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Thoughts on the 30/06 family tree

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by High Plains, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. High Plains

    High Plains Member

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    The ubiquitous 30/06 Springfield enjoys great commercial ammo success (when the stuff is available) as a parent cartridge from the 25/06 Remington through the 35 Whelen. I am sure a smart, skilled gunsmith tweaked a few things and created a wildcat off the /06 case of even greater safe and consistent accuracy than we generally know of.
    Hand loads for 25/06, 270 Win, 280 Rem, and the old 30/06 base cartridge have yielded great results for me. I used 30/06 cases for my 9.3x62mm Mauser and while that works in a pinch, I would rather use factory brass vs necking up, trimming and fire forming the cases.
    What are your best rifles of the 30/06 cartridge family? Mine is a 280 Remington put together with various pieces laying around a gunsmiths shop. It’s a tack driver now,
     
  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    The popularity of .270 always made me scratch my head. .25-06 seemed like it made more sense for lower recoil and flatter trajectory.

    My best Ought Six? Probably this one-

    IMG_20200629_193854_3.jpg
     
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  3. wgp

    wgp Member

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    My first centerfire rifle was a Remington 700 Classic in .30-06. I put it in one of the early synthetic stocks and put a Leupold 2.5 x 8 on top, worked up a 165gr Partition load, and that's how it still sits after a lot of years. I also have other rifles in that caliber and have had others that have passed on, as well as .25.06s etc, but that original 700 remains the most accurate and best-handling rifle I have ever had. I'll admit that my Bergara HMR in 6.5 Creed is a contender, at least in accuracy, but that first .06 is a champ.
     
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  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I've owned 280, 338/06, and 35 Whelen. But I started with 30-06. And while an argument can be made that each in some ways is an improvement over the original, the difference wasn't enough for me to justify owning any of the others AND a 30-06. Since I'd owned the 30-06 the longest and had too much history to sell it, I eventually let the others go.

    I suppose that if I were trying to put together a matched set of "perfect" North American hunting rifles a 280 and a 338/06 would bracket 30-06 pretty well. I do like those 2 rounds, especially 280. But on the other hand a 30-06 with 150-180 gr bullets does pretty much anything 280 does, and with 200-220 gr bullets does everything 338/06 does.
     
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  5. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    I owned a 1917 Springfield that someone sporterized in .270 Winchester in the early 90’s. It had a Lyman peep sight rear sight and with iron sights I was very accurate with that rifle out to 300 yards. I couldn’t bring myself to drill and tap the receiver for a scope mount so I sold it to a buddy of mine that lusted after that rifle.
    Besides my Garand in 30.06, that I converted to .308, these are the only two rifles I have owned based on the 30.06 cartridge.

    If I wanted our needed a long range hunting rifle I might consider the .270 Winchester again.
     
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  6. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Very good point that I had not considered. Thanks.
     
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  7. bigpower491

    bigpower491 Member

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    The 338-06 is all three of those in 1 rifle, with a slight ballistic edge on the Whelen
     
  8. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

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    My best 30-06? That would be my Remington 721.
     
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  9. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    30/06.
     
  10. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I'm an unequivocal fan of the .30-06.
    It has yet to let me down regardless what the fad-masters, ballisticians, magazine writers or any other Johnny-come-lately will tell me.

    My *best* would be a toss up between my Browning High Power and my International Harvester Garand. Ironically (or not?) I have taken more deer with my Garands than the High Power.

    But the one I truly loved and sadly let slip away was a very early, very beautiful Remington 760. In .30-06.... Quite possibly the finest long gun ever made for North America.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Todd.
     
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  11. Archie

    Archie Member

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    May I point out the .308 Winchester? Despite the reasoning it is developed from the .300 Savage, the Savage was developed as a shorter cartridge duplicating the velocities of the .30-06. The .308 Win (or 7.62x51mm NATO in original form) is a lengthened form of the the .300 Savage, or a shortened version of the .30-06. There is likely some distinctions in the taper and shoulder angles, but the dimensions of the head and main body are negligible.

    To be fair, the .30-06 is based - dimensionally - on the 7.92x57mm (8mm Mauser) cartridge. So one should include all the Mauser :whatever: x57mm cartridges as 'cousins' or perhaps 'second cousins'. Which indicates the .257 Roberts (necked down 7x57mm) is another 'shirt tail' relation.

    To answer the question, I prefer the older cartridges. I am a great appreciator of the .30-06 (I have an M1903, an M1903A1, an M1917 and a early Ruger M77 in the caliber). I have two rifles in .308 Winchester. I have two rifles in .257 Roberts and some others. I'm a bit more sensitive to recoil than I used to was, so I prefer the lesser recoiling items these days.
     
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  12. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    Don't leave out Ole Granpa .30-03!
     
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  13. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    1953 Model 70 standard grade 30-06 will be one of the last few to go, and I hope it is to one of my boys.
     
  14. bigpower491

    bigpower491 Member

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    I hear ya.........in the age of the super short mag, the short mag, ultra mag, goony goo goo mag, whatever, the 06 and its offshoots still are still getting it done 115 yrs after the parent made its appearance
     
  15. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    People like to lampoon the "Commission" that developed the GEW88, but one thing they got right was the .473" 7.92x57mm cartridge case. It is at the top of the family tree, with the .30-06 being a successful descendent, along with most of the Mauser rounds.
     
  16. TRX

    TRX Member

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    The .318 Westley Richards was a blown-out .30-06. I have a reamer; someday I'll use it...

    My 1957 BSA Imperial Featherweight is chambered in .30-06. I'm more of a "black rifle" guy, but I bought the BSA because it was gorgeous. It's wearing a late-1960s Redfield "TV View" scope with a rectangular objective lens, because, hey, a weird rifle needs a weird scope...

    The .308 was just a shortened .30-06. Keep shortening the .308, and you wind up with .44 Auto Mag Pistol. Which is conveniently suitable for my Auto Mag.

    Before the AMP, gun cranks shortened rifle brass down for some of the "long .45s" like .45 NAACO, .451 Detonics, etc. I expect most people just trim .460 Rowland or .45 Win mag brass to whatever length they need, nowadays. I buy my Rowland brass from Starline.

    PO Ackley made "improved" cartridges by blowing common ones out straighter, steepening the shoulder angles, and shortening the necks. Rocky Gibbs said "hold my beer and watch this!" and went past what Ackley did, then fiddled around with threading brass tubes into the cases for "forward ignition". I have the tap, die, and tubing to play around with that, if I ever get the time... the critics complained that Gibbs' tubes didn't perform any better than simply using the correct powder to do the job, conveniently overlooking that Gibbs developed his system when "correct powder" was hard to get, but surplus military contract powder (mostly intended for .50 BMG) was cheap and available by the keg. Sort of like today, except without the cheap milsurp powder. You shoot what you can get.
     
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  17. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    Let’s not forget the 6.5-06 A-Square...

    Sam
     
  18. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Yep. What jmr40 said.:thumbup:
    I was going to reply that my best rifle "of the 30/06 cartridge family" is an old Ruger 77, 30/06. I used to have a 270 Win (pre-64, 70) that I used for mule deer, elk and pronghorns. It worked well, but I finally came to the realization that the good ol' 30-06 loaded with 165gr BT bullets doesn't give up enough "flat-shootingness" (is that a word?) to the 270 Win to worry about. And I could load a 30-06 with 180gr, or even 200gr bullets if I ever felt the need.
    BTW, my longest shot ever on a game animal was an honest-to-goodness, paced off, 460 yard, mule deer - with my 30-06. He was standing, facing me, and there was a tree beside me with a limb sticking out for me to rest my rifle on.
    I put the crosshairs right between the deer's eyes, and squeezed off the shot. My rifle bucked, but settled back down just as the Hdy 165gr BTSP struck the deer in his thorax. He flipped over backwards, kicked once or twice, and laid still.
    We found the bullet (a picture-perfect mushroom) later on - it had traveled almost the entire length of the deer's body on the inside, and was lodged in his left thigh. I don't reckon I needed a "flatter-shooting" 270 Win.:D
    On the other hand, a custom 35 Whelen might be nice. I don't reckon I need one of those either. But I think 35 Whelens are cool, and "not needing" a gun has very seldom stopped me from buying one.;)
     
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  19. High Plains

    High Plains Member

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    . This nails it for the versatility of the original /06.

    With a 308 Win, a 30/06 Spfd and a 300 Wby I have the .30 cal area well covered. One of the /06 is a M-1 Garand. It is surprisingly accurate with 150 and 168 grain handloads. A 1917 Enfield made into a 25/06 Rem was a heavy rifle that was probably so accurate because of its helf. One that got away was a short lived Marlin XL7 in 270 Win. The component designs it copied from Savage, Weatherby and Remington rifles of similar level helped make it quite the shooter. I sold it to get the 280 Rem and I’ve never thought twice about the decision.
     
  20. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Remington 03-A3 1943 and Springfield M1 Garand 1944.
     
  21. bigpower491

    bigpower491 Member

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    Rocky Gibbs......darn near forgot about him. Thanks for bringing up that pioneer.
     
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  22. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Ive had multiple 06s, a .30-06AI, a .270, and a .280AI.
    My first centerfire rifle was a .30-06 Remington 700 BDL that my dad bought for me. Then I bought myself a 7400.
    Up until recently, Ive always had one in the cabinet. I have an attachment to the round, and Im sure I'll get another one, but I dont often choose to use them when I have them.
    My personal want is for more capacity on a 30+cal cartridge, needed or not.

    The .270 was and is a fine round, but I just couldnt bring myself to really like it, and gave the rifle to a friend of mine. He on the other hand loves it.

    Ive been a 7mm fan since my first 7 Rem Mag, and the .280AI can almost duplicate the loads I shot in my 7 Mags for years. I SHOULD be head over heals for the round.....but I still think about getting another 7 Mag.......and ive already got one in the cabinet.
    Not that id use the .280 to fund it. While im not emotionally attached to the .280AI, it is (IMO) one of the best general purpose medium/large game cartridges available. If id gotten THIS rifle 30 years ago......well id still have gone thru a pile, thats just me, but its likely id still own it.
     
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  23. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Going back even farther the 6.5X55 and 7X57 were both developed in the 1890's. Both should be considered the grandmother and grandfather of most of the common cartridges in use today. If you think about it they were the original basis for many other cartridges. The 7X57 impressed the military enough to take the same case and lengthen it slightly and expand it to 30 caliber to develop the 30-03 which morphed into the 30-06. Which of course has it's own line of descendants.

    But the 30-06 was also shortened and combined with developments in powder became the 300 Savage which duplicated 30-06 loads at the time. And was tweaked again to make the 308. And then the 308 spawned the 243, 358, 338 Fed. It's sort of ironic that the 308 also led to the 260 and 7-08 which came full circle to re-invent the performance of the grandparents 6.5X55 and 7X57. The 6.5CM is also in the family tree as is the 257 Roberts and many others.
     
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    6.5x55 is not in the 8mm family tree, the head diameter is slightly larger. So little larger that a lot of ammo brands don't bother, they just make it the standard size and it seems to work OK.
    All done about the same time but apparently the Norwegian Krag defined the round and the Swedes used it.
    There is such a thing as a 6.5x57 Mauser but it is not very common.

    Phil Sharpe said there was a lot of 7.5 French in the .308's development although adjusted to US standard diameters as per .30-06 and .300 Savage.
     
  25. Steve Milbocker

    Steve Milbocker Member

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    Jack O’Connor :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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