AR chambered for 7.62x39, avoid or go?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bikemutt, Mar 23, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,480
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I was at the range yesterday shooting my AK pistol when a fellow set up next to me with an AR chambered for 7.62x39. We talked a bit and traded some ammo. I didn't get to shoot his rifle but seemed like a great gun and pulled in decent groups at 50 yards, certainly better than I was pulling from my pistol.

    So I asked a local guy about the AR/AK concept and was advised to avoid it. Reasons are ARs don't like corrosive ammo, nor steel cases. The ammo I use is supposedly noncorrosive but it is steel cased.

    There aren't a lot of AR uppers out there for AK ammo, maybe that's a sign there's still work to do perfecting the blend.

    Thoughts please from the THR experts.
     
  2. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,612
    I know of a guy that has a 5.45x39 upper that he's run several thousand rounds of corrosive ammo through and with a bit a maintenance, it's been reliable.

    There is plenty of 7.62x39 ammo that is cheap and non-corrosive. 7.62x39 uppers often take more fiddling to get running but most run fine once the bugs are worked out. If I could get my hands on an AR that would reliably run on commie ammo for a reasonable price, I'd get one
     
  3. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    23,687
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    I've hunted for more than a decade with a 7.62x39 AR - nothing but goodness once you get the bolt and magazines figured out.
     
  4. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,787
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    I'd personally avoid it. I don't have any personal experience with one, but from what I understand the bolts can sometimes have issues with breaking lugs and the magazines can be touchy (7.62x39 is so tapered that it doesn't like being stacked vertically in the upper part of the mag that is in the mag well when the mag is seated).

    If you're looking for similar performance to the 7.62x39 but with an AR, I'd look into the .300 Blk shooting supersonic ammo because it was designed to work well with ARs. If you're just looking for another way to shoot 7.62x39 I'd stick with AKs.
     
  5. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,263
    Location:
    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
  6. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,110
    Location:
    Georgia,C.S.A.
    I'm suffering from that old-school,opinionated,narrow-minded malady that makes me feel that AR's should shoot 5.56, and AK's should shoot x39 :D.
    But personal views aside, the bi-metal jackets of the x39 ammo plays hell with AR's, wearing them out more quickly.(Though I guess we can assume it's doing the same thing to AK's, but they somehow seem to THRIVE on that kind of abuse !!)
     
  7. Arobbins

    Arobbins Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    94
    Rra came out with one its a lar 47 it uses ak mags its new so i do not now of any feedback yet price around 1200 to 1500 depending on options
     
  8. yotesmoker

    yotesmoker Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2006
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    pa mountains
    I've been shooting a colt ar in 7.62x39 for the last 7 years.No problems ad all I shoot is the russian stuff.
     
  9. powder

    powder member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Messages:
    792
    Location:
    Midwest
    Corrosive ammo would be per which barrel you are running, and neding to clean up immediately after shooting-I personally run the non-corrosive simply from the smell point. Corrosive has a heavy smell of ammonia that's pretty nasty.

    Not liking steel cased ammo is more of an extractor thing, rather than an AR vs AK vs ammo thing.

    The Adams upper in 5.45x39 has been sounding really reliable...
     
  10. navystang

    navystang Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Texas
    I built an ar chambered in x39 last year and it works great my father and I have harvested a few deer last season the only issue I ran in to is running the tula or herters ammo there was not enough pressure to fully cycle the bolt but brown bear, hot shot, and silver bear run great in it. Modified 6.8mags will work with the 7.62 as well just bend the feed lips out a little bit we havent had any trouble from ours but b/c we hunt with it I dont have a mag over 10 rounds for it.
     
  11. sansone

    sansone Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,173
    Location:
    north florida USA
    the only problem is the bolt-face (& lugs) is weakened by being enlarged to accept x39 cartridges.. one fix is a "super-bolt" (forgot where I seen 'em) I've been using regular bolts but only shoot brass cased 7.62x39 (problem solved)
     
  12. Tirod

    Tirod Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    5,117
    Location:
    SW MO
    It's less the upper or corrosive ammo that causes the biggest problem. The bolts are sorted out, and cleaning any rifle shooting older ammo is a necessity regardless of what it is.

    It's the tapered case getting forced to feed in a straight magazine well. It creates a difficult transition for the rounds to feed and is the #1 problem that owners cite. They are called frankenmags for a reason - the early ones were literally that, an AK lower grafted to an M16 upper with tweaked feed lips.

    If you can find reliable mags, it seems to work ok.

    It then goes to "Does the 7.62x39 deliver the ballistics you need?" A lot of shooters are blasting dirt and paper in practice at ranges, the cost of ammo is part of the package, and they are happy with the results. It fills their needs.

    It also goes to Colt actually having made some AR's that used the rounds, too. And some makers are offering it as an option, with one particularly that takes AK mags.

    The AK magazine is pretty much held up as the world military standard for being indestructible and literally bullet "proof" in operation. One of the design elements in the AK was starting with a magazine that wouldn't fail in presenting a cartridge to feed into the chamber. Considering the top two failure points of a self loading rifle are magazines and ammo, the AK mag is actually much of why the gun is so reliable. And why the M16 isn't using flimsy sheet metal magazines.

    So, the best combination would be an AR that takes AK mags, not a frankenmag. And they are for sale. Those guns have the mag well deleted to accept the curved AK mag required to correctly feed the tapered case. Ironically, that cut back mag well is what the AR10 users in the earliest days did to their issue rifles. They did it to speed up mag insertion in combat. Which brings to mind if they weren't onto something 50 years ago that we should pay more attention to.
     
  13. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,263
    Location:
    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
  14. wally

    wally Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    13,460
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    I'd agree, if you can tolerate the expense. But the 7.62x39 AR upper is IMHO the way to go if your main motivation is to shoot cheap ammo.

    If you know how to clean a gun, corrosive ammo is no problem (I shoot lots of it in my 5.45x39 AR and 7.62x25 AR uppers)

    I've found most magazine issues have been cured by putting a real AK mag spring (or a Wolf "extra power") in the magazine. The 7.62 AR mag springs I've swapped seem to function fine in the AK mags they've ended up in.

    I really like my 7.62x39 AR carbine and SBR, one of them always comes along on an steel plate outing.
     
  15. M1key

    M1key Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,886
    Location:
    SW
    I would rather use brass ammo in mine. Too many broken bolts attributed to steel ammo, not to mention premature wear with steel bullets down a non-lined barrel. Cost savings come from reloading the brass cases multiple times and not cheap imported Russian ammo.

    My Colt with chrome lined barrel:
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Palehorseman

    Palehorseman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    736
    Gads, it gets so repetitious hearing the great fears of corrosive ammo. Firing the corrosive is no different that firing noncorrosive. The damage from corrosive comes from not cleaning correctly, or not cleaning at all.

    Mop the bore with water, wipe dry, then clean as for noncorrosive, job finished..
     
  17. HankC

    HankC Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,384
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    Bore is easy, AR gas system cleaning is the headache for shooting corrosive ammo.
     
  18. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,193
    Location:
    Southwestern Ohio
    I built one using an ESS Solutions 7.62x39 barrel and it cycled steel cased coated Wolf and Brown Bear ammo just fine. Accuracy was rather decent as well. I traded it for a Savage 116 in .308 and am planning on building another one.
     
  19. Casefull

    Casefull Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Sawtooths
    I have built 4 of them from model 1 sales kits. Less than 600 dollars in each of them. They shoot great. I reload and like brass but they all shoot the steel stuff. One I built is a 10 inch pistol, very accurate, It is my truck gun. Model 1 makes really nice kits. Shaw barrels I think.
     
  20. TIMC

    TIMC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    2,893
    Location:
    Texas
    I thought about an AR in 7.62x39 but then decided on the .300 Blackout. So far I'm happy with my decision and super happy with the accuracy of the rifle. I will add that f you are not a hand loader then I would not advise on the.300 blackout.
     
  21. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,193
    Location:
    Southwestern Ohio
    I built mine in 7.62x39 cause I have bookoo amounts of ammo for my SKS and figured I'd try one out. I like it.
     
  22. Strahley

    Strahley Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    890
    Location:
    Kansas
    300 Blackout is the answer
     
  23. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,480
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    .300 BO is around $0.70 per round; 7.62x39 is around $0.22 per round.

    The answer comes at a steep premium.
     
  24. HexHead

    HexHead Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,442
    Location:
    TN
    Now that the magazine issue has been addressed, make sure the steel cased ammo you use is the newer polymer coated cases, not the lacquer coated. DI + lacquer can create a mess inside your chamber.
     
  25. rooter

    rooter member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    I'm not sure what paying more for an 7.62X39 AR, more for magazines, and having to work out reliability issues would accomplish...just so you can shoot, steel cased, bi-metal bulleted, filthy, garbage ammunition. Is your goal to wear out your barrel prematurely? It just doesn't make sense to me.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice