Tuesday, March 24, 2015

7.62x39mm Shootout

Note: I had originally attempted to document POA/POI at 100yds for the 7.62x39mm shootout, but was dealing with substantial variance between the different ammo types to where I could not photograph some of the groups for comparison. Therefore, I decided to pull my targets in closer and set them up at 50yds for this informal test.
[Click on images to enlarge]

The shoot was conducted on a sunny, spring day with a high of 75ยบ F and a light crosswind, nothing that would affect the accuracy, especially at 50yds. Firearm used for this test was a Romanian DRACO, which has an 11.5" barrel, with a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot in the prone position off my rangebag. Firearm was cleaned prior to shoot and no cleaning was done during the shoot. Because of my limited time, I decided to run 5 shots per cartridge type and used 7" circular reactive targets placed at 50yds. The 5 shots were taken in succession usually all within 1min, then a 3-4min cooldown while I reloaded the mag for the next brand/target.

7.62x39mm ammo used: Red Army Standard, Red Army Elite, Wolf "Yellow Box",  Wolf Polyformance, Wolf Military Classic, Tula / Herter's, Silver Bear, Fiocchi, Golden Tiger, Prvi Partizan, Arsenal, Hornady SST, and some Yugo milsurp (not pictured above).


I set up my baseline zero with Wolf Polyformance 123gr FMJ. Why Wolf? I decided to use a common brand and cartridge, one that most AK owners would have readily available. The red dot was originally zeroed at 25yds and was ~2" high at 50yds, a few clicks brought down my elevation and I was GTG. 

[1] Red Army Copper Jacketed Elite 123gr FMJ

After zeroing, I loaded up a mag with 5 rounds of RA Elite. 1st shot went far left and the rest fell in to create an ugly first group... a very ugly first group.

[2] Yugo M67 123gr Ball (Headstamp NK 1970)

Very far left, no wonder I couldn't get this on paper at 100yds. 3"s over at 50yds will be a lot further off at 100yds. 1st cold bore shot was off paper under the horizontal centerline to the left.

[3] Wolf Polyformance 123gr FMJ

Wolf Poly, dropped a little from my original zero, my NPOA was obviously slightly off or maybe it was the color of my rangebag, got to blame something.

 [4] Tula 122gr FMJ (Herter's)

Unsure if that top left hole was the 1st cold bore shot or not as I did not confirm it. 

[5] Wolf Military Classic 124gr HP

Wolf Mil Classic, I'm liking what I see. 5 shots, decent group, no flyers, I'll take it.

 [6] Wolf "Yellow Box" 122gr HP

Wolf Yellow Box was terrible when I shot it at 100yds and it was all over the place at 50yds. 

[7] Arsenal 122gr FMJ

Cold bore shot was bottom left, then grouped nicely to the left. I reconfirmed my cold bore shot with the 6th shot, striking right above the bullseye, yet the variance in elevation on the cold bore left me somewhat perplexed. I moved on.

[8] Silver Bear 123gr FMJ

I think I could have done better here. My NPOA (natural point of aim) was slightly off, thus that horizontal string.

[9] Golden Tiger 124gr FMJBT

Golden Tiger, I'll take it, not a bad group.

[10] Prvi Partizan 123gr SP

Prvi soft points, again, wow, bottom wayyy left. 3 shots on paper, 2 shots off.

[11] Fiocchi 123gr FMJ

Fiocchi, not what I expected to see. I will repeat this one and reconfirm, because that is worse than Wolf Yellow Box... just all over the place.

[12] Hornady 123gr SST

1st "cold bore" shot is bottom right, then the rest of the shots grouped nicely in the center.

[13] Red Army Standard 123gr FMJ

Not much different from RA Elite. However, I believe the 5th round went off paper to the left, just above the center horizontal line, probably a flyer due to shooter error. I want to say all 5 shots were on paper though, 2 in the bottom left hole, but that far left hole off paper has me second guessing myself, so I'll call it 4 on paper and 1 wild flyer to the left.

Final notes. This was a fun and QUICK shootout to compare the variance in POA vs POI. That was actually a big con to this test though, as it was definitely quick & I didn't settle into some of my targets as well as I should have. I would love to see others run an informal test, so please post your results. Get a good bench rest while you are at it, too, that will help significantly.

Lastly, with all this different ammo being run I had no FTFs, no malfunctions, nada. Love my AKs.

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