.308 vs .30-06: The fast Version the This Almost-Pointless Debate amongst Gun Nuts

For decades, civilization have to be debating .308 vs .30-06, and also people room still walking on around it. We"ll easily go end what the debate is over, what the an essential differences between the two rounds is, and why it barely - at all - matters.

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There room a couple of ways in which that matters, but it"s no in the ways that many civilization think. Both are fantastic target and also hunting cartridges, and both have actually been provided - to great effect - in a armed forces role. In fact, the last is quiet in business albeit in the guise of 7.62x51mm NATO, i beg your pardon does differ slightly native .308 Winchester.

However, we"re walking to be ignoring the military context. Yes, both rounds were developed by and also for usage by the military, however we below are talking about the difference in caliber as much as civilians and also civilian applications space concerned.

.308 vs .30-06: The Differences


The largest difference between .308 vs .30-06 is the the previous uses a shorter case, as .308 Winchester is 2.8 inch in as whole length and also .30-06 is 3.34 inch in length. As a result, the .308 case holds 56 grains of water contrasted to the .30-06"s 68 grains.

In essence, the previous is much shorter but the last holds an ext powder.

Both seat .30 caliber (.308-in diameter) projectiles. What the disparity in instance capacity leader to is a slight edge in terms of velocity come the .30-06, though it isn"t a man difference; a .30-06 cartridge v the same grain weight of the very same projectile will usually just propel said bullet through an extra 100 to 150 feet per second over .308 Winchester.


The extra "oomph" go come at the expense of one extra ft-lb or two of recoil. Not a heck of a lot, however there is a tiny more. A deer, elk, hog or black bear is no going come notice, due to the fact that placement and also bullet architecture matter far more.

However, the extra 0.5 customs of situation length also permits for the most difficult of .30-caliber projectiles to be seated in a .30-06 case but not as easily (or at all) in a .308 case. 200- and also 220-grain .30-06 ammunition is common; .308 Winchester has tendency to peak out about 180 grains.

Those enlarge pills come with some benefits, though. Modern premium bullets have far higher ballistic coefficients 보다 bullets of eras past, and also thus shed velocity and energy at a lot slower rate. Generally, .30-caliber bullets struggle the sweet spot in ~ 180 grains and above, i m sorry a .308 instance is less-suited to 보다 that of a .30-06. The "06, thusly loaded through a high-BC projectile, actually retains an ext power down range than a .300 Winchester Magnum invited with classic bullets does.

So, a .30-06 through premium ammunition has an edge at long range, but when every things room equal...there"s barely any kind of difference.

Those are the big differences once it comes to the cartridges themselves.

.30-06 vs .308: Accuracy


What some people like to insist upon in the .30-06 vs .308 controversy is the .30-06 is much less accurate at lengthy range.

The genesis that those claims was an army test carried out in the 1960s. The army pitted two match rifles in those chamberings against each other, using enhance ammunition, and the .308 prevailed. Human being have been quoting or pointing to these tests together proof the .308"s superiority ever before since, despite there being A.) small explanation of exactly how caliber mattered because nobody agrees on exactly how it go (that method nobody knows) and B.) several years of advance in bullets and also powders having emerged in the meantime.

Back when human being used typewriters, that was something. Today? The space has small to nil. A top quality rifle in .30-06, shooting quality ammunition, and in the hand of a competent shooter, will certainly do everything that .308 Winchester will certainly do once it pertains to accuracy or ballistics.

Both are fantastic target rounds, and also - with top quality ammunition - can reach out and also touch something the end to 1,000 yards. Both are terrific hunting rounds, and also have been offered to put nearly every land-based game pet in the freezer at one point or another. Both space still among the most well-known North American video game cartridges in production, and for great reason. Either will certainly harvest whatever from hogs come deer, all the means up to moose and black bear; if you want to it is in a one-gun hunter, .308 or .30-06 will perform it.

So, if there"s just slight differences in between the two cartridges, is there any kind of reason to pick one over the other?

.308 vs .30-06 Rifles


Here"s wherein .308 vs .30-06 beginning to in reality matter, though the degree to which that does...well, that"s up to you.

There are far much more compact bolt-action rifles available in .308, yet what friend should recognize is the compactness comes only due to barrel length. Standard bolt-action rifles, through a 22-inch or 24-inch barrel, are only 0.5 inches much shorter if chambered in .308 vs .30-06, and barely any kind of lighter.

Because the the size of the cartridge, .30-06 and also other standard/long action cartridges are commonly not offered in modern semi-automatic rifles. There space some, to it is in sure, yet they aren"t common and also aren"t cheap. On the other hand, friend can find AR-10s and other contemporary sporting rifles in .308 because that days.

Since the modern shooter is obsessed with whatever tactical, that"s most likely a little bit of a deal-breaker. You can get you yourself an M1 Garand, but it"s no an AR and also AR-platform rifles space what world tend to favor these days.

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So walk .308 vs .30-06 issue anymore? basically no, unless you desire to shooting 190- to 220-gr bullets ("06) or if you want an AR-10. Other than that...who cares?


About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from east Washington University. He lives in the an excellent Inland Northwest, v his wife and also child. His differed interests and also hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and also spending time in ~ the gun selection as regularly as possible.