Since the dawn of the .308 round in 1952, the .308 sniper rifle has been a military staple, a competition shooters dream, and a hunter’s best friend . When it comes to long distance shooting the .308 has made its way into the hearts of many religious shooters, and is still widely used to this day. In fact, the .308 is one of the most popular rounds worldwide and will always have a lot to offer just about any type of shooter.
That said, because of advancements in the industry in the recent years there are a few better options to go with, at least if you are looking for maximum distance and minimum bullet drop. This essentially renders even the best .308 sniper rifle useless in serious long distance competition shooting. If you are not one of those competitors these rifles are great sniper rifles that excel in a multitude of situations.
As with any product, especially items of high value, the deciding factors are personal. This is especially true when referring to uses and deciding whether or not a .308 is right for you. The .308 round cycles very well through semi-auto rifles, it is powerful, it has a long history of use, and of course it has the ability to be consistently accurate. It also has more accurate and powerful predecessors, but simply because there are better options available does not make the use of .308 sniper rifles obsolete. They have their place. Hence why it comes down to your intended uses.
If you are looking for a long range hunting rifle, then various models of .308 sniper rifles could be a perfect fit for you. Unless of course, you are looking to shoot anything past six to eight hundred yards. Then you might want to upgrade the round.
The best part about these sniper rifles is most of the newer and better rounds can still be fired from the same size mag and action as the .308. This gives a little more value to the .308 sniper rifles themselves. In many cases, the barrel of the rifle build may need to be altered, but rounds such as the 6.5 Creedmore, .260 Remington, or 6XC 115 grain DTAC can be shot from the same magazine length and the same action as the .308 sniper rifle.
Due to the fact that the .308 round became so popular through the years, you’ll find that just about every rifle company has a model. Especially once the .308 sniper rifle was commercialized for hunting, it flew off the shelves and manufacturers couldn’t keep up. Now it can be very difficult to discern what, if any, .308 sniper rifles are the best for hunting, so in no particular order let’s take a look at some .308 sniper rifle reviews.
The Bushmaster XM-10 is a top of the line tactical sniper rifle that has a version chambered for the .308 round. This is a semi-auto rifle with a clip capacity of 20, plus one in the chamber but you can substitute the 20 round clip for a ten round clip if you choose. With a scope and bipod, this weighs in at just slightly over 15 pounds which make it on the heavier side to travel long distances with, especially with the longer twenty-inch barrel.
Some notable features include a gas operated and rotating bolt action, the adjustable pistol grip, the ability to attach a stock suppressor, and the iron sites used as a backup which are set off to the side of the rifle exactly 45 degrees. It is also extremely well built and designed to take all the abuses of war and still function exceptionally.
This Bushmaster .308 sniper rifle has been used extensively throughout the military and has proven to be an amazing long range firearm. It is rated to shoot effectively up to 875 yards, but that depends on skill level. If you’re really skilled you could technically shoot around a thousand yards accurately enough, or you might only be accurate up to and around 600 yards.
You can hunt with this sniper rifle although it may be a bit gaudy and heavy, and I wouldn’t recommend settling on this if you would potentially be hunting anywhere a thousand yard shot is practical.
For your average hunter and most locations, this is a fine sniper rifle that will do more than just get the job done. Best part is you can have it for right around 1200 bucks, which when you consider all it has to offer, isn’t that bad.
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Being one of Remingtons most popular rifles, the Remington 700 is offered with a whopping 30 different versions along with a multitude of caliber options, making this sniper rifle one of the most customizable before purchase.
This bolt action .308 Remington sniper rifle was also designed to be extremely dependable and durable. The surface finish is nothing to look at but provides a great practicality to the rifle being made of very strong synthetic material. The buttstock is made of a heavy duty rubber for maximum recoil dampening, comfortability, and again durability.
Other features include a heavy 20-inch barrel, the hinged floorplate magazine, and the pillar embedded stock to help maximize accuracy. In fact, it is so accurate that people have reported quarter inch spreads at a hundred yards out of the box.
I would consider this to be a long range hunters dream, so long as that hunter is looking for a distance rifle that will more or less blend in among other large game hunting rifles. Let’s be honest, this rifle has a very bland and basic look. Of course, looks are not everything and some people prefer the simplicity and are more focussed on the working mechanics. That and it is only perfect for hunters who shoot under a thousand yards.
At just over seven pounds it is light and comfortable to carry over long distances, it has an adjustable trigger for finding the perfect unique pull, and it costs under a thousand dollars. It can also shoot up to a thousand yards but again, it will require a high dollar scope, some adjustment know-how, and a lot of practice. If your hunting anything within 800 yards the Remington 700 is for you.
M40A3 Marine Sniper Rifle
The M40 A3 sniper rifle is another beastly long range bolt action sniper rifle chambered for the .308 round. This .308 marine sniper rifle has some incredible features in a simple package, and early models of the M40 series have been used by the marines since the Vietnam war.
The M40A3 sniper rifle was first created as a predecessor to the traditional M40 and the M40 A1. It was built for pure durability and dependability with extremely reliable inner mechanics combined with a very rugged and solid synthetic exterior.
This rifle’s stock is made from a high-grade fiberglass composition where the action is actually embedded into the stock by glass and aluminum pillars. This allows the barrel to be a true free-floating barrel to ensure minimum stress during the firing process.
You can also adjust the spacers in the buttstock so you can achieve the perfect shooting length. The buttstock also features a marine produced cheek-piece that fits on like a saddle and is adjustable as well. This also helps to create the most comfortable shot which aids in overall accuracy.
Since 2001, the M40A3 marine sniper rifle has proven to be a wonderful long distance weapon that can be used for more than just combat. It can be used for long range hunting and of course target shooting, but again, if you are looking to be a serious long distance competition shooter there are better rounds that can be fired from the same rifle. The same goes for hunting out past 600 to 800 yards.
Savage Model 10 FCP-SR
Since its original design in 1958, the model 110 from Savage has yet to cease production. There are now many versions of this rifle available but when it comes to a powerful long distance .308 rifle, the FCP-SR is by far among the best Savage has to offer.
This model is part of the law enforcement series and features some special things to cater to law enforcement such as being suppressor ready (SR) out of the box. It also has an oversized bolt handle which makes for easier operation, and a safety blade in the trigger called “Accutrigger” which not only helps prevent accidental discharge but also makes for a smooth, light, and consistent trigger pull once used to it.
The synthetic “Accustock” houses some solid mechanics that make for smooth operation, but the lighter plastic compound can give a cheap feel. It does have a nice thicker recoil pad that does a great job dampening recoil and the magazine system, although simplistic, can be difficult to release and change. That is of course until you get used to the rifle and make any slight personal modifications to make a more personable and uniquely fitting rifle.
SIG SAUER SSG 3000
The Sig Sauer SSG 3000 is by far one of the best, if not the best, .308 sniper rifle available. Sig Sauer knows they have produced a top of the line long distance rifle too, which is why they priced it at about 1500 dollars for the basic package. A little pricey sure, but you are getting so much for the money. It comes in a couple versions including the patrol version which has an eighteen-inch barrel and of course a longer twenty-four-inch barrel version as well.
The barrel end itself is now threaded with a 5/8th’s by 24 thread pitch so you can add different muzzle breaks or suppressors. The front of the stock has options to mount certain Picatinny rails, and it has the accuracy of german precision with the barrelled action being made in Germany. Whereas the durable plastic compound stock is produced in the United States.
The recoil dampener, the four-pound trigger, and the cheek rest are all adjustable to create the perfect and most comfortable shot for you. This rifle is also very comfortable to raise to your shoulder and shoot, with a more ergonomically shaped pistol grip that is more vertical than other similar rifle models and an overall comfortable feel.
Aside from the price and it being a little heavier, coming in at roughly 12 pounds, this long distance rifle is top shelf quality. It has the ability to be extremely accurate in combat, for long range hunting, and long distance target shooting. The Sig Sauer SSG 3000 will put a smile on your face each and every time you shoot with it, regardless of your success with hunting or targets.
You can absolutely use just about any .308 sniper rifle for hunting, but it will ultimately come down to personal desires and intended uses. Remember if you are trying to get into serious competition shooting or trying to hunt in areas where thousand-plus yard shots are present, you will want to consider a better more modern round. However, some of the upgraded rounds can still be used with the same action/chamber, and magazine as the .308 caliber sniper rifles.
Whether or not you want to purchase a .308 sniper rifle for hunting may not just come down to distance and accuracy. It may come down to looks because many sniper rifles are tactical and can either be unnecessarily heavy, bulky or just plain gaudy when it comes to the purpose of hunting. All .308 sniper rifles have the ability to put down large game, but again, depending on your average shooting range and average game hunted you may want to consider a higher caliber round.
All in all, the .308 sniper rifle has a long history of successful shooting among various military groups, law enforcement personnel, and of course long range enthusiasts. Choosing a .308 sniper rifle for purchase will come down to some personal desires in regards to traits and of course, things like the price tag will also be a factor. When it comes to hunting with a .308 sniper rifle all the ones mentioned above will get the job done but at the end of the day we recommend getting out and testing them for yourself.