Ok, before we kick the hornets’ nest of the great guns and ammo debate allow me to just put the debate to rest with the next sentence. 7.62 NATO (or .308 in “Merica”) is a cheap and widely available rifle round.
This should be enough to end the debate for most but for those die-hard gun guys who come up to me at trade shows asking about ballistic coefficients and rifle twists.
FYI, asking a sniper about this stuff is like asking Tom Brady if he prefers cowhide or pigskin footballs. I’m sure he, like most footballers asked this kind of question, really doesn’t give two shits. He just loves the game and is good at throwing a football (or at shooting in a sniper’s case).
The three reasons I really like the 7.62 NATO round are its availability, affordability, and practicality.
First, some history and then on to the why.
The 7.62 NATO Round and Why it was Developed
The round was made in the 1950s for two of the best guns I’ve had the pleasure of shooting. The M60 Machine gun (I feel like I should say grace every time I mention this holy machine gun of destruction!) and the M14. Both orgasmic to shoot.
I was an M60 gunner as a new guy SEAL and carried 800 rounds on me during contact live-fire drills. I loved that gun and playing off my other platoon machine gunners. Chug a chug…. let my other gunners pick up… then me again, chuga chuga chuga…. other gunners pick up the fire. We rotated to save ammo, and then when we’d be at the end of the belt we’d fire it all full-auto to signal to the other gunners that we needed to do an ammo change and they need to pick up the rate of fire. Oh man, I’m getting wood just typing this.
This Jesus cartridge was and is used by many military personnel worldwide on rifles, and crew-mounted (0r served) weapons.
Thank y0u 8lb baby Jesus.
On to my three reasons.
The Round’s Availability and Affordability
You can find .308 or 7.62 NATO at any large retailer that sells ammunition, Wallmart, Bass Pro or Cabelas come to mind. Most rounds will run you between 50 cents and one buck. More expensive “fancy” rounds, like .338 Lapua, will run you between three and five dollars a bullet.
For all you reloaders out there, good for you, I applaud you for it. But, and it’s a big butt (pun intended), I don’t want to spend my time reloading.
I want a stockpile of solid match grade 7.62 NATO in my safe, and I want to know if I have to “bug out” that I can easily find ammunition on the road, the internet, and most middle America garage sales!
The solution is the 7.62 NATO/.308.
Ease of finding ammo is key for me and should be for you and the round is EVERYWHERE and it’s CHEAP! And we all know the majority of gun-loving Americans don’t like parting with their hard-earned Benjamins.
The Practicality of 7.62 NATO
One of the best military rifles ever made in America was the M14. We can debate this later or in the comments if you really are itching for it.
I trained on 7.62 Nato M14 in Navy SEAL sniper school and wrote about the joys of shooting the M14 powered by Nato 7.62 in my memoir, The Red Circle.
The round is one of the best we have at the moment. And when the Israeli Artificial Intelligence-powered remote-operated hunting rifles come to town I’m sure your AI will agree with this author.