Originally Posted by Subaru_Freak
All of those are different tools for different jobs.
The .308 is a good precision round out to 750 yards, but between 750 and 1000 yards it's kinda bleh compared to a heavier bullet you get in the .300 WM and the .338 Lapua Mag. Shooting my .338 Lapua makes 1000 yard shooting boring.
That being said, .338 Lapua will do just about anything you ask of it. It just doesn't come in a compact platform like a .375 H&H or .308 Win, and the brass is god awful expensive along with the bullets. Not a big deal if you invest in the caliber, but it's a lot up front.
If you are going to load for it ... I personally highly recommend a .260. It will take anything you shoot at, have superior 1000 yard ballistics, cheap to reload, etc. It's parent cartridge is the .308 Win so you can fire form .243 brass or neck the .308 cases. 6.5mm bullets are not hard to find either, and the 140gr. range SMKs and the Scenars are slick.
If you are going sub-sonic for a can, I'd just stick with .308s. You need a heavy bullet weight ... and anything under .30" is crap, and anything above .30" requires a huge can that is heavy. Plus, the bigger the hole in the can the less it will muffle (ala .45 vs. 9mm).
If you are in the Austin area I'd be glad to show you my Sako TRG42 in .338 ... it's a great platform.
I agree with most of what you said, except 308 being bleh after 750 yards. There's a reason that military trains its snipers with 308. The bullet drop and variation of accuracy of 168gr Sierra Match Grade 308 out to 1000 yards is consistently 40-60 inches. That's really good.
I had a friend with almost no prior shooting experience get back from Badlands Shooting School out in Oklahoma about six weeks ago, and after four shots he was on target with 15 out of 20 shots at 1000 yards on a six inch steel target.
When it comes to 308, you just need to really know your rifle and scope. Are there better precision rounds for long range shooting? Absolutely. But I agree with you on the .338. It's a better round for distance shooting.
However, in my opinion, 308 is the most complete rifle round available. It's accurate, reliable, and easily affordable to shoot.