What are the 5 best .308 hunting rifles? This is a debate that has been around since the .308 Winchester round was introduced to the hunting public in the early 1950's. A few years later, it was introduced to the military in the form of the 7.62 NATO round and it instantly became familiar to all United States military men. This is something that probably helped it as a sporting cartridge later in life. Many manufacturers make a rifle in .308 Win., so to pick the five best is a daunting task. There are also many types of rifles to choose from. Perhaps any good list should include a representative from each of the five types of popular rifles. These types are the bolt action, pump action, lever action, single shot/break action, and the semi-auto. All of these rifles have their supporters, which would not be happy if it was left off a list. So this is what we will attempt to do to everyone's satisfaction. Each rifle on the list is available in the .308 Winchester chambering.
- Winchester Model 70 – This bolt action rifle is one of the best made. It comes in enough variations to suit almost anyone's taste. It can be had with both wood and synthetic stocks for weather resistance. It is a good representation of the bolt action rifle. This rifle will serve the mountain hunter as well as it does the plainsman.
- Remington Model 7600 – This pump rifle has served generations of hunters. It can be had in wood, and synthetic stock versions. It is as good a choice for the hunter today, as it was for our fathers. Fast, slick handling is its hallmark, especially handy in those swamps and pine thickets.
- Browning BLR – This lever action is an update of the American classic hunting lever action. It is fed by a replaceable box magazine rather than a tubular magazine. This means it can use modern pointed nose bullets. The nose of the bullet does not rest against the primer of the one in front of it, as in a tube magazine. It is an excellent choice for the hunter who wants the nostalgic quick handling feel of the lever action in a modern cartridge.
- Thompson Center Pro Hunter Centerfire – This break open single shot is an excellent hunting tool. It is lightweight, and can be broken down easily to carry in a backpack for hike in hunts. It can be had in a variety of finishes and stock types. With its ability to change caliber is it versatility personified. Quick barrel changing allows the hunter to carry multiple barrels in a pack and swap for different conditions encountered. A seasoned veteran shooter can shoot a single shot very fast if needed. But with the accuracy of the Pro Hunter, that second shot will not usually be needed.
- Springfield M1A – This semi-auto is a bit of a departure from the hunting designed rifles in the list. It is a military inspired firearm which was introduced in the 1950's. The reason for its inclusion is that this rifle is suitable for both hunting and defense of the homestead should it ever be needed. For hunting uses five round magazines are available. Most localities have magazine limitations for hunting arms. It is very accurate rifle and is still in use by some specialized military units to this day. This will attest to its capabilities and ruggedness. It can be purchased in multiple variations including synthetic stocks for weather resistance. It is a superb choice for today's sportsman.
Hopefully there is something on this list of the five best .308 hunting rifles that will satisfy everyone. The .308 Win. cartridge is an excellent choice for todays sportsman. It is a good balance of long range and hard hitting ballistics.