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Old October 19, 2013, 09:23 PM   #1
GunXpatriot
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The "Better" 7.62x39 Ammunition?

So I bought an SKS a while back and haven't gotten too much chance to shoot it. This steel-cased stuff seems to be alright (Tula) although, I hear those come from the same company, or at least some do. I also have some (I believe it is quite old) steel cased Sellier & Bellot FMJ, which I don't think is in existence anymore, or at least not in this form.

What I would like to know is, what is the "better", higher grade 7.62x39 loads? Ones that are still reasonably priced and are not "under-loaded", like I hear Wolf (TulAmmo?) Is. I haven't actually shot the old S&B stuff, so I wouldn't know, but from your experience, what were the better/hotter brands to buy?

I've heard Wolf Military Classic I believe it's called, is a step up from their "regular" stuff and TulAmmo.

I hear Golden Tiger is good stuff as well, and is more accurate than the lower grade rounds, as well as being sealed for better resistance to moisture, or so I hear.

So besides Golden Tiger, what would be "the stuff" to look for over the generic "low-grade"?

Steel cased is fine, I mean, I don't want to spend an arm and a leg for brass-cased, just want stuff that works. I'll save brass for if the desire to hunt with the SKS comes up. Thanks a lot, guys.
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Old October 19, 2013, 10:22 PM   #2
tahunua001
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I've never seen S&B steel cased so that must be some old stuff. I haven't seen tiger in a while.

herters, wolf, WPA and tula are all the same thing just with some minor differences in quality control. bear brand is not much better but at least if you get the golden bear or silver bear(brass and nickel brass respectively) you get something that's reloadable.

S&B, federal/american eagle and PRVI are probably your best bet for the good stuff.

hornady has match ammo but it's also steel cased and quite expensive. nothing to worry about in an SKS, just not reloadable.
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Last edited by tahunua001; October 20, 2013 at 11:03 AM.
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Old October 20, 2013, 06:32 AM   #3
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I think the Hornady loaded steel cased ammo is(or should be) an improvement over the eastern European "stuff". I got a batch of MFS in boxer primed brass cases that is good in my rifles but I don't see it anymore.
My Remington 799 doesn't like ANY of the typical steel cased ammo but does quite well with good quality handloads.
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Old October 20, 2013, 04:42 PM   #4
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I have my fair share of cheap 7.62x39mm steel ammo for feeding my SHTF / S&P AK, but I also try to get some good stuff whenever I can for whenever I might need it... if that makes sense.

WHen I took a family trip to Cableas PA early this year in the height of the madness and shortages, they had plenty of obscure ammo and none of anything I wanted to buy... Except they had tons of Herter's 7.62x39mm (And I had already bought like 3 500rd-cases of Herter's 7.62x39mm from them a few years back for long term SHTF storage.)

They had like 7 boxes of what, 50 round Hornady SST 7.62x39 and I think you could buy 3 each, so my father said, I'll [he'll] take them, 3 and you take the other 3, and we flagged a guy down and he said, Okay I can see your cart is full of hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, just take all 7 and I will OK it.

They are awesome ammo, about the best I could expect out of my original Zastava PAP. Not really something I would shoot for fun (Nor is the AK something I'd really want to have an accuracy/sniper comp with)... but it is great to have Just In Case and having a few magazines loaded with this in case the zombies or welfare warriors come down my block and I have to defend the neighborhood.


Imho Hornady SST 7.62x39 = one of the best options out there.
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Old October 20, 2013, 05:18 PM   #5
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Some Lapua and Norma milsurp was imported a few years ago; probably the finest 7.62x39 ever made, and it barely cost more than wolf at the time, but finding somebody willing to part with some may be difficult. You can't have any of mine.
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Old October 20, 2013, 08:28 PM   #6
seanc
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tahunua001:
Quote:
golden bear or silver bear(brass and nickel brass respectively) you get something that's reloadable
Wrong!

Silver Bear is zinc plated steel cased and Golden Bear is brass coated steel case. Some people reload steel cased ammo, most people do not.

OP:
Surplus Yugo 7.62x39 is considered by many to be the gold standard in performance (and way overpriced nowadays IMHO). You won't go wrong with GT/Brown/Silver/Gold Bear and probably Tula. I had issues with Wolf in my SKS with popped primers. Never had popped primers with any other brand ammo after 1,000s of rounds. I've tried Winchester and didn't like it. Prvi is nice, but I don't know if it's any "hotter" than the cheap Russian stuff. I stock GT FMJ and BB SP in 7.62x39. GT FMJ has impressive results in jello, similar to the performance of Yugo 7.62x39.
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:35 AM   #7
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SKS is not a target rifle, and was not intended to be. It's a robust combat arm, for a mass conscription army.
Any of the ComBlock steel case ammo will work just fine in it.

I don't think anyone is reloading steel case 7.62X39 cases.
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Old October 21, 2013, 09:16 AM   #8
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Mannlicher posted
SKS is not a target rifle, and was not intended to be. It's a robust combat arm, for a mass conscription army.
Any of the ComBlock steel case ammo will work just fine in it.

I don't think anyone is reloading steel case 7.62X39 cases.






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sums up my point of view as well.
I think all of the steel cased Russian fodder is the best for SKS & AKs because it is plentiful and cheap.

Many years ago, I was fortunate to own a vet bring back SKS. There was no ammo around back then. You either formed brass or if you were lucky you could get your hands on some Israeli Boxer primed brass.
I reloaded both formed and Israeli brass, and could never get any greater accuracy out of reloads than I could the steel cased stuff so common today.
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Old October 21, 2013, 03:00 PM   #9
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part of that may be because everyone seems to use the max COAL for their x39 ammo. everything that I have will barely squeeze inside my SKS mags. any longer and they would be unserviceable but any shorter and they would rest farther from the lands decreasing accuracy.
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Old October 21, 2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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I probably will avoid paying extra for American made 7.62x39 ammo for sks. It may work worse than the cheap stuff from easter bloc. The reason is bullet diameter. American manufacturers, in fear of law suits, probably use .308" bullets, as some western made rifles has .308" bores. SKSs tend to have groove diameter of at least .310".

I reload anyway.

-TL
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:58 PM   #11
wnycollector
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Quote:
Surplus Yugo 7.62x39 is considered by many to be the gold standard in performance
+1 on this. It shoots the best in both my SKS and Saiga.
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Old October 22, 2013, 02:30 PM   #12
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Yugo ammo ?

Is this ammo corrosive?
Where is it available?

Lee Jones(Celtgun)
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:09 PM   #13
tahunua001
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yes the yugo ammo is corrosive and nobody will tell you where to get it. if anyone knows, they keep it to themselves and hoard it like jerks.
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Old October 23, 2013, 06:46 AM   #14
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Not all 7.62x39 rifles are inaccurate

I've never fired an AK or SKS, but I have a DPMS AR-15 chambered in 7.62x39 and it is a "tack-driver" shooting a mixture of cheapo-ammo I purchased at Cabelas 3 or 4 years ago. I still have some of this ammo stashed and will find the brand if anyone needs to know. Capt_C
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Old October 24, 2013, 02:38 PM   #15
seanc
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Yugo is corrosive, and owning it doesn't make anyone a jerk. Some people sell it at a high premium now since it's been a while since it's been imported. Rarity doesn't make it the best. It's design gave it properties that many found desirable. Most modern made, cheap import FMJ have a variation on that design. In my opinion, Golden Tiger's 7.62x39 most approximates the same design and function, and GT is not corrosive.
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Old October 27, 2013, 11:17 PM   #16
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If you want accuracy out of your SKS...handload. The biggest problem with the surplus stuff is inconsistent powder charges.

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Old October 29, 2013, 08:18 PM   #17
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Hmm... But is the steel-cased really that cheap? Still $10+ per box of 20 everywhere I see it. I hear people talk about like, $5 for a box of 20. Guess we don't have luxuries like that in The People's Republic of NY haha.

I was going to start reloading, mostly .30-06, but I hardly ever go shooting, so I'd probably be a waste, and organizing brass once fired, twice, 3 times, inspecting, etc, seems like a pain to never be shooting. I'd probably have all sorts of components hanging around. I was going with the Lee Breech Lock Hand Press Kit. Seemed like the best option for me right now.

But um... Yeah, reloading may make a little more sense if I had another gun or two in a different caliber to reload for, but I suppose having my own high quality .30-06 and 7.62x39 might already be worthwhile.

I stopped looking here, and I feel like I was gonna say something else, but I dunno, it'll come to me, I'm sure. But yeah, even the cheap stuff isn't so cheap. Maybe I'll just stick primarily to .22, but even that has gone up across the board, it seems. CCI Mini-Mags have been impossible to get.
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Old October 29, 2013, 08:24 PM   #18
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Oh, btw, I've been saving my .30-06 cases. I've also been saving all the .22's and others I pick up at the range from other people who don't seem to want them. Anything I can do with them?

I figured I could just scrap them if I have a whole container full, but I just wish I had some sort of shell-catcher for my Marlin 795. Rapid fire and a minimum of 200+ rounds per session (usually only an hour) really sends them for a loop.

How does Federal Brass compare to, say, Remington, across the board? I know I'm going off-topic, and I could probably make this a whole new thread, but since you guys seem to recommend reloading...

I had 2 boxes of Federal... Power-Shok, was it? 150gr JSP's. I have 4 other boxes of Remington Core-Lokt 165gr JSP's, so I was wondering if I should separate those different types of casings? I would imagine the formula for their brass would have to be really close, wouldn't it? Isn't it usually like 70/30 copper and zinc? Maybe there's variation, who knows.

Just a thought.
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Old October 29, 2013, 09:33 PM   #19
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Hmm... But is the steel-cased really that cheap? Still $10+ per box of 20 everywhere I see it. I hear people talk about like, $5 for a box of 20. Guess we don't have luxuries like that in The People's Republic of NY haha.
Yep. My local Cabelas has it on sale for $3.99 a box all the time. Normally $5.99. Anything brass$10.99 and up. Usually about $15.99.

Oh but not in New York or California

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Old October 30, 2013, 08:54 PM   #20
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Well I guess I could reload for even cheaper than that, considering each casing can be used many times. But that's the thing, it just seems like a pain to organize them all, and some may get lost during shooting... Um...

Can an experienced reloader maybe point me in the right direction of good organizational skills for reloading, separating brass by times fired... Like, what kind of system are you running in regards to that? Because everything else is self-explanitory.

My only other concern on reloading is, it seems like a bit of a waste to reload for a semi-auto, over a bolt-action. Did I mention that already? Not sure. I dunno, just a thought/concern. But I guess if accuracy is your game, you're generally not going to be too trigger-happy, so maybe it's not such a big deal.

Reloading does seem cool, though. And I guess, even if you don't shoot a whole lot, it still pays off. But what would really be cool, and I know it's pretty much an impossibility, would be making your own cartridge casings. But alas, we don't all have access to presses and dies that can exert several tons of force onto small sheets of brass. What a shame.
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Old October 31, 2013, 12:00 AM   #21
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Reloading does seem cool, though. And I guess, even if you don't shoot a whole lot, it still pays off.
A word of caution
If you start reloading you'll end up shooting a lot more. The more you shoot, the more you load, the more you load, the more you shoot. It's a vicious cycle.

I'm not sure reloading actually saves much money, but you certainly get to shoot a lot more for the money you do spend.

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Old October 31, 2013, 12:09 AM   #22
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The thing is, I don't get much chance, but I guess reloading, it does give me more incentive to actually go to a range. But yeah, that's pretty much what I've heard from people who started reloading. But hey, if you get to shoot more for the same amount of money (in ammo, at least), why not?

It's just the cost of going to a range. Hopefully I'll get all those trees cut on our piece of property and I'll have a maximum range of about 300 yards, maybe take a little. Should be cool when I have the time and money to get that taken care of, or rather, when my family does.
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Old November 3, 2013, 01:06 PM   #23
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I find reloading for the x39 using a semiauto is an exercise in futility. The brass gets chucked 20' and trying to find them in a pile of brass colored steel case surplus is frustrating at best. Plus you must use .311 bullets for best accuracy which is pretty hard to find when shelves are full of .308 bullets.

This is exactly why I sold my AK and got an AR.
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Old November 3, 2013, 03:37 PM   #24
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I find reloading for the x39 using a semiauto is an exercise in futility. The brass gets chucked 20' and trying to find them in a pile of brass colored steel case surplus is frustrating at best. Plus you must use .311 bullets for best accuracy which is pretty hard to find when shelvesarefull of .308bullets.

This is exactly why I soldmy AK and got an AR.
I just set a tarp up to the right of the bench that funnels into a five gallon bucket. No more brass fetching for me.

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Old November 3, 2013, 04:46 PM   #25
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I find reloading for the x39 using a semiauto is an exercise in futility. The brass gets chucked 20' and trying to find them in a pile of brass colored steel case surplus is frustrating at best.
One word: "Magnet"

Quote:
Plus you must use .311 bullets for best accuracy which is pretty hard to find when shelves are full of .308 bullets.
There were weeks back in Dec-Jan where there were NO .308" bullets on the shelves .... there were plenty of Sierra 125 and 150gr .311" bullets though .....

You want the best x39 for your gun? Load it yourself. You can make it as good as you want to.

You are satisfied with whatever somebody is sellin'? Buy what is there. It's a choice.
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