Which Powder for the 7.62x39?


November 6, 2008, 01:00 PM
OK, I'm getting ready to place a bulk order and would like to know about powders for the 7.62x39. The loads will be for an AR-15 type gun. Kinda set on Reloader 7 but have a few questions. I have the One Book/One caliber booklet for the 7.63x39 to back up my ancient Sierra manual. Now then, in the Hornady section, they call for RL-7 and in the Sierra section they call for RE-7. Is this the same powder? There are two other powders that seem to be in every load. AA 1680 and IMR 4198. Years ago I tried IMR 3030 for another caliber and hated the way it measured from my RCBS Uniflow. Is 4198 the same way? What about AA 1680? These are the three powders I'm considering and want to know how they meter through the Uniflow. Thanks.

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November 6, 2008, 01:02 PM
RL-7 and RE-7 are abbreviations for Reloader 7.

Most folk will tell you that they get best results from Accurate Arms AA1680. I have metering issues with it in my Lee drop.

I use Hodgdon's H4198 and am very happy with it. I get excellent velocities, excellent consistency, and it meters well for me.

November 6, 2008, 01:25 PM
From everything I've read, AA 1680 is supposed to be the bee's knees for the 7.62x39.

November 6, 2008, 02:10 PM
I have also seen AA1680 shown as the preferred powder, and I have gotten the highest velocities with it, but for accuracy I have had the best results with H335. Re7 was somewhere in between the two.

In my experience, brand of bullet seems to make a bigger difference in accuracy, with Hornady 123gr FMJ the best and Hornady 123gr SP close behind.

November 6, 2008, 02:50 PM
Are all the powders extruded? Big flakes? Little flakes? Alliant says RL-7 meters well, but I'm not sure about the other two. Bullet weights will probably be 150gr and under. Closer to the 125gr weight. I'm not sure right now, but I may have a line on a .308 barrel chambered for the 7.62x39 for my AR. Depends on how much it costs. That will open a lot more bullet choices as I'm not really interested in trying .308 bullets through my .310 barrel. Be awhile before that project comes to life. I have a lot of old com block ammo to shoot up first.

Marlin 45 carbine
November 6, 2008, 03:02 PM
1680 is a ball-type powder. 4198 and 335 are both small grain extruded. I use 322 in my loads for an M30 w/good results.

November 6, 2008, 03:08 PM
I have also seen AA1680 shown as the preferred powder, and I have gotten the highest velocities with it, but for accuracy I have had the best results with H335.

This is my observation as well with 110 to 130 grain projectiles

aa1680 or n120 give the highest velocities, H335 loads are typically 100 to 125 fps slower but astoundingly accurate and oddly enough re7 is neither.

Now for 150grn or heavier bullets I prefer H335 across the board as it yields the highest velocities and best accuracy

November 6, 2008, 03:42 PM
While looking at the burn charts, I noticed H 335 was right next to Tac. I have a lot of Tac on hand and people seem to like H 335, so I E-mailed Ramshot for load data for Tac and they didn't recommend it as it was too slow. They didn't recommend H 335 either. They claimed they really didn't have a suitable powder for the 7.62x39. That said, I began researching other powders but I want to make sure it meters well. I'm not into hand trickling every load. Fact is, I've had decent results with IMR 4227. But there are better powders out there.

November 6, 2008, 04:25 PM
AA1680. Stuff works great in my vZ-58. I am still trying to find good loads using H-4895 and H-335, sinmply because I have more of them!

November 6, 2008, 05:24 PM
So they all meter pretty good. I did notice RL-7 is used in various loads for the 223 and 308. But AA 1680 is used across the board in every 7.62x39 load in my book. That just might be the one I go with now that I know it's a ball powder. I'll be using CCI mil spec primers, which are a magnum primer. Guess I'll start low and work my way up.

November 6, 2008, 05:31 PM
1680 is what you read about.
I think I can get more out of H110.

November 6, 2008, 05:48 PM
I use Rel-7 in the 7.62x39 and it works well in my 222 as well as H322.


November 6, 2008, 05:49 PM
No offense, but I don't experiment with powders I don't see in a book and I don't see H 110 anywhere. I'm too much of a wus. No max loads either. I shoot left handed and that's the side that blows out on an AR if things go wrong. I'm sure it works well for you but I'm a chicken. A big chicken.

November 6, 2008, 07:38 PM
I load for a Ruger Mini-30 and have tried just about every powder you can think of. First let me say that only your rifle can tell you what powder will produce the best accuracy. IMO it is best to pick up a few different one pounders of powder and run some tests to see what your rifle likes. Nothing worse than having an 8 pounder gathering dust because your rifle doesn't like it.

If you want ball powder your looking at AA1680, H335, Ramshot X-Terminator, BLC-2 and AA 2230. AA 1680 is on the fast side of the burn chart and works very well with bullets 125gr and under. The others are slower burning and work better with heavier bullets 130gr and up. For the light bullets my choice is AA 1680 for the heavies I like X-T.

There is a lot more extruded powders to choose from for the 7.62x39. Most of these are very fine and relatively short cut so they meter with ease, the exception being IMR4198. For the lighter bullets 125gr and under I have a fondness for R-7, H 4198 and AA 2015. H 4198 and R-7 run neck and neck in the accuracy dept, but H4198 has a slight edge in velocity. AA 2015 takes top honors in accuracy, but is a bit slower in fps. For bullets 130gr and up I have two favorites, H322 and VV N-130. Outstanding accuracy and velocity. If I had to pick just one I would go with N-130, great stuff.

Don't limit your loads by sticking with the .310-.311 bullets. There is a whole host of handloaders out there that are getting excellent accuracy with .308 bullets in the larger bores. 125gr Ballistic tip comes to mind.

Do you plan on hunting with this round? If so, it's important that you choose a bullet that will perform and the reduced velocities of the 7.62x39. Many of the 150gr bullets in .310-.311 are pretty tough skinned and will not perform well on deer sized game, they may just just pencil through. Bullet selection is key in a tiny round like the 7.62x39.

After hunting season I will be experimenting with VV N-120 and Norma N 200. I have high hopes for these two powders and I'll let you know how they perform.

November 7, 2008, 04:54 AM
Man, what a list. A lot of info there. You spent a lot of time on that. I don't hunt. Just target shooting. I don't have a gun store nearby, so I try to settle on one powder. Then buy a keg of it. It's funny you mention X-Terminator. That was the powder Ramshot recommended over Tac, but said it wasn't a good powder for the 7.62x39. I've been searching through posts for over 6 months. The people that have tried both AA 1680 and RL-7 seem to like RL-7 better. As far as .308 bullets through a .310 bore, half like it and half don't. Doesn't the Ruger have a .308 barrel? But it seems the majority of the posts that like it are bolt guns. All lose velocity through the .310 barrel. And I don't have a .308 barrel yet. That idea may not pan out. At least I now have an idea of what meters easily. That was my main concern. Now my head's spinning on choices.

November 7, 2008, 04:08 PM
If you are just going to shoot targets I would order up a bunch of these bullets. They are extremely accurate. They may also be discontinued soon so stock up.

The older Rugers had a .308 diameter bore with a tappered throat to accomidate the .310-.311 bullets. The new Rugers (post 1994) are .310. Mine is neither as it has a custom .308 dia bore.

Guns and Ammo load data for the 7.62x39
Bullet Powder Primer case Start Max Velocity
Sierra Spitzer Pro-Hunter 125gr RS X-Terminator Winchester LR IMI 25.0 30.0 2,350

Speer HP 130gr RS TAC Federal 210 Winchester 26.0 30.0 2,350

November 7, 2008, 06:18 PM
If the .308 barrel doesn't work out, I'll try those bullets. If the 308 barrel does work out, I want to try the 110gr V-Max. This is the hold up on my bulk order. What barrel am I going to end up with.

November 7, 2008, 10:37 PM
"...Nothing worse than having..." Exactly. Work up a load before you buy powder or anything else, in bulk.

November 8, 2008, 12:58 AM
I only use 2.
AA 1680(when I can find it!)

November 8, 2008, 10:23 AM
Thanks for all this info. Pretty sure I'm going to go with AA 1680. I saw it is also used in 223 with light bullets. I have an old AR-15 that has a 1-12 barrel so I could use it in that.

June 10, 2009, 05:11 PM
I know this thread is old but 1680 is a copy of the powder originally used in 7.62x39 mil ammo seized in Nam. It also works well in the 45/70

June 10, 2009, 05:32 PM
RE-7, gave me better results than 1680 at 1& 200yds.

junior geezer
June 10, 2009, 06:10 PM
i use data 2200 exclusively. another AA ball powder, data 2200 is an ever-so-slightly slower version of 1680. it is czech made and was created expressly for the 7.62x39.

don't know if it is still available but natchez used to offer it: 8lbs for like $56.

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