There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. -Ernest Hemingway The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.-- Edward John Phelps
I remember reading when the Norwegians and Swedes where developing the 6,5x55 together, they would fire into mounds of snow, to see how much propellant was left.. that way they determined how long the barrels should be to get optimum performance.
These days with better powders shorter and shorter barrels are an option.
These days they call it 6,5x55 Skan to indicate full power loads.
300-400.000 active competition shooters use 6,5x55 each week in Scandinavia.. with a standard rifle.
And here is an old video, showing how they where shooting with the Krag rifle.
The US in the last 40 years:
Socialism for big corporations and military industrial complex
For decades I was not a .308 fan. I tried a couple, and not being a heavy recoil lover, didn't care much for it. Both rifles I had, ....a Rem 788 and Savage 99, just kicked the snot out of me for some reason. So I never pursued the cartridge after that...
Fast forward to the past few years, when I found a light, handy AR10 in .308 was pleasant to shoot. So, I started shooting it. And hunting with it. Deer, hogs, whatever I want. I LOVE it.
Accurate. Cheap ammo. Quick followup shot if needed on multiple animals. It has really become my go to rifle for hunting.
I'd say it kills pretty well...
Is it the best rifle cartridge out there? I dunno. But for my needs, I've evolved to the point that I love it!
My first hunting rifle was a 308. I couldn’t move quick enough to a 6.5x55. I revisited a lovely 308 AII classic for 5 years then moved to 7-08. Still have the 7-08 14 years later and doubt I’ll ever be without it but it’s set up with lighter bullets and I’d like a 308 twin set up for moose
It's a compromise, but where I hunt, it's one that works. I spent a lot of years, lot of range time, lot of dollars on rifles and components chasing "perfect" for the various situations. I'm no longer convinced perfect matters .. if it even exists. I've come to appreciate "good enough" as a trade that offsets all of the time, etc that chasing "perfect" requires so that the time, and money, can be put to other uses.
Living somewhere else, different terrain, cover, and game, the answers might be different, but where I hunt, a .308 with 165 grain accubonds or 180 grain partitions gets it done. Mostly deer, with the possibility of an antelope, elk, or bear thrown in, at ranges likely to be under 300 yards .. really likely to be under 75 yards.
I found that I spent a lot of effort finding perfect for long range .. STW,, .300 win mag .. etc. I found that even when I had the equipment, I didn't actually get around to the hunt I'd dreamed of. Same thing, I've had a couple good .338s and .375s I thought would be ideal for elk in heavy timber ... but I only do that a couple times a decade. I guess part of my compromise is recognizing that some dreams are only that, dreams, 'cause even when I have things all squared away to do them, I don't.
I could say everything I just said about .308 in favor of 7mm-08, 7x57, .270, and probably 6.5 creedmoor, but the .308 was what was available in the rifle I wanted on the day I went shopping so it's what sits on the shelf. At the same time I learned there's no perfect, I learned there's a lot of "darn good enough". Much of what we do is nitpick tiny differences in idealness with no real difference in adequacy.
Anyone who thinks there's two sides to everything hasn't met a M�bius strip.
I have a lightweight stainless steel Ruger 77 made around '92 with Mauser style action, not a push feed. Plastic skeletonized stock with scope at around 7 lbs. I reload so my reloads are touching at 100 yards. 150g Hornady plastic tipped bullets and 45g of 4064 powder. Killed several deer, don't remember how many, all with one shot kills. I never feel it kick when aiming at a deer. I sight it in with a laser boresighter and hardly ever shoot it. Haven't changed zero in 15-20 years.
This is a great thread - this is what I love about the campfire and what lured me out of lurker status & info gatherer into participating.
Moving to VT had my mind spinning when the longer shots that as a mountain backpack hunter I’d spent a lifetime practicing and equipping for we’re no longer even a consideration. Never owned a .308 before and frankly never saw the need - most of my hunting life pre-dates rangefinders & dialing scopes - so always chose the velocity champs in any particular category.
Eastern hunting has nullified all the advantages that the hard kicking flat shooters seemingly provide. First rifle I picked up was an old Ruger 77 RL and after accurizing that little critter it quickly became my favorite. Seems that others on this thread had their epiphany at different times in their careers, mine came late but I’m really happy to be enlightened.
44gr IMR4064 & Horn 150 is a stone cold & reliable killer for me.
I still get a kick out of a 340 Weatherby slinging a 225 like a 270 slings a 130 but as time goes on, that 340 just stays in the rack.