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30-06 or?

08 Aug 2016
@ 08:43 pm (GMT)

Benn Harvey-Walker

Hi All,

I've been lurking around this site for some years now ... have bought all the books and some bedding compound over time, but never really found the need to post - until now.

I'm in the process of deciding on a new rifle/calibre and have been doing my research.

Being a lefty, I'm a bit limited in my choices for bolt actions, but will most likely go down the path of either Remington 700 or Tikka T3.

Looking at my current (small) collection, I'm lacking a hard-hitting, long range rig (400-800 yard effective range) ... most likely in 30-cal so I can get bullet weights in the 165-190 range.

Rifle will be used for hunting, mostly on open broad acre farm land.

Rifle brand choice aside, I'm considering 30-06 as the calibre, but I've recently read some articles that the 30-06 is not as inherently accurate as the 308.

Is this really the case? Does the 30-06 have the potential to shoot 0.3 or better, or am I dreamin'?

Cheers,

Benn

Replies

08 Aug 2016
@ 11:01 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: 30-06 or?
Hi bend and welcome.

The 30.06 is really a find choice and as long as you follow the steps in Nathan's books I'm sure you'll get the accuracy you are after as long as the barrel is up to the task.

Both of those rifles will serve you well just pay attention to the Tikka short magazine I don't think it's a deal breaker just something to be aware of.

One of the forum members went the route of a Tikka in 300 wsm with some bolt stop and magazine modifiactons he set it up to shoot the 208gr amax's
08 Aug 2016
@ 11:46 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: 30-06 or?
The good old internet, the place to go for completely unqualified opinions.

I deal with .30-06 rifles on a week to week basis and love this caliber. The rifle in the tips and tricks video for example shoots through one small hole. The rifle in the M700 stainless forum thread is shooting into .3".

The statement you made (from the internet info), would be better qualified if someone had said- a .308 with a match bullet leade angle will be more inherently accurate for long range than a .30-06 with a hunting bullet leade angle. Solution? Change the leade ange in the .30-06- if you have to.

But in this instance, we are tallking about a lefty. Tikka already have a good lead angle. There is a group shot with a Tikka .30-06 on our accurizing page as an example. You may end up with some jump whether you go with the .30-06 or .300 WSM if you run the 200-208gr bullet weight. But I think you could make either work if you neck size.

What I mean to say is, you are on the right track.
09 Aug 2016
@ 12:03 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: 30-06 or?
L/H Tikka Varmint in 06, adjust the trigger, get to the range and train with it, job done!

Forget the inaccurate crap I own multiples of both and have setup many others. The 06 is no poor cousin, easy to learn/develop, shoot, reload & hunt with the right pills in the weight ranges you have stated. I also shoot/hunt with a 300 mag and say stick to the 06 for now.

Just my unqualified ranting's but can back it up with plenty of Autopsy pictures if you want, hahahaaaaa

09 Aug 2016
@ 12:15 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: 30-06 or?
Hi Benn
I've used a 30-06 for about 5yrs now, I've used most calibers including 308 that I still have. I love the 30-06, don't want anything that kicks harder I'm 69yrs old now, been shooting continually since 12yrs.

I shoot a lot of feral animals from Fox up to Red & big Samba/rusa cross Deer. My favorite projectile is 168gn A-max, my 30-06 delivers it at 2900fps, 308 at 2700fps. Both rifles are very accurate 1/4 MOA, both have NXS nightforce 3.5-15x50 ZS scopes that I really like.

My 30-06 is my go to rifle, I regularly shoot out to 700yds with very good results, I struggle with shots longer than that distance.

For hunting longer ranges the 30-06 has a 200fps advantage so has more energy than the 308w.

One of the 7mm calibers would be good also, 280 or 7mm rem mag, they
have similar recoil to the 30-06.

300WM is very good but too much recoil for me, especially hurried uphill shots, my 30-06 has cracked me a couple of times.
Good luck with it mate
Bob
09 Aug 2016
@ 12:19 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: 30-06 or?
Benn
This guy got me onto the 30-06, it's worth a look

http://www.sportingshootermag.com.au/news/versatile-30-06-for-hunting

Cheers
Bob
09 Aug 2016
@ 08:44 am (GMT)

Benn Harvey-Walker

Re: 30-06 or?
Thank you all for the input. Really appreciate it.

My feelings were that with modern powders and projectiles, and assuming barrel quality being relatively equal, I couldn't see any reason why a 30-06 would shoot necessarily any less accurately than a 308.

The thread of doubt came from reports about competition shooting back when the 30-06 was the mainstay and the 308 was the newcomer ... 40-odd years ago.

My 6.5x55 is my go-to rifle (about to put a new True-flite barrel on it), but given it runs out of puff by about 400 yards, I'm interested in a longer range cartridge. Not uncommon to see game out to 600+ yards where I often shoot - when you can see through the mirage.

As it happens, I already have a 308, but I'm in the process of selling it ... too heavy for field use. More of a bench rifle.

I did consider a 300WM for a while, or a 7mm Rem Mag, but I'd prefer a rifle that doesn't "need" to be braked, and I really can't see myself needing to reach out that extra couple of hundred yards.

Thanks again chaps!

Benn
09 Aug 2016
@ 01:33 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: 30-06 or?
Hello Benn.
I was just looking at the spec sheet for the Tikka T3x rifles. They of course have 30/06 in the mix in the stainless T3X lite model. The barrel is a 22.4 inch one with a 1:11 twist with a 4 groove bore.

If you are thinking your are going to the Hornady 208 grain A-max I would personally prefer a twist rate of 1:10 but I think my own choice would be the 178 grain Hornady ELD-X and it should work for you.

Perhaps someone with a T3 lite shooing 208 grainers could tell us if the bullets remain stable way out there or not. I have shot the heavy bullets in a 300WM as well as 300 Weatherby and they do great things far out. My reason for being interested in this is my .308 700p LTR has a 1:12 twist and does not like the heavies much but accuracy is not bad with the 178 grain bullets if I crank up the velocity. I tended in past to use the 168 grain A-Max in it but am now using 165 grain Nosler partitions in it but do not intend really long shots where that rifle is used. For most other hunting where shots may be longer I use my 7mm Remington Magnum and have found its recoil is no big deal at all, in fact much like the 30/06.

The best rifle I ever owned was a pre-64 Winchester in 30/06, a heavy one weighing in at 9 pounds. It shot bughole groups and dropped everything I every aimed at with authority.
09 Aug 2016
@ 06:36 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: 30-06 or?
hi Benn
just thought i better check, do you hand load your ammo?

just because im curious what action is your 6.5x55?
09 Aug 2016
@ 08:41 pm (GMT)

Benn Harvey-Walker

Re: 30-06 or?
Hi Thomas,

Yes, I hand load. Wouldn't have it any other way :-)

My 6.5 is a Zastava M70 - basically a Mauser 98 action (LH). Reliable and strong, though a little agricultural.

The rifle has shot well, but despite testing everything I can think of, I've never been able to get it to shoot reliably below 1MOA ... hence the new barrel.

I know it's a cheap rifle and some have suggested just let it go and buy a new one, but I like a challenge and I'm kind of fond of it. I've shot more ferals with this rifle than anything else I own.

Cheers,

Benn
09 Aug 2016
@ 09:30 pm (GMT)

Benn Harvey-Walker

Re: 30-06 or?
Quote:
Hello Benn.
I was just looking at the spec sheet for the Tikka T3x rifles. They of course have 30/06 in the mix in the stainless T3X lite model. The barrel is a 22.4 inch one with a 1:11 twist with a 4 groove bore.

If you are thinking your are going to the Hornady 208 grain A-max I would personally prefer a twist rate of 1:10 but I think my own choice would be the 178 grain Hornady ELD-X and it should work for you.


Hi Bryan.
I'm leaning towards the Rem 700 ... twist rate of 1:10", a 4-round mag vs 3 for the Tikka, and the Rem is a bit easier to bed. (Though clearly Tikka has strong following here.) Also inclined towards the 24" barrel.

My son has a 300WSM Tikka that shoots 0.3-0.35 after proper bedding ... I'm tempted by the calibre, but it is a bit of a face slapper ... and finding a LH model will probably be even more difficult.

Cheers,

Benn
09 Aug 2016
@ 09:52 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: 30-06 or?
Hi benn
little off topic but I have a 98k parker hale in 308 that's the barrel has seen better days
It'll be a while before I rebarrel it but been looking at calibers to make use of the medium length action.
Anyway I looked at what reamer true flite had and notice they have a 6.5x55 improved reamer, I'm not sure on the fps gain or if it's worth the hassle but thought I would mention it.

Just on the Tikka I highly recommend the heavy barrel like Martin said or at least heavy optics, I use a lite model in 270win it's fine to shoot but you got to keep your wits about you, I also run decent weight optics on it.

I would check availability just to weigh up options if your in nz I find reloaders supplies customer service top notch.

You got the book series so should have no issues weighing up options
10 Aug 2016
@ 12:17 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: 30-06 or?
Yep, bloody hard to beat out of the box & they generally don't need bedding to perform!

The Varmint is only 400'ish grams heavier and 1" longer and has a 5 round mag std. Better stock shape than the Lite for field shooting and will help aid accurate longer shots (main requirement). In the field a bit the extra weight will be a bonus which will also come from good optics as Thomas has said.
Ask Nathan about guys trying to shoot std Lites accurately in the field (or SPS's in plastic stocks), takes a lot of concentration and good technique.

If you want to talk Rem's then cool but please be aware that they generally need a little tweaking, as said on here in many other threads.
I prefer the Rems which may seem strange given my call on a Tikka 06 Varmint. If you want to work on your gear then yep go the Rem if it meets your needed specs.
10 Aug 2016
@ 01:42 am (GMT)

Brian Vickerman

Re: 30-06 or?
I'm a lefty and my choice last winter for a 30-06 was between the Tikka T3 and the Browning X Bolt. During my research Tikka introduced the new T3x on their web site, but the dealers had heard nothing and figured it was a year away. Wrong... they are here now.

I chose the X bolt. It felt right. The wood stock has the left hand grip shaped so that it "swells" to fit in your palm and is straight for the fingers. That makes it very comfortable to hold.

I sighted in at 50 yds using Noslercustoms 165 gr. My next three shots were 180 gr. Winchester Accubond Ct. at 100 yds. the left bullet and and right bullet touched the top of the bulls eye. The centre shot was 1/8" high. My group was 9/16" of an inch.

I can live with that... Bambi won't.

Vick




10 Aug 2016
@ 02:04 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: 30-06 or?
Hey Ben good post and information. The 6.5x55swede is long action
assume that you're in NZ. I'm sure that Grant at true flite could do a re barrel on your action to 30-06 Ackley improved chamber as long as the magazine has enough length? He does a great job and you will get a good life time rifle. Just my 2c opinion. I think that barrel length will be needed to get the best from the 06. A 26" would be my pick.! You can always prune it.
10 Aug 2016
@ 08:34 am (GMT)

Benn Harvey-Walker

Re: 30-06 or?
Hi again fellas,

I hale from Queensland actually. Brisbane-based, but do most of my shooting west of the Great Divide ... Granite belt and Moonie districts.

The barrel I've ordered from True-flite is 24", bog-standard 6.5x55. It should be here in the next few days and I have a smith lined up to fit it to the action.

The Swede is my main walk-around when I'm chasing goats, so I felt the 24" barrel would do well enough for sub-200 yard work. (I have a couple of 45-70s set up for scrub work and sub-150 yards when chasing oinkers.)

Re: a 30-06 platform, I hadn't considered a Browning ... For some reason they just don't get the ratings the other brands get, though a mate who owns a local gun shop can't fault them.

I'm still undecided. Need to do more research.

Rem rifles seem to come up as a bit "hit & miss" quality. Tikkas, however, it seems, always please.

No rush though. Will be doing some fit-out work for my gun-shop-owner mate in exchange for store credit - hopefully next month. Then it's new rifle time :-)

Cheers,

Benn
03 May 2018
@ 09:27 am (GMT)

Trace Jacoby

Re: 30-06 or?
Benn,

Just wondering how your 30-06 turned out? Which rifle did you go with? Have you been taking it out to 400-800 yards that you mentioned in your original post? I’m interested to hear your results.

Thanks,
Trace
 

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