View Full Version : Change caliber or reload 7.62X39 to subsonic?
04-10-2006, 01:35 AM
I tried posting this question to a general questions forum on Gunco, but got no response, then I saw this forum and decided to try here. My question (I'm relatively new here) involves my desire to shoot my AK47 (7.62) subsonic. Would it be more practical to reload the 7.62X39mm round to subsonic levels using larger bullets and very short burning rate powder OR: would it make more sense to convert the rifle to 9mmX39mm? I have tried to find reloading data for the 7.62X39 round, but it seems there isn't anything out there about this. Does anyone on this forum have any knowledge about subsonic reloads for the AK in 7.62? Or does the caliber conversion make more sense and if so, where do I go to find info on that conversion? Thanks for your time and consideration.
04-10-2006, 02:13 AM
i believe you could do some reduced velocity loading with H4227, or H335. should be interesting . finding a heavy bullet with geometry that feeds well might be an issue. up to 180 grs at subsonic, and a change of the recoil spring to one that has a few turns cut off would be the ticket, but what you would get is of questionable value. if you can go to gas checked 200 grs lead rn and about 1000 fps with reliable functioning, let us know. in that range of energy, hercules unique is a useful alternative.
phil sharpe published reduced loads as early as 1930, and was getting up to 1600 fps with unique and heavy bullets in 303, 30 russian, 30-06. the ak case is smaller, so loads would be reduced. pistol primers would conserve accuracy. unjacketed bullets work better at low velocity, but foul the gun quickly.
barrel twist rate is a factor in reduced velocity loading accuracy.
04-10-2006, 02:56 AM
I do not see that you will have much problem making the round subsonic, however getting the rifle to cycle will be a problem . If you get down to under about 1400fps ww bullets should be clean enough for you without much fouling and if you desire to get harder bullets then water quench them. Your really starting to mess with the dynamics of the rifle when you lighten up the spring , but is not a big issue if you have spares to play with . That being said the best reloading data that I have found for the 7.62x39 is M D Smiths . For the record subsonic is is a little over 1000 fps (1082.67717 is the excepted norm). A couple of sites that you might find informative.
This article you must read if your trying to do subsonics , this is imparative for your life and limb. I REPEAT THIS IS A MUST READ.
Most gun writers are very willing to give you help on the loads that they have developed so I would try to contact the authors mentioned at the following site : as you will see already mentioned
04-10-2006, 08:50 AM
I have done some handloading for the 7.62 x 39 for my 7.62 AR-15 but not for sub-sonic or suppressed, there is a limited amount of info out there. I would go with the above info. and I suggest you start with published info for the heavest .311 or .310 bullet you can find in 7.62x39 and work your way down to subsonic. I would make up several loads to test at the range. A chronograph would help alot too.
04-10-2006, 09:55 PM
I have looked into it some. from what I have read the barrel twist will not stabelize the heavy rounds. also I have yet to find any one who hat got one to cycle at subsonic speeds. HC pookie is the one working on the 9x39 set up. I suspect this would make it a lot easier to come up with a subsonic round with a heavy bullet that may cycle.
04-11-2006, 01:43 AM
To: Justashooter, Mauser1959,Steelcore1964 and 1Biggun
My thanks to you all for your responses and the information that you provided, with special thanks to Mauser1959 for the links to more information and for his warnings about safety precautions in this pursuit. I appreciate all the help that I can get, and I especially appreciate the "heads up" regarding dangers involved in developing subsonic loads. You can be sure that I will read everything relevant to these topics and that I will do whatever is necessary to make this activity a safe one (even if that turns out to mean "do not attempt this-it is too dangerous"!). Thanks again.
04-11-2006, 02:01 AM
Just a thought, but it might be easier to build a AK around the .300 Whisper cartridge.
04-12-2006, 03:43 AM
I had thought about this for a while, but how? It so happens that I have a set of (I believe they are RCBS) 300 Whisper dies, but I would need an AK that was already chambered in 223 Rem. in order for this to work, wouldn't I? And the WASR-10 as well as the two kits that I have are chambered in 7.62X39mm. Besides this, I am more interested in the 9mmX39mm cartridge than in the 300 Whisper. As a matter of fact, I would be glad to SELL the Whisper dies to you (or someone) along with 100 .221 Fireball brass (Winchester, I believe) as well as a quantity of 185 gr. Lapua bullets for this setup that I got at the time for the 300 Whisper loading experiment that I was contemplating in order to put these funds toward something more interesting( I would sell at a discount, of course)! If this sounds interesting to you, then contact me! I can use the funds for my 7,62X39mm experiment!.
All of the above stuff is unused and untouched ("virgin" new items that I never got around to using). If you are interested, then send me an email at:
I will be happy to discuss price and whatever interests you about these items. I am NOT in business for myself nor do I have any interests in selling gun related items other than those I personally own and no longer want.
04-12-2006, 04:26 AM
I would think it would end up being a hybrid of .223 and 7.62 AK parts. You'd need the .223 mags and bolt, and a custom barrel. (based on the assumption of .300 whisper using .308 diameter bullets.) If the barrel was profiled to normal 7.26 outside specs, the rest of the rifle would be standard 7.62 AK parts.
My first 7.62x39 rifle was a Colt AR-30, and I found out early on the AK round and AR mags are a lousy match for each other. I ended up getting a 5.56 upper so I could at least shoot the thing, and have thought more than once about converting the 7.62 upper to .300 whisper. I've since found someone making AR lowers that accept proper AK mags, but I still like the .300 whisper cartidge and want something chambered in it.
I don't reload at present, but I do own some reloading stuff and .300 whisper is a cartridge I wouldn't mind having dies for. I'll PM you about your offer. :)
04-12-2006, 03:36 PM
I recall some one, some were filling the 7.62x39 cassing with JB weld and drilling it out to reduce case capacity to to make a 30 cal whisper type round. I was thinking of something like that with a 22 sabot round in it for plinking around the house. doubt it would cycle however good for gophers ect. trying to gome up with a decent press for reloading right now.
05-17-2006, 09:59 PM
Don't fill the cases with resin based epoxies. They can react with the powder. Boom. Suppressors manufactures had this problem with .308 cased they did this to.
05-17-2006, 10:15 PM
I think jb weld would melt at much over 600deg. that would make a fine mess in a barrel.