Rifle - Cartridge - Ballistics - Copyright.
308 Winchester
7.62 NATO
Reloading
Hunting & Ballistics

308 Winchester:

 The 308 Winchester, also known as its metric nomenclature; 7.62x51mm, is a .30" caliber, rimless, bottleneck cartridge case design, centerfire rifle cartridge. The 308 Winchester cartridge casing is reloadable after the cartridge has been fired or spent with various combinations of primer, powder and .308" diameter bullets.

Specifications:
Cartridge Specifications:

Bullet Diameter - .308".
Primer Diameter - .210".
Primer Type - Large Rifle.
Case Neck Diameter - .343".
Case Shoulder Diameter - .454".
Case Base Diameter - .471".
Case Rim Diameter - .473".
Min. Case Length - 2.005" / Trimmed.
Max. Case Length - 2.015" / Stretched.
Min. Cartridge Loaded Length - 2.490".
Max. Cartridge Loaded Length - 2.810".
Max. Average Pressure - 62,000 PSI.
Rifle Specifications:

Rifling Twist Rates - 1 in 10" - 1 in 12".
Bore Land Diameter - .300" / 7.62mm.
Bore Groove Diameter - .308" / 7.82mm.

Headspace Go Gauge - 1.6300".
Headspace No Go Gauge - 1.6340".
Headspace Field Gauge - 1.6380".
History:

The very popular 308 Winchester centerfire rifle cartridge was introduced to the public as a civilian sporting cartridge by Winchester in September 1952. Winchesters Model 70 bolt action and Model 88 lever action rifles were then chambered for the commercial 308 Winchester cartridge. Two years later, in 1954, the 308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm cartridge would be adopted by NATO and the cartridge would also be known as the 7.62 NATO cartridge.

 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 offers users rifle recoil that is quite tolerable when shooting 125-165 grain weight bullets.

 The short-rifle-action 308 Winchester rifle cartridge was introduced to the public in 1952, since that time, additional rifle cartridges of different calibers and names have been introduced based on the use of the 308 Winchester cartridge case as the parent case thus creating a family of rifle cartridges with similar case capacity for rifle powder that fit lighter weight, short-action-rifles. All of which offer low recoil and good ballistics:
243 Winchester, .24" Caliber.
260 Remington, .26" Caliber.
7mm-08 Remington, .28" Caliber.
308 Winchester, .30" Caliber.
7.62 NATO, .30" Caliber.
338 Federal, .33" Caliber.
358 Winchester, .35" Caliber.

Uses:

 The 308 Winchester 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.

 The 308 Winchester is beyond any doubt one of the most popular cartridges in the world today. It is chambered in many different rifle and carbine actions; bolt actions, pump actions, lever actions, break actions and semi-auto actions, barrel lengths are available from 16" to 26". Add a good selection of available ammunition from 110 grain home defense type to 165 grain elk and moose hunting type, uses are almost endless for the 308 Winchester.

 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 308 Winchester can be used quite successfully for hunting many species of animals when the correct ammunition is selected, as it offers excellent hunting ballistics.

Moose Size Game Hunting:

Bears
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.
Ammunition Ballistics Selected:
Hornady 308 Winchester Superformace.
Bullet diameter: .308 Inch.
Bullet weight: 165 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .447.
Bullet traj. set at 4 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle barrel length: 24 Inches.
Rifle-scope mounted height: 1.8 inches.
Rifle zeroed at 270 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 315 yards.
/ FPS. = Feet Per Second.
/ FT.LBS. = Foot Pounds.
/ IN. = Inches.
Bullet @ Velocity / FPS. Energy / FT.LBS. Trajectory / IN.
Muzzle 2,840 2,955 - 1.8
100 yds. 2,636 2,545 + 3.3
200 yds. 2,440 2,182 + 3.4
300 yds. 2,253 1,860 - 2.4
400 yds. 2,074 1,577 - 15.1
500 yds. 1,904 1,328 - 35.8
Elk Size Game Hunting:

Caribou
Sheep
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.
Ammunition Ballistics Selected:
Hornady 308 Winchester Superformace.
Bullet diameter: .308 Inch.
Bullet weight: 165 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .447.
Bullet traj. set at 3 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle barrel length: 24 Inches.
Rifle-scope mounted height: 1.8 inches.
Rifle zeroed at 242 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 285 yards.
/ FPS. = Feet Per Second.
/ FT.LBS. = Foot Pounds.
/ IN. = Inches.
Bullet @ Velocity / FPS. Energy / FT.LBS. Trajectory / IN.
Muzzle 2,840 2,955 - 1.8
100 yds. 2,636 2,545 + 2.6
200 yds. 2,440 2,182 + 2.0
300 yds. 2,253 1,860 - 4.5
400 yds. 2,074 1,577 - 17.9
500 yds. 1,904 1,328 - 39.3
Deer Size Game Hunting:

Antelope
Blacktail Deer
Hogs
Javelina
Mule Deer
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.
Ammunition Ballistics Selected:
Hornady 308 Winchester Superformace.
Bullet diameter: .308 Inch.
Bullet weight: 150 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .415.
Bullet traj. set at 2 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle barrel length: 24 Inches.
Rifle-scope mounted height: 1.8 inches.
Rifle zeroed at 220 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 260 yards.
/ FPS. = Feet Per Second.
/ FT.LBS. = Foot Pounds.
/ IN. = Inches.
Bullet @ Velocity / FPS. Energy / FT.LBS. Trajectory / IN.
Muzzle 3,000 2,997 - 1.8
100 yds. 2,772 2,559 + 1.8
200 yds. 2,556 2,176 + 0.8
300 yds. 2,350 1,839 - 5.5
400 yds. 2,153 1,543 - 18.1
500 yds. 1,966 1,287 - 38.2
Predator Hunting:

Bobcat
Cougar
Coyote
 These animals can be somewhat small and offer about an two inch target zone, for a correct rifle sight-in, a one inch mid-range is required for minimum bullet trajectory effect. For this size animal, I prefer 360 foot pounds of bullet energy.
Ammunition Ballistics Selected:
Nosler 308 Winchester.
Bullet diameter: .308 Inch.
Bullet weight: 125 Grains.
Bullet ballistic coefficient: .366.
Bullet traj. set at 1 inch mid-range rise.
Rifle barrel length: 24 Inches.
Rifle-scope mounted height: 1.8 inches.
Rifle zeroed at 185 Yards.
Maximum point blank range is 210 yards.
/ FPS. = Feet Per Second.
/ FT.LBS. = Foot Pounds.
/ IN. = Inches.
Bullet @ Velocity / FPS. Energy / FT.LBS. Trajectory / IN.
Muzzle 3,175 2,798 - 1.8
100 yds. 2,907 2,345 + 0.9
200 yds. 2,655 1,957 -0.5
300 yds. 2,417 1,621 - 6.9
400 yds. 2,191 1,332 - 19.2
500 yds. 1,977 1,085 - 38.8
Ballistics:
Factory Ammunition Ballistics:
Test Rifle Weight - 8.5 Pounds.
Test Rifle Barrel Length - 24 Inches.
FPS. = Feet Per Second.
FT.LBS. = Foot Pounds.
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
 Hunting & Ballistics
Expanded Ballistics Table
Expanded Ballistics Chart
Reloading:

 Handloaders have ample choices for loading their favorite bullet weights for many different tasks. From zombie slayers to woodchuck busters, lightweight bullets of 110 grain to 125 grain do quite well and probably better than most people know.

308 Winchester Load Data:
Winchester Cartridge Case
Case Trimmed Length = 2.005".
Barnes Bullet
Dia. Type Weight S.D. B.C.
.308" TTSX 110 .166 .295
Cartridge Overall Length = 2.700".
Winchester WLR Primer
Accurate 2200 Powder
Powder
Start
Load
Grains
Start
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Powder
Maximum
Load
Grains
Maximum
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Maximum
Load
Pressure
P.S.I.
43.8 3,168 48.7 3,448 61,753
Ballistic Test Barrel Length = 24".
Ballistic Test Barrel Twist Rate = 1 in 12".
308 Winchester Load Data:
Winchester Cartridge Case
Case Trimmed Length = 2.005".
Nosler Bullet
Dia. Type Weight S.D. B.C.
.308" B-Tip 125 .188 .366
Cartridge Overall Length = 2.750".
Winchester WLR Primer
Accurate 2460 Powder
Powder
Start
Load
Grains
Start
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Powder
Maximum
Load
Grains
Maximum
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Maximum
Load
Pressure
P.S.I.
45.3 3,042 50.4 3,302 61,301
Ballistic Test Barrel Length = 24".
Ballistic Test Barrel Twist Rate = 1 in 12".

 For the deer, elk or moose hunter hand-loading or reloading his or her own 308 Winchester ammunition, 150 grain bullets will work fine. For larger animals 165 grain bullets will deliver more energy on target further down-range.

308 Winchester Load Data:
Winchester Cartridge Case
Case Trimmed Length = 2.005".
Hornady Bullet
Dia. Type Weight S.D. B.C.
.308" SST 150 .226 .415
Cartridge Overall Length = 2.735".
Winchester WLR Primer
Accurate 2520 Powder
Powder
Start
Load
Grains
Start
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Powder
Maximum
Load
Grains
Maximum
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Maximum
Load
Pressure
P.S.I.
44.5 2,770 49.4 3,006 61,771
Ballistic Test Barrel Length = 24".
Ballistic Test Barrel Twist Rate = 1 in 12".
308 Winchester Load Data:
Winchester Cartridge Case
Case Trimmed Length = 2.005".
Sierra Bullet
Dia. Type Weight S.D. B.C.
.308" G-K 165 .248 .404
Cartridge Overall Length = 2.810".
Winchester WLR Primer
Accurate 2520 Powder
Powder
Start
Load
Grains
Start
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Powder
Maximum
Load
Grains
Maximum
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Maximum
Load
Pressure
P.S.I.
42.9 2,636 47.7 2,861 61,834
Ballistic Test Barrel Length = 24".
Ballistic Test Barrel Twist Rate = 1 in 12".

 Handloaders of 308 Winchester cartridges have a couple good choices for loading heavier bullets that penetrate quite deep when used on large animals, 180 grain bullets can normally be driven fast enough to make it worth loading them for stopping power.

308 Winchester Load Data:
Winchester Cartridge Case
Case Trimmed Length = 2.005".
Speer Bullet
Dia. Type Weight S.D. B.C.
.308" SP 180 .271 .441
Cartridge Overall Length = 2.800".
Federal 210M Primer
IMR 4064 Powder
Powder
Start
Load
Grains
Start
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Powder
Maximum
Load
Grains
Maximum
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Maximum
Load
Pressure
P.S.I.
40.7 2,445 45.2 2,683 58,200
Ballistic Test Barrel Length = 24".
Ballistic Test Barrel Twist Rate = 1 in 12".
308 Winchester Load Data:
Winchester Cartridge Case
Case Trimmed Length = 2.005".
Hornady Bullet
Dia. Type Weight S.D. B.C.
.308" SST 180 .271 .480
Cartridge Overall Length = 2.740".
Winchester WLR Primer
Accurate 2520 Powder
Powder
Start
Load
Grains
Start
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Powder
Maximum
Load
Grains
Maximum
Load
Velocity
Fps.
Maximum
Load
Pressure
P.S.I.
40.9 2,486 45.5 2,711 61,483
Ballistic Test Barrel Length = 24".
Ballistic Test Barrel Twist Rate = 1 in 12".
Resources And References
Rifles:
Rifling Twist Rates
Rifling Twist Effects
Rifle Barrel Break-In
Rifle Barrel Cryogenics
Rifle Barrel Free-Bore
Rifles:
Rifle Scopes
Rifle Scope Mounts
Rifle Scope Mounting
Rifle Sight-In
Rifle Sight-In For Hunting
Centerfire Rifle Cartridges:
Reloading
Equipment - Procedure
Load Testing
Run-Out
Calculating Kinetic Energy
Centerfire Rifle Cartridges:
Reloading
Case
Primer
Powder
Bullet
Guns Directory:
Firearm Manufacturers
Firearm Wholesalers
Reloading Directoy:
Bullets & Manuals
Powder & Data
Primers & Charts
Guns Directory:
Rifles For Sale
Ammunition For Sale
Reloading Directoy:
Rifle Brass For Sale
Rifle Bullets For Sale
Rifle Dies For Sale