Why are 7.62x39 not common in bolt action rifles?

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If Savage just produced the bolt head, a barrel using a .310/.311 bore, and made them available to the public we could just build our own.
Sold my Ruger M77 in 7.62x39 when I realized the Marlin 30-30 had it beat.

The Ruger was MOA accurate but so was the Marlin. :cool:

The 7.62x39 was designed to be a step up from a pistol cartridge in a full automatic close range offensive weapon. It's lack of effectiveness in any other role has caused the Russians and Chinese to switch to rounds more like the 5.56 NATO. All the above reasons make it not very popular when you can more easily buy a rifle in a more useful cartridge.
But some guys like pistol cartridges in rifle as sort of a beefed up .22.
For useful distance of the rimless 30-30 which is basically what the 7.62x39 is, you can pay 600+ for a bolt rifle, 250ish for an sks, or 5-600 for an AK. Well...for the range the SKS is typically accurate enough to get by with for deer, and the AK is certainly more "fun" than a bolt rifle, and both are cheaper BEFORE you add 200 bucks for a halfway decent scope and rings. Would you rather pay 5 bucks for a round of pop-a-shot at the arcade or 8 bucks for a chance at 5 3 pointers on a real basketball goal.
This comes up from time to time, like in this thread and a dozen others similar to it. A forum search of 7.62 x 39 Bolt Guns should bring up plenty of threads.

The general consensus is there just isn't enough demand. A good number of people swear that if Remington, Winchester, Ruger and the like made one they would buy it tomorrow but unfortunately I guess the real world numbers just don't support that. CZ and Zastava seem to be doing OK with their niche and the cartridge does have a strong following but apparently not enough to get the other guys making them. I am also not sure how the Ruger M77 Hawkeye Compact rifles chambered in the cartridge did for Ruger.

Anyway, in thread after thread after the arguments for and against the cartridge, the consensus is there simply isn't enough demand. Personally I wouldn't buy one, simply because there are other cartridges I better enjoy. Guessing my old SKS hasn't been fired in over 10 years and ironically I have several thousand rounds of the ammo. There are just other rifles and cartridges I prefer to shoot.

No need for it.

Savage made a low price bolt action for 30-30, which is a ballistic near match for the 7.62x39...except the most common bullet weights and shapes are great for hunting deer sized animals, but this isn't true of 7.62x30

The people who are really into cheap ammo and bolt guns were buying other surplus bolt guns and ammo, no way a big name company could make sales of even an economy bolt gun in 7.62x39 to compete with the surplus bolt guns.

The people who were buying cheap 7.62x39 also had cheap SKSs to buy to shoot it off in, again, no way a gunmaker could make a new bolt gun that was priced competitively vs the prices on an SKS of yesteryear, when they were DIRT CHEAP...just like the ammo.

Also, it costs as much to make a bolt action 308 or 243 or whatever vs making a 7.62x39, and the theoretical customer of the x39 is 'looking for cheap' making him not the best customer to make a profit off of.
If Savage just produced the bolt head, a barrel using a .310/.311 bore, and made them available to the public we could just build our own.
Bolt head is available which is the same as PPC cartridges. Just need aftermarket barrels! I have/had a few 7.62x39 bolt guns built on mausers, still wait on Savage barrels!
I want a 7.62x39 in a bolt gun. Preferably in a Savage Model 10 or Axis. I already have .308 (7.62x51) bolt guns. I already have 7.62x39 in Aks, SKSs and Ruger Mini-30s. I WANT a decent bolt gun in 7.62x39. NO I do not want a Cz unless they make it with a flush mount magazine. I like the Zastava and the Remington 799 but they are scarce as hen's teeth around here.

Good thing Al Gore invented the internets, now you are not limited to purchasing firearms from your immediate vicinity.

Also, this shows the market forces at play. If a lot of people wanted stuff like that you'd see it occasionally sitting in gunstores with a too-high price tag. The guns aren't flying off the shelves, hence no incentive for manufacturers to break into the market.

Although I will say I am a tad surprised that ONE of the super-economy bolt actions (steven 200, Savage Axis, marlin XL/S7, Remington 770, etc) didn't try this at least for a limited run. Could aos be related to just the general nature of the cartridge as a kind of rough and tumble cheap shooter SHTF kind of gun, seems to fit in more with iron sights, and really it's cheaper for a gun maker to throw in a cheap scope and rings than it is to put on a set of iron sights.
how about a 7.62x39 bolt action with a 16 inch barrel and uses AK mags?.. there would be a market for that
how about a 7.62x39 bolt action with a 16 inch barrel and uses AK mags?.. there would be a market for that
Aussie No.4 Enfield. I think they sold a few...



  • Aussie No. 4 SMLE Enfield 7.62x39.jpg
    Aussie No. 4 SMLE Enfield 7.62x39.jpg
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The 7.62x39 is a good killing or maiming round out of a fast shooting close range weapon, Its not a bolt action round, Is it deadly you bet is it an accurate hunting round In my opinion no, I would rather have a 30-30 or to reach out there a 308 or 06, And I agree with some, that round has killed 2 of my friends and a cousin, It does not belong in my collection of American guns, JMHO
It's probably the same reason Kraft makes tons of American cheese every week, but if you want good Brie or Camembert you buy the imported stuff.

There's probably just not enough of a market in the US to turn much profit making them, especially with today's global economy. It'd cost a lot to gear up to produce an action as short and light as what's already being made in Europe and making one with a .308 length action defeats the whole purpose.

I don't own one, but the older I get, the more I like the thought of a quick handling, light recoiling and lightweight bolt rifle with all the power and accuracy needed for deer or pigs out to 100 yards.

The sights on my 30-30 Model 94 Trapper seem to get a little more blurry and hard to hit precisely with every year. I've tried a few '94's with scopes over the years and I don't much care for the combination.

Besides, much as I hate noise, I think a model 94 with a suppressor on it would look weird.
It's just too much like installing chromed headlights on a covered wagon.
I think you guys are missing the point.

My CZ 527 Carbine is just plain fun to shoot.;)

Loaded with factory rounds, my homebrew 155gr cast bullets at 1750fps, or downloaded to 1100fps using pistol powders, it's easy on the shoulder and super quick handling. Plus the trigger is fully adjustable for set, creep, overtravel and take up.

I like it so much my next one will be in 5.56, despite owning an AR.
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7.62x39 has almost identical trajectory performance as 30-30. Granted you can get 30-30 in more traditional hunting configurations and higher grain weights, I'm guessing this the reason we don't see many bolt actions in the x39. Still it would be cool to see Ruger (maybe an American Rifle in the low $200 range) or someone come out with a nice bolt in this caliber.
I've wondered the same question. Let's face it, SKS rifles are fun to shoot but not very accurate in most cases.

My old USAF buddy lives in Manassas, Virginia and owns the CZ 527 in this Soviet chambering. Each Fall, he topples a buck plus 4 to 6 does with this rifle and has no problems killing them quickly with chest shots. Those 123 grain bullets do not bounce off!


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I'm with Chris. The CZ is a blast to carry and shoot. I purchased one simply for the action as I was planning on rebarreling to a 6.5 Grendel (same bolt face). For kicks I thought I'd try some cheap ammo and found the gun scary accurate with $11 Remington ammo. I've never tried any really cheap stuff, but all the brass cased I've shot runs well through the rifle. I've got enough brass saved up and will begin reloading for it soon.

I'll hunt pigs with it this year and probably take it out for a deer or two.
It is a low recoil round that kills deer as well as anything else out to 100 yards. There is not much corrosive ammo left on the market for these rifles. None of the Tula, Wolf, Brown Bear, etc., you buy at Walmart is corrosive. The bolt actions shoot cast very, very well. I don't even run jacketed through my Zastava anymore.

It is cheap to shoot, so I can shot mine a lot and have gotten rather good with it from the standing and kneeling positions. It is not a loud round compared to a 308. My rifle is light weight and a handy size.

I know a 308 has more reach and power than a 7.62x39. That is why I also have an FN SPR and a FAL. Those get much less use than my Zastava, but quite a bit more than my 995 in 338 Lapua or RSM in 458 Lott.

I think 7.62x39 is a great bolt action round. I have killed a couple of deer with mine and plan on killing a few more.
Savage put out 10FCM Scout Rifle in 7.62x39 at one time, but that was a $700 rifle, does not make a lot of sense to have a rather expensive rifle shooting cheap steel case ammo. I was hoping Savage would offer 7.62x39 in the economic lines such as Stevens or Axis, but they never did and now don't even find 7.62x39 in Savage catalog. I suspect Savage bolt gun extractor may be too weak for 7.62x39 steel case ammo and they do not want to offer this caliber in economic lines since they know buyers will shoot steel case ammo. I had Remington 799, the extractor chipped only after no more than 100 rnds steel case x39.
The weird part is there isn't a aftermarket barrel maker regularly makes 7.62x39 Savage barrels either. You may find someone selling Savage 7.62x39 barrel from time to time, but the barrel would be $250+ barrel, while AK barrels would be around $100. Green Mountains makes 7.62x39 barrels for Small Ring Mausers sold thru Numerich for $125, but they don't offer one for Savage. Group buy on Savage 7.62x39 barrels?
I have several 308 bolt guns and converted several mausers into 7.62x39 with the Numerich barrels. I shoot 7.62x39 much more than 308 since I only plinking at range no further than 100 yds and really have no need for full power 308. 7.62x39 is much cheaper to shoot and mild recoil is pleasant. Groups pretty well too, and I can blame cheap ammo if flyers! Steel case is fine since I don't reload anyway. If I reload, I would load 308 instead of x39, not sure if 308 can be safely loaded down to 7.62x39 level! Even reload, the cost still hard to beat cheap x39 steel case ammo!
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.....there isn't a aftermarket barrel maker regularly makes 7.62x39 Savage barrels...
True. I have found Remington and Winchester take off barrels that have been cut down and threaded for the Savage action/barrel nut but they have removed so much barrel at the chamber end that there just isn't a lot of thread area left. They are also in .308 bore and not he proper .310/.311 that I want. I don't think they are worth taking a chance on.
I built a 7.62x39 on a Stevens 200 action and a Shilen select match BBL several years back.

A 7.62x39 bbl for a savage is little more than a phone call away.

As to the bullet bore diameter difference. Each gun is its own individual but I found that .02" either way off nominal made very little difference

This represents .310" bullets in the .308" Shilen bbl


The gun

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