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This is not meant to be a caliber wars thread, but rather some interesting observations concerning these three chamberings for rifles. When I go to gun stores, based on the chamberings seen on the rifles I see, both new and used, one could reasonably conclude that .270 is king. The undisputed king at that. The .308 is a somewhat distant second. The .30-06? Isn't that some old school cartridge they used back in the war or something?

Seriously, .30-06 rifles are not impossible to find in stores around here, but they're not nearly as numerous as .270 and even .308 rifles.

Now let's go to my range. Hmmm.... There are lots of guys shooting bolt guns here, and what are those big, long brass cases I see there? Those are .30-06? Yeah, it's just anecdotal, but at the range where I shoot, when you see a bolt action rifle, chances are that the guy is shooting a .30-06. After that, it tends to be magnum clamberings, but no single one of those seems to dominate. The .270 and the .308? I have no idea why, but they just don't seem popular. When someone is shooting .308, it's more than likely out of an M1A or an AR.

Again, this is just anecdotal, but I find it kind of interesting.
 

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Seems these troll threads always start with "not meant to be a caliber wars" ... but always end up in a knock down, drag out verbal fight.

I don't know where you came up with a .270 being "king" ... it's a good cartridge but there are many others that are more deserving of the "king rating" ..... one of which you mentioned. What cartridge is always use as a point of comparison??? .... the 30-'06. The 30-'06 was standardized back in 1906 .... a mere 110 years ago and is still one of the best selling cartridges (and rifles) in the USA so it must be halfway decent. It has been used in military rifles and civilian rifles and has been chambered in just about every type of action available to include lever, pump, bolt, single shot break barrel, and semi-autos. 270 Win .... mostly just bolt actions. Guess where a 270 Win came from? Yup, a necked down 30-'06, which is also the parent case for several other excellent cartridges like a 25-'06, 280 Rem (7mm Rem Express), 8mm-'06, 338-'06, and others. The 308 Win was designed as a short 30-'06 .... same basic performance as a 30-'06 only in a short action cartridge.

Popularity is area specific .... depending on the size of the game that is hunted. The 30-'06 is very popular nation wide because it will kill any animal in the lower 48 states. When you put all bias aside and just deal with pure exterior ballistics, just about all non-magnum rifle cartridges are designed to be very effective out to 250 yards. You can argue about what cartridge is the best ... or worst, but in the overall scheme of things, there really isn't that much difference in long action non-magnum cartridges from 6mm (.243) to 7.65mm (.308).
 

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The 30-06 was started in WWI, then was replaced by the .308. The .308 is supposed to be similar to the 30-06 in power, but with newer powder it can be a smaller bullet. The .270 is probably the most powerful of those three, from what I have seen and read. Today, I'd say the biggest reason for shooting one over the other is cost. Supply and demand. If one or two are more popular, the third will be less expensive. All three are good rounds. I'd say the .270 is probably better at keeping it's power at longer distances, but that's just what I've read. I'm no expert by any means, just curious how those three rounds compared myself, so that's what the research I read showed.
 

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Even though I really liked my .270, I would have to say the 30-06 is the top gun in the bunch.
What other caliber lets you load from 110 grains to 220 grain bullets?
Also, the attached article shows a rating of the popular hunting calibers where the 30-06 etches out the other two: Flattest Shooting Hunting Calibers | The Hunting Gear Guy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't have a dog in this race at all. I guess all I was curious about is why there are so many .270 rifles in gun stores, but shooters at the range seem to shoot mainly .30-06 rifles.

When you get involved in caliber debates in gun shops, they tend to be about how much more manly the .30-06 is than the .308. As for the .270, I tend to read a lot of glowing reports on it from outdoors writers about what a good hunting caliber it is.
 

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The .30-06 is a mature caliber that is versatile as well. I like it. Lots of info,guns chambered for it and ammo is easy to find everywhere. Works for me..........well that and I love my M1 Garand. :D
 

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zaster, Remington had a 30-'06 load called an "Accelerator", which was a 55gr .224" bullet in a Teflon sabot. It cranked about 4080 fps .... so you could say from 55 to 220gr.

ditto1958, It's obvious .... 270s in the stores, 30-'06s at the range .... nobody is buying the 270s. One of the long gone gun magazine writers ... Jack O'Conner (Outdoor Life fame) was a 270 Win freak .... he probably did more for promoting the cartridge than the rest of the shooting community combined.
 

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Is it possible you have it backwards? Maybe there seems to be more .270 Win rifle at the stores, because the 30-06s sell faster, so there's less supply.
 

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I think all 3 are excellent rounds, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.

BTW, 30-06 was NOT made for WW1 in 1915 -1918. It was designed in 1903. Teddy Roosevelt was the major person pushing for a new military caliber after the 30-40 craigs poor performance in Cuba, PuertoRico, Guam, and the Philipinnes. The 1st design was the 30-03, ( 30 caliber, 1903). It had a standard 220 grain round nose bullet that ran about 2300 FPS. . Teddy took it hunting and came back and said it was horrible for accuracy and long range. The designers went back to the drawing board and in 1906, came back with the boat tailed spitzer bullet design in 150 grain and ran about 2700 FPS, designated the M1906. That was accepted and the rifle already designed was the model 1903 Springfield, now 30-06. ( 30 caliber, 1906.) The origional 1903 - 30-03 rifles were then re-barreled because the 30-03 had a longer neck on the casing.

The 308 was designed in 1952 .. And although basically the same power as 30-06, a smaller round meant you could also carry more. A big consideration for the military. Nato considerations were also involved.
270 or course, is nothing more than a necked down 30-06. I use both. But 270 does have a better bullet ballistic coefficient.

Ive never bothered much with the .308. Although I have owned them. One in particular, a 700 remington with a bull barrel was an absolute tack driver, but no better or worse than my 1903 Springfield's. IMO, they are basically the same round as far as capability. I also have 270's that are just as accurate.
And I have shot groundhogs with the 55 grain 30-06 accelerators that Iowegan mentioned. It blows them in half. But IMO, thats about all they are good for.
 

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The thread title actually made me cringe.
All three of my least favorite rounds listed out of three.
There are variations of all of these that just do everything better. Look, I just like odd things!
 

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Love these kind of discussions and the link below is the best logical explanation I've found so far on the subject of which is better. To me the author did a great job.

Myth Busting Big Game Calibers

As far as availability the local sports stores have all 3 in stock in various weights 99% of time. I have M77RL in .308 and No. 1 International in .270 so have some experience with 2 of 3 cartridges. My go to is the .308 as I've found the article to be true in that the .270 and 30 06's additional recoil don't really justify the additional power in usual hunting situations. Remington use to make the Accelerator in 55gr .308 too but I do recall seeing some reloading data for it. I got it for turkey hunting as it was at the time a whole lot cheaper than new shotgun.
 

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My 2¢..

Personally, all of my center fire rifles are .308 - KISS. It was an easy choice; it meets all my balistic needs, reduce costs for reload setup and I own a M1A, X-Bolt and BLR all in 308 (and I know the 7.62 story too).

When I walk around the racks in my local area it's rare to see new 270's and even more so for 30-06. 308 just dominates. I see more .223 and 6.5 guns than 270 and certainly 30-06.

Yes, there's been 100 years worth of development into loads and bullets into the '06 but there is a logically thread against the longer action it and the 270 requires (weight but more so for improved accuracy with the shorter/stiffer action).

The Garand was built in 30'06 because the then Chief of Staff, Douglas MacArthur, saw war coming and didn't want two different types of ammo mucking up the supply needs.

They were going to use a new round: 276 Pederson developed by/for the alternative to the Garand. But MacArthur wizely stepped in.
 

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I take my .270 to the range about as much as I take my 7mm Mag. Which is every couple of years they are my hunting guns. I just take them to the range occasionally to make sure I am still in tune with them. I have not adjusted the scope on my .270 in at least 30 years.

Now my Mauser 30-06 with peeps and set triggers is most fun to shoot and goto the range every few months.
 

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My 2¢..

Personally, all of my center fire rifles are .308 - KISS. It was an easy choice; it meets all my balistic needs, reduce costs for reload setup and I own a M1A, X-Bolt and BLR all in 308 (and I know the 7.62 story too).

When I walk around the racks in my local area it's rare to see new 270's and even more so for 30-06. 308 just dominates. I see more .223 and 6.5 guns than 270 and certainly 30-06.

Yes, there's been 100 years worth of development into loads and bullets into the '06 but there is a logically thread against the longer action it and the 270 requires (weight but more so for improved accuracy with the shorter/stiffer action).

The Garand was built in 30'06 because the then Chief of Staff, Douglas MacArthur, saw war coming and didn't want two different types of ammo mucking up the supply needs.

They were going to use a new round: 276 Pederson developed by/for the alternative to the Garand. But MacArthur wizely stepped in.
I love reading this kinda stuff to. Actually, the .276 caliber won all the trials in 1928, which is interesting. But I agree with MacArthur. During the great depression money was an issue, and it would seem pretty dum to change with 15 years of stockpiles.

That decision to keep the 30-06 also kicked of a massive rebuilding program on the 1903 Springfield rifles that served in WW1. Which the rebuilding program went from 1928 to 1931. The barrel year is stamped right behind the front sight. I have a very low numbered Rock Island Arsenal 03 that was rebarreled in 1930. Alot of the early Springfield and Rock Island 03's you will find were re barreled & rebuilt during that time. Although I also have a early Springfield MFG that was not rebarreled.. Its also so low numbered, built in 1903, that the heat treatment was an issue, so Ive never shot it. Since it was NOT rebuilt, Im guessing it probably didnt see the trenches of WW1. Most used WW1 rifles would see severe rifling wear from the steel jackets and corrosive primers used then. As far as the 1903's production,, whether built in 1903 or 1941, they are absolute tack drivers, or at least all of mine are.
 

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This got me thinking about where these calibers are used for deer hunting. Where I live today the 30-30 and deer slug rein supreme while the 30-06 is "frowned upon" because, like a certain bunny, it keeps on going and going. There could be a housing track just a couple of hundred yards from where you are hunting.

Growing up in Idaho, the 30-06 was king. The size of "mulies" (Mule Deer) and the distances involved in hunting needed a powerful cartridge. Having said that, I have brought down deer using my step-mother's .270 but I don't own one and probably never will.
 

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This got me thinking about where these calibers are used for deer hunting. Where I live today the 30-30 and deer slug rein supreme while the 30-06 is "frowned upon" because, like a certain bunny, it keeps on going and going. There could be a housing track just a couple of hundred yards from where you are hunting.

Growing up in Idaho, the 30-06 was king. The size of "mulies" (Mule Deer) and the distances involved in hunting needed a powerful cartridge. Having said that, I have brought down deer using my step-mother's .270 but I don't own one and probably never will.
Just my observations in Central PA.

Deer hunting was a pretty big thing up to about 2000. In the 1960's,70's & 80's, 30-06 was king. The holy grail was to have an 1903 springfield in 30-06. Mostly all my friends who deer hunt have either a sporterized 1903, or sporterized 98 mauser action rebarreled for 30-06 or 270. I love em both and have several of each.

But one must keep in mind that there were literally millions of 30-06 military rifles in household every where before 308 was ever invented. Guys also brought them home from WW1 and WW2. In the 1950's you could buy a 1903 w/ammo, out of Life magazines or Popular Mechanics for about $20. And when I grew up, it seemed like everyone had one. And those rifles are still being used today, and didnt just disappear.

Although some use it for hunting, the .308 seems to lean more towards the tactical / range shooting crowd at this time. And why wouldnt it? Because of its continued military use, like ,223, you can get that caliber in just about any type or configuration you want. So it is growing in popularity more than 30-06 or 270, which both seem to be slowly dying out since our deer hunting population is also dying out. ( kids nowadays dont care about hunting) I look for .308 to take over some day. Lets face it, they are building & selling more rifles in 223 and 308 than any other calibers.
But as I stated earlier, I wont knock any of the three, as all are great catridges IMHO. Just sharing my own observations & opinion on it.
 

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As of 2014, the top 10 list of most sold ammo included 4 rifle rounds that were not 22LR.

The 4 rifle rounds were .223, 5.56, .308 and 7.62x39. .223 was the number 2 overall seller behind 9mm. 5.56 was number 5 right after 22LR........ .308 and 7.62x39 were 8-9 respectively.

Now this is only the list from one major ammo seller, as overall sales numbers seem to be about impossible to find
 

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As of 2014, the top 10 list of most sold ammo included 4 rifle rounds that were not 22LR.

The 4 rifle rounds were .223, 5.56, .308 and 7.62x39. .223 was the number 2 overall seller behind 9mm. 5.56 was number 5 right after 22LR........ .308 and 7.62x39 were 8-9 respectively.

Now this is only the list from one major ammo seller, as overall sales numbers seem to be about impossible to find
Thats sounds about spot on to me from what Ive seen and heard from LGS's.
With AR sales at an all time high, I would think 223 & 5.56 were 1 & 2.
Center fire pistol, I would go with 9mm as no#1. 45 Acp no#2.

Price & availability dictate the trends.
 
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