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Thread: 30-06 and the 300WSM Revisited

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    Default 30-06 and the 300WSM Revisited

    As many things we debate there has been an on going debate over the 30-06 vs the 300WSM. First they are both very good but I believe one is better and the other is not needed unless you just like being different and trying something new and don't want a 100 plus year old cartridge.

    When the 300WSM first came out I decided to get a Browning A-Bolt but waited a while and then took the leap and topped it with a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40mm.

    Good looking rig, felt good in my hands, pretty fat short cartridge with all kinds of promises behind this cartridge in the Magazines and media. So I said to myself, "this ought to be some humdinger of a round especially after I develope a load for my rifle that it really likes.

    Well the process started and I began to work up loads some bullets and powder worked well and as expected some did not and then a few loads showed excellent promise. I really tweaked my load an a 165gr bullet was giving me consistent 3/4' - just at a 1/2". Now this took a great deal of powder, time, much less money and moments when I thought I would give up and I am one who has loaded for a long time.

    During this time I had broken my chrony and it was not working right so I bought a brand new one and that is when I was absolutely surprised to say the least. When I put factory ammo through my rifle I was not getting the accuracy on a consistent bases as I was getting with my hand loads. But my hand loads on the other hand were not getting near the velocity of the factory load even though I was at the charge limit of the powders I was using to get accuracy.

    In short my 30-06 in my Mark V was not only way more accurate over 9 three shot groups than the 300WSM but was faster than my hand loads out of my 300WSM. Not only that my 30-06 hand loads 60gr IMR4350 was doing 3060fps and was right there with the factory ammo of the 300WSM.

    The 30-06 is easier to load for, uses less powder to get there and was more accurate and I have many more bullet choices than the 300WSM especially with the heavier bullets. I can find factory ammo for the 30-06 any where ammo is sold and in more variety than colors in a crayon box. I the 300WSM a good cartridge? YES!! Does it really bring something new to the table? NO!!! Does it even fill a vacant space? NO!! Is it better than the 100 plus year old 30-06? NO!!!! Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    Some things are just good from the beginning, they always are good, and they improve with time due to technology and the 30-06 is that very cartridge. When you put it in new modern designed rifles with new steel and add the new powders, primers and bullets to choose from the 300WSM really in my opinion (and I said my opinion) is not any thing new nor a replacement of any thing either.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    You have to look at the entire package, i.e. rifle and cartridge. If you prefer the lighter more compact short actions, then the 300 wsm offers something new.

    Personally I'll take my .308 ove a 30-06 any day, I can live with giving up 100 fps for a more compact rifle.

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    Default Well said

    Beartooth, I agree with your evaluation of the 300WSM and have reached the same conclusion of all the short mags to their comparable long action cartridges in the respective calibers. After a considerable investment of time and money with quite a few different platforms, IMO the short mags just do not really fill a necessary void in my battery and I have divested all. Still, it is sure interesting to have choices.


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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timber Smith View Post
    Beartooth, I agree with your evaluation of the 300WSM and have reached the same conclusion of all the short mags to their comparable long action cartridges in the respective calibers. After a considerable investment of time and money with quite a few different platforms, IMO the short mags just do not really fill a necessary void in my battery and I have divested all. Still, it is sure interesting to have choices.

    Timber Smith, I have after trying three of them divested myself of all of mine also. As you said, "sure interesting to have choices".
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    You have to look at the entire package, i.e. rifle and cartridge. If you prefer the lighter more compact short actions, then the 300 wsm offers something new.

    Personally I'll take my .308 ove a 30-06 any day, I can live with giving up 100 fps for a more compact rifle.
    Yes the entire package should be considered. My Mark V custom in 30-06 weighs 6.5 pounds and with scope, rings, bases it weights 7.8 pounds total.

    It is extremely accurate, well balanced, 54 degree bolt allowing quick cartridge follow up, very fast velocity for cartridge (my favorite be 165gr at 2973fps using 59grs H4350). I like the 308 also having a Rem 700 that I sold to my brother and owning a Sako TRG Custom in 308 (which my 30-06 out shoots) I prefer the 30-06 over the 308 just in bullet choices alone much less other reasons, yet the 308 has many positive aspects as well, making it also one of the finest .308 cartridges ever devised.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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  6. #6
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    Personally we have a soon to be completed .308, 30-06 and 300 WSM in our household. It is splitting hairs to say which is better. They all do a great job. My son likes the 06, I like the 300 WSM because of its lighter weight, and the .308 (once it is finished) will be my wife's.
    Tennessee

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    Well, for hunting purposes there isnt much difference and the availability of cheap ammo and all gear for the .30 06 makes it a great choice. Anything you buy for a WSM will cost a lot more which is a bummer.

    But for serious shooters the extra 200 fps in most loads that the WSM gets is nice, especially in the heavier bullets. And for accuracy purposes you wont find much difference in any loads or rifles at 100 yards. That distance is only useful for getting sighted in. Long range shooters really like the .300 wsm and find the case really accurate. And I know it doesnt mean anything but I really have gotten to love the short fat bullets for everything from loading to carrying around. I cant stand the long ones anymore. But I would never say a bad word about the .30 06 because it is really hard to beat for the average hunter.
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

  8. #8

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    I guess I am average hunter so the 30-06 fits me well of course so does my 7mmSTW, 300Wby, 22-250 and 375Wby not to mention the others including the ones my wife really does not know about . But I am always finding myself running to default (30-06) when it comes to push and shove. Really, 30 cal. cartridges are just cool and can do so much.
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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    The only 300WSM factory ammo I have chronied was the Winchester 150 ballistic tip that went 3300 FPS. I dont have any 30-06 load that comes close.

    I have found the 300WSM to consistantly be 200 FPS faster than my 30-06's and the 300Win mag to be another 150 fps faster.

    Good thing is they are all good.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  10. #10
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I used to own rifles that were chambered for these cartridges and if I was to get another one, it would be a 300 wsm in a lightweight rifle that handled and balanced well.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    The only 300WSM factory ammo I have chronied was the Winchester 150 ballistic tip that went 3300 FPS. I dont have any 30-06 load that comes close.

    I have found the 300WSM to consistantly be 200 FPS faster than my 30-06's and the 300Win mag to be another 150 fps faster.

    Good thing is they are all good.
    That was mighty fast for 150gr bullet and that certainly would reach out there and touch something or should I say slam something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    As many things we debate there has been an on going debate over the 30-06 vs the 300WSM. First they are both very good but I believe one is better and the other is not needed unless you just like being different and trying something new and don't want a 100 plus year old cartridge.

    When the 300WSM first came out I decided to get a Browning A-Bolt but waited a while and then took the leap and topped it with a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40mm.

    Good looking rig, felt good in my hands, pretty fat short cartridge with all kinds of promises behind this cartridge in the Magazines and media. So I said to myself, "this ought to be some humdinger of a round especially after I develope a load for my rifle that it really likes.

    Well the process started and I began to work up loads some bullets and powder worked well and as expected some did not and then a few loads showed excellent promise. I really tweaked my load an a 165gr bullet was giving me consistent 3/4' - just at a 1/2". Now this took a great deal of powder, time, much less money and moments when I thought I would give up and I am one who has loaded for a long time.

    During this time I had broken my chrony and it was not working right so I bought a brand new one and that is when I was absolutely surprised to say the least. When I put factory ammo through my rifle I was not getting the accuracy on a consistent bases as I was getting with my hand loads. But my hand loads on the other hand were not getting near the velocity of the factory load even though I was at the charge limit of the powders I was using to get accuracy.

    In short my 30-06 in my Mark V was not only way more accurate over 9 three shot groups than the 300WSM but was faster than my hand loads out of my 300WSM. Not only that my 30-06 hand loads 60gr IMR4350 was doing 3060fps and was right there with the factory ammo of the 300WSM.

    The 30-06 is easier to load for, uses less powder to get there and was more accurate and I have many more bullet choices than the 300WSM especially with the heavier bullets. I can find factory ammo for the 30-06 any where ammo is sold and in more variety than colors in a crayon box. I the 300WSM a good cartridge? YES!! Does it really bring something new to the table? NO!!! Does it even fill a vacant space? NO!! Is it better than the 100 plus year old 30-06? NO!!!! Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    Some things are just good from the beginning, they always are good, and they improve with time due to technology and the 30-06 is that very cartridge. When you put it in new modern designed rifles with new steel and add the new powders, primers and bullets to choose from the 300WSM really in my opinion (and I said my opinion) is not any thing new nor a replacement of any thing either.
    I am interested to know what reloading formula you were using. All of the books that I have (I havnt put the cronny on mine yet) show it to be around 300 fps faster than the .06

    I have tighter groups at 200 yards with my wsm than I ever had with my .06 too. Not that I dont like the 30-06, its one of my favorite guns, but I see the place that my wsm holds staying in my gun cabinet for a long long time.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    I am interested to know what reloading formula you were using. All of the books that I have (I havnt put the cronny on mine yet) show it to be around 300 fps faster than the .06

    I have tighter groups at 200 yards with my wsm than I ever had with my .06 too. Not that I dont like the 30-06, its one of my favorite guns, but I see the place that my wsm holds staying in my gun cabinet for a long long time.
    I load my 30-06 to the same pressures that the 25-06 is loaded and the 270 is loaded because I am using a modern rifle not some 80-100 yr old rifle which is the reason (old rifles) why the 06 is loaded to 48,000 pounds and so you would see the difference of 200-300fps difference because it is compared to the 48,000 pounds. You will not see that difference if it is loaded to pressures that modern rifles take using the 06 case.

    My 06's out shoot in group size not only at 100, 200, 300 but also 400yds and all but one of the seven 06's was not as tight at 200yds as my 300WSM but still at 400 grouped better.

    And before you ask pressure gages were used not only by me but to other members of our shooting club to test the pressure of our loads to make sure we were not exceeding the pressure limits of the 25-06 or the 270 when we developed loads for our 06's. 60grs of IMR4350 in my Mark V averaged over 3000fps. So in using your logic, since my 06's out shot my 300WSM I see the place that my 30-06's hold staying in my gun cabinet for a long long time.
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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Well it is an interesting conundrum, but for me at least, it would be the 06.

    I decided (with three boys busy growing up to be shooters) that my future battery of rifles had better be restricted to a few cartridges, or at the least, to a few calibers, lest I spend a fortune on various brass, bullets, primers, powder etc. For me the choice was easy……….. .22, 30 and 375. Having said that, I have endeavored to obtain rifles chambered in those calibers to help limit the varied and different bullets one must keep on hand for reloading purposes. Respective to this thread is my choices of 30 caliber rifles, all of which so far, are chambered for either 30-30 Win or 30-06 Spring. I currently have several of each and they all shoot pretty good. Truth be told, the only REAL difference between them, or any 30 cal round for that matter, is the effective range for which they should be used. I am confident that any one of my 30-30’s would be every bit as effective on a moose at 50 yards as a 300 WSM , H&H, WM, or Weatherby. After all………. Dead is dead right? And if you honestly don’t believe that a 30-30 with a 170 grain partition is adequate for moose at 50 yards then you’re an exceptionally poor shot, fool or ill informed.
    That said, the 30 cal magnums are without doubt superior in long range performance, but up here in AK, I have yet to need a rifle with more that 300 yards performance. In fact, all but one of my game shots has been inside of 150 yards and the one long shot was simply because I was too dang cold and lazy to get closer…………..

    I got nothing against any of them, and for those that prefer the WSM I say, more power too ya (pun intended) but for me, the availability of brass, and reasonably priced used rifles chambered in 30-06 far outweighs the performance gains of the WSM, especially since my experience at least, shows that the extra fps, is not really needed here. Perhaps if I was back in the plains gunning for antelope or mulies I would have a different opinion.

    As far as accuracy goes, I have no real point of reference as I have never owned, nor shot one of the WSM.s, but any one of my 30-06’s will shoot 5 into less than 2” all day long, and often half that or even less on occasion………. Just how accurate do my hunting guns need to be? After all, I have yet to run across a moose or caribou with a target branded onto its side…………. And I sure cant tell the how many inches up or back of the leg my cross hairs are on. I just go 1/3 up and slightly behind the shoulder………. Really, anything that will put a bullet in a paper plate at any range will suffice. Naturally with larger groups, your margin for error increases, but really, just how accurate do you need to be? I think an 06 that shoots to within 2” at 100 yards is pretty darn good for any hunting I am likely to do.
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    At equal pressure, the 300 WSM is a bit more than a 30-06. Case capacity tells us that. All in a short action, too boot.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    At equal pressure, the 300 WSM is a bit more than a 30-06. Case capacity tells us that. All in a short action, too boot.
    Yes, at equal pressures you are correct and as you said a bit more than the 30-06. A short action though does not equal the only possibility of a light rifle because the action is short. My Mark V 30-06 Custom weighs 6.5 pounds with a 24" barrel and on top that just because someone has a short action does not mean that he can chamber another round any quicker. The 54 degree bolt on my Mark V is very fast much less the ability of the shooter to chamber a round. Since most of my kills in my life were done with the first shot as it should be, the difference in chambering a round in a short action and a standard action has not been recorded any where in hunting history as the reason for saving a man's life in a dangerous situation.

    Now let me say here that the 300WSM is here to stay even though some say it is not going to make it as I earlier even assumed. But so is the 30-06 here to stay and if times get hard for rifle companies economically, I bet it is the 30-06 that will survive and not the 300WSM.

    They both have fans and they both are good cartridges found in many great platforms. Of course I think that when all comes to push and shove the 30-06 is better when all things are considered. Now that is my opinion and I understand that as I hope you all understand it is only an opinion. Who knows, like most of us in our lives at some point even this opinion might change.
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  17. #17
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I think this just comes down to an individual gun having a fast barrel.

    Comparing a 30-06 to a 300 WSM should always be a push. The 300WSM is always faster. If it is not then it would come down to one being loaded up or the other down or the individual rifle having a fast or slow barrel.

    The fastest 30-06 load I have is with a 160 grain gs custom bore rider bullet and 62 grains of H4350 at 2995 FPS.

    Accuracy always has to do with individual barrel and not the cartridge.IMHO.

    --

    My 300 WSM always outpaces my 30-06.

    --

    I am curious about how the pressure testing was done. Did you get a base measurement for your gun and then go up from there?

    The right way to do it is to take a factory cartridge and check the pressure in your gun. Lets say Federal 180 grain load is 48000 in your rifle and the load is known to be at the 48000 pressure level, you feel that you can load to 55000 so it is easy enough to load to 55000 by working up. What if your guage reads 44000? Then by the time you load up to 55000 you are then 4000 over pressure.

    The guage can only be applicapple to each individual gun and cannot be used to compare many rifles unless the same identical batch load is shot in each rifle to get a baseline. This is not possible between different calibers.

    Or did you put the guage on a 25-06 and get 55000 pressure and then put the guage on your rifle and then load it to 55000 pressure which will not work.

    Once the guage is taped to the barrel it has to stay there until testing is done or the numbers will not be right.

    --

    Of course case life will also tell you how hot your load is.

    I have read alot of Jack O'Conner and what I remember is his loads were very hot. I tried one of his loads in a 270 I had and I could not go that hot. I had to load down. But it does show you can work hot if you do it smart.

    My favorite 30cal is the 308 win so all these faster cartridges are just a cherry on top for me.... they are all good.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  18. #18
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    this quickload shows us two things.

    00.0 108 60.00 3062 3434 63706 9163 99.3 1.136 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!


    The velocity matches yours and the pressure is under 65000psi.

    Properly working up to this of course and all should be well. Also I think 60 grains is what Hodgdon shows for a max.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    I think this just comes down to an individual gun having a fast barrel.

    Comparing a 30-06 to a 300 WSM should always be a push. The 300WSM is always faster. If it is not then it would come down to one being loaded up or the other down or the individual rifle having a fast or slow barrel.

    The fastest 30-06 load I have is with a 160 grain gs custom bore rider bullet and 62 grains of H4350 at 2995 FPS.

    Accuracy always has to do with individual barrel and not the cartridge.IMHO.

    --

    My 300 WSM always outpaces my 30-06.

    --

    I am curious about how the pressure testing was done. Did you get a base measurement for your gun and then go up from there?

    The right way to do it is to take a factory cartridge and check the pressure in your gun. Lets say Federal 180 grain load is 48000 in your rifle and the load is known to be at the 48000 pressure level, you feel that you can load to 55000 so it is easy enough to load to 55000 by working up. What if your guage reads 44000? Then by the time you load up to 55000 you are then 4000 over pressure.

    The guage can only be applicapple to each individual gun and cannot be used to compare many rifles unless the same identical batch load is shot in each rifle to get a baseline. This is not possible between different calibers.

    Or did you put the guage on a 25-06 and get 55000 pressure and then put the guage on your rifle and then load it to 55000 pressure which will not work.

    Once the guage is taped to the barrel it has to stay there until testing is done or the numbers will not be right.

    --

    Of course case life will also tell you how hot your load is.

    I have read alot of Jack O'Conner and what I remember is his loads were very hot. I tried one of his loads in a 270 I had and I could not go that hot. I had to load down. But it does show you can work hot if you do it smart.

    My favorite 30cal is the 308 win so all these faster cartridges are just a cherry on top for me.... they are all good.

    You are right that in all case the 300WSM will out run for sure the 30-06.


    We checked the three rifles with guage taped using Winchester super x ammo and then continued to work up to what the book said for IMR4350 then checking it along the way. The Mark V allowed us to get to 60grs of IMR4350 and we were over 3000fps. Same factory loads and handloads were fired in three different guns to get a standard or base line.

    Let me say that the 30-06 is not a 300WSM and I am not saying that. They are not a fair across the board comparison. It is apparent that my Mark V does have a fast barrel because the Savage nor the Ruger reached the velocity that the Standard Weatherby Mark V reached. I am not saying that 30-06's in general can keep up with the 300WSM. Should have made that clear from the beginning.

    In fact after all of this discussion I am not sure what I am saying except that I like the 30-06 better than the 300WSM
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  20. #20

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    BT

    Do you just like typing to type?

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