308 or 300 Win Mag
I am looking to get into long range shooting in a more serious way. For the past couple of years I have been shooting mainly WWII rifles with Iron Sights like a K-31, K-98, 1903A3 and M1 Garand. All of them had steel butt plates with no type of recoil pad and I could comfortably shoot 40-50-60 rounds per range trip plus a couple hundred of a .223 if I brought that one. I have a AR-15 .223 which is good from 0-300-400 yards. But I want to get a longer range sniper type rifle for target shooting and maybe eventually some long range competition shooting, like 600-1000 yards.
The 308 seems to be very popular, lots of ammo easily available, along with brass and bullets. I am also starting to reload my own rounds and will most likely be hand loading in stead of buying Match ammo.
But I am very attracted to the 300 Win Mag. In looking at the loading charts it is putting out bullets at 500-600 FPS faster than the 308. The Four potential downsides I see are: 1) More powder means more expensive ammo; and, 2) More powerful charges means shorter barrel life; and 3) More recoil; and, 4) They cost more by +$200 or so.
My practical self tells me to get the 308 and be happy and train like crazy with the saved money and if later on, say in 3-5 years I really do get into 1000 yard matches, at that time consider getting a 300 Win Mag or 7mm Remington Ultra Magnum for better, flatter long range shooting.
But part of me is thinking, why not get the 300 Win Mag now so I don't have to upgrade later? With a decent recoil pad the kick should be manageable and since I'll be loading my own the ammo won't cost that much more to load than the 308. And, it is just a downright kick-ass, bad-ass rifle.
Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the Sword, the other is by Debt. John Adams.