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Old 09-27-2008, 02:02 PM
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Exclamation Why 308 vs 30-06 for Long Range Shooting?

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What are the reasons that the majority of long range/tacitical rifles are chanbered for the .308 and not the 30-06?

Yes, we did a search, read aboutr six months worth of posts, however, we were not able to determine the differnece.

Appreciate the input.

Regards all

Last edited by NC22KHunter; 09-27-2008 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:16 PM
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Life's not fair...

If you go back 50 years, you will find everything was chambered for the .30/'06 CAUSE that was the military caliber. Make that 75 years. THEN the US military decided to change calibers. Next came the 7.62x51 mm NATO (civies know it as the .308 Winchester). I think there are still a few M14's (a re designed Garand) around. Of course the "battle rifle" is now the "16" in .223. Excuse me, 5.56x45mm NATO.

Bottom line, the big, HUGE matches have a military stage where real soldiers and civilians compete using the battle rifles. .308 was in demand by all target shooters for these competitions... Now there are competitors with heavy bullet .223's but...

AND there is this silly notion that crooks deserve the protection of Geneva. Basically Geneva said that a soldier was there whether he really wanted to be or not (the draft) and deserved better than the damages a soft point bullet would do to flesh, limbs, etc. after the conflict if he lived.. [I agree]. Silly police administrators think that some doped up crook who is terrorizing civilians for his/her amusement deserves these considerations. ERgo they demand the "military rifle" / "military ammunition" for use in police work. Too often.

I had one of these egg heads tell me that at Attica, 13 killed, civilians, not convicts, 11 were hit by the fmj bullet fired to kill the person holding them hostage. Killed the convict first, probably, but... Oh for a soft nosed hollow point when you need it and some one with brains enough to employ it... luck.
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Old 09-27-2008, 04:36 PM
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The 308 also appears to be a slightly more accurate package than the 30-06. There are folks contend there are several reasons for that such as a shorter stiffer actions, shorter powder column and more, but iiranger hit on one also. It was the military cartridge for a lot of years and has eclipsed the 06 for the number of accurate competition rifles being built.

I know that when I was competing in rifle matches in the military the 308 was all we shot. I really am not a fan of the 223 for anything other than ground squirrels.
Bob from Idaho
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:00 PM
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Also, look at the pros and cons of the 30-06 vs. the .308win.

I don't have my reloading manual with me, so I'm using factory specs off of the remington website, but for a shorter cartridge with the same bullet, there is very little difference in trajectory and velocity at ranges across the board with the same bullet. So the 308 has slightly weaker, but still respectable ballistics.

The shorter case however gains a shorter action, maybe less weight? And the 30-06 case is larger than necessary for modern powders, lots of extra space. As I remember, there are very few, if any compressed loads for the -06. So, gun weighs less, ammo weighs less and takes up less space, action cycles easier/faster, and you don't hit yourself in the forehead with the bolt while ejecting/feeding.

I don't have numbers to back any of this up, but it seems reasonable enough.

Heres the ballistic info from remington. 30-06 in in the grey lines

Last edited by AVIVIII; 09-27-2008 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:22 PM
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If you look at handloading, the velocities of .308 match the .30-06.

As far as long range goes, you can almost shoot any caliber you want. Its more about the shooter and practicing enough to be proficient with the caliber you pick. I shoot at 600 yards with my M1 Garand right next to guys shooting ARs, and we shoot the same groups.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:36 AM
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I have the answer...
Because Federal makes the 168 Gold Medal Match in both 08 and 06 ( GM308M andGM3006M) but only makes the 175 GM (GM308M2) in 308.
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Old 09-28-2008, 03:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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They are essentially the same. The only difference is number of load offerings. One does not "out do" the other. Just look at the chart at 300 yards. Difference in velocity is 3%. Drop is about 2 bullet diameters. Why in the world is there so much worry about the difference in the two? Drive a car at 60 mph, then at 61.8 mph, and run into a wall. See the difference?

It nevers fails to amaze me how many "pros" will get on here and whine about effectiveness and ballistics, and for crying out loud "bullets that fail" give me a break. Its all a good indication that the guys in charge of marketing have really done their job. And for the other post that they locked, "just read the numbers 308 is better"...............huh?
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:04 AM
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Why 308 vs 30-06 for long range shooting?

This is a really good question, aside from the arbitrary military choice thing.

* 30-06 and 308 use the same bullets, hence identical bullet shape ballistics.

* True, the 308 can be hand-loaded to factory 30-06 specs, but hand-loaded 30-06 can be loaded to shoot flatter.

* shorter actions, lighter guns, wouldn't necessary affect long range shooting from a purely "shooting" aspect. But I could see where a sniper having to haul the gun around for a military career could affect that decision.

* for me it boils down to accuracy. Is the case size and shape a contributing factor in the caliber's inherent accuracy? I also wonder if the shoulder angle, or % the case if filled comes into play here also.

I have read that the .308 is more inherently accurate than the 30-06 six. It might be interesting to see a few back issues of Handloader Magazine to see if someone has answered this. Good question.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:00 AM
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Any form of target shooting evolves from whatever-will-work at the beginning, to the least amount of powder you can burn and still accomplish the goal at the end.

Recoil is a factor with anything - so whatever you can do to reduce it, so much the better. That's why benchrest shooters use the PPC case not full length belted magnums (except 1,000 yard benchrest with no limitations on gun weight). You can just barely shoot 1,000 yards with a .308 and keep it supersonic - if they could do the same thing with a lesser .30 cal cartridge, the shooters would.

The less powder you can burn and accomplish the goal, that seems to be the path to accuracy. Plus barrels last longer.

Originally Posted by faucettb
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:37 AM
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Thanks to all, appreciate the updated information.

Shoot Safe
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