NATO ammunition in civilian rifle
Category: Sports and Recreation > Outdoors
Asked by: bubblecard-ga
List Price: $25.00
12 Aug 2006 06:20 PDT
Expires: 11 Sep 2006 06:20 PDT
Question ID: 755260
Is it safe to use NATO 7.62 ammunition in civilian sporting rifles, considering that there are sometimes differences in tolerance and maximum allowable pressures? I believe that NATO is intended to be a lower pressure (50000?), so will be ok in civilian guns, but non-mil ammo (308 Win) is not safe in service firearms. Gun is a Remington 700 SPL, and the round is a 155grain FMJ, British surplus, Radway Green, (known in the UK as RG). Not fussed about loss of accuracy due to different chamber tolerances, just interested in whether the barrel will blow up if I keep using the stuff. I am aware of the issue with 5.56 NATO and it's incompatibility with civilian .223, but lots of people seem to use 7.62 RG as a cheap alternative to 308Win factory loads. An ammunition data sheet would be nice.
Re: NATO ammunition in civilian rifle
Answered By: gregaw-ga on 15 Aug 2006 12:06 PDT
You are right to be wary of using an ammunition other than what your chamber is stamped with. You will, of course, find people on both sides of this fence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62_mm_NATO "To summarize, while it is not unsafe to mix .308 and 7.62 x 51 mm ammunition, fewer problems will be encountered if the correct caliber designation is used." http://www.thegunzone.com/30cal.html "The .308 Winchester and the 7.62mm NATO (nee T-65) cartridges are not the same, nor should they be considered interchangeable" As you can see from the pressure ratings in the link above the .308 is rated to a much higher level than the NATO 7.62. But the military rating is still above the standard .308 pressure level of 55,000. http://www.smellysmleshooters.net/ammopressure.htm This link has a table the British military specs for NATO 7.62 ammunition. Ammunition coming for the RG arsenal will meet one of these specifications. These rounds will create approximately 50,000 psi. Pressure will not be a problem for you rifle. The .308 "proof pressure" is 83,000 psi!!! http://www.cruffler.com/trivia-June01.html The other factor to consider is the difference in chamber size and head thickness. The chamber on your .308 is smaller than that of the military 7.62 rifles. The NATO cartridges fit without problem (obviously since you have been using them). The military rounds will usually have a thicker case that that of the civilian rounds. This could potentially be a problem if were shooting .308 through a 7.62 because the increased chamber size will give less support to the case and it could split. This is a possible safety hazard and a pain to pull jammed casings from your gun. You of course have the .308 with a smaller chamber, so this problem would not apply to you. The difference between the .223 issue and the .308 is that the mil spec ammunition "hotter" than the commercial ammunition where as with the .308 it is just the opposite. Summary: Your gun will not suffer any ill effects of shooting NATO 7.62 ammunition because of any technical difference in the ammunition. It is not a safety hazard. Will it be dirtier and less accurate than new commercial ammunition? Sure it will. I have a Savage 10fp chambered for .308. I did this same research when I bought it. I am now shooting Turkish surplus 7.62 for my "plinking? needs. Just another interesting link about the different kinds of NATO ammo produced. http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/rifle/762mm_ammo.html I trust that this answers your question. If you require any additional information please post a request for clarification. Happy Shooting!
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