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.308 NATO:Lead or Steel core?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Vegaslaith, Aug 6, 2008.

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  1. Vegaslaith

    Vegaslaith Member

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    If I see ammo for sale labeled "NATO .308" or basically anything containing NATO in the descripton, can I assume its lead core FMJ? (in other words indoor range safe) :confused:
     
  2. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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  3. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    The core will be lead, but some makers, notably West Germany, used steel jackets. Not sure if the indoor range would allow steel jacketed bullets - I'm not betting on it. The steel jacket is just to be cheap, it doesn't have any magical armor penetrating possibilities, and in fact the round tends to fragment in tissue.

    Midway USA has a special deal on this West German steel jacket-lead core ammo this month. It's on the front page of their sales flier.
     
  4. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, if the label on the box actually says "NATO .308" you should steer clear.

    There is no NATO spec for .308, only 7.62x51.
     
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    The only steel-core I am aware of ever being sold as surplus in the U.S. is Chinese.
    Norinco IIRC.

    Remember, the steel-JACKETED ammo will still spark like the bejeezus if you shoot it against a steel backstop. Freaks-out the fudds. Might potentially cause a fire outdoors if sparks hit dry brush - but only then if you are shooting AT steel. It would be a real freak event for a steel-jacketed bullet to spark from impact on a rock, and ignite the bushes.

    There used to be a bunch of steel-core .30 caliber projectiles-only on the market. Somebody bought it all. You can be sure none of it is being sold in large lots of loaded ammo for cheap.
     
  6. everallm

    everallm Member

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    Get a fridge magnet and see if the round sticks to it
     
  7. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Much of the surplus 7.62x51 has mild steel jackets (instead of copper) and will attract a magnet, even though it's core is lead, so that won't tell you anything.

    Don
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Sorry for the poor focus/rez.

    Pic from back in the day with the 1-megapixel Kodak camera.

    Pic on left is projectile from Portuguese 7.62x51 after putting a propane hand-torch on it.
    Notice expelled puddle of lead.

    Pic on right shows small magnet attached to steel jacket (and hardened lead-puddle also attached).

    [​IMG]
     
  9. DStern1821

    DStern1821 Member

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    Steel-jacket

    I've recently purchased both the MEN and DAG German surplus 7.62. I've read mostly positive remarks regarding the ammo. Any concern with shooting this steel jacketed stuff? I have seen posts claiming that this jacket can harm your barrel. I tend to think its a mild steel that would have no impact but given that everything you read on the internet is true, I thought I'd ask.

    Thanks in advance.

    Dave
     
  10. marktx

    marktx Member

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    I'm also curious about the steel jacketed stuff.... I have read elsewhere that the Swiss used steel jackets at first on their 5.6 (basically the same as 5.56) but switched to copper jackets after a while as it was causing barrels to wear out early.
     
  11. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    I'd like to hear about this issue too. Anyone with extensive experience shooting steel jacketed German-made surplus ammo in .308 battle rifles, especially FALs and M1As? Have you had barrel wear problems?

    The rep I've heard on the German stuff, especially the MEN, is that it's very accurate and generally desirable. But not if it strips your barrel!
     
  12. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Let me tell ya Gary, steel jacket prokectiles sparks the bejeezus out of the area if you shoot it against rocks.

    We have got a basalt quarry we shoot in on the way back from J&G Sales, we usually got some kind of surplus rifle we got a hardon to try, and 2 or 3 1440 round cases of ammo for it, and we usually get there right as it gets dark.

    We have had to quit shooting during high fire season because of all the sparks. You dont really see them until it gets dark.
     
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