There are different kinds of shooting sports that entice people to invest in firearms. When targets are involved, some of the best firearms that you can buy include .308 rifles. Not only are these heavy-duty weapons but these have also been designed to help with high-performance, precise shooting in ideal or non-ideal conditions.
There are different kinds of rifles available today. One model to consider is called the .308, which can be used not only for target shooting or hunting but other purposes including combat. The .308 was actually developed way back during WWII. It followed the famous M1 Garand rifles used on the battlefield.
The .308 aimed to solve the recoil and warping issues of the M1 Garand while providing shooters with something more lightweight for easy handling and more-controlled aiming and shooting. The .308 also paved the way for the development of better ammunition for this kind of target firearm.
Best .308 Rifles of 2018
Especially for someone who is new to the world of rifles, selecting a particular firearm can be a tedious job indeed. Do understand that there are different kinds of .308 rifles, each serving a particular purpose. They also come at different price points. But to start off your search, take a look at these five .308 rifles, which are considered to be some of the best in today’s market.
Sako A7 Roughneck Range Rifle Review
As the model name states, this is a great rifle to have when you are engaged in long-range shooting. End to end, you have a 46-inch rifle here weighing less than 8 pounds. The base is crafted from aluminum while the stock is fabricated from fiberglass. Not only is it lightweight and ergonomic but highly durable as well.
Measuring in at 26 inches, you have a hammered barrel coated in a matte blue finish. The rifle has been designed with recoil control in mind thereby equipping it with a special energy pad, which serves the purpose of reducing the recoil per shot. This dissipation control method makes shooting a more comfortable experience for all types of level users.
It comes with an adjustable single-stage trigger that users need not break in. The rifle comes with a polymer-based magazine and steel loading collar for efficient reloading. Shooters need not remove the magazine to reload it, unlike other rifles that utilize a more traditional unlock-load-lock process for ammo.
There’s no built-in scope but the rifle can easily accommodate standard scope mounts thanks to its internal receiver. Inside of the firearm is a steel insert made from black nitride. This enhances its durability and performance even more. The special external coating also makes for easy grip and handling even on the onset of rain exposure.
It is a good hunting rifle albeit somewhat heavy. This still may be an ideal option for regular shooters though. Aside from the weight, another con to consider is the rifle’s tendency to rust after prolonged water exposure because of the lack of stainless steel components.
Ruger Precision Rifle Review
One look at this rifle and you know the shooter means business. Unlike other .308s in the market, there is nothing subtle about this firearm. But in this case, it may actually be a good thing. You can expect a ton of features with this weapon. And when it comes to accuracy, this rifle satisfies the need with flying colors.
Unlike other rifles, the threads in this one’s barrel are easily replaceable. Seasoned shooters will appreciate this for a fact. The threads wear out over time and can significantly affect the speed and directionality of the bullet once shot.
The barrel is crafted out of a cold-hammered, reinforced chrome and steel compound for high durability and precision shooting. The front magazine offers additional firing and grip support both on and off the ground. There is also an impact modulator that reduces recoil strength for a more comfortable shooting experience.
The rifle’s undercoating is forged from aerospace-grade aluminum, which doesn’t add a significant amount of weight but significantly increases the weapon’s stability. Add to this additional underlying handguards for extra grip support. Specialized hardened steel has also been used for all bolts in an effort to counteract potential warping.
This rifle has interchangeable magazines and a purposely-oversized handle. The trigger itself is adjustable not to mention extendable, something other rifles don’t offer. It also comes with a sling attachment and rubber-tabbed stands for stability during on-ground usage.
Because this rifle can accommodate different magazines, a potential con is its availability in certain parts of the world that have strict regulations on only allowing 10-round magazines to be used on rifles of this sort.
Remington 700 Tactical AAC-SD Rifle Review
If you don’t want to limit yourself to just hunting then this would be an ideal rifle to consider. The Remington rifle is an all-purpose firearm that carries a distinct 3-steel-ring configuration. This means that it is easier to control the firearm both on (via swivel studs) and off the ground (freehand or via sling).
Fabricated from a carbon steel base, this particular rifle has a clean and sleek design. Unlike other rifles, it sticks true to the traditional rifle design and doesn’t come with a mounted sight; although you can equip it with a scope mount if necessary. The length of the barrel measures in at 20 inches.
You’ll be overly satisfied with the level of accuracy that this rifle can provide thanks to its enhanced pillar bedding. Ergonomically designed, it’ll also provide you with easy and comfortable handling making it an adequate addition to your arsenal.
To prevent any warping, the stock has been treated with matted black over-mould. You can rest assured that you’ll be able to rely on your rifle regardless of the warmth or cold. Firing it is quite easy as well thanks to the customized and adjustable trigger.
Aesthetically-speaking, what you have here is something truly beautiful. Crafted from full-on metal, each rifle has been finished with a matte blue exterior coating. End to end, the rifle measures in at about 40 inches and weighs less than 8 pounds.
All in all, what you have here is an excellent rifle. It is somewhat basic but immensely reliable. If there are any cons that you need to concern yourself with, it is that the over-mould has a tendency of accumulating dust over time.
The barrel is also categorized as free-floating. This means that you might encounter issues relating to the point of impact. If the barrel touches the stock, the point of impact can be affected by a certain degree. And as for the trigger, you need to break it in before achieving the most comfortable setting.
Springfield Armory M1A-A1 Scout Squad Semi-automatic Rifle Review
Similar to the style of weaponry used in the military, what you have here is a squad-style firearm. It is ideal for target shooting because of its power, which easily overcomes those of its predecessors. It is a tad bit heavier at a little less than 9 pounds but is still an excellent rifle to consider especially if you are a mid-experienced shooter.
The barrel is crafted out of carbon steel and measured in at 18 inches and comes complete with six distinct grooves in the chamber. There is a muzzle that has specifically been developed for this firearm and you can use it to balance the recoil energy.
The rifle offers a higher sense of durability thanks to its stock, which is crafted out of black composite material. It is equipped with a double trigger complete with a guard for better safety controls. With this type of trigger, the shooter can practice enhanced precision when aiming and shooting.
It comes with a built-in scope mount and a magazine that’s able to carry 10 rounds of ammo. This is your ideal target or hunting rifle because of its additional components from a .062 front sight to its .0690 rear sight. There are other components that the shooter can use to adjust for wind speed not to mention elevation.
What you have here is considered one of the best rifles for mid to high-experience shooters. And it’s only con is the amount of noise the rifle produces but this can easily be remedied with good old ear plugs.
Savage Arms 16/116 Stainless Steel Bolt-Action Lightweight Hunter Review
This is another precision-shooting rifle that’s worthy of your consideration. The barrel measures in at 20 inches and is crafted from stainless steel making it an ideal rifle to use in areas where regular to heavy rainfall is an issue. The trigger is adjustable and the stock has been coated with a matte black synthetic material for added protection even under exposure to extreme cold or humidity.
Equipped with a standard recoil pad, it is able to improve the shooter’s comfort when the rifle is in use. It also comes with a detachable and easily-reloadable magazine. This is an excellent starter rifle given its basic features but its best feature is its weight, which is less than 6 pounds, making it one of the lightest .308s available today.
It is easy to carry, durable, and able to stand a variety of weather conditions making it an ideal hunting rifle. You might encounter an issue with the stock flexing on certain occasions but that is really the only con that you have to worry about when it comes to this particular rifle.
Your .308 Rifle Buying Guide
Points of Consideration
When it comes to the .308, do consider several factors as you go shopping for a unit or two. Here are some of the things that you should consider before settling on a certain make or model. When it comes to .308 rifles, brand names matter but they should not be the primary component used in deciding over which particular rifle to invest in.
What will you be using the rifle for? Is it for long-range shooting, hunting, or other needs? Identify this early on and you’ll easily narrow down your options whilst you shop for firearms.
How much do you have in your budget? Keep in mind that you need to spend not only on the rifle itself but other components such as the scope (if there is no built-in scope), ammunition, and other important add-ons.
How long is the barrel? What material was used to make the gun? Does it have stainless steel components? How heavy is it? These are just some of the questions in relation to specs that you need to assess. All of this matter because if you cannot lift the rifle properly then you won’t be able to use it. If you also need specific components that it doesn’t come with, this might mean more additional expenses on your part.
Depending on how great of a shooter you are and how you plan on aiming and shooting your weapon, you should think about the scope component on your rifle. Some come with scopes while others come without them. You’ll find rifles with mounts and those without them as well.
Freehand, sling, or stands? How do you plan on using your rifle? Some come with stands and others with sling attachments. And then there are those rifles that have been made distinctly for freehand operation.
How To Maintain Your .308 Rifle
It is a must that you maintain any type of firearm in your arsenal. This doesn’t only ensure longevity but it also helps prevent misfires that can end in injury or something even worse. Maintenance doesn’t only revolve around physical cleaning but also checking to see that you are utilizing the right ammo per gun, or in this case, rifle.
As for the cleaning part, you can use specific solvents or lubricants (ask your gunsmith for the best recommendation). By scrubbing the bore of the weapon, you are not only cleaning out any dust or dirt buildup but also cleaning the copper filings and gunpowder residue within the chamber. The best practice is to clean the bore right after every use.
If you need professional assistance, you can simply bring your rifle into your gunsmith’s store for a thorough cleaning. But if you plan on cleaning your .308, follow these simple guidelines to be safe:
- Remove all ammunition from the rifle prior to cleaning. Ammo doesn’t have to be cleaned for one. Next, having ammunition in the magazine or the rifle’s chamber is dangerous. You never know when you might accidentally tug on the trigger.
- Point the rifle away from yourself or any person. The golden rule is to always assume that a firearm is loaded. So even after you’ve removed the ammunition prior to cleaning, never be overconfident and point the gun towards yourself. Even if you lay it on a table, make sure that the barrel is pointing away from you or any other individual.
- Always start with a clean brush; scrub, don’t over-scrub. If you don’t use a clean brush, you’ll end up adding to the dirt that needs to be cleaned off of the rifle. And when you over-scrub, you might end up damaging some parts of your rifle. Gentle scrubbing is all it needs. If there’s a buildup of grime, this means that you might need to soak the specific part in the solvent before re-scrubbing.
- Only use solvent on the bore to avoid damaging the other parts of your rifle. Parts like the stock should not, by any means, be exposed to the solvent or else it will ruin the material.
- If you need to soak something, use the 15-minute rule. Any longer and it will damage the rifle’s parts. Usually, soaking is done on parts that have a heavy buildup of grime. It makes scrubbing later on much easier.
- Make sure to clean off all agents and allow the rifle to dry completely before use. If you don’t, the heat from the firepower can ignite the flammable solvents and cause the rifle to literally blow up in your hand.
Final Say on .308 Rifles
There are plenty of excellent rifles available in the market today. If you are keen on hunting, you’ll find .308s to be the ideal options. Although these have been made for long-distance target shooting, there are some variations that can be used to satisfy other, more basic firearm purposes.
Aside from the make and model, these differ by specs, price range, and their affinity to certain shooter levels. It is a good idea to conduct ample research and consult a professional gunsmith before making any purchases.
And of course, you also have to think about other costs when you decide to purchase a rifle. It needs ammo, some may call for other additional equipment, and then there is the subject of maintenance.
Above are some of the best rifles in the market today. Hopefully, this buying guide will able to help you narrow down your options when it comes to .308 rifles.