The Timeless Caliber Debate

Here is some intellectual ammunition on the different cartridge families.

3 Likes

Interesting and informative read. :+1:t2:

1 Like

I always look for the 150 grain .30-06 because 1) my .30-06 rifles are older than my grandpa, and 2) I have the original FMs and that’s what they say to use. I had no idea the spec .30-06 was considered an outlier.

2 Likes

My 26" precision comp gun is chambered in 30-06 and I drive a 210 Berger or 208gr Amax at 2800 FPS. I go subsonic 30’ from the steel at one mile (give or take atmospherics) . The US M1 30-06 round (147gr FMJ) was dumbed down to not bend the Op Rods on M1 Grands from the original 220 gr in the very early 1903’s. Somewhere along the line they figured out that most folks can’t hit crap past 500 yards on iron sights and instead of beating the he!! out of people they decided the 147 in a 10 twisted tube was the best.

The 308 was only developed due to increases in performance of smokeless powders and the M-14 did not have Op Rod issues so it could be driven faster. Later developments resulted in M-852 Match ammo which had a 168gr BTHP (NOT FOR COMBAT USE) which worked fine out to 1K yards in the M-14 10 twisted tubes. Fast forward a little more and add Reid Knight’s SR-25 (based on the Armalite AR-10) and they figured out that heavier is better and then developed 118LR in 175gr SMK(Sierra Match King) [The original 118 Special Ball was a 172gr FMJ]. Then they cut the tubes back to 18" in the MK series Navy rifles and discovered they needed a 11.75 twisted tube for max effectiveness especially when suppressed. Unfortunately the gun world went “OOOOOH Magical Military Twist Rate” and everyone and their brother started twisting tubes in 11.75, but in full length full power rifles the twist was better suited to the 150 to 155gr boolits which wasn’t of course military ammo and any varmint hunter could have told them that. For all things 308 and 30-06 10 twisted tubes cover the MOST bases from 135gr to north of 210gr. If you are shooting 220’s or more ONLY consider a 1:9 twisted tube.

Somedays I sit back and look at what just fell out of my head and onto the key board and think I know way too much crap about rifles and then somebody asks me a question about 1911’s :roll_eyes:

Cheers,

Craig6

9 Likes

Good to see another ballistics nerd! I wrote this article a few years ago because you see so many debates on the best caliber without any stats.

1 Like

@Craig6, the op rod bending is a myth. I am a big fan of the M1, and have shot it for fun and competition, and agree with this article regarding the different government loadings of the .30-06.

1 Like

@ChadW you have no idea!

@Brian139 that is an interesting article and observation from the gent and I don’t discount it. That said The number of bent M1 Op Rods I remember seeing in a 5 gal bucket on the Navy Rifle Team Van was impressive considering they were all New, Old Stock NM Op Rods, some of which were replaced as recently as the year before on the same van and given a new spring. That article is a bit more in the weeds than I remember but again I don’t discount it except the boolits being 150gr as I have pulled thousands from military ammo, that said there was quite a bit of spread on individual boolit weights from original ammo so that may have been a contributing factor to me remembering 147gr.

Cheers,

Craig6

1 Like

Good read brother @Craig6 and enjoyed it. Very informative.

Thanks brother.