.308 versus -.223, Long range accuracy

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For very long range target shooting, I am wanting to know which cartridge, between a .308 or .223 would have the most accuracy at extended ranges, considering all else equal.

-- Carl (carlh1@joimail.com), November 08, 2003


The punch of a 308 beats the smack of a 223

-- Robert Waghorn (robwaghorn@iprimus.com.au), March 07, 2005.

The .223 in my view is underrated. Especially in stopping power. The velocity of the bullet is its key. Some theorists regard pure velocity as being the most important multiple in the energy equation when it comes to damage to the human body. Its drop is comparable to the .308. Its starting velocity is higher and long range velocity is comparable. Only drawback is that it does get pushed around alot in windy conditions. If your smart you know how to compensate.

-- Greg Dunn (gdunn.barrister@shaw.ca), December 22, 2004.

Well I think you are all a load of pussy's! I have a .223 sitting on anold 1969 Omark Sportco action, 26" S/S Maddco (Australian)1:10 Twist Barrel that consistantly shoots winning matches out to 1000 yards shooting against .308's. To top things off I am only using the 69 grain sierra and the barrel has shot (Wait for it) 13,750 rounds. I have been asked why I don't get a .308 but my answer is that I really enjoy the extra challenge it offers. Bit like catching a big Salmon on a little flick rod with light line, pure thrill. I am about to make things a little easier for myself though as I have ordered a 1:7.7 Twist Kreiger barrel that will let me throw 80 grainers at that, as many would put it, piece of paper.

-- Robert Alman (robalman@dodo.com.au), May 14, 2004.

I got an AR and a H&k, both are deadly accurate at 400 yards. I like the 308 for hogs, because of their dense thick skin. However as far s wind goes, If you have the 1/8 twist barrel at 24inches of barrel shooting the 75 or 80 grain, there is not much wind drift, like in the 55 grain. I was shooting in a crosswind and these heavy bullets buck the wind..good.

-- Ted Garcia (tedbear0102@aol.com), April 29, 2004.

"Dan the Man" You should probably look inward prior to calling people on their grammar. Thank you.

Sniper X

-- Sniper X (vaughn777@cs.com), April 26, 2004.

Ok, everyone's talking about shooting ducks, and knockdown power etc. You are talking about target shooting (holes in paper). My dad has a 700 pss in .308 and I have a savage model 12 with Mcmillan a5 stock. I outshoot him to 300 yards every time we go but after that the .223's ballistic shortcomings start to catch up with me and he blows right by. At 600 - 800 yards he constantly shoots .25- .5 moa. Although i've heard .223 can be turned into a 1000 yard gun with proper gunsmithing i'd go with the .308 or .300. If you want to go to 1500-2000 yards go with a .338 lapua magnum or 50 bmg. Good luck buddy. Happy shooting. Do me a favor and write me back at morris113@marshall.edu and let me know what you chose and how its working out for you. See ya.

-- andy morris (morris113@marshall.edu), April 14, 2004.

"Your all a bunch of dickheads. Half you people can't spell or maintain the slightest amount of proper grammer use."

with spelling and grammatical corrections, should properly read

"You're all a bunch of dickheads. Half of you can't spell or maintain the slightest amount of proper grammar."

Just trying to be helpful.

As for the question, .308 is less susceptible to wind and tends to retain energy longer, thus making it the choice of many match shooters.

-- Drake (crusaderdrake@hotmail.com), March 12, 2004.

Your all a bunch of dickheads. Half you people can't spell or maintain the slightest amount of proper grammer use.

But anyway, I shoot mettalic silhouette with a Sako 75 in 308 Win, and I can tell you now that compared to the 223 its not even a contest past 400 yards (let alone in the energy required to knock the targets over, but I will only consider pure accuracy here)

Now before someone starts flaming, I'm sure you can score sporadic hits out to 1000 yards using the .223(with zero wind and a 3/4 moon), but we're talking about consistancy; and thats where the 308 wins every time.

-- Dan The Man (dan@hotmail.com), March 10, 2004.

I would have to say if you consider anything beyond 500 meters to be long range, go with the .308 over the .223. They will both go the distance out to 1000 meters +, but the .223 will only make it where you want it to go in the PERFECT conditions. If it is too breezy or hot, the bullet will be affected too much due to its much lighter weight (~60 grains on average) as opposed to the .308 with quite a bit more mass. It will still be affected by the crosswinds and heat, but will be a lot more predictable, and probably land you more consistant groupings. Just my $.02 from my own experiences. I have hit targets out to about 1050 meters with both, but the .308 is defiantly more accurate out there.

Good luck!

-- Mike (mleaf@bugdiver.org), March 05, 2004.

get the .223 don't waste your time with the .308. The .223 will do anything you want out to 300 yards and if you know what your doing you can push 600 with the right equipment. it's a one calibur do all weapon. of course if you need more muscle at 300 than definately go 50bmg. end of discussion

-- SuperJohn (jlb2467@hotmail.com), March 03, 2004.

This is what I shoot for long range (1000yds)in each caliber! The 308 uses a 168gr A-max (B.C.=.520) velocity@ 2800FPS, The 223 uses a 75gr A-max (B.C.= .440) velocity@ 2850FPS,the 308 is in a 700PSS 26" w/ a 4X14 long range leupold scope on a long range base, The 223 is in a AR-15 Rock River varminter w/ a 4X14 long range leupold scope. The 308 takes 32.5 min of angle (MOA) to strike dead-on @ 1000 yds while the 223 takes 35MOA to strike dead-on at 1000yds! These are very similar to each other in both windage and elevation at whatever range you choose to shoot at! The 223 however has the vote on the recoil side, even though the 308 is marginal as compared to 300 win and 300 ultra mags! Don't sell the 223 remington short, if you reload- it can be a marvelous tool!

-- Mike Hinde (mike@jrharchitecture.com), February 17, 2004.

I would go with the 308 a 223 is pretty damn good to a point. the 308 can make good grouping at 800 yards but that would be the limit for actual kills when it starts pushing a 1000 yards it is afected by wind to much. but the 308 is the way to go for ne range dont bother the 223 unless u r doing 400-500 yards max. but if u want a good target rifle go with a 6mm br prairedogs have been taken at over 800 yards with this rifle very good varmit and target rifle. u may have to work out a load for it but its a very good round.

-- john (Southern_Boi@msn.com), January 30, 2004.

.308 is one of the most accurate rounds you can fire out of a rifle. Thats why the ARMY gives out the M-24 in .308 you can engage targets out to 800-1000 meters in the right conditions. thats very far to shoot but with a good mil dot scope that zeros in it is possible. I suggest a Springfield-armory tactical scope. they have 13 models this year. Use a lazer range finder too. some scopes actually have range finders in them.

-- Zack (BlackHawk15@comcast.net), January 27, 2004.

Of the two choices I'd have to say that if one considers 300-500 meters to be long range then from a cost standpoint the .223 gets the nod. The comparative ballistics of each caliber puts neither one at a significant advantage unless a serious crosswind is encountered. In which case the heavier .308 will be at an advantage. Now, that being said, this is assuming that paper is all that you intend to punch. For hunting purposes I will say that long range dispatching requires the responsibility of using appropriate downrange terminal ballistics. Here the .308 gets the vote overwhelmingly. Study ballistic charts,thoroughly familiarize yourself with your weapon, and pay extremely close attention to detail.(ammo specs,distance,trajectories,light/weather conditions,temp)Practice all good shooting fundamentals time and time again.Become competent and confident at the distance that you intend to shoot paper or otherwise. I hope this helps you Carl.

-- James D. Pelikan (knightowl1966@yahoo.com), January 27, 2004.

My mini 14 can kill a duck in a lake at 826 yards.

-- matt (mchrisman21@yahoo.com), January 26, 2004.

I have a Rem. M700Police with a lepold 50mm Tactable,MillDot scope,Harris bi-pod. At 100 yards it has a 1/8" groupe time after time for this is a nice tool. "Stray dogs beware." ______________________________________________________________________ a old Rem. 7MM Mag with a old cheap bushnell 3x9 scope is a old favorite for years. It has killed dog size targets at 1/4 mile distance several times. If it aint broke, no need to fix it. It just keeps on being true. "Coyotes by-by."

-- Max Steven Spann (max.spann@att.net), January 15, 2004.

@ 300 meters with full effect 15-20 mph wind the .223 will call for something like a 22" hold off where a.308 168gr is less than half that ,,,,you do the math

-- SSG Edwin Alan Light (u_r_not_ed@yahoo.com), January 04, 2004.

It really depends on what you call "long range" and what you want the bullet to do at any given distance. I prefer the .308 because it is accurate, has a bigger bullet, and is a good "all around" round. I can hunt mid-size game, target shoot, and do it with a heavier bullet that can really reach out there. Decide on your needs and then pick the best round for them and you can't go wrong.

-- Shane Cornutt (shane_cornutt@msn.com), December 29, 2003.

If you read Plasters book The Ultimate Sniper he goes into great depth on the subject of the .223 and recons after 400mtrs the round drops like a stone. .308 everytime.

Regards (UK)

-- Mike Stubbs (stubbsym@btinternet.com), December 18, 2003.

From the field: The 5.56mm (.223cal) makes a better up close battle rifle in my opinion due to it's controllability and (contrary to popular belief) it's tendancy not to overpenetrate and puncture innocent civilian types that might be in the area. I shoot very well with a 5.56 out to around 400 meters and while I feel comfortable engaging pop-up targets at the range, I really consider it a 150 meters-or-closer weapon, especially out of the 14.5 inch M-4 barrel. As a precision rifle, the .308 is much better suited to tactical work. Either will work in the ranges commonly encountered by Law Enforcement teams, but the extra weight of the .308 along with its ballistics make it better for shooting bad guys through glass and at longer ranges. Personally, I like the 300 Win Mag or the .338 Lapua out past about 700 meters. The .308 can do the job out to 1000 meters, but the bullet will drop on average 406.8 inches (168 grain bullet at 2700 fps) compared with only around 280 - 300 inches out of the 300 or 338.

-- Mike Brewer (jkdkalicouple@aol.com), November 25, 2003.

.308 at all ranges is my freind And yours dont waste your money on .223

-- I just dont know (idonthaveone@sorry.cc), November 11, 2003.

i would have to go witha a .308 winchester because of all its qualitys.

-- josh (trunks_1010@hotmail.com), November 08, 2003.

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