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Effective range of a .308?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BigBlueEyedDevil, Oct 29, 2004.

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  1. BigBlueEyedDevil

    BigBlueEyedDevil Member

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    I'm looking to get a long range target/hunting rifle for christmas.

    I'm looking at the Remington 700 and the Savage 10FP.

    I'm just curious what the range of a .308 is. I ask this because I am also considering getting the rifle in .223.

    I don't know what I will be hunting so it's hard to say. I'd like to use it for elk, deer, coyote, couger, etc. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Mute

    Mute Member

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    If the rifle shoots well, you should be able to get to 900-1000 yards with 175 grain loads.
     
  3. patent

    patent Member

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    Depending on what your target is, of course. It probably doesn't need to be said, but I don't know anyone who would shoot a deer at long range.

    Also, if you want to shoot at those ranges, you will need a scope with very good optics, and a scope base that's made for long range shooting.

    patent
     
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    'long range' means different things to different people.

    match shooters punch holes in paper at 1000 yrds with .223 and .308, however the effective range of the .223 will be much shorter than the .308.

    i don't think i'd shoot an elk at any range with a .223 (except in self-defense, of course)
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    With either cartridge, if you plan to shoot IN THE FIELD, at any range beyond 300 yards, the effectiveness depends more on the shooter than on the cartridge.

    If you plan to shoot varmits, the .223 is the better choice. If you plan to shoot deer, antelope, or elk, the .308 is far and away the better choice.

    If you plan to shoot high-power rifle matches -- go to a match or two first. See what the winners shoot and talk to them.
     
  6. ocabj

    ocabj Member

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    I agree. I think 300 yards is probably the maximum effective distance of actually downing medium sized game with a .308 Winchester. As far as targets are concerned, a .308W can punch holes effectively to 800-1000 yards; you don't need a lot of ft/lbs in the bullet's energy to put a hole in paper.
     
  7. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    "It probably doesn't need to be said, but I don't know anyone who would shoot a deer at long range."

    Well, I heard John Kerry say that he likes to hunt deer. He takes his trusty double-barrel pump .308, crawls around through the woods, stalking the deer. He got a big one years ago, maybe a 10-12 pointer, yeah. He made the shot at about, I dunno, about 800-900 yards. It reminded him of how he got 3 Purple Hearts in Viet Nam. Did he mention he was in Viet Nam?
     
  8. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    The rifle will shoot flat enough that you won't have to make any elevation changes till 300+ yards, but after that, the bullet drops more and more and your range estimation becomes critical if you need to hit a 10" circle. Your ability to hit that circle will also depend more and more on your ability to estimate and compensate for the wind.

    The max range that you can consistantly score hits on the kill zone of an animal will not be limited by your cartridge choice (as long as we stay in the realm of modern cartridges). The shooter is almost always the weakest link.

    FWIW, I wouldn't take a shot hunting past 300yds. Only take a shot that you are positive is going to be effective.

    Ty
     
  9. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    A standard non-fancy, non-tricked out, run of the mill .308 using standard, run of the mill 150 grain soft point ammunition will be effective on medium to large game animals out to 500 meters.
    A caliber .223, run of the mill, rifle using standard, run of the mill, 55 grain soft point ammunition will effectively and humanely kill game animals to the size of small deer out to 300 meters.
    My simple explination without going into great detail on how, if you do this or how, if you use this specialized ammunition blah, blah.
     
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    A standard non-fancy, non-tricked out, run of the mill .308 using standard, run of the mill 150 grain soft point ammunition will be effective on medium to large game animals out to 500 meters.
    ----------------------------------

    Only in the hands of an extrarodinary rifleman. Even very good shots aren't justified in taking a shot much over 300 yards.
     
  11. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    No offense, but - in a pigs eye, it will.. :scrutiny:
     
  12. patent

    patent Member

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    I did not know that. What a guy!
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Well, I heard John Kerry say that he likes to hunt deer. He takes his trusty double-barrel pump .308, crawls around through the woods, stalking the deer.
    ----------------------------------

    That the same trusty double-barrel pump .308 he used for goose hunting?
     
  14. ALS

    ALS Member

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    Yes a .308 will easily go 1000 yards, keep sub MOA accuracy while staying supersonic. As others have said hunting I wouldn't go over 300 to 400 yards for something such as a deer. If the target was stationary and I was shooting off the ground prone or off a stable bench I may go 500 with the right gun that has logged several hundred rounds through it and know what the real accuracy of that gun is at various distances. With my Deer rifle a Rem 700 BDL in 3006 with a light sporter barrel I would never even think about taking a shot past 250 yards. I wonder how many hunters really know where his or her COLD bore shot is really hitting.
     
  15. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    well, with typical 5-10 MOA hunting ammo, nobody knows where any of their shots are going, cold bore or no.
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    well, with typical 5-10 MOA hunting ammo, nobody knows where any of their shots are going, cold bore or no.
    ---------------------------------

    Typical? I can easily beat 3 MOA with factory ammo in an iron-sighted Winchester Model 94.
     
  17. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Agree w/most of the advice you have received. The 308 would be a much better choice if you plan to use on deer sized game and up. The 223 is absolutely not suitable for elk and is illegal for deer in many locations if I am not mistaken.

    The 10 FP, while not a thing of beauty, is a great shooting rifle. Just got one in 223 for coyote hunting. It shoots everything into an inch @ 100 yds. out of the box. Using WW factory 53 gr. HP ammo have shot two 5/8" 100 yd groups. Haven't had time to work up a handload for it yet. I'm sure the 308 will do as well and the three position safety on the Savage makes for a safer rifle IMHO (even if it isn't located on the bolt ;) ).

    The only fault I can find w/the 10FP is that it does not carry well on the sling due to the heavy barrel. You can improve that a bit by using the front sling stud rather than the back one, but it still tends to kick the butt forward on the sling.

    Regards,
    hps
     
  18. artherd

    artherd member

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    More of the same, either will effectively be a laserbeam out to 300yds or so.


    I would not use .223 on anything larger than deer.

    And frankly I think .308 is undersized for Elk except at 100yardsd or closer possibly (and at that with Barnes X or other superpremium killer 2000 BONDED ammo.)
     
  19. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    wow. Even WOLF shoots better than that out of my buddies SKS...
     
  20. 71Commander

    71Commander Member

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    Wow! Ya don't say.:neener: I didn't know that.
     
  21. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    Agreed. Most quality factory hunting ammo from Remington/Federal/Winchester etc. is very accurate in my experience.
     
  22. Jmurman

    Jmurman Member

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    I made the decision to go with the 700bdl in 30.06. The difference between .06 and .308 isnt much balistically. I scoped mine with a Nikon 3X9 with low Leupold mounts and really like this set up.

    I found that mine really likes Federal Premium Gold in the 165gr SPBT. At 400 yds I regularly shoot 8" groups. this translates to 2" MOA for a bone stock bdl.

    I would feel comfortable hunting anything in the lower 48 with this set up.
     
  23. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    Good shooting. :D

    Now, go get yourself a basic reloading setup. After a little trial and error, with the right hand loads you should be able to bring those groups down and inch or two.
     
  24. gaston_45

    gaston_45 Member

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    Well, two elk say that .308 150 grain nosler ballistic tips are good out to 510 and 488 yards. There is plenty of energy at those ranges and even a hundred or so more. You just have to do your part and get the bullet where it needs to go.

    .223 is waaaaaayyyyy too light for elk unless you are planning on walking up to 20 yards or less and shooting it in the head or neck, not something I would recommend as at that distance the cows of the herd will take you as a threat and try their best to trample you into a muddy smear.

    Either caliber is good for small stuff like coyote. The furthest I have gotten a coyote with a .308 was 468 yards, got two rounds into him before he stopped, I would not recommend 165 grain soft points for coyote, they tend to go right through. If you want one caliber for everything you can't go wrong with the .308, just use the right bullet for the job.

    Oh, the cougar?? Do a search on here for courgar shot in town, there was a california town that had a cougar in a tree. I think a few members of this forum were making fun of the officer for using a .223, took around four or five shots to down it in a tree. That's a range of what, 10 or less yards?

    From your list the 308 is much better suited for your potential uses.

    Dang it! Looks like you made your decision while I was typing!
    Good luck with it!
     
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