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Thread: 308 vs 30-06 family accuracy

  1. #1
    Chieftain BjornF16's Avatar
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    308 vs 30-06 family accuracy

    Not sure this is completely appropriate for this forum area, but I have come to trust the opinions on this forum and would like to tap into that expertise.

    I'm looking for a light weight mountain rifle (bolt action) and am struggling between 308 Win family (including 7mm-08 and 260 Rem) versus 30-06 family (including 280 Rem).

    Is there any inherent accuracy of the 308 family due to cartridge design? (i.e. cartridge length, shoulder angle, etc).

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Marksmanship Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornF16 View Post
    Not sure this is completely appropriate for this forum area, but I have come to trust the opinions on this forum and would like to tap into that expertise.

    I'm looking for a light weight mountain rifle (bolt action) and am struggling between 308 Win family (including 7mm-08 and 260 Rem) versus 30-06 family (including 280 Rem).

    Is there any inherent accuracy of the 308 family due to cartridge design? (i.e. cartridge length, shoulder angle, etc).

    Thanks,
    Bjorn:

    The short answer is yes. The reason is basically one of powder column. Shorter, fatter cartridges tend to burn the powder more evenly. Also, less recoil generally correlates with more consistency.

    Hard to say with a mountain rifle, though. It may be a draw since you will probably not be shooting sustained fire.

    LR55

  3. #3
    JASmith
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    The .308 family will enjoy slightly lighter rifles because of the short action.

    Further, as a staunch fan of the .270 Win, I get jealous of the ballistics of the .260 Rem (.308 family). The bullet weight range is very similar, and it seems there are more 160 gr bullets in 6.5 than in .277.

    After all, the .260 is only a slightly expanded Grendel!!!

  4. #4
    LRRPF52
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    +1 for the .260 Remington. Don't even mess with the .30 cals if you want a cartridge that "cheats" the wind, and enjoys a broad range of both hunting and long-range projectiles. I have a .260 Rem and .270 Winchester. Using 140gr Berger VLD's in both calibers, I need 250fps more out of the .270 to match the trajectory of the .260 at 1000yds, and the .260 still beats the .277 pills for wind deflection. For a mountain rifle, where you are looking at 300-500yd engagement distances, I would focus on a .260 Rem in a short action, that is balanced to your anatomy, with a good sling and great optics that line-up with your solid cheek weld. Learn your ballistics well, and you'll be a happy camper.

  5. #5
    Chieftain BjornF16's Avatar
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    Well...I passed up on a Remington 700 Mountain Titanium in 30-06. (really a nicely balanced, lightweight rifle...why did Remington discontinue?)

    The issue I now have is finding a good rifle in 260 (without going the custom route). I was leaning away from 20" barrel (Remington Model Seven) and looking for 22"-24 inch stick.

    Any suggestions?

  6. #6
    JASmith
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    You could look at the Savage Weather Warrior: http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/16FCSS. These Savage rifles have a reputation for excellent out of the box accuracy. I'll get to find out over the coming weeks -- I just bought one in .243 with the purpose of replacing the barrel with a wildcat-chambered barrel! I'll exercise it as a .243 while the guys I'm working with come to a consensus on what and how we are going to do the wildcat.

    Some folks might like the AR-10 better

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    Chieftain BjornF16's Avatar
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    Would I be losing much going with 20" barrel vs. 22/24" in the .260?

  8. #8
    JASmith
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornF16 View Post
    Would I be losing much going with 20" barrel vs. 22/24" in the .260?
    Try running these velocities with your favorite 130 grain bullet through your favorite ballistics calculator. Things to look at are retained velocity, drop, and wind drift at the longest range you want to use for hunting.

    24" barrel 2800 ft/sec

    22" barrel 2750 ft/sec

    20" barrel 2700 ft/sec

    It will make some difference, yes. You will have to trade that difference for the offsets in handling convenience, etc.

  9. #9
    jkingrph
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    Looks like most of the questions have been answered. The 30-06 can throw a heavier bullet faster than a .308, and can give a slightly longer range.

    I started almost 50 years ago with a 30-06, have stuck with it and never considered a .308 class cartridge, so have no first hand experience. Most of what I have read give an accuracy edge to the .308 due to shorter powder column, and a shorter stiffer action. Now I really doubt that you would see any signifcant difference with either in a lightweight rife. My first, was a pre 64 Win mod 70, featherweight dad got me for a high school graduation present. learning to reloade and tuning it a bit would give me 0.5-0.75" groups, more than adequate for hunting and good enough for a lot of small varmits.

    My advice is to the the gun you think you will like the best and go from there.

  10. #10
    sgt_murf
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    Quote Originally Posted by LR1955 View Post
    Bjorn:

    The short answer is yes. The reason is basically one of powder column. Shorter, fatter cartridges tend to burn the powder more evenly. Also, less recoil generally correlates with more consistency.


    LR55
    Spot on,
    just discussed with Boots Obermeyer doing a barrel for a "Across the Course" in the 6.5mm bore we discussed twist rate which he surprised me with recommending the 1-8.75 twist for the 142 gr Sierria I figured the 1-8 would be the ticket. We shifted the conversation to cases the .308 length vs the .284 vs the 06 cases for the 6.5 bore. He flattly recommended the .260 Rem echoing LR55 to a tee on the column stack which I had heard before from others in the know. Thus basically endorsing JA Smith and LRRPF52 comments on caliber choice of .260 Remington. During the conversation he discounted the .284 as a barrel burner with the 6.5-06 being a close second with the added attribute of too long a linear charge to negatively affect accuracy. While my discussion was about across the course the same holds true for your Mountain rifle. Neither one of us brought up barrel length within this bore as that would be a subjective thing looking at 20 to 28" the loss of velocity is not much as JASmith has pointed out. Do I have faith in the 30-06 and .308 to get the job done? .. yes I would be happy to use either. I have a Old Remington 721 in 30-06 that shoots like a house on fire provided I feed it the correct load and will almost hang with the Remington 700 PSS in .308 that I used to own (maybe a .100" Differance going to the PSS).

    Could the .260 do the same job with a edge/advantage? I believe so, and appearantly the Gentleman from WI seems to think the best choice in the 6.5mm bore is the .260 Rem, as he stated he would use that caliber for Hunting or competion. Hope this helps

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