The 4 Best 7.62×39 Rifles [2020 Update]

Today I’m going to show you the best 7.62×39 Rifle.

In fact:

I’ve hand-tested over 15 guns alone for this review.

The best part?

I’ve sorted each rifle by use. So whether you’re on a budget or need the best hunting rifle, you’ll find it here.

Let’s dive in!

The 4 Best 7.62×39 Rifles

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best 7.62×39 rifles:

  1. Ruger American Ranch: Best 7.62×39 Rifle for the Money
  2. ARAK-21 XRS Complete Rifle: Best AR/AK Hybrid
  3. CMMG MK47 Mutant: Best 7.62×39 AR
  4. CZ USA 527 Carbine Bolt: Best 7.62×39 bolt action rifle

1. Ruger American Ranch: Best 7.62×39 Rifle for the Money

The Ruger American Ranch is one of the best valued 7.62X39 rifles on the market.

It’s as dependable as they come, and sports a top-of-the-line trigger that will get you your best target shooting groupings ever.

But can you really get insane accuracy, 100% dependability, and a frame so comfortable it’ll feel like an extension of your arm for such a low price?

Let’s check out what this affordable 39 rifle is really made of…


Accuracy

With a 1:10 twist and 6-groove rifling on the free-floating barrel, the Ruger American Ranch is one of the most accurate 7.62×39 rifles.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Barrel
Via: travisp11

We’re talking sub-inch groupings at 100 yards using a rest, but even my free-shooting groups were around an inch and a quarter. Walk it out to 300 yards and I was still getting within 5-inch patterns.

So, how is the rifle so accurate?

A great trigger, Power Bedding system that reduces weight, and a well-machined cold-hammer forged barrel.

The best part?

That barrel is threaded and ready to fit a suppressor, making kick negligible and quick target acquisition a breeze.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Barrel 2
Via: travisp11

Reliability

The American Ranch is built to be a working man’s everyday rifle. As such, you better believe Ruger spent a lot of their design efforts making this 39 rifle sturdy and 100% dependable.

From the quality of the steel action to the full diameter bolt body that includes dual cocking cams, every shot felt flawless and smooth. I never worried about misfeeds, and didn’t have any reason to after hundreds of perfectly-fed rounds.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Barrel and Scope
Via: travisp11

My one complaint was the lack of bluing, but, if you make sure to do a quick clean after every use, there really isn’t any need to worry.

This weapon is made of quality materials where it counts, and I found myself feeling a little more secure in the field when I had it in my truck. It just wasn’t gonna let me down.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Texture
Via: travisp11

Handling

Now, here’s what really sold me on the Ranch: It felt good to shoot.

It’s compact and has a lightweight stock that makes it easy to sling around and carry for indefinite periods. Plus, everything you need is easy to reach.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Buttstock
Via: travisp11

One thing that gave me a little trouble at first was the molded-in trigger guard, but with a few extra practice rounds I began to hardly notice the awkwardness of the placement.

The contouring on the forend grip gave me a positive hold, and the 70-degree bolt throw made shooting faster and more comfortable. It was just plain fun to shoot.


Trigger

As mentioned above, the American Ranch comes with an awesome single-stage Ruger Marksman Adjustable Trigger.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Trigger
Via: travisp11

Mine came out of the box right around 4 lbs pull which was just right for me, but you can adjust it anywhere between 3 and 5 lbs.

Even though mine had a tiny bit of creep, it broke cleanly and didn’t have any overtravel, making for a smooth and accurate shot.


Magazine/Reload

Shipped with a 5-round Mini Thirty rotary mag, the Ranch loaded easily and had an easy-to-reach ambi release latch at the rear of the well. Feeding was smooth and clean from this mag that locked in place like a breeze.

The 5-round mag was plenty for me, but you can also get 10 and 20-round magazines if that’s more your speed.

If you’re looking for flawless feeding, this gun is your best friend.


Length/Weight

Its compact nature makes this Ruger the perfect gun to throw in the truck.

With an overall length of 36 inches and barrel length of 16.12 inches, you’ve got plenty of space to move around with the Ranch.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Length
Via: travisp11

Plus, it’s super lightweight at 5.91 pounds, so if you’ve got to carry it for any length of time it won’t break your shoulder.


Recoil Management

While the 7.62X39 round doesn’t have bad recoil to begin with, your shoulder will be even happier because of the soft rubber pad that comes on the rifle .

Even better? Throw on a suppressor and you’ll feel next to nothing in terms of kick. Talk about comfort and accuracy upgrades!


Price and Ammo Recommendations

The Ruger American Ranch retails for $520.99 and is one of the best valued 7.62X39 rifles out there.

And, bonus, the ammo is a great price as well, so even if you spend a lot of time practice shooting at rabbits, you won’t have to sell the proverbial ranch to afford it.

Now, let’s talk best bang for your buck in terms of ammo.

This 7.62X39 rifle does great with subsonic rounds like Engel FMJ. But my best target shooting groups were with Hornady SST 123 grain, Winchester PDX1, and Sierra 125 grain Pro-Hunter.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Ammo
Via: RugerFirearms

These rounds were where I was seeing my sub-inch patterns and fed great through the Ranch.


Accessory Recommendations

The American Ranch comes with a 1913-style picatinny rail that is perfect for mounting your favorite two-ring optics.

It’s also got a great threaded barrel, making the Ranch a perfect candidate for your favorite muzzle device.

Ruger American Rifle Ranch Rail
Via: travisp11

Here are my favorite accessories for the Ruger American Ranch:


Is the Ruger American Ranch Worth It?

If you’re looking for a dependable, accurate tool that will help you take care of your livestock and land, then the American Ranch 39 rifle is the perfect low-cost option. Here’s why:

  • Compact and Lightweight
  • Accurate
  • Tough
  • Economical

So if you’re looking for a sturdy, cost-effective piece of quality workmanship, go for the Ruger American Ranch.

If you want to go bigger, I’d recommend checking out the 4 best .338 Lapua rifles.


2. ARAK-21 Complete Rifle: Best AR/AK Hybrid

The ARAK-21 is the perfect AR/AK hybrid.

It takes the best parts of the AR-15 and the AK-47, and puts them together in one rifle.

But at $1,800, is it worth the heavy price tag?

Let’s find out.


Accuracy

The ARAK-21 is an astoundingly accurate rifle.

The standard muzzle brake keeps it on target, and hitting silhouettes from long distances is trivial.

The proof? From 100 yards, my average 5-shot grouping was .88”. Plenty accurate.

The inside of the barrel features 6 grooves with a 1:8” RH-twist and the rifle includes all-metal Magpul flip-up sights.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Barrel
Via: Faxon Firearms

With this level of accuracy, you can expect to hit anything you aim at ⅘ times, at least.

The downside?

The sights are a bit high compared to AR sights, so you might have to adjust accordingly if that’s what you’re used to.

There’s also a bit of a disconnect between the upper and lower receivers. In one 5-shot group, ⅘ of my shots were within 1”. One flyer opened my group up to about 2.5”.

This is something that could easily be improved with the addition of a match trigger.


Reliable

All functions on the ARAK-21 work normally.

It cycles, feeds, and ejects smoothly without any problems.

In fact, Faxon redesigned the trunnion and the feed ramps to further ensure reliability and strength.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Aluminum Texture
Via: Faxon Firearms

You can expect no malfunctions, no failures to feed, no problems whatsoever, as long as the gas and ammo are paired correctly.

The ARAK-21 may give you some feeding problems if you don’t pair each type of ammo with the correct regulator position. In the interest of safety, make sure to test your ammo and gas pairings before using it in any serious situation.

If you have any problems with failures to feed or eject, you can strip the ar 15 7.62×39 magazine, cycle the gun to clear any jams, adjust the gas, re-insert the magazine, cycle, and it should be fixed!


Handling

The ARAK-21 features a pistol grip, and it’s comfortable to shoulder.

The ambidextrous, non-reciprocating, folding charging handle is located on the side and is easy to switch from one side to the other.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Nitrite Finish
Via: Faxon Firearms

The side and bottom rails are all removable, and I’ve found that this makes the forend a lot more comfortable to grip.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Rail
Via: Faxon Firearms

Trigger

At 7 lbs 10 oz, the trigger is on the heavier side.

Despite the heaviness, the trigger doesn’t really impact the accuracy, which is a plus.

Unlike the AK-47, the ARAK-21’s safety is easy to access.


Magazine & Reloading

Magazine capacity is 30 rounds, and the ARAK uses standard AR-15 style magazines.

The open ejection port and case deflector are ambidextrous and can be changed by simply removing and rotating the bolt 180 degrees. The mag release is guarded and guided.

With the gas adjusted correctly, every 7.62×39 ar magazine used worked flawlessly with no round failures to feed or eject.


Length & Weight

The standard barrel on this rifle is 16”, but there are also 12.5” and 20” barrels available.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Barrels
Via: Faxon Firearms

With the 16” barrel, the ARAK is 33.5” collapsed, and 35.4” expanded.

Empty, it weighs around 5.5 lbs with the standard options – around the same weight as a 2-liter bottle of soda.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Length
Via: Faxon Firearms

It’s a pretty lightweight firearm you can hold with just one hand — just like my best .357 SIG pistol.

Although it is lightweight, It is a little front-heavy. This takes some getting used to, so keep it in mind.


Recoil Management

The long-coil, dual-forward recoil spring system is located completely within the upper receiver, with the recoil spring confined within a hollow tube behind the steel piston.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Recoil Spring
Via: Faxon Firearms

This recoil system eliminates some of the noise and mitigates felt recoil, and there is less recoil with the ARAK-21 than with both the 7.62×39 AR-15 and the standard AK-47.

The minimal felt recoil is partly in thanks to the Black Loud Mouth muzzle brake, which is extremely effective for mitigating both recoil and muzzle rise.

ARAK-21 Complete Rifle Muzzle
Via: Faxon Firearms

Ammo Recommendations

I’ve shot my best target shooting groupings (7.69x39mm caliber) using Winchester 120-grain JHP.

If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, Federal Gold Metal Sierra MatchKing (.223 rem) is also a great bet.


Recommended Accessories

If there’s one thing this gun has plenty of, it’s rails.

There’s a full-length, Mil-STD-1913 Picatinny rail on top and three additional rails on the sides and bottom of the muzzle end of the receiver.

If you like to mount a lot of optics, you’ll definitely like the additional rails.

If not, you can easily remove the three extra rails.

The sky’s the limits in terms of optics and other accessories, but here are my recommendations:


ARAK-21 XRS Complete Rifle Review: Is It Worth It?

At around $1899, the ARAK-21 is significantly more expensive than both the AR-15 and the AK-47 rifles.

Question is:

Is it worth the hefty price tag?

Absolutely!

Like with Sig Sauer’s P226 Nitron vs. Legion, you can expect to pay more for the ARAK’s better features:

  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Limitless customizability
  • Complete reliability and accuracy

In short: this rifle is extremely versatile and customizable. You simply won’t get this with an AR or standard AK.


3. CMMG MK47 Mutant: Best 7.62×39 AR

CMMG’s MK47 Mutant is one of the top all-purpose weapons out there.

A perfect blend of your favorite AR-15 accuracy and the unquestioned reliability of an AK47, the MK47 will be the most dependable gun you’ll ever shoot.

So, with such a unique mash-up of styles, will this AR/AK marriage really hold up to your high expectations of 1-inch groups, 100% dependability, and the versatility needed for hunting, competing, and home defense?

Let’s see if our Mutant belongs in a holding cell or if it soars above the competition to save the day…


Accuracy

The free-floated, medium-profile barrel comes threaded and ready to handle your favorite muzzle device. It’s already fitted with CMMG’s SV brake, but you can easily upgrade if you want.

CMMG MK47 Mutant Frame 2
Via: The VSO Gun Channel

I was skeptical that the Mutant would be able to get any sort of decent accuracy because the 7.62X39 isn’t a round known for its precision. So, I was happily surprised when I walked out to 100 yards and shot a 5-round group under 2 inches right out of the gate.

Using higher quality ammo, I was able to bring that number closer to an inch. More than enough for hunting and defense and could even get you pretty great scores in competition.

I got even more curious as to how well this MK would shoot and took it out to 500 yards, where I was still getting groups under 8 inches.

Since this weapon doesn’t come with sights, these patterns were achieved using my trusty Trijicon red dot.


Reliability

Here’s where I was sold on the MK47 Mutant.

Not once did I have a misfeed. And I put a CRAP-ton of different rounds through. Expensive rounds, cheap rounds, steel rounds, hand-loads — you name it, I fed it through the Mutant.

When they take it to shows, CMMG puts thousands of rounds through to show how durable it is, claiming zero misfeeds after more than 100 thousand rounds. I had no trouble believing that boast after seeing the heavy-duty bolt and specially-designed receiver assembly.

CMMG MK47 Mutant Hanguard and Muzzle
Via: The VSO Gun Channel

Like its AK predecessor, this MK features a direct-impingement system that has long been known for the best reliability in the business.

Though steel rounds did do a piece on the finish of my MK, this was totally aesthetic and wouldn’t be a problem with softer shooting ammo.


Handling

While the AK portion of its heritage shined in the reliability category, ergonomically, the MK felt as good to shoot as an AR.

I was very happy with the positive feel of the A2-style pistol grip, but if you have a different feel that floats your boat, the grip is easily removed for your customizations.

Like an AR, I found the Mutant’s design super user-friendly to where it felt like I’d been shooting it my whole life after just a few test runs.


Trigger

The most basic model of the MK47 Mutant comes with a pretty heavy (6.2 pounds out of the box) single-stage trigger that really didn’t do anything for me.

CMMG MK47 Mutant Trigger
Via: The VSO Gun Channel

Go up to the most upgraded model, though, and you get a sweet Geissele Automatics SSA trigger. When I shot with this trigger, it was smooth as silk with a clean break and very quick reset.


Magazine/Reload

Shipping with an AK-style Magpul 30-round PMAG, the Mutant will also take any AK magazines of your choosing.

It’s got a classic paddle-style release behind the rear magazine and loads like any AK. It had been awhile since I’d shot an AK, so the hook and rock reload movements took a little time to get used to again.

CMMG MK47 Mutant Trigger and Mag
Via: The VSO Gun Channel

My least favorite thing about this 39 rifle was the lack of bolt release and bolt hold-open. Reloading just felt so slow to me. However, if you take the time to commit the reload actions to muscle memory, I’ve heard you can actually get some of your fastest reload times.


Length/Weight

I thought the Mutant was an easily manageable size with its 16.1-inch barrel, overall length of 33.5 inches, and length with its stock collapsed at 32.75 inches.

CMMG MK47 Mutant Length
Via: The VSO Gun Channel

The weight was a bit on the heavier side, but, again, nothing that couldn’t be managed. Empty, this MK47 clocks in at 7.2 pounds.


Recoil Management

One of the things that made this weapon so fun to shoot was the mild recoil.

The Mutant achieves this using a heavy buffer and the attached SV muzzle brake. It also helps that the front end is heavy enough to eat up some extra recoil as well as minimize muzzle rise.

CMMG MK47 Mutant Muzzle
Via: The VSO Gun Channel

I found that the brake mitigated a ton of the recoil, but converted into noise…so, you’ll definitely want some ear protection when shooting this gun.


Price and Ammo Recommendations

The CMMG MK47 Mutant retails for between $1,600 and $1,800 depending on the model you go with.

CMMG MK47 Mutant Frame 3
Via: The VSO Gun Channel

Luckily, 7.62X39 ammo is one of the cheapest out there.

My choice of ammo depended on what I was wanting to use my MK for:


Accessory Recommendations

The Mutant comes with a huge picatinny rail with keymod slots that have plenty of real estate for pretty much anything you might want to mount.

Here are my favorite CMMG MK47 Mutant accessories:


Is the CMMG MK47 Mutant Worth It?

If you need an all-purpose weapon that is 100% reliable and feels great to shoot, then the Mutant is your saving grace.

Here’s why. It’s:

  • Dependable
  • Versatile
  • Customizable
  • Accurate

So, don’t miss your chance to get your hands on this beautiful blend of reliability and ergonomics. The MK47 Mutant will be your best weapon yet.


4. CZ USA 527 Carbine Bolt: Best 7.62×39 Bolt Action Rifle

CZ-USA’s 527 is the bolt-action rifle.

It’s accurate, reliable, and even lightweight. That alone should be enough to sell you on the gun.

But if you need a bit more nudging, let’s break down why the CZ USA 527 is the best 7.62×39 bolt action rifle, starting with…


Accuracy

The 527 is incredibly accurate for a bolt-action rifle, and more than acceptable for hunting (its intended purpose).

My 5-shot groupings were VERY small. With no aftermarket scopes, my average grouping from 25 yards was about 1.5”. With a scope, my average 5-shot grouping from 100 yards was less than 1”!

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt 18-inch Barrel
Via: Lucky Gunner Ammo

The standard sights are pretty decent iron sights, and are dead on at 25 yards. The front sight is ramped and includes a removable hood and sight post, and the rear sight is notched and drift-adjustable to account for windage.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Front Sight
Via: AdventuresbyTroy & Co

You can expect dead-on hits when hunting with the 527.


Reliable

The 527 is reliable.

CZ is known for building quality firearms, and this is no exception. It’s a high-quality build with an excellent wooden stock, and will reliably feed any ammo you choose.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Stock
Via: AdventuresbyTroy & Co

If you go hunting with this rifle, you can expect to have no misfires, no failures to feed, no malfunctions whatsoever. Nada.


Handling

Aesthetically and functionally, CZ has created a solid and great feeling grip and stock.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Trigger and Stock
Via: Lucky Gunner Ammo

The rifle’s walnut stock is incredibly solid. It features fine checkering both on the stock and the grip area, and it actually seems to be cut into the wood rather than just pressed against it. Many manufacturers do this to cut costs, but not CZ!

The only slight drawback here is that the bolt does ride high (90-degree throw), but it’s not too awkward to manipulate while cycling.


Trigger

The single-stage trigger is incredibly light, approximately 3.5 lbs.

There’s also a set trigger option if you press it forward which brings the weight down to 1.5 lbs!

There’s minimal creep, and no pre-travel or over-travel to speak of.

The trigger is very light, making it very important to handle the gun correctly when the safety is not engaged.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Trigger
Via: AdventuresbyTroy & Co

A somewhat strange feature on the 527 is that the safety/trigger configuration is “backwards”, for lack of a better term. Forward is safe and rear is fire, which is definitely something that takes getting used to.


Magazine & Reloading

The 527’s magazines are small, low-profile magazines with only a 5 round capacity.

Although they’re small, the spring-loaded magazine release button does allow for pretty quick loading and unloading.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Mag and Ammo
Via: Lucky Gunner Ammo

The mag release is located on the lower right side of the rifle just above the mag well opening, and two lips hold the magazine in place within the well.

If you’re right-handed, you can press the thumb of your support hand against the left side of the stock and use your middle finger to press the mag release while cupping the mag itself.

But what about lefties?

You can place your support hand’s fingers against the left side and press the release with your right hand.

I typically don’t like low-profile magazines because they tend to protrude from the bottom of the action, but CZ’s are as inconspicuous as these magazines can be. For a rifle of this caliber, 5 rounds is a bit small, and extra magazines do not come cheap at $40. If your budget allows for it, I’d recommend picking up a couple of extras.


Length & Weight

Overall, the 527 is just over 37” with the barrel accounting for 18.5”.

Empty, it weighs just under 6 lbs.

This is around the same weight as a traditional brick, and about two pounds less than the comparable empty AK-47.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Length
Via: Lucky Gunner Ammo

If you want a lightweight bolt-action rifle, the 527 is a great option. It’s not too heavy to operate, and not so light that recoil is excessive.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Muzzle
Via: Lucky Gunner Ammo

Recoil Management

On the 527, there’s a half-inch rubber recoil pad to help absorb the kickback.

This pad lets you hold the rifle right against your shoulder without any slipping. The recoil is straight back, sharp, and quick, but still pretty mild for a rifle of this caliber.


Ammo Recommendations

I’ve found that lighter weight ammo (~120 grain) allows for better accuracy than higher weight ammo, and Wolf, Tula, and Hornady have all worked very well. I shot my best groupings with steel-cased 122 grain Tula.

CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Ammo
Via: Lucky Gunner Ammo

If you’re looking for a budget option, Wolf 123-grain steel-cased is another solid choice.


Recommended Accessories

The 527’s rail is a CZ proprietary rail that’s milled directly into the receiver, as is traditional European design. The stock is straight to allow for aftermarket scopes.

If you want to mount different accessories, you can order some proprietary 16mm mounts.

With that said, here are the best CZ USA 527 accessories:

  1. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40 – Want to improve your accuracy or intend on shooting short-to-long range distances? Get this scope. It’s clear, rugged, and affordable.
  2. Gun Sling: This will make carrying your rifle easier.
CZ 527 Carbine Bolt Scope
Via: Lucky Gunner Ammo

CZ USA 527 Carbine Bolt Review: Is It Worth It?

If you’re looking for a solid bolt action rifle, I highly recommend the CZ-USA 527.

It’s everything you need in a 7.62×39 hunting rifle:

  • Quality build
  • Stunning accuracy
  • Well-balanced and lightweight

In short: If you’re looking for a lightweight bolt-action rifle you can depend on, look no further than the CZ-USA 527.


Now It’s Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best 7.62×39 rifle guide.

So as a recap:

If you’re on a budget, I’d recommend getting the Ruger American Ranch. It’s affordable, accurate and reliable.

Looking for an AR/AK hybrid? Get the ARAK-21 XRS Complete rifle.

But what if you’re a huge fan of AR-styled rifles? Then the CMMG MK47 Mutant is what you’re looking for.

Lastly, if you simply want the best bolt action rifle, I’d recommend the CZ USA 527 Carbine.

All 4 of these rifles passed my exhaustive testing (over 200 rounds spent through each one) and proved to be reliable. Just pick one based on your need and budget — you won’t be disappointed.

Now I want to turn it over to you:

Which rifle will you pick for your 7.62×39?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment down below.

1 thought on “The 4 Best 7.62×39 Rifles [2020 Update]”

  1. Hi I have shot 22lr-375H&Hmag & all between. I started at 6 years old & now 70. I just got a CZ USA 527 carbine 7.62x39mm, top by a Vortex 4x12x44. I have one word for this “Perfect”!!!

    Reply

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