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.308 vs 7.62...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 280PLUS, Aug 19, 2003.

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  1. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    are these the same round, if i get a rifle in .308 will it also shoot 7.62?

    ala .223 vs 5.56...

    m
     
  2. fish2xs

    fish2xs Member

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    Someone more knowledgeable than I can answer this better. That being said,
    the term '308' usually means 'Winchester .308'. The term '7.62' usually refers
    to 7.62 X 39mm - a very different round and usually associated with AK-47
    variants. The same diameter bullet does not mean the same round.

    A .308 is a 7.62 X 54mm (I think).
     
  3. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I'm under a different impression: a 7.62 is presumed to be a 7.62x51 unless otherwise stated (7.62x25, 7.62x39, 7.62x54R, 7.62x63, etc).

    I suppose it depends on the region in which you live.

    BTW, a .308win would be the civilian version of the 7.62x51. The 7.62x54R is Nagant and Dragonov fodder (as well as a host of other foreign military rifles). If I'm not mistaken, the 7.62x54R is the oldest military cartridge currently still in military use. Enough with the trivia.

    All those that I know who own .308 rifles, including myself (SAR48) will occasionally use military surplus, which is always labeled as 7.62x51. I understand that's quite common among owners of .308win chambered semi-automatic rifles. With milsurp so cheap, it's hard to pass up.
    As for a nice bolt action, I would suppose only nice-n-fresh factory .308win would suit the shooter. However, they are more than capable of firing 7.62x51 military surplus.

    That's my take.
     
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The .308 Winchester and the 7.62 NATO are the same animal.

    The 7.62 x 39 is the AK cartridge.

    There is a whole bunch of discussion about the .223 and the 5.56 differences, mostly having to do with the length of the bullets and the amount of leade in military rifles. I have used both military and civilian loadings in AR15s, Ruger Mini-14s and a Ruger 77 MK II bolt action. They always went Bang! with zero problems of any sort whatsoever.

    Art
     
  5. Warner

    Warner Member

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    A smaller issue would be the difference in pressure levels. All else being equal, a commercial round is usually loaded to somewhat higher pressure levels than a NATO one.
     
  6. BigG

    BigG Member

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    IMHO: 7.62X51 = 7.62 Nato = .308 Winchester. Three designations for the same thing.

    Others will surely point out that SAAMI has a different drawing for the military and civilian versions, and different pressure specs, also. Most commercial manufacturers are savvy enough to make sure their weapons chamber both, although there is maybe one or two that specify only one or tother. HTH
     
  7. No4Mk1

    No4Mk1 Member

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    For a great discussion of this very topic follow this link.

    I use surplus 7.62x51 NATO ammo in my Savage .308 bolt action without any problems and am not concerned about it. However, I would be hesitatnt to do so if I had some sort of $1,500 uber sub-MOA match rifle.

    YMMV! :D
     
  8. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    As stated above, in the US, 7.62 typically refers to 7.62 NATO (or 7.62x51).

    7.62x51 mm and .308 Winchester are pretty much the same with very minor case dimension differences, slightly different pressure levels in loading and typically different "strength" of the case...e.g., it isn't uncommon that a commercial 308 round can have a case separation in a surplus rifle during extraction. I know if several instances where a CETME exractor ripped a commercial case in half.
     
  9. tiberius

    tiberius Member

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    I believe the real answer is "technically different, but practically the same"

    Whatever your opinion of Fulton Armory, they do have some good info on their site. Here is their write up on the subject.

    http://www.fulton-armory.com/308.htm

    In the free world "7.62" means 7.62 X 51.
     
  10. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Member

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    it depends on the chamber:

    http://www.ammo-oracle.com
    [​IMG]

    Opinion: In general it is a bad idea to attempt to fire 5.56 rounds (e.g., M193, M855) in .223 chambers, particularly with older rifles.

    Fact: SAAMI specifically warns against the use of 5.56mm ammo in .223 chambers._ The .223 SAAMI specification was originally made with bolt rifles in mind.

    Q. What is the difference between 5.56?45mm and .223 Remington ammo?

    In the 1950's, the US military adopted the metric system of measurement and uses metric measurements to describe ammo._ However, the US commercial ammo market typically used the English "caliber" measurements when describing ammo._ "Caliber" is a shorthand way of saying "hundredths (or thousandths) of an inch."_ For example, a fifty caliber projectile is approximately fifty one-hundredths (.50) of an inch and a 357 caliber projectile is approximately three-hundred and fifty-seven thousandths (.357) of an inch._ Dimensionally, 5.56 and .223 ammo are identical, though military 5.56 ammo is typically loaded to higher pressures and velocities than commercial ammo and may, in guns with extremely tight "match" .223 chambers, be unsafe to fire.

    The chambers for .223 and 5.56 weapons are not the same either._ Though the AR15 design provides an extremely strong action, high pressure signs on the brass and primers, extraction failures and cycling problems may be seen when firing hot 5.56 ammo in .223-chambered rifles._ Military M16s and AR15s from Colt, Bushmaster, FN, DPMS, and some others have the M16-spec chamber with a longer throat and should have no trouble firing hot 5.56 ammunition._ The big difference between the two chambers is in the chamber dimensions._ Military M16s have slightly more headspace and have a longer throat area, compared to the SAAMI .223 chamber spec, which was originally designed for bolt-action rifles._ Commercial SAAMI-specification .223 chambers have a much shorter throat, a smaller diameter bullet seat and less freebore than the military chamber._ Shooting 5.56 mil-spec ammo in a SAAMI-specification chamber can increase pressure dramatically, up to an additional 15,000 psi or more.

    The military chamber is often referred to as a "5.56 NATO" chamber, as that is what is usually stamped on military barrels._ Some AR manufacturers use the tighter ".223" (i.e., SAAMI-spec and often labeled ".223" or ".223 Remington") chamber, which tends to give you more accuracy but, in self-loading rifles, less reliability, especially with hot-loaded military ammo. Some AR manufacturers use an in-between chamber spec, such as the Wylde chamber._ Many mis-mark their barrels too, which further complicates things._ You can generally tell what sort of chamber you are dealing with by the markings on the weapon, but always check with the manufacturer to be sure.

    Typical Colt mil-spec-type markings: "C MP 5.56 NATO 1/7"

    Typical Bushmaster markings: "B MP 5.56 NATO 1/9 HBAR"

    Armalite doesn't always mark their barrels.


    5.56 v. .223 Remington specification.

    See also: Remington's description of the differences between .223 and 5.56mm.

    Q. Which should I be looking for in an AR15, 5.56 NATO or .223 Remington chambers?

    This is really a matter of the role for which you plan to use your AR._ .223 Remington chambers will give you slightly better accuracy, which is important for a match or varmint rifle._ Any loss of feeding and cycling reliability and the restriction against shooting military ammo isn't as important as the accuracy gains for a rifle used in these roles, because for these rifles, accuracy is everything._ People who just want to plink or who plan to shoot military ammo (such as most of the cheap surplus ammo available), and especially those who may use their AR as a weapon, should choose 5.56 chambers.



    The FAQ section of www.fultonarmory.com has some .308 data

    http://www.fulton-armory.com/308.htm

    What's the Difference between .308 Winchester & 7.62x51mm NATO?

    by Clint McKee and Walt Kuleck
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    dumb question i alway thought these 2 ammos where interchangeable but some have told me otherwise whats the story??? jim



    Hi, Jim,

    This is a perennial topic, kinda like ".45 vs. 9mm" or "Best Guns & Loads for Deer."

    They are not the same.

    They are the same.

    They are not the same, 'cause the .308 Win was released by Winchester several years before the Army standarized the T64E3 as the 7.62MM. You'll get an endless discussion of pressure specs, endless because SAAMI and the Ordnance Dep't measured pressure in different, unrelateable ways. Howver, the chamber drawings are different.

    They are the same, 'cause nobody (and Clint's been looking for many years!) makes 7.62MM ammo that isn't to the .308 "headspace" dimension spec. So 7.62MM ammo fits nicely into .308 chambers, as a rule.

    But in some 7.62MM rifles the chambers are long (to the 7.62MM military spec), notably the Navy Garands with 7.62MM barrels. Thus, using commercial ammo in such a rifle is not a good idea; you need stronger brass. Use military ammo or the best commercial only, e.g., Federal Gold Medal Match.

    Most of the time it's a distinction without a difference. But if you intend to shoot .308 commercial in a military arm chambered for 7.62MM, first check the headspace with .308 commercial gauges first. You may get a surprise.

    Best regards,

    Walt Kuleck
    Fulton Armory webmaster
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Clint, What's the difference between .308 Winchester & 7.62x51mm NATO?



    Jerry Kuhnhausen, in his classic Shop Manual (available from Fulton Armory; see the M1 Rifle Parts & Accessories or M14 Rifle Parts and Accessories Pages under Books) has published a somewhat controversial recommendation concerning .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO ammo, headspace & chambers. I broached the subject with him some months ago. He had his plate full, so we decided to chat on this in the future. When we do I'll report the results of our conversation.

    I completely agree with Jerry that if you have a chamber with headspace much in excess of 1.636 (say, 1.638, SAAMI field reject), you must use only U.S. or NATO Mil Spec Ammo (always marked 7.62mm & with a cross enclosed by a circle) since the NATO mil spec calls for a far more "robust" brass case than often found in commercial (read .308 Winchester) cartridges. It is precisely why Lake City brass is so highly sought. Lake City brass is Nato spec and reloadable (most NATO is not reloadable, rather it is Berdan primed). Indeed, cheaper commercial ammo can fail at the 1.638 headspace (e.g., UMC) in an M14/M1 Garand. Many military gas guns (e.g., M14 Rifles & M60 Machine guns) run wildly long headspace by commercial (SAAMI) standards (U.S. Military field reject limit for the M60 & M14 is 1.6455, nearly 16 thousandths beyond commercial (SAAMI) GO, & nearly 8 thousandths beyond commercial (SAAMI) field reject limit!).

    I also agree that 1.631-1.632 is a near perfect headspace for an M14/M1A or M1 Garand chambered in .308 Winchester. But I think that it also near perfect for 7.62mm NATO!

    I have measured many, many types/manufacturers of commercial and NATO ammo via cartridge "headspace" gauges as well as "in rifle" checks. If anything, I have found various Nato ammo to be in much tighter headspace/chamber compliance than commercial ammo. Indeed, sometimes commercial ammo can not be chambered "by hand" in an M14/M1A with, say, 1.631 headspace (bolt will not close completely by gentle hand manipulation on a stripped bolt, although it will close & function when chambered by the force of the rifle's loading inertia), though I have never seen this with NATO spec ammo. I.e., if anything, NATO ammo seems to hold at the minimum SAAMI cartridge headspace of 1.629-1.630, better than some commercial ammo!

    So, why set a very long 1.636 headspace in an M14/M1A or M1 Garand? It probably is the conflict mentioned above. Military headspace gauges say one thing, SAAMI headspace gauges say something else, as do the spec's/compliance covering ammo. In a court of law, who will prevail? I think Kuhnhausen gave all those who do this work a safe way out. However, I believe it not in your, or your rifle's, best interest. Whether you have a NATO chambered barrel (M14/M1 Garand G.I. ".308 Win."/7.62mm NATO barrels all have NATO chambers), or a .308 Winchester chamber, keep the headspace within SAAMI limits (1.630 GO, 1.634 NO GO, 1.638 FIELD REJECT). This subject is a bit confusing, and for me difficult to explain in a one way conversation!

    Clint McKee
     
  11. SelfProclaimedExpert

    SelfProclaimedExpert member

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    I have never heard of a rifle damaged by interchanging civ/mil in either caliber. But special built match rifles could be finicky, even with varience in civilian ammo.
     
  12. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    well, first off,,,thanx,,,

    for all the info,

    heres the reason for my question, i want a remmy vs in .308 but i also saw this very sweet cz bolt action carbine in 7.62 that i can't stop thinking about :rolleyes:

    so im wondering will i be able to purchase ammo that will satisfy both and avoid having to keep 2 cartridge sizes, granted i would use them for different purposes but if i could find an inexpensive round for use at the range for just fun that would fit both rifles it would make me a happier camper

    :D
     
  13. BigG

    BigG Member

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    My opinion is that either one you named will shoot either, 280Plus.
     
  14. gun-fucious

    gun-fucious Member

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    bolt actions tend to be OK with either

    its when a calibrated gas system needs a specific amount of tug to extract that it might get goofy
     
  15. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    280Plus:
    FWIW;
    If the CZ you're looking at is a 527, It's chambered for 7.62x39, not the 7.62x51 also called .308wcf/7.62 Nato.
    The 7.62x39 is the SKS/AK Soviet round is is somewhat lower powered than the other.
    If it is a 550, it is probably the .308wcf, et.al.
     
  16. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    uh oh,,,

    i better check that cz again, i'm not sure which it was.

    it was one i saw on the rack at a shop i don't frequent often, i just asked my usual guy to price me one in .308 if available like that so i'm waiting for his answer

    i'm going to assume the 7.62 x 39 would not be the best round for deer?

    what do you guys think?

    m
     
  17. iamkris

    iamkris Member

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    7.62 Russian (aka 7.62x39mm) is roughly equivalent to a 30-30, which most people consider a 200 yard deer rifle (mostly though because of it's usual platform, a lever action with open sights). I believe the 30-30 beats the 7.62 R below 150 yards or so by a couple hundred feet per second but that is negated at 150+ (probably mostly because of the bullet design). Millions of deer have fallen to the 30-30.

    308 will do you fine with a flatter trajectory out much further. Downside is more recoil and more expensive ammo.

    Really can't answer your question fully until we know your intended usage (e.g., eastern US deer hunting vs western)
     
  18. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    little bitty connecticut deer,,,

    theres enough of em around,,, :)

    hmmm, requires more thought,,,

    the remmy is for target

    glad i asked these questions, anything else i should know?

    m

    after more thought and a visit to cz site,,,

    yep, you nailed it, 527 cz =7.62 x 39, or .223

    and no .308 or 7.62 x 51 in 527 or 550 models

    so can we now say .308 will not fit this rifle?

    incidentally, the cz site had it $70 cheaper than the one i seen in the store,

    now to see what my buddy says...

    could we go further and say this might not be the best platform for deer and a lever action carbine in .308 would suit me better in terms of getting a second shot off as well as ammo compatability with the remmy?

    i'm interested in open sights 200 yds or less

    in brush, which is why i say carbine

    i believe i want a bolt action for the added accuracy

    is it a choice of which i want to sacrifice (speed vs accuracy) or is the difference in accuracy negligible?

    i'm assuming lever action is slightly faster than bolt. (which is probably an argument all its own)

    chances are i'll only get 1 shot anyhow,

    see what happens when you think about something for a while??

    :eek:

    :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2003
  19. TODD3465

    TODD3465 Member

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    What no CZ's in .308! Or do you mean the regular hunting rifles?
    They did have a couple of heavey barrel "varmint" rifles in .308. I gotta go check their site right now.
     
  20. TODD3465

    TODD3465 Member

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    Well they still list the heavy barrels and the 550 American in .308.

    Sure you didn't scroll down to the list for the medium(I think that would be correct) actions? But for some reason they are a trifle higher in cost than the ones listed above them.

    Here's a link to that page:

    http://www.cz-usa.com/_p/pdt.php?id=23

    BTW- They also make a nice mannlicher type one in .308 but now I'm drooling over that in 6.5x55 SE.:)
     
  21. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    there i go,,,

    causing an uproar again,,,

    :rolleyes:

    :D

    i was talking about their 527 carbine, i didnt see that in .308 just .223 and 7.62x39

    i found i was actually not at their site when i looked either so i'm probably mistaken about the 550 but not the carbine, as far as i know

    m
     
  22. Keith

    Keith Member

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    7.62 x 39 is an "OK" deer round, with the right load, at close range, etc, etc.
    You'd be far better served with a .308 (7.62 x 51).

    I didn't think you could hunt with a rifle in Connecticutt...?

    Keith
     
  23. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    i believe,,,

    i can hunt private land with a rifle but not state, slug guns or ".22 caliber"

    i wonder if that includes centerfire .22 rounds (eg, .223) but wouldn't want to use one anyhow

    feel free to correct me. i know a friend who shot his last 2 with a 7mm on private land now that i think about it. now theres a big round, too much for a deer i think though

    m
     
  24. Keith

    Keith Member

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    A 7mm is smaller than a 7.62. It also comes in a variety of flavors - 7mm Mauser, 7mm08, 7mm Mag, .280 Remington, etc.

    Keith
     
  25. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    i don't know,,,

    i was at dicks and i saw a round and they called it 7mm, with no designation.

    the case looked huge to me

    he was showing it to another guy who was headed off for elk IIRC

    and then my buddy refers to his as a 7mm, no desination either, i actually havent ever seen any of his ammo so i assumed 7mm and 7mm was the same, who woulda thought?

    i'm sorry, there's just too many different rounds out there,

    it'd be nice to walk into wally world and just say "gimme a box of bullets" and that would be the end of it, :D

    so now for me it comes down to this question...

    bolt action or lever action for open sight deer hunting in brush?

    and what are the better choices of rifle in each action?

    i'll assume remington would be the best choice in bolt, how about lever action rifles, any favorites?

    m
     
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