New FN TSR – The 7.62x39mm market is heating up

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Until recently you did not have many options if you wanted a bolt gun chambered in 7.62x39mm. In the United States the most readily available gun was the CZ 527 Carbine and Remington Model 799, in Canada it was the Norinco (Chinese) made rifle (I forget the model name).

Then earlier this year Ruger came out with the M77 Hawkeye Compact, chambered in 7.62x39mm, and I applauded their efforts. I just learnt from Michael Bane that FNH USA have a new bolt action rifle called the TSR (Tactical Sport Rifle) and, you guessed it, will be available in 7.62x39mm!

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FN TSR USA

FNH owns Winchester Arms and manufactures all the Model 70 rifle actions in its South Carolina plant, so naturally the rifle is based on the famous action. The rifles feature:

* The new Tactical Sport Trigger ( factory set at 3.75 lbs )
* Hogue rubber stock with full aluminum bedding block
* Fluted barrel
* One piece picatinny rail

There are two models, each available in a variety of chamberings. The FN TSR USA has an Ultra Short action ( 5.56x45mm, 7.62×39 ), 20″ barrel and hinged floorplate magazine. The FN TSR XP has Short Magnum action ( 308 Win., 300 WSM), 20″ or 24″ barrel and a floorplate magazine for the .300 WSM rifles and a detachable box magazine for the .308.

It is great to see another company recognize the potential of the 7.62x39mm as a sporting round in bolt rifles. It also allows the owners of SKS and AK type rifles ammunition parity with a bolt gun. It is just a pity they are not offering a detachable magazine model in 7.62x39mm. Hopefully this will be offered in the future, although for hunting this is not that much of a big deal.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Vak

    What would be very cool would be the same gun, but in 5.45×39, as the price of 5.45 is even lower than the price of 7.62×39.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    I hope it has a chrome-lined barrel, because you know someone will fire corrosive ammo out of it.

  • http://fatwhiteman.com FatWhiteMan

    So I wonder. What is the actual bore size? Is it .310 to accept all of the readily available ammunition, or is it like the Ruger and come with a .308 tube?

  • http://gunnuts.net Caleb

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

  • Matt Groom

    I have always wanted a bolt action 7.62×39 so I could shoot cheap ammo and cast bullets. The 7.62×39 and the 6.8 SPC both operate at pressures and velocities that I feel would be nearly ideal for Cast Bullets. This new FN will be at the top of a very short list!

    I can think of a couple you missed in 7.62×39 Steve:
    Remington Model 799 (formerly the Interarms Mark X)
    Russian American Armory “Bars 4-1″ (I’ve only seen it at SHOT and on their website, never anywhere else)
    AIA M10A2 (Lee-Enfield Clone with detachable magazine and chrome lined barrel, banned from importation for using parts made in Vietnam)

    And let’s not forget single shots! I would buy one if I could fine one:
    Remington-Baikal SPR-18
    Rossi R762MBS

  • woodfiend

    Well see that’s pretty cool because what I’ve wanted all along is an expensive, accurate rifle for a super inaccurate round. What a pointless concept.

  • Jesse

    As awesome as this is I wish it had come out 2 years ago when the 7.62 ammo prices were really cheap.

  • Matt Groom

    “…super inaccurate round”?

    Sounds like a certain kind of workman is blaming his tools…

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    There have been multiple attempts to introduce a 7.62x39mm bolt action to the US market. In the late 1960s/early 1970s, Sako offered their Vixen carbine in the caliber. Of course, the offering made no impression on the US market since no one in the US commercially manufactured the ammo nor was it available on the surplus market.

    Around the same time in the early 1990s that Ruger made a special run of M77 rifles in 7.62x39mm, Interarms offered their Zastava-made Mini-Mark X bolt action in the same caliber.

  • cavalier

    I’d still take the CZ model. The TSR is listed as 8lbs, 11 oz. It seems a might heavy for the 7.62 x 39, which is hardly a sniper round or a bear stopper.

  • http://firearmsblog Ronnie

    It seems a wast to make a hunting rifle in 7.62×39. It is my opinion that the round is not accurate or very powerful at longer ranges. Why spend the money to build a good rifle in a bad cartridge.

  • Dom

    All this badmouthing of 7.62×39. I don’t think it’s a bad round at all. Gotta remember most of our collective experience with it has been with bulk, imported and military ammo. That stuff was only required to be sufficient to hit a man at SKS/AK ranges. Handloaded rounds in this caliber perform very well, especially the lighter hi-v loads. I think Steve even made the point that an influx of 7.62×39 bolt guns will increase the market for quality ammo in this caliber, giving shooters of this caliber parity with those who shoot traditional bolt gun calibers. I think it is a great medium rifle round, filling the gap between .30 Carbine and .30-06. If only America will adopt it and make it a real .308…

    By the way, is it legal to hunt in most states with 5.45×39? That’s the problem with 5.56 isn’t it? If this is meant to be a sporting rifle, that caliber won’t be very useful.

  • Doug

    I like it but have been looking at 7.62×39 bolt actions for a while…Key questions / comments to be addressed
    - .308 vs .311 bore size Which is it?
    - Magazine cost ? likely the typical 50 to 70 bucks – if so, I prefer the hinged drop plate style..
    - 7.62×39 is a good little whitetail hunting round if you know and follow the limits (true for all cartridges)
    - 308 is still a more universally available round and can do more… To lower the recoil for juniors, I load my own.

    - I wonder what would happen to the AK cartridge craze if cheap Russian ammo was no longer imported to the US ? It’s coming boys! Commercial USA made AK ammo is as expensive (or more) than 308..

    First comment by the way.. I am really beginning to like this blog – great job!

  • Rick

    I like the idea, but the problem is the cost, you cant buy a bolt action rifle chambered for 762×39 for under $500.
    The way I see it, you can buy alot of Brown Bear, .308 for that amount of money, and still use quality ammo when you are hunting.
    If you could find a Cheap Bolt gun for $200 to $250 then it would be a viable option.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

    woodfiendon, the .30-30 is not a long range or known for accuracy but it is still popular and at 150 yards the 7.62×39 has more energy than the .30-30.

    Matt, I am with you on this. I to would love a 76239 non-semi auto. I have seen the Baikal and it is a very pretty gun. The barrel exterior is spiraled and looks great. The downside is that they are not known to be quick to operate. A gunsmith could probably make one easier to open and cock.

    Matt and Daniel. I was not aware of the Remington Model 799 (Interarms Mark X). I have updated the blog post.

    Doug, I am pretty sure it is .311 (.303 British), although I remember talking to a guy who reloaded for it and he told me American and Soviet rifles tend to have different bore sizes (the conversation was years ago and I cannot remember the technical details). I am pleased you are enjoying the blog, I hope to see many more comments :)

    I have always liked the 7.62×39. Personally I would rather have a 6.8 SPC for hunting – *if* there was cheap factory ammunition. I am sure to get a 6.8 SPC one day but for now the 7.62×39 is what I want to stick with.

  • http://suburbansdomain.blogspot.com/ Suburban

    I’m not sure I see the point.

    It’s longer and heavier than I’d want for deer in dense woodland. The 7.62x39mm round isn’t much good past 300 yards on deer, so why the 8.5+ pounds and 20″ barrel.

    I guess you could use it on coyotes, but I’d probably use a semi-auto to gun down those suckers.

    It will probably sell for about the same or more than a Century WASR (AK clone), which would be more fun to plink with.

    I’m not quite seeing what it’s intended purpose is.

  • B M

    The best use for these rifles, as far as I can see, is as a platform to rebarrel. The 7.62×39 has the same size cartridge head as 6 PPC and 6.5 Grendel. 6 PPC would make a great walking varmint rifle and 6.5 Grendel would be a great light deer rifle.

  • Allen

    If I were to defend the 7.62X39 cartridge, I would attempt to tip-toe around the issue of accuracy. It’s popularity, price and availability would be better used to convince someone to buy a rifle chambered in this cartridge. It’s children are definately accurate, you know, Pinder and Palmisano (One is six and the other twenty-two). And let us not forget the red-headed step child, good ole’ Grendel. Funny name but nothing but business all the way out to 1,000 yds. No, accuracy would not be included in any attempt to persuade any individual(intelligent or otherwise)to buy,barter or trade for a rifle chambered in the 7.62X39 Soviet.That last sentence was indeed a run-on…and it could have went for miles and miles…

  • Matt Groom

    I find it difficult to believe that so many gun enthusiasts know so little about firearms as to believe that a cartridge case has magical properties which effect accuracy. Let me put it this way…

    Is .308 ammo accurate? How about .308 Match ammo? Wolf ammo is just as good as .308 Match ammo, right? Wrong. Steel Cases and Steel Jackets are often inaccurate, but not everything in a certain caliber is made in Russia. This is the 21st century. If .308 can be considered accurate in some formats and loadings, then a .311 bullet can be made accurate, too.

    Pressure specifications, Ballistic Coefficients, and OAL aside, there is nothing inherent to a chambering which will effect accuracy. The Chamber itself can, but that’s another story. Thirty Caliber bullets are either inaccurate, or they aren’t. There’s no way you can make the argument that .308 is accurate and then turn around and say 7.62×39 is inaccurate. The difference is ammunition quality and there is some very high quality 7.62×39 ammo out there. There are also match grade bullets made in .311 caliber. Unfortunately, there’s a distinct lack of accurate 7.62×39 rifles, which is what FN, to their credit, is trying to address.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. I personally think the .300 Win Mag is stupid, and nothing is more inaccurate than a flinch, but I bet at least one of the “7.62×39 is inaccurate” posters on this blog own one or something similar, and I’ll bet they rarely shoot it. Ammo’s too expensive, and it kicks too damn much, right? See my point?

  • Allen

    Comparisons are a great way to prove or solidify an issue in a debate. Here is another I’ll throw into the mix.

    Seems as though this paticalur post on the up and coming FN bolt rifle has turned into subject on accuracy. Specifically the accuracy or inaccuracy of the 7.62X39. I agree that cheap/bulk steel cased ammo would not be as accurate as match grade or premium ammo. And definately not as accurate as a methodically worked up handload. This would apply to any caliber of cartridge. However, the fact of the matter is some cartridges are inherently more accurate than others. This has little to do with velocity, caliber, OAL, powder, primer, type of bullet or the brand of brass that is used. It has everything to do with the dimensions and properties of the cartridge at hand. Take for example the 6mm PPC. Ironically the 7.62X39 is the 6mm PPC’s parent cartridge. It was developed from the ground up for nothing more than accuracy. And it’s designers, Ferris Pindell and Dr. Louis Palmisano, suceeded tremendously. The 6mm PPC has PROVEN itself to be the most accurate cartdrige ever to be developed. Today the “six” holds more records than any other cartridge. The .243 Winchester and the 6mm Remington shoot the same diameter bullet, but they couldn’t even come close to the same level of accuracy as the “six”, regardless of the powder/bullet/primer combination. The reason? Cartridge design. Which brings me to this unfortunate conclusion. The 7.62X39 has an extremely inefficient cartidge design, which is why it is a true ‘pie plate’ round. At best a good brush gun. And it is, right up there with the 30/30 Winchester.

    I would buy this rifle only if FN came out with a benchrest/match/race gun configuration. That’s right, it would have to be chambered in 7.62X39, completely match ready, and priced for no less than five thousand dollars.

  • Matt Groom

    I’ve shot sub-MOA groups with a under one million SN Winchester ’94 that looked like it saw service with Pancho Villa. 24″ barrel, button magazine, open sights, .30-30 Winchester reloads.

    Bench rest shooting is about a perfect combination of ballistic components at set ranges that are relatively short. The 6mm PPC might be great for the highly unrealistic and totally impractical sport of benchrest shooting, but you bring one to a NRA highpower match, and you’ll get eaten alive at 600 yards. Why? Because why it’s a very accurate cartridge, that accuracy is at a given range. A short range. At longer ranges, the .243 or .244 Remington are much better choices. Accuracy is about consistency, and the short fat powder column burns powder with great consistency, but not much of it. That’s why it’s a short range number for benchrest shooting ONLY, not highpower, or Sniping, or anything else.

    You stick a 240 grain VLD bullet from Berger or JLK on top of a 7.62×39 case in a heavy barreled rifle, it will shoot as well as nearly any cartridge out there at a given range in a gun of similar design. Accuracy is about Ballistic Coefficients and barrel harmonics, that is bullet design and rifle design, not cartridge design people.

    The .22 Long Rifle is an extremely inefficient and inaccurate design, but it’s used in Olympic shooting competition. There are entire sports set up around shooting small bore, and an outside lubricated, heal-type bullet is about as far as you can get from a jacketed, bottlenecked, high pressure, centerfire. I guess those Olympic grade .22s are really inaccurate.

    Nobody on this post is going to demand more accuracy from a bolt-gun than this rifle in this caliber is capable of delivering, and if they do, they either compete, or they get their guns issued, so it’s a no brainer.

  • Spiff

    Why would anybody want a .30-30 preforming cartridge in a bolt gun?
    Spiff

  • http://www.howtogetagun.ca/ GetGunInCanada

    The popular (in Canada) 7.62x39mm bolt gun you’re thinking of is called the NORINCO JW-103 ‘Bush Ranger’.

    Though like other NORINCOs it will probably be getting re-branded as a Poly Technologies for the next shipment if they decide to continue on with it.

    They were selling for around $275 new but aren’t available right now. People seemed to think they were a good value.

  • robert

    I am new at it as concerning forum even as looking at some for information on firearms. but this one is good. what I had seen so far as concerne the FN TRS USA is very interesting.

    First- aviable in 7.62X39
    It an excelent deer rifle for buhs unthing were I often hunt.
    the 7.62X39 can be a perfect predators rifle as it cause less domage to fur for those who sell their pelts

    Second-As for accrucy this calibre is well capable insid the 300 yards.
    with a simple Norinco SkS iron siht I did an average of 1.5 inch at 100yards using diferent ammo. militaries as well as winchester comercial load.
    I also fire in the 2″ with norinco MK90 the canadien version had come with 19″ medium HB use on RPK and forged reciver insted of stnaping.

    Third- as for the 8.5 pond it not much hevier than many 30-06 or 300mg.

    Fort- as coming dress as a taget barel as is name indicat T for tactical and many information on urban police sniper senario are often withing 50 t0 75 yards the 7.62X39 wold be a great asset for light baricade like glase window in situation like ostage taking.

    Fisty- The s=sporter for a good predators rifle precision is well comming as the 7.62X39 well reloded or good grade comercial lod can give real precision to the demander and the good punch to the criter to avoid an useless sufring to coytes or wolf,

    so whant a rifle capable than more than we usely need, I mean good precision excelent for sporting as is name said tactical sporting rifle. it come in sort action if you prefere the .223 remington.

    But if you prefre lighter you have choice betwen the CZ527, the new Remington 799 made also in Europe, to by aslo Ruger77 I just read recently that Ruger was comming back with it as well, or semiauto, CZ58, the old SKS, or AK model, Also come if you still find the VZ52, Hakings made in Egyt, other option will be to buy T/C centre and buy a separat barel for it in 7.62X39 the advantage of that last one is that you can buy diferent set of barel insted of diferent rifle.

    To finish I will said that the FN STR USA is a more than welcome adition.
    ready out of the factorie for the task you whant from a rifle of this category.

  • http://[email protected] Paul Bergen

    Hi Guys. Seeing you yankie guys talking about the Russian short was interesting indeed. Living here in the arse-end of the world (Australia) I still managed to get myself one of the greatest (and super-rare) buys of all time back in the early eighties. A Ruger K77 in stainless, no doubt. World class design and manufacturing and materials that won’t cringe even with PRC sourced corrosive primers. Topping it with a model specific (floated and bedded) Ramline stock (the semi-skeleton Ruger product has never been popular) and a Leupold 1-4 x 25 VX-2 scope has turned this rig into a jewel. And the stubby cartridge is a honey. Careful reloading and using SP Sierra 123 gr. bullets, my wife just loves it. Both on the range (groups average 1 – 1.5 MOA and many times less) and in the field. It is especially suited for the kind of spotlight shooting we have over here as the range, unlike with her .243, is somewhat limited. Yeah, give me the 7.62×39 over the .223 any day (even though my treasured .223 is an accuried Reminton 788). But that’s another story.
    Cheers
    Paul B

  • Mack

    A very enjoyable blog to say the least, the knowledge and lack of it shared here is interesting. I particularly like the points on range and accuracy of the 7’62 X 39mm cartridge. Unfortunately most posters talk much about what they know little of period and when assessing the caliber are not comparing apples with apples.

    To begin with one cant compare carbine style military rifles with bolt action hunting rifles using decent manufactured loads. As for the cartridges ability, its a better cartridge than a 30 30 and at 500 yrds will have a similar knock down to a 243win, the islamo insurgents used this caliber for sniping Nato troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, ask any marine that took a hit to his vest at how much hitting power it has at long range..

    Savage did release a very limited number of their Hunter 11FCNS rifles with Accustock and adjustable Accutriger in this caliber, see this link, http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/11FCNS, this together with some reasonable costing S&B 123gr SP hunting loads give me 2 to 3″ groups at 350 yrds without a problem, but using Hornady’s new 123gr SST cartridge I am reaching out over 500 yrds without any difficulty at all. If you cant hit the target, don’t blame the gun, learn how to shoot it, it may just be in your best interests.