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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
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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

  7. #7
    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

  11. #11
    stokesrj
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    While a 30-06 is never a wrong choice, I prefer a .260 in a light rifle. I've taken many many head of game in the mountains with a 30-06 and have never been disappointed by it, the recoil in a very light rifle is unpleasant. The accuracy difference between calibers is insignificant in a light hunting rifle and is more influenced by barrel quality anyway. The 308 is more accurate than any of the calibers you are considering and the .260 can be the most difficult to get to shoot well. But with a good barrel it can and will shoot very well indeed with hand loads. Factory .260 loads are generally poor. Lapua just started making brass for the .260 when the AMU picked it for their across the course caliber for their McMillan Tubb 2000 rifles this year. I scored for Sherry Galligher at the Eastern Creedmoor when she shot 19 consecutive X's at 600 yards with one, so it can be more than accurate enough.
    I have owned a Remington model 7KS and a 700 mountain rifle in 260. Neither of them shot well enough for me and were finicky so down the road they went to someone who wasn't so picky. I still have a Kimber 84 Super America and it will shoot sub MOA with selected hand loads but no factory load will do better than 1.5 MOA. I shot a Savage .260 the other day that would shoot .5MOA with Hornady factory loads using the 140 grain A-Max. I have never cared for Savage rifles but I must admit they have steadily improved them until now I think they are the best production rifle available at a modest price. Plus you can rebarrel them yourself easily with drop in barrels.
    So I guess my choice for a production mountain rifle would be the Savage 11 trophy hunter XP with the factory Nikon BDC scope which is the one I shot at the Port Malibar 600 yard range Savage/Hornady factory sponsored demonstration match. This rifle is also available in 6.5x284 which would be my choice over the .260 if you are planning on greater than 500 yard shots since you can get 200 fps more velocity. I've seen several elk taken with the 6.5x284 using the 140 grain Berger VLD hunting bullet at extended range with DRT results.
    I'm sitting in my brother-n-laws cabin in northern Arizona watching a herd or elk feeding as I write this. Makes me want to try one out.
    Bob
    Last edited by stokesrj; 12-27-2011 at 08:51 PM. Reason: corrected grammer

  12. #12
    Mutt
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    I looked at one of these at my local gun shop. It's a nice little rifle and would make a great mountain rifle. It's small and would pack well. And, it's chambered in .308

    http://www.ruger.com/products/gunsit...le/models.html

    As far as velocity goes, your looking at loosing about 150 fps for about ever 4 inches of pipe (with a .308) ..... I think. So, if you are shooting a 20 inch, a 24 inch would have 150 more fps ..... to a point anyway, then it drops off.
    Last edited by Mutt; 12-27-2011 at 10:22 PM.

  13. #13
    sgt_murf
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokesrj View Post

    I have owned a Remington model 7KS and a 700 mountain rifle in 260. Neither of them shot well enough for me and were finicky so down the road they went to someone who wasn't so picky.

    I have never cared for Savage rifles but I must admit they have steadily improved them until now I think they are the best production rifle available at a modest price. Plus you can rebarrel them yourself easily with drop in barrels.

    So I guess my choice for a production mountain rifle would be the Savage 11 trophy hunter XP with the factory Nikon BDC scope which is the one I shot at the Port Malibar 600 yard range Savage/Hornady factory sponsored demonstration match. This rifle is also available in 6.5x284 which would be my choice over the .260 if you are planning on greater than 500 yard shots since you can get 200 fps more velocity.

    Bob
    Bob wish I would have been down the Road when ya turned those Remmy lose .

    On the Savages yep they will shock ya how well they do with that floating bolt head in the accuracy department while keeping cost down.Out the box they give everyone a hard run for the performance that they give per dollar. If they only had the accessory support as Remington does.

    The .260 once AI'd (Ackley improved) will stay within the 6.5x284 (within 100 FPS or even steven bullet dependant) within three grains o' powder plus the added bonus of about twice the barrel life of the 6.5x284... 2K vs 4K. I will agree that the 6.5x284 is a sexy round, but the .260 with the right handling (building twist rate and throating) barrel choices (cut rifling) is competitive as well as the 6.5x284 is (my simple opinion).
    I don't really disagree with your statement Bob the 6.5x284 is a fine round, this round has caused much research on my end for a possiable tube gun just the barrel life about 10 - 100 round sessions and its re-barrel time is the ONLY bad thang I can state about the round (this part is purely basied on what I have been told). You owning and shooting both puts you in my opinion more knowledgeable on the two rounds. Respectfully
    Mike
    Ohh BTW give this a read
    http://www.6mmbr.com/gunweek046.html
    Last edited by sgt_murf; 12-29-2011 at 12:52 AM. Reason: added hyperlink to article

  14. #14
    stokesrj
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    Yes the 6.5X284 does burn barrels but for a hunting rifle I don't get to upset about that. If you think that is a barrel burner, check out my 6.5 STW. I had one built quite a while ago on a Prarie Gun Works Titanium action with a 26" PacNor barrel. Mine was serial number 2 and Lane's was serial number 1 since he originated the STW line of cartridges. I have only 500 or so rounds down the bore and the throat is already .003" eroded. But it has put two Boone and Crocket sheep in the books, load development is done and it will shoot an honest 1/4 MOA with several loads. And it is the hammer of Thor on every animal I've shot with it.
    Bob

  15. #15
    Stacyp
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    Move to the 300WM. Ballistically better than 30-06. Wind is not an issue. Weight might be the only negative.

  16. #16
    sgt_murf
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by stokesrj View Post
    Yes the 6.5X284 does burn barrels but for a hunting rifle I don't get to upset about that. If you think that is a barrel burner, check out my 6.5 STW. I had one built quite a while ago on a Prarie Gun Works Titanium action with a 26" PacNor barrel. Mine was serial number 2 and Lane's was serial number 1 since he originated the STW line of cartridges. I have only 500 or so rounds down the bore and the throat is already .003" eroded. But it has put two Boone and Crocket sheep in the books, load development is done and it will shoot an honest 1/4 MOA with several loads. And it is the hammer of Thor on every animal I've shot with it.
    Bob
    Bob,
    Your point is very well made Sir, a hunting rifle would last a LOT longer than a match rifle in the 6.5x284 and one I did not even consider the annual rounds "most" typical hunter only fire a box and a half annually at best at that rate. One is looking at 10 years versus 3-6 months for a dedicated match shooter whom normally fires 88 to 100 rounds per session. Nice catch on those facts.
    Reguards
    Mike

  17. #17
    noone
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    I have a 6.5mm Obermeyer barrel with the 1-8.75 twist mounted up on a Defiance Machine Defender action in 260 Remington. Boots is correct that it shoots the 140-144 grain bullets just fine, and also shoots the 123 grain Scenar bullets fabulously well. I switch back and forth depending more on availability rather than how they shoot because both shoot equally well. With my 260 the velocity I get, the bullet doesn't go transonic till way past (1500 yards or so) any where I want to shoot.

    I went with that cartridge after considering the 6.5-284, 6.5-08 AI because after all the effort, and increased throat erosion the plain old 260 shot way further than I needed without all the extra work to form brass, or without having yet another rifle that eats barrels incredibly fast. I considered how far I really thought I would need to shoot. If I only need to shoot 1200 yards, why do I need a rifle that shoots 1700 yards and eats barrels?
    Last edited by noone; 01-01-2012 at 02:28 AM.

  18. #18
    sgt_murf
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    Quote Originally Posted by noone View Post
    I have a 6.5mm Obermeyer barrel with the 1-8.75 twist mounted up on a Defiance Machine Defender action in 260 Remington. Boots is correct that it shoots the 140-144 grain bullets just fine, and also shoots the 123 grain Scenar bullets fabulously well. I switch back and forth depending more on availability rather than how they shoot because both shoot equally well. With my 260 the velocity I get, the bullet doesn't go transonic till way past (1500 yards or so) any where I want to shoot.

    I went with that cartridge after considering the 6.5-284, 6.5-08 AI because after all the effort, and increased throat erosion the plain old 260 shot way further than I needed without all the extra work to form brass, or without having yet another rifle that eats barrels incredibly fast. I considered how far I really thought I would need to shoot. If I only need to shoot 1200 yards, why do I need a rifle that shoots 1700 yards and eats barrels?
    Thank you noone
    good to know

  19. #19
    Chieftain BjornF16's Avatar
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    Noone, tell us more about your Defiance Machine Defender rig...did you build your rifle yourself?

  20. #20
    LRRPF52
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    +1 on the .260 Rem for barrel life and a match gun, versus barrel life not being an issue with an ultra-light hunting rifle. With both, you can have the barrels melonited once confirmed that they shoot or before, which will increase the throat/barrel/accuracy life about 30%. It's hard to argue with .264 Win Mag performance, but within 500yds, the .260 will be more than sufficient. Switching to Hodgon's powders in the .260 took it from a consistent .75 MOA shooter down to .4 MOA for me, as I was using Vihavuori 500 series before that. Hope I didn't burn my throat prematurely...

    I'm actually getting ready to take a .260 hunting on Friday, as I couldn't get a permit for my Grendel in time (I'm in Finland for the holidays.).

    Bob, do you think that Ackleying the .260 helps with accuracy?

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