7.62x63mm .30-06 Springfield

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.

Military Applications

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 91m200y 183m300y 275m400y 366m500y 458m600y 549m700y 641m800y 732m900y 824m1000y 915m
HSM 175gr+17.5+29.4+34.6+32.3+21.7Zero-33.5-80.6-145.5-229.7
HSM 190gr+17.4+29.0+33.9+31.5+20.9Zero-32.4-77.0-136.3-214.0

Energy (Muzzle – HSM 175gr – 2730Ft-Lbs., HSM 190gr – 2853)

HSM 175gr238120691791154213211129962818699601
HSM 190gr2528223419681727150813151144993861751

Wind Drift (Inches) 10 mph Crosswind

HSM 175gr0.72.86.712.319.729.842.
HSM 190gr0.

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)

150gr BallTip-0.2Zero-3.3-12.2

Energy (Muzzle: 2820 Ft-Lbs.)

150gr BallTipN/A242020701760

Wind Drift (Inches) 10mph Crosswind

150gr BallTipN/A0.72.96.8