7.62×39 Accuracy Testing

The Russian 7.62×39 cartridge is not the first caliber to come to mind when considering rifle accuracy. To start with, it doesn’t have a very flat trajectory. Depending on the load, the bullet could drop five to eight inches by the time it reaches 200 yards. Beyond that, the drop is even more drastic, making accuracy at 300 yards and beyond a fantasy.

But that’s okay. It’s not intended as a long range cartridge, and the loss of velocity at those longer ranges means the round doesn’t have a lot of punch left at that distance anyway. For sacrificing range, you get a round with gentle recoil that will still deliver plenty of energy to its target inside 250 yards or so. However, within those shorter ranges, 7.62×39 is still not generally regarded as being very accurate.

This poor reputation can also be partly attributed to the fact that the rifles commonly used with 7.62×39 by American civilians are often not particularly accurate themselves. Now, before I get hate mail from the AK and SKS guys, let me say that I am well aware that there are numerous samples of rifles built on both of those platforms that can demonstrate outstanding accuracy. But the fact still remains that the majority of shooters who are burning through cases of 7.62×39 are doing so with inexpensive former com-bloc AK knock-offs and beat up mil-surp SKS rifles. If that’s your only exposure to 7.62×39, of course you are going to conclude that it is not a particularly accurate round. But that’s not due to any inherent limitation of the cartridge design itself.

For today’s video, I used a CZ 527 bolt action carbine in 7.62×39 to fire groups at 100 yards with five different factory loads. You might be surprised at what the cartridge is capable of…

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