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Developed in 1943 during World War II, 7.62x39 ammunition was the Soviet Union's answer for needing a medium-powered, intermediate rifle cartridge.
The cartridge was initially intended for the new SKS carbine (Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova or Simonov self-loading carbine), adopted by the Soviet military in 1949.
7.62 ammo features a bottlenecked case and a mild steel core bullet, which helps it maintain stability in flight for more accurate shooting.
It is known for its moderate recoil, relatively low cost, and capability to maintain effectiveness over medium distances while offering significant stopping power.
However, the real breakthrough for the 7.62x39mm ammo came with the development of the Mikhail Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle.
The popularity of the AK-47 and its ammunition spread rapidly, with the Soviet Union providing support to allied states and movements around the world.
As a result, the 7.62x39mm became one of the most widely used rifle cartridges on the planet and quickly spread throughout the Soviet Union and its satellite states, as well as in countries that received Soviet military aid.
It was used extensively in the Vietnam War, both by North Vietnamese forces and by the Viet Cong.
The AK47's use of the 7.62x39mm cartridge, combined with its unparalleled reliability, ease of use, and effectiveness in various conditions, made the ammunition incredibly popular.
In fact, in the years that followed its release, numerous countries began producing their own versions of the AK47 and with it, 7.62x39mm ammunition.
Today, 7.62x39 ammunition remains widely used by military forces and civilians worldwide. Its legacy is closely tied to the AK47, one of the most iconic firearms in history.
Over the years, several variations of 7.62 have been developed, including armor-piercing, tracer, and hollow-point variants.
Additionally, the ammo is manufactured by several industry-leading brands and is appreciated by firearm owners for its balance of power, range, and reliability.
Common Names for 7.62x39 Ammo
Since its initial introduction over 80 years ago, 7.62x39 ammunition has had many different name variations. Some of the most common include:
7.62 Warsaw Pact
Regardless of your preferred terminology, 7.62x39 ammo has remained massively popular over the years and is available in the lineup of every significant ammunition manufacturer.
Popular 7.62 Ammo Manufacturers
PMC Ammunition South Korean manufacturer PMC produces reliable 7.62x39mm ammo that is praised for its consistent performance.
Wolf Ammunition Wolf is well-known for producing affordable steel-cased 7.62x39mm ammunition, which is a favorite among budget-conscious shooters.
TulAmmo (Tula Cartridge Works) Based in Russia, TulAmmo produces a large quantity of 7.62x39mm ammo. Like Wolf, they are known for their steel-cased, cost-effective options.
Federal Premium Ammunition Federal is a U.S.-based company that offers high-quality 7.62x39mm ammunition, including options tailored for hunting and self-defense.
Hornady Known for precision ammunition, Hornady produces 7.62x39mm ammo with high-quality bullets for improved accuracy and performance.
Winchester As one of the oldest and most reputable ammunition manufacturers, Winchester produces a range of 7.62x39mm ammunition options.
Sellier & Bellot This Czech manufacturer provides a range of 7.62x39mm ammo, including options with brass casings and high-quality bullets.
Fiocchi Ammunition An Italian company with a strong reputation, Fiocchi produces 7.62x39mm ammunition that is well-regarded for its performance and consistency.
Prvi Partizan (PPU) Based in Serbia, PPU produces a wide array of ammunition, including various loads of 7.62x39mm ammo with brass casings.
7.62x39 Ammunition Benefits
GOOD PENETRATION 7.62x39 ammunition is known for its good penetration, making it an effective choice for hunting medium-sized game.
Common bullet types for 7.62x39 ammo is Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Soft Point (SP), Hollow Point (HP), and Armor-Piercing (AP).
MODERATE RECOIL 7.62x39 ammo has moderate recoil, making it easy to shoot accurately for extended periods of time.
RANGE EFFECTIVENESS 7.62x39 ammo is most effective at short to medium ranges, making it a popular choice for hunting and shooting in wooded areas.
TERMINAL BALLISTICS The cartridge is known for its moderate recoil and good penetration capabilities, making it a popular choice for hunting and military applications.
AFFORDABLE 7.62x39 ammunition is relatively affordable compared to other cartridges, making it a popular choice among budget-minded shooters.
AVAILABILITY 7.62x39 ammunition is widely available, and many manufacturers produce it, which contributes to its popularity making it easy to find online and at most gun stores.
The AK47 Rifle
What the AR15 is to the United States, the AK47 is to Russia and other Eastern European countries. First introduced in 1947, the Avtomat Kalashnikova (AK47) is a selective-fire rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov.
One of the hallmarks of the AK47 is its versatility and service life. The rifle can easily be modified and customized in dozens of ways, from adding optics, rails, or other accessories.
Although similar, the original 7.62x39 caliber Kalashnikov has two popular variants that vary in receiver construction - the AKM and the AK74.
The AK47's popularity has also been fueled by its iconic design, distinctive shape, and popular features making it instantly recognizable.
Fast forward seventy years later, and the AK47 is one of the most widely used rifles in the world used by civilian and military personnel.
Ruger American Ranch This bolt-action rifle from Ruger is known for its accuracy and compact design, optimized for the 7.62x39mm cartridge.
Zastava Arms Zastava, originating from Serbia, produces several firearms in the 7.62x39mm chambering, most notably the M70 variant of the AK-47.
Century WASR A well-known and affordable variant of the AK-47, the WASR is imported and distributed by Century Arms.
Kalashnikov USA An American-based manufacturer producing firearms inspired by the original AK-47 designs, chambered in various calibers, including 7.62x39mm.
CMMG Resolute A semi-automatic rifle that merges the design principles of the AR-15 with the 7.62x39mm cartridge, ensuring reliable function and performance.
COLT MFG Carbines A carbine variant produced by the iconic Colt manufacturer, tailored for the 7.62x39mm round. Another offering from Colt, the CR6762 model is designed specifically for the 7.62x39mm cartridge, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.
Diamondback DB15 An AR-style rifle chambered in 7.62x39mm, the DB15 from Diamondback Firearms is known for its durability and versatility.
Riley Defense Inc. RAK-47 A modern take on the AK-47 design, the RAK-47 by Riley Defense Inc. is praised for its build quality and performance.
7.62x39 Ammo FAQ
QUESTION: What is 7.62x39 ammunition used for?
ANSWER: 7.62x39 ammunition is primarily used in rifles and carbines for hunting, self-defense, and military and law enforcement applications.
QUESTION: What firearms use 7.62x39 ammunition?
ANSWER: The most common firearms that use 7.62x39 ammunition are the AK-47 and its variants, as well as some other rifles and carbines made by various manufacturers.
QUESTION: How powerful is 7.62x39 ammunition?
ANSWER: 7.62x39 ammunition typically has a muzzle velocity of around 2,300 to 2,400 feet per second and produces around 1,500 to 1,800 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle, making it a moderately powerful round.
QUESTION: What are some common types of 7.62x39 ammo?
ANSWER: The most common bullet types for 7.62x39 ammunition include full metal jacket (FMJ), soft point (SP), and hollow point (HP).
QUESTION: Can 7.62x39 ammo be used for hunting?
ANSWER: Yes, 7.62x39 ammo is commonly used for hunting a variety of game, including deer, hogs, and other medium-sized game.
QUESTION: Is 7.62x39 ammunition interchangeable with other cartridges?
ANSWER: No, 7.62x39 ammo is not interchangeable with other cartridges. It is important to use the correct ammunition for your firearm to avoid damage or malfunction.
QUESTION: Can I buy 7.62x39 ammo in bulk?
ANSWER: Absolutely, 7.62x39 ammo is readily available in bulk quantities for target and hunting configurations. Additionally, buying in bulk quantities can even decrease your overall price per round.
For the best online selection in bulk ammo, check out Ammunition Depot to find the right caliber to suit your budget and needs.