History of .30-06 Ammunition
The .30-06 was adopted in 1906 by the U.S. Army to keep pace with the changing technology in firearms and ammunition. This cartridge was the platform upon which the U.S. military would base its’ primary battle rifles on for the next fifty years. The .30-06, although born for battle, was quickly adopted by civilian shooters as well.
The Spanish-American war revealed major differences in the Army’s rifles and those of other countries, in cartridge and caliber.The .30-40 Krag, the predominant military cartridge of the time, was being outpaced by higher velocity, longer reaching spitzer pointed bullets that were able to retain accuracy and energy at much further ranges.
From this need arose the .30-06, a product improved version of the .30-03. This cartridge, designated the M1906 was in .30 caliber, with 150 grain bullet traveling at 2,700 feet per second. The M1906 was designed to routinely engage targets to 1,000 yards, but had a maximum range of 3,400 yards with an approximately 45 degree muzzle elevation.
The M1906 and the variants that followed, served as the primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for the U.S. military until it was replaced by the 7.62 NATO cartridge in 1954.
While in service, the .30-06 was chambered in some well known rifles, such as the: M1903, M1917 and M1 Garand. The M1917 and M1919 machine guns, and the BAR are also among the weapons that used the .30-06. Interestingly, the military also had some of its’ Gatling guns re-chambered to use the .30-06 as well.
The civilian market has responded very favorably to the .30-06, it can be found in at least one rifle from virtually all of the major manufacturers. It is offered in all of the common rifle actions and can be had in a pistol configuration as well.
It remains as arguably the most popular hunting round in the United States and will easily take all game in the Continental U.S.. The precision shooting community has also embraced the .30-06, using it from the ranges at Camp Perry to local matches, the .30-06 fits the needs of most shooters.
The .30-06 can be found in a wide variety of loadings. Commonly available bullet weights range from 100 to 220 grains with bullet types running the gamut from FMJ and SP to Exergy. The major manufacturers are sure to offer the newest hunting and match bullets in .30-06, as the demand for this ammunition has been consistent for over 100 years.
With its’ continued popularity and easy access to ammunition, the .30-06 will likely remain as one of the most common choices among hunters and sport shooters looking for long range accuracy and power.
Discuss 30-06 ammunition by adding your comment to the 3 comments below or by asking a new question
- Tom said: "I have not gotten a chance to fire any of the ammo yet due to weather. I foresee no problem with it. Much cleaner than what I am used to from old military ammo."
- ttopta said: "I have used this ammo for 2 years now, every deer i shot droped on the spot, last year I shot at a doe about 100 yards away, and she dropped right there, when i went to check on her, there was another deer dead in its tracks right behind the one i targeted, two deer with one round, pretty awsome ammo if you ask me. WILL NEVER HUNT WITH ANYTHING ELSE!!"
- John said: "Thanks to Serbia for helping the folks in Uzice to manufacture what we need and my friends at ammo.net many thanks to deliver what we need at a decent price. I trust this ammo will perform as expected. Just wishing it was packed in clips ready to fire up."