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Old 04-30-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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7.62x39 Brass

Well a 1000 round case of Winchester 7.62x39 just almost flew off my balcony. I will be getting a refund and someone will be bitched out over what abominations to case manufacture are in there, and I'm not just talking my picky knacks, I'm talking angle cut necks, bad case heads, and big dents.

It's looking like Lapua for the 7.62x39 but that is a full $100 more and I'm only using Hornady FMJ so it's not like I'd see an increase in accuracy. Any other decent 7.62x39 brass manufacturers?

 
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:36 PM   #2
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I picked up 40 rds of Federal 7.62x39mm last fall just to try it, it functioned well in my SKS. I have yet to get into reloading that caliber cause its so darn cheap at gun shows and I only need 300 a year for competition use.
 
Old 05-01-2008, 05:22 AM   #3
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What I'm willing to spend is directly related to the intended use...

That said, I have had good results with Win and Rem. Some of the best I used was K-P from Midway some years ago. For the price of Lapua brass you can just about cover loaded ammo, sometimes even do better on it. If this is just for plinkin' and such, I'd buy the ready-to-go stuff. If it's comming out of a SKS or an AK, surplus is more than enough, and has been used on the battlefield in un-countable amounts. I have reloaded for my Russian SKS and have had some good results. But I'd rather be shooting than reloading for it. I also have 3 AK's, and surplus or cheap ruski/chech/chink is what they eat.
 
 
Old 05-01-2008, 05:45 AM   #4
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Garand,

I haven't been able to find Federal brass by itself. What kind of velocity and accuracy were you getting out of the factory loads though? I noticed Winchester factory shot to a lower POI than Wolf.

Jasper,

It's for a course. One of the modules is a foreign weapons fam and after we go through that we're going to take out my Ak and troubleshoot some of my problems in employing it. I'm not so great at using Ak Irons during movement and from awkward positions and I need to work that out.

The piece is an Ak-103 clone with every part being new production and the entire front end being made at Izhevsk. It'l shoot a tad under 2 MOA with Barnaul and an Aimpoint, but I shoot it 3-3.5 MOA with irons just standing hence why I need to work on it. Its clearly more capable than 2 MOA with good ammo and decent shooting skills.

Are there any current sources for K-P? Some quick googling didn't find any vendors but did find some happy reviews.

How has loading for the Russian SKS gone? I'm going for 26gr H4198 then taking baby steps to see what .1 increases do. I've got 4LB of it here with no brass to go in at the moment .
 
Old 05-01-2008, 09:51 AM   #5
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The K-P I have was from a few years ago, have not seen it offered for a while. I don't have my loadbook at work, but later I'll look to see what some successful loads were. IIRC, the Rem. cases used small primers, didn't have problems, but just felt wrong given the generous tolerances in the rifles. And the SKS can be pretty brutal on the brass it throws out.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 06:50 AM   #6
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At the time, I never really thought of chronoing it. As for accuracy, I found that the few groups that I shot were about 1/3 smaller than those I get with czech surplus. I have what some consider a "bad " attitude to the 7.62x39mm round. It was never designed as an accuracy cartridge. While the SKS is a slick fast handling carbine designed for alot of hard use by people with limited education, I find alot of barrel "whipping" during rapid fire exercises which opens up the groups severly. I have tried to shoot 1'x1' steel plates out to 400 yards with extremely minimal success and have found that its a great carbine for 100 yd use against reactive targets and has a better muzzle velocity than a .30 Carbine.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 05:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garand View Post
At the time, I never really thought of chronoing it. As for accuracy, I found that the few groups that I shot were about 1/3 smaller than those I get with czech surplus. I have what some consider a "bad " attitude to the 7.62x39mm round. It was never designed as an accuracy cartridge. While the SKS is a slick fast handling carbine designed for alot of hard use by people with limited education, I find alot of barrel "whipping" during rapid fire exercises which opens up the groups severly. I have tried to shoot 1'x1' steel plates out to 400 yards with extremely minimal success and have found that its a great carbine for 100 yd use against reactive targets and has a better muzzle velocity than a .30 Carbine.
I think much of the problem is the available ammo and weapons. With how most SKS barrels are configured, they basically are one of the most non-optimal designs conceivable when it comes to accuracy. The 7.62x39 sacrificed much in the way of potential ballistics during the design phase to aid in reliability and borrowed the ideas of the 7.92 Kurz; which results in an inferior ballistic coefficient. The countries employing 7.62x39 and its weapon systems also typically lack the desire or need to focus on quality.

IMO, with properly loaded and quality ammo the 7.62x39 is a capable 300 yard cartridge. The reasons it cannot reasonably be stretch farther for the individual engagement of single targets are the inverse of some of the 5.56x45's shortcomings; essentially because as far as assault rifle purposed cartridges go, the 7.62x39 and 5.56x45 are on two opposite ends of the idea spectrum.

As far as your 400 yard target, maybe there is something wrong with your SKS. Maybe your ambient conditions contribute to the already poor ballistic performance? I can get first round hits on the flat/static range somewhere (not usually the same place, just somewhere that hits) in similar situations just using the metric sight adjustment and a little holdover out to 400 yards; past there it takes some time to get the holdover right, understand the dynamics, and shoot that style of sight half-way decently.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 05:42 PM   #8
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7.62x39

I took a look at the loads I've made and some of the best results are with IMR 3031. Not really surprised at this because the round is similar to the 30-30. Don't know about bbl. whip, the ruskie's are built pretty solid. I have learned with some military rifles, the bore's can be on the large end of the spectrum. If I can't work up a reasonably accurate load, I'll slug the bbl. to see if it's too far gone.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 05:46 PM   #9
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I can see using a 7.62x39mm as a 300 yard cartridge in a good quality bolt gun, but I believe that it is the only reason to use it past 100 yard. My 400 yard shooting was done under a timer at -25C, so that might be part of the reason. There is no excusing the fact, that after a small amount of rapid fire with the SKS , group sizes at 100 yards really open up.

Personally, the funniest thing I see at the range these days is somebody with an SKS, that has invested $400-$600 into a rifle that cost $169.00 with aftermarket accessories. Nothing like trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear!!
 
Old 05-03-2008, 06:22 PM   #10
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Ditto that last, Garand! A sks is a sks. I've seen rigs with 10x scopes, and all kinds of plastic fooforall. 300m is about the max range I've used mine at. Seems I've read they are popular in the midwest for hunting. Maybe this year I'll tote it along when going for long range practice.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
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BTW, you said $400/600?? Makes me feel real good, I paid @ $120 in 'the early 90's for mine. And got 2 1200 rnd cases of steel core for another $100.
 
Old 05-03-2008, 06:33 PM   #12
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Jasper,

3031 sounds like it could be a good choice. What velocities did you attain? How was the muzzle flash signature?

Garand,

Indeed, the things some people do to certain weapons...

-25C could be a big reason, especially once the metal got hot as far as the gun goes, and definitely due to powder temperature as far as the round goes. Heating/Cooling dynamics may have put some interesting stresses on it. Maybe temperature induced twist rate issues similar to how M193 acted in the old 1:14s possibly. Many interesting things I wish I had an environment to experiment with.

If I had a 7.62x39 bolt gun it'd have an integral suppressor. The low pressure (considering it's still a centerfire rifle cartridge) of the round makes it a very interesting creature in that regard. I would disagree though that it'd require a bolt gun to use decently at 300 yards.
 
Old 05-05-2008, 12:22 PM   #13
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The only time I checked the speed is when we were working on loads for a suppressed rig. Then you'd have to go to a much faster powder to avoid pressure problems. But other than that, I look for pressure signs and POI. Also i use a Dillon RL550-b, whether it's 10 rnds or 1000, set-up time is the same...
 
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