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Thread: Novice help - .308 dies with 7.62?

  1. #1

    Question Novice help - .308 dies with 7.62?

    As a potential newcomer to reloading I've googled until my eyes want to fall out trying to answer the question "can I use .308 dies on 7.62x51?"

    I cannot find any 7.62x51 dies so I have to assume that I can, or must use .308 kit.
    However it is clear that the two cases are different.
    I googled some relative case size dimensions and they are not equal, e.g. 0.12mm neck size difference.

    There are references on the forum to 7.62x51 dies so somewhere they are (or were) available?

  2. #2
    if you type '7.62x51 dies' into google search you will find a number of other forum posts that discuss how you can use .308 dies for 7.62x51 safely.

  3. #3
    In a word, yes you can. One major difference in the cartridges relate to volume/case capacity (rather than external specs) and chamber pressures for commercial vs military use. For example, if you use 7.62 cases (which can have lower capacity than a .308 case) to reload for your .308 rifle then you can expect higher and potentially dangerous chamber pressure if you don't adjust the loads accordingly.

    If your rifle is a historic service rifle then there is also a good chance it will not tolerate the same pressures that modern commercial rifles would.

  4. #4

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    if you type '7.62x51 dies' into google search you will find a number of other forum posts that discuss how you can use .308 dies for 7.62x51 safely.
    Clearly I don't use google correctly, typing "7.62x51 dies" gave me three responses but I can't post them here because I don't have sufficient privileges.
    But when I type '7.62x51 dies' [sic] I get a LOT of responses. Thanks, PKL.

    And thanks also tackleberry, mine's not a service rifle but I'll bear the warning in mind.

    Edit: After following some of the google links it seems clear that bearing certain caveats about powder load I can use .308 dies. However using commercial .308 cartridges in my 7.62 is a no no.
    Last edited by ShootinPeter; 12-09-2012 at 11:10. Reason: More info.

  5. #5
    Actually, .308 and 7.62 are interchangeable. No difference in chamber or outside dimensions. Pressures are even the same.

    The confusion is derived from the fact the 5.56x45mm NATO MAY not be safe in a rifle chambered for .223, as the chambers are distinctly different, with the 5.56 having considerable more freebore to allow for higher/earlier pressure spikes in the military ammo.

    .308 in 7.62: Safe
    7.62 in .308: Safe
    .223 in 5.56: Safe
    5.56 in .223: Potentially dangerous

    Clear as mud?

  6. #6

    Red face

    Yup, MarinePMI. Clear as mud

    But you have to bear in mind that me as a novice gets really wary when I see information like this
    Code:
     ....the general conclusion for using .308 commercial in a 7.62 seems to be a no no.
    Apparently the pressures in commercial .308 cartridges are higher, 5600psi vs 5100psi?
    Also some other slight (?) difference...
    size  bullet   velocity    energy
    .308  175g   2,600 fps  2,627 ft/lb
    7.62  175g   2,550 fps  2,540 ft/lb
    but that said I'm reasonably satisfied that I'll be safe reloading 7.62x51 with .308 dies, etc.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MarinePMI View Post
    Actually, .308 and 7.62 are interchangeable. No difference in chamber or outside dimensions. Pressures are even the same.

    The confusion is derived from the fact the 5.56x45mm NATO MAY not be safe in a rifle chambered for .223, as the chambers are distinctly different, with the 5.56 having considerable more freebore to allow for higher/earlier pressure spikes in the military ammo.

    .308 in 7.62: Safe
    7.62 in .308: Safe
    .223 in 5.56: Safe
    5.56 in .223: Potentially dangerous

    Clear as mud?
    I'm not so sure its a simple as that. Military 7.62 cases in the UK definitely differ from commercial .308. Interchangeable in every way except when calculating powder measures. The maximum recommended measures for commercial .308 reloading would be potentially dangerous if used in 7.62. You also have the difference of Berdan and Boxer style primer pockets. Having said all this I am no expert so I'll be interested to hear more info.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ShootinPeter View Post
    Yup, MarinePMI. Clear as mud

    But you have to bear in mind that me as a novice gets really wary when I see information like this
    Code:
     ....the general conclusion for using .308 commercial in a 7.62 seems to be a no no.
    Apparently the pressures in commercial .308 cartridges are higher, 5600psi vs 5100psi?
    Also some other slight (?) difference...
    size  bullet   velocity    energy
    .308  175g   2,600 fps  2,627 ft/lb
    7.62  175g   2,550 fps  2,540 ft/lb
    but that said I'm reasonably satisfied that I'll be safe reloading 7.62x51 with .308 dies, etc.
    As mentioned in previous post. Before you resize your 7.62 cases ensure you have boxer primer pockets (you can google this) otherwise you will break your decapping pin on your brand new dies!

  9. #9

    Question New problem?

    That'll be the next problem. Berdan primers.
    Plenty of youtube videos about removing them but Googling hasn't found me anybody who sells them.

    Maybe this should be a new thread?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ShootinPeter View Post
    That'll be the next problem. Berdan primers.
    Plenty of youtube videos about removing them but Googling hasn't found me anybody who sells them.

    Maybe this should be a new thread?
    I don't know anyone that re-uses cases with berdan primer pockets. I would have thought it is too much trouble than its worth. Lapua do 7.62x51 cases as well as .308, both with boxer primer pockets. I know they have the differences mentioned as I tested them side by side.

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