.308 Winchester vs. 7.62x51mm NATO: Questions and Comments

Got a question or comment?

Mail it to hidi.projects at gmail.com. If I have a response, it'll get posted here.

"I've used .308 Winchester in 7.62 NATO rifles for twenty years without a single problem!"

That's not a question, but it is a common response I saw over and over again during my search for substantiated facts about the difference between the two rounds. It's not even a very good argument: The fact that nothing bad has happened yet says nothing about what happens the next time you pull the trigger. Flipping a coin fifty times and always getting heads doesn't mean that's the only result you can get; it just means you've gotten lucky. There are any number of unsafe activities that have absolutely no negative consequences right up to the point that the negative consequences alter the course of one's life: Driving without a seatbelt and playing Russion Roulette come to mind, as does playing Russion Roulette while driving without a seatbelt.

A better argument asserts that the margins of error built into firearms are large enough that worrying about a silly little thing like having incandescent gasses blasted into one's face at 60,000 PSI is the sign of a bedwetting weenie. I'd argue that when you're operating right up to the margin of error, it's no longer longer margins of error; you might as well claim that redlining an engine is not bad for it because the tachometer is capable of showing RPMs that high.

For those who insist on shooting .308 Winchester in loose 7.62x51mm NATO chambers, it is my sincere hope that I will never be proven right and that you will live a long and incident-free life spent chuckling about that ridiculous paranoid ammo article you once read. Just do me a favor, and don't shoot next to me at the range.