One of the quickest ways to get into an argument at the range is to ask your fellow shooters how .308 Win differs from 7.62x51mm NATO. The responses you’ll get will be across the board, with some insisting that they aren’t different at all, others arguing that they’re wildly different and more neutral parties admitting, in resignation, that they might be different.

The truth is, everyone would be right in some ways, and wrong in others.

But before you start knocking each other over the head with your break barrels, let’s explore the similarities that these two share. To best understand the situation, let’s do a bit of time traveling to the past.

The History of 7.62 NATO vs. .308 Winchester

Throughout the late-Forties and early-Fifties, military rocket surgeons endeavored to improve the efficacy of the M1 Garand and the .30-06 cartridge it used. The most obvious contender that was suited for higher capacity box mags was the newly-modified .300 Savage called the T65.