Gun Digest

Cartridges: The .30-06 Springfield Family Tree

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In addition to being a capable cartridge in its own right, the .30-06 Springfield has spawned a talented brood of offspring.

All parents are proud of their children — with good cause — but few cartridges have the brood of offspring that the .30-06 does, save perhaps the .375 H&H Magnum. Just think about the immediate children of the Springfield: the .270 Winchester, the .25-06 Remington, the .280 Remington, the .35 Whelen and the .338-06 A-Square, just to mention the commercially produced lineup.

There are those other children who’ve stayed out of the limelight (commercially, that is), which include the 6.5-06 and the twins, the .375 and .400 Whelen. I’ve read of wildcats as small as .22 caliber based on the ’06 case; well, I believe you get the point. Hell, even the .308 Winchester can trace its lineage back to the .30-06, so you’d call them cousins, but the .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, 7mm-08, .338 Federal and .358 Winchester all get the invite to the family reunion.

Like the .375 H&H, the .404 Jeffery, the 8mm Mauser and the .308 Winchester, you can see that the ’06 case is an excellent platform to begin with; can we deny the successes of the .25-06, .270 and .280? And if you truly believe that more bullet weight or frontal diameter than .30 caliber has to offer is warranted, the .338-06 might be one of the sweetest shooting means of delivering a 250-grain bullet I’ve ever fired, save my pet .318 Westley Richards of course.

If that 61mm case length appeals to you more than the short-action .308 family, or the belted magnum of H&H lineage, there really is something for everyone within the .30-06 family tree.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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