In his glorious handbook, “Cartridges of the World,” Frank C. Barnes describes the .30-06 Springfield with the form of reverence normally reserved for faith, mother’s cooking, and secret looking spots.
“The .30-06 is undoubtedly essentially the most versatile, helpful, all-around large recreation cartridge out there to the American hunter,” he says. “For a few years, it has been the usual by which all different large recreation cartridges have been measured.”
The 7mm Remington Magnum, in contrast, he describes as merely, “a wonderful long-range, large recreation cartridge.”
Most American hunters can perceive the distinction in Barnes’ perspective in direction of these two calibers. The .30-06 is an absolute legend. After successful two world wars, it shortly grew to become certainly one of America’s hottest looking cartridges, and it’s been used to take nearly each recreation animal on the continent.
But when something can unseat America’s favourite cartridge, it’s the 7mm Rem. Magazine. Regardless of Barnes’ lukewarm endorsement, the 7mm Rem. Magazine. is a powerhouse in its personal proper and it has grow to be more and more widespread since its introduction in 1962.
Placing nostalgia apart, we wish to know which caliber is a more sensible choice in your subsequent large recreation hunt. In relation to ballistics, shootability, and flexibility, which caliber emerges victorious?
7mm Rem. Magazine. Ballistics vs. .30-06 Springfield Ballistics
In a head-to-head footrace, the 7mm Rem. Magazine. has the .30-06 beat—however simply barely. Utilizing bullets of the identical weight, the 7mm Rem. Magazine. is normally 100 to 200 feet-per-second (fps) sooner on the muzzle than the .30-caliber tablet. At shut ranges, this added velocity probably gained’t make a lot distinction in a real-world looking state of affairs. Each calibers can push a 150- to 165-grain bullet about 3,000 fps on the muzzle, which is at all times devastating at ranges within 200 yards.
The 7mm Rem. Magazine. normally begins to tug away at longer ranges. Usually talking, the 7mm is loaded with bullets with increased ballistic coefficients, which permits it to shoot flatter and preserve velocity at longer distances. That 200-fps benefit on the muzzle can flip into 500 fps at lengthy vary, which interprets to a major distinction in knock-down energy.
However what about once we match bullet varieties? Federal’s Trophy Copper line, for instance, encompasses a 150-grain 7mm transferring about 3,025 fps on the muzzle, whereas the road’s 165-grain .30-06 travels at 2,800 fps on the muzzle. At 500 yards, that 225 fps distinction has truly shrunk to 176 fps, and each calibers have retained sufficient velocity to reliably develop.
However at 600 yards, the .30-06 has reached a velocity too sluggish for dependable growth (1,800 fps) and has dropped about 86 inches. The 7mm, alternatively, solely drops 72 inches at 600 yards and remains to be travelling above 1,800 fps at 700 yards, making it a more sensible choice for long-range work.
Advocates of the .30-06 will argue that the older caliber could be loaded with heavier bullets (as much as about 220 grains), which provides it the sting on heavier recreation at nearer distances. Barnes makes precisely this level when he dismisses the 7mm Rem. Magazine. as “an open-country plains or mountain cartridge, reasonably than a woods or brush quantity.”
This can be a truthful level, and I’d go along with the .30-06 for animals like moose beneath 200 yards. However the heavy bullet argument was more practical 30 years in the past. With all-copper bullets, a 20- or 30-grain weight distinction issues lower than it used to. It nonetheless issues, however hunters over the past decade have confirmed that glorious looking bullets within the 140- to 150-grain vary are greater than able to taking the most important North American recreation.
7mm Rem. Magazine. Shootability vs. .30-06 Springfield Shootability
Shootability describes how snug a caliber is to my shoulder and my pockets.
As a magnum cartridge, the 7mm Rem. Magazine. has a status for producing stiff recoil, particularly in light-weight looking rifles. That status is warranted. In accordance with Chuck Hawks’ recoil desk, the 7mm Rem. Magazine. produces about 20 foot-pounds of vitality, which, he factors out, is sufficient for many shooters to develop a flinch.
The .30-06 produces an identical recoil impulse, however it’s barely lower than the 7mm.
Ammo availability and price go to the .30-06 as properly. Each calibers are widespread, however Federal lists 35 forms of .30-06 and solely 22 sorts of 7mm Rem. Magazine. The most affordable 7mm Rem. Magazine. from Federal prices $1.95 per spherical for a field of 20 whereas the .30-06 is just $1.30 per spherical for 20. For high quality looking cartridges, the .30-06 can also be $5 to $10 cheaper for a field of 20. This is without doubt one of the simpler matchups I’ve needed to name within the Caliber Battle collection.
7mm Rem. Magazine. Versatility vs. .30-06 Springfield Versatility
If we have a look at the vary of bullet weights generally chambered in these two calibers, the .30-06 is extra versatile (however barely). Federal gives .30-06 choices starting from 125 grains to 220 grains, and ammunition could be discovered with bullets starting from 100 grains to 250 grains. Bullets within the 100- to 130-grain vary can be utilized for varmints and predators, 150 to 165 grains for deer, antelope, goats, sheep, and black bear, and 165 to 220 grains for elk, moose, and brown bear.
The 7mm Rem. Magazine., in contrast, is chambered by Federal in bullets between 140 grains and 175 grains, and different firms load 100-grain projectiles. This vary is good for medium to large recreation, together with all of the animals listed above.
The .30-06 additionally barely edges out the 7mm Rem. Magazine. once we have a look at forms of firearms out there in these chamberings. Each calibers are overwhelmingly chambered in bolt-action rifles, however the .30-06 may also be had in Remington’s Mannequin 7600 pump and Browning’s BAR semi-auto (to not point out the M1 Garand).
Technically, the .30-06 wins the flexibility battle. However when it comes to real-world utility, this contest may rattling close to be referred to as a tie. Apart from a number of outliers, the vast majority of hunters will use these calibers in bolt-action rifles to pursue the identical medium to large recreation class of animals. However, if I’ve to decide on a extra versatile caliber, the winner is the .30-06.
And the Winner Is…
In final week’s caliber battle, I gave the nod to the .308 Win. over the .270 Win as a result of I appreciated the .308’s versatility and shootability. I may make that very same argument right here, however I’m not going to. For many hunters, I don’t suppose the .30-06’s different good factors are sufficient to outweigh the 7mm Rem. Magazine.’s ballistic benefit.
There are caveats to that. For those who’re going after very giant recreation at quick distances, the .30-06 is the best way to go. Additionally, in the event you take the time to seek out high-quality, high-BC .30-06 cartridges, the 7mm’s benefit shrinks. But when I’m recommending an enormous recreation cartridge to a brand new hunter for all kinds of recreation at each quick and lengthy distance, I’m going with the 7mm Rem. Magazine.
Total Winner: 7mm Rem. Magazine.