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Is 7.62 Full Metal Jacket Better for Target Practice Than .223?

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Let’s dive into a formal dissection of two very popular cartridges right now: the .223 Remington and the 7.62x39mm Soviet.

Both of these .223 and 7.62 full metal jacket rounds make excellent target practice and training rounds, especially for high-volume shooting disciplines.

Let’s take a high-level look at the reasons why, without getting too absorbed by the details.


For what it’s worth, both of these are very low-recoil cartridges, so they both make excellent choices for high-volume target shooting and range therapy.

In the spirit of fairness, though, 7.62 does produce a little bit more than .223. You can expect somewhere around 8.5 ft-lbs for 7.62 and about 5 for .223, depending on bullet weight and rifle weight.

Or, a little less than twice the recoil for 7.62. It sounds like more than it is, though, because normally the mass of the rifle will absorb most of the recoil.


Time was when both of these cartridges were dirt cheap. Then the ammo crisis happened and the price doubled on both. You can still usually get them for less than a dollar a round but that’s still a lot more than they used to be.

But recently, given the sanctions that have been placed on Russia (which is a major producer of cheap 7.62 full metal jacket ammo) prices have really taken off.

So, in this case, .223 wins hands down.


For .223, stick with domestic producers, and for 7.62, stick with reliable manufacturers like Norma or TulAmmo, and for all intents and purposes, neither one is going to have an advantage over the other. This one is a draw.


Five or so years ago, the market was awash with both .223 (and surplus 5.56) along with tons and tons of 7.62, and most of it could be had for quite cheap.

That is no longer the case. Even setting aside the high prices, 7.62 ammo is getting more scarce as reserves dry up, and as mentioned, in the face of sanctions on Russia, less is flowing into the country.

The result of all this is that .223 remains more available (and for what it’s worth, more affordable in most cases) than 7.62 full metal jacket - another win for .223.


At close ranges - that is, within 100 yards or so - you likely won’t notice much of a difference between the performance of either of these cartridges.

Once you get back 100 yards, though, that story changes, big time. Past that range, a 7.62 bullet will drop, and much faster than, a .223 bullet.

How much? Well, take a generic 55-grain .223 bullet and a 123-grain 7.62 full metal jacket bullet at 400 yards. The .223 round will drop about 23” and the 7.62 will drop nearly 44”.

That’s huge.

So, for what it’s worth, stick with the 7.62 for range therapy at short distances and keep the .223 for anything that requires greater range.

Where Can You Get Both .223 and 7.62 Full Metal Jacket Ammo?

Whether you’ve got an AR or an AK-style platform in the safe (or both) and are looking for one of these two cartridges (or again, both) get what you need online at Bucking Horse Outpost.

They carry plenty of options in .223 and 5.56 ammo and also offer some deals on 7.62 full metal jacket ammo. They even offer some bulk deals along with police trade-in specials. Bookmark their page and make sure you check them out the next time you need some ammo.

For more information about American Eagle 223 and Lake City Ammo please visit:- Bucking Horse Outpost

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