Musings on the 7.62x39mm AR-15

So I got an intriguing advertisement in the email inbox.

I think that this is a smoking deal on a complete AR-15 upper in 7.62x39mm! An AR in 7.62×39 would make a fun range toy that shoots cheap steel-cased Wolf, Tula or Brown Bear 7.62x39mm ammo, the only downside to the idea of a 7.62 Russian AR-15 would be the reliability reputation, or should I say a reputation for lack of reliability.

The interenets tells me that the AR-15 in 7.62x39mm is unreliable. They also tell me, mostly, that the unreliability is due to the magazines, and the lack of a suitable design in the marketplace. These internet musings on various forums are usually accompanied by references to the AR-15’s mag-well not being compatible with the 7.62x39mm extreme case taper and/or the bemoaning the loss of the USA “FrankenMags” that are the only One True Magazine for this platform. With the lack of any other evidence, I have always believed these things.

Then I saw Making An AR-15 in 7.62×39 Work Reliably and the fact that the old-school Bushmaster (pre-Remington) 7.62x39mm AR-15 had a non-standard feed ramp in the barrel extension.

WHAT! Why did I not know this?!? It makes perfect sense if you know what an AK-47 bullet guide looks like. Why the folks in Windham did not do this to the current 7.62x39mm I do not know, but the current version of the Bushy in .30 (Windham Weaponry SRC) does have enlarged feed ramps.

CMMG is making AR-10s that use AK magazines and PSA and RRA are making AR-15s that use AK magazines and no-one is utilizing the old Bushmaster feed ramp? If we assume that the magazine offerings from CPD, ASC, and D&H actually work, then why are people saying the CPD and ASC need dremeling to feed?

I think we are dealing with many issues when it comes to the AR-15 in 7.62x39mm. I think hobby-gun manufactures are shipping out barrels by the truckload with incorrectly-sized gas ports and M4 feedramp barrel extensions. I think popular magazine brands are putting out questionable magazines.

I also think that quality control, in general, is non-existent with the hobby-gun manufactures. That is why the CMMG Mutant costs $1300, a quality rifle in NOT 5.56 NATO costs at least as much as a high-quality rifle in 5.56 NATO. (This is also why I do not recommend hobby-gun brands for anything other than range toys.)

So here is my idea; (made it) buy the Midway upper and slap in on one of my lowers, buy 5-10 each of the various 7.62x39mm AR-15 magazines on the market, slap a Primary Arms Red Dot or 1-6x Scope on it and get to burning up that steel-cased ammo at 20 cents a round. Buying up 10 each of the magazines would increase the chances of getting 10-15 ones that I know will work, and if they all have issues I can modify the feed ramps to a bullet guide like the Bushies of yore.

Tell me what you think.

Leave a Reply