Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf
I was talking with a friend the other day about just how ridiculous gun prices have become. He said if we knew back then what we know now, we would be rich. I brought up the SKS rifle, and just how inexpensive they were before the 1994 Bill Clinton assault weapons ban.
I remember the first one I ever saw was at a local gun show. The dealer must have had twenty of them in unfired, unissued condition for a whopping $89.00 each. I had to have one and went home with my new Chinese SKS rifle and 10 boxes of Norinco ammunition that I paid two dollars a box for.
It didn’t take very long before I realized there was a lot of room for improvement when it came to accuracy. The rifle was only capable of six inch groups at 100 yards with the cheap Chinese ammunition. So I started handloading the 7.62×39 cartridge, but the best I could ever do with the SKS was 3 and 4 inch groups at 100 yards.
I eventually bought a Polytech AK clone and a Russian made SKS, but it was pretty much the same thing, poor accuracy. I knew that the rifles weren’t known for accuracy, but I always wondered just how accurate the round could be if it was shot out of a quality bolt action rifle. About 10 years ago, at a local gun shop, I found a CZ 527M bolt action carbine and I really liked the way the little carbine looked and shouldered and I bought it on the spot.
I recently went to my local gun club and brought along my three rifles chambered for the 7.62×39 cartridge, a CZ527M, a Polytech AK clone and my Russian made SKS. I really hadn’t done much load development with them, I only worked up a safe load that seemed to shoot decent and functioned well in the semi-autos.
I shot the three rifles at 100 yards with about a twenty mile per hour cross wind. All of my shots from the three rifles printed just off to the right. I blame that on the wind, but I’m pretty sure at least some of it was shooter induced.
I shot a total of six, five shot groups, two groups from each rifle and kept the best group from each rifle.
As expected the AK clone shot 3.764”, the SKS did a little better at 3.155” and the CZ527M turned in a 1.690” group.
I’m confident that with a little load development I can get the little CZ to shoot under an inch and a half at 100 yards. I may even take it deer hunting this fall, it’s plenty accurate enough for hunting and probably 90 percent of all the deer I’ve ever shot were within 100 yards. With a 125 grain Sierra Pro-Hunter® #2305, if I do my part, I am confident the Pro-Hunter® will produce one very dead deer.