308 Winchester caliber opinions...

Hoss Delgado

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It's a good cartridge . Very popular . WDM Bell's LAST article in American Rifleman 1954 , praised it to the stars. Bell said that if he could ever go back to Africa Again , he would use a Model 70 in .308 Winchester with ghost ring sights and monometal monel bullets for elephant . That's quite some praise. But l believe that Bell was merely speculating , because the .308 Winchester came out LONG after he retired from elephant hunting.
Don Heath , AKA Ganyana wrote that many professional elephant cullers used the .308 Winchester to cull elephants. It would work on cows and calves. But on bull elephants , generally it didn't work.
My own personal experience with the cartridge on Deer and Black Bear was favorable. However , much prefer the .30-06 in comparison. Heavier bullets , better trajectory and it helped America win two world wars !
 

sgt_zim

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It's a good cartridge . Very popular . WDM Bell's LAST article in American Rifleman 1954 , praised it to the stars. Bell said that if he could ever go back to Africa Again , he would use a Model 70 in .308 Winchester with ghost ring sights and monometal monel bullets for elephant . That's quite some praise. But l believe that Bell was merely speculating , because the .308 Winchester came out LONG after he retired from elephant hunting.
Don Heath , AKA Ganyana wrote that many professional elephant cullers used the .308 Winchester to cull elephants. It would work on cows and calves. But on bull elephants , generally it didn't work.
My own personal experience with the cartridge on Deer and Black Bear was favorable. However , much prefer the .30-06 in comparison. Heavier bullets , better trajectory and it helped America win two world wars !

There is very little practical difference in trajectory between them. Shooting identical bullets, with a 150 fps MV advantage to the '06 and a 200 yd zero for both, the '06 is about 6" flatter at 500 yards than .308.

At 300 yds, there is about 1" of trajectory difference between them.

300 WM is leaps and bounds better than them both at that distance. But as I've said before, people who don't practice at 300+ don't have any business trying to shoot an animal at 300+, either.
 

Desert Dog

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There is very little practical difference in trajectory between them.

Unless you are a skilled reloader; then the difference is significant enough to matter

* I can easily get 200+ fps more from the 30-06 for any given bullet, which is indeed helpful, especially when you are using monolithic bullets like Barnes that I want to keep about 1800fps at impact and hopefully impact above 2000fps for optimal performance. If you load your own, the difference between the 308 and 30-06, is like the difference between the 30-06 and 300 mag.

* When you load modern long / high-BC bullets in the 308, you lose lots of powder capacity and have to play the balancing act between loading to the lands and fitting in the magazine (the 6.5 Creedmoor was actually invented to solve this problem with 308). Not an issue with 30-06 - there will never be a "30-06 Creedmore" to correct its shortcomings.

* 30-06 gives me the ability to shoot a high velocity 150gr load for deer, yet easily transition to a 200 grain bullet with good velocity for moose or bears. The heavier you go with 308 and modern bullet designs, the worse it gets.

If you don't reload, you are correct; its pretty much a wash.
 

CBH Australia

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another American 06 fan.
If someone wants to take me bear hunting ill happily try one.

If Grizzly are on the menu id like to try a .338
 

Hoss Delgado

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Unless you are a skilled reloader; then the difference is significant enough to matter

* I can easily get 200+ fps more from the 30-06 for any given bullet, which is indeed helpful, especially when you are using monolithic bullets like Barnes that I want to keep about 1800fps at impact and hopefully impact above 2000fps for optimal performance. If you load your own, the difference between the 308 and 30-06, is like the difference between the 30-06 and 300 mag.

* When you load modern long / high-BC bullets in the 308, you lose lots of powder capacity and have to play the balancing act between loading to the lands and fitting in the magazine (the 6.5 Creedmoor was actually invented to solve this problem with 308). Not an issue with 30-06 - there will never be a "30-06 Creedmore" to correct its shortcomings.

* 30-06 gives me the ability to shoot a high velocity 150gr load for deer, yet easily transition to a 200 grain bullet with good velocity for moose or bears. The heavier you go with 308 and modern bullet designs, the worse it gets.

If you don't reload, you are correct; its pretty much a wash.
Me too , man. .30-06 All the way. My Dad only uses rifles in the caliber .30-06. He owns three at the moment : An Enfield 1917, a Winchester Model 70 and a Browning Safari Mark II semi automatic rifle. He even used his on Indian Gaur with Mixed success when Hunting was legal there in the 1960s . Always used the .30-06 AP army surplus ammo which was so common back then.
 

sgt_zim

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even a 200 fps difference in the same bullet yields minimal ballistic arc improvement. With a 200 yd zero and 200 fps more MV, out at 300 yards, 30-06 is flatter by about 1.5"

whether it's factory or handload doesn't make a whole lot of difference. 150 gr Hornady White tail - about 2820 in 308W and about 2910 in 30-06

Swift Scirocco II in 150 is published at about the same velocities as the Hornady factory offering mentioned above.

Hornady's 180 American White tail 30-06, 2700 fps. Federal's 180 gr Power Shock 308W, 2620 fps.

Norma and Nosler both show about a 150 fps difference on the top end with Partition and Oryx 180s, respectively, for both calibers.

I agree that 180 gr is the cut-off for reasons you mentioned. As I've said several times, at normal hunting distances for *most* hunters (no further than 300 yards) and with standard ammo of 150-180 grains, there is no practical difference between them.

If I had to choose a single rifle and get rid of everything else I own, it would be 30-06. But only because I do reload, and I'd have the option of 190 gr or heavier bullets. But I do own more than a single rifle, and if I want to go heavier than 180 gr, I'll move to one of my bigger caliber rifles.

Anymore, I don't even hunt with my 308. It has a 24", heavy, fluted barrel. I have it in case I ever need to hunt varmints who don't have 4 legs.
 

Hoss Delgado

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This is what a .30-06 can do. When a .308 Winchester does that , let me know ;)
P.S : No offence to anybody. I respect both calibers. I just have more of a bond with the .30-06 due to growing up seeing my Dad use it , and hearing about all his Hunting stories on his visits to pre '72 India .
 

Hoss Delgado

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There is very little practical difference in trajectory between them. Shooting identical bullets, with a 150 fps MV advantage to the '06 and a 200 yd zero for both, the '06 is about 6" flatter at 500 yards than .308.

At 300 yds, there is about 1" of trajectory difference between them.

300 WM is leaps and bounds better than them both at that distance. But as I've said before, people who don't practice at 300+ don't have any business trying to shoot an animal at 300+, either.
Yeah , Sgt Zim . A .300 HH Magnum or a .300 Winchester Magnum topples them both anyday. But between the two , l would choose .30-06 . My dad was a competitive shooter and even to this date , he is persistent that the .30-06 has better trajectory than the .308. He also served in the US army and did a tour in Vietnam . The US army used to use the .30-06 Winchester Model 70 Heavy Barrel for sniping. Then it got replaced by the .308 Remington Model 700 . Dad was lucky enough to to see and use both .
You're right In the sense that when you're hunting game , you probably don't need sniper level accuracy unless it's a very long shot , but l have no doubt in my mind that the .30-06 has a flatter trajectory than a .308.
 
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sgt_zim

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Walter Bell killed about 800 elephants with a 275 Rigby. A cautious reloader today can get a 275 Rigby up to the upper end of 308W MV of around 2600 fps with a 175 gr bullet*, maybe faster. Bell was shooting 173 gr RN bullets at around 2300 fps. In a 1954 article for American Rifleman, he said if he had to start his ele hunting career all over, he would have opted for a Winchester 70, chambered in 308W. This was a guy who knew his business, if anyone did. He killed 1,011 elephants in his career.

I never said 30-06 wasn't flatter or doesn't have more energy, it's that the difference is so insignificant it is irrelevant. Even at long range, 1000 yards, there's about 2.5MOA (19", give or take a bit)** difference between 30-06 and 308W. At 1000 yds, 30-06 has about 100 ft-lbs more energy. On my MOA scope, that's 10 extra clicks. On a milrad scope, that's 7 extra clicks.

* of the 10 or so manuals I own, the only one which actually shows 2600 fps for a 175 gr 7mm bullet in 275 Rigby is Woodleigh, and I suspect it's a misprint. for every other load, 2600 fps is *unsafe* territory.

** Calculation based on Hornady ELD-X 178gr at 2600 fps and 2775 fps and 300 yd zero. Note that 2775 is 25 fps faster than Hornady's published best, and I'm actually getting about 2615 fps with that bullet out of my 308W.
 

Hoss Delgado

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Walter Bell killed about 800 elephants with a 275 Rigby. A cautious reloader today can get a 275 Rigby up to the upper end of 308W MV of around 2600 fps with a 175 gr bullet*, maybe faster. Bell was shooting 173 gr RN bullets at around 2300 fps. In a 1954 article for American Rifleman, he said if he had to start his ele hunting career all over, he would have opted for a Winchester 70, chambered in 308W. This was a guy who knew his business, if anyone did. He killed 1,011 elephants in his career.

I never said 30-06 wasn't flatter or doesn't have more energy, it's that the difference is so insignificant it is irrelevant. Even at long range, 1000 yards, there's about 2.5MOA (19", give or take a bit)** difference between 30-06 and 308W. At 1000 yds, 30-06 has about 100 ft-lbs more energy. On my MOA scope, that's 10 extra clicks. On a milrad scope, that's 7 extra clicks.

* of the 10 or so manuals I own, the only one which actually shows 2600 fps for a 175 gr 7mm bullet in 275 Rigby is Woodleigh, and I suspect it's a misprint. for every other load, 2600 fps is *unsafe* territory.

** Calculation based on Hornady ELD-X 178gr at 2600 fps and 2775 fps and 300 yd zero. Note that 2775 is 25 fps faster than Hornady's published best, and I'm actually getting about 2615 fps with that bullet out of my 308W.
Sgt Zim , l wholeheartedly agree. But Bell never used the .308 on a Single elephant. He was merely speculating. The .308 Winchester came out in 1951 or 1952 , l think. That is DECADES after Bell shot his last Elephant. BTW , his final choice ( among calibers which he actually used ) was actually the .318 Westley Richards . He said that even though it was far from perfect the 250 grain bullet of the .318 was ideal in his eyes , followed by the 8mm mauser. I have read ALL of Bell's articles too.
In his final Article to American Rifleman , he speculated that if he were ever going back to Africa. , He would use a Winchester Model 70 in .308 with ghost ring sights and loaded with mineral monel bullets .But he would also have a spare .318 Westley Richards barrel and a stock of 250 grain round nosed full patch bulletw , incase , his .308 experiment proved unsatisfactory . He SPECULATED that the .308 might work. But he never did it. Years later , Park Rangers WERE using the FN Fal Battle Rifle in .308 to cull cow and calf elephants but these were done by emptying 30 round Magazines into the animals.
The .30-06 loaded with 168 Grain Armor piercing solids ( Military surplus ammo ) was ACTUALLY used by Harry Manners on 40 elephant with success.
But you're definitely right about the ballistics of a .308 .
 

Ray B

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The effective differences between the 308 and 30-06 are more a result of the limitations placed on each by the rifles in which they are chambered. Standard chamberings for the 308 are short actions while the 30-06 will be in a long action. Limited to an overall length of 2.8" the 308 is at a serious disadvantage when bullets over 165 gr or of a high BC profile are used. To meet the length limit the bullets need to be seated well into the case, reducing the powder space. The 30-06 doesn't have this limitation, so long bullets may be seated well out in the neck, increasing the space for powder. If both cartridges are compared without limitations they are very near equal, particularly with lighter bullets, but generally that isn't the case.
 

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The effective differences between the 308 and 30-06 are more a result of the limitations placed on each by the rifles in which they are chambered. Standard chamberings for the 308 are short actions while the 30-06 will be in a long action. Limited to an overall length of 2.8" the 308 is at a serious disadvantage when bullets over 165 gr or of a high BC profile are used. To meet the length limit the bullets need to be seated well into the case, reducing the powder space. The 30-06 doesn't have this limitation, so long bullets may be seated well out in the neck, increasing the space for powder. If both cartridges are compared without limitations they are very near equal, particularly with lighter bullets, but generally that isn't the case.

Don’t think anyone would disagree that an ought-six has more load options, it does. However, for effective PG or States hunting, 300 yards in, there isn’t much you can’t take equally well with either a 308 or 30-06. I’m talking Elk/Kudu size game and under. Bigger or meaner game, step up to a magnum in 7mm rem, 300, 338, etc. or a 9.3x62 if you don’t want a magnum. To me, it’s what rifles you have available in 308 or 30-06 and which one you shoot the best, i.e. shot placement. I’ve got a Daniel Defense Delta 5 308 win bolt action that is scary accurate at 300 yards and a Remington 30-06 pump I inherited from my dad that is “pretty” accurate at 300 yards. The 308, in this case, beats the 30-06 because it’s the chambering of the best and most accurate rifle I have available. The Remington 30-06 is no slouch, but it can’t take on my 308 for the game I’m hunting because it’s not as accurate and is never going to be no matter what rounds I run through it.
 

sgt_zim

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That's the point I've been trying to make all along.
 

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It's interesting that in the Barnes Reloading Data, the max velocity for the 150 Grain TTSX is virtually identical for the 308W and 30-06. Both at ~2,900 fps +/-.

My one and only 308 bolt gun at present was bought solely for practicing from the sticks - to save some wear and tear on the 338 WM and 6.5CM.
It's a Franchi of all things and met my criteria perfectly - light weight, threaded muzzle and a trigger similar to my Tikka. It's a good shooter, btw.

Having a good supply of excellent 7.62x51 Aussie F4 Ball (AFF 91) for practice was part of the equasion.

This thread makes me want to have a small supply of quality hunting rounds available in case one of my intended Africa rifes goes down.
 

DLRX

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I have shot 50+ Blesbuck at +300M with my Bruno .308 using 165Gr SST's...al 1 shot kills.
165/8 TSX and bonded Rhino's are more than capable to take any Kudu, Blue wildebees or Eland.
Keep in mind that the Free state and Mpumalanga Highveld's plains game require in the norm 300M++ shots.
Your load / ammo should at least group sub MOA.
 

Desert Dog

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It's interesting that in the Barnes Reloading Data, the max velocity for the 150 Grain TTSX is virtually identical for the 308W and 30-06. Both at ~2,900 fps +/-.

Yea, Barnes load data SUCKS! Its been known for years, they probably just filled in much of the 308 info in the 30-06 category. I have been loading Barnes bullets for 20 years now, and none of my loads are representative of Barnes numbers. My 150gr TTSX load for 30-06 with H4350 has a MV of 3,040 fps with no signs of pressure, and shoots sub-1/2" MOA. I can easily get near 3100 if I wanted to, but 3040 was my accuracy node for that rifle. I have since switched to the 168gr TTSX and like it even more.
 

bruce moulds

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saami spec max pressure for 30/06 is somewhat less than for 308.
l0ad a 30/06 to the same pressure, and this is safe, and the true difference shows.
powders like h4350 make the 30/06 perform where the 308 can't go.
if you zero them both at 200 yds there is little noticeable difference in practical trajectory.
however if you do your homework on +/- 2.5 or +/- 3" point blank range and zero accordingly, the 30/06 becomes a far better mountain of open country trajectory.
that 200 fps difference is very useable if you do some homework.
plus it can deliver heavy bullets far better.
bruce.
 

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saami spec max pressure for 30/06 is somewhat less than for 308.
l0ad a 30/06 to the same pressure, and this is safe, and the true difference shows.
powders like h4350 make the 30/06 perform where the 308 can't go.
if you zero them both at 200 yds there is little noticeable difference in practical trajectory.
however if you do your homework on +/- 2.5 or +/- 3" point blank range and zero accordingly, the 30/06 becomes a far better mountain of open country trajectory.
that 200 fps difference is very useable if you do some homework.
plus it can deliver heavy bullets far better.
bruce.


The reason the 308 can't get to the 30-06, as noted previously are the rifles in which they are chambered, not the superiority of the 30-06 case capacity. Because the 308 is chambered in short actions the OAL is 2.8" whereas the 30-06 is 3.34", more than a half inch longer. If the 308 were chambered in a long action and the bullet were seated out accordingly, there would be very little difference. and for mountain hunting it does appear that several hunters prefer the handiness and decreased weight of the short action 308 even though it has slightly less performance.
 

Wyatt Smith

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I zero my 30-06 with 180s at 250 yards that puts it 3 inches high at 100, and 1.5 to 1 inch high at 200. I haven’t shot any paper at 300 just milk jugs( I live on a farm and don’t need to go to range) and can hit them pretty easy by aiming at the lid or a couple inches under.
 
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My 15year old son used a 308 Howa
Loaded with 150grain accubonds and 140grain outer edge. The outer edge are an Australian design mono, very accurate and very deadly. He used both because out to 200yards they had identical point.
All shots on game were thru and thru. A beautiful Hartman zebra was shot at around 130yards ran about 20yards and piled up. She was dead on the first shot just didn't know it. Accubonds had the same thru and thru on everything shot.
If you ask him what would you take for PG in Namibia he would say you don't need anything more than a 308 just learn to put your shot where it's meant to be dad and job's done.
 

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