Can You Shoot 7.62×39 & 7.62×51 In .308 Rifle?

The 7.62×39 and .308 are two different calibers of rifle ammunition. They are not interchangeable, meaning that a .308 rifle cannot shoot 7.62×39 ammunition and vice versa. This is because the size and shape of the bullet, as well as the pressure and velocity of the cartridge, are different between the two.

Attempting to shoot 7.62×39 ammunition in a .308 rifle can be dangerous and could result in serious injury or death. It is therefore important to make sure that you are using the correct caliber of ammunition for your rifle.

Why Are Calibers of Bullets Important?

Calibers of bullets are important because they determine the size of the bullet and the type of firearm that can fire it. They also determine how much energy the bullet will produce and how much recoil the shooter will experience when firing the weapon.

  • The caliber also affects the accuracy and range of the bullet, as the size of the bullet affects the amount of air resistance it will encounter.

Difference Between the 7.62×39 and the .308

The 7.62×39 is an intermediate rifle cartridge developed in the Soviet Union in 1943 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. It is the most widely used intermediate rifle cartridge in the world and is primarily used in rifles such as the SKS and the AK-47.

  • The 7.62x39mm cartridge is capable of shooting out a 125-grain bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,350 feet per second, with an effective range of 300 meters.

On the contrary, the .308 Winchester, also known as 7.62x51mm NATO. It is a full-power rifle cartridge developed in 1952 in the United States. It is a rimless, bottlenecked rifle cartridge, and one of the most popular rounds for hunting, target shooting, and military use.

  • The .308 Winchester is capable of shooting out a 150-grain bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet per second, with an effective range of 800 yards.

The Main Difference:

The basic difference between the 7.62×39 and the .308 Winchester is the power.

  • The 7.62×39 is an intermediate cartridge, while the .308 Winchester is a full-power cartridge.
  • And the .308 Winchester has a higher muzzle velocity and a longer effective range than the 7.62×39.

Can You Shoot 7.62×39 in Your .308 Rifle?

No, you cannot shoot 7.62×39 in a .308 rifle as the two cartridges have different case lengths, diameters, pressures, and bullets.

Cartridge Dimensions:

The 7.62x39mm cartridge has significantly different dimensions from the .308 Winchester cartridge.

  • The 7.62x39mm has a smaller case diameter and a shorter overall length compared to the .308 Winchester.
  • The .308 Winchester cartridge is slightly longer, with a larger diameter and higher pressure than the 7.62x39mm cartridge.
  • The .308 Winchester bullet is also heavier, making it unsuitable for use in a rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge.

Pressure Differences:

The two cartridges operate at different pressure levels. Attempting to fire a cartridge in a firearm that it is not specifically designed for can lead to excessive pressures, which may cause the firearm to malfunction or even explode.

Chamber and Bolt:

The chambers and bolts of firearms designed for .308 Winchester and 7.62x39mm are not interchangeable. Thus you should not chamber a 7.62x39mm cartridge in a .308 Winchester chamber.

Is 7.62×39 Compatible With 308?

No, the 7.62×39 and .308 are not compatible. Because-

  • The 7.62x39mm is a Soviet-designed intermediate cartridge designed for the AK-47, while the .308 is a full-powered rifle cartridge designed for use in the M14 and M1A rifles.

The two cartridges are not interchangeable due to their different dimensions and pressures.

  • The .308 is a rimless, bottleneck cartridge, while the 7.62×39 is a rimmed, straight-walled case.
  • Furthermore, the .308 is also much more powerful than the 7.62×39, with a larger case and higher pressures.

Are 308 and 7.62 Rounds Interchangeable?

No, 308 and 7.62 rounds are not interchangeable. The two cartridges are similar in appearance but have huge differences too.

  • The 308 round is designed to be used in a rifle with a .308-inch bore diameter and the 7.62 round is designed to be used in a rifle with a 7.62mm bore diameter.
  • The two rounds are also loaded with different powder charges and have different bullet weights.

So, they cannot be used interchangeably in the same firearm.

Is 7.62 x39 the Same as .308 Ammo?

No, 7.62×39 and 308 are not the same. 7.62×39 is a Russian rifle cartridge commonly used in the AK-47 and SKS rifles, while 308 is a rifle cartridge used in the M14 and M1 Garand rifles.

The differences between the two are in the caliber, bullet diameter, bullet weight, and muzzle velocity.

  • 7.62×39 has a caliber of 7.62mm, a bullet diameter of .310 inches, a bullet weight of approximately 123 grains, and a muzzle velocity of around 2,400 feet per second.
  • On the other hand, 308 has a caliber of 7.62mm, a bullet diameter of .308 inches, a bullet weight of approximately 150 grains, and a muzzle velocity of around 2,800 feet per second.

Can You Shoot 7.62×51 in a .308 Rifle?

Yes, in most cases, you can safely shoot 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition in a .308 Winchester rifle. The two cartridges, while not identical, are very similar and share nearly identical dimensions. Both cartridges use a .308-inch diameter bullet and have similar overall case dimensions.

However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

  • Chamber Specifications: While the cartridges are similar, there can be slight differences in chamber specifications between rifles labeled for .308 Winchester and those for 7.62x51mm NATO. In general, rifles chambered for .308 Winchester are built to handle slightly higher pressures than those chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO. This means that shooting 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition in a .308 rifle is usually safe, but the reverse is not necessarily true.
  • Firearm Specifics: Before shooting 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition in a .308 rifle, it’s recommended to consult the rifle’s manufacturer or a knowledgeable gunsmith to ensure that your specific firearm is capable of safely firing both types of ammunition.
  • Pressure Considerations: If you’re considering shooting surplus military 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition, be aware that some of this ammunition can have slightly higher chamber pressures compared to commercial .308 Winchester loads. While most modern .308 rifles can handle this pressure difference, it’s important to be aware of and consider when selecting ammunition.
  • Accuracy and Performance: While the two cartridges are similar, there might be some slight variations in accuracy and performance due to differences in manufacturing tolerances and pressure levels. Some rifles might shoot both types of ammunition equally well, while others could have a preference for one over the other.

Shooting 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition should be safe for most modern firearms chambered in .308 Winchester. But if you have any doubts or concerns, it’s best to consult with experts or professionals who are familiar with your specific firearm to ensure safe and reliable performance.

Can You Shoot 7.62×51 in a 30-06?

No, you cannot shoot 7.62x51mm ammunition in a firearm chambered for .30-06 Springfield. While both cartridges have similarities, they are not interchangeable due to important differences in their dimensions, pressures, and overall specifications.

30-06″ refers to the .30-06 Springfield cartridge, one of the most iconic and widely used rifle cartridges in history. The term “30-06” provides valuable information about the cartridge’s key characteristics:

  • Caliber: The “30” indicates the caliber of the bullet, which is .30 inches in diameter. This is a common caliber measurement for many rifle cartridges.
  • Year: The “-06” part of the name refers to the year 1906. The .30-06 Springfield cartridge was officially adopted by the United States military in the year 1906.

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge was originally developed for use in the M1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle, which was the standard-issue rifle for the U.S. military for several decades. The cartridge gained popularity due to its effective performance, versatility, and wide range of bullet weights and loadings available.

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge has a longer case length, and greater overall length, and operates at higher pressures compared to the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. Attempting to fire 7.62x51mm ammunition in a .30-06 chamber could lead to dangerous malfunctions, including chamber pressure that exceeds safe limits. This can result in damage to the firearm and pose serious risks to the shooter and those around them.

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge has seen extensive use in military conflicts, hunting, and competitive shooting. It has a rich history and remains a popular choice among firearm enthusiasts for various applications.

Finally, Let’s Demolishing Confusion Among .308, 30-06, and 7.62

Ever been baffled by those numbers on your ammo? Let’s clear the air around .308, 30-06, and 7.62 calibers in a straightforward way.

Here’s the scoop: when you see 7.62 or .300, it’s about the bore diameter (that’s the hole inside the barrel). But .308? That’s the bullet or groove diameter (the twisty bits inside the barrel).

Think of 38 Special – it doesn’t shoot .38″ bullets but .357″ ones. Weird, right? Now, meet the oddballs like 7.62x51R (30-30) and 7.62×51 NATO (.308 Win). They’re like cousins with the same groove diameter, but their names play tricks.

Here comes the math part: .308 bullet x 25.4 = 7.82mm, which explains the 7.82 Lazzeroni Warbird. Neat, huh?

And guess what? The .30-06 is pals with 7.62x63mm NATO, while .308 pals around with 7.62×51 NATO. They’re .30 caliber bullets, but .308″ wide.

Wrap your head around this: a .300″ bore is standard for most .30 caliber guns. The grooves? They’re .308″, which equals 7.82mm. It’s why the 7.62 NATO is a military twin of .308 Win.

Change a hair-thin groove size and you get different calibers. Cut tiny .005″ grooves in a .300″ bore and you’ve got the US 1917 Enfield, rocking .310″ groove for .308″ bullets.

Enlarge the groove slightly to .311″ in a .300″ bore, and say hello to 7.62 Russians like 7.62x54R MN or 7.62×39 AK.

So, next time you’re sizing up .308, 30-06, or 7.62, you’ve got the keys to unlock the caliber maze.


What Ammo Can a .308 Shoot?

A 308 rifle can shoot any type of .308 or 7.62x51mm ammunition. This includes FMJ (Full Metal Jacket), hollow point, soft point, and tracer rounds.

Is 308 More Powerful than 7.62 x39?

No. The 7.62×39 is more powerful than the .308. The 7.62 x39 has more energy and more muzzle velocity than the .308.

Do Snipers Still Use 308?

Yes, snipers still use the .308 Winchester round (7.62x51mm NATO). It is an incredibly versatile and effective round, and it is still in use by many militaries and law enforcement agencies around the world.

Can an AK 47 Shoot a .308 Round?

No, an AK-47 is designed to fire a 7.62x39mm round, while a .308 round is designed to be fired by a rifle chambered in .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm NATO.

Can You Shoot 7.62 x51 in  .308 AR-10?

No, you cannot shoot 7.62 x51 in a 308 AR 10. The two calibers are not interchangeable and require a different rifle.

Will a .308 Shoot a 7.62 x 54?

No, a .308 is a different caliber than a 7.62×54. The two cartridges are not interchangeable.


No, you cannot shoot 7.62×39 in your .308 rifle, it’s for sure. The two rounds are not interchangeable, and using the wrong ammunition could cause serious damage to your rifle or even injury. But you can shoot 7.62 NATO aka 7.62 x 51 ammo in your .308 rifle while the reverse isn’t true.

You should stick to using the ammunition that is designed for your rifle to ensure its proper performance and safety.