Some thoughts on oughts and naughts

My deer rifle is a 30-06.   It’s the same calibre that Tom Waits sang about in his song “16 shells from a thirty-ought-six”.

The designation 30-06 means that it uses a 0.30 inch calibre bullet and it was first manufactured in 1906. A hundred years ago apparently it was common for the number “zero” to be referred to as “ought”, hence the “ought-six”.

Of course the use of “ought” is a misnomer; a more proper term for zero would be “naught”.  However I can’t imagine referring to my rifle as a “thirty-naught-six”.

And of course there’s the question of which decade followed the nineties.  Most would agree that the eighties were followed by the nineties, but are we now in the oughts, the naughts, or some other decade?  Maybe the zilches?

4 Responses to “Some thoughts on oughts and naughts”

  1. roger loseth says:

    The acttual military designation of 30/06 is or was ball cartridge caliber 30 model of 1906. I’ve also heard it refered to as the 30/ 0′6 as in Paddy O’Shea, no matter what you call it it’s still the greatest all round rifle cartridge out there

  2. Phil L says:

    Roger you are a veritable goldmine of firearm knowledge.

    I know there are cartridges that shoot with a flatter trajectory (faster and farther), and there are cartridges with more knock-down power, but I don’t plan to hunt elephants, and the 30-06 is quite capable of taking down a moose. Besides I’d probably flinch if I were using one of the magnums.

    That said, I know that some would argue with your statement that it’s the greatest all ’round rifle cartridge.

  3. roger loseth says:

    As far as shooting elephants goes Karamajo Bell shot hundreds of elephant with 30/06 class cartridges like the 7×57 mauser 303 british and 8×57, although myself I would prefer a 375 when tackling any of the big stuff, But as far as anything on this continent goes it’s enough gun

  4. Toni says:

    When we were teens, a friend of my now wife asked “if Yamahas are ‘Yammies’ and Suzukis are “Suzies’ then are Nortons ‘Naughties’? suspect the answer was probably a resounding YES.

    FWIW People here seem to refer to the two thousands in the same way they do the 70s etc.