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in the market for a bolt-action and have been trying to decide between .308 and 30-06 for the caliber. I am planning on using it for hunting (deer) and some medium range target shooting (100 - 400 yards). I have heard that the 30-06 has a flatter trajectory, but that the .308 is a better round over all. opinions, anyone??

:confused:
 

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This is just my opinion
I've used both. I own both. Hunt with my 3006. And long distance shoot with my 308
The way the ammo is going now. I'd go with the 3006. Lot easier to find usually because there aren't to many 20 rd mag semi autos already. So usually people don't stock pile on it.
As for performance. They shoot alot alike. All on your weapon system and if you know how to use it
Hope this helps a little
 

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The 30/06 has the advantage of more power(about 200 fps) and with that a slightly flatter trajectory. Obviously they use the exact same bullets. The 308 can be had in a short action which makes for a lighter handier gun(though not much). In the big picture there is very little difference.
 

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.308 is a better round if you are hunting various game that are different sizes. Also, I have noticed less damage to the meat when compared to my friends 30-06 bullet holes. Of course, I shoot for the neck if I can so there is no damage to the meat.
 

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I own both, shoot both and hunt both. Normally, I would say go with the .308 Win., but these are not normal times, .308 is hard to find right now. So get a 30-06, you'll be pleased with it in a quality rifle.
 

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I reload for 30-06 and I personally think the 06 is better all around than the .308. Factory ammo in 30-06 is loaded down so the power is on par with .308.

I dont see how a 1/4'' difference in the length of a bolt matters in the long action short action debate.

Honestly at 400yrds and in its not going to matter which one you choose.
 

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ballistics and pressure are identical on 308 and 30-06 up to the point you hit 180grain and up bullets. 168 and down they are identical neither shooting flatter than other.

150grain bullets in either cartridge are deer slayers.

either cartridge is more than capable of taking everything that walks in north america. in the case of elk moose and grizzly the 30-06 gets the edge because of better performance with heavy bullets. other than that they are exactly the same.

performance of a cartridge is highly dependent on the gun that bullet is coming out of.
 

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JonM, how interesting that the current ballistics show them identical(you are correct, I checked :)). I always remembered it with the 30/06 at higher velocities. I just checked some old Remington catalogs from 25 or 30 years ago and I was correct, it showed 30/06 faster. I guess my knowledge is too old just like me. :)
 

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even though i own, shoot and reload for both, if given to the fact i would have to make a choice, i would have to choose the 30-06. for the most part, when you go above around say 175 gr bullets, and larger, the 30-06 does have the advantage due to larger case size. up to a certain point they are pretty close in ballistics. the advantage of the 30-06 also if you reload, you can load at reduced power levels, where with the 308, you can only go so high before it becomes dangerous.

if only were going to own one and had to make the choice, even though it would be a hard choice, i'd go with the 30-06 pretty much hands down.
 

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there is one major difference i forgot to mention. 30-06 requires a much longer action to operate. this means its much more liekly to cause feed issues on push feed rifles or even short stroke meaning cycling the bolt but not picking up a round.

the shorter bolt is a big advantage for the 308.
 

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there is one major difference i forgot to mention. 30-06 requires a much longer action to operate. this means its much more liekly to cause feed issues on push feed rifles or even short stroke meaning cycling the bolt but not picking up a round.

the shorter bolt is a big advantage for the 308.
Jon,I'll have to argue with you on the long action versus short action stuff. I guess if a person has only shot short action rifles,there could be a chance of short cycling,but I have never done it with any long action rifle that I've had.

A long action is every bit as accurate as a short action,and the weight difference is only a few ounces.
I've also had more feeding issues with short action push feed rifles,than I ever have had with long action's.

If the OP is just planning on hunting deer size game,you should also look into the 25/06 or 6.5x55 Swede. Both calibers will take down any deer in north america,and do it well out to 400 yards. Ammo is easily found,and they have a lot less recoil.
The only real issue's that long action's have are trying to mount a short bodied scope on it,but if you use a Weaver/Picatinny 1pc base,it solves that problem.
 

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I have to say go with a 30-06, I hand load from 125 grn noslers. To 150 grn Barnes TSX. I took a mulie at 220 yards with the 125 grn. She went 30 yards and flopped over. The .308 averages 100 FPS slower. But! The main difference. Some have seen in the 2 calibers, the .308 with the short stubby case has a higher probability of consistent powder burn resulting in better accuracy. Where a low load '06 may ignite differently. I have drooled over a .308. As long as I can remember. But when it came down to it. The 30-06 always wins. You won't go wrong with either, '06 wins versatility though. Hand loading, you can range from 125 grn- 220. With great results!
 

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Second post, I shoot a Thompson encore single shot with a 24" heavy barrel, This is pre s&w Average group is 3 touching at 200 yards.

However, for a bolt, look at the savage models, I had a 110 pre-accu trigger. With a sport barrel, that would do 1/4" at 100. With whatever random ( safe) mess I could produce off the press, Mess defined as not perfecting a load for the particular rifle. Via neck tension, seating depth, or how far away from the lands and grooves the bullet sits, or powder weight tuning.
 

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I have to say go with a 30-06, I hand load from 125 grn noslers. To 150 grn Barnes TSX. I took a mulie at 220 yards with the 125 grn. She went 30 yards and flopped over. The .308 averages 100 FPS slower. But! The main difference. Some have seen in the 2 calibers, the .308 with the short stubby case has a higher probability of consistent powder burn resulting in better accuracy. Where a low load '06 may ignite differently. I have drooled over a .308. As long as I can remember. But when it came down to it. The 30-06 always wins. You won't go wrong with either, '06 wins versatility though. Hand loading, you can range from 125 grn- 220. With great results!
i have to agree. in the heavier 30 caliber bullet weights, the 30-06 does have a slight edge over the 308.
 

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.308 vs '06

Hunting;will grab an '06 EVERYTIME.Just seems to be the "right" thing to do?

Paper ventilation;just about 50-50

Cast bullets;hunt/field shoot with '06.Heavy benchrest,.308

Both cals. are easy to shoot,load for and real important,easy to clean.There is a difference in action length.It'll show up on target once the groups start getting real small.........and the weight difference shows up in the field,once the walks get real long.But for normal use in either,hunting or paper the action length isn't that big a deal,YMMV.

There is a bigger difference(action length) in how the gun mounts a scope.And the overall "look" of the firearm.That is a little more than just subjective.Doing a side x side comparo and how you may or may not care about aesthetics?I kinda like the longish look of the "long action" on a hunting rig.But like the shorter action for scope mounting?

Get both?
 

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In my experience with both,, as stated before,, ballistically they are very close but I would give the edge to the 06 because it can handle up to 220 grain bullets where the 308 doesn't seem to stabilize anything heavier than 180 grainers although I have seen loads for 200 grain pills but they tend not to shoot as well due to twist rates in most rifles,, for most anything on this continent, either with the proper bullet is an excellent choice, except for the big bears, but a friend of mine when I was in the service had an uncle that worked for the state of Alaska and at that time they carried 30-06's with 220 grain loads because most everyone could shoot it well for protection grom the big bears,, better to hit with a 30-06 than miss with a 458.
 

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It is not the round, it is the firearm.

If you are looking for a bolt action, you may wish to go 06 as there are more heavy bullet options.

If you want an older semi auto, the M1 Grand has military cans of ammo available if you can find it, not designed to hunt North American game, it does work.

If you want a modern semi auto rifle, you will find great platforms built around the 08 round.

I went with a bull barrel stainless LR308. It is my all time favorite rifle.

If you are leaning bigger is better and you want a bolt action, look at a 7mm Remington Magnum. You can drop anything with that round that walks on four legs in N.A. It will also blow through 1/2 inch of steel with a regular big box store round, if you like to plink at steel targets and leave your mark.



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I think the shorter action of the 308 might be attractive for semi-auto shooting. For a deer rifle? One-shot time? that extra 1/4 inch of action (30-06) does not mean a thing. A couple extra ounces maybe.

I'd go 30-06 for bolt action, .308 for something like a BAR. Just me
 
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