The 8mm Mauser and 30-06 are notorious for their great damage and excellent ballistic, making them the ideal option for hunting games. If you are reading this post, you may have narrowed your selection to these two cartridges.
So, which is the most optimal option between the 8mm Mauser vs 30-06 Cartridge? How are they different regarding real shooting performance and quality? I always receive these questions, even from adept gunners.
In this post, I will compare every detail of the 8mm Mauser and 30-06 cartridges to help you select the suitable one for your preferences and purposes.
Now, let’s jump straight into the comparison!
An Overview Of The 8mm Mauser
The 8mm Mauser, also known as 7.92x57mm, is a bottlenecked pellet designed specifically for long-range rifles. The first time this pellet appeared was more than one century ago, back in the year 1903.
The 8mm Mauser soon became a staple pellet used by the Germans throughout the two World Wars. Nowadays, it’s still widely prevalent in the military, serving multiple shooting purposes, especially hunting.
In the contemporary era, 8mm Mauser is produced and distributed by many reputational ammo brands in the US and European countries. The selling points of these cartridges lie in their high reliability and accuracy at long distances.
An Overview Of The 30-06
The 30-06 cartridge (called 7.62×63mm) appeared after the introduction of the 8 mm Mauser three years later in 1906. The pellets were produced and introduced by the reputational brand Winchester.
This cartridge was prevalent in the US military back in the old days and later became a standard. The popularity of the 30-06 remained the same until the late 1970s.
This pellet was among the most famous pellets used by the US military, so there’s little doubt about its quality and performance. Nowadays, many professional hunters and shooters still favor this good old cartridge.
Even professional gunners agree that the sizes and designs of the pellets tell everything about their performance and quality. They directly affect the factors like recoil, trajectory, and ballistic.
I will walk you through some core differences in size to gain more insights into these two cartridges. Then, I will discuss their real-life performance through my personal experience with the two cartridges and their specs.
Comparison Table Of 8mm Mauser Vs 30-06 Cartridge
|Date Of Production||1903||1906|
|Bullet Diameter||0,324 inches (8,22 mm)||.308 inches (7.8 mm)|
|Total Length||3,228 inches (82 mm)||3.34 inches (85 mm)|
|Case Length||2,224 inches (57 mm)||2.494 inches (63.3 mm)|
|Neck Diameter||0,375 inches (9,08 mm)||0.340 inches (8.6 mm)|
|Rifling Twist||10,45 inches (249 mm)||1-10 inches (254 mm)|
|Rim Thickness||0,51 inches (1.30 mm)||0,49 inches (1,2 mm)|
|Load Capacity||63.1 gr H2O||68 gr H2O|
|Maximum Pressure||56,560 psi||58,740 psi|
Recoil Of 8mm Mauser Vs 30-06 Cartridge
The bullet grain is a critical factor that decides the recoil power of one pellet.
In general, heavier bullet weight equals higher recoil power generated. In this case, the 8mm Mauser is the winner.
Among all the 8mm Mauser versions, the bullet weights range between 140 to 198, with the 181, 187, and 196 grains being the most popular.
Meanwhile, the most common 30-06 bullet weights are 180, 200, and 220 grains.
The lightest 8mm RWS EVO GREEN Mauser pellet weighs only 139 grains, while the Nosler Ballistic Tip 30-06 pellet weighs 150 grains. For these reasons, it’s obvious that the 30-06 generates more recoil when shooting.
Though the difference is not so significant, you still notice the lighter recoil when shooting at high speeds using semi-auto rifles. Overall, the 8mm Mauser is easier to handle, making it a more suitable choice for beginners.
Power Of 8mm Mauser Vs 30-06 Cartridge
I have conducted numerous shooting tests to assess the ballistic and damage of the two cartridges. To give a fair judgment, I also experience many shooting distances from 100 yards to 500 yards.
The velocity of the heaviest 8mm Mauser (198 grains) measured stands at 2600 ft/s (800m/s). Meanwhile, the heaviest 30-06 pellet (220 grains) featured a velocity of 2500 fps (760m/s).
Though the 220-grain 30-06 cartridge is significantly heavier than the 198-grain 8mm Mauser, it still carried out a nearly equal velocity. The test result amazes me of the 30-06’s quality.
However, things completely flip when it comes to energy. When shooting the same rounds, the energy generated by the 8mm Mauser stood at 3,021 ft⋅lbs, while the figure for the 30-06 is 4,116 J.
Regarding these results, it’s quite evident that the 30-06 excels regarding power and ballistic. It provides a nearly equal velocity, but its damage and energy are simply superior.
Trajectory Of 8mm Mauser Vs 30-06 Cartridge
The trajectory of the pellets depends on their bullet grains. The higher bullet grains mean that the cartridges drop more when it is traveling toward the target.
Since the 8mm Mauser and 30-06 cartridges come in various sizes and weights, it’s hard to determine which cartridge gives a flatter trajectory. However, the 8mm Mauser is the winner due to its lighter bullet weights on average.
However, if you compare a 196-grain RWS TMR 8mm Mauser pellet with a 150-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip, the lighter 30-06 comes out as the winner. Therefore you may want to pay attention to the bullet weight when choosing.
With a flatter trajectory, the cartridge can hit the target within a short time.
It also ensures higher accuracy and ease of handling as you don’t have to aim and adjust much like on heavy pellets.
However, the light cartridges are more susceptible to wind and air resistance.
Therefore they won’t ensure optimal accuracy when shooting in windy or unideal weather conditions.
Price Of 8mm Mauser Vs 30-06 Cartridge
The prices of the 8mm Mauser and 30-06 also vary on different cartridge options. On average, a 30-06 round costs between $0.59 and $3,09, while the price of the 8mm Mauser ranges between $0,25 to $3.
Whether it’s the lowest or highest option, the 8mm Mauser rounds always come with a slightly lower price. Its cheapest $0,25 option is two times lower than the $0.59 30-06 cartridge.
Though an a-few-cent difference is not so significant, it’s worth considering when you purchase a large number of pellets. In general, the 8mm Mauser is a more budget-friendly cartridge, suitable for the new shooters.
If you want a more in-depth comparison between the two cartridges, consider watching the video below.
There are two critical factors that you should consider when choosing between any two cartridges: their accuracy and damage. Regarding accuracy, the 8mm Mauser is the winner since it features a flatter trajectory and lighter recoil.
The lighter recoil makes it more comfortable to aim and shoot. As a result, the 8mm Mauser is an ideal option for shooting competitions or leisure shooting activities at long distances.
Meanwhile, the 30-06 is definitely a more optimal choice when it comes to power with higher energy and penetration. You should choose the 30-06 for hunting as it can penetrate and cause more lethal damage to the target.
I hope that the insights and comparisons provided can help you pick the most optimal cartridge. Thank you for your time!
Shelly Jark Drakny is a retired SF weapons sergeant (E-5 or above) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) code 18B. He served 24 years in the military, including assignments in SF, Infantry, and Special Forces.