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It’s tough to pin down the best .308 rifle because the .308 round is so versatile. There are a ton of different rifles, built for just as many different shooting contexts.
We’ve talked AR-10s and .308 bolt action rifles before. So, we’ll give our take on some rifles we haven’t looked at yet.
Since we’re covering such a broad range of rifles, we’ve got two winners this time. Standby for a HUGE spoiler.
We chose the best semi-automatic and the best bolt action rifle, since that covers pretty much any shooting context.
Our Favorite Choices
Colt M.A.R.C 901 Rifle
First, the best overall semi-automatic .308 rifle is the Colt M.A.R.C. 901 Rifle. Yes, it’s an AR-10. But, it’s got the best combination of versatility, performance, and cost of any rifle in this article.
Browning X-Bolt Stalker Long Range
Next up, the best bolt action .308 rifle is the Browning X-Bolt Stalker Long Range. It leans a little bit toward being a hunting rifle. But it packs enough performance to satisfy most long range and tactical competitors, too.
Stick around if you want to see read the details and see what other rifles are legitimate competitors.
Top .308 Rifle Choices on the Market
Best .308 Rifle Reviews: Which One is Right for You?
We’ll cover all our favorites, starting with the best overall winners. All the rest are lined up from least expensive to most budget breaking.
1. Browning X-Bolt Stalker Long Range: Best Bolt Action .308 Rifle
The Browning X-Bolt Stalker Long Range comes at a reasonable price. But it rivals more expensive rifles in terms of performance and build quality.
First, this rifle sports a 26 inch barrel. That’s enough to hit animals at any distance. It’s also easily enough barrel for most extreme long range shooting. The barrel is capped with a muzzle brake, but the barrel is threaded. So you can replace the muzzle brake with any device you want.
Unfortunately, the barrel isn’t completely free floated in the stock.
The stock is reinforced to improve rigidity. However, the design isn’t quite perfect for extreme long range shooters. But, this model still delivers excellent long range precision.
The trigger is Browning’s adjustable Feather Trigger, which is designed for precision shooting. The take up is even and smooth. The break is crisp, and there’s almost no overtravel. It’s the sort of trigger that really helps you get the most from your rifle.
A 60 degree bolt throw makes room for optics of any size, and helps you run the bolt faster. Unfortunately, there’s no integrated rail for attaching optics. You can add any optic. You’ll just need rings and such.
The stock is also designed using Browning’s Inflex Technology recoil pad, which redirects recoil energy down and away from your cheek for more comfortable shooting. The reduced felt recoil is nice. But it sometimes takes a bit more work to reacquire your reticle for follow-up shots.
Lastly, the magazine hold 4 rounds. It’s detachable. So, reloading is easy. However, the magazine capacity isn’t great for competition and tactical shooting.
This rifle is aimed squarely at hunters who want a rifle capable of any shot they need to take. However, it’s capable enough to be an entry level rifle for extreme long range shooting or even a tactical rifle.
2. Colt M.A.R.C. 901 Rifle: Best Overall Semi-Automatic .308 Rifle
Colt is one of the original AR-15 manufacturers. They held the contract for supplying M16 rifles to the military for several decades.
The Colt M.A.R.C. 901 Rifle bears the marks of a mil-spec AR-15. But it’s got some nice upgrades.
The barrel is 16.1 inches long and chrome lined. The chrome lining improves the service life, and the free-float handguard design improves the accuracy beyond that of a standard mil-spec rifle.
Speaking of the handguard, the handguard is an upgrade over standard mil-spec handguards, as well. The forend has a full length top rail, with mounting holes for configuring the rails on the rest of the handguard body.
The stock is also better than mil-spec. It’s an upgraded M4 stock that offers battery storage tubes along the side that also function as a cheek rest. This gives you storage space and improves your eye relief and alignment with your optic.
All of the controls are ambidextrous. This is a huge upgrade for left-handers, since the mil-spec models have traditionally been right hand only rifles.
The included front and rear sights are folding. So you can get them out of the way if you want to mount an optic. Unfortunately, Colt fixed the front sight to the gas block, which means you’ll have to change the gas block if you want a different front sight.
Unfortunately, Colt used a mil-spec grip, which is pretty lame. The mil-spec pistol grip features a single finger groove that’s uncomfortable for most shooters. This is something you’ll probably want to change out.
Even with the lame pistol grip, this is still an excellent AR-15 for those who want the added punch and range of the .308 round, while retaining platform familiarity with their 5.56mm rifle.
3. Ruger American Predator .308 Winchester: Budget .308 Rifle
Ruger has a penchant for building guns like tanks and selling them at super reasonable prices. The Ruger American Predator .308 Winchester is a solid example of a well-built rifle with a great price tag.
This bolt action rifle is primarily for hunters and tactical long range shooters.
The barrel is 18 inches long and threaded. This has ups and downs. On one hand, the barrel is a bit too short for extreme long range precision. It’s great for hunting and intermediate tactical ranges. But it won’t be enough for super long range shots.
On the bright side, the shorter barrel enables you to attach a suppressor or any other muzzle device without making the rifle difficult to handle.
To make sure that you can squeeze every inch of precision out of this rifle, the barrel is free floated and the stock is built with a metal insert to improve rigidity. So, even though the barrel isn’t that long, you’ll get every yard it’s got.
The trigger is Ruger’s Marksman Adjustable trigger. So, you can set the weight where you like it and can squeeze the trigger without moving the muzzle.
Ruger also equipped this model with a 70-degree bolt. The bolt throw will clear just about any optic you mount on this rifle.
Speaking of optics, there’s an integrated optic rail for quickly attaching a scope to the rifle.
Unfortunately, it uses a rotary 3-round magazine. This is fine for hunting and some tactical shooting.But, there aren’t a lot of options for increasing the magazine capacity.
Despite the couple of shortcomings, this rifle is an excellent option for anyone looking to purchase their first .308 bolt gun or who wants a solid precision rifle that won’t crush their wallet.
4. Bergara HMR Pro Premier: Long Range .308 Rifle
Bergara produces excellent and affordable precision rifles. The Bergara HMR Pro Premier is easily one of the best precision rifles for the money.
Bergara built this model around a 20 inch barrel. It’s a versatile length that’s accurate enough for hunting and tactical shooting. But short enough that the rifle is easy to handle in most situations. However, long range competitors may prefer a 22 or 24 inch barrel.
But, the barrel is threaded. So, the slightly shorter length comes in handy if you plan to add a suppressor.
The stock is completely polymer. It comes with an adjustable cheek rest, aluminum reinforcement for the action bed, and a free-float forend for accuracy. It’s a nicely adjustable and rigid platform that improves the native accuracy of the rifle and helps the shooter perform their best.
The stock is paired with a TriggerTech trigger with Frictionless Release Technology. The trigger really does have reduced friction. The take up is super smooth and the break is crisp. It’s not a perfect trigger, but it will work well for all but the most demanding shooters.
This model ships with a 5 round magazine. This is plenty for almost any bolt-action shooting context. And it’s a detachable box magazine. So there are options for upgrading the magazine capacity.
Unfortunately, there’s no optic mounting rail. Some won’t mind. But, remember to get rings for your optic.
Bergara focused on features that help the shooter perform better, rather than rifle specs. So, this is an excellent rifle for those just getting into extreme long range shooting and tactical shooters.
5. PTR-91 MSG: .308 Battle Rifle
The PTR-91 MSG is a more affordable, and more available, rifle that performs similarly to the venerable PSG-1 and FAL. It’s designed to fit squarely into the battle rifle category.
Right out the gate, this model establishes its intended purpose with an 18 inch barrel. This is long enough to cover tactical shooting distances and even some optic-assisted ranges. But it’s got maneuverability and delivers the best performance at intermediate ranges.
The stock features an adjustable cheek rest, which is nice for when you need to settle in for a tight shot. However, it’s got a tactical shape that’s best for fast-paced operation.
There are attachment points on three sides of the forend for attaching any accessories you want up front. Unfortunately, there’s no rail segment on top of the forend, if you’re the type to use forward-mounted optics.
The sights are H&K-style dual aperture sights, which are excellent for both quick shots and precision. But, the sights are fixed. So, you’ll have to live with them, even if you mount an optic on your rifle.
On the ergonomics side, the pistol grip is better than a standard A2 pistol grip. But still pretty mediocre. And, the pistol grip is molded into the lower receiver. So, you’ll have to live with that, too.
The biggest negative on this rifle is the trigger. It’s definitely a battle rifle trigger. It feels fine during fast paced shooting, where the trigger is being pressed more than squeezed. But, if you slow down for precision work, the slop becomes really apparent.
This model lacks some customizability. But, it’s a high performing battle rifle right out of the box that will appeal to those who want a solid .308 rifle that performs like an AK-47, but has better ergonomics.
6. Daniel Defense Delta 5: Tactical Bolt Action Rifle
Daniel Defense created the Daniel Defense Delta 5 as a modular precision rifle. This rifle is nearly as configurable as an AR-15.
The .308 variant comes with a 20 inch barrel. This is best for shooting at hunting and tactical distances. It’s accurate. But this rifle is not meant for extreme long range shooting.
Note that Daniel Defense also builds this rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and 7mm Remington. So, if you want the .308 model, select .308 caliber, choose a 20 inch barrel, and the 39.5 inch overall length. These are the only sizes available for .308.
Moving on, the stock is completely configurable.
The length of pull is adjustable. There’s an adjustable cheek rest. There are even M-LOK attachment points on the forend and buttstock. You can set this rifle up any way you want it.
Interestingly, the barrel is not free-floated in the stock.
Where this rifle really shines is in the trigger. The trigger is an adjustable, single-stage Timney Elite Hunter. The trigger adjusts from 1.5 to 4 pounds, and boasts one of the smoothest pulls and cleanest breaks in the industry. The trigger is smooth enough for precision at any distance.
The receiver features an integrated optic rail and a 60 degree bolt throw, so you can fit any optic on your rifle without interfering with the action.
This rifle takes AICS pattern magazines. This makes it easy to get more mags. The standard magazine holds 10 rounds, which is excellent for competition and tactical shooting.
Overall, this is an excellent tactical or competition bolt-action rifle right out of the box, and it comes at a really reasonable price. It’s a great option for tactical and competition shooters and hunters. Extreme long range shooters may prefer something with a longer barrel, or the 6.5 Creedmoor model.
7. Lewis Machine & Tool MWS Sharpshooter: Tactical Semi-Automatic .308 Rifle
Lewis Machine and Tool calls the Lewis Machine & Tool MWS Sharpshooter a “modular weapon system.” It’s built around two main ideas: configurability and stability.
Let’s talk about stability first. The upper receiver and handguard are milled from a single block of aluminum. So, the entire upper receiver, from end to end, is a single piece.
This makes the platform incredibly rigid for milking as much accuracy as you can get from the barrel.
The barrel itself is 16 inches long and fitted with a flash hider. Since this is a .308 rifle, a muzzle brake would be better. But the flash hider is a quality muzzle device.
All the furniture—the grip and the stock—is from Bravo Company Manufacturing. The grip is contoured nicely and encourages a good, high shooting grip. The stock features battery storage tubes that also function as cheek rests.
All the internals are covered in a proprietary dry lubrication coating for reliability and cryogenically treated for durability. So, far, reports are that both the coating and the treatment do their job.
The two-stage trigger group provides a steady press for both fast and slow shooting, and the rifle comes with flip-up sights. The sights are probably the weakest aspect of the rifle. They work. But they’re minimal, and clearly designed to be backup sights.
It’s not really a weak point, but some of the parts—like the straight gas tube—are proprietary. So, you’ll need to get certain replacement parts from Lewis Machine and Tool.
One last thing: this model comes with a 20 round magazine. Pretty standard for a .308 carbine.
All in all, this is an outstanding option for anyone who wants a tactical semi-automatic .308 that can work as a short range tactical platform or as a designated marksman rifle.
As you can see, there’s a .308 rifle for every shooter, and every context. It’s just a matter of finding the one that’s right for you.
If you need a semi-automatic rifle, you can’t go wrong with the Colt M.A.R.C. 901 Rifle. It’s an excellent .308 platform overall, with the added bonus of being an AR-10 (for those who own AR-15s).
Bolt gun shooters should get the Browning X-Bolt Stalker Long Range. It’s one of the highest performing rifles on the market, right out of the box.
So, if you’ve been eyeing a .308 rifle, now you’ve got all the gritty details to get out there and pull the trigger. Grab the rifle that suits you and pop off a few rounds from the bench.