7.62×39 Rifle Buyer’s Guide [2021]

Last Update

Cover Photo Credit – VoidWanderer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you looking for the best 7.62×39 rifle? The great thing about this rifle is that it can be used for anything. The variety is staggering, with models ranging from single bolt action to semi-automatic. You can have a traditional-style rifle for hunting or a semi-auto for home defense and target shooting. The choice is yours, and barring a few higher-end options, most 39s are more affordable than you think. If you’re just looking for some of our favorite options, check them out below.

Click here to get one for yourself. 

Magazine Capacity and Style

Given the massive variety of 39s available, you also have your pick of magazines. You can find compact rifles that accept five-round mags or 10-round mags. You can also opt for additional stopping power in the 20 or 30 range. It all depends on what your rifle allows.

However, I’d like to point out that the AK-47 blueprint is very popular with 39 rifle manufacturers. So, seeing rock-and-load magazines is a common sight. I think that it makes the firearm feel more manly.

But at the same time, it can do a number on your reloading speed, so it’s a matter of taste. While AK-style mags have a higher capacity, I don’t find them the most practical.

Rifle Blueprint

While AK-style mags aren’t practical in my view, the AK-47 rifle blueprint is the gold standard. Few guns ever made have the durability and reliability of an AK-47.

This is the gun that shoots anytime, anywhere. And a 7.62×39 rifle built after that blueprint gives you the same unstoppable feeling – only now with superior accuracy.

AK-47 and AR-15 hybrids are all over the place. Yet, not all manufacturers nail this odd combination.

What Recoil to Expect?

Most 39s don’t have much recoil to begin with. There are exceptions, of course, one of which you’ll also see in the reviews below.

But for the most part, you don’t have to worry about the recoil. 39s are lightweight weapons. Some even come with stock muzzle brakes for additional damping.

However, if you want to minimize recoil for good, look at the rifle’s customization potential. Adjustable triggers make a huge difference.

I also like some rubber padding on the stock. It doesn’t allow the rifle to dig in as much, and it reduces the impact power.

A custom muzzle brake or a suppressor can do an even better job. And you’d be surprised how many of these rifles don’t lose their shooting consistency or accuracy from adding attachments.

Does the 7.62×39 Rifle Have a Niche?

In my opinion, it doesn’t. I think it’s one of the most versatile weapons you can own. Hence its popularity on American soil.

Besides, it has good stopping power. The 7.62×39 cartridge does a great job against deer, elk, and hogs. You can hunt medium to large game from over 100 yards away.

All of that, while experiencing little to no recoil. For home-defense applications, not all 39s are the same. Some bolt action models won’t be very efficient at close range.

But I’ve noticed that this gun has become a top choice for ranchers.

Also, the cartridge is one of the most reliable in the world. Add to that the fact that it’s cheaper than other popular rounds, and it’s almost a no-brainer to pick a 39 for your collection.

Best 7.62×39 Rifles

Ruger American Ranch

Let me start by saying that the Ruger American Ranch 7.62×39’s accuracy is off the charts. Whether you use this freehand or with a stand, you should get tight groupings for 100 yards away.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle

>>Sportsman’s (Buy Here)<<

>>Guns.com (Buy Here)<<

It’s a compact rifle that weighs under 6 lbs. and comes with a 5-round rotary mag. The easy loading system and clean feeding make it a highly reliable weapon for a variety of scenarios.

I like the single-stage trigger system for two reasons. For one, it’s adjustable, and secondly, the decisive release facilitates a stable bullet trajectory. The textured grip offers a firm hold over the rifle.

Shooting with this 39 just feels smooth. You don’t have to worry about misfeeds, and you barely feel any kickback. Due to its superior handling, target acquisition is fast and comfortable.

I also want to point out that the Ruger American Ranch is primed for a suppressor too. So, between that, minimal stock feedback, and rubber padding, you can customize the rifle to shoot it for hours on end.

It’s also a firearm that works well with a variety of rounds. Both Engel FMJs or e Winchester PDX1s seem to result in tighter groupings.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Minimal kickback you can further reduce
  • Superior accuracy
  • Smooth shooting experience

Cons

  • The molded trigger takes some getting used to

ARAK-21

If you haven’t used this hybrid between an AR-15 and AK-47, you’ve been missing out. It’s one of the pricier weapons you can spring for and arguably the most accurate 7.62×39 rifle. At least in its price range.

ARAK-21 XRS COMPLETE RIFLE

>>Faxon (Buy Here)<<

I’m not going to lie; it takes some getting used to. The 1:8” RH-twist and six grooves on the barrel do a lot to preserve bullet trajectory. The rifle also comes with Magpul flip-up sights.

That said, the level of the sights is higher than what I expected—at least compared to standard AR sights. You may also want to consider a match trigger to compensate for some of the issues regarding the receivers.

Now, in terms of feel, it’s as smooth as you can hope to get. The pistol grip probably does a lot to help with the level of comfort. I also appreciate the ambidextrous design of the charging handle.

What you may not like is the slightly heavier trigger action. At over 7lbs, it’s not the easiest rifle to shoot for beginners.

But I would recommend it for a veteran looking for absolute performance. Is it the best 7.62×39 rifle on the market? It’s great, but it doesn’t have the best price to performance ratio in my book.

Pros

  • Unique AR/AK hybrid design
  • Flawless performance
  • Heavy trigger doesn’t impact accuracy
  • Muzzle break for damping recoil

Cons

  • Hefty price for its customization options

CMMG Mutant MK 47

This rifle already comes with a CMMG SV muzzle brake, yet you can add your favorite accessory. Unlike others in the same category, the CMMG MK is a dependent model.

CMMG Mk47 Mutant Rifle

>>Locked Loaded (Buy Here)<<

What I mean by this is that using high-quality ammo is almost a must. You can see the tightness of groupings get better the more you invest in your rounds.

It’s somewhat unfortunate but shouldn’t take away anything from the rifle’s overall performance and feel.

This heavy-duty 7.62×39 bolt action rifle is perhaps among the most durable on the market. You can shoot thousands of rounds with no misfeeds or reservations about accuracy. What sets it apart from many in its class is the AK staple direct-impingement system.

Reliability is the name of the game. Yet I also like how the rifle feels. Again, this AR/AK hybrid uses a pistol-style grip. It’s a user-friendly and comfortable approach.

I will say that the hook-and-rock reloading experience took some getting used to. Perhaps this is one area where the rifle shouldn’t resemble the classic AK. It’s slower to reload, yet the 30-round mag capacity should compensate for that.

Pros

  • Dependable AK-style shooting
  • Comfortable as most AR models
  • Superior durability
  • Good-quality heavy buffer and stock muzzle brake

Cons

  • Paddle-style release on the rear of the magazine
  • Not as consistent with all bullets

CZ-USA 527

Looking for a great experience with a 7.62×39 bolt action rifle? Give the CZ-USA 527 a try. It’s a prime choice for hunting applications or ranch protection.

CZ 527 Carbine Blued Bolt Action Rifle - 7.62mm NATO

>>Sportsman’s Warehouse (Buy Here)<<

It’s easy enough to get under one-inch groupings with a standard scope from 100 yards away. Even the iron sights offer great accuracy too. I particularly like the drift-adjustable rear sight, as it comes with notches and can help account for windage.

The wooden stock feels very sturdy, and it’s somewhat more comfortable than expected. However, it’s the grip that is the standout feature. The light checkering feels cut in instead of pressed.

It offers a more natural feel. What I don’t really like is the 90-degree throw. The bolt rides slightly too high, in my opinion. It doesn’t make handling the rifle any harder, but it’s an acquired taste for sure.

Although very easy to shoot, I wouldn’t recommend this gun for beginners. The lightweight trigger action can cause some accidents. At 3.5 lbs., it has virtually no creep or pre-travel. Furthermore, you can bring this down to 1.5 lbs.

Great for shooting fast, but also easy to miss your mark if you lean on the trigger.

Pros

  • Drift-adjustable rear sight
  • Walnut wooden stock
  • Excellent checkered grip
  • Capable of very tight groupings w/o scope

Cons

  • Sometimes too sensitive trigger

PSA Gen2 KS-47

Like all PSA weaponry, the KS-47 features a non-stylish but highly functional finish. It’s cost-effective. I like how well everything fits on the KS-47. For a budget to mid-range 39 rifle, you hear no rattling.

PSA GEN2 KS-47 16 CARBINE-LENGTH 7.62X39 NITRIDE CLASSIC RIFLE

>>Palmetto (Buy Here)<<

>>Guns.com (Buy Here)<<

Nothing comes loose after thousands of rounds. You can probably thank the AK platform for this performance if this is an over-gassed rifle.

It needs this to fire a variety of rounds with the same accuracy. But while it performs amazing outdoors, indoor target practice is not that great. It’s very hard to suppress, sometimes even with an adjustable gas block.

In terms of ergonomics, the KS-47 resembles an AR-15. It allows a variety of scopes and dot sights, and it feels comfortable to handle. Where it differs from other rifles on this list is in the recoil department.

The KS-47 has a bit of a kickback. It’s less sharp than on a classic AK-47, but enough to notice. The good news is that you can fine-tune and customize the rifle to make it feel better on the shoulder.

Pros

  • Great ergonomics
  • Reliable firing
  • Consistent performance with most rounds
  • Highly customizable inside and out

Cons

  • Considerable stock configuration recoil
  • Rock-and-lock magazine release

Final Recommendation

The performance of this rifle truly speaks for itself. I’m talking about the Ruger American Ranch. It’s the best 7.62×39 rifle in terms of performance on the dollar. What it lacks in customization options or fast firing, it makes up for with impeccable accuracy.

It’s one of the finest defense weapons for ranchers and homeowners. And it’s not bad at all for hunting applications or range practice either. It’s lightweight and compact construction make it very easy to handle, carry, and shoot for hours at a time.

Photo of author

Author

Brady

Hi there, I'm Brady and I'm the owner of GunMade.com. I have been an avid gun enthusiast and hunter since I moved to the Midwest over 15 years ago. It's my passion to share my knowledge and expertise to help you find the best guns in your price range.

1 thought on “7.62×39 Rifle Buyer’s Guide [2021]”

Leave a Comment