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Why do snipers use .308 with so many other options??? What is best re

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Unread 03-25-2007, 05:17 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas born and raised
Posts: 752
Re: Why do snipers use .308 with so many other options??? What is best


Most of the mil -vs- civil areas have been covered. So here is my take on picking a round for purchase.

I grew up under a man who used a mil-surp 03A3 for 98% of all his hunting. He knew the loads inside and out and often shot things at ranges, that one thought would never be possible. His primiary ammo consisted not of carefully tuned handloads, but of Milsurp Ball ammo which he pulled the bullet neck sized and replaced with a Sierra 150gr flat based spitzer. This load shot at around 1.5" at 200yds from his old rifle. No telling how many rounds have ben down the tube but it will still shoot under 3/4" with handloads easily.

For me I choose a round based on the end purpose of the rifle. I shoot and hunt various places either flat and wide open, or thick underbrush. Both require one thing, precise shot placement. This leads me into weather I will be shooting a lot of rounds or a few. With the wide open areas I can use somewhat heavier recoiling rounds that can ustilize the heavier for caliber bullets as this sort of shooting. Most of the things I shoot are feral hogs and the occaisional white tail. On the hogs you need something that will dump a load of energy when it gets there. So I generally prefer things in the 6.5 or up catagory. Then I taylor the load to the rifle. IF it is going to be a factory round rifle I look at the cost of the bullets and let that be a factor in the decision. Some calibers are way cheaper to shoot than others, but then again, it also depends on the use of the rifle.

I have never actually considered shooting out a barrel but once in my lifetime, and that was when I ordered my .270 AM. However this is a specialized choice for a caliber and rifle. I had not planned to sit out and shoot it on a continued basis like I do my .308. As for the .308, it is a Ruger Compact and weighs 6.5 pounds field ready. WHy use it and not one of the several 30-06's I already had? I picked it up specifically for the underbrush and knocking hogs down up close and personal. The 1.5x6 scope has served me well and it has accounted for many kills including several made by folks who have never hunted before. My grandson is now shooting it with reduced loads and getting groups close to 1". I have shot handloads through it, but the primiary round of choice is standard Remington 150gr CL's. They are cheap and do their job well. I have dropped hogs out to 450 yds with this little rifle and been very happy with it. THe 06's to me are great caliber rifles, and I have used them for mostly mid range deer hunting. I have loads for them that shoot closer than I can hold under most conditions and I do drag them out on occaision to head to the woods. For the most part though, they were my pops and have more centimental value to me than anything.

For the wide open areas my go to choice used to be my .25-06, or my Sendero in 7 mag. Either of these would shoot very flat, had tolerable recoil, and were very acurate. The 7 mag shot a 162 gr load and hit with pleanty of energy out to as far as I could shoot it. As for prone shooting any of these, all are tolerable for a certian number of rounds, but the .308 is much more punishing than the 7 mag just due to the weight factor. Extended shooting has not been an issue with them as I only shoot when I need to or at the range. I generally work up one load for the intended use and stick with it. This way I need only load and shoot. I learn the drops and go on a happy camper. If I need something with more or less horse power, I reach for a different caliber. I shoot heavy for caliber bullets in just about all the calibers I have. They aren't all necessarily long range, or high volume shooters, but they will all do what I need done when I pick the target.

As has been mentioned you already have a great caliber that will shoot quite a while and can be very accurate with several bullet weights and makes. I just purchased a STW and so far am only shooting factory rounds through it. I will be working up some loads for it soon using one of the 160'ish weight bullets. I am hopeful that it will shoot as well or better than the other I have and I will be happy with it. IF not I will send it off for a new barrel in a .300 RUM. I don't need one but figure that I already have the other calibers covered so why not.

Bottom line is that there will always be something that will have an advantage over something else in one way or another. You are the pivital vote in deciding which of those advantages are important. Nothing will last forever so pick you out something that will do what you want to do in the caliber you like and get to it.
Mike / Tx

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"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"
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Unread 04-06-2007, 03:27 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Nut Bush
Posts: 52
Re: Why do snipers use .308 with so many other options??? What is best re

if you have a 7mm,you either need a 204 or a 375,you got everything else covered.

as for the military,I`m just thankfull that we got people that know how to shoot whatever they got..
the jokes on you,your the friend of a fool
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Unread 04-13-2007, 09:49 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Re: Why do snipers use .308 with so many other options??? What is best re

A few other considerations, the 6.5 rounds have great long range ballistics, but most who use them do so with barrels that are at least 26 inches and often 28 inches or more in length. A soldier does not want to be carrying around such an awkward rifle, much less have to shoot it from a field position. Muzzle flash is more likely to be an issue with many of these other choices, and these folks aren't on a one way range. The clean cold bore shot is the one that counts, and the 308 is good in that regard, some other calibers may not be. For law enforcement snipers, most shots are taken at fairly close range and over penetration is a real concern. The 308 can be counted on to do the job without undue risk of over penetration. Not so for a 6.5 x 284, 300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua etc. The 308 lends itself to reliable feeding, and many other cartridges don't. A sniper will shoot their rifle in all types of environments and weather, a 308 is more forgiving if there is a bit of water in the chamber than a round like a 6.5 x 284. Regarding the 6.5 x 284, it has a rebated rim which can make it especially finicky when it comes to feeding.

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