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BEST 7.62x39 round for self defense purposes?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ligament, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Ligament

    Ligament Member

    Hi All,Which is the absolute best (regardless of cost) 7.62x39 round for self defense purposes? How about the best "economy" round for the same purpose? Pros/Cons of FMJ, Soft Point, Hollow Point?thanks!

    I'm leaning toward the Lapua 125grain Soft Point (they call it the "mega" point), but cannot find Lapua anywhere. Not even the Lapua american distributor can find it for me.
  2. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    I have heard good things about Sapsan, also known as Ulyanovsk EM3 hollowpoint. It is the only hollowpoint that expands well in gel or water tests. The rest just tumble and crush. Good luck finding any. I've been trying for over a year to get a case of it.

    I have heard that Wolf SP doesnt fragment or expand very well for human sized targets and is more of a "big game" round. I think one of the lighter SP rounds does a better job, but I cant remember which one.

    Wolf SP out of a hot barrel might expand better in human sized targets due to the lead softening, but thsi doesnt seem like a reliable way of going about things.
  3. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Well-Known Member

    Someone ought to make a .311 version of the 110gr Hornady V-Max that they use in the .308 TAP. Would get better velocity than regular x39, and terminal performance should be downright nasty.

    In my opinion, it isn't so important to seek out the magic death bullet. Just by having an AK, you've taken care of 95% of the equation. Remember, anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice (and even more times).

    If you can easily find a better round, go for it. But even regular FMJ Wolf does bad things to people.
  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    I don't want to be rude, but let me give you an idea that might be useful for you in the future: "There IS no best."

    See, even if everything cost the same, there would be disagreement amongst folks as to what was the "best" for a given situation- and there are plenty of different scenarios.

    Let's look at just one idea. Law enforcement ammunition typically penetrates deeper than what may consider to be ideal non-leo ammo. Why? Well, it's because LEOs are a lot more likely to have to shoot through obstacles such as glass, or take cross-body shots, than a non-leo, who is traditionally thought of as having the stereotypical "back to the wall" square-on shot at BG.

    Okay- now for your question. If you believe in deeper penetration, Wolf 154 grain may be your bag of tea. Medium penetration would probably be an American load 124 grain SP. Shallow penetration would probably be 125-grain ballistic tip and DEFINITELY would be frangible (GLASER, etc).

    See what I mean?

    No one can tell you what the best anything is. We may be able to suggest ONE OF THE best items for a certain specialized task, in a certain price range, if you accept certain postulates.

  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    If all you own for SD is a rifle, use a frangible or soft point bullet and hope you don't miss. Your rifle round will likely zip right through a target at close range.

    I was going to make a wisecrack about wooden training blanks but I'll stop.

    But it's hell on vampires. :scrutiny:
  6. LAK

    LAK Well-Known Member

  7. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    Assuming they shoot to the same point of impact, in some situations (note the disclaimer . . . "some") it may make sense to alternate FMJ and expanding ammo in the mag, and concentrate on double taps. That way you get both penetration and expansion.

    For self-defense purposes, most of the time any round will do; a soft point will usually be preferred, and I think it would be hard to distinguish between different soft points for ending a serious encounter . . . but I wouldn't feel undergunned if all I had was ball ammo.
  8. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    I am loading Speer 125gr Soft point HotCor bullets right now, haven't tried any expansion experiments, but I'll bet they'll do some damage!
  9. If you are planning on defending yourself against black clad, face masked and body armored, front door smashing home invaders, you really need steel core. See if a magnet will stick to it to make sure.

    Disclaimer: This course of action is highly inadvisable under any circumstances, for a number of obvious reasons, if you are certain that the invaders are Police Officers or agents of the Federal Government. Unless you are certain of that, however, you may be forced to choose self defense, as the alternative of surrendering to criminal home invaders (many of whom wear SWAT type gear and announce that they are Federal Agents or Police Officers in order to cause you to drop your weapons) is naturally unacceptable to most.

    One clue is that legitimate agents and officers will first knock and wait a reasonable amount of time for you respond (Do so from an upstairs window, if at all possible, but under no circumstances respond by opening the door until you have first taken steps to verify who it is), as required by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. They will then show you a warrant and give you a chance to verify that it is proper, as required by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. This is designed to give you time to verify that they are indeed legitimate agents and/or officers by, for example, looking through a window for such things as uniformed local Police Officers, who will always accompany any legitimate warrant service, along with squad cars outside.
  10. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Doesn't someone make a 125-grain VMAX load in 7.62x39? Is that a .308 bullet or .311?
  11. 50caliber123

    50caliber123 Well-Known Member

    This deer season, I learned something about wolf 122gr HP. I shot a deer with one. I killed it, but in aiming for the head, which it moving its head about made it a tough target aways away. I hit it in the face. It was dead, but after flipping it over you could see the effects of the bullet: It was literally missing the left side of its face. The bullet hit it from the side, and tumbled off the deer's teeth, up along its jaw, into its brain. (the last part was found out at a DNR checkstation. Not pretty. The lack of penetration and tumbling makes me question the wolf round for deer hunting, I won't be using it again. However, I would never want to be hit by it. What a grievous wound...
  12. BreakerDave

    BreakerDave Active Member

    Red Dawn of the Dead

    We definitely need a new forum for these types of questions. We can call it "Red Dawn of the Dead" or "When Zombies Attack..."

    As has been mentioned, you need to toss "best" from your question and establish what threat scenario you are seeking to counter. Using 7.62x39 seems a little excessive for the standard burglary scenario. You would need to consider over-penetration or the very real possibility of an errant shot that ends up going through a wall and enters your neighbor's home. Of course, if you live out in the woods, your neigbors are far away, and you're worried about a bear or some other critter, then you should be looking more at rounds in regular hunting calibers.

    I wouldn't feel undergunned using 7.62x39 in a defensive situation, but I don't think I'm likely to face a situation at home where that would be my caliber of choice for the problem. If you want somethat that is more appropriate for self defense in the home, look at handguns and shotguns. If you want to have a firefight with government agents, just watch action movies and you'll learn everything you need to know.
  13. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member

    I cover my bases with them all. :)


    I like the Barnaul 125 grain SP's in 7.62x39, but I really dont think it matters what you use.
  14. boyanzhu

    boyanzhu Active Member

    You can't find Lapua Mega in this caliber because it's been discontinued in May 2004
    Sapsan Uly 8M3 is a great economy round, fragments reliably, last time it was available in mid 2004, www.aimsurplus.com for example had it back then between $65-69/1000
    Winchester softpoint is a great expanding round, as good as best expanding 30CAR, .223 and 30-30
  15. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    I emailed Hornady with that very suggestion a few months back. I pointed out that the TAP ammo has been wildly successful, and that there was a substantial demand for a premium quality defensive round in 7.62x39. They emailed me back and said "no chance." According to Hornady, they've tried marketing premium bullets and ammo in 7.62x39 in the past and taken a bath on it, because the only stuff that sells in that caliber is the cheapo combloc imports.
  16. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Well-Known Member

    I think Maine Cartridge Co. makes a Vmax load for the 7.62x39 and Corbon markets a load with a Sierra JHP that is supposed to fragment, though I have never tested them.

    For general use I prefer the standard Wolf FMJs. That is what I will be loaded with if and when the SHTF. Strictly for home defense, I would probably just get some Wolf SPs and be done with it.

  17. Domino

    Domino Well-Known Member

    Barnaul 125g SP is the best of the "economy" ammo. Unfortunately, its impossible to find right now.
  18. j grimes

    j grimes Member

    :p all to readly to kill ,one shot thuogh the roof or even an blank would crap the intruders pants. id go with when zombies attack
  19. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    Good thing i bought 2 boxes from Grafs before they sold out:D

    Attached Files:

  20. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that info Father Knows Best.

    I think it is a shame. I guess they are right. Most AK buyer out there are NOT your real technical know-it-all websurfing AK types who would actually buy premium defense loads for an AK. I just reminded myself of every person I've ever seen in a store or gunshow buying x39 - not your most knowledgable folks. Just want something cheap to blast with, which is why they often own either the SKS or the WASR.

    Well, with boxer-primed x39 cases, one could handload .308 110gr VMAX loads...accuracy would suffer, but terminal performance should increase significantly for the up close use on 2-legged vermin.

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