The discussion between 7.62x39 and 308mm calibers has been doing rounds for many years now. Both categories have their pros and cons depending on various factors and concerns. But more importantly, when it comes making a choice of handgun for security purposes, the buck always stops at the predilection of the gun holder. However, it is also ideal to get an expert advice regarding the particular type to consider when making apurchase.

This article looks into major differences regarding features of these calibers to provide the buyer with purchasing option.

Some vital aspects that you should have in mind when choosing a gun include weight, size, power, recoil, manufacturer, cost, and purpose of buying it. Looking at 7.62x39 and 308mm cartridges, most of their features rather compliment the basicobjectives and their suitability. If you are a novice in matters surrounding guns, it is of utmost primacy to ensure that you understand the different elements revolving around each category before finally making a choice on which one to have at home.

It is imperative to be specific in selecting a type that meets your requirements, and it will enable you to attain the efficiency needed. Essentially, what it all implies is that you should never make a purchase of any gun for the sake of it but rather determine the specific purpose and prioritize your needs.

Comparison Chart




Place of origin

Soviet Union

United States




Case type

Rimless, bottleneck

Rimless, Bottleneck

Parent case

300 Blackout

.300 Savage

Primer type

Boxer Large Rifle (brass),

Berdan (steel case)

Large Rifle

Overall length

2.205 in

2.800 in

Bullet diameter

0.312 in

0.308 in

Neck diameter

0.339 in

0.3433 in

Shoulder diameter

0.396 in

0.4539 in

Base diameter

0.447 in

0.4709 in

Rim diameter

0.447 in

0.4728 in

Rim thickness

0.0539 in

0.059 in

Case length

1.524 in

2.015 in

Case capacity

2.31 cm3 (35.6 gr H2O)

3.64 cm³ (56 gr H2O)

Rifling twist

240 mm (1 in 9.45 in)

1:12 in (305 mm)


Origin of this round can be traced back to 1944, during World War II, in the Soviet Union, when the Soviets were in quest of a multipurpose cartridge that could be used in different sorts of weapons to simplify the process during war. It was in the view of countering the US who had someweapons that could use similar round efficiently. Some of the platforms they had in mind included, SKS, AK-47, and RPD among others. Further minor developments occurred throughout 20thcentury, and it continued to be Soviet standard cartridge until the 1970s.

On the contrary, while 7.62x39 was developed as a military caliber, the .308 was introduced a sporting round in 1952 but originated during WW 1. It was an army weapon T65 and machine gun cartridge that was commercially modified. In 1932, it was rejected because a better alternative that could offer better performance was found but then later revived during WW II to find a way of equipping NATO militaries with single rifle and cartridge.

The 308 has been embraced by many countries albeit in different rifles. Presently, it is regarded as one of the big game calibers in the industry used by various types of shooters. Apparently, most of the manufacturers produce this cartridge for purposes of sporting and hunting activities.

Steel-cased 7.62×39mm FMJ cartridge

Steel-cased 7.62×39mm FMJ cartridge

.308 Winchester

.308 Winchester

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If you want to get best result regarding comparing the ballistics of two different calibers, it’s only fair if you consider choosing cartridges of the same brand that probably use matching weapons. This way, you come to understand that values are inclined to alterations from varying manufacturers and accuracy can only be achieved by carrying out the tests repeatedly with other brands.

7.62x39 and .308 have different ballistics. In this case, the former is a transitional cartridge while the latter is a full power cartridge that has relatively heavy shells and high muzzle speed. Preferably, .308 is ideal for long range power. The .308 also seems to be comparatively heavy than the 7.62x39.

Ballistically, 7.62x39 is suitable at CQB/HD since it tends to lose force at 16” barrel. 308 in comparison to 7.62x39 is remarkable t most of the things provided that you use an 18+” barrel. Nevertheless, it depends on the manufacturers where some produce the latter that have a considerable weight though it should be noted that the lighter cartridges compared to .380 from reputable brands are more efficient.

The essence of this is that the caliber for each of 7.62x39 and .308 are designed to aim short and long trails. It also suggests that muzzle velocities and bullet energies are also different in both of these calibers.

The bullet in a 7.62x39 has a diameter of .312, which can also imply that the cartridge is less powerful than .308. The length of the case for .308 is about 51mm while that of 7.62x39 is 39mm. The .308 also safe and when you observant you shall realize that it is stamped on the barrel.

One main similarity between these two cartridges is that they have the necessary power for halting any kind of undertaking that you would wish to bring down. They both have sturdy bullet energy with the ability to deliver more than 1000 pounds pressure.

The .380 seemingly is far-reaching compared to 7.62x39,but it does not essentially show that it is a better option to choose between the two.

New Golden Tiger 7.62x39 1000 rounds

New Golden Tiger 7.62x39 1000 rounds

Power and range

In terms ofpower, .308 is regarded as one of the highly prolific snipers/DMR calibers. 7.62x39 works better with relatively longer barrels in terms of achieving ideal accuracy at range. Nonetheless, it does not make logic walking with a longer barrel since it does not substantially benefit from the additional length. Actually, the extra 4” will not make any significant difference rather than maneuverability.

The .308, on the other hand, is more accurate, and this is attributed to the fact that it has nicer iron sights compared to the 7.62x39. However, it should be noted that it was not developed with accuracy in mind but rather reliability and dependability. 7.62x39 shoots efficiently between the range of 400-600 meters, and at times it can shoot beyond that.

In general, the .380 is largely superior when used in shooting long range compared to the 7.62x39.

Remington UMC Ammunition 308 Winchester 150 Grain Full Metal Jacket

Remington UMC Ammunition 308 Winchester 150 Grain Full Metal Jacket


This is another essential thing that you need to know how in regards to comparing these two calibers. The 7.62x39 is manufactured in abundance in most of the former USSR block. Presently, the cost is becoming seemingly large because of the difference in components and quantity of the cartridge. Both 7.62x39 and .308 come with different components, which on paper appear to be minor bit importantly, enough to substantiate the variance in cost. Gunpowder and primers that are used in manufacturing the guns are relatively costly and dangerous thus affecting the difference in pricing.

However, 7.62x39 is more economical that .308 because the latter is more of picky with the powder. In most cases, you also tend to incur additional costs because you need to move the .308 from AR platform to an AR-10.

In terms of reloading, the cost is somewhat same. However, the .308 seems to be more popular than the 7.62x39 when it comes to usage, which simply means that many people own it compared to the 7.62x39.


The good thing with both of these calibers is that they are readily available in many of the ammo stores. It, therefore, means that if you choose either, you will have less time looking for them in major shops dealing with these items. However, if perhaps you reside in the countryside that has few penetrable areas, you should consider going for .308 between the two. The main reason for this is because with .308 you are always assured of getting it any specific time given that most of the ammo manufacturers, especially in the US tend to produce it in large quantity.

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At the end of it all, your particular choice will heavily depend on the needs you wish to utilize the gun in. Ordinarily, you can decide to buy a gun for home safety, others for hunting and sporting among others. Some are large while other provide amazing concealability, which means that they would be ideal to carry along for personal security.

Therefore, ensure that you make a decision based on an informed choice that you will never regret later for undertaking as a result of any kind of inconvenience.


We cannot essentially declare any of these two calibers as an outright winner and consequently an ideal choice. In discussions regarding these calibers such as this one, you realize that advantages of 7.62x39 are disadvantages of .308 and vice versa thus making it hard to come up with a clear-cut declaration on the particular one to choose as the ideal one.

But as it has been outlined in the article, if you are seeking a powerful caliber that can shoot in the long range you better go for .308 given that it has all it takes to give you the best results. 7.62x39, on the other hand, is also ideal for users with relativelysmallbudget; it is easy to use and also offer accuracy. Therefore, the best thing, in this case, is to make a choice based on your preferences and needs.


This article does not in any manner favor any caliber over the other but only gives insights to those who have the desire to buy guns or go out there on a shooting adventure to simply be well-informed and have the understanding of various aspects revolving around the type of caliber that they are choosing. It thus serves as an educational post rather than a critic.

The Vital Aspects You Should Know About 7.62×39 Vs. 308
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