Century Arms C308 Rifle
The Century Arms C308 has been a dream to shoot. Especially for a rifle chambered in .308! When most people think of larger centerfire rifles, first thing that comes to mind is recoil! Unless you have time behind a semi-auto .308 that is. The gas system and springs reduce a lot of the recoil that would coming strait back to the shooters shoulder. Bolt action rifles do not have that luxury. How much so? Lets just say I put a little over 200 rounds through this rifle in one 2 hour range session. Quick look at the specs before jumping into the review:
• Built around a roller lock delayed blowback system
• Chrome moly 4140 barrel
• Fluted chamber for reliable cycling and extraction
• 5/8×24 RH threaded 18″ barrel for use with common muzzle accessories
• Mil-Spec 1913 Picatinny scope rail integrally mounted to the receiver
• Polymer furniture
• Proprietary Chevron brake
• Comes with one 5 rd. mag. and two 20 rd. G3 mags.
• Barrel: 18″, Overall: 40.2″, Weight: 8.1 lbs.
• MSRP $699
This rifle has a lot going for it, and the $699 (MSRP) price tag is definitely one of them! Getting into semi-auto .308 market is rough on the wallet. Century Arms has done a great job of getting one out at a price that doesn’t make me cringe. The C308 is based on the CETME roller lock design that got it’s start back in the mid 1950s, with their “C” .308 variant being produced in the early 1970s. With this long history, there’s a lot of aftermarket and surplus parts for on the market! We actually found some 20 round magazines going for $3 a piece. At that rate, why not just store all your ammo in mags! Hand guards and stocks can be switched out to your liking. The factory hand guard does have mounting points for accessories. My favorite part is the Picatinny scope rail! Most of the “roller lock” styled rifles on the market require the use of a “claw” style mount that clamps to the top of the receiver to accomplish the same. The C308 however has their rail welded to the receiver from the factory. A huge plus in my opinion.
Lets get down to it. When googling the C308, there are horrible tales of poor accuracy. A lot of people are hesitant to try one out for that reason. Looking at most of the current reviews, that is not the case, and our experience falls in line. This C308 is averaging between 1/2 to 1 MOA at 100 yards (scoped), with the occasional flyer. This could be more consistent with a lighter trigger and more time behind the rifle.
Once sighted in at 100 yards, we sat out our xsteel targets at 260 and 300 yards. That’s where the real fun began. Punching holes in paper is nice, but the instant gratification of ringing steel is even better. An easy 1 MOA turret adjustment from 100 yard zero put me right on the 260 and 300 yard (holding top corner) IPSC torso steel targets. This rifle can definitely sling the lead! Settled into the sandbag, I was able to lay down hits on target at 260 yards with 1 to 1.5 second splits between shots. Muzzle flip is very controllable between the muzzle break, gas system, and weight of the gun. This rifle can definitely fill multiple roles and an easy to live with price. Ours will be riding as a trunk gun and will make a great hunting gun as well (in states that allow it).
• This thing is heavy. Comes in at 8 pounds unloaded. Add mags and slings, and the weight steadily increases.
• Trigger weight is on the heavy side for precision work. Of course the rifle was not designed for that purpose.
• Can’t be appendix carried IWB 😉
What’s not to love? This is a great gun, at a great price point for a semi-auto .308! Check them out if you are in the market. The gun definitely brings in a crowd when shooting, something you don’t see on the line everyday.
Thanks to Century Arms and Eagle Guns for making this review happen.