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Old October 23, 2013, 11:12 PM   #1
Pops1085
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What's your guess for the future of the .308/7.62x51nato?

Just curious and I know any answers will be purely speculation but nonetheless, how much longer do you believe that the 7.62x51 Nato will be a standard issue service cartridge? Do you think it will last longer than the 5.56?
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Old October 23, 2013, 11:27 PM   #2
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It is not the standard issue service cartridge now for rifles, but only machineguns.
The Standard rifle cartridge is the 5.45 NATO, and the 7.62 NATO is the secondary cartridge for rifles, and the standard for machineguns within NATO.

Nevertheless, it's going to be around for a VERY long time.
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Old October 23, 2013, 11:53 PM   #3
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The hopelessly outdated .50 BMG is still alive and kicking and I think .308 will be around for a very long time as well.
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Old October 24, 2013, 01:05 AM   #4
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Well, the military is still using *LOTS* of it (7.62x51) and stockpiling it and there doesn't even seem to be as much debate about it as the 5.56 so I can easily see it being around longer than the 5.56 and I think they will both be around a long, long time.

And since this is the internet and I can make any goofy prediction I want with almost no hard evidence to back up my opinion I'll define a long, long time as at least 25 years.

(But I also told somebody in 1980 to go ahead and buy an expensive phonograph because I couldn't see vinyl records being replaced any time soon.)
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Old October 24, 2013, 01:45 AM   #5
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(But I also told somebody in 1980 to go ahead and buy an expensive phonograph because I couldn't see vinyl records being replaced any time soon.)
I hear vinyl is back in a big way with music lovers, so you may be a visionary to heed!!!
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Old October 24, 2013, 07:19 AM   #6
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WTH is "5.45 NATO"
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Old October 24, 2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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5.56 NATO (I think you meant to say?)

7.62 NATO will hang around for awhile yet.
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Old October 24, 2013, 02:38 PM   #8
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I wonder how many 308/7.62NATO rifles are in the hands of just American consumers? Has to be millions.

As long as their are owner/reloaders it will live. I don't doubt that 100 years from now there will be people asking if 308 is obsolete. It will still be as viable as it is today,IMO.
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Old October 24, 2013, 08:09 PM   #9
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I came late to the .308 as a sporting cartridge because I shot up so much of it during my military years (1973-1999). I was a tanker, as in M60A1/M60A3/M1A1 and each of those tanks had a couple of 7.62 machine guns. We counted those rounds in belts, not individual cartridges and I'd suspect that over my career I fired several tons of linked 7.62 through my machine guns. It's a great light machine gun cartridge. Easily transported, the guns run fairly good, and it's lethal out to the end of its ballistic range. We got tracer burnout at about 800 meters and as long as we could see the tracers we knew that the bullets were having good effect.

But, because I fired so damned much of it in my career I came late to it as a sporting cartridge. I wanted to play with some of the others, like the .243, or the .30-06, or the .25-06 (which is a hell of a cartridge in it's own right). But, the .308, I never could feel much love for. It was like kissing your sister. Affection, yeah, but no passion.

Until I stumbled into a smoking-hot deal on a pawnshop .308. I bought dies and bullets and started tinkering with it on a one cartridge basis. Imagine, shooting single cartridges, and not running it by the belt? It's accurate, good power, doesn't beat you up with recoil. Did I mention accurate? Now I've got four .308 rifles and it's one of my go-to cartridges for the deer woods. Our season starts Saturday, and I'll be packing a Savage 11 in .308. Nothing special, just a deer rifle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FairWarning
The hopelessly outdated .50 BMG is still alive and kicking
Any soldier that doesn't love the Ma Deuce has never cradled the butterfly in his hands. When I didn't need the main gun, I went at it with the .50. That's one hell of a machine gun, and one hell of a cartridge.

But, to answer your question, the 7.62/.308 ain't going away. It fulfills a readily identified need for combat troops. It's one hell of a light machine gun cartridge and beloved of many countries.
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Old October 24, 2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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Oops
Yes, I meant 5.56 NATO
5.45 is the Russian round

(I was taking to a friend that afternoon about him getting some 5.45 ammo and I guess it was "stuck" in my mind.
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Old October 24, 2013, 09:24 PM   #11
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its not going ANYWHERE.

Dont you remember all of those 7.62 rifles being pulled out for reissue to troops during the peace keeping phase in our current pakistani/afghani areas of operation?

Dont you remember the big too doo over how the uk was designing their next battle rifle as a select fire 7.62 because they wanted more knock down power.
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Old October 24, 2013, 09:38 PM   #12
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long

It will be around longer than we will.
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Old October 24, 2013, 09:39 PM   #13
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I want with almost no hard evidence to back up my opinion I'll define a long, long time as at least 25 years.
I wouldn't be surprised if it is still in military use 100 years from now (an easy bet to make, since I won't be around! )
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Old October 25, 2013, 08:56 AM   #14
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I think the 308/7.62 will go the way of the 30'06,

Meaning it wont go anywhere, it will be around a long time. Long after my grandkids and their grandkids are in their graves.
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Old October 25, 2013, 11:22 AM   #15
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The 7.62 won't be going anywhere until advances in body armor render it ineffective against infantry, I am talking next gen Dragonskin stuff. I figure at leased 40 years before that becomes commonplace. It is what comes after the 7.62x51 that interests me. You need major compromises to defeat armor of that caliber, either very high speeds with very high SD/hard bullets to penetrate or larger caliber heavy bullets to deliver blunt force trauma without having to penetrate the armor.
7.62x51s do deliver enough blunt force trauma to break ribs and damage organs through hardened body armor, but not enough for reliable stopping from what I have seen.
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Old October 25, 2013, 12:20 PM   #16
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As a military round its days are numbered, if not already over, just as the 30-06 is no longer used. As a hunting/target round it has a bright future, just as the 30-06 did. The 308 and M-14 as a general issue military combo was a failed experiment. The 308 and M-14 had one of the shortest life spans of any military combination. The 5.56 and M-16 family is one of the longest running, most tested and proven combinations in history. It will be the battle rifle for at least another generation or 2.

The 308 hung on as a sniper round and in extremely rare cases for designated marksmen. But even in that role is being phased out in favor of the 300 Win mag. As a general purpose military round it offers very little over a 5.56 with all of the disadvantages of the older 30-06.
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Old October 26, 2013, 12:04 AM   #17
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It's a proven caliber with no CLEAR superior in the same size/weight class. Sure there may be marginally better performers... but to justify the cost and effort to change, you would need to have vastly superior ballistics.

There are dozens of cartridges that have made a run at unseating the .308. Given that nearly every significant battle rifle and sniper rifle is chambered in .308, and hunting rifles too, there must be hundreds of millions worldwide.

FAL, G3, PTR91, AR10, M240, M60 (still in limited use), M1A, and scores of sniper and hunting rifles in the offering.

Quote:
But even in that role is being phased out in favor of the 300 Win mag.
The .300 WM is too close to the .50 BMG. You need an intermediate chambering for an intermediate belt fed weapon system. We jump from the SAW (5.56) to the .50BMG. Need the .308 (formerly in the M60, now in the 240), where it shines in size, firepower, delivery, platform, etc.

It makes no sense to drop the .308.

(I would love to hear why the super effective anti-aircraft, anti-vehicle, and anti-personnel .50 BMG is outdated!)
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Old October 26, 2013, 07:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleA
(But I also told somebody in 1980 to go ahead and buy an expensive phonograph because I couldn't see vinyl records being replaced any time soon.)
That's funny, I just bought a fairly expensive new turntable to relive the glories of vinyl warmth. And I'm far from alone, new turntables are all over the place. Men are often motivated by nostalgia, but there is usually a good reason for such feelings.
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Old October 26, 2013, 10:16 AM   #19
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While I think the 7.62NATO round will be phased out in this decade, there will be rounds developed to replicate 7.62NATO ballistics in M16/M4-sized packages.....getting the best of both worlds.

Likewise, I have a turntable that allows me to convert my LP's to MP3's....again, the best of both worlds.

Ain't technology grand?.....
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Old October 26, 2013, 11:14 AM   #20
Kachok
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Why is the 7.62 getting phased out? What exactly are they going to replace it with? Not more 5.56s! The 7.62 is so much more versatile out of a machine gun, not to mention much more effective range in sniper rifles.
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Old October 27, 2013, 06:02 PM   #21
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Seems to be the king of the general purpose machinegun.

Reissueing M14s/M21s and reviving the "designated marksmen" concept in Afghanistan gave it a bigger lease on life.

Even if it is a "secondary" cartridge, it will around a long time.
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Old October 27, 2013, 06:21 PM   #22
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my guess is that nothing lasts forever.
deal with it.
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Old October 27, 2013, 11:02 PM   #23
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I don't see anything replacing it in the GPMG role anytime soon.
For sniper/DMR applications, it is going to be the baseline for comparison, but I think it's got a lot of competition. There are flatter shooting/harder hitting rounds out there for that application.
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Old October 28, 2013, 10:46 AM   #24
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I think it will be around until new propellants are developed that can provide the same velocities in shorter cases, because that will mean more ammo for the same weight.
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Old October 28, 2013, 02:03 PM   #25
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"The .300 WM is too close to the .50 BMG."

LeadCouncil, how is the .300 win mag close to a .50 bmg? These two rounds are as different as the .22lr to the .308 in question with this forum.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; October 29, 2013 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Intentionally antagonizing
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