People who won't listen (wrong ammo for the rifle, dude!)


October 20, 2004, 09:33 PM

So I was at Dunham Sports outside of Pittsburgh, PA tonight picking up a K-31. The guy in front of me was purchasing a CETME chambered for .308.

But he had four boxes of 7.62x39mm Wolf sitting next to the rifle.

B: "Pardon me, I don't mean to intrude, but are you planning to use that ammo in your CETME?"

Guy: "Yeah."

B: "It's not the correct ammo for that firearm."

Guy: "Yeah it is, it's 7.62mm."

B: "..."

I didn't press any further. I probably should have, and I explained more ot the clerk later and asked to have the manager call the buyer to warn him, but their attitude was "He didn't seem to care, why should we?"

At best, the ammo won't chamber and won't misfire from a primer strike.

Worst case, it chambers and the guy has a rifle blow up in his face.

Do I call the Dunham store tomorrow morning and ask to speak to the manager, explain again what happened, and ask them to call the buyer to warn him?

If you enjoyed reading about "People who won't listen (wrong ammo for the rifle, dude!)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 20, 2004, 09:43 PM
definatly call. No one deserves a rifle blowing up in thier face for simple ignorance of retarded metric rnds, he was just confused. I think ".308", instead of some goofy ass metric number game such as 7.62X25 tok, 7.62X39, 7.62X51, 7.62X54R. that bunch of nonesense could confuse anyone not completely imersed in the entire gun culture.

George S.
October 20, 2004, 09:44 PM
Let the buyer beware?? I would have said something like "That ammo is the wrong caliber, it should be .308 for your rifle". Maybe using .308 instead of the metric caliber might have made him understand.

In any event, a knowledgable clerk would have simply asked him if he wanted to buy ammo with the rifle and got the correct stuff for him. But they guy will probably be back after trying to shoot the rifle with the wrong ammo and dump all over the clerk and manager for being idiots. :rolleyes:

October 20, 2004, 09:47 PM
I have a 30.06 which isn't too far from the .308 and a 7.62x39 firearm. My vote is that it won't chamber. Shouldn't even stay in the magazine properly. That being said, better safe than sorry.

I'd of pressed. At the very least pointed out the .308 round and the difference.

October 20, 2004, 10:10 PM
Well i don't want to sound too cynical, but if he's that stupid, I say let it blow up in his face. Seriously, how can you even PURCHASE a CETME and not know what ammo it takes?

On the other hand, it might cause a lawsuit for that particular store, which I don't want to see.

But, I have no sympathy for that person.

I met a guy on an internet forum who's serving in the armed forces, and he thought .308 from his squad's MG (I guess a M60) would fit in a captured AK-47. I mean, come on, you're in the ARMY.

October 20, 2004, 10:24 PM
Heh. The guy who bought the CETME was on his way to or just back from boot camp, from what the clerk told me. I guess I better call the store, I'd hate to see them get sued.

rust collector
October 20, 2004, 10:42 PM
People often fail to read the fine print, and it is small indeed on many of the imports. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and in combination with an ignorant sales clerk, could cause injury. You were right to try and point out the distinction, and I hope someone can help him before he tries to use the wrong ammo.

Ignorance is reversible. We all had a lot to learn in the early years, and got by with a little help from our friends.

Standing Wolf
October 20, 2004, 11:51 PM
I'm responsible for the effort, not the outcome. I'm ready and willing, and often able to help any fellow shooter any time; those who decline assistance, however, are on their own. If I had children, it would be another story.

October 21, 2004, 01:16 AM
I think that I would have at least explained to him that there was a difference between x51 and x39, and showed him the stamp. If he still argued, then let him go.

I have a 30.06 which isn't too far from the .308 and a 7.62x39 firearm. My vote is that it won't chamber

IIRC, '06 is 7.62x61, so it won't chamber in a 308. Could be wrong. x39 in a x51 may though.

October 21, 2004, 03:50 AM
i think '06 is 7.62x63. if the shooter is lucky he might realize something is up when he sticks little ole 7.62x39 in his big bad cetme mag.


October 21, 2004, 05:07 AM
.30-06 is 7.62x63. Hey, Beren, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Still, I'd call the store manager, and try to get him to call the guy and bring him in to DX the x39 for x51. And if you remember the salesman's name, mention his attitude to the mgr., too.
I've had to patiently explain the difference between 7.62x39 Soviet and 7.62x54R Russian several times. And 7.62x25 Tokarev and 7.62 Nagant. :rolleyes:

October 21, 2004, 05:14 AM

MCA ( manufactur adapters so you can shoot 7.62x39 in 7.62x51

October 21, 2004, 07:16 AM
I'd be a bit nervous about shooting a 7.62 x 39 - actually a .311 bullet into a barrel of .308 diameter. I know its done, and the Ruger mini has a chamber leade set up for both diameters, but I'm all for matching components to the caliber. This fool may find out the extractor set up for a .473 diameter case does not like to grab a .447.

October 21, 2004, 08:03 AM
Stupid is as stupid does.

I bet he also saves more money by putting cheaper diesel into his vehicle's gasoline engine.


October 21, 2004, 08:17 AM
This must be that guy that sold his car for gas money.:evil:

October 21, 2004, 08:20 AM
"I explained more ot the clerk later and asked to have the manager call the buyer to warn him, but their attitude was "He didn't seem to care, why should we?""

In the store(s) I go to the clerks would NEVER let someone walk out with the wrong ammo for a new rifle. They would make sure he was buying the correct ammo and explain why.

And if they didn't, I would. It's very simple to walk over, pick up a box of the correct ammo, and explain to the customer the difference between the two. The guy might not be stupid, just really unfamiliar with the rifle.

Ya know, ya just might save someone's life, their sight, or other parts of their body.

October 21, 2004, 09:03 AM
Well i don't want to sound too cynical, but if he's that stupid, I say let it blow up in his face.

:fire: :cuss:

October 21, 2004, 09:21 AM
Good news.

I called the store this morning and spoke with a different manager. Asked his name, gave mine, explained that I was in the store last night purchasing a K-31 rifle and witnessed a guy buying a CETME - but with the wrong ammunition.

I explained that the kid purchased 7.62x39 when he needed .308 or 7.62x51. This manager seemed much more familiar with the differences. He asked to verify that the kid was buying it for that rifle - I said I'd asked specifically about that, and the kid was buying the ammo with the intent of using it in the CETME.

I explained that the buyer might be hurt if he manages to chamber and fire the incorrect ammo. The manager agreed, thanked me, and said he'd call the buyer right away to warn him.

That's a weight off my chest. I've done the most I possibly can in this situation.

October 21, 2004, 09:41 AM
I think you did the right thing.

If it were me, I'd feel pretty bad if I heard a news story about some young recruit blowing himself up--or worse still, hurting someone else.

October 21, 2004, 10:06 AM
"I've done the most I possibly can in this situation."

Thank you Beren.

October 21, 2004, 10:26 AM
Well i don't want to sound too cynical, but if he's that stupid, I say let it blow up in his face. Seriously, how can you even PURCHASE a CETME and not know what ammo it takes?

You cant be serious. You think he should get hurt as a reward for his ignorance? You must know everything. :fire:

Beren thanks for doing the right thing.

October 21, 2004, 10:47 AM
Well i don't want to sound too cynical, but if he's that stupid, I say let it blow up in his face. Seriously, how can you even PURCHASE a CETME and not know what ammo it takes?

Thats a great way to welcome newbies into the fold. :rolleyes:

Thats just what the "gun culture" needs ... more people injured or at the least discouraged enough to put the CETME in the closet and not touch it again.

None of us where born with any knowledge of firearms (hell, for the longest time I thought AK-47s shot .308 and that the .50 Henry rifle shot .50BMG) but instead of running into folk who thought it best to call me stupid and let me blow myself up, I met shooters who took the time to educate me (or at least push me in the right direction).

Now I'm a responsable, knowledgable gun owner (who happens to "vote his gun").

October 21, 2004, 11:09 AM
If it were me, I'd feel pretty bad if I heard a news story about some young recruit blowing himself up--or worse still, hurting someone else.

Young man says to girlfriend, "Just so you know how much I love you, I'm going to let you take the first shot from my new rifle."

You did the right thing.

October 21, 2004, 11:15 AM
I would think at least, too, Dunhams wouldn;t want to put themselves in the position of a lawsuit, either. I know of a store that won't sell you ammo unless you know what you need (they wouldn't help you try to figure out what caliber it was, unless you had the gun with you). It seems that someone sold a guy the wrong box of ammo years back, and the guy blew up his gun, and threatened to sue.

2nd Amendment
October 21, 2004, 11:49 AM
FWIW, I've heard that you can't run commercial .308 through most of the CETMEs.

I must be misunderstanding something you're saying. I bang away with about every kind of .308 known in my CETME's. Haven't found anything they won't eat...?

Bwana John
October 21, 2004, 12:09 PM
When my buddy shot a 270 thru a 7mm Mag, I became a complete beliver in Ruger #1s. The only thing we noticed was the total case head seperation when he tryed to extract the 270. No gas back, and bullet grouped with the 7mm's.
I had warned him earlyer in the day that we had different calibers on the bench, and dont put the wrong one in, his response was "why would I do a dumb a$$ thing like that?"

October 21, 2004, 01:11 PM
Beren, good job.

I'll see if I can even get 7.62x39mm to stay in my CETME mag tonight. I'm thinking they'd fall right out.

October 21, 2004, 02:05 PM
I think the guy will be fine albeit a very dumb thing to do and not listen to others.

I work part time for a decent sized well stocked gunshop in the suburbs and we've had people do some amazing things along these lines. For instance, a customer had the nerve to ask us if we could fix his Ruger m/77 chambered in .270. He was dumb enough to admit to firing 6 rounds of .308 through it and then only after that the only reason he stopped was because the bolt "got clunky" and would not "move properly"! This happened about a year ago and I still get a chuckle. Yes the customer was fine as well as the gun holding together.....

as the other poster put it........stupid is as stupid does....


Fred Fuller
October 21, 2004, 02:08 PM
Ah, the dreaded "my buddy said/my sergeant said" syndrome no doubt. Way back a couple of weeks ago when I was getting paid to counsel GIs I used to hear that 'my buddy said' line all the time. "My buddy" hardly ever got anything right and "my sergeant" wasn't much better. Assuming ANYONE in the Army or out knows anything about firearms is... well, you know ASS-U-ME, right?

Beren, you did good trying to warn him, whoever that dipstick clerk was needs to be given walking papers forthwith, and going the extra mile to call the store was admirable. Good on yer,

lpl/nc (still happy to have put Fort Bragg in the rearview mirror for the last time at COB on 30 Sept 2004 after 22 years four months and 21 days)

October 21, 2004, 02:48 PM
Karma points for you brother, you did the right thing!

Old Fud
October 21, 2004, 03:27 PM
As long as we're discussing this, can we clear up a question?

I've been told many places ("my buddy at the gun rag said") that these two rounds are interchangeable.

But there is an article someplace that says they are not! That there is a difference in neck/shoulder dimensions so that one round can fit and "jump the gap" while the other may not close properly and cause problems.

Which is the truth?
And if they are not the same, which is the safer one to have?

Don Gwinn
October 21, 2004, 04:24 PM
As I understand it, they're near enough to identical that you should have no problems, BUT the NATO loadings (7.62x51) tend to be a little hotter and maybe a little looser in the chamber. If you err, err on the side of the commercial loadings as those will be a little wimpy at worst.

The only firearm I've ever heard of having real problems with the 7.62x51 was the Spanish FR-8.

However, what I know about rifles would fill a thimble. You might want to check this in the Rifle Country.

October 21, 2004, 05:49 PM
As bad as the young, female, acquaintance, who went with her gangbanger boytoy to the gunshow.

Boytoy purchased a .380 pistol, Grendel, then purchased a brick of .22 shorts to use in it.

I had to explain the small problem that he was having while trying to use said ammo in said pistol.

Needless to say, the pistol went by-by and I wound up with a brick of .22 shorts.

Problem? Now I need something that uses .22 shorts!:D

October 21, 2004, 06:09 PM
Delmar, re using .311 diameter bullets in a .308 dia. bore(out of the right case, of course) I do it every time I fire my Finnish M91, it mikes out at .3086, and I usually shoot Czech light ball 7.62x54R (silvertip), which mikes out at @.311, give or take. No problems whatsoever, and this Mosin was made in 1899! I do admit I don't do the bulk of my Mosin shooting with that rifle, but over the years, and how many wars, all shooting military ammo, it's held up nicely, albeit kinda dark in the bore.
You are correct Don, and I'll add that the 7.62 NATO spec ammo has thicker case walls, and crimped and sealed primers. The chamber specs are looser than SAAMI specs, to allow for dirty and/or dinged up ammo to be fired in automatic weapons.
CETME's usually aren't too fussy about ammo, once headspaced properly. Speaking of, did you ever get yours working right, Justin? I'll bet it just needs (or needed ) the rollers changed to adjust the headspace. A funny thing about Santa Barbra 7.62 NATO, which is designed for CETME's; When my boss bought a Saiga .308, we both picked up every brand of milsurp ammo we could find, to see which shot the best for the price. The Santa Barbra wouldn't cycle the Saiga at all. Everything else shot great out of it, and we agreed Aussie and Israeli were the most accurate. BTW, fun gun!:evil: Now that the AWB is dead, Izmash should consider making them with the pistol grip to begin with, and make a 20 rd. mag.

2nd Amendment, commercial ammo has a distinct possibility of case separation caused by the flutes in the chamber. The thicker NATO brass is designed to be part of the functioning of the rifle, whereas when the thinner commercial brass is fired, it sometimes expands into the flutes enough to cause separation. :eek: It doesn't happen all the time, nor even a lot, but it does happen, and it's more likely to happen with cases that have been reloaded a few times, being stretched thinner. A broken shell extractor is cheap insurance. ;)

Good on ya, Beren!

October 21, 2004, 07:12 PM
Here is a good essay on the differences and similarities between 7.62 & .308

.308 Win. VS 7.62x51 NATO (

October 21, 2004, 07:14 PM
Well.. let's hope he doesn't try it! My CETME mag will hold 7.62x39mm ammo just fine. It looks a little weird, and it's obviously short for the magazine... but the feed lips hold them in there.

entropy, nope I never did get my CETME fixed. I've been burning 50-65 hour work weeks for I don't know how long. Heck I've got an 870 sitting on my living room floor for a week (single man, heh) all taken apart as I reassemble it with a folding stock.

Where the heck would I order the parts for this CETME? Only "parts kit" I've seen was Title II.

October 21, 2004, 07:57 PM
in this litigious world we live in, i'd wager a shiny nickel that if that kid got injured because of shooting the 7.62x39 through the wrong gun, he'd sue the store. and in all likelihood, a jury would award the injured darwin candidate a settlement.

little thing called 'products liability'. i'm no expert though.

October 21, 2004, 09:28 PM
Justin, check on Perro del Diablo's Cetme Pages Forum, there is a lot of excellent info on the CETME, and a WTB/WTS forum there, too. You'll find the answers and sources for any parts you need there. Here's the link: has a CETME forum, too. Lot of the same guys, but enough different stuff to merit a looksee.:)

If you can't find out what you need to get from these two forums, I'll take that POS off your hands for a hundred bucks.;) Seriously, I hope you get it up and running, they are a fun rifle to shoot!:D

Andrew Rothman
October 22, 2004, 08:54 AM
First, FWIW, Beren did the right thing. But...

Well i don't want to sound too cynical, but if he's that stupid, I say let it blow up in his face.You cant be serious. You think he should get hurt as a reward for his ignorance? You must know everything.

No, but if he gets hurt as a reward for his ignorance and the arrogance ignoring advice from a knowledgable person just trying to save his sorry behind, well, that's just instant Karma.

October 22, 2004, 09:41 AM
Matt Payne is absolutely right.

If a person makes a choice out of willful ignorance after having been informed of his ignorance, then that person deserves whatever he gets.

I think perhaps some folks are confusing taking the "high road" with being a nanny, in this case.

If someone tells you to not pet that tiger in the cage, and you walk up and pet the tiger anyway, and it rips your arm off, then you absolutely deserve what happened to you.

FPrice went way above and beyond what was required in this case by calling the store manager.

But there was no requirement that he do so. His telling this idiot that he had the wrong ammo for the rifle was more than enough in this case.

Again, this idiot at the store willfully bought the wrong ammo after having been told that it was the wrong ammo.

That's not just ignorance, that's stupidity.

The difference is that ignorance can be fixed, while stupidity can't.


Sam Adams
October 22, 2004, 01:22 PM

Well i don't want to sound too cynical, but if he's that stupid, I say let it blow up in his face. Seriously, how can you even PURCHASE a CETME and not know what ammo it takes?

I have rarely seen so callous an attitude toward a fellow human being. He might be stupid, but in my mind and heart that is not a crime worthy of having a gun blow up in your face, resulting in possible blindness, brain damage or death. We are either born stupid, average or above average, and that has nothing to do with personal choice...and maybe he wasn't stupid, maybe he was simply inexperienced. Either way, I'd have done what Beren did and call back.

By the way, how do you know what the ultimate effect of not calling back would have been? None of us can, of course, but perhaps his son will save yours on a battlefield or in the streets someday? Perhaps his great, great grandchild will discover a cure for some lethal disease? Etc., etc. - none of which would be possible if he died, or even became injured badly enough to not be able to attract a mother for his kids. Your attitude is incredibly self-centered, showing a total lack of caring about a fellow human being, a fellow American and a fellow gun owner. Way to go!:barf:

Beren: thank you for doing the right thing. You scored some points upstairs by doing that, and proved yourself to be a thoroughly decent person to those of us on THR who understand that the world doesn't revolve around ourselves.

October 22, 2004, 02:05 PM
You know Sam Adams, You’re absolutely right. I am part of the gun culture and as such I have personal knowledge of firearms. Other people don’t know the difference between a 45 auto and a machine gun anymore than my wife knows how the engine works under the hood of our car. Or that she needs to check the oil because running out can destroy the engine. Yes people have to be told that. Is up to us as part of the gun culture to educate people where we can unless we want to keep this a secret society in which case society will stamp us all out.

October 22, 2004, 06:40 PM
Commercial .308 will fire in a CETME, but the chances are higher that when the brass is extracted it will rip the head off leaving the rest of the casing in the chamber. This will not happen on every round of commercial fired, but that chance is increased.

Johnny in Huntsville

October 23, 2004, 05:12 PM
He might be stupid, but in my mind and heart that is not a crime worthy of having a gun blow up in your face, resulting in possible blindness, brain damage or death. Well, actually, it is. The world's a tough place, and stupidity often carries the death penalty.

I would have tried to explain further in the store -- I'm guessing the CETME's marked 7.62x51. But if the guy was a real jerk when he said "Yeah it is, it's 7.62mm." I'd let him learn the hard way. 7.62x39 in a CETME probably wouldn't hurt anything but the gun.

October 23, 2004, 06:14 PM
In the first place, the widest part (the rim) of a 7.62x39 round is .447" across, and a 7.62x51 chamber is cut to allow a casing with a diameter of .473" to fit. The extractor on a CETME is going to be about .027" too big.

So the round is more than likely going to slide into the chamber far enough to where the firing pin isn't going to hit the primer. Possibly, the bullet will wedge into the end of the chamber or leade and won't come out without a cleaning rod or something. If that happens two or three times, the shooter is going to take the ammo back to the store and complain that it doesn't work. Or, he might take the gun back to where he bought it and complain the gun doesn't work. Whereupon, he will be told the ammo is the wrong ammo, so he'll gripe about that.

If, somehow, the cartridge manages to hold in the extractor, and the firing pin actually fires the round, consider this:
The chamber for a 7.62x51 is about 2 inches long. A 7.62x39 is about 1.5 inches long. So there will be about a half inch of gap between the end of the case and the entry to the bore. Also, the neck of the case will be completely unsupported. When the round fires, the casing is going to blow out to the chamber walls, which will use up a good portion of the power of the charge. Also, there is a good possiblity that the charge will blow around the bullet and down the bore prior to the bullet getting all the way into the bore and sealing it.
And... 7.62x39 has an industry standard pressure of 50,000 CUP, and the 7.62x51 goes at 52,000 CUP. So the Russian is underpressured before the poor chamber fit depletes any pressure.

If it fires, the bullet may stick in the bore.

The second round that may or may not fire may do some damage.

But I have to agree: Some folks just don't get it, and we as shooters have a responsibility to help out the ignorant.
Friends don't let friends vote for anti-gun politicians, either!

October 24, 2004, 01:11 AM
Ok let me back up what I said. I think I said it in the wrong way. What I meant was that given the fact that he IGNORED advice/education from the original poster, I wouldn't care about the rifle blowing up in his face.

I know everyone isn't born with 100% firearm knowledge, that's why you have to learn as you go. But if you're too arogant and utterly numbskulled to ignore someone trying to tell you, "Hey buddy, that won't fit in that rifle...", then go ahead and hurt yourself.

October 24, 2004, 11:16 AM
You did the right thing, trying to make him understand - but sometimes the fool just will not see the light.
Awhile back at the range, I was asked by a guy to cheack out his gun, it wouldn't take the ammo he had bought. He had a SW .38 snubby, and was trying to load his .38 ammo. Yep. it's .38 alright - .38Auto! Oops.
After being told of the difference between this stuff ("Please don't use it! Take it back and get the right ammo!") by myself and two other shooters, he said he'd take it back to the store.
As I was packing abd getting ready to leave - the fool is still trying to cram those loads into his revolver! I shook my head and left. :banghead:

My CETME handles .308 Rem/UMC just fine, though it is more accurate with the CAVIM (Venezuelan) and South African ammo. I bought some Indian (everybody says it's garbage), and my CETME shot it's best groups of all time. I won't say what they were - y'all wouldn't believe me. :D
I did have a Rem/UMC case separate once - I chalk it up to a dirty chamber, as I had been shooting a lot of the Indian ammo in it.
Commercial .308 has a SAAMI pressure rating greater than any 7.62X51 NATO I've seen.
My Spanish FR8 handles the .308 just fine. The Spanish rifles that are questionable are the small-ring Mauser including the M1916 (Guardia Civil rifles) and the FR7. Large-ring Mausers like the FR8/M43 are converted to .308 and larger all the time - a very common platform for sporters!
The Modelo "C" CETME (our beloved "Chopos") are designed for the 7.62X51 NATO, and will handle the .308 Win. It might be advisable to switch to the stiffer HK recoil spring (a fairly easy mod), but the Chopo is more forgiving of different types of ammo than a gas-operated gun. I love having no pesky gas system to clean, or having to adjust for different loads. A nice easy rifle to strip and clean! :)

October 24, 2004, 11:23 AM
There's a difference between ignorance and deliberatley ignoring. The guy did think that he had the right ammo. He had 7.62. He was only thinking caliber. The original poster felt that he should of pointed out the difference in case lengths(and such) a little more strongly.

This I agree with. A minute more would of probably made the difference.

October 24, 2004, 10:41 PM
I have been shooting for over 40 years now.
The only time I have ever chambered or fired the wrong ammunition was deliberately for testing purposes. I chalk that up to a combination of intelligence and luck.

However, even after all of my experience, if someone ever tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hey, them's the wrong bullets for that there gun."
I would at least double check just to make sure they were wrong.
(As well as for that slim chance that they might be right.)

Just because I haven't been wrong yet doesn't mean I'm perfect.
It just means the odds are now stacking up against me.

The reason that I did a test a few years ago to see what would happen when you loaded a .44 magnum with .41 magnum ammo was because i was worring about me or someone shooting with me getting the ammo mixed up. This is also the reason that I have color coded the knobs on my speedloaders.

Hopefully the Einstein mentioned in the original post will double check before he attempts live fire. If not, then I have no sympathy for him.

If you enjoyed reading about "People who won't listen (wrong ammo for the rifle, dude!)" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!