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Thread: 30-06 vs 308 which is best to cast for?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    30-06 vs 308 which is best to cast for?

    I'm eyeing a savage bolty only $200 at basspro for this weekends shopping but i cant convince myself which caliber would i prefer between these two. I plan on casting and powdercoating them so velocity would have to be low, dont plan on gas checking either. I also want to take into account that i'd prefer an economical load and i notice the 30-06 has a large case volume and that could mean 50+ grains of powder... Could i get some of your thoughts or experiences on these two and if you cast for them also, how did it go?

    so far all i know much of these is that the 30 has more velocity and more recoil over the 308 but they are both practically on the same level of accuracy.
    Last edited by Al_Bundy; 11-28-2019 at 06:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I am also interested in the answer to this question.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    30-06 can still go very low and both can do 3gr bullseye type mousefart loads or more mid range unique-2400 loads, just maybe less powder options or efficiency in the bigger case with light loads. but I think the longer 30-06 neck is an advantage for cast so idk. I think id want a 308 with a 30-06 neck if I could have anything. if you don't plan on long boolits and want low to mid speed then 30-06 might not offer anything, but theres people who have been loading much longer than me

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmortell View Post
    30-06 can still go very low and both can do 3gr bullseye type mousefart loads or more mid range unique-2400 loads, just maybe less powder options or efficiency in the bigger case with light loads. but I think the longer 30-06 neck is an advantage for cast so idk. I think id want a 308 with a 30-06 neck if I could have anything. if you don't plan on long boolits and want low to mid speed then 30-06 might not offer anything, but theres people who have been loading much longer than me
    yeah i was just reading some loads off a book and noticed unique was listed around 10-20grs with most of the bullet designs for both calibers. I also find it easier to collect 308 brass on the range, so right now im leaning towards that. Do you recommend any of the lee molds?

  5. #5
    From a pure best caliber standard I'd say the long neck of the 30 06 has the advantage...brass is still very easy to find for cheap and free from some on a public range but not nearly as plentiful as a 308. I have hundreds of piece of 308 I've accidentally collected with other brass...it's just so plentiful.

    Both are similar, I've never loaded cast for 308, but 30 06 runs the Gambit of mouse fart to heavy elk killers...all with cast. Does well paper patched as well.

    You won't go wrong with either, either way it's a great deal... enjoy!

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Can't tell you a durn thing about powdercoating, but. . .

    .30-06 will give you more room in the neck, and there are more mold choices with lube grooves that are proportioned for that neck. You've also got more magazine and throat to shoot heavier bullets, which has some advantages if the velocities are low. The 311299GC is my go-to bullet for accuracy.

    For the .308, I wouldn't look much further than this: http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/index.p...rrp55bikskos24 Proportioned specifically for the .308 SAAMI neck and chamber. I LOVE plinking water bottles with the GC version of this one - it hits HARD.

    Thing is, anything the .308 can do, the .30-06 can do - with the added option of doing it 150-200fps faster when you venture into jacketed. Both have their purpose, and I wouldn't be without either, but if it had to be one, it's got to be the '06.
    WWJMBD?

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I can tell you I use cast in my 12BVSS .308 and it works great. Both for std cast loads at 1900-2000fps and for plinker loads at less than 1000fps.

    The plinker loads worked just fine with .30-30 cast bullets (flat point, no gas check) for lower velocities. My light load is 8gn of Blue Dot (only cause I have a few pounds that I don't use for anything else). Also works well with my 180gn Lee bullets, both lubed and powder coated. It shoots MOA with both of these. FWIW the base of the 180gn Lee is seated just at the case neck with the Savage throat. The RCBS 165SIL seats the same. The 311299 seats a tad deeper and also works well. All of these are bore rider bullets.

    For really light loads the .32 pistol bullets sized to your barrel work at very low velocities.

    There are also several folks in the Cast Bullet Assn shooting the .308 at bench matches.

    I will say that there are some who will recommend the .30-06 based on the longer neck, but, it also has a ton of extra volume for cast bullet velocities. It will shoot them well and it is used in the service cast bullet bench rest matches a lot.

    If you were going to shoot heavier jacketed bullets I'd go with the 06 as it does have a velocity advantage, especially for hunting game like bear and elk. For target work the .308 has been a favorite for target shooters for many years.

    So, take your pick.
    Last edited by charlie b; 11-28-2019 at 10:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    30-06. Anything you can do, I can do better...

    30-06 can go pretty low. I have lots of fun with a lee soup can over 12 grains of Unique. Haven't tried anything lighter, but I imagine it would not bee hard. On the other end of the spectrum I shot my doe last year with a 200 grain slug that had a huge meplat and cooked along at 1900 FPS or so. Any of course J words would get you a 400 yard elk load without much trouble.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have yet to find this a disadvantage, but longer bullets like the #314299 and many others, may require seating with the bullet base slightly below the case neck when using the .308 case. This could also happen with the .30-06, but not as often.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I cannot offer an opinion on cast bullets between those two cartridges.

    I will say that I am a HUGE fan of the 308 Win and know for a fact that it will do everything the .30-06 will do until you get way out beyond 600 yards. The .30-06 is a fine cartridge but it's really overkill in terms of case capacity unless you're dealing with 180 grain plus bullets and trying to shoot things at extreme ranges.

    The longer case neck of the .30-06 may be a slight advantage for cast bullets but the smaller case capacity of the 308 may be a bigger advantage if you're using small amounts of a fast burning powder.
    I don't really know when we're talking about cast bullets.

    My best guess would be that the type of bullet would have a larger role than the type of casing when dealing with that class of rifle cartridge.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    I hope that Larry Gibson sees this and offers his opinion.

    It would help to know what the rifle will be used for. If it will not be a hunting rifle, and just used to punch paper, the .223 is worth consideration. I buy 55 gr jacketed SP's for $7/100. Not worth the effort to cast IMHO. Plus so easy to get an accurate load that is fun to shoot....But I am a shooter not a caster. If you get your jollies out of casting, my choice would be the .308 for you purposes...less case capacity helps for reduced loads. And with your desire not to use GC's, no concerns about the GC being below the neck when using longer bullets.
    Don Verna

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  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    308 is fine, I shoot it (fast) with 170gr PC all the time, no problem. I have other rifles for slow plinkers, but the 308 will do fine. Last 06 I shot was a garand in 61.
    Whatever!

  13. #13
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    Both will do the same thing. I was shooting cast from a .308 I had, I think it was a Lee 160 gr. with Felix Lube, at 2350 fps, good accuracy. Killed some deer and an elk with it.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Given the rifle the OP is considering it will have the same length and twist of barrel along with length of action, bedding etc. Thus for cast bullet shooting purposes was a time when the '06 with it's longer neck held the advantage because most cast bullet designs were for the longer necked cartridges. These days with the advent of so many custom mould makers and that most "modern" designed cast bullets are for the shorter 308W length neck. Thus with the use of a proper powder and/or the use of an appropriate filler the slight advantage the 308W had with it's lessor case capacity is negated. New commercial cases are readily available for both for the same price. Given both cartridges in the rifle the OP is looking at will have 10" twist barrels there is no difference in attainable performance with the same cast bullet in either. Since I shoot cast in several rifles of both cartridges I can't honestly say I've got a "favorite" between them.

    On the other hand, If hunting with cast bullets of larger game such as elk, moose or the large bears then the 30-06 is the better choice simply because when loaded to the same psi in a modern action such as the OP is considering Then the 30-06 will out perform with any bullet weight, but particularly with 180 - 220+ gr bullets, the 308W always. My choice of a hunting rifle has been either my Mauser M98 or my M70 Winchester chambered in 30-06 with 24" barrels. I load those with 165 - 220 gr bullets to top end MAP psi's for the .308W of 62,000 psi as measured in the rifles with the Oehler m43 PBL. Such a load using the 180 gr Hornady SPBT over IMR 4831 runs 2840 fps at 61,700 psi. There is no way the 308W with it's lessor case capacity can come close to that.....with the 190 SPBT, 200 gr Speer SPs or 220s the difference is even greater......I know, been there, done tried......

    Bottom line is; these days with cast bullets not a nickels worth of difference between them in the same rifle. However, if hunting larger game with the rifle also then the 30-06 has the edge.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    The 30-06 loaded with 220 Grain factory Remington Core-locts hits with authority. I gave a box to my buddy About 15 years ago that I never used. He hit a deer running full throttle and it flipped it sideways in the air and it hit the ground DRT. I’m a big fan of 180 grain Remington Core-Locts in the 06’. Never tried any cast yet though. All I know is that the six will handle heavier bullets if you ever want to hunt big game. I loaded him up some 200 grain Nosler partition’s for bear hunting he never had a chance to use either.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man dakota's Avatar
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    I suppose an argument could be made that the 30-30 is the perfect 30 caliber for cast bullets. While I have had numerous 30-06's and 308's over the years, I've only shot cast bullets in the '06's (03's and 03-A3') and 30-30, (Model 94, 64 and 336). Both cartridges handled cast bullets well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I use cast for 30-30 ,308win. and 30-06 . Like Larry stated is what would work the best on one, the 30-30 is a good brush gun and the 308 win like Larry said and 30-06 will do what he said also
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Cast bullet shooting at the range, not much difference. If you have to carry the rifle in steep or high mountains, the 308 can be a 1/2 pound lighter. If you want to haul a M98 Mauser or M70 Winchester for extra power, get a 300 Magnum. I've killed a few elk with 308 and 165 Partitions, works just fine. Cast on elk? Start with a .358 Winchester and go up.

  19. #19
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    If you have a standard 1-12" .308Win, you might see a small accuracy and velocity advantage with light to mid weight cast boolits. Unfortunately some manufacturers engage in cost savings and use the same 1-10" barrel blanks as 300WM and 30/06.

    For most purposes, the 30/06 will more easily feed and chamber longer and heavier boolits, and keep most of their gas checks in the neck, if that matters to you. On top of that many cast boolit designs were made for the '06 in the first place. So for versatility the /06 wins hands down. As far as overall accuracy, it depends more on the load, the rifle and the shooter than anything else, it would take a full-up benchrest rig to really ring out the difference (in favor of the 308).
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
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  20. #20
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    30-06 vs 308 which is best to cast for?

    Quote Originally Posted by dakota View Post
    I suppose an argument could be made that the 30-30 is the perfect 30 caliber for cast bullets. While I have had numerous 30-06's and 308's over the years, I've only shot cast bullets in the '06's (03's and 03-A3') and 30-30, (Model 94, 64 and 336). Both cartridges handled cast bullets well.
    .30 US (.30-40) best cast .30 round.
    http://www.lasc.us/FryxellCB30-40Krag.htm

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check