Monday, October 4, 2021

Back to basics

I was in the Walmart in Charlotte, Michigan the other day.

I paused by the sporting goods department to ogle the firearms.

Every centerfire rifle was a 30-06.

For those who are not into rifles, the 30-06 has been in the top-five selling chamberings for over a hundred years. Fads come-and-go but the -06 keeps chugging along.

One reason for its longevity is that commonly available bullets are "dialed in" to expand at 30-06 velocities. It is often written that there is nothing native to North America that a 180 grain soft-point from a 30-06 in the heart-lung area will not kill.

Modern advances in projectiles, powders, rifle stocks, recoil pads and scopes make the 30-06 more potent than ever.

But the real reason all those rifles were chambered in 30-06 is probably because they have 10,000 chamber reamers for 30-06 in the back-room at the factory. Supply chain issues, don't ya know.


  1. Or maybe people are reverting to the old "tried and true".---ken

  2. Maybe. But I think people would even buy odd-ball chamberings in this time of shortages.

  3. I see your point but what is there the most of out there would drive me. Henry has been very successful specializing in the traditional style and caliber guns. I know if I was in the market for guns I would want the most common calibers out there. Both in the retail market and what might be available on the after-market when things get worse. --ken

  4. Be thankful for what is on the rack. Locally, our walmart has bb guns and an occasional black powder rifle kit. No ammo.

    I'd take a 30-06 over a LOT of other deer calibers. Especially if hunting in Michigan's rifle zone. Or if it would be my only.

    Mill Tone

  5. But, but, 30-06 is dead, donchaknow ? Killed by the .308, then the 7mm Magnum and most lately by the 6.5 wunderpellets. Most of my deer hunting career was spent with an ought-six in hand, and I did just fine with it. Match shooting of different varieties had me branching out to different cartridges, but if all I wanted to do was hunt in the Lower 48 a 30-06 would be fine. Except for grizz. Now I know there's probably a little old Inuit woman out there who's taken a Kodiak with a .22, but for one of those bruisers I'd want something that started with four.

    1. I think there are two kinds of grizzly bear hunts.

      In one kind of hunt you can be one-hundred-fifty yards away and poke him in the slats with surgical precision.

      In the other kind of hunt you are gutting out your muley when the old silvertip shows up to collect his taxes. Or maybe your excitable hunting companion tagged one with a marginal shot and one of you has to go into the pucker-brush and finish the job.

      The 30-06 is plenty for the first kind of Griz hunting and the minigun from an A-10 is most suitable for the second kind.

    2. The .22 can work but there is the not insignificant delay between 'killing' the bear and the bear accepting the fact that it is 'dead'.

    3. Let me tell you about the time I smacked an eight point whitetail buck to the ground with one round from an ought six. Went down, not a twitch, DRT. As I walked within five yards, he stretched out his neck, scrambled to his feet and took off. A couple of hasty following shots did nothing and he got away cleanly. The whitetail way is to run away (most always). Grizz, not so much. While the old thirty may be adequate for the distance shot, you still have to walk up on him afterward. Bigger gun, please.

  6. .30-06 Turning cover into concealment for more than a century.

    Ain't many problems a man can't fix with a few thousand dollars and a thirty ought six.

    Why you still carrying that old cannon pops?
    Because it WILL get it done son.

  7. I've got five of them in my safe.

  8. I'm a bit ashamed of my own Ought-Six gun experience. An American Classic I never really became an enthusiastic shooter with.

    Have owned one only for about five years and rarely shot it. My go-to is .308 Winchester, in carbine form. The bolt 06 was a Winchester 670 rifle, Weaver 4x Marksman scope. Plain jane gun. It shot very well and had the softest recoil in 06 I ever shot. No doubt due to a wide rifle butt, even my Brother's Ruger 1 Standard recoiled more.

    I sold the 06, needing funds for building my residence (commercial steel doors cost a fortune !) and several rifles went on chopping block.