Short barreled 7.62x39mm loadings

#1
So Im in the market for a smaller gun, and I want to get a folding stock and Im looking at a AK "pistol". I know ARs with short barrels and .300blk exist, but with the mechanical issues of short barreled DI ARs, and the cost of .300 blk and propriety systems more suited to short barrels like 416s and Sigs offerings the juice isnt worth the squeeze and I have AK magazines and 7.62x39mm already stockpiled.


So here is the question, what kind of loadings exist in 7.62x39mm that do decently in shorter barrel lengths. From what I understand at 10-12 inches your at roughly 2000-2200 FPS so there is not much loss of velocity but still what would preform well, and how far would ammo expand?

I heard good things about hornaday SST and for defensive ammo the cost looks good. What velocity would it expand and how does it preform. Is there any other x39 loading that would be worth using for defensive use.
 
#2
I know ARs with short barrels and .300blk exist, but with the mechanical issues of short barreled DI ARs
What mechanical issues are you talking about? I don't know of any, and have more than a few rounds through short barreled ARs in various calibers, including the 300.

Sorry for the sidetrack, but it seems you're starting the conversation based on bad information.
 
#3
What mechanical issues are you talking about? I don't know of any, and have more than a few rounds through short barreled ARs in various calibers, including the 300.

Sorry for the sidetrack, but it seems you're starting the conversation based on bad information.
I know you can make say a 12.5' AR that runs well, though you just have to have a good builder and your margin of error on reliability is smaller and with a short gas tube your running the gun harder and have a gun that's more finicky on ammo, especially with the "pistol" length gas systems. And it generally costs more.

Also really for a gun that is built to be small, the Achilles heel of using an AR pattern gun is the stock and its inability to fold. I know you can run a law folder but that is yet more expense, the gun cant cycle folded, and you can get something proprietary and piston but that is yet more expense.

Im sure if I had $2500 for a gun an armorer, and a .gov ammo budget, yeah I could rock a sig MCX SBR in .300 blk or a short barreled 416 with some boutique 5.56 ammo and a can it would work great

But I am steve swingler, regular guy, I can't do NFA, and the AK pistol looks to be a 90% off the shelf solution on a platform I am familiar with with cheap ammo that seens to be able to serve the whole "truck/bag gun" role I would want.

So on that note, what are good loadings for 7.62x39mm at a reduced velocity
 
#4
I know you can make say a 12.5' AR that runs well, though you just have to have a good builder and your margin of error on reliability is smaller and with a short gas tube your running the gun harder and have a gun that's more finicky on ammo, especially with the "pistol" length gas systems. And it generally costs more.
None of that is really true, except the part that you can make a 12.5" AR run well. It doesn't cost any more to build a short AR that runs right, you just have to stop listening to the people who don't know what they're doing with ARs.

For example, one of mine (the first AR I ever bought, incidentally) is a 9" 300 Blk with a LAW folder that fits in an ordinary backpack. It runs 100% and always has, with nothing special about the operating system. Standard low-pro gas block (non adjustable), carbine spring/buffer, etc. There's no magic to it, and no drama, it just works.

I get that you like AK stuff better, and that's reason enough to go that direction. Just don't put up false excuses to justify it.
You don't have a lot of options for specialized 7.62x39 loads; for the most part you'll have to use standard loads and deal with the extra flash in the short barrel. You can tweak this a little if you load your own, but the larger capacity of the x39 is still a detriment (in terms of flash and blast) in short barrels.
 
#5
Hornady SST, Federal Fusion (which is a 123gr Gold Dot) or something with a hollow point and green lacquered case like Golden Tiger or Wolf Military Classic.

The reason I don't own an AK anymore is because I'm afraid of less than $1/rd ammo drying up if there was an importation ban. Otherwise a 7.62x39 AK is an excellent choice.
 
#6
For example, one of mine (the first AR I ever bought, incidentally) is a 9" 300 Blk with a LAW folder that fits in an ordinary backpack. It runs 100% and always has, with nothing special about the operating system. Standard low-pro gas block (non adjustable), carbine spring/buffer, etc. There's no magic to it, and no drama, it just works.
I don't think OP meant that LAW folders or .300BLK were special operating systems, but that an AR doesn't fold without either a LAW or a special OS. The LAW doesn't allow the AR to cycle while folded, and both are more $$$. Both of those things seem to be non-starters and an AK pistol solves them both affordably.

What's the round count on your .300BLK? What's your buffer weight, and gas port size?
 
#7
Hornady SST, Federal Fusion (which is a 123gr Gold Dot) or something with a hollow point and green lacquered case like Golden Tiger or Wolf Military Classic.

The reason I don't own an AK anymore is because I'm afraid of less than $1/rd ammo drying up if there was an importation ban. Otherwise a 7.62x39 AK is an excellent choice.
Thats why I have an AR as well. When that day comes for import bans I probably will take up reloading .300 blk

On the terms of the hollowpoined and lacquered case, I think you are refering to 8m3 ammo, also know as the Sapsan slug, where the jacket is pre-fragmented.

I actually have a decent stockpile of that built up but I am unsure of how reliable it is in shorter barrels. Evidently it was developed in the 1990s by the russians to use in their counter terrorism-insurgency stuff because like us with green tip they found their steel cored 5.45 penciled through people as well as ricocheted badly.

It supposedly worked very well anecdotally in Russia and hunting hogs here in the states, but I have yet to see much scientific testing on it, reports and studies of its combat use in English, or how it would work at 200 FPS slower.
 
#8
I don't think OP meant that LAW folders or .300BLK were special operating systems, but that an AR doesn't fold without either a LAW or a special OS. The LAW doesn't allow the AR to cycle while folded, and both are more $$$. Both of those things seem to be non-starters and an AK pistol solves them both affordably.

What's the round count on your .300BLK? What's your buffer weight, and gas port size?
Go back and read the part I quoted, that's what I replied to. The point was that short ARs are not finicky or unreliable when set up correctly, and if that was his reasoning, to re-evaluate. They are neither difficult or expensive to set up to run reliably. Like I said, if the real reason is just that he prefers AKs, I've got no argument with that, just don't make up false reasons to justify it.

People often comment on the inability to fire (more than once) when folded, but I've yet to see a situation where I needed to.

As for cost, even with a LAW folder I have about the same or less $$ in my 300 Blk than it would cost to set up a similar AK pistol, so that's kind of a moot point. As I said, buffer is a standard carbine, with a standard carbine spring. I don't remember the port size, it's been a few years since I installed the 300 Blk barrel; it had a 10.5" 5.56 barrel before this, that was also completely reliable. It doesn't get shot a lot, but has probably 3k-5k rounds through it at a rough guess. That's just one example out of many though; I've yet to encounter a 9"-10" barreled DI AR that's finicky when I've set the gas port correctly, from multiple examples of a handful of different AR calibers.
 
#9
8m3 and SST out of my friends M92 PAP with 10" barrel was getting 2100-2200 fps. I know you weren't asking about hunting, but he shot a deer with 8m3 and from the pictures he texted me it was nasty. Lots of metal fragments and meat loss. He's since used SST and been very happy with it on game.

8m3 is probably the better choice for shooting bad people. I'm in the process of setting up a 12.25" barrel Draco with a folding brace and plan on running a few different types of ammo through the chronograph.
 
#10
Go back and read the part I quoted, that's what I replied to. The point was that short ARs are not finicky or unreliable when set up correctly, and if that was his reasoning, to re-evaluate. They are neither difficult or expensive to set up to run reliably. Like I said, if the real reason is just that he prefers AKs, I've got no argument with that, just don't make up false reasons to justify it.

People often comment on the inability to fire (more than once) when folded, but I've yet to see a situation where I needed to.

As for cost, even with a LAW folder I have about the same or less $$ in my 300 Blk than it would cost to set up a similar AK pistol, so that's kind of a moot point. As I said, buffer is a standard carbine, with a standard carbine spring. I don't remember the port size, it's been a few years since I installed the 300 Blk barrel; it had a 10.5" 5.56 barrel before this, that was also completely reliable. It doesn't get shot a lot, but has probably 3k-5k rounds through it at a rough guess. That's just one example out of many though; I've yet to encounter a 9"-10" barreled DI AR that's finicky when I've set the gas port correctly, from multiple examples of a handful of different AR calibers.
Ok so here we go on price.

For a Polish AK from WKB you can get one $650 off the shelf ready to go. $200 for a folding galil brace, and the gun comes with a railed gas tube. No NFA to muck with, I just attach the brace and the optic to the pic rail and Im ready to go from the day I get it from my FFL and screw the stock on and attach the optic (or just run irons)

Could you get a reliable, complete, non NFA off the shelf short barreled .300 blk AR gunfor under $1K? I haven't found anything like that so if you have found something please direct me to it.

Also where is your original comment about a large case capacity being a detriment in a short barrel coming from? If anything, 7.62x39mm and 5.56 use about similar powder charges and with a larger casing you operate at lower pressure and will have less muzzle blast. Also with the larger bullet you have more surface area for gas to accelerate your bullet so you don't need as much barrel length to accelerate your bullet and get a full powder burn.