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308 Winchester / Reloading:
Written by: Kim Lockhart, Copyright.

308 Winchester Rifles:
 Rifles chambered in this round have a barrel bore land to land diameter of .300" and a bore groove to groove diameter of .308".

Current bore rifling twist rates are 1 in 10" and 1 in 12".
Browning 308 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 12" Twist.
Remington 308 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 12" Twist.
Ruger 308 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 10" Twist.
Savage 308 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 10" Twist.
Winchester 308 Win. Hunting Rifles - 1 in 12" Twist.

308 Winchester Cartridge:
 The 308 Winchester centerfire rifle cartridge is a .30" caliber, rimless, bottleneck cartridge case design and reloadable.

308 Winchester History:
The very popular 308 Winchester centerfire rifle cartridge was introduced to the public as a civilian sporting cartridge by Winchester in September 1952. Winchester's Model 70 bolt action and Model 88 lever action rifles were then chambered for the cartridge. This cartridge has been used by bench rest NRA high power and metallic silhouette shooters quite successfully in competition, lending well to its accuracy reputation which is in part due to less recoil felt by shooters that the cartridge generates. While much has been written about the 308 Winchester cartridge it truly is a great hunting cartridge and is used as such worldwide. In North America 150 grain bullets are used quite successfully for harvesting all deer species, for the largest deer, such as moose, premium ammunition loaded with 165 grain bullets is a very good choice.

 The most surprising thing with .308 Winchester chambered rifles is most are very accurate and with a barrel length of 22" you still have excellent bullet velocity for a small case capacity cartridge. The 308 Winchester is a very good cartridge for those wanting to make use of a .308" diameter bullet for hunting but not wanting the felt recoil of a 300 Winchester Magnum rifle or 30-06 Springfield. The 308 Winchester recoil is quite tolerable when shooting 125-165 grain weight bullets. With bullet weights of 125 grains, 308 Winchester chambered rifles can be used for predator hunting, 150 grain bullets for smaller deer hunting, 165 grain bullets for larger deer such as moose and elk.


308 Winchester Performance & Comparisons:


243 Winchester vs. 260 Remington vs. 7mm-08 Remington vs. 308 Winchester.
25-06 Remington vs. 270 Winchester vs. 280 Remington vs. 30-06 Springfield.
264 Winchester Magnum vs. 7mm Remington Magnum vs. 300 Winchester Magnum.

308 Winchester Factory Ammunition Ballistics:
The below factory produced ammunition ballistics for the 308 Winchester were recorded from a 8.5 pound 308 Winchester rifle with a 24 inch barrel.
308 Winchester
Cartridge
Manufacturer
Bullet
Weight
Grains
Bullet
Ballistic
Coefficient
Muzzle
Velocity
Fps.
Muzzle
Energy
Ft. lbs.
Recoil
Energy
Ft. lbs.
Hornady 110 .290 3,165 2,447 11.62
Winchester 120 .256 2,850 2,164 11.47
Nosler 125 .366 3,175 2,798 13.97
Cor-Bon 130 .340 3,000 2,598 13.66
Winchester 147 .415 2,800 2,559 14.77
Hornady 150 .415 3,000 2,997 16.75
Hornady 155 .435 2,865 2,825 16.58
Hornady 165 .447 2,840 2,955 17.95
Winchester 168 .474 2,670 2,659 17.05
Federal 170 .284 2,000 1,510 12.12
Federal 175 .505 2,600 2,627 17.64
Hornady 178 .530 2,775 3,043 19.83
Remington 180 .402 2,620 2,743 18.76

External Ballistics:
 External ballistics pertains to bullet velocity, energy and trajectory down-range. Bullet trajectory is the flight path of the bullet relative to some known and fixed points.

Bullet Trajectory And Sighting Plane:
 1. Point blank range when sighting in a rifle is the first point at which the line of sight intersects with the bullets path in the bullets trajectory.
 2. Mid-range rise when sighting in a rifle is the highest point in the bullets trajectory between the point blank range and true zero.
 3. True zero when sighting in a rifle is the second point at which the line of sight intersects with the bullets path in the bullets trajectory.
 4. Maximum point blank range when sighting in a rifle is the height of the mid-range rise and the bullet drop beyond true zero, both are equal in measure.

correct-trajectory-sight-plane
correct-trajectory-sight-plane-scope-view

308 Winchester Rifles:
 Common barrel lengths for the 308 Winchester are;
20, 22", 24" and 26", all of which will show a variance in the ballistics of the 308 Winchester.
 Variables such as riflescope choices, riflescope mounts and properly mounting your riflescope affect the line of sight above the bore centerline, which contribute to ballistic variances as well.
 To achieve maximum accuracy from your 308 Winchester rifle for proper ballistic evaluation you need to, break-in your rifle barrel and then accurately sight-in your rifle.

Rifle Sight Height And Bullet Trajectory:
 To properly sight-in a hunting rifle a person needs to know a little bit about their scope mount height of their rifle as this affects the sight plane that intersects with the bullet's trajectory.
Rifle Sight Height to Bore Center Line:
Open Sights = 1 inch sight height.
Rifle Scope Center Line to Bore Center Line:
Standard 1 Inch Diameter Scope Tube.
Low Scope Mount And Rings = 1.5 inch sight height.
Medium Scope Mount And Rings = 1.8 inch sight height.
High Scope Mount And Rings = 2.0 inch sight height.

Rifle Barrel Length, Bullet Velocity And Energy:
 Bullet velocity readings are generally taken from a rifle barrel length of 24 inches and using the following formula the bullets energy is determined; velocity x velocity x bullet weight = _ divided by 450,340 = bullet kinetic energy in foot pounds. If your rifle barrel length is not 24 inches then you have to recalculate the bullet velocity and bullet energy, bullet velocity deviation by barrel length;
Rifle Barrel Length Shorter Than 24 Inch You Subtract Velocity.
Rifle Barrel Length Longer Than 24 Inch You Add Velocity.
2,500 to 3,000 feet per second advertised velocity, adjust at 20 feet per second per inch from standard of 24 inch rifle barrel.
3,000 to 3,500 feet per second advertised velocity, adjust at 30 feet per second per inch from standard of 24 inch rifle barrel.
3,500 to 4,000 feet per second advertised velocity, adjust at 40 feet per second per inch from standard of 24 inch rifle barrel.

Bullet Ballistic Coefficient:
 The bullet ballistic coefficient, higher B.C.s mean flatter trajectories and higher retained energy down-range on target. A ballistic coefficient is the measure of a bullet's relative ability to overcome air resistance. Each bullet is assigned a numerical value expressing this efficiency. Ballistic coefficient calculations combine both shape and sectional density factors.

Bullet Energy (Terminal Ballistics):
 Before the bullet is down-range and on target, you have to know whether the bullet will have enough energy retention to cleanly harvest the animal. A bullet's kinetic energy is measured in foot pounds, and this is a proxy for what's generally termed stopping-power. The higher a bullet's energy at the point of impact, the greater its stopping-power.

Target Size (External Ballistics):
 Just as important is the size of target that a game animal that your hunting presents to you, typically standing broadside, exposing heart and lung area. Below are several hunting ballistics and sight-in charts for 308 Winchester ammunition that categorize this ammunition to its practical use on various game animals for hunting at various distances.

Moose Size Animals Include: Grizzly Bear, Brown Bear And Moose. These animals are quite large and offer about an eight inch target zone, for a correct rifle sight-in, a four inch mid-range is required for minimum bullet trajectory effect.
For this size animal, I prefer 2,000 foot pounds of bullet energy.

308 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Hornady 308 Win. Superformace 165 Grain.
Bullet Diameter: .308 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 165 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .447.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 4 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle zeroed at 270 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 315 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
2,840
2,636
2,440
2,253
2,074
1,904
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 3.3"
+ 3.4"
- 2.4"
- 15.1"
- 35.8"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
2,955
2,545
2,182
1,860
1,577
1,328
Moose Size Animals:
+
+
+
-
-
-

Elk Size Animals Include: Caribou, Black Bear, Sheep And Elk. These animals can be quite large and offer about an six inch target zone, for a correct rifle sight-in, a three inch mid-range is required for minimum bullet trajectory effect.
For this size animal, I prefer 1,800 foot pounds of bullet energy.

308 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Hornady 308 Win. Superformace 165 Grain.
Bullet Diameter: .308 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 165 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .447.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 3 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle zeroed at 242 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 285 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
2,840
2,636
2,440
2,253
2,074
1,904
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 2.6"
+ 2.0"
- 4.5"
- 17.9"
- 39.3"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
2,955
2,545
2,182
1,860
1,577
1,328
Elk Size Animals:
+
+
+
+
-
-

Deer Size Animals Include: Antelope, Blacktail Deer, Hogs, Javelina, Mule Deer And Whitetail Deer. These animals can be somewhat small at times and offer about an four inch target zone, for a correct rifle sight-in, a two inch mid-range is required for minimum bullet trajectory effect.
For this size animal, I prefer 1,200 foot pounds of bullet energy.

308 Winchester Hunting Ammunition:
Ammuntion: Hornady 308 Win. Superformace 150 Grain.
Bullet Diameter: .308 Inch.
Bullet Weight: 150 Grains.
Bullet Ballistic Coefficient: .415.
Rifle Barrel Length: 24 Inches.
Rifle scope mounted 1.8 inches above bore center-line.
Rifle bullet trajectory set at 2 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle zeroed at 220 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 260 yards.
Note: (FPS. = Feet Per Second.) (IN. = Inches.) (FT. LBS. = Foot Pounds.)
Range
Muzzle
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Bullet Velocity / FPS.:
3,000
2,772
2,556
2,350
2,153
1,966
Bullet Trajectory / IN.:
- 1.8"
+ 1.8"
+ 0.8"
- 5.5"
- 18.1"
- 38.2"
Bullet Energy / FT. LBS.:
2,997
2,559
2,176
1,839
1,543
1,287
Deer Size Animals:
+
+
+
+
+
+


308 Winchester / Reloading:

Rifle & Cartridge Information Sources:
 1. (SAAMI, Rifle Cartridge and Chamber Dimensions)
 2. (SAAMI, Rifle Cartridge, Velocity and Pressure)
 3. (Browning Rifles)
 4. (Remington Rifles)
 5. (Ruger Rifles)
 6. (Savage Rifles)
 7. (Winchester Rifles)
Ammunition & Ballistics Information Sources:
 1. (Black-Hills Ammunition)
 2. (Cor-Bon Ammunition)
 3. (Federal Rifle Ammunition)
 4. (Hornady Rifle Ammunition)
 5. (Norma Rifle Ammunition)
 6. (Nosler Ammunition)
 7. (Remington Rifle Ammunition)
 8. (Winchester Rifle Ammunition)

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The Hunter's Guide To Ballistics:
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