A 30.06 is never a mistake or a bad choice for a hunting rifle.
In some cases, the ’06 may be the best choice.
By Leon Pantenburg
Rifle calibers, like everything else, have fads. The current darling of the center fire crowd seems to be something in 6.5 millimeters.
But the 30.06 has the reputation. (Say “aught-six” and everybody knows what you’re talking about). FYI – the buck in the video above was harvested with a 30.06, shooting a 150-grain Barnes X bullet.
One year in Idaho, I made it a point to visit every elk hunting camp I came across. The ’06s outnumbered every other caliber at least five or six to one. Two of my very successful big game hunting buddies carry 30.06s, and they have hunted all over the world.
My experience with the ’06 started in 1978 when I bought a used model 670 Winchester 30.06. The 670 was an economy version of Winchester’s Model 70, and had a hardwood stock, with pressed checking and a matte finish on the metal. At the time, I was in VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) and assigned to the Omaha Indian Reservation in Macy, Nebraska. VISTAs made $200 per month, and it took me a long time to save up the $150 the rifle cost.
But I had to have a ’06 – my intention was to move west eventually and hunt big game. For several years, my hunting battery consisted of three firearms: a Ruger 10/22 .22 caliber rifle; a Mossberg 20-gauge shotgun and the 670. Later, I added a 12 gauge Remington 870 pump action shotgun.
A little history here from Wikepedia: “The .30-06 Springfield cartridge (pronounced “thirty-aught-six”), 7.62×63mm in metric notation and called “.30 Gov’t ’06” by Winchester, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and later standardized; it remained in use until the late-1970s. In 1938, the unstained, 9.8 grams (151 gr), flat-base bullet combined with the .30-06 case became the M2 ball cartridge. The M2 Ball specifications required 2,740 feet per second (835.2 m/s) minimum velocity, measured 78 feet (24 m) from the muzzle. M2 Ball was the standard-issue ammunition for military rifles and machine guns until it was replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO round in 1954.”
I’m partial to Remington 700s. My go-to deer rifle is a 7mm-08 BDL. My elk rifle is a Remington 700 in 7mm Remington Magnum. My favorite hunting partner, my brother Michael Pantenburg, has used his Remington 700 in 7mag Remington on antelope, deer and elk. He loves my 7mm-08 – Mike hunted with it this fall.
This story from the excellent SHTF blog points out a situation where a Remington 700 30.06 proved to be the best choice for a deer hunting rifle. Read the complete story
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