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The 7.62x39
Nation Year Max. press.
Russia (U.S.S.R.) 1943 45000psi
Although this round conjures up visions of the famous AK-47, and the two will be forever linked, It was actually developed for the SKS rifle in the Second World War. This is a mid range cartridge which is good out to perhaps three hundred yards or so. Although it is a shorter round, the 7.62 is ballisticly identical to some loadings of the 30-30. The 30-30 has been considered by generations of hunters as a brush and close range cartridge, good out to one hundred yards or so. As the 7.62 cartridge is essentially a shortened, rimmed 30-30, it would seem a natural for very small handy, and light "brush guns". This is not the direction the developers of this round took when designing guns for the military. Compared to their 30-30 lever action counterparts, the 7.62 rifles, are heavy and somewhat cumbersome. The AK-47 weights over ten pounds, and the SKS tips the scales at almost nine. This compares to around six pounds for the standard lever action, firing a cartridge of equal power. What the military rifles have over the lever gus is semi (or fully) automatic fire and in the case of the AK-47, a larger magazine capacity. These are virtues in a military arm, but have little value to the civilian outside of self defense. Bill Ruger, always on the lookout for a new market niche, chambered a short handy semi auto for this round, along the lines of his Mini-14. I would have predicted this gun as a winner, but development problems and a lukewarm reception by firearms enthusiasts caused the gun to be withdrawn. The demise of the new Ruger is a real shame, because this round screams for a light handy little carbine for use as a utility or knock about gun. It can do everything that the well regarded 30-30 can do, and it can do it in a modern, semi automatic carbine.

Standard Load
Bullet Powder Measure Velocity Energy Comment
123gr VV N120 26.5gr 2430fps 1613fp