Four 7.62 Calibers For Everything

Four 7.62 Calibers For Everything

Title is a little misleading, right?  Exactly which 7.62 mm are we referring to?  For those of you who do not know, 7.62 translates to 308, which is the bullet diameter.

The title of the article was going to be “All you need is a 308.”  However, when we discuss the 7.62×39, some basement baby couch commando will start babbling about how the 7.62×39 will sometimes measure .310.

Let’s go ahead and throw this out there, whether you are prepping for the end of the world, or deer hunting, one of these four calibers will probably be all you need.

7.62 x 39

Developed in 1944, this popular cartridge shows no signs of fading into the shadows anytime soon.

Maybe its popularity is due to the shiploads of SKS rifles imported into the U.S.A.?  Maybe the popularity of the 7.62×39 is because the AK-47 is chambered in it?

One thing is for sure, the SKS and the AK-47 are some of the most reliable rifles on the planet.  Even the WASR-10 has a reputation for being reliable. The Ak Operators Union, Local 47-74 put over 10,000 rounds through though a WASR-10, and had only a handful of malfunctions.

Over the decades, I have owned a Ruger Mini-30, SKS and two AK-47 rifles.  When it comes to a rifle that needs to get dirty or banged up, I reach for the AK.

Ammunition is cheap and plentiful.  With ballistics slightly less than the 30-30 Winchester, the 7.62×39 can be used for deer sized game.

30-30 Winchester

Marlin 336 30-30 Winchester

Besides muzzle-loaders, which had a head start by several hundred years, the 30-30 Winchester has probably killed more deer than any other caliber.

Developed in 1895, the 30-30 Winchester shows no signs over ever losing popularity.

Why is the 30-30 so popular?  Probably because it is very effective on whitetail deer sized game.  In the southern piney woods of the united States, one would be hard pressed to find a better deer cartridge than the 30-30 Winchester.

My personal 30-30 is a Marlin 336 that was made in 1976.

308 Winchester



Developed in 1951, the 308 is used by the military, law enforcement, target shooters, and hunters.

Whether you want a military grade semi-automatic rifle for the end of the world (e.g. FN/FAL, PTR-91, M1A), are a target shooter or deer hunter, the 308 offers well rounded performance and accuracy.

One of the nice things about the 308 is the wide range of ammunition.  Whether you are stockpiling ammo for a collapse, deer hunter, or target shooter, there is something on the market to suit your needs.

My daughter took her first whitetail deer with my DS Arms FN/FAL.  Who says military style firearms have no sporting purpose?

30-06 Springfield

Whitetail deer taken with 30-06 Springfield

Whitetail deer taken with 30-06 Springfield.

Last, but certainly not least, is the 30-06 Springfield.  I would speculate the ’06 has killed almost as many deer as the 30-30 Winchester, but not quit.  However, the ’06 has certainly killed more people than the 30-30.

The ’06 has served the United States military for over 100 years, and is still in use today.

Why do so many sportsmen reach for the 30-06?  Maybe because of the history behind the cartridge?  Maybe is is because of accuracy and ammo selection?  While those may play a factor, the honest truth is, the 30-06 is an excellent all around caliber.

Hornady 7th edition reloading manual list reloading information for 110 – 220 grain bullets.

Speer reloading manual number 11, bought in 1989, list reloading information for 100 – 200 grain bullets.

With a range of bullet weights, accurate and hard hitting, the ’06 is a well rounded rifle cartridge.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this list will get some feedback, both positive and negative.  Some people may say, “Kevin, what about the 270, 7mm-08, 280, 300 Win. Mag… etc.”

We all know dozens of calibers that are well suited for target shooting and hunting.  However, the 7.62 (.308) caliber family does it all.  Whether it is prepping for the end of the world, military applications, or sitting in a stand on opening morning, something from this family will fit the bill.



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October 12, 2017 at 11:15AM


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