|Introduction Date: 1954|
|Service Length: 1954-Present|
|Parent Case: .30-06 Springfield|
|Case Type: Rimless, Bottleneck|
|Bullet Diameter: 0.308 in (7.82 mm)|
|Neck Diameter: 0.345 in (8.8 mm)|
|Base Diameter: 0.470 in (11.9 mm)|
|Rim Diameter: 0.473 in (12.0 mm)|
|Rim Thickness: 0.050 in (1.3 mm)|
|Case Length: 2.015 in (51.2 mm)|
|Overall Length: 2.750 in (69.9 mm)|
|Primer Type: Large Rifle|
|Maximum Pressure: 60,191 psi (415.00 MPa)|
|Bullet Weight/Type: |
The 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge is used mostly by NATO forces. It is larger and heavier than the other standard NATO round, the 5.56×45mm NATO. It was developed in the 1950s, for the M60 medium machine gun and the M14 rifle. When the M14 was superseded by the M16, the 7.62×51mm NATO was mostly replaced by the smaller 5.5×45mm NATO. However, it is still the standard round for medium machine guns, either mobile, mounted or even vehicle mounted, and for many sniper rifles.
Being a standard round for NATO countries, many of which are big weapons producers, the 7.62×51mm NATO would be widely available in the apocalyptic zombie world. It is available to civilians in some countries, and should easily be found in abandoned NATO bases all across the world.
.308 Winchester (.308WIN)Edit
A note should be made on the civilian .308 Winchester cartridge, commonly referred to as '3-oh-8', which is the most popular big game cartridge in the world and should be easy to find, even after an outbreak. It is the cartridge that the 7.62×51mm NATO is based on but the specification of the rounds are not identical. .308WIN cartridges generate higher pressures than the 7.62×51mm NATO counterpart and should only be fired from weapons chambered specifically for .308 Winchester. The compatibility is a one way street, 7.62mm NATO rounds can be fired from a .308 rifle, .308 cannot be fired (safely) from a 7.62mm NATO rifle.
Being the heavier NATO round it is mostly used on NATO's medium machine guns, like the M60, FN MAG (also known as M240) and MG-3. It is also used by many battle and sniper rifles like the Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR, M21, M24, M110 semiautomatic sniper system and more. Like said before, the .308 Winchester is the most popular big game cartridge in the world and is used on many hunting rifles.