The .30-06 Springfield, commonly referred to as the “.30-06” or “thirty-ought-six,” is a highly versatile and time-tested centerfire rifle cartridge that was introduced in 1906 by the U.S. military. Developed as a standard cartridge for the military’s bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles, the .30-06 Springfield quickly gained popularity among civilian shooters and hunters due to its excellent long-range capabilities, effective terminal performance, and widespread availability.
The .30-06 Springfield features a rimless, bottlenecked case and utilizes a .308-inch (7.62mm) diameter bullet. The cartridge offers a wide range of bullet weights, typically between 150 and 220 grains, with muzzle velocities ranging from 2,700 to 2,900 feet per second, depending on the specific load and bullet weight. This versatility allows the .30-06 to be tailored for various applications, from hunting to target shooting and competition events.
One of the primary advantages of the .30-06 Springfield is its high ballistic coefficient and sectional density, which contribute to a flat trajectory, excellent wind resistance, and deep penetration capabilities. These characteristics make the cartridge well-suited for taking down a wide variety of game, from deer and antelope to elk, moose, and even African plains game, at extended ranges.
While primarily known as a hunting cartridge, the .30-06 Springfield has also found a place in long-range target shooting, competition events, and as a popular choice for military surplus rifle enthusiasts. The cartridge’s performance can be further optimized with the use of modern bullet designs and propellants.
Factory-loaded ammunition for the .30-06 Springfield is widely available from numerous manufacturers, offering a variety of bullet types and weights to suit different hunting and shooting applications. Additionally, handloaders can find an extensive selection of .308 caliber bullets, brass, and reloading data to customize their ammunition according to their specific needs and preferences.
In summary, the .30-06 Springfield is a versatile and time-tested cartridge that provides hunters and long-range shooters with a reliable, accurate, and effective option for various applications. Its flat trajectory, powerful terminal performance, and wide range of bullet weights have earned it a place among the most popular and respected hunting cartridges in the world.