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#5971469 - 10/11/15 07:54 AM best 30 caliber??
bholland Offline


Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 68
Loc: Hill Country
I am looking to acquire a 30 caliber rifle for long distance shooting and elk hunting, since some states require that caliber. I have narrowed it down to the venerable 30-06 and the 308. I have shot neither one very much so I am looking for suggestions. Which one would you go with and why?

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#5971470 - 10/11/15 07:59 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
rickym Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 3900
Loc: texas
I own both but for long distance shooting I would shoot the 06. I don't know that this is true but I feel like it's flatter shooting and hits the animal harder out past 300.
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Originally Posted By: Roll-Tide
Any ideas how to make it hard?

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#5971471 - 10/11/15 08:00 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
Sneaky Online   content
The "Grouch"

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 15874
Loc: Winters
What is long distance to you? To me, it requires a step up to the 300 Win mag. But if your idea of long distance requires something less, then I see no reason to choose a 308 over the 30-06. Why? More powder capacity to push heavy bullets.
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#5971509 - 10/11/15 08:32 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
bholland Offline


Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 68
Loc: Hill Country
When I say long distance I mean 300-400 yards. The longest shot I have ever taken successfully is currently 245 yards and that was on a coyote with my 22-250.
90% of what I shoot is with my bow at close range, i just want the ability to rifle hunt elk and in some states that requires a 30 caliber so....

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#5971512 - 10/11/15 08:36 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
Sneaky Online   content
The "Grouch"

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 15874
Loc: Winters
In that case, a 30-06 will do nicely. A 308 will get it done, but heavier bullets are ideal, and the 06 will handle them better. It also gives you more room to stretch out a little further if you're so inclined, at some point.
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#5971514 - 10/11/15 08:37 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
rickym Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 3900
Loc: texas
For the use of elk hunting alone I would still get the 06
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Originally Posted By: Roll-Tide
Any ideas how to make it hard?

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#5971541 - 10/11/15 09:10 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
syncerus Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 1993
Loc: Dallas, TX
You could go retro and choose Holland's Super .30 ( .300 H&H ).

wink
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#5971566 - 10/11/15 09:25 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
EddieWalker Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1177
Loc: Tyler, TX
Elk are tough animals and they can go a very long distance if not hit just right. For lighter animals, both are fine calibers. I have a 30-06, and my brother uses a 308. Both shoot about the same at the range and both shoot the same sized bullets. Neither are what I use when I go elk hunting. If the elk is standing perfectly still, broadside and the weather is calm and perfect, then it doesn't matter. But if he is feeding, quartering away or towards you, or the weather isn't ideal, then the odds increase dramatically that you might be off an inch or two when you shoot and instead of making that perfect one shot kill, you wound him. I put too much money and effort into my trips to take chances or not do everything I can to ensure I have the best odds of success. For elk, I use a .338 win mag. Every one I've shot with it has gone down with one shot. I've shot them as close as a hundred yards, and as far out as 500 when my buddy started shooting with his 7mm mag and he didn't drop after three shots. There is a lot to be said for what a 250 grain bullet does at those velocities!!!!! I used it for my first safari to Africa and felt it was far better to put them down, then to have to look for them in the bush. I would rather lose a couple pounds of meat to bullet damage, then lose the entire animal.

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#5971569 - 10/11/15 09:26 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
Slow Drifter Offline


Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 4256
Loc: Central Texas
First, I'm a HUGE fan of the .308 and my knee-jerk reaction leans towards that. But, when I apply a little gray matter to the process there's no reason to not go with .30-06 of the two choices. I've been shooting .308's for about 40 years and, if you already had one (or several like me) I'd say dance with the one who brung you, but the .308 does fade faster than the .30-06 and since you currently have neither the .30-06, in my opinion, would be the wiser choice. The benefits are two-fold if you're a reloader. It's much easier, cheaper, and safer to load a .30-06 down to .308 performance than attempt .30-06 performance with a .308. That's just me, though, take it for what it cost you. Best of luck in your decision and future hunting endeavors! Be safe, always.
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"I have no idea what WW-III will be fought with, but WW-IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

A. Einstein


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#5971590 - 10/11/15 09:42 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
WileyCoyote Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 09/01/04
Posts: 4535
Loc: The Dogwood Capital of Texas
...and a "Super 30" would be so Super Cool you'd prolly grin about it in your sleep...and can downloaded to everyday '06 speeds too....if you are into handloading. IMO the Cool Factor alone is worth the jump...just harder to find shooters though.

However...the 30 WSM is a scootch faster...and real close to the 300WMg in 150'er's with less felt recoil, but the only down side of the 30 Whizzum in bigger bullets is that it does not have the case capacity to handle 200gr'ers very well for the xtra shoulder thump...at MV's about like a '06 does....and 200gr'ers have more juice than the lighter bullets at the "business" end and more retained velocity at past 3-400 yards too when the lighter bullets get blown around more.

The WSM does handle elk capable 180's & 165's boolits noticeably faster than a '06...and just a tad better than than the H&H, with lots more ammo choices available.
Ron
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#5971594 - 10/11/15 09:47 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
Flags Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 11/20/14
Posts: 182
Loc: Athens, TX
I would happily hunt 99% of the legal game animals in the world with a 30-06. It has been killing game and men for over 100 years. When I would need something bigger than an 06 I'd pick up a 375 H&H. You could hunt any mammal on earth with the 375 H&H but since this is about 30 cal my vote goes to the 06.

By the way, I'm not aware of any state that requires 30 cal for elk so I'm hoisting the B.S. flag on that. I grew up in CO and have hunted a lot of elk. Is the OP really trying to say that in some places a 30-30 would be legal for elk but a 270 or a 7mm Mag wouldn't? Sorry, not buying it.


Edited by Flags (10/11/15 09:49 AM)

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#5971658 - 10/11/15 10:48 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
Chaz391 Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 46
Loc: Tx
Between the two choices you gave I'd say 30-06 because of wide choice of bullet weights. However, I'd really look at a 300 win mag. That being said, my two hunting guns are a .308 using Hornady Match 168 gr boat tail hollow points and 300 win mag using 180 gr Winchester ballistic silvertips. Great success with both.
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One more cast. Ten more minutes.

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#5971681 - 10/11/15 11:06 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
Sneaky Online   content
The "Grouch"

Registered: 10/22/12
Posts: 15874
Loc: Winters
I am curious about which states require a 30 caliber or larger.
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#5971722 - 10/11/15 11:45 AM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: Slow Drifter]
Grizz Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 5848
Loc: Granbury, TX
Originally Posted By: Slow Drifter
First, I'm a HUGE fan of the .308 and my knee-jerk reaction leans towards that. But, when I apply a little gray matter to the process there's no reason to not go with .30-06 of the two choices. I've been shooting .308's for about 40 years and, if you already had one (or several like me) I'd say dance with the one who brung you, but the .308 does fade faster than the .30-06 and since you currently have neither the .30-06, in my opinion, would be the wiser choice. The benefits are two-fold if you're a reloader. It's much easier, cheaper, and safer to load a .30-06 down to .308 performance than attempt .30-06 performance with a .308. That's just me, though, take it for what it cost you. Best of luck in your decision and future hunting endeavors! Be safe, always.


I was going to post a reply, but this one says exactly what I would have said. My .308 love aside, I would go with the .30-06 given those two choices under your parameters.
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#5971753 - 10/11/15 12:27 PM Re: best 30 caliber?? [Re: bholland]
bholland Offline


Registered: 06/21/09
Posts: 68
Loc: Hill Country
Thank you for questioning the 30 caliber rule I referenced. It is indeed wrong. I was talking about elk hunting with a friend who has hunted in Colorado and New Mexico "many times" and he told me that the hunting regs for those two states require 30 caliber or larger. I now question many other things he has shared with me in the past. we all know what happens when you assume....
keep the opinions and info coming, you all are a great source to help me decide which caliber to go with

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