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Old February 27, 2020, 04:48 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Alternative bullets for 7.62x39

I'm interested in establishing whether this cartridge could be used for hunting in Estonia.

Now before people suffer an apoplectic episode about what I'm gonna write, please understand, I don't make the rules.

So in Estonia, any large game cannot be hunted unless the cartridge has a calibre of 6.5mm or more and a bullet weight of 9 grams or more. 9 grams is about 139gr.

Sadly for the animals, there is no mention of a minimum joule or ft/lb requirement.

This means someone could technically hunt moose or brown bear with 7.62x39 if the bullet was heavy enough. I, personally, don't think x39 is good enough for those, but deer and boar should be fair game.

Whilst I don't have my licence, I would like to get it and prepare my arsenal for that time.

Preamble over: which bullet manufacturers make a 7.62 cal hunting bullet for the x39 cartridge (not FMJ) that is 139 grain or over?
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Old February 27, 2020, 10:56 AM   #2
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That's a pretty tall order--problem being the rather smallish case capacity seems to be optimal with bullets around 120 to 125 gr to drive them fast enough for reasonable killing and penetration at moderate hunting distances. I''m not familiar with any in the weight you seek--you might consider looking around for a larger soft point flat base type bullet. Stabilization may become an issue at some point with heavier bullets too depending on velocity/twist.
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Old February 27, 2020, 12:01 PM   #3
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Pond
If you are a reloader, I have had good luck with the 150 gr. Speer FN #2011 in my Yugo SKS. This is a .308" 30-30 bullet, designed for 30-30 velocities. I am getting a little over 2100 f/s and about 1.5" at 100 yds. Speer also makes a .311" SP #2217 that works well. This bullet is designed for higher velocities.
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Old February 27, 2020, 03:56 PM   #4
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I picked up some ammo (Wolf or Tula, not sure which) that is loaded with 150 gr soft point bullets at about 2,100 fps. Shot OK, don't know about performance on game since I didn't hunt with it, but that should meet your local game laws requirements.
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Old February 27, 2020, 05:03 PM   #5
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If reloading is an option, a 150 grain bullet designed for the 30-30 Winchester should be just the ticket . Hornady makes a 150 gr. RN #3035 RN , Speer makes a 150 grain FP #2011 and Sierra also makes a 150 grain FP all designed for 30-30 .
A quick check on loading data in the Speer #14 manual only shows data for one bullet ,
the Speer 123 grain Spitzer SP #2213 .... So I'm not sure what the answer is .
If you can get the 150 gr. 30-30 bullet up to 1800 to 2000 fps it would be in the 30-30 Winchester class and a lot of deer & hogs have been killed in the Louisiana swamps with the time tested 30-30 and 150 grain bullets .
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Old February 28, 2020, 01:21 AM   #6
Pond, James Pond
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This only experience I have had with a heavier bullet is one commercial reloader that makes poly coated lead bullet rounds at 150gr. In my VZ58, these grouped at 3MOA to Barnaul's 5MOA at 100m and iron sites.

However a poly-coated bullet would not be a good choice, I think, so I've dismissed that option.
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Old February 28, 2020, 01:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Pond
If you are a reloader, I have had good luck with the 150 gr. Speer FN #2011 in my Yugo SKS. This is a .308" 30-30 bullet, designed for 30-30 velocities. I am getting a little over 2100 f/s and about 1.5" at 100 yds. Speer also makes a .311" SP #2217 that works well. This bullet is designed for higher velocities.
tj
The 30-30 style bullet still OK for the slightly wider x39 barrel?

I thought that x39 was like .310-.311 or some such.
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Old February 28, 2020, 02:32 AM   #8
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Found it: Tula Ammo, 7.62X39 154 gr soft point, steel case. It cost like $6 a box, so cheap enough to give it a try.
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Old February 28, 2020, 03:10 AM   #9
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Nice!!

Next hurdle! Do they supply Europe?

I think they must. If you look at this page they show both 10 g and 8 g bullets. The specs are all metric, so it is clearly not for the U.S. market. The factories are in Tula and Ulyanovsk, Russia.
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Old February 28, 2020, 05:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Nice!!

Next hurdle! Do they supply Europe?
I think they must. If you look at this page they show both 10 g and 8 g bullets. The specs are all metric, so it is clearly not a page for the U.S. market. The factories are in Tula and Ulyanovsk, Russia.
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Old February 28, 2020, 10:12 PM   #11
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As with all hunting, bullet placement is the most important factor. In the U.S. the 7.62x39 has been compared with 30-30.
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Old February 28, 2020, 11:48 PM   #12
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I use Hornady's 150 gn .308 bullets in both my sks and Mini 30.
They work very well in both.
Hornady publishes data for their 150 gn in the 7.62x39 that reaches 2200' in a 20" barrel.
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Old February 29, 2020, 02:07 PM   #13
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Nothing in the firearms world is crazier than the assorted hunting regs. Here in Ontario, our idiot unelected civil servants, say "Any centre fire" is ok for deer. Which means the .22 Hornet is ok, regardless of what bullet is used.
There are places that allow .223 for deer. And some, like Alberta(western Canada), that say .243 or over.
Anyway, as mentioned, Hodgdon's site lists data for a .312", Hornady, 150 grain SP. Loads runs from roughly 1900 FPS to 2192 FPS. 2.220" OAL. Mind you, those velocities are out of a 24" test barrel.
"...thought that x39 was like .310-.311..." Yep. Usually .311", but that .312" will do. .308" is too small for proper accuracy.
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Old February 29, 2020, 02:16 PM   #14
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Old February 29, 2020, 03:47 PM   #15
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You can actually buy guns chambered in 7.62×39 with either a 0.312" or a 0.308" barrel, depending on the target market. Forcing a bullet to squeeze down 0.004" in the throat does not cause pressure problems if you don't start out seated out to touch the lands. However, the best accuracy will come with bullets correctly sized for the bore, so slugging the bore to make that measurement is important if accuracy matters. As member Bart B. points out, the optimum is a jacketed bullet nearly half a thousandth over groove diameter. That will be about 0.01 mm over.
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Old March 2, 2020, 05:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond View Post
The 30-30 style bullet still OK for the slightly wider x39 barrel?

I thought that x39 was like .310-.311 or some such.
7.62 X 39

7.62 = bullet diameter in millimeters ( .308" in USA inches aka 30 cal. )
39 = case length in millimeters

I believe the 7.62 and 39 are millimeters...correct me if I'm wrong...us cajuns don't do math well .
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Old March 2, 2020, 06:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
You can actually buy guns chambered in 7.62×39 with either a 0.312" or a 0.308" barrel
Most US-made rifles (like the Ruger 77 and American rifles in 7.62X39) use .308" groove diameter with generously cut throats to help squeeze down the bullets from the wide variation of military and civilian loads. Some ammo manufacturers use .308" bullets selling in the USA, others use bullets anywhere from .310" to .315" same as the rest of the world.

Quote:
7.62 = bullet diameter in millimeters ( .308" in USA inches aka 30 cal. )
39 = case length in millimeters
7.62mm = .304" BORE diameter, not groove diameter. US .308 is GROOVE diameter for US 30 caliber bullets, European 30-caliber rifles use .310"-.312" depending on country of origin.
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Old March 2, 2020, 09:37 PM   #18
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Load Data
~~~~~~~~~

Name: .311 Cal, Speer #2217 Spitzer, 150 grn.
Ballistic Coeff: 0.411
Bullet Weight: 150
Velocity: 2100
Target Distance: 50
Temperature: 70
Altitude: 500

Ballistic Data

Range Elevation Velocity Energy ETA Drop Max Y 10mph Wind Deflect

0 yds -0.00 in 2100 fps 1469 fpe 0.000 sec 0.00 in -0.00 in 0.00 in

25 yds 0.78 in 2054 fps 1405 fpe 0.036 sec 0.25 in 0.06 in 0.05 in

50 yds 1.06 in 2009 fps 1344 fpe 0.073 sec 1.00 in 0.26 in 0.20 in

75 yds 0.80 in 1964 fps 1285 fpe 0.110 sec 2.30 in 0.59 in 0.56 in

100 yds 0.00 in 1920 fps 1227 fpe 0.148 sec 4.12 in 1.07 in 0.97 in

125 yds -1.40 in 1876 fps 1172 fpe 0.188 sec 6.55 in 1.71 in 1.60 in

150 yds -3.43 in 1833 fps 1120 fpe 0.228 sec 9.61 in 2.53 in 2.45 in

175 yds -6.13 in 1792 fps 1069 fpe 0.270 sec 13.34 in 3.54 in 3.50 in

200 yds -9.52 in 1751 fps 1021 fpe 0.313 sec 17.77 in 4.75 in 4.74 in






7.62 × 39 mm

The 7.62 mm designation refers to the internal diameter of the barrel at the lands which is .30" or 30 cal. the land to land measurement is basically the same on all rifle chambered in 7.62 x 39 mm, the groove to groove dimensions are what differ.

The actual bullet dia. if it's .308" would be 7.82 Milmeters and a .311" dia. bullet would be 7.91 Milmeters.

39 mm is the length of the cartridge case.
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Old March 2, 2020, 10:40 PM   #19
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25.4 is an exact conversion factor (no other digits but zeroes beyond the .4) to go between mm and inches.

7.62 / 25.4 = 0.300, exactly.

A typical .311 bullet has a 0.303 bore, as in 303 British, or 7.67 mm rounded to the nearest 0.01 mm.

Both sizes are referred to broadly as "30 Caliber".
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Old March 3, 2020, 01:27 AM   #20
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As my only 7.62x39 rifle is ex-Czech military issue, I'm guessing it's closer to .311 than .308.
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Old March 3, 2020, 08:02 AM   #21
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The normal way to make the determination is to slug the barrel. This involves taking a pure lead ball, cast bullet, or fishing sinker that is a little wider than the bore, running an oily patch down the clean bore, then using a wood dowel or brass punch to hammer the slug into the muzzle and a cleaning rod to push it through and out the breech end. The lead ball is then measured across the groove marks with a micrometer to determine bullet size.

I don't know what tolerances the Czechs were working with, but in WWII, the U.S. tolerance for barrels was ±0.0015 inches for both groove and bore, so measuring is the only way to know exactly.
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Old March 3, 2020, 10:53 PM   #22
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I slugged both barrels on my Chinese and Yugoslavian SKS rifles and they are both closer to .311" than .310" I also have a NIB Black Bolt Russian SKS still in the original refurbished condition that has never been fired so I haven't slugged it yet.

From my testing with various jacket bullet mfg. off a bench rest over ten years ago using .308", .310" and .311" dia. bullets the .310" bullets made by Hornady shot the most accurately, The FMJ, SP and V-Max all shot about the same group sizes. The .311" dia. bullets opened up a bit by about a half inch as show in my post above.

The .308" dia. bullets could be used as a last ditch bullet if thats all you have but they were not that accurate for me out past 50 yds. but they were within minute of deer vitals.

I mainly shoot cast lead in all my SKS rifles these days and .002" over groove dia. of the SKS rifles chambers and shoot very accurately and cost me nothing but $20 each for a couple Lee molds and 2 cents for a gas check.
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