Alternative options to AK (7.62x39) ---> AR (.223/9mm) factory/reloads and CMMG 22LR

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by LiveLife, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    If you SHOOT A LOT and those thinking about stock piling 7.62x39 ammunition, have you considered these alternatives as COST SAVING options while RETAINING the 7.62x39 platform?
    • Buy/build AR15 to shoot reloadable .223/5.56 brass ammunition with no concern for import ban
    • Shoot lower cost reloads with more readily available .223/5.56 components
    • May produce smaller groups depending on AR15 components/ammunition
    • Shoot 9mm in AR15 with Endo Mag kit in Magpul PMags and 9mm upper/buffer (Or build dedicated 9mm lower that takes Glock magazines)
    • Shoot 22LR in AR15 with CMMG conversion kit and 22LR AR magazines (Or buy 22LR AR/dedicated 22LR upper for greater accuracy)
    • If you have large enough gun/AK collection, sale of firearm could fund AR15/AR9/22LR purchase
    Depending on how much you plan to stock pile, you may be able to fund AR15 purchase/build with 9mm upper/Endo Mag kit or dedicated 9mm lower and CMMG 22LR conversion bolt/22LR AR.

    Shooting .223 reloads, especially 9mm/22LR, could result in significant money savings over lifetime to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars while still retaining 7.62x39 platform and buying steel cased ammo when they are lower in cost/on sale.

    What are your thoughts on these alternative options to 7.62x39?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
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  2. HPJeep

    HPJeep Member

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    The end of ammo from Russia is not the end of the world. There's always going to be low cost labor areas such as eastern Europe, Africa, Asia that can make ammo cheaper than domestic ammo companies.
     
  3. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    If you think 7.63x39 ammo has gotten hard to find try buying primers. I have all of those alternatives and while they are all fine options with their own merit, none of them fill the niche for a 7.62x39 in my opinion. 22lr and 9mm do not come close to the power and range of a 7.62x39. One could argue that both 7.62x39 and 223 are both suitable for defense and taking small to medium size game, but 7.62 has a significant amount more short range punch and at the moment 7.62x39 ammo is still half the cost of 223 ammo. Just as 7.62x39 ammo has doubled in price, so has 223 ammo and the cost of reloading components for a 223.

    The niche that 7.62x39 fills for me is a 300 yard plinker that I can and have taken deer hunting, and that I don’t have to dedicate time to reload. I would suggest if you are nervous about ammo availability that you put in a couple years supply because it is available now, and see how things pan out. I don’t foresee a situation where loaded ammo for a 223 will ever be cheaper than 7.62x39. Mine isn’t going anywhere and I wouldn’t rush out to sell yours.
     
  4. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    "Much ado about nothing."

    Like nature, the market abhors a vacuum, and it will be filled. I don't see a shortage of inexpensive 7.62x39 ammo more than any other.

    I'm sure former Russian satellite countries are gearing up as we speak.

    Besides, I'd prefer to shoot that ammo from my SKS.
     
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  5. ClaymoreAKM

    ClaymoreAKM Member

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    7.62x39mm is not going anywhere. Palmetto State Armory is importing tooling to spin up domestic production of cheap 7.62x39mm steel-cased.

    Not to mention that there will still be two more years of russian imports

    Y'all need to relax
     
  6. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    It's these that cause the shortages, not lack of anmo.

    We're our own worst enemy sometimes.
     
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  7. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Yes, I am aware that manufacturing of Russian brand ammunition has already shifted away to likes of Wolf match made in Germany and Wolf Gold made in the Philippines and I believe PMC in South Korea. And with 7.62x39 being a popular caliber around the world for various military and civilian market, there will likely be other countries/manufacturers stepping into profit from large US market share.

    And if you read through the OP, alternative options to 7.62x39 address potential cost savings of shooting reloadable .223/5.56, 9mm and 22LR that could translate to significant money savings over lifetime.

    During over 30 years of recreational and match shooting 650,000 rounds just in pistol calibers (I don't keep track of rifle calibers as I track pistol calibers reloaded by number of 1000 primer boxes used), I spent over $180,000 in guns, ammunition and reloading/shooting equipment and components with over $160,000 spent on ammunition/reloading components. If you shoot a lot, cost of ammunition will far outweigh cost of firearms and being able to shoot "alternate" calibers when preferred caliber ammunition is not readily available or higher in cost is a positive in my book.

    I am in no way suggesting abandoning the 7.62x39 caliber but rather consider "adding" additional calibers to have "alternate" shooting options to improve ammunition availability coupled with benefit of cost savings.

    Personally, I loved my SKS, AKs, Mosin and Saigas, particularly heavy barrel NHM-91 which was a joy to shoot. But after much thought, I decided to replace 7.62x39 with .223/.300 BLK and 7.62x54R with .308 as AR build kits became more readily available at lower cost. And .300 BLK offers similar hunting ballistics as 7.62x39 at 300 yards but with wider bullet/weight choices, especially heavier 220-240 gr bullets for subsonic applications. And since .300 BLK conversion only requires upper swap, it could be a simple hunting option even if you don't reload.

    And while 9mm/22LR do not present the same ballistics as 7.62x39, for training drills and closer range plinking, being able to use the same lower with simple upper/buffer or bolt swap allows same "manual of arms" shooting at significantly reduced cost over 7.62x39, especially if you reload 9mm and stocked up on 22LR when they were below $20/500.

    Keep in mind that this thread is more about "additional alternate" shooting option and not "replacement" shooting option while retaining AK/7.62x39 platform. (And certainly not .7.62x39 vs .223/5.56 vs 9mm vs 22LR)
     
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  8. ClaymoreAKM

    ClaymoreAKM Member

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    Then I would absolutely pursue 5.56.

    Build a couple of AR carbines and get plenty of magazines and ammunition to start
     
  9. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Well, having and shooting a rimfire understudy is always a smart move. I know it may not seem that way right now, but I suspect that almost as much .22 LR ammo is produced in a typical year than every other cartridge combined, and both price and availability will return to somewhere near the pre-weirdness normal.

    Beyond that, I guess the question to ask (unless you are thinking of it as an investment for resale/trade) is how much loaded ammo do you really need to stockpile for your own use? If the primary use is turning money into noise, .22 LR makes more sense than any other cartridge -- unless Uncle Sam is footing the bill.

    Once you start handloading, the real stockpile concern will be primers and powder.
     
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  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    OK, revised the OP to focus the thread more on cost saving alternatives while retaining 7.62x39 platform.

    "If you SHOOT A LOT and those thinking about stock piling 7.62x39 ammunition, have you considered these alternatives as COST SAVING options while RETAINING the 7.62x39 platform?"
    .
    .
    ... "Shooting .223 reloads, especially 9mm/22LR, could result in significant money savings over lifetime to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars while still retaining 7.62x39 platform and buying steel cased ammo when they are lower in cost/on sale."​
     
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  11. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Too bad that Ukraine can't spare any of their military ammo for commercial export to the US.

    * The T-Shirt which I'm wearing right Now has a large Russian flag, under it is "Get Out Of", with a Ukraine flag under the slogan.
    I would gladly buy any ammo if Ukraine could spare some (non-corrosive primers).

    OP: Briefly considered that .223 option, but the "range-quality" .223 ammo - still pricey, is it not? -has no appeal for me, because my reserve of 7.62x39 ammo will last a long time.

    I Did single-stage reloading for .303 and .308 to reduce shooting costs, and got tired of such reloading (accuracy was never an issue; the time spent was too tedious for ---plinking-).
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  12. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Reloading and shooting are kind of separate and sometimes related hobbies to me. I have a few rifles that I only own for the purpose of reloading for it, the fun is making the most accurate ammo possible for it. I have others that I have to reload because there hasn't been factory ammo available for it for many years. And I have a few rifles such as 7.62x39 and 17 hmr specifically because sometimes I just want to shoot and I don't have to reload for it.
     
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  13. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    For the AK fans, there are several 5.56mm AKs out there. Some armies even use them, most notably Poland in their Beryl rifle. Companies like Zastava, Arsenal, WBP Fox, Cugir, and others have imported them and they are rapidly gaining popularity in the USA.

    22-ADD80-A-BAE9-4918-9-F57-7858-B74-C1-EC1.png

    1-B331162-4-E65-48-CC-858-A-03-BB001-D8-B37.jpg

    1106-B843-E457-4-D2-F-B3-F5-3-CC746-F90383.jpg

    03-BFCF93-6-CE7-4-B96-A050-941-CEB6-C640-A.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  14. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    I think they are all superior to x39.
    So much so, they are my first choice.
     
  15. Beck

    Beck Member

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    Well, I don't have an AK. I have a Ruger Mini-30 and a CZ 527 American in 7.62x39. As I stated in a related thread about 7.62x39 availability and cost, I'm not worried in the least. I have many types of firearms. I don't need to have identical platforms to benefit from shooting low cost 22 LR. I have a Ruger 10/22 for that.

    A word about comparing 300 BLK to 7.62x39. There's no comparison. Yes, 300 BLK was an attempt to get something close to 7.62x39 performance based on a .223 case, more friendly to the AR platform. There have been other attempts to do that, but still no cigar. Wilson Combat 300 Ham'r is the latest attempt and for the most part is a success.

    Low cost factory 7.62x39 was already the best deal in town. There's no inexpensive ammo at the moment, but there will be in the future.... just a matter of time. I also handload. My 7.62x39 handloads using .308 projectiles are more accurate than any factory load using .310 and .311 projectiles.

    So until recently we 7.62x39 fans had it all... cheap Russian blasting ammo and all the options a guy could ask for when rolling our own. I load hot, basically ignoring SAAMI and taking my cues from C.I.P. pressure standards.

    By the way, for those who don't know, 7.62x39 has always had subsonic capability. You can load your own subsonic x39 or purchase it from Atomic, Barnaul and PPU among others.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  16. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    Most Wolf brand x39 ammo is made in Ukraine, not Russia. 762S isnt going anywhere. I dont think this ban will have as much impact as you think. Keep a stash, yes. But no need to panic.
     
  17. brunowbe

    brunowbe Member

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    Any option that offers the idea of an AR15 is a big NO from me. AKs come in several calibers (the several I have consist of 4 different calibers), 7.62x39 isn't going anywhere, and not everyone loves or wants an AR. I have a single AR, only bought it when they were practically giving them away. It sits in my safe, next time there's a legitimate panic, I will likely try and sell it for a nice profit. For 5.56 my Galil Ace and Mini 14 fill that role just fine; they're also more fun to shoot;).
     
  18. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    This thread is not about AK vs AR rather "adding" alternate shooting options to save money when the cost of ammunition is high while "retaining" the 7.62x39 platform.


    "If you SHOOT A LOT and those thinking about stock piling 7.62x39 ammunition, have you considered these alternatives as COST SAVING options while RETAINING the 7.62x39 platform?"
    .
    .
    ... "Shooting .223 reloads, especially 9mm/22LR, could result in significant money savings over lifetime to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars while still retaining 7.62x39 platform and buying steel cased ammo when they are lower in cost/on sale."​
     
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  19. brunowbe

    brunowbe Member

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    Yet your original post mentioned ARs 10 times, and all 5 of your bullet pointed "options" were about ARs. Even your title has AK and AR in it. There are other rifles than ARs. Not everyone wants an AR style rifle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
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  20. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    So would you consider the refocus of the thread discussion I posted?
    Thank you for your consideration.
     
  21. Skeptic13

    Skeptic13 Member

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    Right now I don't see either 9mm or .223/5.56 as cost saving alternatives. Looking at ammoseek.com 9mm Tula is .31, Tula .223 is .35 and Tula 7.62x39 is .34. Thats cents per round at the lowest cost on the site. I shoot all of these rounds and am not going to change my shooting habits any time soon.
     
  22. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    And that's the exact point of this thread that if you have .223/9mm/22LR stock piled when prices were lower or can reload .223/9mm, shooting them while waiting for 7.62x39 prices "normalize" could be a cost saving option.
     
  23. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Hard to beat 22LR if you shoot alot. That is the direction I am going.
     
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