30-06 - The calibre to love or hate?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Ado, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. 7x57Joe

    7x57Joe AH Veteran

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    That should cover just about everything.;)
     

  2. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    I've actually heard people gripe "well it's not as flat as a 7mm or a 300 WM" or "muh recoil" or whatever.

    It is a certainty that 30-06 is a jack-of-all-trades, and I think maybe that's the gripe, that it doesn't do anything great (except kill animals, I suppose).

    For me, 30-06 is the gold medal decathlete
    1. ammo available from 100 or 110 gr up to 220 gr, and none of it particularly expensive
    2. trajectory is reasonably flat. If you understand MPBR and sight in your rifle appropriately, it'll hit a white tail or pig in the bread box out to about 300 yards without having to adjust for hold-over.
    3. recoil is mild enough for just about anyone to shoot them comfortably
    4. every rifle manufacturer on earth chambers for it.

    If I had to get rid of my entire collection of rifles and choose a single caliber as a replacement, hands down, it would be a 30-06.
     
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  3. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I like the old 06! Hell im old...maybe that’s why. It’s easily one of the most versatile to a reloader. I have loads from 100 gr Speer Plinkers to 200 gr A-Frames. I’ve taken prairie dogs, squirrels, blue grouse, turkeys, foxes, coyotes, cottontails, jackrabbits, snowshoes, bobcats, whitetail, hogs, mulies, elk, and can’t remember what else. Works for me!
    Haven’t taken it to Africa...yet. My 375 is for there.
    Being a retired engineer, I am an experimenter. So I love all the new and old cartridges! They all have a specialty of some kind that they are best/better at.
    I hunt dark timber mostly for deer and elk, so a 50-150 yard shot is what I typically have to make and the 30-06 works well at those ranges.

    JMO, yours may very by your wants, needs and experience.
     
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  4. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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  5. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Ive owned 2 30/06s. I found the 30/06 to be an excellent cartridge and used 150, 165, and 180 grain Bullets.
    I no longer have a 30/06 as I have a 270 and 300 Winchester magnum so the 30/06 became redundant.
    The 30/06 is versatile and is easy on the shoulder.
    Great cartridge overall.
     
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  6. bilmcc

    bilmcc AH Enthusiast

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    Sniping is not hunting.
     
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  7. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Just why should I love or hate a caliber ?

    I have shot animals with a 22LR, 22-250, 223, 243, 7x57, 270, 30.06, 338WM, 9,3x62, 375HH.

    You just have to match the caliber, and bullet, to the animal, and they all work.
     
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  8. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    I've shot a number of whitetail deer and antelope with my dad's 30-06 growing up and have continued to see him shoot medium game with it to this day. It certainly does the job; you hit a 200 pound animal in the shoulder and they either stand in one spot spinning a few times or just fall straight down.

    When I turned 18, I bought a 7mm rem mag because it was the start of the magnum craze. While certainly not needed, what it does to a 200 pound animal with 150gr cup/core is flat out insane. Whereas the 30-06 halts or stops game in it's tracks, the 7mag will send the animal 6 feet into the air, do a 180 degree turn, and be dead as a doornail with a hole you can stick your fist in. Is that needed, no; but it is sight to see through the scope. It quickly became my favorite cartridge.

    I am currently planning to buy another rifle. The 30-06 gets strong consideration
     
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  9. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    I love the 30-06. One of my all time favorite calibers. I built this one a couple years ago. Remington 700 Action and magpul stock. Tack driving machine. I’ve since put a Vortex scope on it with better rings. Shot several deer and pigs with it last season, let a few clients kill some exotics with it too. 4004E440-5837-4B4F-97AD-B196003DE996.jpeg 1E06CBEB-9D1B-4CD2-A2D9-CB41DEEE8BD6.jpeg
     

  10. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog AH Veteran

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    If you reload....30-06 is a reloaders DREAM!!! 308 can't touch 30-06 in the hands of a skilled reloader. You can load light bullets and hang with the 7mm, load heavy bullets and hang with hard hitters like 45-70, or load hot and get near 300wm velocities; and 30-06 does all of these things with less recoil. Also, many short action magazines can't handle the long profile of modern bullets loaded near the lands, but most 30-06 actions can. Most hunters love to pick a load that does a little of everything good, like a 180 lead bullet or a 165gr monolithic. It is the Swiss army knife of calibers if you load your own, but also a great rifle to load somewhere in the middle and do everything with one load. We are not talking about how well a round feeds in machine guns or how well it makes holes in paper; this is all about hunting.

    In addition; the brass lasts a long time, barrel life is great, ammo and reloading components are cheap and readily available, does great in short and long barrels, and it is very forgiving to different powders and bullets.

    The biggest argument against 30-06 comes from the fact that it is old and boring. 30-06 has sat back for over a century and watched countless "flavor of the day" cartridges come and go. Every time a comparison is made to any medium bore hunting cartridge, it is ALWAYS compared to the 30-06 in the same way that every auto manufacturer compares their quality to Toyota. Ammunition designers have been trying to best the 30-06 does for 100 years, and are still trying today. The fact remains that no round fills the wide gap between a varmint round and a magnum better than the 30-06.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018

  11. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Spot on, @Desert Dog - I like to call it the Gold Medal Decathlete that finishes in 2nd place on all 10 events. ;)
     

  12. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I just took a .30/06 to Namibia along with a .338 RUM. I took the .338 RUM because I was hunting eland and I had never shot anything with it. I took the '06 because in a pinch it could do eland and was good for everything else. Plus you can get ammo anywhere if the airlines send your duffle to Japan. Tangent to that, this '06 was my first centerfire rifle, purchased about 40 years ago and thus has some sentimental value. Both worked like a charm.
    Now for my opinion: Do I love or hate the .30/06... No. It is a jack of all trades cartridge. I have "favorites", but owning a number of chamberings, I always want that "perfect" tool for the job. For me that's usually not the '06, even though it would certainly work under most circumstances. In North America where you are hunting one or two animals under a specific condition, the perfect tool concept works. For Africa and diversity of game, cartridges like the .30/06 and .375 H&H fit the roll perfectly.
     
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  13. MAdcox

    MAdcox GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Growing up my dad always cussed the 30-06. I never heard him say why, he shot a 300WM, so maybe he had the “magnums are better” idea???
    My first rifle was a 270 (necked down 30-06) I still have and love and now I have a 300wsm. So I never added an o6. But having studied reloading manuals and gun books forever, I can’t find a flaw. Might need to put pick one up since I’ve got everything I need now, time to look for things I want to try. And as I get older I am more and more looking at tried and true over latest and greatest. 300WM, 375H&H, 243WIN, 270WIN, 7x57, 257 Roberts.
    Hey there is my new wishlist started. Add the 30-06 and I need to add another safe.
     
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  14. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Iv'e been doing a search for a Pre 64 for a project I'm working on. I had 3 calibers on my list, 7x57,300HH and 30-06. After a reasonable search time I found an M70 in either 300HH or 7x57 in decent condition at a decent price was impossible. The search for the 06 was a was easier,it was just a matter of choosing the nicest one at the price within my budget. So thanks to Cabelas Gun Library I now own a pretty nice 1952 M70 in The Rodney Dangerfield of calibers 30-06
     
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  15. Milehighshooter

    Milehighshooter AH Enthusiast

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    Let me preface, I do enjoy the 30-06, and have several. And Sgt Zim this is NOT directed at you personally what so ever, you just happened to repeat my favorite tag line about the ol '06 I love to rag on.

    That highlighted comment right there, that one about 110-220 grain. I hear this repeated thousands of times over. But the second you start asking for load data or results with say a 130gr bullet, people jump all over you saying "180 or nothing at all kid!!!" or "if you are shooting 130 just buy a 270!" You can barely get anyone to even use 150's, and 165's must be premium or mono metals or its just going to bounce off a target.

    People like to say oh you can load from here to there with this cartridge! But....few actually DO that. Look up in the 375+ forum, someone asks about the 235gr bullet, you get responses about using 250's and 270's. Try asking a question about a 110 gr in a 270 and you'll get told to buy a 25-06 and just use 130/150's in the 270 and be done with it. The whole idea of these very flexible cartridges (which are true) are very UN-flexible in the reality of hunters heads. I find it very funny. 9.3? Apparently no other bullet exists besides a 286. 6.5 120gr? Why? Use 140's for everything.
     
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  16. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    Good post and all very valid points. When 99% of people talk about a 30-06 (or 308 for that matter), they are talking about 150-180gr bullets.
     

  17. Milehighshooter

    Milehighshooter AH Enthusiast

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    That being said. My first rifle I carried was a 30-06 1903. When I was a bit older I swore off the 30-06 as the master of nothing and that was that. But, eventually they started ending up in the safe. And now, I have 3 or 4 (maybe 5) and I don't think I'd be caught without one at least on hand. If by a horrible curse I had to get rid of all but say 2 guns, I think the 30-06 is going to be the first one kept.
     
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  18. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    No offense taken, and I'm aware that in the 30 cal world, most people are talking 150-180 grain.

    Can't tell you how many deer I've killed with 150gr PP out of my old Rem 700 30-06 (wish I still had her).

    Anymore, I try to shoot about the heaviest bullets for caliber that I can. Not always, but mostly. And not for the high BC, but for the high SD. I want a full-width wound channel and for my target to be bleeding out of two holes. I'm not shooting past 300 yards at an animal...that takes a bit of the fun out of hunting, at least for me.

    I did just pick up a couple boxes of Nosler AB 250 gr for my 9.3. Figured "why not?" since Midway was practically giving them away. And I do really want to have a go with Woodleigh 320 RN or even Norma 325, just because they're there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018

  19. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I just loaded up some 30-06 test loads today. H4895 slow loads using 130, 150, 165, and 180 grain Hornady bullets. Also some loads when I use my suppressor using 150 gr bullets and Trail Boss. Admittedly I’m doing this because my granddaughter just took her hunters safety course and informed me she wants to try hunting, so I need some potential light recoiling loads. I also have some 100 and 110 grain loads using Unique that have virtually no recoil. I need the next step up from those.
    I am a retired engineer, so I have to have something to do between my hunts:barefoot:! Using the 30-06 she gets to shoot one of pappy’s big guns not just a 22LR or 223.
    So some of us do use something other than 150-180 grains.
    I also have some good 200gr Partition loads for my 30-06 to chase elk in dark timber. Works for me.
    JMO derived from my experiences.
     
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  20. Milehighshooter

    Milehighshooter AH Enthusiast

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    Crap i forgot about that sale i need to get some myself!!
     

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