30-06 vs 300 Win Mag

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by gatekeeper, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. gatekeeper

    gatekeeper AH Member

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    My question is, do you think there is an advantage to a 300 for plains game, that justifies the extra recoil of this round compared to the 30-06? I am very comfortable with a 30-06, and i can shoot a 300, but honestly, it is less pleasant, particularly from prone. I have read some people say there isn't any real world advantage, and that the 30-06 can do anything the 300 can, particularly given the shorter ranges of most african plains game shots. What do those with experience think? Thank you all.
     
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  2. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My son took three animals in South Africa last year, at 100yd, 220 yd plus and 357 yd. So I guess what range do you call long distance. For example 350 is too far for me with any rifle, but not for my son. What about you? At least something to consider!
    Almost forgot, he was using a .300 Win Mag!
     

  3. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    If your comfortable with the 30-06, there is no need to toy with anything else. The 30-06 will do the trick on pg with a good quality bullet!
     
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  4. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I feel if you are a reloader there is not much advantage going to the 300 win. In factory ammo the 30-06 is not loaded to full potential do to older rifles.
     
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  5. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello gatekeeper,

    As you mentioned "particularly given the shorter distances", directly equates to the .30-06 being a very fine antelope, zebra and piggy caliber.
    If however, you are one of these 500 yard guys, the .300 then shows a definite advantage.

    I've used both the .30-06 and a .300 H&H in Africa, with nothing but perfect results.
    My recommendation is to avoid light for caliber bullets, especially at dreaded magnum velocities.
    Likewise, my recommendation is to use at least 180 grainers as your minimum for Africa (Alaska as well), in either cartridge.
    I've shot many critters with 220 grain round nose bullets in the Limpopo District of South Africa and here in Alaska as well, from the .30-06.

    It is amazing to me how many people do not use that combination.
    It is extremely effective (especially on large animals like wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, moose, bear and such) but yet does not splatter edible meat all over the bush like lighter bullets often do.

    Last but not least, if you decide to buy yourself a bit more gun than the .30-06, just get a .375 H&H and be done with it.
    Participating in this forum will cause you to want one anyway so, start saving now.

    The right deal will come along when you least expect it.
    Recoil is about twice that of the .30-06 so, mortal men can learn to shoot it very accurately.
    Trajectory is happily so similar to the '06 so as to be impossible to tell any difference when using one or the other.

    All that being said, if it were me, I'd either rent a rifle from the PH (I generally do that these days) or, I'd take that .30-06 to Africa and save my .300 magnum money to pay for something like a kudu permit.

    You can shop for a .375 after your Taxidermy bill is paid off hahahaha.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

  6. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Take Velo Dog's advice. If a .375 Holland had been around when our West was being won, it wouldn't have been Winchester that won it! The .375 Holland can also do it all if you prefer to own only one rifle!
     

  7. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Fanatic

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    Real advantage? No not really, not for the ranges that you will probably be shooting. It mostly comes down to wants instead of needs, if you really want another gun you will find a need for it. I accumulated over the years several 30-06's, a 300 H&H, a 338 WM an a 375 Ruger. I love them all and I try to find hunts for them all to go on, that way it's easier to justify owning them all to my better half. Use your 30-06 with a good 180 gr. bullet and soon enough you'll find an excuse to buy a bigger gun. Good luck, shoot straight and looking forward to your hunt report.
     

  8. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yup the old V Dog gave you the best advice I could think of!

    But a couple more points, if you think you may need to reach out a bit, you might consider 150 grain Barnes TTSX bullets. Now VD will not agree, but that would let you reach out to 300 or more yards with a 30-06. Doubt you need to in Africa.

    The other point regarding those 220 grain bullets... they are generally moving slow enough that they are a good choice for the small stuff as they should not blow them up like a fast moving 150 grainer or even a 180. But of not targeting real small stuff, and especially if you are on a typical first safari with medium sized antelope on the adgenda... even up to eland... 180 grain premium bullets should work great.

    And take the above advice on a 375! Perfect pair for Africa, 30-06 And 375 H&H (or Ruger). Felt recoil is very similar to a 300 magnum. Especially in what are typically heavier guns.
     
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  9. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The Dog has spoken!
     

  10. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I'm with @ActionBob and @Velo Dog . For most hunting situations I don't think there is much difference, unless perhaps you're that 500 yard guy, which I'm not.

    I have both a .30/06 and a .300 wsm. I've taken both to Africa on different trips. I actually bought the wsm to replace the 06 as my main light rifle, BUT I did it to get a lighter rifle that was easier to carry in the mountians, not for the extra firepower.

    And although prone shots can be taken I wouldn't worry about that too much as they aren't that common in most places. I've taken exactly one prone shot in four trips to Africa, and that was on a hippo with a .375 H&H.
     
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  11. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    Gatekeeper, go with the 30-06 since you obviously already own one and shoot it well. Use a 180gr premium bullet and get lots of practice shooting off sticks.
    Also you stated you don't like recoil so much so stay away from the magnums for now and slowly learn how to shoot them and get used to them so you don't develop bad habits and a flinch!
    Personally though I would take a 300 over a 30-06 everyday all day.
     
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  12. buffybr

    buffybr AH Enthusiast

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    I also agree that your .30-06 will work fine for African PG animals. In my 50+ years of hunting with .30 caliber rifles (.30-40 Krag, .30-30 Win, .30-06, .308 Win, .30 Gibbs, and .300 Weatherby) I have never seen the need for bullets heavier than 180 grains. I'm just not a fan of round nose rifle bullets.

    Like Royal27 posted, prone shots in Africa aren't that common, but given the choice, I will opt for a prone shot over any other field position, and I have taken a number of prone shot in Africa with my .375 RUM and my .300 Weatherby.
     
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  13. cagkt3

    cagkt3 PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I'll be shooting 180gr Swift A-Frames out of my 30-06 when I go over. I'll let you know how it goes
     

  14. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    Both are fine rounds but personally I don't see the need for a 300WM. At the ranges I'm comfortable shooting the 06 is all I need. As for loads it's 180 grain or nothing, I know the 168 grn is more accurate at long distances but in a hunting bullet the 180 grn is king.
     
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  15. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Fanatic

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    I have both. Advantage to the 300?----Not really for all practical purposes. In fact I have taken game at longer ranges with my 30-06 than with my 300win mag. If you like the 30-06 better take it. You will not be under gunned. Shot placement is the most important factor and more important than using a mag of any size.
    PS I have taken game out to 450-500 yards with a 30-06 so it will work. Use 150-165gr Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frames and you are set up quite well. You could use cheaper bullets but after all it is Africa and the ammo is the cheapest part of the hunt and is the deciding factor if you are taking down the animal or not. A 150gr Barnes TTSX(notTSX) is another choice.
     
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  16. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I use a 300 win mag and have been very happy but that is because that is what I own. Both the calibers you are talking about will work with out any problems. You hit it right with either and the animal is dead. Gut shoot one with either and they will run off and act the same.

    Get a good bullet loaded up in 180 to 200 grain and go have fun. Barnes ttsx and a-frames have not let me down yet.

    It is as simple as take the one you shoot best and feel the best with. Don't need no 375 for any plains game in Africa unless you want one. For Africa it would be also pick the one you like to shoot off sticks the best also.
     
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  17. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I've got the .30's fairly well covered in my arsenal. With .308 Win, .30-06, .300WM and .300H&H rifles. I haven't hunted yet with the .300H&H. Only own it because I just wanted one in a pre-64 M70.

    I love my .300WM. It's accurate and I've got loads in 165, 180 and 200gr projectiles. I'll never sell this rifle and look forward to hunting with it again.

    But, if there's any real advantage to it, it's that it can push a 200gr bullet that much faster. This in turn stabilizes the bullet better and with that shoot it more accurately. This isn't to say it can't be done with a .30-06, just more likely to be accurate with any give 200gr bullet.

    I believe with the advent of today's so called premium bullets, the differences between calibers have to an extent been muted. My personal favorite bullet is the North Fork bonded cores. It has lead up front like a traditional bullet, but is bonded to the copper jacket. Recovered bullets have all had 95% or greater weight retention.

    So let's say you stick with your .30-06 and shoot a 165gr North Fork. And after a shot your bullet weighs some 157gr or more. That will be more than a 200gr Nosler Partition that will be typically more in the 100-120gr or 50-60% retention.

    My overall point is that these bullets have essentially in my opinion made lesser calibers shoot more like their larger cased cousins in same bullet diameter using traditional bullets. In other words you get .300WM performance using traditional bullets from a .30-06 using high weight retention bullets.

    I say this as I've witnessed my younger son take a zebra with one shot from his 7x57 using a 140gr North Fork on a frontal quartering shot. I've witnessed my older son take an eland with his .308Win using 165gr NF's. My wife shot a number of animals with her .30-06 using the same 165gr NF's. All of hers that were shot well resulted in animals dropping on the spot. So if the goal is to keep recoil down, stick with your .30-06 and use 165gr North Fork bonded cores, Swift A-Frames, Peregrine Plains Masters or Barnes TTSX.

    If you're not a hand loader, you'll not find factory offerings in North Fork or Peregrines. If you don't find factory in the A-Frames or Barnes that shoot accurately, then take some of the money you saved on not buying a new rifle/scope and have one of the custom ammo loaders develop a load for you. I think you'll be happy with that money spent.
     
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  18. flat8

    flat8 GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I will never discourage anyone from buying another gun, but this guy was taken at about 220 yards with a .30-06. He dropped instantly. IMG_0331.JPG
     

  19. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    This to me says the most. Follow whatever bullet advice you want because it will continue to be an endless debate on any hunting web site... you certainly all ready have plenty to choose from.... I'm sure you got the one common theme.. Don't cut corners or look to save money on ammo. Use premium ammo and bullets no matter which configuration you pick.

    Oh, and practice shooting off sticks AND reloading immediately after the shot.
     

  20. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My 2¢. Go with the rifle you are most confident with. Sounds like that's the '06.
     

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