The 7.62x39mm Page

Updated Mar 08

The 7.62x39 Russian is the grand-daddy for some of the most accurate Benchrest cartridges in the world. The .220 Russian was formed from the 7.62x39 which in turn was the parent case for both the 22PPC and the 6PPC.

Additionally the 7.62x39 is one of only a very few mid sized .30 calibre centrefire rifle cases and it is probably the only one in widespread use today. This makes the 7.62x39 case the only choice for a short to medium range rifle.

It will quickly become evident, as you proceed through the page, that this little .30 caliber cartridge can be highly versatile in fulfilling a number of roles. However the one role which will not be covered here is its use in the SKS and AK families of military autoloading rifles. There are literally hundreds of internet sites devoted to those rifles and there is no need to duplicate that information on this page.

I first became interested in the 7.62x39 cartridge through my Thumper Project. There were so many positive replies to my 7.62 Thumper webpage that I decided there was a need for a page devoted entirely to this cartridge and the shooters interested in it. I thought I was the only person who was interested in a 7.62x39 bolt action rifle but it turns out there are lots of people out there with similar ideas. This page is for you.

If you have a website of interest, let me know and a link will be added here.

7.62x39 Rifles and Information

 Mauser Rifle Conversion to 7.62x39mm

 Subsonic Information and Ammunition
 7.62x39 Mauser conversion - This is how it is done  Gun Writers on the Web - good source for subsonic information
 Numrich Gun Parts Corp. - 7.62x39 Mauser Conversion Kit  EBR 7.62x39 Subsonic Ammunition - Engel Ballistic Research

 Factory Bolt Action 7.62x39mm Rifles
 Subsonic 7.62x39 Catridge cutaway
 Norinco JW103  CZ 527 Carbine Hammon Game Getter - 7.62x39 commercial gallery cartridge
 Ruger M77 - current production?  Charles Daly Mini Mauser  Develop Subsonic ... and live to tell about it.
 M10-A2 - Enfield type action  Remington 799 - new for 2006  

 Lee Enfield Rifle Conversion to 7.62x39mm
 Special Interest Arms - Enfield "K" 7.62x39mm

 Contributors to this page:

 7.62x39mm Chamber Adapters
 Jerry Teo  30-06 Parker Hale w E. Arthur Brown 7.62x39 chamber insert. No mag mod. MysticPlayer Website
 MCA Sports  E. Arthur Brown Co. (EABCO)
 7.62x39 Chamber Adapter in a Gardia Civil 7.62 Nato rifle  Geoff Beneze - Beast Enterprises

 Savage Rifle 7.62x39mm Switch Barrel
 Jim Crowley - Mauser conversion as above
Savage .
  . Peter Cronhelm - Mauser 98k w .308 barrel and fibreglass stock. No mag mod. Mini Mauser 7.62x39.

 7.62x39mm Factory Ammo Specs
 Wolf 122gr JHP - 2500 fps  MIL Surplus FMJ - 2320 fps  Wolf 154gr JSP - 2220 fps  
 Russian 123gr JHP - 2410 fps  S&B 123gr JSP - 2410 fps    
 Lapua M43 FMJ - 2440 fps  Federal 124gr FMJ - 2330 fps    


7.62x39 Reloading Information

Load Data on the Internet

Subsonic Loads
 Accurate Reloading 7.62x39 - supersonic 125gr - 240gr Remington cases use small primers (left) which don't leave space for the enlarged flash-hole (centre) required to ignite small powder charges. Winchester cases use large primers (centre and right).

 MD Smith 7.62x39 - supersonic 125gr - 150gr

Commercial Bullets .308"  Commercial Bullets .311"

Remington, Win drilled, Winchester

Case Volume

Reloading Equipment
 7.62x39 = 0.109 cubic inch to the top of the shoulder.
 7.62x39 uses the same shellholder as .357 Magnum    .44 Mag = .107 cubic inch with a bullet seated.

 Reader Submitted Reloading Data - Supersonic

 Reader Submitted Reloading Data - Subsonic
 200gr cast - H4227 15.5gr = 1550 fps 200gr cast - Red Dot 4.5gr = 900 fps (Steve VanSlyke)
 150gr SP - Varget 28.5gr = 1825 fps    200gr cast - Trail Boss 5.5gr (better load density) = 900 fps (Steve VanSlyke)
 150gr SP - W748 29.0gr = 1860 fps    200gr Lapua - N310 7.0gr = 970 fps (very quiet through suppressor)
 125gr JSP - H4227 21.0gr = 2250 fps    200gr Lapua - 700X 6.0gr = 985 fps (very quiet through suppressor)
 110gr Sierra JHP - H4227 22.0gr = 2340 fps    180gr RN - N310 6.0gr = 1000 fps
     180gr RN - Red Dot 6.0gr = 930 fps
     180gr RN - 700X 5.8gr = 970 fps (very quiet through suppressor)
     150gr RN - N310 5.5gr = 990 fps
     150gr RN - Red Dot 5.5gr = 980 fps
     150gr RN - 700X 5.1gr = 990 fps
     ** Read this article before attempting to load subsonics.

 Rules for the safe operation of subsonic loads:

1. Drill Case Flasholes to 3.5mm (9/64") to allow all the primer flash to enter the case and ignite the powder completely.
2. Use Magnum Primers for maximum primer flash and better powder ignition.
3. Lube all bullets. Moly is good, animal fat is better.
4. Lubricate the bore regularily while shooting.
5. Never crimp bullets into cases. Never seat bullets "into the lands."
6. Try not to use powder charges of less than 40% load density.
7. If load density is less than 40%, use tamping or fillers to keep the powder at the bottom of the case.
8. Make sure the bullet exits the bore after each shot.
9. Use only the fastest burning pistol powders - N310, N312, Bullseye, Clays, Titewad, HP38, Red Dot.
10. Any sort of slow ignition or hangfire is a warning of iminent Secondary Explosive Effect (SEE).

9x39mm Subsonic Cartridge

For silent operations at the distances of up to 400 meters (440 yards), Soviet engineers developed different loads. These loads - SP-5, SP-6 and, recently, PAB-9 are sub-sonic 9mm cartridges and used in integrally silenced VSS Sniper Rifle, VSK Sniper Rifle and AS Assault Rifle. Un-silenced weapons firing the 9x39mm cartridge include the SR-3 Compact Assault Rifle, 9A-91 Compact Assault Rifleand OC-14 Bullpup Assault Rifle.

Loads are based on M43 case (7.62x39mm), re-necked to accept heavy 9 mm bullet. SP-5 (OAL 55-56mm) was designed as "sniper" load and has Full Metal Jacketed bullet with small steel core and lead behind it. SP-6 (OAL 55-56mm) was designed as "assault" load with Semi-Jacketed bullet with pointed, hardened steel core exposed at the nose of the bullet. This cartridge is capable of piercing 8mm of steel at 100 meters (110 yards). At 400 meters SP-6 is still capable to pierce 2mm steel plate.

Worlds' most common cartridges that used in silenced guns are 9mm NATO and .45ACP. When compared to them, SP-5 series loads gave tvice as much muzzle energy and at least 3 times longer effective range.

Both SP-5 and SP-6 bullets weights approx. 16 gramms (ca. 235 grains) with a velocity of 285-295 mps. Those loads adopted by spec-op units of Soviet Union Internal Affair Ministry forces and by Soviet Army Spetznaz in 1980s and still in service with different Russian special operations forces.

PAB-9 is recently developed and more cheap version of SP-6. It also has heavier bullet - 17.3 gramms (ca. 255 grains) with hardened steel core.

Silent Cartridges of Russia