The .308 and 7mm08 vs 30-06 and .270 – Updated

Ok, so you don’t have lots of spare cash like me and you reload. A .308 Winchester or it’s necked down cousin the 7mm08 is a highly efficient cartridge to own for hunting or target. Many of us have opted for their larger bretheren the 30-06 and the necked down version in .270 Winchester. Most did this in their younger days like me and shot a box of 20 rounds with a poor recoil pad. That night and the next day your shoulder was not only bruised but in pain. And when it came time to reload them you brain was calling you names including “stupid” among others. Today with the advent of recoil pads like SVL- Simms Vibration Laboratory and Pachmayr Decelerator the recoil is largely cut by 50% so the only factor that adds to the reason to own a .308 Winchester is efficiency, cost of powder and a shorter bolt throw. The power is there, and plenty of it for hunting big game. Today a pound of Powder is around 30 dollars. A further argument for ownership is accuracy. As cartridges go a full cartridge is, in general, more accurate than a less full one. Lets examine a .308 round with a Hornady 150 grain head using Reloader 15 Powder. It uses 45.4 grains to push the bullet to 2700 fps out of a 22 inch barrel. In order to get the same velocity out of the 30-06 you must use 48.1 grains of powder in a longer barrel too 23.5 inches making it more likely that you will need 48.5 grains or so for the same barrel length. There are 7000 grains per pound thus with the .308 you can load  10 more Cartridges for the same velocity and the accuracy is potentially better and the bolt throw is faster and shorter than the 30-06. What about big game? Well for deer and black bear the .308/7mm08 is fabulous and has a shorter range on Moose but the 30-06 and .270 Winchester steps in as a better selection for Moose providing 300-400 fps more than the .308/7mm08 Winchester option out to 100-150 yards but so what, how often are you going to hunt Moose and African game unless you just love the fat side of medium bore as I do. All said and done, the 308 became the cartridge of choice for our Military in WW II, you can shoot faster per second and pack nearly as much energy as the 06. The M1A rifle in .308  is still highly popular at 1000 yards with open sights as a national match course cartridge. I give the .308 and 7mm08 a way thumbs up for hand loaders. The .308 and 7mm08 are at home with African Plains game short of the Big Five but most take the step up to 30-06 and 300 Win for reasons of safety and to have Enough Gun. I used .338 Win Mag and .270 Winchester as a two gun combo in Africa with my son Jason. I did not need the .338 Win Mag for Dangerous situations. Had I taken a lesser firearm than the .338 then Murphy’s Law would have put me in an untenable situation. The most important thing to remember is that shot placement is everything. © 2014

This entry was posted in Big Game Hunting by Ed Hale. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game
such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.