308 vs 30 06: Difference and Comparison

There is always a threat of war prevailing among various countries or between two countries. To protect oneself, every country keeps a big set of arms and ammunition.

Every country provides its soldiers with guns and bullets so that they can bring glory to the nation. There are various diameters of bullets, and two of them are .308 and .30-06 diameter bullets.

Key Takeaways

  1. .308 has less recoil and is more versatile in the firearms it can use, while .30-06 has a flatter trajectory and is more powerful at longer distances.
  2. .308 is more commonly used in tactical and hunting applications, while .30-06 is popular for big game hunting.
  3. .308 has a shorter overall length than .30-06, which may be a factor to consider for certain firearms.

308 vs 30 06

The case length of the 308 is 2.015 inches. For 308, each cartridge has an overall length of 2.8″. The 308 can be used in quick action. Its case capacity is 58 gm H2O. While the 30-06 has a 2.494-inch case length. Its overall length of the cartridge is 3.34″. Its case capacity is 68gm H2O.

308 vs 30 06

Initially, the .308 cartridge was introduced by Winchester as a commercial hunting bullet. Now it has become very popular in big-game hunting and various other games all over the world.

It is a good choice for short-action rifles. In the US, it is used for hunting purposes, for example, to hunt whitetail deer and black bears.

The bullets of .30-06 were introduced by Winchester into the American army in the year 1906. It remained the official bullet of the American army for the next 50 years.

It was only used as a cartridge in the army’s rifles and machine guns. It is such a powerful bullet that it can kill an elephant in a single shot.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison30830 06
LengthIt is just 2.8 inches long. As a result, it is smaller than the .30-06 bullet.It is 3.38 inches long. It is comparatively bigger lengthwise.
PriceThe price of the .308 bullet is less when compared to the .30-08 bullet as it uses less amount of brass for firing various rounds.The price of the .30-06 bullet is much high when compared to the .308 bullet as it uses more brass per round.
HuntingThe .308 bullet is favorable for hunting small and medium animals but not dangerous animals.The .30-06 bullet is favorable for hunting huge animals like elephants and Crocodiles as the bullet has an extra power that can even kill an elephant in one shot.
WeightThe weight of the .308 bullet is comparatively lesser than the weight of the .30-06 bullet.The weight of the .30-06 is comparatively more than the weight of the .308 bullet.
AccuracyThe accuracy of the .308 bullet is more precise when attacked on a short range.The accuracy of the .30-06 bullet is more precise when the target is far away.
UsageThe .308 bullets are used in pistols and short-distance guns.The .30-06 bullets are used in general rifles and machine guns.

What is 308?

Many people regard .308 as a small .30-06 bullet.

It was used by the American army initially during the second world war. It helps an individual in hunting small and medium-sized animals in North America. They are used by the American soldiers, and it has gained immense glory in the hunting field.

It proved very effective during the Vietnam War. It is also the best seller in the hunter’s market.

It is a fairly big bullet with a fair good amount of penetration, expanse, and stopping capacity. Besides its usage in hunting, it has also proved its efficiency in the military and the police forces.

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The average weight of the .308 bullet lies somewhere between 150g and 180g, but more light and heavy cartridges are available. This cartridge is cheaper when compared to the .30-06 bullet.

The power and strength of the bullet are not as good as the .30-06 bullet since it has a low-velocity advantage.

The military and the police force use .308 more as it has a high ballistic coefficient and it is a short bolt pull. It has comparatively less power and range. Thus it has less recoil than the .30-06 bullet.


What is 30 06?

The US Army used the .30-06 bullet for at least 50 years in the machine guns before it started using the 7.62* 51 mm NATO cartridges. The .30-06 bullets are very useful in hunting big and dangerous animals like Lions, Tigers, and an elephant in just a single shot.

It has much more recoil than the .308 bullet. It is very powerful and has a good range helping it shoot at distant targets.

The power is so immense that it may overkill a deer. It must be only used for hunting giant animals. It has a good amount of length, which is approx 3.38 inches long.

It helps in a wide variety of ethical game animals like a mule, Whitehall deer, and pronghorn. It has very good accuracy and precisely hits the target. It is one of the most versatile forms of cartridge that have been designed for machine guns and general rifles.

30 06

Main Differences Between 308 and 30 06

  1. The .308 bullet is 2.8 inches long, whereas the .30-06 bullet is 3.38 inches in length. This implies that the .30-06 bullet is longer than the .308 bullet.
  2. The .308 bullet is used for hunting small and medium animals. In contrast to that, the .30-06 bullet is used for hunting giant animals.
  3. The .308 bullet is used for hunting as well as by the police force. In contrast to that, the .30-06 bullet is basically used for hunting.
  4. The .308 bullet has a high ballistic coefficient. In comparison, the .30-06 bullet has a lower ballistic coefficient.
  5. The .308 bullet is used in short-distance guns and pistols, while the .30-06 bullet is used in general rifles and machine guns.
Difference Between 308 and 30 06
  1. https://appliedballisticsllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Ballistic-Coefficient-Testing-of-the-Berger-308-155-grain-VLD.pdf

Last Updated : 31 July, 2023

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11 thoughts on “308 vs 30 06: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table is a useful reference for anyone seeking to understand the value of different bullet types for specific purposes

    • Absolutely, the insights provided here are crucial for making informed decisions when using firearms or engaging in hunting activities

  2. It is very interesting to understand the differences between .308 and .30-06 bullets, especially the features and benefits that each offers

    • Yes, for anyone who is interested in firearms, hunting, or military history, this is an important comparison to understand

    • Absolutely, understanding the origins and evolution of these bullet types provides valuable context for their current applications


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