Regarding hunting and target shooting, the 300 Savage and 308 have been two of the most popular rifle cartridges for decades.

Hunters and target shooters have used both cartridges for accuracy, power, and affordability. The 300 Savage is a rimless, bottlenecked centerfire rifle cartridge developed by Savage Arms in 1920. It is established on the .30-06 Springfield cartridge but with a shorter case and a slightly larger bullet.

The 308, is a rimless, bottlenecked rifle cartridge assembled by the United States in 1952. It is founded on the .308 Winchester cartridge but with a slightly shorter case and a slightly larger bullet.

Both cartridges have been popular among hunters and target shooters, offering a great combination of accuracy, power, and affordability.

300 Savage Vs 308 Winchester – Key Differences

300 Savage vs 308


The 300 Savage and 308 Winchester are two popular rifle cartridges that have existed for many years. It was introduced in 1920 by Savage Arms Company, while the 308 Winchester was developed in 1952 by Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Both cartridges are popular for hunting and target shooting and have a long history of use in the United States.

The 300 Savage has a maximum pressure of 46,000 psi, while the 308 Winchester has a maximum pressure of 62,000 psi.

It has a slightly lower muzzle velocity than the 308 Winchester but can still take down a medium-sized game.

The 308 Winchester is a more effective cartridge capable of taking down more giant games. Both cartridges are popular choices for hunters and target shooters alike.


Both cartridges offer excellent performance and accuracy, but some critical differences in their design make them suited for different applications.

The 300 Savage was developed in 1920 to replace the .30-30 Winchester. It has a case length of 2.60 inches and a bullet diameter of .308 inches. It can fire bullets up to 180 grains in weight and offers a muzzle velocity of 2,400 to 2,700 feet per second. 300 Savage is typically used for medium game hunting, such as deer and antelope.

On the other hand,

The 308 was developed in 1952 as a military cartridge based on the 300 Savage design. It has a case length of 2.8 inches and a bullet diameter of .308 inches. It can fire bullets up to 185 grains in weight and offers a muzzle velocity of 2,700 to 3,000 feet per second. 308 Winchester is typically used for more extensive game hunting, such as elk and moose.

The 300 Savage and 308 are popular and powerful calibers for hunting and target shooting. When it comes to ballistics, Both cartridges are capable of delivering excellent accuracy and ballistics. And the 300 Savage and 308 Winchester are pretty similar. They both deliver good terminal performance on medium-sized games.

The 300 Savage is slightly slower than the 308 Winchester, but it is still more than capable of taking down deer and other medium-sized game. They are designed for different purposes. The 300 Savage is best suited for medium game hunting, while the 308 is for more significant game hunting.


The 300 Savage is a classic cartridge that has been around since 1920. It is widely available in most gun stores and can be found in modern and vintage firearms.

The 308 Winchester, on the other hand, is a newer cartridge that was introduced in 1952. It is also widely available and can be found in most gun stores and a variety of modern firearms. Both cartridges are also available in a variety of factory-loaded ammunition.

Performance and Accuracy

Regarding performance, both are best for hunting and target shooting. Both are well known for accuracy and power and can take down large games.

The 300 Savage has a slightly longer case length than the 308 and is a more powerful round. It is also capable of delivering higher velocities than the 308.

Overall performance, the 300 Savage is slightly more powerful than the 308 and can deliver higher velocities. However, the 308 is a more accurate round and is easier to reload than the 300 Savage. It is also more expensive than the 308, which may be a consideration for some shooters.


While choosing a cartridge for your rifle, you often think about the recoil of that. Without having an idea of what you are going to deal with, you will have a hard time coming in terms with it.

Thankfully, both .308 Winchester and .300 Savage have very manageable recoil. The .300 Savage packs a wallop that can surprise you at first. But you get used to it soon enough.

The .308 Winchester packs around 18.27 ft-lbs of recoil. Compared to the Savage, it does have a higher muzzle rise and harder-to-control recoil.

300 Savage Vs 308 Winchester – Similarities

While the .300 Savage and the .308 Winchester cartridges have distinct differences, they also share several notable similarities. These commonalities often contribute to the debates surrounding their respective merits and advantages. Here are some of the key similarities between these classic cartridges:

Bullet Diameter

Both cartridges feature the same bullet diameter of .308 inches (7.82mm). Its shared bullet size allows shooters to use the same diameter for reloading and shooting, provided other dimensions are compatible.

Rifle Compatibility

Many firearms are available in both .300 Savage and .308 Winchester chamberings. While not interchangeable due to differences in pressure and dimensions, rifles can often be found in both calibers, offering shooters a choice based on their preferences and shooting needs.

Semi-Automatic Options

Shooters looking for semi-automatic options can find rifles chambered in both .300 Savage and .308 Winchester. However, the .308 Winchester has seen broader adoption in semi-automatic platforms due to its popularity and versatility.

Historical Significance

Both cartridges have historical significance in ammunition development. The .300 Savage was one of the early smokeless powder cartridges, reflecting a transitional period in firearms technology. The .308 Winchester’s military origins as the 7.62x51mm NATO add a layer of historical importance to its legacy.

Medium-Range Effectiveness

While the range is coming, the .308 Winchester has better overall ballistics, and both cartridges are practical for medium-range shooting and hunting. The .300 Savage was designed for this purpose, and the .308 Winchester’s versatility allows it to excel in similar scenarios.


Reloaders can appreciate the similarities in bullet diameter and reloading components between the two cartridges. It can simplify the reloading process for those who can reload their ammunition.

Legacy and Respect

Both the .300 Savage and the .308 Winchester have earned the respect and admiration of shooters and hunters over the years. Their enduring popularity and dedicated followings speak to their performance and relevance despite the differences in their ballistics and applications.

What Type Of Hunting Or Shooting Is Each Cartridge Best Suited For?

Both of these cartridges are suitable for varmint, coyote, and deer. Depending on the range you are firing at, you might be able to land larger animals like an elk. But that’s a rare occurrence and you shouldn’t hold your breath for it.

Closing Thoughts

The 300 Savage and 308 are popular hunting cartridges with good performance and accuracy.

The 300 Savage is an excellent choice for more minor games, while the 308 is better suited for more giant games. Both cartridges are suitable for hunting, but the 308 is more powerful and offers better ballistics.

Yet, the preference between the two cartridges will rely on the type of game being hunted and the shooter’s choice.

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