why .308?

hicap223

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
7
Hello all,
Was just wondering if anyone could tell me why the .308 was chosen by so many marksmen / snipers. It would seem to me that a caliber such as the 7mm Rem Mag would give you a much flatter trajectory and increased energy downrange (comparing ballitics coeficients)while still keeping recoil to a minimum, as compared to the .300 Win Mag. or .338 Laupa Any comments?
 

Nicholas

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Dec 15, 2001
Messages
469
I think it is because the 308 win is a universal round used in dozens of military rifles. And ammunition is widely available for it. If a sniper runs out of ammo in the middle of the battlefield he could borrow some rounds from the M60 machinegunner, they may not be as accurate but they will do the job. Also Snipers like to fire tracers during an ambush so the ground soldiers know where to shoot. Another plus for the 308 win is the longer barrel life.

I shoot 308 win. and my brother-in-law loves the 7mm mag but I think he is a real idiot so maybe I am a little biased.
 

hicap223

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2002
Messages
7
Thanks for the input,
I had always wondered about that. Am new to LR but have deer hunted for years with a Win M70 in 7mm Mag. As a result I have loads of once fired brass and figured the if I were to activily pursue this I had better start reloading my own to save money. Just wondering if it might be advantageous, for a starter rifle, to get a Rem M700 in a VS .308 or go with a Sendero 7mm, of which I already have plenty of brass and don't have to start over, plus I'm familiar with the caliber. Any input on that?
 

Nicholas

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Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Messages
469
I think you would be happy with either caliber. Where you have a lot of brass for the 7mm it seems like that would be the logical caliber to go with.

If it were me I would check the ballistics on both calibers with the bullets I was planning on shooting and go from there.

there is a ballistic calculator on this website if you need one.
http://www.lostriverballistic.com
 

Nighthawk

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Mar 2, 2002
Messages
429
Location
Central Minnesota
There is two versions of the .308 Win, the civilan one and the military version. I know this because my neighbor is a sniper for the Navy SEALs.
 

milanuk

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Jan 21, 2002
Messages
843
Location
Wenatchee, WA
About the only difference is the name: .308 Winchester vs. 7.62x51mm NATO. AFAIK they are pretty much interchangeable. Might be some minute differences in the chamber dimensions, but I doubt they are significant; probably more for reliability in full-auto guns. Otherwise, explain to me how you can take once-fired LC arsenal brass for 7.62x51mm (or 5.56x45mm for that matter) and crank out perfectly functional match ammo in .308 Winchester (or .223 Remington).

Just my 2 cents worth,

Monte
 

milanuk

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Jan 21, 2002
Messages
843
Location
Wenatchee, WA
True. IIRC, the NATO chambering is throated for something like 150gr bullets, and most civilian .308s are throated to chamber a wider variety of bullet weights. It is still cut w/ the same *body* reamer, for all intents and purposes, AFAIK.

Saying that because one gun is throated short for one bullet makes it a 7.62x51, while another is throated longer makes it a .308, when they have the same case body doesn't make a whole heck of a lot of sense to me. So we have the .223 Remington, as another 'case' in point (pun intended). Chambered short for 40-55 gr bullets, w/ a slower twist, it is a .223 Rem. Crank the twist up to something like 1-8" or 1-9" and feed it 62gr SS109 bullets, and now it is magically a 5.56x45 NATO and no longer a .223 Rem? So what does it become when you crank the twist up to 1-7" and throat it for 90gr JLK bullets? Guess what? It is still a .223 Remington!!

For most purposes, .308 Win = 7.62x51NATO, and .223 Rem = 5.56x45NATO. The throats are cut slightly differently, but the case bodies, AFAIK, are different. One is the 'old-fashioned' U.S. designation i.e. .308 or .223, and the other is an international metric designation i.e. 7.62 or 5.56mm.

Monte
 

rjf3

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Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Messages
49
Location
Morton, PA.
Magnum rounds are less desirable for snipers due to ease of chambering the round. Belted cases can be harder to operate the bolt on.

In capable hands the .308 is able to shoot sub 1/2" groups at 300 meters. So as a snipers short range (under 800 meters) caliber it is very accurate. Combine this with the availabilty in the field of ammo, and you have a good reason to stick with it.

Russ
 

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