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C308: First Impressions

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by M5-Shogun, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. M5-Shogun

    M5-Shogun Member

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    I recently purchased a Century Arms C308 from Colonial Shooting Academy in Richmond, VA (I don't live in Richmond, for the record) the other day. I went for a new one on the shelf with wood furniture.

    I've shot many semi-autos. I appreciate lower recoil guns like the AR-15 series, and the pure soviet robustness of an AK-M, or how could I forget the surprisingly modern looking FN FAL? They all had their benefits and drawbacks and I chose, as my first personal semi-auto, a C308. Why? For a variety of reasons:

    1. Century has really improved the tooling compared to the earlier CETMEs they made
    2. In the unlikely event I need to ever use my gun against someone, a 7.62 x 51 round is gonna be a good multipurpose round. Not that 5.56 is a slouch, but it's just not what I'm going for. Nothing against those who use 'em!
    3. It's got good ergonomics, parts are cheap and plentiful, the mags are easy to come by, and mine came with wood furniture so it matches my mausers, mosins, arisaka and my old .22lr plinkers.

    What it came with:

    A manual, and 1 mag. Pretty barebones. How much did I pay? $730. Not bad for me! They had a used FAL on the rack for $1600!

    I got to take it for a test drive right after buying it. I went into their indoor range and shot up 40 rounds through it. Yes, it gets a bit dirty inside.

    How was the accuracy? At 75ft, without sighting it in, using any bracing, no sling etc, I could reliably hit a man-sized target with 38 out of my 40 rounds easy. Once I sight it in, get used to the sights, and get something for the top rail, I think I'll have a decent battle rifle on my hands.

    Do I have any complaints? A few minor ones:

    Very load muzzle blast due to the chevron muzzle brake, but it's quite easy on the recoil compared to some others. About the same as a heavy barrel, metric FAL with the gas system adjusted properly, I'd say. But that was 2-3 years ago when I shot it, so no telling if my memory is serving me right.

    The cocking handle is pretty stiff, even after froglubing the entire action. I suspect this will go away with use.

    Can't reload brass for it. But that's something I already knew. I think if someone was sitting forward and to the right of me it'd absolutely wreck them with a hot brass from the speed they come flying out.

    Do I have any plans?

    I'm thinking of a few accessories. I may also get a suppressor for it (I've owned an NFA machine gun before, so I'm familiar with the process, though I got mine through a trust) just for S&G.

    Overall, really nice gun and I can recommend it to someone who knows what they want in a rifle, knows how to check the bolt gap when buying, and knows what to expect from one.

    I do need to find a good sling/bag, so if you've any recommendations, drop it below! I'll answer questions if I can as well.
     
    LoonWulf and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  2. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    I've been intrigued by these, but I don't shoot enough .308 that I feel like I could justify a semi auto (I barely shoot my bolt .308 due to ammo cost).

    Being realistic, I'd probably end up with an AR-10 in that price range since I'm already familiar with the platform. If they could beat some of the AR-10 prices around now, I'd definitely give them a harder look if I did decide to break down and get a semi auto.
     
  3. az_imuth

    az_imuth Member

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    Congrats on your new rifle! I purchased one about 20 years ago when they first came out. It's one of the early ones with the cast stainless receiver and wood furniture that was built on new parts. This was before Century started grinding the bolts to get the correct headspace. I did gauge mine and it was right where it needed to be. Anyway, your assessment is spot on. The thing is so loud that I have to double up on hearing protection and I also try to get the last lane on the right at outdoor ranges so I don't injure anyone with the flying brass. I have found it to be quite accurate with the iron sights. One word of advice, if you decide to shoot from the prone position one bare ground, make sure you use a blast-proof mat under the muzzle. Me and a couple of other guys shot off of the bare ground one day and it was raining down dirt, grass and small dirt clods the entire time. When we finished we noticed the muzzle blast had dug a small pit in the ground right below the brake.
     
  4. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    You shouldn't have any problem reloading brass that's been fired in a fluted chamber. I used to reload for my HK91.

    Probably a bigger issue will be finding it....and then what the case mouth looks like.
     
    LRDGCO likes this.
  5. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Welcome to the forum, and thanks for the review!

    Not a huge fan of the factory HK charging handles, my first upgrade would be an extended one.

    Pictures, man, we need pictures!:D
     
  6. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    What’s nice about theses rifles is that there’s very little that’s CAI.

    The buttstock/recoil spring and internal components are original CETME surplus.

    The barrel and trigger housing and parts are made by PTR

    CAI has finally made a decent rifle by not making the rifle.
     
    czhen, LRDGCO, Styx and 2 others like this.
  7. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    :rofl: There's a lot of truth there .....:D
     
  8. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Worth the price of admission just for that "Hk slap" manual-of-arms!
     
  9. M5-Shogun

    M5-Shogun Member

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    Sure thing. I'll post some photos when I take it out for shooting next. I don't have an issue with the charging handle other than it being a bit stiff tbh. It's far easier than an AR for me due to CTS in my hands (makes doing the forked claw grip to yank the handle hard for me)

    Thank you for the advice. I've been shooting it standing. I need to get a good sling for it, so on the look out for one.

    Mine has not had the bolt machined, and being a new gun, the bolt gap was exactly what it needed to be. I'm going to buy some replacement parts eventually just in case that happens, but I'm not concerned.

    It's a tradeoff. On one hand, there's no gas system to worry about. It's easy to clean, I just swab out the chamber, wipe the bolt/bolt rails down, and then run a snake through the bore a few times.

    On the other hand, realistically parts are going to be more scarce, it's gonna have fewer accessories, and you're going to have to find a gunsmith who can work the rifle (has to have some experience in roller-blowback guns)

    I'm overall pretty satisfied and would recommend it.
     
  10. Mullo98

    Mullo98 Member

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    Just get a surplus G3 sling. Should work fine. C308s have caught my eye quite a few times more than once
     
  11. Conelrad

    Conelrad Member

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    I'd get A Bill Springfield trigger setup for it, or have him redo yours. HK Parts Inc. has complete packs for sale.

    A spare set of springs is a great idea. So is an HK21 buttpad.

    If you have the bolt head snap back on the carrier whilst out of the gun, don't sweat it. Just pop the whole thing back in backwards...voila: ready to go.

    Conelrad
     
  12. M5-Shogun

    M5-Shogun Member

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    good to know. The trigger is fine for me, but I'm used to these old military triggers. If it gets to be a limiter for my accuracy, I'll contact Bill
     
  13. Browning

    Browning Member

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  14. Styx

    Styx Member

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    You'll enjoy it. I paid $400 for mine after the election. They're $550 now online from multiple venders. Colonial made a $200+ profit, but with the way things are going politically, I suspect the value will increase past what you paid. At $550, I'll probably will put another on layaway. If you're interested in buying another, check Gun.Deals. $550, $20-$25 transfer fee, and no state tax...

    If I were you, I'd focus on stocking up on mags while they're cheap and still plentiful.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  15. M5-Shogun

    M5-Shogun Member

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    I wanted a new gun (all of my current guns prior to this were milsurp, pawn finds, etc.) and they happened to have the right one I wanted (I didn't want synthetic furniture and all of the secondhand ones seem to be synth on Armslist)

    I do plan on getting more mags. 10-15 was my target. I already have 1983 milsurp ammo (800 rounds)

    I plan to get about 5,000 for this eventually, a mix of cheap steelcase and whatever milsurp I can find. Luckily, this is most definitely all non-corrosive.
     
    Styx likes this.
  16. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Do your homework on that one. The design doesn't lend very well to suppression; loud, dirty, and you'll need to change the locking piece & re-headspace for it to run reliably without beating itself to death.
     
  17. M5-Shogun

    M5-Shogun Member

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    Here's some photos of it. Still waiting for my new mags to come in, but I bought a bulk can of steel case x51 from AmmoToGo. I also plan to get some regular surplus non corrosive and stuff, I've found its better to have a few ammo types handy for diversification purposes.

    The optic on it is a cheap red dot I bought on clearance at ChinaMart. At $30, I'm not expecting too much.

    IMG_20190711_184125767.jpg IMG_20190711_184156378.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Holescreek

    Holescreek Member

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    There is no such thing as re-headspacing a Cetme but you are correct on needing a different locking piece. If you screw a suppressor on the end of your Cetme and shoot it with the original 50 degree locking piece in place the recoil will be fierce and the rollers in the bolt head will likely try to deploy when the carrier strikes the buffer a high speed. I have a couple youtube videos on Cetme suppression.
     
  19. M5-Shogun

    M5-Shogun Member

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    I'll ditch that idea then likely, not like I need one tbh. No need to go through that process again.
     
  20. M5-Shogun

    M5-Shogun Member

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    Bump - I took it out for a 60-round shoot today on family property as our local range is expensive and pompous.

    I have about a 50-75 ft area to fire and I was able to tack drive it into an overturned stump just fine, as well as several dead trees.

    The red dot is showing its cheapness, as it keeps vibrating open. Gonna need to tighten it with a screwdriver and maybe a threadlocker to give it a fair shot. But $30, not really expecting much.
     
  21. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    Enjoy your new rifle. Looks like you'll get good service out of it.
     
  22. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    True, not quite the right terminology for CETME/G3, but the result is basically the same if you change the locking piece without paying attention to bolt gap and changing rollers if necessary.
     
  23. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    Congrats on your new rifle and welcome to the forum.
     
  24. Holescreek

    Holescreek Member

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    Headspace is set when the barrel is chambered. The chamber depth is determined by the amount of case sticking out beyond the barrel face. The amount is equal to the depth of the bolt head recess plus .009". This distance keeps the bolt face from hitting the barrel face when there is a cartridge in the chamber.

    The bolt gap is entirely different, it sets the position of the bolt locking lever on the ramp of the bolt head. When the gap is too large, the roller delay will not be sufficient to keep the chamber closed long enough for excess gas to leave the barrel.
     
  25. czhen

    czhen Member

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    You will be happy with your CETME-G3 (CI-PTR) as I am with my PTR so far, aluminum mags are plenty and cheap .
     
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