I’ve always been a fan of the venerable .30-06. Six or seven rifles in this caliber have graced the gun rack and one point or another, although we have but two in the house at the moment. Loyal sidekick Rat also totes an ’06 in the field in pursuit of deer and elk.
It seems Gun Digest shares our appreciation of this fine old round. Read Greatest Cartridges: The Amazing .30-06 Springfield. Excerpt:
There is now, and has been since the Chinese invented gunpowder, a continuing debate seeking the mythical “best all-around cartridge.” One can make a really convincing argument for the .30-06 as that cartridge.
Excluding the elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino, hippo, and I might add lion of Africa, and, perhaps another animal or two from elsewhere, an accurate rifle using proper bullets in the old Springfield will get most any job done convincingly.
Fortunately, most of us do not have to make that kind of decision as we can select a cartridge that is essentially ideal for a particular animal being hunted. How this really splendid cartridge came about is an interesting story.
The gun rack at the Casa de Animal has a pretty good range of centerfire hunting calibers, ranging from the thunderous .45-70 to the diminutive .22 Hornet. But if a fellow wants a one-gun big-game arsenal, it would be hard to go wrong with the .30-06.
In fact, if you were to assemble a three-gun arsenal for hunting almost anywhere in the world, you’d be hard-pressed to beat a .30-06 bolt gun, a pump-action 12 gauge shotgun, and a .22 rifle. Add a .45ACP handgun, say a 1911-pattern gun, and you’re ready for almost anything short of elephants.
Read the rest of the Greatest Cartridges series here.