.308 vs 7mm-08

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Oct 23, 2003
Charlotte, NC
Here we go again ..... silly me, I've decided to buy another rifle. I don't need the overkill of an 06 or 7mm mag, so I've narrowed it down to either a .308 or a 7mm-08.

I see the 7mm is a little bit flatter .... but true to my "anal-ness" I'm trying to see which is the better caliber .... and as usual, I think I'm confusing myself more than I need to ..... any ideas, complaints, compliments, criticisms, or other input on these two cartidges ?

This gun will be used almost exclusively for whitetails between 100 and 200 yards.

Someone please help before I buy both and end up divorced !!!
"Sixawun, half-dozen t'other." :D

Trajectory comparisons are a trivial difference on these two, to 300 yards. And 140-grain vs. 150-grain is unimportant.

The .308 would (IMO) only be superior for heavier bullets on very large deer or elk where I think there could be better penetration.

Since I already have a pet '06, when I wanted a lighter-weight rifle I went with the Rem 700Ti in 7mm08. So far, it's been very accurate, and the recoil from a benchrest is not at all bothersome.

I like the 7mm-08 better, but there's no question that you can get cheaper .308 ammo (milsurp) for practice.

For deer hunting at 100-200 yards, its a toss up. If you reload, there's about as many choices of bullet weights and styles in either caliber. The 308 is easier to find ammo in most of the mom and pop stores in case you have need of buying some away from home.
The 7 does shoot flatter at extended ranges, and the 140 grain 7 has better sectional density (better penetration) than the 150 grain 308-you'd have to step up to the 165 grain 308 to equal it. Having said all that, I've been using a 165 grain 308 for years on white tails and would have no issue about taking the same shots on a mulie or black bear out to 250 yards.
If I still lived in the south and hunted whitetails at distances not exceeding 200 yards, and was picking a caliber from scratch, I probably would opt for the 7mm-08, although I agree that it’s largely a toss up between that and the .308. Although recoil isn’t bad in either caliber, I have downloaded my son’s 7-08 with 120 gr. bullets so that he has good trajectory and energy out to 200, and recoil is barely noticeable in a relatively light rifle.

I can’t think of any reason to buy both unless you just happen to want that divorce!

As you can see, the opinions are fairly split.

Getting both would:

a) Allow me to see for myself which I prefer (no-one here seems to have both)


b) Give me more time in the field .... after, of course, the time spent in the courtroom .....
In our family we have both calibers, but not in the same package, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison, although I do find both to be equally accurate. You said that you did not want to get a .30-06 because it was overkill. A .308 is basically the same as the .30-06, so if the 06 is overkill, the .308 is only slightly less overkill. I started hunting whitetails with a .30-06 then decided, like you, that it was overkill. I then bought a .243 just before they came out with the 7mm-08. When I heard about the 7mm-08, I was upset that I had jumped too soon, but I still hunted with the .243 and 100 grain bullets for a number of years and had no trouble. The 7mm-08 just splits the difference between the .243 and .308. My current carry rifle is a .308, but that’s only because muleys and elk are on the agenda, and I believe that I have more flexibility with the .308 for that application. I wouldn’t hesitate to hunt muleys or elk with my son’s 7mm-08, either, but I would be more particular about the loads that I used.
WYO - you're not helping

Adding the .243 is only going to vcinfuse matters more - as if it's not bad enough !

Actually, on another forum, someone else suggested the same thing.

OK, if I go with the .308 I can add elk and maybe even caribu .... are there advantages to the .243 or 7mm-08 that would include other game animals as well ?

Why can't there be a limited list of rifles like there is for slug-guns ? Options between 20, 16, 12 and 10 would make this easy .....
Just to throw you a curve ball, have you considered a .260 Remington?
Pretty much ballistically identical to the .308 except with extremely high sectional density in bullets 140 gr and up:cool:
When I read a post from someone who wants to buy “another rifle,†I figure it’s someone like most of us here who either owns a few rifles already or is willing to trade up, down or sideways when the fancy suits him. When such a person is going to pop for an elk or caribou hunt, they are not likely to take their “whitetail rifle†anyway, so why make a selection on the basis of a possible dream hunt when you know, deep down inside, that it’s not what you’re going to take. :) For 200 yard whitetail, with a .243, 6mm, 6.5x55, .257 Roberts, .260, 7mm-08, .270, .300 Savage, .308, or .30-06 (God knows what else I forgot), it’s all good. Some people may even say a .30-30 meets the criteria. Hope this narrows down your options. :)
Here's a novel idea for you--buy a T/C Encore rifle in either .308 or 7mm-08, and then just buy whatever barrel catches your eye for a second caliber.
.243, 260Rem or 6.5-08, 7mm-08...they're all stops on the same spectrum. Lighter & faster or bigger & slower...the endless debate.

I guess it boils down to how heavy a bullet you want to shoot, and whether you reload or need cheap commercial ammo. If you don't reload, the .308 will help your wallet with both surplus ammo and lower-cost commercial loads.

If you reload, its back to how heavy a bullet you need to shoot. You'll have more bullet options at 7mm and .30 than at 6mm and 6.5mm, I believe. But there are good choices for a reloader in any of those calibers.
Several years ago I was trying to decide between .308 and 7-08. I found a great deal on a used Rem Model 7 in 7-08 that had barely been shot. I would have been satisfied with either caliber. I know this probably doesn't help, but I honestly think that both are great choices.
"Adding the .243 is only going to vcinfuse matters more - as if it's not bad enough !"

Yep, and the .260 Rem even more so. The 260 Rem actually splits the difference as well or better than the 7-08 between .243 and .308 - well, they both do, anyway. For flexibility with long-range varminting options, get a .260 rem or 7-08. For flexibility for 180-190 gr heavy loads for bigger game, get .308.
Frankly, its hard to find a caliber tha WON'T kill a whitetail at distances less than 200yds. Earlier this year I bought a 7mm-08 for my son and have some "down-loaded" 120g loads made that are very accurage. The rifle is a model-7 Remington so I had to go light to keep the recoil down. I don't yet know how well the load will work on deer but plan on finding out in about 3 weeks.
I've decided

It's going to be the 7mm-08.

Remington, Model 7 SS (synthetic stock, stainless barrel).

Now ..... which scope to top it with ...........

I'm thinking a 3-9x40 or so ...... but what brand ?

Yikes !!!! another fine mess I've gotten myself into !

This is almost as bad as deciding what bow to get .......

My local WallyWorld has the Leupold VX I 3x9x40 fro about $180 plus tax.

Their 2x7x33 is a very practical scope; I've had one on a little Sako .243 for some 20+ years, now...Done in a fair number of coyotes at night.

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