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Thread: Survey - Any AR platform users of 7.62X39?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master windrider919's Avatar
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    Survey - Any AR platform users of 7.62X39?

    I would like to hear from anyone with their experience with using the 7.62X39 in the AR/M-16 platform.

    I know it works but does it work well enough to justify such an expensive rifle?

    The main question would have to start with suitable magazines and feeding as this is the key criteria of any simi-automatic rifle.

    I am NOT interested on whether cartridge X is better than cartridge Y, just how well THIS combination works - mechanically, consistently/reliably.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    If you already own an AR - all you gotta buy is a new upper.... and those aren't really all that expensive...

    The trouble seems to be mags.... as the 7.62x39 AR mags are different than the ever-available AK47 mags..... It's a shame - as AK mags are still easy to get ahold of.

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I just rebarreled my ar spare parts gun back to 5.56. I liked the cartridge 7.62x39 but I had the same problem that truckjohn is talking about with the mags. Never got it to shoot two full mags without double feeding. Just went back to shooting my sks now that thing hardly ever jams on me.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master windrider919's Avatar
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    I have all these AR parts laying around, everything but a barrel assy. And I have 7.62s I shoot but no 5.56s.

    I wanted to 'stock' only one cartridge and all the reloading supplies instead of two if the "AR-47" was practical. Jams and mis-feeds mean it is NOT practical.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    A good freind has one
    I think it is a Model 1 , but not 100% sure

    He uses C Products mags

    Not sure about the cheap Steel cased stuff
    But I know his reolads fuction 100%
    He isn't a caster , so he shoots Hornady bulk J bullets

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



    bruce drake's Avatar
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    I thought for several years about buying an 7.62x39-AR but never threw the money down due to the magazine issues and the early bolt failures. I still liked the idea of 30 caliber bullets in a Semi-auto AR so I went and started the purchase of a 300BLK upper from 82ndairborne here on the forum this spring. 30 caliber cast bullets in an .223 boltface and magazine. best of both worlds for shooting under 200 yards in my opinion.

    Bruce
    I Cast my Boolits, Therefore I am Happy.
    Bona Fide member of the Jeff Brown Hunt Club

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    I had purchased the firing pin and bolt for 7.62x39 but so many told me of problems feeding - seems like only two mags actually worked the frankenstick (steel ar top welded to ak bottom) and the C products (depending upon the gun) - I looked at the AR-47 receivers that took AK mags but never saw mass production (did contemplate the MGI changeable mag well AR).

    I just went the 300/221 route as it's so much easier and to change back to 223 just swap the barrel out.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master windrider919's Avatar
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    And now the C Products website has gone down. I saw that although they sold good products, they had lots of delivery problems on the referral/complaint boards. What I have learned is that the 'AR-47' are good shooters, cartridge performance wise - EXCEPT for the magazine problem.

    As many have observed/wished/noted it would be a great shooter IF you could use all those surplus magazines. Which would require a new lower receiver. But with CNC machining today, that is actually a negligible problem, hundreds of guys are making their own receivers in their home shops. All we/someone would need is to have the code modified and have ours machined out of billet with a modified magazine well, everything else would stay the same.


    A friend of mine has an AR in 300 Whisper which is the same as the 300 Blackout and it shoots very, very accurately but face it it is a anemic cartridge that was optimized for silencer use........Since I have several 7.62X39s (AK n CZ) I just wanted to have, as I said earlier, one cartridge to stock. If I went with any other it would defeat the concept/purpose of only having one that fit all. So I would NOT go that route, I would just finish the rifle as a 5.56/.223.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I bought a 7.62x39 upper from Olympic arms around the 92 time frame. I could use regular AR-223 mags for up to 5 rounds withuot any issues. The aluminum mags seemed to swell just bit and would cause magazine insertion or extraction with a full mag. There was a steel mag avalible then which looked like a AK mag on bottom and AR on top and this mag worked well but the 94 crime bill put a stop to that and those mags became difficult to get. Accuracy wise it shot fine depending of course on the ammo. Steel or brass cases didn't seem to matter.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



    bruce drake's Avatar
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    anemic?

    7.62x39 123gr FMJ - 2,400 ft/s
    7.92x33 Kurz 125gr FMJ - 2250fps
    300 AAC Blackout (7.62x35), 123 gr FMJ - 2130 ft/s
    32-20 WIN 120gr SP- 2100fps
    M1 Carbine (7.62x32) - 110gr FMJ - 1,990 ft/s
    7.62 TOK (7.62x25) 90grFMJ - 1340fps


    I think the bullet will do just fine when you consider where it resides. This is a effectively an updated semi-auto 32-20 WIN Carbine with a better powder and bullet selection. I intend to use Sierras 125gr Prohunters for hunting as well as their 110gr HP Varminters for pest control. I do intend to use Ideal 311410s and 311413s to see how it shoots with lead as well. I think it will be a good cast boolit shooter as well. If I can put the LEE 155gr and 160gr 311 boolits out of the rifle at 1450fps, I'll equal the 32-40 Winchester for a decent deer rifle as well.

    Bruce
    I Cast my Boolits, Therefore I am Happy.
    Bona Fide member of the Jeff Brown Hunt Club

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



    bruce drake's Avatar
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    And I do like the 7.62x39 cartridge. I rebarreled a small-ring Mauser specifically to that chambering because I think its a great Eastern Woods rifle cartridge.

    Bruce
    I Cast my Boolits, Therefore I am Happy.
    Bona Fide member of the Jeff Brown Hunt Club

  12. #12
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    I just recently built my 7.62 upper. The mags I bought are not reliable. I am using a DPMS 10 shot mag holding 5 rounds of 7.62. Mine has a 308 bore and 311 boolits are not all that accurate. When it does feed, a soft point feeding from the right side of the mag mangles the tip ramping up out of the mag. I have tried 5 different factory (commercial) loadings including the S&B hunting ammo. Out of 5 rounds, I will have a fair 4 shot group of 2 inches and one flyer that usually lands 8 inches low and left. I have completely torn this rifle apart looking for the cause, cant find it. All of my 556 uppers shoot around an inch or under every time. I wanted the knock down power of the 7.62, but would now rather have the accuracy of the 556. For me, it was a good thing to try and I'll bury it at that.
    I came into this world kicking, screaming, and covered in someone elses blood. I plan to go out the same way.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master NHlever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x101airborne View Post
    I just recently built my 7.62 upper. The mags I bought are not reliable. I am using a DPMS 10 shot mag holding 5 rounds of 7.62. Mine has a 308 bore and 311 boolits are not all that accurate. When it does feed, a soft point feeding from the right side of the mag mangles the tip ramping up out of the mag. I have tried 5 different factory (commercial) loadings including the S&B hunting ammo. Out of 5 rounds, I will have a fair 4 shot group of 2 inches and one flyer that usually lands 8 inches low and left. I have completely torn this rifle apart looking for the cause, cant find it. All of my 556 uppers shoot around an inch or under every time. I wanted the knock down power of the 7.62, but would now rather have the accuracy of the 556. For me, it was a good thing to try and I'll bury it at that.
    Do you know if it is always the first round that goes out of the group? If so, it has been a problem in many semi auto guns that I have limited experience with. Sure wish we could track down what causes that. There are gun manufacturers that would love to know too! That was one of the reasons that the Ruger XGI .308 Winchester never made it past the catalog.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Really - the Magazine is the unsung hero of the semi-auto world...... They make or break the function of most every rifle or pistol in existence.... The R&D and manufacturing precision that it takes to make them really function properly isn't something to be underestimated.....

    Just try running most any semi-auto with cheap aftermarket mags..... They just don't run....

    The thing with Com-block AK Mil-surp mags is that they really do function exceptionally well.... Think of how good those mags truly must be that some fellow can build an AK in his garage with a hammer and a dremel, snap in some random Com-block mag.... and it will run!

    As a few here have noted - it truly is a shame that there really isn't a commercial lower receiver for the AR platform that runs standard AK Military mags - as it would completely eliminate the feeding problems with the x39 cartridge..... but, there still isn't. Until one is, I would personally stick to a cartridge that is based off the 223 case... as it's probably got the best chances of feeding properly through available mags.... Let's face it - that's worth something.

    Thanks

  15. #15
    Boolit Master pmer's Avatar
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    "As a few here have noted - it truly is a shame that there really isn't a commercial lower receiver for the AR platform that runs standard AK Military mags - as it would completely eliminate the feeding problems with the x39 cartridge..... but, there still isn't. Until one is, I would personally stick to a cartridge that is based off the 223 case... as it's probably got the best chances of feeding properly through available mags.... Let's face it - that's worth something.''

    There's a guy by my place that is machining .308 AR lowers that use HK mags. I can see if he's interested in this if you want. I think his billet AR15 lowers are some over $200 Its called Branch Custom Weaponary I don't know if he has a web site.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Colt AR-15 in 7.62x39 and it's a great cast bullet shooter. No problems with feeding to date.

    John

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    johnly what mags and how many rounds in the mag are you using?

    I have a friend that had the colt but with 20 round AR mags only could load 8 in 'em and get em to work - trying the 30 rnd AR mag didn't improve it's performance.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    I bought a complete rifle from bushmaster. It was one of the first they made in that caliber. It came with two mags and neither worked right. I heard about the cproducts mags so bought 10 of them. They to gave me trouble. I got ahold of bushmaster and they said to send it in. They did some work on the feed ramp and replaced all the mags with new ones even the 10 cproducts mags which really suprised me. I talked to there service dept and they said the mags they used came from cproducts and were just marked bushmaster for them. they said that the mags that came with my early rifle and the mags i bought from c products were an early production and that the new ones were improved. Well i have to agree because since ive got it back ive probalby shot 3000 rounds of ammo half wolf and half reloads and the gun hasnt missed a beat. It will shoot 1.5 inches at a 100 with old black box wolf hp ammo and under an inch with handloads it likes using hornady vmaxs. Its as accurate as any of the 5.56 ars i have owned that werent floated. I also heard about the bolt breakage problems and asked bushmaster about whether i should replace my bolt with one of the aftermarket bolts that is suppose to be better. They said that the problem was allready addressed with the factory bolt and it wasnt nessisary and ive yet to break mine so i have to believe it. I mounted a 1x4x30 trigicon accupoint on it and it makes for a slick little hunting outfit that still will do double duty as a self defense gun. It may not be as flat shooting as a 6.8 but its close and ammo is a heck of alot cheaper and easier to find. What i really like about it is i can take it to camp with 500 rounds of wolf and blast away and dont even have to pick up the brass!!!
    sixgun junky

  19. #19
    Boolit Master lawboy's Avatar
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    Saw a guy next to me today at the range using a 7.62x39 upper. He fired about 200 rounds trouble free. I asked him about his gun and magazines. He was using a long, curved C Products magazine and the upper was built by a local guy here in Sacramento. Owner said gun was trouble free and very reliable EXCEPT it would not extract the steel case Wolf with the polymer coating for some reason. He was shooting factory ammo of some type, berdan primed, with a few WW and FC factory rounds thrown in. I was impressed with the gun and as I already had plans to buy an upper (bought C Products mags a year ago) I think I will go ahead it the purchase some time this year, funds allowing.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master in Heaven's Range HammerMTB's Avatar
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    OK, mine is NOT a 7.62X39, but before you accuse me of derailing the thread, let me explain.
    I built an AR-15 in .264LBC, which is a close cousin of the 6.5 Grendel, which is an off-spring of the 7.62X39. They all share the same head. The 6.5 cals have the case blown out to very little taper, and just enough neck to hold a bullet (or boolit, if it's a softy )
    My .264 LBC has excellent reliability from C-Products mags and brass I formed myself. This to say it CAN be done. Not to say it will work for every user, or every gun. I suspect without having any proof that the squared out body of the 6.5's is easier to manage than the strong taper of the 7.62. That should need a sharper curve in the mag to get rounds to follow-up as they should. An AK mag in an AR platform would probably do it just fine.
    There's my unsolicited $.02

    That's it before I painted the A2 stock black.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check