The Ultimate Guide to .308 Rifles: Choosing Your Perfect Firearm

Posted by Gunprime Staff on 10/11/23

The Ultimate Guide to .308 Rifles: Choosing Your Perfect Firearm

Are you in the market for a new firearm? If you're considering a .308 Win rifle, you've come to the right place. In this ultimate guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the perfect .308 Win rifle for your needs. Whether you're a seasoned shooter or a beginner, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make an informed decision.

So, what exactly is a .308 Win rifle? The .308 Winchester is a popular rifle caliber known for its versatility and effectiveness in various shooting applications. It offers a great balance between power, accuracy, and recoil, making it a favorite among hunters, target shooters, and tactical enthusiasts alike.

In this guide, we will delve into the different types of .308 Win rifles available. From classic bolt-action rifles to modern semi-automatics, lever-action rifles, and pump-action rifles, we will explore the features and benefits of each type, helping you determine which one suits your preferences and shooting style.

Choosing the perfect .308 Win rifle involves considering several factors. We will discuss how to evaluate the purpose of your firearm, the firepower it offers, the rifle's accuracy, and even its weight and size. By understanding these key elements, you'll be able to narrow down your options and find the ideal rifle that meets your specific requirements.

However, owning a .308 Win rifle also comes with responsibilities. That's why we will provide you with essential tips on how to properly maintain your firearm. Regular cleaning, proper storage, regular inspections for damages, and safe handling practices are crucial to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your rifle.

When it comes to purchasing a .308 Win rifle, we'll guide you through the different options available. Whether you prefer the convenience of online shopping or the hands-on experience of physical stores, we'll weigh the pros and cons of both. Additionally, we'll share tips on finding reputable gun stores and considerations to keep in mind when buying used firearms. Of course, we'll also touch on the legal aspects of firearms purchasing, providing you with the necessary information to navigate this process safely and legally.

So, if you're ready to embark on your journey to find the perfect .308 Win rifle, let's dive into this ultimate guide together. Whether you're an experienced shooter or just starting out, this comprehensive resource will equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to make an informed decision. Get ready to find your perfect firearm and elevate your shooting experience!


In This Article We Discuss





Understanding the Basics: What is a .308 Win Rifle?

A .308 Win rifle, also known as a .308 Winchester rifle, is a firearm that is chambered to fire the .308 Winchester cartridge. It is a widely popular rifle caliber that offers a versatile and effective shooting experience. In this section, we will delve into the basics of .308 Win rifles, including the history, ballistics, and key features that make them a preferred choice for many shooters.

History of the .308 Winchester Cartridge

The .308 Winchester cartridge was introduced in 1952 as a commercial hunting round that was based on the military 7.62x51mm NATO round. It quickly gained popularity due to its effectiveness and versatility in various shooting applications. The .308 Win cartridge has since become one of the most widely used rifle calibers in the world.

Ballistics of the .308 Winchester Cartridge

The .308 Winchester cartridge is known for its excellent ballistics, offering a good balance between power, accuracy, and recoil. It typically fires a .308 caliber bullet with a weight ranging from 150 to 180 grains, although other bullet weights are also available. The muzzle velocity of a .308 Win round can vary depending on the specific load, but it generally ranges from around 2,600 to 2,800 feet per second. The cartridge's effective range can extend up to 800 yards, making it suitable for a wide range of shooting scenarios.

Key Features of .308 Win Rifles

.308 Win rifles come in various designs and configurations, but they share some common features that make them stand out. Here are some key features to look for when considering a .308 Win rifle:

  1. Caliber: As the name suggests, a .308 Win rifle is chambered to fire the .308 Winchester cartridge. This ensures compatibility and optimal performance.
  2. Action Type: .308 Win rifles can be found in different action types, including bolt-action, semi-automatic, lever-action, and pump-action. Each action type offers its own advantages and considerations, so it's important to choose the one that aligns with your shooting style and preferences.
  3. Barrel Length: The barrel length of a .308 Win rifle can vary, typically ranging from 16 to 24 inches. Longer barrels generally provide better accuracy and velocity, but they can be less maneuverable. Consider your shooting needs and intended use when selecting the appropriate barrel length.
  4. Magazine Capacity: The magazine capacity of a .308 Win rifle can vary depending on the specific model and configuration. Some rifles have detachable magazines with capacities ranging from 5 to 20 rounds, while others may have fixed internal magazines with lower capacities. Consider your shooting requirements and local regulations when deciding on magazine capacity.
  5. Stock Type: The stock of a .308 Win rifle plays a crucial role in comfort, stability, and ergonomics. Stocks can be made from various materials like wood, synthetic materials, or even metal. Consider factors such as weight, adjustability, and recoil absorption when choosing the right stock for your needs.

Understanding the basics of .308 Win rifles, including their history, ballistics, and key features, will provide you with a solid foundation as you explore further in this ultimate guide. Now that you have a grasp of what a .308 Win rifle is, let's move on to the next section, where we will dive into the different types of .308 Win rifles available on the market.

Different Types of .308 Win Rifles

Different Types of .308 Win Rifles

When it comes to .308 Win rifles, there are several different types to choose from. Each type has its own unique features and advantages, catering to different shooting preferences and needs. In this section, we will explore the various types of .308 Win rifles available on the market, including bolt-action rifles, semi-automatic rifles, lever-action rifles, and pump-action rifles.

Steyr Arms Scout 308

Bolt-Action Rifles

Bolt-action rifles are known for their reliability, accuracy, and simplicity. They have a manually operated bolt mechanism that requires the shooter to manually cycle the bolt after each shot to load the next round. Bolt-action rifles are favored by many hunters and long-range shooters due to their inherent accuracy and the ability to mount scopes for precise aiming. They typically have a detachable magazine or internal magazine with a capacity of 3 to 5 rounds. Some popular examples of bolt-action .308 Win rifles include the Remington 700, Winchester Model 70, and Ruger American Rifle.

Radical RF-10 308 16

Semi-Automatic Rifles

Semi-automatic rifles, also known as self-loading rifles, are firearms that can automatically load and fire a round with each pull of the trigger until the magazine is empty. They use the energy from the fired round to cycle the action and load the next round into the chamber. Semi-automatic .308 Win rifles offer a faster rate of fire compared to bolt-action rifles, making them suitable for various shooting applications, including target shooting, competition shooting, and tactical use. They typically have detachable magazines with capacities ranging from 10 to 20 rounds. Some popular examples of semi-automatic .308 Win rifles include the AR-10 platform rifles, such as the DPMS LR-308, Smith & Wesson M&P10, and FN SCAR 17S.

Lever-Action Rifles

Lever-action rifles are known for their classic design and smooth lever-operated action. They have a lever located around the trigger guard that, when cycled, moves the bolt to load and eject cartridges. Lever-action rifles have a nostalgic appeal and are often associated with cowboy and Western shooting traditions. While lever-action rifles are not as commonly seen in .308 Win caliber, they can still be found. They typically have a tubular magazine located under the barrel, with a capacity of around 5 to 7 rounds. Popular examples of lever-action .308 Win rifles include the Browning BLR and the Henry Long Ranger

How to Choose the Perfect .308 Win Rifle

Choosing the perfect .308 Win rifle requires careful consideration of various factors. In this section, we will guide you through the essential aspects to keep in mind when selecting a rifle that meets your specific needs and preferences. From determining your purpose for the firearm to evaluating firepower, accuracy, and other important factors, we'll help you make an informed decision.

Consider Your Purpose for the Firearm

Before diving into the specifics of .308 Win rifles, it's important to determine the purpose for which you'll be using the firearm. Are you primarily a hunter, a target shooter, or someone looking for a versatile all-around rifle? Understanding your intended use will help narrow down the options and select a rifle that suits your needs.

For example, if you're a hunter, you may prioritize factors such as accuracy, compactness, and the ability to mount optics. On the other hand, if you're a target shooter, you may focus on features like long-range accuracy, adjustable triggers, and ergonomic stocks.

Evaluate the Firepower

When it comes to firepower, it's important to consider factors such as magazine capacity and the ability to quickly reload. Consider the type of shooting you'll be engaging in and the regulations or restrictions that may apply. Semi-automatic rifles typically offer higher magazine capacities, allowing for more rounds before reloading. Bolt-action rifles, while typically having lower magazine capacities, can still be highly effective and reliable.

Assess the Rifle's Accuracy

Accuracy is a crucial aspect when choosing a .308 Win rifle. Look for rifles with reputations for precision and consistency. Consider features such as barrel quality, barrel length, and the ability to mount optics for enhanced aiming. The trigger quality and adjustability can also impact accuracy, as a crisp and consistent trigger pull allows for better shot placement.

Check the Rifle's Weight and Size

The weight and size of a .308 Win rifle can significantly impact your shooting experience. If you plan on carrying the rifle for long periods or navigating through dense terrain, a lighter and more compact rifle may be preferable. However, if you primarily shoot from a fixed position or require stability for long-range shooting, a heavier rifle with additional features like a longer barrel may be suitable.

Consider factors such as the stock design, barrel length, and overall ergonomics of the rifle to ensure a comfortable and balanced shooting experience.

By evaluating these factors, you can narrow down your options and choose a .308 Win rifle that aligns with your purpose, firepower requirements, accuracy expectations, and physical preferences. Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose the perfect .308 Win rifle, let's move on to the next section, where we will explore essential tips for maintaining your firearm to ensure its longevity and optimal performance.

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Maintaining Your .308 Win Rifle

Proper maintenance is crucial for ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your .308 Win rifle. In this section, we will provide you with essential tips and guidelines for maintaining your firearm. From regular cleaning to proper storage and periodic inspections, these practices will help keep your rifle in top condition.

Regularly Clean Your Rifle


Regular cleaning is essential to remove dirt, debris, and fouling that accumulate during shooting sessions. Here are some key steps to follow when cleaning your .308 Win rifle:

  1. Unload the firearm: Before starting any cleaning procedure, ensure that your rifle is unloaded and the chamber is clear.
  2. Disassemble the rifle: Disassemble the rifle according to the manufacturer's instructions, paying attention to any specific steps or precautions.
  3. Clean the barrel: Use a cleaning rod, patches, and a bore brush to clean the barrel. Apply a solvent specifically designed for firearms and scrub the bore in a back-and-forth motion. Follow up with clean patches until they come out clean.
  4. Clean the action and other components: Use a solvent and a brush to clean the action, bolt, and other components. Pay attention to areas prone to carbon buildup or fouling.
  5. Lubricate moving parts: Apply a thin layer of lubricant to the moving parts of the rifle to ensure smooth operation. Be careful not to over-lubricate, as excess oil can attract dirt and debris.
  6. Reassemble the rifle: Once all the components are clean and dry, reassemble the rifle according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Remember to consult your rifle's manual for any specific cleaning instructions and recommendations.

Properly Store Your Rifle

Proper storage is essential for protecting your .308 Win rifle from damage, theft, and environmental factors. Here are some guidelines for storing your firearm:

  1. Invest in a gun safe: Consider investing in a gun safe to securely store your rifle. Gun safes provide protection from theft, unauthorized access, and environmental elements.
  2. Store ammunition separately: Store your ammunition in a separate location from the firearm, preferably in a locked container.
  3. Control humidity levels: Excessive humidity can cause rust and corrosion. Use dehumidifiers or desiccants in your storage area to control moisture levels.
  4. Use protective cases: When transporting or storing your rifle, use a protective case or sleeve to prevent scratches and other damage.

Check for Damages Regularly


Regularly inspecting your rifle for damages is important to identify any potential issues early on. Here are some aspects to check:

  1. Barrel condition: Inspect the barrel for any signs of damage, corrosion, or erosion. Pay attention to the crown, rifling, and bore.
  2. Stock integrity: Check the stock for cracks, chips, or any other damage that may affect its stability or functionality.
  3. Sight alignment: Ensure that your sights or optics are properly aligned. Check for any loose or damaged components.
  4. Functionality: Test the rifle's action, trigger, and safety mechanisms to ensure they are functioning properly.


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Handle and Use with Care

Proper handling and usage are vital for maintaining your .308 Win rifle. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Follow safety protocols: Always practice safe firearm handling and follow all safety protocols and regulations.
  2. Avoid excessive heat and moisture: Avoid exposing your rifle to extreme heat or moisture, as these can cause damage or corrosion.
  3. Use proper ammunition: Ensure you are using the correct ammunition for your rifle. Using improper ammunition can cause malfunctions or damage.
  4. Store and transport safely: When storing or transporting your rifle, always ensure it is unloaded and secured in a case or safe.

By following these maintenance practices and handling guidelines, you can keep your .308 Win rifle in optimal condition, ensuring its reliable performance and longevity. Now that you have a better understanding of how to maintain your firearm, let's move on to the next section, where we will discuss the different options available for purchasing a .308 Win rifle.


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Where to Buy .308 Win Rifles

When it comes to purchasing a .308 Win rifle, there are several options available. In this section, we will explore different avenues for buying a .308 Win rifle, including online and physical stores. We will also discuss considerations when buying used firearms and touch on the legal aspects of purchasing a firearm.

Online vs Physical Stores

  1. Online Stores: Online retailers provide a convenient way to browse and purchase a wide range of .308 Win rifles. Websites dedicated to firearms sales offer a vast selection, often with competitive prices. However, it's important to ensure that the online store is reputable and follows all legal requirements for firearm sales. Additionally, be mindful of any shipping restrictions or regulations that may apply.
  2. Physical Stores: Brick-and-mortar gun stores provide the advantage of hands-on experience and the opportunity to interact with knowledgeable staff. Visiting a physical store allows you to examine and handle different rifles to get a better feel for their fit and features. Gun stores often have knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance and answer any questions you may have. Additionally, they may offer services such as firearm transfers and assistance with required paperwork.

Reputable Gun Stores

When considering physical gun stores, it's important to find reputable establishments that prioritize safety, customer service, and legal compliance. Look for stores that have a good reputation within the firearms community and have knowledgeable staff who can guide you through the purchasing process. Ask for recommendations from fellow firearms enthusiasts or conduct online research to find reputable gun stores in your area.


Buying Used .308 Win Rifles

If you're considering buying a used .308 Win rifle, there are a few additional factors to consider:

  1. Condition: Carefully inspect the firearm for any signs of damage, wear, or modifications. It's also important to check the bore and overall functionality to ensure it is in good working condition.
  2. History: If possible, inquire about the rifle's history, including the number of rounds fired, any known issues, or previous modifications. This information can give you a better understanding of the rifle's condition and potential concerns.
  3. Trustworthy Sellers: When buying a used firearm, it's important to purchase from a trustworthy and reputable seller. Consider dealing with established gun stores or individuals with a good reputation in the firearms community. It's crucial to follow all legal requirements for purchasing a used firearm, such as completing the necessary background checks or paperwork.

Legal Considerations When Buying a Firearm

Purchasing a .308 Win rifle, like any firearm, involves legal considerations. It's important to familiarize yourself with local, state, and federal laws regarding firearms ownership, purchasing, and possession. Ensure that you meet all legal requirements, including age restrictions, background checks, and any necessary permits or licenses. It's advisable to consult with local authorities or legal professionals to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

By considering these options and factors when purchasing a .308 Win rifle, you can make an informed decision and ensure a legal and safe transaction. Now that you have a better understanding of where to buy a .308 Win rifle, you're equipped to find the perfect firearm for your shooting needs.


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