The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Best .308 Winchester Ammo [2022 Buyer’s Guide]

FROM THE BATTLEFIELD TO THE BACKWOODS, .308 WIN CAN DO IT ALL

Modern hotrod cartridges like .224 Valkyrie, 6.5 Creedmoor, 28 Nosler, 6GT, and .350 Legend have been all but stealing the hunting and long-range shooting show in recent years. 

However, the time-tested .308 Winchester remains one of the best-sellers on the market. With a long history of use from the battlefield to the back forty, this fan favorite is far from a fading star. 

Because the .308 Win is such a versatile cartridge, excelling at everything from long-range steel to close-range whitetails, there is a copious amount of ammo to choose from. Since not every load is perfect for every job the .308 can handle, matching your ammo to your application is critical. You can try to drive a nail with a screwdriver, but you’ll have a hard time getting the job done and probably just end up frustrated.

We’re here to help you pick the right tool for the job with a list of our favorite .308 loads. There’s something on here perfect for taking down everything from paper targets to bugling bull elk.

BEST .308 AMMO FOR HUNTING

Although other .30-caliber cartridges (like the .30-30 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield) have probably put more venison on dinner tables, the .308 Win has certainly harvested its fair share of family provisions.

Here are a few loads that excel in the deer woods. If your main goal is filling your deer tags, these will help swing the odds in your favor.

Remington Core-Lokt

Topped with what the company calls “the original controlled expansion bullet,” Remington Core-Lokt has been a long-time favorite of serious deer hunters. Core-Lokt soft points can drive as deep as two feet in 10 percent ordnance gel and expand up to twice their original diameter.

There are definitely, sleeker, sexier, ballistically superior loads on the market. If you need to milk the .308’s long-range capabilities, Core-Lokt shouldn’t be your first voice. However, these loads are the bread and butter choice for hunters seeking mid-range whitetails, especially those big bucks cruising thick timber. Core-Lokt loads are super reliable, hit hard, drive deep, and leave massive holes. 

Hornady Superformance

Lots of hunters dream of 300 magnum velocities, but the long-action packaging and brutal recoil make many of them reevaluate their need for speed. 

Hornady Superformance pushes the velocity envelope by using specially formulated powders with progressive burn rates that hold peak pressure longer. That means they can drive bullets faster and harder. With a sizzling hot muzzle velocity that often exceeds 3000 fps, Hornady Superformance .308 Win loads perform more like magnum loads, but without the extra pressure or brutal recoil.

These loads are topped with Hornady’s signature SST (Super Shock Tip) projectiles. They are engineered to expand faster and more reliably at higher velocities, which is a necessity with the extra speed these loads generate. 

SST projectiles also shoot pancake-flat for dead-on accuracy. If you need a bullet to travel across acres of open cropland and still be packing enough energy for an ethical kill when it reaches that bruiser browsing the treeline, you’ll want these babies in your bolt-action .308. 

Downside? Superformance isn't known as being the most accurate ammo. It's minute of deer for sure, but MOA or sub MOA can be iffy.

Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond

Nosler’s patented AccuBond bullets make regular appearances in both big-brand factory and hand loads. The company also manufactures its own line of factory hunting ammo that features its signature, high-performance projectiles, and hunters everywhere should be rejoicing.

Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond loads are incredibly aerodynamic and generate impressive terminal ballistics. AccuBond bullets feature a white polymer tip and a boat tail base that provides excellent in-flight performance. 

Once the bullet reaches your target, that wide boat tail acts as a base for massive expansion. The bullet’s components are bonded to preserve weight and drive the bullet deep into vital organs. 

While we listed these Nosler loads under whitetails, they are incredibly versatile. If you want one load you can use for deer, pronghorn, muleys, and even elk, this is it. 

BEST .308 AMMO FOR ELK

While some big game hunters snicker at the notion of using a .308 to bring down big bulls, the truth is that this cartridge has filled its fair share of elk tags. However, for best results, you may need something with a little more oomph than your standard whitetail loads. 

If you’re going after big-bodied animals, you need loads with enough speed and weight retention to reach deep-set vitals. 

Federal Premium Berger Hybrid Hunter

Federal Premium Berger Hybrid Hunter delivers precision that is about as close as you can get to match-grade accuracy with a factory-made hunting load. 

These loads are topped with extremely aerodynamic Berger Hunter Hybrid bullets. With a combination of tangent and secant ogive features, Hunter Hybrid projectiles have a higher ballistic coefficient than other projectiles of similar design.

The design makes these bullets slow to shed speed, so they carry a ton of kinetic energy downrange. The bullet also has a thinner-than-average jacket, which allows the bullet to penetrate 2 to 3 inches in soft tissue before expanding. Upon expansion, the Hunter Hybrid sheds weight rapidly, dumping energy into the target and initiating a massive wound cavity right in the vital area. 

With a well-placed shot, these loads deliver terminal performance well-suited for big bulls and other big-bodied game animals.

Hornady Precision Hunter

Hornady Precision Hunter features the company’s exclusive ELD-X (Extremely Low Drag eXpanding) bullets. ELD-X projectiles are made with a thick jacket and an InterLock ring. The configuration minimizes core/jacket separation, improves weight retention, and controls terminal expansion.  These bullets drive deep and carve massive wound channels.

The 178-grain ELD-X has a pretty impressive BC (.552 G1), which also allows it to fly pretty darned true in most conditions. 

Precision Hunter delivers incredible long-range performance, which also makes it a smart option for popping pronghorns across open prairie land. 

BEST .308 AMMO FOR WILD HOGS

Feral hogs have thick hides, tough muscles, deep-set vitals, and terrible attitudes. If you want to bring home the bacon, you’ll be best served with heavyweight, bonded projectiles to make sure your shots plow deep enough for quick, humane kills. 

Winchester Super X PowerPoint

Sometimes hog hunting is a high-volume shooting affair. When there are tons of these nuisance critters hogging a feeder (pun thoroughly intended), you don’t want ammo that batters your bank account. Winchester Super X PowerPoint isn’t at all trendy or flashy, but it gets the job done. They also come in at an incredibly practical price point. 

While there’s nothing fancy about Winchester’s bonded soft points, the jackets do feature strategic notching that delivers consistent expansion in soft tissue. Choose the 180-grain Power-Points for deeper wounds on larger hogs. 

Federal Fusion MSR

Hog hunting and modern sporting rifles go together like peanut butter and jelly, but you might not want to feed your rifle any old .308 load. That’s where Federal Fusion MSR .308 loads come in. 

Every component of Federal Fusion MSR cartridges is fine-tuned for optimal AR performance. The primers are designed specifically for rifles with free-floating firing pins. Cases are stuffed with clean, low flash, fast-burning powders that boost velocity for better performance from short-barreled platforms. The whole package is topped with a pressure-formed lead projectile with a molecularly fused copper jacket. 

These puppies are engineered for peak performance through an AR-10.

BEST .308 AMMO FOR TARGET SHOOTING

If you’re pinging steel or punching paper, precision is far more important than terminal performance. If you don’t have the time or the patience to handload, there are several top-notch, high-precision factory loads that produce pretty impressive results.

Hornady Match

The next best thing to handloads, Hornady Match uses carefully selected, high-uniformity components and then loads them to exacting specifications. Factory loads just don’t get much better than this. 

Choose the heavier 178-grain boat tail hollow points if you want to stretch your long-range legs. These projectiles have an impressive ballistic coefficient of .530, so they cut through the air like a hot knife through butter. 

Federal Premium Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing

Sierra’s famous MatchKing bullets have won more matches than any other projectile in history. Federal Premium Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing pairs these prize-winning projectiles with benchrest quality Gold Medal primers and specially formulated propellants to provide tack-driving consistency. 

These loads perform so consistently that it’s easy to forget they came from a factory. 

BEST .308 WIN AMMO FOR PRACTICE AND PLINKING

Whether you’re impressing your friends by plinking soda cans off fence posts or running tactical drills, burning through ammo may be fun, but it’s also pretty darned expensive. However, running cheap ammo can quickly turn a fun day at the range into an exercise in frustration. Here are a few practically priced options that don’t disappoint.

Winchester USA White Box

Super popular, super reliable, and super cheap, Winchester’s famous “white box” ammo is perfect for high-volume shooting. It is made with simple full metal jacket (FMJ) projectiles and clean-burning propellants.

They are engineered to reduce barrel fouling, which means you can send more lead downrange without gunking up your rifle. 

Sellier & Bellot Tactical Ammunition

If you’re leery about trying foreign-made ammo with a funny name, there’s no reason to be scared. Hailing from the Czech Republic, Sellier & Bellot is one of Europe’s oldest ammunition manufacturers. These guys have been producing high-quality ammo since 1825.

This Sellier & Bellot Tactical Ammunition isn’t technically .308 Win. However, this 7.62×51 is just as fit for your .308 hunting rifle as it is for NATO-spec rifles. These loads feature super heavy-for-caliber 200-grain bullets, which leave the muzzle at subsonic speeds, making them a great option for suppressed AR-10s. 

Note: Rifles with 7.62×51 NATO chambers are engineered to handle lower pressure rounds with thick case walls and a slightly longer headspace. When you insert a .308 round into a 7.62 chamber, the extra pressure, thinner case walls, and extra empty space surrounding the cartridge can cause the brass to expand beyond its elastic range. This increases the probability of a ruptured case, which can damage both the firearm and the person shooting it. 

In short, it is generally safe to shoot 7.62 NATO cartridges in .308 Winchester chambers, but not the other way around. 

LOOSE ROUNDS

The .308 Winchester is a spectacularly versatile cartridge. With the vast array of specialized loads on the market today, the cartridge becomes even more versatile. 

Whether you want to ping steel at extreme ranges or harvest whitetails on the next ridge over, the right .308 Win ammo will help you get the job done. 

READY FOR MORE?

Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.



One response to “Best .308 Winchester Ammo [2022 Buyer’s Guide]”

  1. no_one_important says:

    Nosler Varmageddon in .308 for shooting coyotes and prairie dogs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

View Comments

Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter