View Full Version : My custom 7.62 NATO rifle

February 16, 2011, 08:24 PM
I was not sure where to post this, here or in the reloading section. I have a custom rifle (I bought it this way, new, but used from a local gunshop) that is marked 7.62 NATO on the barrel. The gunsmith who made it is local, but they built it who knows when, the only certainties are I have owned it for 9+ years(still new), 7.62 NATO stamp by gunsmith, Hart Barrel 1" barrel, 1:10 twist, HS precision stock. I was hoping the gunsmith had records of the rifle, but they do not. I am wondering if it is a true 7.62 NATO or .308?

So, my question is since it is stamped 7.62 NATO what does this do to me as far as reloading for this rifle. I have read the differences of .308 and 7.62 NATO. Should I fire some match grade ammunition(.308 Federal) through it to see how it reacts and send the fire formed case to have a die specifically made for my rifle? Or should I obtain .308 reloading equipment and have at it?

Or am I reading into the .308 vs 7.62 NATO to much? I should have gone in more depth with the shop about this question, I guess I can call them tomorrow and see...


Thanks for your help!

Wolf Lies Down
February 17, 2011, 09:35 PM
There are similar questions related to .223 vs. 5.56, however, in brief:

-- There are headspacing issues related to reloading...the NATO 7.62 spec allows for a wider window/longer headspacing than the SAAMI .308 Winchester.

-- SAAMI .308 Winchester spec allows for significantly higher pressure loads (25% more) for ammo than does the NATO spec.

-- There are probably other concerns as well.

I'll bet that if you query one of the search engines with your criteria being .308 vs 7.62, you will come up with a number of discussions on this topic. I think The Firing Line, here, iteself has discussed this issue in the past and I believe I saw it on GunCentral at one time, too.

The bottom line for you, though, may simply boil down to this:
How does any of this relate to a civilian-made weapon with a bull barrel such as you possess?

Your gun almost certainly will handle maximum .308 ammo pressures, given it's massive barrel and (probably) chamber and the headspacing will probably be okay, given the barrel stamp, but you can have that checked easy enough if it bothers you. But, it is a call you will have to make for yourself.

February 18, 2011, 01:03 AM
Thanks for the info, most of it I gathered from the Internet as well. I called the shop back up and talked about it. They said reload as normal with .308 and the same thing you mention, that it will take the .308 spec loads with ease. I am going to get a custom die made from Hornandy or Forster to make certain of everything.