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first large caliber rifle question

4246 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Drop-Shot
.308 or 30-06....

Is there really much difference, I am a handgun shooter and the only rilfe I have shot is a 30-06, which seems to me to be a very accurate round.

The rifle will be used for target shooting & hunting, (only deer for now).

Thanks in advance.
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Ballistically the 30-06 has a tad more pep but all in all, I for one, don't think there is that enough difference to get too excited over. If I am not mistaken, both use the same bullets so the only difference is case size and amount of powder used. The 308 seems to have more of a following in the target shooting world due to short length cartridges being slightly more accurate while the venerable 30-06 is the numero uno cartridge for big game with the 308 also having a very strong presence.

You can go to almost any of the cartridge manufacturers websites and look over the differences in ballisticsto see if if would make a difference for you for target shooting. For deer hunting, it is a tossup provided you use properly constructed bullets and proper marksmanship. If possible, try both cartridges in a friend(s) rifle and see which you prefer. A nice thing about both cartridges is that nearly all actions are chambered for both giving you a very good selection to choose from. I seriously doubt that you can go wrong with either cartridge for what you described.

Or you can do what I would do, I already have a 30-06 and am looking for any plausible excuse to get a 308.

Good luck and safe shooting.
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Or you can do what I would do, I already have a 30-06 and am looking for any plausible excuse to get a 308.
Now there is a man of near-infinite wisdom... I'd listen carefully to what he says.
dear guest
register and enjoy this great website, and also shotgunworld! as an old head who has worn out barrels in both calibers, i would say, if you are going to shoot target, get the 308 up to 600 yards with the 168 matchking. if you are going to hunt, the '06 is a tad better with the heavier bullets (180 gr). with the 150 to 165 gr. bullets, the two are really close in speed. with the right powders, the 308 can push a 150 gr at around 3000fps. the '06 can push a 165 at around 3000fps. these spicy loads are NOT for autoloading rifles. look at the nosler book, and use these in newer bolt or the ruger single shot, or similar type.
John Wall has it Spot ON! Very good advise! Me, my first rifle was a .270. That was over 40 years and some 30 rifles back though. Yes I still have it as well as almost all the other 29 or so, maybe more, can't remember!

Whenever this comes up, I always tell people they should go with the 30-06. It is the most versatile round, and can handle just about anything in North America. Having said that, what John Wall stated is right on the money. There isn't a great deal of difference between the two, and the .308 is probably the better target shooting load.

Although the 308 Win is a very common round, the 30-06 Sprg is even more common. I use this scenario to explain why I would pick the 30-06:

You are in Woodtick, Minnesota way up on "da range". You get to your camp site (cabin, motel, whatever) and realize you forgot your ammo (or for some reason you need more ammo). You go down to the Willow River Mercantile where they have a whole lot of everything, but not a whole lot of one thing. They have everything from eggs, to batteries, to cow magnets. And there behind the counter, you spy not one, but four boxes of Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt softpoints - not your first pick, but it'll do - but they're there because the store owner figures they are good brush-busters (there are also 5 boxes of 30-30 ammo, 3 boxes of 410 slugs and various birdloads in various gauges). Chances are , they may have 308 Winnys, but darn-near gauranteed to have 30-06's.

That is why, for a general purpose rifle, the 30-06 is tough to beat.
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Skip Willow River Merchantile, just drive a few miles further south on I-35 to Banning Junction. The sporting goods store there has all the 308 ammo you will want as well as .50 Beowolf, several of the Lazzeronis, and a couple of others I haven't heard of.
Seriously, CartridgeGuy has a good point, ammo availability is important and nearly every general store, gas station, grocery store, lumber yard, or any place with a cash register in game country will have some sort of 30/06 ammo along with 30/30. Any other caliber is a bit more iffy.
If they have '06s they probably got .270s too!

Don't bet on it guest.I used to own a 270 and could not hunt that weekend cause nobody open had 270.On monday morning I bought a box of 130 gr I think and paid almost 30.00 back then.Everybody had 30/06 but I left mine home and I was the only person in that little alabama town that I could find that shot a 270.It has been 15 or 20 years since then and people are smarter about ammo but make sure when you go hunting that you bring ammo,what ever you decide to shoot.Drop-Shot
Hey Cartridge Guy....

The Scenic Pines Store (known to the locals as the "Round Lake Store") is about 15 miles southeast of Bigfork, and if you're on "Da Range" it's a lot closer than Willow River.

I think all they carry is .30-30 and .30-'06 rifle ammo, as well as an a.s.s.ortment of 12 ga steel and 20 ga lead shotshells. There might be one or two really old boxes of .30-40 Krag under the counter, too - been there since the 50's.

I grew up in Hibbing, so I know the area pretty well.... if you're interested, I can show you some easily accessible but very lightly hunted ruffed grouse country.
Sounds like a few people know that area,but It's good advice to carry extra ammo.Drop-Shot
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