.223 vs .308 vs 7.62x39
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default .223 vs .308 vs 7.62x39

so im sure we can all agree that these are the three dominant rifle rounds out there. but which one is best? what makes it the best? im not interested in the guns they're fired out of im only interested in your opinion of the round and for the ease of comparison lets just assume we're talking about semi auto performance cause I'll probably never own a class 3. things that made my decisions for me were weight, recoil, accuracy, cost and knockdown plus other little things. taking all of those things into consideration my vote goes for the .223 taking the cake and .308 coming in at number two and sorry to all you AK guys out there but the 7.62x39 rounds ruin a perfectly good rifle design... just my opinion what's yours?

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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308 for everything except recoil and price but the recoil won't kill you and the price isn't horrible either

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:06 PM   #3
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For CQB,
5.56X45
7.63X51
7.62X39
in that order.

For long range work,
7.62X51
5.56X45
7.62X39

For ammo cost
7.62X39
5.56X45
7.62X51

For accuracy of rifles chambered
5.56X45
7.62X51
7.62X39

If I could only have one it would be a 5.56. If I could have two, I'd add the 7.62X51

Since I can have all three, I do!

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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Each has a niche. The 7.62 X 39 for inexpensive, reasonable power, man size accuracy to "maybe" 200 yards. The 5.56 for slightly more expensive, reasonable power, man size accuracy to 400 yards or so (for most folks). The 7.62 X 51 for even more expensive, high power, man size accuracy to 600 yards (once again for most folks).

Depending on the "mission" each has a purpose. IMHO there is little the 'X 39 will do that the 5.56 cannot do better (with the right ammo). The 'X 51 is in a different category (battle rifle cartridge) than the other two so comparison is a little unfair.

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Old 12-03-2012, 11:42 PM   #5
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Well, two of the cartridges you are asking about are "intermediate" cartridges which are designed to work best in short light carbines at ranges inside of 300-400 meters.

The .308 which is similar to the 7.62x51 NATO round kind of misses the intermediate cartridge niche. Sure it is a shortened .30-06 round but still requires a larger heavier rifle and has a bit more velocity and energy than required for intermediate distances. Then there is the 5.45x39 round out there that isn't even mentioned.

The 5.56 and 7.62x39 are both good cartridges in their designed effective range envelope. The 5.56 may edge out the 7.62x39 in quality of manufacture and QA threshold thta it is held to. For inherent accuracy though there is nothing wrong with either cartridge. The 7.62x39 case is actually used as teh basis of some very accurate match cartridges because of the more "square load" that the case affoards, which actually allows for more consistent powder burn times. 6mm PPC is one such cartridge.

As someone else said, a lot would depend on the job that needs to get done. Defeating soft armor, auto glass, car bodies, light cover and still having enough energy to incapacitate a hostile may be performed better by the 7.62x39.

Control under rapid fire, and ability to pack more ammo over a longer period of time and in less space may become a consideration to some. Being manufactured to a higher standard and needing precision out of a mil grade round may be better represented by the 5.56, as well as limiting penetration in close quarters.

No clear winner.

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Old 12-03-2012, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSGN_Doc
Well, two of the cartridges you are asking about are "intermediate" cartridges which are designed to work best in short light carbines at ranges inside of 300-400 meters.

The .308 which is similar to the 7.62x51 NATO round kind of misses the intermediate cartridge niche. Sure it is a shortened .30-06 round but still requires a larger heavier rifle and has a bit more velocity and energy than required for intermediate distances. Then there is the 5.45x39 round out there that isn't even mentioned.

The 5.56 and 7.62x39 are both good cartridges in their designed effective range envelope. The 5.56 may edge out the 7.62x39 in quality of manufacture and QA threshold thta it is held to. For inherent accuracy though there is nothing wrong with either cartridge. The 7.62x39 case is actually used as teh basis of some very accurate match cartridges because of the more "square load" that the case affoards, which actually allows for more consistent powder burn times. 6mm PPC is one such cartridge.

As someone else said, a lot would depend on the job that needs to get done. Defeating soft armor, auto glass, car bodies, light cover and still having enough energy to incapacitate a hostile may be performed better by the 7.62x39.

Control under rapid fire, and ability to pack more ammo over a longer period of time and in less space may become a consideration to some. Being manufactured to a higher standard and needing precision out of a mil grade round may be better represented by the 5.56, as well as limiting penetration in close quarters.

No clear winner.
Dont overlook the 300 Blackout which seems to be gaining in popularity as an alternative to both the 7.62 x 39 and the 5.56.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:16 AM   #7
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My mission is killing critters the 308 wins without any thought. If I am going to drop $1000 on a rifle none of the selections make the grade. The 30/06 and it's versatility kicks the snot out of any cartridge mentioned by the OP. I am to old and my body is to wore out to even consider a combat mission. Hell just shoot and roll is all I can handle in combat tactics. I can get that done with a 30/06 BAR. By the time I shoot five shots I am done rolling.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:34 AM   #8
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The .308/7.62 NATO hand down, Why ? Just because it is.................

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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I have 2 .308s Win M 100 and Ruger Gunsight Scout, so .308 my vote

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Old 12-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
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OP, Everyone will have a different opinion. Put the 7.62x39 in a short action bolt and it is a great cartridge capible of very accurate work. Not being a small person, I have not found the 7.62x51 an issue in any platform, although the cycle rate seems to be less in autos. Not a big fan if 5.56 unless it is a bolt gun. Now 5.45x39 is a dandy little cartridge that performs much better in the existing semi and auto platforms that it is common in. 7.62x51 has zero in common w/ either 5.56 or 7.62x39. 7.62x39 was original developed in the Soviet Union because of their experiance w/ the 7.62x25 in the burp gun. Instead of a sub gun, just send in waves of men w/ 7.62x39 and over run the enemy.

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