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Petzal: The Gilt-Edged .308

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July 26, 2010

Petzal: The Gilt-Edged .308

By David E. Petzal

A friend of mine once told me that he had a pre-64 Model 70 in .308 that would not shoot accurately, and asked what he should do with it.

“Drop it in a deep lake,” I said. “Don’t let it breed. A .308 that won’t shoot* is a danger to everything we hold sacred.”

This savage flashback was brought on by an article in the most recent American Rifleman, in which the new Les Baer Tactical Recon rifle was tested. It was a .308, and turned in the same kind of eye-bugging groups as the T/C Warlord. Bayer guarantees 10-shot, ½-inch groups at 100 yards, and gets them.

While I’m uneasy with the idea that some cartridges are inherently more accurate than others, it’s hard to doubt the track record of the .308, or 7.62x51 NATO. The round became a U.S. service cartridge in 1954, and now, more than half a century later is still very much in use in the Army and Marine Corps sniper rifles, re-activated M-14s, and machine guns.

So accurate is the .308 that it was used by benchrest shooters in the 1950s and 1960s. It lost favor there not because of the groups it produced, but because its heavier recoil made it less practical than .224 and 6mm rounds.

And, of course, as a hunting load it will go anywhere and do anything. In the days when FN FAL 7.62mm assault rifles were common in Africa, people used these guns with military ball ammo to kill elephants. Not bad for a cartridge that can put ten rounds through a tumbtack a football field away.

*The rifle, as I recall, was a pre-64 Featherweight built in the early ‘60s when Winchester was turning out a lot of garbage.

Comments (78)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I understand from a friend who has one that the FN (aka Winchester South Carolina) patrol rifle is quite the shooter as well. I'll remain content with my 1966 M-700 ADL.

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from MJC wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

DP: Suppose for a moment that someone is living in outer darkness and owns neither a .308 or a .30-06. In a bolt action hunting rifle, is there any reason to choose the .308 over the .30-06? The 06 has a slight edge in velocity and can accommodate heavy bullets more easily and it seems that (unlike a machine gunner) a hunter isn't going to gain much from the case being a little shorter.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

MJC: Less recoil equals better field accuracy.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

love my 308 :)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

So Dave, are we introducing a subtopic, "The .308 & 7.62x51 NATO are nearly but not quite the same round"?!?!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Every .308 I've ever owned including a Browning BAR would shoot. That says it all. One was stolen and I have sold the rest of them... shows how much good sense I have. LOL!

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I like the .308/7.62 NATO a lot better for a military round than the 5.56. Now that they are coming out with AR platforms for the .308, it should jump in popularity, though it never has been in danger. I still like the M-14,M1A, and FN/FAL rifles a lot better. A .308 that would not shoot? Drive a stake through its heart before dropping it in the deep lake!

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

i have 2 .308's and have never had a problem with either one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I don't see the use for a 308 when you have a 30-06, unless your 12 year old daughter can't handle the recoil.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Drop it in a deep lake don't let it breed..... and still the love affair with the Model 70 continues. I'm with WAM. My pre 64 haha Remington 700 ADL is still the most accurate rifle I own.

Who can tell me the difference between a .308 and and a 7.62 X 51? I thought they were interchangeable. I may be wrong.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Oh and if the .308 is inherently more accurate why does everyone use .270's and 06's in the field?

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I was in the Army when they changed from the M-1 Garand to the M14, I still prefer the M-1 and my Rem 700 is my favorite rifle but I did pretty well with the M-14 also.

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from phconk wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I've got a savage model 99 F (featherweight) in .308 and even though it is a lever action rifle it can make 5 shot groups in the paper less than 1/2 an inch apart. i think that is pretty good for a 45 year old rifle

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Like the 350 Remington magnum the 308 when compared to other rounds like the 30-06, 270, or 25-06 LOOKS rather unimposing. There I suspect is the reason these 2 very good cartridges are not more popular. Both cartridges perform in an outstanding manner. The first is a veritable 35 Whelen that fits into a short action. The other a short action round that performs well above many others. Like Bee yours truly has owned one and shot many (in the Army) but have none at this time. Never shot one that was not accurate. Just seem to fall for those long action rounds that hold a few grains more powder etc.

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Moishe, Did they still ride horses in those days or had the jeep been issued? LOL you are dating yourself old friend. I got to shoot the brand new Mattel inspired Colt M-16 in Basic training July,1970 Ft. Jackson, SC. IMO That thing still isn't half the rifle the old M-1 or M-14 is for battle.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I would take, for free, ANY Pre-64-70Winchester for the sake of salvaging the action. Really DP, don't you think a new barrel, as a minimum fix, would have saved your friend's .308 from taking a deep dive in a lake?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from yohan wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

To me .308 the 8mm Mauser 8x57 & 7x57 are three peas in a pod.
Ive shot some rather large nasty stuff with the 8
and a few deer with the .308, and 7x57.

In my experiance (which is not fact only opinion / experiance)
The 8 is more versitile and a more efficiant killer than the the othee two.

But I doubt anything I have laid low with any of the above ,. would be able to tell you the differece.
Or care,.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I can agree on the 7mm Mauser. Everything I have hit with it died fast and close to the point of impact. And I have made some miserable shots just like everyone.

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from damo450 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I have a 700VLS with a 24x Leupold on it. I shoot primers out of empty 12 gauge hulls regularly at 100yds with it. Creepy accurate for a remington.

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from ishawooa wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Most of us have had rifles that we sold or traded for some foolish notion over the years. In my case I have done it lots of times. The most regretable loss was a late sixties vintage non-salt drop dead gorgeous wood with perfect checkering Belgium Browning Safari in .308 on a Sako medium length action and a beautiful 22" stepped barrel. I had purchased the rifle unfired in NIB condition from the original owner. After a couple reloading sessions and a few trips to the range we both realized that it shot not a lot worse than a Warlord that had a complete makeover and several years of Nutri-system diets. Dammit when he offered me my money back plus 100 early seventies dollars and a new M-27 with 8 3/8" I let it go. Seemed like a good idea at the time but I have often mourned over that decisive moment ever since. Later I tell you a funny story about the rifle.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Good point Del.

If I were going to build a light weight rifle for difficult hunting in mind for medium game in mind it would be in .308, 6lbs less scope, 150-165gr bullet of proper construction. Recoil, what Recoil??

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph-
The difference is in the brass thickness, case length and the chambering (go/no go specs) of military rifles.
Follow this link, and it will explain the difference quite a bit better than I can,not being able to post the diagrams on the forum.
www.303british.com/id36.html
Hope this helps,
crm

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

RAMBLING.....

The .308 may not be as popular as, say the .30-06 or .270 or .30-30, but it's not exactly rare. And if you go to Africa, you will not run out of ammo, as the British colonies still use it in their military arms. I remember that Nat Geo show where the program host went into the desert with South African commandos (they invented that job, remember?), and they were all slinging FALs and G3s and their machinegunner was armed with an MG3, the 7.62NATO version of the MG-42. You couldn't have selected a more reliable set of squad weapons from the Western world. Patrolling in the desert on foot, lugging 9+ pound battle rifles and a 24+ pound machinegun, those guys were "seriously tough" as the host says. The episode was about heat, by the way, and how much heat and lack of water a person can stand. No, they weren't suicidal, they marched at night and rested during the day.

Some people think the Garand shouldn't have been a .30-06, a true intermediate-power round was being proposed and prototyped. It was the .276 Pedersen, I think. (Gen. MacArthur intervened, and .30-06 it became). Then in the 1950's, as NATO moved towards ammo standardization, the British proposed a .280 British, similar to the .276 Pedersen. American top brass, like MacArthur in 1936, shot the idea down and insisted that a .30-06 equivalent cartridge be adopted as the NATO standard instead.

And so we have the 7.62/.308. It is basically the .300 Savage, a round originally created in the 1920's to match/approach the original "military" .30-06 ballistics (until Korea, that meant 2,700 fps for the 150-grain bullet), but with a gentler shoulder angle to increase feeding reliability on autoloading weapons. The new round also turned out to be more powerful than the Savage. If we are to believe the paper figures, the 7.62 is actually more powerful than the "military" .30-06. Note the emphasis on "military", remember that the .30-06 as loaded by the US military must safely cycle the Garand rifle, and loading manuals even have separate pages for those milder loads. The M14 handles the higher pressure 7.62 just fine.

There is a news article that says the British are now arming their designated marksmen with Lewis Machine and Tool (LMT) .308s (MRP-MWS is the LMT designation, I think) because they had neutered their FALs. Rather than suffer the embarrassment of shopping in India or Africa for FALs or Israel for 7.62 Galils, the British opted for an American product. Good for LMT, I suppose.

As for standardization, I think it failed, although it gave us 3 great rifles (M-14, FAL and G3) and one great machinegun (the Belgian FN MAG, aka L7 or Gimpy to the British and M240 in America). None of the rifles fulfilled the assault rifle role, and they had 3 non-interchangeable "magazines". Ammo standardization, for me, means not just compatible rounds, but compatible magazines among allies. (The situation has since been remedied, as NATO weapons now must all accept M-16 type magazines.)

The M-14 was supposed to replace the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, M1 Thompson and M3 "grease" submachineguns and the BAR. It ended up replacing only the Garand, it wasn't really compact or light enough for those who would have been served by the Carbine or SMG (mortar and MG crews), and it wasn't beefy enough to replace the BAR. Eventually, America replaced the M-14 after a short stint, and decades later adopted the Minimi to finally replace the BAR. As for the M60 machinegun, well, America doesn't field it anymore, at least not with ground troops. Ask Peter Kokalis and he'll tell you it's just a lousy gun. Of course, there are those who have actually fought with the M60 who say it is just fine. But it's a moot point as it has already been replaced by the M240.

On the British side, FAL proved too hard to control in full auto and had to be permanently set on semiauto (other nations' FALs retained selective fire). The L7 "Gimpy" GPMG did not really replace the Bren Gun and the Vickers. It was too heavy in the SAW role of the Bren, and heated up too fast in the sustained fire role of the Vickers. The Bren in 7.62 survived until the Falklands war, and in recent CNN/BBC footages, I've seen at least one British soldier armed with it. Maybe Brens are being reactivated, however many of them still remain.

(The Germans, who invented the GPMG concept, naturally stuck to their MG-42 and rechambered and renamed it MG3.)

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from MaxPower wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dave, did you let your grandson edit this piece for you?

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from MTLAGO wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I love shooting the .308, but I can't seem to hang on to any of them. I get a good one, someone offers me good money for it and it goes down the road! Most shoot better than I can. KL

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from Jim in Avon wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

@MaxPower: Glad I'm not the only one who noticed. It reads like Dave suddenly had to answer that call heard too often by gentlemen of a certain age and, while remembering to zip, forgot what his point was going to be. Sort of walked off without the walk-off.

But nothing goes for naught here. At least it served to resuscitate, sort of, the ".308 v. .30-'06" debate, which itself soon will be eligible for the same Social Security now being collected by many of the remaining debaters.

"Tastes great?" Certainly! "Less filling?" Indubitably! (Loud belch.) Yeah, they're excellent, functional and revered rounds. Each works. Next?

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from kudukid wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I understand 10 shots into 1/2" at 100 yards is a good thing for a sniper trying to make hits at 1000 yards, but what advantage is it to a hunter other than bragging rights at camp?
BTW, the 300 Savage is less powerful than the 308 simply because it is loaded commercially to much lower pressure. In hand loads and bolt action rifles they will perform the same.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Say what you want about the 30-06 Short, I've kicked allot of 300 Win Mag butts topped with extraterrestrial scopes on the 1000 yard line with my M1A

Although the 308 can't chunk heavier bullets (200+)like the 06, sure works good on Moose!

One thing overlooked, the 7.62 NATO load is a hotter round. Make fantastic Mexican Match it does, pull M118 and seat a 165 of your choice!

308 Win/7.62 NATO is no punk!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph

I don't think everyone uses .270 and .30-06 in the field. In my observation, the '06 is universally more popular, there are quite a few WA, MT, and ID deer and elk hunters who favor the .308 Win. I think it varies from one region of the country to another. My son and I used .308's for years when those were the only high power rifles we owned. Mine a M-700 ADL and his a Savage 99F. I think if I had to keep only one rifle it might be a toss up between the .308 and the .30-06.... tough choice.

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from Quahog wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Bought an FN/BACO Model 70 a year ago and I like it fine. It's in .270 because they don't offer the Deluxe Model with 24" barrel in .308 yet - but, I would have preferred a short action gun for the target-shooting I do at the club. We do not shoot as well as DP and THE WARLORD yet, but, who's keepin' score, anyway ?
O GARCIA : You sound a lot like an armorer I knew back in the day (45 years ago).
Speaking of those times - I graduated from Jump School @ Bragg in '60. Anyone out there remember "Blood" Burns ?
Went to The Garden Of Eden for a few years and skied the Bavarian Alps ( which is why I enlisted, the jungle hadn't happened yet). Was always impressed with Kraut auto weapons, which were WWII vintage, but out-gunned anything we had at that time.
A few years later, in another APO, we were returning fire with Garands, BARs, M-3 subs, etc. Some teams had the 14, I believe, but we didn't. I generally had 60 lbs of C-4, det. cord and detonators in my A-Frame so wasn't fussy. Tried to be mobile and strapped a Browning High Pow'r.( Still have it ). Dug in, for me, the best was the old Model 12 pump, and near the end was issued one in SS.

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from 007 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I bought my Remington 788 in 1978 in .308 Winchester. I'd like to be able to say that I settled on it after lots of soul searching but that is not the case, I bought what I found and could afford. I wish all my decisions over the year had worked out as well. IMHO, the .308 is as good as it gets. With 46.1 grains of IMR4064 and a 150 grain Hornady interlock, it is perfect for whitetails. I've never carried it for bear, not really sure why, but have no doubt as to it's qualifications for that. It's had a little trigger work, I had a good recoil pad put on it, and I once fell on it in the snow and banged it up pretty badly, so after being refinished it doesn't look like a 788 (see pic of the rifle and a 7 pt. I took with it in my profile) so it could almost be considered as a bit customised. It's my go-to rifle, I trust it and the caliber completely, somebody definately knew what they were doing when the .308 Winchester was birthed.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Bring back the Savage 99!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I still have a pair of Savage 99F's one in ".308 Light" ~.300 Savage, and the other in ".308 Mongo" ~ .358 Winchester. I would like to see ths Savage 99 brought back, but that is probably unlikely due to manufacturing costs for the complex action innards.

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

MJC:

Concerning .30-06 vs .308, if you shoot factory ammo the .30-06 has about a 100 fps edge on the .308; an edge, for sure, but not a big edge. However, the .308, because it uses less powder, kicks less. To paraphrase Finn Aagaard, it gives 95% the performance of the (factory loaded).30-06 with 80% the recoil. The deer can't feel the .30-06's 5% edge, but your shoulder definitely feels the lighter kick. I can sure tell.

AND as it is a shorter round, the .308 fits in a shorter receiver (more stiffness, more accuracy) and therefore comes in shorter, lighter rifles than the '06 (if that matters).

I believe the .308 is inherently accurate just because everything I ever shot in .308 was accurate. I admit to never owning a bolt .308, but I've sighted in plenty of H & K's and FN FALS, and I owned a Browning BLR 81, the older model with the steel receiver, in .308 during the late '80s, early '90s. That BLR was a 3 shot 1" rifle at 100 yds. I sold that BLR to get on the stainless synthetic bandwagon and regret it to this day.

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from kudukid wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Don't know who originally started the bad press on Savage 99 accuracy - maybe it was centered around the takedown models.
Most of us who have the solid frame type can coax minute size groups if we try a few different factory loads and definitely if we work up handloads.
Basically they shoot like bolt action rifles although pressures have to be watched. That's not because of any lack of strength, rather because extraction will get sticky.
BTW factory loads in my 308 fwt give the same speed as 300 Sav factory loads. I suspect this is because of the fair number of 308 featherweight 99s out there.

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from Quahog wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

My 99 Savage is the RS Model with a Lyman Peep sight and detachable swivels. A favorite load for whitetails is 180 Grain roundnose Rem. Core-Lokts. My dad bought the gun sometime before WW-2 and everything on it is original 'cept the replaced leather sling. I don't bring it out in the woods anymore - will give to my son, Vince. Wonder if Savage would consider selling patents to a company like CZ which might be able to manufacture cheaper in Europe.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I remember my Fathers Friend Bob Mercer was hell on annoying critters out to 700+ yards with his Savage 99 308! If he didn't hit it on the first shot, compensate for drop and windage and knock it down on the second!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Is that in Dog-Yards?

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks for the info crm3006, O Garcia nice post... WAM I've been thinking you are right about it being a regional thing. There are just as many 30-30's in the woods in Tennessee as any other cartridge but no one I know has ever hunted with a .308. Plenty of them have 7.62 "assault rifles" they take to the range they just don't hunt with them.

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Del, I was in the Army the first time from 59-62, felt like I had to go to Nam went in so left the reserve unit in 65, then retired in 89, in 59 issued brown boots 1 green uniform one OD with an "Ike Jacket" which I had to replace in 6 mos. :( paid for one more green uniform myself $&%@#!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

WAM, critters were over into the next county and he was hell with it, NO LIE GI!

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from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

To Maxpower: I don't have a grandson, and lucky for him. What are we talking about here?

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from okduckhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I think he's talking about the last sentence. You said "tumbtack" instead of thumb tack.

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

My guess is that now that we have CNC manufacturing machines that do most of the complex metal work without human hands, the Savage 99 will be back eventually. Savage has been doing so well with bolt actions these days that they may be too distracted to consider it. I hope they do. For American hunting, a good Savage 99 in .308 would be as close to an everything gun as you could come up with for the lower 48.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Obvious MaxPower has no knowledge of the subject

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from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

To okduckhunter. Thanks. For some reason, while I'm a pretty good proofreader on paper, I could never do it worth a damn on a computer screen, and writing for a blog makes things even worse. As Meyer Lansky said in "Bugsy," I'm not attempting to excuse it, I'm attempting to explain it.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

tumbtack- thumtack, who cares, close enough for intellectual reading, even a Caveman can read it!

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from duff wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Clay I like your shout "bring back the Savage 99". Only mine's a .358 Winchester-one of my good old moose /black bear guns for the northern woods. (my other's a Win. 71 in .348 Win). I love the .308 and still have 2 of my people-getters from '70's service days. Don't hunt them though. Though I own a 30-06, most of my big game is taken with either a .270, or (whitetail) a .250 Savage.
Thanks.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Of all the rifles that I have in my gun safe there will always be room for a .308. My Tikka T 3 Lite shoots groups that a light weight rifle shouldn't shoot but it does. I have owner probably 30 different .308's over the last 50 years and only had one that wouldn't shoot better than a 2 inch group after over 30 test loads and that was a T/C Encore and I have expressed my opinion about the Encore on previous posts so I won't go into it here. I was shocked because I didn't think there was such a thing as a .308 that didn't shoot. I think it is probably the finest whitetail round.

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from elmer f. wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

well, while it won't breed, getting rid of it is probably the way to go. that, or send it out to become a semi-custom, and let the gunbuilder figure out what is going on with it. if you can not figure out a handload to make it work good, there is not much sense in agrivating yourself into a heart attack over a rifle. and i have issues with a .308 being used as an elephant gun. if someone else wants to try it, that is bad enough. but to say that it is a good thing, is really bad. not only can it not be a clean quick kill, but i sure do not want to be anywhere near any elephant that is wounded and charging with only a 308 in my hands!

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from Donkeylegjohnson wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Everyone in my family shoots a .308. we have all had good luck and good times using this load.
i have also purchased a russian 7.62 x54r which is a lot of fun to shoot.
great article thank you for the great info.

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from MaxPower wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dave, you answered it with your trouble proofreading computers reply.

Clay, I only have 'knowledge' for 1-2 comments per post not 10-15.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Want some cheese with that whine! LOL!

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

You may recall that a few months ago Happy Myles was nearly taken out by a very large and angry bull elephant that had been wounded by a poacher. No doubt the cartridge was likely some military round. The 308 and others are not sutable for elephants. Happy killed the bull with his 416 double rifle at arms reach.
BTW remember the thread about the new book of Cactus Jack articles by Jim Casada? Well my copy finally came today.

WAM shooting critters with a 30 cal or a 338 at 700 yds is no big deal. I used to bullseye swamprats with my 22 out to 500 yds back in the day (wink, wink)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Del what I've been told, that was after you've taken your blue pill! LOL!

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

if Col. Cooper had his way, we would all be shooting .308's for most of our game, and then .350 Rem. Mag. or .376 Steyr for those game that need a bit more thumping. Had he lived, Col. Jeff might have liked the .338 Federal as well.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I can see the 308, but the 338? Now I can see the AR10 in a military version chambered in 338 Federal

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Del,

Me, too. I never missed a shot that I didn't take.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Quahog

I still have a Hi-Power from an SEA APO. Thankfully never had to use it except on a few rats and a couple of feral cats. The guy who had it before me sold it to me for $50 and said "You might need it; I did." I found out later that he used it well one night across the fence. Never had much use for that heavy 7-shot wonder.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I feel I have the best of both .308 and .30-06. I reload some .30-06 to .308 specs and get a milder recoil for plinking.

So I don't have to choose between them now.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph

The .30-30 is surely the long reigning deer champ in many parts. No dispute there. I have a fine AR as well, but I don't hunt with it. I might shoot at an occasional coyote with it, but not much else (hopefully).

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I have a suspicion that my 338 Federal is going to give my .308 some competition. The more that I shoot it the more that I like it. Of course it is just the .308's big brother. The recoil is just about the same the accuracy is the same and the rounds are just about equal except the 338 has quite a bit more energy. Both rounds are a pleasure to shoot.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Sarge01, I wouldn't mind having a AR10 in 338 Fed!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

duff, the Savage 99 is one awesome piece of equipment. I shot Mr Mercers 99 a couple of times, but it was later I realized how good it really is!

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I just saw an H&K semi auto .22WMR that the owner claims can shoot a half minute of angle at 100 yards. Of course it had a gold ring Leupold on it that he bought new for 119 bucks but he was a geezer like Dave so there is no telling whether he bought them during the dark ages or the enlightenment period...

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph-
Was that a H&K or a H&R? A friend once had a long barrel Harrington & Richardson .22 WMR that I saw him shoot prairie dogs with at 200+ yards regularly. He had an old all steel Weaver 3 X 9 on it, and it was an exceptionally accurate weapon.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr.Ralph

"Who can tell me the difference between a .308 and and a 7.62 X 51? I thought they were interchangeable. I may be wrong."

One big difference is in chamber pressures... The Win.308 has higher pressure than the 7.62x51 NATO.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Heckler & Koch I found one on Gunbroker.com for a thousand bucks... http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=169063861#PIC

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

there may already be an AR-10 in .338 Federal, by ArmaLite themselves.

I also saw in a magazine a Springfield M1 converted to .338 Federal and "painted" a reddish-brownish desert color. Not a camo pattern but solid.

The short barrelled Springfield M1s (Scout, SOCOM I/II) could just be the ticket for a one gun to do it all, home defense, truck/ATV, woods hunting (where permitted).

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

The .308's closest equivalent in dimensions and performance is the Belgian 7.65x53 (also known as 7.65x53 Mauser and Argentine). Why NATO didn't simply adopt that, I think it just shows how strong American clout was in the years following WW2.

All these cartridges evolved from the 7.92x57 German cartridge, which is commonly called 8mm Mauser, even though it was the brainchild of the German military rifle testing commission (Mauser provided the rifle to fire it). Even now, it remains a lethal round, able to take any game short of big bears, angry bovines and elephants.

From this patriarch emerged all the "Mauser" cartridges of Europe(7x57, 6.5x57, 6.5x55, 7.65 etc.).

This medium length case (specifically the 7x57) in later years spawned the .257 Roberts and its little brother the 6mm Remington.

A lengthened case resulted in the .30-03/.30-06, which then gave birth to the great .270, the .280, all the wildcats and legitimized wildcats (.25-06, 8mm-06, .338-06, 6.5-06, 6mm-06, .35 Whelen) plus the Ackley-Improved rounds based on these (like the .35 Whelen Ackley-Improved).

A shortened case resulted in the .250 and .300 Savage, and then the great .22-250.

A slight modification of the .300 gave us the .308 Win/7.62x51

In 1888, while the rest of the world was still using rimmed cartridges (8mm Lebel, .303 British, .45-70), the Germans came up with a rimless design that would prove to be more versatile and adaptable. No rims to snag. No special loading sequence required. No grotesquely curved magazines. Sexy profile.

Those Germans were good.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Has anyone fired a M-1A SOCOM short barreled .308 or .338? I would contend that if you had experienced that muzzle blast, you might think twice about such a short barreled carbine in such a powerful caliber.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

O Garcia

Great post. What about the 7.65 Swiss?

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from Harding7 wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

If you have a .308 that will not shoot, MENTALLY drive a stake through its heart and drop it in MY hands (lake) and I'll turn it into a shooter!

I'll take that Win70 sction and do an AIG job on it and then go out-shoot yours!

I even did it with an Ishapore - broken firing pin, bad ejector, non-squared action. Now anyone who takes it shooting finds it can really print!

But for deer, my NO. 5 Jungle Carbine in .303 is just right! Lots of kick, but you only need one shot.

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from dtownley wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Only occasion which I had to use 7.62 X 51 / .308 win was in a Steyr SSG, set triggers, Schmitt & Bender glass, PMC milspec 150gr.softs. As all I had to go by was the ballistic chart info, when I caught a lone fawn crossing a post-harvested hay field. The young hunter I was with had vision like superman, when I told him to strip off all the clothing he felt comfortable loaning me he asked why ? I told him that I was going to load it on this barb wire to steady it and not scratch his Gramps rifle.I knew the range(bit over 300yds, lined up on the spine, set the trigger and touched one off. Superman told me I hit her dead in the middle, I quickly chambered another round threw a Kentucky ghost up and fired again striking her just behind the jaw, spineing her. The first rd. did hit just behind the diaphram & half way from the bottom. At 2650fps @ muzzle and 2200 fps @ 300yds the bullet failed to expand but left the animal in shock long enough to anchor with the 2nd rd..Of course the bottem line is the three Oh eight is a fine cartridge as was the geneology, .300 Savage, 150gr.@ 2630, just DA#NED fine cartridges.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

WAM, shooting both M-1A & M14 SOCOM short barreled, makes my ears still hurt even just thinking about it! WHAT BLAST!

Del in KS, didn't you say you were stationed at Ft. Wainwright?

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Another thread in the fabric of Old America goes:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_bi_ge/us_old_family_farm

By the way, the designation of the Lewis Machine & Tool MRP308MWS that was adopted by the British Army (with modifications) is L129A1.

It is basically the DMR rifle, or "sharpshooter's rifle" as the British call it. The rifleman is not a sniper, but fights alongside the regular troops, armed with a weapon of greater effective range than the standard weapon. Which is not a new concept, to be honest; the Soviets developed the Dragunov SVD in the early 1960's to serve primarily as a DMR and also as a sniper's rifle. Because the SVD is a semi-auto, the Soviet rifleman could use it as a close range fighting rifle when his position is being charged.

The L129A1 is required to be accurate when firing standard British issue 7.62 ball.

I've seen a "press release" (OK, a review), and it has all the drool-inducing bits. Knights Armament Company (KAC) back up iron sights, KAC magazines, ERGO grips, LMT's own SOPMOD stock, a Trijicon 6x scope, plus cleaning kits, all in a Pelican case.

What the reviewer really liked is that the British, after identifying a need, came up with a solution as quickly as possible.

http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/support-weapons/18827.aspx

Not only is the semi-auto L129A1 replacing the bolt action L96 of Accuracy International (the rifle from which the Arctic Warfare line was derived),

LMT also beat out Heckler&Koch and Fabrique Nationale Herstal (FNH) in the competition.

Good for LMT. Good for American gunmaking.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Clay
I have never owned an AR but the AR 10 in .338 Federal is starting to generate a little interest for me. One of my buddies has one in a .308 and it shoots quite well for an auto loader. When I hung up my AR when I left Vietnam I said I would never have another one but the AR 10 in .338 Federal just might make me change my mind.
I don't have any use for it . It would just be one of those rifles that is there with no particular purpose.

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from Robert Dawson wrote 3 years 35 weeks ago

In a rare case of intelligent decision making the US Army understood that the M1 Garand was an Infantry weapon. Most other Soldiers carried an M1 Carbine for self defense.

Our Infantry today need a 7.62 NATO rifles and Machine Guns in Afghanistan. The rest of the troops can use the M4 and M16 for self defence.

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from phconk wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I've got a savage model 99 F (featherweight) in .308 and even though it is a lever action rifle it can make 5 shot groups in the paper less than 1/2 an inch apart. i think that is pretty good for a 45 year old rifle

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Moishe, Did they still ride horses in those days or had the jeep been issued? LOL you are dating yourself old friend. I got to shoot the brand new Mattel inspired Colt M-16 in Basic training July,1970 Ft. Jackson, SC. IMO That thing still isn't half the rifle the old M-1 or M-14 is for battle.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Is that in Dog-Yards?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I understand from a friend who has one that the FN (aka Winchester South Carolina) patrol rifle is quite the shooter as well. I'll remain content with my 1966 M-700 ADL.

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from MJC wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

DP: Suppose for a moment that someone is living in outer darkness and owns neither a .308 or a .30-06. In a bolt action hunting rifle, is there any reason to choose the .308 over the .30-06? The 06 has a slight edge in velocity and can accommodate heavy bullets more easily and it seems that (unlike a machine gunner) a hunter isn't going to gain much from the case being a little shorter.

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from dukkillr wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

MJC: Less recoil equals better field accuracy.

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from Carney wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

So Dave, are we introducing a subtopic, "The .308 & 7.62x51 NATO are nearly but not quite the same round"?!?!

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph-
The difference is in the brass thickness, case length and the chambering (go/no go specs) of military rifles.
Follow this link, and it will explain the difference quite a bit better than I can,not being able to post the diagrams on the forum.
www.303british.com/id36.html
Hope this helps,
crm

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

RAMBLING.....

The .308 may not be as popular as, say the .30-06 or .270 or .30-30, but it's not exactly rare. And if you go to Africa, you will not run out of ammo, as the British colonies still use it in their military arms. I remember that Nat Geo show where the program host went into the desert with South African commandos (they invented that job, remember?), and they were all slinging FALs and G3s and their machinegunner was armed with an MG3, the 7.62NATO version of the MG-42. You couldn't have selected a more reliable set of squad weapons from the Western world. Patrolling in the desert on foot, lugging 9+ pound battle rifles and a 24+ pound machinegun, those guys were "seriously tough" as the host says. The episode was about heat, by the way, and how much heat and lack of water a person can stand. No, they weren't suicidal, they marched at night and rested during the day.

Some people think the Garand shouldn't have been a .30-06, a true intermediate-power round was being proposed and prototyped. It was the .276 Pedersen, I think. (Gen. MacArthur intervened, and .30-06 it became). Then in the 1950's, as NATO moved towards ammo standardization, the British proposed a .280 British, similar to the .276 Pedersen. American top brass, like MacArthur in 1936, shot the idea down and insisted that a .30-06 equivalent cartridge be adopted as the NATO standard instead.

And so we have the 7.62/.308. It is basically the .300 Savage, a round originally created in the 1920's to match/approach the original "military" .30-06 ballistics (until Korea, that meant 2,700 fps for the 150-grain bullet), but with a gentler shoulder angle to increase feeding reliability on autoloading weapons. The new round also turned out to be more powerful than the Savage. If we are to believe the paper figures, the 7.62 is actually more powerful than the "military" .30-06. Note the emphasis on "military", remember that the .30-06 as loaded by the US military must safely cycle the Garand rifle, and loading manuals even have separate pages for those milder loads. The M14 handles the higher pressure 7.62 just fine.

There is a news article that says the British are now arming their designated marksmen with Lewis Machine and Tool (LMT) .308s (MRP-MWS is the LMT designation, I think) because they had neutered their FALs. Rather than suffer the embarrassment of shopping in India or Africa for FALs or Israel for 7.62 Galils, the British opted for an American product. Good for LMT, I suppose.

As for standardization, I think it failed, although it gave us 3 great rifles (M-14, FAL and G3) and one great machinegun (the Belgian FN MAG, aka L7 or Gimpy to the British and M240 in America). None of the rifles fulfilled the assault rifle role, and they had 3 non-interchangeable "magazines". Ammo standardization, for me, means not just compatible rounds, but compatible magazines among allies. (The situation has since been remedied, as NATO weapons now must all accept M-16 type magazines.)

The M-14 was supposed to replace the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, M1 Thompson and M3 "grease" submachineguns and the BAR. It ended up replacing only the Garand, it wasn't really compact or light enough for those who would have been served by the Carbine or SMG (mortar and MG crews), and it wasn't beefy enough to replace the BAR. Eventually, America replaced the M-14 after a short stint, and decades later adopted the Minimi to finally replace the BAR. As for the M60 machinegun, well, America doesn't field it anymore, at least not with ground troops. Ask Peter Kokalis and he'll tell you it's just a lousy gun. Of course, there are those who have actually fought with the M60 who say it is just fine. But it's a moot point as it has already been replaced by the M240.

On the British side, FAL proved too hard to control in full auto and had to be permanently set on semiauto (other nations' FALs retained selective fire). The L7 "Gimpy" GPMG did not really replace the Bren Gun and the Vickers. It was too heavy in the SAW role of the Bren, and heated up too fast in the sustained fire role of the Vickers. The Bren in 7.62 survived until the Falklands war, and in recent CNN/BBC footages, I've seen at least one British soldier armed with it. Maybe Brens are being reactivated, however many of them still remain.

(The Germans, who invented the GPMG concept, naturally stuck to their MG-42 and rechambered and renamed it MG3.)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph

I don't think everyone uses .270 and .30-06 in the field. In my observation, the '06 is universally more popular, there are quite a few WA, MT, and ID deer and elk hunters who favor the .308 Win. I think it varies from one region of the country to another. My son and I used .308's for years when those were the only high power rifles we owned. Mine a M-700 ADL and his a Savage 99F. I think if I had to keep only one rifle it might be a toss up between the .308 and the .30-06.... tough choice.

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

The .308's closest equivalent in dimensions and performance is the Belgian 7.65x53 (also known as 7.65x53 Mauser and Argentine). Why NATO didn't simply adopt that, I think it just shows how strong American clout was in the years following WW2.

All these cartridges evolved from the 7.92x57 German cartridge, which is commonly called 8mm Mauser, even though it was the brainchild of the German military rifle testing commission (Mauser provided the rifle to fire it). Even now, it remains a lethal round, able to take any game short of big bears, angry bovines and elephants.

From this patriarch emerged all the "Mauser" cartridges of Europe(7x57, 6.5x57, 6.5x55, 7.65 etc.).

This medium length case (specifically the 7x57) in later years spawned the .257 Roberts and its little brother the 6mm Remington.

A lengthened case resulted in the .30-03/.30-06, which then gave birth to the great .270, the .280, all the wildcats and legitimized wildcats (.25-06, 8mm-06, .338-06, 6.5-06, 6mm-06, .35 Whelen) plus the Ackley-Improved rounds based on these (like the .35 Whelen Ackley-Improved).

A shortened case resulted in the .250 and .300 Savage, and then the great .22-250.

A slight modification of the .300 gave us the .308 Win/7.62x51

In 1888, while the rest of the world was still using rimmed cartridges (8mm Lebel, .303 British, .45-70), the Germans came up with a rimless design that would prove to be more versatile and adaptable. No rims to snag. No special loading sequence required. No grotesquely curved magazines. Sexy profile.

Those Germans were good.

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I like the .308/7.62 NATO a lot better for a military round than the 5.56. Now that they are coming out with AR platforms for the .308, it should jump in popularity, though it never has been in danger. I still like the M-14,M1A, and FN/FAL rifles a lot better. A .308 that would not shoot? Drive a stake through its heart before dropping it in the deep lake!

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Like the 350 Remington magnum the 308 when compared to other rounds like the 30-06, 270, or 25-06 LOOKS rather unimposing. There I suspect is the reason these 2 very good cartridges are not more popular. Both cartridges perform in an outstanding manner. The first is a veritable 35 Whelen that fits into a short action. The other a short action round that performs well above many others. Like Bee yours truly has owned one and shot many (in the Army) but have none at this time. Never shot one that was not accurate. Just seem to fall for those long action rounds that hold a few grains more powder etc.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I would take, for free, ANY Pre-64-70Winchester for the sake of salvaging the action. Really DP, don't you think a new barrel, as a minimum fix, would have saved your friend's .308 from taking a deep dive in a lake?

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from ishawooa wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Most of us have had rifles that we sold or traded for some foolish notion over the years. In my case I have done it lots of times. The most regretable loss was a late sixties vintage non-salt drop dead gorgeous wood with perfect checkering Belgium Browning Safari in .308 on a Sako medium length action and a beautiful 22" stepped barrel. I had purchased the rifle unfired in NIB condition from the original owner. After a couple reloading sessions and a few trips to the range we both realized that it shot not a lot worse than a Warlord that had a complete makeover and several years of Nutri-system diets. Dammit when he offered me my money back plus 100 early seventies dollars and a new M-27 with 8 3/8" I let it go. Seemed like a good idea at the time but I have often mourned over that decisive moment ever since. Later I tell you a funny story about the rifle.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Good point Del.

If I were going to build a light weight rifle for difficult hunting in mind for medium game in mind it would be in .308, 6lbs less scope, 150-165gr bullet of proper construction. Recoil, what Recoil??

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from MTLAGO wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I love shooting the .308, but I can't seem to hang on to any of them. I get a good one, someone offers me good money for it and it goes down the road! Most shoot better than I can. KL

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from kudukid wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I understand 10 shots into 1/2" at 100 yards is a good thing for a sniper trying to make hits at 1000 yards, but what advantage is it to a hunter other than bragging rights at camp?
BTW, the 300 Savage is less powerful than the 308 simply because it is loaded commercially to much lower pressure. In hand loads and bolt action rifles they will perform the same.

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from Quahog wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Bought an FN/BACO Model 70 a year ago and I like it fine. It's in .270 because they don't offer the Deluxe Model with 24" barrel in .308 yet - but, I would have preferred a short action gun for the target-shooting I do at the club. We do not shoot as well as DP and THE WARLORD yet, but, who's keepin' score, anyway ?
O GARCIA : You sound a lot like an armorer I knew back in the day (45 years ago).
Speaking of those times - I graduated from Jump School @ Bragg in '60. Anyone out there remember "Blood" Burns ?
Went to The Garden Of Eden for a few years and skied the Bavarian Alps ( which is why I enlisted, the jungle hadn't happened yet). Was always impressed with Kraut auto weapons, which were WWII vintage, but out-gunned anything we had at that time.
A few years later, in another APO, we were returning fire with Garands, BARs, M-3 subs, etc. Some teams had the 14, I believe, but we didn't. I generally had 60 lbs of C-4, det. cord and detonators in my A-Frame so wasn't fussy. Tried to be mobile and strapped a Browning High Pow'r.( Still have it ). Dug in, for me, the best was the old Model 12 pump, and near the end was issued one in SS.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Bring back the Savage 99!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I still have a pair of Savage 99F's one in ".308 Light" ~.300 Savage, and the other in ".308 Mongo" ~ .358 Winchester. I would like to see ths Savage 99 brought back, but that is probably unlikely due to manufacturing costs for the complex action innards.

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

MJC:

Concerning .30-06 vs .308, if you shoot factory ammo the .30-06 has about a 100 fps edge on the .308; an edge, for sure, but not a big edge. However, the .308, because it uses less powder, kicks less. To paraphrase Finn Aagaard, it gives 95% the performance of the (factory loaded).30-06 with 80% the recoil. The deer can't feel the .30-06's 5% edge, but your shoulder definitely feels the lighter kick. I can sure tell.

AND as it is a shorter round, the .308 fits in a shorter receiver (more stiffness, more accuracy) and therefore comes in shorter, lighter rifles than the '06 (if that matters).

I believe the .308 is inherently accurate just because everything I ever shot in .308 was accurate. I admit to never owning a bolt .308, but I've sighted in plenty of H & K's and FN FALS, and I owned a Browning BLR 81, the older model with the steel receiver, in .308 during the late '80s, early '90s. That BLR was a 3 shot 1" rifle at 100 yds. I sold that BLR to get on the stainless synthetic bandwagon and regret it to this day.

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from Quahog wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

My 99 Savage is the RS Model with a Lyman Peep sight and detachable swivels. A favorite load for whitetails is 180 Grain roundnose Rem. Core-Lokts. My dad bought the gun sometime before WW-2 and everything on it is original 'cept the replaced leather sling. I don't bring it out in the woods anymore - will give to my son, Vince. Wonder if Savage would consider selling patents to a company like CZ which might be able to manufacture cheaper in Europe.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

love my 308 :)

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from Beekeeper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Every .308 I've ever owned including a Browning BAR would shoot. That says it all. One was stolen and I have sold the rest of them... shows how much good sense I have. LOL!

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from jamesti wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

i have 2 .308's and have never had a problem with either one.

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from Walt Smith wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I don't see the use for a 308 when you have a 30-06, unless your 12 year old daughter can't handle the recoil.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Drop it in a deep lake don't let it breed..... and still the love affair with the Model 70 continues. I'm with WAM. My pre 64 haha Remington 700 ADL is still the most accurate rifle I own.

Who can tell me the difference between a .308 and and a 7.62 X 51? I thought they were interchangeable. I may be wrong.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Oh and if the .308 is inherently more accurate why does everyone use .270's and 06's in the field?

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I was in the Army when they changed from the M-1 Garand to the M14, I still prefer the M-1 and my Rem 700 is my favorite rifle but I did pretty well with the M-14 also.

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from yohan wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

To me .308 the 8mm Mauser 8x57 & 7x57 are three peas in a pod.
Ive shot some rather large nasty stuff with the 8
and a few deer with the .308, and 7x57.

In my experiance (which is not fact only opinion / experiance)
The 8 is more versitile and a more efficiant killer than the the othee two.

But I doubt anything I have laid low with any of the above ,. would be able to tell you the differece.
Or care,.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I can agree on the 7mm Mauser. Everything I have hit with it died fast and close to the point of impact. And I have made some miserable shots just like everyone.

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from damo450 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I have a 700VLS with a 24x Leupold on it. I shoot primers out of empty 12 gauge hulls regularly at 100yds with it. Creepy accurate for a remington.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Say what you want about the 30-06 Short, I've kicked allot of 300 Win Mag butts topped with extraterrestrial scopes on the 1000 yard line with my M1A

Although the 308 can't chunk heavier bullets (200+)like the 06, sure works good on Moose!

One thing overlooked, the 7.62 NATO load is a hotter round. Make fantastic Mexican Match it does, pull M118 and seat a 165 of your choice!

308 Win/7.62 NATO is no punk!

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from 007 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I bought my Remington 788 in 1978 in .308 Winchester. I'd like to be able to say that I settled on it after lots of soul searching but that is not the case, I bought what I found and could afford. I wish all my decisions over the year had worked out as well. IMHO, the .308 is as good as it gets. With 46.1 grains of IMR4064 and a 150 grain Hornady interlock, it is perfect for whitetails. I've never carried it for bear, not really sure why, but have no doubt as to it's qualifications for that. It's had a little trigger work, I had a good recoil pad put on it, and I once fell on it in the snow and banged it up pretty badly, so after being refinished it doesn't look like a 788 (see pic of the rifle and a 7 pt. I took with it in my profile) so it could almost be considered as a bit customised. It's my go-to rifle, I trust it and the caliber completely, somebody definately knew what they were doing when the .308 Winchester was birthed.

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from kudukid wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Don't know who originally started the bad press on Savage 99 accuracy - maybe it was centered around the takedown models.
Most of us who have the solid frame type can coax minute size groups if we try a few different factory loads and definitely if we work up handloads.
Basically they shoot like bolt action rifles although pressures have to be watched. That's not because of any lack of strength, rather because extraction will get sticky.
BTW factory loads in my 308 fwt give the same speed as 300 Sav factory loads. I suspect this is because of the fair number of 308 featherweight 99s out there.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I remember my Fathers Friend Bob Mercer was hell on annoying critters out to 700+ yards with his Savage 99 308! If he didn't hit it on the first shot, compensate for drop and windage and knock it down on the second!

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks for the info crm3006, O Garcia nice post... WAM I've been thinking you are right about it being a regional thing. There are just as many 30-30's in the woods in Tennessee as any other cartridge but no one I know has ever hunted with a .308. Plenty of them have 7.62 "assault rifles" they take to the range they just don't hunt with them.

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from Jere Smith wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Del, I was in the Army the first time from 59-62, felt like I had to go to Nam went in so left the reserve unit in 65, then retired in 89, in 59 issued brown boots 1 green uniform one OD with an "Ike Jacket" which I had to replace in 6 mos. :( paid for one more green uniform myself $&%@#!

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from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

To Maxpower: I don't have a grandson, and lucky for him. What are we talking about here?

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from focusfront wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

My guess is that now that we have CNC manufacturing machines that do most of the complex metal work without human hands, the Savage 99 will be back eventually. Savage has been doing so well with bolt actions these days that they may be too distracted to consider it. I hope they do. For American hunting, a good Savage 99 in .308 would be as close to an everything gun as you could come up with for the lower 48.

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from davidpetzal wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

To okduckhunter. Thanks. For some reason, while I'm a pretty good proofreader on paper, I could never do it worth a damn on a computer screen, and writing for a blog makes things even worse. As Meyer Lansky said in "Bugsy," I'm not attempting to excuse it, I'm attempting to explain it.

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from duff wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Clay I like your shout "bring back the Savage 99". Only mine's a .358 Winchester-one of my good old moose /black bear guns for the northern woods. (my other's a Win. 71 in .348 Win). I love the .308 and still have 2 of my people-getters from '70's service days. Don't hunt them though. Though I own a 30-06, most of my big game is taken with either a .270, or (whitetail) a .250 Savage.
Thanks.

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from Del in KS wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

You may recall that a few months ago Happy Myles was nearly taken out by a very large and angry bull elephant that had been wounded by a poacher. No doubt the cartridge was likely some military round. The 308 and others are not sutable for elephants. Happy killed the bull with his 416 double rifle at arms reach.
BTW remember the thread about the new book of Cactus Jack articles by Jim Casada? Well my copy finally came today.

WAM shooting critters with a 30 cal or a 338 at 700 yds is no big deal. I used to bullseye swamprats with my 22 out to 500 yds back in the day (wink, wink)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

WAM, shooting both M-1A & M14 SOCOM short barreled, makes my ears still hurt even just thinking about it! WHAT BLAST!

Del in KS, didn't you say you were stationed at Ft. Wainwright?

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from Jim in Avon wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

@MaxPower: Glad I'm not the only one who noticed. It reads like Dave suddenly had to answer that call heard too often by gentlemen of a certain age and, while remembering to zip, forgot what his point was going to be. Sort of walked off without the walk-off.

But nothing goes for naught here. At least it served to resuscitate, sort of, the ".308 v. .30-'06" debate, which itself soon will be eligible for the same Social Security now being collected by many of the remaining debaters.

"Tastes great?" Certainly! "Less filling?" Indubitably! (Loud belch.) Yeah, they're excellent, functional and revered rounds. Each works. Next?

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

WAM, critters were over into the next county and he was hell with it, NO LIE GI!

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from okduckhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I think he's talking about the last sentence. You said "tumbtack" instead of thumb tack.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Obvious MaxPower has no knowledge of the subject

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

tumbtack- thumtack, who cares, close enough for intellectual reading, even a Caveman can read it!

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Of all the rifles that I have in my gun safe there will always be room for a .308. My Tikka T 3 Lite shoots groups that a light weight rifle shouldn't shoot but it does. I have owner probably 30 different .308's over the last 50 years and only had one that wouldn't shoot better than a 2 inch group after over 30 test loads and that was a T/C Encore and I have expressed my opinion about the Encore on previous posts so I won't go into it here. I was shocked because I didn't think there was such a thing as a .308 that didn't shoot. I think it is probably the finest whitetail round.

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from elmer f. wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

well, while it won't breed, getting rid of it is probably the way to go. that, or send it out to become a semi-custom, and let the gunbuilder figure out what is going on with it. if you can not figure out a handload to make it work good, there is not much sense in agrivating yourself into a heart attack over a rifle. and i have issues with a .308 being used as an elephant gun. if someone else wants to try it, that is bad enough. but to say that it is a good thing, is really bad. not only can it not be a clean quick kill, but i sure do not want to be anywhere near any elephant that is wounded and charging with only a 308 in my hands!

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from Donkeylegjohnson wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Everyone in my family shoots a .308. we have all had good luck and good times using this load.
i have also purchased a russian 7.62 x54r which is a lot of fun to shoot.
great article thank you for the great info.

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from MaxPower wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dave, you answered it with your trouble proofreading computers reply.

Clay, I only have 'knowledge' for 1-2 comments per post not 10-15.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Want some cheese with that whine! LOL!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Del what I've been told, that was after you've taken your blue pill! LOL!

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

if Col. Cooper had his way, we would all be shooting .308's for most of our game, and then .350 Rem. Mag. or .376 Steyr for those game that need a bit more thumping. Had he lived, Col. Jeff might have liked the .338 Federal as well.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I can see the 308, but the 338? Now I can see the AR10 in a military version chambered in 338 Federal

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Del,

Me, too. I never missed a shot that I didn't take.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Quahog

I still have a Hi-Power from an SEA APO. Thankfully never had to use it except on a few rats and a couple of feral cats. The guy who had it before me sold it to me for $50 and said "You might need it; I did." I found out later that he used it well one night across the fence. Never had much use for that heavy 7-shot wonder.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I feel I have the best of both .308 and .30-06. I reload some .30-06 to .308 specs and get a milder recoil for plinking.

So I don't have to choose between them now.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph

The .30-30 is surely the long reigning deer champ in many parts. No dispute there. I have a fine AR as well, but I don't hunt with it. I might shoot at an occasional coyote with it, but not much else (hopefully).

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I have a suspicion that my 338 Federal is going to give my .308 some competition. The more that I shoot it the more that I like it. Of course it is just the .308's big brother. The recoil is just about the same the accuracy is the same and the rounds are just about equal except the 338 has quite a bit more energy. Both rounds are a pleasure to shoot.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Sarge01, I wouldn't mind having a AR10 in 338 Fed!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

duff, the Savage 99 is one awesome piece of equipment. I shot Mr Mercers 99 a couple of times, but it was later I realized how good it really is!

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

I just saw an H&K semi auto .22WMR that the owner claims can shoot a half minute of angle at 100 yards. Of course it had a gold ring Leupold on it that he bought new for 119 bucks but he was a geezer like Dave so there is no telling whether he bought them during the dark ages or the enlightenment period...

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from crm3006 wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr. Ralph-
Was that a H&K or a H&R? A friend once had a long barrel Harrington & Richardson .22 WMR that I saw him shoot prairie dogs with at 200+ yards regularly. He had an old all steel Weaver 3 X 9 on it, and it was an exceptionally accurate weapon.

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from ohiodeerhunter wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dr.Ralph

"Who can tell me the difference between a .308 and and a 7.62 X 51? I thought they were interchangeable. I may be wrong."

One big difference is in chamber pressures... The Win.308 has higher pressure than the 7.62x51 NATO.

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from Tim Platt wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Heckler & Koch I found one on Gunbroker.com for a thousand bucks... http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=169063861#PIC

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

there may already be an AR-10 in .338 Federal, by ArmaLite themselves.

I also saw in a magazine a Springfield M1 converted to .338 Federal and "painted" a reddish-brownish desert color. Not a camo pattern but solid.

The short barrelled Springfield M1s (Scout, SOCOM I/II) could just be the ticket for a one gun to do it all, home defense, truck/ATV, woods hunting (where permitted).

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Has anyone fired a M-1A SOCOM short barreled .308 or .338? I would contend that if you had experienced that muzzle blast, you might think twice about such a short barreled carbine in such a powerful caliber.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

O Garcia

Great post. What about the 7.65 Swiss?

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from Harding7 wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

If you have a .308 that will not shoot, MENTALLY drive a stake through its heart and drop it in MY hands (lake) and I'll turn it into a shooter!

I'll take that Win70 sction and do an AIG job on it and then go out-shoot yours!

I even did it with an Ishapore - broken firing pin, bad ejector, non-squared action. Now anyone who takes it shooting finds it can really print!

But for deer, my NO. 5 Jungle Carbine in .303 is just right! Lots of kick, but you only need one shot.

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from dtownley wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Only occasion which I had to use 7.62 X 51 / .308 win was in a Steyr SSG, set triggers, Schmitt & Bender glass, PMC milspec 150gr.softs. As all I had to go by was the ballistic chart info, when I caught a lone fawn crossing a post-harvested hay field. The young hunter I was with had vision like superman, when I told him to strip off all the clothing he felt comfortable loaning me he asked why ? I told him that I was going to load it on this barb wire to steady it and not scratch his Gramps rifle.I knew the range(bit over 300yds, lined up on the spine, set the trigger and touched one off. Superman told me I hit her dead in the middle, I quickly chambered another round threw a Kentucky ghost up and fired again striking her just behind the jaw, spineing her. The first rd. did hit just behind the diaphram & half way from the bottom. At 2650fps @ muzzle and 2200 fps @ 300yds the bullet failed to expand but left the animal in shock long enough to anchor with the 2nd rd..Of course the bottem line is the three Oh eight is a fine cartridge as was the geneology, .300 Savage, 150gr.@ 2630, just DA#NED fine cartridges.

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from O Garcia wrote 3 years 37 weeks ago

Another thread in the fabric of Old America goes:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ap_on_bi_ge/us_old_family_farm

By the way, the designation of the Lewis Machine & Tool MRP308MWS that was adopted by the British Army (with modifications) is L129A1.

It is basically the DMR rifle, or "sharpshooter's rifle" as the British call it. The rifleman is not a sniper, but fights alongside the regular troops, armed with a weapon of greater effective range than the standard weapon. Which is not a new concept, to be honest; the Soviets developed the Dragunov SVD in the early 1960's to serve primarily as a DMR and also as a sniper's rifle. Because the SVD is a semi-auto, the Soviet rifleman could use it as a close range fighting rifle when his position is being charged.

The L129A1 is required to be accurate when firing standard British issue 7.62 ball.

I've seen a "press release" (OK, a review), and it has all the drool-inducing bits. Knights Armament Company (KAC) back up iron sights, KAC magazines, ERGO grips, LMT's own SOPMOD stock, a Trijicon 6x scope, plus cleaning kits, all in a Pelican case.

What the reviewer really liked is that the British, after identifying a need, came up with a solution as quickly as possible.

http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/support-weapons/18827.aspx

Not only is the semi-auto L129A1 replacing the bolt action L96 of Accuracy International (the rifle from which the Arctic Warfare line was derived),

LMT also beat out Heckler&Koch and Fabrique Nationale Herstal (FNH) in the competition.

Good for LMT. Good for American gunmaking.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 36 weeks ago

Clay
I have never owned an AR but the AR 10 in .338 Federal is starting to generate a little interest for me. One of my buddies has one in a .308 and it shoots quite well for an auto loader. When I hung up my AR when I left Vietnam I said I would never have another one but the AR 10 in .338 Federal just might make me change my mind.
I don't have any use for it . It would just be one of those rifles that is there with no particular purpose.

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from Robert Dawson wrote 3 years 35 weeks ago

In a rare case of intelligent decision making the US Army understood that the M1 Garand was an Infantry weapon. Most other Soldiers carried an M1 Carbine for self defense.

Our Infantry today need a 7.62 NATO rifles and Machine Guns in Afghanistan. The rest of the troops can use the M4 and M16 for self defence.

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from MaxPower wrote 3 years 38 weeks ago

Dave, did you let your grandson edit this piece for you?

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