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.308 military vs. 308 commercial

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 03fatboy, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    My question is what if any differents is there.Is it like the. 223 round military and commercial. Thanks for any info. Have been a long time listener first time caller to this site and love all the good info. Thanks again
  2. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Unlike .223 military vs commercial brass which IME the difference for military cases essentially have primer pocket crimped (although I have seen commercial cases with crimps) with no significant difference in internal case volume (case wall thickness) and I used the same powder charges for my AR plinking loads but .308 military case is a different story. If I was loading near max .223 loads, I would probably use same headstamp cases.

    The once-fired LC .308 and other headstamp "military" cases varied in weight and internal case volume compared to once-fired commercial .308 cases. When I conducted load development with smaller internal volume cases, I used lower powder charge ranges.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  3. hueyville

    hueyville Well-Known Member

    +1 what bds said. I personally use military brass in those type guns and load to milspec. For working up for exceptional accuracy matched civilian brass.
  4. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    My 7.62x51 brass is always thicker and harder then my 308 brass of any brand. I personally don't use 308 loads in 7.62x51 brass, I use my metric stuff for my 150gr loads and my Remington 308 for my heavier stuff.
    Develop them separately and you will never see the increase in pressure.
  5. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info. The reason i ask is a neighbor brought over about 500 rds of military. 7.62mm(.308) brass. So i can reload these but need to start with a lower charge in powder then normal? And use. 308 specs? Thanks for any information
  6. hueyville

    hueyville Well-Known Member

    03fatboy, is it U.S. manufacture surplus? Most of us assume so I thought would ask. If import you may have other issues.
  7. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    I just start them at the normal starting charge (in a bolt action) I just don't expect them to work up as high as my Rem brass.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    And you will have to remove the military primer crimps before you can reload them.

  9. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    Head stamp is R A 61 which is Remington arms 1961?
  10. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Well-Known Member

    Possibly Not

    RA could be for Raritan Arsenal
  11. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    What the heck is raritan arsenal? When the neighbor brought the cases over he said he has had these for 48 years!!! The box is a old military crate that originally held the magazines and it has Remington arms on the side along with the flaming cannon ball with 7.62mm on the side.I don't know how you would tell the difference head stamps?
  12. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    Ok i Googled raritan arsenel with it being in new jersey it can't be a import case right?

    Couldn't find any info on where they got their supply of cases to make their ammo from.

    Any info would be helpful thanks
  13. Lethal Threat

    Lethal Threat Well-Known Member

  14. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    I think i will clean a few up a do some measureing and comparing to a commercial. 308 and go from there.

    If it looks like a duck,guacks like a duck must be a duck

    Thanks for all the information
  15. sagatath

    sagatath New Member

    they're different animals

    The SAMMI/CIP maximum pressure for the .308 Win cartridge is 62,000 psi, while the 7.62x51 max is 50,000 psi. Also, the headspace is slightly different. The .308 Win "Go Gauge" is 1.630" vs. 1.635" for the 7.62x51. The .308's "No-Go" dimension is 1.634" vs. 1.6405" for a 7.62x51 "No Go" gauge. The military stuff also has thicker webs which could reduce case volume somewhat. Like the differences between the military and commercial 223.
  16. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information haven't measured any of it yet but it's nice to have more information on it ( knowledge is king)
  17. homatok

    homatok Well-Known Member

    You can try full length sizing a sample lot of each type of case, trim to equal length and weigh the two separate lots to get an average weight. If one lot is heavier (on average) than the other, it will have less internal space for powder. With the cases FLR and trimmed, the only difference is weight. There could be a slight variation due to the extractor groove but any difference there would be inconsequential. Alternately, you could FLR, trim and weigh cases (fired primer in) and record that weight. Next fill the case(s) with water and reweigh, compare the different batch weights.
  18. 03fatboy

    03fatboy Well-Known Member

    I will try it that sounds the easiest way to tell the difference between a nato/commercial case then will know were to start on a charge for sure.

    Thank everyone for the good tips
  19. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Well-Known Member

    If you have access to a chronograph, and some bona fide 7.62 NATO ammunition, clock a few rounds, and using a suitable powder in the 4895 range or 748 range, starting at start load, increase in .4 grain increments until you have matched the velocity. You should be OK.

    Of course, keep an eye on your pressure signs as you would, but if you find a suitable load to duplicate the .mil velocities you should be right where you need to be.

    Also, and you probably already know this, if you are using military style sporting rifles, it is a good idea to FL resize your cases. Some guys will set headspace for minimal setback, and obtain more reuses of their cases.
  20. Hummer70

    Hummer70 Well-Known Member

    The US manufacturers of 7.62 were:

    LC Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Missouri
    WCC Winchester
    RA Remington Arms
    TW Twin Cities (ran by Federal)

    then there are dozens of NATO production facilities around the world

    Raritan was a depot, not a loading line.

    Be careful loading non US production 7.62 and much of it is Berdan Primed. All US production is boxer primed and easily reloaded.

    You will probably note a blue tint on case neck and shoulder from stress relieving in the loading process.


    The Canadian NATO is IVI headstamped and is boxer primed. It was loaded on US Gov't contract during Nam and was very accurate ammo.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013

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