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Accuracy of .308 versus .30-06?


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#1 ratassassin

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 06:31 PM

Came across this article which states that historically, .308 Winchester was found to be two or three times more accurate than .30-06 in competition. http://www.snipercou...curacyfacts.aspHas it been your experience with these two calibers that .308 is inherently more accurate than .30-06? I have two heavy barreled and very accurate .308's that will shoot .50 MOA fairly consistently. My Rem 700 .30-06 is a sporter and I'm having a heck of a time getting better than 1.5 MOA out of it, even with a Jewell trigger and HS Precision stock and using 130, 150, 165 and 168 grain handloads with quality .308" dia. bullets (AMAX, Nosler Ballistic Tip, Barnes TTSX), Varget, IMR 4064, IMR 4350 and H4350. Because of the differences in barrel weight between my rifles and possibly barrel lengths (.308's are 24" and .30-06 is 22"), it's not really a fair apples to apples comparison. But I've got almost 500 rounds down the tube of my .30-06 now and I'm starting to think I should just accept that it's at best a 1.5 MOA rifle. What do you think? What has been your experience with accuracy of .30-06 versus .308? I need a reality check, please.Thanks,Mike

#2 Desert Fox

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:18 PM

Our last 1K competition at the Desert Marksman in Palmdale, the lone borrowed '06 rifle kick our butts. Two 6.5-47 Lapua shooters finished a distant 2nd and 3rd respectively. Even the scores of Magnum shooter with their 338 Lapua did not even come close. What that tells you about the cartridge. An '06 rifle that is put together well can be very competitive.
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#3 Kephers

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:36 PM

I think a lot of that plays into the rifle/build/shooter/ammo. Dont think one can say the accuracy of a particular round is better than the others. They will all end up where the shooter puts it. You just need to do your part to get it from the barrel to the target.
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#4 D-Man

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:02 PM

It is the same diameter bullet and even basically the same weight. The 06 tends to be about 200 fps faster then the .308 which translates to a bit further range. Really it comes down to the shooter, the load, and the rifle.Darren
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#5 Single Six

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:08 PM

I tend to agree with the article, but that's based on reading and research, not experiece. To me, for my purposes, and most people's, the difference doesn't make much difference. Also, I expect there have been technological advances since the '70s that might help the '06 keep up in some instances. Like you said, to be sure, you'd have to compare apples to apples....and trying to build 2 rifles exactly the same would be tough/impossible. Maybe one rifle? Build a .308, see what it will do, then rechamber to '06 and see if it does as well...if that's possible? I would think the chamber could just be cut deeper, but I don't know. Wouldn't be perfectly fair to swap barrels entirely.This makes a lot of sense to me...I've been reading up on .45ACP reloading, and some powders in some amounts do not work well due to the volume/uniform ignition issue.

#6 ratassassin

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:34 PM

Thanks, gents. I know it's the same bullet and only 100 to 200 fps more speed for an -06, so I figured it should be capable of the same accuracy. But I'm just not seeing it. Desert Fox, do you know what that competitor's rifle specs were? Action? Heavy barrel? Any idea what load was he using? Bullet? SMK 175 gr? 185 or 190 gr? Bergers? Scenars? I know Gary Eliseo built a tube gun around a .30-06 Rem 700 receiver that was reported to be accurate. http://www.6mmbr.com/gunweek091.htmlGuess I'll just keep at it.

#7 ShooterJohn

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:41 PM

I have a Remington Model 742 which is a semi auto in 06 that I bought new in 1968 and it shoots factory 150 grain bullets to 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards. It was my very favorite deer rifle that I also hunted coyotes with. Don't ask me how it does it but it does.

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#8 ratassassin

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 09:52 PM

Thanks, gives me hope.

#9 DirtyDave

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 10:43 PM

One cartridge is not more accurate than another. Taking the human element out of the equation, accuracy is in the rifle. You said it yourself that your .308's are heavy barreled target guns and your 30-06 is a sporter. Why are you surprised at the result? You answered your own question.I would be confident with a 2 MOA shooter out to 300yds on Big-game. Most of your shots while hunting will be inside 200yds.1.5 MOA is fine for a hunting rifle. 1 MOA or less would be a GREAT hunting rifle. Thats about all you can ask out of a thin barreled, light weight rifle.
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#10 tawnoper

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:45 AM

One cartridge is not more accurate than another.

While I believe you can build just about any cartridge to be a decent shooter, there are certain cartridges that are more inherently accurate then others. The PPC is very popular with the benchrest crowd...gotta be a reason that they would pick a cartridge that isn't available most anywhere and components are pricey...if they could get by with a standard produced round.I do agree that accuracy main component is the gun. That is why a custom rifle costs so much, accuracy costs money. Handloading can help tighten up groups in a over the counter rifle, but even then they cant compete with a custom job.Given the same amount of money to build two exact rifles, one in .308 and the other as a 30/30 you are going to have two different class rifles accuracy wise.308 is a great round as is the time proven 30-06.
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#11 rdsii64

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 12:33 PM

Tell George Farr that an .30-06 won't shoot. He shot 75 10's in a row with an 1903 Springfield and issued ammo from the 1000 yard line at Camp Perry. He lost by one bullet in the shoot off to a Marine Corps Sgt. That shoot off between these two is the reason they have an x ring now and use the x count to break ties. a 30-06 is plenty accurate.

#12 Hipshot Percussion

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 01:03 PM

Accuracy is such a relative term with so many factors envolved that any given rifle/ caliber will shoot depending on all of those factors. The 30-06 and the .308 have proven themselves over the years and to me personal preference and experience would dictate which too choose. I have seen expensive rifles that wouldn't hold a decent group at a 100 yards for no one or load...... I have also seen cheap rifles no one would have, out shoot the most expensive rifles made. There are so many variables to take into account no one rifle or caliber is the answer for everyone. Bottom line here is can you hit your target in the spot you want?

#13 tawnoper

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 01:59 PM

In all honesty accuracy is not a mystery or a luck of the draw type thing, it can be enhanced and controlled to a greater extent through maintaining a higher degree of tolerance. I do agree when reloading there are almost infinite variables, but when you are trying to square up an action there are no variables...only acceptable tolerance.When you are dealing with production based rifles yes, you can and will have discrepancies between two seemingly identical rifles, but they usually fall within the manufactures tolerance range. So yeah, you may get lucky and have one that is a bit truer or built a bit tighter than another seemingly exact replica. Production based guns are built with some pretty liberal tolerances compared to a custom built but they have to to keep pricing down.I think people confuse accuracy with a gun that shoots the occasional 1/4" group but for the most part prints 3/4" on the average (and that means 1 shot fliers that open the group). I kind of equate it to that old carnival game where you shoot the star out of the paper...shoot at a target enough times you're bound to have a nice group in there somewhere. Custom guns can and will print 1/2" groups and better with boring consistency. Even when I let friends shoot one of my customs they usually print some of the best, most consistent groups they ever have.The main reason accuracy costs money is tolerance. Custom barrels are held to a much higher degree of tolerance. Squaring up an action, chambering, and bedding the rifle are all done with a higher degree of tolerance. I work in machining; when I have a customer come in and want a quote on a part one of the first things I look at is the tolerance. The tighter the tolerance expected, the higher the price is going to be.
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#14 ROOSTERSGT

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:10 PM

I'd have the rifle stock / barrel "bedded" and then see what happens.

#15 GSH

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 07:35 AM

Sometimes it's just the bullet, my 300 Win mag doesn't like Speer Grand Slam 165 grain bullets, I could not get a tight group, ok for 200 yd and under but that was it, put a Nosler 180 partition in it and it will shoot a quarter size group. It could be that you haven't found the "bullet". I've also had this barrel hot and it didn't affect the accuracy.

#16 Leonten

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:06 AM

I must be one of the lucky ones. I bought a used Remington 700 ADL in the mid '70's chambered for the 30/06. Later I found out that the rifle was manufactured in November 1965. The only thing I had the gunsmith do was lighten the trigger and install a rubber recoil pad. I bought a few boxes of Remington ammo and the reloading dies & components. The factory ammo got between 1/2 to 1 inch 5 shot groups. Once I had fire formed the brass I neck sized them and started working up a load. I used IMR 4064, CCI 200 primers & Hornady 150 grain flat bottom spitzer bullets. I started my loads 10% below maximum, and increased each load 1/2 grain until I got up to maximum. With each step up in powder weight, the groups kept getting smaller. Finally, by the time I got to maximum I was getting 1 ragged hole on the target. In the mid '90's I was dating a girl that wanted to hunt, so I took her out to the range and had her shoot the '06 with some factory ammo (I needed more brass). She followed all advice about squeezing the trigger, breathing etc. Several of the other shooters knew it was her first time shooting a hunting rifle and also commented that she appeared to be shooting well. Then I had her change to a new target. While she was doing that I told everyone "Now I'm going to have her shoot the good stuff." After she took her 3rd shot, she noticed everyone had stopped shooting and they all had their spotting scopes trained on her target, with a few standing behind her looking. She looked at me and asked "What's going on?" I replied "You have 1 hole on the target."A few years later l got her a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 308. I had the gunsmith lighten the trigger, free float the barrel and glass bed the action. She said it kicked too much with both factory ammo & maximum reloads. So I lowered the power charge a bit to 300 Savage velocities. The results, many 1 hole groups. And at 200 yards she would complain if a group was bigger than 1/2".So, as far as I can tell, they both give excellent accuracy.

#17 Frank

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:07 PM

I must be one of the lucky ones. I bought a used Remington 700 ADL in the mid '70's chambered for the 30/06.

That makes two of us then... on all of it. (true story)Since that rifle, I had owned 2 or 3(?) more 30/06's, but do not own any today. Anyway, like your ADL, mine was also very accurate. I actually posted a target on here recently that I still had from back then. Don't recall the size of the group, but it had One hole made with 4 shots at 200 yards. The 5th shot was just outside the one hole.The 308 MAY be more accurate. But for hunting, Why bother? LOLFrankp.s. Besides, it's a REMINGTON.. what else needs to be said? :1087: p.s.s You also must be OLD, like me LOL

#18 dangerranger

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 06:43 PM

One of the reasons for the heavy barrels is they resist heat buildup. Try on a cool day firing one warmup shot, and then one for the target with 10 min cooling time between each shot . I put a white towel over it between each shot to keep the sun from warming it and to keep it evenly cooled. It takes nearly an hour to shoot a 5 shot group but it will give you the kind of info you need to help identify the problem. It may be as simple as finding a tight spot that only shows up when the barrel is warm.My dad was a competitive shooter from the late 40s till the early 60s. his hunting rifle was a sport weight 06. He only shot 1 shot groups with it tho. His thought was that it only mattered where the first shot went. He was an amaising shot even into his 80s. but he was not very good at teaching. So I had to learn most of what I know on my own. Good luck , and you will get it. DR

#19 ratassassin

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 08:36 PM

Thanks, guys. It may just be that my particular .30-06 ADL is just not that accurate. Nice to know it's possible, though. Best I've gotten is a .85" group with handloads at 100 yards; most groups are 1.25" to 1.5" with some out to 3". But I do enjoy shooting this rifle and will keep at it. Eventually, I'll probably have the action blueprinted and put a new barrel on it.

#20 Leonten

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:51 PM

Here's some things that may help. I bought a Ruger ultra light in 257 Roberts and immediately had it re-chambered to the Ackley improved. Factory loads (fire forming) gave me 6 - 8" groups. I shrugged my shoulders at that as the cartridge looks completely different after fire forming. I wanted to use 120 grain bullets, but only got 4" groups with them. Here's some of the things I tried that worked. I cut a piece of deer leather and inserted it under the barrel about 1/2" from the front of the end of the stock. Groups shrank to about 3". I bought a gauge so I could check the maximum seating length. When I had the bullet .050 from the lands & groves, groups shrank to about 2". (I was really frustrated at this point). Then I checked the rate of twist, which was advertised at 1 in 10". It is actually 1 in 10 3/4 inches. I started using 100 grain bullets and groups were about 1 inch. Then I switched from boat tail bullets to flat base and the groups got a little smaller. I finally (and this is about 2 years and over 400 shots later) found the bullet this gun likes. Nosler 100 grain Ballistic tips. When I switched to them I was getting groups under 1/2 inch occasionally. But I'd get an equal number of groups a little over 1/2 inch. I started neck sizing (only) and now it regularly shoots under 1/2 inch groups, but once in awhile a little over 1/2". I did have a hand gun that was giving me fits and found out that the rear scope mount screw had worked its way loose. So, check out that.

#21 ratassassin

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:10 PM

Excellent suggestions, thanks. It sounds like the road I'm on. I will keep tinkering and trying out new approaches. It's fun although I'll probably have the barrel shot out by the time I figure out how to make it shoot. It's a good thing I like shooting this gun.

#22 Leonten

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:13 PM

If you let the barrel cool down between shots, it'll take longer to shoot it out. When I go to the range I usually take 2 - 3 rifles. Keep the barrel in the shade between shots. If you can't keep it in the shade make some kind of cover for it.




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