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View Full Version : Is a 308 worth the extra weight? Opinions wanted.


empty the mag
06-22-2012, 8:36 PM
My buddy is thinking about a 223 but he was thinking that if he really needed to get down the 308 might be the way to go. I feel the lighter 223 is better for maneuverability but the 308 sure has some stopping power.. What say you?

G60
06-22-2012, 8:37 PM
What are his intentions with the rifle?

Jpach
06-22-2012, 8:49 PM
Do you mean in the AR platform?

44fred
06-22-2012, 8:49 PM
I've been plagued with the same dilemma. It's kind of like carrying my all steel 1911 vs G36. G36 carries easier but when it hits the fan I'd want my 1911.
7lbs vs 10+ is huge when carrying all day, not to mention the ammo difference. My problem is being solved by getting both and letting the situation dictate which one I take.

Can't wait to see the advise you get.

Ripon83
06-22-2012, 8:53 PM
OP the difference in weight is a good consideration. But what kind of rifle, purpose, and such is equally important.

44fred I'm a recent 1911 fan and now truly enjoy them that I got one in 9mm :)


I've been plagued with the same dilemma. It's kind of like carrying my all steel 1911 vs G36. G36 carries easier but when it hits the fan I'd want my 1911.
7lbs vs 10+ is huge when carrying all day, not to mention the ammo difference. My problem is being solved by getting both and letting the situation dictate which one I take.

Can't wait to see the advise you get.

HonkingAntelope
06-22-2012, 9:08 PM
Way too many variables to consider for that one. If your buddy is still on the fence, I'm gonna assume he's not that familiar with guns, and recommend a .223.

.308 is a great all-around caliber, but it's not necessarily a good starter caliber for anyone new to rifles.

1. The cost of ammo is a big consideration. .223 is a lot cheaper. .308 is at least 50% more expensive than .223.

2. It does pack a wallop recoilwise for those not used to it. Going from a .223 to .308 (in a pretty heavy bolt gun at that) for me was like going from a .22LR to .223. Just something to consider before you end up getting more gun than you can handle.

3. Weight. The power of .308 dictates that the gun must weigh quite a bit more just to keep recoil manageable for repeated fire. It's not as much of a consideration for hunting rifles due much fewer shots you'd expect to fire, although the ability to practice is still an issue, IMO.

Other than that, .223 vs .308 subject has probably been beaten to death and back, and then some.

Fjold
06-22-2012, 9:36 PM
Is your friend a hunter, target shooter, prepper, poser? What targets does he plan on shooting, man, beast, paper? What range is he going to shoot?

My first centerfire rifle was a 308 and it was my only one for about 10 years. I didn't own a 223 until 30 years after I bought that 308.

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 9:36 PM
My buddy is very knowledgeable about guns. In fact he can speak on almost any gun made past or present including the details of it and ammo and velocity and stopping power. But knowledge is just one aspect of guns. Real world is another aspect. He also owns a 223 but it is a cheap no name knockoff. He owns an Ak with several hand guns like his recent Kimber 1911 that I talked him into getting. He has owned all kinds of odd guns and rifles. Money is no object. He wants it for insurrection and stopping power. He just asked me to get opinions as he is in Texas but he could join here for more info . He weighs about 140. My opinion is a modern 223.

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 9:38 PM
Is your friend a hunter, target shooter, prepper, poser? What targets does he plan on shooting, man, beast, paper? What ranges is he going to shoot?

My first centerfire rifle was a 308 and it was my only one for about 10 years. I didn't own a 223 until 30 years after I bought that 308.

He shoots in mostly Traget and is trained in similar police training. If he has to shoot it will be Man.

Hamstur
06-22-2012, 9:39 PM
Just an opinion ...

AR --> 6.5CM
Bolt Action --> 260 Rem, 6.5 Lapua, 308 Win

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 9:41 PM
Do you mean in the AR platform?

Yes

glockman19
06-22-2012, 9:41 PM
.308 will go through body armor, .223 will not.
.308 is lethal at 1000+ yards, .223, 600 yards at best.

DannyInSoCal
06-22-2012, 9:42 PM
Exactly why I split the difference -

6.8SPC II -

40% more energy within 250 yards over 5.56 -

Without the extra weight of an AR10.....

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 9:44 PM
Other than that, .223 vs .308 subject has probably been beaten to death and back, and then some.


I am sure most conversations about AR and AKs have been beaten to death and back and then some, but hey conversation about guns I always find interesting.;)

gun toting monkeyboy
06-22-2012, 9:45 PM
The .223 or 5.56 should be just fine for what he is looking for. If he wants more range and power, have him look at some of the other available rounds that fit in the AR platform. 6.8, 6.5, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39, etc... A lighter gun makes a big difference if you have to carry it for any length of time.

-Mb

(edit) I have to agree with Danny on this one, he pretty much nailed it. The 6.8 SPC with a SPEC II chamber would be almost ideal for what your friend is looking for. The two drawbacks it has are availability of parts and availability of ammo. However, if he buys them to have on hand in case of an emergency, those points are moot. 6.8 is cheaper to reload that .308 in terms of powder and bullets. And it has more than enough knock-down power for "social" occasions. Not to mention hunting. I used it to drop a 200 pound charging boar two months ago. And in an AR platform, you have a gun that is light enough to carry all day with little effort. I know this from experience.

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 9:47 PM
.308 will go through body armor, .223 will not.
.308 is lethal at 1000+ yards, .223, 600 yards at best.

Yes that was one of his reasons as the penetrating power is awesome. Like if he had to shoot into a car he said nobody is coming out alive. He also mentioned the guys who robbed the banks down in LA some years back were using 308s.

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 9:48 PM
The .223 or 5.56 should be just fine for what he is looking for. If he wants more range and power, have him look at some of the other available rounds that fit in the AR platform. 6.8, 6.5, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39, etc... A lighter gun makes a big difference if you have to carry it for any length of time.

-Mb
I agree.

therealnickb
06-22-2012, 9:49 PM
Ni night now.

If your knowledgable buddy needs to "get down" he will know what load to yank. Right?

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 9:50 PM
Ni night now.

If your knowledgable buddy needs to "get down" he will now what load to yank. Right?


Just seeking opinions.

speeddreamz
06-22-2012, 9:54 PM
Yes that was one of his reasons as the penetrating power is awesome. Like if he had to shoot into a car he said nobody is coming out alive. He also mentioned the guys who robbed the banks down in LA some years back were using 308s.

6.8 can be very effective. I took a class where we were in and out of vehicles, and also did ballistic testing. The 6.8 went thru in almost all situations where the .308 went thru. The 6.8 is going to be lighter, and more expensive.

The 308 is going to be heavier, and less expensive.

The .223 is enough to penetrate most car doors if you get enough hits on the thing. The things that will stop even a 308 are window motors etc. You also have tons of material, seats, plastics that can slow down or catch bullets.

All in all, the .223/308/6.8 will tear up someone in side. It may not be quite enough to penetrate all the way through the guy but he is going to be ineffective.

speeddreamz
06-22-2012, 9:55 PM
oh to answer the question, 308 is not worth the weight or cost compared to a good .223 that is all around and cheaper.

Code7inOaktown
06-22-2012, 9:55 PM
.308 will go through body armor, .223 will not.
.308 is lethal at 1000+ yards, .223, 600 yards at best.

Huh? What type of soft body armor will stop green tip 5.56?

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gun toting monkeyboy
06-22-2012, 9:57 PM
.308 isn't the magic bullet when it comes to body armor. And 5.56 will go popping through quite a bit of it without too much trouble. Unless the target is wearing hard plates, not just soft panels, he is going to have a bad day if he gets hit with either. Just something to keep in mind. Armor isn't magical.

-Mb

Code7inOaktown
06-22-2012, 9:57 PM
Yes that was one of his reasons as the penetrating power is awesome. Like if he had to shoot into a car he said nobody is coming out alive. He also mentioned the guys who robbed the banks down in LA some years back were using 308s.

They mostly used 7.62x39 if I remember correctly, not . 308


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therealnickb
06-22-2012, 9:58 PM
Does weight really matter on Xbox ?

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 10:05 PM
Does weight really matter on Xbox ?

LOL

Richard Erichsen
06-22-2012, 10:08 PM
Anything in the .308 Winchester family is also an option. If it simply must be some AR10 thingy, any of these will work and there are barreled uppers available for the purpose. Any semi-auto rifle that can fire the .308 generally only needs a new barrel and a minor tweak to magazine feed lips to work well with the lighter end of the .308 family. The following are listed from lightest to heaviest with plenty of load choices in each caliber:

* .243 Winchester - a very versatile, flat shooting and mildly recoiling caliber. Excellent bullets are available for small to medium sized varmints, goats and small deer sized game, or just target shooting. 85gr general purpose rounds can do an of the tasks from small to larger critters within reasonably hunting ranges. 90-105gr Scenars push the envelope for range and is a great target round. Loaded hot the muzzle velocity is blistering and it can shoot as flatter than the .223 while packing a bigger punch. .243 is the second most popular caliber behind .308 in the short action rifles with good reason.

* .260 Remington - recreates the excellent ballistics of the 6.5x55mm Swedish, with mild recoil, flat ballistics and good bullet choices to about 140 grain loads suitable for hunting deer and even elk size game with proper shot placement at reasonable ranges. It' an excellent "all around" caliber and becoming more popular. It is a distant forth in popularity among short actions based on the .308 Winchester case.

* 7mm-08 Remington - A flatter shooting, milder recoiling option to the .308 with excellent low BC, streamlined bullets available up to 170 gr. As a hunting round, loads are available from all manufacturers, though it is still commonly viewed as a reloaders "dream caliber" with the large selection of 7 mm bullets to choose from from light 100 grain to heavy target and hunting loads intended for the more powerful 7 mm magnums. It's the third most popular caliber in short actions based on the .308 Win case.

I like all of them, though I have a soft spot for the .243 and .260 in particular. My first rifle experiences weren't with .22 LR rifles, but with a Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 and I found that rifle a real dream to shoot due to the recoil. .260 is so close (shorter case with modern double-base propellents and 90% of the maximum load potential) you hardly miss the hundred or so FPS you loose on peak loads.

R

Sheepdog1968
06-22-2012, 10:12 PM
Frequent quality training is much more important than the caliber. I'd budget at least $1000 plus a year to become well trained. Train yearly or twice a year After taking several classes he will have a much better feel for what he wants.

Richard Erichsen
06-22-2012, 10:14 PM
They mostly used 7.62x39 if I remember correctly, not . 308


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They had select fire 7.62x39mm AKs fitted with 75 round drums and a full auto HK91, but that's a fairly horrible episode to bring up as a comparison.

Any rifle round will go through modern car bodies. This ain't the 70s - the sheet metal on most cars today has been thinned and there is more plastic as a percentage of the final assemblies to make the car lighter and more fuel efficient. "Bullet resistant" they are not. The glass is thinner and even the window motors and door intrusion beams are starting to be shelled in plastic with less and less metal as another means of saving weight.

R

empty the mag
06-22-2012, 10:15 PM
They mostly used 7.62x39 if I remember correctly, not . 308


Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2

I think that is correct.

FMJBT
06-22-2012, 11:28 PM
I have both and shoot them on a regular basis, often at the extreme limits of their effective ranges. For the most part, the 308 will only gain you about 200 yards of extra range over the 5.56, even less if you are using military surplus ammo. The 5.56 is good out to around 800 yards even with SS109 (62 grain "green tip"). The military lists it's effective range as 600 meters, but it will perform well past that in a rifle with optics. The 308 is extremely varied in it's max efffective range depending on bullet type. 175 grain SMK's can be accurate at 1000+ yards without much difficulty. Switch to the 168 SMK though and you accurate range drops considerably as the boat tail design of that particular round does not transition well into transonic/subsonic flight. At lower alltitudes the 168 might only be good out to 700-800 yards. Military 147 grain ammo is even worse at longer ranges. It typically becomes unstable at around 600 yards near sea level.

The 308 certainly does have more power than the 5.56, but you have to be very selective with ammunition to really take advantage of that power. The smaller diameter bullets of the 5.56 in general have better long range characteristics than the bigger .30 caliber bullets. If expected to have engagements ("Get Down") within 700 yards, I'd opt for the 5.56 out of an 18" SPR. The SPR is a great all around rifle and almost an ideal compromise between long range and CQB shooting. Past 700 yards, I'd go with the 308 shooting 175 or 190 grain SMK's out of an 18-20" barrel. Good to 1000+ yards and will be more tolerant of environmental conditions than the lighter 5.56 round.

Yemff
06-22-2012, 11:44 PM
.308 will go through body armor, .223 will not.
.308 is lethal at 1000+ yards, .223, 600 yards at best.

this is of course assuming you can hit sh** at 1000 yards, even 600 for that matter. Come on now, lets bring it back to reality. But if I had to give a practical opinion the weight savings in lugging around not only a lighter weapon but lighter and more ammo is way better than the 'stopping power' or range increase.

stix213
06-23-2012, 12:11 AM
I highly doubt even in an "insurrection" scenario that range beyond what a 5.56/.223 rifle can do is needed by an individual citizen. The need to pick off individuals at 1,000 yards is just fantasy in my opinion. Are you even going to be able to differentiate between friend or foe at that range? We're talking about Americans vs Americans here, not uniformed Chinese moving as a unit easier to spot.

If this is really for an insurrection, I'd be far more concerned about weight and mobility, since as an individual without a supply line bringing in fresh ammo, food, water, etc, he'll need to be self sufficient, and likely have to carry everything with uncertain resupply.

I'd recommend that your 140LB friend consider everything he will want to have with him, add up all the weight, and I'm not just talking about weaponry. .223 ammo weighs less than half of .308, plus the rifle should weigh less as well.

This is just my opinion, and I don't have any military or LE background. Really I'm looking at this from my backpacking experience to be honest, where weight vs capabilities is everything and I think it applies to the scenario your friend wants to be prepared for. So take my opinion for what it is.

If he wants a .308 though, by all means get one. I own one, and I think they are great, and he can consider everything I've said and still come up with a .308 as the correct answer for him for certain. I'm just suggesting being practical about the real requirements and capabilities he needs and consider everything he'll want with him beyond the gun too. Weight adds up really really fast.

empty the mag
06-23-2012, 7:12 AM
I highly doubt even in an "insurrection" scenario that range beyond what a 5.56/.223 rifle can do is needed by an individual citizen. The need to pick off individuals at 1,000 yards is just fantasy in my opinion. Are you even going to be able to differentiate between friend or foe at that range? We're talking about Americans vs Americans here, not uniformed Chinese moving as a unit easier to spot.

If this is really for an insurrection, I'd be far more concerned about weight and mobility, since as an individual without a supply line bringing in fresh ammo, food, water, etc, he'll need to be self sufficient, and likely have to carry everything with uncertain resupply.

I'd recommend that your 140LB friend consider everything he will want to have with him, add up all the weight, and I'm not just talking about weaponry. .223 ammo weighs less than half of .308, plus the rifle should weigh less as well. @

This is just my opinion, and I don't have any military or LE background. Really I'm looking at this from my backpacking experience to be honest, where weight vs capabilities is everything and I think it applies to the scenario your friend wants to be prepared for. So take my opinion for what it is.

If he wants a .308 though, by all means get one. I own one, and I think they are great, and he can consider everything I've said and still come up with a .308 as the correct answer for him for certain. I'm just suggesting being practical about the real requirements and capabilities he needs and consider everything he'll want with him beyond the gun too. Weight adds up really really fast.
I like the way you THINK!