.308 Winchester (pronounced: "three-oh-eight") is a rimless,
bottlenecked rifle cartridge and is the commercial cartridge from
7.62×51mm NATO round was derived. The
.308 Winchester was
introduced in 1952, two years prior to the
NATO adoption of the
7.62×51mm NATO T65. Winchester branded the cartridge and introduced
it to the commercial hunting market as the .308 Winchester.
Winchester's Model 70 and Model 88 rifles were subsequently chambered
for the new cartridge. Since then, the
.308 Winchester has become the
most popular short-action, big-game hunting cartridge worldwide. It
is also commonly used for civilian hunting, target shooting, metallic
silhouette, bench rest target shooting, palma, metal matches, military
sniping, and police sharpshooting. The relatively short case makes the
.308 Winchester especially well-adapted for short-action rifles. When
loaded with a bullet that expands, tumbles, or fragments in tissue,
this cartridge is capable of high terminal performance.
Although very similar to the military
7.62×51mm NATO specifications,
the .308 cartridge is not identical, and there are special
considerations that may apply when mixing these cartridges with
7.62×51mm NATO, and
.308 Winchester chambered arms. Their
interchange is, however, considered safe by the Sporting Arms and
Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI).
1 Cartridge dimensions
2 Usage and performance
3 As a parent case
4 See also
6 External links
.308 Winchester has 3.64 ml (56.0 grains) cartridge case
capacity. The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote
reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine
guns alike, under extreme conditions.
.308 Winchester maximum
C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All dimensions in
millimeters (mm) and inches.
Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 = 20 degrees. The
common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 305 mm (1 in 12
in), 4 grooves, Ø lands = 7.62 mm, Ø grooves = 7.82 mm,
land width = 4.47 mm and the primer type is large rifle.
According to the official
C.I.P. (Commission Internationale Permanente
pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives) rulings the .308
Winchester can handle up to 415.00 MPa (60,191 psi) Pmax
piezo pressure. In
C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle cartridge
combo has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum
C.I.P. pressure to
certify for sale to consumers. This means that .308 Winchester
chambered arms in
C.I.P. regulated countries are currently (2008)
proof tested at 519.00 MPa (75,275 psi) PE piezo
North American SAAMI maximum pressure for the 308 Winchester is
430 MPa (62,000 psi).
Usage and performance
.308 Winchester is one of the most popular hunting cartridges in
the United States, and possibly the world. It has gained popularity in
many countries as an exceptional cartridge for game in the medium- to
large-sized class. In
North America it is used extensively on
whitetail deer, pronghorn and even the occasional caribou or black
Clay Harvey, an American gun writer, says it is usable on moose and
elk. Layne Simpson, an American who has hunted in Sweden, says he
is surprised how many hunters there use the cartridge. Craig
Boddington was told by a
Norma Precision executive that the .308
Winchester is one of Norma's best-selling calibers.
.308 Winchester is one of the most popular calibers
Bushveld hunters and is used on anything from duiker right up to
the massive eland (a small and large African antelope respectively).
Proponents of the hydrostatic shock theory contend that the .308
Winchester has sufficient energy to impart hydrostatic shock to living
targets when rapidly expanding bullets deliver a high rate of energy
.308 Winchester has traditionally been the most popular
cartridge in the past, the development of lighter recoil chamberings
with sufficient downrange energy, like the 7mm-08 Remington, .260
Remington, and 6.5 Creedmoor, is becoming more common for metallic
The PALMA shooting is a variant of full bore target shooting done with
a bolt action rifle in 7.62mm
NATO caliber (.308 Winchester) and fire
Match Grade 155 grain bullets using micrometer aperture (iron) sights
at out to 1,000 yards.
F-Class is a variant of Fullbore Target
Rifle which permits optical
telescopic sights and shooting rests in the front and rear like for
instance like a bipod and/or bags. Competitions are fired at distances
between 300 and 1200 meters (or yards), and the targets are half the
size of those used in traditional Palma shooting. Based on equipment,
competitors can choose to compete in one of the two classes Open or
Standard: F-TR ("Target", Standard Class): A restricted class
permitting a scope, bipod/ backpack and rear bag (no front rest), but
the rifle has to be of either caliber .223 Remington or .308
Winchester. In addition, the weight limit including optics is
8.25 kg (18.15 lbs).
.308 Winchester has slightly more drop at long range than the
.30-06 Springfield, owing to its slightly lower (around 30 metres per
second (100 ft/s)) muzzle velocity with most bullet weights.
Cartridges with significantly higher muzzle velocities, such as the
.300 Winchester Magnum
.300 Winchester Magnum can have significantly less drop at long range,
but much higher recoil.
Trajectory comparisons between .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield,
and .300 Winchester Magnum
Ultra-high speed photo of a 150 grain FMJ
.308 Winchester bullet
photographed with an air-gap flash.
A side-by-side size comparison between the
.308 Winchester (left) and
its precursor the
.300 Savage (right).
As a parent case
From left to right 9.3×62mm, .30-06 Springfield, 7.92×57mm Mauser,
.308 Winchester cartridges. The
7.62×51mm NATO (not
pictured) is similar in appearance to the .308 Winchester.
Several more cartridges have been developed using the .308 Winchester
as a parent case, some becoming very popular for hunting, particularly
in North America. These are the .243 Winchester, the .260 Remington
(a.k.a. 6.5-08 A-Square), the 7 mm-08 Remington, the .338 Federal, and
.358 Winchester (a.k.a. 8.8×51mm). In 1980, two rimmed cartridges
based on the
.308 Winchester were introduced for use in the Winchester
Model 94 XTR Angle Eject rifle: the
.307 Winchester and the .356
Winchester. In 2014, the rimless
45 Raptor was introduced to provide a
big bore cartridge for the
AR-10 by combining the
.308 Winchester with
the .460 S&W Magnum.
The 308 Winchester Family (circle size proportional to recoil).
Game Class vs 6 inch Maximum Point Blank Range.
Sectional Density vs Ballistic Coefficient.
Delta L problem
List of firearms
List of rifle cartridges
Table of handgun and rifle cartridges
^ Federal Gold Medal 308 Win. Sierra® MatchKing® Boat-Tail Hollow
Point Match Grade 168
^ Simpson, Layne (February 2000). "The 20th Century's Top Rifle
Cartridge". Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved
^ a b Chamberlin FT, Gun Shot Wounds, in Handbook for Shooters and
Reloaders, Vol. II, Ackley PO, ed., Plaza Publishing, Salt Lake City,
^ Courtney A, Courtney M: Links between traumatic brain injury and
ballistic pressure waves originating in the thoracic cavity and
extremities. Brain Injury 21(7): 657-662, 2007. arXiv:0808.1443
^ a b Scientific Evidence for Hydrostatic Shock arXiv:0803.3051
7.62×51mm NATO or 308 Winchester?
^ SAAMI Unsafe Arms and Ammunition Combinations Archived 2013-11-16 at
the Wayback Machine.
^ Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, Fourth Edition, 1991,
Hornady Manufacturing Company, Grand Island, NE.
^ a b Nosler Reloading Guide Number Four, 1996, Nosler, Inc., Bend OR.
C.I.P. TDCC sheet .308 Winchester
^ The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturing Institute (SAAMI),
composed of representatives of the firearms, ammunition and components
manufacturers, with the purpose of standardizing specs in North
^ Speer Reloading Manual Number 12, 1994, Blount, Inc., Lewiston, ID.
^ Popular Sporting
Rifle Cartridges DBI Books, 1984.
^ "The 20th Century's Top
Rifle Cartridge," Shooting Times, Feb. 2000.
Accessed online Dec. 31, 2012. The "top" rifle cartridge in the
century, he says, is the .30-06.
^ "Best Sellers," RifleShooter, Jan.Feb. 2013.
^ Sturtevant B, Shock Wave Effects in Biomechanics, Sadhana, 23:
^ Suneson A, Hansson HA, Seeman T: Pressure Wave Injuries to the
Nervous System Caused by High Energy Missile Extremity Impact: Part I.
Local and Distant Effects on the Peripheral Nervous System. A Light
and Electron Microscopic Study on Pigs. The Journal of Trauma.
^ "Sport Shooting Association of Austrialia". Retrieved 20 March
^ "Palma USA". Retrieved 31 March 2017.
^ Litz, Brian. Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting. Cedar
Springs, MI : Applied Ballistics, LLC, 2009.
C.I.P. decisions, texts and tables (free current
C.I.P. CD-ROM version
download (ZIP and RAR format))
Wikimedia Commons has media related to .308 Winchester.
Ultra-high speed .308 photos amateur high speed photography
.308 Winchester Cartridge Guide by AccurateShooter.com
.308 Videos by StoppingPower.Info
Cartridges derived from the
.250-3000 Savage or its derivatives
6 mm XC
.250 Ackley Improved
Based on .300 Savage
Based on .22-250 Remington
.22-250 Ackley Improved
Based on .308 Winchester
Based on .243 Winchester
.243 Ackley Improved
Based on .307 Winchester
Based on .308×1.5-inch Barnes
.22 BR Remington
7mm BR Remington
Winchester firearms and cartridges
Model 1878 Hotchkiss
Model 1895 Lee Navy
Model 51 Imperial
Model 1911 SL
.17 Winchester Super Magnum
.22 Magnum (WMR)
.223 Winchester Super Short Magnum
.243 Winchester Super Short Magnum
.256 Winchester Magnum
.25 Winchester Super Short Magnum
.264 Winchester Magnum
.270 Winchester Short Magnum
7mm Winchester Short Magnum
.300 Winchester Short Magnum
.300 Winchester Magnum
.32 Winchester Special
.325 Winchester Short Magnum
.338 Winchester Magnum
.345 Winchester Self-Loading
.35 Winchester Self-Loading
.351 Winchester Self-Loading
.401 Winchester Self-Loading
.458 Winchester Magnum