The American 30-06 Springfield and the Russian 7.62x54R are immediately thought of as the most identifiable rimfire ammunition from world war II. Even though 303 British and 8mm Schwarz were also significant as bolt action rifles, the 30-06 and 7.62x54R hunting ammo were vital in the European theatre of the military conflict.
This article, with an evaluation of 30 06 vs 7.62 x54r answers the question of whether to go with the round that conquered the beaches of Normandy or the round that was the saviour of Stalingrad by deep comparison of availability, accuracy, price and cartridge sizes.
Let’s dig in and have a proper understanding of what holds these deadly sporting rifle cartridges stand out from each other!
A Quick Comparison Between 303 British and 30-06
As we take a quick look, the 30-06 can only accelerate a 308 Winchester bullet, while 303 British launches a .311 bullet. The bullet’s ballistic coefficient reduces by .015 for the same weight and profile due to the .003-inch increase in diameter.
The distinction is so little that it is insignificant. There is little practical difference between the 30-06 and the 303 British because both can shoot their bullets to similar velocities at similar distances.
This section will provide a brief overview of the primary distinctions between various ammunition types. Kindly remain assured that I’ve picked cartridges of equal mass (15g).
In spite of the fact that the cartridges may be compared in terms of their features, the efficiency also depends on the gun. Therefore, a high-quality rifle is essential for optimizing cartridge performance.
A flawed gun will have an equal impact on the effectiveness of its ammo. Make sure there are no flaws in the functioning of your firearm.
In-Depth Comparison between 30 06 vs 7.62x54r
When it comes to in-depth comparison, there are many factors to consider but the primary distinction among them is that the 7.62x54R is a rimmed cartridge, whereas the 30-06 is rimless.
The 7.62x54R was designed to be utilized in a sniper rifle. In contrast, the case for the 30-06 cartridge is a little tad longer than the casing for the Russian variant, which means that the 30-06 will have a significantly increased case potential and will be able to fire heavier bullets.
As far as ballistics go, the 30-06 Springfield and the 7.62x54R were rather close. We will put these claims to the test by contrasting the effectiveness of two distinct factory loads for each cartridge.
The 30-06 will be tested with WWII-era mil-spec 150 grain M2 ball and modern-day Hornady Precision Hunter 178 gr ELD-X. The Hornady factory load isn’t going to work in your M1 Garand, but it’s perfect for your Remington 700 or any other modern hunting rifle. Different sniper rifle round were fired for comparison.
As 7.62x54R ammunition goes, we’ll be contrasting some Russian military surplus rifle 7N1 151 gr long-range rounds with some brand new 308 Winchester 180 gr soft point hunting rounds manufactured in the USA.
The two different rounds of Springfield ammunition and the Russian 7N1 ammunition were all quite comparable to one another in terms of the muzzle velocity that they generated.
The maximum speed of the Hornady ELD-X ammunition was the fastest, coming in at 2,750 feet per second, followed quickly by the muzzle velocity of the M2 ball ammunition, which was 2,740 feet per second.
The Russian ammunition was a little bit slower than the others, with the 7N1 cheap surplus ammo exiting the barrel length at 2,700 feet per second and the 308 Winchester soft point (SP) being the worst of the four at 2,579 feet per second.
At 800 yards, the 308 Winchester 180 gr SP ammunition was the sole Russian round to drop into hypersonic velocities, but the three remaining rounds maintained securely above supersonic speeds throughout the entire trajectory.
At 800 yards, the 30-06 maintained the maximum velocity, clocking in at a comfortable 1,606 feet per second, while the M2 ball and 7N1 ammunition were virtually comparable, clocking in at 1,251 feet per second and 1,287 feet per second, correspondingly.
The 30-06 produced the most muzzle energy with 2,989 foot-pounds of kinetic energy, trailed by the 7.62x54R rifle, which generated 2,658 ft-lbs of energy at the barrel.
The muzzle energies of the M2 Ball and the 7N1 ammunition were somewhat close to one another, coming up at 2,500 and 2,444 ft-lbs, respectively.
When it comes to weapons, the 30-06 has virtually unlimited alternatives, but the 7.62 x54R has almost none.
If you like the look and feel of a classic bolt-action rifle made of wood and steel, you may get a 30-06 rifle in no time at all among Yugoslavian military surplus ammo options. Finds of old Springfields and Mausers from 1903 that have been modified to fire 30-06 are not hard to come by.
As of this writing, 7.62x54R-chambered rifles are unavailable from current American gun manufacturers. You will need a surplus rifle if you intend to shoot this calibre.
The Mosin Nagant bolt-action rifle, one of the most widely produced modern hunting rifles ever, is by far the most popular choice. Over 37 million Model 81/30 Nagants have been manufactured since 1891, making them a “dime a dozen” at machine guns exhibition when dealers used to buy them in bulk.
The 29-inch barrel on the standard issue M91/30 Nagant is fantastic for long-range shooting but cumbersome to lug around the woods all day.
An M38 or M44 carbine with a 20″ barrel would be a good choice if you want a shorter bolt action rifle.
The SVT-40, PSL, Molot VEPR, and SVD Dragunov sniper rifles are your four main semi-automatic 7.62x54R alternatives. The SVT-40, VEPR, and PSL all cost no less than $1,500, while a fully-assembled SVD Dragunov will set you back well north of $10,000 at the time of writing.
Unfortunately for hunters that require a lever action rifle, neither the 30-06 nor the 7.62x54R is now available in this form.
When it came to effective range, the 30-06 was the only factory rifle that was able to keep the necessary 1,000 foot-pounds of energy for extracting whitetail at a distance of 800 yards.
Near 500 yards, the muzzle energy of the M2 ball and 7N1 ammunition dropped below 1,000 ft-lbs, while the muzzle energy of the 7.62x54r broke below this barrier near 350 yards. Neither of these alternatives is a reasonable option for deer hunting.
It shouldn’t be a revelation that the 30-06 fared the highest in terms of long-range trajectories, with a bullet drop of only -183 inches when measured at 800 yards.
With a bullet drop of -231″ and 7N1 ammo having a drop of -229″, correspondingly, the M2 ball and 7N1 ammo are located in the middle of the pack.
At 800 yards, the 308 Winchester 180 gr SP ammunition trajectory was the worst, the bullet sank -375″ and went under supersonic speeds approximately 600 yards.
When looking for a new rifle, it’s crucial to think about the recoil it produces. A heavy recoiling bullet will be harder to manage, reducing your rate of follow-up fire. Recoil from powerful cartridges might cause the shooter to startle..
Recoil is a recognised issue with both of these large 30-calibre cartridges, although the 7.62x54R is generally thought to have more of it than the 30-06. Let’s check these assertions out.
The free recoil energy of both weapons will be compared because they both use traditional military ammunition.
The M2 ball for the 30-06 is a 150-grain full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet moving at 2,740 feet per second. 7.62 Russian ammunition will be evaluated based on regular issue 7N1 sniper rifle cartridges, which fire a 151-grain match-grade bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,700 feet per second.
The M91/30 Mosin Nagant weighs 8.8 lbs and the M1 Garand weighs 9.5 lbs; these two rifles will be used for testing.
Based on these parameters, the 30-06 will have a free recoil of 13.9 ft-lbs, somewhat less than the 14.3 ft-lbs of the Russian ammunition.
The 30 06 has somewhat less recoil vs 7.62x54R, although this difference is so small that most shooters won’t notice it.
The Russian round has greater recoil than the 30-06, so why does it have a poor reputation? As so, this situation exemplifies the distinction between perceived recoil and free recoil.
Recoil is distributed more evenly over the shoulder thanks to the tighter receiver-to-stock fit and broader buttstock, which prevents it from being concentrated in one spot like it is with the Nagant.
This explains why many hunters find the Mosin’s recoil to be acute and abrupt, whereas the recoil from a Garand is typically characterised as powerful but manageable.
Even while the 7.62 Russian has a little cheaper cost per cartridge, the vast majority of shooters will choose the 30-06 Springfield because of its versatility to a wide variety of ammunition and the abundance of rifle alternatives that are available for the tried-and-true workhorse.
If, on the other hand, you are interested in having ballistics that is comparable to those of the 30-06 Springfield but doesn’t necessarily want to pay $4 per round for premium hunting ammo, the 7.62x54R is an excellent alternative for you to consider, provided that you are willing to hunt with a surplus Russian rifle.
Reloading is one technique that shooters put to use to lower their total cost per round, as well as improve the uniformity and accuracy of their ammunition. In addition, loads can be adapted to your rifle to fulfil the requirements of your particular shooting style.
Since the early 1900s, when the 30-06 was first introduced, handloaders have been reloading their brass casings. In addition, the 30-06 was the parent case for several wildcat cartridges, including the 25-06, 7mm-06, and 338-06, as well as more Ackley-enhanced accuracy than you can grasp a stick at.
Ballistic Coefficient and Sectional Density
The ballistic coefficient, often known as the BC, is a measurement used to determine how maneuverable a bullet is as well as how effectively it will withstand wind drift.
The ability of a bullet to penetrate an object may be evaluated using a method known as sectional density (SD), which takes into account the exterior dimensions, overall design, and overall bullet weight of the projectile.
The 30-06 had the best ballistic coefficient (BC) of all the rounds that were investigated in the section before this one, with a score of 0.552. The 7.62x54r had a ballistic coefficient of 0.417 and 0.411, respectively, while the 180-grain soft point had a ballistic coefficient that was the lowest, at 0.267.
According to the findings of our investigation, the 30-06 and the 7.62 were quite a bit comparable to one another in terms of sectional density.
The 30-06 had the largest SD of all of the balls tested, coming in at 0.268, while the 7.62x54r had an SD of around 0.227. Finding information on the sectional density of the 7.62x54R cartridge was a difficult one because 308 Winchester does not publish the SD measurements on their website.
According to the documentation produced by the Russian military, however, 7.62x54r has an SD of 0.225.
As a rule, the 30-06 will have a greater ballistic coefficient than the other calibres since it is capable of firing more sophisticated and contemporary rounds.
In contrast, there won’t be much of a discernible difference between the two hunting bullets in regards to how deeply they’ll penetrate.
The 30-06 Springfield is more prevalent than the 7.62x54R and is among the top five rimfire ammunition rifle cartridges sold in North America. Consequently, the 30-06 has a far wider variety of rifles and ammunition from which to choose.
The 30-06 has been at the top of the hunting food chain for a long time, and it continues to serve as the yardstick against which all other hunting cartridges are judged.
Given its power, the 30-06’s modest ammunition cost is surprising.
You can buy inexpensive 30-06 practise ammo for about $1.40 each round, but more costly hunting or match-grade ammo would set you back between $2 and $4 per cartridge.
Not as many cartridge types are available for the 7.62x54R. In the past, it was simple to purchase inexpensive military surplus ammunition from countries like Russia and Yugoslavia. With the Russian inexpensive plinking ammo ban on exporting ammunition, however, the availability of spam cans stuffed with inexpensive 7.62x54R has diminished.
Old spam can of 7.62 Russian ammunition be purchased for about $100. These spam cans, if you can even locate them, are going for no less than $200, and their primers as shooting corrosive ammo.
With this deal, Russian military surplus plinking ammunition is still cheap at roughly $0.50 per round, even for $200 per can.
At this moment, you should anticipate paying roughly $1.40 per round for FMJ non-corrosive surplus ammo and anything from $1.50 to $2 per round for hunting soft point ammo purchased brand new from a reputable retailer.
30 06 vs 7.62 x54r: Cartridge Sizes
To better understand the differences between centerfire cartridges, it’s helpful to compare and contrast their technical specifications.
Both the 30-06 and 7.62x54R were developed in 1906 and 1891, respectively.
The US military produced the 30-06 Springfield in response to the 7mm Mauser size, which inflicted high number of deaths during the Spanish-American War. The 30-06 was originally developed for the 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle but was adapted for the M1 Garand size gun.
The 7.62x54R and the 30-06 are both proven military calibres, but the rim on the former, the 7.62x54R, is a tad more substantial than the latter. The fact that the “R” in “Rimmed” cartridges is sometimes misunderstood by novice shooters who assume it to indicate “Russian” is a common source of frustration among gun owners.
Since it is still in service today, the 7.62x54R ranks as the second-longest-serving military cartridge in history, after only the 303 British. One interesting fact is that only the 303 and 7.62 rimmed cartridges are in use by the military today.
Comparing these two cartridges side by side, the 30-06 is the bigger of the two. The 7.62 is 3.038 inches long, whereas the 30 06 is 3.34 inches long. The 30 06 has a longer case than the 7.62, measuring 2.494 inches as opposed to 2.115 inches.
Cartridge Specs: 30-06 vs 7.62x54r
7.62 x54 R
Max Pressure (SAAMI):
By SAAMI standards, the 30 06 can withstand pressures up to 60,200 psi. However, the 7.62 x54R has a maximum pressure of 56,565 psi.
Also, the bullet diameters used by the 7.62x54R and the 30-06 are somewhat different, with the 7.62x54R using a 0.312″ diameter and the 30-06 using a 0.308″ diameter.
As both cartridges are labelled as 7.62 mm, this can lead to much misunderstanding among novice gun owners (30-06 is 7.62x63mm per NATO specs). Because of variations in the definition of “nominal bore diameter” from nation to country, bullet diameters can vary widely.
When determining bore diameter, Russians rely on a time-tested technique that involves measuring the distance across the lands of the rifling. U.S. and NATO cartridge standards now require measurements to be taken throughout the grooves, a more modern approach.
Therefore, a somewhat broader bullet is needed for the Russian ammo.
Which One Should You Choose Between 30-06 Rifle chambered vs 7.62x54r Hunting Ammo
Neither the 30-06 nor the 7.62x54r is particularly better or worse for hunting medium game. Because of its typically higher accuracy and the broader availability of excellent hunting rounds, the 7.62x54R has a slight but obvious edge over the others here.
Do you usually hunt deer-sized wildlife at distances of up to two hundred yards? When used correctly, either will humanely and rapidly dispatch animals as large as a deer. Choose the 7.62x54R if you’re looking for the most expanding hunting ammo, or the 30-06 if recoil is a major concern.
Have you decided that you need a combat rifle for self-defence, house defence, or a true SHTF scenario? If an AK-style rifle appeals to you, you’re recoil-sensitive, or money is tight, the 30-06 Springfield is a good choice. In that case, I’d choose a chambered rifle for 7.62x54r, although either would do the job well.
Although both the 30-06 and 7.62x54R are excellent rifle cartridges, they differ in key ways that show how designers placed differing values. Though there are some notable differences between the rounds (30-06 and 7.62x54R), both may be used for a wide variety of hunting chores.
Invest in a high-quality hunting rifle chambered in the cartridge you feel best suits your needs, practice shooting it frequently, and stock up on high-calibre bullets, and you’ll be ready for most hunting scenarios.
Is a 30-06 Overkill a deer?
You can do more with a 30-06 than ever before, and it’s more powerful. When loaded with a decent 150-grain bullet, it is suitable for even the largest whitetail and mule deer hunting. If you load it with a 180-grain bullet, you’ll have no trouble taking down elk, black bears, or moose.
Will 30-06 penetrate body armour?
A 30-06 bullet from any modern shoulder-fired weapon will not penetrate an NIJ Level 4+ body armour plate.
Is a 30-06 considered a sniper rifle?
The 30.06 is an excellent sniper rifle. This sniper performs admirably in a high-quality, providing devastating long-range knockdown force, excellent ballistic coefficients, and pinpoint precision. The 30.06 has an illustrious past as a sniper rifle.
How far does a 30-06 shoot accurately?
The official range of the 30/06 is 4.75 miles, with an effective range of 1,000 yards. A rear leaf sight that could be flipped up was advanced to 2,850 yards. Targeting a guy at point-blank range was possible at 500 yards.
What round is better than a 30-06?
Compared to the. 30-06 Springfield, the 7mm Rem Mag’s hunting bullets are smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic, and they travel at a higher velocity. When shooting at greater distances, the 7mm Rem Mag has a flatter trajectory and more kinetic energy than the. 30-06, but the. 30-06 has less recoil.
Why is it called Thirty-Ought Six?
The “. 30” indicates the bullet’s calibre in inches. The cartridge was officially adopted in 1906, hence the “06.”
Is a 30-06 Big enough for elk?
When hunting at acceptable distances, the 30-06 remains a highly effective calibre, especially for elk. Furthermore, the recoil is far less than that of standard magnum rounds.
Will a 30-06 stop a grizzly bear?
Indeed! Successful brown bear hunting in Alaska requires a.30-06 rifle loaded with a 200- or 220-grain Nosler® or equivalent quality bullet.
Is 30-06 too much for a beginner?
The 30-06 is excessive, while the.243 is inadequate. Just a few cartridges work well enough for beginners to use.
Does a 30-06 kick hard?
30-06 will knock the wind out of you, making you feel more centered or attentive.
Is a 30-06 still popular?
The. 30-06 was used by the U.S. Army for over 50 years until being superseded by the 7.6251mm NATO and the 5.5645mm NATO, both of which are still in use by the United States and NATO today. All the major ammo producers still make ammunition for this widely used sports round.
Rifle cartridges such as the 30-06 and 7.62x54R impacted world war events. The 30-06 Springfield has won two World Wars for the United States and is a military cartridge that is still used today. The 7.62x54R also has a long and distinguished history.
Nevertheless, if you don’t bother shooting with a secondhand Russian rifle and want similar ballistics to the 30-06 Springfield without spending much on expensive rifle ammo, the 7.62x54R offers a great substitute.
What is your best pick among both? Do share your thoughts with us in the comment section below and we will be glad to assist you if you need any help!