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Kirsten Weiss (courtesy

The .308 rifle isn’t ballistically efficient enough for my taste, so I really don’t follow it to be honest. I know a lot of guys who like the caliber though, and are very willing to put up with extra recoil and wind deflection. With them it’s more of an affection (like my affection for 30-06 which isn’t terribly efficient but was my first big game hunting caliber as a kid, and my grandfather’s passed down gun), rather than a “ballistic efficiency” thing. Anyway, when you say under $1000, are you talking a full rig including scope? And how far would you want it to be able to shoot accurately? The ballistics don’t matter AS much if you’re shooting closer distances (but, then….why a .308??). I know some companies who make .308s for long distance, but the rifle is more than $1000. I’m not familiar enough with companies that make factory .308s good enough for closer distance, but I’m sure there are some. TTAG readers, care to chime in with recommendations? [Click here for more Ask Kirsten Weiss at TTAG’s Free Fire Zone Forum. Note: she needs more questions.]

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    • She’s a gun pro; only an amateur model. But she seems very good at both.

      Would you prefer a portrait of Mikey Numbers?

      • If she doesn’t think the .308 is ballistically efficient enough, then maybe she’s not much of a “gun pro”, and more of a model.

        As for guns, look at the Savage Model 10 series

        • First, I’d venture to guess she is talking about 6.5mm bullets (.260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmor, etc) because they have a much higher BC than 7.62mm bullets in general. That’s just a guess though… hopefully she will speak up and let us know what caliber she prefers.

          Second, HUGE +1 to the Savage Model 10… very much a best bang for the buck outta the box IMO

        • RickP, when she says “the .308 rifle isn’t ballistically efficient enough for my taste,” she’s speaking from her point of view, as a competition shooter. Dyspeptic Gunsmith does a great job elsewhere in this comment section of explaining why that matters.

        • When guys argue that 308 is ballistically efficient, they don’t know what they’re doing. Yes, you can hit 1000+. Yes, you can kill. But that’s not what she’s shooting down. Wind deflection is HUGE on the 308, a 6.5 or 6mm kicks the wind way better, drops less, maintains it’s energy better. Did you know a 6.5mm 140gr bullet has more energy after 150yds than a 168gr .308 bullet? Yes, lighter bullet, more streamline is BETTER.

      • If she is that lacking in knowledge about the .308, she is no gun-pro. Becoming proficient with a firearm doe not require being a gun pro either. The .308 is one of the best all around common calibers made. When I was a Special Ops sniper in the 80’s this round mated to the m14 with art scope was a very complete system and worked well out to 600+ yards. It has been my preferred big game rifle for more than thirty years. As far as weapon, any gun in the right hands can be made to shoot well no matter what the price.

        • 600 yards is not a long shot anymore. Being that it is your preferred system means you are giving your opinion just like she did. Additionally, I am not sure how you can say she is lacking in knowledge because she doesn’t like a .308. She didn’t say she knew nothing about it, just that she doesn’t follow it because it isn’t one she prefers.

          For distance shooting being at least 1000+, I wouldn’t want to use a .308 as its flight path is largely an arc at that point. Sure you can hit stuff with it, but is it efficient? If you want to shoot at a distance try a .300 Winmag Mr. Spec Ops Sniper.

  1. Check out Savage Rifles. Price to Performance ratio are pretty good with those. Just don’t expect a sub $1K bolt gun to shoot like a $4K bolt gun.

    • Just what is this weapon to be used for and how much accuracy is needed/desired? For anything short of sniper accuracy I suspect almost any .308 of reasonable quality will suffice. As for the majority of us, I sincerely doubt that our accuracy at long ranges (more than 300 yards?)would be significantly affected by the difference between a $1k rifle and a $4k rifle each with good optics. At some point it is more about the shooter than the tool.

      • Agreed. I forget that most people don’t approach rifles from the same perspective that I do. I skipped the .308 entirely and went straight to 300 Win Mag because I wanted the 1200 yard range.

        • I am with you Jim. I love the .300 winmag. Popping steel at 1500 yards is one of the most entertaining activities I have ever done.

    • My son bought a Savage Axis complete with scope from Big 5 for about the cost of a lever gun. I can’t tell you how well it will hold up over time but it is a good rig for the average hunter. Most shots by hunters are at under 100 yards. He got the .308.

    • I’ll agree with that site. I went with the Savage 110 in .308. Heavier bbl, target crown. Millet scope, with warne base and rings. Right about a thousand. Shoots about 3/8 inch at 100 yds.
      If I recall, Dyspeptic Gunsmith gave some good reasons why it shoots well. I think it is in the free fire zone.
      I like it. It’s easy on the shoulder, ammo is easy to reload, or match grade only runs about $30 per box of 20.

  2. would the Ruger American rifle in .308 be a good first bolt gun and first center fire rifle? the rifle wouldn’t be used for hunting, and probably not used passed 200 yards. it would be more of a paper hunting gun and a what if i needed a long range gun for whatever reason. shtf.

      • im not getting a semi for paper punching due to needing a bullet button in my golden state. so like a 7.62×39 and 5.56 are out. i wouldn’t shoot it much (maybe once every 3-6 months) so cost of ammo isn’t a huge issue. i had read the ttag review on it and gathered that it will go bang and shoot straight. i still don’t know if it is the right gun though. maybe tot sucky of a trigger or ergonomics? or any other factor that would make it not suit my needs. can anyone tell me first hand if it would be a good first bolt gun?

        • You can get a bolt action in .223/5.56 fairly easily and even a couple in 7.62 x 39…regardless, Im sure it would suit your needs. I like savage rifles for their decent factory triggers and excellent out of box accuracy. The mossberg ATR series is also an excellent choice. I dont personally buy Ruger products…but again, it seems to be a good rifle. Do some research on several rifles in the group, and then go to a gun store and handle them. A rifle/trigger/whatever that feels good to me might feel different to you.

      • JoshinGA thanks for the input. i feel somewhat loyal to Ruger because i am very familiar with their handguns, however i will look into some Savage rifles and possibly a bolt .223 or 7.62×39. i have been quite impressed by friends .308s at the range. do you (or anyone else) know if the ca legal mini 14 has a fixed mag? it doesn’t have the same mag release as an ar so i dont know if ca has found a way to ruin the mini 14 other than limiting the mag cap. (both minis i have shot were pre commifornia)

      • Paper-punching use lends itself well to .22LR as long as you’re not trying for really long shots. Ruger 10/22 is quite popular for this… and still pretty cheap in comparison.

    • The American is a great deal for the money, and there’d be nothing wrong with it as an entry level gun. That said, may I make the suggestion of a Savage 11? Reasonable $$, lots of aftermarket, rebarreling very easy. Essentially, a pretty accurate rifle out-of-the-box that instead of you outgrowing it, can grow with you.

    • The RRA is a GREAT GUN FOR THE MONEY with the adjustable trigger in a trigger system that Ruger’s higher priced bolt guns don’t even have. Mine in 308 will shoot under an inch 3 shot groups at 100yds with good ammo. I paid $300 plus tax for mine at a gun show.

  3. What’s not “ballistically efficient” about a .308?

    Anyway, if you’re shooting closer distances, one might want a .308 because it’s very popular cartridge that is better at larger game than a .243

    • Its good for a M14, FAL, or anything under 1000 yards. But it looses out to the .30-06 when it comes to heavier bullets and it looses to bench rest calibers in terms of performance.

      • It doesn’t lose that much to the .30-06 until you get to the 200gr range, and you need to handload to get the full benefit. So while you are correct, I think it’s not a problem most people will encounter.

        Also, while the .308 is less accurate than some benchrest calibers, it is nearly universal in availability. I have never seen a 6mm PPC on the shelf anywhere, but before the recent panic, you could find half a dozen different .308 loads at Walmart. Again, I think you need to be making your own ammo before you will see a real difference between .308 and any other caliber for ultimate accuracy.

        .308 is good because it can do nearly anything decently well, to the point where many shooters including myself can’t tell the difference down at the target. You can’t hunt elephants, and you’re spending more than you need to for prairie dogs, but anything else is covered.

        • Yes but the guy who asked the question never mentioned hunting. If he wants a long range paper puncher, he won’t be buying any ammo from Wal Mart if he’s smart.

        • Good point. Although looking at the article again, it looks like he didn’t really mention anything in particular. Which means either he’s a relative newbie to bolt actions, or he’s just opening the subject to general discussion.

          I guess in general, I recommend either the .308 or the .223 for new bolt action shooters, depending on if they ever have any intention of hunting or say flat out that all they want to do is learn precision shooting at the range. Anyone who would be interested in another caliber probably won’t be asking the basic question of me in the first place. At the point where their skill exceeds the quality of Walmart ammo, they can either get a different rifle in a different caliber, or learn to load their own.

        • Even throughout the ammo shortage, you could find 6mm at my local Walmart almost any day of the week

      • True, but in terms of internal ballistics, the shorter case is around 20% less recoil for the same (albeit lighter maximum) bullet.

        In terms of external ballistics, pretty much any round from 6 to 8mm has excellent accuracy.

      • The 308 is better (more accurate) at short and medium range against small and medium animals (people) and is only slightly bested at the longest distances. It can use a slightly heavier bullet than 308 (an advantage against Moose and such).

    • Modern 6.5 and 7mm bullets have left all but the heaviest .30 bullets in the dust.

      “Ballistically efficient” is a term used to describe a bullet that has a high ballistic coefficient, which allows it to retain more velocity downrange because it is “slipperier” than a lower Bc bullet.

      This not only allows the bullet to retain more energy downrange, it reduces drop (meaning you have a flatter-shooting rifle) and your wind drift is reduced (because the bullet traversed the flight path more quickly).

      10 to 15 years ago, the .308 might have pulled even with a cartridge sporting a 7mm or 6.5mm bullet. Today, the 6.5’s and 7’s are pulling away from the .30’s rapidly. If you’re shooting at the level Ms. Weiss is, you want the round that’s going to give you every advantage you can get in exterior ballistics.

      As an example, compare the G7 Bc’s for Berger’s VLD hunting bullets. You can get Bc’s in 7mm pills at 180gr that you can’t get in a .30 cal pill under about 215 to 220 grains. The 180gr 7mm Berger hunting VLD has a G7 Bc of 0.337, and the .30 220 gr hunting VLD has a G7 Bc of 0.323.

      OK, want a lighter bullet in 7mm? Drop down to the 168gr pill. G7 Bc of 0.316, which is pretty close to the G7 Bc of the 220gr .30 pill at 0.323. But now you’re suffering less recoil, assuming similar case capacities and equal rifle weights (eg, a 280 Rem vs. a .30-06). OK, want even less recoil? Let’s drop down to the 140gr 6.5mm bullet: G7 Bc of 0.313. The shooter has to endure significantly less recoil by now vs. the .30 220gr pill.

      The standard “match” rounds for the .308 for years were built on the 155gr (Palma) 168gr and 175gr bullets. The 175gr Berger hunting VLD has a G7 Bc of 0.255. For reference, the old .30-06 M2 ball ammo used 150gr bullets, and 7.62 NATO M80 ball uses 147gr to 149gr bullets.

      When we jump over to match bullets, the situation is very similar. Only the very heaviest (215gr and up) .30 cal pills beat the heaviest 6.5’s and 7’s.

      • Well said.
        If the goal is accuracy at long distance, or even “stopping power” for say, hunting…there are just simply better calibers. “Better” meaning the same performance or better, with lower recoil, less wind deflection, often times cheaper bullets/reloading, more barrel life, etc.

        Many people are not as familiar with the science of ballistics, or don’t have use for it so never bothered learning. I was one of those people for quite awhile, even though I shot every day. Its easy to miss. Learning even basic ballistics really opened my eyes.
        The idea that a bigger caliber/heavier grained bullet being better for stopping live targets and reaching longer distances, has generally been the go-to advice. Its more tradition than truth.
        I’m glad you mentioned today’s calibers. Many people, like competition shooter David Tubb, have been ferociously studying ballistics and striving to make a more efficient system. So calibers have evolved a lot over the years, and continue to evolve.
        I think a lot of the “favorite” calibers that lack the best efficiency at longer distance (yes, my beloved 30-06) are more a sentimentality, lack of need for a gun that shoots accurately at distances more than 300 yards, lack of ballistic knowledge, or just “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality and acceptance of “good enough”, not wanting to venture out and discover better options for increased performance.

        That said, I encourage every serious shooter, especially those that want to shoot at long distances, to understand the ideas behind ballistics. Even a basic understanding of ballistics will do a world of good, and is fairly simple once you get the hang of it.

        • Kirsten, you ever get tired of getting the “little girl” pat on the head from people who think they know better?

        • Well said DG.

          Don’t take offense Kirsten, a lot of guys here have guns older than you and I, thus assuming that they know best even though they don’t try to update their knowledge.

        • Lol! Matt, at least they’re not pinching my cheeks…

          Deacon, I grew up with a bunch of guy friends giving me crap about every little thing just “because”, so my skins pretty thick, haha. I still very much appreciate when there are men who…how do I put this…”think”, and I value the comments (and often learn) from them. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

        • You really need to stop with the hunting references in this blog.

          Ballistics are only part of the equation in what you call “stopping power” for hunting. Punching paper is one thing, dropping live animals is quite another.

          I’ve no doubt you know your external ballistics inside and out. But that doesn’t equate to internal ballistics, which is what is important to humane, quick kills on game. Every game animal has its own requirements based on size, thickness of hide, etc.

          I’ll take a 260 Rem or one of the 6.5s on the range any day over a .30. But hunting big game, and almost any game over 300 yards away requires something else….usually a .30.

        • Proverbs-

          why do you cherry pick one word from Kirstens reply, and tell her not to refer to hunting on this blog?

          Not defending her, just asking as someone who is first, intereted in hunting, but also getting better by practicing at the range- where I’d expect the target shooting competitors, like Kirsten, might know a thing or two (or 100x) more than I…

          and apply that if God Forbid, we ever get into a situation where TSHTF,

          and for that I want to hear from the LEOs and MIL types with real world experience on what works too.

          I think of this as the MOST diverse place for noobs and experts to share the Truth About Guns,

          and in this case, Don was asking about shooting targets at 200, 300 and 600.

          The hunting stuff other people brought in.

          I know the comments are kind of hard to follow, for later ones nested under as replys show up “higher on the page” than later ones at the end of the main thread, so maybe you missed that.

          I’d be interested in more about what you have to say about stopping power, what type of animal, etc- maybe you could submit an article?

          Thanks again for patience with the long comment.

      • Thanks Kirsten, and Dys on the explanation of BC, and why new bullets make such a big difference. Here’s another by Chuck Hawk, back in 2001, for comparison to newer ammo.

        I’ve been wishing for a longer range hunting self-defense rifle, and pondering bolt/semi, and caliber, because I was just not having much luck shooting past 200 yds with the kind of accuracy a sportsman should be capable of for the itty-bitty-deer we have here in SoCal, and wild pig, if I ever find one, that is…:)

        But thanks to the many wise-men and women here its now its clear to me that much more can be done with a good basic platform, like my Win70/270 that you point out Jack O’Connor was so fond of, Dys, if you are using the newer bullets, that Kirsten is advocating, especially with well-coached practice.

        BTW, I had the good fortune to go on a long-range rifle training day recently, taught by a Navy Seal, with a bunch of talented guys shooting really nice ARs, and with a bit of help I was ringing the bell with the most of them at 400 and getting in the ballpark at 500 with my old .270, and 2×7 weaver scope with a bit of a 5-10KT crosswind. I was surprised how much you have to hold off to the side to make up for that wind.

        Full disclosure- I’m a total noob, so for the benefit of other noobs or noobs +, IMHO, investing in good coaching is right behind buying the platform – I learned a LOT about wind, range estimation, use of scope marks and technique, and theres about 2-3 MOA of improvement that comes from just that and the practice after, that which makes the difference in bullet or the barrell a moot point, until you get there first.

        The coach also said spend as much on your scope as you do your rifle if you are gonna go long.

    • It blows dick compared to .243WIN, 6.5CM, 6CM, .260REM, 6.5SAUM for long range shooting. Its an ok jack of all trades round but where it shines is availability and a pretty good barrel life compared to the other rounds I listed.

  4. I didn’t get the “ballistically efficient” comment either. Anything short of Brown Bear within 300 yards won’t live on the difference with a .308.

    Its the same with me in the duck/goose blind every year when I’m dropping birds with my 2 3/4″, 16 gauge vs. guys using 3.5″ roman candle 12’s.

    • True, and I don’t get these people who buy cannons to hunt whitetail from a stand.

      • Ya. I knew a few guys that lived in WV that used guns chambered in 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag for their deer rifles, even though due to the terrain and woods, it would be unlikely for them to ever take a shot over 100 yards.

    • I think what she meant by “ballistically efficient” is that there are better ballistically coefficient rounds that she prefers. The .308 is on the low scale of coefficiency, actually (I still love it though, and I always will).

      • Exactly.

        People who shoot for scores in wind, or at long ranges, or (most challenging of all, both) are in pursuit of the lightest possible bullets with the highest ballistic coefficients.

        You can make a bullet have a high Bc in most any caliber, as long as you’re willing to make the bullet absurdly long. As you make a projectile longer, the sectional density goes up, and therefore so does the Bc. As the bullet gets longer, you need a tighter twist barrel to stabilize the bullet.

        There’s a practical limit to how long you can make a bullet, however, before you start incurring very high friction losses in your barrel, with attending barrel heating, as well as copper fouling.

      • Yes.
        Under 300 yards, you have a ton of options. If you don’t mind paying more for bullets, feel okay with the potential for leaving a gaping wound cavity in your animal, and actually enjoy taking a beating to the shoulder after multiple practice rounds at the range…why stop at a .308, why not a .50 cal? haha
        Point is, if you’d like to enjoy yourself and save money….get a lighter caliber (7mm, 6.5). Don’t fret, shoot enough and you will still feel that beautiful soreness in your shoulder and lightness in your wallet–you’ll just get more practice too.

  5. Kirsten,

    I completely agree with you that the .308 isn’t ballistically efficient enough. I’ve taken down elusive and dangerous game on four continents with the .30-06 that my father handed down to me. It’s a proven performer in the hands of a real hunter.

    • Wonderful! I certainly love my 30-06. Its taken down game only on two continents though, and my father requested I use his .416 for the Croc. You’ve used a 30-06 for dangerous game?? That is brave. I’m sure with the right bullets and heavy loads, the ballistics would show its potential for dangerous game….but I’d have a hard time believing paper when staring into the eyes of a bull elephant or Cape Buffalo 50 yards away, JEEZ! What game did you shoot?

      • Kristen, good call from your dad on the .416. Did you harvest?
        I felt quite inadequate last month with my .375 when actually seeing buff, crock and hippo at very personal ranges.
        I’m looking for at least a .416!

        Thanks to you and D.G. for terrific advice on bullets, range and accuracy.
        It get’s one to thinking back outside of the box when one, (me) has become complacent with generally good accuracy.
        Time to start paying attention to the small calibers again.
        I’ve been too stuck on my .50 shooting AMAX and Barnes bore riders.

        • Nothing wrong with shooting a .50. Unless one thinks they “need” it for 1,000-2000 yard shooting, or harvesting game (yikes).

          I love hearing about peoples Safaris! (maybe even if they are made up like Aharon’s…lol) Were you successful?

          Yes. I did shoot the Croc. Right at the end of the smile, which is about the size of a quarter. There was some slight pressure on the shot. If I missed, the croc would’ve escaped into the water and rolled under a log/debris…and my dad would’ve made me pay the trophy fee. … … I didn’t miss.

        • Excellent shooting! I practiced on that shot on Crocs in case the opportunity arose. Didn’t have privileges in Zambia though. My best friend and I got to spend almost 3 weeks tromping all over southern Africa. (Not made up). We were able to eat what we harvested.
          My McMillan 50 is just for plinking… I’m ready to trade it for a proper rifle to re-visit Africa.
          Thanks for your advice and columns.

  6. the ballistic difference between the .308 and 06?
    give me a break!

    If you can hit MOA at your chosen distance, the job will get done.
    what else are you wanting?

  7. Im holding out for the Mossberg MVP Patrol in 7.62 NATO. Its supposed to be out this summer. I was going to get the 5.56 but I already have an AR for that.

  8. For hunting there’s no significant advantage to the flatter shooting cartridges since there’s jack squat difference out to 300 yards and most people don’t carry a range table and rifle rest out into the field for longer shots. At 300 yards you might be needing to elevate 6 inches as opposed to 4.8, but does that make a lick of difference? And at 1000 yards does it matter that you need to elevate 30 feet instead of 26? It’s probably more significant that there’s no other cartridge as widely used and refined as a .308. And the only centerfire rifle round I can think of that’s cheaper to shoot is the .223.

    There is terminal ballistics advantage to a heavier slower bullet. I’ve heard stories of smaller faster bullets splattering on a deer’s shoulder. I can’t personally attest to their validity, but it makes sense that asking more from a smaller piece of lead could lead to failure.

    That said, Miss Kirsten looks altogether nice in black and white. She should wear that more often.

    • “…as a .308. And the only centerfire rifle round I can think of that’s cheaper to shoot is the .223.”

      Really? 5.45×39, 7.62×39, 7.62x54R, .30 carbine, and then there are tons of others that fall into the range of .308 ammo (which you can find from like $0.60 up to $2.00 depending)… like these that will fall into the low end of that range: .30-30, .303 Brit, .243, .270, .30-06, etc etc etc etc

      • I have a .303 and a .308 and I assure you the .303 ammo is NOT cheaper. Yes I did forget 7.62×39, though I’ve never heard of anyone attempting 1000 yard shots with an AK. And I don’t really consider .30 carbine to a “rifle” cartridge as there are (repeating) pistols and rifles chambered in it. I feel the same way about 9mm. As far as the rest, you’re comparing cheap eastern European military reject ammo to American made mid cost ammo. And if I’m reading this right you’re asserting that .270 and .30-06 are CHEAPER than .308? Where?

        • I’ve attempted thousand yard shots with an AK good thing we were literally shooting at the side of a barn though.

        • One side note- during the Great Ammo Shortage, I noticed that while the shelf was empty of just about EVERYTHING at Wally World, they always had some .270 for my Win70 – win white box 130 and 150g at the same price as before, and my LGS also had the fancy stuff, Hornady, Noslers, etc and copper pig rounds, albeit at much higher prices of course.

          I guess there arent that many Jack O’Connor fans left in So Cal.

    • Sure. Like I answered above, hunting (or shooting) under 300 yards, take your pick, depending on what you’re going after or willing to tolerate.

      Hunting opens up a new can of worms over shooting paper. As you mentioned, type of bullet is an important consideration. Hollow points are a go-to of course. But when you start factoring live targets over 300 yards, you have to consider different types of bullets. Many of the favorite hunting bullets will “mushroom” too soon at long distance, opening up, losing their effectiveness, or worse splitting apart all together and just wounding the animal! Thats a topic for another day. However, poor bullet choice may be the reason for the stories you’ve heard.

      • I wouldn’t consider .308 to be the ultimate long distance round by any means, but if you’re on a budget I think it would be hard to beat, especially if you’re looking for it to do double duty as a hunting rifle. There’s plenty of hardware to choose from and you can buy high quality match ammo off the shelf for reasonable prices. If I were looking to spend a bit, I’d go with a .260 Remington with a heavy fluted 26″ barrel and handload. That would seem to be a good low recoil way to go.

        Regardless of what you choose you’ll have to dial it in at that range and make an accurate estimation of wind or you’ll be off by 20 feet. Although if you’re looking to shoot much over 1000 yards you will be running out of clicks pretty quick with .308 and be stuck with Kentucky windage. But inside of 1001 yards I don’t see that spinning the dial a few more clicks makes a whole lot of difference.

    • Actually, there is an advantage to higher Bc bullets in hunting.

      High Bc bullets have higher sectional densities. High sectional densities improve penetration.

      If you need a bullet to go deep in game, you’d generally prefer a higher-Bc pill, because the bullet’s form will usually reflect a higher sectional density (but you can find the SD rating for the bullet in the charts of bullets by the manufacture). In something like an elk, I’d put a 7mm 160gr bullet ahead of a .30 160gr bullet in terms of penetration in terms of ability to go through both shoulders.

      This is why Jack O’Connor was such a proponent of the .270 Winchester with Nosler Partition 130gr bullets. They had the same (or slightly better) sectional density than a 150+ grain .30 cal bullet. The result for the shooter, however, was less recoil, which allowed him to lighten his rifle to tote it up a mountain or two.

      This is also why, when shooters ask me for a “one rifle wonder” that they can use for hunting here in the west, I’m usually recommending a 7mm08 these days. Wonderful little cartridge… which some people, mostly old-timey guys, don’t think is “big enough.”

      Well, if you put the new premium high-Bc hunting bullets on it, it becomes much better than you’re going to get out of a .308 Win, which is the parent cartridge.

      This is the same reason why I’m building a .280 Remington on an old Mauser action to supplant my other hunting rifles as I get older and less fond of recoil.

      • I chose the .308 over the 7mm-08 for the sole reason that I found the rifle I wanted and it was in .308. So I’m certainly not knocking it. What you get with the 7mm-08 is a round roughly matches the .308 in energy at 500 yards or so with a bit less recoil, but at hunting ranges the .308 has a bit more pop. The 140gr. 7mm bullet most commonly used has about the same SD of a .308 165gr. bullet and given like velocities and construction should perform pretty much identically. The 7mm-08 has about a 100fps advantage in velocity, the .308 has about 235 lb./ft. more muzzle energy. If you sight both rifles to a peak of 3″ above line of sight you’ll have to hold the .308 an inch or so higher at 300 yards. For 1000 yard shots the 7mm-08 would have a ballistics advantage but I’d personally choose the .308 because of the widespread availability of quality match ammo. Both great cartridges in my book, but kind of splitting hairs.

        I would add that at longer ranges SD shouldn’t be that big of a concern because (IMO) you should wait for a broadside shot since a double lung shot makes a pretty large target on a deer or elk and most anything traveling at 2000fps should have ample penetration.

      • Sounds sweet! Ya, being an OFWG I am finding lighter is better in everything I carry. No more 75 # back-packs for me, and a pound or 3 or 5 saved on a gun is really noticeable after a couple miles in the up and down country we have here in the so cal mtns.

  9. PTR91, HK91, CETME are all very good battle rifles in .308 considering you’re talking about something for use at closer range. why bother with a bolt gun unless you’re shooting at something 800+ yards away.

  10. first off, the difference between a 1000 and 1500 gun is that you will spend the first 500 in ammo, maybe 6-9months, wondering if its you, the ammo, or the gun.

    then you will spend a few hundred on a trigger job, get the stock fitted, etc.

    dont worry, its you- most out of the box bolt actions shoot better than the average shooter. but it will take time to find the ammo it likes, and rifles can be finicky.

    me, id choose 30-06. id spend 1500 to make sure i got a good fitting stock, nice trigger and barrel.
    you will do it anyway.

    i have a remington 700 30-06, its sub moa from a bench with hornady superperformance 168 gr amax (i am only that good on a good day tho). i also have a savage, i like the trigger a bit more. If i had a do-over it’d be a tough call. i have my eye on a Browning though i have seen very good things.

  11. #1
    Kristen shows her utter non-understanding of cartridges and ballistics. What she is saying is equivalent to saying she dislikes wearing right side boots on left feet and so she wears swim flippers rather than go barefoot

  12. I think I originated the question. I’m looking to shoot mostly 200 to 300 yards, sometimes up to 600, and occasionally over 600. I wanted a .308 because I already reload for it and have had good results (min 0.38 MOA, max 2.37 MOA, 8 group average 1.45 MOA) at 100 and 200 yards with my M1A Loaded with iron sights. This I read is the functional limit of accuracy of a stock M14 (before welding the front band to the gas block, bedding it, cutting relief in the stock in the right places, etc). I’d like to work up a .308 load in a scoped rifle and see what my functional limit of accuracy is. I like .308 because I understand it and there is a lot of data on it, and it is ubiquitous enough that I can get a wide variety of good yet inexpensive bullets and a ton of once fired brass for it. Also I like that the barrel wear is not as pressing an issue as with more powerful cartridges, that factory ammo is cheap, and I like that it isn’t abusive to shoot and you can actually feel healthy after firing 100 of them in a range session.

    I am looking really hard at the CZ 550 Varmint with the adjustable single set trigger and the kevlar aluminum block bedded Bell and Carlson Stock, the Savage 10FCP-SR with the accutrigger and accustock and the upgraded bottom metal and detachable 10 round magazine, and the Tika Varmint. Each is in the $1000 price range and each is storied on the internetz as a very high quality rifle which is capable of cold bore sub-MOA accuracy without having anyone lap, true or blueprint anything.

    • Don-

      I shoot a .308 bolt action Remington 700 in NRA High Power. That means, exactly as you asked, I am mostly shooting 200, 300 and 600 yards. The rifle shoots sub-MOA at 600, I have not had occasion to shoot further. .308 is a common cartridge in use for 1000 yard target shooting, I believe the 1000 yard Palma rules are that the shooter must use either .308 in 155 gr., or .223. The .308 can reach out and punch paper at least that far. As for hunting, I do not know.

      My rifle is not, however, the original factory barrel, but Krieger with a twist-rate optimized for the bullet weights I use. It is the original receiver and bolt, no truing job or anything. I use an eliseo tube stock but likely any good stock with a floated barrel will do well.

      .308 is no longer popular in High Power match rifles, where 6mm variants or .260 are now the way to go…but I chose .308 exactly the reason you were thinking, i.e. longer barrel life (hopefully 2x or 3x) as I develop my skills. Also, there’s nothing like the recoil of a .308 88 times in a match to make you feel alive!

      As for “ballistic efficiency”, I don’t know exactly what she means. If I had to guess, what she means is the 6mm family bullets although lighter than what is available in .30 cal, actually perform as good or better in the wind. That means you get the same resistance to wind deflection in a lighter bullet for a given velocity, which translates into less recoil. And that is why the 6mm family is the king of match target guns these days.

      My world is punching paper. As for terminal ballistics relative to hunting, I am clueless. But any online ballistics calculator can show you the punch your round will have on target in ft./lbs for a given distance. You can compare and contrast that way.

      Whatever you do, read up on barrel twist rates and matching to the bullet weights you want to use…that may have some effect on your decision.

      • Thanks Jewish Marksman. This gives me some really good food for thought. The Savage I am looking at is 1:10, the CZ is 1:12. This means I could go with heavier than 168 gr bullets in the Savage. The 1:12 should be good up to 175 grains (168 is probably 80% of what I shoot, and then go lighter from there for the last 20%). I think my M1A is 1:11.

    • Don,
      Thank you for explaining further.
      While I’ve mentioned the .308 would not be my first choice for your uses, there is a lot to be said for a caliber you trust and know. In addition you are familiar with reloading the .308 and already have a good amount of data on it. You also don’t mind the recoil, and are used to it. There are better calibers for wind deflection, but you know what? If you already know how it reacts to different wind conditions –it doesn’t matter for you. Experience trumps science in this case. Could you possibly have an advantage with a cartridge that is a better wind performer? Yes. But it might take you a lot of time to get where you already are with the .308.
      So, while its not my choice for favorite caliber, it is YOUR favorite caliber, and thus you know it well. I hope you’ve gleaned some good direction. Let us know how it goes!

      • I see that a .308″ 175 gr HPBT has a ballistic coefficient of around .495 against the G1 model and this is easily met by a 6.5 mm HPBT at only 123 gr with BC .510 . So in terms of being able to shoot lighter bullets I see why you say the .308 isn’t as efficient against the criteria of ballistic coefficient.

        I still think I’m going to stick with .308 until I feel like I am limited by the equipment instead of myself for now. That will involve a lot of shooting and I already have from my M1A experiments a few thousand brass and bullets in the 150gr to 175 gr range (mostly 168gr) and several pounds Varget and IMR4895, the micrometer dies, the case gages, the chamber gages, the bullet seat depth gages, a little crow gunworks case trimmer, the load data, and my notes.


  13. Savage is a good choice, as is the Ruger Gunsite Scout. A less expensive alternative is a surplus Ishapore SMLE, which is a surprisingly accurate .308 (7.62×51 NATO) rifle.

  14. My Remington 700 MilSpec 5R SS with a 24″ barrel will shoot 1/4-1/2 MOA out of the box with the right bullets. I love it to death.

  15. Remington 700 varmint for $650ish.
    If you get really serious, you’ll either spend $3000+ on a high end rifle, or you’ll spend $3000 customizing a rifle.
    Any heavy barreled factory 308 will shoot well and not shift point of impact too much if you like to shoot 100 rounds in an afternoon.

    Newer Remington’s aren’t that nice, but they do shoot. They are easy to resell, and easy to build into awesome $3000 custom rigs if that’s what you want.

    Savages have a pretty good aftermarket. Tikkas are nice, but if you want to tinker/customize down the road or resell, I think you’ll be better off with the Remington.

    Depending on how much you like to tinker: there is a huge variety of target bullets in 30 cal. Remington’s are typically 1 in 12″ twist, so you’ll probably have the best luck with bullets under 185 grains. Savages are available in 10 twist, which will take care of you even if you want to try 215 grains.

    Also, Savages have a barrel nut setup that will let you swap barrels at home without a gunsmith–that might be the best selling point for a tinkerer.

    I think I need a savage.

  16. I am surprised that nobody mentioned the Winchester Model 70 or the Browning X-bolt. Both rifles are lights out accurate out of the box.

    • Just my thought. I love my 2011-production Win model 70 .30-06, a replacement for a very beat old model 70. It’s pleasant in medium-bore, too, without being very expensive.

      • I have a Model 70 in both 243 and 300 WinMag. I passed my Remington 700/308 and 500 rounds of ammo to my son in Colorado so he can go Deer and Elk hunting this fall.

  17. Good sweet Christ, those eyes. Luminous.

    {ahem} Now that I got that out of my system…

    The answer seems to be at an entry level, get a Remington 700, or a Savage Model 10, 11, or Axis. It really doesn’t seem like you can go wrong with any of those. All of them are proven designs with rabid followings. So buy what you like, what you can find, what you can get a good price on.

  18. Howa. buy the barrelled action, and put it in a Bell and Carlson stock.

    $500-$600 bucks tops. Look it up.

  19. Ahhh, again with the caliber wars. It really all boils down to what you’re trying to do in a given situation. There is no such thing as the perfect all around round. Also, one needs to remember that perfection is the enemy of the good. .308, 30-06, .270, 30-30, 5.56, 6.5, .338 LM, whatevah!!. You don’t use a .22 for elk and you don’t use a .300 WM for squirrel, unless that’s all that you’ve got, in which case you make it work as best as you can.. All God’s chillun got a place in the choir.

    That said, .308 covers a lot of territory well, if imperfectly. 30-06 is arguably as close as we’ve come to a universal cartridge, from extra-mild to 5 alarm spicy hot. The great thing about .308 is its ubiquity/price/performance ratio. Since it’s largely supplanted 30-06 as the default .30 caliber round, it’s tough to beat for a very wide variety of reasons.

    As far as guns go, if one can settle for something less than the ne plus ultra of total gunny awesomeness (and here amongst the Armed Intelligentsia that might be asking a lot), I’m pretty sure that a grand will get you a satisfactory platform on which one can mount a satisfactory piece of glass, that will probably perform way better than its owner is capable of in most circumstances, with the right ammo. Please also remember that there are plenty of tired, old fart high power shooters out there, with less than their optimal youthful eyesight, as well as their analogs in other shooting disciplines, that can take a rack grade service rifle with nothing more than iron sights and surplus ball ammo, who are capable of repeatedly hitting a dinner plate at 600 yards from a supported position, once they get the system and themselves dialed in.

  20. Kirsten, Talk to me as if I know nothing about guns, as if I never had military training, as if I never took a hunter safety course, as if I had never fired thousands of rounds in dozens of different calibers… why is .308 not so ballistically efficient enough for your taste? I think you have some ‘splaining to do to the readers on this forum.

    • A-Rod, I said this elsewhere, but I’m going to put it down here too for the people that scroll straight to the bottom. When she says “the .308 rifle isn’t ballistically efficient enough for my taste,” she’s speaking from her point of view, as a competition shooter. Dyspeptic Gunsmith does a great job elsewhere in this comment section of explaining why that matters.

    • Thanks Matt. A-Rod, you can scroll through the forum again. Many people detailed my “ballistic efficiency” reference very well, and I’ve added comments. Efficiency considers many factors. A few factors are:

      Barrel life-(the amount of rounds through the barrel before accuracy suffers and there is need for a new barrel)

      Drop/trajectory- this matters more over long distance. Ideally you want a flatter trajectory (bullets shot from a rifle have a curved flight path and thats why there is need to compensate for it’s “drop” with a scope and often the use of ballistic turrets at longer distance)

      Wind Deflection – the amount the bullet is affected and pushed off target by the wind. One consideration is that the larger the surface area on a bullet, the more potential for the wind to push it. The greater the distance, the larger the potential for deflection. However, there are many other factors when considering wind.

      Recoil- the way the gun reacts when it is fired, “kicks” and pushes into your shoulder. No matter how big and bad you are, recoil gets old. The harder the recoil, the less rounds shot for training one can handle. Also, greater recoil tends to increase the potential for involuntary flinching, no matter how seasoned the shooter (especially after the pain of a few hundred rounds of a high caliber to the shoulder).

      Ballistic coefficient (BC) — this will pretty much tell you all of the above. Its the measurement of a bullets ability to overcome air resistance on its path to the target. A higher BC number is favored.

      These are just a few factors when considering overall efficiency of a caliber.
      This isn’t to mention the hunting element. When considering a live target, many more factors layer on top of paper target shooting principles, and MUST be considered in order to respect the animal. Bullet type and performance, the ability to penetrate effectively so as not to wound, wound cavity, etc. If you haven’t taken your hunters safety course and you’re not a seasoned competition shooter yet, I suggest starting with a hunters safety course. After that, learn the close range hunting skills of the stalk, animal habits, listening to and learning from nature, etc.

      I hope that at least shed some light on a few things and made some sense. Its midnight here, so I apologize for anything that doesn’t quite jive (I’m rather sleepy), but I wanted to make sure I addressed your question. If you’re new to shooting and hunting, keep at it! There’s a whole world to learn and enjoy

  21. So what’s the point of the article? She doesn’t shoot 308 so why ask her the question what’s the best outta the box 308? Then the whole thing devolves or evolves into a question of ballistics and long range paper punching vs long range hunting. There is an F class shooter who writes some for Chuck Hawks who wrote an article about this very subject and recommends the Savage F class guns. Or you could look to the last 40-50 years of military sniping and see this question answered as well as looking to the Army who contracted with Remington for their next gen sniping system in 300 Win Mag.

  22. Ok. Just to clear some things up on BC. BC is one part of the equation for long distance. There are other factors like remaining supersonic at the distance you are shooting. A great BC round that drops out of supersonic flight before hitting the target is less “accurate” than a 308 caliber with a lesser BC at supersonic speeds. I believe she is talking column of powder in the 308 winchester vs the column of powder in a 30-06. Arguably the 30-06 is less efficient in using that powder but German Salazar is a very accomplished shooter in that caliber in F-Class and other disciplins and is a successful modern competitor. BC is not as important at 200 meter or 100 meter ranges where flat based bullets rule the roost. 6PPC, 6XC, 6mmbr, 30BR, and 204 Ruger all do very well at those ranges. 308 is quite common for stuff out to 600. With all the new bullets out there, including the hybrids, the 308 caliber is quite effective and accurate enough to compete. I am guessing Kirsten is a 6 mm or 6.5 or even a 7mm gal. That is not a problem they have better calculated BCs and are great rounds. Someone should remind her the 22LR has a horrible BC.

    • My earlier comment might have appeared rude now that I have reread it. I figured I would add a better descriptor of the 308 in competitive usage since my gift for communicating my experience escapes me from time to time.

  23. Kirsten, I appreciate your deep patience with the readership. I’m rather dismayed at the number of comments from the “armed intelligentsia” displaying poor knowledge of ballistics and calibers. It’s not the ignorance that bothers me so much as the taking of offense and ridicule aimed at you based on misunderstanding your entirely reasonable and ballistically informed statements.

    For traditional .308 Winchester tasks, I prefer 6.5mm cartridges, the short-action .260 Remington and 6.5mm Creedmoor (ballistic twins), and the long-action 6.5×284 Norma. Better performance at long range, no additional recoil, lighter bullets. Understand the role. For paper or combat, within 300 yards a .223 is adequate. If I’m stepping up to full-power rifle rounds it’s because I need extended range. If I recall correctly, the .260 has more energy than the .308 over 500 yards. It’s also more accurate, flat-shooting, wind-bucking, has less recoil, and weighs less. I’d like to see it in more highly-accurate semi-autos. The classic 6.5x55mm Swedish is still great but the .260 performs the same in a short-action with all but the heaviest bullets for the caliber. .260 Rem I believe has better reloading components available at the moment than 6.5 Creed. If your rifle is accurate, you’ll have a much easier time making hits at long range- I’m talking up to and beyond 1000 yards- with a 6.5mm. In benchrest shooting, Rich DeSimone used the 6.5×284 to set a 1000-yard IBS world-record 1.564″ five-shot group. It’s plenty accurate, and doesn’t recoil more than a heavy .308 Winchester round. If you want better performance than that you’ll have to accept the much higher expense, weight, and recoil of the .338 Lapua Magnum (flatter-shooting and much more powerful, but almost identical wind resistance), which I feel provides more power than necessary under 1000 yards and only has niche uses.

    7mm-08 is a dandy caliber as well, basically the accurate, effective, and proven 7x57mm Mauser in a short-action .308 case.

    • I love the .338! But its more suited to 1500 yard+ shots IMO. Sure it can shoot closer range…but why put up with the downsides of that caliber when other calibers (like you mentioned) are great performers in that “closer” range.

      Nowadays it seems competition shooters of 1000 yards and below are more concerned with what they are accustomed to, than if their caliber is the “best” one for the job. If you have 1000s upon 1000s of round through a gun, experience often holds the trump card.

    • You neglect one important factor in combat and that is penetration. Unless you are point blank a 5.56 round is stopped by almost anything substantial. Inside of 300 meters a 308, or better yet a 30-06, turns most cover into mere concealment. One the first issues with the 5.56 in Vietnam was that it could be deflected by heavy foliage where any 7.62 would blow right through it.

  24. I’ll echo some of the earlier comments, but many of these posts are unbelievable. We all complain about losing our gun rights but then half of “us” criticize this woman for being involved in the sport…

    Sometimes gunnies are our own worst enemy when it comes to public perception.

    Man up folks, you’d never speak like this to a lady without your laptop in the way…

    • I agree. I know it’s the internet but what happened to common courtesy and just being respectful? I was taught not to speak to ladies this way and Kirsten hasn’t done anything I know of to deserve that kind of verbal abuse. A hooker? Really? She is by all accounts a lovely young lady and an outstanding competitor in her sport. To insinuate she has no knowledge just because she doesn’t like your favorite caliber is foolish. She expressed her opinion (many times in this thread) just as you guys have and in her case she has won awards, and is employed/sponsored by a well respected ammo manufacturer. I think she has earned our respect and deserves it accordingly. Let’s be gentlemen.


    • +1 on RESPECT

      and dont forget these hooker comments are usually Ralphs humorous reply to the typical spammer post on “how my mom makes $80/hr on the computer from home” that gets by the overworked TTAG interwebs elves –

      have nothing to do with Kristen, or any other woman posting or reading here.

  25. Let me give this a try from the novice approach.

    Savage 110fp OR Remington 700 sps $550+/-, Bell and carlson aluminum bedded stock$329, Timmney trigger $120

    Pick your flavor.

    Prices are based on the last Remmy I built in .556. They should be close if you look around. With the right ammo the rifle is chipmunk head(10 shots,9 golf balls) accurate out to 200yds IF and only IF I can do my part. In the hands of someone other than me I’ve seen my own rifle shoot better, more consistent groups than I’ve been able to at 350 yds. I also have a $75 Wal-mart scope on her because I bought an M-1 Garand with my scope money…. She can wait…lol.

    Good glass can run you $1000 by itself so that’s a no-go in the price. Ask yourself this though…. can YOU shoot better than cheap glass($200+/-)? Most of the time at any distance over 300yds the rifle/ammo is limited by ME because I don’t practice at those ranges regularly(hardly ever really).

    Another bit of advice, Try the rifle with several types of commercial ammo BEFORE you fiddle with it in any way as a baseline. Sometimes $$$$$ does NOT equal accuracy and some rifles I’ve seen were freakishly accurate out of the box with the right ammo.

    Out of the box CZ has some amazing rifles with historically good accuracy as well if you’re looking for something a bit different.

    • I can answer that in the negative. I bought a $1000 scope for my 300 WinMag Winchester and like my $200 Bushnell better.

  26. Last year I picked up a Tikka CTR (.308) for just about $1K. My every-day range is only 400 yards, where it puts three in an average of .67. Shocking, really, as it outshoots my locally-made (Phoenix) full custom that cost $3,700. It’s not a pretty gun, but I’ve got to give the nod to Tikka on this one.

  27. The best out the box .308 for the price? I don’t know, but I paid $349 during Dicks Black Friday sale (before they went commie and stopped selling the AR) and got a Remington 700 Varmint. Military and police use the 700 so it aint so bad at all.

  28. I used to hunt a lot but now only kill office supplies. I own or have shot most of the calibers and rifles under discussion here. I’ll kick in my opinion with the caveat that it’s just one guy’s opinion.
    I shoot .308 for long ranges, but have a love affair with .257 Roberts for deer hunting after years if .270, 30-06, .243 and 6mm Remington. It killed deer and it’s fun to shoot.
    My last hunting rifle was a CZ 550 because it’s beautiful, very well-made, and the set trigger is a dream. I have owned very few rifles or handguns that didn’t get a trigger job as soon as I got back from the first range session, but that’s one of them. Caliber is 6.5 Swedish Mauser, great ballistics and negligible recoil, nice weight for medium game.
    For deer hunting, on 50 acres, the OP isn’t going to be making a lot of 500 yard, cross-valley shots, and if his deer are similar to the Virginia deer I’ve hunted they’re not much bigger than a Great Dane, so it’ll be shorter range and small targets. He won’t need the .308 but he will need more than a .223. In my state for years you had to have bullet weight of 100 grains which made .243 and 6mm the lightest hunting rounds. Now you (maybe) can find .223 in 90 grains, which should perform fine.
    Hunting game at even 300 yards with humanity and sportsmanship calls for one hell of a lot of competence. 300 yards is a LONG way to hit a small target, I.e. a deer heart. He has to be a 1.5 MOA shooter, and be able to compensate for ballistics plus atmospherics, too. I know a whole bunch of good hunters, including me, who spent a long time tracking a wounded deer because it decided to move when the trigger was pulled, or a wind gust, or whatever. Point is that for hunting, getting close is as important as shooting skill.
    Finally, only one poster mentioned glass. Used to be able to get an excellent fixed power through SWFA for around 300 bucks. If you want variable, for quality it will cost more than your rifle. Fixed is fine for hunting and Marines used them on sniper rifles for decades.
    And practice until you can consistently put a round into a heart-sized circle at 200 yards, the max range you’ll probably shoot.
    Apologies for typos – I’m thumbing an iPhone. And Kristen, don’t weaken! Lol

  29. I use a .308 Ruger Scout in stainless steel. It is short enough to maneuver, hard hitting enough to take down most of what I shoot at, and it is configurable to any need rapidly. I use a 3 x 9 Leupold VX R scope with backup iron sights. I did get a longer picatinny for it to use the hunter scope, as the original scout picatinny arrangement was to far foreward for a hunter. I also use a Nightforce with a 1000 ballistic reticle for anything between 500 to 1000 yards reliably.

  30. I’m a late comer to this thread. Yes, Kirsten is beautiful. But, that’s not what this is about. If she prefers a caliber other than .308, that’s okay. I am just learning to use .308 with a Savage 10fp. I’m 61 years old and a newbie. I’ve only been shooting for 8 years. I started out with my deceased father-in-law’s Remington 550-1. But, so far, I really like the Savage. I also have a Savage 12fp in .223 Remington. Its a very accurate rifle. I’ve shot out to 400 yards with it. I am learning about ballistic coefficients, bullet shapes, different powders and the whole 9 yards. My Remington 700 adl in 30.06 feels like a canon. Its not a target rifle. I have a lot to learn. I have heard, though, and read, that there are a lot of people looking at the Creedmor and others in the 260 cal range because of the superior b.c. and less thump.

    Kirsten, why did you choose the calibers you did? And, what would you recommend to a relatively new beginner, who wants to work up to a thousand yards?

  31. she says the .308 has too much recoil but then says she loves the 30 06…which has more recoil. what is she talking about? if .308’s weren’t good they wouldn’t be used by the military snipers

    • There has been a lot written about .308 vs. 30.06 for long range shooting. In the early days of the Vietnam War the 30.06 was used as a sniper round. Later, the military went to .308. They use the same bullets (.308). But, the .06 can throw heavier rounds due to more powder in the case. In my own experience, my Remington 700 ADL in 30.06 kicks more than my Savage 10fp in .308. Which is more accurate? So far the Savage seems to be. The .308 Winchester still has a fair amount of recoil, but not that of the 30.06. Can’t comment about why Kirsten prefers the .06. Maybe its just a caliber which she grew up with and is attached to for special reasons. If I was hunting, the 30.06 will throw up to 220 gr. Sierra’s. I wouldn’t do that with my .308 Winchester. I am experimenting, trying both the 168 gr and 175 gr Sierra’s. Got a lot more to learn.

  32. While I can appreciate the author’s individual taste in rifle calibers, paper punching rifle calibers or not, the initial query/question: “What’s the Best Out-of-the-Box Bolt Action .308?” hasn’t really been addressed by miss Weiss.

    True enough that the topic was “Ask Kirsten Weiss…”, and in that respect, the question was answered with an I don’t know/care (to paraphrase), but it leaves me asking why post an article at all then?

  33. The comments here are priceless. I’m also a year late. I take my gun pickin’ tips from Major John L Plaster. Being that this is more in line with a competition/hunting discussion I would suggest a Tikka T3 Stainless in 300 Win Mag. For the price it is hard to beat. It’s light, and you can take it anywhere in the world without worry of moisture issues and it is a whole lot of gun too. Plenty accurate for everything but competition.

    Of course I don’t believe in the 1 gun theory. If I was picking, I would go for a Savage 111 in 308 for deer and a CZ 550 Safari in 375 H&H magnum, or a similar rifle. You could save money and drop a couple of Sightron SIIIs on them and have a nice value in a scope as well, which should hold up to the recoil of the 375. Good hunting.

    PS: I came here because of the photo.

  34. Wow, almost 10 years later, anyways, I don’t think many of you guys read her post.
    She said that the 308 is no efficient, and is not, she also said, that the 30-06 was morde like an affection because its was her first big game hunting caliber as a kid, and yes the 30-06 has more recoil and it is more efficient because it has a bigger casing.
    For all of you to know, she has an incredible resume, she is sandbagging a bit, she is an incredible shooter, no issues there.
    She did ask, although she knows, what companies make a 308 rifle under $1000 accurate enough for 1000 yards.
    I would take a closer look at the Remington 700P, the police model, you can find one for about $800, I had one years ago, that thing can put 5 rounds in a ragged hole, about .40 MOA at 100 yards, it is what I call practical accuracy, when the barrel is shot out, then, you can take it apart and put on a $300 Schneider MTU barrel in 7mm and turn it into a 7mm-08, better ballistics, less punch.

    This is her post so you don’t have to scroll all the way to the top.

    The .308 rifle isn’t ballistically efficient enough for my taste, so I really don’t follow it to be honest. I know a lot of guys who like the caliber though, and are very willing to put up with extra recoil and wind deflection. With them it’s more of an affection (like my affection for 30-06 which isn’t terribly efficient but was my first big game hunting caliber as a kid, and my grandfather’s passed down gun), rather than a “ballistic efficiency” thing. Anyway, when you say under $1000, are you talking a full rig including scope? And how far would you want it to be able to shoot accurately? The ballistics don’t matter AS much if you’re shooting closer distances (but, then….why a .308??). I know some companies who make .308s for long distance, but the rifle is more than $1000. I’m not familiar enough with companies that make factory .308s good enough for closer distance, but I’m sure there are some. TTAG readers, care to chime in with recommendations? [Click here for more Ask Kirsten Weiss at TTAG’s Free Fire Zone Forum. Note: she needs more questions.]

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