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#6044241 - 11/22/15 08:46 PM Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles
Hunter Gatherer Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 161
What's the most accurate 308 rifle for deer hunting at moderate ranges, say 100 to 400 yards? I'm speaking more in terms of barrel weight than rifle brand. Normally I like Ruger, Winchester, and Remington, so brand is not that big of a deal. Also, I'm not talking about AR's. You guys that love AR's more power to you but I'm a bolt action guy.

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#6044254 - 11/22/15 08:51 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
7x57 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/28/15
Posts: 580
Loc: Laredo, TX
I think a 24" barrel would be optimal for accuracy, something in a heavier contour for less whip and more stability.

I prefer controlled round feed (ruger/winchester/etc.), though it's all preference for the most part.

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#6044322 - 11/22/15 09:25 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Barrel length and barrel contour have nothing to do with accuracy. The quality of the rifling, the chambering, and the quality of the ammo determine accuracy.

The shorter the barrel the stiffer the barrel. Which means the short barrel tends to be less picky about the powder charge you feed it, or the mass produced ammo you feed it. Provided you are using quality ammo. The short barrel produces less muzzle velocity.

The long barrel has a more pronounced sine wave and can be more picky on powder charge, making "the node" a narrower margin. The longer barrel produces more muzzle velocity. A thin long barrel heats up after less shots than the long thick barrel. Once the long thin barrel heats to the point of stringing then it can shoot very erratically. The purpose of the long heavy contour barrel competition shooters use is to get more muzzle velocity and also have enough steel around the bore that it will still shoot consistently after extended shot strings.

For hunting, the barrel length and thickness is up to you. If you want a light, handy two or three shot rifle the middle ground I like is a 20" sporter contour. You maintain velocity and do not have a super heavy barrel to tote around. You can also go down to 16" at the expense of velocity. The general rule of thumb is 20 fps MV loss per inch of barrel taken off. If you find a sporter contour rifle you like you can always have it cut down as short as you like down to 16" without an ATF NFA tax stamp.
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#6044350 - 11/22/15 09:41 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
7x57 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/28/15
Posts: 580
Loc: Laredo, TX
I've always heard that the longer barrel and heavier weight influence the POA due to the jump or whip or the barrel. The thicker barrel helping eliminate the flex due to greater length. The length helping reduce muzzle jump, muzzle blast, recoil, and noise to an extent which would in turn make the rifle more comfortable to shoot and help with the overall experience.

I've also always assumed that higher velocities would help accuracy due to the lower flight times and better wind bucking at longer ranges.

I'm not a pro by any standard though, this is just what I have read. I'm sure someone with more experience could elaborate on the subject.

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#6044355 - 11/22/15 09:44 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
hermano W Offline
Tracker

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 676
Loc: Austin County
I have a Tikka T3 lite 308 cut down to 18". It is light and handy for hunting,is plenty accurate, and didn't break the bank to purchase.

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#6044395 - 11/22/15 10:10 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: 7x57]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I already elaborated. One guy being able to shoot a rifle 1/2 MOA and another guy being less comfortable and only getting 1 1/2 MOA is not the fault of the rifle nor the barrel length / contour.
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#6044402 - 11/22/15 10:13 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: FiremanJG]
7x57 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/28/15
Posts: 580
Loc: Laredo, TX
You talked about the node due to the sine wave, etc. Can you not overcome that using a heavier barrel?

Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
I already elaborated. One guy being able to shoot a rifle 1/2 MOA and another guy being less comfortable and only getting 1 1/2 MOA is not the fault of the rifle nor the barrel length / contour.

How is it not?

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#6044413 - 11/22/15 10:22 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: 7x57]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Higher velocity, and higher BC do help at longer ranges. We have not talked about long range, just the consistency of the rifle/ ammo.

Ever rifle barrel and every bullet create a sine wave. You cannot overcome it with a different bullet. You can lessen it by making the barrel
a. Thicker
b. Shorter
c. Both

How can you not see that it is the fault of the rifle? Hand a tack driver to a great shooter and he will drive tacks. Hand a tack driver to a chit shooter and he will spread them all over the paper.
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#6044491 - 11/22/15 11:45 PM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
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Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 2846
Loc: Abilene
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#6044516 - 11/23/15 01:21 AM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
kmon1 Online   content
junior

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20297
Loc: Texas
Have a Ruger limited edition ultralite with a 20 inch pencil thin barrel that easily shoots sub MOA even after shooting a box of Federal Match, that is not the norm of very thin barrels but good barrels it can happen.

The Generalities that Fireman listed above are spot on. Barrels vibrate as the bullet goes down them and generally the best accuracy will occur when the bullet exits the barrel as the barrel is moving the least, reloaders call a load that achieves this a node, it can be seen with better accuracy than when the barrel is moving more.
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#6044566 - 11/23/15 06:13 AM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: FiremanJG]
charlesb Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Higher velocity, and higher BC do help at longer ranges. We have not talked about long range, just the consistency of the rifle/ ammo.

Ever rifle barrel and every bullet create a sine wave. You cannot overcome it with a different bullet. You can lessen it by making the barrel
a. Thicker
b. Shorter
c. Both

How can you not see that it is the fault of the rifle? Hand a tack driver to a great shooter and he will drive tacks. Hand a tack driver to a chit shooter and he will spread them all over the paper.


Lately I've been fascinated with the idea of an 18" bull barrel on a bolt gun. I like the way they handle, and the accuracy potential is there. I got a chance to look at a rifle set up this way a few years back, and it made quite an impression on me.

The plan is to cobble together something like that in .308, as it is easy to find a .308 bull-barrel rifle to start from. - It's just a matter of reducing the barrel length, then opening up a sporter-style stock to take the bull barrel.

I thought of whittling down a varmint stock to lighten it up, but I think I'd rather just open up the barrel channel on a sporter stock.

Since I do not shoot at game animals further than 300 yards away, a compact 2-7 scope slammed down as low as it can go ought to do the job while keeping the weight down, and retaining the guns good handling qualities.

A rifle set up that way should be capable far beyond 300 yards with a bigger scope, but for my purposes the lower mounting height, reduced sail area and weight of the compact scope is more appealing. - What I'm shooting for is something that would handle brush-popping as well as a 30-30 lever gun, but still be capable of precision shooting out to 300 yards, if I hold my mouth just right.

The .308 cartridge seems ideal for that.


Edited by charlesb (11/23/15 06:37 AM)
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#6044659 - 11/23/15 07:36 AM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
Dien Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/16/12
Posts: 391
Loc: Grand Prairie
Tac Ops specializes in 308s using Remingtion action. Guaranteed 1/4 MOA using Factory Match ammo I believe. Your search just ended unless you have other considerations such as budget in the way, lol.

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#6044686 - 11/23/15 07:50 AM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: charlesb]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Charles,

The .308 would be a good choice, so is the 7mm-08. I built a heavy barrel 7mm-08 then chopped it down to 20". It's like a Stihl chainsaw, crank it up in the morning and run it all day long. Just gotta keep fuel in it.
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#6044734 - 11/23/15 08:16 AM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
DStroud Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1158
Loc: Waco
I have two 20 inch barreled .308's... one I bought with the plan to rebarrel longer but it shoots so good that now the plan is to try and wear it out. rifle

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#6044774 - 11/23/15 08:37 AM Re: Most Accurate 308 Bolt Rifles [Re: Hunter Gatherer]
SingleShot85 Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 1750
Loc: S.A. and Kinney Co.
nothing over 22" for sure, not for hunting.... i have a AIAW with a 24" barrel and one with an 18" barrel and have taken both to 1000yrds w/o blinking an eye..... hunting wise 18" treaded w/ a suppressor 175smk over 44.5gr of varget and kill what ever you like in TX..... the 7mm-08 as FJG is also a golden ticket
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