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What if the 30-06 never existed.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Crosshair, Aug 8, 2005.

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  1. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    I have an interesting "what if" situation. What if in the late 1890's, upon the US military realising that the Krag rifle was obsolete, we kept the 30-40 round and simply added a spitzer bullet and increased the pressure slightly for more velocity bringing it up to 30-06 power. Then chambered this upgraded 30-40 (Lets call it the 30-40 M2 for simplicity.) in the new 1903 Springfield rifle. Now with the stage set, how would US military small arms development have been different. I have my ideas on what would have happened, based mainly on the British being "stuck" with the 303 round as well as the Russians. I want to hear you're ideas as to what happens. Please don't let this turn into a caliber debate.
     
  2. p8riot

    p8riot Member

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    We'd all be speaking German
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    If the .30-06 never existed, grass would grow in the streets, the infant mortality rate would exceed 100%, Al Gore would be president and the ice age would return. :eek:
     
  4. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    My guess is, that when Garand designed the M1, we would have stuck with the .276 Pederson.
     
  5. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    I was hoping someone would bring that up jefnvk :) . I too think that we would have more readily adopted the .276 Pederson round had the 30-06 never existed.
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    In spite of a lot of criticism of the Army ordnance department of that period, they were actually pretty shrewd and, while always behind the curve, tried to keep up with foreign developments. I have no doubt that they saw the advantage of a rimless cartridge pretty early, and knew that the change in rifles gave them an opportunity to implement a change in cartridges to "keep up with the Joneses" (specifically, the Germans, who were definitely on the leading edge at the time). Of course, if the .30-'06 had not come along, we would have had the .30-'03, which we would probably have just updated with a pointed bullet, requiring only a change of sight settings, and kept on truckin'.

    Jim
     
  7. Lonestar.45

    Lonestar.45 Member

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    Interesting question. Here's another: Would we never have had the 25-06, and all the other '06 based cartridges as a result, or would they have been developed anyway independently?

    If not for the '06, what other cartridge could people constantly go on and on about as being the one cartridge able "to take any game animal on the continent, with possibly the exception of grizzly" as we hear so often? :D
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The .30'06 is just a spinoff of the 7x57 and the 8x57JS. If we didn't have it, we would have had something similar. The .30-40 Krag round was a notch less powerful than the .303 Brit or the 7.62x54R due to pressure and capacity limits, so I doubt it would have been a viable basis for an answer to the JS after 1905. Frankly we would have been just as well off with an 8x57JS clone as with the longer .30'06.
     
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The .30-06 is limited by fears that it may be fired in creaky old low-number Springfields. The 8X57 Mauser, especially as loaded in Europe, is under no such limitations. The .30-06 loaded to reasonable pressures in a modern rifle will outclass the 8X57.
     
  10. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    Good point Lonestar.45. I think that with the 30-40 as the 30-06. We would have had rounds like the 25-06 based off the 30-40 case. We could have had the 25-40 or something like that.
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The .30'06 will only begin to outmatch the 8x57JS in LIGHT MAGNUM loads, and even then the race is very close. The JS is a shorter cartridge, but it packs a serious punch. The two cartridges are ballistically very close. Indeed, in ball loadings the 8x57JS is notch hotter than .30'06.

    But my point is that the .30'06 is not that significant. It's a spinoff of Mauser cartridges. If it hadn't existed, the Mauser rounds still would have and could have been used directly or as inspiration for some new spinoff. The .30'06 is no more significant than any of the dozens of cartridges invented or upgraded after the 8x57JS came out and knocked everyone's socks off.
     
  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Most loadings for the 8X57 which adhere to US standards run 100 to 200 fps below .30-06 loadings for bullets of the same weight. The Europeans load it hotter (less plagued with lawyers, no doubt), but it still won't match the .30-06 with equal pressures.
     
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The SAAMI specks for what we call 8mm mauser are really 8x57J, not 8x57JS. In JS loadings the round is ballistically the near twin of the .30'06. THe pressures may run higher in the JS, but it can still launch bullets with 3,000 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle.
     
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Depends on the bullet, of course. Neither the .30-06 nor the 8X57 will drive a 220 grain bullet that fast, and both will drive a 110 grain bullet much faster.

    Nevertheless, the .30-06 at equivallent pessures will drive a bullet of the same weight and design to higher velocity.
     
  15. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Vern, I'd beg to differ.

    For example, Winchester's domestic loading of the 8mm Mauser gives 2360fps for their 170gr version of the round. Winchester's 165gr loading of the .30-06 Springfield gives 2800fps. My Burroughs Adding Machine Math gives me a velocity difference of 440 fps. That's just a smidgen more than the 100-200 fps difference you posted.

    Just for grins, Winchester's 170gr loading of the .30-30 Winchester gives 2200fps.

    So what does this tell us?

    1. Domestic 8mm Mauser ammo is horribly underloaded, actually closer to .30-30 Winchester than .30-06 velocities.

    2. .30-06 ammo may or may not be reduced in deference to low-number Springfield rifles, but not by much, compared to the downloading of 8mm Mauser ammo in deference to '88 Commission Rifles.

    3. SAAMI is the long pole in the tent with respect to commercial 8mm Mauser ammo.

    4. The 8x57JS round is quite efficient when loaded to proper capacity. S&B sells their 196gr round, which move out at 2589fps, not too shabby for that bullet weight. In contrast, although I don't see too many .30-06 commercial loads with that heavy a bullet anymore, King's Custom Ammo does sell a 200gr GameKing .30-06 load, moving at 2360fps. I'll assume the latter is hindered by a SAAMI-style hitch-in-the-git-along.

    5. Cosmo and I have gone around about the .30-06 being underloaded and inefficient. In 2005 terms, maybe so. But not in 1906 terms, and certainly not in 1938-1945 terms, with respect to the M1 Garand, BAR, and 1903A3 Springfield rifles. Propellant technology has come a long way since 1906, witness the ball powder innovation that gave the .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO .30-06 performance in a case that's 1/2" shorter in length than the parent .30-06. High velocity with low pressure is the holy grail of ammunition manufacturers. Watch the velocity to pressure curves of a given round through the years, and assuming the liability lawyers don't arbitrarily clamp down (ie, the changes in .357 Magnum top loads over the last few decades), you'll notice the improvements.

    6. I think a variant of the 8mm Mauser, probably in .30 caliber, like a 7.62x57, would end up as our service cartridge were the .30-03 or .30-06 not selected by the War Department.
     
  16. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Member

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    Isn't the 8x57 limited by fears that someone will shoot it in a 1893 Turk Mauser? I'd worry more about that than my way-old '03.

    Shooting "real" 308 thru an old "guardia" Mauser would be another cause for concern.

    Regards.
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I agree that factory loads in the US show a much greater advantage to the .30-06, which is why I refer to loading manuals which actually list pressures for the loads in question. There the .30-06 advantage shrinks a bit.

    And yes, SAAMI is the long pole in the tent. One question unanswered is why a Model 70 in .30-06 is held about 7,000 psi below an identical Model 70 in .300 Magnum. The .30-06 in a modern rifle has much greater potential than SAAMI allows. So if we stick with European loadings for the 8X57 and SAAMI standards for the .30-06, the .30-06 is operating under a handicap.

    I can drive a similar bullet from a .30-06 to about 120 fps faster (2710 fps, with 59 grains of H4831) and still stay within SAAMI limits. If I were go to to .300 WM pressures (which the Model 70 will obviously take), I could drive it a bit faster still.
     
  18. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    The Turk Mauser blowing up is a concern I never really got, especially considering the Turks have the hottest loading of 8mm.

    The Low Number Springfields were known to have manufacturing defects, which could cause the reciever to blow up if there was a problem with the ammo. Underloading prevents this, although, I wouldn't think it is done much anymore, wth the vast number of '06 out there.
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The Turks are obviously not infested with lawyers like we are. :uhoh:

     
  20. carebear

    carebear Member

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    That's the way I'm betting with Daddy's Rock Island. :evil:
     
  21. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    A sentiment that I agree with, but could get Remington or Winchester in big trouble if their ammo failed, and the old reciever did let go.

    Probably not. But I have a hard time believeing that the Turks would overload ammo, knowing it to be dangerous. You are not getting a lot of benefits by overloading it, but lots of risks.

    I believe someone had a comparison on here a while ago, showing the difference between small ring Mausers, and many commercial recievers made today. IIRC, the small ring was just a bit smaller than the new ones, and just as strong.
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    There is a lot of foreign military ammo out there that leaves me scratching my head. I don't know WHY they overload, but they do.
     
  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Except for an incurable case of Not Invented Here, we could have saved time and probably money by just doing like many other countries and adopting the Mauser as was. In a good 'Merican inch caliber, of course; we'd have still called it the .30 Government but it would actually have been 7.62x57. If, with the powders of the time it had been a little less powerful, I don't think that would have done anything but saved on recoil. I think the Krag was powerful enough and its ballistics in a rimless package, with spitzer bullets, would have served well. Probably would not have seen a .276 Pedersen... or a .308 down the road, either.

    Few of the "improvements" of the '03 over the '98 ever amounted to anything. I mean, who needs a cocking knob? If you have a misfire, stroke the bolt and get rid of the dud, don't waste time whacking it again. And if anybody ever used the magazine cutoff in action, I haven't heard of it.
     
  24. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Member

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    I only shoot "real" 30-06 in the low-numbered '03 once in a while. The high-numbered 03Mk1 and 03A3 can handle the heavy stuff. The low-numbered 03 usually shoots gas-checked lead bullets, and those are loaded way low. I never chronographed the stuff (hint for santa), but I'd guess they are barely supersonic, about an 8" drop between 50 and 100 yards.

    I subscribe to Vern's Darwinian Theory - any weak '03's are already blown up. The strong have survived. I'm sure mine saw a lot of bullets between 1906 and today.

    Back the original thread, if we had not developed the .30-'06, I hope we'd have just licensed the 8x57 and not bothered with the .303 or .30-40. 6.5x55 would have been another good one to "borrow".

    Regards.
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The cocking knob is a hold-over from the Krag. At one time, we considered dropping it, but John C. Garand showed there was no advantage to NOT having it, and the change would have cost money.

    In all fairness, the magazine cutoff gave us two unintended advantages. First of all, it makes a great bolt stop, and cheaper than the Mauser version. Secondly, it required a modified extractor -- so you can single load an '03 when a Mauser has to be loaded through the magazine.

    The two piece firing pin is easier to strip than the Mauser firing pin -- with less danger of breakage while stripping.
     
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