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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 10-11-2018, 10:54 AM
Torrez465 Torrez465 is offline
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Default .308 or 7.62x39?

I have no experience with these calibers (I only have a 223), but I would like my next rifle to be chambered in one of them. I don’t hunt or reload; I simply shoot paper from a bench (200 yards max). They both seem good, though it does look like .308 might stress the wallet (but I do like the idea of having more stopping power, even if I’m just paper-punching). Any advice on which caliber would better suit me?
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2018, 11:02 AM
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7.62x39 would work, but the cheap ammo commonly loaded for it is not "match quality". Bolt guns are getting more popular for it though, so it might be that better and better ammo is becoming available. The Ruger American is chambered in it, I believe, but also the Howa mini-action in a very light and compact rifle is available.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:03 AM
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Look at the cz rifles in 762x39, FINE AS WINE.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:05 AM
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7.62x39 is definitely cheaper for ammo, and it doesn't kick as much as .308. If you're keeping it at 200 yrds or closer you'll be fine with 7.62x39. AK's and SKS's are also cheaper than buying a PTR, FAL or M1A if that's what you're looking at.

If you plan on doing real precision shooting within that 200 yards you'll have more rifle options with the .308 (bolt actions particularly).

But it comes down to what your interested in. I love having an AK, but I enjoy shooting an M1A more. Recoil doesn't bother me though.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:07 AM
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7.62x39 for cost. Shooting paper gets costly otherwise. Always some good deals on 7.62x39 and it will remain an affordable/value round for many more years. .308, much like .30-06, just gets too expensive to shoot for fun and/or target practice. If you aren't hunting or have a specific purpose, keeping it cheap per round is the way to go IMO.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:07 AM
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If you're worried about stressing your wallet, why are you considering the .308 and 7.62x39? Sure the .308 match rounds can be expensive, but at least you can get match rounds. Try doing that with 7.62x39. Heck, you're going to spend a chunk just for brass cased factory ammo in 7.62x39.

You should be considering a .223. Comparatively inexpensive and lots of factory match ammo available.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:27 PM
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Get the 308 and get into reloading. Then later get a 300 Blackout. Much larger selection of 308 bullets than 310 bullets.

If you just want to shoot the cheap steel case 7.62x39 ammo, get an SKS.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by TMB 1 View Post
Get the 308 and get into reloading. Then later get a 300 Blackout. Much larger selection of 308 bullets than 310 bullets.

If you just want to shoot the cheap steel case 7.62x39 ammo, get an SKS.
This - also most of the cheap 7.62x39 ammo is magnetic.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:54 PM
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If you're going to end up shooting Blackout anyway, no need to do .308 first. Just go straight to Blackout.

Not many bolt guns chambered in it though.
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2018, 12:58 PM
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223 is fine to 600y. x39 drops like a brick at 200y though.
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2018, 1:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
If you're worried about stressing your wallet, why are you considering the .308 and 7.62x39? Sure the .308 match rounds can be expensive, but at least you can get match rounds. Try doing that with 7.62x39. Heck, you're going to spend a chunk just for brass cased factory ammo in 7.62x39.

You should be considering a .223. Comparatively inexpensive and lots of factory match ammo available.
LOL...from his first post. He has a .223.
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Old 10-11-2018, 1:35 PM
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Consider a bolt action.
6.5 creedmoor
Costs the same as 308. But you can buy 130 grain and shoot all day.
Save your brass. Reloaders will buy the brass.
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2018, 2:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
If you're going to end up shooting Blackout anyway, no need to do .308 first. Just go straight to Blackout.

Not many bolt guns chambered in it though.
I thought of that but OP said "I do like the idea of having more stopping power". I pointed out the 300 Blackout because it's cheap to shoot if reloading and uses same size bullets.

Ruger and Remington both make bolt action 300 Blackout.
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Old 10-11-2018, 2:13 PM
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OK, so if you want more stopping power, you're not shooting beyond 200 yards, and you want to keep costs down. You could just get a 300 blackout upper for your existing .223 (assuming it's an AR). In fact you don't even need to get different magazines! Palmetto State Armory has them cheap, they'll ship them to your door. No need to DROS a new gun and you can get ammo at Walmart for less than .308. When the Gun Show comes to town buy a case of 250 rounds for cheap.

Last edited by Ora Serrata; 10-11-2018 at 2:13 PM.. Reason: typo
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2018, 2:14 PM
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7.62x39 will reach 200 yards no problem and with less recoil. Just keep in mind the trajectory is sharp resulting in more bullet drop as the range get farther. I have hunted using 7.62x39 and for feral pigs I had to keep my shots within 200 yards or less. Finding .311” match bullets is not as easy as .308. If you don’t like recoil consider 300 Blackout and reload for it. Quality 7.62x39 rounds aren’t cheap, don’t expect surplus 7.62x39 ammo to give you great accuracy.

On the other hand the 308/7.62x51 is a much powerful round. There’s a smorgasbord of match grade ammo and bullets. If you select the right rifle, twist and bullet you can reach 1000 yards easy. If you reload you can select 155 grain HPBT match bullets and start minimum data until you get the most accurate load.

If you’re recoil sensitive consider 6.5CM, if I can go back in time I would’ve picked the 6.5CM
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Old 10-11-2018, 2:34 PM
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OP, if all you're doing is punching paper, why spend the money and go through the bother of buying another rifle that's significantly more expensive to shoot than a .223.

For a lot less money you could buy a .22LR and shoot it at distances greater than 50 yards or (if your range allows it) at smaller targets like spent shotshells or spinners.
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Old 10-11-2018, 4:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torrez465 View Post
I have no experience with these calibers (I only have a 223), but I would like my next rifle to be chambered in one of them. I don’t hunt or reload; I simply shoot paper from a bench (200 yards max). They both seem good, though it does look like .308 might stress the wallet (but I do like the idea of having more stopping power, even if I’m just paper-punching). Any advice on which caliber would better suit me?
If you just want to shoot at paper, 7.62x39 will make noise for less cost than 308.
If you would like your bullets to land closer together ON the paper, then 308 will have much better options for target ammo which will make smaller groups.

There are almost no factory 7.62x39 match ammo options available which would make small groups.
There are lots of different types of factory 308 match ammo options available to make small groups.
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Old 10-11-2018, 8:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MissiontoMars View Post
LOL...from his first post. He has a .223.
Yes. I'm aware of that. But for some reason I assumed he had an AR and is now considering a bolt action. Perhaps it was steelholder's post (post #3) that got me thinking along those lines.

Perhaps I assumed too much.
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Old 10-11-2018, 8:20 PM
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You should have at least 3-4 rifles in each of those calibers.
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Old 10-11-2018, 8:54 PM
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Just master the .223. Paper dies all the same. If you want to upgrade and start shooting farther get a 6.5 Creedmoor. It outclasses the .308. A 7.62x39 is fun but not a target round, more a fun plinker. I got 5.56, 6.8spc, 7.62x39, .308, .300 win mag and what I actually shoot is the 5.56 95% percent of the time due to cost.
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Old 10-11-2018, 9:12 PM
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7.62x39mm is an incredible round for its intended purpose (which is a man-shaped target). Soviet combat doctrine never placed a premium on pin-point precision shooting, like Western combat doctrine tends to. Instead, it's about closing the distance to target and volume of fire. With a fat .30 cal round and mild recoil, the x39mm is practically perfect for that purpose.

On the other side, if you're less about utility and more about scores, competitions, and MOA groupings, there's no contest - between the two (.308 or x39mm), .308 is obviously superior. How much exactly? Well, as others have said, it may be plentiful but there are now more accurate projectiles available, such as 6.5C (and it recoils less, which will make firing from a bolt-action more comfortable throughout a day of shooting).

Personally, I stack both deep. .30 cal all day long. One's super cheap and plentiful, lots of fun to shoot all day (x39mm) and one has the potential to tac-drive and put food on the table easily (subject to my skill level).
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
If you just want to shoot at paper, 7.62x39 will make noise for less cost than 308.
If you would like your bullets to land closer together ON the paper, then 308 will have much better options for target ammo which will make smaller groups.

There are almost no factory 7.62x39 match ammo options available which would make small groups.
There are lots of different types of factory 308 match ammo options available to make small groups.
What he said.
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Old 10-12-2018, 7:17 PM
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One thing to consider with 7.62x39 is that a lot of the ammo is steel core which is prohibited on many ranges. I’ve been really interested in the ruger American ranch but non steel core isn’t that much cheaper than 308. And relatively affordable 308 can be found. Where that rifle would excel is in 30-30 type hunting ranges but where you might need a few more yards. And then being able to have a nice range toy too.

308 will have more recoil. But it will be considerably more accurate. And honestly, just punching paper at 200 will get boring after a while. You’ll eventually want to extend your range and 308 will get you way farther down range. And it’s a great for reloading cartridge too.


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Old 10-12-2018, 8:56 PM
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I have had a M1a for many years and don't shoot it that much because of the cost. I also have a few .556 chambered rifles. I built a AR chambered in 7.62x39 a few years ago because I wanted something in the middle, and its a great rifle. I got a package deal on the upper, 4500+ rounds of ammo and 10 magazines from a friend who lives in a free state. Gets much more use due to the low cost of ammo. Has about as much recoil as a .556 AR.

The M1a is much more accurate at distances past 300 yards, but if you are never planning on shooting distance, go for the cheaper ammo. 7.62x39 is cheaper than just about anything else out there.

Or, do the right thing and get both.
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Old 10-12-2018, 9:33 PM
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As said previously, if all you want to do is punch holes in paper cheaply, get the 7.62x39. If you want accuracy, get the .308.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1dude View Post
Yes. I'm aware of that. But for some reason I assumed he had an AR and is now considering a bolt action. Perhaps it was steelholder's post (post #3) that got me thinking along those lines.

Perhaps I assumed too much.
Ahhh, i see. good point.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:47 AM
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I would go .308 Win. Not a fan of the commie rounds.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:21 PM
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Much wisdom has already been posted. I just have this; You can handload the 308 Winchester down to 7.62X39 levels, but not the other way around.
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Old 10-17-2018, 1:03 PM
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Do you want a big group or a little group?

7.62 ball ammo is not going to get you good groups. Decent ammo might get you 3-4 MOA; that's 3-4" group at 100 yards, 6-8" group at 200 yards...

308 ball ammo will make much smaller groups, but is still not accurate ammo. Match ammo can get a good shoot well below MOA. A 1" group with good 308 ammo is doable at 200 yards...

Remember, part of it is the rifle. But part of it is the ammo. You can feed a good rifle junky ammo, and never get a good group...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torrez465 View Post
I have no experience with these calibers (I only have a 223), but I would like my next rifle to be chambered in one of them. I don’t hunt or reload; I simply shoot paper from a bench (200 yards max). They both seem good, though it does look like .308 might stress the wallet (but I do like the idea of having more stopping power, even if I’m just paper-punching). Any advice on which caliber would better suit me?
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Old 10-17-2018, 8:36 PM
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7.62 x 39 does not make sense for a bolt action rifle.
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Old 10-17-2018, 8:48 PM
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For killing papers at 200 yards.... What about a Ruger American Ranch .223?

Shoots straight and true. Lots of ammo selections. Ammos are cheaper to buy and lighter to haul. It takes AR mags too.
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Old 10-17-2018, 9:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffyhog View Post
You should have at least 3-4 rifles in each of those calibers.
^^^you are bingo.

To answer your question, 7.62X39
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:25 PM
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7.62 x 39 does not make sense for a bolt action rifle.
You (obviously) have not shot the CZ 527.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNE228 View Post
Do you want a big group or a little group?

7.62 ball ammo is not going to get you good groups. Decent ammo might get you 3-4 MOA; that's 3-4" group at 100 yards, 6-8" group at 200 yards...

308 ball ammo will make much smaller groups, but is still not accurate ammo. Match ammo can get a good shoot well below MOA. A 1" group with good 308 ammo is doable at 200 yards...

Remember, part of it is the rifle. But part of it is the ammo. You can feed a good rifle junky ammo, and never get a good group...
A 308 is gonna thrash your shoulder and cost more than shooting x39 ($.25/rd for x39, $.40-$.50 for x51). Some of the accuracy issues have to do with the rifle you are shooting it out of, and are not inherent to the ammo itself.

Even with a Limb-Saver I don't want to shoot my M1A very much... no way I would want a 308 bolt gun. However, I can shoot my AK all day with no issues whatsoever. And the CZ in x39 is just downright fun.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:40 PM
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You (obviously) have not shot the CZ 527.
No, I haven't but shot plenty of semi-autos in 7.61 x 39. But then again, .308 does not hurt my shoulder so I don't need to go to 7.61 x 39.
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Old 10-17-2018, 10:42 PM
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for 200 yards max I would say 7.62x39. Much softer shooting, very fun, much less expensive. Shooting my buddies Saiga was a blast, very pleasant. I am sure that a bolt action will be similarly pleasant.

I standardized on 308 for all my rifles, they all shoot the same ammo. While I wouldn't change my decision for my purposes, I will say that occasionally my 308 rifles can feel a bit harsh, especially my Vepr, and I shoot out to 700 yards when I take out my rifles.

Alternatively for something different and fun in a bigger caliber you could get a Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54R. There will be more recoil but its bigger than both and inexpensive.
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
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You (obviously) have not shot the CZ 527.
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.G. View Post
No.

There, FTFY.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rorge Retson View Post
There, FTFY.
Everybody likes things a little different.
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  #39  
Old 10-18-2018, 12:46 AM
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Maulerrr Maulerrr is offline
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I vote 7.62x39

Diversity your gun collection and put a communist bastard AK or SKS in your safe
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  #40  
Old 10-18-2018, 4:58 AM
jarhead714 jarhead714 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.G. View Post
7.62 x 39 does not make sense for a bolt action rifle.
Doesn’t make sense in any rifle.
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