Some hunters have deep arsenals, essentially a rifle for every deer hunting situation, and every other big-game animal they might hunt. We’ve all heard the saying, “Beware the man with one gun.” and we’ve heard that for good reason. The successful hunter who does everything with one gun very likely knows how to hunt and shoot better than the average bear.
If you’re going to be a one-gun kind of guy, that rifle best be chambered for a cartridge that is capable of doing anything you need to do. A lot of cartridges can argue their suitability for this role, but none better than the 308 Winchester. This is of course why Jeff Cooper selected it as the ideal general-purpose rifle cartridge.
Arguments for the 308 Winchester
The 308 Winchester might be the most boring cartridge of all time. It is not sexy; it’s kind of stubby looking. It’s not a magnum; it launches 30 caliber bullets at modest velocities. And, it’s very common; you can find ammo for it at gas stations and perhaps under your truck seat. Even so, the 308 Winchester is ideal for hunting big game all over the world.
The only cartridge more boring than the 308 Winchester is probably the 30-06. The 308 near duplicates the ballistics of the old Ought-Six, but it does so in a short action, in a shorter rifle, that weighs less. It will work as a woods rifle and can be had in compact lever, semi, pump, and bolt-action rifles. It will work at distance, too; in fact, it’s been used by snipers all over the world.
If you need an elk rifle, the 308 is up to the task. If you need a rifle for an African safari, look no further. The 308 Winchester is the ideal, do-it-all, and do-it-anywhere cartridge.
Stuff your 308 with Nosler Trophy Grade ammo loaded with a 165-grain AccuBond and you’re ready for anything that comes your way. The new HTP Copper load from Remington should do the trick, too.
If you can find a deer the 308 won’t quickly kill, that animal is either possessed or you’re hunting on some other planet.
Editor’s note: This article is No. 3 in a 4-part series. Be sure to check out “4 Best Deer Cartridges; No. 1 for the Woods,” as well as “4 Best Deer Cartridges: No. 2, the Open-Country Cartridge.” Stay tuned to OutdoorHub for No. 4!
Images by Richard Mann