.308 Winchester is one of the most popular cartridges of the 20th century. Like many other famous cartridge, it owes its popularity to the US government. During World War II, when demand for arms and ammunition was very high, Winchester and other manufacturers were eager to invent new advanced rifles, cartridges, bullets and other ammunition items. The US Armed forces were looking for a replacement of .30-06. Cashing in on the big opportunity, Winchester came out with a cartridge which was shorter than the .30-06. This shorter cartridge was about half inch shorter in length than the .30-06 and was accepted by NATO forces. The cartridge was then made available to general public. The publicly available cartridge was named .308 Winchester.
.308 Winchester is a versatile cartridge used in all type of rifles which include single shot, bolt action, lever action and pump type. Since it is the short cartridge type, its not fair to compare it with the long .30-06. Though some still like to compare the two. However experts have an opinion that it is better in accuracy than the .30-06.
The .30-06 generally gives a 200 yard group of 2 inches but .308 Winchester outperformed it with accuracy of 0.75 inch. At longer distances, this difference increases. The reason for this better performance is the uniform push which the .308 Winchester gives to the bullet. This overall better push is due to less air space in the cartridge and uniform burning of the powder.
With a 150 grain bullet and a near maximum charge of powder the 308 Winchester can shoot at speed of 2700 feet per second. This is the ideal combination used by many hunters for shooting in deer sized games. For shooting heavier animals like an elk, a heavier bullet of weight 180-grain, as experienced shooters say, should be used.
.308 Winchester has helped shooters win many shooting tournaments.
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