Hunting Bullet Guide – 30-06 Springfield

The 30-06 Springfield is almost 100 years old, it was developed in 1903 but the current dimensions weren’t standardized until 1906. It was originally called “ball cartridge, caliber .30, model of 1906”. You would have to be pretty long winded to tell someone you shot a deer with “ball cartridge, caliber .30, model of 1906”. “30-06”seems to work just fine when telling a hunting story.

S3006X - 30-06 Springfield

  • Ballistic Coefficient: 0.347
  • Product Symbol: S3006XA
  • Description: Delayed, controlled expansion. Deep penetration through thick, tough skin, heavy muscle tissue and bone. For large, heavy game.

Rifle Ballistics

Distance (yds) Muzzle 50 100 200 300 400 500
Velocity (fps) 2800 2540 2295 2063 1846 1645
Distance (yds) Muzzle 50 100 200 300 400 500
Energy (ft. lbs.) 2873 2365 1930 1560 1249 992
Distance (yds)   50 100 150 200 250 300
Short Trajectory (in.)   -0.1 0.0 -1.2 -3.9 -8.2 -14.4
Distance (yds) 100 150 200 250 300 400 500
Long Trajectory (in.) +2.0 +1.7 0.0 -3.4 -8.6 -25.3 -52.3

165 gr. Supreme® Fail Safe®

After serving its time a military round it has become the top sporting cartridge in US history.  The reason for this is versatility and performance.  Excluding Brown Bears in North America and the likes of Cape or Asian buffalo through out the world the 30-06 can handle any game a hunter may peruse.  It seems there are more bullet weights and configurations for the 30 caliber (.308) than there are fish in the sea.  This is also true with factory loads for this fine round.  I’ve even seen boxes of ammunition for the 30-06 at feed stores in West Texas.  This is comforting to know if your 300 miles from home and realize you’ve forgotten your shells.   At the time the 30-06 came along, the hunting world was using such cartridges as the 30-30 Winchester and the 30-40 Krag.  Based on the ballistics, case life, and performance on game of these and other rounds the introduction of the 30-06 Springfield to the hunting world was a real revelation.  Looking at the paper ballistics of the now popular 7mm and 30 caliber magnums one may think the 30-06 is lacking by today’s standards.   Let’s not forget it set the standard.  Having a durable, easy to load case has made it one of the most used cases by wildcatters and ammunition manufactures for new cartridges.  The majority of long and short action standard cartridges we use today are based on the 30-06’s case.  The 270 Winchester, 25-06 Remington, 308 Winchester and even the 22-250 Remington, in a round about way, just to name a few.  Almost every big game cartridge that has been introduced since the 30-06 Springfield, standard or magnum, has been judged off the old 30-06’s performance.  This performance I keep mentioning is no accident.  The cases powder capacity balances well with the 30 caliber bullets giving the hunter an adequate and efficient hunting round.  Combine the bullets frontal diameter with quality construction, along with 2600 to 3000 fps and you have one well-rounded cartridge for hunting.   When loaded with the proper bullet the 30-06 is as suited for Elk as it is White-tailed deer.  Hunters looking for an all around cartridge to hunt many different types of game will be well outfitted with the 30-06.  When you look at trajectory, foot- pounds of energy, and felt recoil the 30-06 meets all the requirements we really need, as hunters, in the real world.  In a hunting situation 300 yards is a long way.  After that judging distance becomes quite tricky at best with out the help of a range finder.  Even if the distance is known other elements such as wind, finding a solid rest, and unpredictable animal movements make shots over 300 yards risky.  No matter how flat or fast a cartridge may shoot.  The load I concocted for my 30-06 consists of a 165-grain Sierra Boat-tailed Pointed Soft Point bullet with IMR 4350 powder.  This load sighted in at 2” high at 100 yards is just 8” low at 300 yards.  Plenty flat enough to keep a bullet in side the kill zone of any White-tailed deer or wild hog.  Carrying just over 1700 foot-pounds of energy at 300 yards it’s plenty of rifle for Texas.  This load fired from a full size rifle (8 ½ -9 lbs.) isn’t exactly comfortable shoot, but recoil is not to bad.  One of the largest deer I’ve ever seen while hunting was taken using this load with little problem.  A big Texas White-tail scoring 165 5/8 B&C points and weighing 185 lbs.  Earlier that same morning I took a 270+ lbs. wild boar.  Dropping him in his tracks without even the slightest squeal.  After taking these big boys, I have the utmost confidence in using my 30-06 anytime anywhere.      

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