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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good Morning Gentlemen (and Ladies),I recently started stockpiling 7.62x39 due to the prices dropping to less than I can effectively load for. To this end, I researched articles and videos in an attempt to determine the best bang for the buck. I'll be firing this stuff out of both the AK and SKS platforms so I wanted something that would let me actually hit what I'm aiming at. I've purchased a couple hundred rounds of Tulammo from Walmart recently ($0.25/round) to keep me from having to chase brass from the few reloads that I still have, but was having difficulty hitting anything past 50 yds. I thought it might be my scope but some videos made me think it may actually be the ammo.Tula is one of those that keeps popping up online for around $0.20/round so before I sunk a lot of money into it, I wanted to be sure.The following is simply an accuracy - somewhat rushed, since the wife called me just before I fired to tell me that a circuit breaker had tripped and she had no power to the kitchen and parts of the bathroom and dining area....I tested (and will confirm this at 100 yds if I get a chance today) 4 different brands of ammo, all selling online for around $0.20/round - (1) Wolf Polyformance 123gn FMJ (2) Tulammo 123gn FMJ(3) White Box 123gn Russian FMJ(4) Golden Tiger 123gn BT FMJ All were fired from a bench at 50 yards, temp was ~50 F almost no wind. All shots hit low - I'd been trying to get a zero with Tulammo, but the groups explain why I probably shouldn't have been doing that :).[EDIT] - the POA was the diamond nearest each group (the four outer corners)
 

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There are CRATES, yes - CRATES of the Kalish round at Academy Stores in our area for ultra cheap (like you mentioned). They are all steel cased (no brass) though. My local indoor range bans all ammo unless it is brass - presumably for recycling/reloading purposes. Any significant accuracy problems anyone out there know of associated with steel cased ammo? I’ve bought a couple hundred rounds of 7.62X39 steel at WalMart but haven’t shot any yet so just asking before I commit to bulk purchases.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That was my question as well. All the ammo used in that comparison was steel cased and either polymer or lacquer coated. The Walmart stuff is most likely Tulammo and runs (at least here) $9.47 or 40 rounds, which, after tax comes to just about $0.25/round. I bought 500 rounds of Wolf Polyformance at SGAmmo for $0.20/round shipped and another 500 of the white box Russian for $0.19/round shipped. I ordered 100 rounds of that Golden Tiger after seeing some reviews that say its great and others that say it's meh. Got those for $0.22/round.I need to do a little more shooting - finish zeroing my scope at 100 yds with the Wolf - then do another round with these four types. Fact is that I can barely reload 7.62x39 for $0.19/round and that's cutting corners and using plated rounds and odd powder charges (getting around 1800fps). To get a stable plinking round I'm up to $0.25/round as well ($0.18/bullet, $0.03/primer, $0.04/powder).For this caliber, the steel cased Russian stuff is the way to go, and the tests I've seen and read indicated that Wolf is the right choice....so far...
 
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I saw Red Army for 18¢ a round in boxes of 20. You could buy as little or as much as you wanted with free shipping. I passed and may be sorry. No idea on quality. Plus I have around 200 rounds of 7.62x39 and don't own a gun in that caliber. :( Some day.
 

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I saw Red Army for 18¢ a round in boxes of 20. You could buy as little or as much as you wanted with free shipping. I passed and may be sorry. No idea on quality. Plus I have around 200 rounds of 7.62x39 and don't own a gun in that caliber. :( Some day.

I’ve got about 200+ rounds of Red Army, too. I’ve shot it, though, and it seems accurate enough for what I bought my Kalish for - plinking/fun target - and home defense stuff. Shoots well, no feed/eject issues. It’s one of about 8 - 10 guns I have staged throughout my house. I decided to not scope it and just use the stock iron sights which, with my eyesight challenges, will keep within 25 yards. I’ve got my distant shooting covered with a couple of scoped rifles including my AR.
 

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I cannot tell too much difference in the different brands of steel cased ammo in my AKs although they do seem to really like the Golden Tiger brand.

I can keep all of it on a BG sized target out to about 100 yards and that is good enough for me and what I have my AKs for.

One of these days I will get one of the bolt action rifles that have the proper chamber for this round (.311). Maybe with a scope I could double or triple the effective range of this round.

I like the round and it is my go to round for my post disaster survival plan that I hope to never have to implement.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’ve got about 200+ rounds of Red Army, too. I’ve shot it, though, and it seems accurate enough for what I bought my Kalish for - plinking/fun target - and home defense stuff. Shoots well, no feed/eject issues. It’s one of about 8 - 10 guns I have staged throughout my house. I decided to not scope it and just use the stock iron sights which, with my eyesight challenges, will keep within 25 yards. I’ve got my distant shooting covered with a couple of scoped rifles including my AR.
That reminds me! I have a couple boxes of RAS ammo too; need to run them out and test too! Where did you see it for that price? If it is accurate enough (which, at least in my AK Tulammo ain't) that's a great deal. With that kind of spread (and that is exemplary of what I can expect out of Tulammo) I can hit a 10" plate one out of 5 tries at 100 yds.
 
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That reminds me! I have a couple boxes of RAS ammo too; need to run them out and test too! Where did you see it for that price? If it is accurate enough (which, at least in my AK Tulammo ain't) that's a great deal. With that kind of spread (and that is exemplary of what I can expect out of Tulammo) I can hit a 10" plate one out of 5 tries at 100 yds.
I saw what I described above at an Academy Sports. It wasn’t Tulammo - can not recall which brand- Magtech, perhaps? Anyway, it was ~ 4500 rounds and in one of those oversized tins which has the key you turn a steel band through to open. I’m sure you’ll be happy with RA.
 

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154 soft point wolf or silver bear or whatever Russian brand is some good stuff. It's steel cased, doesn't cost much if any more than FMJ and it's a hog killer deluxe! It puts numbers up real close to a good .30-30 load in 150 grains. It's also quite accurate in my scoped SKS. I shot a 2" 100 yard five shot group with it after installing my new 3x9x40 Bushnell on it. I had a 1.5x4.5 on it, then took that off and went with the irons for a while. I'd shot 2.5" groups with it with the iron sights, but the scope helps a lot. :D Now, 2.5 MOA is great for a hunting rifle that is limited to 100 yards by the terrain. I don't guess it'd be competitive at camp Perry, but I ain't really interested in paper with this rifle. I have my tack driver bolt guns and have won a few bench rest competitions with the old club with 'em. :D

I've shot a lot of rifles that wouldn't do any better than 2.5 MOA, lever guns and such. Heck, I've had a few bolt guns that couldn't do much better. Granted, they weren't hunting rifles, but the SKS offers a fast second or third shot when I have 6 or 8 pigs to try to get before they can get out of Dodge. :D And, I consider trying to better 2.5 MOA with a handload possible, but sort of ridiculous for the purposes. :rofl:
 
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One needs to keep in mind that the Soviet military doctrine for shooting both an SKS and an AK/AKM us to aim for the belt buckle so that a center of mass torso hit will result. The AK/AKM is sighted in accordingly low at 100 meters. So the hits on the targets in the OP are probably very near to where they would be expected to be given the sight-in offset. If your rifle has been re-sighted in not following the Soviet standard, then I'm not sure about why the hits were consistently lower.

Ammunition wise, both the SKS and AK/AKMs were designed for the steel cased 7.62x39 round. They're two of the few firearms designed to shoot steel case ammunition. The Mosin-Nagants are another but they shoot the 7.62x54R round. Shooting brass cased rounds in these firearms may or may not result in "normal" firing. Gas pressures, etc. may all be much different than if the ammunition they are designed to shoot is used.

7.62x39 and 7.62x54R are the two calibers that I buy and recommend others buy in the steel case loadings like Academy Sports' "house brand" Monarch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One needs to keep in mind that the Soviet military doctrine for shooting both an SKS and an AK/AKM us to aim for the belt buckle so that a center of mass torso hit will result. The AK/AKM is sighted in accordingly low at 100 meters. So the hits on the targets in the OP are probably very near to where they would be expected to be given the sight-in offset. If your rifle has been re-sighted in not following the Soviet standard, then I'm not sure about why the hits were consistently lower. Ammunition wise, both the SKS and AK/AKMs were designed for the steel cased 7.62x39 round. They're two of the few firearms designed to shoot steel case ammunition. The Mosin-Nagants are another but they shoot the 7.62x54R round. Shooting brass cased rounds in these firearms may or may not result in "normal" firing. Gas pressures, etc. may all be much different than if the ammunition they are designed to shoot is used. 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R are the two calibers that I buy and recommend others buy in the steel case loadings like Academy Sports' "house brand" Monarch.
I suppose I should have clarified that I was using a 1-6x scope (on 6x - can't see for crap anymore). Not sure I understand what you mean about the difference in brass vs. steel case. In most cases, the steel is more malleable and fragile than the brass and the pressure of a particular powder load on the chamber is going to be the same regardless the construction material of the casing. The chamber is what supports the pressure primarily. The big "issue" that I've heard primarily, is that some people have had difficulty with the steel cased ammo in .223 rem when it doesn't eject correctly. Maybe I'm missing or misunderstanding something ...wouldn't be the first time :)
 
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One needs to keep in mind that the Soviet military doctrine for shooting both an SKS and an AK/AKM us to aim for the belt buckle so that a center of mass torso hit will result. The AK/AKM is sighted in accordingly low at 100 meters. So the hits on the targets in the OP are probably very near to where they would be expected to be given the sight-in offset. If your rifle has been re-sighted in not following the Soviet standard, then I'm not sure about why the hits were consistently lower.

Ammunition wise, both the SKS and AK/AKMs were designed for the steel cased 7.62x39 round. They're two of the few firearms designed to shoot steel case ammunition. The Mosin-Nagants are another but they shoot the 7.62x54R round. Shooting brass cased rounds in these firearms may or may not result in "normal" firing. Gas pressures, etc. may all be much different than if the ammunition they are designed to shoot is used.

7.62x39 and 7.62x54R are the two calibers that I buy and recommend others buy in the steel case loadings like Academy Sports' "house brand" Monarch.
I shoot steel cased stuff in .223, when I don't wanna mess with the brass catcher and I'm just plinking, in my AR and it handles 'em just fine.

Now, I don't know about the AK, don't have one, but the SKS is adjustable for elevation by screwing the front sight up or down. I have a special tool for 'em made for the purpose, so I sight my weapons in for POI=POA, I don't give a flip what Vlad Putin thinks about it. :rofl: Besides, they're Norincos and not subject to Russian doctrine. Actually, my SKS rifle has a scope on it again and it's sighted in for 100 yards as that's as far as I can shoot out here in the woods. My SKS paratrooper carbine still has irons and I've made use of my front sight adjustment tool on that one. :D
 
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I suppose I should have clarified that I was using a 1-6x scope (on 6x - can't see for crap anymore). Not sure I understand what you mean about the difference in brass vs. steel case. In most cases, the steel is more malleable and fragile than the brass and the pressure of a particular powder load on the chamber is going to be the same regardless the construction material of the casing. The chamber is what supports the pressure primarily. The big "issue" that I've heard primarily, is that some people have had difficulty with the steel cased ammo in .223 rem when it doesn't eject correctly. Maybe I'm missing or misunderstanding something ...wouldn't be the first time :)
I can relate. Had the same problem, went to the eye clinic and found out why.....cataracts. I just got 'em fixed and, MAN, my eyes are better than I was born with! I don't even have to wear glasses anymore. I still reach for 'em out of reflex when I get out of bed. :rolleyes: I'd worn glasses since the age of 2. I even wear off the rack sunglasses now! :D You should have that checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I can relate. Had the same problem, went to the eye clinic and found out why.....cataracts. I just got 'em fixed and, MAN, my eyes are better than I was born with! I don't even have to wear glasses anymore. I still reach for 'em out of reflex when I get out of bed. :rolleyes: I'd worn glasses since the age of 2. I even wear off the rack sunglasses now! :D You should have that checked out.
Congratulations! I hadn't seen an official update (may have missed it - been busy) on how the peepers are doing. Great to hear. I probably need to get lasered - my eyes don't focus on the same point anymore and the optometrists just don't seem to have any solutions. I'm making an appointment with an ophthalmologist to see about getting blasted (laser cures anything, I've heard :eek:!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I shoot steel cased stuff in .223, when I don't wanna mess with the brass catcher and I'm just plinking, in my AR and it handles 'em just fine.

Now, I don't know about the AK, don't have one, but the SKS is adjustable for elevation by screwing the front sight up or down. I have a special tool for 'em made for the purpose, so I sight my weapons in for POI=POA, I don't give a flip what Vlad Putin thinks about it. :rofl: Besides, they're Norincos and not subject to Russian doctrine. Actually, my SKS rifle has a scope on it again and it's sighted in for 100 yards as that's as far as I can shoot out here in the woods. My SKS paratrooper carbine still has irons and I've made use of my front sight adjustment tool on that one. :D
Same here. When I don't feel like chasing brass or putting the Caldwell sock on it, I'll just hit WallyWorld and grab a few boxes of Tulammo (works a LOT better than the 7.62x39 for me). Also, the AK pretty much borrowed the SKS rear sight so yessir, elevation adjustable :cool:.
 
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