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

For decades, people have to be debating .308 vs .30-06, and people are still walk on about it. We"ll easily go over what the debate is over, what the crucial differences in between the two rounds is, and why it barely - at all - matters.

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There room a few ways in which the matters, however it"s not in the methods that many human being think. Both are terrific target and hunting cartridges, and both have been offered - to an excellent effect - in a armed forces role. In fact, the latter is tho in business albeit in the guise that 7.62x51mm NATO, which does differ slightly native .308 Winchester.

However, we"re walking to it is in ignoring the army context. Yes, both ring were emerged by and also for use by the military, yet we below are talking around the distinction in caliber as far as civilians and civilian applications are concerned.

.308 vs .30-06: The Differences


The biggest difference in between .308 vs .30-06 is the the previous uses a shorter case, together .308 Winchester is 2.8 inches in overall length and also .30-06 is 3.34 customs in length. As a result, the .308 situation holds 56 grains of water compared to the .30-06"s 68 grains.

In essence, the previous is shorter but the latter holds much more powder.

Both chair .30 caliber (.308-in diameter) projectiles. What the disparity in instance capacity leads to is a slim edge in terms of velocity come the .30-06, despite it isn"t a man difference; a .30-06 cartridge v the same grain weight of the same projectile will usually only propel stated bullet through an extra 100 come 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 little more. A deer, elk, hog or black color bear is no going come notice, because placement and also bullet design matter far more.

However, the extra 0.5 inch of situation length also allows for the heaviest of .30-caliber projectiles come be seated in a .30-06 case but not as quickly (or in ~ all) in a .308 case. 200- and also 220-grain .30-06 ammunition is common; .308 Winchester tends to height out approximately 180 grains.

Those bigger pills come through some benefits, though. Modern premium bullets have actually far greater ballistic coefficients than bullets of eras past, and also thus lose velocity and energy in ~ a lot slower rate. Generally, .30-caliber bullets fight the sweet spot at 180 grains and above, which a .308 situation is less-suited to than that that a .30-06. The "06, thusly loaded v a high-BC projectile, actually retains much more power down variety than a .300 Winchester Magnum invited with classic bullets does.

So, a .30-06 with premium ammunition has actually an edge at lengthy range, however when all things room equal...there"s barely any kind of difference.

Those room the large differences once it involves the cartridges themselves.

.30-06 vs .308: Accuracy


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

The genesis the those claims was an military test carried out in the 1960s. The military pitted two match rifles in those chamberings versus each other, using match ammunition, and also the .308 prevailed. People have to be quoting or pointing to this tests as proof the .308"s superiority ever since, in spite of there gift A.) tiny explanation of just how caliber mattered since nobody agrees on exactly how it go (that method nobody knows) and B.) several years of advancement in bullets and also powders having occurred in the meantime.

Back when civilization used typewriters, the was something. Today? The gap has narrowed to nil. A quality rifle in .30-06, shooting quality ammunition, and in the hand of a proficient shooter, will certainly do every little thing that .308 Winchester will do when it comes to accuracy or ballistics.

Both are fantastic target rounds, and also - with quality ammunition - deserve to reach out and also touch something out to 1,000 yards. Both are wonderful 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 amongst the most well-known North American game cartridges in production, and for great reason. Either will harvest everything from hogs to deer, every the method up come moose and black bear; if you want to be a one-gun hunter, .308 or .30-06 will do it.

So, if there"s just slight differences between the 2 cartridges, is there any kind of reason to pick one end the other?

.308 vs .30-06 Rifles


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

There space far an ext compact bolt-action rifles offered in .308, yet what you should understand is the compactness comes only due to barrel length. Conventional bolt-action rifles, with a 22-inch or 24-inch barrel, are just 0.5 inches much shorter if chambered in .308 vs .30-06, and also barely any type of lighter.

Because the the size of the cartridge, .30-06 and other standard/long action cartridges are commonly not readily available in modern-day semi-automatic rifles. There are some, to it is in sure, but they aren"t common and aren"t cheap. ~ above the other hand, friend can find AR-10s and other modern sporting rifles in .308 for days.

Since the modern shooter is i heard with whatever tactical, that"s likely a little of a deal-breaker. You can get yourself an M1 Garand, however it"s not an AR and also AR-platform rifles are what human being tend to choose these days.

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


About The Author

Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober i graduated in 2011 from east Washington University. He resides in the an excellent Inland Northwest, with his wife and also child. His varied interests and also hobbies encompass camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun variety as regularly as possible.