.308 or 7.62x39?

Discussion in 'Auto & Semi-Auto Discussion' started by cnorman18, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. cnorman18

    cnorman18 New Member

    OK, I'm sold. I want a Saiga (Russian-made AK variant; looks like the best deal since the nickel cup of coffee. NIB for under $300).

    Next question: .308 or 7.62x39? I need some help here.

    I don't hunt; the weapon will be for defense only, especially in case of disaster of one kind or another (SHTF, e.g.). I live in a large city (Dallas), if that's relevant.

    Here's what I know: the .308 has greater recoil, but also greater range and hits with more authority. The AK round has less range, less power, and less recoil, and is the ammunition the gun was designed for.

    Here's what I don't know (sorry if I sound like Glenn Beck): relative accuracy; price and availability of ammo; if the .308 is significantly harder on the gun and will shorten its working life.

    Comments? Advice? Insults? Whatever you've got...

  2. Etho

    Etho Guest

    7.62 Commie is a helluva lot cheaper and easier to find than surplus 7.62x51 or even .308 that isn't loaded with hunting projectiles.

    I'd probably spend a bit more and just get a standard Ak. WASRs aren't much more and while they are the red headed step child of the Ak world(is that even possible?) everything I have read about them is they do work.

    I wouldn't worry about accuracy. I'd expect combat accuracy from that rifle. Ak's and their variants were meant to work, be accurate enough to hit a man out to 4-500 meters and be simple enough for even the dumbest conscript to keep running. I don't think even the Dragunov is all that accurate.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007

  3. allmons

    allmons New Member

    If cost is a strong incentive

    Then you will probably need to look at the 7.62X39. Ammo is very reasonable and it is a fairly accurate round. The .308 has the ballistic edge, and can be more accurate - BUT, the Saiga was designed as a shooter, not a MOA weapon. At 50 yards, I can bounce soda cans using iron sight with my .223 Saiga. That's good enough for me.

    So, considering your choices, my vote would be the 7.62X39.

  4. BLS33

    BLS33 New Member Supporter

    Another vote for 7.62x39. It is a proven battle rifle round and cheaper.
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter


    I would go commie. The mags for the .308 are not easy to find and will not likely get any easier. If you want a .308 get a rifle designed to be a .308. My personal preference would go
    1. HK-91
    2. CETME
    3. M1A
    4. AR-10
    5. FAL

    I know, I will get flamed for putting the FAL on the bottom of the list. I just happen to have an HK and a CETME I like the M-1A but do not like the weight/lack of pistol grip. The AR-10 is very much like the AR-15's I have but are expensive. The FAL has a rep for needing gas adjustments, different mags for inch pattern and metric. I just never got into the FAL hoopla. I have shot them and they are fine and I would not kick one out of bed for eating crackers, just not my cup of tea right now.
  6. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member


    There's no way that the standard will consistantly hit a man size target at 500 meters!

  7. Dgunsmith

    Dgunsmith New Member

    Go 7.62x39

    For strictly defense, reliability, ease of control and ammo price, the winner is 7.62X39 .

    Basically a 30-30 auto in performance and good to 200 yards on a man size target.

    All ammo is going up but with no more 308 surplus on the world market due to UN Ban on sale, 308 is around $ 450-550 per thousand.

    AK Mags are cheap and guns handle well.

    A quality FAL with decent ammo will leave an HK or M1A in the dust and they DO NOT require frequent gas system adjustment. Our FAL MG has over 100K rounds thru it and runs flawlessly. At 500 yards and iron sights, a man size target has NO chance !:cool:
  8. AR Hammer

    AR Hammer Guest

    This is a case of 'You get what you pay for...',
    How much is your life worth? ($300 apparently...)

    Doesn't matter what chambering you get it in, it still has a crap Russian production barrel, so it's not going to be accurate.

    NO PRODUCTION AK has ever been able to hit a torso size target consistently at 500 meters.
    It was actually built to engage at ranges between 75 and 150 yards.
    (and at 150 yards, things are a little shaky!)

    .308 will give you a little more knock down power at closer ranges, but you are still going to miss everything beoynd 250 yards anyway, so the energy at the target doesn't matter since you won't deliver TO the target at 500 meters.

    If you had gone with a M1A or AR-10 in .308 you could have had extremely accurate semi-auto that would be a tack driver at 500 meters...

    Cart before the horse thinking...

    If you want to shoot out to 500 meters,
    Then start with the short list of semi-auto rifles that will be ACCURATE at 500 meters!
    And work the list down from there...

    I don't think anyone with any experience with SEGA would put it on a 300 meter list, and it doesn't have a chance at 500 meters.

    Match grade AR-10, NM grade M-14, ect.
    You won't get any of these for $300 either...
    Start about $1,000 for a reasonable used and go up to about $4,500 from there.

    Personally, I like my AR-10's in .308 and my new one in .300 WSM really kicks butt!

    Surplus doesn't do 3" groups at 500 yards anyway...
    Surplus is lucky to do 18" at 500 yards.
    Volume or accuracy, it's hard to have both!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2007
  9. Recon 173

    Recon 173 New Member

    My vote would be for the 7.62 x 39 BUT I would also suggest that you look at getting some sort of scope for it too. Now, I know that some people think that an AK-47 type rifle shouldn't have a scope on it because it makes a lousy sniper rifle. But what I'm looking at here isn't using it as sniper rifle but to increase the rifle's over all accuracy within the framework of 0 to about 250 meters distance. In other words, from one location out to about 2.5 city blocks or so, if needed. If I were living in a built-up area like Dallas, especially with all those tall buildings all around, I would want to have a little better than average AK for vertical shooting as well as being able to control a couple of blocks near me too. Unless you mount a scope on a AK type rifle, you could very quickly find yourself at a disadvantage to a guy with another rifle. The scope does not have to be an expensive one. A decent 4X to 6X scope will probably do the job needed to increase a guy's survival chances a bit better.
  10. DSAPT9

    DSAPT9 New Member

    I to would go for the 7.62x39 if I were not all ready set up with ARs and FALs.

    The FAL will shoot all day long just set the gas system to 5 on most guns and let her rip. I currently shoot 180gr hunting loads in both Federal and Remington and have for years. Cheaper than surplus ammo at the moment and I use it to hunt with.
  11. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    If the SHTF I want EVERY shot to count. That won't happen in a 7.62x39, and it doesn't have to, if all you are concerned about is the price of ammo. My AR in .308 or .223 will hit a human torso at up to 500 meters away - first time, every time. I just hope the folks shooting at me are using an AK or any other gun chambered in 7.62x39. That will allow me the time to zero in on them.
  12. h&k bigdaddydieseldan

    h&k bigdaddydieseldan New Member


    I agree with you RL357Mag 100% you can't go wrong with .308 for long range and .223 for short to medium range :D :D :) :)
  13. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member


    Thanks for the support! lol Topics like these always generate animosity due to personal preferances. Personally I don't own an AK, I have an SKS and I'm not impressed by it. It's reliable and fun, that's it. When I buy a gun, it's with the intention of making the smallest possible groups within my own abilities. The AK and SKS deprive me of that capability due to their inherent inaccuracy. For hunting I wouldn't hesitate to use my SKS, but I mostly target shoot now. My recent AR acquisitions have turned my long-held belief that extreme accuracy can only be achieved with a bolt-action rifle, on end. I can honestly say that both the .223 and ,308 AR's I have are just as accurate, if not more so, than any of my bolt action rifles. If the SHTF I want accuracy and one-shot kill capability at long range. For short range work I have handguns!
  14. Zappa

    Zappa New Member

    If you have your heart set on an 7.62x39 AK variant, one thing to consider is the magazines. Standard AK mags will NOT fit a Saiga. I had one, I know this for sure. They CAN be made to fit, but it requires some welding and grinding. I modified five 30 round mags for the Saiga, but sold them with the gun many years ago. Also, once modified, they won't fit standard AK's anymore.
    I currently have a Bulgarian made Arsenal SLR-95, it looks kind of stupid with the plastic thumbhole post-ban type stock, but it has a milled receiver and takes standard AK mags. I have a collection of 30's, 40's, 20's (Tankers) and a pre-ban 75 round drum. All of which work perfectly in the Arsenal. BTW, when I bought it new, it was under $300.
  15. Boris

    Boris New Member


    Well I thought we might like to return to your points and here is my thoughts for what they are worth. Given the reason you what an AK derivative and where you reside (I love Dallas, know it quite well), and you are looking for a rifle for defence then unquestionably you should go for the 762x39, it's an intermediate cartridge and was designed to replace the larger rifle cartridges.

    It ticks all the boxes, lighter to carry and you can carry therefore more ammunition, super to 450 metres, which is all you will require. During the war the Germans would have completely rearmed with SG43's with the intermediate 7.92 mm but for the fact they where sitting on millions of standard 7.92 mm!

    Zappa's right you don't want anything that will not accept anything other that standard AK/AKM magazines, it's just going to make life difficult...

    Every SKS and AK I have ever picked up abroad has shot extremely well, and I have never experienced his problems, so I can not agree with RL357Mag. Guys I work with, who operate convoys duties in the Middle East have the opportunity to privately purchase anything they want, most stick, or return to the AKM.

    If you have ready access to ammunition in sustainable quantities than go with the 7.62x39, with the intermediate cartridge you have the best of both worlds...if it was my life anyway.................................:)
  16. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    All I'm saying is that if you want accuracy, don't buy an AK. The question then is "What's good accuracy?" IMO it's 1"moa and less capability. My SKS cannot even achieve that level of accuracy, and by virtue of it's much longer barrel is a more accurate platform than any AK. If all you want is a cheap, reliable short range defense rifle, they are fine. I always wanted an AK, but after doing the research and discovering that 2-4" at 100yds is considered very good accuracy, I opted against it. That kind of accuracy is on par with an M1 Carbine, and they were designed to replace the .45 1911 Colt for perimeter guard.
  17. Boris

    Boris New Member

    You can only speak as you find, no military rifle will give you tack driving accuracy (leaving spe******t applications apart of course) because casualties are better than dead combatents, but lets not get into the military logistics game.

    I have found both weapons and calibre to be excellent for what they set out to do. If I get the opportunity to work in East Africa again, the choice is the G3 or AK47, I would choose the AK47 (hold on nothing wrong with the G3 so please don't jump all over me!)........I think the intermediate cartridge a good compromise between the 7.62 NATO and the 5.56mm......:)
  18. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

  19. mars01

    mars01 Guest

    308 vs 762X39

    The 308 is in fact the US version of the 762x39. It is an excellent self defense cal. We in fact practice cutting the sign posts in half at the range.
  20. coltm4

    coltm4 New Member

    Amen to that!! my AR in 5.56 NATO and my Remington 700 LTR with leupold mil-dot reticle scope will keep the non-riflemen at bay.