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30-06 still King?

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

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  1. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    I have some 55gr accelerators from remington and I also have some 90gr bullets that I load. I just saw where hornady has some 230's and 250's coming out.
    When I go hunting at least 1 30-06 goes with me, I've seen hogs while out bird hunting but by the time I retrieved the rifle they were gone. I've shot whitetails from 10yrds to 310yrds and it hasn't disappointed me.
     
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  2. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Really? It’s taken hundreds of elephants and Rhinos? Earnest Hemingway took a Rhino at 300 yards with an ‘06.

    In his nonfiction book Green Hills of Africa, Hemingway wrote, “M’Cola put the Springfield in my hand and I opened it to make sure it had solids. The rhino was out of sight now but I could see the shaking of the high grass.” He proceeded to shoot the rhino at “all of three hundred” yards with the .30-’06. Any modern hunter today is now cringing at the thought of shooting a rhino with a .30-’06. But he double-lunged the 5,000-lb. animal, and it died shortly thereafter.

    His Griffin & Howe had come with a scope, but Hemingway soon removed it. He shot that rhino at 300 or so yards with an iconic American rifle topped with iron sights. He said of the rifle in a letter: “Comes up naturally as pointing your finger … most beautifully made and finished and simple, practical gun I’ve ever seen.”

    Like to see a 22lr do that. Sure. The world record grizzly was taken with a 22. Gotta give you that one. It happened. The heaviest brown bears weigh around 1,700 lbs. The heaviest rhinos at over 5,000. And you don’t want to compare hides of the two I’m sure. So let’s just end that foolishness.

    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.

    Hunting simply doesn’t happen anymore, anywhere near on the same scale in the rest of the world as it does here. 11,600,000 hunters in the US in 2016 as opposed to 6,700,000 in all of Europe. Are they all deer, elk, moose, and brown bear hunters? Of course not. But if only half of our hunters pursue big game, that’s still almost all of Europe’s hunting population. And the 6.5x55 and 7mm Mauser, aren’t as popular here and don’t have the number of rifles still in the fields pursuing big game. But that in no way diminishes their ability to do it. Only their ability to eclipse the ‘06’s numbers.

    Popularity, Longevity, Numbers still used in the field, Variety and numbers of game harvested. That’s how I determine the king of hunting cartridges. And I just don’t see any other candidate in contention.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  3. TN Outlaw

    TN Outlaw Member

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    As stated in the OP, the yardstick that was being measured as to wether or not the 30-06 is still "King" was based on the premise of versatility, load ability, components, and just an all around cartridge for everything that can be hunted in the USA.

    Is it the king, I don't know. Don't really care honestly. How we view it doesn't add or subtract performance of the round.

    I do know yes it's extremely versatile so check that box.

    It is in fact very easy to load for in my experience. They tend to agree with several loadings, so the 2nd box is checked.

    Components abound. One of the easiest rounds to find components for and very affordable comparitively. 3 for 3.

    No doubt, it's a great all around cartridge for everything in the USA. It's made quite a name for itself in America for an all around game taker. So yes, another check.

    Idk if it's "king", but it certainly qualifies as a finalist. Kinda like the 270 Win debates recently, you can argue for it or against it, it don't really matter because you just can't erase years and years and decade after decade of being a top 10, top 5 etc centerfire rifle cartridge and the millions of tons of meat successfully harvested with the round.

    In the end a cartridge with a rock solid reputation as the two I mentioned, all we are doing is blowing hot air about them either way. They have PROVEN what they are regardless of our opinion.
     
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  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    @BigBore44

    Let’s rundown some of the yardsticks used here which could establish the 30-06 as “king,” or confirm it is not:

    Versatility in component availability: 30-06 has a lot, but no more than 308win, not as much even, and not as much as 223rem/5.56. So it’s not bad here, it’s even good here, but it’s not “the King” by this standard.

    Availability in components: without question, a dozen 30 caliber cartridges use the same bullets as the 30-06, so there’s no crown for the ‘06 based on bullets. 308win based cartridge cases have irrefutably higher availability and more options, as any brass maker who offers .30-06 is offering 308win, and some others offer 308 Palma brass which isn’t matched by the 30-06 class, and even further, more there are more 308win military munitions manufacturers than 30-06. Equally, the 223/5.56 trumps all of them for market saturation. So by this measure as well, the ‘06 falls short of the crown.

    Versatility in bullet weight capability: the .30-06 is capable of a broad span, but no more capable than a dozen other cartridges like it. There’s no bullet weight which can be loaded in 30-06 which can’t be loaded in 300win mag, but the win mag will handle heavier bullets than the ‘06 at the heavy end. We hear 100-220grns for the 30-06, that’s 120 gen span. A 44mag can be loaded with 165’s up to 370’s, that’s a span of 205grns. A Marlin 1895 in 45-70 could be loaded with 200’s up to 500’s, I’ve even seen 700grn pills loaded in these, and the 45-70 has 3 published pressure standards for various velocities. So again, the ‘06 has done a lot, but it doesn’t reign supreme by this standard either.

    Variety of game harvested: as mentioned above, the 22LR has killed everything the 30-06 ever has. The 7mm Mauser has killed everything the .30-06 has, or ever could, as they’ve both killed everything there is to be killed - so again, the .30-06 is not a superlative cartridge by this yardstick.

    Rifle sales volume: the .30-06 hasn’t been the undesputed king atop the sales roster for decades. While I’m sure it’s possible it peaked in one year or another, it hasn’t even enjoyed presidential term limits within the last 30yrs, let alone reigning as king.

    Absolutely biased, wholly subjective nostalgic preference: well, if this thread is evidence of supremacy in non-objective hearts and minds of certain shooters, now known in the modern era by the colloquial term, “fan bois,” then it’s certainly a contender. But I’d also cite the recent plethora of .270win fan boi threads which were more numerous, longer running, and more empassioned than this thread has been, so I think the evidence favors the 270 to have a more rabid nostalgic fan base than the .30-06 too.

    If there’s any objective metric which puts the 30-06 irrefutably in front of all others, rather than simple anecdotes, biased observations, and nostalgic ramblings, I’d be all ears. But by no reasonable objective measure has any evidence been provided to show supremacy even in ONE metric, let alone all.
     
  5. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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  6. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    I've heard that story, and take it with a grain of salt. Hemingway was known to exaggerate, especially when on the sauce. I doubt M'Cola is still around to confirm.
     
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  7. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    I've taken game with both the 6.5x55 and .30-'06, and the 6.5x55 is no .30-'06.
     
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  8. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    IMHO most hunters have no business shooting at game over 300 yards.
     
  9. KnightHawk

    KnightHawk Member

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    Nice Stag!!
    As far as the 270 Winchester, and I'll add the 7MM Remington, I don't own any, and will not own one. My brother uses the 270 and my Father was a 7MM mag nut. Both could out shoot me with my 30-06, but, it was not the fault of the rifle of the 06 cartridge.
    So I cringed and bought a 270 Winchester Featherweight for my wife, less recoil and all the rest. She did not like it and stayed with her 308 win Savage 99. So all of a sudden I fined myself stuck with a 270, can't have that, it's my brother's cartridge. Don't even want Joe to find out I own a 270, I would never hear the end of it. So I upgraded the 270 to a decent caliber. Re-bored to 35 Whelen. Problem solved.
    When my Father passed I received his 7mm. Cured that one by giving it to my oldest son.
    What I've done in the last 20 or so years is to just not pickup a certain calibers, 270, 7mm, 375, 416 to name a few.
    The only 7mm I'd consider is a 7x57. If I run across one in a Featherweight, at a reasonable price, It will go home with me.
     
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  10. KnightHawk

    KnightHawk Member

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    A friend of mine who is a native out of Nenana has use a 243 for years, and still uses it. He has harvested quite a few moose with that cartridge. So the 30-06 is probably going to handle moose just fine. Moose are a bit bigger than Elk.
     
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  11. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Sales was never the point. Elvis is King, the 30-06 is King.
     
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  12. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    The thing about the -06 is that you can show up for any North American big game hunt with one, maybe excepting big bears, and your guide or hunting partners won't blink an eye when they find out what you are carrying. As for big bears, probably thousands of griz and brownies have been dispatched adequately with the 30-06 when we didn't know better.

    Too big for deer and barely adequate for elk? C'mon man
     
  13. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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  14. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I've found several sources that say anywhere between 1800 and 1400 live in the lower 48. I've also been told (mountain lions, panthers, etc.) are extinct and I think we all know better.
     
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  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    So what makes it the king? What is ONE objective measure which supports the statement?

    Elvis is a poor analog - while it is true he adopted “the king of rock & roll” moniker as marketing hype as a popular artist among a fleet of artists at the time, eventually, he did however earn multiple OBJECTIVE credentials which established, at least at one time, he was the king - whether as an award winning solo artist, or a record sales leader. Arguably, since there are no more rock & roll artists, he’ll never be dethroned as the king of rock & roll, as nobody will ever sell more rock & roll albums than Elvis, and will never contribute more stage hype and musical influence to the genre of Rock & Roll than he did. His musical styling at the time was a paradigm shift, building upon music theory and entertainership of the past and revolutionizing the genre and it changed how performers of the era were expected to perform. Music entertainment as a whole changed because of Elvis, and will never be the same following him. Even though he’s no longer the highest selling solo artist of all time, and his genre(s) of music are largely no longer popular, his tide can never ebb, in many ways, and again, no rock & roll artist will ever exceed his sales records - as there are no more rock & roll artists.

    Like Elvis, the .30-06 certainly had market leading popularity in sales numbers at one time, but unlike Elvis, in no way did the .30-06 change the way hunters were hunting such hunting would never be the same (or war fighting, or sport shooting), and also unlike Elvis, hunters, shooters, and warfighters are still hunting, shooting and fighting wars with the cartridges which replaced the 30-06 as most popular, more effective, and more efficient for these applications.

    I don’t know that I’ll ever understand (or want to, for that matter) why some folks let themselves get so wrapped up in sentimentality they ignore the subjective fallacy in their own objective statements.
     
  16. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    All of this talk about being King is stupid. You don't become king because you are great, but rather because your father was king. The hardest thing you have to do is maybe kill a brother or two.

    Except for Elvis. He earned it fair and square.
     
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  17. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    This.
     
  18. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Well Varmin, you just don't get it. Youngster I guess. I could argue several points and you made some good points in some posts but in the end your opinion just doesn't matter. We who lived the legends know they have nothing do with your objectivity. You probably don't like 57 Chevys either.
    And if youngsters forget and us who remember deer camps die out, so be it. As long as I live My version of history will be rich in legend and wonderful stories that will die with me.
    The 30-06 was the undisputed King Since it's invention. If that has changed in your mind I just don't care.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  19. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    @Varminterror

    1. It’s still your opinion that the 22lr has killed elephant, and rhino.

    2. The 308 doesn’t shoot 220gr and heavier bullets.

    3. The 45-70 (my most favorite hunting cartridge) doesn’t have the versatility of the ‘06 for general hunting. While true it can hold a broader range of bullet weights (not one of my yardsticks). How’s the trajectory on one of those 500-700gr bullets? You gonna take that 45-70 on a prairie dog hunt or chase yotes with one? Hope you enjoy lots of misses and down time. Sure, people shoot the 45-70 at ridiculous distances. Even 1 mile at Sandy Hook. It was also a big target. And they weren’t HUNTING. So are you really advocating that people hunt with a 45-70 at 300-400 yards? Because people do hunt with the ‘06 at those distances. And for goodness sake, the 3 power levels are for the actions. Not the cartridge. Put a “Ruger Only” load in a trapdoor and touch it off? You know better than to put that information out there. You and I know better. Someone else might not (though as a handloader of 45-70, they should).

    4. Market saturation. I asked for market saturation of hunting rifles. Maybe I should have been more specific. Especially since you like to take one small crumb of my statements and argue against it. I can’t multiple quote with my phone. So I’m kind of forced to and try to generalize my response after I rebut the quote. So.....Hunting rifles to be employed for purposes of hunting medium to large game. Is that better?

    5. You dispute the 30-06, but you haven’t done anything but compare it to SEVERAL other cartridges. “The 22lr can do this. The 6.5x55 and 7 Mauser have done that. The 45-70 can handle this. The sales for that are....”. But you haven’t given us ONE cartridge that has been around as long, AND legally taken the variety and numbers of game in the last 113 years.

    So what is it? What would you call the king of hunting cartridges?


    ETA: You do like 57 Chevy’s don’t you? Please say yes. I simply can’t continue this friendly discussion if you don’t. And I actually enjoy the banter.
     
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  20. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Lol. Easy now. I think I’m younger than Varminterror. But not by much. I was born 4-28-1982.
     
  21. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Nope - I gave you two. The 7x57 and 6.5x55 Swede. Both of which have killed as much as the 30-06 ever has, and have been around LONGER than the 30-06.
     
  22. Enfielder

    Enfielder Member

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    This picture may settle some arguments or start more. The market is only guided by the sum of who participate.
    All things aside regarding sales, I think the 30-06 is the benchmark against which all ammuniton in its class is judged against.

    There is no king caliber due to the fact that, us as a collective group, can't ever choose just one caliber or gun based on desire AND pragmatism. My locker is full of choices and always will be. That's just how we are as gun owners.
    I rack my brain over selling them all and keeping or buying just one rifle. What I come up with is a Remington 7600 in 30-06.
    It'll never happen, though. I have way too much of a sentimental attachment to .300 Savage, which is irrefutably the second best cartridge after 30-06.
     

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  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    There isn’t one.

    As @Laphroaig pointed out, really a “King” has absolutely nothing to do with popularity - as might an elected president - but rather a royal lineage. In colloquial use, it’s often applied to denote a supreme ruler - which MIGHT be applicable, if and only if by ANY measure the .30-06 could be proven to be supreme. But it can’t be. Nor can any other cartridge.

    There’s no lying that the .30-06 is actually a good choice for small game unless you prefer to destroy what little meat is there, and what value the fur may have had. And no lying that it’s a good choice for Dangerous game - there’s a famous documented case where a zoo elephant was killed with a 22LR handgun, does that mean it’s sufficient for hunting elephants? Eh. Bell killed over a thousand elephants with a 7mm Mauser (possibly killing more elephants in modern time than any other cartridge, EVER) reportedly because of his ailments and frail nature. Does that mean it’s really sufficient to be an elephant rifle? No. It means it can kill an elephant under the specific conditions Karamojo utilized to poach an astonishing number of elephants....

    No matter what cartridge is presented as “King,” the ensuing discussion is nothing more than a espousal of subjective preference for what each contributor feels is “best,” but a discussion which inherently excludes lighter cartridges which are FAR more applicable for any North American Hunter, and equally employs the cartridge for tasks it has accomplished, but really shouldn’t be used. If someone says 7mm Rem mag, they’re committing to making bunny soup, while being ILLEGALLY underpowered for dangerous game, just as they are with 300win mag. So maybe that ONE guy comes in and touts a .375 H&H as best/King because it is more appropriate for dangerous game, but still does a remarkably small amount of damage on small game... so now I’m reaching into my safe for a CZ550 which I have weighted up to 11lbs without the scope, and burning 70grns of powder (reduced/minimum loads) to do a job which could be done better with a 6.5lb walking varminter in 223 or 243 burning 25-40grn of powder, and there would still yet be experienced African dangerous game hunters who would slate the .375 as too light for their preference in a buffalo or elephant rifle.

    The “master of all, master of none,” yarn sure sounds great, but it’s really, really misguided. I drank the “.30-06, one rifle for all of North America, or even the world” koolaid over 25yrs ago, and as a huge fan of Teddy Roosevelt, I beamed at the idea of being capable of hunting elephant with it if it could ever be legal again. I have enjoyed shooting and hunting with the .30-06 for these years. But I also have found that because of the short comings I saw, firsthand, in using the .30-06 for game from 2lbs to 2200lbs, I am far better served by a 4 gun battery, rather than making the extreme compromises required to force the .30-06 to fit this broad spectrum of roles.

    So as I have said many times here - there’s no objective evidence the .30-06, nor any other cartridge, can really be proven “King” over others for hunting. Any of them can be disproven.

    All we’re left with is an argument about individual subjective preference for what contributors consider to be “best,” in which case your idea is just as dumb as mine, so the whole thing is trivial.
     
  24. TN Outlaw

    TN Outlaw Member

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    The 5.56 has more market saturation. The 308win bests it in brass and ties it in components. Lots of .308" caliber's share the extensive bullet selection. The 45-70 covers a little broader bullet weight range. The 6.5x55 and 7x57 have killed every critter it has. Everything listed sure does have to be great in whichever category to best or tie the 30-06. Not good, but great.

    I think that's the point of why many refer to it as the king. ONE CARTRIDGE finishes gold, silver, or bronze in most every category. Those other cartridges usually have one or two good positives associated with them but fall short in others.

    The 30-06 is high up in the elite end of the spectrum in most any scenario from availability, price, amount of different flavors of factory loadings, components, and it also finishes on the higher end with hunting performance in the USA. Plenty of power to top all critters in the lower 48. Plus it shoots pretty flat 400yds and in.

    Add in winning 2 World Wars, I'd don't mind people touting it a king in their opinion.

    Name every cartridge that finishes as high as the 30-06 in practically every measurable category, can kill the same game as effectively as it can, at the same ranges, that shoots at least as flat, with as wide of array of bullet weights, with as many ammo and component choices, and has killed as much game.

    It'll be a small list of royalty that can qualify for ALL categories as high up as the 30-06 does. Like Varminterror said, I'd rather hedge my chances on a rifle that's best for each situation I'll be in, but I see why lots of shooters refer to the 30-06 as king. It does cover alot of ground and does so very well.
     
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  25. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Hit'em right - and even the ho-hum .270 Win will drop a monster.

    (.270 Win/ 130 gr./ Federal Premium Trophy Copper/ 100-125 yds.)




    GR
     
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