Ballistics of the .308 vs. 30-06


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Old 11-02-2012, 02:06 AM   #1
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Default Ballistics of the .308 vs. 30-06

Velocity 2700fps

Bullet Wt. .168gr

Sight in at 100Yds.

Bullet Coef. 0.495

Muz. Energy 2720

......Range......Velocity..........Drop........... ToF.........Energy
............0.........2700................0....... ......0.............2720
.........100.........2516...........2.74.........0 .12.............2362
.........200.........2344..........11.00........0. 24.............2050
.........300.........2180..........25.62........0. 37.............1773
.........400.........2021..........47.59........0. 52.............1524
.........500.........1870..........78.11........0. 67.............1305
.........600.........1728........118.59........0.8 4.............1114
.........700.........1594........170.74........1.0 2...............948
.........800.........1470........236.57........1.2 1...............806
.........900.........1358........318.45........1.4 3...............688
.......1000.........1259..........419.1........1.6 6...............591

The above chart illustrates the common ballistics of any .30 cal rifle using the exact same bullet weight and velocity. Giving that the rifles fired from are the same brand and barrel leingth.

Example .308 taken right from Hornady reloading manual; A .168 gr. HPBT loaded with 44.3 grs. of RL-15 powder achieves about 2600fps.

Example .30-06 taken right from the Hornady reloading manual; A 168 gr HPBT loaded with 46.8 grs. of RL-15 achieves about 2600fps.

Where the difference exists is that you can load the .30-06 up a tad bit more with this powder to achieve the full 2700fps. The case is longer and allows for a little bit more powder to be used. Along with the ability of the .30-06 to effectively use .220 gr bullets where the .308 reloading data stops at .190gr.

Powders come in Flaked, Balled, and Tubular shapes, and with the Tubular powder one can more efficiently and effectively use this powder in the .30-06 to achieve the same ballistics listed above. Because the tubular powder takes more room in the case, and the .308 does not have quite as much room in the case as the .30-06.

So the advantage of .30-06 over the .308 is that one can load a few differing types of powder, and you can use more powder to achieve a slight higher velocity. But giving the same weights they both perform exactly the same under the same conditions and rifles.


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Old 11-02-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
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And this is exactly why I went with the 06 instead of 308. It's all about variety boys!



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Old 11-02-2012, 02:46 AM   #3
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I chose the .308 because of the availability of surplus ammo. I do own a 30-06 as well but don't fire it often. Good to see the numbers that demonstrate they are pretty much equal.

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Old 11-02-2012, 02:57 AM   #4
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one of the big differences between the two is 308 is short action 30-06 is long action. long action makes a rifle longer and slower to operate the bolt in bolt action form. this lends the real possibility of short stroking on follow ups.

unless you need to use 180grain and up bullets there is no valid reason for using a 30-06 over a 308. 308 came about from the need to shorten up the 30-06 in order to give a garand a useable detachable box magazine while retaining the power of the 30-06.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:01 AM   #5
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The .308 allowed a higher cycle rate in machine guns.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:03 AM   #6
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if possible just own both! both are excellent cartridges. i own both and enjoy shooting both. if i had to choose between them, it would be a hard choice to make. right at the moment, i am not really sure which one i would choose, but possibly the 30-06. or the 308?

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:10 AM   #7
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I own both as well. As an old handloader I like the longer neck on the 30-06.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:10 AM   #8
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I always check more than one book. My Lee book shows a max of 42.8 grains of RL15 for 2600+ for the 308 168 grain bullet and 45 grains of Accurate 2520 is a max load at 2700. The 2520 is not so good in the 06 though. With other powders like Accurate 4350 the 06 will go 2800+. The Lee book shows loads to 250 grains for the 308.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:40 AM   #9
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I actualy load 44.3 grs of RL-15 with a .168 gr HPBT match bullet and It draws near 2700fps out of my 24 inch barrel

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Old 11-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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I own both.

Since rebarrelling my M-1 Garand to .308, all of my .30-06 rifles are bolt guns. I use 4350 or WW760 and load 150 grain bullets to 3,000.

I load .308 147 grain bullets to 2700.



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