Making my .308 better

LK2HNT

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Aug 19, 2019
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So over the last 4 years Ive been really stepping up my hunting gear game. I live in Alaska and have gotten into mountain hunting and backpack hunting. Im slowly buying new quality gear but naturally have a budget. Ive got my tent, cloths, pack sleeping bag systems pretty dialed in and now Im thinking about fixing up my rifle. At the time all I could afford was about $700 so I bought a Ruger American .308. Its honestly a great gun and has killed all my Caribou, Moose with no problems. Id like to keep the gun but possibly make it a little better. Obviously upgraded optics are a must but what else can I do to this gun to make it possibly lighter or a better mountain gun if anything?. Sorry, pretty open ended question but Im limited on my gun knowledge. IS this platform worth building or should I just start with a new rifle totally. Im not looking to go full retard, just make my existing rifle possibly a better shooter. Thank you for any insight.
 

LightFoot

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Feb 21, 2016
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Not much to do on that rifle.

If it shoots well, upgrade optics and use it as is.

Getting into the "mountain rifle" club gets expensive very quickly.

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davsco

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maybe see what trigger options you have. at least for me, better trigger = more accurate.
 

deerkiller

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Feb 3, 2019
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if .308 is your game you can fit a Tikka superlight or Kimber HUNTER into pretty much any budget and they both shoot great and define a "mountain rifle" - I've had my share of troubles over the years with Kimbers but the platform worked well for my grandson's first BG rifle (in CM) It has been such an awesome rifle I bought myself one in .280 AI and have been very happy with both, no out of the box problems I can cite with either
Your Ruger is a pretty darn good "budget" rifle though …...
 
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LK2HNT

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I wouldn't invest any money into a $300 gun. How much lighter can you really make a 6.1lb gun?

Where do you feel it is lacking?
Its not lacking really, I just hear people talking about “modding” their rifles and was just wondering of theres any merit to that.
 
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LK2HNT

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Thank you guys for the replies, I do appreciate it
 

deerkiller

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Its not lacking really, I just hear people talking about “modding” their rifles and was just wondering of theres any merit to that.
more often than not it's a question of spending unneeded $$ on an already very functional firearm and sometimes it's all about the herd instinct …..
 

AkMtnRunner

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That Ruger American is a great rifle for what it is. I'd rock it stock and only upgrade the optics. If you do anything to the rifle, just research it thoroughly before starting. A warning . . . it's a bit of a pandora's box so if you're happy with it I'd leave it alone.

If you really want to a better rifle, I recommend just selling it and putting the proceeds into stepping up into the $700-900 level factory gun.
 

wildwilderness

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Eagle River, AK
As mentioned a light trigger is the best way to improve accuracy. I like 2lbs. Hard for me to shoot anything heavier now. That’s about all I would do to that rifle.

Next would be to buy a Fieldcraft !
 

deerkiller

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As mentioned a light trigger is the best way to improve accuracy. I like 2lbs. Hard for me to shoot anything heavier now. That’s about all I would do to that rifle.

Next would be to buy a Fieldcraft !
the Fieldcraft would be ALOT better (IMO) if they could work a deal with Forbes for "his" trigger
 

260madman

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What brand of optics are on it now? The only big complaints on the RAR is the stock being flimsy and the action a little rough out of the box which is easily solved.
 

Buzby

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Those Americans are a great gun for the money. Couple good cheap mods;

Have the barrel cut and recrowned. 2-4” off, save a small bit of weight, possibly improve accuracy, and shouldn’t lose much velocity.

Spray paint camo! always gives a gun a nice purpose built look.
 

zeroforhire

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Slap it into a mdt lss chassis if you want a better stock. It would incur a weight penalty though. I have one on my Howa miniaction Grendel and love it.

Or check out the Magpul hunter stock.

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JP100

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If it aint broke...dont fix it...

If your on a budget trimming weight of a rifle is the most expensive way to lighten your pack.

What scope you have?

A good scope will do alot to make a rifle shoot better and be more 'deadly' in the field.

What ammo are you running?

Reloading can really open up alot more options for rifles, and the .308 has endless options for a reloader. .308s do very well in short barrels, and if you want a better rifle for carrying about shorter is better. If you reload well you will not loose much velocity. 18-20 inches is heaps for a .308 and plenty of people go shorter.
 

tlsmith22

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Id suggest a better handload for it. I love 308s and they have been the standard for years and most people will shoot a 168 or 175 and shoot them well. I was turned on to a handload a few years ago that has outperformed both loads by a large margin. Load a 185 Berger over Power pro 2000 powder. I am seeing velocities in the 2800fps range with a 28 inch barrel with match chambers. That's faster than a 168 or 175 with less wind drift.
 

deerkiller

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Id suggest a better handload for it. I love 308s and they have been the standard for years and most people will shoot a 168 or 175 and shoot them well. I was turned on to a handload a few years ago that has outperformed both loads by a large margin. Load a 185 Berger over Power pro 2000 powder. I am seeing velocities in the 2800fps range with a 28 inch barrel with match chambers. That's faster than a 168 or 175 with less wind drift.
what are speeds from a 22" barrel ? I like power pro 2000 and 4000
 

Formidilosus

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what are speeds from a 22" barrel ? I like power pro 2000 and 4000


Depending on brass and powder weight- 2,700+ is easily doable. My competition 308 with 26” barrel is 2,860fps at 70 degrees. Be aware that PP2000 is not temp stable. At 90 degrees it is 2,920fps.


The 308 with 185gr VLD’s or Juggernauts and PP2000 is really a 300WM in performance.
 

907to406

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Coming from a guy that has to modify everything I own, I don’t think there is huge aftermarket support for that rifle. I could be wrong but personally I’d leave it alone and start saving for a new build or buy a Tikka and upgrade as you see fit or as your budget allows. I’m not a Remington fan but you could pick up a Remington 700 or Tikka and build it over time. Both of those rifles have tons of aftermarket support and a majority of the mods/upgrades can be done by you. In my experience the Tikka is a bit more DIY friendly and saves on the cost of gun smithing.
 
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