5.56 vs. 7.62 - A real-life, visual comparison

Hey everyone! :slightly_smiling_face:

I finally found the time to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time: Testing the 5.56 and the 7.62 against a real steel target.

I have a small game hunting rifle in caliber .223 Remington, the civilan equivalent of the 5.56x45 mm NATO.

Sako 85 Hunter in caliber .223 Rem.
Swarovski Z4i 3-12x50 scope.
Hausken Hunter silencer.

And my dad has a deer rifle in caliber .308 Winchester, the civilian equivalent of the 7.62x51 mm NATO.

Tikka M590 in caliber .308 Win.
Shirstone 3-9x44 scope.
Hausken Standard silencer.

4 kinds of ammo will be compared:
.308 - 180 grs. FMJ training load.
.308 - 180 grs. SP hunting load. (Flat tip.)
.223 - 55 grs. FMJ training load.
.223 - 62 grs. SP hunting load. (Plastic tip.)

(“grs” is bullet weight in grains.)

The target will be a 10x10 cm steel pipe with 5 mm thick walls. This is only a mild construction steel, not hardened steel like armored machines would have.

And a few Hunters to shoot at.

Shooting distance is 50 meters.

First up: 5.56 FMJ.

Hit him in the balls! Bullet punched right through the front, and left a cute little dent in the back wall.

Second: 5.56 SP.

Headshot! Results are identical to the FMJ load. I honestly thought this one would punch harder, since it has a heavier bullet and more powder.

Third: 7.62 FMJ.

Hunter got lucky! The rifle was zeroed higher than I thought. Bullet punched through the front and left a huge dent in the back wall. Very close to going through both walls.

Fourth: 7.62 SP.

Shot off it’s arm this time! And finally I got through both walls, 5 + 5 mm. The soft point hunting round got through because it’s loaded with more powder than the FMJ training load, is my conclusion.

So, the final results were as I expected for the 5.56, and the biggest surprise was that the 7.62 FMJ didn’t go through both walls.

To conclude, the 7.62 won this battle. But remember, a combat machine would not be built with mild constuction steel, so bring your cannon instead for the real deal. Or ask the army for AP rounds. :wink:

Thanks for watching and reading! :+1:

Feel free to discuss, both for GZ and IRL.


Nasty boy, shooting the Hunter’s balls tzz,tzz :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
But joke aside . That is a very impressing post. and it shows what such a bullet can do. That the 7,62 FMJ has not went through is pherhaps dependable on the powder that was used in that cartridge. As you know there where powder sorts that have a stronger blasting force at the same weight. As you posted, the weight of the bullets where similar both 180 gr. Going through that steelpipe is the velocity of the bullet.
1/2 Mass X speed ^2 that form descibes the energy of the impact. A pipe like this is made from a steel called S235 JR that has a elastic border at 235 N/mm^2 and tensile strength about 370 N/mm^2

to pinch through you must have a force
7,62 x Pi x 5mm x 370 N/ mm^2 for the first wall that where 44.287,03N

(please note the impact area is smaller because the bullet has a sharp tip and will need less power to pinch through)

By the way is there snow at your site at this time? :cold_face: I had today temeperatures at 20°


@helldiver Thank you, and thanks for the numbers. :slightly_smiling_face:

The .308 training FMJ round likely has a light powder load, probably not yielding a muzzle velocity more than 700 m/s.
The hunting round probably has a close to maximum powder load, and I bet it flies at around 750 m/s.

In my opinion, 165 grain bullets are better suited for the .308 Win. :+1:

If I wanted to really kill that pipe, I would have brought my .30-06 out. :wink:
I have some hand loaded rounds for it with 165 grain bullets and a velocity around 830 m/s.
Picture for comparison:

My own deerhunting rifle:

Sako 85 Grizzly in caliber .30-06 Sprg.
Swarovski Z6i 2,5-15x56 scope.
Hausken Hunter silencer.

(And yes, somebody messed up the settings for the weather, so we still have snow! Actually, we get 20 minutes of snow, 10 minutes of sun, 20 minutes of snow, and so on and so on… We get what the Atlantic throws at us, unfiltered. :wink:)


Yesssss, the 30-06 is the ammo i like. That cannon will went through. :+1: :+1:

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Oh, wow last week we had cold weather too. In the morning i had to scratch the ice away from the windows of my car. But today the sun is warm but the wind is cold. At my site i get the weather from the Atlantic what went over the Gulf of Biskaya. Most of the time rain.

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That’s very cool. Love those paper targets, any chance you can make a fullsize Hunter? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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@helldiver I have another one, also in .30-06, I think you will recognize it. :wink:

Mauser Mod. 98.
This one is from 1936. It still looks and feels like new to this day! It’s a reason why these have earned the reputation as the best bolt-action rifles ever built. Solid quality!

As I said, it’s not in the original 8x57 mm.
This is because a lot of Mausers were left behind in Norway after WW2. They were later re-chambered in .30-06, which was the standard US military cartridge at the time. The Mauser then replaced the norwegian miltary’s Krag-Jørgensen rifle. They were used until we got the new AG-3 (G3) in the 1960’s. After this the Mausers were sold to civilians, and my dad was clever and got one. :wink:


Hehe! Snow almost killed them before I could shoot them! :wink: A full size Hunter would have been awesome. Could have scared a few people with that! :laughing:

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Wow awesome! :smiley: :+1: A original Mause 98 K and in such a good state. In Germany it is used by the guard Bataillon when Statevisitor arrived, for representation purposes. It is no longer used for shooting. But this weapon is a precise one when it is good maintained. And i believe a very good hunter rifle.

Underneath a picture from the german guard Bataillon. I was a member of it during a military exercise in 1985.

They where presenting their Mauser 98 K rifles.

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Nice. It looks very good when it’s properly maintained. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes, a lot of hunters up here are using the Mauser. Many of them have upgraded them a lot, with new hi-tech stocks, new barrels, big scopes, bipods and silencers. They say they will never change their Mausers for a new rifle, and they last forever so they don’t have to either. :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

And personally, I like the Mauser best with it’s original look. :wink:

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It’s incredible that a weapon is so good after 85 years. A good piece of German workmanship :smiley:

Bye the way. Mauser is located in the Blackwood Forest. In a region that is known very well in germany to manufacture high precission parts. The Mauser company produces Measure units Calipers, outside micrometers and dial gauges. The company produces also high quality hunting rifles.

The Mauser 98 is also produced as a hunting rifle.
underneath a picture of their actual catalogue.


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That is true. :blush:

Those new Mauser Mod. 98’s are so beautiful, but they are extremely expensive! :grimacing:

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I have three old swedish military rifles. One from 1867 and one from 1876 both with barrels welded so they can’t be used. But the third (the one in the middle) I have a hunting permit for. It’s from 1876. Single shot. 8x58rd.


That’s a nice piece of artillery right there.

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Yes that is true that a Mauser is very expensive. But as you see it is made for the eternity. The Mauser 98 DWM is special handmade and absolute high precision. All parts are handcraftet and for one weapon. It is a masterpiece. But 10.000 Euro is really expensive :money_mouth_face:. The 98 Standard is available for about 5.000 Euro , much money. So you see your original 98 is a real treasure. :grin:


Al three of them beutiful weapons and in an good state. :+1:

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Actually, I had a Marlin lever-action rifle in caliber .45-70 a few years ago. I wasn’t very precise, and it kicked like a horse, so I ended up selling it… I wonder how that one would have fared in the same test? :slightly_smiling_face:

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The caliber 45-70 isn’t a very precise ammo. Here in germany it is only used for short distances underneath 100 m because of the ballistic flight path. Our hunters use it for hunting wild boars or Red Deers. Due to german hunting right not all laborations are allowed for hunting Big Game. That this ammo is not so precise is a cause from the flathead Bullets. Sharp tips are to dangerous in the tube magazine.

What kind of Deers are you hunting in your vicinity?

As a very deep in the weeds firearms nitpick, this isn’t quite true.

5.56 NATO is mechanically compatible with .223 Remington, and 7.62 NATO is mechanically compatible with .308 Winchester. But the cartridges aren’t really the equivalent of one another.

The .308 Winchester and 7.62 NATO both came out of the same post-WWII research program, but, 7.62 cartridges tend to be lower pressure. Loading a 7.62 NATO round into a .308 Winchester rifle isn’t an issue, however, loading .308 into a NATO battle rifle could have disastrous results. (In theory, the hotter .308 round should still be within mechanical tolerances, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to test that.)

Ironically, the pressure situation is inverted with 5.56 NATO and .223. In this case, the .223 round is lower pressure than 5.56mm cartridges. Part of this is due to the design of 5.56 cases (which differ in the shoulders from commercial .223 Remington cases), and it’s something to keep a close eye on when handloading. Most of it is the powder, as 5.56mm runs much hotter than .223. As far as I know, it’s never to the extent that a 5.56 rifle would fail to cycle while firing .223 cartridges, but loading 5.56 NATO into a .223 rifle can have disastrous results (as you’re probably exceeding the designed chamber pressure by 50%.)

It’s worth noting that some military rifles (particularly DMRs) are technically chambered in .308, and as a result have no problems with either cartridge. Similarly, some civilian hunting rifles are technically chambered in 5.56mm, and can handle either cartridge without issue. However, loading a firearm with ammunition that is higher pressure than the weapon was designed for can have disastrous results. And, while they’re mechanically compatible, the “civilian equivalents,” are, in fact, different cartridges entirely.


@helldiver I know. It’s best suited for short ranges, like you say. :slightly_smiling_face: Here in my area, on the north-west coast of Norway, we mostly have Red Deer and some Roe Deer. A little bit further east we also have some Moose and wild Reindeer. But Red Deer are the “main” deer species around here as well. :wink:

@Starke I am aware of these differences, but the .223 and .308 are what I have available. :+1:

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