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Garand in 30.06 or .308?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Gunsmoker, Aug 13, 2007.

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  1. Gunsmoker

    Gunsmoker Member

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    I've never fired or owned a rifle before and I plan on getting a Garand.

    What's the difference between these 2 rounds? Recoil? Power? Cost?

    Overall?
     
  2. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    30.06 is a more fun round that if you ever get into reloading can be loaded well beyond the limits of the .308, or do exactly what the .308 does, your choice.

    The .308 was an attempt to make a 30-06 that would feed better in machineguns. However making the overall round smaller meant the flexibility in its loadings went away.

    So the .308 is basicly an average 30-06 but a 30-06 can be as powerful or more powerful and shoot a wider range of weight bullets and a wider range of velocities.

    The .308 is now a military caliber and so you will find more ammunition readily available as this has tended to make it a "modern" round in wider use by both the military and civilian market.
     
  3. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

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    Well, in a Garand, you have to be careful about handloads and store bought ammo, the gas system is very sensitive and can be damaged by loads with heavy bullets or slow powders, more or less 30-06 and 308 would be very similar in most respects (recoil/ballistics), except for, 1. availability of parts, 2. availability of rifles, 3. availability and cost of ammo. This is outside of the whole "Patton would puke at the sight of a garand in anything other than -06"

    CMP has good deals and support for 30-06 garands and ammo, and the few parts that are specific to each have much better availability in 06. Here lately because 308(7.62X51nato) is an actively used round, availability has been very scarce, or expensive OTOH 30-06 is retired, and mountains of it are available for cheap, both cost about the same to handload.

    Another thing to note, the older garands have forged recievers, the new springers don't, and for the price of a new one, you can basically build a superior match grade original, refinish it and repark it.

    For a little more versatility with handloads, an adjustable gas plug can help.

    I bought mine factory refurbed from an old reciever in "super match" configuration for $1100 in nearly perfect condition about 8 months ago. I was originally looking for one of the new springers, but $1500 and 6 months backorder, for a rifle not as well suited for weekly target shooting and occasional competition seemed like a no brainer.
     
  4. Gunsmoker

    Gunsmoker Member

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    Well, I'm planning on getting a garand from the garandguy and .308 is familiar to me because of movies, games, media, etc.

    I know the 30.06 is the classic garand round, but having the garand is good enough for me if the .308 offers more advantages.

    I won't be reloading. Are there over the counter manufactuers that offer .308 loads that are safe for the garand?

    So 30.06 is cheaper if I don't reload?
     
  5. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

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    30-06 greek M2, 240rds shipped in an ammo can for $55, anymore thats about 1/2 of what 5.56 nato costs, and about the same that I can reload for (not including brass)

    http://estore.odcmp.com/store/catalog/catalog.aspx?pg=product&ID=415-CN&item=&sfv=&cat=AMC&desc=&udc=&mct=&vndr=&ba=&pmin=&pmax=&note1=&note2=&note3=&note4=&note5=&max=

    If you can find decent 308 anywhere for that price, in stock, well then Im sure just about everyone on THR would boost you up on their shoulders and parade you around town amid cheers of joy;)

    Crappy indian 308 is around $10 a box, WWB FMJ is now about $15, the SA battle packs have gone the way of the dodo.
    Currently, when you can find it, 7.62 nato goes for at least $10 per box of 20
     
  6. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    The .308 offers 0 advantage in an M-1. There are many reasons why .06 is the King of Garand land--and chief of that is the plentiful supply of .06 the CMP has to sell--For little gold. And the quality is just great.

    If you are going Garand, the .06 is king, .308 is fine--but .06 beats it by a nose in the M-1---and it just plain ALWAYS will. Head to head, toe to toe, an .06 M-1 beats .308. It is flat fact.

    Don't get me wrong, 7.62 NATO is great--but not in an M-1.



    And BTW--not to be a downer--and (please) not to discourage---but an M-1 is a hard mistress unless you go all-the-way. And in fact, it can be a dangerous bad bitch if you are not careful--please, learn all you can. Seek out the CMP--they have them to sell and will help you learn all you need.

    And buy one---if you've never owned a rifle, and the first is an M-1, it's not far off from never driving a car, and buying a '62 Vette. The learning curve will be large.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  7. Gunsmoker

    Gunsmoker Member

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    So if I want to use 30.06 ammo, do I have to be careful about the type of ammo I use or is it just the .308 ammo that is picky with the garand?
     
  8. joe4702

    joe4702 Member

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    Also, if you ever plan to shoot in John Garand matches, you'll need a .30-06 M1.
     
  9. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...difference between these 2 rounds..." Ballistically, they're identical. The .30-06 case is half an inch longer and about 100fps faster with like bullets. The '06 can use heavier bullets, but you won't want to use anything heavier than 180 grains in an M1. The felt recoil is the same too.
    The .308/7.62 was developed to take advantage of the then new powders that gave the same ballistics as the '06, but in a shorter case. MG's had nothing to do with it.
    "...over the counter manufacturers..." Federal loads match grade ammo that can be used. Cheap it ain't though.
    If you plan on shooting a lot, plan on getting into reloading, eventually, too. Milsurp ammo is not made for optimum accuracy.
     
  10. 4fingermick

    4fingermick Member

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    "Another thing to note, the older garands have forged recievers, the new springers don't, and for the price of a new one, you can basically build a superior match grade original, refinish it and repark it."

    The actions for the springers are made at the Australian Defence Industries factory at Lithgow, 35miles down the road from where I live. They are not forged, but are a quality item.

    I've had a lot of 308s and 3006 (my license plates are SP3006), but unless its a bolt action and you especially want to use heavy bullets and max loads teh 308 will do anything the 3006 will and is a touch more inheirently accurate I have found. You would be hard pressed to tell which one you were using, they are so close. I currently have lots of rifles in both and I'd buy the first one that took my fancy. If I was building a rifle from scratch, it would be hard to go past the 308. My experience with the rounds is god, but with Garand somewhat limited. What I remember though, it didn't like heavy loads or heavy bullets. Puts too much of a strain on a fine rifle. A bolt gun is different, its all locked up when the crackers are let off, the semi auto and auto gun however can have the 'harmonics' changed by upping the power and recoil by 10-20%.

    God luck with it, Mick.
     
  11. Gator

    Gator Member

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    The M1 is a pretty soft shooting .30-06, but it is a real p***ycat in .308. I have each, and I'm toying with the idea of a 7mm-08 M1. The ballistics of the 7mm-08 are very close to the original .276 cartridge.
     
  12. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    I got my Springfield (made in 1943) in 308. Why? Because then my M1A and Garand used one caliber. Also at the time I bought my Garand, 7.62NATO was much cheaper.

    Boy, have times changed. May switch it back to 30-06.

    Go figure.

    Fred
     
  13. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    30.06 -- it's almost a moral obligation! :D
     
  14. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    In a pinch, there is a barrel insert that allows an .06 to shoot .308---the Navy used them to use .308 in .06 barreled M-1's. No, not ideal in terms of safety--but for 15 bucks you can shoot 7.62 Nato out of your .06 if need be.

    I have one in the hollow of the stock in case. And the point being also--get the .06 original---a smith can always re-barrel to .308 for you later if you become stuck on the caliber.
     
  15. Gunsmoker

    Gunsmoker Member

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    I plan on going through garandguy and getting the rifle with the new barrel, so I have a choice.

    I think I'll go with 30.06. This is the original round, right?

    And CMP has surplus ammo for cheap too.
     
  16. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    Yes--.06--garandguy--Buy it. Love it. Cherish it. Name it. Sleep with it.
    Keep it always. Please--GET EXPERT HELP LEARNING TO FIRE THE WEAPON AND CARE FOR IT. Read the manual. Take your new bad girl to a CMP shoot--It's OK to bring your own! It's OK to be new to the Garand!

    And then, buy an m5-1 bayonet w/frog (sheath) on ebay because you need one of those also (and a GI pistol belt--your pick of vintage and hook/eye or fastex buckle).
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Yes, the .06 is the original caliber.
    Yes, CMP has surplus ammo cheap.

    Buy a lot of ammo now because it will always go up. I ordered 960 rounds from CMP last week.
     
  18. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    I was under the impression that the shorter case was desired because it worked and fed more reliably with by allowing the use of shorter automatic actions. This made it more ideal for autos like the M14. I said machinegun in reference to legal definition, in terms of automatic rapid fire. It allowed for shorter actions in general which was the reason for the desire to "replicate the 06" in a shorter cartridge, not just to take advantage of different powder for the sake of doing so. The shorter action was obviously prefered from a design perspective otherwise they could have just stuck with the BAR action in 30-06.

    The 06 still has more flexibility in power as well in general. It is similar to the 10mm and .40SW in pistols in that while many low powered common 10mm loads exist that the .40SW can match, the 10mm can easily go well beyond the range of the .40SW. It can be loaded up or down to a great degree depending on desire. The same diameter but shorter cased .40SW cannot do that, even if the firearm was designed for the pressures of the 10mm simply because the pressure spike in the shorter brass would exceed safe limits loading it up, and loading it down would not produce adequate pressures for cycling, so its window of operation is much narrower. The .40SW is based on the lite loading of the 10mm, and the .308 is based on the median loading of the 30-06.
    The lower case capacity in the case makes it more susceptible to pressure changes, which limits your flexibility in loadings. With larger capacity you can change the powder grains and stay within lower and upper pressure limitations for a greater number of loading potentials. This means even factory ammo could be designed for a greater number of purposes in that chambering.
     
  19. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    A few years back, .308/7.62 NATO could be had for a lot cheaper than .30-06 M2 ball. This made rebarrelling M1s for .308 pretty popular. Now, the prices on ammo are either the same, or in favor of the .30-06, so there is literally no reason to go with .308, unless you think it will drop back down in price below .30-06 levels, you have found a .308-chambered example for a nice price, or you already have rifles that shoot .308 and want to keep ammo supply simplified.

    As was said, .30-06 and 7.62 NATO are identical in their standard military loadings (M2 ball and ... oh-I-forget, M-something). 7.62 NATO is just .30-06 in a shorter case. Now, .30-06 has a lot of 'excess' case capacity, so it can be loaded hotter than .308, but if you're feeding a Garand this is moot- you want to shoot M2 ball or 7.62 NATO (or .308 in 7.62 NATO loading) and not a whole lot else. The action needs the right pressure to function properly.

    Me? I'd get the .30-06 and not look back.

    Mike
     
  20. Swampy

    Swampy Member

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    The ONLY commercial ammo of any kind in which the maker will state in writing that the load carries a powder that is safe for the M1's gas system is the Federal Gold Medal Match round in 30-06 chambering. When queried on this matter, ammo makers usually will state that, "NO, our ammo is not made for the M1 rifle", or simply refuse comment..... statement enough in and of itself.

    There are no other commercial ammo loads of any kind that can be assumed as safe for the M1's gas system..... either in '06 or .308 cartridges. AAMOF, because of it's smaller case capacity, .308 commercial ammo is more likely to carry powder that is too slow for the M1 than not. The makers must use the slower powder to acheive the advertized velocities they have published.

    With the prices way up and availability of good 7.62 Nato surplus down in the toilet as of the last year.... I see no reason to buy an M1 in that chambering (Unless you are going to be re-loading.). The CMP sells good quality 30-06 surplus ammo that is safe for the M1 rifle and they have plenty of it available.

    If you simply MUST shoot commercial ammo in your M1 rifle be sure to install a ported gas lock screw. Remember too.... the adjustment regimen must be repeated each time you change lots of ammo.... so buy in bulk, regardless of ammo type.

    Best regards,
    Swampy

    Garands forever
     
  21. hamourkiller

    hamourkiller Member

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    CMP has garands Service grade @ 595 + ship

    Greek M2 ball $50 + ship 192 rds in enbloc clips

    Greek Ball $55 + ship 240rds/20rd boxes

    All ammo in spam cans

    M1 Carbines inland make $495 no limit

    Get them while you can.
     
  22. DMK

    DMK Member

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    I agree completely. I have a .308/7.62x51 Garand and it shoots great, but I also have two FALs, a substantial stash of 7.62x51 surplus and at the time I had no other .30-06 guns.

    Now that 7.62x51 is getting hard to acquire, I'd definitely go with a .30-06 chambering. In fact, I'm going to buy another one in this caliber from CMP this fall to cover both bases since I now have a 1903 Springfield as well.
     
  23. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Actually, neither is true. The .308/7.62 is the result of going fishing for halibut and catching cod. The German's and Russian's development of intermediate rounds used in assault rifles did not go unnoticed by the Europeans and Americans. The idea was to develop a mutually agreed upon intermediate round that would allow for both semi-auto and full auto use in a new battle rifle. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it), America's Generals, while wanted something smaller, would not consider anything less than .30 caliber and with less than .30-06 power levels. This essentially doomed the project of having a battle rifle capable of full auto fire, as the .308/7.62 round was too powerful to be effective in full auto mode in a battle rifle. It had nothing to do with feed characteristics, as the .30-06 fed perfectly in the many machineguns that the U.S. fielded. It also had nothing to do with new powders, as 7.62x51 LC Match used the same IMR4895 powder that .30-06 LC Match used, and similar velocities were reached.

    Don
     
  24. Gator

    Gator Member

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    :what:

    That sounds like an accident waiting to happen. The chamber inserts the Navy used were not "drop in". A recess was cut into the chamber to accept them.
     
  25. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    Let me restate--you're right Gator, it would be an EMERGENCY only measure for me and you have to use loctite permatex and fire form it on a round and let it set up. Not recomended.
     
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