Best 308 Hunting Rifle | Buyers Guide

If you’re looking for a hunting rifle that can handle larger game like deer, then a 308 hunting rifle might be your best bet. Although some people might tell you that the .30-06 or the .270 are better options, the .308 is still a solid choice.

The .308 cartridge and the rifles that use it are popular among hunters because they are powerful and accurate, and they are available in many different applications. They allow hunters to take down big game with ease, while still being gentle enough to hunt smaller animals without causing too much damage.

The .308 Winchester bullet is one of the top-selling cartridges for hunting mid-size to large game all over the world. In the United States, hunters often use the .308 to hunt whitetail deer, black bears, elk, and mule deer.

Needless to say, the tried-and-true 308 hunting rifle gets the job done accurately and reliably.

Best .308 Short-Barrel Hunting Rifles

We are going to give you the best hunting rifles that are chambered in .308 Winchester with a 20" barrel.

Each of the .308 hunting rifles will be graded based on their affordability, accuracy, durability, and quality of materials used to manufacture the rifle.

I figure that I only buy a new rifle every 5-8 years, so putting in a long weekend of research to ensure I get the best gun is worth it for me.

Christensen Arms .308 Ridgeline

Prices accurate at time of writing

What Do I Look For in a .308 Rifle?

  • barrel materials
  • stock construction
  • barrel length
  • whether the rifle is drilled and tapped

What is a .308 Winchester?

Initially designed in 1952, the .308 Winchester is made from the 30-06 cartridge, except with a rimless casing and bottleneck design. For all of my Veterans out there, this is similar (not the same) to the 7.62 mm round with a shorter casing, designed for short-action rifles.

This specific round is designed for feeding and extraction in bolt-action rifles under hostile conditions (extreme heat, cold, snow, rain, etc.).

Since its inception into the market in 1952, the .308 Winchester has become the most popular hunting rifle cartridge in the world.

What Is the Best .308 Ammunition?

The best .308 ammunition is dependent on the big game that you’re trying to take down, so it can be subjective and relative. The bigger the grain, the more power it is going to have, so if you’re shooting at a Whitetail Deer, you’re not going to need anything bigger than a 125 grain.

However, if you’re trying to take on an Elk or Moose, you need to go with something like a 168 to 175-grain bullet for extra stopping power and slower velocity.

I recommend the 168-grain bullet because it seems to be the sweet spot between force and velocity. If you want to take down a bigger animal or if you want to drop that whitetail immediately, a 168 grain .308 will do the job.

What Is the Best .308 Ammunition?
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Federal Gold Medal Berger Juggernaut Rifle Ammunition .308 Win 185 gr OTM

Browning’s BXC Controlled Expansion Terminal Tip ammunition is designed to bring down the biggest game you’ll need to shoot, such as Moose or Elk. You lose a little velocity versus the smaller grain bullets, but you gain the energy required to penetrate the thick hide and big bones of large game.

This specific round is designed to be incredibly accurate (as with most heavier bullets) at longer ranges and maintain enough force and velocity to hit your target from distances well above 600 meters.

Federal Gold Medal Berger Juggernaut Rifle Ammunition .308 Win 185 gr OTM

at Natchez Shooting Supplies
Prices accurate at time of writing

FEDERAL 308 150 GR Power Shok

The Federal 150 Soft Point Power Shok ammo is not only great for hunting whitetail deer and training, but it’s also very affordable, especially for Federal ammo. At just $22.66 for a box of 20 rounds, you won’t find a better price right now anywhere online for Federal .308 ammo.

This ammo is known for its consistency and versatility to be used for hunting anything from deer and coyotes to hogs.


  • Caliber 308 Win
  • Bullet Weight 150
  • Bullet Style Jacketed Soft Point
  • Muzzle Velocity 2820
  • Ballistic Coefficient .313
  • Bullet Length In 1.020in. / 25.91mm
  • Package Quantity 20
  • Usage Medium Game

FEDERAL 308 150GR Power Shok

at Kentucky Gun Company
Prices accurate at time of writing

Best 308 Hunting Rifles

Now that we have the ammo taken care of, it’s time to get into the rifles that I would choose if I wanted a .308 hunting rifle. The Savage 10/110 Trophy Hunter XP, the Remington 700, and the Bergara B-14 HMR are some of the best rifles on the market today.

As any hunter knows, it’s incredibly difficult to say these rifles are the best because everybody shoots differently, but I know you can’t go wrong with these choices.

As our readers know, I am not a fan of short barrel hunting rifles, but I would make an exception for any of these rifles listed here. Using a heavier bullet and a stable shooting platform will get you to the distances you need to make a good shot.


Savage is an excellent company with an outstanding reputation for durability, dependability, and price.  As you’ll see below, scopes can run you into the thousands for the top-of-the-line brands.

If you’re taking shots at distances greater than 600 meters, you might want a longer barrel, but you could compensate with a heavier bullet, like the Browning BXC. The barrel is free-floating, which takes a lot of the recoil away while their famous AccuTrigger system provides a steady and incredibly light trigger pull.

For the price, quality, and durability, I can’t find any rifle that is better than the Savage 11/111 Hog Hunter. There are more expensive rifles with better barrels, but I think the Savage Hog Hunter has great features like the medium contoured barrel that provides more weight to the barrel, but also more distance.

The Hog Hunter features a 20" barrel to accommodate the difficult terrain that you normally find feral hogs in. It’s always better to have a shorter barrel in dense woodlands or brush that hides hogs as they sleep and search for food.  Anyone who’s ever been hog hunting can tell you that a group of 10 hogs can destroy a 100-acre farm in a weekend if left unchecked. Their propensity to eat and destroy land is second to none and this Savage rifle is the perfect response to this destructive piece of bacon.


Savage 11/111
Weight7.4 lbs
Barrel Length20"
Overall Length40.5"
Magazine Capacity4 (box mag)
Trigger Pull Weight1.5-6lbs (Adjustable)
Twist Rate1:9" RH


  • Affordable
  • Best Trigger for any Rifle I’ve shot
  • Made for all environmental conditions


  • Heavier than a lot of competitors
  • Bolt is not as smooth as most other newer rifles
  • Needs modification for maximum comfort


  • Free-Floating Barrel
  • Walnut Stock
  • Comes with Nikon Scope
  • AccuTrigger

Why You Should Buy This Rifle

This is an outstanding rifle to start with if you’re a new hunter because it’s the most economical rifle on the market today. I don’t want you to confuse economical with a cheap product, because this rifle is made with quality and precision in mind. To walk away with a new rifle and scope for $600 is an absolute steal for anyone who is worried about money and needs a hunting rifle.

Savage Arms 11/111 Hog Hunter

Prices accurate at time of writing

Remington 700 XCR Tactical

I know many of you are probably tired of reading about the Remington 700, but the XCR model is one of the best rifles in the world.

The XCR (Xtreme Conditions Rifle) is made for handling rain, snow, extreme heat, and the heavy winds of the great plains or the valleys of the Rocky Mountains.

The TriNyte Corrosion Control System is so incredible the XCR can withstand literally any environmental condition we have on our planet.


Remington 700 XCR
Weight10 lbs
Barrel Length20"
Overall Length39.75"
Magazine Capacity4


  • The most durable rifle I’ve ever seen
  • Incredible accuracy
  • 26" barrel gives it extended range


  • Very Heavy
  • Complaints about the trigger require a lot of people to buy an aftermarket trigger
  • Very expensive

Why You Should Buy This Gun

This is one of those rifles that hunters dream about, with the extended range, durability, and accuracy that can get you shots that most other rifles simply can’t make. I recommend this for experienced hunters because you’re going to spend about $2,000-4,000 when you add your scope and any other attachments you feel you need. At 10 lbs, this is a very heavy gun to be hauling around in the valleys and mountain tops of the Rockies or Cascades.

Remington 700 XCR Tactical

at Remington Gun
Prices accurate at time of writing


The Bergara Ridge is specifically designed for competitive shooting with complete customization of the buttstock and cheek well. It comes with a pistol grip that can be replaced with any aftermarket AR-15 grip to get the best grip angle and comfort. One thing that stands out with this rifle is how clean and smooth the trigger is.

The trigger has no discernable creep, feels great for any sized hand, and has about a 3 lb trigger pull weight. The best part of this rifle is the capability of shooting a sub 1.0 MOA at 100 yards with all factory settings, which is unprecedented in the gun industry.


Bergara Ridge
Weight9.2 lbs
Barrel Length20"
Overall Length39.5"
Magazine Capacity4+1


  • Amazing trigger
  • shoots sub 1 MOA at 100 yards
  • Great magazine capacity
  • The most accurate rifle of the three rifles rated
  • Easy feed and extraction
  • I love the pistol grip


  • Very Heavy
  • Short Barrel for a long-range rifle
  • Very Expensive


  • The two-lug system provides incredibly smooth feeding and extraction
  • QD Flush Cups included in the stock for east attachment of a sling
  • Compatible with Remington 700 style rings and bases

Why You Should Buy This Gun

Due to this rifle being produced in Spain, the price is going to be higher due to shipping costs and tariffs, but don’t let that deter you. This rifle is explicitly built with competition in mind, so you know that it’s going to be as accurate as possible. Otherwise, they wouldn’t ever sell any of them. I recommend this rifle to any competitive shooter or experienced hunter with an expendable income.

Bergara Ridge

Prices accurate at time of writing


Is 308 overkill for deer?

The .308 Winchester cartridge is a powerful and versatile option for hunting deer, but whether or not it is overkill depends on various factors, such as the hunter’s skill level, the size of the deer being hunted, and the hunting conditions. While the .308 is capable of taking down a deer with a single shot, proper shot placement and bullet selection are crucial for ensuring a humane kill. Ultimately, the decision of whether the .308 is overkill for deer hunting is a personal one and depends on individual preferences and circumstances.

What grain 308 is best for deer?

When choosing a grain weight for a .308 Winchester cartridge for deer hunting, it’s important to consider the specific hunting situation and personal preferences. Generally, a 150-grain bullet is a good all-around choice, providing a good balance of accuracy, velocity, and terminal performance. However, some hunters may prefer heavier or lighter bullets depending on factors such as distance, terrain, and local hunting regulations. Ultimately, the best grain weight for a .308 cartridge when hunting deer is one that the hunter is comfortable and confident using for a quick and humane kill.

What is the worlds most accurate .308 rifle?

The title of “world’s most accurate .308 rifle" is difficult to definitively assign, as accuracy can be affected by various factors such as the specific rifle’s build quality, ammunition used, and shooter skill level. However, there are several rifles that are widely regarded as being highly accurate in .308 Winchester, such as the Accuracy International AX, the Surgeon Rifles Scalpel, and the Barrett MRAD. Ultimately, the accuracy of a rifle depends on many factors and can vary depending on the specific rifle and the individual shooter’s abilities.


So there you have it, the top contenders for the best 308 hunting rifle.

Each rifle has its own unique features, but they all share the same reliable and accurate performance that every hunter needs. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a beginner, choosing one of these rifles will undoubtedly make your next hunting trip a successful one.

So, get out there and bag that big game with your new 308 hunting rifle!


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Table of Contents

  • What Do I Look For in a .308 Rifle?
  • What is a .308 Winchester?
  • What Is the Best .308 Ammunition?
  • Federal Gold Medal Berger Juggernaut Rifle Ammunition .308 Win 185 gr OTM
  • FEDERAL 308 150 GR Power Shok
  • Specs
  • Best 308 Hunting Rifles
  • SAVAGE 11/111 Hog HUNTER
  • Specs:
  • Pros:
  • Cons:
  • Features:
  • Why You Should Buy This Rifle
  • Remington 700 XCR Tactical
  • Specs:
  • Pros:
  • Cons:
  • Why You Should Buy This Gun
  • Specs:
  • Pros:
  • Cons:
  • Features:
  • Why You Should Buy This Gun
  • FAQs
  • Is 308 overkill for deer?
  • What grain 308 is best for deer?
  • What is the worlds most accurate .308 rifle?
  • Conclusion

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