.308 Vs .338: Unleashing the Power

.308 Vs .338

The .308 offers higher velocity but the .338 provides greater stopping power. When choosing between the .308 and .338 calibers for shooting, understanding their differences is essential.

The. 308 Winchester is commonly used for mid-range shooting, while the. 338 Lapua Magnum is preferred for long-range precision shooting and big game hunting. The. 308 has a flatter trajectory and travels faster, making it suitable for targets up to 800 yards.

On the other hand, the. 338 has more energy and delivers stronger impacts, making it ideal for larger game and longer distances. Both calibers have their strengths and weaknesses, so selecting the appropriate one depends on the specific shooting requirements and preferences of the user.

History Of The .308 And .338 Cartridges

The .308 and .338 cartridges have a rich history dating back to their development for specific purposes.

Development Of The .308 Cartridge

The .308 cartridge was introduced in 1952 for military rifles, gaining popularity for its accuracy and reliability.

It was based on the .30-06 Springfield cartridge but with a shorter case for better performance.

The .308 Winchester, a commercial variant, became a versatile round for hunting and target shooting.

Development Of The .338 Cartridge

The .338 cartridge emerged with the .338 Win Mag in 1958, offering improved long-range ballistics.

Originally designed for big game hunting, the .338 cartridge is prized for its power and accuracy.

Ballistics And Performance

Introductory Paragraph

Ballistics and Performance: The comparison between .308 and .338 calibers is a crucial aspect in the realm of firearms. Understanding the ballistic characteristics and performance of these rounds is essential for hunters and long-range shooters.

Comparing the ballistic characteristics

Comparing The Ballistic Characteristics

  • .308: Known for its flat trajectory and versatility in various rifles.
  • .338: Offers higher energy, better penetration, and flatter trajectory over longer distances.
Effectiveness in hunting and long-range shooting

Effectiveness In Hunting And Long-range Shooting

Aspect .308 .338
Terminal Ballistics Good for medium-sized game Excellent for large game hunting
Long-range Precision Effective up to 800 yards Superb accuracy beyond 1000 yards

Use In Military And Law Enforcement

When considering the use of .308 and .338 cartridges in military and law enforcement applications, it’s essential to delve into their respective adoption and usage in these critical sectors.

Adoption And Usage In Military

The adoption and usage of .308 and .338 cartridges in the military sector are deeply rooted in their effectiveness over various ranges and diverse combat scenarios. The .308 cartridge is extensively utilized in a range of military rifles and machine guns, owing to its balance of accuracy, range, and manageable recoil. Conversely, the .338 cartridge has gained prominence in military sniper applications thanks to its exceptional long-range accuracy and superior terminal ballistics.

Law Enforcement Applications

In the realm of law enforcement, the .308 cartridge finds widespread use in police marksman rifles, providing officers with the precision and power needed in high-threat situations. Meanwhile, the .338 cartridge is increasingly being adopted for law enforcement sniper operations due to its unparalleled long-range capabilities, enabling law enforcement personnel to neutralize threats with maximum precision at extended distances.

.308 Vs .338: Unleashing the Power

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Rifle Selection And Considerations

Rifle selection is a critical consideration when it comes to choosing between the .308 and .338 cartridges. The right rifle can significantly impact your shooting experience and overall performance. Whether you opt for the .308 or .338, it is essential to choose a rifle that suits your specific needs, preferences, and shooting style. In this section, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting a rifle for each cartridge, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Choosing The Right Rifle For .308

When selecting a rifle for the .308 cartridge, several key factors come into play. First and foremost, you need to determine the purpose for which you will be using the rifle. Are you primarily interested in long-range precision shooting or hunting? This consideration will guide you in selecting the appropriate rifle platform.

The popular options for .308 rifles are bolt-action and semi-automatic. Bolt-action rifles are known for their accuracy, reliability, and ability to handle heavier bullets. On the other hand, semi-automatic rifles offer faster follow-up shots, making them suitable for hunting applications or scenarios where quick target acquisition is crucial.

Another crucial aspect to consider is the rifle’s weight, as it can significantly impact your ability to shoot accurately and comfortably. Lightweight rifles are a great choice for those who prefer hunting or need a more maneuverable firearm. However, if long-range precision shooting is your focus, a heavier rifle can help mitigate recoil and provide more stability.

Key Considerations:
• Purpose of the rifle: long-range precision shooting or hunting
• Bolt-action or semi-automatic rifle
• Weight of the rifle

Choosing The Right Rifle For .338

Selecting the right rifle for the powerful .338 cartridge requires careful consideration as well. Due to the nature of this cartridge, most .338 rifles are commonly designed for long-range precision shooting and big game hunting. Bolt-action rifles dominate this category, providing the necessary strength, accuracy, and stability to handle the cartridge’s ballistic performance.

When choosing a .338 rifle, pay close attention to the rifle’s action type and barrel length. Bolt-action rifles with a controlled-round feed system are ideal for ensuring maximum reliability and consistent feeding. Additionally, longer barrels can better harness the potential energy of the .338 cartridge, resulting in improved muzzle velocity and downrange accuracy.

Keep in mind that the weight of the rifle is an important consideration, as it can impact recoil management and overall shooting experience. Given the powerful nature of the .338 cartridge, a heavier rifle can help absorb recoil, providing more control and shooting comfort.

Key Considerations:
• Designed for long-range precision shooting and big game hunting
• Bolt-action rifle with controlled-round feed system
• Consideration of barrel length and weight of the rifle

Ammo Availability And Cost

When it comes to choosing the right ammunition for your firearm, two popular choices often come up for consideration: the .308 and the .338. These cartridges are known for their versatility and power, making them favorites among hunters and long-range shooters. In this section, we will take a deeper look into the important aspects of ammo availability and cost for both the .308 and .338 cartridges.

Comparing Availability Of .308 And .338 Ammo

Before making a decision, it is crucial to consider the availability of ammunition for the cartridges you are interested in. In this regard, the .308 cartridge takes the lead due to its widespread use and popularity among shooters. .308 ammo can be easily found in most gun stores, as well as online retailers, ensuring that shooters can always stay well-stocked.

On the other hand, the .338 cartridge, while highly respected for its exceptional power and long-range capabilities, suffers from a narrower selection of available ammunition. This can make it more challenging to find .338 rounds, especially in remote locations or smaller gun shops. However, for shooters who plan ahead and make the effort to source their ammo in advance, the .338 can still be a viable option.

Cost Considerations For Shooters

When it comes to budgeting for ammunition, the cost is always a crucial factor to consider. In this aspect, the .308 cartridge generally offers a more wallet-friendly option compared to the .338. Due to its popularity and widespread use, there is a higher level of competition among manufacturers, resulting in a wider range of choices and competitive pricing for .308 ammo.

On the other hand, the .338 cartridge tends to be pricier, largely due to its larger size and higher production costs. Shooters who opt for the .338 will need to be prepared to allocate a larger portion of their budget for ammunition. However, it’s worth noting that the higher cost of .338 rounds is often outweighed by the superior energy and long-range performance offered by this cartridge.

To summarize, the availability and cost of ammunition are essential factors to consider when choosing between the .308 and .338 cartridges. While the .308 offers greater availability and more affordable options, the .338 stands out with its unmatched power and long-range capabilities. Shooters must carefully weigh their requirements, budget, and intended use to make an informed decision that best suits their needs.

.308 Vs .338: Unleashing the Power

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.308 Vs .338: Unleashing the Power

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Frequently Asked Questions Of .308 Vs .338

What Is The Difference Between .308 And .338 Cartridges?

The main difference between. 308 and. 338 cartridges lies in their bullet diameter and overall power. The. 308 is smaller with a diameter of 0. 308 inches, while the. 338 is larger with a diameter of 0. 338 inches. This results in the.

338 cartridge having more stopping power and better performance at longer ranges.

Which Cartridge Is Better For Long-range Shooting, .308 Or .338?

For long-range shooting, the. 338 cartridge is generally considered better due to its larger bullet diameter and increased power. The. 338 offers greater accuracy, better trajectory, and improved energy retention over longer distances compared to the. 308. However, it also depends on specific shooting requirements and individual preferences.

What Are The Advantages Of Using A .308 Cartridge?

The. 308 cartridge has several advantages, including its widespread availability and affordability. It is commonly used by military and law enforcement agencies around the world. The. 308 also offers mild recoil, making it easier to shoot accurately, and has a wide range of bullet options for different shooting applications, such as hunting and target shooting.

Can A .308 Rifle Shoot .338 Cartridges?

No, a. 308 rifle cannot shoot. 338 cartridges. The two calibers have different dimensions and are not compatible with each other. It is essential to use the appropriate ammunition for the specific rifle caliber to ensure safe and accurate shooting.


Both the. 308 and. 338 offer unique advantages for different shooting applications. Whether you prioritize long-range precision or stopping power, these cartridges have distinct features to meet your needs. Choosing the right caliber ultimately depends on your shooting preferences and intended use, so consider your requirements carefully before making a decision.

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