308 ammo

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by shane2126, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. shane2126

    shane2126 New Member

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    whats the differance between modern 308 ammo and surplus 308.
  2. infidel_2_dabone

    infidel_2_dabone New Member

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    Surplus ammo is almost always military and most military ammo will function just fine if its linked together for use in M.G's.
    The other stuff isn't really designed to be used in that way.Its made for civilian use like in hunting rifles and such.
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The surplus ammo is really 7.62 x 51 NATO and the commercial version is called 308 Winchester. The Accurate Arms (AA) reloading manual shows nominal case dimensions for both and they are the same. That should mean at least external dimensionally they are the same. The military brass is typically thicker but not so as to exceed the max external dimension listed in the AA manual

    The next consideration is pressures. The SAMMI pressure limit for 308 is 52,000 PSI while another source says 7.62 x 51 NATO is limited to 50,000 PSI. That also seems to indicate that surplus 7.62 x 51 NATO ammo (surplus) can be used in a 308 firearm, pressure wise.

    NATO ammo is suppose to be regulated so that NATO countries can interchange ammo in war time. That also would seem to indicate that surplus ammo is safe to shoot in a commercial gun.

    Whether all these indicators are true or not is not certain. Countries tend to be independent and are just as likely as not to hot load ammo or download ammo. The only way to be sure is to cautiously use it the first time, observing the brass and primers for signs of excessive pressure. And do the same with every different batch.

    I can tell you that my son-in-law does use military surplus 7.62 x 51 NATO ammo all the time with no problems. Of course, the safest ammo to use is commercial 308. Use any other at risk of problems and/or loss of the manufacturer's warrantee.

    LDBennett
  4. infidel_2_dabone

    infidel_2_dabone New Member

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    I knew there had to be a better explination,Sounds good to me!
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
  5. shane2126

    shane2126 New Member

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    thanks for the info , I'm shooting it out of a 1916 spanish mauser I have shot about 40 rounds of new winchester ammo out of it with no problem,but I was told that a head space problem may occure. I was not shure of the differance
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    shane2126:

    308 and7.62 NATO were invented in the 1950's, decades after your 1916 rifle was originally made. Obviously someone rebarreled your gun to 308. Was it done correctly? Is the headspace correct? If done by a competent gunsmith all may be well but it ceratinly would not hurt to have a gunsmith inspect the gun and check the headspace. If the headspace is correct and 308 and 7.62 NATO cases are externally the same dimensionally (which they are), the gun should handle the surplus ammo just fine.

    LDBennett
  7. musketshooter

    musketshooter New Member

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    It is my understanding that the ammo for the Spainsh converted rifles used a lighter bullet than the NATO spec rounds. It would generate a little less pressure and would be safe in those rifles that are not as strong as the M98 actions.
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