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Discussion Starter #1
I hear .308, .223, etc. tossed around referring to bullet sizes... are these the diameter of the rounds in inches, similar to hand gun ammunition? It seems that they would be rather small in comparison to pistol ammunition. Also, are rifle rounds loaded with more or less grain when compared to handgun bullets of comparable sizes?

Thanks,

Scatch Maroo
 

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1) Yes, most times you see .308 or any number as a decimal less then 1.0, it's a bullet diameter in inches. If you see something like 7.62 (decimal greater then 5.0), it's the bullet diameter in millimeters. You may also see cartridges refered to as 7.62x51, which is the bullet diameter and case length, respectively, in millimeters. Also, for future references, many cartidges have multiple names and ways of being refered to. For example, the .308 is also refered to as the .308 Winchester, 7.62x51, and 7.62 NATO. Learning all the different names is a challenge unto itself, but most of the time, they're refered to by their most common name.

2) Yes, rifle bullets are designed quite differently then pistol bullets. Rifle bullets travel at much higher velocities, requiring them to be more aerodynamic to achieve sufficient range. As a result, they've longer and more sleek. Handguns, generally, have larger diameter, more 'stumpy' looking bullets that fly at much lower velocities. However, once you see the cartridges compared, you quickly realize that rifle cartridges are much larger then most pistol ammo.

3) When you say "grain" are you referring to the bullet weight in grains, or cartidge powder weight. Either way, rifle bullets tend to have much more powder and a bit more bullet mass for a comperable diameter. As always though, there are different bullet weights within a certain diameters, so you can find exceptions to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Shoe said:
3) When you say "grain" are you referring to the bullet weight in grains, or cartidge powder weight. Either way, rifle bullets tend to have much more powder and a bit more bullet mass for a comperable diameter. As always though, there are different bullet weights within a certain diameters, so you can find exceptions to this.
I was referring to cartridge powder weight, I *think*, because I didn't know grains was a reference to bullet weight. I've seen people mention rifle bullet grains from 80-150, and I'd thought I'd seen handgun bullets at an average of 175-200... but I very well may have been wrong, or was mistaken for what each type was referring to when they used the word 'grains.'

None the less, thanks a ton for the info... why would they refer to the .308 as a 7.62 NATO, is it because NATO uses this ammunition in particular?

Scatch Maroo
 

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Yes scatch, your right NATO, uses the 7.62 x 51....or at least did.
The new NATO round is the 5.56 x 45 or .223 or 5.56 NATO.
They may still use 7.62 x 51 in machine guns....but while the battle rifles (like L1A1's, FN FAL's, H&K G3's...etc.) were superceeded by the likes of the SA80, H&K G36's and AUG styer's which fire the 5.56 NATO, many of the machine guns continued in service with the earlier and bigger round.

cheers.....Kiwi
 

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Kiwi: You're right in that the 7.62 NATO (.308) is still used in light squad support machine guns such as the m249. Also of note is that .308 is one of the prefered calibers for sniper rifles. You're also correct in that most assault rifles currently use the 5.56 NATO (.223) round. Isn't being one of the few countries in the world still using the English measurement system fun?

Also, bullets weights are typically refered to in grains, not grams, ounces or another "normal" unit of weight. Thus my confusion. However, my original statement is mostly true. For example, common pistol ammo for the 7.65 mm cartidge (Remington Express for the .32 auto caliber) uses a 71 grain bullet. 7.62 NATO sniping ammunition commonly uses bullet weights between 167 and 175 grains, which is over twice as heavy.

Of course, as I said, there are exceptions, like the huge .454 Casull pistol round which is loaded with 300 grain bullets. However, the .454 Casull can also be accurately classified as a hand-held anti-aircraft weapon. But to be accurate, the .454 Casull is also about .15" bigger then the standard .308. But, if you want something to compare the Casull round to, the .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG) round, which the Barrett .50 rifles use, is .05" bigger then the .454 Casull and fires bullets in the range of 700 grains.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've noticed that rifles such as the Harris M93 use 50 Browning ammunition... why such a big bullet when it seems that the .308 pleases everyone--shooting tanks and such?

Scatch Maroo
 

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Well, shooting tanks is a bit optimistic for even the .50 BMG, but it's a great anti-vehicle round. Jeeps, trucks, and light APCs are butter to it. One other reason is that the round has long range potential that the .308 simply cannot achieve. Also, some people just like shooting big guns. That's also a part of it.
 

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Shoe said:
Kiwi: You're right in that the 7.62 NATO (.308) is still used in light squad support machine guns such as the m249.
Actually the M249 SAW is chambered in 5.56 NATO, you might be thinking about the M240 or the M60. Although there have been trials for a "beefed" up version of the M249, for the SEALs, to shoot the 7.62 NATO.
 

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I stand corrected. It is the m240 I was trying to come up withf. After a while, all the various M designations tend to run together. At least I wasn't completely off base and saying the M2 shoots 7.62 :oops:

Before Scatch asks, the M2 is a heavy machine gun that shoots the .50 BMG and has been used in the US military practically since God invented the modern armed forces.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Shoe said:
Before Scratch asks, the M2 is a heavy machine gun that shoots the .50 BMG and has been used in the US military practically since God invented the modern armed forces.
It's Scatch, minus the 'R'--and thanks anticipating my question. ;-)

Scatch Maroo
 

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well heres a visual comparison if ya want it
left to right:
.30-06 Springfield- older round adopted by the Army in 1903, popular hunting round today
bullets range usually from 150-220 grain
.308 Winchester (7.62*51mm NATO)- currently used by law enforcement and military snipers worldwide
bullets in this caliber usually range from 150-180 gr
.223 Remington (5.56*45mm NATO)- NATO's standard assault rifle cartridge
bullets usually range for this caliber from 50-80 gr
9mm- (9*19mm PARABELLUM)- NATO's standard pistol cartridge and a popular pistol round, fairly small but common with law enforcement agencies
bullets uslally range from 105-147 gr
.22 LR- common target round, low recoil, fairly accurate, cheap
bullets usually range from 32-40 gr

 

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jeff.
308s come in 220 SMKs too..(kickes like a mule)
next up from the 30-06 is the range of .30caliber magnum rounds (winchester made and remington made, use the same bullets as 308s and 30-06s)
then theres a whole bunch of calibers such as the 338 Lapua Magnum the mother of long range accurate fire. (weights >180gr)
 

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.308 can be handloaded to take the 220 grain SMK but you wont see good ballistics and you wont find factory match ammo like that here anyway
 

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re

All these new short mangum rounds are just standard case dimensions, but made broarder arn't they?
 

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Actually the M249 SAW is chambered in 5.56 NATO, you might be thinking about the M240 or the M60. Although there have been trials for a "beefed" up version of the M249, for the SEALs, to shoot the 7.62 NATO.
Mk. 46 Mod 0 If I recall correctly, and it is being used, so the trials obviously had good results.
 

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re

Are you sure it is in service yet?

I was under the impression it was going to replace the M240 for all units...
 

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the MK 46 mod 0 is made to replace the M60 in SF units (i think) the elder M60 was getting obsolete so they upscaled an M249 to take the 308 rnd. nothing more nothing less
 
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