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Old February 8, 2013, 03:55 AM   #1
zcrenna
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Safe to shoot 7.62x51 in Ruger American .308?

Howdy gentlemen,

This is my first post.

I have a question which I'm sure has been asked many times before. I've done some pretty extensive searching on google for the answer and have run into some contradictory facts. So I'd like to see if I could ask again here to get a straight answer.

Picking up my first rifle in a few days, Ruger American in .308
My LGSs have 7.62 in stock, the best of those deals is $40 for 50 rounds. But not specifically .308 win.
My range sells .308 win Federal Match but it's $40 for 20. Which isn't very exciting.

My LGS says I should be fine to shoot the 7.62 outta it. But I'm curious to know what you guys think? Safe to shoot the 7.62? Any opinions and/or personal experience with the above would be much appreciated.

I have a basic understanding of the differences between the two, 62,000 psi from the .308
As opposed to 55,000 psi from the 7.62 NATO. however not 100% sure on the dimension differences and how this would affect other elements of loading and firing, etc.

Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks in advance
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Old February 8, 2013, 04:25 AM   #2
rc
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Yes

Ruger bolt guns are STRONGER than M14 rifles the nato round was designed to feed. Otherwise the rounds will fit and fire just fine in either gun. Enjoy....
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Old February 8, 2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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Short answer: Yes, you can fire common 7.62X51 military ammo in any currently produced rifle chambered for .308 Winchester.

The 7.62x51 NATO cartridge is built to certain military specifications. The round must be able to operate semi-automatic rifles and belt-fed machine guns. The current specifications for 7.62x51 limit it to a pressure of 50,000 psi to operate the M14 and other semi-auto gas guns, along with those machine guns that the military uses.

Currently produced .308 Winchester ammunition is SAAMI standardized at 62.000 psi. There are also small difference in cartridge specs between the military round and the .308 Win as currently produced, but the basic understanding is that the military cartridge will fit and fire in currently produced .308 rifles.

The .308 Winchester is a very versatile cartridge. Learn more about it here.

But yes, you can fire NATO ammo in your rifle. We use a lot of NATO ammo as practice ammo for our precision rifle team. If you can find some Lake City M118 LR ammunition at a reasonable price, buy all you can afford. That particular ammo is considered very good ammunition for the .308 Winchester.
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Old February 8, 2013, 06:19 AM   #4
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Ruger is well known for making strong firearms, especially their handguns. They do carry over their "lets make it a little stronger than necessary" credo in their rifles. Personally, I would not hesitate to run 7.62x51 or 308 through one.
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Old February 8, 2013, 06:31 AM   #5
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Yes. Have at it and have fun.
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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Yes. I shoot 7.62 out of my .308 and the only problem seems to be that it isn't nearly as accurate as my normal hunting ammo.
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:08 AM   #7
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They are the same round. If you do a little research, you will discover that the "50,000psi" and "62,000psi" numbers are actually on two different scales of measurement.
I repeat, they are the same round. Your mother is also your father's wife....same person.
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:28 AM   #8
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PawPaw, you're confusing the old MIL SPEC standard of stating cartridge pressure in "psi" units when they acutally used copper units of pressure (cup) systems to measure it. But commercial ammo standards did the same thing for decades so they've both been using technically incorrect terminology. Both cartridges' pressure specs are within a few percent of each other. But most folks have mixed this up over the years; you're not alone. The original specs established for the 7.62 was 50,000 cup and the .308's was 52,000 cup; both originating at Winchester with a bit of help from one or two arsenals.

Take a look at the following:

http://www.saami.org/specifications_...wnload/206.pdf

then scroll down to the pressure information that's listed in both CUP and PSI numbers as well as the sections showing how each is measured. You'll see quite a difference in the numbers for each method. It's also interesting to look at the proof load pressure specs that are higher than normal ammo.

Compare the specs section for pressure in the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.308_Winchester

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62%C3%9751mm_NATO

rc, exactly what is the difference in action strength in PSI numbers between the Ruger and M14 for their bursting limits? I'm curious as to your reasoning behind your claim. Winchester 70's have been in the 120,000 psi range and the Remington 7XX ones in the 130,000 psi range for their bursting points. But its the case rupturing limits that determine peak pressure for ammo, not the rifle. The case is the weakest part of the system 'cause it's not totally supported by action metal. I doubt the Ruger would stay intact after several hundred (thousand?) rounds of proof loads whereas the M14 (and M1, too) did so with some of their match ammo peak pressures at the same or higher levels than proof loads.
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Last edited by Bart B.; February 8, 2013 at 09:53 AM.
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Old February 8, 2013, 09:55 AM   #9
PawPaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart B.
PawPaw, you're confusing the old MIL SPEC standard of stating cartridge pressure in "psi" units when they acutally used copper units of pressure (cup) systems to measure it.
Guilty, as charged. Still, the answer remains the same. It is perfectly safe to shoot current 7.62 NATO ammo in currently produced .308 Win rifles.
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Old February 8, 2013, 10:47 AM   #10
zcrenna
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Well that answers my question thoroughly. Thank you all very much!
Can't wait to make it out to the range.
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Old February 8, 2013, 04:26 PM   #11
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There's no reason to not shoot 7.62X51 NATO in your .308 . Don't expect steller accuracy though , especially if it's Greek stuff !
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Old February 8, 2013, 10:02 PM   #12
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Greek 7.62x51? I don't think I've seen any of that around.

Bart, I think you'll find that the 7.62/.308 was a totally govt. project for years before Winchester ever got involved.
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Old February 18, 2013, 03:52 AM   #13
zcrenna
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Follow up:

Finally made it out to the range today.
Picked up some Magtech 7.62 NATO. Shot 100 rounds no problem.
I had read a few things about the magtech which made me a bit skeptical, but it all shot great
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Old February 18, 2013, 03:07 PM   #14
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YEP. shoot it up.
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:48 AM   #15
Bart B.
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jonnyc, consider the following when thinking about the 7.62 NATO and .308 Win. development history:

http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com...in-of-308.html

oneoldsap, lots of folks get steller accuracy shooting 7.62 NATO ammo in their .308 Win. chambered rifles. Especially those competing in the Palma matches in the '60's and '70's at Camp Perry shooting Winchester 70 match rifles with Lake City 7.62 NATO match ammo. And around the world, other countries have been shooting their arsenal NATO ammo in .308 Win. chambered match rifles in fullbore competition for decades; good lots of it would shoot near MOA at 1000 yards.

But it's the bore and groove dimensions being correct for bullet diameters that make it work. Winchester's barrels in their Palma rifles had .3083" or thereabouts groove diameters. The .3086" diameter 172-gr. FMJBT match bullets in M118 7.62 match ammo did great. Overseas, arsenals' bullets were typically .3075" in diameter so the Brits and their Commonwealth buddies used .308 Win. chambered barrels with .3065" to .3070" groove diameters to shoot their 147-gr. bullets very accurate.

Whenever bullet diameters are smaller than groove diameters, stellar accuracy is about impossible. By stellar accuracy for arsenal ammo, I mean 1/3 MOA at 100 yards, 2/3 MOA at 600 yards and 1 MOA at 1000.

For those quoting peak pressure differences, note the US arsenals in the early 1950's set the max average pressure for the NATO version at 50,000 cup. Winchester set the commercial version at 52,000 cup max average pressure in 1952. So, all things being equal, does this mean the commercial versions were unsafe in the M14?
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Last edited by Bart B.; February 19, 2013 at 12:19 PM.
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