The 30-06 Springfield served as the United States primary sniper round from WWI up through the first half of the Vietnam conflict when finally both the US Army and USMC standardized on the 7.62x51mm NATO. The ought-six offers good ballistics and served as an outstanding sniper round while in service. The use of the 30-06 for Law Enforcement needs to be carefully considered due to possible over penetration, but with the selection of the right ammunition it could be very capable in this capacity. There are not a lot of factory made sniper grade weapons chambered in the .30-06, which is somewhat of a mystery as it is still a popular cartridge. It falls in between the .308 Win and the .300 Win Mag. and there has always been match grade ammunition produced by Federal and now there are several other loads available from other manufacturers. Some of these newer loads include heavier bullets where the 30-06 seems to come into its own. I personally think this is a very capable military sniping cartridge, as it offers better ballistics then the .308 but yet does not punish the shooter or rifle like the .300 Win Mag does.
Recommendations: The .30-06 is highly recommended for military applications, but perhaps not so much for Law Enforcement use without proper research to find a good rapidly expanding load that may work well.
Note: We have chosen the HSM 175gr Match load for military use over the Federal 168gr due to the better bullet design of the 175gr Sierra Match King for long range use. This load could use another 50fps but as it is it is adequate. We have also listed the HSM 190gr SMK which is another excellent, and perhaps preferred load to the 175gr.
- HSM 175gr = HSM Match – .30-06 175gr Sierra Match King at 2650fps
- HSM 190gr = HSM Match – .30-06 190gr Sierra Match King at 2600fps
Bullet Drop (Inches)
|100y 91m||200y 183m||300y 275m||400y 366m||500y 458m||600y 549m||700y 641m||800y 732m||900y 824m||1000y 915m|
Energy (Muzzle – HSM 175gr – 2730Ft-Lbs., HSM 190gr – 2853)
Wind Drift (Inches) 10 mph Crosswind
Law Enforcement Applications
Note: For law enforcement use you will want to reduce the penetration and maximize the energy transfer. This can be done with a rapid expanding bullet and the ballistic tips and AMax bullets tend to work well here. The 150gr ballistic tip round loaded by Federal could work well here to help reduced penetration. Some tests will need to be performed to see if penetration and excess fragmentation will be acceptable. It is highly recommended to test shooting through glass also, as the b-tip has a thin case that will probably strip when passing through glass. A Federal 165 and 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw round is available and would probably make a great glass busting round, but with high penetration if the bullet stays intact. Of course, accuracy tests will need to be done as well to see if it meets criteria. There are other brands that have similar bullets that can be substituted if accuracy levels are not met.
- Federal Premium .30-06 150gr Nosler Ballistic Tip at 2910fps
Bullet Drop (Inches)
Energy (Muzzle: 2820 Ft-Lbs.)
Wind Drift (Inches) 10mph Crosswind