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Old October 4, 2012, 08:15 PM   #1
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Practical Use for Rifle?

I'm wanting to get a full caliber .308 semi auto battle rifle (gonna be an m14 or FAL, maybe ptr91). Thing is though, I like to know that the gun I bought will be practical and that I might have some legitimate, life saving uses for it.

Barring such scenarios like SHTF. In a normal civilians life is there any potential self defense use for a .308 semi auto?

They say it's too loud and too much penetration for home defense.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:30 PM   #2
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It is more of a LE/Military marksman round. For civilian use, Its not a suitable round for indoors IMO due to overpenetration (and other issues). Unless you have a lot of land to defend and there is the posibility of someone posing a threat from a distance of over 100 yards there isnt really a "defensive" scenario that I could think of for the 308.

Last edited by FrosSsT; October 5, 2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:40 PM   #3
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Are there any .308 rounds that are suitable for Home Defense?
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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um.... man. .308 is meant for power at distance. I'd look into a frangible round,

frangibles disintegrate when they hit a wall or other hard surface. They're not foolproof, but they minimize wall penetration when the shooter misses. They're also some of the nastiest things you can shoot someone with out there. Theyre also potentially hard to find.

If you go with frang, make sure you test em out on a range to make sure they feed well and your gun likes em before you go trusting your life with them.
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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I agree with what others have said; 308 is kinda overkill for HD.
If you are REALLY intent on going rifle for home defense look at 5.56MM NATO or 5.56x39 AKA 5.56 Russian.

308 is about power at a distance; unless you live alone on a big plot of land and expect to be besieged by outside forces its total overkill.

Honestly; if you are not are talking about shooting at people in body armor(even then); shooting at cars or shooting at people beyond the effective range of 5.56 then I would save the extra $; buy an AR-15 and all the goodies you like for SD and small game hunting then go drop that extra cash into a good bolt action rifle like a Remington 700 in 308 for more "practical" uses.

I thought about getting something in 7.62x39 or 308 as a "SD" rifle but it just has too much power if you live anywhere near other homes.

The "Practical" part of a 308 battle rifle is IF S really hit the F; over penetration of your home will not be as big of an issue; you will only have one kind of ammunition to stock etc and it could be used for SD or hunting. Unless you plan to go on the run this is not that big of a deal; just stock up on two different rifle calibers. It does simplify things a little bit but the odds of confronting 1-3 burglars in or around your home is much higher than the odds of TEOTWAWKI

Last edited by Patriot86; October 4, 2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Patriot86
5.56x39 AKA 5.56 Russian
Do you mean 5.45x39?

It has a rep as a sweet shooting round.
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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I do camp quite a bit, and there have been some close run ins with panthers. I guess a .308 might be quite comforting in such a situation...
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Old October 4, 2012, 09:56 PM   #8
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I'm not too big on AK's or AR's, especially 5.56. I know many disagree and there's no need to go into it but I just don't feel confident with such a small bullet. I'm aware of the "tumbling" effects but I want a more traditional, .30 cal rifle. Of course, I don't want to penetrate into the next zip code either though...
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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i use a Winchester Model 100 semi-auto in.308 for my primary out-of-state hunting rifle. It is NOT a Military 'style'...but it is a tack-driving hunting gun.

I would urge you to rethink your purpose, as you seem to have an apples/oranges sort of mix-up here.

.Military .308 is great for long-range target and range use. and trophy display.

Sporting .308 (like mine) is a fine hunting gun for deer, hogs and other critters.

Smaller caliber and shotguns are more suited for home defense. 7.62x39mm (AK round), 44 magnum and other pistol sized calibers, 12 ga and 20 ga shotgun shells all can do the job for HD.

Mix and match as you will, but I would be concerned about using a .308 in an urban or suburban home environment.
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Old October 4, 2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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Perhaps the .308 overpenetrates in SD situations. It seems like it would. But can't remember one ever passing through a deer.
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Old October 4, 2012, 11:26 PM   #11
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Hornady Superformance 165gr SSTs didn't pass through a 200lb GA white tail at 25yds. No sure what theyd do to Joe Bad Guy at 2-3yds. My M1A is by far my favorite gun, it'll definitely be the one I go for should the world go to [bad place] in a handbasket, but for bumps in the night I have a shotgun.
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Old October 5, 2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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Outside of hunting, the .308 is a bit much. Heck, even the military decided it was overkill for common use on battlefields.
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Old October 5, 2012, 12:26 AM   #13
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I had a Remington Core-lokt out of a 18'' barreled Remington 600 pass through a white tail.

Problem isn't so much passing through, its when you miss and it starts going through walls.

I know you said you don't like AR's because of the small bullet, but your asking to justify your purchase when there is really no justifying it. A 5.56 is more suitable for your needs and will perform better for home defense, and that small bullet will stop someone or something in its tracks. If you want a M1A or FAL by all means buy one, but I would be hard pressed to choose one of those over my AR-15 for home defense.
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Old October 5, 2012, 03:12 AM   #14
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It's not so much that the military thought the 7.62 was overkill for "stopping power" but rather for distance and weight. An average soldier doesn't accurately engage the enemy at 700yds, and they can carry 2-3x more 5.56 than 7.62.

and that small bullet will stop someone or something in its tracks.
WAY too many factors make this a questionable statement.
That said, the lower recoil of a 5.56 does make rapid follow-up shots easier. Quite a few enemies on the battlefield continued to fight after 1 hit. A lot fewer continued fighting after taking multiple hits.
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Old October 5, 2012, 12:56 PM   #15
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What sort of home? A rancher on the Mexican border might find a 308 useful but it's probably a bad idea in a neighborhood. Maybe you should consider a shotgun?

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Old October 5, 2012, 03:19 PM   #16
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6.8 or 300 BLK

I chose 6.8

Its about 80 percent of a 308 in ft pounds

Good for hunting deer size animal

And 120 SST bullets are a thumper
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Old October 5, 2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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There's a lot of good advice here. If you hunt deer or have a lot of property, then you can easily justify a .308. If you live in a subdivision, though, then outside of civil unrest, a rifle has too much range.

If that .308, .223 or 7.62x39 doesn't hit a bad guy and passes through something in your house that won't stop a a door or a window, or you have to engage a target on your lawn and you miss, then that bullet is going into you neighbor's house and will retain a lot more momentum than any pistol round. Just look at the ballistics of a .45 ACP at 100 yards and a .223...

For me, a pistol, shotgun or maybe a pistol caliber carbine is probably the most powerful I'd ever need for my home.

That sure didn't prevent me from buying several rifles, but, really they're just for the range.

Last edited by testuser; October 5, 2012 at 04:02 PM.
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:45 PM   #18
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If you get .308 such as DPMS, you can get a .243 barrel and have two in one deal.

Also self defense from wild animals in some environments I guess would be appropriate, although unlikely in urban.

DPMS .308 kind of 'matches' the .308 cartridge versatility (as the cartridge is a parent case for several different rounds, and DPMS with a barrel swap can match those).
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