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Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics Applied Ballistics


30-06 vs. 30-378

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Unread 03-05-2014, 09:00 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 238
30-06 vs. 30-378

In this post I am touching on several BIG topics, but I'll try to sum them
up with one question.

22" barrel length is common to many 30-06 rifles. Since a 30-378 Wby
has very close to twice the powder capacity, why doesn't a 30-378 rifle
have a 44" barrel ?? This would give each rifle the same expansion ratio.


On a side note, this should also give the 30-378 bullet about 1.414 times
the muzzle velocity of the 30-06 (same bullet weight).
I.E., 3800 fps vs. 2700 fps.

I have done a lot searching to find graphs of the internal pressure traces
of large capacity cartridges, to compare with a typical 30-06 pressure trace,
and have not found good comparative results.

I have done this with gasoline engines and compression ratio, which is a
VERY similar situation.

Aside from the inconvenience of carrying around a very long barrel, I see
this as a simple engineering exercise in scaling.
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Unread 03-05-2014, 09:23 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 9,995
Re: 30-06 vs. 30-378

Wow...That scared me when I saw the title. I thought you were wanting to compare the 2 ballistically.

I was gonna say, that's about like comparing a slingshot to a tomahawk missle. LOL

The .300 Sherman is a better ballistic comparison than the standard .30-06. But they're still far apart.

Also, the .30-06's really will shine with a 26" barrel.

The reason they don't need a 22" vs 44" barrel is because even though it has twice the powder, the powder won't burn as fast creating more pressure to push the bullet faster, therefore it doesn't need a 44" barrel. The .30-06 will use a faster burnng powder only requiring a 22-24" barrel to reach good velocities.
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

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Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
The 284 is to the STW what a tricycle is to a Ninja.
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Unread 03-05-2014, 09:54 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Flat Rock, Michigan, USA
Posts: 178
Re: 30-06 vs. 30-378

You talk as if these processes are to occur in a linear fashion.

My suggestion? Keep studying.
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Unread 03-05-2014, 10:32 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Southern United States
Posts: 284
Re: 30-06 vs. 30-378

If you're going to get the same efficiency with the same bullet weight, you'd need a much longer barrel.

Overbore cartridges are much less efficient, but it helps that most overbore cartridges are used with longer, heavier, high BC bullets. A 208-230 grain bullet can use the extra powder in a shorter barrel length than a 150-165 grain bullet.

But adding more powder capacity and much greater powder charges to a cartridge is almost always a situation of demishing returns.
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