Any argument to be made for picking up a rifle in 7.62x39?

richthe1

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Mar 31, 2018
238
69
I am trying to limit myself. I think 9mm, 5.56, 308, 6.5CM, and 300NM cover all my bases. Any argument to be made for picking up a rifle in 7.62x39?

I’ve been tempted to get rifle chambered in 7.62x39 (AK - either WASR10 or ZPAP M70, Bren 2, or Galil Ace) , but every time I get close to pulling the trigger I think “Do I really want to add another caliber?”. Especially considering I could get the Bren 2 or Galil Ace in 5.56 anyway. And then I think “Well I already have an LMT and X95, do I really need a Galil Ace or Bren 2...”
 

mheimer_45

Full Member
Belligerents
Minuteman
May 19, 2013
404
154
NW Kansas
Pick up an ak. Everybody needs one. Are they awesome? Yes. Does it fit you? Prolly not. Will you smash your nose against the receiver? Prolly. Buy a bunch of cheap ammo and stash it in a climate controlled room. Is it accurate? No not really. But all the cheap ammo and mags I have bought have went bang EVERY SINGLE TIME.
 

acudaowner

Old Salt
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 26, 2018
3,710
2,496
you want it , you know you do really bad lol , you want all of them you don't yet own. So get to buying get that new rifle feeling and go shoot it and love it till you want another then repeat .good luck and much fun wished .
 
  • Like
Reactions: CBDR and Mudburner

Mwalex

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
  • Jun 8, 2011
    2,876
    6,205
    54
    Reasons for an AK - they always work, can take a lot of abuse and still work, ammo is available and will be easy to find in a SHTF scenario.

    Buy a good one and the accuracy will be decent. I would consider the following:

    ZPAP M70
    PSA AK-103 or AK-E
    Kalashnikov USA AK103
    Arsenal
    VZ58
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Frank_Castle

    Son of Dorn

    Castellan
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jul 27, 2019
    1,469
    1,377
    Reasons for an AK - they always work, can take a lot of abuse and still work, ammo is available and will be easy to find in a SHTF scenario.

    Buy a good one and the accuracy will be decent. I would consider the following:

    ZPAP M70
    PSA AK-103 or AK-E
    Kalashnikov USA AK103
    Arsenal
    VZ58
    Should be mentioned, though, that the VZ58 and AK magazines aren't interchangeable.
     

    BurnOut

    DDOJSIOC
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Nov 24, 2013
    1,766
    699
    Dallas
    Short answer: yes, you should pick up a rifle in x39

    Slightly longer answer: consider an SKS; they're less expensive than AKs and just as reliable and inaccurate, so you get the AK experience on a budget. Seriously, though, x39 is a great round to screw around with, and has enough oomph to be practically useful for some hunting scenarios if you want to use it that way.
     

    Frank_Castle

    Private
    Minuteman
    Apr 20, 2020
    43
    18
    762 prices seemed to be considerably less than 556 and available when the gun locusts started. Its been climbing a little but not as drastic as the 9mm/556. My guess is shooters are making the same choice and adding a 762 (then stocking up). I have a few AR friends adding their first 762 now for the ammo availability reason. My .2 cents: The trend of shooters adding a 762 to the rotation will start to peck at 762 ammo more.

    Its not an Ak, but consider a VZ58 imported by Czechpoint. (The Century Arms "VZ2000"can be hit or miss problems.) The VZ58 fit and finish is very nice. A milled aluminum receiver, light weight piston driven with bolt hold open and a few other perks differing to the Ak.

    As far as the Bren 2 in 762. Put it on hold...I have and love the 556. Currently, a few 762 owners are reporting issues with the 762 right now. Its not a wide spread issue but its not a cheap gun either. The mags are proprietary and not plentiful. Although there is aftermarket adapters now for 762 AR mags. The caliber conversion kits have not been available. This is disappointing as its modularity was a selling point.

    I never had a Galil but would not hesitate. AK can be fun and "I hear they are reliable".;) Yugo is heavier but well made.
     
    Last edited:

    Son of Dorn

    Castellan
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jul 27, 2019
    1,469
    1,377
    762 prices seemed to be considerably less than 556 and available when the gun locusts started. Its been climbing a little but not as drastic as the 9mm/556. My guess is shooters are making the same choice and adding a 762 (then stocking up). I have a few AR friends adding their first 762 now for the ammo availability reason. My .2 cents is that will be a trend and the 762 ammo will be pecked at more.

    Its not an Ak, but consider a VZ58 imported by Czechpoint. (The Century Arms "VZ2000"can be hit or miss problems.) The VZ58 fit and finish is very nice. A milled aluminum receiver, light weight piston driven with bolt hold open and a few other perks.

    As far as the Bren 2 in 762. Put it on hold...I have and love the 556. Currently, a few owners are reporting issues with the 762 right now. Its not a wide spread issue but its not a cheap gun either. The mags are proprietary and not plentiful, although aftermarket non serialized lowers can adapt to the 762 AR mags. The caliber conversion kits have not been available. This is disappointing as its modularity was a selling point.

    I never had a Galil but would not hesitate. AK can be fun and "I hear they are reliable". Yugo is heavier but well made.
    I've wanted a Galil for a long while, but one of the oldschool ones. They're 5.56, of course, but popular in Africa for their reliability last I checked. Heavy, the South African version more so, but plenty reliable.

    And the Israelis were cool about answering some questions I had about the Galil's history and what sort of rifle grenades etc were used on 'em back in the day. Also at least one revision of the Galil had a bottle opener on it for enjoying an ice-cold Coca-Cola.
     

    SemperFi752

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 29, 2013
    5
    6
    Arizona
    Definitely get one in 7.62x39 even if you don't stock up on the ammo. You never know when you will come across surplus ammo at odd times. I did this when 8mm was a big thing, now during these ammo shortages, I can still shoot while the common stuff gets put away until the 5.56, 9mm etc is available again.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Boman and Mudburner

    Sapper524

    Yeti
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Dec 17, 2009
    578
    20
    Idaho
    Slapping a AR stock adapter and stock on them is easy enough and makes them way more fun to shoot for those of us over 5'7 ...

    Just make sure they gas block and front sight isn't cocked sideway. They go bang and are kinda fun.
     

    OldSF MJT

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Apr 19, 2017
    39
    115
    I am trying to limit myself. I think 9mm, 5.56, 308, 6.5CM, and 300NM cover all my bases. Any argument to be made for picking up a rifle in 7.62x39?

    I’ve been tempted to get rifle chambered in 7.62x39 (AK - either WASR10 or ZPAP M70, Bren 2, or Galil Ace) , but every time I get close to pulling the trigger I think “Do I really want to add another caliber?”. Especially considering I could get the Bren 2 or Galil Ace in 5.56 anyway. And then I think “Well I already have an LMT and X95, do I really need a Galil Ace or Bren 2...”
    I am of the same mind as you regarding my ammunition assortment and stockages. But, long ago I jumped onto the 7.62x39 bandwagon (and haven’t looked back!). To me, the little commie .30 cal is an exceptionally useful round - Hunting small deer, hogs, coyotes, etc. as well as for social situations which are, near-universally, short-to-mid-range affairs. And my safe is home to an assortment of 7.62x39 rifles - an SKS, several Saiga AK’s, a Sig 556R, a CMMG Mutant and a PSA KS-47.

    The round’s many pluses include good supplies of ammunition available, accuracy suitable to the reasonable ranges that the round would be used and a reasonable assortments of available platforms for the round.

    So, my opinion is: Look at the rifles available (my first recommendation is currently the CMMG Mutant), make your choice and jump on the bandwagon!

    De Oppresso Liber
     

    Disfunctional_Engineer

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jul 27, 2020
    313
    371
    if you need cheap and deep x39 still seems a good way to go. I have the makings of an AR upper I need to buy mags and ammo for to test. Just committed to 5.56 right now. If the election goes to shit I will probably buy the rest of the parts for diversity's sake. maybe even a 40 smith too.
     

    Bakwa

    Prophetic Marksman
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Mar 22, 2017
    485
    190
    FL
    AK's are great. They're one of the most prolific guns in the world. Ammo is still on the shelves at my LGS [though overpriced] while 5.56 and 9mm aren't.
    Grab a standard WASR, SLR-107, etc... Maybe even see if you can find a MAK-90 somewhere.
    I don't think you'd regret it.

    Edit: It's hard to make a 7.62x39 upper as reliable as an AK. There are some good ones out there, but the likelihood of you lucking out with one is significantly lower than getting a good AK. Just get a good AK, or even a SKS.

    Cheers
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Mudburner

    hlee

    Sergeant
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jul 14, 2012
    4,122
    4,032
    42
    TX
    As others have mentioned already, 7.62x39 is still available, while the “OMG you HAVE to have a 5.56 rifle because when the shtf, the streets will be lined with ammo” cartridge of choice is [again] conspicuously unavailable.
     
    Last edited:

    Mwalex

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • Jun 8, 2011
    2,876
    6,205
    54
    Palmetto State is trickling out their AK-103 and AK-E rifles. Both have FN barrels and are getting good reviews. Kalashnikov USA should be releasing their AK-103 soon. It is a good time for USA made AK's.
     

    Garyd903

    Private
    Minuteman
    Sep 13, 2020
    5
    6
    I have an ar pistol, an ar 20” barrel and a saiga rifle ( an ak in disguise with a better barrel) all in 7.62x39. Being an old fart I spent 3 years in Nam , 1 in infantry, 1 as a door gunner on a nighthawk gunship. I have a lot of respect for the 7.62x39. It is not perfect and it is not a long range round. i zero my guns at 50 yds with it so out to 200 yds it is like shooting thru a 4” pipe. That’s good enough for me. I have ar’s in 5.56 anyway ammo is cheap and combat effective to say the least
     

    Attachments

    Mudburner

    Private
    Minuteman
    Apr 4, 2019
    85
    98
    I'm with the "yes" crowd. Everybody needs an AK, or an AR, or a main battle rifle... Or all the above...

    I recommend something less expensive and used.
    -WASR (Romanian)
    -MAK90 (Chinese)
    -PSA GF3 or GF4 (US made)

    Which 1st AK? is a very common question on the AK discussion forums.
    A cheap, reliable AK will do anything the expensive AKs will do, except cost a lot, and maybe mount a bayonet... So I recommend a cheaper AK. Anything under $650-700 is considered cheap nowadays. Collectible AKs like Polytech Legend go for $2500 or more. Often much more. Anything pre-1989 ban will be very expensive.

    Or an SKS. SKS imo is a very reliable under-rated battle rifle. SKS-D, SKS-M, SKS Sporter, SKS MC5D, SKS30 will all take standard AK magazines, so they are a little more expensive, but oh-so worth it.

    I would avoid anything from Pioneer Poland, Inter Ordnance (I.O.) made, or some of the other off brands like Hesse, B-West US made. US made from PSA is a good choice, I've had one.

    Just about anything genuine Russian made will be super expensive. Avoid. Even those ugly Saiga $300 rifles are now selling for as much as $1,000. Everything AK has skyrocket in price the last 5 years, and especially since Wu-flu. Shit's crazy.

    Arsenal (Bulgaria) are very well made guns, but generally very expensive. Anything Bulgarian or Polish or Russian will be very good quality.

    Chinese are pretty good, and 25+ year old MAK90s can still be found at pawn shops for fairly cheap. Chinese NHM90/NHM91 are OK, Chinese milled AKs are very very nice. Turns out those POS Commie guns weren't so bad, after all...

    Romanian (WASR, WASR10, WASR 10-63, MD63, MD65, GP75, PM90, SAR1, SAR2, SAR3, etc. are still available as many, many Romy guns were imported into the US.

    Yugo guns are nice, generally heavy built beasts. Lots of choices there.

    E. German, expensive.
    Egyptian, decent.
    Hungarian, good quality
    Romanian, cheap, reliable, decent and lots of choices.
    Chinese, good quality and lots of choices, anything pre-ban : very expensive.
    Man, I could go on like this all day, but you get the idea...
     
    Last edited:
    • Like
    Reactions: Mwalex

    Mudburner

    Private
    Minuteman
    Apr 4, 2019
    85
    98
    Another idea, if you enjoy tinkering, is to buy a kit and build it yourself. Very easy to do at home, with minimal tools that you may already have. Any build tooling you buy can easily be sold later.
     

    BurnOut

    DDOJSIOC
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Nov 24, 2013
    1,766
    699
    Dallas
    Not necessarily. Got three rifles in 7.62x39, none of which are AK's:

    Windham AR
    CZ 527 bolt gun
    CZ58

    Just great guns based on my experience. All three are keepers!
    My favorite gun in x39 is a Howa mini. What a fun little plinker! It's light, it feeds smooth as can be, and it's cheap to feed. With 12x grain HP, it'll print pretty consistent 1.0-1.5 MOA 5-round groups at 100 yards, if I'm paying attention to recoil management. With a can, it is absurdly fun.

    Also, my first (and only) AK is a VEPR, which kinda seems to split the difference between the run-of-the-mill chicom/Yugo guns and the customs in terms of price/quality.
     

    AZgeek

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Sep 30, 2014
    525
    197
    My favorite gun in x39 is a Howa mini. What a fun little plinker! It's light, it feeds smooth as can be, and it's cheap to feed. With 12x grain HP, it'll print pretty consistent 1.0-1.5 MOA 5-round groups at 100 yards, if I'm paying attention to recoil management. With a can, it is absurdly fun.

    Also, my first (and only) AK is a VEPR, which kinda seems to split the difference between the run-of-the-mill chicom/Yugo guns and the customs in terms of price/quality.
    Heard really good things about the Howa mini. Maybe give it a try in 6.5 Grendel one day. Would like to acquire a nice SKS to round out my 7.62x39 platforms - but not at today's prices!
     

    uffduh

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • Oct 1, 2017
    888
    1,018
    So long as we’re talking the availability of steel cased ammo at reasonable-ish prices. What’s the crowd favorite? Tula, Wolf, Red Army Standard, some sort of surplus in spam cans?
     

    Mudburner

    Private
    Minuteman
    Apr 4, 2019
    85
    98
    A typical AK will eat any if it. Today, I would get whatever I could find. I can't comment on a bolt gun, but if I had a 7.62x39 bolt gun, I would hand load for it with brass cases for best accuracy. Typical bulk ammo as above isn't... anything special, other than it will generally be reliable. Some people report liking one or the other (Golden Tiger for example) more than the others, but I'm not very particular. AK is just a reliable bullet hose, a hammer, a big badass hammer.
     

    hlee

    Sergeant
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jul 14, 2012
    4,122
    4,032
    42
    TX
    I agree, though once you’ve done load dev for a 7.62x39 in brass cases, you’ve lost a lot of te reasons to own one. And, blue text is obnoxious...
     

    CrabsandFootball

    Major Hide Member
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Apr 28, 2020
    1,038
    784
    So long as we’re talking the availability of steel cased ammo at reasonable-ish prices. What’s the crowd favorite? Tula, Wolf, Red Army Standard, some sort of surplus in spam cans?
    Golden Tiger is #1 for steel imported stuff.

    There is some good brass cased boxer primed import stuff but its pricey.
     

    Culpeper

    "Goodbye, Rutten"
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • Nov 25, 2006
    4,635
    3,225
    61
    Roswell NM
    I have the newer model of the Mini 30 and like it. Mine has no problem shooting steel or brass cases. Golden Tiger is cool for past a couple hundred yards because of the boat tail. Any argument against this cartridge will be stupid considering thousands of air strikes have been approved and executed to eliminate it for several decades now. Lol.
     
    Last edited:

    Culpeper

    "Goodbye, Rutten"
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • Nov 25, 2006
    4,635
    3,225
    61
    Roswell NM
    A typical AK will eat any if it. Today, I would get whatever I could find. I can't comment on a bolt gun, but if I had a 7.62x39 bolt gun, I would hand load for it with brass cases for best accuracy. Typical bulk ammo as above isn't... anything special, other than it will generally be reliable. Some people report liking one or the other (Golden Tiger for example) more than the others, but I'm not very particular. AK is just a reliable bullet hose, a hammer, a big badass hammer.
    I would opt for 30-30 lever action over a bolt chambered for x39
     
    • Like
    Reactions: CrabsandFootball

    Bakwa

    Prophetic Marksman
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Mar 22, 2017
    485
    190
    FL
    So long as we’re talking the availability of steel cased ammo at reasonable-ish prices. What’s the crowd favorite? Tula, Wolf, Red Army Standard, some sort of surplus in spam cans?
    Golden Tiger and Barnaul are at the top of the food chain. Most accurate, least deviation in velocity between rounds, pretty reliable, etc...
    Wolf and Brown/Silver Bear work just fine.
    Tula is the least accurate and the most likely to exibit malfunctions [it's about the same as Winchester whitebox and works fine for most shooting].
    I've never used Red Army so I can't speak on them. Others seem to be chugging along just fine on RAS ammo though.
    The Czech ammo is coorosive as is a most older 7.62x39 in general. I'd stay away from all that unless you just love cleaning the crap out of your stuff with that gamble being that if you missed an area it will be rusted the next time you see it.
     

    AZgeek

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Sep 30, 2014
    525
    197
    Golden Tiger is #1 for steel imported stuff.

    There is some good brass cased boxer primed import stuff but its pricey.
    +1 on the Golden Tiger for factory ammo. The best in terms of velocity and accuracy. The only thing better is hand-loaded 123 Nosler Varmageddons.
     

    uffduh

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • Oct 1, 2017
    888
    1,018
    Golden Tiger and Barnaul are at the top of the food chain. Most accurate, least deviation in velocity between rounds, pretty reliable, etc...
    Wolf and Brown/Silver Bear work just fine.
    Tula is the least accurate and the most likely to exibit malfunctions [it's about the same as Winchester whitebox and works fine for most shooting].
    I've never used Red Army so I can't speak on them. Others seem to be chugging along just fine on RAS ammo though.
    The Czech ammo is coorosive as is a most older 7.62x39 in general. I'd stay away from all that unless you just love cleaning the crap out of your stuff with that gamble being that if you missed an area it will be rusted the next time you see it.
    Many thanks for the response
     

    MadDuner

    Rankless Infidel
    Banned !
    Minuteman
    Sep 6, 2019
    1,283
    3,024
    Golden Tiger and Barnaul are at the top of the food chain. Most accurate, least deviation in velocity between rounds, pretty reliable, etc...
    Wolf and Brown/Silver Bear work just fine.
    Tula is the least accurate and the most likely to exibit malfunctions [it's about the same as Winchester whitebox and works fine for most shooting].
    I've never used Red Army so I can't speak on them. Others seem to be chugging along just fine on RAS ammo though.
    The Czech ammo is coorosive as is a most older 7.62x39 in general. I'd stay away from all that unless you just love cleaning the crap out of your stuff with that gamble being that if you missed an area it will be rusted the next time you see it.
    I did a test of about 6 different steel case offerings through an AR 16” Carbine chambered in 7.62x39 and on that day through that rifle - Silver Bear ended up being the most accurate at 200yds. Golden Tiger was in fact second.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: KeithK and Bakwa

    AZgeek

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Sep 30, 2014
    525
    197
    I did a test of about 6 different steel case offerings through an AR 16” Carbine chambered in 7.62x39 and on that day through that rifle - Silver Bear ended up being the most accurate at 200yds. Golden Tiger was in fact second.
    Silver Bear is not bad. The Golden Tiger will shine when you get out to the 4-600 yard ranges.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: MadDuner

    alchrisr

    Private
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Mar 5, 2014
    13
    4
    alabaster,al
    I bought a tricked out tacticool wasr10 a couple years back. Real piece of shit accuracy wise but goes bang everytime with golden tiger 124gr. Recently got a Radical Firearms AR from Primary Arms. That thing is fun and accurate! I bought the upper first for use on a dpms oracle then got the lower on sale. I think I have about $400 plus mags in it. Runs flawlesss and adds another alternative if needed.
    CR