Subsonic AK: Berry’s 220 grain Plated Bullets + Starline Brass

I recently had so much fun loading 300 Blackout with Berry’s 220 grain plated bullets, it made me think about what else I could do with these bullets. Then it came to me: how about loading 7.62x39mm with them? Shortly thereafter I was setting up a reloading press to start experimenting. I was successful in the end, but there were some special considerations I’ll share in this story!

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Optimized for Pistol, Works for Carbine

The first thing I sorted out was what rifles I’d be loading these subsonic loads for. I really wanted something that would work great in my PSA KS-47 8.5″ AR hybrid pistol chambered for 7.62x39mm. I also wanted to be able to shoot these loads in my N-PAP AK variant carbine-length rifle, but I knew that rifle would be inherently less picky, so I used the KS-47 for the primary load development activities.

7.62x39mm Sub-Sonic Loads: Thinking Outside the Box

If you want to load heavy subsonic bullets for the 7.62x39mm, you may scratch your head looking for data. When I started my quest to load  220 grain plated 30 caliber Spire Point bullets from Berry’s Manufacturing for 7.62x39mm

For Review: 300 Blackout Loads with Berry’s 220 grain bullets:

Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors in load data on this website. Always cross-reference load data with manufacturer’s published data.

Since I couldn’t find load data for 7.62x39mm 220 grain plated bullets, I decided to *start* with the same powder charge, only , but substituted 7.62x39mm cases, and large rifle primers in place of the magnum small rifle primers used for 300 blackout.

When I shot the 9.5 grain loads in the KS-47, they would shoot fine, but would not eject the spent shellcasings, and would not chamber the next round of ammunition. After increasing the powder charge and performing incremental testing (increasing by about 0.2 grains at a time) I ended up with the following load.

7.62x39mm 220 grain subsonic load:

Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors in load data on this website. Always cross-reference load data with manufacturer’s published data.

This load performed good in the KS-47 (see next section), and perfect in the 16″ AK. Here’s the chronograph data for this load:

Chrono Data: KS-47 8.5″ AR Hybrid Pistol

Chrono Data: N-PAP 16″ AK Carbine

Tweaks to the KS-47 For Proper Functioning

Predictably, the 16″ AK carbine chewed through the 220 grain 7.62x39mm subs like it always does: without complaining. The N-PAP was 100% functioning in my testing (only tested 10.7 grain load since I was focused on dialing-in the KS-47).

For the KS-47, as mentioned previously I had issues with ejection and feeding. At 10.7 grains, I was able to get 90% functioning by doing the following:

  • A fresh coat of oil in the BCG (never hurts with an AR!)
  • Replacing the heavy buffer spring with a standard AR carbine spring
  • Replacing the H (Heavy) buffer with a standard Carbine buffer

While this got me most of the way to 100% functioning, I’m not QUITE there yet. I’ve ordered a “light buffer kit” which has three AR buffers going down to 1.7 oz. I think I’ll be made in the shade at that point! We will see…

Get the Goods

If you’re looking to load 7.62x39mm subsonic loads, I’d highly recommend the components I used (for full list, see load data above).

300 AAC 200gr (.308) Blackout Spire Point

Starline 7.62x39mm Brass

If you are interested in a PSA KS-47, the best place to get one is via the Palmetto State Armory website:

All KS-47 Models at Palmetto State Armory

Here’s the KS-47 8.5″ pistol covered in this article:

And here’s the 16″ carbine version:

Do you have 7.2x39mm subsonic reloading tales to tell? Please leave a comment!

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Thanks,
Gavin

3 thoughts on “Subsonic AK: Berry’s 220 grain Plated Bullets + Starline Brass”

  1. I understand you are not “looking” at the accuracy potential other than out to 25-50 yards under 8” but I am curious on what it is doing. Is it near MOA or is it more like 3 MOA?

  2. I’ll live with just buying cheap bulk ammo for 7.62×39. It is so much simpler. Lol 😂
    As for subsonic in close quarters? I’ll use a handgun.

  3. I was thrilled at this video. I bought a silencer for my POF in 7.62×39 and some very expensive subsonic ammo. Some really good tips for reloading subsonic ammo! Cant wait to try it all out! Gavin have you tried any other powders?

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