Best .308 Rifles Reviewed & Rated for Quality
According to a 2016 CNN poll, approximately ⅓ of Americans own one or more firearm. For many, their weapon of choice may be different variations of the .308. Whether you’re interested in defending and protecting your home, on the hunt or you simply enjoy collecting firearms, there are many high-quality, well-built, affordably priced .308 to choose from. When its ease of use, raw power and versatility was recognized, the .308 immediately grew in popularity and the .308's are considered some of the most powerful, accurate, versatile and respected firearms in existence.
10 of the most popular and well-known .308's are reviewed in this article for your consideration. With so many options available, hopefully, if you are weighing your options, this list will help you to make a more informed decision for which 308 is best for you.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Scope rings included
Adjustable AccuTrigger button
Extremely accurate barrels
Barrels are easy to clean
10 Best .308 Rifles
1. Savage Arms 12 FV Bolt-Action
Scope rings included
Adjustable AccuTrigger button
Extremely accurate barrels
Barrels are easy to clean
One customer reported receiving the incorrect screws within the packaging
Stock described as “flimsy”
The Savage® Arms 12 FV Bolt-Action is ideal for you if woodland creatures and other pests are a persistent problem. If you live on a large plot of land in a rural area, pesky critters might be damaging your garden, bothering your pets and, in general, causing a nuisance. So, if you need to rid your land of everything from prairie dogs to woodchucks, this might be the ideal solution for you. Affordable, popular, with high ratings and excellent reviews, it’s an important tool that will make country living easier and more manageable for you and your family.
This option features different rates of twist. These varied rates of twist work to stabilize bullets which are heavier on long-distance shots. This enables it to shoot bullets more accurately when aimed at long-range targets, or even targets that are on the move.
Virtually No Recoil
One of the most positive aspects of this product is that there is virtually no recoil upon pulling the trigger. However, advanced firearms such as this are equipped with a bump stock which acts as a shock absorber. The force that propels the bullet forward, instead of having an opposite and immediate reaction and directing force backward at the operator, is safely absorbed, protecting the operator. Recoil is no laughing matter; it can result in serious injury.
Cost and Value
This particular firearm is very fairly priced; less expensive than the majority of options reviewed here. That being said, it has earned 4.6 out of 5 stars and a plethora of enthusiastic, positive reviews. In sum, the Savage Arms Varmint is an excellent value, a smart buy and a great product.
2. Remington Model 783 BAR
Free-floated barrel and stock, pillar-bedded
Steel box magazine (detachable)
Recoil pad - super comfortable, super cell
CrossFire trigger system; adjustable
Complaints about the action
Difficulty reported loading more than one round at once
The Remington BAR is a nice .308 at a fair price. It is noted for its accuracy, ease of use, and well-performing scope. It’s ideal for using on a hunt and learning to shoot on a range. This particularly option consistently gets high marks in customer reviews for the magazine and bolt. Additionally, Remington is a well-respected manufacturer whose name commands respect. A Remington firearm is typically trustworthy, well-made, reliable and long-lasting.
Several customers mentioned that the scope is incredibly accurate. For many buyers, once they zero in on the target using the scope, sighting in again was unnecessary. In other words, less time is spent adjusting the focus. The accuracy and ease of focus make this firearm a good choice for those who are learning how to aim and shoot at targets with advanced precision.
Great for Getting the Kill
This product is great for target practice and shooting animals (in particular, reviewers mentioned great success with white-tailed deer). Overall, this bolt-action range has impressive power, superb accuracy, an easy to use trigger, and the most advanced safety features available. Whether it’s purchased for use on animals, target practice, home defense or to simply add to a firearm collection, it’s a well-built, high-quality .308 available at a reasonable price.
Cost and Value
This product represents a high-value item. It is durable, reliable, well-built, accurate and powerful. In the event of an emergency, this bolt-action is easy to load, aim and shoot, with little recoil. It’s also easy to clean and take care of. In conclusion, the value of the .308 is high, and it’s a sensible purchase. The brand recognition cannot be understated; when you buy a Remington firearm, you can do so with a feeling of confidence.
3. Ruger American Predator
Rotary magazine - flush fit
Free-floating material (hammer forged)
Integral bedding block
Pull is customizable - 3 to 5 lbs.
Overall finish and fit described as crude when compared to others
Many components are made of plastic or plastic moulding
The Ruger is accurate, lightweight and reliable. The accuracy of the weapon has been described, in more than one review, as “remarkable” and not what would typically be expected from a budget-priced firearm. However, the Ruger defies all expectations and earns high marks in all categories. Even the most skeptical reviewers admitted to being pleasantly surprised by its fantastic performance. Precise, easy to use, safe to handle and incredibly responsive, it’s a superior .308 that does not disappoint.
A Budget-Friendly Ruger
The majority of Ruger firearms are quite expensive, and justifiably so. Ruger is a respected brand known for producing some of the finest, most impressive firearms in circulation, and many people are willing to may a high price for a worthy product. The Predator, however, is manufactured less expensively, but not cheaply. Many of its component parts are made with plastic as opposed to heavier material, such as metal. This gives the Predator an overall lightweight feel, which can take some getting used to for seasoned gun enthusiasts, but is not necessarily a bad thing.
When the weapon is fired, there is some mild recoil that the operator needs to be aware (and cautious of). That being said, thanks to the product being lightweight, the impact of the recoil is controllable and manageable. Therefore, injuries can easily be avoided by paying attention. You can spend a long day at the gun range without coming home in pain. Other options will most certainly result in black eyes, broken noses and bruised egos.
Cost and Value
This is a fair value. It is moderately priced and presents a quality product from Ruger, one of the best manufacturers in the industry. While it is not one of Ruger’s high-end guns, it is a perfect .308 to learn on as it is lightweight, manageable, compact and the recoil is mild, eliminating injuries often suffered by inexperienced shooters. All in all, the Predator is a fair and decent value.
4. Thompson Compass Centerfire
Rotary magazine (detachable)
Trigger is fully adjustable
Complaint that once you load the chamber, it becomes very stiff
Extremely loud, reportedly scares away potential prey
The Thompson is the most affordably priced one reviewed here. That being said, its low cost does not belie its value. Rather, it is an excellent one being offered at a fantastic price. Need more convincing? Check out some of the customer reviews. The Thompson Compass Centerfire has earned a 4.5 out of 5-star rating and stellar reviews across the board. It’s truly an exceptional .308. It’s smooth, efficient, safe, accurate and well-engineered. So, how is the low price explained? It’s possible that Thompson is simply phasing out an older model for a new one. Who knows; there may be a new and improved Thompson in the very near future.
Severa; customers wrote reviews stating that the Thompson is a pleasure to use whether on animals or simply enjoying some target practice. The Thompson is easy to handle, has an adjustable trigger and manageable recoil. It can be used for hours with no discomfort. The draw is also adjustable, making this one very customizable to your personal preferences. Uncomfortable, unadjustable weapons are awkward to use, difficult to aim, and can often take the fun out of the entire experience.
Ideal for Beginners
The Thompson is truly an ideal .308 for a beginner. It is lightweight and easy to control and handle. It is also equipped with state-of-the-art safety mechanisms. It is considered easy to aim, with an accurate scope. As previously mentioned, the pull and the draw are adjustable, offering the hunter optimal comfort. Additionally, the Thompson is sold at an exceptionally low price. So, for someone who is interested in using a .308 but isn’t completely sure if he or she will like it, it is not too much of a monetary investment.
Cost and Value
The Thompson represents a product of excellent, superior value. Its low price tag is extremely deceptive. It’s inexpensive, but it’s not cheap in any way. Each Thompson is carefully crafted to meet the company’s high, rigorous standards. The product is the best of both worlds - it’s a well-built, high-quality weapon that is budget friendly. If you have the opportunity to purchase a Thompson and you are searching for a .308, doing so would be highly recommended; while some deals seem too good to be true, this is a rare catch - practically a steal.
5. Savage Axis BAR with Scope
TrueTimber Kanati camouflage
Trigger pull is light
Box magazine - detachable
Secure, textured grip
Matte black trigger guard
Complaints about scope and ring
Described as having a heavy trigger pull
The Savage Axis is a decent, low-budget gun that has some flaws, but also has many positive qualities. The majority of complaints lodged by customers had to do with the quality of the scope. Several customers decided to replace the scope, and could not be happier with the .308, even complimenting its incredible accuracy. So, with a little love, and a good dose of elbow grease, the Savage Axis can be a true beast in the field.
As previously mentioned, there are some issues with the scope supplied by the manufacturer. With the low cost of the product, replacing the scope with a better quality model certainly shouldn’t break the bank. Doing so can make all the difference in the world; turning the .308 into an incredibly accurate, precise and deadly machine. With a few tweaks, a little patience and a replacement or two, the Savage Axis can easily be taken to the next level.
The Savage Axis has a unique, eye-catching look that makes it a stand-out option for animal shooting. It is covered in TrueTimber Kanati camouflage, helping your .308 to blend in with your surroundings. How effective is it? That remains to be seen. However, the bottom line is that the finish gives your weapon a unique, cool look, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Cost and Value
This particular product is a high-value item. True, it’s a little rough around the edges, but for the price, you really can’t go wrong. It’s a diamond in the rough. With a little love and elbow grease, this .308 has true potential. Replace the scope, make a few minor adjustments, and you will wind up with a firearm worth three times the price.
6. Remington 700 ADL Varmint BAR
X-mark pro trigger
Model 700 bolt action
Ventilated beaver foretail
Performs well in harsh conditions
No clip; bullets are difficult to load
The Remington 700 is a moderately priced option with largely positive reviews. It is noted for its superior stability and ability to perform well in harsh outdoor conditions. While it’s not without its flaws (a few buyers described the construction as “crude”), overall, it’s a respectable firearm that will serve you will, and live up to the Remington name.
One of the best qualities of the Remington 700 is its balance and stability. The weight of the gun is evenly distributed and is lightweight enough to be carried and aimed easily, but heavy enough to aim and hold steady as you focus in on your target. This makes it much easier to focus in on the target in your crosshairs and take your best shot.
Not all .308s perform well in inclement weather. The Remington 700, however, is treated and reinforced to withstand cold, rainy and even icy conditions. In other words, it’s a firearm that can be used all year round. All that’s required from the operator is proper cleaning and care following use. Doing so will prevent rust, corrosion, and problems within the barrels. Regular cleaning is fast, easy and well worth it to keep your gear in tip-top shape.
Cost and Value
The Remington 700 is a very good value. It is moderately priced, and while not an entirely flawless .308, it has many positive attributes that make it an attractive option. From its steadiness and balance to suitability for use in any and all weather conditions, Remington does not disappoint, especially if you take the time to replace the scope. You’ll go from having an average .308 to...an awesome one.
7. Bergara B-14 HMR
Designed and manufactured in Bergara, Spain
Has the power to drop big game
Mini chassis are built in
Accurately shoots over 1000 yards
Incredibly smooth action
Reports of barrel being rough
Complaints of barrel being difficult to clean
The Bergara is a high-end .308 that is not designed for beginners or amateurs. Carefully crafted, expensive, powerful and formidable, the Bergara commands respect. It offers superior accuracy and incredible precision, with a wide array of advanced features that a huntsman will undoubtedly appreciate. The Bergara is an advanced .308 for highly advanced users, for whom shooting is not just a sport. It’s a show pony and a workhorse all in one.
The power of the Bergara is virtually unprecedented. While many reviewers stated that they reached targets at about a 400 years range, others reported hitting targets over 1000 yards away. The Bergara is designed to exert optimal, raw power. It is the perfect blend of physics, engineering, and art, working together to produce a remarkable .308.
Nothing could really sell the Bergara as well as its customer reviews. It has been described as “impeccable,” “a work of art” and “a masterpiece.” Granted, these are not paid product endorsements; but rather regularly submitted reviews uploaded through the proper channels. Buyers of the Bergara tend to be, quite frankly, thrilled. The gun is a joy to use and never fails to impress.
Cost and Value
The Bergara is an expensive option. That said, is it worth it? For serious enthusiasts, the answer is a resounding “yes.” From the craftsmanship to the accuracy to the weapon's raw power, is it absolutely worth the pricetag. It’s not intended for an amateur or a casual hunter, but rather for someone with a true passion. For true user who has some discretionary cash available, the Bergara is second to none and is absolutely a fantastic value.
8. Tikka T3X Lite BAR
Compact; easy to transport and store
The scope mount built into it receives high marks
Does not reach targets much further than 100 yards away
Reportedly, the bolt can be easily lost
The Tikka is a lightweight, lite bolt action designed to shoot distances of approximately 100 yards. It could be described as a mini firearm (though obviously it is a dangerous weapon and in no way a toy). Much to the contrary, it is incredibly accurate and powerful. It is simply a smaller version of a typical gun that is lightweight, easy to carry, and intended to hit targets at close range.
The Tikka Lite weighs under 6.5 lbs. This makes it easy to carry, transport and store. It is also easy to hold the Tikka steady while aiming without straining your arm or wrists. It would not be a bad option for a beginner to learn on, as long as the learner understood and appreciated the inherent dangers of handling the firearm. While it might be small and lightweight, it is incredibly dangerous. It is made of lightweight synthetic stock and has an overall sleek appearance.
The Tikka T3X Lite BAR is made partially of a waterproof synthetic stock, so it is safe to use the .308in the rain, making it more versatile than some of the other options reviewed here. The Tikki is virtually impervious to all weather conditions; making it usable in rain or shine. The remainder of the weapon is made of stainless steel; easy to maintain and keep clean.
Cost and Value
The Tikka represents a good value. It is just north of being in the mid-priced range; not the most expensive .308 reviewed here, but certainly not inexpensive. Does the overall value justify the cost? In sum, yes. It’s a specialized kind of firearm. It’s small, lightweight and compact, but still incredibly powerful. It works in any weather, and it’s easy to transport. It’s also durable, easy to keep clean and requires little maintenance.
9. Christensen Arms Ridgeline BAR
LimbSaver recoil pad
Receiver with enlarged ejection port
M16 style extractors
According to several reviewers, it simply doesn’t shoot that well
The break in period takes some time
The Christensen Arms Ridgeline is the most expensive .308 reviewed here; literally four times the cost of some of the other options. Why the high price? The Christensen proclaims to offer consumers the best of the best. The most powerful, well-built, durable, weather resistant, accurate, easy to use, powerful and awe-inspiring .308 on the market that only real hunters can truly appreciate.
The Christensen boasts some of the most advanced technology on the market when it comes to scoping, focusing and identifying prey. From the scope to the lens, focusing in on a target that is even a long distance away is incredibly easy. The power of the scope reportedly transforms the entire user experience.
The Christensen will perform well no matter what the weather conditions are. Whether it’s sweltering outside and you’d expect steam to interfere with the scope and the lens, or it’s below freezing and you’d normally be concerned about everything becoming fogged up and impossible to see, fear not. The Christensen is designed to withstand even the harshest, most inclement weather conditions. Better yet, after you’ve exposed your .308 to some heavy duty outdoors work, it is easy to clean, dry and maintain, keeping your weapon in perfect condition.
Cost and Value
When determining the overall value of the Christensen, it is important to consider that its overall rating is 4.2 out of 5 stars. There are far less expensive products reviewed here with much higher ratings and more exciting reviews. That being said, the Christensen is still a nice, high-end option, full of bells and whistles. All in all, it’s a decent value if you have money to burn.
10. Windham Weaponry SRC-308
Laser engraved American flag
A2 flash suppressor
Semiautomatic impingement system (gas)
Includes hard plastic case
Complaints about stock trigger
One reviewer stated the trigger needed to be replaced
The Windham is a semiautomatic tactical .308. It is a powerful, potent, dangerous firearm intended for advanced, expert users. It is one of the more expensive models reviewed here, and includes some of the most advanced, high-tech features.
The Windham lives up to its name. If you are interested in a self-defense weapon or a weapon that can help you if you are under attack, a tactical .308 can ensure your survival. The Windham shoots rapidly, accurately and powerfully.
The Windham comes with a plastic carrying case, shoulder sling and textured handle. Despite its considerable weight, the Windham is reportedly quite comfortable; distributing its weight evenly. The Windham will not cause discomfort if it is to be carried for an extended period of time, even when fully loaded. It is designed and engineered for optimal comfort.
The Windham is on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, but it is quite a different weapon from the majority of the options reviewed here. As previously mentioned, it is a semiautomatic tactical .308; a piece of machinery that requires much more engineering, ingenuity, and creative design than a basic firearm. The Windham is generally well received, with mostly positive reviews.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Of course, with any firearm, accuracy is of the utmost importance. A .308 can’t do all the work for you, and you have to learn how to locate a target, focus in, use your scope, and finally, shoot at the right time.
However, if you do everything right and your shot is way off, then the problem may be your firearm after all. That’s why it’s so important that when you do decide to purchase a .308, you do your research and find one with high marks in accuracy. Otherwise, you won’t be very good at target shooting or much else.
Ease of Use
Using a firearm, whether a traditional model or an advanced tactical iteration, takes skill, practice, and knowledge of its various parts and their respective functions. Shooting a gun takes practice, patience and work.
That being said, once you’ve learned how a .308 works, how to load it, fire it, clean it, aim it, use the safety, so on and so forth, and you have a good understanding for all the moving parts, actually firing it should not be rocket science. You want a .308 that you can shoot quickly and easily (albeit still carefully). Otherwise, the odds of you actually hitting your target are greatly decreased by the amount of time you’re spending fiddling with the weapon.
If a firearm is unstable, it is virtually impossible to aim properly. Ideally, its weight should be easily distributed so that you can hold it steady.
Once the .308 is steady, you can focus your target in your scope, get it in your sights right in the crosshairs, and pull. If your weapon is wobbly and shaky, you will probably miss.
Some .308s are loaded with advanced features; others are quite basic. Some have barely evolved in their design since firearms were first introduced hundreds of years ago. Some people prefer the crude, original design.
Others enjoy the amazing technological advances designers and engineers have made in the field of firearms. Take, for example, the sheer power and capacity of a tactical. They are practically bionic devices in that they mold so well to their user’s body and respond immediately to commands.
Brand is an important consideration when selecting a .308. Since these products are dangerous weapons, it is not appropriate to take a risk with an unknown brand. Instead, choose a well-known company with a good reputation.
In some situations, it is perfectly fine to purchase a product from a no-name brand. However, when it comes to .308s , don’t risk it. Go for one of the most respected names out there.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Like all firearms, a .308 is a dangerous, potentially deadly weapon and needs to be treated as such. In addition to the typical requirements as far as safe at-home storage and always treating the weapon as if it’s loaded, the rule of thumb is the more safety features a .308 has, the better. An outdated, older .308 may lack certain safety features, trigger locks and so forth, making it dangerous to both you and others. If a firearm should get into the wrong person’s hands, such as a child’s or otherwise untrained person, it should be as difficult as possible to actually load and fire it. All firearms pose a certain safety risk, but those potential hazards can be greatly reduced by a combination of responsible gun ownership, including safe, proper, law-compliant storage, and modern ingenuity; manufacturers have taken steps to make guns safer in general.
If you are embarking on a long trip through the wilderness or plan on going on a hunt for several hours, the weight of your gear is critical. If your weapon is too heavy, it won’t be long before it becomes burdensome to carry and painful to aim. Try out a lightweight option instead; you may find the end result is a much more enjoyable experience.
Other Factors to Consider
Several of the firearms reviewed here work well in all weather conditions. If you enjoy venturing into the wilderness all year-round and don’t want your plans ruined by a rainstorm, then consider buying an all-weather .308.
Some firearms are designed strictly for shooting animals; while others are primarily designed for target shooting. If you are interested in both activities, buy a versatile .308 that will serve you will whether on the range or in the woods. For even more versatility, choose an all-weather option, That way, you have a product that will work in any environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How old do you have to be to buy a .308?
Gun laws vary on a state by state basis. The answer is usually either 18 or 21. Always check with local law enforcement.
q: How do I properly clean a .308?
Thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Often, DVDs are included with the purchase of a .308 with important tutorial demonstrations, including how to properly clean it.
q: Where should these be stored?
A .308 should be properly locked up, stored away and out of reach of children, regardless of whether it’s loaded. Every gun should be treated like a loaded gun, and all safety precautions should be taken. This goes for ammunition as well.
q: Do I need a license or permit?
The laws vary state by state. Be sure to find out the laws which govern your state.
q: How far can a .308 shoot, or what is considered the standard range?
The official range is between 800 meters (according to the Army) and 915 meters (according to the Marine Corps).
q: What advantages does a .308 have over other firearms?
While the .308 is not typically used during combat today, it is still considered a formidable, respectable weapon. The .308 is incredibly powerful; it can penetrate and pierce body armor and is sometimes used by law enforcement professionals. It is also favored by many hunters due to the size and variety of game it can be used to target. Everything from deer to bears, moose, elk and boars are within the .308’s capabilities.
q: How can I learn about gun safety?
Many organizations offer gun safety courses. Check your local state and government websites, including your local police department. Typically, there are a lot of resources to help you learn about responsible gun ownership.
q: When was the Winchester .308 first introduced?
The Winchester .308 was first introduced in 1952 and instantly grew in popularity.
q: How do you explain the Winchester’s popularity?
The Winchester offers raw power. In addition, it’s quite versatile; it works well on the battlefield or in the woods game.
q: Are Winchester .308's still used by the military?
No. Firearms and ammunition have evolved greatly. However, .308's are still popular among civilians.