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Thread: Caliber question for new rifle

  1. #1

    Default Caliber question for new rifle

    So I am purchasing a new rifle next Saturday. I think I have finally found something that fits (physical and financial). I had my mind set on .30-06 but the model I am looking at also offers a .308. I am looking at the Ruger Hawkeye SS. This will be first "large" caliber rifle for caribou and maybe moose. I am 5'2 (woman) so some of my concern is recoil (and accuracy). I know there are alot of factors about .308 vs. .30-06. For some reason the place I am looking, the .308 is about 1" smaller, but both have 22" barrel.

    It seems either .308 or .30-06 will do the job. My next rifle is probably several years away, so this one has to be the all around gun for a while.

    In the end I might be over thinking this...Thanks for the help!

  2. #2

    Default Good choice either way

    You have chosen two excellent options. I started with a .308 a number of years back, then tricked out a 30-06 as my end-all be-all rifle, and have been carrying a host of others like 338WM, 6.5 Swede, etc for a while. I am tonight headed out to check out the new scope for the old .308 and build some handloads for it to make friends again, as I have come full circle. For everything except brownies, I think the .308 is great. Be confident that either way you have chosen well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Cal

    I would agree with the last note, I will be getting my wife a 308 cal mainly do to the recoil. I do believe in proper bullet placement so either will work for you. The 30-06 has a wide range of bullet weights to choose from with a bit more power behind it.
    The bottom line on all of this is, if it punishes you to shoot it you will not go out and shoot it and when you do, You will not shoot well at it.

    Good luck T

    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    For your criteria I'd pick the .308. Loaded with 165 or 168 grain TSX's it will cleanly take anything that you will encounter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Alberta, Canada


    I agree with the rest. Either will do what you want it to, but the 308 is a little more friendly. It also has a bit better natural accuracy. As has been mentioned, a rifle you enjoy shooting is a rifle you'll shoot well, and that has a lot more to do with success than caliber does.

    Have fun!

  6. #6
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Kachemak Bay Alaska


    I like both.
    The 30-06 offers a couple advantages if you live in Alaska.

    1. More common. A poll done here last summer showed the 30-06 and 338 Win Mag had 66% of the market for hunting rifles. You can get ammo and reloading stuff ANYWHERE.

    2. Heavier bullets. The 30-06 will let you load heavier slugs. Up to 250 grain. The short neck and case of the 308 won't let you get away with that.

    There is really not that much difference in recoil.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member

  7. #7
    Member MARV1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Stick with the .30/06, my honey shoots one and likes it. The wife of one of my best buddies has had a .30/06 for several years and takes a moose every fall with it. Accuracy is right there with the .308 and I like the better punch it has over the .308.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  8. #8
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Both are good rounds,I would guess the 308 on a short action will weigh a bit less than the 06 which may do away with some of the recoil advantage when shooting like loads/bullet weight.

  9. #9
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Grass Lake Michigan


    You can always put a limbsaver recoil pad on the 06' and knock down the recoil to next to nothing. Mine feels like shooting a 243. I put it on the ole boat paddle style ruger m77.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Take your pick. the 308 vs 30-06 decision is one that is suceptible to overthought - they are very similar in effectiveness. Pick one and go!

  11. #11

    Thumbs up 308 Winchester, good choice..........

    When the 30-06 first became a major player in the hunting fields it's ballistics were not as good as those currently available for the 308. Winchester. The powders and bullets we have today are much better and so is the .308. Get a Kimber .308.

  12. #12
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!

    Default either or....... doesnt matter

    it dont really matter here wether its 308 or -06 any store you happen by will stock both.............. I am sure of it.

    for me the 06 gets the nod because you can always load down, or use the "managed recoil" loads but realistically the difference is so slight between the two that I would not hesistate to use either for an all around AK round.

    With the 308 you might need to get about 15 to 20 yards closer to get the same energy as the 06.............. fine....... just be a better hunter and get closer, or just dont worry about it and aim small and hit small and it will all work out just fine!

    my Wife had the same worries and we went with the 260 Rem. I love it and so does she, but I cant recomend it as it seems to be a dieing breed and loaded ammo is hard to come by. I guess if I were you, I would go with the 06 if the price was right, but would take a 308 if it were a bit less expensive. really.......... you just cant go wrong either way.

    good luck and let us know what you decided on!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  13. #13

    Default Wife loves her '06

    My wife started with a 7mm-08. She really wanted a larger gun for black bear but was a little worried about the increase in recoil. She now has a Rem. 700BDL ( left hand) 30-06 as well. The stock has been shortned to fit her and has a very good recoil pad. She LOVES it. The recoil doesn't bother her (she aint a big girl). I cant tell you how many rifles I (we) have but this one is the most acurate. It worked for her on a Cook Inlet bear. You can shoot light loads to practice if you want also. Put a good pad on it and you will be fine. Either one will work. The main thing is putting the bullet where it needs to be.......Better yet, buy BOTH!

  14. #14
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Delta Junction AK


    The .308 is one of the best cartridges out there in my humble opinion. I switched from an '06 to a .308 in 1990 and never looked back. On logical animals (carribou, moose, black bear, goats, and what not) its fantastic. I'll second the notion for a Kimber .308- I've had one for 8 years and several others as well. Their Montana is a trim and lightweight number and is about the perfect rifle for the cartridge. Don't overlook the 7mm08 either- particularly at a good deal but my preference is .308.

  15. #15

    Default Caliber not an issue

    Chalk up another for either caliber. I am partial to the .308, and it will probably be a bit more friendly to shoot early on to a newer rifle owner, but since either round will do what you want them to do, your primary concerns sound like affordability of ammo and firearm.

    Whichever option will be friendlier to your pocket book on initial investment and which local ammo prices will allow you to practice shooting regularly, go with that.

  16. #16


    Either one would be good. The '06 does give you a heavier range of bullets/ammo to choose from, though. With either, have the stock cut to fit you and have a Limbsaver pad installed. Recoil should be no problem with that soft pad. A gal I know, who is smaller than you (5' and 95lb), uses a 300 Win Mag as her primary gun in worldwide hunting.


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