.30-06 Springfield wildcat cartridges

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Parent Cartridge .30-06 Springfield
.30-06 offspring.jpg
From left: .25-06, .270 Win, .280 Rem, .30-06, .35 Whelen
Type Rifle
Service history
In service 1906
Used by USA and others
Wars World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War
Production history
Designer United States Military
Designed 1906
Produced 1906-present
Parent case .30-03
Case type Rimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter 7.62 mm (0.300 in)
Neck diameter 8.63 mm (0.340 in)
Shoulder diameter 11.20 mm (0.441 in)
Base diameter 11.96 mm (0.471 in)
Rim diameter 12.01 mm (0.473 in)
Rim thickness 1.24 mm (0.049 in)
Case length 63.35 mm (2.494 in)
Overall length 84.84 mm (3.340 in)
Case capacity 4.43 cm3 (68.4 gr H2O)
Rifling twist 254 mm (1 in 10 in)
Primer type Large rifle
Maximum pressure 405 MPa (58,700 psi)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
150 gr (10 g) Nosler Ballistic Tip 2,910 ft/s (890 m/s) 2,820 ft⋅lbf (3,820 J)
165 gr (11 g) BTSP 2,800 ft/s (850 m/s) 2,872 ft⋅lbf (3,894 J)
180 gr (12 g) Core-Lokt Soft Point 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s) 2,913 ft⋅lbf (3,949 J)
200 gr (13 g) Partition 2,569 ft/s (783 m/s) 2,932 ft⋅lbf (3,975 J)
220 gr (14 g) RN 2,500 ft/s (760 m/s) 2,981 ft⋅lbf (4,042 J)
Test barrel length: 24 inch
Source(s): Federal Cartridge[1] / Accurate Powder[2]

Wildcat cartridges are firearms cartridges whose dimensions have been modified. Usually these modifications are with an eye toward improved performance, either measurable or not, this article deals with wildcat cartridges which result from a simple necking down or up of the original .30-06 Springfield where the overall case length is kept essentially the same. Many of these wildcats were more stages in the development of modern wildcat cartridges than they were a serious chambering in their own right.


.22-06 (alternately .223-06) - necked down to accept a .224 Caliber bullet similar to the popular .223 Remington. Due to the wide availability of .224 bullets this wildcat is rumored to have been incepted so that a barrel switch will let a familiar or comfortable rifle be used for varmint hunting. The similar .226 Express not only reduces neck diameter, but also reduces shoulder diameter to impose a long, slender body taper on the .30-06 case.[3] Extensive experimentation during the mid-20th century indicated no practical benefit from the incremental volume the 63 mm .30-06 case over the 57 mm 7mm Mauser case for .22 caliber bullets.[4]

.243-06 (alternately 6mm-06 or .243 Catbird) - necked down to accept a .243 bullet - With the rising popularity of the .243 as a light deer rifle this wildcat is affordable to reload and offers lightened recoil .

.25-06 - necked down to accept a .25 bullet - Originally a wildcat this cartridge is now commercially available.

6.5-06 (alternately 6.5mm/06) - necked down to accept a 6.5 mm bullet - Very similar performance to the now commercialized .25-06.[5]

7mm-06 - necked down to accept a 7mm bullet - Originated during experimentation with the ballistic possibilities of popular 7mm bullets in plentiful .30-06 brass cases.[6] The commercial .280 Remington (or 7mm Express Remington) is very similar, but uses the slightly longer 65 mm .30-03 case with the shoulder headspace extended slightly more than one millimeter (.05 inch) to prevent chambering in .270 Winchester rifles.[7] Early Remington in-house developmental rounds were headstamped R-P 7MM-06 REM but, to avoid confusion with similarly named wildcats, changed to 280 REM.

8mm-06 - necked up to accept an 8mm bullet for improved ballistics using plentiful .30-06 brass cases in re-chambered military surplus 7.92×57mm Mauser rifles.[6]

.338-06 - necked up to accept a .338 bullet - An effort to provide heavier bullets for bigger game with less recoil than other .338 offerings.

.35-06 - necked up to accept a .35 bullet - A successful effort to use heavier bullets for bigger game. Now commercialized as the .35 Whelen.

.375-06 - necked up to accept a .375 bullet - Also known as the .375 Whelen, it is another effort to use heavier bullets with plentiful actions and cases. The .375 Whelen Improved sharpens the .30-06 shoulder for more reliable headspace.

.400-06 - necked up to accept a .405 Winchester bullet - Better known as the .400 Whelen. Griffin & Howe chambered rifles for this cartridge, but headspace difficulties were reported with the small shoulder.[8]

Parent cartridge[edit]

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge (pronounced “thirty-aught-six”, "thirty-oh-six") or 7.62×63mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 (hence “06”) and standardized, used until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy and .30 US Army (also called .30-40 Krag). The .30-06 remained the US Army's primary rifle cartridge for nearly 50 years before it was finally 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.

Parent cartridge dimensions[edit]

The .30-06 Springfield has a 68.2 grains (4.43 ml ) H2O cartridge case capacity. 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 (mm).

See also[edit]


  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 (PDF) from the original on 20 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  3. ^ Sharpe, Philip B. Complete Guide To Handloading (1953) Funk & Wagnalls p.351
  4. ^ Landis, Charles S. Twenty-Two Caliber Varmint Rifles (1947) Small Arms Technical Publishing Company
  5. ^ Ackley, P.O. (1927) [1962]. Handbook for Shooters & Reloaders. vol I (12th Printing ed.). Salt Lake City, Utah: Plaza Publishing. pp. 363–364. ISBN 978-99929-4-881-1. 
  6. ^ a b Speer, Raymond G. Wildcat Rifle Loads Speer Products Company (1956) p.81
  7. ^ Davis, William C. Jr. (1981). Handloading. National Rifle Association. pp. 180–181. ISBN 0-935998-34-9. 
  8. ^ Sharpe, Philip B. Complete Guide To Handloading (1953) Funk & Wagnalls pp.206&398