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308 Winchester / History:
Centerfire Rifle Cartridges
Written by: Kim Lockhart, Copyright.

308 Winchester:
The 308 Winchester is a very popular .30" caliber, bottleneck centerfire rifle cartridge design that 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. My own personal favorite bullet weight is 150 grains as it does offer milder recoil with a lot of down range energy for any animal walking in the woods of North America including, elk and moose.

 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 grain 308 Winchester chambered rifles can be used for predator hunting, 150 grain bullets for deer hunting and 165 grain bullets for moose and elk hunting.

 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. While there is a trend to do more with less in ammunition manufacturing, Hornady and Nosler lead this field offering some of the best ammunition going to date for 308 Winchester rifle users, excellent velocity and down-range performance coupled with excellent accuracy as well.

 To achieve maximum accuracy from your 308 Winchester rifle there are several things you need to do correctly that will help increase your rifles overall accuracy capabilities.
First: Properly mount your riflescope.
Second: Properly break-in your rifle barrel.
Third: Properly sight-in your rifle.
Fourth: Properly clean your rifles bore.
 To accurately calculate ballistics for your rifle with ballistics programs you need to measure your rifles scope mounted height.


308 Winchester / Hunting Applications:

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.
 These are down range trajectory charts for the 308 Winchester cartridge with the scope mounted 1.8 inches above the bore center line plus if you were using these loads, their effective hunting bullet energy range with well placed shots on;
Predators: Such As, Bobcat, Cougar And Coyote.
Deer Size Game: Such As, Antelope, Blacktail Deer, Hogs, Javelina, Mule Deer And Whitetail Deer.
Elk Size Game: Such As, Caribou, Black Bear, Sheep And Elk.
Moose Size Game: Such As, Brown Bear And Moose.
Good Predator Hunting Load:
308 Winchester rifle cartridge manufacturer: Nosler.
Bullet weight: 125 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .366.
Bullet muzzle velocity: 3,175 Feet Per Second.
Bullet muzzle energy: 2,798 Foot Pounds.
Bullet trajectory is set at 1 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 185 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 212 yards.
125 Grain Bullet
Down Range
At 100
Yards
At 200
Yards
At 300
Yards
At 400
Yards
At 500
Yards
Trajectory in Inches: + 0.9 - 0.5 - 6.9 - 19.2 - 38.8
Energy in Foot Pounds: 2,345 1,957 1,621 1,332 1,085
Predator Effectiveness: + + + + +
Good Deer Hunting Reload:
308 Winchester rifle cartridge manufacturer: Handload.
Bullet weight: 150 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .415.
Bullet muzzle velocity: 3,006 Feet Per Second.
Bullet muzzle energy: 3,009 Foot Pounds.
Bullet trajectory is set at 2 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 220 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 258 yards.
150 Grain Bullet
Down Range
At 100
Yards
At 200
Yards
At 300
Yards
At 400
Yards
At 500
Yards
Trajectory in Inches: + 1.8 + 0.8 - 5.5 - 18.0 - 38.1
Energy in Foot Pounds: 2,570 2,185 1,847 1,550 1,293
Deer Effectiveness + + + + +
Good Deer Hunting Load:
308 Winchester rifle cartridge manufacturer: Nosler.
Bullet weight: 125 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .366.
Bullet muzzle velocity: 3,175 Feet Per Second.
Bullet muzzle energy: 2,798 Foot Pounds.
Bullet trajectory is set at 2 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 230 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 262 yards.
125 Grain Bullet
Down Range
At 100
Yards
At 200
Yards
At 300
Yards
At 400
Yards
At 500
Yards
Trajectory in Inches: + 1.7 + 1.1 - 4.5 - 16.0 - 34.8
Energy in Foot Pounds: 2,345 1,957 1,621 1,332 1,085
Deer Effectiveness + + + + -
Good Elk Hunting Load:
308 Winchester rifle cartridge manufacturer: Hornady.
Bullet weight: 150 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .415.
Bullet muzzle velocity: 3,000 Feet Per Second.
Bullet muzzle energy: 2,997 Foot Pounds.
Bullet trajectory is set at 3 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 252 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 292 yards.
150 Grain Bullet
Down Range
At 100
Yards
At 200
Yards
At 300
Yards
At 400
Yards
At 500
Yards
Trajectory in Inches: + 2.5 + 2.2 - 3.3 - 15.2 - 34.7
Energy in Foot Pounds: 2,559 2,176 1,839 1,543 1,287
Elk Effectiveness: + + + - -
Good Moose and Large Bear Hunting Load:
308 Winchester rifle cartridge manufacturer: Hornady.
Bullet weight: 165 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .447.
Bullet muzzle velocity: 2,840 Feet Per Second.
Bullet muzzle energy: 2,955 Foot Pounds.
Bullet trajectory is set at 4 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle true zero is 270 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 315 yards.
165 Grain Bullet
Down Range
At 100
Yards
At 200
Yards
At 300
Yards
At 400
Yards
At 500
Yards
Trajectory in Inches: + 3.3 + 3.4 - 2.4 - 15.1 - 35.8
Energy in Foot Pounds: 2,545 2,182 1,860 1,577 1,328
Moose Effectiveness: + + - - -

308 Winchester / Specifications:
Rifle:
Barrel Length - 24".
Bore Twist Rate - 1 in 12" and 1 in 10".
Bore Groove Diameter - .308".
Cartridge:
Bullet Diameter - .308".
Primer Size - Large Rifle.
Case Neck Diameter - .343".
Case Shoulder Diameter - .454".
Case Base Diameter - .470".
Case Rim Diameter - .473".
Maximum Case Length - 2.015".
Trimmed Case Length - 2.005".
Maximum Overall Length - 2.800".
Ammunition:
308 Winchester
Cartridge
Manufacturer
Bullet
Weight
Grains
Bullet
Ballistic
Coefficient
Bullet
Muzzle
Velocity
Fps.
Bullet
Muzzle
Energy
Ft. lbs.
8.5 lb. Rifle,
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

Rifle Ballistics:
.30" Caliber
7.62x51mm NATO
30-30 Win.
308 Win.
30-06 Sprg.
300 Win. Mag.
300 WSM
300 Wby. Mag.

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