Ammo calibres

#1
When the West (US, UK and most of EU) created their new rifles at the hight of the cold war why didn't they choose to adopt the same calibre as the current Russian rifle 7.62x39mm?

I would have thought that if during the battles of World War 3 troops took large enemy strongholds they would then have had use of the (tens of?) thousands of rounds of ammo stored there.

As far as I'm aware there were virtually no rifles in the west either civvie or military that was chambered to fire Eastern block ammunition and I would guess the same in Russia.

Was it ever a serious thought of the leading powers to use the same ammo as their potential enemies or was a different calibre chosen deliberatly to ensure enemy ammunition couldn't be used?
 
#3
Your argument is precisely why we don;thave the same ammo; cos if we did have the same calibre and were losing the WWIII, then the Ruskis would have thousands of rounds of ammo to throw back at us!!!!
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#4
you forget, or maybe never knew, that the nato plan was a defensive battle, we never had a plan to invade russia.

read tom clancy - red storm rising.

thanks though.
 
#5
REMEbrat said:
When the West (US, UK and most of EU) created their new rifles at the hight of the cold war why didn't they choose to adopt the same calibre as the current Russian rifle 7.62x39mm?

I would have thought that if during the battles of World War 3 troops took large enemy strongholds they would then have had use of the (tens of?) thousands of rounds of ammo stored there.

As far as I'm aware there were virtually no rifles in the west either civvie or military that was chambered to fire Eastern block ammunition and I would guess the same in Russia.

Was it ever a serious thought of the leading powers to use the same ammo as their potential enemies or was a different calibre chosen deliberatly to ensure enemy ammunition couldn't be used?
A couple of nations did this. Both the Finns and the Chinese adopted the 7.62x39mm exactly so they could use captured Russian ammo stocks in a conflict situation. The Finns have also stayed with the 7.6x39 rather than going to 5.56 or 5.45 because it is better able to penetrate heavy pine brush than the smaller calibres.
 
#7
Didn't the Russian weapons (7.62) accept our ammo, but our weapons wouldn't accept the Russian ammo? Something to do with it being slightly bigger.

Heard it but don't know if was true or not.

As for the penetration power of the rounds in to pine forests, I have seen pine bushes stop loads of rounds. I suggested the planting of more pine in Iraq and Afganistan, in particular around the British bases.

You could also strap pine branches to your body if you needed more protection.
 
#8
chocolate_frog said:
Didn't the Russian weapons (7.62) accept our ammo, but our weapons wouldn't accept the Russian ammo? Something to do with it being slightly bigger.

Heard it but don't know if was true or not.

As for the penetration power of the rounds in to pine forests, I have seen pine bushes stop loads of rounds. I suggested the planting of more pine in Iraq and Afganistan, in particular around the British bases.

You could also strap pine branches to your body if you needed more protection.
No.

Pine branches aren't very effective against stopping FMJ rounds but they'll probably stop 7.62x39 (Sov) rounds easier than the NATO rounds.
 
#9
chocolate_frog said:
I have seen pine bushes stop loads of rounds. I suggested the planting of more pine in Iraq and Afganistan, in particular around the British bases.

You could also strap pine branches to your body if you needed more protection.
snigger snigger...
 
#10
I don't think anyone seriously considered that we might get the chance to go on the offensive against WP.

China, on the other hand, always planned to attack, attack, attack as a way of neutralising the Soviet firepower advantage. They'd been given the patterns and tooling back when they were all still fraternal communist brothers and didn't have the know-how to retool when they fell out, what with having killed, purged or exiled everyone who could do the engineering.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
7.62 Russian is a .311 bullet. That is the same nominal diameter as the .303 british, the cases are all different. 7.62 X39 is commercially loaded and I have a CZ527 carbine in that calibre. I use it for woodland stalking. 7.62X54R is the older cartridge and is still used in Finland for moose stalking. It comes with a hefty 220 grain bullet which is pretty effective. None of the Russian ammo has ever been able to be chambered in any Nato weapons. The calibre dates back to the Imperial russian era and only changed to a short rimless case in 1943 with the M43 round which was chambered in the SKS. This became the standard round till the early 80's when as a result of Nato allegedly standardising on 5.56 they adopted the 5.45mm round. They still used the older ammo including the 54R in MMGs. They tend not to chuck too much away. The US being fond of the cartridge offer the chambering in .308 (7.62 X 51mm Nato) or in original russian .311. This means that reloading dies tend to come with both expander balls. It has also been proven that loading either bullet in the weapons wont affct pressure or accuracy so maybe they had a good thing! I like it as its capable of taking deer in woodland which is generally close range and I dont have to worry aout a 2 mile danger template!
 
#12
chocolate_frog said:
Didn't the Russian weapons (7.62) accept our ammo, but our weapons wouldn't accept the Russian ammo? Something to do with it being slightly bigger.

Heard it but don't know if was true or not.
I heard that too... what a load of bull...

NATO is 7.62 x 51 and AK47 x 39 referring to the cartridge length. I doubt stuffing a 51mm cartridge into a 39mm chamber is going to work.

As for the AK ammunition, with 12 mm less propellant I guess it's going to it'll have to have much lighter bullet to travel at the same velocity. If I was designing it I'd make it go about the same speed 750m/s and only weigh two thirds... rather than cutting on speed which would serously reduce killing power. So I'd get about two thirds the kinetic energy... and that I suppose would be the relative effectiveness.

I must try and find someone who knows about bullets
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#13
I generally uses a 125 grain bullet over the original Nato 146 grain bullet. Nato ball is now heavier with sniper ammo going up to 168 grains. I load mine to make 1750 foot lbs which is about 2550 feet per second with a 125 grain soft point. The military loads make about 1450 foot pounds and are anemic in comparisom. They will still hit the black at 600 yards though!
 
#14
Do I detect a hint of scepticism in the air about why the Finns stayed with 7.62x39? The Finn's experiences against the Russians in the Winter War of 1939 casts a long shadow over their doctrine and taught them the benefit of being able to use captured ammunition.

As for the pines thing, I am afraid that it is a simple fact that the 7.62x39 with a mild steel core bullet is better at penetrating light cover than 5.56 NATO. The SS109 bullet destablises very easily, breaks at the cannelure and tends to shatter into pieces. The Russian bullet will also be deflected by twigs and such, but tends to stay in one piece.

The American Rifleman magazine showed this quite conclusively in a series of tests on this subject some years back.
 
#15
7.62 x 51 WILL chamber in 7.62 x 54 R, but will not feed and extract properly. I have tried it with a primed case, but have not tried it with a live round (there is 0.4 mm clearance at the case web, i.e. 0.2 mm all around , but it headspaces okay on the shoulder).

I have tried loading .308 bullets in the 7.62 x 54 R., but accuracy was shocking (not that my barrel is terribly good and not that I get good accuracy from the correct bullets, but this was significantly worse).
 
#18
Given that the main two Soviet calibres were adopted in 1891 and 1943, it is hard to make the case that adoption of these calibres was to ensure that their ammunition would not be compatible with NATO weapons.

By "hard" read "impossible".
 
#19
It's all philosophical.

You have to remember the Soviet war experience, they fought a lot of BIG urban battles - ie. Stalingrad, Berlin. The Soviets (Germans too) basically concluded you didn't need that 'extra bite'. Development had already started on a new rifle and cartridge when the war ended - the SKS rifle and 7.62/39.

The Western Allies used conventional rifles (Commonwealth were still bolt action) more conventionally than the Soviets. LEnfields, Garands and Brens were still standard issue in Korea. There was simply a large surplus post war - (thought process: we have millions of used stuff lying around, why change? we won why change?)
 
#20
Another major issue is that we were broke at the end of the war...
 

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