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7.62 NATO through .308 bolt-action: Safe?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by RavenVT100, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Well-Known Member

    This should be brief. Because 7.62 Nato (milsurp) is cheaper (relatively) than match grade 308, I'd like to use the former for teaching a new shooter how to operate a bolt-action, 308 rifle. This is okay, right?
  2. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Well-Known Member

    i would say yes because 7.62 nato has lower pressures than .308 win so u can use the nato in a winchester one but not vice versa
  3. Mute

    Mute Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't worry about it on a bolt action.
  4. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Go for it.

    Post #2 has it backward, the 7.62x51 is higher pressure than .308Win. However, I've done it quite a bit. The bolt will occasionally be a little stiff to lift after firing, but nothing extreme like stuck bolt, ruptured case, etc. The recoil is noticeably different, too. If I go through 100 rds. 7.62x51 at a single range session, I get a bruised shoulder. Commercial, not so much.

    I stand corrected. I will relay my experience has always been that milsurp ammo headstamped 7.62 makes my bolt stick and shows the occasional flattened primer. My rifle seems to like a combination of Argentine cases, Varget powder and speer bullets. I shoot a lot of surplus ammo for cases and have pressure signs, albeit mild, with every single shot. Opening the bolt after firing commercial or reloaded ammo is never as stiff as with the milsurp. Never had a flattened primer, either. So a logical question, from my viewpoint: Why would a lower pressure cartridge loading show higher pressure signs than a lower pressure load?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2007
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    NO, post number 4 has it backwards

    308win 62,000 PSI

    7.62x51 nato 50,000 PSI
  7. ratseal

    ratseal Active Member

    I have seen this argument go back and forth several times. I know that they are different animals (762x51 vice 308). However, its all about the load.

    I know (from many thousands of rounds) that LC Match 762x51 ammo does just fine in commercial rifles chambered in 308 (such as a Tikka or a Rem700). I don't know that I would drop de-linked 762x51 rounds into an expensive shooter, but do evaluate it on a load by load basis.

    The reverse seems to be different, since commercial 308 rounds can be loaded to very high pressures (it competes with .30-06 rounds, with their larger cases) and those could damage a 762x51 MILSURP action.
  8. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

    Why do you use the same reloading dies for 308 and 7.62, if there is dimensional difference in the two rounds?
  9. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    The dimensional difference is in the chambers, not the ammo. Also, you cannot directly compare the 50,000psi 7.62x51 pressure rating with the 62,000psi pressure rating of the .308 Winchester, as they were obtained in two entirely different ways. The government did not use SAAMI methods to obtain their pressure rating.

  10. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    I would agree with you if we were using the old CUP method of measuring pressure. But both cartridges are expressed in PSI. 50,000 PSI is 50,000 PSI weather it's in a cartridge case or seriously overinflated tires
  11. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

  12. Average Joe

    Average Joe Well-Known Member

    Yes, I do it all the time in my Remington 700. Its safe to shoot military ammo in a commercial gun, but not safe to shoot commercial ammo in a military gun.
  13. chemist308

    chemist308 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it works great

    My Ruger M77 bolt action 308 Win eats 7.62x51 great, and accurately. I've put about 400+ rounds of military ammo through it.

    For all intent and purposes they are the same round and a bolt action 308 will shoot 7.62 NATO. End of story.

    However, although the dimensions are the same, the case length tolorances are different. This is not going to make a difference for a bolt action. However it may very well make a difference for an M-14--folks tell me that civilian ammo (308) may cause a slam fire in a 7.62 semi-auto. Whether that's true or not I have no idea. But I know a bolt action 308 chambers and fires 7.62 NATO great.
  14. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    I've shot many, many rounds of AUS F4 ball through my AWP with no problems.
  15. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member


    The gov't did use the CUP method, but called it psi. The gov't doesn't have to do things logically, or even make sense, I think we all know that. If you think about it, the .30-06 is pressure rated by SAAMI at 60,000psi. If the 7.62x51 is truly rate at 50,000psi peak pressure using piezo-electric transducers, then it is operating at about 17% LESS pressure than the .30-06 cartridge that it replaced. The .308 is clearly operating ATLEAST at .30-06 pressures, if not slightly above. Have been over this many, many times with guys who insist on believing that the .308 Winchester operates at 12,000psi (24%) above the 7.62x51. It doesn't, and the velocity figures alone tell you that this cannot be.


  16. def4pos8

    def4pos8 Well-Known Member

    YEP! Knock yourself out!! Any .308 Winchester rifle can eat 7.62 NATO all day long -- especially bolt guns. I've got some neat ol' Spanish Mausers from the Guardia Civil. . . . ;)
  17. Sniper4Life

    Sniper4Life Well-Known Member

    I put it through my savage and it shot just fine. Wasnt as accurate but it shot good. I suggest that you look at your ammo before you shoot it, as some mil-surp has obviouse defects. Go ahead and shoot to your hearts content.
  18. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky Well-Known Member

    You don't have to worry about it because you ain't gonna find 7.62mm NATO.:neener:
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Don is right.

    I have some old NRA literature, everything in crusher gauges calibrated in psi and the .308 is indeed loaded hotter than 7.62. By 500 psi. One percent. Big fat hairy deal.

    The Army is not a SAAMI member, so they can still test by crusher gauge and call it psi. If the chamber pressures were that far apart on the same system, the military ammo would be about like a .300 Savage if not a .30-30.

    I'd rather shoot .308 Winchester US commercial in a 7.62 than some of the military reject crap that I've heard about from Venezuela and India in the strongest .308 ever made.
  20. Dave R

    Dave R Well-Known Member

    Have shot many rounds of 7.62 NATO surplus through my .308 Remington 700. Feel free.

    Although I now reload, because I can reload better ammo than NATO surplus at a lower cost.

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