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Is .223 just not cutting the tactical mustard anymore and you’re looking to get into your first .308 rifle? Atta boy. (Or girl. Or other, if you thusly identify.) The .308 Winchester/7.62mm NATO is one of the most useful cartridges in existence.

You could – without too much trouble – get a gun that will pull double duty as a hunting rifle and long-range target rifle. The .308 cartridge is one of the few truly do-it-all rifle cartridges, as it’s a proven long-range round and proven slayer of game animals short of the great bears and large African game.

It’s fantastically widely available, not terribly costly to shoot and has (relatively) moderate recoil. It’s rivaled in these respects perhaps only by the .30-06, 7mm Remington Magnum and the .270 Winchester.

However, the .308 is a bit more suited to the modern shooter. The modern Gun Guy/Gal even has the options of tactical socks and may prefer a black semi-auto rifle, which those other rounds aren’t suited to as they have full-length cases. The .308, however, is a short-action round and thus can be used in an AR-platform rifle (specifically an AR-10) as well as a bolt-action rifle.

If you’re used to .223…you might want to get yourself a recoil pad, as .308 will be a bit more than you’re used to. Granted, the .30-06 guys are going to make fun of you at first, but feel free to tell them that the 1940’s called and they want their stuff back.

How to get started? You wouldn’t want to necessarily buy a custom chassis rifle right off the bat, so you might not want to get a Ruger Precision Rifle for your first .308 Winchester rifle at $1600 MSRP. What, then, are some good beginner guns?

Here are six solid contenders for your first .308.

First up is the Ruger American Rifle. The American is an entry-level bolt action rifle, available sans scope for around $400 in most stores, though it’s frequently offered as a gun/scope combo for about $500.

The American is a workhorse gun, wearing tough synthetic furniture. The internal box magazine holds four rounds, employs a simple and intuitive tang safety, and comes with an adjustable trigger for dialing in the bang switch. Everything you need, nothing you don’t and one MOA out of the box. What more could you ask for?

The Savage AXIS is next, as – much like the Ruger American – you’re going to find a lot of AXIS rifles in gun stores, often shown as a gun/scope combo for an affordable point of entry. As it happens, it’s often viewed as the best entry-level big game rifle. It’s arguably the best bang for the buck of any rifle on this list given the features.

The AXIS frequently comes with a Bushnell 3-9x40mm scope, a detachable box magazine (which holds four rounds) and since the original was superseded by the AXIS II, it now comes with the Savage AccuTrigger, often hailed as one of the best factory triggers, period. Basic models come with synthetic stocks but a hardwood model is available as well.

If you wanted a little more of a high-end bolt-action rifle, replete with walnut stock and everything, the Remington 700 is about as big a slam-dunk as it gets. The 700 has proven itself in hunting grounds and battlefields the world over as a reliable, accurate rifle platform second to very few, if any.

Remington offers a lot of options, so features and price range depends entirely on what you want. Workhorse models with synthetic stocks like the 700 SPS, to the 700 CDL – a classic walnut and blue steel bolt-action rifle – to tactical models and chassis-stocked long-range target rifles. The 700 can be almost all things to all men. Granted, point of entry is a bit more steep for the beginner – expect to spend about $650 or more on the gun before you add optics – but it’s money well-spent.

But wait…you want a semi-automatic? Naturally! Today’s rifle shooter can’t be bothered with all that bolt-action business; they want semi-auto convenience and with that, they usually want an AR. While the AR-15 is great and all, some folks want to scale up to an AR-10, which is probably one of the most versatile rifle platforms around.

Tactical and practical, the AR-10 is equally at home as an implement of personal defense as it is punching targets from exceedingly long distances (if you own the right model) and certainly is capable of taking big game. Plenty of hunters have migrated from bolt guns to ARs, and AR-10s drop the hammer on deer and hogs from coast to coast.

courtesy Buds Gun Shop

The entry-level AR-10 that many have likely discovered is the Palmetto State Armory PA-10. The basic 18-inch barrel model has an MSRP of $599. Granted, this is a bare bones gun. It has a Picatinny rail up top, a front sight and…that’s about it. If you want more, you gotta add it yourself, but customization is part of the joy of owning an AR. This gets you on the ground floor affordably. PSA guns aren’t necessarily custom shop guns, but they will run and gun with the best of them.

If you wanted to get a bit more mid-shelf, the DPMS Oracle is considered by many to be the best entry-level AR-10 around. MSRP is $1100, but expect to find it in stores for more like $800. The Oracle comes sans sights of any kind, so you’ll have to add the iron sights or optics of your choosing. It’s a short-barrel model (16-inch) so don’t expect the utmost in longer range accuracy, but if you’re after a quality AR-10 for everything but mountain hunting and long-range competition, it’s one of the best to get.

But what if this stuff is all too boring? After all, AR’s are all kind of blasé at this point and bolt-action rifles DEFINITELY are. What about the person who wants to stand out, be different? What’s the .308 rifle for the contrarians among us?

Thats the Springfield M1A, but you gotta pony up to get one, as they MSRP at $1700 or more, depending on the model. The M1A is essentially an M14 in civilian guise, so it’s a tactical rifle from the era when cars had fins and 8L V8 engines made less than 250 horsepower. What you get is up to you; Springfield Armory has multiple models, including compact tactical modes, match-grade target rifles, old-school walnut and wood models, and plenty in between.

That may seem like a lot, but mid-shelf AR-10 rifles go for roughly the same amount. Heck, a Winchester Model 70 – another old-school bolt gun – commands about the same price for the Super Grade model, and that isn’t a custom gun, nor does it come with a scope, mounting rings or anything else. Cost of entry is a bit on the steep side…but you’ll get a great gun that’s actually interesting.

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  1. The M1A platform was my first non-bolt gun .308 and I couldn’t recommend this unless you plan to never, ever do anything aside from shoot and clean the thing. Great gun, but becomes temperamental with minimal modifications.

    • Yeah, I’m not a fan of the M1A either. Way too big, too expensive, not as easy to modify or get parts for as the AR-10.

      I’ve been thinking about a .308 rifle and it’s either a $400 Ruger American or a $900 S&W M&P10. The Ruger I would end up spending hundreds more on the Magpul stock, AICS mags, etc. but the Smith I would just put a scope on and call it good.

      • VERY hard to go wrong with an M&P 20. I’ve shot a couple (never owned one though), and they’re fantastic rifles

      • Don’t get me wrong – I actually LOVE the M1A platform… I’m just saying for beginners, it’s not the best platform for someone that likes to tinker.

        For the guy below that said he never had any “temperamental” issues with his M1A; it sounds like you were shooting a box-stock SA 18″ platform given you said your AR-10 was more awkward/heavy with a 20″ bbl (implying you didn’t have a 22″ M1A).

        Once you start modifying these things, they really do get temperamental – particularly with the gas system and op-rod guide area. Triggers are easy to destroy (causing them to double) when you’re trying to clean up the pull, also. The biggest advantage over a tuned Garand as a service rifle is the improvement to the feeding system. Beyond this, all the Garand pitfalls are still present despite the gas system being wholly different.

    • Never had any “temperamental” issues with my M1-A and have shot service rifle matches with it and used it as my “drive gun” on MN deer. A few months back I built up an AR10-type rifle and find it infinitely more wieldly and awkward than the MN1-A. More heavy as well with the 20″ bbl.

      I also own an old SSG69 with the set triggers which is an incredibly accurate thing for its age, as well as a Steyr Scout that’s always in the trunk. Win 100 and a couple other .308s as well. Nice caliber, I still prefer ’06 for real hunting.

    • I used to be a big fan of the M1A until I saw a video on “Forgotten Weapons” and I was shocked. They tested the M1A, a French MAB and an AR15. They had a guy lay down on the ground while another guy used an air compressor to blow dust all over the guns when they were shooting them. The M1A with that huge slot in the back of the receiver let in so much dust it jammed up on the 1st shot. The French MAB with a gas system much like the AR 15 almost made it through the magazines 10 rounds and the AR 15 with its smaller ejection port fired off an entire 30 round magazine.

      Test two which was on another video: An Ak47 semi-auto and an AR 15 were stomped into the mud. The AK jammed up with the first shot and the AR15 made it through the entire magazine with no jams. I now have changed my mind about the reliability of the M16/AR15 series of rifles because seeing is believing.

      As far as bolt guns the Savage is at the top of the list. If the user ever wants to change barrels because one is burnt out or he wants to change calibers the barrel on the Savage can be changed at home in minutes and the bolt head can be changed for different diameter cartridges. Pre-chambered brand new barrels are also available to be slapped on right at home with nothing more than an action wrench and a head space gauge.

  2. What? No pump? No controlled feed bolt gun? No single shot?

    I am shocked and appalled.

    Could have just listed all the push-feed, tube- receiver McRifles and posted a link to Walmart.

    Just messing with ya.

  3. I am just glad that POS remington 700 was not listed… and the Ruger is control fed, at least the M77’s were…

  4. My entry into .308 came when I was given 400 rounds of 7.62 Nato for free. I purchased the Remington 783 with factory mounted scope for about $300 last year. First time at the range I could not get any consistency from the scope at 25 yards. I chalked it up to just a cheap scope so I bought a Vortex Crossfire II scope for it. During the mounting process I found that not only was the orginal scope not leveled, but even the split rails were not installed in the bore axis; they were skewed right about 1.5 degrees. I replaced the split rails with a single and all was right as rain. Even after sighting in the scope it took about 100 more rounds to start getting decent consistency; break in maybe? Any recommendations for a solid .308 worthy of handing down? I do prefer nice wood.

  5. Shit it was posted, what a piece of shit lease real hunters in Alaska know not to use them…

  6. All nice choices, I have a few off that list. Another honorable mention for your list might be the Ruger Gunsite Scout, for those who want to be a bit different. Detachable mag, great action and trigger, and can mount either a conventional or scout scope. Even comes with factory scope rings for a conventional mounting position.

    • I have the 5.56 version, and the trigger is very good for a out of the box factory trigger.

      I used it with a 2 5x S cout scope shooting off a bipod at 200 meters and scored one of my best scores for that type of match.

  7. I’m on a budget now but would appreciate input, i’ve dropped my rifle in the field before and had to head home so I hate not having irons as backup. Anyone have experience with the savage hog hunter? I like the fact it’s a 20″ with irons, and with in my budget.

  8. Ruger Precision Rifles were going on sale around $800 during Black Friday.

    Bettin’ that they can be found around that price still, surprised they didn’t make the list all things considered.

  9. I found a 700 SPS on sale with scope for less then 350 out the door. That was back when Dicks was still cool but you can find stuff if you shop. It is a deer Slayer.

  10. I wouldn’t call the M1A a good 308 for beginners. Good for prior-service types who want to stick to what they know, sure.

    Kinda surprised that the PTR didn’t get a mention.

    • Indeed. I just broke in my brand new PTR today. 500 rounds in one setting not one hiccup. Very pleased. It might be a bit heavy for some people. The action is hard to work at first but it’s getting easier as I break it in. Plan to use it on hogs.

      • Quality and reliability hit and miss. Owned a JLD and PTR, picky with anything over 150 grain, inherint to the design. 165 was ok, mostly, and 180 grain made it a single shot with a FTF exercise after each shot. As most ammo isn’t stamped with bullet weight, not a reliable platform for versatility. Tuning involves replacing action rollers, not a job for in the field.

    • Same idea: on Black Friday last year (2017) I purchased a Savage Axis bolt-action rifle (which included a cheap although totally usable 3-9x scope) chambered in .243 Winchester for $190 after rebate. Guess what? It is the the most accurate rifle I own and shoots inexpensive Winchester Super X PowerPoint bullets through the same ragged hole at 50 yards.

      About the fifth time I put an inexpensive factory bullet through the same hole, in my mind I could loudly hear the 1980s Survivor ballad The Search Is Over

      I will take .243 Winchester over .308 Winchester every time.

      • Part of that accuracy issue is muzzle velocity. My son’s .308 savage is a great rifle. But His 160 grain load makes roughly 2700 fps. My Ruger .243 shoots at around 3200 fps.

        I and my son shoot the .243 better. Not that we can’t hit with the .308. The groups are better with the .243 and easier to get. And where we hunt the .243 is enough.

  11. The VEPR in .308 is a good alternative, available worh 16 and 20” barrels. 20 round standard mag and uses standard AK accessories, with AK reliability and good accuracy, due to heavier receiver and barrel.

    • Thank you!!! I can’t believe I had to go this far down in the posts to find somebody else who saw that!

  12. .308 is overkill, way too much power being wasted. 5.56 is the perfect balance between low recoil and just enough stopping power for most needs (cheaper ammo too). Hunting certain game is the only exception.

    • If by “certain game” you mean anything bigger than a house cat or a pigeon, then I’d have to agree with you.

      • HK91…with a good scope….and you’re good to 400 to 500 meters…matches any sporting rifle I own…..and easy to shoot…

    • Yessir, maintaining any kind of power beyond 300 yards is vastly overrated. I love my AR-15, but you sir are insane

      • .308 is no more effective at penetrating hard plate steel or ceramic, composite body armor than 5.56 is and at under 100 meters it is in fact less effective. Neither does so we’ll except in AP military only loadings at short distances. But granted SAPI plates only cover a 10×12 in area anyway so its largely irrelevant. In addition to wrol being a childish fantasy made up by early online content creators in order separate goofy dorks from their cash.

        • WROL.encompasses a wide range of situations not just the end of the world. See the Rodney King riots.

    • .223 is wayyyyyy over rated.

      Just go to 22LR. PLENTY of power for penetrating paper and making a “ping” on steel.

      Ammo is cheaper than anything else ( my mainmcriteria for any type of hunting rifle) and you store a bunch in a small place.


    • 5.56 is overkill. A hot loaded .17hmr is bassically as strong anyway. So if you use anything bigger then a .17 your a fat stupid Neanderthal fudd.

    • 5.56 is an underpowered varmint round that is inferior to 220 Swift or 22-250, let alone .243 Winchester. Sure, with a well placed shot you can drop a deer at 100 yards but that same well placed shot with a .243 you can drop a moose at 200. The 5.56 has poor barrier penetration which makes it a poor military round in the modern environment and less than effective against large creatures.

      But other than that that it is best round in the history of the universe. /Sarc.

      • 5.56 is light which makes it an excellent military cartridge. Volume and agility win firefights every other consideration is highly tertiary and dwelled on mostly by people who fantasize about their first firefight in their 60’s or 70’s being with podunk cops, feds or their own neighbors because they are bitter lifelong losers.

        • False. The Army learned in Vietnam that “volume of fire” was less effective than aimed semiautomatic fire in virtually every tactical situation. Military units are a team, not a group of individuals so the individual rate of fire is irrelevant. The difference between the volume of fire between an M-1 and and M-16 is insignificant at the squad level. Units using spay and pray consume ammunition at a rate higher than any weight savings you get from a smaller, lighter cartridge.

    • By the “only exception” do you mean the only actual application any of you will ever realistically have?

  13. I would have been more impressed with the list if whoever put this online knew the difference between an AR10 and an AR15. The supposed picture of an AR-10 “courtesy of Bud’s Gun Shop” is a Diamondback DB15USB — I’m 99% sure Bud’s knows the difference so I would suspect that the mistake was made at TTAG picking from among the stock photos they have on hand.

    I expect that kind of ignorance from CNN and TFB but lately TTAG is rapidly working their way down to the rest of the general media.

  14. “the DPMS Oracle is considered by many to be the best entry-level AR-10 around”

    Are there really that “many” people who haven’t shopped rifles this decade who still think the DPMS is the “best entry-level” anything?

    There are plenty of under-$1000 AR-10 rifles to choose from, including both Del-Ton and Anderson Manufacturing.

  15. Deer Mr. Hoober,

    The 1990s called and they want their stuff back. How could you possibly recommend the .308 in the post-Creedmoor 2000s?!?

    Respectfully, the Gov.

    • I’m not sure whether it means we’re getting better or getting worse at this, but I’m nevertheless surprised it took that long to reach our first Creedmoor gag of the thread.

    • .308 is cheaper and FAR MORE ubiquitous. Good luck finding 6.5 Creedmore when the world ends. I agree it is the superior cartridge, but you have to go first with popularity. (get both!)

        • How would I know? Your post wasn’t obviously sarcastic. Jeeze. There are many that worship 6.5 so there ya go.

      • Whoa! Hold on. Your advocating choosing a rifle based on the end of the world and it’s the other guy being sarcastic?

        • Hahaha hahaha LOL love it!

          The actual likely scenario is what we’ve seen happen a few times and there’s a run on ammo and you can’t find the popular calibers anywhere. Like when .223, 9mm, .22LR, .308, etc freaking disappeared from the U.S. for a couple years but you could always find .40, .357 Sig, and hunting calibers like .260 and stuff on all the same shelves it was always on. Yeah, you stick to the same calibers every Wal-Mart shopper wants to stock up deep on and we’ll chat next time there’s an ammo demand spike.

    • I wonder why 308 was ever developed since the already AWESOME 6.5×55 Swede already existed.

      So it no wonder that it could fend off a modern poser like 6.5 Creedmore.

      Already floored 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel.

      • Because in the US< our gun industry had already "standardized" on the .30-06 case head diameter of 0.473".

        The 6.5×55 has a case head diameter of 0.480". Just big enough that it won't fit into a "standard" bolt face without opening it up a bit. This would require a gunsmith pulling the bolt from the rifle, stripping all the guts out of the bolt, mounting the bolt in a fixture (like a LaBounty or similar fixture), indicating the bolt to be on-center, then machining out a wee bit of material from the bolt.

        Now, on many bolt actions (eg, Win70, Springfield '03, Mauser etc), this is pretty easy.

        On the bolts with a Sako/etc type extractor that means there's a slot milled into the side of the bolt? Now we have an interrupted cut, and because most bolt faces are much harder than a bolt's body, we start having issues with the edges of the milled slot chipping out.

        Then we get to the Rem700-esque bolts, with their stupid extractors riveted into the bolt nose. Now you're having to drill out the rivet, open up the bolt face, and rivet a new extractor into place. Feh.

        Since the US shooting public prefers lower prices over quality, the Rem700 became one of the hottest selling bolt actions out there, and the job of converting a rifle to 6.5×55 is now more trouble than it is worth.

        • Fortunately the same people who brought us the sub-par 700 also fixed that problem by introducing the .260. Of course, nobody noticed until Hornady started calling it a ‘Creeedmooor’.

        • Well…. I being sarcastic. You did sum up the industrial/political/commercial circus of rifle development pretty well in a short space (well…not terribly long).

          What tickles me is the number of cartridges that re-invented and re-marketed. It is fun to look at new calibers or wildcats that do “this thing” really well.

          I am working on a Spanish Mauser as I like the action and you can load it with strippers. The 7×57 will kill anything I will ever want to kill and then some. Bell killed more than a few big animals with it in Africa.

          The bottom line is that most cartidges will handle a lot of game. If youmwant to playmthe ultimate long range game then you can go from Creedmore to H&H.

          Unless a military adopts the Creedmore in large numbers, the 308 is pretty safe for a while.

          I dont reload rifle cartidges so i hunt with the Winchester 308 Q Load. I can buy 200 rounds for around 120 bucks and feed my Ruger Scout and Rem Model 7 ( I took it on trade).

          My Swede and Spanish Mauser can shoot PPU stuff and not break the bank. We live in great times formowning a variety of arms with reasonable ammo costs.

          No hate for the Creedmore but long live the 308.

        • My Savage 110 was just a barrel switch to 6.5×55. Fits in the bolt face, feeds from the magazine, shoots lights out. You shouldn’t try to discourage people from trying the original 6.5.

    • That’s because you should only use anything in creedmoor if your blowing up a Death Star.

    • Because you are more likely to find .308 Winchester in more variety at small rural stores than 6.5 Creedmore.

      To me ammunition availability is a key factor, unless I reload and bring several hundred rounds on a trip as I do with 8×57 or .303.

    • Hey Guv. Good news. Its only 179 days until National 6.5 Creedmoor Day! That day we Creedmoorians will celebrate the excellence of the finest round every created. All hail the mighty Creedmoor!!!!

  16. Back during the Cuomo crackdown of 2012 I had an M1A lined up for purchase. Contacted Springfield to buy a few more mags before the SAFE Act kicked in. They wouldn’t sell them to me even though it was still legal to do so.

    Ruger, S&W on the other hand we’re happy to take my orders even though the items were sold out for the moment.

    That’s when I stopped doing business with Springfield. Called the dealer and cancelled the sale. My collection remains Springfield free.

  17. Yeah, 308 is a crap caliber with match ammo readily available in the 6 and 6.5 mm cartridges. 308 offers you more recoil and weight with poorer performance. All the major manufacturers of cheap ass guns also make 6 and 6.5 CM chamberings. If I wanted 308 ballistics I’d just get a 6.5 grendel. And no, I’m not a CM fanboy, I don’t even own one. I reload 243 and 260. 308 just doesn’t make sense anymore.

    • Doesn’t make sense? Availability/price are king. .308 is used by the world. It will take decades for 6.5 to catch up.

    • 243, 260, and 270, all don’t make sense anymore either, now that 6.5 creedmoor was virgin birthed upon the earth. It hath made all other calibers obsolete. And to not own several creedmoors is to bring disdain by the caliber gods to you and yours. The more creedmoors you own, the greater your fortune becomes in life.

    • I’ve got a .260 (and .308) myself and love it, but it takes 600 yards for a .260/6.5Crudmoor to catch up with the .308 in energy. Inside 400 yards the only thing the lighter calibers have over the .308 is lighter recoil.

    • Ninety percent of people that shoot do so only occasionally and have absolutely no experience or proficiency with a rifle past 100 yards. They’re futzing around to get away from the wife for a few hours, that’s it. Used to be called plinking. .308 is great for that, .223 is even better

      • This is my situation. I shoot once a month, pistol and rifle. I want to try out long range percision shooting and cannot justify a 6.5 CM bolt rifle because 6.5CM ammo is 2 to 3 times more expensive than 308 from my LGS.

        • Don’t feel bad if you shoot once a month, it’s way more than most. In my experience getting decent with .308 out to five or even six hundred yards is possible on a modest budget, self taught, own resources. Getting good with anything out to a thousand on your own time and resources is virtually impossible for anyone who’s not retired from a six figure job. I’ve never been much concerned to make hits past three hundred with 5.56 or six hundred with 7.62 its wasted effort,time and money for all but professional specialists and rich retired hobbyists.

  18. I wouldn’t buy anything made by remington & Savage will be very accurate & should have been a top contender IMHO.

  19. Speaking personally, I was never interested in hunting. Competitive Shooting was what interested me.That said, and having used both calibers, 308 and 30-06, I prefer the 30-06 for anything past 600 yards. Get a good bolt action rifle, and proper iron sights, the latter being unfortunately scarce items these days, and go from there. Optical sights are fine for those who fancy them, but learn to shoot with iron sights first.

  20. When you’re scratching for ammo in the middle of east nothing much, .308/7.62X51 is gonna be somewhere, good luck with the boutique 6.5s, 6.8s and the rest. And have a beater AK or SKS, put back, there’s millions of rounds stashed away over the last 30 years. Most of it’s still in the cans, some of it is corrosive, but if you can find it and find something to shoot it through, things’ll find a way to sort themselves out right quick. -30-

      • True, but if I need to and have the time I can make .243 out of .308 on a flat rock, with some tin snips, a propane torch, a hammer, a pair of pliers, a block of wood and a file. It’ll be uglier than a mud fence, but if I’m very careful about shoulder angle, crimp and headspace I can make something that will go bang, hit the target and not blow up the rifle. I guarantee you it will be ugly as a mud fence, but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got. -30-

        • Small clay pot floating in a larger clay pot. Use cold water for the float liquid. Fill small pot with what you want to keep cold. Soak a piece of wool blanket and wrap it around the whole thing. Wet wool will evaporate and keep contents cool like the old cowboy blanket covered canteens. Keep it in the shade and don’t open it anymore than necessary. -30-

  21. The modern Gun Guy/Gal even has the options of tactical sock
    Wow, I can buy tacticool socks with little M16s on them!

  22. I still think .243 is better for most people than .308. Especially coming up from .223. .243 bolt guns have very little recoil. My girls shoot .243 bolt actioned 788 with no problems.

    • my family (two sisters) and I were not that impressed with our .243 but we loved our 7mm-08 for the same reasons you suggested the .243. For us, the .243 just punched through deer too fast without really knocking them over. It was probably more a bullet issue but the 7mm-08 gave us more room for error without additional recoil.

    • Can’t go wrong with any -08 variant. I just can’t understand why nobody’s marketed a .257-08 or a .277-08 yet.

        • That’s the approximate diameter of the bore, but the bu llets are .284. Or as it’s (mis-)labeled in the .308’s longer cousin, it’s the .280 vs. the .270. Likewise, 6.5mm = ~.257 but the 6.5 bull ets are actually .264 (even the .260 Rem. I think it’s a lands vs. groove thing.

        • Never heard of the .275 Rigby -08, but I have heard of the .275 Rigby, which is just a rebranded 7mm Mauser, so it shoots a .284″ pill, not a .277″ one. Good round on it’s own right, but if you’re looking for the Goldilocks .308 variant, I think it would be a .277 version. Halfway between the .243 and the .308.

  23. Here’s my list (get out your wallet):
    1. KAC SR-25
    2. HK MR762A1
    3. Daniel Defense DD5V2 (MLOK)
    4. SCAR 17S
    5. SCAR 20S

    • Mark, how old are you? You seem to be unaware of the idea that any rifle could exist that is something other than one optimized for the modern battlefield. It occurs to me that you view firearms as status symbols of a high-end hobby, like the yuppie that needs expensive golf clubs merely to compete with his office buddies, rather than practical tools or merely facilitators of larger more meaningful sporting and social activities. I’ve never worked in a commercial sector office, but I’ve been told they are full of people very similar to you.

  24. “The modern Gun Guy/Gal even has the options of tactical socks and may prefer a black semi-auto rifle”

    Tactical socks… so THATS what I’m missing!
    Gonna go online and find me some.

    • My stocks have been taking a beating lately. I guess everybody’s squirreled out about tariffs or something. Definitely need more tactical investments.

  25. im a retired gunsmith and i just dont understand what people see in the ar platform. granted my first look at them left a bad taste in my mouth in vietnam but a real nice bolt gun, that i have in over a dozen calibers, are capable of shooting the primers out of shotgun shells at 100 yds. a few of them are off the shelf $6oo.oo rifles. i have yet to see a ar 10 or 15 that can do this.
    as to the 308 it is a great cartridge if you are not shooting the surplus full metal jacket junk. most calibers properly loaded with a QUALITY bullet will out shoot any surplus match ammo out there. stay away from the russian, east europe and chicom ammo.
    the remington 700 rifle is very accurate but many guides refuse to work with hunters using it for dangerous game. extractor failure always happens at the worst possible times. fortunately the bolt can be altered to except a sako type extractor quite easily.

    • The AR platform is the greatest platform ever. Period. Try engaging multiple targets coming at you with your bolt gun.

      • In Hatcher’s Book of the Garand, he details a test the War Department (prior to WWII) conducted with shooters using the 1903 Springfield vs. the Garand in number of hits put onto a target at various ranges.

        Up close, the Garand won.

        From 300 yards on out, the 1903 won, and pulled away.

        In the current timeframe, here’s Norwegian shooters showing that the bolt gun still cleans up on the firing line:

        Those bolt action rifles are STR-200 series rifles, probably in 6.5×55. The members of the Norwegian military appear to be shooting G-3’s in semi-auto mode.

  26. The Ruger Precision Rifle is really hard to beat at the prices it’s now showing up for. Very reliable, easy to shoot nice groups (at least at 100 yards- 1MOA). It likes about any ammo and my reloads are very predictable. Can’t say enough positive things about it.
    I really want to like my M1A but it hardly ever makes to out to the range anymore. I have no reliability issues with it but I find it harder to get groups like those from the Ruger. Scoping it is a bit more work as well.
    I also shoot a S&W M&P 10, I like it but it is such a proprietary platform that it’s hard to do much with the barrel and bolt group. I’d really like to replace the barrel but have yet to find one that will fit other than one from Smith and Wesson. Easy to scope, trigger is easy to upgrade…it’s just that barrel that’s an issue.

  27. I got a Tikka T3 CTR (stainless) in .308 because I already have two .308 AR-10s (AR stands for Armalite BTW). So they share ammo. If I didn’t have the AR-10s I would have gotten something in 30-06 because my hunting experience indicates that it is a superior round. But if I need something superior to .308 I’ll pull the TRG-42 out. 🙂


  28. Remington 700 SPS Varminter w/ 6 x 25 scope. Shoots 1/2 MOA all day. The only reason it’s not 1/4 MOA is me. I can fix me. Solid gun and very accurate. Newer version with great trigger.

  29. Three notes:

    1. I don’t consider the Remington 700 to be a “more of a high-end bolt action rifle.” The QC on 700’s has gone downhill.

    There are a variety of bolt action rifles on the market now, several of which have been laid out above. There are better places than a Rem700 to put more money if you want to spend more.

    2. The M1A isn’t a rifle to be recommended to a beginning shooter. First, there are a bunch of issues concerning the feed & care of the M1A. For starters, NEVER, EVER single-load a cartridge into the chamber and then allow the bolt to slam home. This is a formula for a slam-fire, and it will damage the rifle, and possibly damage you.

    Second, cleaning the M1A is a bigger chore than any bolt gun – or an AR, where you can get at the breech of the barrel.

    Lastly, taking the M1A out of the stock for cleaning is not to be done unless absolutely necessary – the more you do, the faster you’ll start breaking down the stock mating areas, and eventually it will need to be bedded.

    NB that I own one. I like shooting it. Mine is plenty accurate. I’ve won turkeys at turkey matches with that rifle. But it is not a rifle for a beginning shooter. If you’re reloading for the M1A, there are issues to which you must pay attention. Some of those issues apply to the AR-10 platform as well, BTW.

    3. For shooters who would like a lever-action, I recommend the Browning BLR Lightweight 81 in .308. Damn handy rifle, very snappy. 4+1 rounds of .308 in a compact lever-action.

  30. After reading all of the above, I am starting to regret deciding to finish off the AR 10 that my son wanted to build. After a couple of years of parts I’d gotten good prices on, I decided I might as well build it because it didn’t seem that he was going to get around to it this decade. But I’m in at almost $1200 without a California compliant stock for a California “featureless” build (another $160), and no optic from a caliber that can really use one.

  31. No one here seems to know that the .308 is really the .30-06 with a shorter case. The .30-06 was designed for powders that existed in 1906 and earlier. When newer more potent powders were developed, the longer case of the .30-06 was no longer needed, hence the .308.

    • If I’m not mistaken the military loads went from 148gr @ 2750fps with the ’06 to 147gr @ 2750fps with the 7.62×51, which has a bit thicker case than the civilian .308. I think that had something to do with the machine guns. Anyway, those powders fit in the .30–06 as well, so it’s a little more powerful than it was 100 years ago.

  32. In my opinion, The Ruger Gunsite rifle in Is the bang for the buck. I have had this rifle for the last 3 years it has become favorite hunting rifle. I changed the front rail and placed a full size rail, topped it with a Nikon P-308 4x12x40 BDC. Shot up to 400 yards and this baby will not miss. Between rifle and scope have about 950.00

  33. That P-308 4-12 BDC gives you a lot of flexibility and dialing in your rifle scope and ammo to your particular ammo is easy and accurate. Love shooting my .308’s.

  34. All of the rifles have their uses. I cut my teeth on the M-14. A great military rifle, except it was a lousy machine gun. M14 is still in limited service today. I enjoy my M1A very much, and it is hard to beat out to about 700-750 yards, not sub MOA but most assuredly sub minute of man. The AR 15 has evolved over many years into a classic and into a great rifle. It is modular, accurate, durable, easily modified to do a variety of jobs, from CQB out to around a thousand yards or more, in the AR10, .308 or 6.5, 300 win mag, 338 LaPua calibers. I have used various AR15, and AR10 rifles on patrol and drug interdiction for many many years, would not load out without one. Bolt guns in the hundreds and hundreds of calibers available are great for the jobs they are designed to do. Look guys, this is the lasting beauty of our sport, so let’s quit shooting each other in the foot for this choice over that one, because for every ugly horse there is an ugly tree to tie it to, and after all…variety is the spice of life. I love to shoot and just love all the tools used to do it.

  35. I’m looking at the 18” Ruger Gunsight Scout .308 rifle. Affordable and the bolt looks exactly like my 1940 K98 Mauser and the rifle looks like an M-14! 10 round box magazine plus one in the chamber. I think that is a perfect do-it-all rifle for backpacking or hunting. Colonel Cooper’s concept was a good one.

  36. I’m looking at the 18” Ruger Gunsight Scout .308 rifle. Affordable and the bolt looks exactly like my 1940 K98 Mauser and the rifle looks like an M-14! 10 round box magazine plus one in the chamber. I think that is a perfect do-it-all rifle for backpacking or hunting. Colonel Cooper’s concept was a good one.

  37. When we select our favorite tools to do a job, they place by performance first, followed by design, appearance (beauty), durability, and other attributes. Each of our experiences differ from those of others, so we naturally have differing selections for differing jobs. I like .35 Remington cal (Marlin lever action) for deer in Eastern US mountains, .308 (Savage 99 lever action featherweight) in more open fields and plains, and .41 magnum (S&W 57 8 3/8 barrel) in Ohio for deer. The Savage will hopefully do well on feral hogs also. For extremely long range on prairie dogs,the .223 Remington 700 varmint gun is great, and the Ruger 10/22 is good up to 150 yards. For rabbits, squirrels and other small game and varmints, the Ruger 10/22 and the Ruger .22 single six revolver are perfect. Many pheasants, grouse, and quail have fallen to my Iver Johnson 16 ga single shot and the Ithaca 16 ga pump. Yes, guns do come and go in favor.
    Since putting holes in paper or tin cans is not really a job, any caliber will do.

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