.30-06 Springfield

Last updated
.30-06 Springfield
30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge.jpg
.30-06 Springfield cartridge with soft tip
TypeRifle round
Place of origin United States
Service history
In service1906–1980s
Used byUSA and others
Wars World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, to present
Production history
Designer United States Military
Parent  case .30-03 Springfield
Case typeRimless, bottleneck
Bullet  diameter.308 in (7.8 mm)
Neck diameter.340 in (8.6 mm)
Shoulder diameter.441 in (11.2 mm)
Base diameter.471 in (12.0 mm)
Rim diameter.473 in (12.0 mm)
Rim thickness.049 in (1.2 mm)
Case length2.494 in (63.3 mm)
Overall length3.34 in (85 mm)
Case capacity68  gr H2O (4.4 cm3)
Rifling  twist1 turn in 10 inches (25.4 cm)
Primer  typeLarge Rifle
Maximum pressure (C.I.P.)58,740 psi (405.0 MPa)
Maximum pressure (SAAMI)60,200 psi (415 MPa)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/typeVelocityEnergy
150 gr (10 g) Nosler Ballistic Tip2,910 ft/s (890 m/s)2,820 ft⋅lbf (3,820 J)
165 gr (11 g) BTSP2,800 ft/s (850 m/s)2,872 ft⋅lbf (3,894 J)
180 gr (12 g) Core-Lokt Soft Point2,700 ft/s (820 m/s)2,913 ft⋅lbf (3,949 J)
200 gr (13 g) Partition2,569 ft/s (783 m/s)2,932 ft⋅lbf (3,975 J)
220 gr (14 g) RN2,500 ft/s (760 m/s)2,981 ft⋅lbf (4,042 J)
Test barrel length: 24 inch (61 cm)
Source(s): Federal Cartridge [1] / Accurate Powder [2]

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge (pronounced "thirty-aught-six" or "thirty-oh-six"), 7.62×63mm in metric notation and called ".30 Gov't '06" by Winchester, [3] was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and later standardized; it remained in use until the early 1980s. The ".30" refers to the caliber of the bullet in inches. The "06" refers to the year the cartridge was adopted—1906. It replaced the .30-03, 6mm Lee Navy, and .30-40 Krag cartridges. The .30-06 remained the U.S. Army's primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for nearly 50 years before being replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO (commercial .308 Winchester) and 5.56×45mm NATO (commercial .223 Remington), both of which remain in current U.S. and NATO service. It remains a very popular sporting round, with ammunition produced by all major manufacturers.

Zero is the usual name for the number 0 in English. In British English "nought" is also used. In American English "naught" is used occasionally for zero, but as with British English, "naught" is more often used as an archaic word for nothing. "Nil", "love", and "duck" are used by different sports for scores of zero.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standards based on the consensus of different parties that include firms, users, interest groups, standards organizations and governments Standardization can help to maximize compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality. It can also facilitate commoditization of formerly custom processes. In social sciences, including economics, the idea of standardization is close to the solution for a coordination problem, a situation in which all parties can realize mutual gains, but only by making mutually consistent decisions. This view includes the case of "spontaneous standardization processes", to produce de facto standards.



In the early 1890s, the U.S. military adopted the smokeless powder .30-40 Krag rimmed cartridge. The 1894 version of that cartridge used a 220-grain (14 g) round-nose bullet. Around 1901, the U.S. started developing an experimental rimless cartridge for a Mauser action with box magazine. That led to the 1903 .30-03 rimless service round that used the same 220-grain (14 g) round-nose bullet as the Krag. [4] The .30-03 achieved a muzzle velocity of 2,300 ft/s (700 m/s).

Smokeless powder propellant used in firearms and artillery

Smokeless powder is the name given to a number of propellants used in firearms and artillery that produce negligible smoke when fired, unlike the gunpowder or black powder they replaced. The term is unique to the United States and is generally not used in other English-speaking countries, which initially used proprietary names such as "Ballistite" and "Cordite" but gradually shifted to "propellant" as the generic term.

.30-40 Krag cartridge

The .30-40 Krag was a cartridge developed in the early 1890s to provide the U.S. armed forces with a smokeless powder cartridge suited for use with modern small-bore repeating rifles to be selected in the 1892 small arm trials. Since the cartridge it was replacing was the .45-70 Government, the round was considered small-bore at the time. The design selected was ultimately the Krag–Jørgensen, formally adopted as the M1892 Springfield. It was also used in M1893 and later Gatling guns.

The .30-03 was a short-lived cartridge developed by the United States in 1903, to replace the .30-40 Krag in the new Springfield 1903 rifle. The .30-03 was also called the .30-45, since it used a 45 grain powder charge; the name was changed to .30-03 to indicate the year of adoption. It used a 220 grain roundnose bullet. It was replaced after only three years of service by the .30-06, firing a spitzer bullet giving better ballistic performance.

Many European militaries at the beginning of the 20th century were adopting lighter-weight (roughly 150-to-200-grain (9.7 to 13.0 g)), higher velocity, service rounds with pointed (spitzer) bullets: France in 1898 (8mm Lebel Balle D spitzer 198 grains (12.8 g) with boat-tail), Germany in 1903 (7.92×57mm Mauser 153 grains (9.9 g)S Patrone), Russia in 1908 (7.62×54mmR Lyokhkaya pulya [light bullet]), and Britain in 1910 (.303 British Mark VII 174 grains (11.3 g)). [5] Consequently, the round-nosed U.S. .30-03 service cartridge was falling behind. [6]

Spitzer (bullet)

The spitzer bullet, also commonly referred to as a spire point bullet, is primarily a small arms ballistics development of the late 19th and early 20th century, driven by military desire for aerodynamic bullet designs that will give a higher degree of accuracy and kinetic efficiency, especially at extended ranges. To achieve this, the projectile must minimize air resistance in flight.

7.92×57mm Mauser rifle cartridge

The 7.92×57mm Mauser is a rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge. The 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge was adopted by the German Empire in 1903–1905, and was the German service cartridge in both World Wars. In its day, the 7.92×57mm Mauser cartridge was one of the world’s most popular military cartridges. In the 21st century it is still a popular sport and hunting cartridge that is factory-produced in Europe and the United States.

7.62×54mmR Russian rimmed rifle cartridge

The 7.62×54mmR is a rimmed rifle cartridge developed by the Russian Empire and introduced as a service cartridge in 1891. Originally designed for the bolt-action Mosin–Nagant rifle, it was used during the late Tsarist era and throughout the Soviet period to the present day. The cartridge remains one of the few standard-issue rimmed cartridges still in military use and has the longest service life of all military-issued cartridges in the world.

For these reasons, the U.S. military developed a new, lighter cartridge in 1906, the .30-06 Springfield, "cartridge, ball, caliber .30, Model of 1906", or just M1906. The .30-03 case was modified to have a slightly shorter neck to fire a spitzer flat-based 150-grain (9.7 g) bullet that had a ballistic coefficient (G1 BC) of approximately 0.405, a muzzle velocity of 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s), and a muzzle energy of 2,429 ft⋅lbf (3,293 J). The cartridge was loaded with military rifle (MR) 21 propellant, and its maximum range was claimed (falsely) to be 4,700 yd (4,300 m). [7] The M1903 Springfield rifle, which had been introduced alongside the .30-03 cartridge, was modified to accept the new .30-06 Springfield cartridge. Modifications to the rifle included shortening the barrel at its breech and resizing the chamber, so that the more tapered bullet would not have to jump too far to reach the rifling. Other changes to the rifle included elimination of the troublesome "rod bayonet" of the earlier Springfield rifles.

In ballistics, the ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the negative acceleration: a high number indicates a low negative acceleration—the drag on the vehicle or projectile is small in proportion to its mass.

The M1906 maximum range was originally overstated. When the M1906 cartridge was developed, the range tests had been done to only 1,800 yards (1,650 m); distances beyond that were estimated, but the estimate for extreme range was wrong by almost 40 percent. [8] The range discrepancy became evident during World War I. Before the widespread employment of light mortars and artillery, long-range machine gun "barrage" or indirect fires were considered important in U.S. infantry tactics. [9] When the U.S. entered World War I, it did not have many machine guns, so it acquired British and French machine guns. When those weapons were later replaced with U.S. machine guns firing the M1906 round, the effective range of the barrage was 50 percent less. [10] Firing tests performed around 1918 at Borden Brook Reservoir (Massachusetts), Miami, and Daytona Beach showed the actual maximum range of the M1906 cartridge to be 3,300 to 3,400 yards (3,020 to 3,110 m). [11] Germany, which was using the S Patrone (S ball cartridge) loaded with a similar 153-grain (9.9 g) flat-based bullet in its rifles, had apparently confronted and solved the same problem by developing an aerodynamically more refined bullet for long range machine gun use. The s.S. Patrone was introduced in 1914 and used a 197.5-grain (12.80 g)s.S. - schweres Spitzgeschoß (heavy spitzer) boat-tail bullet which had a maximum range of approximately 4,700 m (5,140 yd). [12]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Indirect fire is aiming and firing a projectile without relying on a direct line of sight between the gun and its target, as in the case of direct fire. Aiming is performed by calculating azimuth and inclination, and may include correcting aim by observing the fall of shot and calculating new angles.

For these reasons, in 1926, the ordnance corps, after extensive testing of 7.5×55mm Swiss GP11 projectiles provided by the Swiss developed the .30 M1 Ball cartridge loaded with a new improved military rifle (IMR) 1185 propellant and 174-grain (11.3 g) bullet with a 9° boat-tail and an ogive of 7 calibers nose cone that had a higher ballistic coefficient of roughly 0.494 (G1 BC), [13] [14] that achieved a muzzle velocity of 2,647 ft/s (807 m/s) and muzzle energy of 2,675 ft⋅lbf (3,627 J). [15] This bullet further reduced air resistance in flight, resulting in less rapid downrange deceleration, less lateral drift caused by crosswinds, and significantly greater supersonic and maximum effective range from machine guns and rifles alike. Its maximum range was approximately 5,500 yd (5,030 m). [16] Additionally, a gilding metal jacket was developed that all but eliminated the metal fouling that plagued the earlier M1906 cartridge.

Improved Military Rifle

Improved military rifle propellants are tubular nitrocellulose propellants evolved from World War I through World War II for loading military and commercial ammunition and sold to civilians for reloading rifle ammunition for hunting and target shooting. These propellants were DuPont modifications of United States artillery propellants. DuPont miniaturized the large artillery grains to form military rifle propellants suitable for use in small arms. These were improved during the first world war to be more efficient in rimless military cartridges replacing earlier rimmed rifle cartridges. Four-digit numbers identified experimental propellants, and a few successful varieties warranted extensive production by several manufacturers. Some were used almost exclusively for military contracts, or commercial ammunition production, but a few have been distributed for civilian use in handloading. Improved military rifle propellants are coated with dinitrotoluene (DNT) to slow initial burning and graphite to minimize static electricity during blending and loading. They contain 0.6% diphenylamine as a stabilizer and 1% potassium sulfate to reduce muzzle flash.

Ogive roundly tapered end of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object

An ogive is the roundly tapered end of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object. Ogive curves and surfaces are used in engineering, architecture and woodworking.

Given the problem of the aerodynamic design of the nose cone section of any vehicle or body meant to travel through a compressible fluid medium, an important problem is the determination of the nose cone geometrical shape for optimum performance. For many applications, such a task requires the definition of a solid of revolution shape that experiences minimal resistance to rapid motion through such a fluid medium, which consists of elastic particles.

Wartime surplus totaled over 2 billion rounds of ammunition. Army regulations called for training use of the oldest ammunition first. As a result, the older .30-06 ammunition was expended for training; stocks of .30 M1 ball ammunition were allowed to slowly grow until all of the older M1906 ammunition had been fired. By 1936, it was discovered that the maximum range of the .30 M1 ball ammunition with its boat-tailed spitzer bullets was beyond the safety limitations of many military firing ranges. An emergency order was made to manufacture quantities of ammunition that matched the external ballistics of the earlier M1906 cartridge as soon as possible. A new cartridge was developed in 1938 that was essentially a duplicate of the old M1906 round, but loaded with IMR 4895 propellant and a new flat-based bullet that had a gilding metal jacket and a different lead alloy, and weighed 152 grains (9.8 g) instead of 150 grains (9.7 g). This 1938 pattern cartridge, the cartridge, caliber .30, ball, M2, achieved a muzzle velocity of 2,805 ft/s (855 m/s) and muzzle energy of 2,656 ft⋅lbf (3,601 J). [15] The round weighed 416 grains (27.0 g) and its maximum range was approximately 3,450 yd (3,150 m). [16] [17]


M1 Garand 30-06. Note the ammunition clip at 12 o'clock. It is ejected from the rifle after all eight rounds are depleted. Batesgarand2.jpg
M1 Garand 30-06. Note the ammunition clip at 12 o'clock. It is ejected from the rifle after all eight rounds are depleted.
A Winchester Model 70 Super Grade hunting rifle in .30-06 with Leupold 6x42 scope Super2012.jpg
A Winchester Model 70 Super Grade hunting rifle in .30-06 with Leupold 6×42 scope

In military service, the 30-06 was used in the bolt-action M1903 Springfield rifle, the bolt-action M1917 Enfield rifle, the semi-automatic M1 Garand rifle, the semi-automatic M1941 Johnson rifle, the Famage Mauser, the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), and numerous machine guns, including the M1917 and M1919 series. It served the United States in both World Wars and in the Korean War, its last major use being in Vietnam.

The Belgian army (ABL) bought the FN Model 1949 rifle in 30-06 calibre (both as a sniper version with telescopic sights and as a general service weapon). The Belgium armed forces used the round widely in the Korean war, where the 30-06 calibre FN-49 proved to be a superior weapon in terms of both accuracy and reliability to the American M1 Garand. The 30-06 FN-49 saw widespread use in the various wars in and around the Belgian Congo. The 30-06 FN-49 was also sold to the armies of Luxembourg, Indonesia and Colombia. Another customer was Brazil where it served the Navy.

Large volumes of surplus brass made it the basis for dozens of commercial and wildcat cartridges, as well as being extensively used for reloading. In 1908 the Model 1895 Winchester lever-action rifle became the first commercially produced sporting rifle chambered in .30-06 Springfield. It is still a very common round for hunting and is suitable for large game such as bison, Sambar deer, and bear, when used at close to medium ranges.

In 1903, the Army converted its M1900 Gatling guns in .30 Army to fit the new .30-03 cartridge as the M1903. The later M1903-'06 was an M1903 converted to .30-06. This conversion was principally carried out at the Army's Springfield Armory arsenal repair shops. All models of Gatling guns were declared obsolete by the U.S. Army in 1911, after 45 years of service. [18]

Ballistically, the .30-06 is one of the most versatile cartridges ever designed. With "hot" handloads and a rifle capable of handling them, the .30-06 is capable of performance rivaling many "magnum" cartridges. On the other hand, when loaded more closely to the original government spec, .30-06 remains within the upper limit of felt recoil most shooters consider 'tolerable' over multiple rounds, unlike the magnums, and isn't unnecessarily destructive of meat on game such as deer. With appropriate loads, it is suitable for any small or large heavy game found in North America. The .30-06's power and versatility (combined with the availability of surplus firearms chambered for it and demand for commercial ammunition) have kept the round as one of the most popular for hunting in North America.


The .30-06 cartridge was designed when shots of 1,000 yards (914.4 m) were expected. In 1906, the original M1906 .30-06 cartridge consisted of a 150 grains (9.7 g), flat-base cupronickel-jacketed-bullet. After World War I, the U.S. military needed better long-range performance machine guns. Based on weapons performance reports from Europe, a streamlined, 173 grains (11.2 g) boattail, gilding-metal bullet was used. The .30-06 cartridge, with the 173 grains (11.2 g) bullet was called Cartridge, .30, M1 Ball. The .30-06 cartridge was far more powerful than the smaller Japanese 6.5×50mm Arisaka cartridge and comparable to the Japanese 7.7×58mm Arisaka. The new M1 ammunition proved to be significantly more accurate than the M1906 round. [19]

In 1938, the unstained, 9.8 grams (151 gr), flat-base bullet combined with the .30-06 case became the M2 ball cartridge. The M2 Ball specifications required 2,740 feet per second (835.2 m/s) minimum velocity, measured 78 feet (24 m) from the muzzle. [20] M2 Ball was the standard-issue ammunition for military rifles and machine guns until it was replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO round in 1954. For rifle use, M2 Ball ammunition proved to be less accurate than the earlier M1 cartridge; even with match rifles, a target group of 5 inches (130 mm) diameter at 200 yards (180 m) using the 150-grain (9.7 g) M2 bullet was considered optimal, and many rifles did not perform nearly as well. [19] The U.S. Marine Corps retained stocks of M1 ammunition for use by snipers and trained marksmen throughout the Solomon Islands campaign in the early years of the war. [21]

In an effort to increase accuracy some snipers resorted to use of the heavier .30-06 M2 armor-piercing round, a practice that re-emerged during the Korean War. Others sought out lots of M2 ammunition produced by Denver Ordnance, which had proved to be more accurate than those produced by other wartime ammunition plants when used for sniping at long range. [22] With regards to penetration, the M2 ball can penetrate 0.4 in (10.16 mm) of mild steel at 100 yards (91 m), and 0.3 in (7.62 mm) at 200 yards (180 m). M2 AP can penetrate 0.42 in (10.67 mm) of armor steel at 100 yards (91 m). These figures come from Army documents. [23] However, a test done by Brass Fetchers shows that M2 AP can actually penetrate up to 0.5 in (12.70 mm) of MIL-A-12560 armor steel from a distance of 100 yards (91 m). The round struck the plate at a velocity of 2601 fps, and made a complete penetration. [24]

Winchester .30-06 cartridge 30-06 Spring.PNG
Winchester .30-06 cartridge
From left to right 9.3x62mm, .30-06 Springfield, 7.92x57mm Mauser, 6.5x55mm and .308 Winchester 9.3X62-30-06-8X57-6.5X55-308.JPG
From left to right 9.3×62mm, .30-06 Springfield, 7.92×57mm Mauser, 6.5×55mm and .308 Winchester
Eight .30-06 cartridges loaded in an en bloc clip for the M1 Garand Garand clip.jpg
Eight .30-06 cartridges loaded in an en bloc clip for the M1 Garand

Commercially manufactured rifles chambered in .30-06 are popular for hunting. Current .30-06 factory ammunition varies in bullet weight from 7.1 to 14.3 grams (109.6 to 220.7 gr) in solid bullets, and as low as 3.6 grams (55.6 gr) with the use of a sub-caliber bullet in a sabot. Loads are available with reduced velocity and pressure as well as increased velocity and pressure for stronger firearms. The .30-06 remains one of the most popular sporting cartridges in the world. Many hunting loads have over 3,000 foot-pounds (4,100 J) of energy at the muzzle and use expanding bullets that can deliver rapid energy transfer to targets.

Bullet WeightFederal [25] Hodgdon [26] Speer [27] Hornady [28] Nosler [29] Barnes [30]
110 gr (7.1 g)N/A3,505 ft/s (1,068 m/s)3,356 ft/s (1,023 m/s)3,500 ft/s (1,067 m/s)N/A3,471 ft/s (1,058 m/s)
125–130 gr (8.1–8.4 g)3,140 ft/s (957.1 m/s)3,334 ft/s (1,016 m/s)3,129 ft/s (953.7 m/s)3,200 ft/s (975.4 m/s)3,258 ft/s (993.0 m/s)3,278 ft/s (999.1 m/s)
150 gr (9.7 g)2,910 ft/s (887.0 m/s)3,068 ft/s (935.1 m/s)2,847 ft/s (867.8 m/s)3,100 ft/s (944.9 m/s)3,000 ft/s (914.4 m/s)3,031 ft/s (923.8 m/s)
165 gr (10.7 g)2,800 ft/s (853.4 m/s)2,938 ft/s (895.5 m/s)2,803 ft/s (854.4 m/s)3,015 ft/s (919.0 m/s)3,002 ft/s (915.0 m/s)2,980 ft/s (908.3 m/s)
180 gr (11.7 g)2,700 ft/s (823.0 m/s)2,798 ft/s (852.8 m/s)2,756 ft/s (840.0 m/s)2,900 ft/s (883.9 m/s)2,782 ft/s (848.0 m/s)2,799 ft/s (853.1 m/s)
200 gr (13.0 g)N/A2,579 ft/s (786.1 m/s)2,554 ft/s (778.5 m/s)N/A2,688 ft/s (819.3 m/s)2,680 ft/s (816.9 m/s)
220 gr (14.3 g)2,400 ft/s (731.5 m/s)2,476 ft/s (754.7 m/s)N/A2,500 ft/s (762.0 m/s)2,602 ft/s (793.1 m/s)2,415 ft/s (736.1 m/s)

The table above shows typical muzzle velocities available in commercial 30-06 loads along with maximum 30-06 muzzle velocities reported by several reloading manuals for common bullet weights. Hodgdon, Nosler, and Barnes report velocities for 24 inches (610 mm) barrels. Hornady and Speer report velocities for 22 inches (560 mm) barrels. The data are all for barrels with a twist rate of 1 turn in 10 inches (250 mm) which is needed to stabilize the heaviest bullets. The higher muzzle velocities reported by Nosler for 165 grains (10.7 g) and heavier bullets use loads employing a slow-burning, double-base powder (Alliant Reloder 22).

The newer 7.62×51mm NATO/.308 Winchester cartridge offers similar performance to standard military .30-06 loadings in a smaller cartridge. However, the greater cartridge capacity of the .30-06 allows much more powerful loadings if the shooter desires.


One reason that the .30-06 has remained a popular round for so long is that the cartridge is at the upper limit of power that is tolerable to most shooters. [31] [32] Recoil energy (Free recoil) greater than 20 foot-pounds force (27 J) will cause most shooters to develop a serious flinch, and the recoil energy of an 8-pound (3.6 kg) rifle firing a 165-grain (10.7 g) 30-06 bullet at 2,900 feet per second (880 m/s) is 20.1 foot-pounds force (27.3 J). Recoil-shy shooters can opt for lighter bullets, such as a 150-grain (9.7 g) bullet. In the same 8-pound (3.6 kg) rifle, a 150-grain (9.7 g) bullet at 2,910 feet per second (890 m/s) will only generate 17.6 foot-pounds force (23.9 J) of recoil energy. [33] Young shooters can start out with even lighter bullets weighing 110, 125 or 130 grains (7.1, 8.1 or 8.4 g).

Cartridge dimensions

.30-06 Springfield cartridge dimensions. All sizes in inches Cartridge 30-06.png
.30-06 Springfield cartridge dimensions. All sizes in inches

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge case can hold 68.2 grains (4.42 g) of water and has a volume of 4.42 millilitres (0.270 in3). The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt-action rifles and machine guns alike, under extreme conditions.

.30-06 Springfield.svg

.30-06 Springfield maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters. [34]

Americans defined the shoulder angle at alpha/2 = 17.5 degrees. According to the Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives (C.I.P.) the common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 254 mm (1 in 10 in), 4 grooves, Ø lands = 7.62 mm (.30 in), Ø grooves = 7.82 mm (.308 in), land width = 4.49 mm (.1768 in) and the primer type is large rifle.

According to the official C.I.P. guidelines, the .30-06 Springfield case can handle up to 405 MPa (58,740 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P.-regulated countries, every rifle cartridge combination has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers. The 8×64mm S is the closest European ballistic twin of the .30-06 Springfield.

Military cartridge types

Note: .30-06 cartridges are produced commercially with many different bullets and to a number of different specifications.

United States

The .30-06 round was replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO round in 1954. However, it remained in limited use in the army reserves and national guard for some time; Frankford Arsenal only stopped production in 1961 and Lake City Army Ammunition Plant was making .30-06 until the late 1970s, with new production batches in 1993 and 2002.

The five most common bullets used in United States military loadings from left to right: M1903 bullet, M1906 ball, M1 ball, M2 ball, and M2 armor-piercing (AP) bullet. Black paint has chipped off the tip of AP bullet during rough handling. The cannelure indentation around each bullet is where the leading edge of the case would be crimped into the bullet. The four spitzer bullets used in the .30-06 Springfield cartridge case were loaded with a nearly identical tangent ogive exposed for reliable functioning in self-loading firearms, while the earlier M1903 bullet is positioned to illustrate the longer neck of the preceding .30-03 cartridge. Five301906govtBullets.png
The five most common bullets used in United States military loadings from left to right: M1903 bullet, M1906 ball, M1 ball, M2 ball, and M2 armor-piercing (AP) bullet. Black paint has chipped off the tip of AP bullet during rough handling. The cannelure indentation around each bullet is where the leading edge of the case would be crimped into the bullet. The four spitzer bullets used in the .30-06 Springfield cartridge case were loaded with a nearly identical tangent ogive exposed for reliable functioning in self-loading firearms, while the earlier M1903 bullet is positioned to illustrate the longer neck of the preceding .30-03 cartridge.
This dummy cartridge uses a modified case bearing the headstamp F A 4 09 indicating manufacture at Frankford Arsenal in April 1909. The case has been tin-plated, fluted with six longitudinal indentations, and perforated three times in alternating indentations. The hollow brass bullet retains a spring-loaded steel rod exposed in the primer pocket with 1/8-inch of possible forward movement when struck by the firing pin. This rod is intended for the Hollifield Target Practice Rod device -- a pointed rod within the barrel which would be propelled out of the barrel when struck by the steel rod in the dummy cartridge to prick a paper target held just in front of the rifle. FrankfordArsenalDrillRound.png
This dummy cartridge uses a modified case bearing the headstamp F A 4 09 indicating manufacture at Frankford Arsenal in April 1909. The case has been tin-plated, fluted with six longitudinal indentations, and perforated three times in alternating indentations. The hollow brass bullet retains a spring-loaded steel rod exposed in the primer pocket with 1/8-inch of possible forward movement when struck by the firing pin. This rod is intended for the Hollifield Target Practice Rod device -- a pointed rod within the barrel which would be propelled out of the barrel when struck by the steel rod in the dummy cartridge to prick a paper target held just in front of the rifle.


The .30-06 (or "caliber .30") cartridge was adopted in 1940 during the beginnings of the Lend-Lease program in anticipation of using American weapons in front-line service. The British used American-made ammunition during the war, which was designated as cartridge S.A, .30 to avoid confusing it with their own .303 British service round. It was used after the war as belted machinegun ammunition by the Royal Armored Corps and was not declared obsolete until October, 1993. The "z" after the numeral indicates that it used a nitrocellulose propellant rather than cordite. Marks of ammunition were originally designated with Roman numerals (i.e., .303 Ball Mark VII), but were replaced with Arabic numerals by 1945 (i.e., .303 Ball MK 7).

French Union

The .30-06 round was adopted in 1949 for use in American war surplus military aid weapons like the M1 Garand and M1919 medium machinegun. Military production was from the 1950s to the mid-1960s, while export production to French Union nations lasted until the late 1980s. Cartridge cases were softer than US specifications to prohibit their being recovered and reloaded by insurgents.

U.S. military firearms using the .30-06 cartridge

View from the turret of an M67 "Zippo". On the right is a mounted M1919 Browning machine gun with an attached box of linked .30-06 ammunition. Marineflametank1968.jpg
View from the turret of an M67 "Zippo". On the right is a mounted M1919 Browning machine gun with an attached box of linked .30-06 ammunition.

See also

Related Research Articles

5.56×45mm NATO firearms cartridge

The 5.56×45mm NATO is a rimless bottlenecked intermediate cartridge family developed in the late 1970s in Belgium by FN Herstal. It consists of the SS109, SS110, and SS111 cartridges. On 28 October 1980 under STANAG 4172 it was standardized as the second standard service rifle cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. The 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge family was derived from, but is not identical to, the .223 Remington cartridge designed by Remington Arms in the early 1960s.

Bullet projectile propelled by a firearm, sling, or air gun

A bullet is a kinetic projectile and the component of firearm ammunition that is expelled from the gun barrel during shooting. The term is from Middle French and originated as the diminutive of the word boulle (boullet), which means "small ball". Bullets are made of a variety of materials such as copper, lead, steel, polymer, rubber and even wax. They are available either singly as in muzzleloading and cap and ball firearms or as a component of paper cartridges, but much more commonly in the form of metallic cartridges. Bullets are made in a large number of shapes and constructions depending on the intended applications, including specialized functions such as hunting, target shooting, training and combat.

.38 Special Cartridge

The .38 Smith & Wesson Special is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. It is most commonly used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round. The .38 Special was the standard service cartridge of most police departments in the United States from the 1920s to the 1990s, and was also a common sidearm cartridge used by soldiers in World War I. In other parts of the world, it is known by its metric designation of 9×29.5mmR or 9.1×29mmR.

.50 BMG cartridge

The .50 Browning Machine Gun is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. The cartridge itself has been made in many variants: multiple generations of regular ball, tracer, armor-piercing (AP), incendiary, and saboted sub-caliber rounds. The rounds intended for machine guns are made into a continuous belt using metallic links.

Tracer ammunition

Tracer ammunition (tracers) are bullets or cannon caliber projectiles that are built with a small pyrotechnic charge in their base. Ignited by the burning powder, the pyrotechnic composition burns very brightly, making the projectile trajectory visible to the naked eye during daylight, and very bright during nighttime firing. This enables the shooter to make aiming corrections without observing the impact of the rounds fired and without using the sights of the weapon. Tracer fire can also be used to signal to other shooters where to concentrate their fire during battle.

.45 ACP Pistol cartridge designed by John Browning

The .45 ACP , or .45 Auto (11.43×23mm) is a handgun cartridge designed by John Browning in 1905, for use in his prototype Colt semi-automatic pistol. After successful military trials, it was adopted as the standard chambering for Colt's M1911 pistol, being named .45 ACP.

.303 British .303-inch rimmed rifle cartridge

The .303 British or 7.7×56mmR, is a .303-inch (7.7 mm) calibre rimmed rifle cartridge first developed in Britain as a black-powder round put into service in December 1888 for the Lee–Metford rifle. In 1891 the cartridge was adapted to use smokeless powder. It was the standard British and Commonwealth military cartridge from 1889 until the 1950s when it was replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO.

.30 Carbine light rifle cartridge for M1 Carbine

The .30 Carbine (7.62×33mm) is a rimless carbine cartridge used in the M1 carbine introduced in the 1940s. It is a light rifle round designed to be fired from the M1 carbine's 18-inch (458 mm) barrel.

The 20 mm is a specific size of cannon or autocannon ammunition.

14.5×114mm heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge

The 14.5×114mm is a heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact, modern Russia, and other countries.

7.5×55mm Swiss cartridge

The 7.5×55mm Swiss or GP 11 is a cartridge developed for the Swiss Army by mechanical engineer Lt. Col. Eduard Rubin for rifles based on Rudolf Schmidt's action design. The ammunition used by the Schmidt–Rubin Model 1889 rifle was one of the first to use 7.5 mm copper-jacketed rounds similar to those used today. The GP90 7.5×53.5mm round designed by Rubin was revolutionary in that the most popular military calibres used in Europe at the time were around 10 to 14 mm as opposed to 7.5 mm of the Schmidt–Rubin ammunition. The 7.5x55mm Swiss cartridge is similar in appearance to the slightly smaller 7.5x54mm French round though the two are not interchangeable.

7.7×58mm Arisaka cartridge

The 7.7×58mm Arisaka cartridge, Type 99 rimless 7.7 mm or 7.7mm Japanese was a rifle cartridge which was used in the Imperial Japanese Army's Arisaka Type 99 rifle and machine guns, and was the standard light cartridge for the Imperial Japanese Army Air Service, such as the Type 89. The Imperial Japanese Navy never shared weapons or ammunition with the army, instead adopting the 7.7x56mmR, a direct copy of the .303 British round. The cartridge was designed to replace the aging 6.5×50mm Arisaka after seeing the effectiveness of the MG 34 GPMG in action in China during 1937. Due to a lack of materials, the plan to phase out the 6.5 mm Arisaka cartridge by the end of the war was not completed.

9×21mm Gyurza

The 9×21mm Gyurza round is a Russian handgun round designed to defeat body armor that was developed by TsNIITochMash for its SR-1 Vektor semi-automatic pistol and SR-2 Veresk submachine gun.

.358 Winchester cartridge

The .358 Winchester is a .35 caliber rifle cartridge based on a necked up .308 Winchester created by Winchester in 1955. The cartridge is also known in Europe as the 9.1x51mm.

The .276 Enfield (7×60mm) was an experimental rebated rim bottlenecked centerfire military rifle cartridge developed in conjunction with the Pattern 1913 Enfield (P'13) rifle. Development was discontinued by the onset of World War I.

7.62×51mm NATO rifle cartridge

The 7.62×51mm NATO is a rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge developed in the 1950s as a standard for small arms among NATO countries. It should not be confused with the similarly named Russian 7.62×54mmR cartridge, a slightly longer rimmed cartridge.

FN 5.7×28mm cartridge

The FN 5.7×28mm (designated as the 5.7 × 28 by the C.I.P.) is a small-caliber, high-velocity, smokeless powder, rebated rim, bottlenecked, centerfire handgun and rifle cartridge designed and manufactured by FN Herstal in Belgium. It is similar in length to the .22 WMR (5.7×27mm)and to some degree similar also to .22 Hornet or .22 K-Hornet. Unlike many new cartridges, it has no parent case; the complete package was developed from scratch by FN. The 5.7×28mm was developed in conjunction with the FN P90 personal defense weapon (PDW) and FN Five-seven pistol, in response to NATO requests for a replacement for the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge. In 2002 and 2003, NATO conducted a series of tests with the intention of standardizing a PDW cartridge as a replacement for the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge. The tests compared the relative merits of the 5.7×28mm cartridge and the 4.6×30mm cartridge, which was created by Heckler & Koch as a competitor to the 5.7×28mm. The NATO group subsequently recommended the 5.7×28mm cartridge, citing superior performance in testing, but the German delegation objected and the standardization process was indefinitely halted.


  1. "Federal Cartridge Co. ballistics page". Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  2. "Accurate Powder reload data table" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  3. Gun Digest Shooter's Guide to Rifles Wayne van Zwoll, p 186
  4. Sharpe, Philip B. (1938). The Rifle in America. William Morrow. p. 591. The rimless cartridge case first used a standard 220-grain Krag bullet but in 1906 the government decided that high velocity was necessary and accordingly adopted the German form of pointed or spitzer bullet, reducing the weight to 150 grains closely approximating the 154-grain 8 mm Mauser.
  5. "Cartridge Specifications and Chronology" . Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. "The .30-06 Springfield Cartridge". The M1 Garand Rifle. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  7. Hatcher, Julian S. (1962). Hatcher's Notebook (3rd ed.). Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Company. p. 19. LCCN   62-12654. The maximum range was given in the handbooks as 4700 yards.
  8. Hatcher 1962 , p. 20
  9. George, John (1981). Shots Fired in Anger. NRA Press. pp. 402–403.
  10. Hatcher 1962 , pp. 2123
  11. Hatcher 1962 , pp. 1920
  12. "FN Mauser Model 98 rifle and carbine operator's manual" (PDF).
  13. "M118 History - Sniper Central" . Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  14. Firestone, Adam C. "Firearm Technical Trivia, July 1999". www.cruffler.com.
  15. 1 2 Hatcher 1962 , p. 29
  16. 1 2 FM 23-10 Basic Field Manual: U.S. Rifle Caliber .30, M1903, 20 September 1943 page 212 Archived April 18, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ".30 Caliber (.30-06 Springfield) Ammunition". www.inetres.com.
  18. Paul Wahl and Don Toppel, The Gatling Gun, Arco Publishing, 1971, p. 155.
  19. 1 2 Dunlap, Roy, Ordnance Went Up Front, Samworth Press (1948), p. 303 ISBN   978-1-884849-09-1
  20. U.S. Army (April 1994), Army Ammunition Data Sheets: Small Caliber Ammunition (PDF), Technical Manual, TM 43-0001-27, page 5-9
  21. George 1981 , p. 409
  22. George 1981 , pp. 81, 428, 434–435
  23. "ASMRB / Pulp Armor Penetration".
  24. Armor Plate Shootout - 0.5" thick MIL-A-12560 armor plate. 31 January 2013 via YouTube.
  25. "Federal Premium Ammunition - Rifle". www.federalpremium.com. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  26. Hodgdon Powder Company, Cartridge Load Recipe Report, 3/27/2010, data.hodgdon.com
  27. Speer Reloading Manual Number 12, 1994, Blount, Inc., Lewiston, ID. pp. 286-294.
  28. Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, Fourth Edition, 1991, Hornady Manufacturing Company, Grand Island, NE. pp. 343-350.
  29. Nosler Reloading Guide Number Four, 1996, Nosler, Inc., Bend OR. pp. 322-329.
  30. Barnes Reloading Manual Number 2-Rifle Data, 1997, Barnes Bullets, Inc., American Fork, UT. pp. 381-386.
  31. Barnes, Frank C., Cartridges of the World (Kindle Edition), 2009, Frank C. Barnes and Krause Publications, Chapter 2, Location 375
  32. Kim Lockhart. "30-06 Springfield:". Archived from the original on 2013-04-24. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  33. "Rifle Recoil Table" . Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  34. "C.I.P. TDCC datasheet .30-06 Spring" (PDF).
  35. "Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor NIJ Standard-0101.06" (PDF). NIJ Standards. United States Department of Justice. July 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  36. "Instructional Guidance on the Operation and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifle Firing the M1909 Blank Cartridge" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2019-02-08..
  37. Punnett, Chris. "An Introduction to Collecting .30-06 Cartridges". International Ammunition Association, Inc. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  38. US T24 Machine gun (MG42) forgottenweapons.com; Retrieved 1 July 2014
  39. "Gary's U.S. Infantry Weapons Reference Guide - .30 Caliber (.30-06 Springfield) Ammunition". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
  40. "An Introduction to Collecting .30-06". Archived from the original on 19 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-21.