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Old December 31, 2011, 05:10 AM   #1
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.308 or .260?

This is my first post on here, and I am not sure if this falls into a General Discussion topic or The Art of the Rifle topic, figured I couldn't go wrong with general.

So here it is I am currently deployed and looking to get (when I return) a mid to long range target rifle for paper punching and maybe steel. So I have some time to do research.
I have really narrowed down my search to either a .308 rifle or .260. I have heard lots of positives and negatives about both. From availability of ammo, cost, ect...

Basically I am looking for experienced opinions here. I have looked at bolt and semi-auto gas guns for both cals. I am still undecided. Any opinions are welcome. I am not nessicarily a tac-nerd. I plan on shooting paper not going to be in a CQB situation outside of AFG, I have enough stuff on my MIL-issue M4, that is all function and not flash. I am 31, I wont be playing airsoft. I want a 500-1000yd target rifle. So that should narrow down some opinions.

My experience with shooting has a good foundation but mostly at the 5.56 and 9mil level, which can be expected from 13 years in the Navy (4 in NSW community **Support Non-operator**). But I want to start reaching out there, seems like more fun.

So Have at it boys!
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Old December 31, 2011, 08:20 AM   #2
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Both are good. If you reload, get the .260, if you don't, get a .308.
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Old December 31, 2011, 08:40 AM   #3
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the 308 is a good round and cheap to reload to!.
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Old December 31, 2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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First of all, thank you for your service.

Both are good, and it really comes down to your personal preference. The high-BC 6.5 bullets are in fashion right now, and if you look at the numbers you might find that they're better suited for long distance work.

However, there is a lot to like in the .308. Plenty of long range rifles are chambered in that cartridge and there is certainly plenty of information to help you along. So, it really boils down to personal preference.

So, keep your head in the game while you're deployed and when you get home, find a rifle that suits you. Either of those calibers is good for what you want to do.
Dennis Dezendorf
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Old December 31, 2011, 08:51 AM   #5
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Thankyou for your service.
My personal favorite is the .308. Many options for bullet weights and loads. But for the longer ranges the 260 has slightly better ballistics against paper. Either is a good choice but hodaka's post about reloading may be important to your decision.
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Old December 31, 2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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I picked up a 308 in the a.r. platform that shoots real well, easy to get scopes with that BDC in them. ammo is all over the place. recoil is no problem for follow-up shots. flat top, full rail. check out some of your options you will like them. thanks for your service, and welcome home vet.
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Old December 31, 2011, 09:17 AM   #7
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Both are good. If you reload, get the .260, if you don't, get a .308.
What he said!
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Old December 31, 2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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I appreciate the thanks, but the guys I support are more deserving of it. I have been in a few harry situations and came out fine, but I am not Army Infantry, or Marine grunt, or anyone on a SOF team, those guys are out everyday. I’ll pass on your thanks to them.
As far as my question. When it comes to reloading or the price for the ammo, I will only be shooting this particular weapon once or twice a month, so price of ammo isn’t as much of a concern. A few of the guys on my team have been in a long time, and they have shot just about everything I know of. From their insights I might be leaning toward the .308, but mostly due to commonality. Plus out here I have shot 7.62 enough to know what to expect in terms of ballistics (perks of working where I do, lots of range time, and tons of guns to chose from.). I wish I had the money for an M40A#, that is my dream bolt gun. But I’m getting a little astray here.
As far as .260 is concerned is it a flatter “hotter” traj. Or is it fairly similar to .308? I guess I’ll look for a good ballistic profile for .260 and compare to the .308.
Thanks for the opinions, keepem’ coming.
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Old December 31, 2011, 09:26 AM   #9
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It isn't so much that the .260 is "flatter" than the .308 (flatter being mostly irrelevant to benchrest shooters, who can compensate for whatever drop they need to, given that the exact range to target is known), but that .260 bullets generally have a higher BC than 7.62mm bullets and therefore remain supersonic farther downrange based on the case capacities of the respective cartridges. The longer a bullet remains supersonic, the higher its accuracy potential at that range.
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Old December 31, 2011, 09:49 AM   #10
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Here is a great article about long range shooting
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Old December 31, 2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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You can get 308 bullets with higher BC than 6.5, they just usually give you trouble with your OAL. If you're using a designated long distance rifle (single shot or with a larger magazine) you can fire Berger 210 VLDs with a BC over 0.6. But if all you're doing is killing paper, the 260 is probably the better alternative. So off-hand I don't know of a 260 semi-auto, you probably will have to stay with bolt actions.
I used to love being able to hit hard at 1000 yards. As I get older I find hitting a mini ram at 200 yards with the 22 oddly more satisfying.
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Old December 31, 2011, 10:22 AM   #12
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Bolt action

Either caliber will serve you well but you should go with a bolt gun for paper punching at long range. Any long range shooter who doesn't reload when he starts long range does after he gets out there and sees the results other guys are getting with loads developed custom to their weapon. The reason I say a bolt gun is most of the most super accurate rounds developed reach in, at or near the rifling of the barrel and are to long to fit in the magazine, They need to be loaded one at a time.

I am still working towards my "Holy grail" of a 1 hole 5 shot group at 300 yards, then I'll try for 500 lol. I shoot a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in 308. They can be had for around $500. With an after market bedded stock and good glass can be very accurate.

Reloading adds a whole new realm to shooting and can be very satisfying. Gives something to do on the rainy or blustery day when you just can't make the range.

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Old December 31, 2011, 10:22 AM   #13
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You indicate that you have shot the 7.62, so you have a feel for the recoil. The .260 will give you a flatter trajectory for less recoil.

If you want to map into the .308 Winchester 175 gr trajectory for even less recoil, consider the 75-77 grain offerings for the .223 or look at the 6.5 Grendel. Both are available in AR-15 class actions meaning that the rifle will be lighter.

The Grendel is a better deer cartridge. The .260 is even better --
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Old December 31, 2011, 01:37 PM   #14
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The .260/6.5mm bullet is a bit more successful in competition than the .308.

Savage has long range target rifles that you might want to look at.

I'd concentrate on finding the rifle instead of the cartridge.
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Old December 31, 2011, 02:01 PM   #15
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I agree with hodaka, .260 is clearly the better round but if you don't reload I would go .308
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Old December 31, 2011, 02:04 PM   #16
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If this is your first, and likely to be only, rifle for LR shooting, the .308 Win is an excellent starting choice.

You might want to read the attached:

Zak Smith is very experienced and knowledgeable in this matters.

Hope this helps.

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Old December 31, 2011, 07:40 PM   #17
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Cor-Bon, Federal, HSM, Remington, Black Hills, Nosler, and Grizzly have a total of 22 different flavors for the 260 at Midway ( One should expect then that factory ammunition will be available for quite some time.

Granted, the price is a bit higher because of the military connection for the .308 but you will likely not shoot all that much anyway, or will get hooked on reloading.

Go with the .260!
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Old December 31, 2011, 08:57 PM   #18
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I used own and handload for the great 6.5X55 had three rifles in that caliber...but I got lazy bought a 270 and never looked back..

So thats my answer 270 Win. ( I know that was not the caliber you was asking about)

But with 130 gr. = flat shootin
And with 150 gr. = hard hittin

little recoil ..ammo picked up anywhere....and .277 bullets a built to perform at 270 Win. velocities...

I wish they had a 308 case necked to .277 then life would be wonderful...
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Old December 31, 2011, 10:49 PM   #19
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For a target rifle, bolt action hands down over a semi.
As you know, the physics of how a gas gun operates makes them somewhat less accurate than a bolt.

The "which caliber" question comes up weekly, if not daily...
Fact is, most of the "popular" choices are so close- ballistically- that 99% of the guys on this forum would be unable to shoot better than any of them.

.260 is a great load, but commercial ammo is all but unavailable in anything affordable ($2 round it seems...)

I have recently been enamored with the 7mm-.08... better ballistics than the .308, and commercial ammo is available if you don't handload. I'm re-barreling a couple of .308 Savages to 7mm-.08.

Add to that the 6.5 Creedmore, and the century old 6.5 x55.

Unless you're shooting comps, pick any of the above- or the .308, and you'll be a happy camper.
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Old January 1, 2012, 04:11 AM   #20
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Wow, that is a lot of good info.
That was also a great article (WNY and FB Harry)!

Thanks for helping. The one thing with all of this I have going for me is budget is less of a problem than it might normally be. I deploy often enough to be able to buy myself a few "toys" at the end. I have learned (through shooting mil-spec "lowest bidder" contract stuff) that a lot of times you get what you pay for in a rifle. So paying a bit more to ensure quality is fine with me. Even if I will have limited time behind it.

So I will continue my research to see what I like as far as the physical rifle is concerned, most I have looked at can go either way (GAP, Savage, Rem.) I have looked at one I can only find in .308 (Larue OBR), and I have also looked into the 5.56 and .270 options that were mentioned.

I am taking it all in guys thanks for the help. And now I have AWHILE...hehe to wait and look. It will be like Christmas in september!
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Old January 1, 2012, 04:38 AM   #21
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I have NO experience with the .260, but my criterion is: Will I be able to get a particular calibre of ammo 10 to 15 years from now without going bankrupt?

I agree with one of the previous posters who said that, if you want long range flat shooting, go with the .270.

Personally, the .308 does all that I want and I stick with it.
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Old January 1, 2012, 10:41 AM   #22
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While I do not have aspirations of being a long range shooter, I am a hunter and a reloader, not a target shooter and hand loader.

I chose the 308 because of availability of both reloading components and factory ammo. Yes there is lots of ammo for the 260 if you reload, but I don't see it real often in factory offerings out side of box box stores.

Those are the reasons I chose to go with 308, cheap to shoot and lots of bullets to chose from.
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Old January 1, 2012, 11:09 AM   #23
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This chat has caused me to think about what I shoot and why. Grubbylabs said that he's a "hunter and reloader", and that pretty much describes me too. This year I've been using the 260 instead of my 270, and I've been quite happy with the outcome. But...

- If I was going to shoot at 100 to 400 yards, either the 260 or the 270 will do, but at the outer range of 400 I'd rather use the 270 (that's just me, and is no reflection on the 260's capabilities).
- If I was going to shoot targets at 600 to 1000 yards, I'd probably go to the 260 or the 308. That's simply because of the bullets and information available for long distance shooting with those two calibers. And I'd need a new rifle, and I wonder what it would look like and who I'd get to build it.
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Old January 1, 2012, 11:18 AM   #24
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.308 or .260?

Just my own experience, and it isn't much...

I was interested in the .260 several years back as a good midrange caliber. But after looking around at the scarcity of ammo, I settled on the .243, which uses the same case and operates in a short action rifle.

Absolutely no regrets.

Today, if I were to choose between .308 and .260, it would be the .308, because .260 remains relatively scarce.
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Old January 1, 2012, 12:51 PM   #25
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I'll add that if making something bleed (as opposed to only paper/steel) might be in the cards at some point, the 7mm-.08 has much greater energy at range than the .260...

So when you're looking at the ballistics of the .308 vs. the .260 be sure to add the 7mm-.08 to the spreadsheet. That caliber doesn't get a lot of mention on this board for some reason, but it's a ballistic twin to the .260 and has the advantage mentioned above.

When it comes to hardware, be sure to take a long look at Savage. Out of the box accuracy is generally at least as good as Remington- and changing calibers should you get the urge is easily done at home, avoiding the expense and down-time of sending the rifle to a gunsmith.

Good luck.
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.260 remington , .308

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