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In 1903 the United States introduced the most powerful military cartridge in the world for use in the Springfield model 1903 rifle. Three years later some minor adjustments were made including the introduction of a lighter and more streamlined bullet and the new standard military cartridge was accordingly baptized .30-06 Springfield.
This is easily the most widespread hunting cartridge in the world although it has been pressed hard by the .308 in later years. Its case has a near optimum capacity for many bullet diameters and a large number of wildcats have been made using the .30-06 as a starting point.
With the wide range of bullets available – from 110 to 250 grains – it is an extremely flexible cartridge which has been used successfully for hunting almost every species of game in the world.
Most hunters prefer the 180 grain bullets for all-round hunting of larger game. In mountains and other places where long range shots are to be expected, however, the 150 or 165 grain bullets might be a better option. The only drawback of the .30-06 is that its recoil with the heavier loads is on the limit of what most inexperienced shooters can handle, but with handloads and lighter bullets this problem can be eliminated.
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