A little 7.62x39 last weekend

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A little 7.62x39 last weekend

Postby Archer » 04 Sep 2020 11

This year has IMO been a pretty stupid time to buy guns. In particular it has been an atrocious time to buy anything that you would consider a defense or SHTF or Zombie Apocalypse firearm.

That is what everyone seems to want and of course what's mostly being manufactured and sold out along with ammo of just about any sort but especially anything in 5.56/.223 and 9mm.

I've had a friend or two ask me where to get an entry level AR a few months back and although I probably could have sold one of mine there were no commercial ones available for less than about $1500 which ain't entry level. I've more recently been asked by a friend regarding a home defense pistol in 9mm. I encouraged him to think about a 12 gauge for what he told me he wanted and to keep an eye out for the handgun since he said he wasn't in a major hurry.

So now we are getting to another friend who asked me where to find a 5.56 AR upper. Seems he had/has one but is in the process of selling the entire gun it is attached to but he has a second lower and wanted to make a useful firearm out of it. In talking to him it turned out he really wanted a 7.62x39 as he 'had some ammo' stocked for that but nothing to shoot it in but was under the impression that 7.62x39 ARs required a dedicated lower with specific magazines in the mode of the PSA or the CMMG Mutant. When he found out I owned a 7.62x39 on a standard lower that worked at least with the 10 round magazines we can get here in CA he immediately decided he wanted one. I suggested a couple options for where to find the uppers and noted the basic A frame front sight version I have and where I purchased it. He found a company assembling some reasonably nice components into a free float upper and ordered one. He decided to do some modifications to his lower for this new featureless build and he wanted to go with a Thordsen style stock but couldn't find them anywhere. I managed to find some in stock that weren't at scalper's prices. The unit is already expensive but due to several other states adopting CA like stupidity they have been in higher demand than usual. He got the lower together and using his 5.56 upper off the gun that is not quite sold took it to the range a few weeks ago while waiting on his new upper and tested it out to his satisfaction.

So he sends me a note telling me he's going to be at the range last weekend. I meet him there with my AR and AK in the same caliber.

My AR is a featureless build using an assembled flat top with A frame front sight AR Stoner upper from Midway, Rainier enhanced lower with ambi bolt release (not a particularlly useful addition IMO but better than the MagPul BAD levers.) The gun is in carbine configuration with a KAK compensator, Magpul fore end and stock that is blocked to prevent further adjustment and a Strike Industries finned Simple Grip. The rear sight is a inexpensive flip up that quite frankly I would not trust to heavy use but works well otherwise.

My AK is a Nodak Spuds AKM receiver with a new Polish parts kit assembled on it using a ALG AK trigger and stainless barrel with traditional furniture and a Monsterman grip to make it featureless. This gun has not been broken in well yet.

So we got to the range and my friend simply wants a function check and I just want to dump some rounds through my guns to give me a better idea of how reliable they are. He's got one 10 round mag and I've got several AK mags with a few 10 round C-Products mags for the AR and one Freedom week 30 round ProMag for the same gun. I had S&B, GECO plus a couple boxes of Federal and Tul-A ammo. My friend has some Tul-A. All of my ammo was brass cased except the Tul-A which is steel cased. Tul-A is making a copper jacketed bullet now for ranges that don't allow steel jacketed.

So my friend puts out a 10 inch target at about 25 yards or less and fires off a mag without getting any hits.
I put out a couple paper plates at the same spitting range and my first magazine from the AR is on target. With the AK I ended up having to avoid a phenomena I've seen and heard other people have problems with but mostly haven't had issue with myself. For some reason this trip I seemed to want to pick up on the protective wing on the right of the AK rather than the front sight. After the first time I noticed that and made a slight effort to correct it the AK was on target. I did not care for the ProMag 30 round AR mag. It didn't load smooth and I didn't feel it was as reliable. I think a 15 or 20 round mag would be fine but 30 is just too curved and ProMag just not as good on quality as needed. I also noticed something with these guns I hadn't run into before. That was I was not getting tucked into these guns as tightly as I normally like. I was finding I didn't have the stock quite as tightly sucked into my shoulder. The next day I was surprised at a little light coloration at the shoulder from that which I normally wouldn't have expected from these lightly recoiling rifles. I did notice that I wasn't tucked in while firing a couple times. I don't know if that's simply a lack of range time or if it was getting sloppy simply because the targets were close. Probably lack of range time combined with the extra short nature of the stocks on these guns and my long arms. I typically will pull the guns tight since my first rifle was a Winchester 94 .30-30 and for lightly built youth those can kick a mite.

My friend continued to run his gun and had several failures with the Tul-A ammo. His upper is supposed to include the slightly longer firing pin to avoid this kind of thing and it appeared the rounds were getting decent strikes. 4 or 6 failed to fire during the course of the day. All but two fired on a second strike. I looked the gun over but I didn't run any ammo through it. While the Thorsden stock is a legal option in CA I've never been that fond of them.

I don't as a rule run steel case through my AR but it handled a couple mags without any failures.
The AK worked very well. It has been a bit sticky or balky in the past so maybe it is wearing it or maybe I'm just less gentle with it. I had lubricated it a bit better this time around rather than running it with light lubricant. I may also need to buff some of the corners off the hammer slightly more but I was happy with it as I had now issues with it. My friend had one situation where it failed to go fully forward but I think that was on the first round and I think he tried to ease or ride the bolt a little and this gun does not like that.

My friend was semi-shocked that I had brass cased 7.62x39 ammo and said he needed to get some of that. He said he was pleased with his gun overall although he wasn't particularly happy with the light strikes he put them down to the ammo. Overall not a bad day.

I didn't get anything else checked out although I had my PA-10 along that hasn't been tested. Something to do next time.
Archer
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Re: A little 7.62x39 last weekend

Postby Archer » 04 Sep 2020 11

Another quick note. I think the hybrid AR/AK platforms are probably better than the strictly AR style guns for the 7.62x39 especially if mag capacity is a major concern and if you are not looking for switching uppers between the same lower. AK mags work with the round better than the thinner AR mags.

If on the other hand you want the flexibility to shoot 7.62x39 out of a gun that is also capable of shooting 5.56 with just swapping the upper then these guns are not bad. Something I want to look into is using Alexander Arms 6.5 Grendel mags with the 7.62x39. I don't know if there are other dimensional differences between the rounds other than the projectile caliber but I suspect there may be some additional difference. That said AA limits there mags to standard AR lengths while the ProMag is extended for 30 rounds of 7.62x39 and very curved about 3/4ers of the way down the mag.
Archer
2000 Shots
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Posts: 3234
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My Rossi Choice: M92
Location: SoCal Loco


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