How viable is the 308 Winchester for a SHTF survival rifle? In the grand scheme of things, the 308 Winchester is probably the best suited rifle cartridge for a SHTF situation.
Typically, the 30-06 Springfield is the largest rifle caliber most people can shoot accurately. The keyword there is “most” people. As recoil goes up, accuracy goes down as shooters flinch before pulling the trigger.
There are two ways to counter trigger flinch:
- Use a smaller rifle caliber.
The 308 Winchester offers less recoil than the 30-06 Springfield, but is very effective on deer sized game. People who live near dangerous animals, such as grizzly bears, may want to use a larger caliber than the 308 Winchester.
What makes the 308 Winchester well suited for SHTF?
- Manageable recoil
- .308 bullets can be used in a range of rifle calibers when reloading
- Effective on deer sized game
308 Winchester Shootability
This include accuracy and recoil. The accuracy of the 308 Winchester is well known; this is a flat shooting caliber favored by competition target shooters for its accuracy.
Coupled with a semi-automatic rifle, such as:
- Remington Woodsmaster
- PTR 91
The recoil of the 308 Winchester is very manageable. Why should we be concerned about recoil? Because the less felt recoil the easier it is to train a shooter. If the recoil is harsh, people do not like to shoot. When someone does not like to shoot, they shoot less. When someone shoots less, they miss out on training.
308 Winchester Popularity
Although the 308 Winchester is not as popular with hunters as the 270 Winchester, 30-30 Winchester or the 30-06 Springfield, ammunition can typically be found at any sporting goods store. Besides stores, there is a wide selection of ammunition available online.
Then there are the number of gun companies who produce a rifle chambered in 308 Winchester.
- Howa (Weatherby Vanguard)
- Savage Arms
- DS Arms
- Various AR-10 platforms
- Winchester (Fabrique Nationale)
There is no shortage of companies who produce a 308 Winchester rifle. The tough part is picking a rifle.
Well Round Hunting Caliber
The 308 Winchester is very effective on deer sized game. With its outstanding ballistics, the 308 Winchester is capable of making shots out past 200 yards with ease.
Even with affordable hunting ammunition, such as the Remington Core-Lokt, the 308 Winchester is very effective on deer and hog sized game.
On a personal note I have seen dozens of whitetail deer harvested with the 308 Winchester. One deer was taken with a DS Arms FN/FAL, while the others were harvested with a bolt action rifle.
On thin skinned game, such as deer, the 308 Winchester is just as capable as the 30-30 Winchester, 270 Winchester, and the 30-06 Springfield.
308 Winchester For SHTF
When SHTF happens, the 308 Winchester is available in a variety of military grade rifles:
- PTR 91
- M1A (Civilian version of the M14)
Versions of those rifles have served in various conflicts all over the world and have proven to be reliable. There is a reason why the FN/FAL is called “The Right Arm of the Free World.” At one time the FN was used by just about every NATO nation besides the United States.
The M14 has been in use by the United States military since 1959. that alone should be a testimony to its performance.
Final Thoughts On 308 Winchester For SHTF
To be perfectly honest, the 308 Winchester is one of the best well rounded rifle calibers for survivalist.
With a wide range of rifles to choose from, affordable ammunition, accurate, and manageable recoil, every survivalist should have at least one rifle chambered in 308 Winchester.