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Reloading 7.62x39?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ObsidianOne, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. ObsidianOne

    ObsidianOne Active Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    It seems that brass is hard to come by and paired with the fact that most (if not all) AK variants and SKS have a tendency to 'ding' the casing on the way out, is this even worth my time reloading? Is there a surefire way to fix the dent it leaves in the casing when kicked out? Any decent priced places that sell 7.62x39 brass or should I just stick to the cheap steel cased stuff?
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Elder

    Oct 14, 2005
    Northwest Arkansas
    Unless you're making a specialized target or hunting load for me its not economic to reload 7.62x39mm.

    Academy has monarch ammo for $4.99 a box of 20 or $25 per 100

    That's as much as just the bullets to reload 100rds these days.

    I've reloaded and done things with this caliber most folks thought was impossible. Now that I just have an AK in the caliber I don't bother.

    ETA the monarch (barnual) ammo is very very good. Its faster than any handload I felt safe using and will shoot to the accuracy potential of an autoloader.


    posted via mobile device.
  3. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Senior Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Central Ohio
    1. You don't need to fix the dent. Run it through your full length resizing die, load and it will be fine.

    2. I was able to get a bunch of once fired brass and I reload for this cartridge. The reason I reload for it is not so much economy as it is for the ability to load the bullet I want and it makes more accurate loads possible.
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Mentor

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    I have the means to reload for 7.62X39-and-54. I can cast bullets also. That said I have 100 X39 rounds each of soft point/HP ammo loaded and 700 empty boxer once fired brass at the ready. The present situation is that factory ammo is so inexpensive and available it makes no sense to reload. The accuracy in the standard service firearm is so-so at best and handloading for mine showed such a small improvement I deem it not worthwhile for all the above reasons.:) YMMV
  5. armoredman

    armoredman Elder

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    I am the opposite, in the fact that I live in BFE and can't find cheap ammo close, nor do I wish to pay a fortune for shipping to buy it online. I also find my handloads work better than many factory rounds. I also cast in this caliber, and those work wonders in the bolt action CZ 527M. Another plus is the inexpensive and pretty darn cool Berrys 125 grain plated bullet now available. Using those it costs me $4.92 per 20, BTW, those are 250 for $37.07. ;) Sure it's not "economical" but watching movies isn't "economical" either.
    I've been loading 7.62x39mm for years now, and enjoy it not only for making better quality ammo than I can buy, but also a fun and productive hobby. If you like reloading, go for it. If reloading to you is just a chore to make cheap ammo, skip it and stock up on the import garbage.
  6. jcwit

    jcwit Mentor

    Oct 19, 2007
    Great state of Indiana
    The ding is of no consequence as mentioned already. I cast my own bullets and the only expense to me is primers and powder which is minimal.
  7. Ledhore

    Ledhore New Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Northwest desert
    I've got IMI and winchester brass in x39 that I've reloaded over 20 times, but I anneal every 5th reload or so. Many, many dings, but below the shoulder and no biggie. I reduce the pressure a bit and shoot cast through an AK.
  8. rdhood

    rdhood Active Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    I reload for 7.62x39 when the cost gets well above about 25 cents per round. Below that, its just not worth it. Nonetheless, I have a good stash of brass, powder and bullets in case of shortages.
  9. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Senior Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    South-Western North Carolina
    the SKS can easily be converted to straight pull bolt action. some 'tweaking' and you may well be surprised at the accuracy you can get and good handloads enhance this.
    you don't get any case dings with this either.
    if you have any interest in benching your SKS that's the way to go. the AK I would'nt even think about
  10. Edarnold

    Edarnold Active Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    Northern Illinois
    7.62x39 reloading

    I tried reloading for the cartridge in a nice all-milled Chinese SKS, with discouraging lack of accuracy. Assuming that proper American bullets and the right powder charge would reduce the spread, I could never get anything that I considered a group. Finally, noting the black ring of carbon around the bullet holes in the target paper, i decided to slug the bore and see what was going on.

    A .310 diameter round ball was nice and snug tapped into the breech, and stayed snug until it cleared the rear sight base, when it loosened up considerably. When it hit the gas block, snugged up again, then loose, then tightened up a bit passing the front sight base.

    My conclusion was that the factory had ensured a tight fit for these components on that very slender barrel by shrink-fitting them in place, squeezing the barrel enough to deform the inside dimensions. Given the futility of getting accuracy from such a barrel, I abandoned the attempt and the gun.

    As Townsend Whelan said: "Only accurate rifles are interesting"
  11. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Senior Elder

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    I have handloaded the 7.62x39 for more than a decade now. For hunting use, handloads are all that I use. But for practice ammo (most of which is shot offhand at 50yds or 100yds), i will admit that I'd rather use S&B or other decent factory loadings than blow through a bunch of handloads.

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