Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.

Need a Caliber Recomedation

Old 09-19-2010, 07:09 PM
Fork Horn
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Originally Posted by Mr. Deer Hunter
The .308 Winchester was a military round which was designed to replace the 30-06 govt, due to the fact that the 30-06 govt required the gun to have a longer action to accommodate the round and it kept the shooter from carrying as many rounds because the 30-06 round was longer and weighed more - because the shell held more powder.
I would like to say this. The 30-06 was not replaced because it weighs more than .308 and certanly not because it had more powder. It was replaced because its over 100 years old and powder technology has advanced leaps and bounds since then. The Ammunition Manufacturers were ready to shut down production of the old powder formulated for 30-06 gov. 30-06 was originally just a update to smokless black powder from the 30 40 kraig and its true black powder charge.
Originally Posted by Mr. Deer Hunter
The .308 uses a faster burn powder - but not as much to do the same job. Both has the same ballistics for a 150 gr bullet. The kicker comes in when you try to use a 180 gr bullet in the .308

Because the shell is shorter in the .308 and because when you use a bigger bullet, it displaces room inside of the shell, you can't put as much powder inside of a .308 and so it fails miserably when you move up to a 180 gr bullet. Also the 30-06 has a couple more feet of reach downrange then does the .308, which means if you want a good all around gun, you would buy the 30-06 and not the .308

This is not to say that manufacturers has not improved bullet construction over the past 30 years or that you couldn't use a 150 gr bullet to kill a elk or a bear, just that I wouldn't want to use it in my opinion. I had a model 88 - .308 Winchester rifle and it was a very sweet shooting rifle.
This is essentially correct. The .308 can use 150 grain and 165 grain bullets. With the bonded bullets we have now it should not matter at all. 30-06 does not have more reach than .308 though. 30-06 does have a draw back. It has to much unused cartridge capacity. At 300 yards you will see this in your groups. They will be bigger than .308 and just wont shrink, this happens when you back down to about 90% capacity which is where the "oght 6" is at. That is why the Mil. dropped it, actually modified it. They solved the problem by reducing capacity by shortening the cartridge. you are essentially correct on the bullet consideration aspect. For now .308 is low on bullet selection. That will change as powders continue to improve and the manufacturers have already stated there is LOADS of room for improvement. You might notice the 30-06 loads that dissapear the quickest are the 180 grain and up loads. That is because that bigger bullet can be used to take up that extra space that is giving us fits with our 300 yard groups.
Originally Posted by Mr. Deer Hunter
Probably the best choice for a all around rifle for doing everything would be a 7 MM Remington magnum or a .300 Winchester magnum.
I have had both and I can attest to the fact that I have made shots with both rifles that amazed even me. With the optics on my Browning pump rifle - 300 Winchester, I can hit a pie plate at 800 yards with no problems. It is not unheard of - to hear of people who have used the 300 Winchester Magnum to shoot as far as a mile away. The US Army used that round at one time as a sniper round with much success and their shooting teams had special purpose built 300 Winchester rifles that they used for competition.

The goal should be to have a round that does not knock you into next week when you pull the trigger and that is accurate enough that you can hit everything that you aim at and that is economical to shoot as possible and a round that you can walk into most any Walmart at 3 AM in the morning, the night before hunting season and buy a box of shells.

This pretty much excludes rounds such as the .270 WSM and the 300 WSM and the Weatherby rounds that are out there.
The last thing I will touch on is the "Light Magnum" 30-06 loads. Some times folks like hornady filled up the 30-06 case and capped it with 150 grain bullets. Then stated to only use it in new rifles rated to handle the load. The Pressure exceeds the old 30-06 pressure so its not some trickery with a new powder, its just more. In europe they still use the 7mm mauser. But it does loads more speed than what it used to do. The reason is they load cartridges to capacity and go shooting. When new powders come out they buy new rifles in the same caliber. The thing is they rate their rifles by PRESSURE as well as caliber. In America we don't do this because some dumb arse would put light mag loads in a old rifle that probably shouldn't even shoot reg. loads then they will sue and ruin it for all of us. I haven't seen any "light mag" 30-06 even on the internet ammo places lately so that might have died a quick death.
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:23 PM
Nontypical Buck
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The .35 remington is totally adequate for anything except maybe grizzlies. Buffalo bore makes a 220 grain jfn at 2200 fps and 2364 foot pounds of energy, that'll punch a hole right through a moose. I'd keep that great heirloom and just save a little at a time until you can afford to buy 30-06 or whatever you decide on when the time comes.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:24 AM
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Great post, Switchback_XT! Very informative...


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Old 09-20-2010, 08:36 AM
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the 30-06 is imho the best there is for a can do caliber.big enuff for moose and not expensive to shoot.i use mine for elk and have never felt undergunned
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:41 PM
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30.06 does it all. It's my ONE high powered rifle.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Switchback_XT
I would like to say this. The 30-06 was not replaced because it weighs more than .308 and certanly not because it had more powder. It was replaced because its over 100 years old and powder technology has advanced leaps and bounds since then. The Ammunition Manufacturers were ready to shut down production of the old powder formulated for 30-06 gov. 30-06 was originally just a update to smokless black powder from the 30 40 kraig and its true black powder charge.
My heavens, I'd like to start seeing the cites for some of the information floating around here this week?! Believe it or not, there's a rather significant difference between the .30-40 case and the .30-06. For one, the .30-40 is rimmed, the .30-06 is rimless, My manuals list the length of the .30-40 case at 58.78mm, the .30-06 at 63.34mm. The .30-06 is descended of the .30-03, which was in turn loosely modeled on the 7x57mm and 8x57mm Mauser. As its nomenclature suggests, the .30-06 was fielded in 1906. The .308 (aka T65, 7.62x51mm) came on the scene in 1952. Let's do some math: 1952 -1906 = "more than 100 years old". Hmmm, must be that "new math"?

.30-40 used black powder? No - incorrect. It used the blackpowder designation ("40"), but was distinctive in that is was the first cartridge adopted by the U.S. military to use smokeless powder.

.30-06 an update of the .30-40? No - incorrect. More specifically, it was an update of the .30-03, which was the replacement for the .30-40.

Even the normally questionable wiki tends to be corroborrate

I don't mean to pick apart the details of every post here, but when a post includes such gross inaccuracies, the errors begin to overpower any valid points that may have been included. I think most of us cut a lot of slack here when it comes to what are clearly opinions, but please check your facts!

Last edited by homers brother; 09-20-2010 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:43 AM
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I too am shopping a "new" caliber. I am leaning towards the .308 myself. I will use it on Lopes, Deer, Elk, Bear ( given the opportunity). Here's why . . . First of all, it is the most popular round for bench shooters. My first criteria is the rounds ability to drive tacks! Second is killing power. According to several articles, a round should have at least 1500 pounds of "Energy in Foot Pounds " to ethically take down an elk sized animal. According to the Federal website a 180gr. '06 and .308 round are only 2 hundred FP's difference at 300 yards! 1865 & 1672 respectly.
Also, there are lots of ammo choices for the .308 if you don't roll your own like me. Yes there are more '06, but still plenty for the .308!
Lastly, and maybe most importantly . . . I'm tired of beating myself up at the range with magnum this or that. First rule in good shooting is you have to practice, practice, practice! Pounding your shoulder makes your shots go afoul. Mine anyway. So the .308, with 17.5 pounds of recoil energy and the '06's 20.3 pounds, less is more in my opinion.
Bottom line, a well placed .22 will kill an elk . . . 10 feet away! So all these guns will do the job.
My conclusion: I am willing to shoot a lighter round at shorter distances (300 & under) in order to shoot more, shoot better, shoot ethically, and save my shoulder. After all, the military can't be wrong when they preferred the .308 for their sniper round (as well as bench shooters) for so many years.
Oh, the .35 . . . Federal only shows ONE round offered for that gun, , , sell it.

Last edited by dig4gold; 09-21-2010 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:55 AM
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The .30 Army was the first smokeless powder round adopted by the U.S. military, but its civilian name retained the "caliber-charge" designation of earlier black powder cartridges. Thus the .30-40 Krag employs a .30 caliber (7.62 mm) bullet propelled by 40 grains (3 g) of smokeless powder. As with the .30-30 Winchester, it is the use of black powder nomenclature that leads to the incorrect assumption that the .30-40 Krag was once a black powder cartridge.

The 30/40 Krag Jorgensen rifle was the only rifle adopted by the US Military that was only used for 9 years and then discontinued. The fact that most service rifles had 13 or less years of use only helped to spawn a interest in the guns long after production was discontinued and the guns were sold to the public at a very reduced rate. 500,000 of them were produced in this short period of time and they were used to fight battles in such places as Northern China, Cuba and the Philippines.

One other fact was that as powder technology improved - the need for a larger case and rimless design was very important for the military - since there was constant skirmishes and wars going on around the world and the fact that the next big war was imminent.
The German Mausers held a unfair advantage over the underpowered Krag rifles.

The one thing to remember was that these rifles were designed to be used as a fighting tool and not just a firearm. They were big, long, encompassed in wood and did not hold much ammo - 5 rounds compared to 10 rounds of some other military guns of its time.
It was easier to load and did not require a clip and did not require the user to open the bolt to reload. It had a limiter ( magazine cut off) which would allow you to use it in single shot mode - a feature that was carried over to the Springfield rifle and one that is still incorporated into some semi automatic rifles and shotguns even today...
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:02 AM
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Since the speed of the bullet coming out of the barrel was about identical to our present day 30-30, that was about the same performance that could be expected out of the 30/40 rifle.

The 30-06 - being roughly 1000 or more fps faster - was a big improvement over the 30/40.

One reason for not upgrading the Krag was due to the fact that it only had one locking lug on the bolt. It could not handle the chamber pressure of the 30-06 round.
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:27 AM
Fork Horn
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From what everyone has said, it sounds like either the .308 or the '06 would suit my needs, it's a question of distance to target more so than anything else. As was stated, a relatively close shot with my .35 Rem will take down a moose, BUT the question is "do I want to equip myself with a rifle that can reach out further".

If I am interpreting correctly, the .308 will do the job just fine on elk and moose to a certain distance, while the 30-06 will be effective even further out.

Is anyone outright disputing that conclusion?

As a general guideline, what distances would be considered "max" for each of the 3 calibers on elk and moose? (I am assuming I am totally covered for deer and black bear with any of the 3.)
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