30 cal questions .........

Oct 29, 2002
Im looking for a new target rifle and am focusing on a heavy barreled 30-06. Then I got thinking about the Sendero model 300 UM, or a Heavy WSM. Is there anything that any one of these rounds can do that the other cant? Besides speed, would there be any advantage to going to a harder recoiling flatter shooting rig if the range will be set? Thanks for your thoughts.

Target shooting's primary goal is utmost accuracy. A proven cartridge such as the .308 Win is one of the best around for that purpose. A flatter (faster) shooting cartridge is less affected by wind but it also recoils more and is therefore more difficult to hold for utmost accuracy. The fact that it drops less is of no consequence because, as you say, the range is set and set accurately. How hard the bullet hits the paper is also a moot point as they will all easily punch a hole through it!

Another factor to consider with target shooting is the amount of shooting you will do during a single session. Recoil has an accumulative effect and you don't want a hard kicker that will hinder your accuracy and enjoyment as the shooting progresses. An excellent article by Bruce Gray, "Hit at 1,000: Zen and the art of long-range tactical competition" would be of great help to you. It appeared in the Jan/Feb 2004 issue of Rifleshooter. It is extremely informative. Enjoy!
Marksman, just so you know the .30-06 isn't the most accurate .30 you can get. I would recommend a .300 Win Mag. That way you have a highly accurate target rifle out to abou 1200 yards and you can use Lapua brass. As far as the WSM it depends on how long a barrel you want. The WSM will only do you any good with shorter barrel like a 24." How far out do you want to shoot? There is always the trade off between faster rounds and barrel life. Its just the price of performance and how important going far is to you.
Look over the rules of the class you are shooting in. If ranges are moderate to say 600yds, then the 308 is the ideal choice. If you are going further or can choose any caliber, there is little reason to use the 30cals even out to 1000yds.

My guess is that there is limit to rifle weight like 16lbs or whatever. Unless, you can use muzzle brakes or build 40lb monsters, the heavy bullet 30cal that do work wonderfully, will beat you to a pulp in one session.

Target shooting is about hitting a target not how much abuse you can tolerate. Recoil will reduce your ability to shoot well, that is why smaller is better.

For moderate ranges, the 6BR or 260 will be ideal. Only shoot a 30cal if the rules mandate it, then the smallest case you can get away with and still launch the highest BC bullets.

Ironically, the only two other centerfire rifles I own are a 6mmbr and a 260. The reason Im considering a larger caliber is that I like knowing I have to potential to bring the downrange energy to hunt with also. Besides that, I own a garand and just love that 30-06 round for natalgic reasons. Thanks for everyones input.
30.06 in a modern rifle without military /machine gun chambering ( with a lot of respect for the 1903 and M1A.. ) and load at 308 WIN pressure level can deliver velocity close to light 300 win mag

accuracy is very good , the short action /shortcase fashion ,and 308 avaibility have with time make the 30.06 less popular BUT that still stay a great cartridge just need a good chamber design with tighter base and match throat

in other great cartridge classic 300 Wea is not to bad with match chambering

good shooting

MSU, I have hunted with 303 or 30 cals so I understand your feeling. I have a very soft spot for the '06. wonderful at 'normal' hunting ranges.

For me, wind is my biggest enemy. At ranges beyond 300yds, the mid weight 30cal bullets are not very aerodynamic. My solution was to go to the Gibbs. A great fun wildcat (performance similar to the WSM/RSAUM). Unfortunately, still not the best at bucking wind at mod long ranges.

Recently built a 6.5-06 and shoot 140gr SST. WOW, what a difference. hits as hard or harder because the bullets have such a high BC and SD, they simply slow down less. The dents on my gongs are significantly bigger and deeper then with my 30-06 and 165gr SST. Wind drift is about 1/2.

For ranges out to 600yds, I am happier with the 6.5-06. They both have enough energy for deer but if you can't hit the animal, what's the point?

I am now working on a 270 and 150gr SST simply because I want my hunting rifles to use off the shelf cartridges. I will be able to get 270 ammo anywhere in North America. Ballistics should be very similar to the 6.5-06.

If you feel that the 30cal is the way to go, then I would lean towards the WSM or win mag as a min if you want to go to ranges beyond 300yds. With a 178 or 180gr SST or BT, should work very well and buck the wind adequately. The '06 is simply too small to deliver the vel.

OK, don't laugh, what is a 6.5-06? I have never heard of this calibur.

Am I hearing that the .280 is a better longrange calibur (to 1000 yds) than the .308?

Am I correct that it shoots faster, and flatter, but does not have the knockdown power of the .308

Why doesn't Remington make a varmit in that calibur? I have read that varmit hunting is the ultimate longrange hunting, but both Savage and Rem make their varmits in .308...why? why not a .280?
I think one of the biggest reasons the 280 isnt offered as a varmint rifle much is due to the long action it requires. One nice thing about the 308 is of course the short action and its ability to keep a barrel shooting very accurately after being fired many thousands of times where as many other cases burn out barrels much quicker.

I am very interested in tying the 280 AI. I also hear it is as accurate as the 308 and IF used with the right bullet, can have less drift. The draw back is less barrel life.

Just my.02
The 6.5-06 is simply a 30-06 or 25-06 case necked to use 6.5mm bullets.With a 142 SMK it will give 3050 fps in a 28 inch barrel and good accuracy.

I own both the 308 and the 280 Rem. The 308 is a Remington PSS (great rifle), and the 280 is a like new 40-x I picked up for song.

Yes the 40-x is in 280 Rem. cal, and it is also a bolt action single shot. This reciever is made on a "short-action". Don't have to worry about long actions with a single shot. And it's also a left handed rifle, as that suit me even better.

So yes. Remington does make a short action 280. I'm looking at it right now.
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