Winchester introduced its Winchester Model 70 bolt-action rifle in 1952. The rifle was accompanied by .308 ammunition. The cartridge was upgraded from the 7.62x51mm NATO, commonly used by the military.
The Ultimate Hunting Rifle
The Winchester .308 may be the most well-known rifle for hunting medium to large game. In fact, .308 ammo was made for hunting. The effectiveness of the gun and its ammo is the ability to deliver hydrostatic shock to its target, rendering the animal useless.
Hunters and competition shooters are loyal to their guns. Fans of the .308 swear by its ability to hit long-distance targets. Although the accuracy of a round deteriorates when shot father than 500 yards, the .308 is capable of making the trip.
Hunting isn’t as popular as it used to be, but the .308 has found a modern audience. Law enforcement agencies and military units prize the .308 for accuracy and precision. It is useful in urban situations, able to hit a target at 1,000 yards. Unlike larger calibers, the Winchester .308 rifle is easy to shoot with less recoil than larger models.
There are several .308 semi-auto rifles on the market that offer advantages over the traditional rifle. In addition to being able to take down a prize elk or bear, the .308 semi-auto works well as a tactical training weapon. It will also do a good job of protecting the outside of your home from critters and intruders. It is not the best choice for in-home protection however, as the round is powerful and could easily cause personal injury or damage to the home. In that case, stick with your trusty shotgun or a pistol.
There are a lot of .308 semi-autos on the market but my pick for the top three is based on price and performance.
Century Arms C308
Serious enthusiasts love semi-automatics, even though they’re expensive. The exception is the Century Arms C308. For about $800 you can buy a rifle that is basically a copy of the HK G3. The gun uses a 5-round or 20-round detachable box magazine that won’t break the bank. Some say the C308 is slightly awkward to handle but that can be overcome with practice.
The AR market has skyrocketed in recent years. The upside to the AR’s popularity is that parts and ammo are plentiful. The downside is that the guns aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay up to $2,000 for a Ruger SR-762.
The Springfield M1A is a civilian version of the rifle used by the military since the 1950s. Today’s M1A is more versatile as it comes in different sizes with a variety of options. The gun is known for being reliable and hearty, but it’s also heavy and long. The current price is just under $2,000.
Experienced gun owners know that it takes practice to adapt to any new weapon. My advice is to test out several models before choosing the one that suits you best. The only sure thing is that a .308 can last a lifetime.