These are the best rifles on the market in .308 Winchester.
When it comes to rifle rounds, the .308 Winchester is often one of the more controversial ones. There is a lot of confusion out there because this round was later developed into 7.62x51 NATO that is now almost the standard for military weapons the world over. There is argument there whether these rounds are one and the same or not. We will save that for another day.
Today we are focusing exclusively on the .308 Winchester. This short action rifle cartridge can produce speeds of nearly 2,800 feet per second in most guns. While this round is not exactly meant for long range shooting, this is a great, fast cycling round for self-defense or big-game hunting purposes. It excels in AR-style platforms on problem animals like feral hogs, but it has been used to harvest almost every North American big game species out there. That includes animals like black bears and elk.
Another great thing about this round is that ammo is available practically anywhere. While this round may seem dated to some, it is a proven workhorse. Here are some of our top picks for the best .308 Winchester rifles on the market today for hunting, defense or just fun at the target shooting range.
Browning X-Bolt Max
This rifle is of a slightly newer design, but it has taken off as a precision bolt action rifle in a variety of calibers. This one features an adjustable comb and length of pull spacers to fit the firearm perfectly to your frame. The stainless steel, fluted barrel length is 26 inches. This gun has a muzzle brake with threads for a suppressor straight out of the box. It also has studs for a bipod and has a magazine capacity of four rounds, but you will likely only need one. This gun would excel on big game in extremely open country where long shots are not just an option, but a necessity. This gun gets high marks from users for its accuracy and crisp alloy trigger. The rifle is pre-drilled and tapped for you to mount the optic of your choice.
Savage MSR 10 Hunter
For people who want a centerfire semi-automatic rifle with stopping power, the MSR 10 is a perfect fit. This AR-10 sporting rifle features a free-floating forend with M-LOK handguards for attaching accessories. The 16.12-inch barrel is made of carbon steel and has a 1:10 rate of twist. The receiver is made of 7075 aluminum. The two-stage trigger provides for a crisp pull every time. The six-position AXIOM carbine stock lets you quickly adjust this firearm to fit any shooter. The firearm has a matte black hard coat anodized/melonite finish for durability walking through the brush. This would be a great hog hunting gun. You get the speed of shooting that is comparable with smaller calibers combined with the increased stopping power behind the heavier bullet weight that a .308 Winchester ammunition provides. Get ready to get shots on the entire sounder of hogs thanks to the Savage's magazine that offers a generous 20+1 capacity.
For hunters who have a major backcountry hunt planned for elk, bighorn sheep or mountain goat, you need a rifle that is light and easy to handle. The Winchester fits the bill at just 6 pounds, 12 ounces and an overall length of just 39 ¼ inches. This gun has a 22-inch barrel length finished with a gray perma-cote to help it stand up to tough elements. The detachable box magazine helps the rifle hold 3+1 rounds. Speaking of the magazine, both that and the trigger guard are designed with the idea that you are likely going to be wearing gloves on a tough elemental hunt. The stock is a tough polymer that is made for a tough hunt. You can set this rifle on stumps and rocks without worry about scratching up the finish. The bolt is also Teflon coated to help with durability. The best thing about this rifle is the price. It is hard to believe it only $479, but it can often be found on sale for much less than that. This is a great budget rifle for the hunter who has just drawn the tag of a lifetime.
Ruger American Rifle Predator
The .308 Winchester cartridge lends itself well as a brush gun. It is going to have more stopping power than most handguns for bear defense, but it can also be used to knock out a problem coyote. Or, if you are out in the field working and that buck of a lifetime suddenly shows, you will be ready with this rifle. Ruger's American rifle line has proven immensely popular thanks to how affordable and reliable they are. The Predator has a 22-inch barrel with a 1:10 rate of twist. The overall length is just 42 inches and it weighs just 6.6 pounds thanks to the synthetic stock. This makes it easy to lug around anywhere. It has a capacity of four rounds and uses AR-style magazines for quick reloading. This is another gun that can be found for under $500, making it a good budget-conscious choice for an all-purpose rifle.
FN SCAR 20 S
This gun is not for everyone with its $4,000 price tag, but if you are looking for one of the best self-defense rifles on the market, the FN is the way to go. This is the same combat-tested gun trusted by Navy Seals, U.S. Army Rangers and Marines with their lives. It is hard to go wrong with those kinds of endorsements! This semi auto rifle has a 20-inch, free-floating, cold hammer forged barrel and operates on a short-stroke gas system that allows for fast shooting with minimal recoil. The controls are ambidextrous to fit to all shooters. FN says this rifle is calibrated for long range shots out to 800 yards, so you are really getting the best of both worlds here. You get the speed of .308 combined with the precision distance accuracy.
Tikka T3X Lite
This is another solid option for anyone looking for a lightweight hunting rifle for rough conditions. This gun weighs just 6.4 pounds. The 22.4-inch barrel provides a 1:11 rate of twist for incredible accuracy. The single stage adjustable trigger can be quickly set between two and four pounds. Tikka is a name that is often associated with precision accuracy and they do make a bold claim with these guns. Tikka says they guarantee 1-inch groups at 100 yards with this rifle. The synthetic stock should help this rifle take a beating in rough weather conditions while stalking that trophy of a lifetime. At $679, this is a solid mid-priced option for anyone looking for a precision shooting hunting rifle that does not cost an arm and a leg.
Savage Axis 110 Apex Hunter XP
For hunters looking for a solid rifle/scope package, the 110 Apex is a great choice. This rifle comes mounted with a factory bore-sighted Vortex Crossfire II scope with a "Dead-Hold BDC" reticle to help make shots at longer distance. This rifle has a 20-inch carbon steel barrel with a 1:10 rate of twist. The receiver is also made of carbon steel and the synthetic stock comes in a matte black finish. It has a capacity of 3+1 rounds. This gun features the Savage AccuTrigger which is fully adjustable to each shooter's preferences. The length of pull is also fully adjustable. For a $600 price tag, this rifle is a great package for the hunter who just wants to quickly sight in their gun and then go hunting.
Remington 700 ADL Varmint
The Remington 700 is arguably one of the most successful bolt action rifles of all time. This gun has killed countless deer and other big game over the years. Variants of this rifle have also seen plenty of action as a sniper rifle in conflicts around the world. The .308 version of this firearm features a 26-inch barrel with a 1:12 rate of twist for awesome accuracy a distance. The receiver is already drilled and tapped for mounting a high-quality optic. The synthetic stock has a beavertail forend to help with maintaining a proper grip. This rifle is a little heavier than some of the others on this list at 8.5 pounds, but it also offers a more generous 4+1 capacity in case you need to get additional shots off.
For hunters on a fixed budget, the Patriot is another good option. It features a fluted, 22-inch barrel and a generous 5+1 capacity. This rifle is available in a classic blued and walnut hunting rifle configuration or with a synthetic stock that helps reduce the weight slightly. The bolt of this rifle was specifically designed for handling while wearing gloves. That is important if you hunt in colder climates and need to get a follow-up shot off quickly. This gun also features a trigger that can be adjusted from two to seven pounds. The best part is the price. This rifle is under $500 and can be found for less than half that if you catch the right sale. Now every hunter can afford a new rifle for next season.
Weatherby VGD Modular Chassis
If you are looking for a higher capacity and unbelievable accuracy, you have found it. The Weatherby has a 10+1 capacity and the company guarantees sub-MOA groups at 100 yards straight out of the box. This rifle has a two-stage match grade trigger that is adjustable. The cold hammer forged barrel is 22 inches long and it has a 1:10 rate of twist. The chassis of this rifle is an anodized aluminum and the buttstock is fully adjustable to any shooter's frame. The front sling stud provides a spot to mount a bipod for even more accuracy. Whether you just want to out-shoot your friends on the range or want to reach out and put down hogs at a distance, this rifle will do it for you.