What's Your Best Load For The 76.2x39? - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 05-03-2020, 14:51   #1
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What's Your Best Load For The 76.2x39?

Looking for a good load to start with. Be interesting to see what powder and bullets work best in the Russian case.
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Old 05-03-2020, 15:45   #2
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Another double post. My freakin' computer has my post disappear, then when I type it out again and submit, then the first reply shows up. strange.

Oh well , I can use this space to show the Nosler and SST cross sectioned.
The tip fell out of the Nosler when I cut them in half.
The SST has a much thicker jacket, especially from the cannelure on down to the base.
The only way I can tell them apart when loaded is that the Hornady SST starting tapering down sooner above the case neck, and the shallower cannelure on the Nosler. Upon closer inspection, it's easy. At a glance from a distance, it's harder to tell them apart. Nosler listed these as having a black tip, but when we got them they had a red tip like the SST.
I'd prefer a different color than them both being red.


The Nosler should be limited to coyotes or anti-personnel, the SST would be a much better bullet for deer, big hogs, or small Black Bears.

I've shot 7mm SST's at elk, impact velocity was just under 3,000 fps, and the bullets blew up.
But at 2400 and under in the x39, they are much more reliable.
I shot several does on my aunt's ranch for freezer fillers, and they hit like the hammer of Thor.

Last edited by sandog; 05-03-2020 at 16:19. Reason: double post
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Old 05-03-2020, 16:04   #3
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I've been meaning to try some H4198 one of these days, but the pound of it I bought ended up going into some of my .45/70 loads.
One additional plus of H4198 is it meters thru the measure much easier than the long stick IMR 4198.

My load for several years now has been 28.6 grains of Accurate 2015 with either the Nosler Varmeggedon, or the Hornady SST. V-Max or FMJ, with Winchester primers and PPU brass.
The load is 1/10th of a grain over the Hornady book max, but is still no means a hot load. Gives 2450 out of all the Minis I've shot it in, except one.

The Hornady FMJs aren't near as sleek as thr SST, but are the most accurate FMJ, I've shot, easily as good as the SST or V-Max.

I've shot around 1,200 of the 28.6 load with one of the above listed bullets.
Zero pressure signs. Velocity out of my SS/synthetic Mini, and the 16 inch Mini I gave to my daughter is 2450 fps.
But for some weird reason, these 28.6 grain loads shot out of my Blued/wood stock Mini are 200 fps, slower. I noticed that a few summers ago when I was doing testing out of the 3 different barrel length Minis.
Some groups with it:


And, for your viewing pleasure, some tracers I loaded up:
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Old 05-03-2020, 19:46   #4
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sandog, were those SST .310 Dia.?
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Old 05-03-2020, 20:41   #5
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Yes.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:29   #6
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For me , a rifle in X39 is for not reloading. As in a 22rf only bigger. I do have
a ton of components and a progressive press but for the way I use it and the
cost of Golden Tiger and the way it preforms why bother. I go shooting
on a walking range along a hill side that has some gong type targets and
I use it to practice different shooting positions, ranges ect. Tons of fun
and real good practice situation.

No brass to pickup in the bush. If I were to get into something like feral hog removal with a can at night it would be handloaded with something subsonic and around
160 grains and still cycle the action. I do have a large box of Z Max and a good supply of 4198 but haven't looked at it in years. I hand load mostly hunting/varmint ammo
and revolver ammo where I don't have to pickup the brass. MM
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:35   #7
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I hand load for everything I own.
For me the Mini is a Yote to deer to pig gun.
Russian Milsurp is not the best choice, I know it can be used but is still not a great choice, especially in CA since we have to use Unleaded.
That being said, anyone load with unleaded bullets in the 7.62?
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:50   #8
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mini, I have to agree with you. I hate to chase cases from an auto loader, rifle or pistol. I've been loading my own since the mid 60's and have always tried to milk out as much potential out of a rifle as I can.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:05   #9
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I chased brass for years but finally got tired of it. I bought this. I set it up right next to my gun & throw a sand bag in it. Best money I ever spent.
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Old 05-04-2020, 18:14   #10
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I see reloading as the way to optimize the cartridge beyond it's original purpose. It has the potential for a lot more power and accuracy than many people normally see.

There seems to be two distinct 7.62x39 camps.

1) Those who stick with the 123 gr traditional standard, and don't have too much motivation to handload because they're happy with factory ammo

2) Those who see the cartridge as always underrated and underutilized. The SAMMI 123 gr 2350 fps velocity spec is pretty anemic. So is the SAMMI pressure spec. SAMMI has severely handicapped the round compared to CIP standards.

I fall into the latter camp. I see people trying to reinvent x39 under different names. The latest is Bill Wilson's 300 Ham'r round, which was granted recognition by SAAMI just this year. But 7.62x39 is fully capable of what Wilson is doing with his new 30 cal round. And x39 doesn't just come close to 30-30 Winchester, which it was fist compared to by Ruger when they introduced the Mini-30. It can surpass 30-30 Win as well up to 150 grain bullets.

7.62x39 is easily a 225 yard deer round when loaded with the right projectiles and powder. The longest range x39 deer kill I have personal knowledge of was a 248 yard DRT kill in northern Missouri. The longest range kill I've seen reported, but don't know the person who accomplished it was 275 yards. What more do most people need in a deer rifle that was intended to be in 30-30 Win short-to-medium range category. The 30-30 in the 20-inch barrels that are typically used can't catch the 7.62x39, and can't reach out as far.

Some of us have our cake and eat it too. Factory loads on the hot side are great for many purposes. Plenty of inexpensive plinking for sure. On top of that, handloading is a way to dial in a custom load that maximizes the potential of the cartridge in your particular Mini-30. Longer range, and a bit flatter shooting. Or custom load for close range self defense with a bullet that expands rapidly and wont over penetrate, so is most suitable in urban environments.

Between factory loads and handloading the idea of one-gun for all purposes is well within reach with the Mini-30 and 7.62x39 in general.

Compared to most people who handload/reload in this group I'm fairly new at it. I'm still in the honeymoon period and have fun exploring the potentials.
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Old 05-04-2020, 19:35   #11
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I am in the same camp with Beck as far as the purpose of reloading.
Been reloading for about 30 years.
Just finished prepping 120 cases for the X39, now to find some unleaded bullets.
Might try some 150gr. Cast I have for the 30-30
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:12   #12
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Originally Posted by hylander View Post
I hand load for everything I own.
For me the Mini is a Yote to deer to pig gun.
Russian Milsurp is not the best choice, I know it can be used but is still not a great choice, especially in CA since we have to use Unleaded.
That being said, anyone load with unleaded bullets in the 7.62?
I haven't tried unleaded, but when I checked the other day, Shooters Pro Shop had Nosler E-Tips a lead free bullet that is supposed to have very consistent expansion. Knowing Nosler they probably are capable of good accuracy too.

I wouldn't worry about them being listed as Blems, all the Nosler blems I've ordered look fine, and a cosmetic issue won't affect the shootablility.
At $20 per 50, they are much cheaper than Barnes lead free bullets.
http://www.shootersproshop.com/nosle...llet-50ct.html
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Old 05-05-2020, 21:01   #13
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Just ordered 250 Nosler 123gr. E-Tip blems from Shooters Pro shop.
I already shoot their .224 40gr. blems and they are great.
Can't wait to work up a load, already prepped 120 cases.
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:19   #14
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GrayFox;
You posted a picture of your brass catcher. Would you mind telling me what brand it is, and where you found it?
For some reason, I couldn’t send you a PM.
Thank you,
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Old 05-09-2020, 11:59   #15
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Interesting thread, one that I can relate to as I load the Hornady flat base red plastic tip experiments different powders for tight group with almost unbelievable results from factory barrel with careful shimming and bedding and other mods.
I have to disagree with my friend BECK regarding the practical DRT range he allows - with an unobstructed profile shot maybe so but that is powerful medicine with any easily available 123gr sp ammo.
I've been experimenting some with the Speer flat base 150gr soft point and 3 different powders - 4198, 1680 and 4895 with 4198 groups better at expense of difficult loading compared to 1680. 4895 shot fair, but again PITA charging makes it hardly worth trouble.
The Speer bullet is the 'hot cor' a tough slug that resist coming apart - important anytime but particular a quartering shot on larger animals and in bush.
This is just firing range bench talk as I must admit that I have shot only paper with my 30 in some years. However it's ready to roll loaded with the Hornady SST 'red tip' that also shoot surprisingly good for AP purpose.
LOOK OUT BGS WHEN THE HAMMER DROPS!!
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Old 05-09-2020, 15:14   #16
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Originally Posted by Marlin 45 carbine View Post
Interesting thread, one that I can relate to as I load the Hornady flat base red plastic tip experiments different powders for tight group with almost unbelievable results from factory barrel with careful shimming and bedding and other mods.
I have to disagree with my friend BECK regarding the practical DRT range he allows - with an unobstructed profile shot maybe so but that is powerful medicine with any easily available 123gr sp ammo.
I've been experimenting some with the Speer flat base 150gr soft point and 3 different powders - 4198, 1680 and 4895 with 4198 groups better at expense of difficult loading compared to 1680. 4895 shot fair, but again PITA charging makes it hardly worth trouble.
The Speer bullet is the 'hot cor' a tough slug that resist coming apart - important anytime but particular a quartering shot on larger animals and in bush.
This is just firing range bench talk as I must admit that I have shot only paper with my 30 in some years. However it's ready to roll loaded with the Hornady SST 'red tip' that also shoot surprisingly good for AP purpose.
LOOK OUT BGS WHEN THE HAMMER DROPS!!
A few modern 30-30 Win rounds can barely be stretched to 200 yards, but probably safest within 175 yards.

When handloading for 7.62x39, white tail at 200 yards is as easy as falling of a log, and 225 yards is not much more difficult if that's the shot you got.

Send a Nosler 30 cal 125 gr Ballistic Tip @ 2450 to 2500 fps at the muzzle and that deer is yours out to 225 yards, and that's being conservative.

Send a Speer 30 cal 150 gr (#2023) spire point Hot-Cor @ 2290 fps at the muzzle and that deer is also yours out to 225 yards or better.

The velocity and energy are there in those two loads approaching 250 yards. I just round it down to 225ish yards as a safe max for medium size game

The SAAMI standard 123 gr @ 2350 fps has poisoned the collective mind of many 7.62x39 aficionados.

I recommend long bullets with high BCs for the caliber... mid/high .300s BC, approaching .400 BC. 225 yards is not long range shooting. It's in the mid range for x39
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Old 05-09-2020, 21:05   #17
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Loaded up some Nosler Unleaded today.
Since there is no data for this bullet, Nosler aid to use the data for the Varmageddon on the lighter side.
So loaded:
H-4198 @ 24.0, 24.5 and 24.8gr.
Will go out Monday and see what I get for accuracy.
No Chono, so I won't be able to post numbers.

Also, I just found out that these bullets are not California non lead certified.
Meaning, I wasted my money because I can not legally use them to hunt with
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Old 05-12-2020, 18:04   #18
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Got out to try the Nosler 123 E-Tips.
Shot 24.0, 24.5 and 24.8gr.
The 24.0 load did the best, actually pretty darn good.
Groups opened up when the charge went up.
Here are two groups with the 24.0 H-4198
First group is the one on the left, then I shot several other loads before shooting the last group which is the target on the right.
The one in the Bull was my bad, I knew it when I pulled the trigger
So if you over lap the targets there are six shots under 1MOA
I think I got my Yote & Pig load.

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Old 05-13-2020, 06:08   #19
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Originally Posted by mightyoakwildlife View Post
GrayFox;
You posted a picture of your brass catcher. Would you mind telling me what brand it is, and where you found it?
For some reason, I couldn’t send you a PM.
Thank you,
Scott
It's called a Caldwell brass catcher. It works really well. I can't remember where I bought mine but it was probably MidwayUSA or maybe Amazon.
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Old 05-13-2020, 23:19   #20
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GreyFox: Much appreciated, thanks!

I found it, after searching the ‘net. The CATCHER mounts directly to your base/rail. What I liked about yours is that it sits on the bench, ground (if prone), or wherever it can be beside your rifle. Caldwell calls that model their Brass TRAP. Thanks, again. I now have one on it’s way from Amazon.

Last edited by mightyoakwildlife; 05-13-2020 at 23:38. Reason: Added information
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:50   #21
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Originally Posted by mightyoakwildlife View Post
GreyFox: Much appreciated, thanks!

I found it, after searching the ‘net. The CATCHER mounts directly to your base/rail. What I liked about yours is that it sits on the bench, ground (if prone), or wherever it can be beside your rifle. Caldwell calls that model their Brass TRAP. Thanks, again. I now have one on it’s way from Amazon.
You're welcome. They will also mount to a tripod.
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