Ammo Wars

BY PGF
1 year, 3 months ago

It’s not likely that anything will compare to the running battle over .45 and 9mm, but rifle ammo wars are all the rage nowadays. The good news is we can learn plenty and get better with our tools by examining the outcomes. Competition is a good thing.

First: The Best .308 Hunting Ammo of 2022

Although we still haven’t climbed out of the ammo shortage, there’s good news if you hunt with a .308—many retailers have a variety of .308 hunting ammo available. The previous ammo shortages hit the .223 and .308 ammo stocks hard, while having less effect on stalwart hunting cartridges like the .30/06 and .30/30. This time, it seems that manufacturers have been able to stay on top of .308 hunting ammo production and hunters at least have something to buy.

Still, it’s a strange time, and there are both surprises and disappointments in the ammo market today (not exclusive to .308). Some ammunition has excelled, and some factory offerings that typically delivered excellent accuracy don’t seem to shoot as well as they used to. Some types of ammo seem to be everywhere, and other loads are scarce.

This year, I have tested and reviewed 11 different rifles chambered in .308 Win. I shot many types of ammo through these guns, testing it in affordable budget rifles, but also in mid-priced rifles. I’ve shot a variety of .308 Win. in specialized rifles like the Christensen Ridgeline Titanium FFT and the Howa M1500 HS Carbon. Through all this shooting, I was able to see what shot well, what didn’t, and hopefully help you pick the best .308 hunting ammo for deer or whatever your game is this year.

Best Overall: Remington 150-grain Core-Lokt Tipped

Best .308 Ammo for Deer:Federal Non-Typical Whitetail 150-grain Soft Point

Best Copper .308 Ammo: Barnes Vor-Tx 168-grain TTSX

Federal Premium 175-grain Terminal Ascent

Hornady Superformance 150-grain SST

Winchester Deer Season XP 150-grain Extreme Point

Federal Premium 180-grain Trophy Bonded Tip

Hornady Outfitter 165-grain CX

Federal Premium 165-grain Swift Scirocco II

Things to Consider Before Buying .308 Ammo for Hunting

Game and Bullet Construction

As with any hunting ammo, you want to choose a load and bullet that will suit the game you intend on hunting. The .308 Win. is an extremely capable (and oft underrated) cartridge, and is suitable for large game like elk, moose, and even brown bears. If you’re hunting heavy game, pick a bonded or monolithic bullet and keep your shot distances under 300 yards. However, most people are hunting medium-sized game with the .308 and just about any medium-weight expanding bullet will do. Luckily there’s plenty of good, affordable .308 ammo for deer that can still be found on store shelves.

Accuracy

Each .308 ammo offering listed here will have both five-shot average group accuracy and standard deviation. It’s always great to maximize accuracy, but keep in mind that each rifle will like a different load. If you can’t try several loads, pick one with a small standard deviation. That means that across all the rifles tested, the accuracy of the load didn’t very much, and there’s a good chance it will shoot similarly in your .308.

Cost

Ammo is expensive, and premium ammo is even more expensive. If you need top-end bullet construction or are shooting at distances that require best-in-class accuracy, it’s worth the extra cost. However, if you’re hunting deer-sized game at distances under 200 yards or so, less-expensive ammo is usually sufficient.

Interpreting the Data

To test each of these types of .308 hunting ammo, I fired and measured five-shot groups through a variety of rifles. I recorded a minimum of five groups for each type of ammo (based on my inventory), but I was able to record between 15 and 30 groups for most offerings.

Keep in mind that average group size is with five-shot groups across all rifles tested. Some rifles shoot better, some worse. The standard deviation is the average variation in group size across all rifles tested. This data only reflects the rifles tested. Accuracy, obviously, varies from rifle to rifle. I experienced a couple of loads that would shoot four-inch groups in one rifle, and one-inch groups in another.

There’s much more at the link, including good details on these nine different rounds studied.

—————————–

Next: Long-Range Big Game Rivals 6.8 Western vs 7mm Rem Mag vs .28 Nosler

The 7mm Remington Magnum is one of the most popular magnum cartridges in current production. Versatile and dependable, this old-school cartridge managed to overcome the American shooter’s aversion to the metric with its incredible long-distance ballistic capabilities.

However, the 7mm Rem Mag has been around for a long time (since 1962 to be exact), and the wheels of ammunition innovation haven’t stopped turning. Could a newer long-range ballistic superstar dethrone this popular old-timer?

In terms of long-range hunting cartridges, the 6.8 Western vs 7mm Rem Mag vs .28 Nosler match-up is a good one.

If you’re a big game hunter going after long-range sheep, elk, or antelope, is it worth pursuing one of the newer hotrod cartridges like the 6.8 Western or the .28 Nosler? Or should you stick with a safe option, like the tried-and-true 7mm Rem Mag?

In this article, we dive into a deep analysis of the ins and outs of these solid long-range performers.

There’s a lot of data in this second study as well.


Comments

  1. On November 17, 2022 at 7:25 pm, X said:

    I am loathe to tell other shooters what they “need” and what they don’t. I believe in freedom; shoot whatever caliber you want.

    That being said, for me personally, I prefer ubiquitous, accurate, and effective chamberings for which brass and other components are readily available to esoteric, faddish calibers.

    I’m sure that the 6.5 Jesus is a great cartridge, but I didn’t feel the urge to get on the bandwagon. The .308 will perform perfectly well for probably 90% of the big-game hunting done in the U.S. and probably 100% of the hunting east of the Mississippi. Add a .30-06 to your gun safe and you are probably equipped to hunt 100% of the big game anywhere in the U.S.

    The .308 is a global caliber, there are going to be components and loaded ammo available just about everywhere decades after the Zombie Apocalypse goes down. Yes, there are cartridges that shoot flatter and deliver more energy and have a bit less drift, but probably none more accurate. Palma shooters and M1a National Match shooters and the U.S. military have figured out every trick there is to this cartridge decades ago. The .308 works well in bolt guns, semi-autos and pump-actions. You simply cannot go wrong with a .308.

  2. On November 17, 2022 at 11:56 pm, Georgiaboy61 said:

    @ X

    Re: “I’m sure that the 6.5 Jesus is a great cartridge, but I didn’t feel the urge to get on the bandwagon.”

    I see what you did there! That’s pretty funny… you zinged ’em good.

    The business model of companies like Hornady is to tout the latest cartridge and rifle combination on the market this season as being the greatest thing since sliced bread, and thereby drive customers to go down to the local firearms emporium and spend some of their hard-earned money on the 6.5 Creedmoor…. or 6.5 PRC…. or 6mm Creedmoor… you get the idea.

    What they don’t tell you is that many existing and much less-costly cartridges have performance which is very similar to that new kid on the block. Now, don’t get me wrong: 6.5 CM is a nice cartridge which does a number of things very well.

    However, the Swedes and Norwegians – who jointly invented the 6.5x55mm “Swedish Mauser” long-action cartridge about 130 years ago, must be laughing themselves silly, asking “What took you guys so long?” Maybe the Italians and Japanese are laughing, too, since they also had service rifles in 6.5mm.

    And more-recently, the .260 Remington has established itself as a mainstay on the competition circuit. That cartridge was created by necking down .308 Winchester to .264-caliber/6.5mm. Hornady doesn’t want you to buy a rifle in that chambering, however, since cheap .308 brass abounds and thus you’d have no need of buying 6.5 CM brass and die sets from them.

    Service rifle competitors have been rebarreling their M-1s and M1As in .260 Remington, 6.5×55, and 7mm-08 for a long time now, since all three of these offer excellent accuracy, efficiency and at lesser recoil than the standard military 30-06 or 7.62x51mm cartridges these rifles used originally.

    It turns out that the old folk saying is really true: There really is more than one way to skin a cat! (Don’t get bent out of shape, all you cat lovers out there…. just a figure of speech). If you look around, there’s usually a cheaper and more-practical option which does what you want with a lot less hassle and drama.

  3. On November 18, 2022 at 12:00 am, Georgiaboy61 said:

    6.8 Western and 28 Nosler may very well be great cartridges in terms of performance, but why give up sixty years of the venerable 7mm Rem-Mag when the performance gains offered by the new guys are so marginal? That out-of-the-way hardware store, country general store, or independent sporting goods dealer is unlikely to carry either of the new guys, but he is probably going to stock 7mm RM. And even if he does have 6.8 Western and 28 Nosler in stock, good old 7mm RM is going to be cheaper and you’ll probably have more choices of manufacturer and style/weight of projectile than the two new guys….

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment


You are currently reading "Ammo Wars", entry #33075 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Ammunition,Hunting and was published November 16th, 2022 by PGF.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (40)
Air Power (10)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (275)
Animals (279)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (371)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (86)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (28)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (216)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (18)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (5)
Canada (17)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (16)
CIA (30)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (209)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (5)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (15)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (4)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (39)
Featured (189)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,756)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,623)
Guns (2,296)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (3)
Horses (2)
Humor (72)
Hunting (30)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (104)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (4)
Infrastructure (4)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (98)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (81)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (7)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (6)
Lawfare (14)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (280)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (67)
Medical (146)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (41)
Mexico (61)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (5)
Military Equipment (25)
Militia (9)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (25)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (94)
NATO (15)
Navy (30)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (3)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (62)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (72)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (4)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (647)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (968)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (491)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (37)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (658)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (51)
Survival (185)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (38)
Tactical Gear (14)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (21)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (96)
Thanksgiving (13)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (24)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (6)
U.S. Border Security (18)
U.S. Sovereignty (23)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (10)
Uncategorized (98)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (412)
War & Warfare (41)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (79)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2024 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.