The.30 refers to the caliber of the bullet, and the 06 refers to the year the cartridge was adopted—1906. It replaced the. 30-03, 6mm Lee Navy, and. 30-40 Krag cartridges and it remains a very popular sporting round, with ammunition produced by all major manufacturers. 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 round-nose bullet. Around 1901, the U. S. started developing an experimental rimless cartridge for a Mauser action with box magazine and that led to the 1903. 30-03 rimless service round that used the same 220-grain round-nose bullet as the Krag. The. 30-03 achieved a velocity of 2,300 ft/s. Consequently, the round-nosed U. S. 30-03 service cartridge was falling behind. For these reasons, the U. S. military developed a new, lighter, cartridge in 1906, the cartridge was loaded with Military Rifle 21 propellant, and its maximum range was claimed to be 4,700 yd. 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, other changes to the rifle included elimination of the troublesome rod bayonet of the earlier Springfield rifles. The M1906 maximum range was originally overstated, when the M1906 cartridge was developed, the range tests had been done to only 1,800 yards, distances beyond that were estimated, but the estimate for extreme range was wrong by almost 40 percent. 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. When the US entered World War I, it did not have machine guns, so it acquired British. When those weapons were replaced with US machine guns firing the M1906 round. Firing tests performed around 1918 at Borden Brook Reservoir, Miami, patrone was inroduced in 1914 and used a 197. 5-grain s. S. - schweres Spitzgeschoß boat-tail bullet which had a maximum range of approximately 5,140 yd. Its maximum range was approximately 5,500 yd. Additionally, 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 range of the.30 M1 Ball ammunition with its boat-tailed spitzer bullets was beyond the safety limitations of many ranges. An emergency order was made to manufacture quantities of ammunition that matched the ballistics of the earlier M1906 cartridge as soon as possible
Image: 30 06 Springfield rifle cartridge
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 6×42 scope