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Shooting 7.62x51mm Nato in R1 for 308W


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I am a very happy owner of a SBE2 with ComforTech. I am trying to learn more about the

R1 in 308 caliber.


1. Does anyone know when Benelli plans to offer the R1 in 308 Win caliber with ComforTech?


2. Does anyone know if the current R1 in 308 Win with Wood Stock supports firing of 7.62x51mm Nato ammo? Does the R1 manual reference this point?

What does it say?


3. Does anyone know if it makes sense to take an

R1 barrel in 308 Win caliber to a gun smith to have it

modified to instead only support 7.62x51mm Nato ammo? I do realize this will void the warranty. But

is such a thing ever done and can it work? I see

much less expensive ammo in Nato form than in

308W form - by nearly a factor of 3 for the South

African variety of Nato ammo.


4. Does anyone have experience with the 10 round

308 magazine offered by:



Is this magazine made by Benelli? Does it work

reliably? Is it easy to load with ammo? Will this

magazine work with 7.62x51mm Nato ammo?

Does anyone have a photo of this 10 round

magazine installed on an R1?


Eager for your thoughts and comments.





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1. Don't know, but it's one of two scenarios, IMO.

Either the .308 is unpopular and will be dropped from the R1 lineup completely, or they just haven't gotten around to doing it in the ComforTech yet.

My hunch is the former.


2. ANY rifle chambered for .308 Win. will fire 7.62 x 51 ammo without a problem. There are instances where problems have arised when trying to use .308 ammo in precision rifles chambered for 7.62, because a slight difference in the headspace.



Some surplus 7.62 ammo has caused problems in AR's and other auto-fed weapons. These problems have been associated not with case size variances, but with a lacquer coating (for longer shelf life) found on some of the milsurp stuff.

Turns out, this coating, when heated under firing conditions, briefly liquifies and flows into the microscopic pores in the steel in the rifle's chamber. This fills the chamber slightly with the lacquer that solidifies into a nearly impenetrable build-up.

Over time, the chamber ID is reduced and cases begin to stick.

My DPMS came with an insert warning against the use of lacquer coated ammo in general and SA ammo specifically.




3. No need to modify. See #2 regarding SA ammo.


4. No experience with them.

Here's a photoshopped image of how it should look.





The Benelli R1 is NOT designed to be a high volume repeater.

If you heat it up using a 10 round magazine in rapid fire sequences, you WILL have problems both with fouling and with heat damage to the throat and barrel.


If you want a high volume repeater that you can hunt with, but also have some fun with, then look at an AR from DPMS, Armalite, Stag Arms, etc.


Here's mine.



You can get them .308, 260 Rem., .223, 300 SAUM, 300 WSM, .243, and more and more good stuff is coming out every day.

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There is someything about the euro-styling of the R-1 that just appeals. Having also been mocked by the deer hunting crowd for bringing a "machine gun" on the deer hunt - I am glad to have a reliable, fine looking weapon for the hunt. If you really need more than 3 follow up shots something else must be wrong. I agree with the ammo selection mentioned above . I will not forgo the option of improving my groups with a little custom load building at the bench !



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Thanks for all the helpful comments. This is a great place to learn. I appreciate your time.


To tucker301, you say:

"ANY rifle chambered for .308 Win. will fire 7.62 x 51 ammo without a problem. "


Yet I see a fair about of alternate comments on that point. Especially I see:




In that URL, I see this statement among others:


"So the two cartridges [308 & 7.62 NATO] should not be automatically considered interchangeable even though the cartridges themselves are very close to each other. The headspace difference of the rifle's they are chambered for is what makes some combinations dangerous."


Does anybody else care to wade in on this?


And also to tucker301, thanks for the heads up about the lacquer problem with the South African ammo.


I am still very eager to hear back from anyone who can look in the Benelli 308W/R1 manual itself and relate comments about use of 7.62 NATO ammo.


Thanks for a great forum site.



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The ARGO rifle instructions I recieved with my .308 are as general and non - specific as possible. The section on page 64 CHOICE OF AMMUNITION states:


"All cartriges having a calibre(note the British spelling ) that equals the calibre given on the carbine barrel may be used for your ARGO, provided they conform to CIP regulations"




"Note: use of not correctly refilled cartriges may cause damages to both the barrell and the lock, with possible consequences for the shooter as well "


It all kinda reminds me of the instructions you get from China on how to assemble your kids bike on X-mas eve. They make enough errors in english to

let you know this is a rough translation at best.


I think the level of sophistication of the american shooter is hard for them to get.


My suggestion is to shoot all kinds of appropriate ammo through your Benelli including carefully prepared reloaded rounds, in .308.


I have fired about 30 round of 7.62 in my R-1 - a small sample to be sure - with only feeding problems using Austrian made 190 gr match ammo.


I view manufacturers disclaimers with the jaundiced eye of an MD - always watching for the next lawsuit assault : are the disclaimers about you - or them ?

If you pay attention you will now find similar disclaimers on a claw hammer in your local hardware store.

Consider getting a headspace guage and checking your chamber - ??


PS the info link you provided is a good one - I now have it bookmarked for my own use - thanks




[ 10-10-2006, 11:20 PM: Message edited by: drcam ]

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Hello, I am new here, do not have a R1 yet but hope to get one this Christmas. Sad me when I noticed this morning that prices went up to $1365. However I did notice that the offerings they have in the comfortek now include .300 Win Mag, .30-06 Springfield, .300 WSM, & .270 WSM. Didn't see the .308 though. "http://www.benelliusa.com/firearms/r1Rifle.tpl" and look at the specifications tab.

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Thanks again for all the feedback and comments.


To drcam, you say:

"If you really need more than 3 follow up shots something else must be wrong. "


Please don't get me wrong. I don't really plan to do much of anything other than go plinking on the range. Hunting is fine - just not my cup of tea. After a few months of IPSC with a revolver, it sounded like fun to try reactive target shooting with a 20-round semi-auto rifle. I enjoy the research perhaps as much as actually owning the rifle. In addition if I can only afford one rifle, I am more interested in the .308 caliber than the .223. I've now had a chance to run 35 rounds through a borrowed, Chinese-made M1A (semi-auto M-14?). Very nice.


To tucker301, you say:

"If you want a high volume repeater that you can hunt with, but also have some fun with, then look at an AR from DPMS, Armalite, Stag Arms, etc."


Thanks for these comments. You have expanded my knowledge of what is available. Before this, I did not know of all of these companies. I am pleased to see several lighter weight (8.5 pounds) semi-auto high-capacity .308 rifles available for sale.


I don't claim to be any kind of an expert. Also, I don't doubt that the AR-15/M-16 style design is well worth having. After all, it's been in use for some 40 years! The point for me is that I keep hearing about chronic problems with feeding failures with the M-16 whether in the jungles in the 1960s or in the deserts in 2006. The other passing comments I am hearing are that the older M1A/M-14 design (directly descended from the M-1 Garand designed in the 1930s) consistently shows its greater feeding reliability under extreme mud/sand conditions. I do understand that the M-16 is normally in the .223 caliber and the M-14 is the .308 (7.62 NATO) caliber. And I do understand your suggestions about .308 versions of the AR-15 (AR-10?).


Anyway, I'd very much like to hear comment on this general point. Is the basic design of the AR-15/M-16 style rifle (and I am only concerned with semi-auto fire) sufficiently flawed to make the M1A/M-14 design something to consider? Or are the civilian .308 versions of the AR-15 (AR-10?) better made than the standard military issue of the M-16 - i.e. more reliable and more immune to mud/sand? Even on par with the Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad at 9 pounds?


I really appreciate this forum and the chance it provides folks like me to learn from people who have extended knowledge to pass along.





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And if I may...


To add to my last post, I have no doubt that the Benelli innovations evident in the R1 (or some variation) may well become a very strong contender for the next-generation military rifle. Benelli certainly showed they could succeed with the M4 shotgun.





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Yes, today's AR-15 and AR-10 variants are reliable repeaters.

Even though the design is pretty old, the military still banks on these weapons every day.


If you're strictly plinking, consider the .223 instead.

The new wave of .308's is eating up the milsurp supplies of 7.62 at a pretty fast clip, and when it's gone, it's gone.


In addition to economy, you'll get lower recoil and less muzzle jump with the .223's.


There are tons of makers and suppliers for these things, and you can accessorize to a level that would drive M1014 and Duggan to the point of madness.


I suppose you could be right about the Benelli ARGO system making its way into the mainstream military at some point, but I can tell you it's got a long way to go.


Run 100-200 rounds through an R1 and strip her down for cleaning and you'll get my drift.


AR shooters love their AR's and M1A shooters love theirs equally well.


Personally, I like the modular design of the AR's.

Switching uppers, lowers, barrels, stocks, grips, and optics is a piece of cake, and parts are cheap and available everywhere.

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to wfjones90


If plinking on the range is what you want to do, and hunting is not your cupa' I suggest the following:

1: you need to shoot more - with friends and acquaintences - there are a lot of IPSC guys who love the rifle as well

2. Dont drop 2 years worth of shooting budget into a Benelli just yet.

3. Try to visualise where you might be headed in your gunrelated interests.

4. Spend your $ on shooting "systems" ie 1911, Glock, AR -15 type weapons first. They are reliable , capable of great accuracy and fun, and most of all have a huge number and types of 'aftermarket' tweaks,and upgrades including caliber changes.

5. If you want an autofeeding rifle to plink with spend a whole lot less and buy a 7.63 x 39 in an SKS or AK ;spend the difference on cheap ammo and reactive targets.


Just a few thoughts from an evolved shooter who spent too much time chasing my tail and spending too much on projects that wasted money.




[ 10-15-2006, 09:37 PM: Message edited by: drcam ]

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