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Suggestion for new .308

23 May 2017
@ 10:59 am (GMT)


I'm working my way through the books, but I had to laugh when I read the Browning A-bolt was a bad lightweight design with unusually hard recoil. Guess what, I have an A-Bolt .308 and I'm looking to replace it ASAP. I bought it years ago and I don't even remember how I settled on that gun.

For now, I will mostly use it at the range, since I live in a state with almost no rifle hunting. The Remington 700 appears to be a good place to start the search. I have looked at the SPS tactical 20" in .308. It sounds like the 20" in .308 is a decent setup for all around use and still potentially accurate.

My other option would be something with a longer, heavy barrel (M700 long range or other varmint models). Anybody have experience with the SPS tactical or steer me towards a better option? I'm not looking to break the bank but I don't want to go on the cheap either. This will be almost a starter gun for me, so I'm looking for a solid option.


24 May 2017
@ 01:36 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: Suggestion for new .308
I would recommend the Tikka Supervarmint if you want a heavy barreled but not overly heavy rifle. I would not go for the 20 inch barrel but 22 inch or 24 inch. Check the link, and if you choose a lighter one then try the T3X Lite Stainless,

25 May 2017
@ 09:52 am (GMT)

David Braun

Re: Suggestion for new .308
Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to see if I can get my hands on one of those. I prefer not having a lite model. I would like to get comfortable with a heavier rifle.
25 May 2017
@ 11:31 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Suggestion for new .308
HI David
There's many options it can be bit confusing at times eh.
Howa does a nice economical heavy barrel model which following the steps in Nathans book you could get shooting nicely.

I have been looking at precision platform stocks, it's very tempting to set up a sps tactical in one of those stocks as it would be absolutely beautiful to shoot.

You got the information to make an informed decision and you now know that every rifle needs some tweaking.
Look forwards to hearing how you go.
25 May 2017
@ 11:59 am (GMT)

Ed Sybert

Re: Suggestion for new .308
Here's one more vote for a Remington M700. Several years ago, I owned and competed with a 40XC in .308. It was "all factory", with a 24" heavy SS match barrel. It shot under 1/2 MOA out to 600 yards. I currently own a M700 PSS, .308, the earlier version with the "varmint" weight blued steel barrel. I bought the barreled action from a friend who kept the stock for another project. I added a Remington factory wood Varmint stock and it shoots as well as or better than the 40XC. So, I would not hesitate to recommend a Remington M700, heavy barrel in .308. Good luck, Ed
25 May 2017
@ 06:08 pm (GMT)

Mike Neeson

Re: Suggestion for new .308
Hi I have had a SPS Tactical 308 for a while now. Bought it getting close to 10 years ago now. It shot .6" out of the box, an associate of mine bought one at the same time, it shot .5, I recommended to friend that the SPS Tac might be the go and he too got an excellent rifle. It's hardly compelling data, but anecdotally they seem to perform very well. I really do like the heft and portability of the 20" barrel. The added advantage of the Rem700 is the plethora of aftermarket accessories and years of knowledge that can be accessed for this action. I've still got the hogue stock, stabilized and bedded and it now sports a new barrel and chamber - which has been somewhat challenging to get my head around. The T3 actions are so smooth and appear to be light years ahead of the Rem, but the Rem700 still does the business. And then there is the Howa/Vanguard which are excellent actions too... AAAAARRRGGGGHHHHH
26 May 2017
@ 09:22 am (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Suggestion for new .308
Hi DB,

I've just pice up the Howa 1500 with a Heavy 24" barrel. It's a dream to shoot. It's sitting in a factory Hogue stock and honestly you could fire off rounds all day. Minimal recoil and nice feel.

I'm in the process of accurising as per the Accurising book. Last stop is bedding for the rifle itself then some load development. I've been having an update thread called Howa Project. They are indeed inexpensive but I'm not sure I'd call it "cheap".

26 May 2017
@ 02:48 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Suggestion for new .308
Some very sound Ideas & good advice above!

Budget will inevitably limit you and with the knowledge you are gaining from Nathans books it will be an informed decision. It also depends on the amount of work you are willing to (possibly) put into it if needed.
Tikkas generally just work, where as Howas & Rems often need help to perform at their best.

In 308 my preferred is a composite stocked, 26" Remington Varmint style rig to help control recoil and muzzle blast under the tin roof.
Field work is the same in 20" to help with handling if dual purpose, though mine are 26" still due to amount of range time.

As long as the rig is sound you will be hard pressed to find any accuracy advantage between the different barrel lengths, other than possible velocity gains at range from the longer barrel.

Good luck
27 May 2017
@ 12:49 pm (GMT)

David Braun

Re: Suggestion for new .308
I appreciate all of the suggestions. It looks like I may have a good deal on a Rem 700 5R, 20" .308. It is about the same price as what i would spend on the SPS tactical. Eventually, I would like a magnum as well, so I will definitely start checking the Tikka and Howa. I've only seen the Tikka lites, so hopefully I can find a heavier weight to try out.

Once again, thanks for the input. I will follow-up on my purchase and let you know how it goes.
30 May 2017
@ 08:42 am (GMT)

Jonathan Kitterman

Re: Suggestion for new .308
You may want to consult the book for Howa and Tikka. The Tikka is listed as a con with regards to it magazine length and some magnums.
05 Jul 2017
@ 04:43 pm (GMT)

Andy Hrelja

Re: Suggestion for new .308
If you haven't made a decision yet (and I'm not sure where you're based) for a similar price to the Tikka you can get the Lithgow LA102 in 308. A mate has a Tikka 308 sporter (stainless), and it's a good rifle, but we both agree the Lithgow has the edge, at least out of the box. The LA102 is heavier than the Tikka and I'm sure that goes some way to making for a better shooting rifle. I've had mine for a little while now and between range time and field time I honestly couldn't be happier. All I've done to mine is put in the stock stabiliser. And in all honesty it probably didn't need it but it made me feel better knowing as much flex as possible has been taken out of the stock. In the end I think it comes down to how much work you'd like to do / be prepared to do. I also have a Howa which I'm working on as a bit of a project for my young fella when he's big enough to physically handle it. But as you've seen from Andrew's posts, they take a bit of work. The LA102 shot sub MOA at 100m out of the box (with the same OSA ammo Andrew used - that stuff's popular). I can't really see myself shooting much further than 300m (maybe 400m but that's optimistic) and given it is only a 308, not sure I'd want to any way. Just my thoughts.


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