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30-06 still King?

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

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  1. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Do you have a source for that statement? And just what is the “average gun buyer”?

    Nothing I stated in my previous post has been disproved. It’s just been dismissed through cherry picking part of a statement. I could tell you that the last two rifles I’ve bought in the last month have been a 30-30 and 35 Remington. It’s actually true. And that a good friend of mine sold his collection of Ruger Zytels and in the last month purchased a 30-06, 30-30, 375 Win, 35 Rem, 444, 450 Marlin and a 45-70. Which is also true. But that would be dismissed as an anomaly. And maybe it is. But the truth is the 30-06 has not just survived, but thrived for 113 years. It came out 2 years before the Ford Model T! It’s lasted through how many new rifle cartridges? I have no idea. But many. And the 45-70 (146 years old. 8 years after Lincoln freed the slaves) has been making a comeback? Why is that? Talk about an old, far inferior cartridge. Yet it’s still popular. We discuss it on here frequently.

    If you’re going to reply to this post (I hope you do) please pick the first two sentences to reply to first.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  2. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    The ATF/NICS stats have been out there in different magazines and online pubs. The average transfer is happening to a first time buyer, far moreso than in the past. 30+ years ago, most firearms were bought by folks who already owned firearms.

    Which does track, intuitively, with firearms buying trends of the last couple decades. The late 80’s and 90’s saw a generation of folks stop hunting, so they weren’t buying new guns to go with those handed down from the previous generation - as that generation wasn’t handing them down, nor the craft of hunting. Now we have a new generation of folks getting into shooting sports for other pursuits.

    ETA: the good news is the fact more people are buying guns than any time in the last 50yrs. Not just more guns being sold - which is also true - but more Americans, from both sides of the aisle, are buying guns and propagating a culture which recognizes their inherent freedom to keep and bear arms.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
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  3. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Similarly, my 180g Sierra ProHunter load has proven to be quite enough to lay a whitetail down

    I have no practical reason to load long, heavier bullets in my ‘06 other than for the satisfaction of trying and the fact that I have ~80 208g AMAXs in a box collecting dust.
     
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  4. Bruce D Pease

    Bruce D Pease Member

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    I think varminterror is right. History has dealt the mighty ‘06 a dirty hand. Very few shooters today know the beauty of walnut and blued or parkerized steel. We old timers often grew up with elders around from WW1 (and before), who only knew iron sights. We learned to shoot on walnut and steel, and knew it took time to become proficient marksmen etc. From the standpoint of the millennials, who often have had no gun background, the black rifles rule, they are relatively easy to maintain, customize, and handle. Even a novice an quickly become an accurate marksman fairly quickly without a large time and round expenditure. They think powered optics last forever. This is the generation that is lost without calculators, who dread having to ever use pencil and paper etc. they’re not softer as much as they just haven’t had our advantages...no I’m not being facetious....most of the young’uns don’t really have any idea how to use iron sights etc because many don’t have anyone to show them what to do. Many of us septuagenarians grew up with several parents, grandparents uncles and aunts that took us shooting and taught us how to shoot. In boot camp most of us knew how to shoot we just had to learn how to do it military style and on Garands...my grand children are learning to shoot now. They are learning on handguns, and when they get big enough to handle them they too will learn how to shoot Garands. They are physically late enough to handle the old Marli 80 this year and as they grow they’ll learn how to handle all the my son and I own. They at 8 and 11 already have great muzzle controll and safety, and the rest is coming. We need to get back to having rifle teams in high school like I had over a half century ago. But that was a different time and snowflakes would have the “vapors” if kids had rifles at a range in or on school property today. Anyway I still think the ‘06 is king, other than 22 I have way more AMMO in M2 Ball than any other caliber or gauge.
    Us old timers get more attention with our wood and steel at the range than the kids with ar’s do. Garands, Springfields. ,Mausers. ,SMLEs, and Moisin-nagants are attention getters, and the “kids” are surprised at the groups we get with old eyes and iron optics. Yup, I do believe the 06 gets the job done.
     
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  5. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    B2E2A1B5-8BF6-4519-BB0A-938654A9C73D.jpeg Just another reason to love where I live.....
     
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  6. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Ahh but the OP stated his opinion the 30-06 was king was for hunting. Not “other pursuits”. So relying on ammo sales, reloading dies sales and various other sales is a skewed argument/stance to take. It’s not entirely definitive that new rifle sales in 30-06 guarantee a purpose for hunting. But I’ve never seen a shooter at a 3 gun match, modern LR target shooter, or a new shooter looking for home protection purchase a 30-06. People (typically) use a 30-06 for 1 reason.
     
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  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    In fairness, our generation before the millennials, and especially before the newest generation which is entering the workforce and accessing disposable income, gave their kids the advice to NOT buy blued and walnut rifles for hunting use. I recall all of the older guys sitting around camp complaining about rust on their barrel in their barrel channel after a rainy hunting trip, or how they tipped their rifle over and dented/scratched their nice walnut stock, so they advised their sons and daughters to get polymer or laminate stocks and stainless metalwork to avoid those “whoopsie” events which marred their heirloom rifles.

    I was told by older hunters and shooters, over and over when I started buying rifles 25+ years ago, that a guy didn’t need a long action 30-06 or 270 when a 308win or 7-08 would do the same job. Guys looked at me like I was crazy when I bought a 7mm Mauser for long range shooting, as the popular opinion even then was the 7-08 was claimed to be everything the Mauser is, and if a guy wanted to shoot long with a 7mm, the “new hotness” was the 7mm Rem Mag, unless you were on the bench, and then 6ppc for <600, 284 for >600... so already 20-25 years ago, older guys were recommending against some of the classic cartridge designs based on objective improvements made 50yrs+ ago.

    Why is anyone surprised that the subsequent generations listened to that advice, and didn’t buy fine walnut stocks which needed to be babied in the field, and bought stainless actions to avoid rust after a rainy hunt, and bought more modern chamberings which took advantage of newer bullet designs and which capitalize upon an enhanced understanding of internal, external, and terminal ballistics.

    Building forward from 2019: The next generation of shooters will be taught by the current generation of shooters they don’t need to worry about Walmart ammunition inventory, as they can find better prices online and have it shipped to their door. That will only become more prevalent in coming years, as it already has in the last 20years as the internet evolved. We won’t see folks holding a smart phone in their hand, posting on Internet forums to give advice a new shooter should buy a .30-06 because they can find ammo at Walmart - because they will ALL realize the same device in their hand can order ammo online and have it drop shipped the next day (hell, probably even by a drone), for lower price and without sales tax. That irony proliferates today because older folks spend time online and don’t recognize how capable they are with the power of their newfangled phones.
     
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  8. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    As for preferred bullet weight, the 165 gr. bullets have proven adequate to satisfy all my hunting demands up to and including scimitar horned oryx and nilgai in the 30-06. Will have to admit that I do prefer the 338 WM for the larger Gemsbok and 375 h&h for Eland. For competition, the 168 SMK's rule out to 300 but step up to 190's from 600 and beyond in the '06. The 308's handle the 180's a bit better than the 190's, however.

    Got a chuckle out of this^^^. Another old grey hair and I used to shoot at least 100 rounds of 30-06 in practice every Saturday at our club's range. A normal session usually consisted of 40 rounds offhand and the rest divided between sitting and prone rapid fire. We shot 100 yd. reduced targets so that we could check our targets w/spotting scopes and and usually hung enough targets so we didn't have to go downrange between strings. One Saturday during deer season, I overheard one young man comment to his buddies, "did you see those old codgers over there layin' on the ground and shootin' " and they all had a chuckle. They set up on the benches to sight in their hunting rifles and were having trouble getting the job done. After a trip downrange to check their targets, the same fellow asked one of his buddies if he saw the groups those old guys shot with iron sights. They had no idea what iron sights were capable of.

    As you said, many new shooters don't have a clue as to how to shoot irons or even how to sight in a scoped rifle but it is no fault of their own, they just have not had anyone show them how as most of us did.

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  9. KnightHawk

    KnightHawk Member

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    If you stick with Bolt, pump, and lever, the 30-06 is tops. So just remove AR's and AK's and there you are.
     
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  10. KnightHawk

    KnightHawk Member

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    Man you know a different set of old guys then I do, or did, most are dead now. But my first rifle was given to me in the early 60's so sounds like one more generation back.
    I started seeing a change when guys started coming back from Vietnam wanting a AR. Like most people over the years, which ever war had it's own firearm,was the new thing. But, I'm a blue steel and lumber guy, and always will be. I've also looked at, and have, and do, own many different calibers. Most of the improvement has been in the bullets and powders. But the improvement over the 30-06 is marginal. It's a great all around cartridge. Granted it's over kill for small deer. But, if you reload................... it can be perfect.
     
  11. KnightHawk

    KnightHawk Member

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    Only one?
     
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  12. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    At least

    More than one just advances the needle on your patriotic meter
     
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  13. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO member

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    The only cast bullet I shoot 30-06 (and my favorite but not only in 30-40) is the 210 grs Lyman 311284. I used a 200 grs Speer for my first elk hunt years ago, but I'm quite happy with 180s now.

    Although, three years ago, elk hunting in Montana, I used 220s. We were in big bear country and hunting coulees where shots were rarely 200 yards. Got skunked but saw some BIG bears, none close.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
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  14. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I like blued steel and wood also, but equally I've heard VTs advice from the next gen back from me also. Almost no one I know who hunts a lot uses wood, tho a number are still blued. Well except the folks that use "family" guns, as those are mostly older rifles.
    If I take a picture of any hunting rifle I see over the next year or so, you MIGHT see a wood stock in a couple.

    What you won't see is an 06. In fact besides myself, only one friend has one, and he also never uses it.

    As much as I love the round (2nd favorite EVAR!), and I'll never be without one I think, its also the one gun (my current one) I own I've never killed anything with.
    On the flip side it's killed plenty of stuff because it's also my loaner rifle.
     
  15. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    Man you guys worry too much over what someone else wants or does. I don't give a flying flip what is "popular". Over HALF the people in this country are complete idiots. I'd be surprised if half of them could tie a pair of shoes. MOST voters voted for Hillary last election, am I suppose to give any credence to what firearm those morons think is "King"? They buy guns to and ammunition ya know.
     
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  16. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Same here.
    Where I'm at in MN close to everybody I know who hunts, owns a 30-06. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors. I'm not saying that means a whole lot, but it is the case.

    I personally kneel to the .308 win. But I love my 06's.
     
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  17. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    the best rifleman I knew carried a pre 64 model 70 in 30-06. And if he were so inclined to shoot at you, you better hope you were outside of 600 yds away. That same fellow also carried a 30-06 all the way across France...on foot. That was in a time when the French authorities encouraged certain young Americans to do so.
    He was up at 5am every day, chores and breakfast done by 645 AM. Then it was time to go to work. He taught us that a good man will have most of his hard work done by noon.
    And he was at Church on Sunday. This country would be in a much better place if some more people were like him.
     
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  18. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    It worked just fine for Carlos Hathcock . You can buy hunting ammo for a 30-06 almost anywhere. Can't say that for some other calibers. It will always be king. Many people and gun makers have been trying to knock it off the throne for 113 years. I don't think they ever will.
     
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  19. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    Too many assumptions made about rifle use by style and caliber. I shoot regularly with a guy with a seriously tricked out .223 AR. His new scope is a Nightforce. This new scope that replaced the old Nightforce. He also had a backup of a high end Vortex. He would work with this fancy radar chronograph. He had a suppressor for each of his four AR's. This could go own for a time. This guy is basically using a black rifle the way you and I would work up loads. In other word he is engaging in traditional shooting with a non-traditional rifle. I referred a citizen to my dealer. The individual wanted a 308 AR type rifle for deer hunting.

    Some Crossover. At the range where the old coots gather there is a wide gulf between firearms. One shooter may be shooting a fancy AR and another a Sharps replica. One cohort is apt to shoot synthetic stocked stainless rifles. The other uses wood stocked blued rifles. The rifles are generally not magnums. All the shooters are engaged in traditional kinds of shooting. That is, off bags with spotting scopes while keeping record of group size. On the other range gather the mall ninjas and the like gather. They are shooting barrages of foreign made steel cased ammo at steel targets or cans at less than 100 yards. Where I'm going is that the end use of these rifles is a guess on our part. How many of these rifles go into a closet or safe never really to see the light of day? How many people buy a rifle in a caliber featured in the last gun rag they read in the bathroom? No fixed rules is the point here with crossovers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  20. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    First off I am in doubt of your claim that it out sold 3006 If you provide the docs I will concede the point.

    But if in fact it was, I will agree with the other poster that said NATO.
     
  21. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    There is no reasoning with nostalgia. Facts don't matter. Trends don't matter. Emotions trump reality. No pun intended. The 06 was used by the US in World War I and World War II. That has more to do with its popularity than anything else in my opinion. There's nothing wrong with that round but it has been improved upon by other cartridges since it's introduction.
     
  22. Picher

    Picher Member

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    Lever guns used to be about $100 when I was a young adult and scoped rifles weren't as popular. They were very well finished and actions were very smooth. Today, lever rifles often cost more than nice bolt actions...are not as smooth when new, and scoping them takes away the handiness that people loved.

    Hunting has also changed. People tend to use blinds more and shoot from bipods more than walking around. I don't like seeing people carrying ARs, but in Maine, semi-autos are limited to 5 shots, so I feel a bit safer than if they could use 30 round mags. More than once I've dived for cover when bullets were flying at running deer from semi-autos. It's not fun!

    I'm not going to call today's hunters wimpy, but there's certainly a trend toward smaller cartridges for deer hunting, some even using .223s, for gosh sake! I've hunted/killed deer with .22-250, .243 Win, .30-30, 30-06, and .270 Win. It's more important where they're hit than what is used, and if the .22-250 hadn't been loaded with solid-based Nosler handloads, I wouldn't have used it.
     
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  23. Picher

    Picher Member

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    Maine needs a program to train High School kids to shoot rifles. Today, kids don't often have dads that can teach them and worse, there are so few public ranges, compared with when we used to be able to shoot in many gravel pits and/or farms.
     
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  24. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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    The real funny thing in all of this really is, some come up with what you said.....and olthers come up with what I said and there is no talking to them they are not going to change their mind. Trends are for weak minded, if trends are anything to look at where is your man bun, beard, glasses with no lenses.

    90% of the new cartridges exist so they can fit in the only rifle worth having to so many people, the AR.....Take that over rated platform away and have your new stuff would be gone.

    Old cartridges have stood the test of time because unlike the new cartridges they are made to do a job, not to fit into a specific rifle....look at historic cartridges for specific rifles and see their staying power....Remington self loading cartridges for the 8-81, pretty much dead.....the winchester self loaders, are dead.....now that does not mean these new kids are going to go away, but as soon as the AR fad goes away they will be gone.
     
  25. ford8nr

    ford8nr Member

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    Never been out west, have you.
     
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