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4/22/2019 5:32:20 PM
Posted: 11/28/2014 4:38:55 PM EDT
Here's an article I wrote reviewing three of the better ammunition choices in 7.62x39mm. As always, I'd love to hear your criticism.



In previous articles we discussed the benefits of an AK for home defense and we dispelled some of the myths and misconceptions associated with them as well as with the use rifles in general for home defense. We would now like to highlight a few ammo choices to make that .30 caliber AK or SKS (or Mini-30 or 7.62×39 AR….) as effective as it can be. Of course, any ammunition that functions reliably in your firearm can be useful for defense, but it’s a good idea to carefully choose the best ammunition if our lives or the lives of loved ones might depend on it. It is also true that plain, vanilla ball rifle ammo will beat out the very best pistol ammo in terminal effect. That said, choosing full metal jacket ammunition in 7.62x39mm leaves a lot of potential on the table and FMJ can penetrate much more deeply than is normally desired for defense.

It wasn’t too long ago that your options for defense ammunition in 7.62x39mm were limited to either plain ball, cheap Russian hollow points that mostly behaved just like FMJ, or cheap Russian soft points that mostly performed as they should. So most people who chose 7.62x39mm for defense mostly chose the latter, mostly content with the probably decent performance most of the time. Today, there are several very good choices available from domestic manufacturers that offer excellent terminal ballistics and the quality control we expect from American ammunition makers.
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The rest is here, if you're interested.
Link Posted: 11/28/2014 5:11:45 PM EDT
Very nice.

Frankly, I for one am very happy to see some purpose designed bullets for the 7.62x39 !

I think the 7.62x39 is truly underrated.
My accuracy with the Hornady SST is considerably better then any of the cheap imports. The Hornady SST restored my faith in my MAK as a viable SD rifle. Prior to using the SST, accuracy was so dismal that 8 MOA seemed good !

The SST is good for 2 MOA out of my rifle.... repeatedly.

One of the online stores had it for $22 / 50 an outstanding value.
Link Posted: 11/28/2014 5:27:21 PM EDT
The Fusion looks like it performed well. Interested in how it would do from 10" M92 barrel.
Link Posted: 11/28/2014 5:37:08 PM EDT
I might get a chance to find out tomorrow.
Link Posted: 11/28/2014 11:10:24 PM EDT
I picked up a bunch of the Fusion brass at the local range a few months ago some kid was blasting away with a WASR

Thats about as close as i have been to seeing any personally
Link Posted: 11/29/2014 10:57:55 AM EDT
Good write up. Glad you did this. Rare to have a concise overview with test results of rounds that could come in handy.

I've been stockpiling SST rounds but never considered the Fusion rounds.

Have you seen the new Winchester Hog round?

Did you notice any differences between Z-Max and SST? Or are they identical except for the color of the polymer tip?
Link Posted: 11/29/2014 12:21:21 PM EDT
I have not seen that Winchester load. I'll keep an eye out for it.

According to Hornady, the bullets used for Z-max and SST components or factory loaded ammunition are all the same bullet.

I'm about to head out to test the Fusion and Tula 154 gr soft point from a short barrel. If everything goes well, I'll have the video up on my channel in a few days.
Link Posted: 11/29/2014 4:31:29 PM EDT
WIsh you luck with your Fusion and Tula SP tests.

Thanks for clarifying that Z-Max and SST are the same.

The Winchester round I was referring to is the Razorback XT. It's a 123gr round. However I can't seem to find any online. I saw it at Academy for about $30 for a 20rd box.
Winchester Razorback XT

Have you thought about other Soft Points, ie PPU / Herter's / S&B 123gr SP?

Sellier & Bellot SP
Herter's SP
PPU SP

Lastly are there any differences between these two Federal rounds?

Federal Fusion - Academy
Federal PowerShok - Academy

Overall, I'm glad there are some quality options out there to load in my rifle. Currently have a 20rd magazine with a box of Z-Max in my rifle. It's on standby, waiting to drop a skunk that has been roaming our farm.
Link Posted: 11/29/2014 5:52:27 PM EDT
I've got some S&B 123 gr that I'll be testing soon.

I *think* that fusion and Power Shok use different bullets. There seems to be more exposed lead on the Power Shok load, if the picture is accurate.
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