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BEST 7.62x39 round for self defense purposes?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ligament, Feb 13, 2006.

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  1. Ligament

    Ligament Member

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    Hi All,Which is the absolute best (regardless of cost) 7.62x39 round for self defense purposes? How about the best "economy" round for the same purpose? Pros/Cons of FMJ, Soft Point, Hollow Point?thanks!

    I'm leaning toward the Lapua 125grain Soft Point (they call it the "mega" point), but cannot find Lapua anywhere. Not even the Lapua american distributor can find it for me.
     
  2. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    I have heard good things about Sapsan, also known as Ulyanovsk EM3 hollowpoint. It is the only hollowpoint that expands well in gel or water tests. The rest just tumble and crush. Good luck finding any. I've been trying for over a year to get a case of it.

    I have heard that Wolf SP doesnt fragment or expand very well for human sized targets and is more of a "big game" round. I think one of the lighter SP rounds does a better job, but I cant remember which one.

    Wolf SP out of a hot barrel might expand better in human sized targets due to the lead softening, but thsi doesnt seem like a reliable way of going about things.
     
  3. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Someone ought to make a .311 version of the 110gr Hornady V-Max that they use in the .308 TAP. Would get better velocity than regular x39, and terminal performance should be downright nasty.


    In my opinion, it isn't so important to seek out the magic death bullet. Just by having an AK, you've taken care of 95% of the equation. Remember, anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice (and even more times).


    If you can easily find a better round, go for it. But even regular FMJ Wolf does bad things to people.
     
  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't want to be rude, but let me give you an idea that might be useful for you in the future: "There IS no best."

    See, even if everything cost the same, there would be disagreement amongst folks as to what was the "best" for a given situation- and there are plenty of different scenarios.

    Let's look at just one idea. Law enforcement ammunition typically penetrates deeper than what may consider to be ideal non-leo ammo. Why? Well, it's because LEOs are a lot more likely to have to shoot through obstacles such as glass, or take cross-body shots, than a non-leo, who is traditionally thought of as having the stereotypical "back to the wall" square-on shot at BG.

    Okay- now for your question. If you believe in deeper penetration, Wolf 154 grain may be your bag of tea. Medium penetration would probably be an American load 124 grain SP. Shallow penetration would probably be 125-grain ballistic tip and DEFINITELY would be frangible (GLASER, etc).

    See what I mean?

    No one can tell you what the best anything is. We may be able to suggest ONE OF THE best items for a certain specialized task, in a certain price range, if you accept certain postulates.

    John
     
  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    If all you own for SD is a rifle, use a frangible or soft point bullet and hope you don't miss. Your rifle round will likely zip right through a target at close range.

    I was going to make a wisecrack about wooden training blanks but I'll stop.
















    But it's hell on vampires. :scrutiny:
     
  6. LAK

    LAK Member

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  7. HankB

    HankB Member

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    Assuming they shoot to the same point of impact, in some situations (note the disclaimer . . . "some") it may make sense to alternate FMJ and expanding ammo in the mag, and concentrate on double taps. That way you get both penetration and expansion.

    For self-defense purposes, most of the time any round will do; a soft point will usually be preferred, and I think it would be hard to distinguish between different soft points for ending a serious encounter . . . but I wouldn't feel undergunned if all I had was ball ammo.
     
  8. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I am loading Speer 125gr Soft point HotCor bullets right now, haven't tried any expansion experiments, but I'll bet they'll do some damage!
     
  9. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    If you are planning on defending yourself against black clad, face masked and body armored, front door smashing home invaders, you really need steel core. See if a magnet will stick to it to make sure.

    Disclaimer: This course of action is highly inadvisable under any circumstances, for a number of obvious reasons, if you are certain that the invaders are Police Officers or agents of the Federal Government. Unless you are certain of that, however, you may be forced to choose self defense, as the alternative of surrendering to criminal home invaders (many of whom wear SWAT type gear and announce that they are Federal Agents or Police Officers in order to cause you to drop your weapons) is naturally unacceptable to most.

    One clue is that legitimate agents and officers will first knock and wait a reasonable amount of time for you respond (Do so from an upstairs window, if at all possible, but under no circumstances respond by opening the door until you have first taken steps to verify who it is), as required by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. They will then show you a warrant and give you a chance to verify that it is proper, as required by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. This is designed to give you time to verify that they are indeed legitimate agents and/or officers by, for example, looking through a window for such things as uniformed local Police Officers, who will always accompany any legitimate warrant service, along with squad cars outside.
     
  10. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Doesn't someone make a 125-grain VMAX load in 7.62x39? Is that a .308 bullet or .311?
     
  11. 50caliber123

    50caliber123 Member

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    This deer season, I learned something about wolf 122gr HP. I shot a deer with one. I killed it, but in aiming for the head, which it moving its head about made it a tough target aways away. I hit it in the face. It was dead, but after flipping it over you could see the effects of the bullet: It was literally missing the left side of its face. The bullet hit it from the side, and tumbled off the deer's teeth, up along its jaw, into its brain. (the last part was found out at a DNR checkstation. Not pretty. The lack of penetration and tumbling makes me question the wolf round for deer hunting, I won't be using it again. However, I would never want to be hit by it. What a grievous wound...
     
  12. BreakerDave

    BreakerDave Member

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    Red Dawn of the Dead

    We definitely need a new forum for these types of questions. We can call it "Red Dawn of the Dead" or "When Zombies Attack..."
    :evil:

    As has been mentioned, you need to toss "best" from your question and establish what threat scenario you are seeking to counter. Using 7.62x39 seems a little excessive for the standard burglary scenario. You would need to consider over-penetration or the very real possibility of an errant shot that ends up going through a wall and enters your neighbor's home. Of course, if you live out in the woods, your neigbors are far away, and you're worried about a bear or some other critter, then you should be looking more at rounds in regular hunting calibers.

    I wouldn't feel undergunned using 7.62x39 in a defensive situation, but I don't think I'm likely to face a situation at home where that would be my caliber of choice for the problem. If you want somethat that is more appropriate for self defense in the home, look at handguns and shotguns. If you want to have a firefight with government agents, just watch action movies and you'll learn everything you need to know.
    ;)
     
  13. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    I cover my bases with them all. :)

    [​IMG]

    I like the Barnaul 125 grain SP's in 7.62x39, but I really dont think it matters what you use.
     
  14. boyanzhu

    boyanzhu Member

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    You can't find Lapua Mega in this caliber because it's been discontinued in May 2004
    Sapsan Uly 8M3 is a great economy round, fragments reliably, last time it was available in mid 2004, www.aimsurplus.com for example had it back then between $65-69/1000
    Winchester softpoint is a great expanding round, as good as best expanding 30CAR, .223 and 30-30
     
  15. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    I emailed Hornady with that very suggestion a few months back. I pointed out that the TAP ammo has been wildly successful, and that there was a substantial demand for a premium quality defensive round in 7.62x39. They emailed me back and said "no chance." According to Hornady, they've tried marketing premium bullets and ammo in 7.62x39 in the past and taken a bath on it, because the only stuff that sells in that caliber is the cheapo combloc imports.
     
  16. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    I think Maine Cartridge Co. makes a Vmax load for the 7.62x39 and Corbon markets a load with a Sierra JHP that is supposed to fragment, though I have never tested them.

    For general use I prefer the standard Wolf FMJs. That is what I will be loaded with if and when the SHTF. Strictly for home defense, I would probably just get some Wolf SPs and be done with it.

    http://www.ammunitionstore.com/Images/Ammo/A002.15.htm
     
  17. Domino

    Domino Member

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    Barnaul 125g SP is the best of the "economy" ammo. Unfortunately, its impossible to find right now.
     
  18. j grimes

    j grimes Member

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    :p all to readly to kill ,one shot thuogh the roof or even an blank would crap the intruders pants. id go with when zombies attack
     
  19. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Good thing i bought 2 boxes from Grafs before they sold out:D
     

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  20. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Thanks for that info Father Knows Best.


    I think it is a shame. I guess they are right. Most AK buyer out there are NOT your real technical know-it-all websurfing AK types who would actually buy premium defense loads for an AK. I just reminded myself of every person I've ever seen in a store or gunshow buying x39 - not your most knowledgable folks. Just want something cheap to blast with, which is why they often own either the SKS or the WASR.


    Well, with boxer-primed x39 cases, one could handload .308 110gr VMAX loads...accuracy would suffer, but terminal performance should increase significantly for the up close use on 2-legged vermin.
     
  21. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    I dunno, DTOM. I've got nothing against cheap blasting ammo. Heck, I'm all in favor of it! I've got about 4,000 rounds of Wolf laid in right now.

    I just think there is room in the market for both. I buy milsurp .308 for blasting out of my FAL and G3, but I use Federal Gold Medal Match and Hornady TAP (110 for the FAL and 168 grain for the G3) for sighting in and in my SHTF mags. I'd still mostly shoot cheap ammo in my AK, but I'd be perfectly willing to pay $20 a box for 4 or 5 boxes a year of real premium 7.62x39. I'd use it for accuracy testing, sighting in new optics, and of course, to stock up my "zombie attack" mags. :evil:

    I'm just going to have to try and load my own premium AK ammo. I've got about 900 rounds of Winchester 7.62x39 in reloadable brass cases. I'll shoot it up and save the brass for reloading. The available bullet choices aren't great, though. I'd gladly buy 500 TAP bullets in .311 if Hornady would make them.
     
  22. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Oh I agree. I shoot Wolf in my AR's and have no issues at all. However, for best performance, I load 75gr TAP. It would be nice though to have that same option in an x39 rifle. Right now, we don't.


    Overall, even FMJ Wolf is very effective. I'm not whining that we're losing a lot of effectivness or anything like that. Just that if you can tweak for the most - go for it.


    I don't feel undergunned using regular 55gr XM193 or 62gr Wolf in my AR. It is better than any pistol out there, and certainly better than no gun at all.
     
  23. NMshooter

    NMshooter Member

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    Winchester 123gr. soft point.

    Just like boyanzhu mentioned.

    Welcome to THR boyanzhu!
     
  24. Ligament

    Ligament Member

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    Excellent esoteric information boyanzhu. Nobody else has had specific info on Lapua Mega!

     
  25. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    Whatever hits POA from YOUR rifle. Magic bullets are for pistols.

    JH
     
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