Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 77

Thread: .308 vs .30-06

  1. #1
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    06-06-08
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    686

    .308 vs .30-06

    I'm looking at these two calibers for a deer rifle. Some guys I know say that .30-06 is the only way to go, while others swear by the .308 Win.

    Now, I've already decided on a Savage. Model depending on what I can get locally.

    I've done some calculations between the two, and with similar weight bullets, they're pretty much the same. Cost is one thing I am concerned with, the other being ease of reloading.

    What are the pros and cons of these two rounds? Cost, range, and accuracy.
    "Lenin at least had an excuse for his mindlessness: he died of syphillis." - Standing Wolf
    "Remember, Remember The Fifth of November!"
    "It's not my Goal in life to be appropriate."

  2. #2
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    02-04-03
    Location
    Where they tell me to go
    Posts
    2,109
    To me the gains of the .308 is that you have a shorter action which usually means more rigid/accurate. Also, the bolt throw is shorter and usually quicker for a follow up shot.

    The '06 lets you go with a heavier bullet and will do a bit more on big game, so if you want one more all around cartridge then I think the '06 is the way to go.

    If you're going to stay in a certain area and hunt white tails the .308 will serve you very well.

    A consideration also is what barrel length you want. A short barrel in '06 will not get you a lot of gain.

    Don't think either has an accuracy gain over the other. '06 will tend to cost more ammo wise since there are more components there. Both are easy reloading options, again the '06 will have more options on the heavy end.

    In the end really, both will serve you well unless you are looking at big game then get the '06.
    "He who dares wins."
    NRA Life Benefactor Member

  3. #3
    Moderator   
    Join Date
    10-10-06
    Location
    North Idaho
    Posts
    6,988

    Shorter Stroke

    As I remember it, the .308 allows a shorter action for the bolt.

    The .30-06 is a long action.

    Ballistically, there's not a lot in it. Don't know what the cost differences are.

    You'll get slightly better range and hitting from the .30-06, but it seems to me there's a much more diverse selection of loads for the .308, judging by what I've seen on shelves.

    The .308 is better suited for semi-auto actions than the .30-06, or so my local smith tells me. In a bolt, it won't matter (other than the length of the action).

    These are tidbits left over from a series of conversations I had with the local gun shoppe's smith during the selection process for my son-in-law's BAR. They had a pair of Belgian-made BARs, one in .30-06, the other in .308. After discussing it with him, I went with the .308, partly because of the semi-auto action, shorter stroke, and the wider variety of available ammo.

    Your mileage, of course, will vary.


    Daughter: "Dad, how do I know who's a real friend?"
    Me: "A friend is someone who cares how your life turns out."


    "Truth is a dangerous thing: once found, you must never turn your back on it." -- gh@c2

    "Look at it this way. If America frightens you, feel free to live somewhere else. There are plenty of other countries that don't suffer from excessive liberty. America is where the Liberty is. Liberty is not certified safe." -- gh@c2

  4. #4
    Administrator   
    Join Date
    09-06-06
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    3,324
    30-06 is a little more versatile, particularly with heavier bullets. It tends to be 100 to 150 fps faster than .308 with the same bullet weight but that wont matter for most people.

    If you are going to stick with deer and smaller .308 will be fine, if you want to expand to elk 30-06 might be better.

    If you reload .308 will be a little easier and uses less powder per round.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  5. #5
    Administrator   
    Join Date
    09-06-06
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    3,324
    30-06 is a little more versatile, particularly with heavier bullets. It tends to be 100 to 150 fps faster than .308 with the same bullet weight but that wont matter for most people.

    If you are going to stick with deer and smaller .308 will be fine, if you want to expand to elk 30-06 might be better.

    If you reload .308 will be a little easier and uses less powder per round.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  6. #6
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    02-24-10
    Posts
    100
    Hunting? .30-06. Both are more than adequate for deer, but the .30-06 has a tiny bit of extra punch.

    Target shooting, the advantage goes to the .308 because the powder burns more consistently and uniformly.

    I don't own a .308, only .30-06 for me.
    Rollin' up to the club on the weekend
    / Stylin' out to the beat that you're freakin / Fantasize I'm the track that you're tweakin / Blow my heart up -Lady Gaga, Starstruck

  7. #7
    I don't own a .308, only .30-06 for me.
    Until you buy that Norinco you were talking about in another thread

  8. #8
    Member  
    Join Date
    08-26-06
    Posts
    78
    Curiously, why aren't tactical/sniper/military rifles popular in 30.06? Don't think I've ever seen one... with the exception of the garand.

  9. #9
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    06-06-08
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    686
    The forests of Oregon are crawling with Elk in certain areas, but I've never been a fan of Elk meat.

    I'd like to target shoot a bit with it as well, so the .308 might be the way to go as the cost and availability of .308 is better than .30-06. The shorter action is also a bit more attractive.

    The .308 is probably what I'll look for. If I need to, I could always upgrade to the .30-06.

    Thanks for the input
    "Lenin at least had an excuse for his mindlessness: he died of syphillis." - Standing Wolf
    "Remember, Remember The Fifth of November!"
    "It's not my Goal in life to be appropriate."

  10. #10
    New Member  
    Join Date
    12-22-10
    Posts
    27
    Curiously, why aren't tactical/sniper/military rifles popular in 30.06? Don't think I've ever seen one... with the exception of the garand.
    7.62 is common. A sniper can grab some ammo from all NATO allies if in need.

    7.6251mm NATO

    I don't think anyone used 30-06 except countries we supplied.
    Still searching for a pro 2nd Amendment site...Win_94's YouTube; (short shooting videos.)

  11. #11
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    10-16-08
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    1,007
    For your hunting rifle, the .308 Win and the .30-06 Springfield are basically the same as long as you stay at or below 165 gr. bullets.

    The .30-06 will run out of steam with a 220 gr. bullet and be in the same place the .308 Win. will be with the 180 gr. bullet.

    If you want to hunt with 150 - 165 gr. bullets buy the rifle that feels best or you can get the best deal on.

    If you want to go past 165 gr. buy the .30-06.

    If you want to target shoot, buy the .308 Win., the short case is always a little more accurate than the long one. .30-06 = 7.62 X 63 versus the .308 Win. which is 7.62 X 51.

    That should answer everything you wondered about the two.

    .30-06 made a good sniper rifle in the M1903A4 and the Springfield/Unertil/USMC M1903. It did well in the M1C and the M1D also. Carlos Haithcock set most of his records with the .30-06 in the Winchester Match rifle they took from the competition rack and issued to him in Viet Nam.

    But, by the time snipers became a constant part of the military the .30-06 was history, and it did not give enough advantage to bring back over the 7.62 X 51 NATO round.

    Snipers were red headed stepchildren in WW I, WW II, Korea and Viet Nam. As soon as the wars were over they were done away with, the powers that be just didn't want to contemplate guys that made it a habit of hunting other guys, high rankers and politicians, so they were always dis-established after the particular war was over. The USMC worked hard on snipers in Viet Nam and decided they needed to keep that skill and knowledge alive for future use. That is when snipers started to become respectable.

    A couple of the .30 cal. magnums have been tried, but never really took hold. Now the big one is the .338 Lapua. Of course, the real big one is the .50 BMG in the various rifles, but they won't admit that, seems it is not "civilized" to shoot someone with that big a round and it is an "anti-material rifle" and round!

    HTH,

    Buckshot

  12. #12
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-03-07
    Location
    Linn County, Iowa
    Posts
    2,997
    Curiously, why aren't tactical/sniper/military rifles popular in 30.06? Don't think I've ever seen one... with the exception of the garand.
    Logistics. Too many different calibers give the armorers and supply chain headaches. .308/7.62NATO cartridges are used in a variety of weapons from machine guns, designated marksmen rifles, to sniper rifles. The ballistic differences between .308 and .30-06 is too small to be worth the effort in logistic headaches.

    There is some movement to, IIRC, to the .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua Mag for sniper rifles for both military and police use in the USA. These cartridges offer enough of a ballistic advantage over 7.62 NATO to be worth the logistic headaches (in the opinion of the military commanders) for use in sniper rifles and anti-materiel weapons.

    There is such a small difference between .308 and .30-06 in ballistics that one would be hard pressed to find a difference in performance once the projectile has exited the muzzle. Buy which ever is most convenient, or cheapest, for your own use.

    I do see the advantage that .30-06 has with its longer case providing the possible advantage of reduced recoil and reduced wear on parts when used in a semi-auto rifle. This advantage can be gained by using a similarly long action chambered for .308. Someone would have to be shooting a lot of ammunition to see those advantages be significant reducers in weapon wear and shooter fatigue.

    Buy which ever is cheaper and/or which ever has the higher availability in cartridges. There was a bit of a shortage in .308 ammunition for a while because the military was buying so much of it. That scarcity has passed it seems.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  13. #13
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    03-18-10
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,031
    Would not an advantage be that the 30-06 can do what the .308 will do, but not vice versa?

  14. #14
    Moderator   
    Join Date
    10-10-06
    Location
    North Idaho
    Posts
    6,988

    Replacement

    If memory serves, I believe the .308 cartridge was actually designed as a replacement for the .30-06.

    The extractor groove, for example, was widened/deepened to facilitate better, more reliable extraction at higher firing rates.

    And, of course, being shorter, lighter, requiring less powder, while still delivering ballistically very similar performance, certainly doesn't hurt either.

    Also, for what it's worth, doesn't Barnes have some very effective bullet designs that pretty much make up the terminal ballistics difference between .30-06 and .308?


    Daughter: "Dad, how do I know who's a real friend?"
    Me: "A friend is someone who cares how your life turns out."


    "Truth is a dangerous thing: once found, you must never turn your back on it." -- gh@c2

    "Look at it this way. If America frightens you, feel free to live somewhere else. There are plenty of other countries that don't suffer from excessive liberty. America is where the Liberty is. Liberty is not certified safe." -- gh@c2

  15. #15
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    06-12-10
    Location
    Kodiak, Alaska
    Posts
    3,469
    Keep in mind that a shorter action also means a lighter rifle. And since the .308 cartridge is more efficient, you can get by with a shorter barrel. Weight counts.

    The .308 will do anything a 30.06 will do, and do it in a handier platform. The ballistic differences are negligible.

  16. #16
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    07-03-07
    Location
    Linn County, Iowa
    Posts
    2,997
    Would not an advantage be that the 30-06 can do what the .308 will do, but not vice versa?
    Looking at the specs of the .30-06 vs. .308 there is a slight advantage to using .30-06 when it comes to heavier projectiles. If one is really that concerned about using heavier bullets or obtaining higher energies, and has not yet been committed to either cartridge, then one might consider expanding their criteria to cover cartridges like .300 Win Mag, .300 Weatherby Mag, and .300 Lapua Mag.

    Also, assuming one is not tied down to .30 caliber rifles there are rifles in 7mm, 8mm, and .338 that one could consider. (How close is 8mm to .338 caliber? Did I just repeat myself?)
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  17. #17
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    02-24-10
    Posts
    100
    Until you buy that Norinco you were talking about in another thread
    Yup, out of stock online right now. SHould be able to find it offline.
    Rollin' up to the club on the weekend
    / Stylin' out to the beat that you're freakin / Fantasize I'm the track that you're tweakin / Blow my heart up -Lady Gaga, Starstruck

  18. #18
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    10-16-08
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    1,007
    Arfin Greebley,

    If you look at Ball, Cal. .30, M2 and Ball, Cal. 7.62 X 51, M80 you will find a toss up, the .308 Win. equals the .30-06. These with the nominal 150 gr. ball bullet.

    If you look at Match, Cal. .30, M72 versus the old Match, Cal. 7.62 x 51, M118 (the original, NOT the later M118LR or M118 Special Ball) with the 173 gr bullet will show a noticeable difference, with the M118 being slower.

    The .308 Win. quits at about 180 gr. from what I have seen, while the .30-06 goes on up to 220 gr.

    That is where the difference is, not down at ball bullet weight.

    Buckshot

  19. #19
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    09-24-08
    Location
    Approximately US60 & AZSR87
    Posts
    3,083
    I suggest you buy one of each and then begin loading for them.


    I reality, both shoot very well. Ammo for both can be found almost everywhere. As was said earlier, the '06 will shoot the heavier bullets. The .308 will work well in shorter barrels. (A big deal in thick brush!) Handle both, shoot both and make your choice. If the choice is difficult, buy both!

    Actual difference in accuracy between the two in sporter rifles is negligible. In Target rifles, barely measurable, but that is enough to make the difference in that game!

    Zip
    Last edited by Zipperhead; June 24th, 2011 at 01:43 PM.
    "Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius." Thomas Sowell
    "Sometimes absurdity is worth it for its own sake." Andrew Breitbart
    "Reality is not optional." Thomas Sowell

  20. #20
    Member  
    Join Date
    12-06-05
    Posts
    69
    While we're at it which is better a .45 or 9mm? It's one of those topics that everyone has a differing opinion on. Some very strong ones. In the end it really depends on your purpose and what you feel comfortable with. If you're more comfortable with and more accurate with a particular .308 rifle then that rifle is better for you than a 30-06 rifle that you aren't comfortable or as accurate with. The long action can throw some people off but then you can get a semi-auto. I would find friends with rifles similar to what you're looking at and ask to try them out.
    ---------------------------------------
    Talk-Guns.com Stop by for a visit.

  21. #21
    Administrator   
    Join Date
    09-06-06
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    3,324
    If memory serves, I believe the .308 cartridge was actually designed as a replacement for the .30-06.
    Yes, around WWI, 30-06 was found difficult to make function reliably in semi-auto firearms. The military wanted a shorter cartridge with equivalent performance. They made 30-06 work suitably in the Garand which served through WWII.

    Eventually they adopted 7.62x51 and shortly later tests showed 5.56 was more controllable and gave soldiers an advantage over M14 equipped soldiers.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  22. #22
    Administrator   
    Join Date
    09-06-06
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    3,324
    If memory serves, I believe the .308 cartridge was actually designed as a replacement for the .30-06.
    Yes, around WWI, 30-06 was found difficult to make function reliably in semi-auto firearms. The military wanted a shorter cartridge with equivalent performance. They made 30-06 work suitably in the Garand which served through WWII.

    Eventually they adopted 7.62x51 and shortly later tests showed 5.56 was more controllable and gave soldiers an advantage over M14 equipped soldiers.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  23. #23
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    06-06-08
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    686
    I like the .308 because hunting and plinking ammo can be had for a lot less than .30-06. With it's intended purpose of hunting and target practice, the .308 is the most attractive cartridge for me, as I won't be hunting game larger than deer. The shorter barrel and action also sell me on it.

    On a side note: In the .45 vs 9mm debate... 9mm because of price and modern bullet design. Too bad I own a 1911 in .45

    Edit: Distances I'll be encountering will be about 50-200 yards, as I doubt I'll go out east. At those ranges the .308 makes sense.
    Last edited by mikitsubizunizu; June 24th, 2011 at 02:29 PM.
    "Lenin at least had an excuse for his mindlessness: he died of syphillis." - Standing Wolf
    "Remember, Remember The Fifth of November!"
    "It's not my Goal in life to be appropriate."

  24. #24
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    12-24-10
    Location
    Pasco Cty,Fl.
    Posts
    780
    IMO, it boils down to whether you want shots over 300 yards.

    While I personally prefer 30.06, IMO the average person,

    even with a scope, won't be able to use it as well as a

    .308, myself included.

    What little extra punch the 30.06 provides at less than 300 yards is

    offset by overall cost, practicality, and recoil.

    Generally speaking, I'm not going to see game at over 300 yards,

    much less be sighted in for it. Nor would I consider shooting game at

    that distance ethical,personally, given my current skill levels at those

    distances. YMMV.

  25. #25
    Senior Member  
    Join Date
    08-05-05
    Location
    Puget Sound, almost in the mountains.
    Posts
    407
    Breathe there a beast with hide so tough,
    That a 30 ought 6 ain't enough?

    Seriously though, you can about do it all with an -06.
    A Smith & Wesson Beats Four Aces.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •