When it comes to .308 Win vs 5.56 Nato, which one is better? That’s often the question gun enthusiasts ask. These are not the only two rifle cartridges in the world, but they are among the most popular ones. It’s not unusual to compare the 308 vs 556.
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In this article:
.308 Win vs 5.56 Nato | Spot the Differences Between the Two 308 vs 556
.308 vs 5.56 Nato Uses | 308 vs 556
While both are fruits, they couldn’t be any more different from each other. One may be better than the other depending on the situation.
If you’re prepping for the zombie takeover, you’ll likely want to have two rifles, one chambered in each. While the bigger of the two is better ballistic-wise, the 5.56mm will be more abundant.
It makes a great addition for when it’s time to start putting zombies out of their misery. Semi-automatic rifles using Winchester Nato rifle ammunition will likely do the job.
Bolt-action rifles chambered in the correct bullet rounds are just as deadly. You can also use both of these cartridges for defensive and hunting situations.
The similarities end there, however.
If the primary goal of your weapon is to stop an advancing enemy, the top performer is going to be the .308 all day long. The same is true if you want to hunt deer.
Regardless of the barrel length, it’s the bigger cartridge that contains more powder and a bigger grain bullet.
Let’s take it a step further than what gun users all know to be correct about these two. After all, there is always more that goes into it than ballistics.
If you only want to do some target practice for fun, the 5.56 will likely be your best bet based on the cost. Its usefulness also extends to the tactical department.
.308 Win vs 5.56 Nato Cost | 308 vs 556
Now, compare the 308 vs 556 ammo cost. Usually, bigger projectiles, which are 308 ammo, cost more money.
There are a few reasons for this. To keep it simple, they need more material for production.
Because of this, the 5.56 Nato ammo is cheaper by about $6 to $7 per box of 20 rounds. Reloading with these bullet rounds is slightly less expensive than the other.
While that much money doesn’t seem to break the bank, a closer look reveals the opposite.
What if you believe running 20 ammo rounds through your rifle every week for a year (52 weeks total) will make you a better shooter? You will wind up saving over $300 if you choose the 5.56.
Of course, shooting a gun is like eating potato chips. You can’t eat only one pack.
In other words, who goes to the range and only runs 20 ammo rounds through their rifles?
Confidence in Shooting 308 vs 556
Confidence comes from constant practice. You heard the saying “Practice makes perfect.”
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Not everyone may agree with this statement, but most understand the philosophy.
If you want to be a great shot, you need to practice shooting on a regular basis. If you’re going to practice more with the smaller cartridge because it costs less per round or is an overall more manageable cartridge, that is the better choice for you.
There is another thing to consider when talking about confidence in shooting. It is the amount of felt recoil that is going to hit your shoulder with each steady squeeze of the trigger.
What Is Recoil? It is the gun’s backward movement after firing the weapon. In principle, it balances the forward momentum the gun gained during shooting.
If you feel like someone is punching you in the arm each time you shoot, you may want to opt for the smaller of the two.
Plain and simple, when it comes to .308 Win vs 5.56 Nato, the former packs a bigger punch. Note, though, if you listen to some guys, shooting an AR in 5.56 is like firing a bazooka.
Compare .308 Win vs 5.56 Nato better with this video from Edwin Sarkissian:
To sum it up, with regard to 308 vs 556, it is a matter of preference. Figure out which gun you are more comfortable shooting.
Think about the costs involved also. Decide what you need the gun for.
These steps will help you choose the right one between the two.
When it comes to 308 vs 556, which do you prefer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.