I'm looking at rifles for deer hunting, big game and homestead defense and am wondering how adequate .308 is as a good multi-use round. What are your thoughts? Thanks for the help. Brad
The .308Win. cartridge is the civilian version of the US military round, 7.62x51mm, developed for the US M14 Rifle, as accepted by the military in 1957. The M14, in an accuracy enhanced form, was used also as a sniper rifle. The round is inherently powerful and accurate enough to take most any game in N. America at reasonable ranges.
The .308Win. cartridges can usually be found anywhere that sells ammo. Availability of ammo is always a plus.
If you buy a rifle in .308Win., always be sure to purchase ".308Win. Cartridges", as other 308 ammo is made. For instance, 308Narma and 308CETME.
There always will be arguments raging over which cartridge is supreme. However the .308Win. will always be near the top as a fine choice for hunters.
Add to that the fact that the .308Win. presents less recoil than does the 30-06 and other long cartridges. Being a short cartridge, the .308Win is offered in short action rifles, making the entire package lighter.
I would suggest that you go with 150gr. to 168gr. bullets for deer sized game. The only time that I would suggest a heavier bullet would be for dangerous game.
Many hunters now opt for super magnum cartridges. Elk hunting, I was told that I was "under gunned" carrying a 30-06, when they had super magnum rifles. The Magnum craze is totally over rated. Get within range and kill with a .308Win. Some claim to be able to kill elk in the next county with the big magnum rounds. Most of those shooters do not hit game beyond 150 yards anyway. I killed my bull elk at a measured range of over 300 yds, using a 60 year old rifle in 30-06. The .308Win. will do the same, if you do your part.
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Steven L. Ashe