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Gentlemen,
Many of you have talked about the M14/M1A and the M1 Garand. I know about the mag question and the M1A having its 20 rounds. My question to you is in a different field. It deals with the ballistics of the 30.06 against the .308 round. My studies seem to show that in accuracy and ballistics at long ranges i.e. over 800 to 1000 yds, the 30.06 seems to hold its bullet more accurately than a .308. What do you guys think about this question. Also one more point is in the Tanker and Scout area. With the barrel being short does that not again change all the ballistics and accuracy data of both calibers to save a few inches of barrel length ?



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Thanks again for taking the time and effort to read this data. I hope you have learned a little of the history of the M1 Garand.
Clancy
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Go to Remington.com

You can go to the Remington website and get a ballistic comparison of the .308 versus the .30-06. They have an excellent program for this purpose.

Shortening a barrel will have an adverse effect on most ballistics.
 

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My thoughts:

The full length, unaltered M1 Garand can accurately go a bit longer than the M14 - however, the M14 offers the rifleman more flexibility.

Shorter the barrels on either of these rifles = less muzzle velocity.
Short barrels are accurate, but they can't accurately reach out as far as the standard length barrel.
 

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My thoughts:

The full length, unaltered M1 Garand can accurately go a bit longer than the M14 - however, the M14 offers the rifleman more flexibility.

Shorter the barrels on either of these rifles = less muzzle velocity.
Short barrels are accurate, but they can't accurately reach out as far as the standard length barrel.
A longer barrel allows the use of slower burning powders if the case capacity is great enough to get the quantity of powder in.The 7.62nato case doesnt have the powder capacity to utilise slow burning powders.The .30-06 does have the capacity to use them so with a barrel that is long enough to use all of the gasses developed with slow burning powders,you can get more fps at lower pressures.The problem in this case is the gas activated actions wont operate well with slow burn powders.They should be in the medium burn rate for the Garand action.Where the .308win can be loaded to higher pressures with faster burning powders for a bolt action and just almost equal .30-06 performance,the higher pressures are rough on the auto-loading gas action.The .308win can be loaded to as high as 55k for bolt guns,but only around 48k for gas auto,s.At higher pressures the .308win is almost equal to the .30-06."BUT",the .30-06 can be loaded to higher pressures that almost equal the .300win mag. sam.
 

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With military spec ammunition there is nothing to choose between them ballistically. They are essentially identical. Either is a threat to any target out to 600 yards. Beyond that I do not care.

I shoot nothing but military spec ammunition through my M1s and M1As. If I want to mess with stiffer loads, that's why God invented bolt actions. In bolt guns, the .30-06 walks away from the .308 at longer ranges and with heavy bullets.

For competition, I prefer the M1A because of better ergonomics. However, I no longer shoot either in competition. I can get better scores with the AR.

I like them both. They are equal on the fun meter.
 

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The platforms to launch the bullets are different.........M1 vs. M14.........so, .30-06 vs. 7.62 Nato.......should be judged on those basis too.

It is said that a match tuned M1 is as accurate, as a match tuned M14. Though, in GI Issue form, the M14 is superior to the M1 for accuracy. Due to the differences in op rod, gas systems, gas port position and other factors. Not to mention the advances in, "keeping things tight and in spec."

But, IF we were to limit the "problem" to Bolt Action Rifle vs. Bollt Action Rifle.........30-06 vs. 7.62 Nato........then I'd have to say that there is a certain amount of "efficiency" to the burning of powder. How much powder each cartridge could hold would be a factor. The .30-06 having a longer case......more powder capacity......more chance to keep the bullet traveling at supersonic speed for longer range accurate shooting.

IF the question was based on M1 vs. M1.........30-06 vs. 7.62 Nato. I guess there would be a "limit," to what could be done. Mostly I suspect, due to the op rod, bullet weight and powder burning rate issues that must be thought of.

Aloha, Mark

PS.........and, I believe that generally (for the average solider) the U. S. ARMY gave up on the idea of marksmanship at those farther ranges anyway.
 

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Here are the facts on ballistics. Actual achieved velocities for the loads I use:

M1A, 7.62x51, 22" barrel, 1-10

155 2700 fps
168 2600 fps
178 2400 fps


M1 Garand, .30-06, 24" barrel, 1-10

155 2750 fps
168 2700 fps
178 2550 fps

The .30-06 (out of a 2" longer barrel) slightly outperforms the 7.62x51 in velocity. However, in practical match shooting, I have never observed any real difference. The sight corrections for differerent ranges are within a minute or two between the two cartridges, certainly within tolerance you would expect from individual rifles.

I have match M1s I have shot in competition. I own M1As. However, I have never shot the M1A in competition. I have shot the NM M14 in competition. As I said above, I prefer the M14 (M1A) platform for ergonomics over the M1, but neither showed a difference in scores (at least for me, a mediocre shooter). Accuracy is a function of individual rifles. I do not shoot past 600 yards.

So, to answer eclancy's original question yet again, not enough difference to matter.

The M14 was developed to address some specific perceived shortcomings in the M1. Ballistic performance was not one of them.

The short barrels of the "scout" rifle cost velocity (25-50 fps/inch). Beyond that, again no difference. There is no reason a short barrel is any less accurate (or any more accurate) than a long barrel. There are sight radius considerations, and there are noise considerations. You pay your money and you make your choice.
 

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Though, in GI Issue form, the M14 is superior to the M1 for accuracy. Due to the differences in op rod, gas systems, gas port position and other factors.
If one could find 10 new M1 Garands and 10 new M14's the garand would probably outshoot the M14. At least to my experience. By the time most of us experienced the M14 the old garands were shot out. Never saw an M14 that would shoot with a finely tuned Garand at 800-1000 yds.

It is much easier to accurize a Garand than an M14, too, though they do use their gas differently. The extra space in the case leads to various positions of the powder and more velocity stringing in 30-06 than the compact 308 case.
The key to 1000 yd accuracy with an M1, or M14 is whether all the components return to the same place for every shot. A well fitted garand does this better than the '14. I've built, accurized, rebarreled, repaired and shot dozens to hundreds of each, so it may be that I am fatigued?
Another thing is the longevity of service. A NM garand will shoot accurately for 1000's of rounds after the 14 needs a rebuild. The higher pressure of the 7.62 beats the hell out of the rifle after a few thousand rounds. Not the garand. Just a humble opinion. I'm wrong about a dozen times per day, perhaps now!
 

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Though, in GI Issue form, the M14 is superior to the M1 for accuracy. Due to the differences in op rod, gas systems, gas port position and other factors. Not to mention the advances in, "keeping things tight and in spec."
In theory.

Aloha, Mark
 

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The rifles and calibers as so similar I don't think we can have a clear leader. When the rifle has been tuned for match accuracy (time money ammo) and one is able to shoot the M1 or M1A at competitive levels.

But I do agree getting a little more out of the 30-06 is obtainable.
 

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When I used to accurize garands to "NM" I noticed how much harder it is to get a M14 to the same accuracy. Both the rifle's design, weight and rigidity and the ammo contributed, I guess. My lack of skills? Any oaf (Me?) can accurize a Garand in a few hours but it takes more time and skill, I suppose for 14? I used to shoot a pretty good garand at 1000yds, just for fun. If there was no wind and one had good ammo and a "good day" it was amazing what could be done. The scoped c/d was incredible if a new bbl and good trigger.
 

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Came across this thread via a link in another forum. Thought I'd put some icing on this excellent cake, or discussion.

In the beginning of accurate Garands used by the military rifle teams in the early 1950's, they were somewhat better than regular service rifles. As the folks at the military match conditioning units improved their refitting and parts selection processes, accuracy with the 30 caliber ones gradually got better. Beginning with putting match book covers between the trigger group flats and the stock to hold the barrel group tighter to epoxy bedding the receiver plus gluing the hand guards to the barrel and using high-quality barrels, accuracy improved. At the end of the 30 calibers life as used by the military teams, the very best of them would shoot inside of 8 inches all day long at 600 yards. Plenty good enough for the 1000-yard target used in both military and NRA competitions. At 1000 yards, the best ones would hold about 20 inches which was fine for the 36-inch 5-ring on the old 'C' target.

Note that the bolt action rifles in .30-06 (only cartridge allowed at the time in standard NRA match rifle competition) weren't much better, accuracy wise. Those with the best fit high grade parts and handloads would stay under 6 inches at 600 yards, 15 inches at 1000 yards. Such was life in the matches until mid summer in 1963.

The .308 Win./7.62mm NATO cartridge was first allowed for competition at the 1963 National Matches at Camp Perry. It's improved accuracy over the .30-06 started to be noticed. In just a couple of years, the USN Small Arms Match Conditioning Unit in San Diego had learned how to make 7.62mm NATO converted Garands shoot the best ammo under 4 inches at 600 yards. It wasn't long before the US Army and Marine Corps M14's equalled that. Meanwhile, the best .308 Win. bolt action rifles were shooting inside 3 inches at 600 yards. At 1000 yards, the best M1's and M14's would stay under 12 inches and the bolt guns under 8. Note this accuracy is what they would produce in accuracy cradles (machine rests), not what they did off the shoulder. No rifle chambered for the .30-06 cartridge ever did this well.

Why was the .308/7.62 more accurate? Simple. All you needed was a chronograph to measure muzzle velocities. Granted, a bullet leaving a bit faster from a .30-06 will get to the target faster, but that's not what's important. The .30-06 has a larger muzzle velocity spread than the .308 which meant more vertical shot stringing which became more apparent as the range increased. At 1000 yards with either round, a 10 fps change in velocity means a 4 inch change in vertical impact. Other more subtle differences may have helped, but were buried in the other elements of what's needed for best accuracy. Some .308 Win. bolt guns would shoot 20 to 40 consecutive shots in under 2 inches at 600 yards (one put several consecutive 10-shot groups ranging from 3/4ths to 1-1/2 inch at 600). All of this caused the demise of the .30-06 as a competition cartridge among those wanting to shoot the best score.

In fact, the NRA had to reduce the scoring ring sizes of the targets used in high power matches as the use of the .308's increased. The old military A, B and C targets used since the early 1900's had too many identical perfect scores. Tie-breaking was a pain in the wazoo! In 1966, the NRA changed the 200 through 600 yard targets to have smaller scoring rings (12" 5 ring down to 7" 10 ring at 200 & 300, 20" 5 ring down to 12" 10 ring at 600); the 1000 yard target's rings were down sized in 1971 (36" 5 ring down to 20" 10 ring).

Most of the top high power competitors feel the final blow to the venerable .30-06 as a match round, even at long range, happened in the early 1990's. That's when the NRA first established a "Palma" rifle designation for long range matches, it could shoot either the .30-06 or .308 Win. cartridge with any bullet. A few folks tried to get new .30-06 rifles to shoot very accurate at long range using the best barrels and actions available. None of them did as well as those using the .308 Win. round.
 

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My God, I can't even SEE that far........
 

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My God, I can't even SEE that far........
Tain't as hard as one might think.

The 1000 yard target's black bull's eye and 8 ring is 44 inches in diameter in the middle of a 72 inch square buff-colored target paper. It appears the same size as a tennis ball at 50 yards, a baseball at 60 yards or a soft ball at 100 yards.
 
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