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7.62x39 Stevens 200 Bench gun, first range report

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by R.W.Dale, May 4, 2008.

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  1. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I've alluded to the fact in other threads that I was building a heavy barreled bolt gun in 7.62x39 around a Stevens 200 action. Well this weekend I finally got things put together and made it to the range for some break in time. All 5 shot groups except for one were fired through a squeaky clean bore except for one. It was fired through a fouled bore and was the best group of the day Measuring under 1/2 MOA:neener: None of the groups fired measured over an inch, which leaves me pretty excited as to whet this gun can do with more load development and a new trigger. Especially once my neck turning equipment arrives.

    The stats on the rifle are as follows

    Stevens 200 SA that started life as a .223
    Shilen Match bull BBL 26" 1-15" twist on a .308 bore chambered for 7.62x39
    SSS recoil lug
    ScoreHi benchrest follower.
    Modified factory bolt head compliments of Dan Burnside
    Choate ultimate varmint stock
    Leupold mounts and rings
    Leupold VXIII 4.5x14x40AO scope
    Stock trigger


    In the velocity dept this bbl really puts it on my much shorter CZ527 carbine's tube
    Loads that average 2325 FPS in the 18" CZ blast out at an impressive 2595 FPS from the Steven 200's 26" pipe. With a load that's 2grs from MAX:D

    HPIM1956.jpg

    HPIM1955.jpg
     
  2. wilson

    wilson Member

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    Nice, I really like that caliber.
     
  3. alemonkey

    alemonkey Member

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    But the 7.62x39 is inherently inaccurate! That can't be!:evil:
     
  4. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Campers...

    The parent case, the .220 Russian, is kinda sorta used to make brass for the 6PPC and the .22PPC... The MOST inherently accurate cartridges of today.
     
  5. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    It would be interesting to see what kind of groups it would shoot using common AK fodder.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Why burn match barrel life on Communist surplus junk?
     
  7. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    It's more an issue of pressure. I'm not going to risk shooting .310 bi metallic bullets down a .308 bore that is cut with a match throat.

    I have a CZ 527 carbine with the "proper" bore diameter for steel cased commercial 7.62x39 ammo and on average groups shot with this ammunition are twice as large as groups shot with top notch handloads.
     
  8. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    To see what the ammunition is really capable of. By shooting Wolf or Golden Tiger out of a precision rifle you get some idea of the accuracy limits of the cartridges in question. Not to take away from Krochus' rifle, but we all know benchrest rifles shooting handloads are accurate. The fact that he achieved good accuracy with a cartridge that is not known for good accuracy is interesting, but what would be more interesting to me are the true limits of the 7.62x39 cartridges that most of us actually shoot.

    Say for example that his bench rifle shoots Golden Tiger into 3 MOA groups. That let's you know that a Yugo SKS that also shoots 3 MOA groups with GT is doing pretty darn well. If on the other hand we found out that Golden Tiger is actually surprisingly accurate and shoots close to MOA, then that same Yugo shooting 3 MOA isn't nearly as impressive. It just gives you a bench mark to judge things by.

    I can certainly understand not wanting to damage the bore of one's rifle though. I didn't notice the part about the bore being .308.
     
  9. brian923

    brian923 Member

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    very nice. i like it when someone can think outside the box and not just do what everyone is doing. good job, and good shooting. brian
     
  10. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    Krochus goes a long way towards dispelling that myth...

    As Bogie alluded to, the 7.63x39 family of cartridges has demonstrated excellent accuracy. It's the combination of delivery system and tuned ammo that create tight groups. Crap surplus ammo and a sloppy loose AK or SKS isn't going to deliver sub-MOA groups, not even on a good day.

    It also bolsters my contention that there's no such thing as an "inherently accurate" cartridge. Given enough attention to details, one can make any cartridge shoot decently. I've done it by building a benchrest Remington 788 in .30-30, and I'm neither the first or last to try something that flies in the face of errornet opinion. My AK and SKS rifles don't run anything other than my handloads, either.

    Krochus basically created a benchrest gun that shoots 7.62x39, albeit with a .308" bore. I'll bet he did that because Shilen doesn't stock .310" match-grade barrels, and there is a better selection of decent bullets in the former diameter. Were his match-grade barrel of the .310" variety, I can almost guarantee that good-quality 7.62x39 ammo would shoot well. It would even shoot Wolf or ChiCom surplus ok, albeit not as well as Lapua/Remington/Winchester/Federal, and certainly nowhere near as well as his handloads. He'd probably get 1.5 - 2.0 MOA out of the crap surplus fodder.

    You don't run 87-octane in a Ferrari. You don't put crap ammo in a precision rifle, if you want the best results.
     
  11. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    That was my first thought :D

    Nice looking little rifle, and groups too. You going to increase the distance and see how it does? I'd be interested to see even just 200 yard results.
     
  12. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Thanks for the replies fellas! I appreciate the thoughtful responses. I'll post some more groups shot with 110grn bergers hopefully tomorrow
     
  13. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    N120 is some good powder. Once I burn all of my other powder. I am not going to buy anything buy VV powder.

    Good shootin. :)
     
  14. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    Wow!!!! that is with 110's, I wonder if you think it would handle the 124's or 150's? Or did you have in mind the lighter bullets, according to that twist rate? what about the 86 grainers, like what is used in the Tokarevs?
     
  15. Hellion Productions

    Hellion Productions Member

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    Good stuff. I love the flexibility of the Savage/Stevens action.

    Best,
    JBR
     
  16. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    I love Shilens. Only thing better, is putting them on a Savage myself.
     
  17. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    It's very cool, but may I ask *why* (in the hell, mind you) would you build up the rifle with that particular cartridge? It's not a *bad* cartridge necessarily, as you have demonstrated, but why not just a .308 or a 6mm or 6.5mm round of some sort, as long as you're taking the effort to make up a very accurate gun, capable at long range, which will give you more vel to beat the wind? Is it the low low recoil that intrigues you, or what? Because that round manages to combine the worst of both worlds (velocity and bullet BC) among bottlenecked rounds. But nice rifle and groups!
     
  18. Full Clip

    Full Clip Member

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    Very nice rig.
     
  19. Rob62

    Rob62 Member

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    Great job! I have been toying around for years about building up a bolt gun in this caliber.

    And for those that may ask why - I just like the looks of the cartridge - good enough reason for me :neener:

    Regards,
    Rob
     
  20. HankC

    HankC Member

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    Will be nice if Savage offers a bolt rifle in that caliber. Demand is there, not many competitions out there, cheap ammo, why they don't want to do it! Not tooled for .310 barrel?
     
  21. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    As to why 7.62x39mm..... I just wanted one I like shooting great groups on the cheap in terms of bullets shots per LB of powder, brass and reloading die costs. I have a CZ carbine in this chambering and it gave me a taste of what this round can do. This rifle is everything I wanted the CZ to be. And while it may technically be cheaper to shoot .223 you just don't get the same satisfaction from a 22 that you get from a 30 caliber rifle.

    Our longest range at our gun club is only 300M so building a super LR rifle would be like driving a Ferrari back and forth to work in rush hour traffic. If you doubt this cartridges capability you should check out the 30BR page at 6mmbr.com, It's a bit early to tell but I'm fairly confident that with max loads my x39 will do 80% of what 30br can in terms of velocity. That my friands ain't too shabby

    Even though they may be slower than a SBC a hot rod with a flathead engine is WAAAAAAAYYYYYY cooler! Do you think this topic would have garnered this much interest if the rifle in question was just another 308?
     
  22. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Member

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    I think it's cool. The world has too many people, lining up to buy too many boring calibers. Like 308.
     
  23. res45

    res45 Member

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    krochus great shooting and a really nice rifle you have built there,I think savage would do good to tool up and build a sporter version for the general public especially in the .308 dia. Selection of bullets is a big factor of course especially when it comes to a precision match bullet,but in the .310 dia. to the reloader the 7.62 x 39mm has allot to offer as well. All the Major bullet Mfg with the exception of Nosler are currently producing nice bullets in .310 & .311 dia. even Barnes has introduced the X Bullet .310 dia.

    As far as the 7.62 x 39 being "inherently accurate" that depends on your prospective from what you have seen,heard or read without actually proving it to yourself,why because we as human being an have this inherent desire to challenge the status quo. When I got my first SKS a YUGO as some would say the bottom rung of the latter as SKS rifles go. I added a Chinese /26\ late on.

    I read all the post about not to expect much from these rifles or the ammo associated with them as far as achieving any great accuracy or group shots,there just inexpensive mid power X Military rifles used for plinking and short range hunting. Being a shooter and reloader for the past 25 years I wasn't about to just accept that as fact,so I bought some dies and components and started working up my own loads. well I'm no marksman by any means and I don't have the best eyesight either. I will just let my groups from my SKS rifles speak for themselves. By the way this is just my 50 Yd.5 shot iron sight sight in targets.

    YUGO SKS
    smallYUGO.gif

    Chinese, I flinched a little on this one
    scan3.gif
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2008
  24. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I have the Steven's 200 in .223 and would buy one in 7.62x39 mm if they offered it. American production ammo is .308, so that is the bore they should make it in. IMHO
     
  25. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Excellent point! :D I'm starting to buy into Gewehr's theory that there is *no such thing* as an accurate or inaccurate round, inherently. Very interesting, and the low recoil (pleasantness in shooting) would be a refreshing change, making that rifle about as fun to shoot as a .17 rem or .204 ruger probably, and yet it's big enough to easily take down a deer, attacking BG, etc. I say big thumbs up to the project, and if the range is limited to 300 yards, I also see your point of "why go flatter/faster?".
     
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