7.62×51mm CETME

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7.62×51mm CETME
Type Rifle
Place of origin  Spain
Service history
In service 1955–1988
Used by Spain
Production history
Designer CETME
Designed 1953
Parent case 7.62×51 NATO
Case type Rimless, Bottleneck
Bullet diameter 7.82 mm (0.308 in)
Neck diameter 8.77 mm (0.345 in)
Shoulder diameter 11.53 mm (0.454 in)
Base diameter 11.94 mm (0.470 in)
Rim diameter 12.01 mm (0.473 in)
Rim thickness 1.27 mm (0.050 in)
Case length 51.18 mm (2.015 in)
Overall length 69.85 mm (2.750 in)
Primer type Large Rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
113 grain FMJ 2,600 ft/s (790 m/s)

The 7.62×51 CETME round is a variant of the 7.62×51 NATO rifle cartridge with a plastic-cored lead bullet and a reduced propellant charge. It was produced as a joint venture by the Spanish Government design and development establishment known as CETME (Centro de Estudios Técnicos de Materiales Especiales, or "Center for Technical Studies of Special Materials") and the German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch. The 7.62×51 CETME and the 7.62 NATO cartridges are almost identical, with the only difference being the projectile and the amount of propellant loaded into the cartridge.


In 1954, in Ottawa (Canada), the NATO's Experts Commission approved the foreground of 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge. Three years later, it finalized the specifications required for this ammunition. Subsequently, in 1962, this rule was changed.

Spain, isolated from the international community, continues to use the 7.92x57. From 1953 prototype cartridges begin to take place in 7.62x51. In 1955 this caliber is adopted and soon begins to be mass-produced for the new CETME rifle. This cartridge does not meet NATO standards and is called 7.62x51 Spanish. In the '60s, quality improves and become known as 7.62x51 NATO-SPANISH. Only since 1988 cartridges produced in Spain are known as NATO- REGULAR and meet the specifications of this organization.

During the development of the CETME rifle, it was decided by CETME that their new weapon would be chambered in a .30-caliber rifle cartridge with a short case and lesser powder charge in order to increase the manageability of the rifle during full auto fire. The 7.92x33mm Kurz was the original basis, but the 7.92×40mm CETME M53, a more powerful experimental cartridge developed by CETME, was also tried. This evolved into the 7.62×40mm CETME M53, which was identical aside from the smaller diameter bullet. Eventually they decided on a variant of the new 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge that they designated the 7.62×51mm CETME. The 7.62mm CETME had a lighter full-metal-jacketed, plastic-cored lead bullet with a reduced powder charge.

While designing the CETME Modelo B and under recommendation of H&K, the decision was made that the updated version of the original CETME Modelo A would chamber the more powerful 7.62×51 NATO cartridge. When the Modelo B was adopted by the Spanish military as the Modelo 58 in 1958, 7.62×51 CETME was the standard rifle cartridge but a notable change occurred when Spanish Army officially made a move to the full-power 7.62x51mm NATO standard cartridge. This decision forced the CETME Model 58 to be internally reworked to accept the more powerful round. Marking this change, the revised rifle forms were designated CETME "Model C". .[1]


  • Santa Barbara FR7 Fusil Reformado Bolt Action Rifle (Mauser Model 1916 converted to 7.62x51mm CETME)
  • Santa Barbara FR8 Fusil Reformado Bolt Action Rifle (Mauser Model 1943 (Mauser K98k) converted to 7.62x51mm CETME)
  • CETME Modelo A Fusil de Asalto - Adopted by the Spanish military in 1957.
  • CETME Modelo B Fusil de Asalto / Modelo 58 Fusil de Asalto - Adopted by the Spanish military in 1958.


  1. ^ "7.62x51 Españoles". municion.org. Retrieved 10 July 2013.