The 7.62x39mm Patrone, also called the 7.62 Soviet, .30 Short, and .30 Soviet, is a WWII era cartridge (1943) that was originally used in the SKS carbine and later the AK-47 assault rifle. The M43 bullet was replaced by the M64 bullet which contained a soft steel penetrator inside making it less stable when striking a target and better able to defeat soft body armor.
Appeal to Survivalists
Like many other popular calibers the 7.62x39mm is popular primarily due to its associated rifles the SKS, AK-47 and VZ-58, all of which are now obsolete but still readily available on the civilian market in semi-auto only versions. It is extremely popular among survivalists and gun enthusiasts alike.
The 7.62x39mm is available commercially in many bullet loadings such as 122 grain FMJ (M43), 122 grain HP and 147 grain SP. Ballistically it is the equivalent of the .30-30 Winchester round which is a very popular hunting cartridge. Unfortunately, the M64 round is currently banned from import in the US as it is considered an Armor Piercing pistol bullet.