Shooting games and hunting sports can be very addictive to lot of people. While some have an eye for collecting the latest firearm launched, others find it useful to satisfy their hunting urges and shooting-sports trivia. One can find the best .308 rifle owing to the use it needs to be put into. No wonder why today it is still called as the ‘all round’ chaser, capable of high terminal performance.
The three-oh-eight, .308 Winchester is a very famous rifle that is used for all purposes, be it as a combat rifle or a hunting one. It has a very interesting history dating back to World War II when its first preceding counterpart, M1 Garand rifle was widely used, employing the full size 30.06 cartridge. Due to its high amount of recoil, warping troubles and weight, 30.06 needed to be rebooted for pure fully automatism. Something smaller was needed which could fulfill both the military long range purposes as well as allow the lighter firing mechanism. Hence, 7.62×51 NATO cartridge was developed which was a roaring change in the field of ammunition. Be it sports, hunting, shooters or military, .308 took by storm and became the favourite sail.
Many of the gun lovers buy rifles as pieces of collection as antiques. Why not? The design and technology change every second. Like mobiles, new designs become a favorite of many and bring out another sense in us, the sense of achieving something that satisfies our inner worth of having a rifle near us. For sub urban areas, mostly .308 is used for hunting purposes and for personal protections.
It has been the favorite among the military and police snipers since its advent in 1952. For close range shooting and shooting sports, .308 has become a great option. Self defense and a weapon to endure animals in the forest or any human harm, .308 supports every use. Each of the guns model different poses, but it should be noted that the features of the rifle should be given more impedance than the looks itself.
Some of Best .308 Rifle
A great amount of confusion and section difficulty might arise once you want to buy the best .308 rifle. There are many types of rifles depending upon the purpose they are needed. .308 has come a long way of additions and subtractions to completely go out of way for the esteemed choices of its buyers. Some of the best .308 rifles in market are:
- Remington 700 Tactical AAC-SD: It is a favourite among the police and sharp shooters owing to its great tactile use.
- Ruger Precision Rifle Bolt-Action Rifles: For shooting sport lovers, this has extra precision for giving the best shots.
- Springfield Armory M1A-A1™ Scout Squad Semiautomatic Rifle: A rifle for hunting and shooting sport lovers.
- Sako A7 Long-Range Bolt-Action Rifles: it can be used both for hunting as well as sports.
- Savage Arms Model 16/116 Lightweight Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle – Stainless Steel: designed for hunting.
Remington 700 SPS Tactical Rifle is an all-purpose best .308 rifle that has a ‘three rings of steel’ configuration for its admirable rock solidarity. It has a carbon steel, clean without sights barrel length of 20 inches that can accept scope mounts easily and has sling swivel studs. Its outstanding accuracy is teamed by its dual point pillar bedding. It is made ergonomic to suit shooter’s comfortability and better handling. It has a full metal covering on the exterior with a blue matte finish making it one of the most beautiful pieces ever. Looks surely count isn’t it? The overall length is 39.75 inches and the weight is 7.5 pounds that carefully takes its places in the perfect models.
The stock is matte black Hogue overmoulding that prevents the warping of the rifle in any weather. Where wooden rifles may distort in a humid climate, matte Hogue overmoulding appears a boon for hunting in the tropical areas. Another spectacular feature is its X-Mark Pro trigger with its ability to customize the trigger pull for excellent adjustability. The recoil is credible owing to its Supercell recoil limbsaver pad which reduces the kick for fast shots. For stability, it has a semi- beavertail fore end for shooting off a rest.
- Affordable price
- Rock solid three ring configuration
- First rate accuracy
- More ergonomic and a limbsaver for better handling
- Does not warp in humid climate
- Customized trigger pull
- Excellent recoil pad for fast shots
- Superb stability for shooting off the rest
- Semi-beavertail fore end aids stable shooting off a rest.
- The free floating barrel can come in touch with the stock which can alter the point of impact.
- Some break-in time needed for the trigger
- Hogue overmolded stock appears to be flexy at times and attracts dust and dirt.
CREDIBILITY: America’s most popular bolt-action centerfire rifle which makes it the best .308 rifle.
Springfield Armory’s M1A-A1 Scout Squad Semiautomatic Rifle is a squad style rifle that has great power with a weight of 8.8 pounds and a rapid target acquirement. It has a Parkerized carbon steel barrel of 18 inches along with six groove rifling. Its recoil capacity is in gain using the specially designed muzzle. The stock which everybody is concerned is made of black composite enhancing its durability overall. The trigger has been shifted to a double staging with its safety moulded by the trigger guard. The double trigger helps the user to shoot and aim with precision and in the obvious safety.
A possible admirable feature is the scope mount which is 10-round box magazine and forward positioned for better comfortability. It has a National Match .062” blade front sight and an aperture-style .0690 rear sight with MOA modification for windage as well as elevation. It has the least kick among the popular and best .308 rifles.
- Two staged trigger for better comfort
- Detachable scope mount
- Excellent recoil ability
- Black composite does not distort in humid weather
- Noise might be an issue to some so, better to use protective earstuds.
This long range bolt-action rifle has an excellent body weighing 7.9 pounds with a length between 45.5-46 inches. The base is weaver style and made of aluminium. The outstanding feature of this rifle is Roughtech green fiberglass stock which gives an exceptionally rigid framework needed for action. The barrel is matte blued and cold hammered with a length of 26 inches. The Sako rifle pioneers highly developed high-energy dissipation recoil pad. The trigger is single staged and adjustable (2 lbs. to 4 lbs.) The magazine is made of polymer and has a steel collar for loading without removing. The receiver has been drilled and tapped for correct mounting of scope bases.
The bolt has been provided with three locking lugs in the anterior and has a 70˚ angle bolt throw for a swift cycling when the shifting takes place. An internal black nitride steel insert has been endowed with for some extra permanence. The external coating is usable for a good grip while hunting on a rainy day even. This is a strong choice for the best .308 rifle in long-range hunting.
- Rigid framework owing to Aluminum-bedded Roughtech fiberglass stock
- Textured finish is easy to grip in any weather condition
- 26″ Fluted barrel with target crown
- 70° bolt throw facilitates swift cycling
- High-energy dissipation recoil pad for the comfort of the user
- A little heavy for hunting
- Eye relief is less owing to the weaver base.
- Has no stainless steel, therefore prone to rust in rainy conditions.
Ruger® Precision Rifle Bolt-Action Rifle is an example of highly featured long range bolt rifle. It is available in two other modes, viz. 6.5 Creedmoor and .243 Winchester. Presenting excellent accuracy and capacity of long action, the medium contour barrel which is .75 inch at the muzzle, is provided with 5/8”-24 threads that can be easily replaced. The catch is that it is been granted with a thread protector. The barrel is made of 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel with 5R Rifling and is cold hammered to be rigid along with being perfectly accurate. It has minimal bore and groove dimensions with reduced headspace and a centralized cavity. The rifle has a magazine front with good grip for support. The equipment is shielded by a Samson Evolution Keymod Handguard and may be put together with any AR-style handguard. The Subordinate well halves of the magazine are milled precisely from aerospace-grade 7075-T6 aluminum forging and are type III hard-coat anodized for greater stability. To minimize warping, the bolts are made of pre hardened 4140 chrome-moly steel.
The magazine interface is interchangeable and can be changed with any one of M110, SR25, DPMS and Magpul® style magazines, AICS magazines, M-14 magazines or Magpul® PMAG® 10-round magazines. The bolt has 70° throw featuring dual cocking cams. The handle has been oversized for its efficient manipulation. For dissembling the bolt system, the tool has a store place inside the bolt shroud for easy cleaning. Trigger comes with external adjustability of 2.25 to 5 pounds as well as changeable configuration with any AR style grip and selector. The extended trigger has an AR style grip with a 45° reversible safety selector. The rifle has precision MSR stock with sling attachment points and provides a bottom Picatinny rail which is 20 MOA and secured with four, #8-40 screws for long range action and pliable rubber buttpad. The recoil path is managed efficiently straight from the back of the receiver to the buttstock.
- Highly configurable, in-line recoil path that gives extra comfort to the user
- Cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel medium contour barrel for that excellent accuracy and solidarity
- Equipped with a Samson Evolution Keymod Handguard
- Euppied with thin threads for easy replacability and with a threadguard for the safety of the threads
- Magazine well front is shaped for a positive grip and is interchangeable
- 20 MOA Picatinny rail
- Extended trigger-reach AR-style grip
- May be restricted in some regions owing to the legal magazine capacity of less than ten rounds.
CREDIBILITY: It is a legal bolt action rifle in 50 states.
Savage® Arms Model 16/116 Lightweight Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle is a precision target rifle that comes in 6.5mm Creedmoor, .270 and .243 Winchester calibrations too. It has a 20 inches barrel made of stainless steel with sling swivel studs. The bolt is spiral fluted and the trigger is adjustable. The stock is made of synthetic black matte which gives good protection from distortion and loose grip in humid and snowy weather. It has a good recoil pad which gives comfort while back kicking. The magazine is detachable and gives easier reloading. The weight is 5.65 pounds which makes it very comfort and easier to carry while on hunting missions. All-in-all a good light weight and robust stainless steel durable rifle that makes the Best .308 rifle for hunting purposes.
- Robust stainless steel barrel and spiral fluted bolt that gives extra durability
- Black synthetic stock with recoil pad that gives excellent restriction to warping
- Adjustable AccuTrigger for a custom trigger pull for that comfort level the user wants
- Light weight so easy to carry in missions
- The stock may flex.
Maintenance of 308 rifles
As an efficient shooter, be it for sports or hunting, the emphasis should be given on taking use of proper potential of the rifle along with its correct ammo combination for maximum tactical response. For exact shot to another shot, there is a need for extreme precision and one of the methods to enhance this is proper maintainanace and cleaning of the weapon. Many methods have been advocated, two groups of which are mechanical and chemical.
Mechanical method involves scrubbing the bore with a solvent or any polytetrafluoroethylene based lubricant. The cleaners effectively clean out the powder fouling or the accumulations but create a Dagwood sandwich effect. Underlying this effect, whenever a shot is fired and the bullet travels through the bore, minute particles of copper are dispensed which settle on the inner circumference and then over them a layer of powder sticks. Cleaning may not remove these copper particles effectively and as more and more shots are fired, the bore becomes congested and starts wearing down.
To clean out this, one needs to go for chemical cleaning in a bid to save the accuracy of the weapon. Copper solvents are available that will eventually react to the stuck copper and clean the bore but care should be taken not to keep the solvent for longer times since it will attract moisture. Always make sure the cleaning rods be made of steel so that it may not flex. Make sure to use cotton patches for their excellent absorbency. For a .308 Winchester with a spear point jag, the measurement of patches should be one square inch while if using a wraparound jag, patches should be about four square inches.
One shouldn’t be short of patches because rifles need to be pitch clean. A chamber guide is necessary for bolt action rifles. These type of rifles need to be cleaned from the chamber side and not from the muzzle side since the opposite may damage the chamber.
For feeling what happens inside the bore, a burn test can be done. Thin aluminum strips can be cut and solvent be poured over them and set to fire. It will leave a thick brown residue. Now if one starts removing the residue with the solvent, one can expect how messy and damaging it can be. That exactly happens when a shot is fired every time. One more test to check whether the copper fouling has been removed by the current solvent that one uses. Pouring a copper solvent and the normal bore cleaner on American pennies will show exactly whether the cleaner one uses cleans the copper fouling or it needs to be changed. The copper solvent will turn blue since it is reacting with copper from the pennies.
Some tips to remember while cleaning:
- Safe weapon without ammunition while cleaning
- Divert muzzle direction to a safe one
- Never overforce the cleansing issue.
- Use a clean brush and a solvent always
- If possible, clean the bore as soon as you finish shooting
- Make sure you don’t spill the solvent onto other parts of rifle, it will damage the stock.
- No overnight soaking. One must use the copper solvent for just 10-15 minutes only.
- If a gel cleanser is used make sure you end the session with a solvent cleaner since when left inside the bore it may cause injury afterwards when the shot is fired owing to high pressures inside.
Which of the .308 rifles is best suited for hunting purposes?
Ans: It’s the Savage® Arms Model 16/116 Lightweight Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle – Stainless Steel. Because it is light weight weighing only 5.65 pounds, and has a black synthetic stock, one can hunt in any season and be carefree about the warping problem as well as weight issues that matter in long term hunting.
If one wants to customize the .308 rifle, which rifle should one choose so that easy configurations may be done?
Ans: Ruger® Precision Rifle Bolt-Action Rifles since it provides interchangeable magazine, thread replacement and mount replacements. Replacements are available easily.
What are the uses of the Springfield Armory® M1A-A1™ Scout Squad™ Semiautomatic Rifle?
Ans: It can be used for hunting as well as sports too. All-in-all a great rifle to be invested on.
It depends upon the choice of the shooter what he wants in a rifle. If he can carry heavy weapons, he can choose an 8.8 pound rifle while if one has planning for a hunting expedition with friends, it is good to follow a lighter 5.65 bolt light weight rifle. Several of these rifles are grouped according to the needs and uses, one grants for. In the end, it is always the features one counts for rather than looks. But it is also not uncommon to find rifle lovers to like to collect pieces based on their outer finishes only. The lightweight Savage® Arms Model 16/116 Lightweight Hunter Bolt-Action Rifle is one of the best .308rifle for hunting purposes. While the Remington 700 Tactical is the one considered an overall Best .308 rifle, for sport-shooters, the precision bolt action rifle may be considered well. In any case, the Best .308 rifle is chosen best according to its purpose so that its full zeal and potential may be put to work. Why not, rifles are the first loves of many out there!