.308 shooters, take note...
(A note from Match Director Dan Newberry)
Most long range shooters know about the influx in recent years of 6 and 6.5mm cartridges into competitions such as the one we're hosting here. The .308 admittedly gives up a fair bit (as much as 30%) on wind drift over the 6's, and this has caused many diehard .308 shooters to shy away from competitions where they would be shooting against cartridges that have wind drift advantages over the .308--in other words "it just ain't fair!"
But fear not. We are definitely planning on awarding a high level prize to the top .308 shooter in the match. The proximity of the prize to the 1st place prize will depend on how close the .308 shooter's score ends up being to the top score for the match. Suffice it to say that if you're shooting a .308 for the match, you will not have to out-shoot 2 dozen 6.5mm shooters to get a decent pick from the prize table. And yes--we've seen .308 shooters win our matches before, so it's not as though you don't have a shot at the grand prize.
Why the special consideration for the .308 Winchester? Good question. First of all, there are TONS of them out there, and it isn't likely that the popularity of the cartridge is going to wane any time soon. For the time being, our military is still using it. It's the easiest long range cartridge to find good quality match ammo for. For handloaders, it's a very forgiving cartridge to load for. And a .308 barrel will last for thousands and thousands of rounds, far longer than any of the 6's for 6.5's. So .308's remain very, very popular. Lastly, since the Guardian genre is based on real world possibilities involving defense of hearth and home--and survival--.308's are going to be, with little doubt, the most common rifle fielded in such a scenario, so we want to see plenty of them on the course.
I have a lot of respect for dedicated .308 drivers. Kind of like old school bikers who still hang on to their shovel-heads... there's something about 'em. But the problem is, clinging to your .308 means that you're going to have to shoot *better* than a 6.5mm shooter just to tie the guy... if you're as good--but no better than--the 6.5 shooter on the mat next to you, he's gonna eat your lunch. That's just how it is. We know that.
If .308's just went away, we wouldn't need to have these concerns. But that's not happening anytime soon, and I therefore don't believe we should design matches that ignore the preponderance of .308's out there. Hence the plan...
So don't sit this one out if you're a .308 shooter.
(And now you can't use the fact that you do shoot a .308 as an excuse not to come out and play).