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Wilson Tactical 7.62x40: Another New AR Cartridge

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April 04, 2011
Wilson Tactical 7.62x40: Another New AR Cartridge - 8

Wilson Tactical is rolling out a new cartridge for the AR-platform, the WT 7.62X40. This is a .30-caliber cartridge that is designed to run in AR-15 sized receivers. Wilson Tactical is billing it as a low-recoil round with improved ballistics over the 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. that would be suitable for some tactical applications but also, significantly, as a moderately-powered cartridge for big game.

Does this sound vaguely familiar? Yes, it was the same goal set out by the .30 Remington AR round, which launched to some fanfare a couple years ago but has settled into semi-obscurity since then.

Why, then, would other gun makers try to re-plow this seemingly unfertile ground? It’s really an offshoot of the limitations of the AR platform. As much as the Modern Sporting Rifle—a silly name for a 50-year-old design—has been hyped as a hunting rifle, it is still a work in progress. ARs are heavy, loud, awkward to carry and when compared to the lines of a stylish bolt-action rifle are as graceful and sleek as a box tortoise.

Some good efforts have been made to make ARs more suitable for big game use, but they ain’t there yet. I love using them for varmint and predator hunting but they aren’t good enough yet to qualify as my “go-to” gun for big game.

Here are the specs on the new Wilson cartridge:

Project Goal
Develop an inherently accurate and low recoil cartridge in the immensely popular .30 caliber that has more terminal effectiveness than the 5.56 while utilizing as many standard AR platform 5.56/.223 components as possible.

Cartridge Application

Designed for tactical/defense applications as well as hunting for medium-sized game such as deer and feral hogs. The 7.62x40 WT (Wilson Tactical) has very useful tactical applications with soft point and hollow point bullets providing reliable terminal performance on soft tissue while the Barnes TTSX will easily penetrate tough barriers. For hunting the 7.62x40 WT vastly out performs the 5.56 and is on par with the 6.8SPC at ranges out to 175-200 yards. The VERY mild recoil of the 7.62x40 WT also makes it ideal for female and younger shooters as well as anyone that’s recoil sensitive.

Cartridge Specifics
The 7.62x40 WT is based on the inexpensive and readily available 5.56x45 Nato cartridge case. The 5.56 case is shortened to 1.560” and then re-sized (single operation) in a standard 7.62x40 WT sizing die which results in a formed 7.62x40 WT case with a finished overall case length of 1.565”. The cartridge is designed for 110-150gr .308” diameter bullets loaded to supersonic velocities, but if chambered in a 1-8 twist barrel is also suitable for heavy bullet subsonic use also.

Comments (8)

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from drhntr49 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

First, credit needs to be given to Kurt Butchert of Lake Charles, LA who created the cartridge back in 2008. The article makes some valid points, but I would like present the point of view of someone who has used the round. I have to agree that the AR platforms are ugly, and when equipped with a muzzle break ear splitting loud. They are however incredibly accurate, which is what brought me to use it as a hunting rifle. This round and rifle easily puts all its bullets in a one inch circle at 100 yards. No experience with it, but I have heard this is not the case with the 7.62x39. Also, unlike the Russian round, the 7.62x40 uses the stock AR15 magazines and bolts. It is not the kind of ammo you will find at Wallyworld, but some of us enjoy "rolling our own". Regarding the power, I started using the big "deer rounds", '06, 308, etc, and as I got older, realized that you can only kill a deer so much. This round is roughly the equivalent of the 30-30, and the very mild recoil allows precise placement of the shot, what I consider the most important part of hunting. Kurt and I used it in Texas last year, and I will attest that it performs more than adequately, dropping Texas sized deer and wild pigs in their tracks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jimmyboywvu wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

sir i deff understand not being worked up about this cartidge theres already uppers chambered for the stubby russian.which is already established as a proven battle round and i agree with this round will not be able to do anything the russian round will not and i cant see this round gaining much ground for hunting either just as the 30 remington.theres no need to reinvent the wheel when theres proven ar10 platforms in some of the best deer rounds ever made (308,7mm-08,260,243 etc) i just meant in general this anti-technology mind set we see so often when it comes to deer rifles isnt good for the sport.I myself is part of the next generation has a 20 yr old male.hunters my age we apprecate the classics but the technology is what we are drawn to.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Johnson wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Yeah this A R balony--I hate over priced plastic rifles and hand guns.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from damo450 wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

why is every new AR cartridge that has hunting in mind "suitable for whitetail deer and hogs"?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from John B. Snow wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Jimmy,
Don't get me wrong. No one likes seeing new cartridges more than I do, even if they all are somehow redundant. Heck, I'm working on a wildcat right now that you'll soon read about here and in Outdoor Life that I'm excited about, though truth be told, it isn't going to turn the world of guns and shooting upside down.
As for this particular cartridge, what are its virtues? For one, it is probably very similar to the 7.62x39 though with one huge difference--I'm sure it is going to be much more accurate than the old Soviet warhorse. And that alone is enough to give it some consideration.
I could see this round being an strong contender for an all-around survival round. You can hunt with it, defend yourself, shoot it fast to get a lot of lead downrange when needed or use it for longer distances.
The one issue would be, of course, ammo availability. It doesn't do you any good to have a boutique chambering in your survival gun that you can't get ammo for when your supply runs dry.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

A whole lot of folks are getting involved with the AR platform. It's not for me just because I am an old wood and steel guy. But more power to those that like it for hunting and shooting. I think there are a lot of limitations that will keep the AR from being widely used for big game. JMO.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jimmyboywvu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

ok so im probably gonna catch alotta flak for this post but somethings just need to be threw out there.

having 0 interest in this cartidge i understand that,no big deal every week somebody comes out with a "power solution" to the wimpy 5.56 or 223 to us.but with this kind of articles where your writing suggest we should all stick with the same rifles are grandfathers used it doesnt take much for me to figure out why the sport of hunting is dying.the youth in a sport are the future of anything and the youth is attracted to the latest and greatest in technology.my gradfather once talked about lusting for a remington model 700 in then new 308.the same way i talk about lusting for a ar-10 in 7mm-08.hunting is dying because the lack of change is making it a bore to young hunters.rifle deer hunting is growing smaller and smaller but predator hunting is growing like wildfire.which one is reciving more technology? besides ammo and optics what has changed in the last 50 years.thank god for hornady and leupold or i dont know how many new articles there would be to write.and from what ive seen the optics are even critized by the estblishment. why is archery growing at a rate it is? look at the technology pumped into it.rifles need that kind of life brought into them. instead of critizing a company for tryin to find the edge in making a 5.56 round preform like a 308 work the round see what kind of performance u can get out of that round maybe oneday it is possible but by then nobody will be hunting with it bc hunting will be a dead sport.i understand hunting is about the traditions of the past,honor the past but open ur eyes and save this sport we love with technology thats right at our finger tips

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MazPower wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

So is there any discernible difference between this and the 7.62x39 round?

I understand why but I sometimes get tired of people re-inventing the wheel, we already have more cartridges than we know what to do with (not to say some new good stuff doesn't comes along here and there like the 17 HMR).

John I'm with you when it comes to the AR platform. Loads of fun and good for varminting, but I don't ever see it becoming a mainstay as a big game rifle.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from John B. Snow wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

Jimmy,
Don't get me wrong. No one likes seeing new cartridges more than I do, even if they all are somehow redundant. Heck, I'm working on a wildcat right now that you'll soon read about here and in Outdoor Life that I'm excited about, though truth be told, it isn't going to turn the world of guns and shooting upside down.
As for this particular cartridge, what are its virtues? For one, it is probably very similar to the 7.62x39 though with one huge difference--I'm sure it is going to be much more accurate than the old Soviet warhorse. And that alone is enough to give it some consideration.
I could see this round being an strong contender for an all-around survival round. You can hunt with it, defend yourself, shoot it fast to get a lot of lead downrange when needed or use it for longer distances.
The one issue would be, of course, ammo availability. It doesn't do you any good to have a boutique chambering in your survival gun that you can't get ammo for when your supply runs dry.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MazPower wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

So is there any discernible difference between this and the 7.62x39 round?

I understand why but I sometimes get tired of people re-inventing the wheel, we already have more cartridges than we know what to do with (not to say some new good stuff doesn't comes along here and there like the 17 HMR).

John I'm with you when it comes to the AR platform. Loads of fun and good for varminting, but I don't ever see it becoming a mainstay as a big game rifle.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jimmyboywvu wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

ok so im probably gonna catch alotta flak for this post but somethings just need to be threw out there.

having 0 interest in this cartidge i understand that,no big deal every week somebody comes out with a "power solution" to the wimpy 5.56 or 223 to us.but with this kind of articles where your writing suggest we should all stick with the same rifles are grandfathers used it doesnt take much for me to figure out why the sport of hunting is dying.the youth in a sport are the future of anything and the youth is attracted to the latest and greatest in technology.my gradfather once talked about lusting for a remington model 700 in then new 308.the same way i talk about lusting for a ar-10 in 7mm-08.hunting is dying because the lack of change is making it a bore to young hunters.rifle deer hunting is growing smaller and smaller but predator hunting is growing like wildfire.which one is reciving more technology? besides ammo and optics what has changed in the last 50 years.thank god for hornady and leupold or i dont know how many new articles there would be to write.and from what ive seen the optics are even critized by the estblishment. why is archery growing at a rate it is? look at the technology pumped into it.rifles need that kind of life brought into them. instead of critizing a company for tryin to find the edge in making a 5.56 round preform like a 308 work the round see what kind of performance u can get out of that round maybe oneday it is possible but by then nobody will be hunting with it bc hunting will be a dead sport.i understand hunting is about the traditions of the past,honor the past but open ur eyes and save this sport we love with technology thats right at our finger tips

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 3 years 15 weeks ago

A whole lot of folks are getting involved with the AR platform. It's not for me just because I am an old wood and steel guy. But more power to those that like it for hunting and shooting. I think there are a lot of limitations that will keep the AR from being widely used for big game. JMO.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from damo450 wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

why is every new AR cartridge that has hunting in mind "suitable for whitetail deer and hogs"?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Johnson wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

Yeah this A R balony--I hate over priced plastic rifles and hand guns.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jimmyboywvu wrote 3 years 14 weeks ago

sir i deff understand not being worked up about this cartidge theres already uppers chambered for the stubby russian.which is already established as a proven battle round and i agree with this round will not be able to do anything the russian round will not and i cant see this round gaining much ground for hunting either just as the 30 remington.theres no need to reinvent the wheel when theres proven ar10 platforms in some of the best deer rounds ever made (308,7mm-08,260,243 etc) i just meant in general this anti-technology mind set we see so often when it comes to deer rifles isnt good for the sport.I myself is part of the next generation has a 20 yr old male.hunters my age we apprecate the classics but the technology is what we are drawn to.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from drhntr49 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

First, credit needs to be given to Kurt Butchert of Lake Charles, LA who created the cartridge back in 2008. The article makes some valid points, but I would like present the point of view of someone who has used the round. I have to agree that the AR platforms are ugly, and when equipped with a muzzle break ear splitting loud. They are however incredibly accurate, which is what brought me to use it as a hunting rifle. This round and rifle easily puts all its bullets in a one inch circle at 100 yards. No experience with it, but I have heard this is not the case with the 7.62x39. Also, unlike the Russian round, the 7.62x40 uses the stock AR15 magazines and bolts. It is not the kind of ammo you will find at Wallyworld, but some of us enjoy "rolling our own". Regarding the power, I started using the big "deer rounds", '06, 308, etc, and as I got older, realized that you can only kill a deer so much. This round is roughly the equivalent of the 30-30, and the very mild recoil allows precise placement of the shot, what I consider the most important part of hunting. Kurt and I used it in Texas last year, and I will attest that it performs more than adequately, dropping Texas sized deer and wild pigs in their tracks.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)