Hornady Manufacturing Company announced it was upgrading its 7.62×39 load in the Black line of ammunition. The upgrade is a change from steel cases to brass cases. This change is effective immediately. This allows the cases to be reloaded more easily than those made of steel.
Compared to other cartridges, the 7.62×39 has relatively few brass and Boxer primed cases. So, I find this a welcome addition.
This particular cartridge is part of the company’s Black line of ammo. The Black line consists of cartridges that were specially worked up for reliable functioning and accuracy in modern sporting rifles.
This load uses a 123 grain SST bullet that has a muzzle velocity of 2,350 fps. The SST, or Super Shock Tip, is a polymer tipped bullet that is designed to expand quickly and produce a large wound channel. It has an Interlock ring to help keep the jacket and core together after impact.
I’ve shot the company’s steel cased version of this load for several years from a variety of rifles. I have found that it feeds very reliably from both AK and AR style magazines. Additionally, the accuracy seems very good.
In my own measurements, I have found that the velocity tends to run a little slower than stated. With my chronograph set up at about 15′ from the muzzle, velocities tend to run from about 2,200 – 2,250 fps depending on the rifle. For example, the CMMG Mk47 showed a five shot average of 2,242 fps and the SIG 556xi showed a 2,227 fps average.