for 6.5x55 or 7mm Mauser (Very fine cartridges IMO and very capable) what are the production numbers for hunting rifles still chambered, sold, and still in use in those cartridges? Not exactly definitive, granted. But we aren’t talking about a retired king. So that data is relevant. And can they account for the same numbers of large game historically taken and STILL being harvested as the ‘06? Not a chance.”

    Don’t claim I want it both ways. And remember, you made the claim about the 22lr and 45-70. When it was easily refuted, no further mention except a snippet about the 22lr used in a zoo once as if it’s some kind of measure. I still can’t believe you tried to do that. Lol. Then there was the claim about the ‘06 being too light for anything bigger than elk. So articles were posted and posts were made to refute that claim.

    So how can so many writers, authors, editors, and hunters be so wrong and misguided? How can so many claim that the ‘06 has done all its done posted the numbers it has, and still be so lacking? Wouldn’t a writer and editor be promoting the 7x57 and 6.5x55 instead of ‘06 if they actually had the numbers? Again, not knocking your pick’s abilities. Just disputing the claim they have the numbers to hold the title. I honestly don’t believe they have them. If I saw the numbers, I’d eat crow. But they aren’t there.

    Elvis wasn’t the best singer. Wasn’t the best dancer. Wasn’t anywhere close to the best musician then or now. And he doesn’t hold the record for most albums sold either. But he could do it all. And he is the King. If the title of “King” is reserved to the best in every category, there is no King. Ever. For anything related to sports. I just don’t hold that stance. It’s earned the title in my book. It’s fine that you don’t agree.
     
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  16. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Maybe you believed it when your mama told you you could be anything you wanted to be, but go ask the folks sitting on thrones in England whethwr your hard work could “earn” the title of King...
     
  17. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    I’d appreciate if you never spoke of my mother again. What class you have. Very High Road.
     
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  18. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    If you define the title “king” as synonymous with “best,” then without question, athletes can be considered “king” in their sport. Touchdowns, passing yards, rushing yards, home runs, goals, attempts on goal, race times, weights lifted, heights and lengths jumped, rebounds, 3 point goals, batting averages, free throw percentages....

    Sports as a paradigm are a means to determine, objectively, who or which team is best. Sports statisticians exist to be able to prove who is best. When ONE athlete has a greater stat than all others, they are irrefutably the best in that metric, and they hold a record to prove it.

    So what objective means - what measure - can be used to prove the .30-06 is best?

    This thread proves the answer - none.
     
  19. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    No. This thread just took 10 pages for you to prove your true character. Nothing more. I have nothing left to say to someone who will call another man’s mother a liar with no knowledge of her.
     
  20. fjblair

    fjblair Member

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    The 30-06 does everything today just as well as it did decades ago. The only thing that has changed is the introduction of the internet.
     
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  21. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    E. N. U. F.
     
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