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Best .30-06 Rifles

The .30-06 cartridge first saw use in the military in 1906 and was effective at its job. Fast forward to now and the .30-06 still sees use as a hunting cartridge and a very popular one at that. The versatility of this cartridge has led to many .30-06 rifles being produced.

If you were looking for a good rifle then this article might prove valuable to you as it will give information on the best 30-06 rifles to buy in 2020.
We will also try to ease you into the various aspects of the .30-06 rifles and try to answer various questions regarding it so that new hunters can get a good idea about .30-06 rifles.

Best .30-06 Rifles Comparison 2020

Model  Barrel Length Gun Weight Round Capacity Price
Browning AB3 Composite Stalker 22″ 4 + 1 6 lbs. Check Price
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight 22″ 5 + 1 7 lbs. Check Price
Remington 783 Bolt-Action 22″ 4 + 1 8.5 lbs. Check Price
Savage Axis XP Bolt-Action 22″ 4 + 1 7.36 lbs. Check Price
Browning BLR Lightweight 22″ 5 7.4 lbs. Check Price

Best Uses For a .30-06

Here are some great uses for a .30-06.

Hunting

While the .30-06 initially saw use as a prime military weapon, it is now primarily used for hunting, especially big game hunting.
This includes deer, elk, and even bears. 30.06 rifles pack a lot of firepower as expected of a military weapon which makes it a prime choice for hunting as it can take down many of the targets in one shot which is essential in hunting.

Self Defence And Other Uses

The other uses for .30-06 rifles include using it for protection and target practice. While there are other firearms better suited for those tasks the .30-06 can manage.

How Accurate Is A .30-06?

There are quite a few variables that affect the accuracy of a .30-06. This includes both the length of the barrel as well as the weight of the rounds used. So the best we can offer is an estimate of the effective accuracy of the most .30-06 rifles.

Generally, they have an effective accuracy of around 500 to 600 yards. So you can expect to reliably hit targets even 500 to 600 yards away with them, and some of the best long-range ones can hit up to 700 yards.

10 Top .30-06 Rifle Reviews 2020

The rifles in this list take note of various factors and are meant to be taken as a comprehensive list that details different .30-06 rifles and looks at what makes them the best.

RUGER – M77® HAWKEYE® GUIDE GUN RIFLE .30-06 SPRINGFIELD

RUGER - M77® HAWKEYE® GUIDE GUN RIFLE .30-06 SPRINGFIELD

The first on our list is the Ruger American Hawkeye, a classic bolt action rifle of American origin and one of the best 30-06 rifles.
Featuring style, versatility, and function, this rifle is a good all-rounder and contender for the best rifle overall and a solid pick. It hits hard and is quite easy to use featuring a solid grip and laminate stock.

This guy weighs in at 8 pounds and has a capacity of 4+1 rounds. Adjustable front and rear sights also ensure good performance and comfort when using it.
Like most Ruger rifles, the Hawkeye also comes with the ability to mount Ruger scopes that will also improve your large game hunting experience. It makes use of a hinged floorplate magazine which makes cartridge removal fast and easy.

The Hawkeye features overall great performance, enhanced ergonomics in its design making it easy to handle. You can mount scopes on it to help aim well.
It is all you can ask for in bolt action and is incredibly reliable. Many hunters find it to be a good contender for the title of the best 30-06 rifle.

PROS

  • Good firepower that can take down large game
  • The barrel is easy to keep clean and maintain
  • Fast cartridge removal and change
  • The stock helps with shouldering the rifle

CONS

  • Strong Recoil

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BROWNING – BLR LIGHTWEIGHT

BROWNING – BLR LIGHTWEIGHT

Browning’s BLR lightweight is a lever-action rifle with strength and reliability that rivals most bolt action ones. It’s compact and lighter (weighing in at 7.25 pounds) making for a great aid and easy to carry around on hunting grounds. The front sight is fixed but the rear sight is adjustable.

The BLR has several characteristics that make it a top pick for a .30-06 hunting rifle. Its claim to fame is its amazingly fast cycling action that allows for quick follow up shots which can prove necessary in bear hunts.

Aiding this fast cycling action is the precision machined barrel that reduces stress and allows more accurate second shots. Aside from these, it also features scope mounts and a strong magazine that protect bullet tips from being damaged. The bolt locks are extremely secure making the gun safe to use.

Overall, this is a solid lever-action .30-06 rifle that works best in time-restrictive scenarios where a follow-up shot is all you need. Even outside of that, it is quite reliable.

PROS

  • Allows for fast second shots due to fast cycling
  • Solid and functional design that makes it easy and comfortable to use
  • Well-designed and sturdy barrel which lasts a long time
  • Easy to change magazines

CONS

  • Not as accurate as some bolt action rifles at greater distances

MOSSBERG – PATRIOT RIFLE 22IN

MOSSBERG – PATRIOT RIFLE 22IN

At first glance, the Mossberg’s Patriot rifle might look like it belongs more in a gun rack or display than it does out hunting, but you’ll find yourself quite incorrect in assuming that. As attractive as this hunting rifle looks with the sleek and well-crafted design, it performs very well.

The Mossberg’s Patriot has all the great qualities of your typical bolt action rifle featuring fluted barrels and a recessive crown for greater accuracy. The knurled bolt handles allow for good grip and help with follow up shots.

It is also popular for its adjustable trigger that can be adjusted as per your needs making this rifle comfortable to use. Adding to its comfortable usage is its walnut and laminate stock which gives it great grip even in rainy conditions. The dropbox magazine allows for convenient changing of your magazines.

The patriot rifle combines style with performance and with it weighing in at 7.25 pounds, makes it easy to carry around. All in all, a very reliable and comfortable bolt action rifle with an amazing design.

PROS

  • Incredible firepower for its size and weight
  • One of the most affordable rifles in its class
  • Walnut and laminate stock makes it comfortable to use
  • Adjustable trigger that helps personalize the gun

CONS

  • Strong recoil that makes it difficult for new hunters to use

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NOREEN FIREARMS BN36X3 CARBINE-X

NOREEN FIREARMS BN36X3 CARBINE-X

BN36X3 is a thing of beauty. It is an AR rifle that makes use of direct gas impingement. Weighing in at just 7 pounds, it is also quite robust being made out of aluminum. Yet, it is quite balanced as its design promotes ease of use and is comfortable to hold and fire.

The rifle makes use of 20 round magazines. It comes with the Luth AR stock which allows the comfortable shouldering of the rifle helping to target and shoot more easily. It also includes the useful Noreen match trigger that allows for comfort and precise shooting.

Noreen’s BN36X3 combines many of the desirable qualities of other 30.06 rifles and fits them into a light and sleek package. The side charging mechanism is a helpful aid for people who were used to using bolt action rifles.

Overall, an amazing pick if you are looking for an AR .30-06 rifle.

PROS

  • Less recoil due to the presence of recoil pads
  • Ease of handling courtesy of the well-designed Luth AR stock
  • The rifle is good at making follow-up shots
  • Noreen match trigger is well designed to allow comfortable shooting

CONS

  • Very expensive especially compared to some others on this list

SAVAGE ARMS – AXIS RIFLE

SAVAGE ARMS – AXIS RIFLE

This hunting rifle is all about precision shooting and it is so good at its job that it is worth recommending. Savage Arms is known for making high-quality firearms and this one is no exception.

The Axis is much lighter weighing in at 6.5 pounds. Carbon steel was used to construct the precision barrel which results in the rifle being lighter. This makes it easy to carry by making use of a sling allowing you to traverse the hunting grounds with your rifle at the ready.

A 3×9 scope is also present and is an integral part of its precision shooting. The scope gives a wide field of view and high-quality images making long-distance shooting much easier. The effective range of this rifle easily reaches up to 600 yards.

Newbie hunters needing a rifle to help you get them into hunting, the Axis is everything they need for big game hunting. Superior firepower, range, precision, and easy to use make it a favorite of many hunters.

PROS

  • Great firepower making it perfect for large game hunting
  • The scope is very good with great magnification settings and clear image
  • Can easily make perfect shots at 300 yards or more
  • • The precision barrel is very durable

CONS

  • Slow at making follow up shots compared to the others on this list

WINCHESTER – MODEL 70 FEATHERWEIGHT RIFLE

WINCHESTER – MODEL 70 FEATHERWEIGHT RIFLE

Probably the classiest rifle on this list, this bolt action rifle doesn’t feature much of the flair of the previous rifles in the list but is still a reliable and affordable option. As the name suggests, the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight is light, weighing in at 7 pounds but still sports impressive firepower that’s enough for large game hunting while being easy to carry around.

The Winchester Model 70 rifle is an amazing pick for quick hunting. The main reason is that there is a perfect balance between the weight and the firepower.
It features a hinged floorplate magazine for easy changing of cartridges along with a polymer stock that is designed to allow easy shouldering of the rifle.

All in all, this is a classic and reliable bolt action rifle that has been quite a mainstay. The wood finish adds an impressive aesthetic appeal to the rifle.

PROS

  • Good firepower for its weight and can shoot down Elk
  • The design and light weight makes it very easy to carry around
  • Incredibly affordable making it a good choice for the occasional hunter
  • The wooden finish gives it a rugged and classy look

CONS

  • No front sight which can make targeting difficult

REMINGTON – 783 Rifle

REMINGTON – 783 Rifle

New hunters will often have trouble picking their first hunting rifle as there can be many factors to deciding it and some rifles may not be beginner-friendly. If you’re looking for a good .30-06 Springfield rifle to start your hunting career then look no further than Remington Model 783.

The Remington 783 focuses on being a beginner-friendly rifle and features precision enhancing additions to help a beginner aim much more easily. And the attached scope helps with long-distance shots. Many beginners will find themselves relying on the scope during the first few hunts.

Now, the weight of the Remington 783 is 7.25 pounds, which makes it a bit heavier than some other rifles on the list but still manageable in most cases. The stock is made out of polymer and has a great finish.

Overall, it is really easy to pick up and one of the best choices for a beginner.

PROS

  • Easy to use making it a good pick for beginners
  • Good scope that makes for easier targeting
  • Easy to remove and change cartridges
  • The polymer stock makes it very ergonomic

CONS

  • Experienced hunters will often find other rifles on the list to be much better

BROWNING ARMS CO. – BROWNING AB3

BROWNING ARMS CO. – BROWNING AB3

For precision shooting at affordable prices, the Browning AB3 is a great choice for hunters. This one is one of Browning Arm’s best rifles. The superior accuracy and amazing design put it in a class of its own.

The barrel is made out of stainless steel and has a fluted exterior. This helps prevent heat build-up from firing shots and increases the longevity of your rifle. A muzzle brake also helps with follow up shots. The barrel of the AB3 can also be fitted with a sound suppressor for reducing the heat and sound during firing.

It also features an adjustable stock that is quite durable and usable during many harsh weather conditions like hunting in the rain. It also includes recoil pads that help to reduce recoil and make the rifle easier to use.

This rifle is a solid all-rounder with good features and performance with a reasonable price tag

PROS

  • Muzzle brake helps to aim the second shots more easily
  • Durable stock makes it usable in harsh weather
  • Recoil pads do a good job at reducing the recoil to manageable levels
  • Incredible accuracy at the 300 yard mark or more

CONS

  • The barrel is a bit heavier so needs some getting used to

SAVAGE ARMS – 11/111 TROPHY HUNTER XP

SAVAGE ARMS - 11/111 TROPHY HUNTER XP

Some notable aspects make the Trophy Hunter such a good pick and worthy of the name. It features all of the general positive qualities of a bolt action rifle with the precision of most Savage Arms rifles.

Amazing design and a well-constructed barrel ensures your shots are straight and accurate. Helping you with this is the Nikon scope that comes with this particular rifle.

The scope is generally found to be one of the most useful rifle scopes and helps with aiming. It covers a wide field of view and provides a high-quality image and magnification. An incredibly well designed rifle alongside one of the best scopes makes for a powerful combination!

The firepower is good enough for big game hunting and features a synthetic stock. It is one of the best .30-06 hunting rifles for precision shooting but on the heavier side.

PROS

  • One of the best scopes that allow for long range shooting up to 400 yards
  • Great firepower making it a prime choice for large game hunting
  • Synthetic stock makes the rifle comfortable to shoulder and use
  • Well-made barrel that is both durable and allows for accurate shots

CONS

  • Much heavier than other rifles so needs some getting used to

Browning BAR Mark II Safari Rifle

Browning BAR Mark II Safari Rifle

Amongst semi-automatic hunting rifles, the Browning Mark II stands out. The first thing that will strike you is the classy look of the rifle featuring a gorgeous finish and unique design. This rifle isn’t just for show though. It’s quite reliable and packs a punch.

The rifle weighs in at 7 pounds with a steel sporter barrel. Its hinged floorplate magazine makes for easier replacement during hunting. And the polymer recoil pad reduces recoil. You can also mount a scope to increase accuracy.

Finally, Browning’s Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System helps with follow up shots. This can be customized to your liking which makes this rifle a powerful tool for many veteran hunters.

The BAR Mark II features a lot of good and amazing qualities that push it ahead of other semi-automatic rifles and earn it a spot on this list amongst the other best .30-06 rifles.

PROS

  • Fast cycling action allows for fast follow up shots
  • High firepower which lends it to being used for hunting bears
  • Recoil pads help to reduce recoil
  • Includes scope base for easy scope attachment

CONS

  • Does not allow for trigger adjustments

What to Look for before Buying?

Here are some things you want to look out for when buying a .30-06 rifle.

Firepower

Rifles, in general, have great firepower which lends them to be used in large game hunting to hunt hogs, elks, and bears. You’ll want your rifle to be powerful enough to stop the elk or hog in one shot.

Generally, rifles with longer barrels allow for the bullet to reach greater velocities before leaving and thus tend to hit harder.

Ease of Making a Follow-Up Shot

While follow up shots aren’t always necessary in some hunts, you’ll find it necessary to make a follow-up shot. Some rifles are better at this than others with muzzle brakes to help reposition faster after the initial shot.

If you feel like you need to make use of follow up shots, it is important to keep this in mind.

Accuracy and Effective Range

Accuracy and Effective Range
source: Noreen firearms

Another important factor is the accuracy and effective range of the gun. If you’re going to be doing some long-distance shooting, having a rifle that has a large effective range and a good scope will help immensely.

Some rifles are made to reduce bullet deviation in both initial and following shots which will generally help most hunters.

Weight and Ease of Carrying

The weight of your rifle is an important thing to take into consideration. Many times, you’ll need to walk for long durations to locate either a good vantage point or a particular animal you want to hunt. Carrying a heavy rifle can easily cause fatigue which can slow down your reaction time and cause you to miss.

Some rifles can have slings attached to them so that one can easily carry them on their shoulder and also draw them when necessary. Being able to easily draw your rifle into firing mode is essential to catching a tricky prey.

Ease of Use

This is something to take into consideration if you’re a newbie hunter. Rifles pack power but fumbling with your equipment in the middle of a hunt is not a good idea. Some rifles are easier to pick up and much more comfortable to shoulder and use due to recoil pads and a comfortably built stock.

Some rifles with adjustable triggers are also helpful so you can customize it for a better fit. An easy to use rifle can improve your hunting prowess a lot.

Price

Rifles are pretty expensive. You might be eyeing at the newest model with a shiny finish and lots of features, but you need to at times stop and ask yourself whether you’ll need all that.

Rifles have varying prices and sometimes a cheaper and easy to use rifle can be all you need. So, consider the price carefully when buying a rifle.

The Extreme Versatility of the .30-06 Rifle

The Extreme Versatility of the .30-06 Rifle
source: Noreen firearms

When the .30-06 was first introduced it was revolutionary. Even now with new cartridges being introduced, the .30-06 still finds use amongst hunters.
One major reason is that for hunting, it can compete with other rounds used in hunting but is smaller and produces recoil. The other major reason is the versatility of the .30-06.

The .30-06 works even with different grain sizes which save hunters from having to invest in multiple guns. While Springfield .30-06 mostly makes use of 150 grains, it can also make use of the extremes of both 55 and 220 grains (used in bear hunting).

This versatility allows a hunter to make do with one good .30-06 rifle as they can be used in many different scenarios.
This inherent versatility combined with advancements in gun-making and ballistics, it’s no surprise that the .30-06 has withstood the test of time and will probably continue to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any prerequisites to buying rifles?

You will need a Firearms License and need to meet a certain age requirement as stated by many of the manufacturers of the rifles in this list.

Does my rifle lose accuracy after use?

Yes. Firing rounds produces a large amount of heat and eventually, this can cause some damage to the parts of your rifle. While how long this takes varies from rifle to rifle, generally expect it to happen after 3000-4000 rounds.

What grains should I use for my .30-06?

It depends. If you have no fixed purpose in mind, you will generally want something between 130 to 145 grains. They’re usually the most commonly used ones.

Can I change my rifle scope?

Some rifles do have detachable scopes that you can remove and mount a different scope. A Torx screwdriver will help.

Is there anything else a beginner should buy?

Goggles and ear protection are recommended to buy if you’re new to the scene.

Final Words

Hopefully, this article has helped narrowing down your options and given you some insight into which .30-06 rifle to use. There are many to choose from but going through your requirements will often help to narrow it down and make the best purchase possible.

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