Gun Review: Century Arms C308 Rifle

C308-left

Some years ago, Century Arms‘ first attempt at assembling CETME-style, .308 battle rifles from surplus parts didn’t go extremely well, and the product was hit-or-miss. The market has been a bit hesitant to dive back into a Century Arms-branded CETME/G3/HK91, but the most recent effort here, the C308, is definitely proving to be a solid performer at an incredibly low price. The C308’s manufacturing process is pretty unique, but it also means that they’re strictly limited in numbers. . .

By marrying U.S.-made parts from PTR Industries, a company with a solid reputation for quality and reliability from its much more expensive HK91 variants, and new, military surplus parts, Century Arms is able to keep the price really low on the C308. MSRP is $699, and standard going rate online is as low as $619.

While using surplus parts can mean both solid quality and low price, it also means limited stock. Indeed, Century Arms purchased all of the remaining CETME surplus. How many complete rifles will come out of this is not known to me, but Century’s assertion that this product at this price is limited to a very specific quantity is almost certainly accurate.

Build

PTR makes the stamped and welded (like an AK-47) receiver, which accepts the very inexpensive — surplus mags in good condition are still widely available from $3.50 to $7 or so — G3 magazines.

C308-stamped

A huge selling point here is the M-1913 (Picatinny) rail that’s welded to the top of the receiver. The CETME/G3/HK91 rifles are notoriously difficult to mount an optic to, and obviously this nearly-7″ rail section takes care of that with a clean solution at the right height.

C308_rail

PTR also manufactures the polymer trigger housing and grip unit.

C308-right

I believe the trigger parts are faithful to the original, semi-auto design, but here’s a glimpse inside for those interested parties:

C308-fcgC308-fcg2

The 18″ barrel with U.S. .30-cal standard, 5/8×24 muzzle threading is also manufactured by PTR. The C308 ships with Century Arms’ Chevron brake installed.

C308-brake

Iron sights are CETME sights rather than your HK rotating barrel style. The rear sight rotates forwards and rearwards like the CZ Scorpion Evo 3’s rear sight, but with a mushier detent, exposing 4 different apertures: open notch, 200-, 300-, and 400-yard peeps, stamped 1 through 4.

C308-rearsight

The front sight is a simple post with circular, protective shroud. That round shape does assist in centering the front sight in any of the rear peep apertures. A hole in the top of shroud allows for elevation adjustment.

C308-frontsight

The folding, non-reciprocating charging handle lives far forwards on the left. It can be used to lock the bolt to the rear by lifting it up into a notch, much like the HK MP5, CZ Scorpion Evo 3, and other rifles and sub guns. Also like those, a little bop on the handle sends the bolt forwards with authority, which is an admittedly fun and satisfying way to charge a gun.

C308-charginghandle

C308-stamped2

It may look like an adjustable gas block…

C308-gaskey

…but there’s a cleaning kit living inside a tin tube in there:

C308_cleaning-kit

Push the two pins at the rear of the receiver out — they can be stored in the two holes in the stock — and the stock and trigger housing are free to come off of the receiver. The charging handle can be used to eject the bolt and carrier out the rear. Pretty quick and simple.

C308-disassembled

The surplus reciprocating parts look to be in great condition, and this is after I put the first 100 rounds through the C308:

C308-boltleft

Roller locker-delayed blowback operating system (there’s no gas system — no piston, no operating rod, no gas tubes), as you’d expect:

C308-rollerlocker

That long bolt in front of the carrier drives the round through the trunnion and into the chamber. It’s a bit unique in just how far ahead of the magazine the chamber actually is, which means the action travels a relatively long distance.

C308-chamber

Overall, all of the surplus parts like the forend, buttstock, bolt carrier group, charging handle, magazines, etc look really dang good. As good as what I’d expect from most newly-manufactured firearms, and probably much better than what I’d expect to see in any $699 rifle chambered in .308 or similar.

Trigger

Yeah, it’s a battle trigger. A long, horrifically halting and sticky first stage eventually gets you up against the sear, at which point there’s nearly no creep at all ahead of a fairly clean break with minimal overtravel. Of course, breaking the trigger requires 12.5 lbs of pull force. Good thing it’s steel.

C308-trigger

Thankfully, the trigger doesn’t have to be released all the way forwards for it to reset, meaning if you can ride the reset — it’s a relatively soft click, but it’s there — you can avoid trudging through that absolute nightmare of a “first stage.” Once my trigger finger had memorized that reset distance, I was actually able to fire the rifle fairly quickly while keeping it on target.

On The Range

Century’s C308 is a lot of fun to shoot and it proved to be completely reliable for me with the exception of the follower sticking a bit in the 5-round mag. I ran two brands of brass-cased ammo and two brands of steel-cased stuff through the rifle, spanning a range of bullet weights and constructions (FMJ, open tip, and soft point, from 140 to 168 grain), and it fed, fired, and ejected all of it. The fluted chamber left the typical racing stripes of carbon on the brass, but my C308 example left the brass in otherwise excellent shape, exhibiting none of the smashed case mouths and other damage that’s commonly seen on these roller locker guns.

Recoil is controllable and comfortable, but stout enough to be fun. The Chevron brake seems to do a decent job of keeping the muzzle down, but it doesn’t produce any annoying concussion. It isn’t a lightweight rifle, but the C308 balances pretty well despite its length — in part due to lacking the up-front weight of a gas system.

The forend is svelte and sleek and the pistol grip’s circumference is just right, but otherwise I feel like the scale of this gun is for somewhat of a giant. I’m 6-foot-even and reaching the charging handle with the buttstock on my shoulder takes a full extension of my left arm.

C308-reach

When successfully grasped, actually charging the rifle — especially if the hammer is down — takes serious effort. I’m not sure if many petite folks could even do it. My wife, who’s pretty strong after doing an aerial silks class all winter (“circus school”), can do it but she said it’s “really hard” and it hurts her hand and her hip, which is basically where she had to brace the buttstock in order to reach the charging handle without pointing the rifle mostly sideways.

Then there’s the reach to the magazine release button. It may look like it’s in a similar location as an AR’s mag release, but for my men’s size L hands it’s impossible to touch it, let alone depress it, without breaking my firing grip.

C308_magreleasereachThe safety lever is in a familiar-enough location. Due to a tight fit and the polymer trigger housing, it does drag a bit as the ball detent underneath it wears a slight groove into the polymer. It’s starting to break in and I think eventually it’ll hit its stride and operate smoothly while still indexing solidly up (safe) or down (fire).
C308-safety

I think that gets the gripes and nit picks out of the way. Ergonomic design wasn’t exactly at the forefront over half a century ago when the CETME rifle first went into production and, yeah, it’s a battle rifle. Sure it’s large, but it’s a pretty good shooter.

Actually, I guess it does fall a bit short in one important category; accuracy. Of course, “falling short” is what you make it, and I told my FFL that I’d be happy if this thing did better than 5 MOA. Well…color me happy, then:
C308-australianoutbackC308-brownbearC308-colt

The best group, shot, like all of these groups, at 100 yards with sandbag rests and the Lucid L5 rifle scope mounted to the rail, was turned in by HotShot’s 146 grain .308:C308-hotshot

Obviously this is far from sniper rifle performance, but with ammo that the rifle likes it’s within “battle rifle” territory and should be more than sufficient for burying in your back yard until the zombies and North Koreans attack. Or, sure, for hunting hogs, deer, or most North American game within a reasonable distance. Or for exploding watermelons and generally having fun shooting a full-power cartridge on the range.

Conclusions

I’ve had a lot more fun shooting the C308 than I thought I would. I can envision Chris Costa C-Clamping the heck out of that extra long forend, and truth be told it felt pretty good to run it like that. It’s a solid shooter, and it proved reliable even with lacquered steel ammo. The addition of that receiver rail section for mounting optics is a huge plus. Another huge plus is the availability through various retailers of inexpensive surplus parts for replacement or modification (e.g. OD Green furniture), plus 20-round magazines in very good condition for like $6.

It’s not without negatives, of course, although the biggest one might be the C308’s limited production. How many will be manufactured is not known to me, but when Century Arms burns through its cache of new-condition surplus parts, the C308’s are done. With a street price of only ~$650 (seems to be 1800GunsAndAmmo’s going rate), I have to assume they’re moving fairly well.

Specifications: Century Arms C308

Caliber: .308 (and 7.62×51)
Action: Semi-auto, roller locker delayed blowback
Weight: 9 pounds
Barrel: 18″
Overall Length: 40.2″
Magazine: Two 20-round and one 5-round magazines included (HK G3 mags)
MSRP: $699 (street price about $650)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Accuracy: * *
I’m willing to say it’s capable of 2 MOA with ammo that it likes. Considering the price point, that ain’t too shabby. Of course, it’s a 5 MOA gun with some ammo, so…

Ergonomics: * * 
It’s big. Stamped & welded construction leaves some edges. The trigger is terrible. But it shoulders well and I like the sleek forend.

Reliability: * * * * *
The 5-round magazine needed some lube on the follower. With that taken care of, the gun ran like a champ. One nice thing about a blowback action is the simplicity and reliability, and even with the roller lockers adding some complication this design is beyond proven in all sorts of adverse conditions. The fluted chamber is supposed to help extraction, too, and it worked just fine with lacquered steel and nickle plated steel ammo.

Customization: * * * *
The scope rail is awesome, and it opens up options that are difficult to come by on most other CETME/G3/HK91 clones. Additionally, surplus parts still exist to change things up as you see fit, like going with wood furniture or different colors of plastic furniture, original slings, mag pouches, and other accessories.

Overall: * * * *
It definitely falls short on accuracy with most of the ammo I tested — it’s good with that HotShot load, though — and ergonomically it’s a bit of a challenge as it’s large-scale and fairly heavy. However, it’s a reliable, solid shooter in a full-power rifle cartridge at an amazing price, and you gotta love super inexpensive magazines.

comments

  1. avatar J-El says:

    After they ban all the guns, that black axe will be next.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      They can have my Fiskars ax and hatchet when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        No worries, as I removed the shoulder thing that goes up from my evil black axe (and it has a safety orange grip 😉 )

        1. avatar chainman says:

          I had no axe, used a shovel, they’ll have to dig me up to get it….I took it with me,they just kicked in the sand over me.

      2. avatar Eric Nicholson says:

        ….do you mean, when they pry them out of their foreheads? 😉

  2. avatar Texheim says:

    IMHO, Century is always a risk. They but the barrel on my HK93 wrong and it wouldn’t shoot straight with out another 1k put into it. Sold it.

    1. avatar Tile floor says:

      Yeah they are hit or miss. I had a Wasr 1063 that worked extremely well and didn’t have the canted front sight or mag wobble others have complained about. I’ve handled some at gun shows, however, that look like they’re held together with chewing gum.
      If you’re going to get something by CA I definitely wouldn’t buy it without handling it first

      1. avatar Jeremy S says:

        After writing this review, but before publishing it, I spent a few hours reading and watching all of the C308 reviews I could find, which was a few dozen of them actually. Aside from some of the general CETME / old battle rifle sorts of comments you’d expect, every single one of them is at least apparently running extremely reliably and the few where I saw true accuracy testing did slightly better than my example (of course, I didn’t really try premium ammo like Eagle Eye, Federal Gold Medal Match, Gorilla, etc). At least for the C308s that have been manufactured thus far, they really do appear to be a solid product.

    2. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      Most of the new Century stuff seems to be good to go. Their new AK lines seem to be really good and my VZ 2008 has been excelent. I still wouldn’t buy an older century without shooting it first.

      1. avatar Rose says:

        As Charlie Sheen says, this article is “WINGINN!”

    3. avatar Dr. Williams says:

      Purchased the C308 in May, it did not fire, sent it back to Century, they replaced it with another C308 and it fire 1 round and did not fire again and put my life at risk on a hunting trip…Bears don’t care if your rifle works or not..!!! I will be sending this one back as well on Monday. So far my experience with Century Support has been great, my experience with Century Firearms..JUNK, at least the C308..!!!

      1. avatar Dr. Ruiz says:

        So you went on a bear hunting trip with a rifle that you had fired 1 round thru it and your saying “it” put your life at risk?

  3. avatar Rambeast says:

    I’m not THAT desperate for a .308 semi-auto. If I’m going to get a CETME clone, I’ll spend another $2-300 and get a PTR 91.

    1. avatar Jim Barrett says:

      I think I’m with you. You get what you pay for and let’s face it, another $230 dollars (the difference in price between the two at Atlantic firearms) may be worth it. I’d like to see a head to head review of a PTR and this Century gun. What sort of experience should a proper CETME rifle yield?

      1. avatar Gary McClenny says:

        I have both a HK91 and a PTR91 suppressed. Both are as excellent as you can get. I have always avoided the CETME because it did not become a great battle rifle until the Germans got it back (German design, Spanish built originally) and fine tuned it. I like the fore grip on the PTR much better than on the HK. Both shoot extremely well. I have a DTA Milbrake on the HK and it holds the muzzle dead level—it’s a shame they went out of business! It’s the best brake I have ever used.

  4. avatar TT says:

    I recently put a cheap barrel on an AR. It shoots most ammo 5 moa and some 2 moa, like this gun. While that’s what I expected when I bought the barrel, for some reason it didn’t hit home until later that whatever money I saved on the barrel would be spent on more expensive ammo to get acceptable accuracy. It’s a mistake I won’t make again. Fortunately, with an AR it’s easy to fix. It’s easy to be penny-wise and pound foolish with guns.

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Don’t bother picking up brass (if you can find it), those grooves in the chamber completely trash it.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Not true at all, Tom. I used to get about three reloads out of my HK91 brass before trashing it. The flutes don’t really hurt anything – they resize just fine. The case mouths take a beating, which is generally the reason for early discards.

      1. avatar Funtapaz says:

        Yeah, the real issue is the lower recovery rate. You’ll have to go into the next county to find it all. Because of that very forceful ejection, forget about using a buffer, or any sort of attachable brass catcher. Solid catchers will destroy the brass, and soft ones will be destroyed by the brass.

    2. avatar Jeremy S says:

      The brass from this example is reloadable. The fluted chamber leaves racing stripes of carbon on the cases, but not actual ‘lands & grooves’ like you sometimes see (it feels smooth w/ a finger nail), and the rest of the case and the case mouth is not dented or smashed like you get from many of these guns. It would need a cleaning, but could be reloaded. Like the brass from my HK P7. Just carbon stripes…

      …actually… I just looked at my whole pile of empty brass from the C308 and there are a handful with slightly dented case mouths. Maybe 5% have a dent. I think it would size out but on those ones it’s definitely dented.

  6. avatar TTACer says:

    I know a lot of people who are basically Germanophiles and like the MP5 style, and a fair number who just like the fact that these are inexpensive and the mags are super cheap, but they don’t do anything for me. They don’t lock the bolt, they are hard to charge, they are enormous, and they are inaccurate.

    1. avatar Gary McClenny says:

      So, a HK PSG-1 at a guaranteed 1/4 MOA is not accurate enough?
      A roller lock that absolutely locks the bolt until the pressures reach a safe level is not good enough?

      1. avatar TTACer says:

        I meant lock on an empty mag, like every other non-German rifle ever. And yes, a $12,000 PSG-1 can easily match or possibly better the groups of a $900 DPMS AR 10. Lighten up, Francis.

  7. avatar anaxis says:

    I must’ve gotten one of the early “hit” CETMEs made by Century. My only complaint about it was that there is no way to attach a sling to the plain plastic stock. Optics can be attached with a surplus STANAG claw mount and a surplus bipod helps with all that weight…. no sandbags needed.
    However, by swapping out the CETME buffer and crappy stock for G3 parts (altogether with claw mount & bipod cost in total was about $300), it became my favorite rifle…. and is fully capable of 2-3 MOA groups shot by the author’s new C308; sans scope, if I do my part. It’s heavy, long, and somewhat awkward, but it will gobble *anything* I feed it, without fail.

    1. avatar Adelaide says:

      That’s an astute answer to a tricky qutoiesn

    2. I’m not worthy to be in the same forum. ROTFL

  8. avatar Joe R. says:

    I recently lost a [C93 pistol, in 5.56] in a terrible fire at sea (“IRLA_IATFAS”), and I agree with all the positives and negatives above with regard to that weapon as well, and Century Arms in general.

    However they do throw lead, and are fair bug-out/trunk/truck – guns, and they have wonderful Sh_t-Eating-Grin factor.

    DEMAND CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT FROM YOUR ARMS MANUFACTURERS but keep Century (and all gun mfrs. in business).

    1. avatar Broken 3ight says:

      So what you’re saying is… you lost it in a boating accident.

  9. avatar Ron says:

    Unfortunately one can’t afford .308 ammo any more so what does it matter

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      The cheap stuff is like 41 to 50 cents and the C308 seems to have no issues running it. Accuracy may be hit-or-miss with some of the brands but it’ll run it, and I’m sure there’s a cheap plus decently accurate combo out there (HotShot was good, and it isn’t expensive, but I bet there’s an even cheaper round like Tula, ZQI, the right bullet weight of Brown/Silver Bear, etc etc, that will do at least as well)

      1. avatar Rob Wright says:

        My c308 loves zq1 ammo I ran 200 rounds through it without a hiccup. I shot 1.5 in groups at 175 yards, I would have loved to stretch her legs but it’s hard to find enough range. I found the rifle likes Winchester soft points, federal power points, Remington core lokts and zq1 ammo. I tried to run tula steel case through it and grouping was terrible, three inch groups at 50 yards perfecta was not much better. I am still trying different brands and weights of ammunitions. I have run over a 1000 rounds through my c308 without a single malfunction it will shoot anything I put in it. Actuating the charging handle gets easier as it gets broken in, it will never be as easy as an AR but it isn’t bad. It is important to leave the safety off if you drop the hammer on an empty chamber, the blocking mechanism will prevent the rifle from cycling.

    2. avatar Smokey54 says:

      Not me. I bought thousands when it was 5.99 a box back in the old days.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    Another Great Review by Jeremy. He mentioned every issue and quirk I knew of in my research of this firearm.

    I decided not to buy the CETME. It is fairly cheap for a semi-auto 308 rifle, but I wanted something with better accuracy and less quirks and am currently looking at DPMS compatible 308 clones. Many people have complained about the bolt-gap on these style of rifles and the “shortcuts” Century was taking during their last batch of these builds. Inspection of the rollers and possible purchase of larger replacement rollers were common. The stiffness or freezing up of the charging handle being a common issue, and the annihilation of spent brass ejected from the rifle. Many of the older models (apparently not Jeremy’s) would smash the brass into the lip of the ejection port opening and cause large dents in the brass. That coupled with the fluted chamber made most brass casings left to be crimped and thrown in the salvage bucket.

    I decided to pass, pay a little more, get a little more.

  11. avatar TITAN308 says:

    Isn’t PTR about to fold up shop? I remember reading somewhere that their new facility in South Carolina or whatever is about to be seized by the county for non-payment on rent.

    Edit: Yup – http://www.thestate.com/news/business/article24939469.html

    1. avatar Funtapaz says:

      They actually settled up and everything is fine now. They’re financially sound.

  12. avatar FedUp says:

    Isn’t it possible to build an AR-10 with decent parts for around $6-700?

    1. avatar Red In Texas says:

      Don’t know if it is possible, but doesn’t seem to be.

      This is available, and it is fairly inexpensive.
      http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/dpms-lr-308-sportical-308-win-semiautomatic-carbine/pid-1340621?N=385933178+4294963040

    2. avatar NDS says:

      Possibly. I built a nice one recently for about $1200 or so and it wasn’t bottom shelf parts.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      Shop Palmetto State will be in general that price range.

    4. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      PSA sells one for about that price range. I have a PSA lower that I am planning to build into a hunting rifle.

  13. avatar Joe says:

    “I can envision Chris Costa C-Clamping the heck out of that extra long foreand”

    That make me laugh. Great review. Not a gun I want to purchase but it’s interesting nonetheless.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Reading all the way to the end of a review on a gun you have no interest in is a sure sign that you are a “gun nut” 😉

      Honestly, I wasn’t interested in this rifle either. For one, I’m not a stamped-&-welded kind of a guy in any case and otherwise I’m just not particularly interested in old, gigantic battle rifles. I got my hands on this one due to a couple of requests specifically for a C308 review, and I’m glad I did because it’s actually a heck of a fun rifle to shoot. If it were chambered in something like 7.62x54r so the ammo cost 1/3 as much, I’d be keeping it. For me it’s a super fun gun but the ammo is just too expensive, and if I’m going to run expensive ammo I’m more likely to want to do it in a modern, accurate rifle instead.

      1. avatar JWM says:

        Yep, read the entire review and all the comments, commenting twice myself, and the only thing that caught my eye was the ax.

        Most of us gun nuts are also edged tool nuts.

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          It splits very easily and effectively but I think the edge is too fine, as it gets chewed up too quickly.

        2. avatar Robert T Willis says:

          Lol

      2. avatar JWM says:

        You really need a bigger heavier ax for splitting. Back before I moved to the city I used steel wedges and sledge hammers for splitting wood. Hammers came in handy for busting up coal to more useable chunks also.

        1. avatar Jeremy S says:

          I also have a bigger, heavier axe with a sledge rear side and a wedge for splitting really big rounds, which is how my dad prefers to do it. However, I prefer the Fiskars. It’s half the weight but splits dry wood with half the effort, too. It’s a very effective splitting axe, which is no surprise as that’s very specifically what this one was designed for. The Fiskars also doesn’t stick, so I can slam it into a giant round as hard as physically possible and easily pull it right out in the event the round doesn’t actually crack clean in half. …but the edge is very sharp and quite fine, so it does get beat up a bit faster than I’d like…

      3. avatar Stinkeye says:

        This rifle doesn’t interest me at all, either, but I read the whole thing just because it was a rifle review that wasn’t YAGDAR (Yet Another God-Damn AR). Nothing bores me more than a reviewer struggling to find ways to make the latest AR seem even slightly different than the one that came out last week…

      4. avatar Cowboy T says:

        Try out the ZQI .308 ammo at Walmart. That ammo runs through CETME-pattern rifles very well, and it’s $9.97/box of 20, and it’s Boxer/brass, thus reloadable. That even beats the price of the Wolf/Tulammo/Bear non-reloadable (well, Berdan/steel) rounds.

        On the other hand, if you’re thinking the old Soviet 1970’s milsurp ammo at 20 to 25 cents/round, then yes, you’ve got a good point. But that stuff’s corrosive, so I’d save it for a bolt-action (Mosin) that’s easier to clean.

        – T

  14. avatar Joe Grine says:

    Friends don’t let friends buy Century Arms products.

  15. avatar Chris says:

    I love how people complain about ergo’s on a 60 year old battle rifle design. The G3 series has done pretty well around the world because they are cheap and pack a punch. If you care about first world issues like ergo’s and want 7.62 buy a Scar, which is a 50 year more modern design…

    Great rifle and interesting footnote in history, if CT didn’t go all crazy I’d buy the PTR version along with the PTR StG44, they would look nice in the safe next to an FN49, FN FAL.

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Unfortunately for the 60-y/o ergos, I didn’t write this review in 1954. …and don’t forget the fact that this is a brand new rifle manufactured in 2015. If 60-y/o ergos are less-than-ideal, nobody’s forcing you to make an exact modern clone of them 😉

    2. avatar TTACer says:

      The AR is not much younger and has vastly superior ergos and packaging.

  16. avatar ValleyForge77 says:

    Another excellent review (albeit in a gun I’m not interested in). Thanks Mr. S

  17. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I have a PTR 91 Special edition with the classic wood. I added an original leather sling and bayonet lug and of course bought a bayonet. It’s capable of 1.5 inch groups at 100 yards with steel cased ammo. I kept my targets with multiple 1.5 inch groups to prove it. I have yet to shoot brass ammo through it but have a healthy stockpile.

    I plan on replacing the Navy style lower with an original FCG converted to semi auto and a wood grip. Luckily my fingers reach all of the controls so the ergos are not that bad for me.

    The unfortunate thing is there is no rail so a claw mount is the only way to add optics. A 2 MOA will more than get the job done. Most red dots out there are 2 MOA anyway if you were to choose to mount one.

    I have a CETME L kit sitting in a box awaiting a barrel and reciever flat. That will be an interesting project. I really enjoy these roller delayed locking rifles, they are a lot of fun to shoot! Thanks for reviewing something other than another parts bin “custom” AR.

  18. avatar Gunr says:

    Is this rifle, and I use the word loosely, manufactured be the same company that brought us the Yugo? /sarc.

  19. avatar ad-lib says:

    reminds me that i need to get out the old Century CETME and play with it: unless i have forgotten, it didn’t really have any issues of note.

    that said, if i could do it all over again, i would have bought a PTR.

  20. avatar Scott says:

    I dont have more than about $700 to spend on a semi auto
    rifle that is mag fed and I want something that shoots a bigger
    cartridge than .223 or 7.62×39 that is commonly available.
    (no ar-15 or AK-47 types.) What other good choices would there be for reliable rifles ? I dont mind giving up accuracy
    to save money. Is the C308 the best for me ?

    1. avatar JeremyB says:

      Century Arns has really improved QC, manufacturing, and really improved over the last few years. The rifles they produce now, such as the C39 AK variant and this C308, are very noticeably improved over some of the products they threw out in the past. The C308 is an excellent battle rifle for the price, and I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed with one. That said, there’s no arguing that the PTR-91 is probably going to be a little “cleaner” in terms of fit and finish and more accurate. So for $200 more you can get, the better of the HK91 variants. Just depends on if you want to spend the extra for a more accurate, slightly higher quality rifle or if you are ok with a .308 battle rifle that functions 100% reliably, may not shoot as accurately, but those two things aside is basically the same rifle for a little less. I know enough about Century Arms’ past issues with quality control, and know that their QC and production practices have vastly improved in house. They now put out quality firearms at affordable prices. I would happily and confidently purchase Century firearms produced within the last two or three years. I own a C39 AK and at $600, for a milled receiver, 100% American made, and accurate AK, it would rival any Arsenal I own. If both looked the same and you shot side by side, it would be incredibly difficult to tell the difference (accuracy included). I own an Armalite AR-10 with the Target 20″ SS Match barrel, a SCAR-17s, and still plan on purchasing either a C308 or PTR-91. Not necessarily for accuracy, but for the nostalgia, the fun factor, and I just like those old HK roller delayed blowback design.

      1. avatar 91b2sf says:

        I have owned one for over a year now….I have also built two HK91’s from surplus parts…..I have shot hundreds of rounds through my C308 and my brother also who is a world class shooter with the M1A….He was as impressed with its accuracy and with the quality it was built…..Never have we had an issue with a non fire or a jam…..yes its a bit heavy….and yes its tight on the charging handle…..but unless your built like a cornstalk…..its not an issue…..

    2. avatar Bill says:

      I just purchased the C308 in july 2015 and all of the USA made parts are made by PTR and I have a DPMS AR-10 and CIA C308 is just as good a quality made rifle I have but maybe 100 round of ZQI from Wal-Mart throught it and it has done just fine at 9.97 a box the rifle is one of my best purchases yet so I say go for the C308 also the finish on the C308 was much more than I expected.

  21. avatar Jesse Winkler says:

    I have one of the older CA cetmes (when they were still marketed as The Black Widow). I can repeat that it was kind of a hit or miss experience. Cosmetically (at the time of purchase) it did not come with the threaded barrel to accept any sort of flash suppressor/brake, and it did not have the rail up top so i had to order an aftermarket claw style, and had the barrel threaded. When i first purchased it, i had problems with gun wanting to eject the cartridge. The inner workings were kind of tight and i needed to operate it like a bolt action for most shots for the first 75 rds or so. After that its been extremely reliable. Another problem ive encountered over the years is you almost HAVE to let the charging system “slam” forward or else it may not engage the locking rollers and the gun wont fire (lost out on a nice whitetail to learn this one). I will say that accuracy is actually quite good all things considering. Again, definitely not a sniper rifle, but for a battle rifle it does really well hitting soda cans consistently at 200yrds using just standard federal ammo.
    On the otherhand one of the rifles that was ordered along with mine had a few more issues. Ejection issues a bit more pronounced than mine (but still worked itself out), and a bit more variance in accuracy. All in all, would i make this purchase again, most definitely.

  22. avatar Aaron O says:

    I purchased the C308 a few weeks ago. I love it. Eats anything I feed it, and is accurate enough. I was realistic when I bought it. What I mean is, if I want dead on accuracy. I will pull out one of my bolt action rifles that I have spent a small fortune building. If I want something comparable, but lighter, I’ll grab one of my ar’s. I bought the C308 for a few other reasons. 1. I had an hk 91 when I was younger, and ended up selling it (giving it away), and don’t want to pay the going rate for another one. 2. Talked to a PTR rep, and got the lowdown on this rifle before they were out, and yes it is as good as he said it would be. I don’t think he felt right promoting another company, but it has PTR parts in it, so I figured I would hit him up about it. 3. It’s just a cool rifle. Who among us hasn’t wanted certain guns in their collection to “complete it”? No, it’s not a real hk. No, it’s not a PTR. However, for 699.00, it’s damn fun to shoot, and that’s why I bought it. Plus, when the undead ones come for you, it’s heavy enough to beat their heads in , when the magazine is empty.

  23. avatar J.J. says:

    I’ve been using century arms weapons for years. Are they Parker shotguns? No guys, they’re not. A lot of “top 1%” talk here too. If Joe 6Pack wants a battle rifle thats not a .22, the C308 fits the bill, and dosen’t break the bank. A little buffing, minor filing, and some good grease…Done. Do they sling lead, kill bad guys, and fill the freezer with venison? Yes, they do.

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  25. avatar rob g says:

    Picking one of these up in a couple weeks. My favorite FFL has one on hand, so I was able to handle it, and dry fire it. The trigger is much lighter than the one tested here. The fit and finish seems very nice, even nicer than many AR’s I’ve seen. I’ve always like the design of these, and see this more as a defensive style weapon that can defeat automotive steel. We live out in a very rural area, and a SHTF situation could involve ranges that exceed 300 yards. I plan on seeing how accurate my particular one is and building it from there.
    I enjoy shooting, but rifles aren’t my main thing. My own AR is pretty much stock and works fine. (DPMS AP4)
    Some of the snobbery around here is over the top. I’d rather have 4-5 nice guns than 1 AR with 3k in add-ons, but that’s just me.

  26. avatar Bill says:

    I believe gun tests magazine did a comparison of the PTR 91 and C308 sometime in 2015. It is a very interesting design which I am seriously thinking about acquiring.

  27. avatar Red Cetmeonfire says:

    I bought my Century C308 about 6 years ago with a bunch of extra CETME 20 round mags most of the mags were a good fit but some didn’t work and were scrapped. Had minor FTF problems that I fixed by replacing the recoil spring. The HK replacement spring did the trick, took the CETME to the OFASTS (Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show) and put over a thousand rounds down range without a hiccup. I’ve added a picatinny rail and an M-60 style carrying handle and the gun is just a blast to shoot. Everybody I’ve ever let shoot the thing has mile wide smile when their done

  28. avatar Fred Renishaw says:

    Not being a CETME, HK-91, or PTR user I bought a C308 blissfully 2 months ago and love it. I was in the military in the early 70’s stationed with FROG’s and always thought they had cooler guns than us. I always wondered how a country that had such neat weapons could loose to he former Soviet Union. 300 rounds no issues. I did disassemble the gun and clean it before firing. I think most fail to fires are with people not knowing how the CETME designs work. For me this was the case. The bolt wont lock correctly unless the charging handles down. Also if you pull the charging handle to the rear and lock it to before changing magazine and let it fly forward it wont let the bolt fully close making you think you have a weak firing pin spring. It works every time though if you correctly pull the handle back pull and let it fly “After” changing the magazine. Gun shoots accurate after sighting in. I like my C308 so much I bought another. Its fun gun and built like a tank.

  29. avatar Crazy_raccoon says:

    Hey Fred what do you mean by not holding locked open which causes the firing issues? Are you saying not to do the famous H&K rear lock, replace magazine and then slap the charging handle to complete the process? I kind of got confused because from what I read that’s what it looked like.

    1. avatar Fred Renishaw says:

      Yes, don’t pull charging handle back and change magazine. That’s movie poo-poo. Change magazine, pull the charging handle all the way back and let it fly forward. . I think locking the charging handle back is a extra safety feature and use for inspection and disassembly purposes

      1. avatar Fred Renishaw says:

        Crazy_raccoon, I checked the manual again and it says to lock the bolt back before changing magazines or changing  magazines is difficult. The manual didn’t say it could not be done. With me it doesn’t seem any harder changing magazines with bolt forward. I’m up to 500 rounds with no fail to fires using Alumnium and Steel magazines. I’m going to find a old HK-91 Mannual and see what it says. Anyways I love the gun. I’m going to put a video out soon on You Tube of intial firing of the my second C308 first rounds.

    2. avatar Fred Renishaw says:

      No Locking and slapping here

      1. avatar Crazy_raccoon says:

        Actually he does pull to lock in the rear and a laps the charging handle around the 1:00 mark in the video. Plus I think he’s shooting an actual G3 or at least a PTR because of the barrel rear sights and paddle mag release which the C300 does not have.

  30. avatar Michael Jacobson says:

    I’ve seen 1000 rounds of winchester 168 grain .308 shot through one in 30 minutes. The ONLY thing to malfunction was the polymer forearm melted off and with a barrel temp of over 600 degrees during the entire torture test there was only ONE “cook off”. You can replace the trigger group with ANY H&K or G3 trigger system, They are that interchangeable as well as the stock and forearm. Barrels including competition ones are not that expensive from the likes of Sarco. Using this rifle as a base which I paid $629 for at a local gun show, I first changed the forearm for a H&K-91 OEM (ordered directly from H&K) aircraft aluminium forearm with 2 two inch picatinny rails for $169.00 One rail for a Harris Bipod for $129.00 and the other for a H&K foldable forward grip $59.00. I changed out the barrel for one purchased (G3 competition barrel) from Sarco for under $179.00 installation was $100.00. I kept the muzzle break provided. I then traded out the trigger group for a H&K OEM .308 Semi Competition trigger package for $169.00. As for Optics I used a Leatherwood ART M-1000 (Auto-adjustment-Range & Trajectory scope made for snipers during Vietnam) for $329.00 and finally added the H&K OEM “snap on” sniper Check Piece for $44,95 for a grand total of $1800 and change. But I have a proven battle rifle that will shoot 3 inch groups at 250 yards with Tula ammo and will put it against ANY AR-10 in a 2000 round shoot off as to who fails first. Great rifle are not bought, THEY are MADE!!!!

    1. avatar Kenneth Thomas says:

      Amen and I’d bet train riding dollars one what you wrote. Its a good accurate shooter. And Daniel Defense or any of those other outfits can have one that goes bad or shoots horribly or some manufactures workmanship issue. I have had a good experience as well.

  31. avatar H Gaymon says:

    I bought a C308 for $725, I shot 5 rounds and it quit! I thought I was doing something wrong! Then I took it back to the dealership that I bought it from, and the salesman showed me where the barrel had separated somehow from the receiver not allowing the firing pin to hit the primer! He was cool and took it back, and credited me the $725 and I added $500 more and got a DSA SA58 FAL 308! Huge difference in quality. Worth the extra money. My WASR 10/63 is great, but that’s the only Century Arms I’ll ever get!

  32. avatar Iroc Guns says:

    I have this and shot it only once, 80 rounds mixed wolf and silver bear and found it 100% reliable, more accurate than the review would indicate and very very fun. Going to run some brown bear cheapo ammo through it today.

    1. avatar Kenneth Thomas says:

      yes sir, my groupings were awesome. I got. 2MOA at 145 yd. Yeah the review just taints the accuracy of the weapon it’s rather accurate and again with cheap Wolf Ammo

    2. avatar lllandrum says:

      I did a ton of research on this gun before I bought it. From what I saw, early reviews vs newer reviews…It seems like there was a version 2 that came out at some point. The early ones seem to be shit. Then century decided to maybe take quality control more serious. Definitely don’t want one of the early iterations of this gun. The newer ones….Bad Ass!

  33. avatar Kenneth Thomas says:

    I’m getting very good groupings of 2MOA out of cheap Wolf Ammo at 145 yards. I don’t know maybe just good conditions who knows or maybe because mine actually has a PTR Barrel in it? I’m not sure however I have never seen groupings that big out of my c308 as you had and again that’s with cheap junk ammunition. I’m very happy. Also my trigger pack is made by PTR Industries and my butt stock is an H&K buttstock is not a cetme butt stocks. I guess I got a real frankenfurter of a rifle. But I’m getting much more than my $700 worth I can tell you that.

  34. avatar lllandrum says:

    I bought this gun a few months back at Gander Mountain in Fort Wayne, IN for $599. I finally bought the front sight tool from e-sarcoinc.com. It arrived on Friday.
    I took this gun to the range today. I ran Hornady American Whitetail through it. About 40 rounds. Ran flawlessly with the mags that came with it.
    My targets are just normal 8×11 printer paper with targets drawn on them up against some cardboard. I am near sighted as shit. At fifty yards, (with iron sights) the target is just a white square (technically a rectangle).
    From the factory, the front sight was really low. I was shooting 3 feet high at 100 yards aiming for dead center of white square. I adjusted the front sight on the 50 yard target first. I had to crank the front sight up so high, you can actually see the threading below the sight base. Eventually I was getting a 2″ grouping at fifty yards, iron sights, aiming for center of white square.
    Same results at 100. I didn’t even have to adjust the front sight to go out very accurately another 50yards. I don’t know about ballistics so that kinda surprised me. I’m not going to complain.
    My gun at 100 yards is accurate (2″ grouping). I’m going to get a scope for this thing and see what it can do.
    Plus, sarcoinc.com has the Cetme parts set for cheap. You can get original wood furniture for this thing. I already bought it. Needs refinished, but it looks bad ass!
    This is my first 308 I have ever shot. After about 40 rounds, my shoulder hurt. I was like, “Gwod Damn!” I’m used to shooting your standard 5.56 AR.
    This gun is fun, cool, mod-able, and cheap.

  35. avatar Don says:

    Kinda like mine. I have a small shooting range at home. 50 and 100 yards for rifles and a standard skeet setup with hi and low house. I have a target board of 4×8 feet in size made from OSB. When I shoot my C308 with scope I use some small one cup size coffee filters stapled to the board. At 50 yards the small 2 inch filter doesn’t stand a chance. It took a few rounds to adjust the scope but now WOW its almost like the gun has a hate for those filters. I have a mobile shooting shack 8’x 16′ built on an old Sears and Roebuck trailer frame with opening on the side that exposes the shooting table toward the target, that I can tow from the fifty yard line to the hundred yard line with my ATV. To be honest I have been too lazy to hook up and move it so I don’t know what it will do at 100 yards. When the sons come home for visits we punch a lotta holes in the air. Can’t wait for October to get here.

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  37. avatar James R Hart says:

    I hope someone will benefit from my experiences with the C308. First off, I’ve had several AR’s in 5.56 and X39. Everyone has one. Boring to me. I wanted a fast-shooter in 308. I researched for awhile and got my “new” addition of the Century Arms C308 for, wait for it…….$489! Really nicely done rifle. Very impressed with the workmanship on this piece. Did the break-in as suggested and bought Wolf Gold, IMI, Tul, PPU, Aguila and Wolf 145 gr FMJ “classic”. With the standard set-up, without the brake, (not liked at my range), and scoped with a bargain brand 3-9×40 was un impressed with 3-5 in groups at 100 yards. Then I tried the Wolf 145 FMJ with the suppressor installed this morning and was very happy to see a 4-shot group at just under 7/8 in! You read right. With the “junky” cheap Wolf Classic stuff. What can I say other than I’m happy to shoot 308 at sub- MOA for 30 cents a round. AND…..with a $500 rifle!! I love this thing.

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