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30-06 still King?

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

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  1. Picher

    Picher Member

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    Nothing wrong with the .30-06. I've had a couple over the years, but now have a special situation in my hunting stand where quick shots at deer crossing a woods road out to 350 yards are commonplace. The .270, shooting my special, 130grain handloads allows minor hold-over out to that distance and results in clean kills, dropping almost all deer in the road.

    My 140 grain Nosler Accubond also dropped a walking, 860 lb. bull at 275 yards a couple of years ago, less than 5 yards from the haul road, killing it quickly. I had felt a bit under-gunned prior to the kill, but would use it again.
     
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  2. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I've killed more game with my 30-06 than anything else, from Pronghorn all the way up to a large Alaskan bull moose. Plenty of deer and elk too, and even one sheep. Where the 30-06 shines is versatility coupled with cheap and a huge variety of readily available factory ammo. You can find loads that shoot almost as flat as a 7mm Mag or load up heavily constructed 180 or 200 grain bullets for larger game. I live in Idaho and my anecdotal perception is that the 30-06 is the most popular hunting cartridge by a pretty wide margin. I will admit that I have a 7mm-08 that's a better deer rifle, and I have a 300 Wby that's better for elk and up or long range work. Neither one beats the versatility of my '06, though.
     
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  3. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    The .30-'06 will handle it. My gunsmith told me about a client of his who was headed to AK for a brown bear hunt. All his friends were telling him he had to have a .338 mag. minimum. The gunsmith told him to just bring his .30-'06. He did, and one shot to the chest with his .30-'06 killed his brown bear.
     
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  4. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    I’ve owned several 06s in my life and have no real complaints about them. A couple of years ago I found myself bolt action poor. Finding a online sale of Ruger 77s (walnut) I had a choice of 06 or .280 for the same money. I guess I was just tired of 06s cause I chose the .280. I don’t regret it, it’s a great & beautiful rifle. My friend and neighbor loaded my up with a lifetime supply of ammo in various bullet weights and charges.

    IMG-0591.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  5. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    I've owned lots of .270's, 30-30's, etc etc. but I've only ever owned ONE 30-06. Mom bought it new in 82 for Dad. It's a Remington 700 ADL, and it wears a Williams 5D peep sight. After all the years dad and I have carried it, it ain't pretty but it sure has killed a lot of game. Deer, bear, hogs, you name it have all fallen to old "meat on the table" over the years. I have a 30-30, a .270, and a .25-06 as well as the .30, and they all get used to some degree. But when times get hard, the freezer is empty, and season is about to close, I take down the old "ought Six", load 'er up with some 180grn Cor-lokt SP's, and go get my meat. That combination has never failed to kill whatever I've needed it to, whenever I've needed it. I could sell every CF rifle I own tomorrow and not feel handicapped with only my '06, no matter what I went up against from woodchuck to moose, and everything in between.

    Mac
     
  6. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Good point, Earl, puts the question in a little different perspective, doesn't it? Can ammo sales alone be the ruler by which we measure the popularity of a cartridge? If so, how many have seen what I call the "Rambo types" at the local range trying to see how quickly they can burn through 30 rounds of 7.62X39 or 223? You know the type, not too concerned as to number of hits, just reach the finish line as quickly as possible. I can only assume that this kinda puts the thumb on the scales in favor of these calibers, wouldn't you?

    Regards,
    hps
     
  7. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    I have to admit that I've never owned a 270 (never was any room between the 30-06's ;)), but IMO, there's just not a whit of difference between the '06 and the 270. Out of curiosity, do you know the muzzle velocity of your 130 gr. load?

    Based on the ballistic tables, the 30-06, loaded with 125 or 130 grain bullets becomes a .270 and the .270, loaded w/140's becomes a 30-06. Kinda like the Chevy/Ford question at that bullet weight level. The 30-06 only pulls to the front when the .270 tops out @ 170 grain bullet.

    IOW, comparing the 270 to the 30-06 is about like comparing the 30-06 to the 308; a lot of fun, but very little difference in performance to a point, but the old 30-06 shines past the 170/190 gr. bullet weight.

    If I were still deer hunting, I wouldn't feel a bit handicapped with this 125 gr. load I worked up for my 30-06 Garand, and it is, indeed, flat shooting.
    45430694655_ef38c02328_n.jpg

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  8. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    A guy can say the same about a great number of cartridges. Inclusion of an aspect doesn’t exclude it from all other cartridges.
     
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  9. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    3006 still king?

    Nope....and for one reason and one reason only.

    You can't stick it in an AR platform, and so many people think that thing is the end all and be all.....it is also the reason the 308 is as popular as it is, that can be stuck in that thing.
     
  10. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Why was the .308win outselling the .30-06 in ammunition and rifle sales during the Clinton AWB era?
     
  11. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    IDK, but suspect it was strongly influenced by the adaptation of the cartridge by US military, just as the boost given the 30-06 years ago and the .223 in more recent times.

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  12. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    au contraire

    https://onlylongrange.com/bn36x3-long-range-270-25-06-30-06/
     
  13. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    stocking up for the AR-10 or the M14s....... :D
     
  14. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Regardless of sales the 30-06 is still King. I am pretty sure that many of the other ammo sales are for target shooting. For hunting in North America it is still one in the hearts and minds of sportsmen and the cartridge standard all others are measured by. My current deer favorite is a 7-08. That is due to age and injury.
     
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  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I’ve moved around a bit, and traveled a lot for work, taking opportunities to hunt in literally dozens of states, always by simply developing relationships with locals and finding opportunities to hunt SOMETHING while there. Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, New York, North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri... whenever I take my own .30-06 out there, I get comments, “yeah, my grandpa/dad has a .30-06, I shot it as a kid, but I bought XXX instead because YYY...”.

    I hear guys saying “everybody owns a .30-06,” but I have yet to find where all of these folks live which supposedly dominate the market.
     
  16. Picher

    Picher Member

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    My 130 grain load in the ..270 chronographs at 3,200 fps from my 24" barreled Rem 700 CDL, using a hefty load of RL22. Right now, I don't have the trajectory comparison between the '06's 150 grain round and my .270 when sighted-in at the same POI at 100 yards, but found that there was a definite advantage to the .270, something like a 4" difference at 400 yards and the .270's velocity was still higher. I don't care for any comparison beyond 400 yards because we have no option for shooting deer at that distance, nor do we have the luxury of using a range finder because deer tend to walk across the road and we have little time to get an aimed shot off, much less check the distance with a finder. There are some identifying points to determine distances, including downed trees and someone hung a few ribbons, otherwise I rely on the trajectory list taped to my buttstock.

    When I made my choice of cartridge/load, a 125 grain bullet for the '06 was mostly for varmints and the 150 was the first "deer and bear" bullet weight available and the 165 and 180 grain loads dropped much more at 400 yards.

    The first deer I shot with the .270 just happened to be at about 70 yards and the doe was standing broadside. I don't want to discuss the gory details, but it was spectacular, knocking the deer down sideways and there was quite a scene beyond it, more than I'd ever experienced in many years of hunting with the '06. I believe I gave my '06 Rem 700 to my son that day! He loves it, but never shoots beyond 300 yards.

    Like every cartridge, a handloader has more options than factory load shooters. I think I'm sold on the .270 Win for life. I'm 75 and don't know how many more years I'll be deer hunting, but hoping for at least 5 or so. Time will tell.
     
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  17. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    Gratuitous .30-'06 photo, '68 Sako Finnbear with new refinish and recoil pad installed.....I find the .30-'06 a bit overkill for deer sized game, perfect for elk and oryx from my experience.
     

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  18. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    I hear ya. Intimate familiarity with one's rifle is really what it boils down to, and I sure wouldn't change rifles at this point. I cut my teeth on the 30-06; will it do anything the .270 won't? Not until you get to the heavier bullets beyond what the .270 can handle.

    The 130 gr. bullet, driven to same velocity, whether it be .270 or .308 will shoot flatter than the 150 or 165 gr. (or the 140 gr. .270) and with modern bullets, such as the 130 gr. Nosler Accubond, the lighter .30 caliber bullets will handle any deer just fine. I'd probably use the Accubond over the Ballistic Tip if I were hunting deer, but don't doubt the BT would also perform well on deer sized animals based on lots of feral hogs shot with .22 cal. 55 gr. NBT's over the years while coyote hunting.

    My 30-06 load w/125 gr NBT was developed for a Garand, so I stopped at 49.4 gr. H 4895 which produces 3050 fps. and was very accurate in my rifle. Hodgdon lists max load of 53.7 gr. for 3229 fps with same bullet which should hold very close to same trajectory as .270 in a bolt gun.

    Hey, you still have a lot of years left to hunt. I'm 82 and planning on a few more, myself, the good Lord willing. :cool:

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  19. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

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    The short answer is no.
    As others have asked, "How do we define what king or standard bearer means?" Hunting rifle sales? Ammo sales? Hunting rifles owned? Ammo owned? Reloading die sales? Our own opinion? What our friends say? What the guy at the LGS says?

    We could argue that there was a point in time when it was. A lot has changed since it was introduced 113 years ago, even for the 30-06. It used to be less powerful, as Garand specific loads can testify, but now takes advantage of slower burning powders to generate more velocity. Higher bc bullets, ballistic tips, copper bullets, etc have changed as well.

    We can talk about technology changes in terms of caliber piggybacking and evolution, like 270Win, 308Win, 300WM, 6.5CM, or others.
    We can talk about consumer tastes - that big game hunting rifle sales have been in decline or stagnant for almost two decades since fewer people hunt anymore.

    I like 30-06 as much as the next guy and like many, own one and hunt with it (among other rifles).
    The biggest point is to recognize that calibers are pieces of technology. It is brass, formed into a specific shape, with primer, powder, and a bullet. When a major breakthrough occurs in the form of a higher performing, more efficient shape, it's not that the previous is obsolete, just that technology has advanced.
     
  20. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    One of the advantages of the 30-06 over the .308 is you can run the heavier bullets and not sacrifice brass life.

    Question: have any of you tried some loads with bullets over 200g in the ‘06? Any success?

    I dabbled some with the 208 AMAX but nothing serious
     
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  21. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    208 & 212 have seemed to be the top end of where I feel happy with the small 30-06 case. 220’s start losing a lot of speed. 180grn is generally my happy place - if I can’t do it with the 180, I probably shouldn’t be doing it with the .30-06 case.
     
  22. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Well 100 years ago (1919) the 45-70 had been around for 46 years. Now it’s been around 146 years. And it’s still pretty dang popular. The 30-06 has been around 113 years now. And according to these lists about reloading sales and whatnot, it’s still at least top 5 based just on that alone.

    Neither of them have catchy names. Just caliber and powder charge or caliber and year for nomenclature. Yet they’ve survived for so long. The 44-40 is still hanging around too (146 years old also). So I’d say if they did make those comments 100 years ago, it worked out pretty well for at least 2 of those calibers.....and it will for the ‘06 as well. 113 years old and still a primary chambering for long action rifles. Pretty good if you ask me.

    And even if you don’t ask me, history has been the judge. And history has ruled it quite worthy.
     
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  23. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I would never argue that the .30-06 is a great cartridge. It's certainly very flexible and powerful.
    "There's nothing you can't fix with $600 bucks and a .30-06". (Adjust for inflation.)
     
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  24. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    History changes every day. Consider the statistics of firearms purchases during the last 3 generations, and you’ll see a trend which does NOT support “legacy cartridges” holding through the next century. 50 years ago, shooters were hereditarily developed - today, the average gun buyer’s parents did not own guns. They are buying the first gun they have ever handled. These folks 1) do not have access to “old passions” developed within their father, grandfather, uncles, etc, and 2) have access to the internet to research cartridges and rifles for their applications in ways not possible in generations passed. New rifle buyers are not buying based on nostalgia, they’re buying based on research - good information or bad.

    Largely, the die has been cast. We’re sitting on an entire generation of folks who aren’t buying rifles in classic cartridges, and the market is flooding with rifles chambered in the new cartridges. Blued and walnut rifles in classic cartridges have been losing favor for 30+ years with new rifle buyers, and there’s no objective reason that trend would change.

    Look at rounds like the 7mm Mauser and 6.5x55 Swede, 257 Roberts, etc. These chamberings were in the catalog of every American manufacturer 30yrs ago, but not so any longer. The 30-30 has nearly died off in only a few decades, and less common levergun chamberings like 35rem along with it, as current generations have stopped buying leverguns altogether.

    The damage is done. Recent generations of shooters have moved away from rounds like the 30-06. Buying trends have reflected it for decades, and future trends will have no reason to revisit these rounds.

    We don’t have to like it for it to happen.
     
  25. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    Maybe sales of the old legacy calibers has been diluted by the great number of new chamberings in recent years, but there are so many -06, 270, .308 and 30-30's floating around that it will be decades before anything, including the 6.5 Creed, takes over. Sure, alot are sitting in the back of safes, but just as many aren't.

    Besides, ammunition sales are a better indication of what is popular anyway. Discount .223 for AR-15 mag dumps and the picture becomes clearer.

     
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