Caliber question for rifle build

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by G22inSC, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. G22inSC

    G22inSC Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    I want to build a 20" "heavy type" barrel for Eastern woods use as a deer gun and bench rifle. Should I go with a .308 or 30-06? I want something a little different and do not known anyone with a short barrel 06. Maybe there is a reason for that. I am a little concerned about the muzzle blast. Do you think it would be much greater than the standard ole .308? Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. anachronism

    anachronism Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    For a 20 in. barrel, I'd go with the .308. The 30-06s strong suit is heavy bullets, and a 20 in. barrel is too short for effective use of the slow-burning powders necessary for 200 grain happiness. Most long range 30-06 types favor 26+ in barrels. Mines just under 28 in.

  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    .308, IMO.

    There is no real advantage to a 30-06 in such a short barrel. Actually, I'd recommend a .308 even if the barrel were a bit longer. The shorter action may be an advantage if that reduction in OAL is meaningful to you. It should also be more rigid and potentially more accurate, at least in theory.

    For the non-reloader there is more quality target ammo available for the .308. Also lots of inexpensive target ammo.

    I'd only consider the 30-06 if I wanted maximum performance in a non-magnum rifle. The 06 will give you 100-150 ft/sec more velocity depending on barrel length and bullet weight. For the use that you mentioned, a 100 ft/sec won't make a bit of difference.

    Both cartridges have a history of accurate performance.
  4. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    Definitely the 308 in that short of a barrel. If the '06 then use really fast powder.
  5. Lightvarmint

    Lightvarmint Guest

    Go with the .308 and if you get down my way (Goose Creek), you can try some 180 Aluminum tipped ones. They work great out of the 308 Wichita pistol. Just make sure you get a barrel twist (nothing slower than a 10") that will allow you some flexibility with the advent and deveoping high BC movement.

    On the short barrelled 06, HK made some for a while in their HK940 series and they had a "K" suffix (HK940K) on their shorter models.

  6. tackb

    tackb Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    I shoot a 20" remington and get 2650fps from a 168 amax easily , I've taken red deer in scotland at 520m drt with no problems and the amax seems to kill very well at these velocitys. I also agree that there is more and better 308 factory than pretty much any other calibre.

    There is a good reason the .308 is as popular world wide as it is......

  7. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004
    Ever consider the new 338 Federal? The larger bore will allow you higher velocity with same weight bullets and longer barrel life. May not be up to BR matches but it would be far more effective on any game animal, especially with the new lighter weight 338 cal accubonds.

    Just another option to dirty the waters!!
  8. rocky_lange

    rocky_lange Well-Known Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    I hunted with a 20" 308 last year and took 3 deer with it. AR10 even. I also had a Husqvarna with a 20" barrel in 30-06. I liked the Husky, but it wasn't the greatest with the short barrel.

    So my first choice would be a 308. Second choice, if you feel the need for speed, would be a 300RCM. The cartridge is designed to deliver magnum performance in a short action just like the WSMs, but will do it out of a shorter barrel, like the 20" you are looking at. Third would be a close look at the 30TC. 30-06 performance out of a short action. I don't know how it would do with a short barrel though, all the TC Icons come with 24" barrels.

    I would like to see DPMS chamber ARs in the RCMs as well as the the 300RemSAUM. An AR10 in 338RCM, how cool would that be? I know ArmaLite is now or will be soon offering an AR10 in 338 Federal.

    Just my thoughts.
  9. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    There is such little difference between the 308 and 30-06. The 308 is a better round for short barrels due to the less powder used. It is inherently a better designed case, The 30-06 would be a slightly better choice if you were going to have a long barrel and plan on shooting the heaviest bullets. If you plan on anything less than 200 grain, the 08 will be fine.
  10. Lightvarmint

    Lightvarmint Guest


    I imagine with a little attention, one could be made to shoot fairly well.... Or, so I have heard....