For countless hunters, a rifle is more than just a tool – it’s a companion.
And when it comes to selecting the best one for the job, there are myriad factors to consider: accuracy, reliability, weight, and adaptability, to name a few.
Among the numerous choices available, the .308 semi-automatic rifle emerges as a favorite for many hunting enthusiasts, especially those who are on the move or pursuing larger game.
And within this category, Faxon Firearms has made a name for itself with the Faxon Sentinel 308 – a blend of craftsmanship and performance. In this article, we’ll explore why the Sentinel 308 stands out as the best .308 semi-auto hunting rifle in the market.
Why the .308 Semi-Auto Rifle
When pondering over rifle calibers, the .308 Winchester semi-auto emerges as a top contender, and for good reasons.
Let’s talk ballistics: Place the .308 Winchester side by side with a caliber like the .223 Remington, and you see stark differences. Take, for example, Federal loads. While the .223 with a 62-grain projectile offers 3,020 fps and 1,255 ft/lbs of energy, the .308 with a 150-grain bullet comfortably outpaces it with 2,820 fps and an impressive 2,648 ft/lbs of energy. Simply put, the .308 has a heftier punch.
The extended range of the 308 cartridge is another major draw. It’s effective out to an impressive 1,000 yards, outperforming the 600-yard reach of .223. This means, with the right skills, you can connect with targets from a greater distance.
And then there’s the legacy of the .308 Winchester. This isn’t some newfangled caliber on the block. It’s been trusted by armies worldwide for over half a century. Its balance of power, range, and controllability makes it a reliable jack of all trades round. Add to this its global recognition, and it’s evident why the .308 remains a preferred choice for many.
308 Win vs 7.62 NATO
The .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO are two closely related rifle cartridges that share many similarities but also exhibit notable differences, making it important to understand their distinctions, applications, and interchangeability.
Introduced by Winchester in 1952, the .308 Winchester (often referred to as “.308 Win") cartridge has established itself as a popular choice in the realm of civilian sports shooting and hunting. Designed with a focus on accuracy, this cartridge has earned a reputation for its performance in various scenarios, from precision target shooting to big game hunting. Its dimensions and ballistics provide a balance between power and recoil, making it suitable for a wide range of firearms and purposes. The .308 Win cartridge’s case dimensions and overall design have been standardized to create consistent performance across different manufacturers and firearm platforms.
In contrast, the 7.62x51mm NATO (also known as “7.62 NATO") cartridge was developed as a standardized military round for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its allied forces. While the 7.62 NATO cartridge shares many dimensions with the .308 Win, it can differ slightly in terms of chamber specifications and pressure levels. These differences are driven by the intended use cases of the two cartridges. This can lead to variations in pressure tolerances between firearms chambered for the civilian .308 Win and those designed for military 7.62 NATO rounds.
One of the central questions often asked about these cartridges pertains to their interchangeability. In many cases, firearms chambered for .308 Win can safely fire 7.62 NATO rounds and vice versa. However, due to the pressure variations, it’s recommended to exercise caution and consult the firearm manufacturer’s guidelines.
The availability of ammunition is another important consideration. .308 Win ammunition is more widely accessible in the civilian market. It comes in various bullet types tailored for different applications, including hunting and target shooting. This diversity of options allows shooters to select ammunition that suits their specific needs. On the other hand, 7.62 NATO ammunition is primarily produced for military and law enforcement purposes. While surplus 7.62 NATO ammunition might find its way onto the civilian market, its quality and consistency can vary due to its military origins.
In the end, the .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges share a complex relationship defined by their historical origins, intended uses, pressure differences, and interchangeability. When considering their use, it’s crucial to be aware of the nuances between the two cartridges and to adhere to firearm manufacturer recommendations to ensure safe and effective operation.
What is the Best 308 Semi Auto Rifle
The Faxon Firearms Sentinel 308 isn’t just another off-the-rack firearm. Instead, it presents a distinct and tailored appearance, making it feel custom-tailored right from the moment you unbox it.
The core feature that sets the Sentinel apart is the Match Series Heavy Fluted Barrel by Faxon. Not only is this barrel an embodiment of precision, but the meticulous attention to detail during its manufacturing is also evident. The barrel’s production occurs entirely in Faxon’s state-of-the-art facility located in greater Cincinnati, ensuring optimal quality control.
Material selection is paramount, and the choice of 416-R stainless steel for the barrel is a testament to durability and performance. The inclusion of 5R rifling ensures improved accuracy and bullet stabilization. Additionally, the barrel extension comes with an NP3 coating that enhances its longevity and performance. But the attention to detail doesn’t stop there. A salt bath nitrided finish on the barrel not only provides a sleek look but also ensures protection against corrosion and wear.
But the Sentinel isn’t just about its barrel. Its design is completed with a high-strength 7075 Billet Aluminum Receiver Set. This provides a robust foundation for the rifle, ensuring longevity and consistent performance. Coupled with the Faxon G3 Aluminum Streamline M-LOK Handguard, the rifle offers a versatile platform for attachments and customizations.
The Faxon Superfinished Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) is another standout feature, ensuring smooth cycling and reliability in various conditions.
All in all, with its plethora of upgrades and features, the Faxon Sentinel .308 AR-10 Rifle is more than just a firearm. It’s an experience and will undoubtedly become a cherished addition to any hunter’s collection.