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Ripp
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Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06
      #347760 - 11/12/20 03:56 AM

https://www.fieldandstream.com/story/blogs/gun-nut/still-cant-go-wrong-with-30-06-ammo/

Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06
Our rifles editor takes stock of the iconic hunting cartridge

BY DAVID E. PETZAL | PUBLISHED JUN 21, 2021 9:18 AM EDT

The first time I ever shot .30/06 ammo was in September, 1963, at what was then called the K-D (Known Distance) Range at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. I borrowed an M-1 from a First Sergeant named Houston, who was a nice guy (which is not necessarily incompatible with First Sergeantcy.) I shot Expert with it. That was my introduction to the í06. It produced. It always produces.

The popularity of the .30í06 over its 114 years of existence is nothing short of stupefying. It always ranks among the top five hunting rounds. There are, according to Chuck Hawksí blog, no fewer than 269 commercial loadings for it. The only rounds to outrank it are the .308 and the .223.

Military production? According to Lt. General Lewin H. Campbell, Jr., who was Chief of Ordnance from 1942 to 1948, the U.S. produced 25,065,834,000 rounds of .30-caliber ammunition between 1942 and 1945. This includes ammo for the horrible and useless M-1 and M-2 carbines, but itís safe to assume that most of those 25 billion-plus rounds were .30/06. Thatís just WWII. There was also WWI and Korea.

Why so popular for so long? Partly because any cartridge that becomes standard in our military inventory is practically guaranteed a long and successful commercial life. But thereís more to it than that.

The Do-It-All .30/06

The guts of it is that whatever you want the Ď06 to do, it will do. Itís too big for varmints and too small for the heaviest dangerous game, but it will handle both in a pinch. Give the í06 something to put on the ground and down that animal will go. Grancel Fitz, one of the first men to take all 28 of the Boone and Crockett North American big-game species, did it over the 1930s and 40s with an iron-sighted .30/06 and nothing else.

The .30/06 has another virtue which I think was arrived at accidentally: Itís at the limit of what an average hunter can handle in the way of recoil. I donít think its designers cared much about recoil. They just wanted something that could compete with the German 7.92mm service cartridge, and if our Doughboys got kicked, too bad. An 8-pound .30/06 firing a 165-grain bullet at 2,800 fps produces about 20 foot-pounds of recoil, and that happens to be just about what the typical hunter, who will not practice, can handle.

To put this a little differently, let me quote from the Book of Aagaard, Finn, to be specific, Guns and Hunting, to be even more specific, page 223 to really be a pain in the ass about it. Mr. Aagaard, in case you havenít read him, was an African professional hunter who was blessed with enough experience and common sense for a dozen gun writers. He wrote: ďThe .30/06 is about the most powerful cartridge that can reasonably be chambered in a short and handy 8-pound rifle.Ē

If you go to the .300 magnums for long range, or the .338s for bash-íem-flat efficiency, you need to carry a 9-pound rifle, or endure the horrors of a muzzle brake, or you will get beat up. After you pay for that wisdom in sweat, you come to appreciate 8-pound rifles with 22-inch barrels.

I think the splendor of the .30/06 dawned on me when I went to Namibia in 2000. Up until then I would as soon have departed for Africa without my .338 as I would have left without malaria pills or a wad of $20 bills for bribes. But this time I got daring, and took an í06 loaded with 180-grain Winchester Fail-Safes, which were very good bullets. I shot numerous animals, all of which went down with one round, and the only difference I could see between the í06 and the .338 was that I was getting bashed a lot less.

The .30/06 vs. the Magnums

Hunter with a scoped rifle.
The average big-game hunter will shoot better with a .30/06 versus a .30-caliber or larger magnum round. Dave Hurteau
The .30/06 has had its detractors. Leading among them was Elmer Keith, who had no use for it. Bob Hagel, who really knew his stuff, was a magnum believer to the core. Both cut their hunting teeth in the Era of Rotten Bullets, from which the .30/06 suffered along with every other cartridge. Keith learned that if you used a rotten heavy bullet of, say, 250 grains, its mass might enable it to hold together when a lighter rotten slug would not.

Hagel is more interesting, and Iím quoting him because he did more big-game hunting than most of us get to dream of. In his book, Game Loads and Practical Ballistics for the American Hunter, which was published in 1978, Hagel wrote the following about all-around cartridges in general:

What does all this [using one rifle for everything] prove? Maybe more than you thinkÖ. If you use the right load, are a good shot, keep cool when the time comes to shoot, and know where to place the bullet in the right spot where it will do the most good, you can get by with any good cartridge and load. It does not mean, however, that any one of these [all-around] cartridges or any other cartridge, stands bullet, neck, and shoulder above all other cartridges, and that it will perform feats that no other cartridge will.

Some hunters carry this blind faith in a certain cartridge even further out in left fieldÖ. They believe the .30/06 they use is the greatest cartridge ever spawned for everything from jackrabbits to polar bearsÖ.The point of all this is that if you intend to use the same cartridge for shooting all classes of game under all hunting conditions you should realize its limitations and not expect it to perform reliably beyond those limitationsÖ.

Hagelís own preference for an all-around rifle? The 7mm Mashburn Magnum, the .338, or the .340 Weatherby.

Bob passed on in 2005, and Iíd be very curious to know what he would think about the equipment we have today. Both he and Elmer Keith ignored one key component in this equation, however: the hunter himself. Most big-game hunters shoot badly. Give them a magnum, and their shooting goes from bad to atrocious. And the ear-splitting crack that comes with a muzzle brake may help your shoulder, but it will cost you your hearing in time, even if you wear headphones in the field. With the í06, you donít have these problems.

Why .30/06 Ammo Is Good as Ever

Iíve owned a bunch of .30/06s, but one sticks out in my mind. Itís a wood-stocked, Remington-action sporter built by Joe Balickie, a North Carolinian who was a rare combination of gifted gunmaker and imaginative artist. Usually, if you had Joe build you a rifle, you got dazzling wood, baroque checkering, and lots of little ruffles and flourishes to show how good he was.

This rifle was plain vanilla. Unfigured wood, simple checkering, and no acrobatics with the walnut or steel. It had inner beauty, though. Its lines were elegant, and like all of Joeís rifles, it did not carry a microgram of excess weight. It was very accurate for the time (.750 to 1 inch typically). I sold it in 1987 during an attack of sh*t for brains, and if whoever owns it feels like selling it back, name your price.

How to close? Like this:

Finn Aagaard: ďIt [the í06] works beautifully on nearly anything.Ē

Townsend Whelen: ďFor all North American game a good .30/06 is never a mistake.Ē

Colonel Whelen wrote that in 1961. Nothing has changed.




--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..

Edited by NitroX (18/08/23 09:52 PM)


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DarylS
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Ripp]
      #347767 - 11/12/20 06:11 AM

Good article.

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


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Homer
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: DarylS]
      #347773 - 11/12/20 08:36 AM

G'Day Fella's,

Thanks for sharing Ripp.

Yes mate, about a year ago(?), after many years with out one, I finally got myself another .30-06 (Brno ZG47, made in 1956-the same year as me).
I haven't had too many opportunities to hunt with it but I have worked up some 130grn and 180grn loads for it. I
It is still a great cartridge, especially with modern controlled expansion bullets (Woodleigh PP-SN), with AR-2209/H4350 powder.

Avagreatweekendeh!
Homer

--------------------
"Beware the Lolly Pop of Mediocrity,
Lick it Once and You Will Suck Forever"


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Rule303
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Homer]
      #347777 - 11/12/20 08:51 AM

Yep you certainly cant go wrong with a 30-06 as long as you turn it into a 270 or 35Whelen or 8-06 or 375-06 or 40Whelen

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Ripp
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Reged: 19/02/07
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Homer]
      #347782 - 11/12/20 10:17 AM

Quote:

G'Day Fella's,

Thanks for sharing Ripp.

Yes mate, about a year ago(?), after many years with out one, I finally got myself another .30-06 (Brno ZG47, made in 1956-the same year as me).
I haven't had too many opportunities to hunt with it but I have worked up some 130grn and 180grn loads for it. I
It is still a great cartridge, especially with modern controlled expansion bullets (Woodleigh PP-SN), with AR-2209/H4350 powder.

Avagreatweekendeh!
Homer




I have one in a Cooper..shoots really well..had not shot it for a long time..took it out this season.. had my wife shoot it as well.. it really is a great caliber..

HARD for me to admit.. as I have had such a bad case of magnumitise for such a long time..

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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DarylS
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Rule303]
      #347784 - 11/12/20 11:06 AM

Quote:

Yep you certainly cant go wrong with a 30-06 as long as you turn it into a 270 or 35Whelen or 8-06 or 375-06 or 40Whelen




I have the very best at both ends, a .30/06 1936 M70, and a Mark 10 Mauser in .375/06IMP.

Years ago, I was the same, Art, .375H&H, .358 Norma, equivelence to the .458 Winchester Mag., .300 mag, 7mm mag, .264 Mag(s)., now I'm quite happy with the .260 Rem, 6.5x55 to add variety, .30/06, .375/06IMP.
I also have .45/70's and .50/95 Winchesters, just for fun, along with muzzleloaders from .36 to .69.

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


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Ripp
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Reged: 19/02/07
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: DarylS]
      #347787 - 11/12/20 01:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Yep you certainly cant go wrong with a 30-06 as long as you turn it into a 270 or 35Whelen or 8-06 or 375-06 or 40Whelen




I have the very best at both ends, a .30/06 1936 M70, and a Mark 10 Mauser in .375/06IMP.

Years ago, I was the same, Art, .375H&H, .358 Norma, equivelence to the .458 Winchester Mag., .300 mag, 7mm mag, .264 Mag(s)., now I'm quite happy with the .260 Rem, 6.5x55 to add variety, .30/06, .375/06IMP.
I also have .45/70's and .50/95 Winchesters, just for fun, along with muzzleloaders from .36 to .69.




I guess its true.. "With age comes wisdom"..

its nice to use classic cartridges.. I still like to try out the new ones as well..probably always will.. but, and I cant believe I am saying this.. actually used a 270 for a bit this season.. Now I know why its considered a good woman's caliber.. Man, no recoil ..

In all seriousness, they are all good.. whatever works for you and makes you happy should be what you use... impossible for me to care any less about what others use .. just enjoy..

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Rule303
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Ripp]
      #347795 - 11/12/20 08:32 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


In all seriousness, they are all good.. whatever works for you and makes you happy should be what you use... impossible for me to care any less about what others use .. just enjoy..





A very true and sage out look Ripp. One that I totally agree with.


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Ripp
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Reged: 19/02/07
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Rule303]
      #347801 - 12/12/20 08:10 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


In all seriousness, they are all good.. whatever works for you and makes you happy should be what you use... impossible for me to care any less about what others use .. just enjoy..





A very true and sage out look Ripp. One that I totally agree with.





Thank you Sir..

One cartridge I had little to do with my entire life is the .308 Winchester.. My wife's father bought her a Kimber in .308W the year before we met.. I switched the scope he had on it and put a ballistic reticle Zeiss Rapid Z-800 on it.. I am amazed how that rifle/caliber drops elk.. doesn't matter if its 150 yards or 500 yards.. they drop like a stone when hit.. She is shooting Nosler 165gr Accubonds out of it..

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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DarylS
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Ripp]
      #347810 - 12/12/20 11:40 AM

Sounds like a great bullet for it as well as speaking well for her shooting prowess.

--------------------
Daryl


"a gun without hammers is like a Spaniel without ears" King George V


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: DarylS]
      #347819 - 12/12/20 07:54 PM

My first centrefire was a .222 Remington. At the time the most popular centrefire in Australia.

My second was a .30-06. At the time the most popular hunting cartridge in the USA. But nowhere near the popularity here in Australia of course. The .243 and .270 was the standard at the time for deer and medium game.

I shot many feral goats with my .222. But after a trip with too many wounded goats needing follow up to finish off, and also shot my "largest horned billy" ever, several times in the chest, but it ran off into the bush. A search could not find its body. I am sure it was dead.

So I bought my .30-06 and never lost another wounded goat, and also don't believe I had anymore goat follow ups. I remember one nanny came running out a few dozen yards away from me, above it on the mountain slope, looking down hill for what disturbed it. A Nosler Solid Base HP at the base of the skull completely exploded its head, bits falling all over including behind me! I also had my longest ever shoots on medium game, 400 yards or more. A herd of feral goats fleeing me on from another mountain slope, fleeing along a ledge above a cliff. I managed to snipe each goat in line in turn. Until I wounded one, gut shot, and it fell down the cliff. And bleated in the rocks below. Try as I could I couldn't hit it to finish it off down there. Several shots until I hit it properly and it died.

Most deer I have shot has been with my .30-06, my two red stags, most fallow, my sambar, I have carried it on every sambar hunt. Even my small hog deer trophy stag! Not my chital. A .308 was used there. I have shot a lot of meat deer with a some other rifles, starting with my .222s and also 6.5x55 but most trophies with the .30-06.

Feral pigs, I have used all sorts of my rifles.

Not a water buffalo. But I did carry my .30-06 on my first Top End trip with 220 gr Norma RNSPs loaded up by the previous owner of the rifle for that purpose. Ah yes, that was another reason for buying the .30-06, trying to take a buffalo with it. Did not find any on that trip. At the time the buffalo were not as far South as where we hunted then. St Vigeon Station South of the Roper River. An abandoned cattle station, the owners had just walked off it, unable to make it work. Every man and his dog in the NT was hunting there. Later it was given to the Aborigines as another reserve. I reckon I still have that box of ammo somewhere ... but did shoot a Volkswagen combivan with it. We tried all sorts of ammo on it. A burned out VW van lost and stuck in the bush forever.

BTW on the same trip found a whole diesel fuel tanker abandoned in the bush. Fuel of diesel. What had evidently happened, was the trailer got stuck in the mud at the beginning of the wet. The prime mover detached and got out of there. And the large diesel tanker trailer stayed there for the entire wet, the river crossing flooded and the roads underwater. The owners had not yet recovered it as the Wet was only just over when we were there. We did sample a few jerry cans of diesel from it ... no doubt locals would pass it with empty tanks, and leave with full ones ... ?

Shot a lot of donkeys with my .30-06. A few camels. Scrub bulls? I can't remember?

Most of my African plains game have been taken with my .30-06. I did have some troubles with the 180 gr Nosler Partitions acting like FMJs on that first trip. 200 gr Semi Pointed Nosler Partitions I also had along worked fine. They don't make those since then. Took warthog, impala, duiker, zebra, wildebeest, kudu and also an eland. Another (dickhead) PH said it couldn't be done. A shot and a finisher to speed it along. the eland was a very enjoyable hunt.

And my one and only NZ feral sheep/ram.

A few rabbits even, and some foxes. Some skips.

I remember trying Remington accelerator sabot ammo in it. A .224 55gr SP at 4000 fps. I remember it shoot about a foot higher than my usual 150 gr loads. From memory was not that accurate, maybe one and a half inches at a 100 yards. Did flatten a skip at close range with one.

I really wish saboted ammo was researched more and created more. Imagine being able to use a .375 with good bullets to hunt medium game with. Loading up say 180 gr .30 calibre or 140 gr 6.5mm etc. Magnum performance plus. A new thread I think.

My restocked Parker Hale 1200 Delux Mauser 98 in .30-06 remains my first reached for rifle for any medium game and deer hunt. I need to find the open sights for it, and put those back on. Or new ones fitted.

It now ears a different scope. I started with a Weaver steel 4x scope with a tapered post and fine cross hair reticle. Now it has a second hand S&B 4x scope in QD mounts with a German post and cross hairs reticle. Whatever it is called? I find a 4x scope adequate for medium game, out to 300 metres to even 400 metres. If one knows the rifle one is shooting.

[image]http://nitroexpress.info/ubbthreads/photos_info/200706/PH30_06_STOCK_IMG_0021_WEB.jpgg[/image]






My one and only sambar stag, taken with thanks to Gryphon. If he ever visits here still.




A good afternoon's work?




My first trophy deer.


No rifle in the photo, but my South Aust Red Stag taken with the .30-06.

I would like to try 250 gr RNSPs in it oneday. Maybe I don't need a .318 Westley Richards? O)

And before I forget. I at one time planned to replace my Parker Hale M98 .30-06 (God Forbid) with a M70 Featherweight Winchester in .30-06. That rifle could not be made to shoot better than six inches at a one yards .... so was one of few rifle I have ever disposed of.

AND I have TWO other .30-06s, one a barreled action of a Colombian FN M98 Mauser rebarreled to .30-06 by the Colombians I assume. Kept it for a custom project, however esteemed members here said it is too pitted.



And the other is a double rifle barrel set for my Tikka/Valmet. Since it had final fitting for my double action, I have not used it. In the last month or so, have been thinking of giving it a real try. I have been thinking of attempting to return to go to being a "double rifle purist". I think the .30-06 will be able to do ANYTHING the M98 can do, including shooting at range. At least with one of the barrels.



--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
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Iowa_303s
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: NitroX]
      #347836 - 13/12/20 05:18 AM

Nice write up John. Thanks for sharing with us.
After reading this thread,I have realized that I've never owned or used a 30/06 sporting rifle.
I do have my M1 Garand that I shot a lot when I first began shooting service rifle competition with back around 1982.

--------------------
Matt

formerly known as Iowa_303

"Once your reputation is ruined you can live your life quite freely."

"Enkelkinder Łber alles"

Edited by Iowa_303s (13/12/20 05:20 AM)


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Ripp
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Iowa_303s]
      #347871 - 13/12/20 12:18 PM

Quote:

Nice write up John. Thanks for sharing with us.
After reading this thread, I have realized that I've never owned or used a 30/06 sporting rifle.
I do have my M1 Garand that I shot a lot when I first began shooting service rifle competition with back around 1982.




Agree John.. very nice article..

Went wild with the impala.. Bait for leopard??

Sambar and water buffalo are 2 I would really enjoy hunting ..

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: Ripp]
      #347874 - 13/12/20 12:25 PM

Quote:

Went wild with the impala.. Bait for leopard??






I just put that one in as a teaser.

I didn't actually shoot them. They were shot from a helicopter by a PH doing / assisting with the live game capture operations going on there. the large plastic sheet fencing behind in the image is live game capture fencing.

Wayne my PH IS selecting some impala to put out as leopard baits for his next client after me. And one went as a bribe to the local cops, manning the road check point on the highway as well.

"Man you have some nice meat in back?"

"Do you want one?" .... and so it goes.

As for teasers, and it the spirit of our Italian Doc member, I should write an article:

"The .30-06 could NEVER kill an eland>"

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


Edited by NitroX (18/08/23 09:55 PM)


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Why You Canít Go Wrong with the .30/06 [Re: NitroX]
      #378732 - 18/08/23 09:48 PM

First the Jack O'Conner vintage articles on the 7x57 and .270. Now it's time to again revisit the .30-06.

Added the article in addition to the link.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
Govt get out of our lives NOW!
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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