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7.6251mm NATO / History:
Centerfire Rifle Cartridges
Written by: Kim Lockhart, Copyright.

7.6251mm NATO:
 The 308 Winchester was introduced to the public as a sporting cartridge by Winchester in September 1952, this same cartridge was modified slightly and accepted by the U.S. military known as the T-65 cartridge in 1954 and began chambering M14 rifles for the round in 1957, this cartridge is also known as the 7.62 NATO cartridge.

Note: Although not identical, the 7.6251mm NATO cartridge is similar enough to the commercial .308 Winchester that the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) considers it safe to fire the NATO round in weapons chambered for the commercial round.
 .308 Win. vs. 7.62x51mm NATO, there are differences in chamber specs and maximum pressures. The SAMMI/CIP maximum pressure for the .308 Win. cartridge is 62,000 psi, while the 7.62x51mm NATO max is 50,000 psi.
 Also, the headspace is slightly different. The .308 Win. "Go Gauge" is 1.630" vs. 1.635" for the 7.62x51mm NATO. The .308 Win.'s "No-Go" dimension is 1.634" vs. 1.6405" for a 7.62x51mm NATO "No Go" gauge. That said, it is normally fine to shoot quality 7.62x51mm NATO ammo in a gun chambered for the .308 Winchester (though not all NATO ammo is identical).

 The 7.62x51mm NATO is a rifle cartridge developed in the 1950s as a standard for small arms among NATO countries. When loaded with a bullet design that tumbles, or fragments in tissue, this cartridge is capable of delivering good terminal wounding performance.

 During the 1940s and early 1950s several experiments were carried out to improve on the Garand. One of the most common complaints was the limited capacity en-bloc clip and many experimental designs modified the weapon with a detachable box magazine.

 The test program continued for several years, including both the original .30-06 round and a modified .300 Savage (then known as the T65). In the end, the T65 cartridge demonstrated power roughly equal to the original .30-06, firing a 147-grain bullet at 2,750 feet per second but was approximately .5 inches shorter. The eventual result of this competition was the T44 rifle.

 When the United States developed the T65 cartridge, the British took a different route. They had spent considerable time and effort developing the intermediate-power .280 British cartridge with an eye towards controllable fully-automatic fire. The T65 was chosen as the NATO standard cartridge in 1954.

 The T44 was adopted as the M14 in 1957. The M14s would later go through several variations intended to either limit fully automatic selection through semi-auto version or selector locks or improve control with bipods and/or heavier barrels.

 The 7.62x51mm cartridge was introduced in U.S. service in the M14 rifle and M60 machine gun in the late 1950s. The M14 and many other firearms that use the 7.62 NATO round remain in service today, especially in the case of sniper rifles and machine guns. The cartridge is used both by infantry and on mounted and crew-served weapons mounted to vehicles, aircraft and ships.


7.62 NATO Performance:

7.62 NATO Trajectory and Energy Charts:
 Winchesters 147 Grain 7.62 NATO Full Metal Jacket Ammunition:
 This is a down range bullet trajectory chart for the 7.62 NATO cartridge with the scope mounted 1.5 inches above the bore center line.
Bullet diameter .308".
Bullet weight 147 grains.
Bullet ballistic coeffecient .416.
Bullet muzzle velocity 2,800 feet per second.
Bullet muzzle energy 2,559 foot pounds.
Range
50 yds.
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Yards
Bullet Drop
+ .6"
+ 1.5"
- .7"
- 9.1"
- 24.8"
- 49.3"
Inches
 This is a down range bullet energy chart for the above 7.62 NATO cartridge.
Range
50 yds.
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Yards
Bullet Energy
2,362
2,177
1,842
1,548
1,292
1,071
Ft. Lbs.
The 7.62 NATO Is An Excellent Cartridge For; Sniper, Military and Police Use!


7.62 NATO Trajectory and Energy Charts:
 American Eagle 168 Grain 7.62 NATO Full Metal Jacket Ammunition:
 This is a down range bullet trajectory chart for the 7.62 NATO cartridge with the scope mounted 1.5 inches above the bore center line.
Bullet diameter .308".
Bullet weight 168 grains.
Bullet ballistic coeffecient .459.
Bullet muzzle velocity 2,650 feet per second.
Bullet muzzle energy 2,619 foot pounds.
Range
50 yds.
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Yards
Bullet Drop
+ .7"
+ 1.5"
- 1.3"
- 10.8"
- 28.2"
- 54.9"
Inches
 This is a down range bullet energy chart for the above 7.62 NATO cartridge.
Range
50 yds.
100 yds.
200 yds.
300 yds.
400 yds.
500 yds.
Yards
Bullet Energy
2,432
2,255
1,932
1,646
1,394
1,175
Ft. Lbs.
The 7.62 NATO Is An Excellent Cartridge For; Sniper, Military and Police Use!


Rifle Ballistics:
.30" Caliber
7.62x51mm NATO
30-30 Win.
308 Win.
30-06 Sprg.
300 Win. Mag.
300 WSM
300 Wby. Mag.

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