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30-06 vs 308

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30-06 vs 308

Old 01-11-2009, 05:54 PM
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Default 30-06 vs 308

Okay, I know some people are tired of this argument, but as I read up on peoples’ opinions, I learn more and more and see opinions change all the time (especially my own).

Let me give you some background: I'm pushing 40 years of age and am taking up hunting (all kinds) for the first time in my life. I've been reading books, blogs, and magazines for the past year or so, and 2009 will mark my first hunting season(s). I have a bow, a slug gun, andnow I want a rifle.

My first question is this; 30-06 or a 308?

From what I have read, a .30-06 will shoot farther and flatter than a .308—period. However, from what I have also read, sharp shooters are more accurate with a .308 on average—period—because whatever the 308 lacks in ballistics it more than makes up for in recoil reduction.

Additional background: I want to hunt everything from rabbits to bears.

According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (http://wildlife.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=huntalaska.firearms), magnum cartridges are NOT needed to hunt 1600 lb. Moose or 1500 lb. coastal brown bear. Bearing that in mind, and no pun intended, I am looking to the two classic all-in-one rifle calibers. By the way, the Alaskan government also lists both the 308 and the 30-06 as acceptable for anything Alaska has to offer.

More background: I have a 22LR, a handgun (not for hunting), a pump shotgun, and a slug gun; my wife will kill me if I buy too many more guns, and I need a couple more shotguns, so I’m looking for a due-it-all centerfire rifle.

So, is there anything I should consider besides what I mentioned between the two calibers? For example, is one better than the other for smaller game/lighter loads?

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:04 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

The 30-06 is plenty accurate enough for hunting and recoil isn't that much more than the 308. With it's longer case and greater capacity, the 30-06 can throw heavier bullets faster than the 308. Nice is you're hunting in Alaska.

Non-magnum for a 1000lb brown bear? It's possible, but I wouldn't want to do it.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:14 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

There isn't enough of a difference (IMO) to weigh that much on one being better than the other. Short action versus long, little bit more velocity/powder and the upside of being able to throw 220 grain offerings from the -06 whereas a .308 pushes 180's on the far side. Whatever you shoot better would be my suggestion. I'm an -06 guy but .308's are really just as good for what you're looking to accomplish. If you're going to be steering towards predominantly deer sized game and smaller, the .308 is your way to go, as most major ammo companies produce varmint loads up to the .308 range and usually no further.

Either way, good problem to have I guess.

(Don't look past the 7mm-08, either).

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Old 01-11-2009, 08:24 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

If I had any intensions of hunting brown bear the mininium I would want is the 30 .06. I know the .06 is good enough if the bear is broadside to you & doesn't know you're there but if you spook it in the brush and it charges you I personally would want more gun.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:26 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

If you're talking big game in alaska, hands down I would get a .30-06 over a .308, and I would guess many outfitters and others would want you to have something even bigger, though a .30-06 I think for most things there would be the starting point of cartridges.

You really can do it all in N.A. with the '06.

If you were just talking deer hunting....that would be a different discussion. As well if you were talking multiple guns...

From rabbits to brown bear....I'd get a 3 gun combo...1 light, 1 in the middle, and 1 magnum.

.243 Win, a .270 win or .30-06, and probably a .338mag or .375H&H.

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Old 01-11-2009, 08:34 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

remington 30.06 model 700 i love it
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:26 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

First of all I have zero experience with anything larger than mule deer, white tails and wild hogs. So no way I can advise for elk, moose, bear, etc. I have a pretty good and 40+ years experience hunting with both the 30.06 Spr. and 308 Win. I hand load for both and have shot 1000's of rounds of each at the range. In my opinion, for us average shooters accuracy is a function of too many inputs to be cartridge only. By far, No. 1 of these is us-n's ... the shooters. In truth, there is indeed a great dependency in the accuracy upon the quality of the rifle, a good trigger and having ammo that matches the idiosyncrasies of that particular rifle. Having said that, there seems to me to be something about the 308 Win. that seems optimizes the performance of many, many quality bullets and powder charges. Maybe it is the shape of the case ???

From a ballistics stand point, which any reloading chart will confirm, the 30.06 Spr. starts to outshine the 308 Win. when the bullet weight exceeds about 165 gr. In the 130 gr. to 165 gr. bullet weight, the two are very, very close in every way. I have found that my 308 Win. rifle "likes" a 165 gr. bullet at about max load best. My 2 - 30.06 Spr. rifles do great with the 165 gr., however 1 of them will darn near cloverleaf 180 gr. bullets pushed at near max as recommended by the Speer reloader manual I have. This is true in all 3 of these rifles for both flat based and boat tailed spitzers.

My personal hunting rifle of choice on all but the little bit of western hunting I have done, where shots could be 400-500 yards, is my 308 Win. However, I would think that if you are going to "one rifle" yourself, the 30.06 Spr. would be a better choice. The longer case will handle longer bullets better. I am guessing that bullets in the 180 gr. and up in the 308 Win. case are so long that they start to take up space that could otherwise be used for additional powder charge.

Truth for deer, either would be great. For moose and elk, I'd say ditto. For big bears ... ???
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:42 PM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

I'd take the 30-06, hands down. There are more load offerings for this caliber than any other on the market. You can go from reduced 125's to full power 220's. My understanding on the 308 is that there is some sort of "magic" balance with that particular case length, powder charge, burn rate, velocity, and a 168 grain bullet.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:22 AM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

.30-06 for sure. And get yourself a nice muzzleloader while you're at it to round out your gun collection.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:55 AM
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Default RE: 30-06 vs 308

ORIGINAL: vabyrd

My understanding on the 308 is that there is some sort of "magic" balance with that particular case length, powder charge, burn rate, velocity, and a 168 grain bullet.
The 168gr boattail hollow point round is incredibly accurate. Long range, high power rifle championships have been won with it!

With my Savage .308 and a 165gr round or the match grade 168gr BTHP, heck, even I can get cloverleaf groupings!

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