It's a 10-year long story and not easily summed up in a few sentences on a forum.
"NATO" did not develop any cartridges nor did it "consider" any in the true sense of the word. The four countries that were active in developing a new modern cartridge following WW 2 were the U.S., Great Britain, Belgium, and Canada. The U.S. was more or less determined to adopt a new light rifle and cartridge in 30 caliber while the other countries favored a similar cartridge in 7mm. When it was finally accepted that the U.S. held most of the cards, the others conceded and the Cal .30 Light Rifle cartridge was adopted in 1954.
I'll dig through my photos to see if I have one of the BBC cartridges.
Found this one. Left to right it shows the British 280, a couple of compromise 7mms, a Belgian 7mm, and the 7.62mm NATO. Please keep in mind that it's not as simple as a single photo. All of these cartridges went through various design changes between 1945 and 1953. There was at least one other caliber considered (270), and Great Britain actually adopted a 280 cartridge and rifle only to have it vetoed by Churchill. As I said it's not simple.
Was reading an article somewhere that stated something to the effect that "better cartridges" were considered at the time but the article didn't really go into detail of which cartridges. Made me wonder which ones and what made them better.
Whether or not there was a "better cartridge" was argued to death 65 years ago. Reality is, at the end of WW 2 the United States was the world super-power and without U.S. money and blood, NATO was nothing more than a 4- letter word. The Ordnance Department was charged with developing a new Light Rifle and Cartridge, which became the M14 and the 7.62mm NATO. Contrary to what some said then, and some continue to say today, they were not forced on any other NATO country.
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