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#7019087 - 12/31/17 08:13 PM Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant?
Ritter Offline


Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 285
Loc: Southern Oklahoma
So I've been looking for a bullet/cartridge combination to build another rifle around and realized that not a single long action, non-magnum caliber made the short list.
I looked in my safe and saw only short actions (.223, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm and 308) and magnum long actions (7mm and .338 caliber).

That started me thinking, are the 30.06 and its ilk really relevant anymore?



So have a little patience and I'll try to explain my way of thinking.

Say you hunt white tails in east/west/south/north Texas, a 30.06 would definitely put venison in the freezer but so would almost any short action cartridge without the added weight and recoil. The venerable 308 or even a 243 are still a great performers for any medium sized game. Even my antique model 94 can still reliably and effectivley take a deer inside of 100 yards. (Please don't start telling me about all of the deer you've taken with a slingshot/pellet rifle/BB gun/rocks/223/or just chased down on foot and tackled.This isn't that kind of thread.)

Pigs have become all the rage for hunters nowadays. I say if you can't use hand grenades or dynamite then a good AR 15 or AR 10 in anything you can chamber them in is a much better choice than a long action bolt action rifle. (High rate of fire combined with a high capacity magazine equals more dead hogs).

What about antelope in the lava fields of New Mexico? This is an animal built to be hunted with just about any short action cartridge. Sure, you spend most of the hunt walking, driving and glassing but do you really need the extra barrel length, and recoil of a long action rifle? Not when a 243 or 7mm-08 is more than enough rifle.

How about hunting elk in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado or any of the western states? A 30.06/270/280 would foot the bill but in my mind a 7 RM or a 300 WM would be a better choice for bullet weight and terminal performance without sacrificing much for the added few ounces. After all, elk are big animals.
If you are counting ounces for a back country mountain rifle then a 7mm-08 or 308 will be more than enough gun if you use the right bullet all the way out to 400 or 500 hundred yards.

Maybe you have finally gotten the chance to go on a bear hunt (black or brown doesn't really matter), is your 30.06 going to be enough rifle to take a bear with one shot? I would be looking for at least a 300 WM paired with a really heavy, solid performing bullet. To be honest I'm probably not going bear hunting with anything smaller than a 338. I'm sure a 25.06 has killed a few bears, but come on, who's intentionaly going on a bear hunt with a 25 caliber rifle?

What about going on a varmint or prairie dog hunt? You could show up with a 25.06/270/280/30.06 pushing a lightweight for caliber bullet really fast and have a great time but is it worth the extra weight and recoil of the rifle? Give me a flat shooting 177, 204, 223 or 243 and watch how much powder I can burn up. I can just about guaranty that I will shoot more and kill more than anybody that shows up with a long action caliber.

What if you shoot a lot more than you hunt and want an all around rifle for targets and long range? How many people are going to rush out and get a 30.06? I'm pretty sure that the current fad for long range is something in a short action caliber like the 6.5 Creedmore or even the good ole' 7mm-08. Either of these can take you to 1000 + yards without having to deal with the size, weight and recoil of by a 280 AI.

Who wants to go to a PRS match and have to deal with having to shoot a 30.06 or a 280 REM all day? Last I saw most competitors are shooting 6mm or 6.5mm short actions.

Just in case you decided to build a dedicated, long range rifle are you really going to invest all of that money into 270/280/30.06? No. You're more than likely to choose a hot short action 6.5mm or magnum long action 7mm and then spend your time and money on range fees and bullets.

It just seems like the long action, standard caliber rifle is either overkill or just enough to get the job done.
Short action calibers will take almost any game in north America and when they aren't enough then a long action, magnum caliber is a better choice.

Is the 30.06 dying off? No, I hope not
Is the 30.06 obsolete? Not really.
Is there a valid reason you should buy a 30.06? Yes. If you can have only one rifle (and I mean only one rifle. ever.......) then get a 270/280/30.06.

If you can own two rifles then I recommend that you get a short action and a long action magnum.

If you can own a lot of rifles than go nuts and treat the rifles like golf clubs, one for every need.


I guess that's why my next rifle will be a 308 from New Ultra Light Arms. It just seems to fit a niche in my current inventory.

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#7019121 - 12/31/17 08:33 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 3359
Loc: Snyder
A 30-06 will do everything a .308 will, only better.
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#7019124 - 12/31/17 08:35 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
redchevy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 27004
Loc: Texas
To me sounds like you overstate the power of short actions underestimate the 30-06 family and jump straight to magnums. Not a critter in North America I would feel handicapped chasing with a 270, 280, or 30-06 with an appropriate bullet.
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#7019136 - 12/31/17 08:41 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
Brother in-law Online   content
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Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 26880
I understand and agree with everything you just said

I have 3006 I would love to change but there is nothing I want with the long action

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#7019140 - 12/31/17 08:42 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
jab3006 Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 978
Loc: northeast texas
I still use a 30-06, my favorite round, but also like a 308. i just like a 30 cal, works for me and the ranges i am comfortable with. Dont own a 270 280 or a 6.5, but if i came across the right gun/deal id probably buy it since i dont have one and try it. But im sure id always end toting my 30-06.

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#7019141 - 12/31/17 08:42 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
JCB Offline
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Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 23297
Loc: M.I.A.
I have shot all 3 at some point. I doubt they will ever be irrelevant, but they will never be new again either. Today hunters and shooters are drawn to new things even if it duplicates something that has a 100 year track record. I'm one of those people.

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#7019162 - 12/31/17 08:54 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
Gravytrain Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/06/11
Posts: 23909
Loc: Rowlett, Tx
280AI will always be interesting to me.

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#7019169 - 12/31/17 08:56 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
syncerus Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 2557
Loc: Dallas, TX
I'm going to sell all of my rifles chambered for either the .30-06 or .270 and replace them with 6.5 Creedmoors.

Not.
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#7019170 - 12/31/17 08:57 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
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Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 23314
Loc: Corsicana
I don’t have anything against all the “latest and greatest”, but I do feel like posting this meme (with appropriate newest ‘hot’ caliber inserted) sometimes. smile


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Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7019171 - 12/31/17 08:57 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
RiverRider Offline
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Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 7531
Loc: Wise Co.
The '06 family of cartridges aren't going anywhere.
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#7019183 - 12/31/17 09:05 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 23314
Loc: Corsicana
I have lots of different calibers just because I want them.

But I’m under no illusion that I “need” them. I could get by with two rifles for NA and three for the world without a sweat. Maybe one and two, respectively-but I might sweat just a little bit. smile
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7019202 - 12/31/17 09:22 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
BigPig Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/27/09
Posts: 11246
Loc: Forney, Tx
I have a lot of caliber, but the 30-06 has been my go-to caliber for the last 3 years. I have become a fan of .30 caliber and larger. Hoping to add a 460XVR rifle to the heard this year
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#7019233 - 12/31/17 09:40 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
Ritter Offline


Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 285
Loc: Southern Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: Tactical Cowboy
A 30-06 will do everything a .308 will, only better.

Yes it will with more weight, size and more recoil.



Originally Posted By: redchevy
To me sounds like you overstate the power of short actions underestimate the 30-06 family and jump straight to magnums. Not a critter in North America I would feel handicapped chasing with a 270, 280, or 30-06 with an appropriate bullet.

I never said a short action would do everything a 30.06 based cartridge would do. I said that a 30.06 is over power for most and under power for others.



Originally Posted By: Gravytrain
280AI will always be interesting to me.

The 280AI did make my long list. It really is a very capable chambering. I really loved my last two 280's.



Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I don’t have anything against all the “latest and greatest”, but I do feel like posting this meme (with appropriate newest ‘hot’ caliber inserted) sometimes. smile



Dude, that's just wrong on so many levels......... eek2




Originally Posted By: RiverRider
The '06 family of cartridges aren't going anywhere.

I pretty much agreed with you already.
Originally Posted By: Ritter
Is the 30.06 dying off? No, I hope not
Is the 30.06 obsolete? Not really.




Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I have lots of different calibers just because I want them.

But I’m under no illusion that I “need” them. I could get by with two rifles for NA and three for the world without a sweat. Maybe one and two, respectively-but I might sweat just a little bit. smile

That's how I think of rifles too.





I guess I should predicate my semi-uneducated opinion little more.
I currently own and shoot a few rifles. From left to right.
223 Rem, 243 win, 6.5x47 Lapua, 7mm-08, 30-30 (My absolute favorite rifle. Ask me why later), 338 Edge. (Not Pictured for some reason or another, 7mm LRM and 6XC and a few others that I was too lazy to pull put of the safe)



I owned quite a few 30.06 based rifles and ended up selling them over the last few years. None of these had any real sentimental value to me so I never looked back and always invested the funds in a new rifle. I am a bit of a long range junkie even though I have taken a lot more animals with a bow than I think I ever will with a rifle so I tended to look towards downrange ballistics and terminal performance. Over the past couple of years that has started to change.

I have started looking at what I hunt, where I hunt and what it I need to harvest it.
For me the long action, standard calibers have always been an option but I found that I could most often get by with a short action, usually the 7mm-08 or the 6.5x47 Lapua. When I thought I really needed something with more knock down power I considered a 280 or 30.06 but always went with the 7mm LRM and 180 gr. bullets.
I took my first elk cow with a 280 but since then I have always carried either a 308 or 7mm LRM. There was nothing wrong with the 280 but I have wanted either a lighter, more compact rifle or something that could shoot a better, heavier bullet with a lot more authority. Since then I really haven't looked back. I even sold one of my Hill Country 280's on this forum.

I don't think the 30.06 will ever go away or really be obsolete but I do believe that there are better choices if you take the time to think about what you are hunting and what you need.


Edited by Ritter (12/31/17 09:44 PM)
Edit Reason: Because I really hate mispelllllllllled woooorrds

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#7019254 - 12/31/17 09:51 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: Ritter]
Nogalus Prairie Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/22/10
Posts: 23314
Loc: Corsicana
I cannot think of one animal that I wouldn’t think some caliber other than the .30-06 would be a better choice to use. Mainly because I either would want something flatter or something with more punch. For that reason, I have never hunted with one.

But the calling card of the .30-06 is that it is very versatile. Which is not a bad thing at all.
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Russ79
I learned long ago you can't reason someone out of something they don't reason themselves into.



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#7019259 - 12/31/17 09:54 PM Re: Are the 30.06/270/280 Becoming Irrelevant? [Re: syncerus]
Ritter Offline


Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 285
Loc: Southern Oklahoma
Originally Posted By: syncerus
I'm going to sell all of my rifles chambered for either the .30-06 or .270 and replace them with 6.5 Creedmoors.

Not.

Don't do that.

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