Best 7.62×39 Rifles of 2021 – Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: August 9, 2021

Used in the ubiquitous AK-47 rifle, the 7.62x39 caliber cartridge is one of the most commonly used cartridges in the world.

Despite the fact it is most often connected to the AK-47, that is not the only rifle that utilizes the 7.62x39 round. In fact, 7.62x39 rifles are available in both semi-automatic and bolt-action configurations and can be effective in a variety of roles.

Keep reading to help find the best 7.62x39 rifle for your needs.

Comparison of the Best 7.62x39 Rifles

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Available in three different colors.
  • Manufactured from high-quality billetted aluminum.
  • Available in right-handed and ambidextrous ejection assembly.
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  • Polymer-made pistol grip.
  • 30-Round Magpul magazine.
  • Includes a gas nitride-finished steel barrel for superior durability.
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What to Watch For When Buying Rifles in 7.62x39

Before starting the process of shopping for any firearm, it is always helpful and important to go into the process informed and knowledgeable. Keep the following things in mind when searching for the 7.62x39 rifle that is perfect for you.

Brian Belko: Gunmann Author

This Section Written By:

Brian Belko

Expert Author

Brian is an experienced freelance writer and technical writer who has previously written for publications such as Wide Open Spaces, Bigfoot Gun Belts, Alien Gear Holsters, and Kampgrounds of America. He brings both a passion for writing and a love of the outdoors to his published content.

Aside from writing and the outdoors, Brian enjoys gardening, being a co-host on The Nostalgia Blast Podcast, and learning to code.

All Intents and Purposes

Considering the variety of different types of 7.62x39 rifles that are available today, it is important to take some time to really think about what you would like to be able to do with your new firearm.

  • Do you need a general-purpose ranch gun for your property? 
  • Do you just want to have some fun at the shooting range?
  • Is hunting in your plans? If so, for what type of game?

It isn’t hard to see how helpful this exercise will be in your shopping and buying process. Having this done ahead of time will help you weed out rifles that won’t suit your purposes while focusing in on the ones that will.

Bolt-action rifles chambered in 7.62x39 are great options for ranch guns, plinking, target shooting, and hunting. While they don’t offer the fast-paced shooting of a semi-auto, that isn’t always helpful in these scenarios. However, the 7.62x39 round does perform very well in semi-automatic configurations and there are plenty of options for that as well.

Photo credit: acmen.com

Curbing Expectations

Accuracy is oftentimes at the forefront of any discussion about firearms these days. It can sometimes feel like any rifle that doesn’t shoot sub-MOA groups is looked down upon as being useless or unworthy. However, this focus on pinpoint accuracy can get a little silly. Of course, everyone wants an accurate gun, but to focus so much on group size as the end all be all is misguided.

That being said, don’t expect your 7.62x39 rifle to put five bullets in the same hole-down range. However, that absolutely does not mean that they aren’t fun to shoot or that they aren’t useful in the field. This round is simply not meant for that type of accuracy and that isn’t a bad thing!

Ammunition Condition

One other thing to keep in mind when considering 7.62x39 rifles is ammunition. Options can be a little more limited with this caliber especially when compared to other similar calibers such as 5.56x45mm or .223. Surplus ammo can be an option with the 7.62x39 caliber, but keep an eye on whether or not it is corrosive. If it is, you’ll have to properly clean your rifle to avoid corrosion. Also, avoid bi-metal rounds which can be unsafe to shoot at some ranges due to ricocheting concerns.

Review of the Best 7.62x39 Rifles

The following is a list of the five best 7.62x39 rifles. As you look through this list, it is important for you to find out the features and functions of each one. This way, you might get a good idea of what will match your wishlist that consists of your ideal 7.62x39 rifle. Now, let’s take a look at the best 7.62x39 rifles starting off with our choice for “best overall”:

Best Overall:
ARAK-21 XRS Complete Rifle

Pros

  • Super Solid Construction, Very Durable
  • Can Still Shoot Very Tight Groups After 1000+ Rounds
  • It Can Effectively Hit Targets From As Far As 200 Yards Out
  • Includes a Muzzle Brake, Which Considerably Reduces Recoil
  • Ambidextrous Assembly Best Used For Left-Handed Shooters

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

One recent buyer said that the craftsmanship of this rifle is quite nice. He even went so far to call it the “Rolls Royce” of 7.62x39 rifles. Aside from the design, the shooting and overall functionality are top-notch. It has even made some range goers the envy of the range.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the best things to us about this rifle is that it can shoot accurately even with the aid of the sight that’s included on this rifle. We’re surprised to see a sight that can actually get the job done rather than disappoint you. After all, not every factory issued sight can do this.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle will be used for almost any kind of application. Whether it’s target practice, home defense, tactical, or hunting this is the one rifle that will work flawlessly without any issues. This is as close as you’ll probably get to a multi-purpose rifle that is chambered in 7.62x39 rounds.

What Could be Improved and Why

Once again, we have a rifle that has no obvious cons to speak of. However, we could suggest one minor suggestion. It should come with additional pins and bolts just in case one of them decides to malfunction and, yes things do happen to the best rifles.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for the total package rifle, the ARAK-21 by Faxon Firearms might be what you need. Especially if you're looking for a multi-purpose rifle that can get the job done. With its accurate shooting and reliable, jam-free operation, what else can you ask for in a rifle like this?

Best for the Money:
PSAK-47 GF3 Forged "MOEkov" Rifle

Pros

  • Super Tough All Over
  • Excellent For a Lot of Applications
  • The Finish is Very Aesthetically Sharp
  • Might Be Zeroed in Even After Initial Use
  • No Reliability or Jamming Issues After 300 Rounds Fired

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers had a lot of fun firing off this rifle. Even one said that of all the rifles he has fired at the range, this one was his “favorite among favorites”. The firing power is hard to match. It’s smooth and reliable. And it definitely lives up to its expectations in the situations where you need it the most.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The design is reminiscent of a classic AK-47 design. It might be something that anyone who might be a sucker for classic designs might like. Other than that, the finish is quite eye-catching. It’s not there for looks. It’s actually used to protect the rifle itself from all kinds of scuffs and abrasions. It looks good, but it definitely looks a lot tougher than on paper.

Who Will Use This Most

This will probably be used mostly by target shooters (of both the casual and competitive variety). At the same time, this might be even used in a home defense or tactical application (where it’s allowed). This rifle has a good deal of firing power that can deter just about anyone who dares invade you,harm, or threaten your life.

What Could be Improved and Why

While there are no obvious cons on the list, one of the improvements we could consider suggesting would be adding on a nice looking sling swivel. That is just in case someone wants to add on a sling if they need to free up their hands for any use (like looking through binoculars or scopes with tripods).

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a rifle that might be the closest thing to a classic AK-47 style rifle, then this PSAK-47 GF3 might be right up your alley. This is a powerful rifle chambered in 7.62x39 rounds that will deliver a superior performance no matter what the application is.

3. Ruger Mini Thirty 7.62x39 Rifle with Flash Hider

Pros

  • Excellent For Home Defense Use
  • Noticeable Recoil Reduction Thanks to the Flash Hider
  • The Magazine Provides Reliable Feeding and Shooting
  • Stock is Super Durable, It Also Reduces a Good Deal of Recoil
  • Weighs Approximately 7 Pounds, Light Enough For Moving Around Quickly

Cons

  • The Front Sight can be a Little Bulky
  • May Not Be Suitable For Long-Range Shooting
  • Some Say the Flash Hider Doesn’t Reduce a Lot of Recoil

What Recent Buyers Report

This is not only an affordable rifle for most budgets, but it functions as if it were a higher-end rifle. That’s at least according to one buyer. He says that it gave him no jamming issues after 100 rounds fired and is confident it will stay that way. Recent buyers have said they’ve got more than what they’ve paid for out of this rifle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a ruggedly designed rifle that’s just at the right weight for those situations where you can “run-and-gun” in self-defense or tactical situations. Plus, you can move around quickly and maneuver around corners without having to worry about getting the rifle beat up. It’s durable enough to take on constant bumps and bangs from moving around quickly.

Who Will Use This Most

Expect law enforcement and military personnel to get the most out of this rifle. This will provide accurate shooting and will be able to put an end to a life and death situation really quick. At the same time, this can also be perfect for target practice (casual or competitive). Either way, this rifle is more than just an average “budget” rifle.

What Could be Improved and Why

If there was one thing that can improve, it’s making the sight a little smaller. Not too small so it becomes useless but small enough so it won’t become an obstruction to your field of view. Other than that, this rifle functions like a 7.62x39 rifle should.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a reliable rifle that won’t break the bank, the Ruger Mini Thirty 7.62x39 rifle could very well be the one you’re looking for if reliability and durability are two things that stand high on your list of priorities. Once you put this rifle to good use, you’ll swear that you stole it off someone. That seems like a common theme for those who pay for a high-quality rifle at an affordable price.

4. PSA Gen2 KS-47 16" Carbine-Length 7.62x39 Nitride Classic Rifle

Pros

  • Works With All Kinds of AR-Style Magazines
  • Both Upper and Lower Receivers Had No Wobble At All
  • Super Durable, It Can Handle High-Pressure Applications
  • Shot Groupings Were Tight With Targets Situated From 100 to 200 Yards
  • Can Fire Without Any Reliability or Feeding Problems From the Magazines

Cons

  • May Not Be Suitable For Long-Range Shooting Applications
  • Some Have Had Issues With the Charging Handle Upon Initial Use
  • Some Have Had Some Issues That Required Additional Applications of Lubrication, etc

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers took this out to the range for their initial test drive. So far, they are impressed. They were able to shoot accurately from targets set at different ranges. Through each one of them, they were consistently accurate even from as far as 200 yards out. The firing power was also quite solid according to one user.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Considering that it’s our best overall choice, this sticks out as the kind of rifle that you can use in just about any application you can think of. But since it’s rather short in length, you can bet that this can be used in high-stress situations where you are able to move around quickly and not worry about the barrel hitting the walls or the floor and getting scuffed up in the process.

Who Will Use This Most

This might be used for any application. It’ll be as close as you can get to a multi-purpose rifle. Specifically, this is a rifle that can be used for big game hunting and casual target shooting among others. You’ll be able to hit big game targets from quite a distance away.

What Could be Improved and Why

One of these things that might be improved could be focused on the charging handle. Some have complained that it might be a little longer than usual. This might also lead to less snagging or reliability issues that could be linked to the charging handle itself.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a 7.62x39 chambered rifle that is simply the best of the best, the PSA Gen 2 KS-47 might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a solid rifle that has a good deal of firepower that can fit just about any application you can use it for. Plus, it can fit so many different magazines you’ll swear that it’s one of those “do-it-all” kinds of rifles.

5. PSA Gen2 KS-47 10.5" Carbine-Length 7.62x39 Nitride Classic Shockwave Pistol

Pros

  • Highly Accurate Shooting
  • Flawless Reliability After 250 Rounds
  • Tight Group Shots With the Included Open Sight
  • Excellent For Hog Hunting and Other Hunting Applications
  • Works With All Kinds of Steel Magazines (and Other Polymer-Based Mags)

Cons

  • Recoil Might Be a Little Stiff
  • One Reviewer Said That the Front Sight Might Be Out of Alignment
  • Some Light Hammer Strikes Reported, It Can Be Corrected With the Inclusion of Extra Pins

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers and users were able to land their hog and varmint targets a lot easier with this rifle. The front sight is not obstructive and definitely helps with their target acquisition and aim. In fact, some have said that this sight is just good enough to rely on for a long period of time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of the shorter versions of the 7.62x39 rifle. It’s compact and definitely doesn’t take up a whole lot of space once you have it stored away. If you’re looking for a rifle that won’t let you down when it comes to space, this could be the one rifle that you should consider looking at a little further.

Who Will Use This Most

Hog and varmint hunters will benefit from this rifle. It won’t be a suitable rifle for deer hunting, but it’s definitely one of your best hunting buddies for the smaller critters. Even with the open sight, it still delivers reliable and accurate shooting like nothing else.

What Could be Improved and Why

The one thing that we think could use some improvement is making sure that the sight is perfectly aligned before it even hits the market. This way, it will lessen the risk of not being able to zero in your rifle properly. Nonetheless, a small improvement can also equal even greater accuracy.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something that’s small in size and will definitely work to your advantage against wild hogs and small critters, you’ll definitely want to give this PSA Carbine-Length rifle a better look. It’s small in size but has the potential to be one powerful little unit for the applications you use it for.

Best Uses for a 7.62x39mm Rifle

There are a few applications that a 7.62x39mm rifle can be used for. This is a caliber that can be found in most AR-style rifles. What exactly would be a good application for these types of rifles? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular uses:

Home Defense and Tactical

A rifle like this can definitely be used in a home defense situation. Especially when you’re dealing with multiple attackers and prowlers instead of just one or two. In a tactical situation, this rifle can be used by military or law enforcement personnel alike. The projectiles produce a great deal of stopping power against enemy targets.

ARAK-21 XRS Complete Rifle

Target Shooting (Casual and Competitive)

Target shooting is obviously very popular for most AR-style rifle users. Most of them are simply casual shooters who spend a couple of days a week on average just firing off rounds. Of course, there are others who take target shooting seriously. The reason being they are competitive shooters.

They are the ones that hold accuracy to a higher standard. That’s because better accurate shooting means giving themselves the edge over the competition.

Hunting Larger Game Targets

The 7.62x39 rounds are large and when traveling at fast velocities, it has the ability to tear through a big game target like nothing else. Depending on the skin and muscle structure of your game target, your rounds might be powerful enough to knock down a big game target that weighs around 550 pounds. Perfect if you’re looking for a rifle that can knock down some good sized deer or elk.

Features of Our Favorite Rifles

We’ve chosen some of these rifles based on some of the major characteristics that have stuck out to us. We’ll better explain these in our reviews. We didn’t choose these rifles at complete random.

Nor did we choose them on the brand name alone. In fact, we’ll provide this list so you can use it to look for the same characteristics we’ve looked for while putting the list together. Here’s what you need to keep your eyes peeled for:

Price

The price will matter to a lot of the budget shoppers on the list. What is even more important is the overall quality of the rifle. As a rule of thumb, you definitely need to find a rifle that is the best you can afford in terms of quality and reliability. Even if it’s priced on the higher end of your budget scale, it’s a lot better than having to settle for something that’s cheap and crappy in quality.

Magazines

Most of the magazines will have a capacity of 20 (some may be more or less). These will definitely come in handy regardless of what application you use them for. However, these weapons will also be made for different style magazines as well (Korean, Romanian, Hungarian, etc.). These foreign magazines are military-style magazines that deliver the same jam-free reliability that you could find in a standard 7.62x39 mag.

Photo credit: giphy.com

Rails

What you might notice on some of these rifles are the top rails. These will mostly be used for customization purposes. Which means you can attach a scope or an optic with ease. Some of the popular types of rail systems include Picatinny and Weaver rails. Some optics and scopes might even be compatible with both rail systems.

Conclusion

The best 7.62x39 rifle is out there and, one of these five might be the best fit for your personal needs and preferences. The important thing to do is look for one that might be a close fit for you based on your intent and purpose. Find one that is reliable and has the potential to stick with you for the long term.

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions that are asked by most recent customers. Let this serve as the guide that will help you in finding a rifle that can satisfy your personal needs or preferences. Here are the following questions:

Why is the 7.62x39mm Always Compared to the .223 Remington/5.56x45?

One of the most common comparisons between the two is the size of the cartridge. The 7.62x39mm is shorter in length compared to the .223 and 5.56x45 rounds. Diameter wise, the 7.62x39 is larger than their .223/5.56x45mm counterparts.

Photo credit: barrettrifles.com

How Far Will a 7.62x39mm Bullet Travel?

A 7.62x45mm can have the ability to travel as far as 1000 yards barring any obstructions that might get in the way of the trajectory. However, it can be at its most effective with targets that are situated from 300 to 500 yards out.

Is a 7.62x39mm the Same as a .308?

Short answer: no. To give you a better explanation, let’s give you the following measurements: The 7.62x39mm is measured at 39mm in length. The case length of a .308 is slightly longer and is measured at 51mm in length.

Is the 7.62x39mm the Same as .300 Blackout?

The lengths between the two are pretty much identical. But does it mean anything? Not quite. They may not be the same in terms of other characteristics. For example, the 7.62x39mm is slightly slower than the .300 Blackout in terms of velocity. 

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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