Winchester PDX1 7.62×39

Winchester PDX1

Winchester Ammunition is now making a 7.62×39 load in the PDX1 Defender line of self defense ammo.  The ammunition uses a Split Core Technology bullet that attempts to combine excellent expansion with good penetration and weight retention.

The load uses a 120 grain bullet and is rated at 2365 fps at the muzzle.  Winchester states the load was specially designed to work in semi-auto rifles.

Winchester PDX1 ammo

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • noob

    emI wonder if the lower muzzle velocity will be an issue with achieving the sort of performance that the 7.62×51 load gets

  • Slightly worrying that it has the same bullet weight as the .308 load. If they used an actual .308 projectile, then this would be better for a Mini-30 than an AK.

    • If they used an actual .308 projectile, it would have terrible accuracy out of any 7.62×39 firearm, because that cartridge is supposed to use .311 projectiles. It would be barely engaging the rifling.

      • I’ve always heard Mini-30s and some US-made 7.62×39 are .308”. If you evidence to the contrary, I will gladly admit my mistake. I did shoot some Remington soft points out of an AK once that cause weird issues. Primers were bulged, with some of them having left the case entirely. Some of the brass was a bit stretched and lopsided too. Foreign ammo never did that. It had the original barrel. Could also be Remington’s fault with crappy ammo, too.

        • Actually, this seems straight from Ruger:

          “Response: If your rifle was made before 1990 it is .308-.309 if made after 1990 it is
          .310-.311. You can shoot any ammunition made to US Industry standards from
          .308-.311 in it.”

          Still not sure on the domestic ammo question.

    • bbmg

      The standard bullet weight is 123 grains for the calibre so this is actually marginally lighter.

  • Mouldy Squid

    Nice. I love my VZ 58 and take it camping with me in northern Canada. This might be a good load for the rare instance when I need to defend against predators. The mil-surp Czech steel-core I have for shooting in the woods tends to go right through stuff.

    • Where’d you get yours? I’d like to get one.

      • Mouldy Squid

        P & D Enterprises in Edmonton. They had a special sale that included the rifle, the surplus cleaning kit, four magazines, magazine pouch and sling for less than $700.00. That deal is long gone now, but you should be able to find one at any well stocked firearms store. Don’t ask for a VZ 58, but rather a CZ 858. There is no real difference between the two; the CZ 858 is the model specifically made for the Canadian market.

        Restricted and non-restricted versions are both available in Canada. I picked up the non-restricted so I could cart it around in the woods with me. The restricted versions have chrome-lined barrels, though, which helps with the corrosive mil-surp ammo.

        • Ahh nice, I think Wolverine Suplies in Verdun, Man include all of that. Not 100% sure though, have to check.

          Yeah I would get the NR version. To me it’s pointless having a R rifle.

          I thought the 858 was the semi auto rifle while the Vz 58 was the military assault rifle? Are there semi auto VZ 58?

          • Mouldy Squid

            There is semi-auto version of the VZ 58, made from deactivated full autos, available in the US. I always use that designation on American sites since no one knows what a CZ 858 is. All the 858s are made from surplus parts with a semi-auto sear. That way they are legal in Canada, since we don’t allow deactivated full autos or select fires. Other than that, they are the same gun. Mine holds up against the tricked out ARs in my local 3 gun club. It’s a solid weapon.

            I deal with Wolverine Supplies all the time. They are a great company with a solid selection and very good customer service. Their mil-surp 7.62×39 is the lowest price in Canada (per round). Less than $300 gets you 1440 rounds. Watch out, though, it’s steel core so check with your range.

          • Ahh that’s the only difference. Okay I understand.

            Yeah I have Czech ammo from Marstar so I can’t use that at my range.

  • will be very interested in future performance reviews i.e. expansion/penetration sounds like a great ranch round through an ak or mini thirty im partially to the mini

  • Kyle

    Now do it in 5.45 please

    • erwos

      Hornady theoretically makes a V-MAX cartridge for 5.45×39, but good luck finding any.

      • Kyle

        Hornady does make it, but it’s stupid expensive because it’s “Hornady brand Hornady V-TAC Hornady ammunition, by Hornady.”

    • More like “now do it cheaply please”.

    • n0truscotsman

      they will. just be patient.

      The hornady 5.45 is excellent ammunition. I cannot wait until more jump on board like they did with the 7.62×39.

    • Maybe they’ll have some Steel Match 5.45 one day…

  • Walter E. Kurtz

    This is terrific news. The 7.62×39 is a very efficient cartridge and it deserves some upgraded ballistic capability.

  • derfelcadarn

    They can make anything they like ,but if you cannot buy any of it what is the point.

    • Cymond

      People *are* buying it, that’s the problem.

      • That’s not a problem, that’s capitalism.

        • Cymond

          Yes, I get that, derfelcadarn’s position is that you can’t buy ammo but I’m arguing that you can’t buy ammo because everyone else is buying it first. Hence, I’m glad Winchester will be selling this new load. Someone will buy it, even if I never find a box.