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Thread: Can you shoot .311 fmj bullets in a .308?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Can you shoot .311 fmj bullets in a .308?

    If a person had a bunch of .311 full metal jacket bullets for a 7.62x39 and wanted to shoot them in a.308, would you have to do anything to them before you load them? What would happen if you ran one through a .308 resizing die, would it size it just like normal?
    Anything that produces some sort of an explosion, can't be all bad.


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master mroliver77's Avatar
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    I have read opinions that the copper jacket will spring back while the lead will not causing a separation of the jacket from the core. I have thousands of 147gr bullets that were .311 pulled from 7.62X54. They have been run through a .308 die as you describe and measure .308. They shoot very well and I see no evidence of jacket separation.

    This might get me flogged but I have had various 7.62X39 duds and pulled the 123gr bullets from them. These bullet have very little bearing surface that measures the full .311. I load and shoot them with low to mid-range loads in my 39-06 with no sign of high pressure. I do not recommend this as safe but it has worked fine in my guns.
    Jay
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen

    "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
    Thomas Paine

  3. #3
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    firefly1957's Avatar
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    Why would you get flogged? I would like to see that 39-06 though!
    I commonly swage .357 jacketed bullets to .351 and they shoot fine.
    When I think back on all the **** I learned in high school it's a wonder I can think at all ! And then my lack of education hasn't hurt me none I can read the writing on the wall.

  4. #4
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    For what it's worth....only the very first Savage 99's in 303 Savage had 311 barrels. They then switched to 308 barrels but still loaded 311 jackted bullets in their ammunition. This raised the pressures slightly but also gave them the velocity they claimed.

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    Boolit Master Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    As long as you have enough neck clearance to release the bullet, I don't think it would be a problem. After all this is what Ruger did on at least the first run of Mini-Thirty rifles, large neck clearance and a .308" bore. Obviously work loads up carefully.

    Robert

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Like Firefly I too would like to see a 39-06. Such calibers are impressive.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    The end result of firing .311" bullets in a .308" bore is to ruin the accuracy of that barrel for standard .308" bullets. Try it and see. I've done it more than once, and find that it is an easy way to turn a good shooter into a mediocre one.

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    The Germans developed a barrel that started at .30 at the breech end, and ended us at .25 at the muzzle. Apparently very accurate and efficient, but the manufacturing of the barrels were cost prohibitive. As far as I see, I believe the bullet would be swaged down immediately on ignition of the charge, and would have negligible effect. Just a guess, though.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    There have been many experiments and developments of the squeeze bore effect.

    My favorite story is one written by Frank DeHaas when he was Technical Editor for the American Rifleman.

    A reader wrote that his Japanese Arisaka rifle kicked too hard although it was accurate and he had killed a number of deer with it. Frank asked him to ship it to him for evaluation. What he found was a 6.5mm Arisaka that was rechambered to fire .30-06 ammunition in the original bore. He was amazed that the rifle didn't blow up. It had actually fired .308" factory ammunition through a .264" bore, a reduction of some 44 thousands of an inch!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I reloaded a lot of rounds for my CETME rifle and at one time I was shooting those .311 bullets resized to .308 with no problems. However they were longer than standard .308 pulled NATO bullets so I had to alter my load a little to keep the pressure down, when seated to the same COL the bullet was actually deeper in the case.
    The last batch of those resized bullets were about as round as a stop sign so I lubed them and ran them thru a LEE .308 push thru sizer, it rounded them right up and they shot fine.

  11. #11
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    Bret4207's Avatar
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    Once again specifics come into play. What do the jacketed bullets actually measure and what does your barrel measure? Shooting a .311 bullet through a barrel micing .310/.302 is no different than shooting a .309 bullet through a .308/.300 barrel and barrel measurements vary widely as we all know. We mostly worry about the groove depth, in this case it would be the bore we're more concerned with.

    IMO, and it's just an opinion, there are probably lots of rifles being fired with bullets that don't really fit them. That part of why we always start low with new components and guns.

    Would I use the .311 bullets? Probably not in my 30's, but I have a lot of 31's.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the info guys. I'm not going to do this but I just wanted to make sure that it was possible and, judging from the responses, it is not all that unheard of. I'm working on a book and the main character is going to be using bullets out of 7.62x39 ammo and loading them in 308 cases to shoot through his fal.
    Anything that produces some sort of an explosion, can't be all bad.


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  13. #13
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    Doomer fiction?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    No. Someone taking out drug dealers and doing his best to disguise the fact and point the finger in other directions.
    Anything that produces some sort of an explosion, can't be all bad.


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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    I'm working on a book and the main character is going to be using bullets out of 7.62x39 ammo and loading them in 308 cases to shoot through his fal. . . . .Someone taking out drug dealers and doing his best to disguise the fact and point the finger in other directions.
    THAT being the case, i'd suggest a different action. Firing a .311 bullet through a .308 bore is going to swage it to a .308 bullet and still leave the rifling of the FAL anyway. It wouldn't deter anything from an investigation. In a fictional sense, I would approach it differently. I would get 7mm flat-based bullets (.284) and paper patch them up to a .308 caliber. Realistically, it's a long way to patch up and accuracy would fall off the table in short order most likely. However, it would carry very little or even no rifling trace from the bore it was fired from. It would throw a lot of confusion and sideways speculation into an investigation trying to follow up on recovered rounds fired at a scene.
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master mroliver77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckiller View Post
    Like Firefly I too would like to see a 39-06. Such calibers are impressive.
    I sure don't take much to entertain some folks! lol.
    Jay
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen

    "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
    Thomas Paine

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44minimum View Post
    Thanks for the info guys. I'm not going to do this but I just wanted to make sure that it was possible and, judging from the responses, it is not all that unheard of. I'm working on a book and the main character is going to be using bullets out of 7.62x39 ammo and loading them in 308 cases to shoot through his fal.
    Won't hurt a thing as long as there is sufficient neck clearence as already mentioned. The bullet is sized down to .308 in the 1st bearing length of bulet travel inthe barrel. After that is is just like any other .308 bullet in the rest of the barrel. I have shot thousands of pulled and bulk purched .310/.311 AK/SKS bullets in .308 cal rifles. I have several thousand now to load and shoot. The Win 123 gr .311 SP when it was available at a very good price was a favorite of mine for varmint calling in with M1A 7.62 NATO. I shot thousands of them in that rifle and several other .308Ws and in the '06 too.

    I have tried diligently to measure any pressure increase (M43 Oehler attached to a 10" twist .308W test barrel) but have not found any, contrary to popular opinion. With heavier 150+ gr .311 bullets there is a slight increase in pressure but is measured in the hundreds of psi not thousands of psi. The bullets are swaged down to .308 very early in the pressure curve and the time pressure trace sometimes indicates a slight increase there but it levels out and is pretty much the same as if a .308W bullet was used. I've found some equal weight .308 bullets that give more psi than the .311 bullets. My observation is that bearing length has more to do with increasing psi than diameter. I also tested a lot of M2 and M80 bullets with and without soft steel jackets and could discern no increase in psi with the steel jacketed bullets vs copper jacketed bullets. Solid core all copper bullets up the psi far more than any .311 or steel jacketed bullet does in a .308 barrel as they do not have a softer core to give way and their bearing length is always longer with a given weight of bullet.

    With regards to accuracy in your writing; forensic summations very, very seldom refer to an actual bullet diameter. Most simply use genaric terms such as 9mm, .38 caliber or in this case it would be a "7.62 caliber bullet". What will distinguish it, sometimes but not always, as fired from a particular weapon is the size and configuration of the rifling, the bullet weight, jacket and core compositon and form of the bullet. Many times recovered bullets do not provide all this information so the forensic expert must then make a comparison and come up with a guess or guesses. For example. the 7.62x39 has been chambered in barrels with .308 - .314 barrels so how would the diameter of a recovered bullet provide any clue? However, the use of a 7.62 AK bullet in a .308W case where the case was not recovered may lead to some confusion and misdirection on the part of the investigators.

    Larry Gibson
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 04-29-2011 at 01:29 PM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    Another variation that would throw a wrench in an investigation would be to use chamber inserts. They are made for rifle chambering to fire pistol "plinkers". I know there are inserts made to enable a 30-06 to fire .32ACP, and it wouldn't be a stretch to think there are also inserts for .308. Another variation is I cast for both my AK and my .32ACP. I have a varment/pest control load using a .32 acp bullet in my AK--non-cycling, but interesting combo. I wouldn't see issue being taken with firing a jacketed 71gr. .32ACP correctly loaded through a FAL barrel. That might be enough to make a fictional forensic investigator scratch his head a while in your book, especially if a few .32ACP brass were recovered at the scene.

    "Geez, Frank! I can't find ANY .32ACP handgun on file that matches these rifling marks. I can tell you for sure it's a .32 Auto, but the make and model of the handgun that fired it is anyone's guess... " (and the plot thickens...)
    Guns have only two real enemies; Rust and Politicians...

    "Praying might get you to heaven, but trespassing will expedite the journey..."

    Where might I be found when I'm not here? Try looking here:http://www.facebook.com/NSWE.Pagosa and here: www.rescueropes.org

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Yep, what I was thinking was that if they have a bunch of dead guys lying around with a 30 caliber 123 grain bullet in their chest, they're gonna automatically think AK 47. And you have given me a couple more things to consider. Thanks
    Anything that produces some sort of an explosion, can't be all bad.


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  20. #20
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    Chances are that bullet would go though a person I always wonder what a ballistics tech. would think if you rolled bullets between coarse files before loading? Then all the little marks they look for would be harder to find. Of coarse being in possession of bullet so loaded would make you a suspect after such a crime.
    When I think back on all the **** I learned in high school it's a wonder I can think at all ! And then my lack of education hasn't hurt me none I can read the writing on the wall.

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