Calm Down! .308 Isn’t Dead!
As an admin on Long Range Shooters I see a lot of the same topics over and over again. When we talk about having 50,000 plus members its fair to assume we will see the same topic more then once. One of these topics that seems to generate hurt feelings more often then not is comparing .308 to 6.5 Creedmoor. It is beyond me why people get so fired up over this topic. I want to at least take the time to address my thoughts on the matter for what it is worth.
Exterior ballistics play a large part in our ability to compare cartridges these days. The .308 is the old work horse of the long range shooting community. A simple data comparison can be run to see how .308 will stack up with other rounds in the short action class. Yes there are rounds that have better external ballistics, however for many shooters the .308 will do. I am not here to tell you that the .308 is the best cartridge in the whole wide world. I will however tell you that the .308 has been getting the job done for quite a while and will continue to do so. If you would like to see how the ballistics stack up over a wide variety of rounds you can look here.
DIVERSITY of bullet types and weight
The .308 brings a lot to the table when we look at the bullets it can shoot. There are a ton of .30 caliber bullets available. It makes for a versatile platform that can be used for multiple different purposes. If you reload this also gives you multiple options to find out exactly what your rifle likes to shoot. Very few calibers used today have quite the diversity of bullets that the .308 does. The .308 can push bullets weighing in as little as 110 gr all the way up to 220 gr.
factory AMMUNITION availability
This is a topic that is in flux. It depends on where you live and what your local shops stock. With that being said most large retailers and gun stores will always have .308 on the shelf. If you do not reload this is a matter of convenience. In most states you can order ammunition online right to your door or FFL. The primary argument to be made over 6.5 Creedmoor is availability of ammunition. This is less of an issue today then it was a few years ago. As rifle manufactures produce more factory rifles in 6.5 Creedmoor it only makes sense that they will also carry the necessary ammunition to feed the rifles they sell.
If it works for you don’t change it, but stop taking it personally
When we talk about cartridges the topic seems to always end in a heated discussion. If we lay out the facts it becomes apparent quickly that the .308 isn’t the best round for every application. Looking at PRS style shooting the cartridges with higher BC and less recoil dominate the sport. Same thing in many other long range rifle competitions. It is math and science and the end result is hard data. No one is threatening your family or calling your honor into question. If you like your .308 no one is asking you to change it, so stop taking it personally. On the flip side if you don’t like the .308 no one is asking you to change either, so don’t take it personally. Knowing when to give advice and when not to seems to be the biggest contribution to this problem on both sides.
Progress Isn’t a bad thing
“Well it’s just another wildcat based off the .308” is a statement that I have seen quite a few times. The person stating that is not wrong, but they are missing the point. Progress is not a bad thing. Taking something that works and making it better is always a good thing. While some people enjoy driving older vehicles the majority like the comfort and safety features that progress and innovation have brought us in that industry. The same thing can be said about the improvements made with the parent case being the .308 in new cartridges. If we can get better external ballistics with a similar amount of powder and generate less recoil why wouldn’t you do?
There will always be a place for the .308. It is a solid performer with a lot of versatility. It is still in use by Law Enforcement and Military units all over the world. If you have a .308 now and are happy with it no one is asking for you to change that. If you are a new shooter looking for your first long range rifle I wouldn’t skip past the .308 But I also won’t insist that it is the only option either. Like I have said before the most important part of Long Range Shooting is the shooting part, so stop bickering online and get out there and press the trigger to the rear!