As a military caliber, 7.62x39mm is one of the most successful, longest-lived, and widely used cartridges of all time. Perhaps made famous because of its pairing with the AK-47, this 7.62 round is also the main cartridge around which the SKS, AK-63, and AK-100 families of rifles were produced.
In the modern day, many quality rifles are still produced around the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Even though it is almost 100 years old, modern shooters have their pick of rifles chambered for it, such as the Ruger American Ranch Rifle and CZ USA 547 Carbine.
In short, the 7.62x39mm is anything but dead, and modern offerings have kept this cartridge in fair demand.
As a result, companies like Norma and TulAmmo still produce this cartridge - with offerings like Norma’s 7.62 full metal jacket rounds leading the way for quality and consistency.
If you have one of the rifles mentioned - or another one in this caliber - here are some of the reasons this particular 7.62 full metal jacket round delivers a lot of value.
What This 7.62 Full Metal Jacket Round Is Good For And Why
As a general rule, this FMJ 7.62 round is good for everything that other FMJ rounds are good for, but thanks to its combination of attractive factors (low cost, low recoil, etc.; see below) it is uniquely situated for the following.
- Competition: If your competition rifle is chambered in 7.62x39mm, you could do a lot worse than shooting Norma ammo. These rounds are consistent and accurate, which is precisely what you need.
- Recreational Target Shooting and Training: This cartridge, being affordable and relatively light on recoil, is great for high-volume applications. The same two factors make it suitable for teaching new shooters. If you’re teaching a lighter-framed shooter the ropes of centerfire rifle shooting, maybe wait a while before taking him or her to the range with heavier cartridges. Even .270 and .308 produce anywhere from 2 to 2.5 times the felt recoil of 7.62x39mm, all things considered.
- Plinking: Cheap, widely available, and as mentioned, somewhat light on recoil, this old Soviet cartridge is still great for plinking. As centerfire rifle cartridges go, it’s pretty light, making it great for this application. You know, .22LR might be better for plinking, but sometimes you need to use what you have, and if you have a 7.62, this Norma FMJ round is pretty good.
That just about covers what this specific 7.62x39mm round is a good choice for - but why is it objectively a great option?
- Premium components: Norma Ammunition, based in Sweden, has been in business for over 120 years and specializes in producing high-quality, precision ammunition. They are one of the most respected producers of military cartridges and one of the few that still make hard-to-find big-game cartridges like .505 Gibbs and .500 Jeffery. They use quality propellants and primer, high-quality brass cases with 70%-72% copper, and high-quality, copper-alloy, fully-jacketed bullets.
- Cases are reloadable: Norma ammunition is loaded with high-quality brass cases that can be reloaded several times. For competitive shooters and hunters, this is a bonus because it enables them to reuse cartridge casings, improving load consistency and potentially driving down unit costs.
- Optimal accuracy and stability: Full-metal jacket ammo is a good choice for target shooting and competition because it is stable and accurate when compared to hollow-point ammo which is less accurate at extended ranges.
- Low cost: The 7.62x39mm cartridge is inherently affordable due in part to the fact that it has been so widely produced, but taking this cartridge as an example, the per-unit cost of each cartridge is less than 50 cents, which is pretty cheap as far as centerfire rifle ammo is considered.
- Low recoil: As far as centerfire cartridges go, the 7.62x39mm scores pretty well on recoil. It produces more recoil on average than a 55-grain .223 bullet, but that’s not saying much because .223 is one of the lightest-kicking centerfire cartridges out there. It only kicks about half as hard (or less) than a .308 or .270 round, and a lot less than 7.62 NATO. This makes it suitable for high-volume applications.
- Low weight: Finally, keep in mind that 7.62x39mm is a pretty light cartridge, comparable to, but lighter than, its 7.62 NATO counterpart. This makes it easier to carry a lot of ammo to and from the range and also less fatiguing to carry several loaded mags.
Need Something Besides 7.62 Full Metal Jacket?
While this 7.62 full metal jacket ammo is a great choice for competition, target shooting, and other high-volume shooting applications, it’s important to choose the correct ammunition given the discipline.
With that said, for the most part, FMJ ammo is not suitable for hunting and it is almost never suitable for home defense due to risks associated with overpenetration.
If your rifle is chambered in 7.62x39mm and you need a round for hunting or home defense, consider TulAmmo’s HP 7.62, which we also sell.
TulAmmo 7.62 HP ammo is great for hunting medium-sized game like white-tailed deer and predators thanks to its superior stopping power and the lower risk of overpenetration.
It’s also a great round for home defense as it offers all of the power of 7.62 ammo without the risk of over penetration that jacketed rifle ammo produces.
Just be aware that this ammo, like other TulAmmo (9mm, for example) ammunition, is loaded in polymer-coated steel casings that cannot be reloaded. So if you’re looking for a reloadable option, go with the brass FMJ. If you want to use it for hunting, you can shoot through the FMJ rounds, then reload the brass cases with HP or SP 7.62 bullets.
In addition to these two options, we also carry ICC Ammo Gold Elite frangible 7.62 which is great for target practice and training due to the low risk of ricochet. Take a look through our full collection of 7.62x39mm ammo via the previous link.