The 308 bolt-action rifle has been enjoyed by hunters and sport shooters for over 60 years, and the title of best 308 rifle has changed constantly over the years. It is well known for being one of the best short-range rifles that you can buy. This rifle has great appeal to hunters, sport shooters and even those in the military, but knowing which rifle can truly be considered the best 308 rifle can allow you to have an even better shooting experience.
What Makes the Best 308 Rifle?
The main focus of the 308 is accuracy at short to mid range. The heavy bullets used by a 308 in conjunction with its high power at that range allows it to not only be great for hunting big game, but also allows it to be great for hunting in areas with a lot of brush. While they can work perfectly fine at longer ranges and military snipers have even been known to practice with them, the heavy bullets and lackluster power at long distances make them less desirable for long range. However, this slight down side can be improved with lighter bullets and longer barrels if you wish to also use it at longer ranges.
The best 308 rifle should had a smooth bolt-action. If it feels stiff or feels like it gets snagged too easily, it can be incredibly frustrating in sport shooting, a huge detriment while hunting and possible dangerous in battle situations or self-defense. If the action is too loose, it could end up moving easily by a mere bump, which can also negatively affect how quickly you shoot. It should be firm enough to stay put on its own while being fluid enough to not be a bother while shooting.
The price range of the best 308 rifle varies widely depending on its usage. The best 308 rifle for hunting or sport shooting should be purchased for about $600 to $1000, but a quality tactical military-grade 308 will likely cost somewhere between $1000 and $1500.
Finally, remember that aesthetics should not be a deciding factor when looking for the best 308 rifle. Liking the appearance of a gun is great, but it’s important to not place looks over performance.
Choosing the best 308 rifle can be complicated, especially when you’re intending to use it for varying purposes. Gun enthusiasts from across the country have tested various 308 rifles in different fields for numerous purposes, and they have found that these rifles are the top choices for the best 308 rifle.
Remington 700 Tactical AAC-SD
A favorite among police and military forces, the Remington 700 AAC-SD is a strong choice for the best 308 rifle in terms of tactical use. Its 20 inch varmint barrel makes it a great choice for close and mid-range shooting, and its accuracy is fantastic. While focusing more on closer range, the Remington 700 AAC-SD remains pretty accurate at longer ranges. Users have noted that they can get some decent shots in as far as 1000 yards.
This model also has an incredible grip on the stock courtesy of the rubber Hogue coating, allowing for easy carrying and operation. The 308 rifle is known for being good with recoil, but the recoil pad on the Remington 700 AAC-SD cushions what recoil there is even more allowing for comfortable and quick shooting. The price range is also nice for those on a budget as you can usually pick up this rifle for prices between $650 and $760.
Some negatives to this gun include the bolt-action not being as smooth as other Remington 308 rifles and the stock’s comb being set a little too low to comfortable rest on your cheek.
For some more views on the Remington, check out this review from GunsWebsites:
Sig Sauer SSG 3000
If there’s any gun that deserves the title of best 308 rifle based on customization and comfort, the Sig Sauer SSG 3000 would be it. While it’s definitely on the more expensive side with prices usually around $1500, there is plenty to enjoy about this rifle. The buttstock has a very thick rubber recoil pad that has a spacer system for easy and quick adjustment on the pull. The cheek piece is adjustable to conform to several shooting styles and stances, and the grip on the stock is textured for a firm hold.
The Sig Sauer SSG 3000 has a medium length barrel at 23 inches, and has tested very well in accuracy with various types of ammo.
While the construction may seem lower quality due to being made from hard plastic, most users still feel that it is a very solid and comfortable design that holds up well to wear and tear as well as moderate abuse.
Some negatives to this rifle include the action as well as the buttons that are used to disengage the cheek piece for adjustment being slightly stiff. The gun is also slightly heavy at 12 pounds.
Kimber Model 84M Classic
Getting into hunting territory, the Kimber Model 84M Classic has a great reputation as being very lightweight and having incredible handling. With its simplistic and rustic design made entirely of walnut and steel, it is one of the strongest contenders for best 308 rifle in the area of hunting.
The Kimber Model 84M Classic has a medium barrel at 22 inches, making it great for the usual range for deer hunting. The light weight also makes it easier to control and easier to carry through the woods. This model also has a one inch thick pachmyr decelerator recoil pad that cushions the recoil with air pockets, improving accuracy and helping the gun maintain its fantastic handling. The trigger can also be adjusted to either 3.5 or 4 pounds.
A few negatives include the price of over $1200, which is a bit much for a hunting rifle. In addition, some people have noted that this truly is just a hunting rifle as its accuracy is a bit off at longer ranges and its design causes it to heat up quickly in tactical or sport shooting situations.
Savage Model 12 F/TR
Another candidate for best 308 rifle in the area of hunting is the Savage Model 12 F/TR. This rifle has several advantages that may help it edge out the competition such as the Target AccuTrigger, which provides an incredibly light pull for quick and accurate shooting. The 30 inch barrel also allows it to provide more carry for the bullet upon firing, making long-distance shots a little easier to make and more accurate.
Though there’s no adjustable cheek piece included, there are pre-drilled holes for a raised cheek piece accessory if you wish to mount one. The bolt is large, allowing for quick and easy loading, and the bolt-action is very fluid.
Some drawbacks of the Savage Model 12 F/TR include the single-shot design, which makes it a bit of an annoyance for hunters. In addition, it seems like the barrel may not be well-suited to work with certain ammo such as neck-sized ammo. The price range is also a bit high at over $1100.
PTR 91 Classic Wood KR
Our final entry is the PTR 91 Classic Wood KR rifle. It has topped the lists of a few gun enthusiasts for best 308 rifle in the area of tactical purposes, and there’s plenty to be excited about. In addition to its beautiful and incredibly comfortable wooden design, there’s also the polymer navy-style grip that makes for easy operation and good handling. The barrel measures out at a short 16 inches making it perfect for close range shooting and some forms of sport shooting. The bolt-action is also very smooth and easy to operate.
The PTR 91 is also noted for its great durability, accuracy and reliability, and is a pretty affordable battle and tactical rifle at prices ranging from $1175 to $1400.
Some negatives of the PTR 91 is that the grip cannot be easily replaced, and the recoil pad isn’t that thick or comfortable. The recoil isn’t that bad, but a good recoil pad is always beneficial.
Finding the best 308 rifle ultimately relies on the shooter. Several of these rifles are meant for tactical purposes, others are more towards hunting and a couple lean more towards sport shooting. When it comes to the 308, the purpose usually changes the design quite a bit. To find the best 308 rifle, you’ll need to take into account its intended purpose, your budget and whether the features appeal to you. Some problems are bigger to some people than others, and some benefits may be better in the eyes of others. In the end, it’s up to the shooter.