Help me pick a 308

The winery I was hunting rabbit at have some deer, and the owners are interested in having some Venison. I’ve been there today to check it out, and there’s a deer stand that’s in decent nick, and I saw at least 3 individual deer whilst I was there.

Realising that I know nada about centrefire brands and models, I figured I would ask you guys for help choosing one.

I’m hoping to spend around the 1800-2000 mark for a scope and a rifle. It’s not a firm budget, I’m happy to spend more or less if there’s something that’s a good value proposition. I’m looking for the rifle to be kinda general purpose, in that I can hunt with it, but it’s also something I can maybe do some medium range plinking with.

I’ve had a squiz online, and a look at my LGS, and there’s a few options that I’m considering.

  • Tikka t3x
    I’ve found a used one apparently in excellent condition for 1000 in stainless with a meh scope, and there was a new varmint with a muzzle brake as well for 1350, though both are in NSW. My LGS has a lite in stainless for 1495, but I think if I shop around town, it can be had for cheaper

  • Sako A7
    My LGS has a Sako A7 for 1500, and it feels nice to hold.

  • Kimber 84M
    The LGS also has a Kimber 84M in stainless for 1450. That was really light, but the barrel looked really thin. Is that something you could plink with, or a more dedicated hunting platform?

Just stumped with options tbh. And that’s not even getting into what scope to put on it lol.

If I may, derail the conversation completely… As much as I looove 308 (I own a few), perhaps look into a different cartridge to start with. There are better options out there.

For deer 308 is just fine and up to 200m - it’s a point and click interface :stuck_out_tongue: If you want to reach out and do it with a bit more flatter shooting cartridge, 270 and 7mm-08 are well worth looking into (I’ll have to have a shower after saying this, but yeah, data don’t lie).

Read about their ballistics and make a realistic decision about what you are going to kill at what distance (beyond 300m on Sambar you want energy, but you also want to be a a crack shot and do it ethically). Read about ballistic performance, not what people think. And what you are going to plink at - at what distance, punching paper and steel at distance, go 270 or 7mm.

Both are legal cartridges for Sambar in Vic and both are well worth looking into, before you settle on the choice

As for brands, Tikka, Kimber and Sako are all proven brands and you can’t go wrong with any one of them. In fact, I’d remove Sako, just because it’s overpriced, but they are all very good quality brands.

Consider, going for the hunter models, varmint models are heavy; other than that - whatever is the cheapest. If you are going to always shoot from a stand, varmint is fine, but if you are thinking of going for a walk, you will regret that choice. However, plinking, you want varmint.

:slight_smile: Time to start reading about ballistics and barrel types, mate, before you drop better part of $2k on a new toy.

If your heart is set on 308 (which I respect) - Tikka or Kimber, hunter (not varmint) barrels and whichever weighs less.

Mate I have a Sako A7 Roughtech Pro and recommend it highly. I purchased it new in 6.5CM. Far more accurate than I am capable of, straight out of the box.

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One word…Sako!!

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Sako’s are expensive but you cant’ go wrong with them. Next choice would be Tikka, as it is basically an entry level Sako.

308’s do not have much recoil BUT if you have never had or shot a centerfire it might comes as a bit of a shock to you.

By the Tikka and put the money you wouId have spent on the Sako into your scope. @juststarting has given you some good advice re calibre choice. 308 is fine, but there’s lots of good choices.

Buy once, cry once…haha

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Dont listen to JS the 308 is fine there is actually very little difference ballistically between the 308 and others like the 7-08 or 270.

I would go with a Tikka or if you want to save bucks then a Howa pay for some good glass as you will have the rifle covered with either of those options.


Just presenting a full picture. I still love 308.

In terms of calibers, I figured 308 was a good one to pick as there are loads of different factory options for different bullet weights, and muzzle velocities. I’m not looking to reload any time soon, so the wide range of factory ammo is a huge plus.

I can’t see myself shooting beyond 300m for a deer, the largest clearing on the winery, and the second property I’m trying to get permission for are not much bigger than that. If it’s out of that distance, I guess I try get closer. Probably the same for plinking; I probably didn’t use to best terminology, but I was more eluding to practicing with the rifle at targets I set out. I figured practice was important seeing that I’ve only had rimfires before.

@sungazer - Howa was something I was considering, I saw them for the 600-800 mark on Cleavers. My LGS don’t stock them though, and I’m hesitant to buy one before holding it, and seeing how it fits me. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a store in Melb to try it out though. Getting it to Melbs, is what, an extra $150 for the postage and registration? Are they really good value compared to the other options? I would hate to buy it, and then realise I should have bought something better made, or lighter later on.

I think I’m going to go for a stainless option. I like the way it looks on the synthetic stock. Plus apparently more rust resistant, so that’s a win. I think that’s the Sako out.

30 06 is a viable option too- isn’t it?

But if I were looking at a six or so hunting shots per year plus whatever at the range, 308 in a heavy barrel would be the go with a quality 6 X fixed power scope.

I need to add 30-06 to banned word filter on this forum.

Why? It is still a relevant, readily available and useful round.
I know some have in the past advocated its use over the 308 to ludicrous degrees, but given there is really SFA difference between them if a suitable rifle became available in 06 while I was looking for a 308 I would forget about cartridge and get the Rifle.

He only wants to ban the word 30-06 as it is the one calibre that scares him. he is worried that he will buy one and love it.

Theres just so many brands out there, what do you want in a rifle? A cheaper knock around rifle or something quality you can pass down, longer barrel or shorter barrel, heavier or lighter stock and barrel ( probably lighter in your case ) box mag, or floor plate, then what action? Quite a few questions you have to ask yourself which will lead you in the right direction

There’s some good points here that I hadn’t thought about. Something quality to pass down is what I’m aiming for. I’m happy for this to be my yearly treat to myself.

I think something shorter would be best, but the Kimber and the Tikka are 22 and 20 inches respectively, so I’m happy with those lengths.

Box mag is definitely what I would prefer, and a bolt action for simplicity.

Something that just come to mind though. Kimber is an independent that’s gone bankrupt a couple of times in the past, and Tikka is now owned by Beretta.

Is company stability something I should consider for the availability of spare parts? The tikka also seems to have more parts to customise it with, should I want a larger mag for example.

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Have you looked at bergara?

There are synthetic stocks and then there are synthetic stocks. Some are hard and dont flex others are really quite shit. I think the Howa can come in two different synth stocks. I wouldn’t go less than 20 inch in a 308 pref a 24 inch.
Save the pass me down rifle until you get yourself sorted and some experience and money behind you. No matter what you do you will look back and think I could have done that better as you find your groove. Which will also change over time so trying to get it right from the start not going to happen. But you can get closer with trying to make a few thought out choices by asking others on there experiences. Just remember they are the biased just as my opinions are based on what suits us for different things.

Just like I am biased about magazines on hunting rifles. I much rather prefer flush fitting magazine on a hunting rifle, which make it a lot easier to carry, than your traditional ‘box’ magazine, that snags on shit, and makes it a lot harder to carry the gun. :stuck_out_tongue: