Selecting a 30-06 rifle (and that's pronounced thirty-aught-six) is a big step because you want a firearm that performs consistently, is easy to maintain and works with your style of game hunting. Most people will choose the style they grew familiar with when they got their first .22 rifle and stick with it. There is nothing wrong with this but it never hurts to try new things. Plus some rifle styles work better in different terrain than others.
- Bolt. The most popular style of 30-06 rifle on the market would have to be the old tried and true bolt action models. A bolt action 30-06 rifle requires the user to open the breech which will eject the spent cartridge. Then, depending upon the rifle model, you either slide the bolt back in for another shot or load up another round. A bolt action rifle allows the greatest versatility when selecting ammunition.
- Lever. Another popular 30-06 rifle for hunters are the lever action models. After you fire the rifle, you pull the lever to eject the spent cartridge and load in the next shot. While slightly quicker, the lever action rifle really does not offer much difference from the bolt action model. The main difference is the lever action rifle has a smaller chamber for rounds which means no high intensity rounds can be used.
- Auto loading. An auto loading 30-06 rifle is more commonly known as semiautomatic or self loading rifle. These rifles accommodate magazines of ammunition allowing the user to effortlessly fire round after round without interruption. Much like the lever action rifle, you will be more limited to the types of ammunition can use.
- Considerations. When choosing a 30-06 rifle you should think about your needs. Is this for hunting or target practice? Are you going for accuracy or just unloading round after round because it's fun? For your money, the bolt action is the best choice. Lever and auto loading rifles are more fun for target shooting but can also used in hunting. They are a bit harder to maintain than bolt action which could be another consideration if you do not want to pay a pro to do your maintenance.