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Old April 13, 2010, 03:22 PM   #1
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question: nato

can some one explain nato for me like 223./5.56 308/762+52.or just tell me were to look so i can read up on it thx
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Old April 13, 2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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The NATO designations are just how rounds are referred to by the various NATO countries whose military forces have adopted those particular rounds. That's why they're usually metric, since that's how most NATO countries measure things.

5.56 mm X 45 mm is the NATO designation for the .223 Remington round, while 7.62 mm X 51 mm is the NATO designation for what we call .308 Winchester.

Note that a .223 is not exactly the same as a 5.56 mm, and a 7.62 mm is not exactly the same as a .308. They may interchange in some guns, but the chamber dimensions are not always identical, and the pressures developed in NATO ammunition may be above and beyond what a civilian rifle is meant to handle.
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Old April 13, 2010, 06:38 PM   #3
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on that subject, will the 7.62 brass be ok for .308 weps?
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Old April 13, 2010, 07:20 PM   #4
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thanks

how can i go about finding out if a gun will shoot both rounds such as 308/7.62 thx still doesnt make sense though the way it sounds they should interchange between rounds at least that makes more sense to me speacilay if i was at war an needed amo. thx
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Old April 13, 2010, 07:53 PM   #5
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There's some controversy to this answer, but this is my opinion.

You can use 7.62X51 NATO in .308 rifles. I have shot quite a bit of NATO surplus ammo in my .308 Rem 700. (Until I started reloading, and now reloads are cheaper than NATO surplus.)

You 'might' not be able to use commercial .308 in a 7.62X51 NATO rifle. Speer No. 13 reloading manual treats them the same, except for a few loads that are "starred" as being good for gas operated M1As and Garands. And a caveat that NATO brass is thicker, therefore has less capacity, and that might mean lighter powder charges than commercial brass.

With 5.56X45 vs. .223, my understanding it its OK to shoot NATO in .223 chambers, but not necessarily good to shoot .223 in NATO chambers. Then there's the Wylde chamber which is supposed to be good for both.

Again, Speer No. 13 treats them more or less interchangeably, with a cautions that NATO brass can be thicker, which means less volume, which means lighter powder loads.

If you reload, all this means is tune the loads to your rifle and don't worry about it after that.
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Old April 13, 2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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Just a correction/clarification to my earlier post. While it's true that SAAMI maximum pressure specs for 5.56x45 may exceed the maximum pressure specs for .223, it's the opposite for .308/7.62. In that case, some commercial .308 loads may actually exceed the maximum SAAMI specs for 7.62x51
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Old April 13, 2010, 10:10 PM   #7
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You should be fine (with most rifles) using 7.62 ammunition in a rifle chambered for .308 or .308 in a 7.62 chamber but....

Quote:
With 5.56X45 vs. .223, my understanding it its OK to shoot NATO in .223 chambers, but not necessarily good to shoot .223 in NATO chambers.
That actually goes against everything I've read on the subject. A Wiki about it (No, I don't believe everything I read there):

Quote:
Using commercial .223 Remington cartridges in a 5.56mm NATO chambered rifle should work reliably, but generally will not be as accurate as when fired from a .223 Remington chambered gun due to the longer leade.[12] Using 5.56mm NATO mil-spec cartridges (such as the M855) in a .223 Remington chambered rifle can lead to excessive wear and stress on the rifle and even be unsafe, and the SAAMI recommends against the practice
Supported by this statement from reloadersbench.com:

Quote:
In 1979, SAAMI cautioned shooters that the 5.56x45mm military chambers and throats differ from the 223 Remington sporting rifle chambers. Therefore military ball ammo may produce high chamber pressures in sporting rifles.
Plenty of people use 5.56 ammunition in their .223 chambers, but I don't. I don't want to risk damage or cause premature wear.

I do use .223 in my 5.56 chamber though. That rifle has .223/5.56 stamped on the receiver but you should be good to go with .223 ammo in any 5.56 chamber provided the cartridge has enough energy to cycle the action.

Cut and dried to me, no controversy.
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Last edited by Inspector3711; April 13, 2010 at 10:22 PM.
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Old April 13, 2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for the correction, Inspector.
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