Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2002
Central Minnesota
I was wondering what the maxumum effective range of a .30-06 would be with match grade bullets. Just wondering because I have read in a Sniper book that guys in WWII were using them to 1500 yards and 1000 yards in Vietnam. The rifle is a Winchester Model 70 with a 9X Leupold. Naturally this wasn't big game animals, but I was just thinking/
I'd guess it would come down to a) at what range does the group size go above what is acceptable for the target at hand, b) at what range the impact energy goes below what you consider acceptable for the target at hand, and c) at what range you decided you are not able to reliably compensate for angle, wind, etc. enough to put the bullet where it counts, give the above.

Case in point: I have a 700VS in .308 Win. Assuming ~1000ft-lb is a rought minimum (as in, opinions vary) for deer, the .308 should be able to deliver that level of energy to somewhere beyond 600yds, possible closer to 700. The gun is theoretically accurate enough (1.25-1.5"@300yds) to be maintain an acceptable group size out to 600-700yds (6-7" ). But in the final analysis, I don't believe that *I* at this time am capable of a 600 yd shot on deer w/ a .308, from any position under any conditions. Hopefully w/ a good deal of practice, that might change.

Another thing that ties into the accuracy thing mentioned above is at what range the bullet starts to go trans-sonic. When the bullet starts to drop below the speed of sound, it meets a great deal of turbulence, and accuracy often goes to pot in a hurry. So for a strictly theoretical answer, you could just consult a ballistics chart, and see at what range a given bullet from a given load out of that '06 goes below ~1150fps (roughly speed of sound) and there you go.


My shooting over the weekend may shed some light on your question. I shot the 308 and 300WBY with 155gr AMax bullets. 2800 and 3250fps muzzle vel respectively.

At 1000yds, both were able to connect on a target the size of a sheet of paper. At 1550yds (confirmed with a Wild rangefinder) both were able to stay within a bush under 2ft across(used mil dots to estimate size, so could be off).

Conditions were hot, bright with a light variable breeze (est breeze at 5mph with gusts to around 8mph). Shot off a light bench and normal front and rear rests. 10X scopes were used for both and clicks dialed in for the WBy and hold over used for the 308.

The 300WBY is a P14 with a heavy Douglas barrel and muzzle break. The 308 a Parker Hale with a used match barrel with a heavy sporter contour.

I would not want to be that bush.

Good luck...

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