".308" redirects here. For other uses, see .308 (disambiguation).
Place of originUnited States
Parent case.300 Savage
Case typeRimless, Bottleneck
Bullet diameter0.308 in (7.8 mm)
Neck diameter0.3433 in (8.72 mm)
Shoulder diameter0.4539 in (11.53 mm)
Base diameter0.4709 in (11.96 mm)
Rim diameter0.4728 in (12.01 mm)
Rim thickness0.0539 in (1.37 mm)
Case length2.015 (51.18 mm)
Overall length2.800 (71.12 mm)
Case capacity56 gr H2O (3.6 cm3)
Primer typeLarge rifle
Maximum pressure (C.I.P.)60,191 psi (415.00 MPa)
Maximum pressure (SAAMI)62,000 psi (430 MPa)
125 gr (8 g) Spitzer3,100 ft/s (940 m/s)2,668 ft·lbf (3,617 J)
150 gr (10 g) Nosler tip2,820 ft/s (860 m/s)2,648 ft·lbf (3,590 J)
168 gr (11 g) BTHP2,650 ft/s (810 m/s)2,700 ft·lbf (3,700 J)
175 gr (11 g) BTHP2,645 ft/s (806 m/s)2,619 ft·lbf (3,551 J)
185 gr (12 g) Lapua Mega JSP2,510 ft/s (770 m/s)2,588 ft·lbf (3,509 J)
Test barrel length: 24 in (26 in for Lapua) The .308 Winchester is a rimless, bottlenecked riflecartridge and is the commercial cartridge from which the 7.62×51mm NATO round was derived. The .308 Winchester was introduced in 1952, two years prior to the NATO adoption of the 7.62×51mm NATO T65. Winchester branded the cartridge and introduced it to the commercial hunting market as the .308 Winchester. Winchester's Model 70 and Model 88 rifles were subsequently chambered for the new cartridge. Since then, the .308 Winchester has become the most popular short-action, big-game hunting cartridge worldwide. It is also commonly used for civilian target shooting, military sniping, and police sharpshooting. The relatively short case makes the .308 Winchester especially well-adapted for short-action rifles. When loaded with a bullet that expands, tumbles, or fragments in tissue, this cartridge is capable of high terminal performance.
Usage and performance
The .308 Winchester is one of the most popular hunting cartridges in the United States, and possibly the world. It has gained popularity in many countries as an exceptional cartridge for game in the medium- to large-sized class. In North America it is used extensively on whitetail deer, pronghorn and even the occasional caribou or black bear.
Clay Harvey, an American gun writer, says it is usable on moose and elk. Layne Simpson, an American who has hunted in Sweden, says he is surprised how many hunters there use the cartridge. Craig Boddington was told by a Norma Precision executive that the .308 is one of Norma's best-selling calibers.
In Africa the .308 Win is one of the most popular calibers among Bushveld hunters and is used on anything from duiker right up to the massive eland (a small and large African antelope respectively). Proponents of the hydrostatic shock theory contend that the .308 Winchester has sufficient energy to impart hydrostatic shock to living targets when rapidly expanding bullets deliver a high rate of energy transfer.
The .308 Winchester has slightly more drop at long range than the .30-06 Springfield, owing to its slightly lower (100 ft/s) muzzle velocity with most bullet weights. Cartridges with significantly higher muzzle velocities, such as the .300 Winchester Magnum can have significantly less drop at long range.
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