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7.62X39 vs .308

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Organdonor, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Organdonor

    Organdonor Well-Known Member

    I'm going to be picking up another AR in the next few months, this one in either 7.62X39mm or .308.

    I know, I know... I'll get posts suggesting I get something other than an AR, but tough... that's not up for debate.

    What IS up for debate is whether to get it in .308 or 7.62X39mm. I understand the 7.62X39 will fit in a standard AR lower, and the .308 won't, correct? Why should I go with one over the other? Availability, ballistics, etc?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    What are you going to be doing with it?
  3. General Geoff

    General Geoff Well-Known Member

    They have vastly different ballistics. 7.62x39 is an intermediate cartridge, whereas 7.62x51mm (.308) is a full power rifle cartridge with a much higher muzzle velocity and slightly heavier projectiles.

    A .308 AR will probably cost you significantly more than a 7.62x39 AR, because you need a special lower receiver due to the cartridge length.

    OMGWTFBBQ Well-Known Member

    It depends on what it will be used for.

    For hunting, the .308 has an edge, but 7.62x39 is perfectly adequate for everything up to and including deer, plus generally AR-15 type rifles are lighter than AR-10 type rifles.

    If it's just going to be a range gun, then what type of stuff are you going to use it for? If you're just going to plink, they both make .3" holes. If you want a long range match rifle, the .308 would be a better choice.

    You also have to consider cost and availability.

    The AR-15 is a cheaper platform than the AR-10, and 7.62x39 ammo would be cheaper. Either cartridge is pretty widely available. One thing to consider, though, is that as of now there isn't a reliable hi-cap 7.62x39 magazine for the AR-15. Cproducts revealed one at SHOT this year, but I don't think they're going to be available for a few months yet, whereas many companies' AR-10 pattern rifles use FAL magazines, which are pretty cheap.
  5. Tarvis

    Tarvis Well-Known Member

    +1. I don't know what your experience with guns is, but without knowing what you plan on doing with it there isn't much room for suggestion. I could say to get the 7.62x39 to save on ammo, but you may be handloading, or you may be rich, or you may only want to shoot 1 box of ammo through it a year. I could also suggest the .308 because you may want to shoot past 400 yards and be able to hit a target, but maybe you aren't a good enough marksman to shoot that far in the first place.... see where I'm going?
  6. Magnuumpwr

    Magnuumpwr Well-Known Member

    Organdonor, you pretty much answered your own question. You stated:
    . So why not just purchase an upper in 7.62x39, along with a couple magazines? Personally, I purchased an AK-47 for 7.62x39 and just recently bought a DPMS LR-308 with all the AR amenities (forward assist, shell deflector, and dust cover).
  7. Organdonor

    Organdonor Well-Known Member

    I'm looking to use it for long distance, both target and possibly deer-type critters. I already have an AR in .223, and I'm looking for something that will pack more of a punch and will be more accurate further out.
  8. D94R

    D94R Well-Known Member

    The local Gunnies had an DPMS AR10 in .308 for $1048. Seem's to be in the ball park with other AR's. Building it yourself I'm sure you could save a few dollars. I'm not sure what a 7.62 AR would cost to build though.
  9. ftierson

    ftierson Member.

    Also, keep in mind that Rock River Arms is just beginning to ship their .308 AR (the LAR-8).

    They are starting with the 16inch mid-length models, with others to follow shortly.

    And their (the LAR-8) cost is less than most of the others currently being offered...

  10. squirrel sniper

    squirrel sniper Well-Known Member

    If your gonna shoot further than 200-300 yards, do yourself a favor and get the .308. It has more power, accuracy, and range than the x39. As to cost, Ive never seen one at the shop, but id assume a good x39 upper runs >500 for a good one. Then consider that there are almost no reliable mags for the x39 ARs and ill bet tha extra few hundred bucks isnt looking so bad for a .308 AR. good luck with whatever you get
  11. kcmarine

    kcmarine Well-Known Member

    If I were you, here's what I would do.

    Buy an AR-10/ M1A/ FAL/ other semi-auto .308 (I'm guessing you'll be getting an AR-10 in this case). The reason is that a .308 rifle is much better at long distance than a 7.62x39mm is. Think about it. A 5.56x45mm rifle is more effective at long range than the x39 is. So a x39 rifle is out of the question here.

    If it turns out that the .308 turns out to be more than you need for some uses (it will be a keeper, though), get either a 6.5mm Grendel or 6.8mm Remington SPC upper for the AR-15 you have. That will give you a complete lineup of a light rifle cartridge (5.56x45mm), an intermediate cartridge (6.5 Grendel/ 6.8 SPC), and a full- powered rifle cartridge (.308).

    If you want a 7.62x39mm weapon... get an AK 47 or a Saiga. You'll be better off if you get that caliber in those weapons than if you had gotten one in an AR platform.
  12. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    The .308 Winchester should not be mentioned in the same breath as the 7.62X39 Russian. The ONLY similar details are both are of the same caliber and both are battle rifle calibers . Yes .308 WIN and .308 Nato are different!

    The effectiveness on deer size quarry of the Soviet round is sufficient no doubt. But the similarity stops there. The 7.62X51 round is in a whole different class or should I say it can be loaded for bear.! The AR 10 can be capable of surgical accuracy in the right hands, and at ranges far beyond the capability of the AK round. The 7.62X54R is the long range scaple of the Russian rounds and has the distinction of being one of if not the oldest cartridges produced for Spitzer boat tail ammo. The history goes back to 1890's and is still going strong today, Dragunov is the rifle used by the armed third world long range shooters..
  13. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    Well if you already have one in .223/5.56 then getcha an AR 10

    If you were planning on buying a whole rifle and not just an upper, then there isn't much price difference.
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    .308 over 7.62x39 any day for anything serious like hunting or long range shooting. Not only is it a more powerful round, but the bore is .308" and not .311. That gives you a lot more load/bullet selection. I have killed deer with a 7.62x39 handload. If the gun will shoot .308" bullets, that helps. Not much available decent in .311". Not much variety in factory hunting loads, either, for the Russian cartridge. For that reason alone, I'd go with the .308. But, if hunting or shooting over 200 yards isn't on the plate, well, either will work.
  15. Organdonor

    Organdonor Well-Known Member

    It looks like I'll be going with .308, mostly due to your input, folks.

    I also researched the price of ammo.... the 39mm is definitely cheaper, but I've decided if I want to go that route, I'll just get a Saiga or cheap AK.

  16. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Well-Known Member

    Both are great cartridges, but I personally wouldn't bother with a 7.62x39 AR. As I see it, the real strength of the AR platform is it's accuracy and the 7.62x39 cartridge is somewhat lacking in that area for a variety of reasons, (trajectory, selection, taper, etc...).

    Get the AR in .308 and then get an AK or an SKS in 7.62x39.
  17. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    If you want long distance get the AR10 variant in .260!
  18. Kentucky

    Kentucky Well-Known Member

    OK, I understand that the a 308 upper cannot be mounted on a 5.56 lower because of the strength difference, but is that all there is? Is there a size difference that comes into play as well? I guess what I am wondering, will a 5.56 UPPER fit onto a 308 Lower?
  19. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Well-Known Member

    It's a size difference, not a strength issue, the mag wells are way different in size.

    No, .223 won't fit on a .308 either.
  20. Organdonor

    Organdonor Well-Known Member

    As he said, it's a size difference. The .308 is a longer round overall, so the magazine well is bigger.

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