Cartridge Showdown: The 30-’06 — Awesome or Awful?

Dust rose in thin clouds from the arena where I worked, the horses I was training weaving an age-old dance around me. My 80-something boss shuffled up to the rails and motioned me over through the haze. After shaking my hand he said, “When I die, I want you to come get my guns”. My 18-year old heart made a bound bigger than a colt under his first saddle, and swallowing subdued excitement I replied, “Yes Sir.” Who was I to argue with an order like that?

A good gemsbok bull, taken cleanly with one shot from the author’s 30-’06.

One of those guns was an old semi-sporterized Springfield 30-’06. My brother reshaped and streamlined the stock, I installed a Timney trigger and a modified bolt with a scope-clearing handle, and had the action drilled and tapped for scope mounts. One 3-9×42 Leupold later, and the rifle printed little groups with almost anything I stuffed into the magazine. I had my first real hunting rifle.

A 180-grain Nosler Accubond after passing through the shoulders of a Namibian Gemsbok.

A couple years later I shot my first big bull elk, deep in a backcountry wilderness, with that old 30-’06 rifle. Several more years later I killed my best-ever mule deer buck – a 215-inch 8×9 behemoth – at 324 yards. The only shot I had was at the base of the buck’s ear, and I made one of the best shots of my life, shattering the atlas joint with one prone shot from that Springfield. My best-ever whitetail also fell to the old rifle, along with too many other elk and deer to count. The barrel is shot out now and the groups it prints are a bit bigger, but just last year I carried my old favorite into Africa on the tracks of Theodore Roosevelt. With it, I harvested gemsbok, warthog, and Zebra, and with a 30-’06 Winchester lever-action model ’95 (another rifle carried by Teddy on his legendary 1909 – 1910 African safari), I shot a grand old Kudu bull, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

History

The 30-’06 Springfield was originally introduced as a military round, adopted in 1906 – hence the name. The .30 designates projectile diameter, and ’06 referring to 1906, the year the military started using it. The cartridge was used in a vast array of firearms, including the legendary 1903 Springfield, the M1 Garand, the BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) and many machine guns. Soldiers returning home from war brought stories of the efficient new round, in some cases bringing rifles home as well. Popularity spread like wildfire and a legendary cartridge was born.

The .308 Win. (center) simply doesn’t possess the sexiness of the 6.5 Creedmoor (left) or the panache of the 30-’06 Springfield (right).

Modern Day Cartridge

Now, there are multitudes of wonderful cartridges out there, and I’ll confess to having a love affair with many of them. But for sheer versatility mixed with get-’er-done authority, my vote still goes to the venerable 30-’06. It doesn’t posses the smashing capabilities of the magnums, but neither does it pack the kick. It can’t keep up with the 7mm Rem. Mag. or the .280 Ackley Improved, but ammunition is more available and in much better variety. The 6.5 Creedmoor and other 6.5s maintain energy better, but don’t possess the inside-300-yards authority of the 30-’06. It recoils a bit more than the .308 Win., and necessitates a full-length action as opposed to the short action of a .308, but it also strikes with more authority. (If you want a short-action cartridge that doesn’t kick but still eats dragons for supper, the 6.5 Creedmoor walks all over the .308.) Consider the following statistics, arrived at via my “Ballistic” App. Let’s compare apples to apples, each cartridge using Hornady Precision Hunter ammo featuring ELD-X bullets.

The 30-’06 is available in an astonishing assortment of bullet weights and designs.

As you can see, the .308 offers a couple hundred foot-pounds in energy over the 6.5 Creedmoor at the beginning, but at 800 yards has lost pretty much all of its margins. The Creedmoor starts out faster (with far less recoil, I might add) and stays that way, in fact gaining about 12 fps per hundred yards on the .308.

The author’s first big wilderness bull elk, taken with his “one rifle man” Springfield.

The 30-’06 versus the Creedmoor is a much closer race. The 6.5 maintains speed and energy better, but the ’06 starts out with a speed and energy advantage. At 800 yards the two cartridges sport almost exactly the same drop (fully 20 inches less than the .308), the 30-’06 carries an energy advantage of 186 ft.-lbs. of energy, while the Creedmoor now has a 58 fps speed advantage.

The upshot of this is that were I offered three identical rifles in these three different calibers – 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win., and 30-’06 Springfield, I would choose either the Creedmoor for its low recoil, short action, and aerodynamic projectile, or, if I wanted more authority, the 30-’06 for its higher energy and speed inside 300 yards, which is where 98 percent of game is harvested. The .308 Win., while being a great cartridge and thoroughly capable in its own right, gets left in the proverbial dust. If I had to choose one of the three to use for the rest of my life it would be the 30-06 every time. Here are some (more) reasons why:

Why the .30-’06?

Versatility.

Thirty-caliber projectiles are readily available in weights ranging from 110 up to 225 grains, and in a myriad of profiles from flat-based round-nosed bullets to super streamlined high BC (ballistic coefficient) pointed boat-tailed bullets. Factory ammo is available in almost as many iterations. The handloader can have a field day with his 30-06, loading 110 gr. Varmint bullets for coyotes, 150-grain projectiles for deer, 180-grain partitions for elk, 225-grain match bullets with a G1 BC of 777 (that’s high) for long range shooting, and stuff all of them in the same rifle.

Availability.

Walk into a sporting goods store anywhere from Alaska to Africa, and the most common ammo on the shelves will likely be good ol’ 30-’06. Should you find yourself abroad on the adventure of a lifetime while your ammo takes a flight to parts unknown courtesy of baggage handlers at the last airport, you can always find something to turn your rifle from a fancy club into a lethal tool.

From Western mule deer and elk to plains game in Africa, the author has never felt under-gunned while packing a 30-’06. Two of the author’s favorite things: his old Springfield rifle and a big warthog.

So, is the 30-’06 Springfield the best cartridge out there? The simple answer is no. There are cartridges better at almost any one thing. The magnums are better when something is trying to eat you. The super-aerodynamic calibers are better at long range. Lighter recoiling cartridges are better for sensitive shooters. But the ’06 is, to my way of thinking, perhaps the best all-around cartridge out there – that’s where it shines. It does everything well.

The 30-’06 Springfield has fought for our freedom through two world wars and several smaller ones. It’s been a favorite of hunters for the past century, and used wisely it is adequate for any game on the North American continent. It possesses a noble history, commands widespread respect, and is a favorite of America sportsmen and shooters. Just like my favorite old rifle, the 30-06 is here to stay.

To purchase Hornady ammunition in .30-’06, click here.

To purchase Federal ammunition in .30-’06, click here.

{ 227 comments… add one }
  • Marlin444 January 5, 2018, 6:27 pm

    The ’06 is a great round. I have a Tikka in 30-06. It is a safe queen. I, usually, take my Winchester m88 in .308 hunting. Last year I took 7 hogs (with 4 shots) and a 250lbs whitetail. I might use it on a bison or kudu this year, with the appropriate bullet of course.
    When I want to shoot a smaller caliber, I use a 243 or 223. The 6.5 creed is nice. My buddy has one. I can out shoot him with any caliber. It ain’t just the bullet.
    I find paper punching gets boring. Hunting shots over 400 yards are just lazy. I, also, archery hunt so I know this is true.

  • guy tv January 5, 2018, 5:22 am

    Your comments regarding the “best” cartridge of the best of the rest shouldn’t have, as usual pertaining to speed/drop/kick and or slick, taken up valuable(?) space and time for gunmen who by sheer relevant knowledge know in their minds which brass, powders and leads are what they personally admire and hold dear to their hearts. Why, many decades passed I as a brassy young knowitall about squirrel hunting swore that I would hold dear to my ignorant self to keep a short, long or long rifle .22 cartridge somewhere on my person at all times ; sometimes even in my beloved algebra class. But as the years passed I somehow lost contact with that part of my mind to make space for the .22s big brothers “in arms” the venerable brassy .243,.270, 308, 30-06s and on and on until that mind compartment began oozing far to much knowledge of the articles, essays and literature regarding of the subject “The Best Rifle Cartridge in the Whole Wide World.”
    Please leave this bullet thing alone and begin a whole new thing on “Did you Hear About the Guy Hunting in NYC” who brought down a cape buffalo with the .22 long rifle bullet? This should allow you personally 8 to 10 long as+ paragraphs wording your opinion about “who said the perfectly placed lead of most any size” couldn’t do the hunter’s job.

  • Darell Sunderlin December 6, 2017, 3:10 am

    I’m with you , 30-06 all the way , I have a Springfield & a Infield & a older model 70 Winchester . The first two are old & pretty much shot out but they have taken hundreds of animals .& i sighted in the Springfield last year & shot a consistent silver dollar group at 250 to 300yards.! 🙂 love them rifles !

  • thefixer December 5, 2017, 1:40 am

    Dang! I read the article and had all these spectacular observations and opinions. Then I read the comments and its already been said. Guess I have to just be happy that there are so many as smart as me out there. Got one to add. Try the 165 grain Nosler Accubond in .308. That’ll test a little further.

  • Jim Guidry December 5, 2017, 12:27 am

    I have to wonder how many wish to shoot a game animal much over 400 yrs. in the gulches around here. My old eyes aren’t nearly what they were and my .308 loaded with 208gr loads are all I need and can handle these days. I had my .30-06 for many years – even dubbed it “Deerslayer” as a kid of 15. Fond memories aside, having this, along with a Mossberg MVP in .308 and a DPMS AR in .308, I needed to let one go, and the miserly Scot in me won saying I would only be reloading for a single caliber instead of two.
    Miss it? Sometimes I have, but not nearly as bad as I would have thought.

  • BRASS December 5, 2017, 12:07 am

    Agreed!

  • David Ingram December 4, 2017, 10:45 pm

    One should not use the word “awful” and 30.06 in the same sentence unless it is accompanied by words like “deadly”, “painful”, or “loud.” The “06” was an excellent round before I was born and will still be long after I’m gone.

  • JCitizen December 4, 2017, 4:57 pm

    Just give me the 7.62x51mm! Plenty of choices in loads – plenty of surplus ammo, even if it isn’t very cheap. I would rather have several rifles in one caliber, than several calibers for a limited number of rifles. It is just the way I think – even if survival weren’t a factor – I’d still rather do it that way. A guy can always trade for something new, if need be, that way. I’ve seen more targets picked off at long range with the venerable .308 than any other; and when in the military I really liked the 1100 meter effective range too!

  • Jim Bentley December 4, 2017, 3:57 pm

    I agree with you in that the 30/06 is a great cartridge. One hundred and eleven years later it is still one of the best all around cartridges out there. If faced with the decision of owning only one rifle it would be my first choice, hands down. But, I believe your choices for comparison are like comparing apples and oranges. My .308 expels 175 gr SMKs at 2724 fps and maintains 584 lbs of energy at 1000 yds. Mind you, I will not shoot at any game animal at that distance. At a more realistic 400 yds, it is still traveling at 2028 fps and maintaining 1599 pounds of energy. I believe these numbers are sufficient for comparison. I also have a 6.5 Creedmoor. This is an outstanding target round. I would not hesitate to use it on deer size game,but Comparing it to the 06 seems ill conceived. Why not use the 7mm Rem. Mag. Instead? Loaded with a 168 gr Berger VLD Hunter at the range of 400 yds it is moving at 2346 fps and retaining 2054 lbs of energy. Now there. I believe these numbers are more representative of a fair comparison when judged next to your choice of 30/ 06 fodder. The grandfather of modern cartridges goes toe to toe with two modern hot shots and holds its own. Now that is all I have to say about that.

  • Griffon5642 December 4, 2017, 1:12 pm

    I used an ’06 for many years and was happy with it.
    Then I tried a .45cal and I am sold. I hunt Whitetail in wooded areas and that .45 saves me a lot of searching after the shot.
    Most deer fall dead in their tracks, but a few might get in a couple of steps.
    Try one. You will like it.

    Griff

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn December 4, 2017, 12:53 pm

    I have three .30-06s; One made with a modified Mauser action, one an original Springfield 03-A3, and one sporterized Sringfield 03 that pre-dates the First World War and was given to me by a man who was dying from brain cancer had no family to member to give it to. Each has killed game, and each no doubt will go on killing game long after I am forgotten worm food. Can’t say that about too many cartridges, including today’s Wonder Kids…

  • Silverbullet December 4, 2017, 11:49 am

    I can only add, the 30-06 is and always will be a very capable round for hunting or war. All different calibers available today are all trying to reach the same capabilities. I own several different rifles in the 30-06 , everyone will shoot better then I can. Now I also own other calibers the 270 is a flatter shooting round simple ballistics show and prove it. The 243 ,,,6 mm will do extremely well on deer size game even at 200 yards and more . Even my 22 mag will drop deer at a 100 easily. I don\’t condone using the little mag. On game that size it\’s just it will.
    In general it\’s not the caliber or the gun , its the shooter who knows his gun and practices with it at the ranges he plans on hunting.
    The. Only time or place I think a shot over 200 yards should be taken is where you can see and know that no one\’s in the path beyond the target .
    I\’ve hunted my entire life and have shot in excess of a quarter of a million rounds . Most have been shotgun , but I\’ve clocked lots of time in all guns and calibers.
    It came to easy to kill game so I challenged my self to only use black powder for hunting big game. I\’ve harvested many deer, boars, even ram. And not one standing all on the move and some all out running . The 54cal TC inline with thumbhole stock is just deadly accurate . I\’m also disabled and shoot sitting down. The guys I\’ve hunted with call me sargent slaughter. Nicknamed because when deer came near they stayed for dinner.
    So it\’s not the caliber or the gun it\’s the guy who shoots and shoots and shoots.
    I love the 06 and always will.

  • Silverbullet December 4, 2017, 11:41 am

    I can only add, the 30-06 is and always will be a very capable round for hunting or war. All different calibers available today are all trying to reach the same capabilities. I own several different rifles in the 30-06 , everyone will shoot better then I can. Now I also own other calibers the 270 is a flatter shooting round simple ballistics show and prove it. The 243 ,,,6 mm will do extremely well on deer size game even at 200 yards and more . Even my 22 mag will drop deer at a 100 easily. I don’t condone using the little mag. On game that size it’s just it will.
    In general it’s not the caliber or the gun , its the shooter who knows his gun and practices with it at the ranges he plans on hunting.
    The. Only time or place I think a shot over 200 yards should be taken is where you can see and know that no one’s in the path beyond the target .
    I’ve hunted my entire life and have shot in excess of a quarter of a million rounds . Most have been shotgun , but I’ve clocked lots of time in all guns and calibers.
    It came to easy to kill game so I challenged my self to only use black powder for hunting big game. I’ve harvested many deer, boars, even ram. And not one standing all on the move and some all out running . The 54cal TC inline with thumbhole stock is just deadly accurate . I’m also disabled and shoot sitting down. The guys I’ve hunted with call me sargent slaughter. Nicknamed because when deer came near they stayed for dinner.
    So it’s not the caliber or the gun it’s the guy who shoots and shoots and shoots.
    I love the 06 and always will.

  • Michael A Davis December 4, 2017, 11:36 am

    When my daughter graduated from college I asked her what she wanted. Her reply came very quickly. She wanted a 45LC revolver to carry on trail rides and when camping. When asked why, her reply was ” A big bullet mkes big holes, the blood runs out faster and the bear falls down dead quicker.” She got her wish in the form of Ruger Vaquero. I believe that the same applies to rifles. For sure killing power the 6.5 shouldn’t even be listed in the same article as the 30-06. I want a bullet with the mass and density to punch a big hole, and to blast through bone if need be to do that. In my view, the 6.5 is not a great deal better then the good old 257 Roberts. It has its place, just not against massive animals like elk or moose or bear. People talk about killing game at 800 yards, I can’t even see that far anymore, let alone drag an elk that far. I will always choose the ’06 with a partition bullet, it is just a perfect match for all my hunting needs.

  • Tripwire December 4, 2017, 11:30 am

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. I like the old Ought six. But for over 20 years my go to rifle was a Ruger 77 in 338 Mag. But it had a lot to do with long shots in wind, for me it worked great but I’m not nor have I even been recoil aware. I own 5 Savage bolt guns and love them all but I don’t have an 06 for some reason. But having said that I remember my young mans dream of one day having the money to have three rifles custom built, all would be identical. I figured between the three I could hunt the entire country. they were the 30-06, the 25-06 and the 35 Whelen, all of course on the 06 case. By the time I got to the point I could actually afford them I didn’t see the point.
    If I could only have one it would be the 06 hands down. Nice article!

  • Terry December 4, 2017, 10:54 am

    Well, if you UNDERSTOOD cartridges, you wouldn’t have picked that load for the 308. Its too heavy of a bullet for the .308. That bullet is designed for 300winmag shooters, and 30-06 is about its realistic lower limit. And yeah, you shoot a lighter bullet, you get less recoil. duh… And so yeah sure, the 6.5 beats it as you used a far lighter bullet in basically the same cartridge case. Match the .308 with a good 150 gr bullet against the 6.5 (say like superformance ammo), and then your comparison matters. Until then you are just another .308 basher as you try to make it something it isn’t. Like comparing a 45-70 for a long range sniper rifle…

    • Phil December 4, 2017, 3:34 pm

      I agree. I own several of both .308 and 30-06 rifles. My .308’s are fine loaded with 150 gr. projectiles and do everything they are supposed to do. My 30-06’s are fine at their job. The 30-06 loaded with the same 150 gr. projectile is near identical in performance to a 30-06. The only plus of the 30-06 is its ability to digest, and produce results with heavier bullets. The long discussed .308/30-06 debate is pointless. Its a lot like childish school yard bragging.

  • Ivo Roberts Jr. December 4, 2017, 10:09 am

    Apples to apples. Load the three with the same weight bullet and use off the shelf ammo and you will see the proper progression. 06, 308, 6.5. Unfair to make the 308 push the 06 weighted round and then to brag that the 6.5 hits harder and is faster with a lighter round. Stick the 308 round in the 6.5 and then talk to me about comparisons.

  • Edgar Church December 4, 2017, 9:53 am

    The 30.06 is the best all around caliber I have shot. The ammo is available around the world, relatively cheap. As a teenager, I watched my uncles shoot deer, declared bull elephants with the 30.06. .308, 7mm Mag, .303 Enfield are all about the same. I like the British Enflied because the action, for a military repeater is excellent.

    • SANDMAN December 5, 2017, 1:12 am

      I joined the NAVY in 1960, entered BUDS in 1962, attached to SEAL TEAM 1, and off to VIET NAM. My weapon of choice was a Winchester model 70 30-06 with a 8 power UNERTL scope, Yep I was a sniper. I still have the rifle, and although it was built in 1951, it still is as accurate as ever. I am only now replacing the barrel. So, the bottom line is, say what you want about the 30-06 round, it works.

  • Johnny Raygun December 4, 2017, 9:49 am

    My shoulder says 30-06 sucks and my shoulder says thank you to Creedmoor. I sold my 30-06 and have never looked back.

  • Hill Creekmore December 4, 2017, 9:28 am

    Thank you ruger for making the American a low cost great rifle in 30-06 most accurate rifle l have ever had 1/2 in groups at 100 yds 100 % on every animal ever seen through the scope 30-06 is definitely the best non mag cartridge

  • kerry purcell December 4, 2017, 9:14 am

    splitting hairs with the 308-30-06,,i have several of both,, why bring the 6.5 creedmore up ? its not even in the same class,,kinda like a 257 roberts,in its actual usage,,makes me wonder if the writer knows much,,

    • Terry December 4, 2017, 10:55 am

      yep, especially picking a bullet at the heaviest range you can for the .308. Selection bias to insure the result you want.

  • mka December 4, 2017, 8:58 am

    Next time I am out hunting something at 800 yards I will get the latest status rifle.
    Until that day, I will just stick with the 308. There is no animal I hunt within 200 or maximum 300 yards
    that can tell the difference in these rounds. That is, other than the superior penetration of the 30 calibers,due to sectional
    density.

  • Chris Baker December 4, 2017, 8:51 am

    My opinion on Rifle cartridges is oddly enough almost the exact opposite of my opinion about aircraft that are built for war. The airplanes require specialization to do their job the best. But a rifle cartridge is a whole different breed. I’ll vote for the 30-06 any day if I could only have one rifle. Give me a Garand please! Best rifle cartridge combination ever! The kick of a 30-06 is hard on my shoulder where I’ve had 2 surgeries. The weight of the Garand and the semi auto action mitigates that problem enough that a good energy absorbing butt plate pad does the trick. For anything I can’t or shouldn’t take with that, I’ll keep my 10/22.

    Back to those airplanes… The A-10 is probably the best ground support aircraft that will ever exist. The F-35 is probably the biggest kludge ever to exist although McNamara’s folly, the F-111 Aardvark came close. They actually found something it could do well but for all it’s other proposed missions it was about the worst thing they could come up with. The F-14 will probably be the best fleet defense/air superiority fighter that the Navy will ever have. The air force however should have bought the F-23 instead of the F-22. Bonehead politicians.
    The B-52 has to be the 30-06 of Bombers though.

    • Gerald Mahle December 4, 2017, 1:24 pm

      For those who haven’t had the pleasure of operating under an A-10… Perhaps it depends on the pilot, don’t know, but I have been directly under the cover of an A-10, and no higher than maybe 600-800 ft. altitude. You couldn’t hear even a whisper. One more reason why the services were stupid for even considering dumping it. Don’t forget those cannon it carries. They call it a tank buster for a reason.

    • Pops45 December 4, 2017, 5:11 pm

      The F-111 was a fine aircraft once they figured out a flaw in the tail, and found a proper role for for it. The F-35 progeam is like a future version of the F-111 program. Trying to design one aircraft to do everything. I like the F-22, very capable, as long as a pilot can hold his breath for long periods of time. I was an avionics technician for F-111s and EF-111s. in the 80s, while now obsolete, it did great back then

  • Zevon December 4, 2017, 8:42 am

    Interesting article.

    The first rifle i saw was an old farmers rifer in 30-06. It was my grandfather’s. it was old and beat up. It was a farmers tool, not a show piece, a tool.

    My uncle showed me yhe rifle and the rounds. when he showed me the rounds is first statement was,”This is the best all around caliber made.”

    So, for 45 years, i have heard this from everyone who mentions the 30-06. Why have any other round for hunting in North America?

    i

  • BWL December 4, 2017, 8:34 am

    If you want a good big game hunting round, stick with something like a 30-06, 7 mm Rem Mag, 308, or 270. The 270 is my favorite, using 130 or 140 gr. Hornady Superperformance ammo. It can carry elk killing energy to 500 yards while shooting flat and with reasonable recoil – even farther at higher elevations.

    Despite all its hype, don’t see any advantage of using the 6.5 Creedmoor for hunting. Sure, it is has many advantages for target shooting. Compared to a 270 – it doesn’t shoot as fast, as flat, or carry as much energy inside several hundred yards.

    • Terry December 4, 2017, 10:58 am

      But the .270 is OLD…. 😉 Highly overlooked cartridge.
      and like the 30-06, you can find ammo anywhere in the world, including countries that have bans on private sells of military cartridges.

  • Pat J December 4, 2017, 8:19 am

    Favorite rifle…late 30s Springfield, Mass M1 Garand shot at range often
    Hunting rifle…$600 Savage ’06 with $600 scope for elk, deer, antelope, don’t kill bear anymore.
    Rifle next to cabin front door…AR10 in .308 scoped
    Redding press and dies, H4350 for Savge, IMR 4895 for Garand, Varget for AR10,
    30 cal brass and heads are big enough that I can still see what I’m doing. That’s it for big rifles.
    30.06 because US military, they seemed to know what they were doing back then.
    Never forget good smell and feel of rifle and round. Nothing feels better on shoulder than M1 or Model 12, except wife.
    I don’t engage anti-hunting crowd, too emotional. I do keep track of them through NRA-ILA. Good luck.

  • William E Green III, MD December 4, 2017, 8:03 am

    Agree, the 30-06 is probably the best “all around” cartridge for big game in North America. Ammo is widely available in any gun store, able to kill anything (if you hit the animal well). Kick is moderate compared to heavier magnums, and with the right rifle it is VERY accurate out to significant ranges.
    However, I’ll put a “plug” in for my favorite rifle/ cartridge, a Ruger #1 Varmint model chambered in 25-06. Accurate as can be, shoots under one half inch at 100 yards, very little drop over 200 yards plus, and drops any whitetails on the spot. Needless to say, I have NOT bought another gun since buying this “beauty”.

  • M. Atkinson December 4, 2017, 7:59 am

    My go to rifle for any big game is my old model 70 Winchester in 30.06, I have many different rifles in many different calibers but I always seem to reach for it, it shoots groups that can be covered by a quarter at 100 yds with several different “cheaper” brands of ammo, and hand loads, no need to buy that “premium” big dollar stuff, if I only had the ability to own one rifle for big game it certainly would be the 30.06.

    • Wendell Ison December 4, 2017, 9:23 am

      If the .308 has 175 foot pounds more energy, a heavier bullet and a larger bullet diameter than the 6.5 Creedmoor at 400 yards then how does the Creedmoor “walk all over the .308”? We’re talking hunting here….right? Pure commercial b.s.

  • Captain O December 4, 2017, 7:44 am

    I’m the son of a WW2 veteran and am a Vietnam-era Navy vet. Daddy was Underwater Demolition Team (a.k.a.”Frogman”) as well as a member of the Navy Rifle Team. He carried nothing less than an ’06 until he died.

    Here’s to the mighty .30-’06!

  • William A. Wessels December 4, 2017, 6:49 am

    The 30-06 and 308 had identical ballistics @ the 157 grain bullet which the military used. The 30 was shorter and for some unknown reason slightly more accurate than the 30-06. The m14 was built slightly shorter and a little lighter than the M1 using a detachable magazine of 20 rounds. The 30-06 as stated had many more loadings than the 308, making it more valuable for a wider range of applications. Today there are more loadings available for the 308 but still not as many as the 30-06. Either will serve well for most applications in North America, for verification check the website for Alaskan big game hunting on the Fish and game offical website for Alaska and see what they recommend for hunting in the State. They have more experience with Alaskan hunting than anyone and have some excellent observations and recommendations.

  • Tom C Snook December 4, 2017, 6:04 am

    As an 88 year old would comment…ouch to all the Japs and Krauts that were on the end of the 30-06….and to a fair degree ouch to all our men on the end of an 8mm….all of which are lighter compared to big game

  • Kenneth Thomas December 4, 2017, 4:22 am

    I own .308 in two platforms, and have taken deer and elk with them both. Just because some new sexy round (a solution looking for a problem) called the 6.5 has come on the scene doesn’t mean that, I have to go out and spend good money on fixing something that simply isn’t broken. All the stuff you said, I’m sure is true for the most part. But when, I have hit and killed game from black bears to Bull Elk (I never shoot past 200yds) with a .308, 7.62×51. Why should, I or anyone else for that matter make any changes? To me 6.5 is the Universe’s way of telling us we have too much money and too much time on our hands. LOL!

    • Richard Vance December 4, 2017, 7:37 am

      Me sentiments exactly, right on!

      • Chris Baker December 4, 2017, 9:24 am

        I agree 100%. Idle hands make good use of the devil’s workshop.

        • Adam Jeppson December 4, 2017, 10:37 am

          But the devils workshop makes some pretty fun stuff…

        • Steve G December 4, 2017, 11:51 am

          Having said that, if you didn’t have a hunting rifle and were presented with the 308 and the 6.5cm, which would you choose? The 6.5 no doubt. Happened to me like that. Think of the hundreds of thousands of firearms being sold every month. A lot of those are new shooters not people with third generation hand me downs. Things change, and often for the better. Even you old dudes carrying grand dad’s .06 have iPhones in your coveralls! Right? No one is singing the praises of rotary phones. Embrace change or get left behind.

          • Bil W December 7, 2017, 9:54 am

            Steve,
            I would have a rotary dial on my flip phone if possible!

  • Briley December 4, 2017, 4:17 am

    I’d just say something about the 6.5 Creedmoor and stupid gun writers that infuriates me. I have been shooting a 6.5mm Remington Mag for almost 50 years. It shoots great and makes tiny groups when I do my part, and it is faster than the Creedmoor, coming very, very close to matching the 264 Win Mag ballistics with hand loads. Now, my 6.5 is a 700 with a 22 inch barrel which makes a huge difference in ballistics when compared to the old 18 and 20 inch barrels of the 600 and 660, especially with the newer slow burning powders used in my hand loads. I remember well gun writers of the 1960’s stating that the little 6.5 RM was made for a short action and that putting it in a longer action would defeat the purpose of the cartridge, which was to match .270 ballistics in a short action rifle…it didn’t. So, because it didn’t match the .270, and because of a bad batch of early brass that stretched badly, they bad mouthed it and wrote it off as a bad round. By the way, the problem was not so much the short action as it was the short magazine that made loading (or marketing) cartridges with an o.a.l. over 2.80 inches problematic. I “let-out” my magazine enough to add about 0.10 inches to my cartridge o.a.l. thus making it possible to load 130 grain bullets to an o.a.l. of ~2.9 inches that would feed properly and not lose much if any powder capacity. However, by single loading I was able to hand load spitzer of 140 grains to well over 3 inches (can’t remember the exact length, maybe 3.2 inches) and still not touch the lands. These loads shot very accurately and matched if not exceeded .270 ballistics. Also, the gun writers complained about the accuracy, or lack there of, not being very good. I think those writers were just lazy, or didn’t like the idea of a new round replacing the .270, and neglected to do their homework. The magazine length kept the o.a.l. at 2.80 inches while the chamber would easily take o.a.l. in excess of 3.00 inches…duh, do you think that excessive free bore may have been the problem with accuracy? I do because my gun is accurate when I load cartridges to the chamber, not the magazine. Now here is the deal that really PO’s me, the 6.5 Creedmoor comes in two action lengths, a short action (Winchester chamber) and a long action (Creedmoor chamber), and nobody says a damn thing about it, yet they lambasted people who suggested putting the 6.5 RM in a long action gun…’cause it was meant for a short action. Yeah, it has a belt, yeah it has a short neck but it was a forerunner and ahead of its time and is a much better cartridge than the magazine morons gave it credit. Wheee, I feel better now.

    • Chris Baker December 4, 2017, 9:42 am

      Some of the same reasons are why the .257 Roberts isn’t a well liked round today. A recommended bullet weight as I recall was around 100gr. I had great luck with 117gr, 2″ groups at 100 yards with peep sights and a gun bag for a rest. Like you I seated the bullets out a bit till I had only about an 1/8″ to the rifling and it’s very accurate. This is a $50 Arisaka that was rebarrelled to .257 Roberts before I got it. Ugly as sin. Weird trigger pull. Almost like a set trigger. pull pull pull till it stops, then squeeze and it would go off with no perceptible movement of the trigger. Unfortunately I was unemployed for almost 2 years and living in a small travel trailer and had no place to store it for awhile and it got wet and not cared for so it’s bad now. it would cost more to fix than it’s really worth. Probably cheaper to buy a new rifle.

    • kerry purcell December 4, 2017, 9:53 am

      i agree,, the 6.5 rem mag was one f the best,, i have one,,,,the gun writers have lost credibility, with their fake news type storys about the 6.5 creedmore,,even seeing some writers using the cartridge on elk and other types of large game ,at way too far of distances for the creedmores ability,,but the creedmore has a lot of puss factor,,those that use it for extended distances on large game either actualy have a pussy and use it or they are a pussy and use it,but lack of recoil is sited by many,,but of course what that means is a small cartridge,,,,,,,hell just use a 243 ,,,,,,,

  • mtman2 December 4, 2017, 3:38 am

    Excellently written piece on the 06 for this American hunters history.
    I would only makeention(as usual) of the virtues of the 6.5×55 Swedes.
    The model 96 and 38 Swede rifles + caliber not to be over looked ;
    was paralleled by this articles writer thoughtful inclusion of the 6.5 Creedmore and it’s attributes.
    All quite insightful to the wise novice or newby as to the 6.5’s ;
    abilties as well as the venerable 06.

  • Richard Ochoa December 4, 2017, 3:20 am

    .30-06’s are OK as I had the M-1 in Marine Corps Boot Camp, & loved it, However, to me, nothing compares to my .270 Winchester! I need say No More!!!!!

  • Wayne October 24, 2017, 11:06 am

    I was raised around the 06 and have never seen the need to change now. As mentioned it takes alot of different bullet weights and designs. With modern powders it can do anything a 300 mag can do. Years ago I bought someone’s tack driver SC 03a3 out of a texas pawn shop for $275. Had resin stock, timney trigger, cut down 1944 barrel, scratched up 3×9 bausch scope and old school adjustable base. Last weekend I grabbed a handful of Greek HXP and headed to the desert with this old warhorse and as usual it’s 3 round string at 100 yds can be easily covered with a quarter. BTW the stock it is sporting is black, does that make it an assault rifle?

  • David Reed September 18, 2017, 1:58 pm

    It’s a good article and well written It’s pretty obvious that the 30-06 is a good and versatile round from it’s very successful history. Period. I’ll be elk hunting in a couple of weeks and I’ll be carrying a 30-06.

  • Vic September 8, 2017, 12:58 pm

    Some arms are living history. Along with being part of that history we are also the caretakers. Pretty neat article.

  • Don September 7, 2017, 10:54 pm

    Who cares what happens at 800 yards? Take the 30-06.

  • Bill September 6, 2017, 3:56 pm

    There are no flies on the venerable ’06. That said, I can do 90% of what needs doing with a .30-06 with one of my .308 Win rifles. If it takes more than that, I will reach for my .300 Win Mag, which ’em really hard. I have harvested deer with .223, .243, .30-30, .308, .300 Win Mag. More with .243 that all the other combined because that was the only rifle I had for 20 years. As a reloader for nearly 30 years, I like anything in .30 cal for all the reasons mentioned for everyone else. Shoot what you have, learn to shoot it well. Shot placement and picky your shots it more important than caliber, as long as you have a minimum of horsepower.

    • Captain O December 4, 2017, 7:46 am

      Bingo!

  • kerry purcell September 6, 2017, 12:04 am

    really dont belive that the 6.5 creedmore is a better carrtidge than the 308,,,,,,if so how ? kick a little less, shoots a little flatter,,,,but then so does a 243,,,,the 6.5 sits between those two,,,,the 308 is still the heavy hitter,,,,,,

    • Mike L September 6, 2017, 2:14 pm

      You bring up a great point… the .243 and .270 are great flat shooters.

      6,5 Creedmore is unnecessary- the Rem 260 is its equal or better.

      But both 6.5 and .260 are A LOT FLATTER, and A WHOLE BUNCH LESS KICK. Not a little difference but a HUGE difference.

      And about the .308 being a heavy hitter…. The 6.5MM Hornady 143Gr bullets are very long… I imagine they tumble on impact and I imagine the actual damage might be worse on the target. Just a guess, but when I reload them, I am always stunned at how long the projectile is. And 143 grain vs 147 or 150 .308 – not a lot of difference there.

  • Brian Bagent September 5, 2017, 9:35 pm

    Agreed on 30-06. It wins the decathlon by finishing in 2nd or 3rd place in all events. For long range, it really starts to shine with 190gr bullets.

    6.5×55 SE is preferable to to 6.5 CM, tho. Good published data will get you to 2750 fps at the muzzle with hornady 143 or nosler 142 long range accubond out of a modern, sporting rifle like a Tikka or Sako.

  • Big Mike September 5, 2017, 8:21 pm

    First let me state I am a huge Hornady fan. A-Maxes give me terrific long range accuracy and I am equally fond of their other high BC bullets.

    I still have my first rifle, a Remington 700 in 30-06 and it still shoots sub-moa (purchased from a Ft Lewis sniper). After several car accidents and shoulder surgeries, I was forced to look for more shoulder friendly round.

    I read EVERYTHING on the internet regarding Creedmore and Remington 260, and ultimately settled in on the Remington 260.

    I then bought a Savage Model 10FCP from Cabelas in .308 and pulled the barrel, replacing it with a Shilen Rem 260 match barrel. When I get tired of bullseye shooting at 200, I shoot flower stems at about 240 on the far berm, trimming a few inches off with each shot. My spotter bud was going nuts…. you missed? Nope, I am cutting the wild flowers behind the target.
    Here are the advantages:
    1) No bolt change required.
    2) Versatility- you can switch back anytime (so you have a Rem 260 and a .308- one rifle , 2 barrels, easy transition with Savage model 10s )
    3)The Remington 260 is based on the .308 case and so has enormous multi manufacturer support. This is a huge advantage over the Creedmore which is based on the TC .30.
    4) Shoulder friendly. The first day I took my Rem 260 build out, I comfortably (and accurately) shot 81 rounds. Who can bench rest and accurately shoot 80+ .308 rounds or 30-06 rounds for that matter? ZERO muscle quiver or control loss with the Rem 260 where that would be a brutal day with a .308.

    So I am a Remington 260 convert. The ballistics are clear for the long range shooter- less powder, more energy and flatter shooter.
    The only thing I don’t get is Cabellas has gone ALL IN with the 6.5 Creedmore. I don’t get it unless they have a special deal with Hornady.
    I bought 8 – 10 rifles from them in the past but they order great rifles in 6.5 Creedmore and 25-06 (!). I have NEVER seen a Savage long range gun in Remington .260. I think they are missing a huge market. If they had Savage make a bunch of .260s, they would sell in a minute. A lot of my .308 buddies are gettin old now as well and they see how easy of a shooter the Rem .260 is.
    The Creedmore probably gets more press because it is a Hornady invention. Remember, a lot of the pro shooters are also getting their Creedmore competition guns for free care of their sponsors. In that case I would prefer it as well.

    But for guys who have to buy their own guns and bullets, the .260 has too many advantages.

    Remington .260 or a 6.5 Creedmore? TO me, its the same decision as going with a 6.8 SCP vs a 300 BlackOut for your AR.

    • Chris Wagner September 13, 2017, 10:39 am

      I agree with you that the .260 is a very overlooked caliber but to be fair, Cabelas is only responding to industry demand as are the manufacturers. I have stocked .260’s in my shop before and I can quote all of the stats comparing that to creedmore (all things equal, 10 fps difference in some cases) but still it falls on deaf ears. Part of the same reason I get brand new shooters coming in for a 30-06 is articles like the original here. Although not untrue, virtually no customers will buy a box of 30-06 ELDX rounds because of the price, so they’ll not likely experience the performance that they would with a Creedmore as they’re pushed into better ammo on the average. The guy willing to ignore the gains in efficiency in an entire caliber will most certainly ignore the gains given by a box of ammo twice as expensive as the cheap option. To respond to some of your questions, I like your style but it’s not commercially viable.

  • Roy mercer September 5, 2017, 3:29 pm

    I don’t believe the 6.5 can leave the 308 in {proverbal dust}. if it take 800 yard shots to make claim &308 are as easy to find as 30-06 . Both are fine cartridges . I shoot a savage 99 in 308 but I am just a old hunter with a gun I put my trust in.I also shoot a 270in a savage 110.I think it is comparable to creedmore just not a new caliber.

  • Jim Graham September 5, 2017, 10:09 am

    An old Master GunSmith named John Le Bout’, who has made me several beautiful custom rifles in several different calibers, once told me, “If they had stopped making rifles in different calibers in 1906, it would have made no difference in what we would do with rifles today. The 30-06 would have been enough! All the other calibers are just for fun.” He was right! I own about any caliber rifle that can be reasonably thought of. BUT when I need to actually go get the meat, I take a 30-06 rifle that has downed something like 52 deer. Certainly I love my 260 Remeington and a 7MM RM that shoot 200 yd 5 shot groups that can be covered with a nickel and sometimes a dime, BUT when I really want to shoot some meat I take that 30-06. It has never been touched off with intention on a deer where the deer did not either die immediately or within a couple of jumps. A sniper shooting rice carriers along the “Trail” in 66 told me he used the Grand because he simply had 150 to 200 yards more accurate killing margin with it than his 14. For years people (and supposed experts) have said there is no difference in the killing capabilities between a 308 and the ’06. They are simply wrong! I am getting old now so I do enjoy my custom AR in 260 Remington, it does not really kick and is simply amazingly accurate, BUT if I really needed meat, one of those 3006’s, especially old “Lessie Mae”, would come out of the gun room one more time.

  • P. E. Martin September 5, 2017, 12:08 am

    When I was 17 my Marine cousin sneaked his M-1 Garand home for a weekend. It was the first time I shot a 30-06 and I fell for it at once. It’s still my favorite and most used caliber in a couple of different rifles. I followed my cousin into the Marines for six years and got to shoot 30-06s in the Garand, BAR, and the m-1919A1. When we had to turn in our Garands and were issued M-14s in 7.62×51 (.308) I was disappointed. I did not think the .308 could hold a candle to the 30-06 but realized after two years of qualifying Expert with the M-14 that I had a lot to learn about ammo specs. Glad I got out before they made me turn in my M-14 for an M-16! My how times have changed. I now have an AR-15 and it is one of my favorite rifles to shoot.

  • D Kinsey September 4, 2017, 11:53 pm

    I spent nearly 13 years in the Alaska bush. My favorite rifle, that I packed everywhere, was the pre-64 Winchester Featherweight 30-06. I took nearly everything from ptarmigan to brown bear with this rifle. Speaking about variety of loads one can use with the 06, let me list a few that I used. 110 gr. up to 220 gr. The 110 gr. I used on seal and most any small game. I could get a group, at about 100 yds., covered with a 50 cent piece using the 110 gr. Most of the other loads where somewhat the same. For the versatility of the 06, I believe it to be unmatched.

    • Aram von Benedikt September 19, 2017, 1:58 pm

      Thanks for your comment Mr. Kinsey. I just returned from the Alaskan bush last night, having harvested my first Alaska/Yukon moose on a DIY float in Packrafts down a remote creek. That country commands huge respect, and I feel the same toward your 13 years spent there with your Pre ’64. Awesome.

  • Dogman197 September 4, 2017, 11:39 pm

    Quit stirring the pot. The 30-06 is going nowhere soon. Run out of things to write about?

    • OFBG September 5, 2017, 6:52 pm

      “The 30-06 is going nowhere soon.” Where does it need to go?

  • Robert B Johnson September 4, 2017, 10:46 pm

    308 is good round, but the 30-06 is best all round, agree with article completely. In my opion we should be using the best all round today, we need more punch.

  • OLW26559 September 4, 2017, 9:48 pm

    Why is the 6.5 included, just because it the hot new round you endorse, the 260 remington, same bullet by the way, and you can reload .243 or .308, or 7mm-08 brass if need be. And it is just as accurate and deadly as the 6.5 and more accurate than the .308.

    • Wendell Ison December 4, 2017, 9:42 am

      If the .308 has 175 foot pounds more energy, a heavier bullet and a larger bullet diameter than the 6.5 Creedmoor at 400 yards then how does the Creedmoor “walk all over the .308”? We’re talking hunting here….right? Pure commercial b.s.

  • Mikial September 4, 2017, 9:34 pm

    I confess. I love the 30-06 cartridge. I’ve used it in the American West to hunt Mulies at long range, and think it is a great round. Period. I have shot many an M1A and hunting rifles with the .308 round, and I have hunting buddies who shot everything from 6mm to .270 and I owned a .300 Winchester Magnum for elk, and I’m sure there a lot of reasons why other people like other cartridges, but the 30-06 will remain my favorite.

  • Wayne Cornelius September 4, 2017, 9:29 pm

    My first 06 was a military issue 03a3 remington. Filled cleaning kit cavity in Stock with lead. Took the kick out of it. Got kinda heavy to carry around though. I bought someone’s tack driver out of a texas pawn shop, smith Corona 03a3. Black timney trigger, aftermarket resin stock. Shoots way better than I can. With the right load, the 06 can go up against any mammal in the western hemisphere and you won’t be under gunned

    • JoshO September 5, 2017, 11:50 am

      I think there are still a couple polar bears left that would argue that last point.

      • D-Man September 5, 2017, 1:41 pm

        And a whole lot of Eskimo’s who have been plugging Polar Bears with .303’s, 30-30’s and even the .22 Hornet(OK, usually from a boat as the bear is swimming) . On every Continent which I have lived, indigenous people use whatever they can get their hands on and usually get the job done….however, I never took a leak on the tundra without my S&W .44Mag Mountain Gun on my hip.

        The 30-06? A perfect combination of power and moderate recoil, I never felt under-gunned.

      • Wayne October 24, 2017, 11:15 am

        If you can’t hit what you aim at, doesn’t matter what you are carrying. Trolls everywhere, huh?

      • Jbourneidentity December 2, 2017, 10:27 pm

        The famed Sirius Dog Sled Patrol in the Arctic can use any rifle they want in polar bear country. Their choice? M1917 Enfield .30-06.

        It works just fine against polar bears, son.

  • cisco kid September 4, 2017, 7:56 pm

    3006 nothing wrong with it but I like the 6.5×55 Swedish, the .270 Winchester and the 7mm Mag a lot better. And all in that order.

    • mtman2 September 5, 2017, 3:11 am

      Ditto~!!!

    • Luke December 4, 2017, 6:26 am

      That 6.5×55 Swede Mauser has been a great rifle for me too over the years. Not much variety unless you reload and it’s a lesser round than those discussed in the article but within 200 yards the 139 grain sp works great. Tame recoil, lighter to carry and doesn’t wreck a lot of meat. If it was legal to shoot deer with a 22 mag, I’d use that.

  • Michael September 4, 2017, 4:31 pm

    Energy is not the final determinant.
    Energy, Momentum and Cross Sectional Area – all considered, the 3006 is much more the king of those three and the 308 a close second. The 6.5 Creedmore a distant third.

    • Mike September 4, 2017, 6:53 pm

      This article sucks. 6.5 lol….. 25_06……. That’s a debate

      • Stan September 4, 2017, 10:02 pm

        As long as you’re comparing other than .30 caliber cartridges, as in this article, why not consider .30-06 variants, like you suggested? I’ll take the .35Whelen. The .338-06 is damn good, too.

  • Nelson Creek Outdoors September 4, 2017, 4:27 pm

    I even like the .30-06 when lighter loads are needed. The low recoil rounds are easy on young shoulders and still pack a better punch than say a .243 on game.

  • Wendell Ison September 4, 2017, 3:57 pm

    Don’t know what brand of kool-aI’d you are drinking but the 6.5 Creedmoor will never match the .308 in realistic hunting situations…….anything under 300 yards. Bullet weight is everything. The Creedmoor is a great paper puncher at very long range but paper doesn’t taste good no matter how I cook it. I own a vintage 1924 Buffalo Newton in .30-06 for that reason.

    • OLW26559 September 4, 2017, 9:52 pm

      The .260 remington in 120 grain will work very well on deer size game, the 140 bonded will whack an elk out to about 600 yards. Do some research and trigger time. I know I used my first .260 on a deer at 135 yards using fusion 120 grain. Clear through penetration and deer died within 20 yards, my 25-06 has killed deer out to 400 yards 117 grain ballistic SST bullet, never moved out of it’s track.

    • mtman2 September 5, 2017, 3:19 am

      Sectional density and ballistic co-efficiency says different.
      The 6.5 was the first caliber do complete pass thru’s on full sized African bull elephant skulls over 100yrs ago= animals over 10,000lbs…

      • Wendell Ison December 4, 2017, 9:50 am

        With solids though. Any .30 caliber solid would do the same.

    • kyle September 5, 2017, 10:16 am

      While I agree that 6.5 Creed couldn’t hold a candle to 30-06 within 300 yds, I don’t agree that weight is everything. There comes a point for every animal that more bullet weight doesn’t do you any good. This is because of velocity loss as you increase bullet weight. The fastest I’ve ever seen a deer hit the ground, without me hitting the head or spine, was when I shot broadside at 50 yds with a 110gr sierra varminter from a 308. That doe dropped instantly. I’ve had other deer run for over 50 yards after a heart shot with a 165gr ballistic tip. In my experience I’d have to say that bullet diameter and velocity are king as long as the bullet is of appropriate design and can hold together while expanding enough for whatever size animal you are hunting. That’s why Barnes bullets are great. You can shoot elk with 130gr bullets and push them crazy fast and you they’ll be just as effective as a 180gr bullet at slower velocity.

      • Wendell September 5, 2017, 5:21 pm

        Shooting a light bullet ‘crazy’ fast to take large game reminds me of a comment from Elmer Keither critizing Jack O’Conner about that theory. Keith’s comment was something like this: “Shoot an elk with a high speed 130 grain .270 and waste a whole shoulder of edible meat. Shoot it with a .45-70 and eat right up to the hole”. High speed light bullets are for killing….slower big bullets are for table fare. I’m 76 years old and only shoot what I intend to eat…..not to please the crowd with the latest fad. If it works, don’t fix it.

        • kyle September 6, 2017, 2:53 am

          Then you should learn to not hit the shoulder.

        • kyle September 6, 2017, 3:10 am

          You also just made my point by bringing up the 45-70. Since it has such a large diameter, it doesn’t need to go as fast. I was comparing different loads of the same diameter. I was also talking about what is more effective, which has nothing to do with how you might be a little disappointed with bloodshot meat. And I don’t know where you’re getting the whole “pleasing the crowd with the latest fad” BS. Sounds like grumpy dinosaur talk to me.

          • Wendell September 6, 2017, 12:02 pm

            Hey Kyle, you are right….just grumpy old dinosaur talk. Touche’

        • Alan December 4, 2017, 9:15 am

          You’re a walking ‘old myths’ encyclopedia. And bullets have come a VERY long way in design and structure.
          Time to enter the 21st Century.

        • David Wolfe December 5, 2017, 7:26 pm

          I agree with Mr. Kieth. I have been an elk/moose/Sheep/bear guide for more years than I care to think about and although I used to use a 30.06 years ago and felt it did fine I slowly adopted the philosophy that a big slow bullet wasted lest meat and required less tracking. I hunt all over the world and hunt with a .375 H&H. Overkill you say? As a guide I have seen lots of wounded animals and one might think my years with many different clients sporting all sorts of calibers is anecdotal but let me tell you one should plan for the worst possible shot through bone or a bad angle not the best! It COULD happen. I am totally fine with any caliber within its limits especially with the much improved bullet designs we can choose from now but I get real uncomfortsble with clients that jump on the latest bandwagon and feel that it is ethical to shoot an elk size animal at long range based on what they read on charts and what they did on paper at there local gun range under perfect conditions. I know this is going to be the client I have that will wound an animal and they just haven’t seen enough big animals die to realized they don’t read the charts and are just plain tough to kill when Adreneline is involved. Bottom line…big slow bullets. If you are recoil shy go try the 375 H&H with a 250 grain Barnes X bullet. I’m an old man and still find it a big comforting slow push rather than the bone jarring .338 recoil. The 30.06 I will give it it dues but it is just a young whippersnapper compared the the .375. I own a 280 AI for the day that I can’t stand the reassuring slow push of the .375.
          I have been accused by many of being a gun nut because I own so many calibers and enjoy shooting so much. I love the .308 (and 7-08) for their efficiency. I love playing with my 6.5 Creed at the range punching holes in paper. BUT when you are talking hunting rifles fear the man that uses one gun and I have confidence I can kill anything that bleeds on this earth with my 375 H&H. If you don’t hunt dangerous game or large game then I apologize for wasting your time reading this but Elmer hit the hammer on the nail. If you kill animals with big slow bullets one can often eat right up to the hole. One time I saw the result of a deer shot through the front quarters with a 7 STW. That cured me of ever hunting with a gun that touted high velocity and a lighter bullet! There wasn’t much fit to eat on half that animal.

  • Gerald W. Lee September 4, 2017, 2:48 pm

    I’ve been shooting 30-06 since I was 14 and still hunt with one today. I have since added an M-1 Garand and it is a hoot to shoot with 150 grain ammo. I love that ping! I’m coming to the end of my hunting days – I used to have acreage provided by aunts and uncles where the extended family hunted every year – rotating to one of 9 locations every weekend. Each hunted their own places on the first day but after that, everyone was welcome to come hunt. All but one uncle has passed now but he still encourages us to come, at our convenience, to hunt his 3,300 acres.Lots of deer, exotics, and turkey. Am I ever lucky to be part of such a generous bunch of kin.

    • Stan September 4, 2017, 9:02 pm

      The small gap between .30-06 and .308 can be erased, or even eclipsed, with handloads. The .308 is also widely regarded to be more accurate. My own experience: 10 shots into 7/16″ @ 100 yds with handloaded Sierra 165gr. SP

      3300 acres, really?
      Better change your name, before the Liberals come to take you away. lol

      • Bicycle boy September 5, 2017, 11:30 am

        Always some a-hole bringing up politics.

        • digum September 6, 2017, 7:29 pm

          There is a reason for that a-hole. U must live in a bubble.

      • FAL Phil December 4, 2017, 8:47 am

        The gap that can be eclipsed by handloading 308 Win can be eclipsed by handloading 30-06. There is no substitute for powder capacity when it comes to slow powders.
        A 7/16 inch group is a mighty fine group. I once shot a Kenny Jarret hunting rifle in 30-06. Cold. bore and all, the 100 yard group was 0.320 for 3 shots

      • Alan December 4, 2017, 9:16 am

        Not really true if one wants to shoot the heavier bullets, at 220 grains the .308 loses out, period.

  • Clinton Dickinson September 4, 2017, 2:40 pm

    My first big game rifle was a sporterized 06 from a pawn shop in 1977 for a $125 , it had a slight crack in the stock part of the reason I got what was a good deal to me, got the stock repaired and had a rifle that I would put up against any thats how proud I am of the caliber and the quality of the rifle and the upgrades that had already been done to it before I bought it. I don’t use it as much but only because I went to a .243 .

  • Goose September 4, 2017, 2:28 pm

    In the earlier comments there was a lot of talk about waste of an animal, or the meat, just shooting for fun of it, no matter what the reason you shoot for, go and shoot, I just shoot targets now in Nam we shot a lot that went to waste but that was because we could not find no one that would
    eat the little buggers!!

    • Dave December 4, 2017, 9:46 am

      Goose, the reason no one would eat the little buggers was field dressing is nasty.

  • Jerry Patterson September 4, 2017, 2:23 pm

    I was introduced to the 30-06 in basic training. This was my first real introduction to center-fire rifle cartridges. I had fired many rounds through shotguns and I found the recoil as unnoticeable. I still feel the same about the 30-06. The only one of my rifles that I notice recoil in is in my 300 H&H Magnum. It does kick like a horse. But, the article was about the 30-06. A number of years ago, I purchased a Remington 742. As an avid reloader, I immediately loaded up about 100 rounds to test it out. In reading the reloading manual, I learned that in order to cycle reliably, factory pressures should be duplicated. So, I thought I would test this out. I started out with five cartridges loaded to about 2,500 feet per second, then increased the load in five cartridges loaded .5 grain more, and worked up to loads that (according to the reloading manual, should have been well over 3,000. All this was with a 150 grain bullet. When I tested it out, starting with the lowest velocity, I found that my 742 digested all of these without a hitch. As to cycling, it did not make one bit of difference in my rifle. Moreover, the shells showed no signs of excessive pressure. So, I concur that the 30-06 is one of the best and versatile cartridges ever manufactured. What I missed in the article is the fact that this cartridge has been necked up and down and there are dozens of spin-offs from this cartridge in both wildcat cartridges as well as factory produced. However, I keep telling my wife that if we ever get charged by a heard of rampaging bison or elephants, I really don’t have but one black power rifle that is suitable to shoot either. I really need a .458 Winchester Magnum (Or a .460 Weatherby.) But, I still have not been able to convince her.

    • Norm Fishler December 4, 2017, 10:59 pm

      That must be why you’re married & I’m not.

  • TheFixer September 4, 2017, 2:00 pm

    A very clever maneuver to make your theory pay out – that of limiting yourself to the new Hornady ELD round, of which there is only one in .308, the very heavy 178gr. Had you, as others have pointed out, gone with one of the match grade 165gr. or 168gr., the velocity figures come much closer together, blurring the distinction between these rounds. Also, there’s something fishy about your velocity figures for the .308 round. Double check the difference between the 100, 200 and 300 yard measurements. Does that bullet sort of stutter a little bit?
    In my everyday practical world, given a simple broadside shot at 300 yards, I’d be happy with any one of all three of them.

    • Stan September 4, 2017, 9:10 pm

      Good point, I was thinking the same thing, as I mentioned to Gerald Lee. The 165gr. is the best weight for .308 bolt guns, imo. For something like the M1A, I’d stick to the 147-150gr. slugs.

  • Dennis Postema September 4, 2017, 1:53 pm

    My Dad is a WW2 vet and he made sure that I knew the 06 was superior to the 308 in every way. I’m also a reloader and enjoy making ammo for the Hi-power silhouette matches. I think it is 52.5 gr of Reloader 19 with the 178 Amax moly coated and shoots 5″ at 500 m anyday. I used to follow Gene Salangers website until they took it down and I would respect his findings over anyones to date. He was a competitive shooter and an innovative reloader and shot his 308 and 06 at the matches. The 06 was better by a miniscule margin according to his exxperiene.
    I would like to build a 308 in the AR 10 – I would have a blast sending them 6-800 yds if I had a place to do it. Heavy hitter! I don’t care to spend $2000 +on a Noreen but that would be a fun one too! Did you see the guy w the 06 did the milk jug challenge @ 1300yds?

  • brad davis September 4, 2017, 1:26 pm

    30-06 is the Buck pocket knife of rounds.

  • Paul September 4, 2017, 1:15 pm

    I have a customized 06 that my father had built by a gunsmith just after the end of WWII. With the bolt and safety sporterized for a scope just as described in your article. It groups today as it did the first time I put a round through it at 12 years old. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and it is my go to rifle for game before my others.

  • David B September 4, 2017, 12:53 pm

    Agree with most comments… having both -06 and .308 in Win 70s — both very accurate, (though the .308 wins the tack driving contest every time) and have each taken most N American game with single shots. Both can be hand loaded with almost unlimited rounds dependent on the ‘mission.’ I too question the love affair with the 6.5 Creedmoor. The only other shoulder-friendly, “best all around” caliber for North American game that should be compared is the .270 Win — it’s “sexier and carries more panache” than a Creedmoor round!

    • Ron September 4, 2017, 2:26 pm

      Hate to bust your bubble but the 30 06 is more accurate than 308 at distances greater than 300 meter and just as accurate up to that distance, depending on the rifle, load and shooter. You can actually load the 06 down to mimic the 308 perfectly in every way, but you can’t load the 308 to match the 06…that alone makes the 06 more versatile.

      • kyle September 5, 2017, 10:26 am

        I think he was just talking about his rifles. But to say that 30-06 is more accurate than 308 at dist over 300m is absolute garbage. You can’t make that kind of comparison. Neither cartridge is more accurate than the other.

  • bill September 4, 2017, 12:17 pm

    I think .308 and the 30.06 are good rounds. It just depends on how you plan to use them.

    • Kenneth Tomas September 4, 2017, 1:46 pm

      I agree and you’ve made the best comment on this thread. As for me, I only shoot at deer from a distance of 100 yards or less. .308 does a good enough job. In my State with all of the hills and depressions in the woods with heavy foliage. You can lose a deer if you don’t drop it on the spot. So long distance shots are a 50/50 chance of spending all day looking for your harvest.

  • Zupglick September 4, 2017, 12:16 pm

    There is a reason Mr. Browning chose the 30-06 for the BAR. Browning still offers it as a primary choice.

    • Z September 4, 2017, 3:08 pm

      Because it was the ammunition used by the military in that era? Because it was readily available in large quantities following WW1? Don’t get wrong, I own rifles in 30-06 but to make the spurious claim that John Browning designed the BAR squad automatic weapon to shoot 30-06 for any reason other than it was the preferred military ammunition for light machine guns and readily available is disingenuous. I would counter your assertion by asking why, if the 30-06 was the end-all-be-all cartridge, why didn’t Browningh make the M2 in 30-06?

    • Stan September 4, 2017, 9:20 pm

      The reason why “Mr. Browning chose the 30-06 for the BAR” was for the simple reason that it was the standard U.S. military rifle & mg cartridge in use at that time(WWI).

  • Kb31416 September 4, 2017, 11:54 am

    I have lots of rifles, even a 300 win mag, but the 30-06 is still the best. I can kill anything that walks the earth anyplace that I can walk to with my 30-06, so just exactly what else do I need?
    The 30-06 is sort of like a 5 iron. There might be many clubs in my bag, but I could get by with the 5 if that was the only club that I had.

  • Jon September 4, 2017, 11:43 am

    Even after all of the “FAD” cartridges come and go, the 30-06 still remains as the best all around cartridge ever developed. All that aside, what true sportsman is going to “hunt” at 800 yards?

    • Campbell King September 4, 2017, 2:09 pm

      You got that right.! Shooting beyond 350 with perfect conditions at a live animal is crazy..

    • Stan September 4, 2017, 9:26 pm

      Right. I’ve seen many tests of “The best gun for 1,000yds.” Just shooting under variable wind conditions at 100yds. shows the substantial effects of wind drift on POI. Can’t imagine how you “read” the wind at 1,000yds.

      • Luke December 4, 2017, 6:34 am

        We’ll leave that to the Barrett and snipers.

  • Roy F. Wilt September 4, 2017, 11:30 am

    The 308 is only around because of the Military. It is one of the sorriest .30 cal rounds ever made! The 30.06 and all the Mauser calibers are much better! The other reason for the 308 is that Europe would never use an American anything!!!!!!!!! A 30.06 is reliable, proven round! 100 plus years are prof enough! You will find them anywhere. All the other options out there were made to take your money away from you! KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid!

    • Stan September 4, 2017, 9:47 pm

      I’m not knocking the .30-06; great round! But, your comment shows your ignorance.
      “The 308 is only around because of the Military.”
      That’s right, and how do you suppose the .30-06 came to be? Hint: developed for the U.S. Army!
      “It is one of the sorriest .30 cal rounds ever made!”
      That’s a flat-out stupid comment! It happens to be an Excellent round and extremely popular- for good reason.
      And the .308, which has been around for over 60 years, is also a “reliable, proven round.”

    • Jake September 5, 2017, 10:45 pm

      I believe a number of European countries used M2 Ball 30-’06 following WW2. Some did use surplus US rifles and machine guns. Others, like Fabrique Nacionale made military rifles like the FN 49, a semi-auto battle rifle in 30-’06 which was adopted world wide in several calibers, but the majority were in 30-’06. FN made a Mauser 98 in 30-’06, the FN Model 1950, the only factory made Mauser 98 military rifle made in the ’06 caliber.

  • Alan Sullivan September 4, 2017, 11:08 am

    The ’06 is a workhorse, mine has taken hogs, deer, one elk, and a moose. Accubonds are my load of choice, the Barnes are excellent also, but my rifle is more accurate with the Accubonds. I’d stick to the Barnes if I was going to task it with dangerous game, but then that’s why I have a .375 Ruger.

  • Rob September 4, 2017, 11:05 am

    Why, just last week I took yet another big game animal at 800yds… NOT! So… which of your big game trophies did you take at 800??

    Enjoy your 6.5… I’m keeping both of my 308s and all four of my 30-06s… While neither of those two happen to be a favorite anymore, either one is a no-brained as either a great second choice or replacement gun for most any big game hunt in North America with the proper load and no need to re-hash Africa…

    All the best with your continued marketing of the 6.5 and same to those companies that pay you to lure folks to it with such incredibly thought provoking articles such as this piece.

    Yawn….

    • Oaf September 4, 2017, 12:05 pm

      Uhhhh, what article did you read? The author placed the .30-06 as ahead of the 6.5 as the better all around cartridge.

    • Campbell King September 4, 2017, 2:13 pm

      Hell I can’t even see most animals at 800..Farthest ever was an antilope at 350…

      • Frank Alexander Brauer December 5, 2017, 2:15 pm

        “Anti”- lope…
        Definition: a exotic deer that doesn’t lope.
        So the other breed is just a “lope”?
        Sorry, not sorry just couldn’t resist.
        😂

    • Wendell Ison September 4, 2017, 4:19 pm

      I agree that the 6.5 Creedmoor is a marketing item we did not need. Remington’s .260 is capable of anything the Creedmoor is and perhaps a bit more. Winchester and Savage owners, among others, didn’t like the ‘Remington’ attachment to the round and shunned it. I think the .260 is a better round than the 6.5 Creedmore. Yes, it’s all marketing.

      • Stan September 4, 2017, 9:55 pm

        Of course it’s marketing. The industry needs to generate “new” guns and ammo in order to spark interest and… SALES.
        I once read an article from an ammo dealer that there have been over 3,000 cartridges developed over the years. Think about that number: 3,000. And realistically, how many do we really need, 3 or 4?

  • Norm Fishler September 4, 2017, 11:02 am

    That the .30/06 is a legendary cartridge is without dispute but it is also without argument that today’s .308 carries more energy to the target than the original loading going back to WWI & clear up through the depression. With today’s powders, one can use the .30/06 to duplicate early ballistics of the old .300 H&H. I have several ’06s and will likely hang on to them, not because I shoot them so much (which I do not) but rather because there is little one cannot do with rifles so chambered. For hunting and general blasting, I’ll take the .308.

    • FAL Phil December 4, 2017, 8:56 am

      Who cares about original loadings? That’s like comparing a 1950 Studebaker (original loading) to an Impala SS (308 Win). Modern loadings of the ’06 are like a Z28 in this comparison.

  • Mitch Barkett September 4, 2017, 10:53 am

    ’06 has everything going for it, respectable ballistics, available in every style bullet, plenty on the shelf to buy and it will take any North American game. What is not to like?

  • bw September 4, 2017, 10:43 am

    First off, I enjoyed the article. I agree mostly with the “aught-six” as a great all-arounder…. Have one myself. And even the pencil-barreled 700 BDL can cloverleaf two and send the third only 3/4-1″ away at 100yd. Good enough!!

    It has taken deer, coyote and several hogs. The good thing is, when they got hit with the first and only shot, they weren’t just “playing dead”, they WERE DEAD. No mistake, it thumped them good!!!

    Now as to your ballistic chart, just a minor “NIT”, and that unless a 6.5 rnd ricochet’s off something at 700/800 yds, there is no way it can climb after dropping is there???

    • Dennis Postema September 4, 2017, 1:22 pm

      The 6.5 is not climbing it just drops less the the 06 at that distance.

      • Z September 4, 2017, 6:12 pm

        He is referring to the fact that in the chart the numbers for the 6.5 Creedmoore stop going negative at 700 and are displayed as positive numbers.

    • Aram von Benedikt September 19, 2017, 2:13 pm

      Nice catch bw. Either I or the editors missed putting the “minus” before the numbers in the chart. My apologies. AvB

  • David Hamilton September 4, 2017, 10:38 am

    Title of this piece is a bit of click bait. I don’t think there is much controversy as to the place the 30-06 holds in the hunting world at present. The author uses ballistics charts that are questionable and then compares the 3 calibers at 800 yards to help make a questionable point. I thought this was a hunting article. I don’t believe there are many hunters of reason who would be ok with taking shots at such range. A ballistics comparison in the 300 yard range would seem more appropriate. This seems more like a rehash of the plethora of similar pieces written on the subject and a vehicle for the author to show off his hunt.

    • Z September 4, 2017, 6:14 pm

      Spot on synopsis.

  • Charles September 4, 2017, 10:38 am

    The ole 06 is a great round..I only have 2. A nice Kimber Classic Select that is a pretty rifle. It shoots good groups for me at under an inch easily, well under on my better days) but for my numb from the neck up friend it is scary accurate. Well under a half inch…but he is numb from the neck up. 5 shot groups too. The other is an old WWII 1903 A4. Given to me by a WW II Marine fighter pilot who acquired it from (his words) a mud Marine on a South Pacific island for a pint of whiskey. Scope was missing(Weaver 330) which I found a copy of. That rifle is very accurate also. I just don’t shoot it very often. It is a piece of history. As far as the hunting thing… I have a friend who hunted Africa a couple times. Nothing went to waste..nothing. They culled a rogue elephant that ate the native’s crops. He told me that they moved in and when they got done…the only thing left was a big blood spot. He still has a couple of elephant hair bracelets made for him by a native . He also told me they ate warthog and it was great..not so much on the Cape Buffalo. In a country with so much game running loose.. there is very little protein available to the villagers…and of course the natives of the area.are not allowed to own firearms..not even for personal protection.

  • Dave September 4, 2017, 10:30 am

    I love my 30-06 improved on model 70 with a Douglas barrel did it for fun but turned out to be a great rifle shot 7 of 10 clay pigeons on berm at 1000 yd. 190 gr match king and a full case of 4831.

  • Tommy Barrios September 4, 2017, 10:28 am

    IF anyone cares to look it up there is an article in Gun & Ammo back in the late ’60’s about the author using a 30’06 to hunt everything from rabbit to elk, yes I said rabbit, he carried several different weight hand loads one of which was 96 grain low power hand load he’d use in case he jumped a rabbit in the hedge rows and up to 200 gr for deer and larger animals!
    A very versatile accurate cartridge was the point of the article, apparently it remains so for the future!

  • Jerry S. September 4, 2017, 10:24 am

    I really enjoyed this read. Makes me reconsider the cartridge for a new purchase. Ammo availability may become critical in the near future.

  • Onthe Wall September 4, 2017, 10:08 am

    The ’06 is basically the MOTHER OF MANY CARTRIDGES.

  • Vic September 4, 2017, 10:04 am

    I once read somewhere, and I quote, “the 30.06, a jack of all trades, but a master of none”.

    • Vic vapor September 4, 2017, 10:29 am

      dude… how do you sleep at night remembering such a blazing quote.?!

    • OFBG September 5, 2017, 6:56 pm

      Funny, I remember that as “the 30.06, a jack of all trades, and a master of all.”
      Just kidding, I never read either of those, but I stand by my observation.

  • Sniperman8654 September 4, 2017, 9:50 am

    Thank you for this article! I think it was well thought and accurate (pun intended). I just returned from South Africa where I took animals with a .30-06 and .416 Ruger. My .375 Ruger broke (don’t ask). I have shot just about every caliber imaginable and you are right. The 6.5 is better at longer distances but I certainly wouldn’t hunt a large Gemsbok with one or a Blue Wildebeest that that round! The .308 is a fine round…I used it as a Marine Sniper. I still prefer the 300WM for longer ranges. The Mid Magnums (.338) are better in many respects but the good ole “06” does the job well. I took a Tikka T3x in ’06 and took a nice Kudue (45 inches) at about 100…A Berchels Zebra at about 150, a Gemsbok at over 200 and a Gazelle at about 175. With the exception of the Zebra all were 1 shot efforts. The Zebra we tracked for 20 minutes and the ammo I used did a respectable job but I should have used better ammo on that animal. I also took a nice Gemsbok (40 inch horns and over 400 lbs) at about 150. Now…to be fair…that Gemsbok was tough and I would have preferred my .375. I took a Blue Wildebeest at about 130 with the .416…After watching my partner shoot a BW in the shoulder with the .416 and watching that animal jump up and run another 50 yards I decided I didn’t want to trust the .30-06 with the ammo I had. Overall, I think the ’06 is my go to rifle for hunting most things. As everyone knows…it is all about “shot placement”. In my opinion the larger calibers can give you some benefit in the event the shot placement is not ‘perfect’. Could the ’06 have taken a Blue Wildebeest? Absolutely!…did I feel comfortable using mine given I did not know the conditions under which I would have found one? No. So I opted for the larger round. Thanks again for a great article!

  • Ray Robinson September 4, 2017, 9:49 am

    I do favor the 06 but using that heavy bullet in the .308 must be to demean it. Never should a bullet heavier than 165 be used in a .308. For deer a 150is best. In that weight is equals the 06 for velocity.

  • Pruneemac September 4, 2017, 9:46 am

    Wow! This is the article I would write about my experience with the ’06! A Reloaders dream, always available, always gets ‘er done. I’ve killed elk to auodad and everything between. Though I have many other calibers, When I reach in my gun safe my tried and true BAR 30-06 is always my first choice.
    Great article, thanks

  • PeterC September 4, 2017, 9:43 am

    In Basic Training at Ft. Dix, the .30-06 Garand was the first centerfire rifle I ever fired. It probably was also the first major contributor to my hearing loss, but I loved it anyway. Since then, I’ve added a number of rifles in that caliber to my collection… 03A3 Springfield, M1917 Remington, Winchester M1 Garand, Browning Model 1895, Remington Model 700 and several heavy-barrel Model 70 Winchesters. That cartridge is an American Classic, along with baseball, apple pie and Independence Day.

  • Alan Flury September 4, 2017, 8:42 am

    Ballistic charts are interesting to look at when trying to justify your favorite cartridge. Except for the recoil argument, not many rifleman can ring out the minor advantage their favorite might possess over the 06.

  • howard2374 September 4, 2017, 8:42 am

    Hemmingway-esque opening paragraph.

  • Mike Saluta September 4, 2017, 8:35 am

    I own a rifle that looks identical to the author’s pictured in the article. It is a sportirised USGI 1903, Remington manufactured in 1942. It has a Fagin stock with free-floating barrel, Timney trigger, down-swept bolt and safety for scope clearance, and drilled and tapped. I bought it from a friend for $150 around 35 years ago, and he had shot this rifle a LOT before I took ownership. It was and still is a tack driver; this 30-06 is the most accurate rifle I own, hands down. And having said that, I know thousands of rounds have travelled down the barrel. For where I live and hunt, in the Blue Ridge mountains of VA, the 30-06 cartridge is ideal for Whitetail. The largest buck I have ever taken on my mountain was with my ‘old reliable’ 03-’06! Hard to beat the reliability of the old 1903’s paired with the venerable 30-06 round.

    • Jerry S. September 4, 2017, 10:31 am

      My now deceased brother-in-law had a rifle almost exactly like yours. I don’t know what became of it and when I read your comment I looked to see if you were from Missouri and maybe had bought it. It had a beautiful Fagen stock, but was a thumbhole type, which was very rare in those parts in the ’70’s, but the mfg. was only a few miles away and I am sure he drove up their to purchase it himself. Miss him terribly.

  • CDR_C September 4, 2017, 7:58 am

    Good article. We always chase the new and improved, but in the real world, the .30-06 is more then enough. One could make the case that the .308 is just as good in >95% of real application, and shares the get-ammo-anywhere trait. Despite having three safes of firearms, the reality is – a good .22 bolt rifle, a good 5.56 AR-platform, a good .30-06 (or 7.62 / .308) rifle, g good 12 gauge, and a good 9mm pistol…..with appropriate optics on the rifles – and a person would be well equipped for anything from casual target shooting to any North American hunting to Civil War 2.0.

    • howard2374 September 4, 2017, 9:35 am

      Excellent point. Excellent choices. IMHO, absolutely excellent minimum basics. I only have 3 full gun safes. The issue with having so many firearms is that one gets only proficient with only a few of them. However, the philosophy of owning the 5 basic types of firearms is the classic starting point. AND, purchase high quality of each. In the long run it will save money and one will become more proficient in their use.

    • Sniperman8654 September 7, 2017, 10:19 am

      I agree! I love my .22mag bolt action and would certainly add all the others you have on the list! Very good observations..

  • Mark Are September 4, 2017, 7:57 am

    Great…a bunch more dead animals with a guy in the picture with a big smile on his face. Must be fun killing something just for the “sport”. I’ll stick with animals that are a problem, like Ferrel hogs and coyotes. I mean, seriously? And, no, I’m no snowflake. I just see no reason to adorn my walls with dead animal carcasses “just because”. And a well placed shot is what matters. Not all that other hoopla. Oh, I will say that unless you are hunting for food. Like an elk or deer. That I can understand. But I have a feeling your were not bringing the wart hog back home to eat. Or that first animal you are so proud of dispatching.

    • ricarrdo September 4, 2017, 8:36 am

      That warthog enabled the local people to survive via hunting fees.

    • Mr. Sparkles September 4, 2017, 8:44 am

      You are as entitled to your opinion as the next person. It’s just that yours is wrong.

      • Mark Are September 4, 2017, 8:49 am

        Yea, you’re right…killing animals just for the “sport” is right. I’m wrong. Gee just think if EVERYONE did it. There wouldn’t be any animals and Ned Nugent’s song could be the national anthem. And as for enabling the local people to survive via the hunting fees? More like the local government thieves survive…

        • Alan September 4, 2017, 10:06 am

          Once again, unless you are a VEGAN, if you eat ANY meat at all, you are a hypocrite.
          If you kill wasps, or any bugs at all, you are a hypocrite.
          Killing is killing, and just because YOU place value on it doesn’t make you right or superior, But just an opinionated
          schmuck.
          I won’t get into the fact that without hunters and conservation, there wouldn’t be several NON game species around today, those animals were saved with funds from game management via hunting and fishing license sales.
          You’re a fool, with NO education on this issue as evidenced by your childish remarks.

          • Mark Are September 4, 2017, 12:18 pm

            Boy, you must be a fun person to be around. It’s good to see that you’re not an opinionated shcmuck. Let’s see…does a 138 IQ make me superior? Does being 6’4″ tall, weighing 255 make me superior? Does holding two black belts in two different style of martial arts make me superior? Does my ability to shoot as good as I do make me superior? Yes, compared to most people I am superior. And most of the time right. And I have a sneaking suspicion, just from the way you respond that I’m quite superior to you at least in the IQ department.

        • Rafael September 4, 2017, 8:30 pm

          Mark Are ; that warthog was small compared to the one I got in Africa ; the tasks about 13 ” in length and shot the animal with a 12 gauge ; the meat was Super .

      • Bayou Ogre September 4, 2017, 9:41 am

        Mr. Sparkles, opinions are like underwear, most people have them. But some of them are full of cr@p, just like yours.

    • P Cause September 4, 2017, 8:46 am

      I understand your trophy hunter feelings. The game taken in Africa is eaten by the local populations. The animal does not go to waste.

    • Zack September 4, 2017, 8:55 am

      May not be bringing it home but do you really think the meat is gunna go to waste? They wouldn’t do that, it was obviously going to be donated to the locals, so take your liberal opinions somewhere else, or think about stuff befor you go bashing a guy for helping starving children.i bet you didnt think about that huh. Long live the ’06!

    • Roger Cox September 4, 2017, 9:03 am

      Mark, you might want to do a little research on African hunting before commenting. To say you are misinformed on how it works over there is an understatement. I can give you just a little to get started on and you can research the rest. Let’s use South Africa as an example, one of the greatest hunting success stories. There is a saying, “If it pays it stays.” Animals in Africa must have value, if they don’t they will be poached or removed from their habitat. In S. A., there is a tremendous hunting industry based on profit. And those areas were in most cases converted from old sheep and cattle farms or agriculture land. Now they are managed for wildlife so that hunters pay to hunt. Nothing is wasted, all the meat is utilized. There is a thriving taxidermy industry. Plus the PH, his staff, vehicles, food, ect. Now if everyone thought like you, all this would go away and the land would be put back into agriculture. Who knows, maybe then you could go to Africa to shoot “problem” animals to restore the land back to its former non native use.

      • Mark Are September 4, 2017, 9:34 am

        If that is how it ACTUALLY works, then I have no problem with this. If it is shot, a picture is taken, the head is removed and hung on a wall and that is how it ends, yes I have a problem and I think that anyone with a bit of sense would too. I like how if you don’t think that just killing animals for fun is somehow a “liberal” position if posted here. Are anarchists liberal? You know, people who actually believe we need government like we need a heart attack? And I noticed you put “problem” in quotes. As if my friend who is having his calves killed by coyotes doesn’t have a problem. And all the farms being torn up by ferrel hogs aren’t having problems.

        • Bill in Lexington, NC September 4, 2017, 4:16 pm

          Dude, you walked in here with an attitude. Please take it with you when you go.

          BTW, if you want to get into dik slinging … I have an IQ of 158. That puts me in the 97th percentile. If I am the 100th person to walk into a room, statistically speaking there are only two people in the room with a higher IQ — and both of them are genuine geniuses.

          An IQ of 138 is nothing special. It’s less than even Michelle Obama.

          • Larry September 5, 2017, 6:48 pm

            IQ 160 and I think Mark Are really ignorant.

        • Roger Cox September 4, 2017, 7:34 pm

          Mark, yes that is how it ACTUALLY works. Don’t believe me? Go to Africa and see for yourself. Why would anyone want to leave meat rotting on the ground when so many want it? Where the landowners own the property, the meat is commonly sold to a butchery. A portion is eaten by the hunting clients while in camp, and the workers on the ranch will get their share. Someone with a 138 IQ should be able to understand this. I have been hunting in Africa six times. Nothing is wasted. Animals provide value for the landowners. When I was in Zimbabwe, I hunted on communal land where the indigenous blacks lived. They subsisted on farmed crops, cows, and goats. Are you aware that when the animals have no value that the native peoples are more than happy to trap out all plains game on their land using snares? Hunting in an area like this keeps snaring down to a minimum. Wild animals also eat their crops and they love bushmeat. I watched our trackers ask to stop our bakkie so they could get a freshly road killed porcupine. They aren’t so environmentally aware as some of the more progressive SJWs that live in the states. Sustainable trophy hunting gives them them meat and money so to have incentive to not trap everything out. And please go back and reread my post. I never mentioned the word “liberal”. You must be getting my post confused with some else.

    • Wilson September 4, 2017, 9:04 am

      Although it may seem strange to us, most of the animals taken in Africa are given to the locals to eat. Even big cats, monkeys etc.

    • James Clark September 4, 2017, 9:16 am

      Great Liberals have infiltrated here as well!

      • Mark Are September 4, 2017, 9:36 am

        Yea, a “liberal” that believes shooting animals just for the fun of it is foolish. Since you don’t really know me, because if you DID, you would hardly consider me “liberal”, I’d say, go ahead and post your statement in ignorance.

        • Bill in Lexington, NC September 4, 2017, 4:21 pm

          Sure we know you … you’re the guy who assumes he knows the disposition of the carcasses. That’s called projection and is a fairly common trait of modern “liberals”.

          Allow me to make a suggestion, if you will … two, actually. The first is that you stop eating so much soy … it depletes testosterone. And the second is that you keep your mouth shut until you know what you are talking about.

          You’re just here to stir up the brown-gooey stuff. You are a troll.

          • Wendell September 5, 2017, 2:48 pm

            Boys. Boys, boys! Kipling, I believe, said……’you cannot defeat an ignorant man in argument ‘. Alas.

    • Michael Keim September 4, 2017, 9:41 am

      I shoot feral pigs. I also eat them. Do you? Get off your high horse. There are aome people who think any hunting is wrong. The article is about the 3006. Nobody cares about your editorializing.

      • Mark Are September 4, 2017, 12:19 pm

        Gee…”Nobody cares about your editorializing.” You must or else you wouldn’t have pounded on your keyboard in response.

    • rex September 4, 2017, 10:00 am

      Well Mark, you’re clearly a self righteous, illogical and ignorant person. Ostensibly, you know nothing about African hunting. The meat is greatly welcomed by the villagers. Nothing goes to waste.
      For a true hunter, a picture with the kill is a moment of honor. Great article Aram.

      • Mark Are September 4, 2017, 12:23 pm

        I’m “clearly a self righteous, illogical and ignorant person. Ostensibly, you know nothing about African hunting. The meat is greatly welcomed by the villagers. Nothing goes to waste.” And you KNOW this HOW? From one comment I make? Yes, I’m just an ignorant red neck frum da hilz of Arkensaw who dosn’t no too much except to say people like you who “think” you know it all are a laugh.

        • William Talaber September 4, 2017, 3:51 pm

          No, Mark(troll), if you were from Arkansas you would really know something about hunting. You sound a lot like John Kerry: when he was running for President he posed with a shotgun to give the impression(to NRA members) that he was pro-gun. Even that other Communist, Barack HUSSEIN Obama, posed with a shotgun to do the same.AND, douche bag, “redneck” is one word. Also, one other thing; I would bet a week’s pay that ALL your other statistics(besides your bullshit I.Q.) are grossly exaggerated!!!

        • Sniperman8654 September 4, 2017, 4:43 pm

          To make your point you 1) indicate your IQ (no doubt inflated by 20+ points)..2) belittle people from the Deep South and 3) post on this site with vitriol and ignorance. If your IQ truly is 138 you are about 13 points less than mine….”how do you like them apples?”….shut up and go home boy….

    • Gefauhr September 4, 2017, 1:07 pm

      Yes Khan, your’s is superior. One point to note, if you have an IQ of 138, you obviously missed the day they taught English and logic in school.

    • Captain America September 4, 2017, 1:51 pm

      Hey Mark Are, the local tribe got meat and money from this hunt, you silly girl. You are like PETA, all bark and no brains. Arf!

    • kyle September 5, 2017, 10:48 am

      When people feel the need to say, “and no I’m no snowflake”, it usually means they are. And you, sir, have proven that to be true in all your replies. Enjoy being a snowflake.

    • Jim Graham September 5, 2017, 11:08 am

      My, My, someone is full of himself. Reminds me of the time I went to a MENSA function. “Organized Assholery.” Decided I did NOT want to be part of any organization that included most of those people Clearly a “Superior Person” found this site and decided to pull chains. Two Black Belts and a Master Blaster to boot. Funny! Damn this guy must be the 30-06 of people. 🙂 He might want to join Jesse the Body and “Hunt Man”… 🙂 Though I must admit I do have fun with friends about paying to fly somewhere and pay all that money to sometimes shoot what are essentially farm animals in Africa. 🙂

  • Justin Riley September 4, 2017, 7:52 am

    All I need to say is my first centerfire rifle was a 03 30-06 and every rifle since and there’s been many I’ve subconsciously compared to that first rifle none have beat it.

    • Luke Malloy September 4, 2017, 8:49 am

      I grew up shooting deer for food in da nort woods of MN with the 30-30. Never will a 30-06 be put to bed it’s been around and not going anywhere. I believe hunting rifles for effectiveness should start in the .30 cal.

  • Mitch Spence September 4, 2017, 7:03 am

    Your ballistics chart is 20 years old. At 300 yards, an 06 drop is 4-5 inches tops. That is with NEW, modern ammo.

    • Z September 4, 2017, 7:18 pm

      Feel free to call me lazy but what brand and bullet weight are you referring too? I just looked at Federal’s website and everything from 150, 165, 168, and 180 grain is closer to 8″ drop at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero. I suppose you could get 4-5″ of drop with a 250 yard zero but if there’s a brand that gets 4-5″ drop with a two hundred yard zero I’d sincerely like to know about it.

  • Craig Bredesen September 4, 2017, 6:46 am

    Rifles trends come and go. The 30-06 will be here forever. It is like a 22oz hammer. You can do finishing work with it, or you can rough frame with it and still get the job done. I have a fondness for a 30-06 and the 308 win. go into any Mom -N- Pop store in the South or the West. If you need Ammo, and they sell it, They will have 30-06. But they won’t have 6.5. You will have to drive 50 miles or more to get that.

  • Michael brodine September 4, 2017, 6:38 am

    Enjoyed comments on my ole 30/06. As a young USAF GI in the 1960’s my first exposure to this ole timer occurred as practice for competition Rifle and I have thousands of free GOVT 30/06 down the barrel. Can also remember the black and blue shoulder trying to make the grade. I fell short, not the 06. Back in the civilian world military firearms were dirt cheap in those days and when I graduated from a converted .303 Endfield to my first 30/06 , also surplus. This baby was a 98 Mauser rebareled in 30.06.with the most beautiful. $19.95 stock and a real meat getter. When Bill Ruger came out with the Model 1 I had a second 30/06. Over 30+ years afield shooting #1’s from 22/250 to .458 that 30/06 has been on every hunt as primary or backup and still shoots GOOD.

  • Todd Sims September 4, 2017, 6:33 am

    In my humble opinion, the 30.06 is a premier rifle round, I have MANY rifles, in many calibers, but my “ole .06”
    Is my go to, in any situation, if i had but one round, it would/is the 30.06
    Springfield, it has never failed me,
    The rang of bullet configuration is endless, yes’sir I too am a .06 man, every time.

  • Greg September 4, 2017, 5:33 am

    The ole thutty aught six is one of those classics that can, and have, done it all. And done it more efficiently for generations. Jack O’Connor said the American hunter would be no worse off if the only caliber made was the 270. Throw in a couple other classics like the 06, 7×57, and he was right on target, as usual. And the newer Bullets expand their utility and versatility even further.

    • Bill Lemon September 4, 2017, 10:02 am

      Jack O Conner was correct 270 awesome round. Also have lot of 06 but starting to dislike recoil at 75yoa
      Presently PU Remington mountain 7mm:08 love it

      • Mark September 4, 2017, 10:45 am

        I’m an avid deer hunter. I completely gave up the 06 for the 7mm08. In my opinion the 7mm08 gets the job done and is most definitely better on my shoulder. I am in the market now for​ a 6.5 creedmoor

  • Kev September 4, 2017, 5:26 am

    My grandpa killed Krauts with That round out of his BAR. If he was still around, he\’d tell you some stories, and none ended with a trophy picture.

  • Pete September 4, 2017, 5:14 am

    It was the availability of ammo that first put me on to the .30-06. I started hunting deer on a friend’s place in the VA mountains. The local gas stations sold ammo– as long as you wanted .22rf, 12 ga., .30-30, or .30-06. A few carried .270, but I was hunting in brush so wanted the heavier bullet. I currently have four .30-06s, including Garands, and I’ve never felt over or under gunned.

  • martianone September 4, 2017, 4:58 am

    In my opinion, this “article” has no merit what so ever, just advertising tripe.

    • Falphil September 4, 2017, 8:23 am

      Well, you know what they say about opinions…

      • Jhnhvy September 4, 2017, 9:55 am

        Amen

    • Patriot September 4, 2017, 9:46 am

      and i\’n MY opinion,you\’re an idiot who obviously doesn\’t much of a clue about firearms,

      • Z September 4, 2017, 7:26 pm

        Why the ” \ “?

  • Marcus Pennington September 4, 2017, 4:54 am

    The .30-06 was my first centerfire rifle. I’ve shot many rifles in different calibers over my 43 years. All the magnums and the Weatherby cartridges too. The large bore rifle in my gun safe is still a Remington 1903A3 just like the first one I ever shot. I hope my children or grandchildren love it as much as I do.

  • Phil Layman September 4, 2017, 4:44 am

    I have had the last 50 years of being a reloader. From pistol, shotgun, and rifle, the most dependable, round is my 30-06. Why you ask ? Because I can reload from 55 gr. up to 240 gr. No other weapon on the market today, has that ability. NONE.
    I love shooting all my guns, and reloading them all. But, give me my 30-06…and I will have your back, your 6, your whatever, inside 300 yds inside a Standing Liberty 50 cent piece, 5 out of 5 shots… and i am 67 yrs old. The 06 is my choice of weapons, on American game, I don\’t hunt any bears, as I see no reason to kill a predator, that does me no harm that lives North of the American Boundry lines. They are getting enough hunting pressure from others. And I can\’t walk that far any more…lol..

    • Doyle Hill September 4, 2017, 7:34 am

      I like your comment Phil and agree with you. I bought my Remington 700 ADL 30-’06 in 1973 while stationed at Tainan AB, Taiwan. They had it at the BX for $94.00 and I just couldn’t pass it up. I fitted it with a Weaver 6x WV when I got back home and shot mostly paper until my son got old enough to go hunting with me. He shot his first deer with it and I’ve shot several with it since. A few years ago, I fitted it with a Leopold VX III 3.5 x 10 – 40mm that I have sighted in at 200 yds. Now that I’m pushing 68 and my son has moved away, I don’t hunt much anymore but still like to punch paper. My reload of choice is 52 grs of IMR 4064 with a Nosler 150 gr BT. I can still shoot 100 yds 3 shot groups that you can cover with a quarter. I love my 30-’06.

    • kyle September 5, 2017, 10:58 am

      Actually you can load in that bullet weight range like that with any 30 caliber cartridge. But yeah I love the 30-06 too

  • Phil Layman September 4, 2017, 4:41 am

    I have had the last 50 years of being a reloader. From pistol, shotgun, and rifle, the most dependable, round is my 30-06. Why you ask ? Because I can reload from 55 gr. up to 240 gr. No other weapon on the market today, has that ability. NONE.
    I love shooting all my guns, and reloading them all. But, give me my 30-06…and I will have your back, your 6, your whatever, inside 300 yds inside a Standing Liberty 50 cent piece, 5 out of 5 shots… and i am 67 yrs old. The 06 is my choice of weapons, on American game, I don’t hunt any bears, as I see no reason to kill a predator, that does me no harm that lives North of the American Boundry lines. They are getting enough hunting pressure from others. And I can’t walk that far any more…lol..

  • Richard Vaught September 4, 2017, 4:27 am

    Have taken everything from elands, leopards, kudu, etc in Africa to deer/bear/boars in Europe to deer and bears in US with my 30-06. The old guys in Alaska use to use the old 250 grain 30-06 for bears for decades. Is the 375 H&H better? Yes but if I had to have only one caliber, it would be the 30-06. What won’t it kill? And if the truth be told, in full metal jacket it will take a Cape buffalo and elephant in a heartbeat.

  • Joe September 4, 2017, 4:17 am

    The .30-06 is better known as the poor mans magnum for a good reason. You can hand load it to levels approaching magnum velocities and it will take down any North American big game animal desired. My old shoulder doesn’t allow much more than my .308 carbine puts out but I still wish it was a .30-06…

  • M.Atkinson September 4, 2017, 4:05 am

    I couldn’t agree more, I would use the 30.06 on anything and not feel like I’m under gunned or at any disadvantage, even on dangerous African game with the right bullets.

  • Greg Weddle September 4, 2017, 3:57 am

    They will be making the 30-06 long after all of us have left this earth.

  • Russ H. September 4, 2017, 3:56 am

    I wish everyday I still had that 1975 Winchester Mod 70mag in 7mm Rem Mag. Best round out there for a very long time (IMO). Traded it for an M-1 Garand in 30-06… LOL. Wish I had ALL the guns I traded away.

  • E. C. Tovar September 4, 2017, 3:49 am

    So…the 6.5 Creedmoor “walks all over” the .308? Really? I’m sorry, but I don’t agree at all.

    • Dr Motown September 4, 2017, 7:48 am

      Lots of “spinning” in this article, which is what most of these gun writers do nowadays to separate you from your money in the quest for the “latest/greatest” caliber, rifle, scope, etc. I’ll keep my .308 for whitetails and hogs since I don’t plan any 800yd shots anyways…

      • Kenneth Thomas December 4, 2017, 4:23 am

        Amen, no truer words were ever spoken on the issue sir. Bravo!

    • mtman2 December 4, 2017, 3:43 am

      Excellently written piece on the 06 for this American hunters history.
      I would only makeention(as usual) of the virtues of the 6.5×55 Swedes.
      The model 96 and 38 Swede rifles + caliber not to be over looked ;
      was paralleled by this articles writer thoughtful inclusion of the 6.5 Creedmore and it’s attributes.
      All quite insightful to the wise novice or newby as to the 6.5’s ;
      abilties as well as the venerable 06.

  • Howard Wicks September 4, 2017, 3:38 am

    I have had a 1903, 30-06 Springfield since I was 16 and that was in 1947, My dad gave it to me and we ,My dad,Brother(older),and myself went to Nevada, we lived in Northern Ca and hunted on Jimmy Stewart’s ranch out of Winnamucha NV. area,
    since then I have sportsterized the rifle and put on a 3X9X40 scope, I have taken several Mule deer ,Elk, and antelope,
    It will be retired, as I know can’t do any large rifle shooting because of a back injury.
    I now use a Savage 243 and a Winchester 224, Both do quite well for most of my shooting.

    • Ron Sturn September 5, 2017, 9:45 am

      Same here….was the grandkid out of 13 that got my GGF’s same gun that you have there. He sporterized it in the late 50’s…adding a walnut stock he did himself. I swapped it out a decade ago with a new Boyd’s laminate stock and some Leupold glass in a 3-9 x 40 also. I own more than a dozen long guns that cost me much, much more….but this gun means more to me than almost anything I own.

  • Will Drider September 2, 2017, 1:00 am

    The 30-06 has been a standard work horse for a lot of years. In that time dozens of cartridges have tried to replace it but have not enjoyed its success, many of those never caught on. Major hunting rifle Mfgs add and drop calibers every year but they all keep making 30-06.

    • Dave December 4, 2017, 11:41 am

      50+ years working and hunting Alaska has given me a healthy respect for rifles, calibers, shooters and their opinions. I carry what I feel I need for the area and not necessarily the game. I load for and shoot .375HH, .300 WM, THE 06, .308, .270, .243, I do not reload my .22s, “Northern Humor”. I love my .270 & .243 for deer, caribou, coyote, wolves, black bear but in their area and when the big bear are out I carry THE .06 or bigger. If it were not for THE .06 and .308 we would not have two of my favorites .270 and .243 but some one would have filled this void with what? 6.5CM.

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