308 Winchester Ammo - History
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In 1952, the .308 Winchester was released for the iconic Winchester Model 70 bolt action rifle. This cartridge was based on the 7.62x51mm NATO, and was released to the public before NATO adopted the 7.62x51mm. It is commonly misunderstood that the 7.62x51mm is interchangeable with the .308 Winchester. This is not true, as the modern .308 Winchester cartridge generates higher pressures than seen in the military 7.62x51mm. Therefore, .308 Winchester cartridges should not be fired in weapons chambered for the NATO 7.62x51mm.
The cartridge was designed for hunting. It is able to harvest most game in North America, as well as a large portion of game in Africa, due to the efficiency of the bullet in delivering hydrostatic shock to the target. This happens especially well when expanding bullets are used – the Nosler Partition bullets and the Sellier & Bellot Exergy are great examples of high-performance bullets engineered specifically for hunting.
Police and military shooters consider the .308 Winchester to be a valuable component in their arsenals. It shoots with great accuracy and recoil is manageable. The round is versatile and has been employed effectively in urban situations, yet it still offers the ability to engage human targets at ranges as far as 1,000 yards.
For large numbers of sport shooters, the .308 Winchester is their go-to cartridge. It's currently used by PALMA competitors in their 800-, 900- and 1,000-yard events. It is also used by F-Class shooters for competitions at 1,000 yards. The USPSA has a Multi-Gun, Heavy Metal class with very specific firearms requirements, one of them being that the smallest caliber size be 0.308." As a result of this and due to the number of AR-15 style rifles chambered for this round, the most frequently chosen cartridge is the .308 Winchester.
Development has continued since its introduction over 60 years ago, and it remains one of the primary rifle cartridges offered by ammunition manufacturers when they develop a new product line. Federal Premium Ammunition sells .308 Winchester in their Fusion line of hunting ammo and with the Nosler Ballistic Tip. Hornady sells its new TAP ammo in .308 for tactical applications, and their A-MAX Match ammunition for competitive shooters.
The .308 Winchester has been a popular cartridge for sport shooters, hunters, and shooters with tactical applications. It is extremely accurate, recoil is manageable, and it has a variety of ammunition available.
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