.308 Win. vs 7mm-08 Rem.

In this Cartridge Clash, Brad Fitzpatrick weighs the pros and cons of the .308 Win. vs 7mm-08 Rem.

.308 Win. vs 7mm-08 Rem.
How does the .308 Win. stack up to the 7mm-08 Rem.? Brad Fitzpatrick answers that question in this Cartridge Clash.

Winchester launched its .308, the sporting version of the 7.62x51 NATO military round, in 1952. The cartridge offered ballistics that nipped at the .30-06’s heels from a shorter action, and that made the .308 a popular chambering option for bolt-action, semiauto, lever-action and slide-action rifles. Hunters appreciated the cartridge’s mild recoil, low cost, the availability and selection of .308 bullets as well as its effectiveness on game.

The .308 case gave wildcatters fresh clay to sculpt, and within a decade of the .308’s release, somebody came up with the 7mm-.308, a necked-down version of the .308 that held 7mm bullets. In 1980, Remington decided there was consumer demand for a commercial version of the 7mm-.308 wildcat, and the 7mm-08 Rem. was born.

Since the 7mm-08 and .308 share the same parent case with almost identical capacities, this is more a battle of 7mm versus .30 caliber projectiles than it is about case design. The .30 caliber remains the most popular bullet diameter for U.S. hunters, and as such, there are more bullet options.

That gap is thin, though, and the 7mm bullets offer higher sectional densities and ballistic coefficients. They are long and heavy for caliber. A 150-grain 7mm Nosler Partition bullet, for example, has a G1 ballistic coefficient of .456 and a sectional density of .266. A 150-grain .308 Partition, by contrast, has a G1 BC of just .387 and an SD of .226.


Given these two projectiles of the same weight fired at the same velocity, the 7mm bullet will buck wind better, shoot flatter and penetrate deeper. A 7mm-08 load with a maximum charge of IMR 4895 powder will push a 150-grain Partition bullet at 2,750 fps from the muzzle, according to Nosler’s Reloading Guide 8. A max charge of the same powder will push a 150-grain .308 Partition bullet at 2,802 fps.


Cartridge-Clash-308-7mm

With this load, the .308 load has 100 more foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle, but at 400 yards the 7mm-08, with its more aerodynamic bullet, actually has almost a 100 ft.-lbs. advantage over the .308 load and shoots half-an-inch flatter at that distance when zeroed at 200 yards. Wind drift for the 7mm-08 load is 2.4 inches less at 400 yards than it is for the .308, too.

Commercial hunting loads for the 7mm-08 have bullets that range up to 160 grains while .308 ammunition tops at about 185 grains, and with bullets from 150 to 160 grains, the 7mm-08 will outperform the .308. The .308 comes closer to 7mm-08 trajectories with heavier bullets, but at the cost of increased recoil over the 7mm cartridge.

This would indicate the 7mm-08 is the better of the two cartridges, but demand for the .308 says otherwise. It draws fans from competitive shooting, hunting and tactical disciplines, and in terms of rifle availability, the .308 is the clear winner, with plenty of semiautos, lever actions and even pumps—plus bolt guns of every flavor, from heavy-barreled tactical guns to lightweight mountain rifles. Yes, there are plenty of new and used 7mm-08s, but the number doesn’t begin to approach the vast array of .308s.

Midway USA currently offers 125 different .308 Win. loads, compared to just 27 7mm-08s. If you stop at the local gas and grocery store to pick up ammo, your odds of finding .308 are better than your chances of finding 7mm-08 ammo. In terms of cost, both of these rounds are similarly priced. You can expect to pay between $1.25 and $1.50 per shot on average.


In truth, these are both great cartridges. It could be argued the .308 is better suited for large game thanks to heavier bullets, but it could also be argued the 7mm-08, with its lighter, faster, flatter-shooting bullets and less recoil, is better for medium game and varmints.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

Black Hills Evolution of Rifle Cartridge: .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match

David Fortier talks with Jeff Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition about the evolution of the .308 Win. 175 Gr. Match bullet.

RS Sako Finnlight II

RS Sako Finnlight II

The new Sako Finnlight II sports an innovative stock and Cerakote metal paired with the terrific 85 action.

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Scott O'Brien from Steyr Arms sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to take a look at Steyr's new tactical heavy barrel sniper rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Gunsite's Ed Head reviews the Ruger American/Robar Scout Rifle. Reviews

Ruger American/Robar Scout Rifle Review

Ed Head - April 23, 2019

Gunsite's Ed Head reviews the Ruger American/Robar Scout Rifle.

Smith & Wesson's M&P15 SPORT II OR rifle with Crimson Trace CTS-103 optic will be on display at the Smith & Wesson Booth at the 2019 NRA Show. MSR

M&P15 SPORT II Rifle Available with CTS-103 Optic

Rifle Shooter Digital Staff - April 23, 2019

Smith & Wesson's M&P15 SPORT II OR rifle with Crimson Trace CTS-103 optic will be on display...

Thompson/Center Arms rimfire rifles are available with Traditional Hardwood and Flat Dark Earth Black Grit finishes. Rimfire

Thompson/Center Arms Adds Stock Options to Rimfire Line

Rifle Shooter Digital Staff - April 16, 2019

Thompson/Center Arms rimfire rifles are available with Traditional Hardwood and Flat Dark...

You're only as good as your weakest link; heed these to tips to make sure your shooting skills don't hinder your rifle's accuracy potential Shooting Tips

How to Shoot Your Best from a Benchrest

Keith Wood - August 05, 2014

You're only as good as your weakest link; heed these to tips to make sure your shooting skills...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

The RifleShooter staff put together their gift guide for the upcoming holiday season, with products from SIG, Browning, Leupold and many more. Accessories

RifleShooter Holiday Gift Guide (2019)

J. Scott Rupp

The RifleShooter staff put together their gift guide for the upcoming holiday season, with...

The Berger .22-cal 85.5-grain Long Range Hybrid Target bullet is a great option for handloading precision rounds in .224 Valkyrie, 22 Creedmoor and .223/556 rifles with a fast twist rate. Ammo

Berger 22 Cal 85.5 Grain Long Range Hybrid Target Bullets: First Look

RifleShooter Digital Staff - October 09, 2019

The Berger .22-cal 85.5-grain Long Range Hybrid Target bullet is a great option for...

The Federal Berger Hybrid Hunter Ammo combines high BCs with a forgiving bullet profile and promises versatile performance. Ammo

Federal Berger Hybrid Hunter Ammo

Brad Fitzpatrick - April 30, 2019

The Federal Berger Hybrid Hunter Ammo combines high BCs with a forgiving bullet profile and...

For decades, things were quiet on the .22 centerfire front. Starting in 2017, shooters were offered not one but two hot new centerfire .22 cartridges. First out of the gate was the .22 Nosler, followed by the Federal .224 Valkrie. Ammo

.22 Nosler vs .224 Valkyrie

Brad Fitzpatrick - May 02, 2019

For decades, things were quiet on the .22 centerfire front. Starting in 2017, shooters were...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Rifle Shooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now