Author Topic: 308 vs 30-06  (Read 21782 times)

Offline Stein

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308 vs 30-06
« on: September 30, 2008, 05:36:57 PM »
This will probably ignite some caliber war I am ignorant to, so apologies if it is a stupid question.

Despite quite a bit of experience with shotgun and handgun, my centerfire rifle experience is pretty limited.  I have experience with the SKS and 30-06 and that is about it.  I haven't hunted in many a moon and was never much into it.  I am interested in something with a bit more reach and certainly more accuracy than my $69 chinese SKS.

If a guy was considering purchasing a centerfire rifle to have around the house, which caliber would be more beneficial?  Here is what I would like it to do in order of importance.

1.  Emergency hunting or if I decide to get into hunting deer or elk.
2.  Fun to target shoot (cost and availability of ammunition, range restrictions, etc) (I am familiar and comfortable with the recoil of the 30/06)
3.  Defensive purposes (probably a one in ten million thing, but I listed it anyway)

Given the above three activities, are there any big pro/con arguments for each caliber?

kaiservontexas

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 06:10:45 PM »
The .30-06sprg is the parent cartridge of the .308win. They are very similar.

May I ask are you looking for a semi-automatic rifle? I only ask because there are only a few semi-automatic rifles in .30-06sprg like the M1 Garand, FN Model 49, MCR Cobb, HK SLB 2000, and BAR clones . . . There may be a few more I do not know about.

Where as .308win has plenty of self loading rifles to choose from.  ;)

Both cartridges are found in nearly every model type of bolt-action rifle devised.

FYI: I prefer the .30-06 myself.

 

Offline wbo3

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 08:15:43 PM »
One thought, although I currently do not own either.  The .30-06 is not a current issue rifle cartridge, while the .308 (7.62x51) is.  In a SHTF scenario, the .308 may be easier to find should you need more.  Just my .02.

kaiservontexas

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 09:40:14 PM »
One thought, although I currently do not own either.  The .30-06 is not a current issue rifle cartridge, while the .308 (7.62x51) is.  In a SHTF scenario, the .308 may be easier to find should you need more.  Just my .02.

I do not find that accurate as the .30-06sprg is so common the only place you may not ever find the cartridge is in Antarctica. It goes up there with 9x19mm, .22lr, and 12 gauge 2 3/4". 

Offline wbo3

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 10:08:17 PM »
One thought, although I currently do not own either.  The .30-06 is not a current issue rifle cartridge, while the .308 (7.62x51) is.  In a SHTF scenario, the .308 may be easier to find should you need more.  Just my .02.

I do not find that accurate as the .30-06sprg is so common the only place you may not ever find the cartridge is in Antarctica. It goes up there with 9x19mm, .22lr, and 12 gauge 2 3/4". 

I will agree...to a point.  If the world were to truly go to shit, do you think that manufacturers that were still operational would be producing civilian hunting ammo or military ammo?  I am thinking in terms of a complete global meltdown.  Armageddon, WWIII, whatever you want to call it.  In that situation the ONLY thing you may find would be military, if you were lucky enough (or unlucky depending on your point of view) to find a cache of military supplies.  However, in a more likely scenario, Hurricane, what have you, you are entirely correct.  As far as accuracy is concerned, I still deer hunt with an old .30-30.  I can't see much past 25 yards in the areas I go, so I seriously doubt I would notice any difference in accuracy.  Though, there is something to be said in the fact you can get the .30-06 in a heavier bullet weight.

kaiservontexas

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 10:48:57 PM »
I think if it were that bad the ammo factories would have been bombed, Wbo3.

Oh, I did think of one thing a .308win has over .30-06sprg in a bolt-action rifle. The .308win has a shorter action. It is therefore quicker to cycle the bolt. By no means is this something I know from experience, the only .308 I have ever fired was my friend's FAL, but something I have read many times from many different articles.

Offline ClarkB

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2008, 01:22:04 PM »
For the uses you specify I would go with a .308.  The 30-06 is the beter hunting caliber because there are more bullet choices available.  You can load a light bullet for coyote or woodchuck, and then move up to heavier bullets for deer or bear, etc.  Since you are more interested in hunting large game, target shooting, and ammo cost, I think the .308 is the better choice.  There is more surplus ammo available, and the police and military will be more likely to have it on hand than 30-06.  The .308 is also a shorter more compact round, and probably more rifles are chambered for .308 now days.  If you were primarily hunting focused and wanted one rifle for most game then the 30-06 is the better bet.  6 of one and a half-dozen of the other. 

Offline Stein

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2008, 01:38:12 PM »
May I ask are you looking for a semi-automatic rifle? I only ask because there are only a few semi-automatic rifles in .30-06sprg like the M1 Garand, FN Model 49, MCR Cobb, HK SLB 2000, and BAR clones . . . There may be a few more I do not know about.

I am looking into a bolt-action rifle, probably the Remington 770 due mainly to my experience with Remington and the bargain price.

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2008, 01:40:02 PM »
This is one debate that will never be solved because in the field specifically with bullets from 150-165 grains (what most use on mid sized game) the difference is so minute as to be non existent.  

308 Advantages

1.  Greater mil surp availability and it will continue while mil surp 06 is in decline

2.  More para military semi auto options on the market both from mil surp or civilian makers (only matters if that is what you want)

3.  A reputation for better accuracy (meaningless to me as most people are not able to "out shoot" an accurate rifle in either"

4.  Less bulk per 100 rounds, minimal and weight wise the heaviest part is the slug so size is the only real advantages.

5.  Short action in a bolt gun means a few ounces saved.

6.  Less percieved recoil (though I can't say I can tell the difference between comparable loads)

30-06 Advantages

1.  Factory ammo it is the most available rifle round in the broadest assortment of options in the world (the 08 ain't far behind though)

2.  Definitely more powerful with heavier bullets 180-220.  (the 08 has killed a lot of bear and elk but you have to give a very modest advantage to the 06 with the heavier bullets)

3.  The "class" - this is personal but to me the following are all children of the 06, the 25-06, 270, 280, 338-06 an 35 whelen.  The 308 is grandson being made from a shortened 06, making the 243, 260, 7mm-08 and 358 winchester all great grand children of the 06.  There are of course a host of wildcats as well on both cases.  It was the 06 in the trenches in France in 1918 and on the beaches of Normandy in 1944, even in Korea and some in Vietnam.  There is nothing else you can hold in your hand today that has made such an impact on the sporting and military world.

It is number three that does it for me if I had to have one or the other.  The 308 is a fine round, I own a Savage 110 in it that has taken many deer.  But when I think about history and want to be part of it in some way, I take my 06.  Make me choose between the two and well, I do love history, honor and old soldiers.

Offline Hellboy

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2008, 08:15:15 PM »
I went .308 for my Rem 700. Main reason is b/c I have  G3 and it is in .308 as well as a FAL. I have tried to stick with the following calibers just to make life easier:


9mm
45
.22
.308
.225
7.62x39
.40
7.62x54R

BoatDriver

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 01:02:33 AM »
I don't own a .308 but I can't imagine a reason why it wouldn't make a fantastic all around cartridge that can drop any animal in North America with proper shot placement.  The 06 however is my personal choice.  It is the American cartridge without a doubt.  As mentioned earlier there is hardly a place on the globe it as well as the .308 cannot be found.  I think the edge still goes to the 06 due to a greater range of capability, it can be tuned down to .308 recoil or tuned up to near .300 Win mag speeds.

Offline TURNSKULL

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2008, 11:09:07 PM »
M1 Garand is all I gotta say.     ;D

Offline Tactical Badger

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2008, 10:26:33 AM »
I see your Garand and raise you a FAL. ;D

Needless to say...I vote .308.

leatherneck

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2008, 03:51:52 PM »
Personally I like .308.  Mainly because it has less recoil than the 06 and ammo is typically a little cheaper than 06.   That being said You can't go wrong with a 30-06.  It is an excellent caliber.  If I lived in an area with moose, elk, or bear I'd probably go with the 30-06. however, if the biggest game you are looking to take down is deer the 308 will do just fine.  Both rounds will work equally  well for 2 legged varmints!

Offline Serellan

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2008, 06:30:08 PM »
M1 Garand is all I gotta say.     ;D

Comes in both flavors. :)

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2008, 07:44:14 PM »
I would choose .308 for a multi purpose bolt gun.
Both calibers are superb performers in their respective battle rifles. And 30-06 will have the power advantage in handloads.
30-06 surplus ammo will dry up in a few years.

I would choose .308 for a shorter action, and lighter ammo and rifle. That and new/surplus brass seems more plentiful.
When finances allow it, I will buy a Rem 700 in .308 ... That might be a few years though  :(

kaiservontexas

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2008, 10:55:05 PM »
#1 sniper of lore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Hathcock and his primary weapon was this model:


Winchester model 70 pre-64 in .30-06 springfield.

I raise this above all.  ;)

Offline Dirt Rider 3006

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2008, 12:49:01 PM »
#1 sniper of lore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Hathcock and his primary weapon was this model:


Winchester model 70 pre-64 in .30-06 springfield.

I raise this above all.  ;)

Kaiser (that was my Polish grandfather's nickname BTW),

I looked at the pic of the Win Model 70 and before I read what you posted above the pic I said to myself " oooOOOHHH Hathcock's rifle...nice...."


kaiservontexas

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2008, 08:18:37 PM »
#1 sniper of lore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Hathcock and his primary weapon was this model:


Winchester model 70 pre-64 in .30-06 springfield.

I raise this above all.  ;)

Kaiser (that was my Polish grandfather's nickname BTW),

I looked at the pic of the Win Model 70 and before I read what you posted above the pic I said to myself " oooOOOHHH Hathcock's rifle...nice...."



Up late, a little bit of a rant, sorry. Was my Grandpa's. He called it a rifleman's rifle. The smoothest gun I have ever fired, and probably explains my affinity for .30-06sprg.

No it is not Hathcock's rifle. I wish though think of the value then. LOL Anywhoo . . .

millerized1

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2008, 10:06:13 AM »
30-06, turning cover into concealment.
.308, because people have a tendency to get behind things when you start shooting at them.

Personally, .308, simply cause I don't own a 30-06........yet.

Offline Taylor3006

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2008, 11:19:03 AM »
Both are great calibers however I am with WBO on this, the 308's military applications (as well as law enforcement) will keep the ammo plentiful even if TSHTF. I am not too sure that bullet choices for the 06 are superior to the 308, both use the same bullet (not cartridge) and if memory serves, you can cut down 06 cases to make 308 rounds if needed. Anyways I agree with the earlier poster about standardizing your aresnal to military calibers, it's a good strategy IMHO.

Offline VTaero

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2009, 09:53:18 PM »
Hey Jack (or anybody else who knows the numbers),

How does the .308 fit into the the "magic ballistics formula"??

I'm currently saving for a good quality high powered rifle and had been thinking .30-06, but there seems to be a much greater range of choices in rifles in .308, so if it fits the formula then I may go .308 for better selection of rifles. 

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2009, 10:00:12 PM »
Not too sure on the exact numbers, but I do know that unless you have a long action .308 (which kinda defeats the purpose of a .308 in my opinion), it's hard to load the longer/heavier bullets to the proper OAL and still get a good powder charge behind them.  In short action rilfes, long/heavy bullets will either stretch the OAL to the point feeding reliability or magazine fit are compromised, OR are set far enough back tat they take up a portion of the powder space, reducing the loadings potential.

endurance

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2009, 11:22:05 PM »
Personally, I think the arguement between the two is silly.  They're close enough to the same for availability, recoil, and ballistics that 95 out of 100 shooters wouldn't know the difference.  Pick up a bunch of guns at the next gun show or at your local gun store and see what feels the best in your hands, what has the features you can't live without and get it.

Also, there's both .308 and 30-06 M1 Garands.  The Navy used the M1 after WWII and had it made in .308, while the majority of surplus is 30-06.  Both are excellent rifles that can be made legal (with a magazine block) for hunting, are semi-auto, and nicely avoid the stigma of assault rifles. 

For a modern semi-auto hunting rifle, take a look at the Browning BAR or possibly finding a Remington model 7400 (manufacture stopped in 2004).  The 7400 has 10 round box magazines available aftermarket.  Both the 7400 and the BAR are a heck of a lot lighter than many of the military peers, which matters when you're hiking around the woods all day with it on your shoulder.  I have both the 7400 and the BAR in .270 and the BAR is vastly superior for accuracy and it just feels more precise (and it's a little lighter).  My BAR is every bit as accurate as my Remington 700BDL bolt action in .308, but has the advantage of being semi-auto with a flip down magazine that can be topped off with a round in the chamber. 

I've had an M1A and an FN-FAL and they're really too heavy to carry around in the woods all day for my liking, but you did say that you're not currently a hunter, so that may not be as important to you (but after your first day of humping 10 miles over trees and across bogs, you may feel differently).  Personally, I wouldn't let caliber make my decision between the two, I'd let the gun make the decision.

Offline Sid

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2009, 03:14:08 AM »
There is a lot of good information in this thread.

If you go to WalMart these days there is not much ammo; I have not seen any .308 there in many months, but I have been able to pick up a few boxes of 30.06, so just on that little evidence it looks to me like we are in a mimi TSHTF situation and .308 is harder to find.  It seems to me that when we had normal ammo supply conditions .308 was a little more expensive than 30.06.

One thing I have read over the years is that a heavy barrel (bull barrel) is more accurate than a standard barrel, especially when taking multiple shots like you might if you were not hunting but fighting in a battle.  One of the reasons is that a barrel with more mass is more rigid.  You can't see the barrel actually move, but when a bullet travels down the barrel it causes all sort of movement in the barrel.  The barrel twists and whips and this effects the flight of the bullet;  for maximum accuracy you want the minimum movement and you want the bullet to leave the barrel at the same position in this twisting and whipping as the previously fired bullet, otherwise it will land in a different spot on the target.  Not only does a heavy barrel move less internally,  it also does not heat up as fast as a standard barrel because it has more mass to absorb heat and more surface area over which to dissipate the heat.  Heat changes the barrel and affects to point of impact of the bullet; less heating change is better.  (Fluting a heavy barrel adds surface area but removes mass so it may have questionable value for accuracy, rigidity being more important than heat dissipation.)  A shorter barrel is more accurate than a longer barrel also because it does not whip around as much as a longer barrel. 

What does this issue of a heavy barrel have to do with the .308 vs 30.06 debate?  You can easily buy a standard factory made rifle with a heavy barrel in .308, but if you want a heavy barrel in 30.06 you have the much higher cost of going custom.  Both Savage and Remington currently make a heavy barrel rifle in .308, but not in 30.06 that I am aware of.  If you look at what the police snipers are using you will see many short, heavy barrels in .308.

   

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2009, 04:47:10 AM »
To the question of availability of the round ...

Ever looked into the shortages within the US of the rounds commonly used by the military during a time of war?  The 06, the .45, and the 9mm were very hard to come by during the World Wars, because they were all slated for the military.  How available have issue rounds been lately?

Personally, assuming that your rational for choosing is availability, I would select a caliber commonly used but not currently issued.

Offline Cacinok

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2009, 12:15:30 PM »
Hey Jack (or anybody else who knows the numbers),

How does the .308 fit into the the "magic ballistics formula"??

I'm currently saving for a good quality high powered rifle and had been thinking .30-06, but there seems to be a much greater range of choices in rifles in .308, so if it fits the formula then I may go .308 for better selection of rifles. 

i'll give this a shot, although i'm no expert, so anybody in the know feel free to correct me.  i grabbed some numbers off of the web and used a web based calculator.  the .308 and .30-06, i believe, use the same diameter bullet (.308).  so the sectional density of both will be the same.  a 165 grn .308 diameter bullet has a sectional density of .248.  a 180 grn bullet bumps that number up to .271.  this is where you start to differentiate the .308 from the 06.  the 06 will almost always push the bullet at a higher velocity.  for example remington states roughly 100 more fps for the 06, which translates to 202 ft-lbs more of energy at the muzzle and 139 more at 300 yds.

in my experience, stores generally have a minutely wider variety of .308 than .30-06, but 06 has been all i've seen at a lot of stores for a good number of months. 

Offline ozarked

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2009, 06:04:16 PM »
[Personally, I wouldn't let caliber make my decision between the two, I'd let the gun make the decision.
[/quote]

.30-06 - .308  either way, you're a winner.  Like the man said, pick the gun, not the cartridge.

For the record, I picked an H&K SL6 in .308 for my "heavy hitter".  It is capable of sustained fire without changing point-of-aim like an assault rifle, yet looks like a hunting rifle (thereby not scarring the bejesus out of my neighbors) and is accurate (or, at least, is as accurate as I am).

In the abstract, I've always suspected the .308 was developed in addition to the .30-06 just to give guys like us something to argue about. 

Offline HillbillyHemi

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2009, 06:31:20 PM »
I have to agree pick the gun that fits .308 or 30-06. I have observed the same ammo situation here in the Ozarks, Wal-Mart rarely has .308 but you can always get a couple of boxes of 06

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: 308 vs 30-06
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2009, 07:43:06 PM »

What does this issue of a heavy barrel have to do with the .308 vs 30.06 debate?  You can easily buy a standard factory made rifle with a heavy barrel in .308, but if you want a heavy barrel in 30.06 you have the much higher cost of going custom.  Both Savage and Remington currently make a heavy barrel rifle in .308, but not in 30.06 that I am aware of.  If you look at what the police snipers are using you will see many short, heavy barrels in .308.
   

Not necessarily.  Last I checked, Savage offers their long action 110FP rifles in .30-06.  And even if not, Savages are pretty easy to have a new barrel spun on to.  It may take a bit of "custom" work but the price with a Savage solution, but the price shouldn't exceed that of some of the better name brand hunting rifles.

Wait, checking the site, they currently don't offer a .30-06 Heavy Barrel on the site that I see.  Still, shouldn't be impossible to find one of the older 110FPs in .30-06 on Gunbroker or the like.  And besides, Heavy Barrels are great on a bench, less so when you have to haul it around.  A standard contour barrel will still it animal and human vitals out to 500-600 yards, and I don't know a lot of people whom can make that shot realistically in the field.