View Full Version : Best 308 rifle

October 2, 2004, 01:46 PM
Hello all,I've been sneaking around this site for a while and now it's time to pipe up.I've got a fairly well-rounded "arsenal" and the only major caliber I'd still like to get is .308 NATO. Any suggestions on a good one?I'm leaning to an M1A just because its a beautiful rifle,but I know others can be had more reasonably.FN,HK91 and their variants would be fine,but I've heard mixed reports about(exact quote)"anything forged by the hammer-monkeys at Century Arms".Sights are not important,as I'd probably put an AimPoint(or more likely knock-off) on it.It would mostly be a range rifle,but something I could still use should the undead roam the earth.Very informative site so far;thanks!

October 2, 2004, 02:31 PM

Kinda pricy at the moment, but...

Uses the FN-FAL magazine = good. :)

October 2, 2004, 02:45 PM
I have an M1A, CETME, L1A1, Savage 12 bolt., But I really want the Bushmaster noted above........seems to be a very accurate weapon right out of the box.
My Savage is my accuracy weapon with the M1A running a close second.
Might I ask why would you use an aimpoint on a 308?
catch ya later

October 2, 2004, 06:11 PM
I personally like the FN/FAL. I've heard only good things about the DSArms (http://www.dsarms.com) FALs, but I've never actually tried one. Given a choice between two perfect specimens, I would go with the FAL, because it's an older, more proven design.

Link (http://www.dsarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=SA58STD&storeid=1&image=sa58std.gif)


Glock Holiday
October 2, 2004, 06:54 PM
How about a Russian VEPR in .308? You can't beat the AK action for reliability and performance.You can scope the VEPR and Saiga rifles fairly cheaply also.I own a Russian VEPR and am very happy with it.Fit and finish is super and it shoots like a dream.You owe it to yourself to check into them. IMHO :cool:

October 2, 2004, 08:27 PM
M1 Garand chambered in .308 with a new Wilson barrel and Wenig stock. Complete rifle will run you $800.00.



Guaranteed to put a lasting smile on your face...

October 2, 2004, 09:00 PM
An Aimpoint on a 308?I should have clarified,if I didn't like the iron sights I'd probably put a mil-dot on it,because I like them.If they're zeroed in they're pretty accurate.If I wanted a sniper rifle I'd get a Remington 700 with a scope.

Arizona Fusilier
October 2, 2004, 09:43 PM
Another vote for FN/FAL.

October 3, 2004, 03:10 AM
For the UNDEAD, this one always gets me going: :eek:

Vepr II .308 with Springfield 2x "Scout" Scope and Harris Bipod.
The Weaver "see through" rings are used to get the occular lens up over the rear sight.
This provides the correct eye relief for the "scout" scope on an AK.

Found at:

It might be just what you're looking for! :D

4V50 Gary
October 3, 2004, 03:56 AM
That gas tube can't be a stable mount for a scope. The mount would have to be free floated and independent of the gas tube to give consistent results. Oh, it's for killing the undead - never mind. :rolleyes:

October 3, 2004, 08:43 AM
The Ultimak mounts clamp to the barrel as well.


Personally, I read the question at the top of the page as "What's the best .308?" with 'looks' and vaguely-defined 'zombie-killing potential' being the two deciding criteria. I think a Ruger No.1 would be swell, or maybe a nice mannlicher-stocked Steyr SL carbine. Zombies move pretty slow, so reload times aren't too terribly important, and a spiffy rifle will help one look good for the camera. ;)

4V50 Gary
October 3, 2004, 09:24 AM
Thanks Tamara. Clamping to the barrel makes sense. Still the bumpy ride of the gas piston rod must be jarring for the scope.

October 3, 2004, 10:09 AM
I'm leaning to an M1A just because its a beautiful rifle, but I know others can be had more reasonably.

Bushmaster = $$$$
M1A = $$$
VEPR = $$


Jamie Young
October 3, 2004, 10:14 AM
Are there any bad rifles chambered in .308?

October 3, 2004, 03:38 PM
Good point, Jamie. Even the basic Rem. 7400 is reasonably tough and accurate. Alot of the debate about "best" .308 centers on combat conditions and use - a far cry from even the standard SHTF daydream.

October 3, 2004, 10:38 PM
All very interesting...in Illinois it's pretty strict and for the most part,even at gun shows there's not a whole lot of selection.You can't just buy a gun and decide you want to swap it for something later,not without unnecessary paperwork and a big wait.That's why I'd like to find out what a good all-around one would be that I could stick with for a while.
And before everyone thinks I'm some yahoo hope-for-the-war wannabe-commando for my zombie post,I'd like to say that I already own several firearms,go to the range about twice a week,and have shot with and am friends with several members of the military and LE community.Not in any official training,but they have taught me quite a bit about how to shoot.I seriously doubt I will ever be in any combat situation unless I manage to get Hoppes on my wife's sewing machine again.I'd like to think I'm fairly mature for my age(23),but I joke alot and that throws people off sometimes.And Tamara,some zombies move pretty quick.

October 4, 2004, 04:19 AM
Thanks Tamara. Clamping to the barrel makes sense. Still the bumpy ride of the gas piston rod must be jarring for the scope.

Besides that, the VEPR (pictured) comes from the factory with a perfectly serviceable sidemount. Of course it isnt "scouty", and its just not cool to have your optics mounted over the receiver anymore.

October 4, 2004, 08:25 AM
I love my Armalite AR-10...I could not decide what to get either when I was trying to decide on a .308...a Remington LTR or an Armalite AR-10...so I saved up for a few years and got both...love them...both more accurate than I am and very fun to shoot. I have had zero trouble with either rifle after hundreds of rounds through each. Interestingly they both like the same ammo too...of course they both like the Federal gold medal match, but both shoot almost as well with the Federal 165 grain trophy bonded factory loads...major cool.

October 4, 2004, 09:48 AM
M1A - great but $$$$
FAL (a GOOD one) - great but $$$$
AR-10 - great but $$$$, especially the Bushy
HK-91 - great but $$$$

For a mid-range priced one ($700-$1,000), I like that .308 garand above (wow - beautiful!), or a Super VEPR (also a *very* pretty gun).

For a lowish price range, I like the VEPR II or (yes) even CETME in a pinch (supposedly the Century Arms CETMEs are consistently decent now...).

For a dirt-floor budget, I'd run with the Saiga .308 AK.

If I could save $1,500 +, it would be either an FAL from DSA, or a Springfield M1A, decked out, probably the FAL, due to mag cheapness.

October 6, 2004, 04:45 PM
i have owned a cetme and it was a great reliable and decently accurate rifle..right now i have a m1a and i like it..price was high for my usual budget but i feel was worth it...i think it boils down to preference and what is most usable for you (price,style,etc) but have always wanted an fal and maybe someday i will...

Barry in IN
October 6, 2004, 07:04 PM
Of the "military-style" semi-autos, I have, or have had, the following: M1A, M1 Garand (rebarreled with a Krieger barrel), HK91, FAL, and AR-10. I still have at least one of each, except the HK91.
Some good and bad about each........

*M1A- Mine is a "National Match" model, that I got in 1987, and used for NRA Highpower matches.
Positives- Wood and steel like a "real rifle". The M1A and the M1 have the best triggers of the bunch. If you already own an M1 Garand, you will be familiar/comfortable with it's operation. If you want to shoot Highpower matches with it, you can, and go far. Parts are available- they may not be as available or cheap as others, however. CAPABLE of excellent accuracy (see negatives).

Negatives- Wood and steel like a "real rifle". Fiberglass stocks are plentiful, though, if you so desire. Cost-More expensive than most "clone rifles", but less than say, a Belgian FN-made FAL. Really, most of the negatives are middle-of-the-road stuff like that: Not the worst, but not the best either.

Accuracy can be had, but they usually need epoxy-bedded at the very least, and probably a barrel. For serious competition-level accuracy, pass on the Match/Super Match/Ultra Match-type, etc, get a basic model, and have the accuracy work done by one of the big names like Arrington Accuracy or Fulton Armory.
Recoil/jump/kick/whatever isn't the worst of the group, but not the best either. Same with ergonomics in general- they aren't awkward by any means, but there are handier feeling .308 semis. They aren't the hardest to scope, but you end up with a lot of added metal for what you get. Also, the scope ends up too high for the stock without building it up with a pad or similar. Magazines are a little expensive anymore- if I told you what I used to pay, you'd be sick. I am when I think about it.

My biggest complaint (and I'm not alone) is that they don't hold their bedding for as long as I'd like. Compared to the M1 Garand design, which needs periodic re-bedding itself, they have less area on the receiver's vertical "legs" - due to changes made for the detachable box magazine. Since there is less stock area absorbing the recoil, it gets pounded hard. Even if epoxy-bedded with powdered steel added, it just doesn't last. When top Highpower competitors and teams still used the M14/M1A, they had to re-bed annually at a minimum, if they were very actively competing.

*M1 Garand- Most of the M1A comments apply here.
Although, personally, I prefer the .308/7.62 M1 over the M1A. Most of that is because there is no big magazine hanging out. It's easier to carry or shoot prone. Of course, five shot mags in the M1A solve those things. M1 clips are a lot cheaper than M14 mags. Accuracy with an M1 usually seems to at least match an M1A in equally-prepared rifles. In equal-weight barrels, the M1 is more front-heavy, which I prefer in a big rifle like this. I'm not sure, but M1 parts are probably more available than M14/M1A parts. Scoping is more of a pain than with an M1A, due to the need to load from the top.
Last but not least when comparing M1 to M1A, if you get a USGI M1 Garand, it is the real deal, with history behind it. The M1A, no matter how nice it is, and how many USGI parts it has, is still a replica. And in many cases, a cast-receivered replica.

*HK91- I don't have it anymore, but I had an HK91 made in 1983. It shot well- good groups and never choked. Scoping is a piece of cake with an A.R.M.S. mount. Expensive, but easy. The trigger was pretty bad- looong takeup, then heavy pull. Since I wanted to use it scoped (why, I don't know) I had the trigger unit re-worked by Williams Trigger Specialties to a set trigger. That worked well, and was a big help even when used "un-set".

Negatives- Parts were expensive, and hard to get (at that time anyway, I don't know now). Recoil was easily greater than any of the other rifles I'm mentioning here- I feel, anyway. Ergonomics were OK- mostly good, but there were little things like the safety was hard for me to reach. Of course, that's my thumb- yours may like it fine. It was worth so much money that I was afraid to use it, but that's better now with the clones available.

*FAL- I like these a lot. I really have to wonder what things would've been like (then and now) had the U.S. adopted this design instead of the M14.
My first one was/is a Century, and evidently I got THE good one, because it has been a great rifle. The parts are pretty worn, but it works fine, perhaps a tribute to the design. Ergonomics are good- with the thumbhole stock gone and the correct one on. Accuracy is pretty decent- 2" with a pretty worn barrel. Trigger is OK, but nothing great. Recoil is hard to say, but probably second best, after the AR-10. Magazines are cheap and available. Parts are cheap and available. The gas system is adjustable- you can set it to tap off just enough to operate the action, or open it up if filthy dirty to ensure function. They always looked long and awkward to me, but they handle quite well, and are very slim. The ability to scope is a money thing- if you spend enough to get a good mount, it works fine.

Negatives- A little bit longer than some rifles. Parts are plentiful now, but I can't help but think those days are numbered. You have to be careful when getting parts, to make sure they are compatable with your rifle (Inch, Metric, Israeli, other). Some have a tendancy to string shots vertically, a product of the locking method.

*AR10- I have an ArmaLite AR10(T), the 24" free-floating barreled model that's meant to be scoped. Mine has the supposed-to-be-optional (most seem to have it) two-stage "match" trigger. As an AR15 fan, I'm gonna like it.
It has a lot in common with the AR15- ergonomics mostly, but a lot of parts interchange also. I think it has the least recoil of any of these rifles mentioned- but that's a subjective thing. It's the most accurate in terms of group size, but is also the most consistently accurate, and holds it's zero. I don't recall any function trouble.

Negatives- Cost:One of the costlier ones here. Not used by any military as an "issue" rifle, so not a lot of replacement parts available. A lot of parts are shared with the AR15-type, but certainly not all. Uses what are probably the most expensive magzines of the bunch.
No "true" history. By that I mean, if you get an M1, it has "been somewhere". If you get an FAL or HK91/G3 clone, at least most of the parts could have "been somewhere". With an AR10, you get none of that. BUT, that may be a very good thing.

October 6, 2004, 08:43 PM
It took me a while but around the first of the year I bought my "first" M1A and I'm absolutely floored by it...my other rifles are jealous and I keep running out of ammo!!! I have the SA Scout/ Squad with the synthetic stock but also have a project that starts tomorrow with a bit of sand blasting, two fiberglass stocks one will be tiger striped and the other in desert...It's my first, so may take some time...last week I got rid of the factory muzzle break and put an M!$ flash suppressor on, after removing the bayonet lug...soon as I figure out how to post pictures, I'll show you all... :cool:

October 7, 2004, 10:34 PM
I have only owned a stg-58 and a french MAS 49/56, but I have spent a bit of time researching main battle rifles. In the lower price range, I would go with one of the PTR rifles offered by sarco, nice guns in the 700 dollar range. I love ak's so Veprs would be good but a M-14 mag conversion is a must, and i'm not overly fond of the americanized VEPR stock. Best route may be to buy a .308 saiga, and have it customized to somethign akin to a seven pound GALIL. , Krinkov folder, A2 rear sight, M-14 mags, flash hider, bayonet, the works. That would be nice.

October 10, 2004, 07:43 AM
Not the Cetmes I've got. On the better, older wood/cast ss receiver model, the front sight triple frame is mounted off center. My newer black synth stock one jams, the bolt carrier sticks hard in the open position, & the stock took two large men to pull off. Forget anything from crapshoot Century, except for their junky fun beater AKs. They're STILL cheesy monkey moron assemblers. On the plus side, two big thumbs up for my DSA SA-58 FAL and Bushmaster BAR-10. Both are accurate esp. w/red dots or scopes, and reliable if you use good quality FAL mags. Also, don't even bother about using a Buffer Tech - it'll cause damage & you won't need it with either one.