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Page AR-15 » AR Discussions
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Posted: 12/20/2002 6:14:12 AM EDT
Hi All,
i recently acquired a really nice pre-ban Colt in 7.62x39.  From the research I did on these, it seems like Colt started producing these in the late 1980's.  I'm really curious though, as to why they chose this caliber.  Pre-fall of the Berlin Wall, this caliber was a rather rare and expensive one.  I would have thought 7.62x51 would have been preferable to 7.62x39.  I asked my FFL if he knew anything, and he said Colt chose the caliber for special ops people who were planning on using the 7.62x39 round for "plausible deniability" purposes.  Anyway, just wondering if anyone happened to know about the development of this project.
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 7:03:05 AM EDT
They should have developed reliable mags. I bet more guys would own them if they fed more reliably.
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 9:09:52 AM EDT
7.62x51 would have required totally different upper receivers and lengthened lower receivers.  The 7.62x39 cal would appeal to owners of AK type weapons who didnt want to change caliber or for the collector to have all available calibers.
Link Posted: 12/20/2002 9:29:11 AM EDT
they needed to sell more guns.

i like my 7.62[img]http://www.akc.org/images/breeds/poodle1.jpg[/img]shooter
Link Posted: 12/23/2002 7:07:26 PM EDT
I was told 7.62x39 was picked for rifles mfg for the commercial market in europe.  At that  time many european countries would not abide  the mfg or import of any commercial rifles in NATO cal's. Guess they were worried that all the NATO rounds in ammo dumps would end up for sale on the economy, putting the hurts to the european ammo mfgs.---- Who would have thought that a few years later the reds dumped all that 7.62x39 onto the world market, Go figure!! ALLONS11
Link Posted: 12/24/2002 5:22:16 AM EDT
Pre-fall of the Berlin Wall, this caliber was a rather rare and expensive one.
View Quote

I seem to recall boatloads of fairly inexpensive ammo coming from China until Clinton put a stop to it in 1992.
Link Posted: 12/24/2002 5:43:00 AM EDT
I've heard part of the reason was large game hunting.  Makses sense as many states don't allow you to hunt large game with a .22 cal, and as stated before, 7.62x51/.308 is too large for the magwell.  

Link Posted: 12/24/2002 10:27:26 AM EDT
How about to sell them a make money
Link Posted: 12/24/2002 12:45:56 PM EDT
In the late mid to late 80's boat loads of Norinco steel core 7.62x39mm ammo was being brought in, and sold for about $89.00 per 1200.

So a 7.62x39mm AR was cheaper to shoot than a 5.56mm AR.
Link Posted: 12/24/2002 8:11:45 PM EDT
I remember reading a article in one of the gun mags in the late 80's. That if the commies or the chinese ever invaded and the 223 round was in short supply, you could throw back their own ammo in their faces.
Link Posted: 12/28/2002 5:52:30 PM EDT
Colt 762X39 rifles were designed to allow out new com bloc friendly countries to spend many times the price of a good full auto AK and by an American Colt that would shoot all the ammo they had saved up as well as special ops behind the lines operations. The mags were always the problem..only the 30rds from san jose ca worked..AR top on an AK mag..great 30rds..sold for around $ 125 ea.
Link Posted: 12/29/2002 11:03:03 PM EDT
I happened to become a fan of the 7.62x39 AR-15 purely by chance. A couple of years ago I came across a very nice original Colt R6830 for only $900 and immediately bought it, planning to resell it or turn it into an M4. However, after shooting it I was actually quite impressed and decided to keep it as is. Now I have two.

I'm sure Colt gave us a perfected 7.62x39 AR-15 purely to expand their product line and customer base in order to sell more product. I don't think the weapon had any intended military application. The world is full of AK-47s and Browning Hi-Powers when "sterile" weapons are needed for plausible deniability.

The Colt R6830 Sporter Lightweight 7.62x39mm first appeared in the 1993 model year. I have an original Colt New Products brochure from that year featuring it on the center page. Given that the original ad is a photo of a deer in the woods with an image of the rifle overlaid on top of it along with the subtitle "Modern semiautomatic performance for brush country hunters", I'd say Colt's main marketing strategy was to promote it for hunting use. Further in the text they also mention informal target practice, law enforcement, and home security.


As for the magazine issues, unfortunately the R6830 appeared to close to the ban for the aftermarket to develop really good magazines for it. Once the ban was in effect and most of the market disappeared, there was little point or incentive for anyone to develop really good, appropriate high capacity magazines. Fortunately, however, there are some decent high capacity magazines available. These are the hybrid type where an AR-15 feed tower is attached to an AK-47 magazine body. These were available from companies like Scherer, G-Tech, and yes, even USA Magazines. Here is a pic representing some of the magazines in my collection:


The AR-15 that Colt produced primarilly for export was the R6510, chambered in .222 Remington, for sales in countries that prohibited weapons chambered for cartridges in current military use.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:54:55 PM EDT
G-Tec...that was the name of the only ones I ever saw work...Thanks !
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 11:15:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2003 8:50:00 PM EDT
Across the bottom from left to right are a Scherer 30 round, a G-Tech 30 round, a USA model EXC133 30 round, and a USA model EXC133B 30 round (so labeled on package but actually holds 40 rounds).
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