30-06 recoil vs 300win mag.


AH member
Jan 8, 2012
Reaction score
Kwa-Zulu Natal
Hey everyone

I really need some advice. I'm thinking of purchasing a winchester model 70 sporter in 30-06. I can handle the recoil of a 270 pretty well. However I was thinking that a 300win mag might be better in the long run. So here's my conundrum! I weigh 60kg(15 years old) and have an average/smaller frame. So is the recoil of the 300win gonna hurt me a bit(and mess up my shooting) compared to a 30-06, and if the answer is yes, could I use very light(say 150) premium bullets(barnes ttsx) to combat the recoil.
Thanks guys for your invaluable help
If you load 150gr bullets to minimum powder charges you'll get roughly the same velocity as .30-06 loaded to maximum powder charges. Thus the recoil would be similar. This is something you could start with and work yourself up to more appropriate .300WM loadings. My experience with using minimum loads is that generally speaking they're less accurate than loadings where the case is either full or nearly full. I'm sure there are exceptions to this.

If you intend to long term load down the .300WM to match the .30-06 then there seems to be no point in buying the .300WM. Buy the .30-06 if this is the situation.

But if you want to build yourself up to full .300WM loads, you certainly can load down initially and work up over time. I think you'll find that if you do this and put a proper recoil pad on the rifle, you'll find in time it's no big deal. If the M70 you're looking at is from the new factory it comes with a Pachmayr Decelerator which is a very good recoil pad. Find one of these to wear too:

Cabela's: Past Ambidextrous Recoil Shields

Note that I'd go with the 1/4" version so that you don't add too much to the LOP. Wearing one of these while shooting from the bench making sure you're rifle is squared up to your shoulder and you'll be fine I think.
IMO the 300 WM only becomes superior to the 30-06 at ranges exceeding 300 yds. Up to that point the only area in which the 300 beats the 30-06 is in noise and recoil. Having used both on plains game in Africa I am of the firm opinion that the vast majority of hunters would be better off sticking with the 30-06. Unless you expect to regularly take long shots stick with the 06. If you are looking for more "impact" on game move up to a larger caliber such as a 338.
IMO the 300 WM only becomes superior to the 30-06 at ranges exceeding 300 yds. Up to that point the only area in which the 300 beats the 30-06 is in noise and recoil. Having used both on plains game in Africa I am of the firm opinion that the vast majority of hunters would be better off sticking with the 30-06. Unless you expect to regularly take long shots stick with the 06. If you are looking for more "impact" on game move up to a larger caliber such as a 338.

I would have to agree 100 percent with this statement.

I you do decide to buy a 300 Win Mag, buy reduced loads until you grow into the rifle. The 300 Win Mag is a bruiser on the shoulder!
I totally agree with TerryR and enysse.
If love 300 mags, but with todays high BC hunting bullets, the 300 mags don't do things much better than the 30-06 at sub 300 yds.
I would buy the 30-06 and load it with the Barnes 168 grain TTSX bullet.

With that you will have a great hunting tool for all PG.
Well I'll play a little of devil's advocate here in respect to the advantages of the .300WM. With 200 yard shots or shorter with bullets in the 165gr weight or less, I would agree there's not much if any advantage to the Win Mag. But when going to 180gr or better yet, 200gr bullets this is where the WM shines. The bonded bullets like the A-Frame, North Fork or mono's like the TSX will expand that much better with higher velocities. Once you get into those heavier bullets the capacity of the .30-06 and it's lower muzzle velocity starts to effect the expansion of those bullets.

My Swift manual lists nine maximum charges for both the .30-06 and .300WM and the muzzle velocities of each. If I average the muzzle velocities for the 200gr A-Frame, I get 2568fps for the .30-06 and 2832 for the .300WM. I would humbly submit that the .300WM is a better choice not only for the improved trajectory but also for terminal ballistics.

Necessary for an impala at 250 yards? Heck no! But start moving up to Kudu, Waterbuck, Wildebeest or Eland with quartering shots and I'd rather have my .300WM.
The 30-06 will work just fine using good bullets in 150 to 180gr bullets. The proper selection of 150-165gr bullets is all you really need. If you need a 200gr bullet then get a 338 mag. A 200gr bullet is too heavy for a 30-06 to shoot and not needed.
Looks like I'm with the majority here. A 30-06 does everything I want a 30 cal to do. I think if you need more than an '06 will do, the answer is in more bullet, not more velocity. That is, unless you are talking about really long range shooting, where more velocity helps with windage.

I don't do long range hunting. At your age, I'd be working on close range hunting. Ask any of the older hunters what they would do with 15 year old legs and lungs, and I think they would all be walking game down. I sure would, and will as long as I can. Learn to shoot that 30-06 well and enjoy the next 40+ years carrying that thing around the world. Save the boomers and your hearing for later.
Everyone i know with a 300 mag says it kicks like a mule.
As a matter of fact i would rather shoot my .375 H&H than my friends .300 mag. The .300 delivers a very sharp blow where the.375 is more of a big shove.
Being small framed myself i would much rather shoot the 30-06. I have learned to shoot bigger guns but dont realy enjoy it. In the long run for the average person will be better off with the lighter recoil.
I'll say this, which ever caliber you choose you need to make sure the rifle fits you. This will be one of the biggest factors in felt recoil. If the gun doesn't fit you right or isn't at least close (since you still have some growing to do) it can make felt recoil much worse. As far as the 30-06 goes I think its a great caliber but I personally like the 300's better, it's like having 4wd in my truck I my not need it all the time but if I do I know it's there. Have fun with which ever you choose.
Chistian, go for the .30-06. I view the .300WM as a more spesialized long range rifle. You can always add a .300WM later. The two do complement each other, as any real practical difference becomes evident at beyond 280-300m, where the .300WM outshines the .30-06.

The 30-06 is just easier to run, ammo is cheaper, recoil is less AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO use premium bullets. Up to the ranges mentioned, the .300WM offers no benefit over the 30-06 as far as normal hunting is concerned.

I own and use both.
30-06 will do exactly what you want... nuff said.

If you want a specialty rifle, then wait until you are ready for it.
Thanks everyone for your time and help
I am definitly gonna get the 30-06. If the 300win only really outperforms the 30-06 at ranges over 300m( which I really don't intend on shooting) plus the added recoil and noise which will make it unpleasant to shoot, the 30-06 seems the way to go,especially with the barnes TTSX!
Thanks again for helping me with some big decisions, appreciate it hugely.
Just another two questions about a 30-06. Compared to a 270, is the recoil more a push or a sort of sharp hit? And would the leupold vx2 or vx3 be a good scope to use?
Regards Christian
im 13 years old (45 kg) and i dont like the 30-06 i think it hits hard for me i prefer shoting 375 H&H
i thinks it hits less hard than 30-06. so if i would chose i would take 300 win
I think the math would say the 30-06 has a touch more recoil, but the most painful recoil I've experienced was from a 270Win. I don't know what it was about the way that stock (didn't) fit me, but man did it hurt. I've taken several shooting classes with an 30-06 and lots of rounds, no problem. Once I even did a tactical carbine class using an M1 (I thought it was a rifle class), and anyone who has done that type of shooting knows the round counts involved. I own and shoot a 50BMG. I've shot a very hot loaded 50 Alaskan in a light Marlin lever rifle (that was STOUT recoil). But nothing ever hurt me the way that 270 did. So, my bottom line is that stock fit really does matter.
Well i say find a load that shots well,then pratice from all positions. I got my first WM when I was twenty shot the barrel out. Till the barrel went could hit anything within 500 meters. Better to have and not need than needand not have. The rifle dosnt matter aslong as its quality as much as the glass. GET THE BEST SCOPE YOU CAN AFFORD!!!!
Bart is 100% right about the scope, but he doesn't go far enough. Get the best scope you can PAINFULLY afford!

I am a Swarovski fan, but there are others that are also excellent. Excellent is the key word. Very good is not the same. All scopes will look good at high noon outside the gun shop; it is the low light performance that will cost you. But many if not most animals are moving at low light. Better a $500 rifle and a $2000 scope than the other way around. Far better.

Then, before you learn a bunch of bad habits, save up enough money to go to **NOT**PERMITTED** or Thunder Ranch and get some instruction. Do this before you buy your second rifle. Then buy a 22 to practice with for cheap.
Chritian, I also subscribe to "you get what you pay for", and that is especially true concerning optics, but to answer your question: In my view both the Leupold VXII and VX3 will serve you well. Anything you go more expensive, will result in diminishing return, unless you regularly hunt in poor light conditions, which is something we rarely do in South Africa. Most hunting in South Africa is done in proper daylight.

In Africa, I'd rather have a tough scope that can take dust, rain, bad roads and Africa in general (read Leupold) than some of the more expensive European makes, which may offer better optics under low light, but that, in my view, are not as impervious to the rigours of Africa. And don't think that Leupold is not excellent in low light, it is.

Again, I own and use both the VXII and VX3. They will both serve you very well.

Spend the money you will save on ammunition, training and hunting.
In my opinion regarding a scope for your 30-06 in Africa, then I recommend you to either buy 3-9x40 Leupold VXII or VX3 or if you want a high quality scope for lower light, then I highly recommend the new Zeiss Duralyt 2-8x42(they are made in Garmany).
The Zeiss Duralyt scopes have a very high value for the money in my opinion.

The German made Zeiss scopes are very much better than the Leupolds in low light, but the question is if you think you need that.
I own both Leupold and German Zeiss scopes and am very happy with all of them.
And would the leupold vx2 or vx3 be a good scope to use?

Buy a Leupold..they are excellent scopes.

I don't there is too much difference in recoil between the 270 win and a 30-06.

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest posts

Latest profile posts

DLSJR wrote on Will Clark's profile.
You’ve got an interesting screen name. Will the Thrill provided lots of great times for me as a lifelong Giants fan. Even though I never met him, a number of buddies either duck hunted or shared a dugout with him. He’s a great guy according to those guys. Cool screen name and if that’s your real name, it’s a great one.
in-between all the bush fire, hunting and work on the hunting area its hard to find time for fishing as well
JOHNNY30 wrote on krish's profile.
is the 505 gibbs still for sell? Thanks!
William W. wrote on Grouser's profile.
I ran across a message from you a couple of years ago while I was going through old emails. I have arranged a second bison hunt in Nebraska in September 2024, about 6-years after the first, when my supply of bison meat was exhausted. My email is [redacted].
Labman wrote on Mully's profile.
If those Schells rings fare still available, I could use them. I'm willing to pay for the shipping.