Zastava M85 in 7.62x39mm - abbreviated range report


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Jason_W
August 1, 2013, 08:45 AM
I was finally able to bring my new M85 to the range on Monday.

Unfortunately, I was not able to scope the rifle as the mounts are not carried locally and need to be ordered, so I wasn't able to gauge accuracy. I'm a pretty horrible shot past 35 yards or so when using basic iron sights.

However, I did take note of some good and bad about the rifle:

It's comfortable to shoulder and compact (two features I appreciate in a "fun gun"). Also, appreciate the ability to unload by releasing the magazine floor plate.

Of concern is the rough action. If the bolt is not worked just right, it will bind. Close examination of the bolt showed some rough looking machining marks. I'm hoping that with continual polishing of the bolt as well as wear from use, things will slick up a bit.

I also noticed that steel case ammo extracted and ejected with far more difficulty than brass case ammo. This isn't a huge deal to me since, as a handloader, I view brass case ammo as something of an investment.

I'm going to withhold final judgement until I've completed a few more range sessions with the rifle after the scope has been mounted.

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adelbridge
August 1, 2013, 03:06 PM
I was thinking of ordering one. Did you get the Mannlicher stock or did they have the sporter stock? Did you order from CAI? I have heard about the bolt grind but it seems like a very economical rig.

armoredman
August 1, 2013, 05:21 PM
I'd like to head to head one of those with my CZ 527M someday. :) I have heard they can be polished up into quite the little jewel.

HankC
August 1, 2013, 05:25 PM
I also noticed that steel case ammo extracted and ejected with far more difficulty than brass case ammo.
Be alerted that the extractor is weak and break easy. I chipped mine only after 50 rnds of Wolf steel case ammo. Replacement extractor may be hard to find, I was lucky to order one and the new one appears to be stronger than the original one. I decided to sell the rifle anyway.

Jason_W
August 1, 2013, 09:24 PM
Did you get the Mannlicher stock or did they have the sporter stock? Did you order from CAI? I have heard about the bolt grind but it seems like a very economical rig.

They are being imported by CAI right now. Mine just has the sporter stock. Had I known they also come with a Mannlicher, I would have ordered one of those.

Jason_W
August 1, 2013, 09:26 PM
Be alerted that the extractor is weak and break easy. I chipped mine only after 50 rnds of Wolf steel case ammo. Replacement extractor may be hard to find, I was lucky to order one and the new one appears to be stronger than the original one. I decided to sell the rifle anyway.

I took that into consideration before buying the rifle. I did a search and found that extractors are available if need be.

whetrock
August 1, 2013, 09:30 PM
I've been interested in this rifle, since it was marketed as the Remington 799, I'd like to think that a 7.62*39 bolt gun would make for a practical, deer rifle for me. Been between this and the 527, and in all honesty like the CRF the 527 offers. A true, or well truer mini mauser IMHO. I hear the M85 is based off of the Sako Vixen. I do like the looks of the M70 big Mausers they make, a commercialized Mauser of a sort. I like the looks of your gun, and own a Zastava handgun (M70 9MM) that is rough, but of reliable quality. Serbia has pretty high gun ownership from what I understand, and I appreciate their market presence as of lately. Their handguns are competitively priced, as are their rifles. The extractor issue has me kinda disappointed, but it's be an excuse for me to hand load the 7.62*39, and make use of brass. Still it'd be cool to have a nice looking, hunting oriented firearm, that could shoot the cheap stuff in a pinch. I wanna hear how, or if the action smooths up, and if the tooling marks subside with use.

Gunner11
August 1, 2013, 11:22 PM
I've had a m85 in 223 for around 7 years now, and love it. Only criticism is that the mag is slow to load. I do quite a bit of vermin control shooting with a group of friends, and miss out on a few to mates with AR's. Have put around 700 steel case through and several thousand all up with no problems. Am considering one in 7.62x39 or an AK so this thread is interesting.

Jason_W
August 2, 2013, 07:20 AM
I'm interested to see how it shoots once I have it scoped. As I said, I'm a terrible shot with basic iron sights. I do ok with peeps and scopes.

I also want to slug the bore to determine what bullets I should use for handloading.I just need to find something to use as a bore slug.

Jason_W
August 2, 2013, 06:45 PM
A slightly more detailed range report

http://lofigunandgame.com/the-zastava-m85-part-ii-a-caffeine-fueled-range-report/

dcarch
August 3, 2013, 10:08 AM
I really, really like your writing style. I have similar issues with hundred yard groups. :)

Jason_W
August 3, 2013, 10:25 AM
I really, really like your writing style. I have similar issues with hundred yard groups.

Thank you.

I know that I would get better with irons if I put in enough practice. Unfortunately, given the ammo situation that amount of practice won't be possible for a while.

karlsgunbunker
August 3, 2013, 11:08 PM
What size mounts did you order?

I have the M85 in 7.62x39 with the Manlicher Stock.
I ordered it from Century Arms.
I've been looking for scope mounts but not sure what to buy.

I haven't gotten to the range with it yet.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a269/karlsgunbunker/big_LKM85Mannlicherstandard_zpsf0610627.jpg (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/karlsgunbunker/media/big_LKM85Mannlicherstandard_zpsf0610627.jpg.html)

4sixteen
August 3, 2013, 11:26 PM
My Remington 799 has a Zastava mini-mauser barreled action. Consider the Leupold one piece mount for the 799 which is windage-adjustable -

http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r236/storm_rider02/zm85.jpg

Jason_W
August 4, 2013, 07:50 AM
I was thinking about going with the Warne mounts sold on Midway.

The Manlicher version is beautiful. As I said, had I known it existed, I would have ordered in one of those. Maybe if I'm in the market for a longer range hunting rifle some day, I'll look into one of the M70s with the Manlicher stock.

Zastava also chambers their rifles for a number of metric calibers including 6.5x55mm and 9.3x62mm. Unfortunately, it seems that no one in the US is interested in importing them.

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