308 Vs 30-06: Spec & Feature Comparison

When it comes to hunting cartridges, new hunters may find it difficult to choose the right one for them among a wide range of options in the market. If you are too tired of reading reviews in firearm forums, your seek might drop by here with our post today – 308 vs 30-06 : Spec & Feature Comparison. Let’s dive in to tickle your curiosity.

Photo Credit: hyprdyne

308 vs 30-06 Comparison 

In this comparison post, we will pass through the similar side and different side of these items to unclog which is better between them. 

Similar Aspect 

In terms of basic history, both 308 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield rounds are used and improved in the military. These rounds also belong to the top of the most common cartridges (sort of centerfire) in American these days. 

Obviously, they are greatly versatile and outstanding options for large gaming hunting activities. Many shooting newbies suppose that either of these two rounds seems likely to be equally effective for overall purpose utilization. Yet is that indeed true? Or which one is better? We will come to the next part to find out the difference between those.

Different Aspect 

On this side, we will base on portability and practicality, power, accuracy, hunting effectiveness, rifle selection, ammunition availability, and price factor.

Via JHobbs 

Portability and Practicality

As a matter of fact, comparing the .30-06 and the .308 is absolutely a long journey. It is quite hard to get away from the truth that both of these items are physically heavy rounds. Yet, the total volume of ammo that the standard shooter takes along with it doesn’t matter much.

Where the dissimilarity does turn into remarkable is in their length. The .308 round is approximately half one inch shorter than its rivals. Particularly, the .30-06 round reaches 3.34 inches in length, while its competitor is 2.8 inches in length.

The 30-06 Springfield’s longer case makes this weapon heavier with a longer bolt and receiver. This difference might be just some ounces, but that does begin to matter.

More principally, if you are truly a typical hunter utilizing the bolt-action hunting rifle, the long bolt stroke is prone to slow you down approximately a second as it approaches the new round.

In fact, the .308 is indeed an improvement of the .30-06, which appeared after the army found out that a shorter case size might still push a projectile out with the same speed and distance as a longer case round.  

Moreover, a shorter round case indicates that the bolt of these rifles is also short, which saves on weight and production costs as well. 

If you use a bolt action firearm (like an M70 Winchester with a .30-06 and .308 model of the same gun), you would realize that the .308 version shows a faster action. The .308 model is truly lighter, quicker to run, and more reasonably priced.

Recently, many 308 Winchester firearms have been upgraded to a bit lighter stocks and heeded to improve rifle materials. This advancement offers a better choice if you take other shooting gear along with you, like game cameras, walkie-talkies, to name a few. 

Power Factor

Both of these rounds have similar maximum case pressure of up to 62,000 psi. Yet, the .30-06 is equipped with modern propellant permitted to reach approximately 150 fps compared to the version – the .308. 

This power level is really notable, with the majority of projectiles in the range of around 150 to 180 grains. 

However, based on practical situations, the extra energy of the .30-06 just offers it heavier ammunition and more extra recoil. It might seem to be a drawback of the 30-06 Springfield.

Accuracy Factor

The perceived accuracy is one of the biggest causes why the 308 Winchester overshadowed its competitor in the market. The competitive gun shooters gravitate toward the Winchester because hunters using the round have often been more successful on firing ground than with a .30-06 Springfield. 

That doesn’t mean that the .30-06 is an imprecise cartridge. In fact, how precise you reach with your gun would fundamentally be subject to marksmanship more than the kind of caliber and the rifle of your option. Hence, it seems likely that an experienced shooting gamer with the .30-06 will be moderately superior to a skilled hunter with the .308

Regarding the scientific aspect, the velocity of the .30-06 Springfield is greater than the .308. However, the 308 Winchester offers a low level of recoil; thus, it sounds more appreciated with most shooting players than its rival.

In addition, the projectile’s releasing difference between both of these rounds is exceedingly minimal, and they could be precisely shot out up to 1,000 yards at ease.

Hunting Effectiveness

M1 Garand 30-06 <Via Everett Walker>

Regarding this criteria, we can find out the commonality between the two of these rounds: they both are for huge game shooting. Picking either of them often depends on personal experience and preference. 

Some shooters are prone to choose Springfield because this .30-06 round is longer than most others. They could put more gunpowder into .30-06 so that they can be heated quickly, distributing more bash than the Winchester. However, for off-the-rack factory ammunition, there is almost no difference between the two of these rounds.

In general, both 308 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield are equally effective for most animals from pronghorn, deer, elk, and even black bears.

Rifle Selection

On this criteria, the .308 predominates over the 30-06 Springfield. Simply, there is a wider range of rifles for the Winchester than the Springfield, especially when mentioning semi-automatic chambered firearms.

Although there is a moderately equal pattern of models and takes advantage of bolt rifles for both 30-06 Springfield and 308 Winchester, it is obviously undeniably that the Winchester is superior to its competitor for a semi-automatic gun.

Recently, some popular semi-auto guns chambered for the Winchester .308 came into this market, like the FN FAL, M1A, HK G3, the AR-10, to name a few. 

Ammunition Availability

As both the .30-06 and the .308 are extremely common, you will absolutely not have any troubles in seeking ammunition all over the USA, and it is also not tough to get the 308 Winchester all over the world. 

Price Factor

The 30-06 Springfield is often more pricey than the 308 Winchester, simply because its production cost is higher. In comparison, the Winchester 308 is more common than its rival, so it’s also manufactured on a wide scale, which explains why it’s at a lower price. 

In general, you could pay approximately $20 for a .308 pack of 20 shells for the calibers. Thus, a lot of hunters keep preferring them, even in which many edge-cutting rounds have already been launched in the current market.

If you choose the Winchester 308, the cost per pack is around $6-9 cheaper. It sounds likely that you will not save much money, but it will accumulate up the more packs you purchase.

Quick Rundown Of 308 Winchester


  • Suitable for a short action firearm
  • Relatively light rifles in weight thanks to shorter cartridge
  • Moderately more precise at a long-range
  • Quite affordable


  • Cannot utilize heavier projectiles
  • Moderately small powder capacity

Quick Rundown Of 30-06 Springfield


  • Can utilize heavier projectiles
  • Higher velocity
  • Bigger shell casing of bullet weights 
  • Quite suitable for experienced shooters


  • Only suitable for long action rifles
  • Quite heavyweight
  • Less precise at longer distance

Note: Best Scope for .30-06 is good option for 30-06 Springfield.

Final Says

If you have read this so far, we bet you have already satisfied your interest earlier about the review of 308 vs 30-06, and you reached clearly which item is suitable for your requirement.

Apparently, if you are a newbie to this field and have a tight budget, you should prioritize the Winchester 308. If you are a veteran and want to experience much more about this kind of advantageous activity, the 30-06 Springfield will be an ideal option for you. 

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for our next post! See you soon!

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