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.308 Winchester: Wikis


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.308 Winchester
From left to right 9.3x62mm, .30-06 Springfield, 8x57mm IS, 6.5x55mm and .308 Winchester cartridges.
The 7.62x51mm NATO (not pictured) is similar in appearance to the .308 Winchester.
Type Rifle
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designed 1952
Parent case .300 Savage
Case type Rimless, Bottleneck
Bullet diameter 0.308 in (7.8 mm)
Neck diameter 0.3433 in (8.72 mm)
Shoulder diameter 0.4539 in (11.53 mm)
Base diameter 0.4709 in (11.96 mm)
Rim diameter 0.4728 in (12.01 mm)
Rim thickness 0.0539 in (1.37 mm)
Case length 2.015 (51.18 mm)
Overall length 2.800 (71.12 mm)
Rifling twist 1 in 12 in (305 mm)
Primer type Large Rifle
Maximum pressure 62,000 psi (430 MPa)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
150 gr (9.7 g) Nosler tip 2,820 ft/s (860 m/s) 2,648 ft·lbf (3,590 J)
165 gr (10.7 g) BTSP 2,700 ft/s (820 m/s) 2,671 ft·lbf (3,621 J)
168 gr (10.9 g) BTHP 2,650 ft/s (810 m/s) 2,619 ft·lbf (3,551 J)
175 gr (11.3 g) BTHP 2,600 ft/s (790 m/s) 2,627 ft·lbf (3,562 J)
180 gr (12 g) Nosler partition High-Energy 2,740 ft/s (840 m/s) 3,000 ft·lbf (4,100 J)
Test barrel length: 24 in
Source: Federal Cartridge Co. ballistics page

The .308 Winchester is a rifle round and is the commercial version of the military 7.62x51mm NATO centerfire cartridge. The .308 Winchester was introduced in 1952, two years prior to the NATO adoption of the 7.62x51mm NATO T65. Winchester (a subsidiary of Olin Corporation) branded the cartridge and introduced it to the commercial hunting market as the .308 Winchester. Winchester's Model 70 and Model 88 rifles were subsequently chambered for the new cartridge. Since then, the .308 Winchester has become the most popular short-action, big-game hunting cartridge worldwide.[1] It is also commonly used for civilian target shooting, military sniping, and police sharpshooting. The relatively short case makes the .308 Winchester especially well adapted for short action rifles.

Although very similar to the military 7.62x51mm NATO, specifications for the .308 cartridge are not identical and there are special considerations that may apply when mixing one cartridge with differently chambered arms.[2]


Cartridge dimensions

The .308 Winchester has 3.64 ml (56.0 grains) H2O cartridge case capacity.[3] The exterior shape of the case was designed to promote reliable case feeding and extraction in bolt action rifles and machine guns alike, under extreme conditions.

Americans would define the shoulder angle at alpha/2 = 20 degrees. The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 305 mm (1 in 12 in), 4 grooves, Ø lands = 7.62 mm, Ø grooves = 7.82 mm, land width = 4.47 mm and the primer type is large rifle.[4]

According to the official C.I.P. (Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives) guidelines the .308 Winchester case can handle up to 415 MPa (60,190 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every rifle cartridge combo has to be proofed at 125% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers.

.308 Winchester maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions. All sizes in millimeters (mm) plus Imperial (inches).

Commercial Use

The .308 Winchester is one of the most successful hunting cartridges[5] in the world and has gained popularity in many countries as an exceptional cartridge for game in the medium- to large-sized class. In North America it is used extensively on Whitetail deer, Pronghorn and even the occasional Caribou or Black Bear. In Africa the .308 Win is one of the most popular calibres among Bushveld hunters and is used on anything from Duiker right up to the massive Eland.

The .308 Winchester as a parent case

Several more cartridges have been developed using the .308 Winchester as a parent case, some becoming very popular for hunting, particularly in North America.[6] These are the .243 Winchester, the .260 Remington (aka 6.5-08 A-Square), the 7 mm-08 Remington, the .338 Federal, and the .358 Winchester (aka 8.8x51mm). In 1980, two rimmed cartridges based on the .308 Winchester were introduced for use in the Winchester Model 94 XTR Angle Eject rifle; the .307 Winchester and the .356 Winchester.

See also


  1. ^ Simpson, Layne (February 2000). "The 20th Century's Top Rifle Cartridge". Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  2. ^ 7.62x51mm NATO or 308 Winchester?
  3. ^ Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading, Fourth Edition, 1991, Hornady Manufacturing Company, Grand Island, NE.
  4. ^ Nosler Reloading Guide Number Four, 1996, Nosler, Inc., Bend OR.
  5. ^ Speer Reloading Manual Number 12, 1994, Blount, Inc., Lewiston, ID.
  6. ^ Nosler Reloading Guide Number Four, 1996, Nosler, Inc., Bend OR.

External links



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