Best 308 Ammo: Hunting & Home Defense

Best 308 Ammo: Hunting & Home Defense

308 Winchester Magnum is the world’s favorite hunting round and a .308 battle rifle is also a wonderful thing loaded up with the best 308 ammo.

Military and police snipers love 308 Winchester up to 500 yards and Designated Marksman Rifles, semi-auto battle rifles chambered in this tougher round, are common now.’

Winchester Ammunition saw the potential for a civilian version of this chopped down, user friendly version of the 30-06 Springfield and brought us 308 Winchester ammo in 1952. It’s come a long way since then.

But what is the best 308 ammo for hog hunting, big game hunting or even people?

Firstly, if you’re looking for bulk deals and big savings, try these links first:

Here are our picks for the best 308 Win Mag ammo for sale in 2023.

Federal TSX Triple Shok ammo. Buy yours today at the best prices.

1. Federal Premium Barnes TSX Triple Shok

  • Price per round: $2.23
  • Price per pack: $43.99/20 Rounds
  • Bullet Type: Barnes Hollow Point
  • Bullet weight: 165 grain
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,650fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2573 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer
Best 308 Ammo For Hunting

Federal Premium Barnes TSX Triple Shok might not be your every day 308 Win ammo, but it is pretty much the best when it comes to al all round hunter and, dare we say it, tactical round.

Loaded into your trusty 308 bolt action rifle, or semi-automatic rifle, this high price, all copper jacketed hollow point should drop North American big game as effectively as anything here.

Have some mags loaded up for your 308 battle rifle and you have a potent weapon indeed for self defense and a very serious gunfight. This really could be the best 308 Winchester ammo.

All Copper, Rifled Design

The lead free design means this 308 Win ammo retains 100% of its weight. Combined with literal cutting edge JHP tech and a deep point makes for massive expansion and a huge wound cavity.

That Barnes TSX bullet has been called the deadliest hunting round in the world in a variety of calibers. Mated to a Federal Premium brass case, you really cannot go wrong with this round.

I mean it will overpenetrate if you live in an apartment block, but apart from that it is arguably the ultimate hunting and tactical round.

Get some, try it out and then buy more. The price will hurt a little, but the performance is incredible and it will make your 308 rifle that little bit better.

Also check out other Federal Premium options, including the match 308 Win ammo.

Get the 308 ammo that Law enforcement relies upon each and every day. Buy your Speer .308 here.

2. Speer Gold Dot Personal Protection

  • Price per round: $1.60
  • Price per pack: $31.99/20
  • Bullet Type: Soft Point Boat Tail
  • Bullet Weight: 150 grain
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2820fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2648 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer
Best for Tactical Use

Law enforcement, the Feds, just about anybody that legitimately uses 308 ammunition to off people in the line of duty rely on Speer Gold Dot Personal Protection.

It’s designed to FBI spec so it goes through barriers like windscreens and drywall with minimal deflection. That does mean Gold Dot goes through drywall, so be careful out there, but you knew that right?

These Nickel plated brass bonded soft point bullets are the industry standard when it comes to tactical engagement at long range and short. Things tend to be that way for a reason…

Due to the company’s Uni-Cor process where the jacket is bonded to the bullet one atom at a time. So core jacket separation just doesn’t happen and the high price bullet maintains its trajectory through common barriers without veering off course.

The police largely think this is the best 308 Winchester ammo, especially in a semi-automatic rifle. On the right day, in the right circumstances, they are absolutely right.

Hornady Critical Defense 308 Win Mag ammo. Get yours.

3. Hornady Critical Defense

  • Price per round: $1.85
  • Price per pack: $38.80/20
  • Bullet Type: JHP
  • Bullet Weight: 155 grain
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2820fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2648 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer
Best 308 Win Mag Ammo for Self Defence

Horrnady Critical Defense is our favorite 9mm ammunition for a concealed carry pistol, and now the same tech has come to rifle ammo with this purely defensive round.

This Jacketed Hollowpoint is optimised to work at short distances. Whereas the Speer has to cover a range of FBI approved scenarios, the Nickel plated brass Hornady really is tailored to home defense.

Those situations largely happen at less than 30 feet, sometimes much less. When there are 9mm AR pistols, AAC Blackout pistols and shotguns in this world, maybe 308 Win ammo isn’t the way to go for inside the house.

But if you live in the country, or bear country, or Chicago, a 308 rifle with this defensive minded 308 Win ammo might be the perfect combination. And the muzzle energy is massive on this rifle cartridge.

The Hornady 308 Win ammo comes with a polymer filled HP to prevent it snagging on clothing or other barriers and failing to open properly. It is also designed for deep penetration, but to prevent overpenetration, which is a very real thing with some of these entries on the human form.

Hunters swear by the likes of Hornady American White Tail and the 168 grain Hornady Black 308 Win ammo. But there are plenty of specialist hunters on this list and defensive ammo is a similar vibe, but with several different requirements.

Black Hills 308 ammo.

4. Black Hills Tipped MatchKing

  • Price per round: $2.25
  • Price per pack: $45/20
  • Bullet Type: Open Tip Match
  • Weight: 175 grain
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2626fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2648 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer
Best for Competition Shooting

Black Hills Ammunition is one of those companies with near God tier status, thanks to the likes of the Honeybadger FTM 9mm ammo and a slavish devotion to excellence.

Here the company’s Gold level casings and coatings work with a Sierra Matchking Hollow Point Boat Tail.

It is an intriguing choice for our favorite match grade 308 Win ammo. But with the polymer tip designed for ultimate flat shooting and long range, this enhanced Sierra Matchking bullet easily outperforms most 175 grain FMJ 308 Win Mag.

That jacketed hollow point boat tail really isn’t designed for ultimate expansion, it is an open tip match cartridge, not a hunting bullet. But a simple JHP allowed for a super sharp polymer tip and a streamlined 308 Winchester cartridge for long range target shooting.

The sharp acetyl resin tip allowed Black Hills to tune the whole bullet and leave FMJBT 308 Win ammo trailing in its wake. A super flat trajectory, minimal bullet drop and total repeatability are company calling cards, which is what you need in a rifle cartridge for top level shooting sports.

We look forward to trying this tech in a wide range of rifle calibers.

MC Bronze 308 ammo is a budget friendly 308 cartridge.

5. PMC Bronze

  • Price per round: $1.00
  • Price per pack: $19.99/20
  • Bullet Type: 147 grain Full Metal Jacket
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2780fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2522 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer
Best for Range Shooting

You can take PMC Bronze hunting, but really this 147 grain Full metal Jacket FMJ is for the range. It’s the civilian version of M80 FMJ and realistically there are more humane ways to harvest animals these days.

Still, this PMC 308 Win ammo is affordable, without getting into real cheap and dirty ammo. This PMC is kind to your rifle and is ideal for informal target shooting and just sending hundreds of rounds of FMJ BT PMC downrange when the mood strikes.

Mil-Spec 7.62x51mm Boat tail FMJ M80 NATO PMC X-TAC is slightly cheaper and the South Korean army love it. Soooo, yeah…

The FMJBT 308 Win ammo is manufactured in South Korea, and PMC has gained a reputation for quality, dependable and cheap ammo.

PMC X-TAC Full Metal Jacket FMJ M80 ball ammo gives slightly higher muzzle velocity and energy than the Bronze. Get that here and look out for 500 round bulk rifle ammo cans and other bulk ammo deals on boat tail FMJ.

Winchester Ammunition Deer Season. Cost effective hunting ammo with a copper projectile and plastic tip.

6. Winchester Deer Season XP

  • Price per round: $1.75
  • Price per pack: $35.00/20
  • Bullet Type: Polymer Tipped HP
  • Bullet Weight: 150 grain
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2820fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2648 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer

Winchester Ammunition brought us the first civilian version of 7.62x51mm M80 ball, and it has never stopped working to improve upon that old school design.

This is a brass jacketed copper hollow point Boat Tail with a polymer tip that ensures straight and true flight. On impact it drives backwards into the round to create oversized expansion and massive energy transfer at the point of entry. That creates organized chaos, and also a massive wound channel with the best weight retention.

Polymer tip R&D has changed the ammo industry and hunting ammunition in particular has felt the benefits. So if you haven’t looked at this new bulk rifle ammo, then get some and see what you’re missing out on.

Winchester Deer Season comes in a number of calibers and this one is aimed at white and black tail, but this rifle cartridge is tough enough to take down American game up to Elk. That’s almost as big as game gets.

Federal Power Shok 308 winchester. A great all round ammunition.

7. Federal Power Shok

  • Price per round: $1.93
  • Price per pack: $38.52/20
  • Bullet Type: Hollow Point Boat Tail
  • Weight: 150 grain
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2820fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2648 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer

Federal Power Shok is a great all round hunter for medium game, hog hunting and white tail deer ammo.

There is newer, more expensive rounds of 308 Win ammo, but the Power Shok works like gangbusters and is relatively cheap ammo for sale.

So if you’re not going bear hunting, this will probably do you just fine.

Prvi Partizan SP hunting ammunition. A basic Full Metal Jacket without the tip. Basic lead core hunting ammo that has worked for 70 years.

8. Prvi Partizan SP

  • Price per round: $1.20
  • Price per pack: $240/200
  • Bullet Type: Soft Point
  • Weight: 150 grain
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2805fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2620 lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer

Prvi Partizan is working its way in to the US scene nicely and we like this soft point 308 Winchester cartridge a lot.

This Serbian manufacturer started out with bulk deals on budget ammo, and that is still its calling card. But Prvi Partizan is starting to impress with its match grade ammo and high quality hunting ammo.

Now this soft point 308 Winchester cartridge is really the middle ground. This is a budget hunting round that is fine for varmint and critter hunting, or general shooting.

Depending on your ethical stance it’s OK to hunt medium game with this too, although we prefer to use hollowpoints for a faster, more humane exit from this world. Essentially it’s an open top 150 grain FMJ with a lead core that expands considerably, but haphazardly, on impact.

This is legit 308 Win Mag hunting ammo, but technology has moved on and we kind of think we owe the animal a hollowpoint.

American Eagle 308 Win ammo.

9. Federal American Eagle 308 Winchester

  • Price per round: $1.25
  • Price per pack: $24.99/20
  • Type: 150 grain FMJ
  • Muzzle velocity: 2820fps
  • Primer Type: Boxer

Federal American Eagle is one of those great bulk ammo deals for 150 grain FMJ bullets that are great for plinking and won’t spring any major surprises.

A bucket of this, or the 150 grain FMJ 7.62×51 ammo, should keep you going for a while. It’s pretty easy to find big boxes of this entry level Federal 308 Win ammo too.

How 308 Winchester Ammunition was born

Back in the 1940s the US military started to experiment with the .300 Savage cartridge. Frankford Arsenal created the T65 line of experimental cartridges that started out as 30-06 Springfield and provided similar ballistic performance.

Two years before NATO adopted the 7.62x51mm NATO round, Winchester Ammunition spotted the opportunity and branded the T65 cartridge in 1952. It also produced Model 70, Model 88 and Model 100 rifles chambered for the new round.

It started with Full Metal Jacket FMJ, but Winchester Ammunition and others have taken the 308 Win ammo to new heights in terms of energy, velocity and weight retention.

The top hunting bullets you see today are a world away from that classic M80 mil spec ammo that is 70 years old and still going strong.

10. Sellier & Bellot Subsonic FMJ

  • Price per round: $1.25
  • Price per pack: $24.99/20
  • Type: 200 grain FMJ
  • Muzzle velocity: 1030fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 471lb/ft
  • Primer Type: Boxer

This Sellier & Bellot 200 grain FMJ subsonic ammunition offers intriguing potential for running with a suppressor, where your 308 rifle will suddenly sound almost like a BB gun.

It also gives you the chances to use this heavier grain FMJ Sellier & Bellot as home defense ammo, thanks to the much reduced muzzle velocity and power. Now it’s still a niche choice, but this Sellier & Bellot 200 grain FMJ ammo is finding a following.

Now Sellier & Bellot is Russian firm that specialises in budget ammunition that you bulk buy, but there is some intriguing specialist ammo too.

Honorable Mentions

This list could easily have gone to 25 bullets, but you might have got bored. Hell we might have got bored. So things like the Remingon Core Lokt polymer tipped 308 probably belong here, along with Federal Non Typical and Hornady American White Tail.

Probably in time we’re going to put a couple of those in their own entry. Especially the Remington Core Lokt and Hornady American White Tail. But we can’t do everything, so for now here are a few quick links.

Where to Bulk Buy Ammo

If you’re buying 147 grain FMJ 308 Win ammo, handgun ammo, 223 ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 10mm ammo, 45 Long Colt Ammo, shotgun ammo, rifle ammo, blackout ammo or rimfire ammo, you often end up back at the same places.

So what are our inside tips for cheap ammunition deals and buying in bulk, especially high grain FMJ 308 Win ammo and 12 gauge ammo?

Always look out for free shipping when you buy in bulk cheap 308 ammo 150 grain FMJBT. It’s more important than you think to get free shipping on bulk 308 win ammo purchases, because it’s heavy stuff when you’re looking at 500-1000 rounds of 178 grain FMJBT.

Best Places to Bulk Buy Ammo

OK so we have shown you some of our favorite budget 308 ammo, and cheap 308 ammo and the 7.62×51 NATO the military still loves.

And the good stuff.

But what are the best places to buy bulk 308 ammo?

Here are our top picks.

1. Lucky Gunner

Lucky Gunner has a website straight from the 90s, but some of the best bulk 308 deals and other calibers you’re likely to find.

If you burn through a lot of ammo then you should definitely check the ammo deals on Lucky Gunner. You’ll get big discounts, hard to find ammunition and Lucky Gunner quite often throw in free shipping.

So if you’re deer hunting or you want ammo for target practice, try Lucky Gunner.

Check out their rimfire ammo, 45 ACP ammo, 44 Magnum ammo, shotgun ammo and more.

2. Sportsman’s Guide

One of the biggest mainstream outdoors stores has really raised its game with ammunition of late. So if you want 7.52x51mm NATO, shotgun ammo, 357 Magnum ammo and S&W ammo.

Bullet Weights and Twist Rate

Most modern rifles will stabilize most modern bullets, but there’s no doubt that knowing how bullet weights and the twist rate of your barrel interact will help you make wiser choices when you buy ammo in bulk.

Heavier bullets ideally like a tighter twist rate. So know your rifle when you’re looking at bullet weights and you will find they behave better at the extremes during target practice.

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