Forums / Gun Discussion / 7.62X39 Cartridge Info

6 years 12 weeks ago, 10:06 AM

samD

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7.62X39 Cartridge Info

By Randy D. Smith

When it comes to an all-purpose predator cartridge, the 7.62X39 Soviet has a lot more going for it than many will give credit. The cartridge is chambered in a variety of inexpensive semi-auto rifles, is one of the least expensive centerfire rounds to shoot and can be called into service for predator, small deer and feral hog hunting at moderate range. It is popular in Europe and across Russia because of these traits. I have owned and used a number of rifles in this caliber and I enjoy hunting with it.

Last winter during January and February, I took twenty coyotes by calling in cold and snowy weather and concentrating my efforts in heavy Conservation Reserve Program grasslands, a large proportion of which was walk-in public hunting. None of those coyotes was taken at a range beyond sixty yards. Every one of these dogs could have been easily taken with a 122-grain hollow point 7.62X39mm round. Several of them were.

I sight the 7.62X39 one or two inches high at 100 yards. The 7.62X39 will zero at 150 yards and be about four inches low at 200 yards. At 200 yards, the 7.62X39 retains almost 900 foot pounds of energy. A .223 Remington retains around 675 foot pounds of energy at 200 yards. The 7.62X39 round is more flexible and less expensive to shoot than any of the revolver rounds, such as the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .45 Long Colt, in bolt action or lever action carbines.

Recoil from a 7.62X39 is greater than a .223, so it is more difficult to keep a scope on target. However, it is noticeably less than a .243 or .30-30. While cartridge accuracy is considered so-so, I believe that is because of the rifles for which it is commonly chambered. Most military semi-autos are built with sketchy production tolerances and do not have target grade triggers and neither does the Ruger Mini-30. In the right rifles, I have been satisfied with the 7.62x39's accuracy. In bolt action and single shot rifles the 7.63X39 can be quite accurate. While Remington’s Spartan SPR 18 single shot, imported from Russia, has a poor trigger and corresponding mediocre accuracy, the H&R single shot (when you can find one) is very accurate when chambered for this round.

6 years 12 weeks ago, 10:46 AM

LLE

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review, and very timely for me. I have been considering that round, but I am still mystified about "THE" rifle. Thanks much, samD.

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
6 years 12 weeks ago, 11:35 AM

samD

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I have looked and researched. All prices are up right now. Gun Show coming up 1/10 in Tucson. I really like the Mini30, because it is new parts based on the venerable M1 Garand. Only rub I have seen is trigger pull, which can be corrected easily enough. Price of AKs, SKS and Variants are right around the price of a Ruger. The Saiga can be had for $425 +$25 shipping and $20 FFL. I found one back East, that is NIB. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Ammo is cheap, the Yugoslav Ammo from what I have read is the best, a little hotter. About $109 to $150 per 1000 rnds. FMJs.
I don't hunt and primarily want to target shoot to the 300 & 400 yd range, with a big ass scope for the old eyes and bench to rest it on...LOL
What are your thoughts?

6 years 12 weeks ago, 12:34 PM

LLE

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I always liked the Rugers, until someone told me they were not particularly accurate. Maybe that was just in the beginning and has been corrected. I have been looking at the foreign makes--didn't even know Saiga made one--gotta look at that. I have also consulted with our resident expert about maybe "building" one. The GreaseMeister said the AK's will give you about 1 1/2" at 100'. I would like to do better, but that might not be possible. I stopped hunting a long time ago, and I want to do some long range, too. I will keep looking. We are fortunate here, even though this is a small town, to have a large outlet with a really good stock of all kinds of those types of rifles and carbines. We got all of our Cowboy stuff there, when they were just getting started, so he always calls me when he gets something interesting. It's only 5 minutes from our house, so I trot over there often. We will see what develops. Please let me know if you are "pulling the trigger" on a purchse, as to how you made the choice.

Too old to fight, Too old to run, guess that's why I carry a gun! "would someone show this asshole the way out of town".[Rabbi Avram Belinski-aka "The Frisco Kid"]
6 years 12 weeks ago, 10:49 AM

scudrunnernrh

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I have two rifles that shoot 7.62x39 and the round has never failed me. Very affordable too. just enough power and big enough to do the job.

We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. Gen. George S. Patton
6 years 12 weeks ago, 11:43 AM

scudrunnernrh

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accuracy for the mini 30 at 300+ is starting to get a little iffy due to short barrel

We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. Gen. George S. Patton
6 years 12 weeks ago, 12:56 PM

Nitris

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awwwwwwwwwwwww Sam

Someone else likes 7.62 x 39. I'm beginning to believe most on this site are only pistol or hunting rifle fans. Never noticing how often you can use a military rifle for the same purpose I have several 7.62 x 39 rifles and have hunted with them as well, with correct ammo you can take out any dear. Anyhow nice to see someone else liking military style rounds.

Ron Paul 2012 III
6 years 12 weeks ago, 1:56 PM

Anonymous

Im gonna say it.......

I HATE THE RUSSIAN I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM. Damn Rusians. But the 7.62x39. Great for coons aroun here.

6 years 12 weeks ago, 1:58 PM

runawaygun762

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SKS is good

I have owned one SKS and have fired one Mini-30 extensively. Of course this may be a fluke, but my SKS was more accurate than the Mini-30. I was 14 when my mom got me the SKS, so I didn't know anything about different countries making them, so I don't know that. It was a milled receiver, though. SKS has very acceptable accuracy within the limits of the cartridge's range. As for hunting with it, 150, maybe 200 yds should be the max range at which you try to take large game, as this round is in about the same category as the .30-30 or .35 Rem.

"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
6 years 12 weeks ago, 3:16 PM

scudrunnernrh

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the sks i traded for my ak was pretty good, about 4in group at 100yrds

We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. Gen. George S. Patton

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