7.62×51 NATO / .308 Winchester

7.62×51 NATO / .308 Winchester

This round started its life in early 1950s as a .30 T65, an experimental cartridge for the US Army’s ‘light rifle’ program. The T65 round was intended to replace the older and overly long .30-06 military round, while retaining similar ballistics. In 1955 it was adopted as a NATO standard rifle and machine gun ammunition, and is still used in this role in all NATO countries and many other as well. In mid-1950s it was also introduced as a commercial round by Winchester, and in this guise it is known as .308 Winchester, and is highly sucessful. Many countries still use military weapons in this caliber (mostly machine guns and sniper rifles, as well as some semi-automatic or selective-fire ‘battle’ rifles). Civilian weapons (hunting, target etc) for .308 Winchester are produced in many countries and in large numbers, and this cartridge (in both civilian and military versions) remains one of the most popular rifle cartridges to date.
Designation Bullet weight, g Muzzle velocity, m/s Muzzle energy, J Comments
M59 ball 9.7 845 3470 with pointed FMJ bullet
M80 ball 9.5 850 3380 with pointed FMJ bullet
M118 ball 11.15 815 3695 with pointed boat-tailed FMJ bullet, for sniper rifles

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