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Everyone talks about the "inherent inaccuracy" of...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gunfan, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. gunfan

    gunfan Well-Known Member

    the 7.62 X 39 Russian military cartridge. If it is so inaccurate, why did Kalashnakov settle on it for both a short-range battle rifle as well as the ubiquitous AK-47 and it's variants? as a fixed-magazine rifle it seems to work reasonably well on deer-sized animals (using hollow or soft point hunting ammunition for these purposes).

    What in the world do the gunwriters have against the cartridge, and why? Sometimes the gunwriters make very little sense when it comes to the battle cartridges.

    What's the real upshot?
  2. Swampy

    Swampy Well-Known Member


    IF the 7.62x39 cartridge was made with commercial brass, and IF it was loaded with carefully weighed charges and IF it was shooting a Match Grade bullet, and IF it was being fired in a good solid, tight, well bedded turnbolt rifle (or tight autoloader like the AR) then it would probably be in the same accuracy range as any other cartridge with like characteristics.....

    Instead, since day one it's been a military cartridge, many times loaded into steel cases, with military FMJ bullets (inherently less accurate because of the way the jacket is formed), and has been chambered mostly in SKS and AK-47 rifles, which are intentionally made with very sloppy tolerances..... intentionally giving higher priority to 100% functioning over all other considerations (i.e. accuracy).

    In it's original military form, fired in military rifles, the 7.62x39 has everything going AGAINST it in the accuracy department......

    Get good non-military brass, commercial match grade bullets, and powder... assemble them the same way you would any good handloads and then shoot them in a good tight rifle and you might be surprized what the combination could do.

    The only problem here is that there may not be any suitable bullets for 7.62x39 in match grade configuration. Due to it's small case size and small powder capacity, lighter weight bullets are called for in the 120-130 grain range. Hunting bullets would probably show an improvement over the mil spec pills, but you'd still have to have a good tight rifle to show any difference I'm guessing......

    Just my thoughts,

    Garands forever
  3. Firehand

    Firehand Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's inherently inaccurate. It was decided on as a compromise cartridge; shorter-range and less powerful than the 7.62x54r but still giving reasonable accuracy/stopping power out to 300 yards.

    In a good rifle, it's capable of quite good accuracy; problem is the AK wasn't designed to come from the factory as an 'accurate' arm by our definition, same for the SKS. And as Swampy points out, a lot of the military ammo produced wasn't real consistent lot to lot or country to country. That being said, a lot of SKS rifles, with good ammo, do quite well; my 59/66 with Wolf or Yugo surplus gives 2.5-3.5" groups at 100; with better sights I think would do better.
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    I've done a lot of experiminting with this cartrige in a cz bolt action, I've come to believe that this cartrige is inhearantly MORE accurate than most, largely due to the mild pressure rating and the short powder column.

    Think about it some of the top benchrest cartriges are based on 7.62x39 the 22 and 6mm PPC cartriges.

    Generally most of your gun writers tend to be a completely closed minded lot who all think like they have one collective brain, unless the diffrent cartrige they are commenting on comes with advertising dollars atached.
  5. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Well-Known Member

    +1 on what Swampy and Firehand said. It would be very interesting to see what that round would be capable of with match-grade components and a dedicated bench rest rifle. Especially compared to similar rigs in .223 and .308.
  6. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    People around here know my thoughts on the "inherently accurate cartridge" fallacy...

    However, the 7.62x39 cartridge can be mated to a rifle well enough to deliver excellent accuracy. Some examples include the Interarms (now Charles Daly) Mini-Mausers, CZ-527 bolt rifle, Ruger Model 77, custom Mauser conversions, as well as Contenders, Encores, and the like.

    Myself, I handload 7.62x39 exclusively, using good-quality brass, bullets, primers, and powder charges weighed to .01 grains. I've been able to consistently group into 2" at 100 yards with my Bulgarian SLR-95, which is still, after all is said and done, a sloppy AK-pattern rifle.

    Taking those same handloads and putting them into an Encore carbine or CZ-527 would give some impressive groups, I'm certain. THR member Krochus shot this group using steel cased surplus Wolf ammo, imagine what a quality handload would do:


    Edited: Sorry, Krochus, I posted the same time as you! ;)
  7. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    No problem. This group is with 150gr handloads

  8. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    I have some Silver Bear Match grade 7.62X39 cartridges. I bought about 4 boxes at a gun show. They were too expensive or I wouldn't have got them. I haven't had a chance to try them in my Vepr yet.
  9. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    the biggest prob is that it short and its wiehgt distribution causes it to gimble and tumble faster. but you are right, i have a cz american carbine 527, in 762.39. it is a one whole punch at 100 yds.
  10. gunfan

    gunfan Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Gentlemen. I knew that there was something "fishy" about the old "inherent inaccuracy" tales from gunwriters. let's go on and debunk osme more BS stories.


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