.308 good for hunting?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by parlaan, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. parlaan

    parlaan Active Member

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    I cannot decide between the .300 winchester magnum and the .308 for hunting. I'm in texas (fairly small deer) and I will be hunting those deer at up to 750 yards (not always that is the farthest possible shot) and elk at farthest ranges of 550 yards. Maybe the occasional moose inside 400 yards.

    .300 winchester magnum pros and cons I know of.

    pros: 1. It retains a fair amount of energy at far distances
    2. Semi wide range of bullet types and sizes

    cons: 1. Recoil makes it a hard gun to practice with and I want to be able to get very good with my gun
    2. I hear it eats up barrels and I am getting a custom rifle with a nice barrel and do not want to worry about every missing a shot because the barrel has been worn down.


    .308 pros and cons I know of

    pros: 1. Immense variety and sizes of bullets and has better over the counter ammo.
    2. Lower recoil than the .300 so I can practice more and get much better at it and make much more accurate shots
    3. has a fairly flat trajectory (better than the 300 win mag)

    cons: 1. This is this is the only one that I know of but it is worth three bad points at least. I do not know if the .308 will kill an elk at 550 yards.

    I just can't decide which caliber to go with. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. BrandonA

    BrandonA Well-Known Member

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    Just by you saying possibility of elk and moose I'd go with the .300. remember you can always put a muzzle brake on your rifle (which it sounds like you're already getting a custom rifle so why not spend the extra couple hundred dollars on something that makes a magnum caliber very enjoyable to shoot?)

    I've personally shot a 600 lbs spike elk with a .308 before and I won't do it again. I killed the animal and pretty quickly yes, but since then i went on a craze of too much gun for any particular animal.

    As for your 300 Win mag con of eating up the barrel not really. You get into some of the more extreme .300's with reloaded ammo and then you might have to start worrying.

    That's just small opinion maybe someone else will chime in with more experience shooting Elk with a .308, it can be done, i just prefer more gun /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  3. metau

    metau Well-Known Member

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    Parlan,
    I have taken elk out to just over 200 yards with my 308, my girlfrinend took hers at 250. The guy I bought it from took a nice 5x5 at 402 yards, his furthest shot with my rifle. He bought another 308 and was moving, so that is how I picked up mine. Talked to him last year and he had taken a mule deer at a little over 600 yards with his new gun.

    Last year, I had a shot opportunity a an elk at about 600 yards, but passed on it because I was uncomfortable with it. So now I have 300 wm on order. I know that the 308 itself could have taken that elk, but neither me nor my rifle could have at that time, in my opinion.

    Since oyu are getting a custom rig, I would say go with the 300wm, and put a brake on it if you are worried about recoil. With what you are hunting, I htink that would fit the bill a little better.

    Jerry
     
  4. parlaan

    parlaan Active Member

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    Thanks a ton guys settles that question
     
  5. LDHunter

    LDHunter Well-Known Member

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    parlaan,

    Welcome to Merka... <grin>

    I think you got some really solid advice.

    The only thing that I'd add is to consider reloading if you're going to go with the 300 Win Mag because ammo cost will eat you up if you shoot a lot.

    I prefer the 300WSM or the 300RSAUM to the 300 Win Mag because they churn out similar ballistics out of short actions and use faster powders and are presumably easier on throats.

    My 300 RSAUM rifles are real sweethearts but unless you reload you'd have a nearly impossible time finding ammo and if you DID find it you'd pay dearly.

    $bob$
     
  6. gvonblohn

    gvonblohn Member

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    I guess I am wondering why you state the 308 has a flatter trajectory than the 300 win mag. JMHO- I would think a like bullet weight pushed faster would equate to a flatter trajectory? I shoot the 308 a lot and it is by far easy and fun to shoot. I would not hesitate to take to Texas and shoot to 300yds easy. It is easy on the shoulder and is superbly accurate with 4064 and Varget. My 15" TC Encore and a 168 SMK or 165 NBT over Varget will kill any deer inside of 400 from a rest. I've killed milk jugs and water bottles farther, but it takes a few shots!
     
  7. parlaan

    parlaan Active Member

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    Okay so a 300 winchester magnum with a muzzle brake. But what muzzle brake?
     
  8. Troutslayer

    Troutslayer Well-Known Member

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    I shoot my .300 a lot with no muzzlebrake. Not saying that I'm some kind of tough guy or anything, just that the recoil is not that bad. I have shot 50 rounds in a session, any more and I'd probably be sore. The reason I don't like a muzzlbrake is the noise and secondly the whirlwind of dust or snow caused by the venting gas. It is something that you can get used to. That said, I also like a .308 but I have never killed an elk with it.
     
  9. gvonblohn

    gvonblohn Member

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    Hey Parlnan, I have a few different rifles in 30 cal with different muzzle brakes. It took me a while to find the one I liked best. I still want to try OTT Fish-gill on a big kicker. I have the Holland Brake on my Rigby, and use Weatherby's accubrake on my 30-378. I almost use exclusively the multi-port brake, cut down to barrel diameter. My 300 with 180's recoils less than my 270 with 140's (no brake). My 15" 308 Encore with it on recoils about like a S&W M19 shooting 357 magnums; not much at all. They are loud and not always recieved well at covered ranges-the 30-378 usually makes people wait between shots. I do have a unbraked Rem 700 SPS in 300 win mag and to me it is brutal, and my 700 in 300 RSAUM kicks about like my '06. I usually pick up one of my 30-338's instead, but they're all fun to wring out.
     
  10. cdmorten

    cdmorten Well-Known Member

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    Buy either one...because you'll be like a lot of guys here who eventually just bought both...it's inevitable. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Actually I might lean towards the 300WM. I like my .308 for the range and for whitetail hunting though. Highly recommend a brake though. It makes the experience much more enjoyable on the big magnums.
     
  11. frequent misser

    frequent misser Well-Known Member

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    I second that. I now have both. A custom 300 short mag and a 308. My 308 started as a howa heavy barreled action and I picked a laminate stock and fit them up. It shoots .25 to .4 at 100 yards. It has been my opinion that the 308 is just one of those catriges that shoots. Here is my advice if you haven't done a ton of longrange shooting. Buy a factory 308 or 7mm/08 and shoot the heck out of it. You will then know exactly what you want for a custom long range hammer. For me, if I did it all over again I would like to play with the 7mm's. Just way better bc over the 30 cals. As for elk, I have never shot one but I can tell you I wouldn't have a problem whacking one at 600 with a 308. That would probably be about the limit though with energy dropping off.