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.308 or 30-06?

4517 Views 12 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  gene
After recently getting advice that my .243 is too small for wild pigs, I am wanting to upgrade to .30 caliber. Does anyone have any advice on what round is better, .308 or 30-06?
Do they pretty much have the same effectiveness?
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The .308win is an excellent cartridge, as is the .30-06sprg ... There are two questions I would ask you before I'd let you decide on one or the other ... if I were the one in control...

1. do you have a serious preference for either a long action or a short action?

2. do you plan on shooting elk sized game at 400+ yards?

I ask those because those are really the only two differences. Both have a bazillion (technical term) choices in factory ammo, and if you're a handloader, you can find anything out there to tailor your loads to the game intended to be had. The .30-06 is a long action cartridge, and has roughly 13grains more powder capacity. It will carry it's velocity out a hair further (ie: .308 @ 300 yards has roughly the same velocity as the .30-06 at 400 yards) ... and it kicks a hair harder, but it ain't by much. The .308 is a short action cartridge, and has been tried and proven over and over again as an all around hunting catridge... because of the shorter action, and the ability to use a shorter barrel, it can be had in a more handy package ...

So, in my eyes, if you're shooting said pigs, deer, and maybe elk at ranges of 300 yards and closer, the .308 should fit the bill rather nicely. If you want to take it downrange a smidge more, opt for the .30-06.

Having said all that, if you're after a "pig getter", I'd opt for something in 7mm myself... like a 7SAUM, or 7mmWSM ... There are some DANDY bullets being produced in the 7mm caliber, and they are in a short action to boot. You might study the 7's a bit and see what I mean about thier upside, as it's hard to beat in almost all aspects.

I know I either just really clarified things for you, or confused the **** out of you. Either way, if I got you thinking about things you might not have considered, I've done my job here... :)
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The .30-06Springfield would be an outstanding choice for what you seem to be in search-of. There is a reason the "06" has been around for so WORKS, and it works-well. You don't have to have the vast experience and knowledge offered in the numerous threads to figure this out....just do your homework and read up on the FACTS. I was introduced to the 06 by my Grandfather, but I didn't fully embrace it until after I was introduced to the .308Win while in the USMC. Prior to the Marine Corps I hunted primarily with a .243Win for small-game...all the time lusting for the day I would hunt the hill-country with a "real-rifle" in .270Winchester. Then I moved to Arizona, where I had an affair for a few years with both the high-desert and a 7MM-Mauser...Then I met Colonel Jeff Cooper[USMC-ret.] He "reintroduced" me to the .30-06 and it's "little-brother" the .308Win, in both conventional and Scout-formats...[anyway...] - It all made sense after that.

The main advantage most often overlooked in the .30-06 vs .308 issue, is the ability of the .30-06 to take full advantage of the excellent projectiles offered in the 200-220grn offering. The .308Win does not work well with these bullet-weights, due to its smaller-[yet very efficient]-case capacity and length. I prefer launching projectiles in the 165[8]grn-class out of a medium-weight rifle with a fixed power I have a considerable amount of trigger-time, and experience with the .308Win at known-distance, and unknown-distance ranges. I have .308cal-rifle in both conventional and Scout-Rifle formats, and they all kill quarry deader-than-wood if I do my job as a marksman.

WGM made a few interesting points you might want to consider...Also - I prefer my .308's with 20-inch tubes and since I have no use for long, unweilding barrells...I like my .30-06 tubes in the 22-inch range. You will notice a considerable difference in the "handiness" of the two rifles when you start comparing them side-by-side due to their differences in action and barrel set-up. Either way you can't go wrong, The .30-06 is the "Jack-of-All-Trades" in .30's...and the .308Win can do 90% of what the Springfield can a smaller, trimmer package. Do your homework-first, reading is knowledge...and the knowledge is out there - merc.

[BTW: Col Cooper has written more than a few outstanding books with this subject matter in content: [1]To Ride, Shoot-Straight, and Speak the Truth, and [2] The Art of the Rifle. Both available through Gunsite-Press.]
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Another point is how are you on recoil? The 308 is much less on it and like what was said, it'll do 90% what the '06 will and much of what it can't is with the heavier bullets.
johnny-r-h said:
After recently getting advice that my .243 is too small for wild pigs, I am wanting to upgrade to .30 caliber. Does anyone have any advice on what round is better, .308 or 30-06?
Do they pretty much have the same effectiveness?
either one will kill the pigs just fine
As has been stated earlier, the .308 comes in a shorter, handier package, with somewhat less recoil than an '06, but is limited if you want to go with 200-220 gr bullets. Unless you're wanting to go to those weights, I can't see any advantage to the .30-06, at least in real terms.
its what your preference is...recoil is actually a non-issue since you would probably be reloading...the two rounds actually have very similar velocities up to about 168-170 gr. bullets...its when you get past this is where the 06 starts showing its abilities...of course, you can always get a long action mauser with a long throat 308 Winchester chamber and load up the long bullets with a 1-10 twist hart actually works kinda nice. :) I have mediocre accuracy with any bullet below 125 there are some trade-offs...
I'm the kind of guy that likes to have things that are not the most popular, I guess that is why I have a 308 insted of a 30-06. Another reason I choose the 308 is because I have rifles in other calibers that are less powerful and rifles that are more powerful than the 308.

If you are like most of us who just loves guns and wants just about everyone they see than go with the 308. Or if you are going to use this one gun for almost all your hunting than buy a nice 30-06.

Would take the .308. Now i do NOT belive the .308 can do everything a .30-06 can, but it's close enough with medium and light weight bullets.. If i had a burning need or desire to shoot 200 -220gr. bullets, would take the 30-06.

Could also argue long vs. short you certainly wont get a short action 30-06.
johnny-r-h said:
After recently getting advice that my .243 is too small for wild pigs, I am wanting to upgrade to .30 caliber. Does anyone have any advice on what round is better, .308 or 30-06?
Do they pretty much have the same effectiveness?
Hunt with and reload for 30-30,308,30-06,the 30-06 is finicky as to the powder used. The 308 will shoot accuratly with any powder or bullet listed in the reloading manuals.I hunt black bear with hornady 220 grn round nose 44.9 grains of H4350 3/4 group at 80 yds.Same rifle will shoot 180 grain spire points winchesters using 41.2 IMR 4064, 2.5 inchs high 3/4 in. group at 80yds, 1.5 in. group at 165 yds same zero both rounds.The 30-06 is more powerful,the 308 more accurate.I find myself picking up the 308 when I deer or bear hunt any more.
Hope I don't get a fist coming out of my monitor here and knocking me off my chair and onto my back. BUT - way back in 1962, while living in Hawaii, I was about to purchase a new M70 Featherweight in 30-06. A good friend talked me into a 308 Win instead. He was an ardent reader of the American Rifleman and other publications of that era. I've since read a lot about this humbling cartridge and agree. I had 3 308 Win's and recently gave one, a M88, to one son-in-law. Everybody should have at least one 308 Win. Now keep your 30-06's also - you probably will never see the difference in what you're shooting.

I haven't had to duck yet here on my chair.
I have to through in with the guys who say there's not much difference between the .308 and the .30-06 unless you use heavy bullets, except for one thing , what action do you like.

If you partial to levers and semi autos you have many more choices in .308. There are some very good semiautos and lver actions in .30-06, but the choice'e are limited to a few.
Of course, many single shot and boly actions are chambered for either, although as stated by a previous shooter the 06 needs the longer bolt action.

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