Reloading 7.62x39mm with Berry’s 123 grain Bullets

Most people that shoot 7.62x39mm don’t think about reloading for it. But when you want something specific ballistically (subsonic for example), independence from ammo shortages, or even to save money: it makes total sense to reload this cartridge. In this article and video, we’ll take a look at a great bullet for this application: Berry’s 123 grain spire point plated bullets for 7.62x39mm!

*Note: Some of the velocities generated during the filming of this story are above what’s recommended by Berry’s Manufacturing. For best results, maintain velocities of 2000 fps or less.

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Berry’s 7.62 x 39mm 123gr Spire Point

From the Berry’s Manufacturing Product Page:

Berry’s Superior Plated Bullets are the finest bonded copper-jacketed bullets available today. Starting with a swaged lead core, they are electroplated with copper to their final weight, leaving no lead exposure. They are then re-struck to precise specifications, ensuring a solid bond and providing consistency with every round. Indoor range safe and unbelievably accurate, Berry’s Superior Plated Bullets are the choice of shooters everywhere.

Bullet O.A.L.: .796″

Cartridge Name: 7.62x39mm
Cartridge O.A.L.: 2.150″
Max Velocity: 2000 fps

Load data for our Superior Plated Bullets can be found in any manual or on any powder manufacturer’s website.
Cast or jacketed data with the same grain weight and profile will work with our bullets.
You can use a taper or a roll crimp.
Don’t over crimp the brass after seating. This causes bullet core separation, leading to increased copper fouling and accuracy issues.
Don’t exceed the recommended maximum velocities listed. This creates bullet core separation and accuracy issues.

Test Load: Berry’s 123 grain + Hodgdon CFE-BLK

Here’s the load used for testing in this story:

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.

Reloading Setup

For this loading session, I used the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP 5-station progressive reloading press, with stations setup as follows:

  1. Sizing and de-priming
  2. Priming (bottom), empty (top)
  3. Powder charge
  4. Empty (would be a great place for a powder check die)
  5. Bullet Seating

Here I’m also using the UFO Press Light from KMS Squared, which you can get HERE and you can save 10% with the UR10 code!

With this setup, you’ll get a completed cartridge with every pull of the lever!

Performance Data

This load was shot from my N-PAP AK-47 variant, my Chinese SKS, and my Palmetto State Armory KS-47 10.5″ AR-Hybrid pistol. Here’s the velocity data:

N-PAP AK-47 Variant Velocity Data

*Note: this load is over the 2000 fps max recommended velocity from Berry’s Manufacturing

SKS Velocity Data

*Note: this load is over the 2000 fps max recommended velocity from Berry’s Manufacturing

KS-47 Velocity Data

The KS-47 was running close to the 2000 fps max recommended velocity, and it also turned in the best accuracy, see this 5-shot group shot at 50 yards off a bag with un-magnified red dot:

I’m wondering if reducing the load for about 2000 fps in the AK and SKS would result in a more accurate load (AK was shooting about 2.5″ at 50 yards). Perhaps I’ll test that next!

The Economics of Berry’s for 7.62x39mm

If you are reloading your previously fired brass, the cost of bullets will typically constitute the majority of the cost per reloaded round. With premium jacketed bullets running about $0.35/bullet and these Berry’s 123 grain bullets coming in at as low as $0.16/bullet– you can see how saving some good money using these bullets is possible. For applications like plinking and close-quarters training, these bullets are ideal.

Get Yours

You’ll find these bullets available directly from Berry’s Manufacturing HERE:

You can find the brass I used from Capital Cartridge HERE: (use “ULTIMATE” code to save 10%)

KS-47 Gear from Palmetto State Armory:

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Thanks,
Gavin

One thought on “Reloading 7.62x39mm with Berry’s 123 grain Bullets”

  1. Great article! Wondering what you can do with that load in a 7.62 bolt gun with a stable scope mount, rings and decent trigger? Wishing TC Compass had a 7.62 rifle for this.

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