Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

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Mikeyboy
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Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by Mikeyboy » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:59 pm

I have a chance to buy a new 7.62x39 Zastava M85 bolt action rifle for $375.

http://www.zastava-arms.rs/en/civilianp ... -rifle-m85
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It looks like an interesting little rifle that will be a cool plinker and white tail deer hunting gun. I was also looking into getting an AK-47 and this may be a good "gateway" and companion gun. Who knows maybe 7.62x39 will be the caliber I will consolidate towards for all my SHTF and deer hunting needs and I would start dumping my all my ARs and leverguns. Before I consider buying it I just have two questions for the ZS brain trust;

1) Is the rifle any good? Online reviews seem somewhat positive. I know CZ-527 is a better rifle, but its double the price, and in +$650 price range that would make me pass the idea on all together. $350 to $450 is the going price for most econo-bolt guns like the Ruger American, and base level 30/30 lever guns like the Marlin 336, Mossberg, or Rossi. Also Deer hunting in the PA woods my rifles see some use and mild abuse. Having a pretty $680 CZ-527 while hunting would make me overly cautious and cry inside when the stock gets a dented, the blueing gets a scratch, or it gets rained on.

2) How difficult would it be to mount a scope on the Zastava M85? It comes with iron sights, but I rather have a scope for hunting.

Also in case some are curious, I can't hunt with a semi-auto in PA, so something like an SKS is not an option. Also most of my shots will be taken within 150 yards or less. Right now my go to Deer rifles are either 30/30 and a .44mag lever gun, and 7.62x39 will have similar range and a hair lighter stopping power as a 30/30.

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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by minengr » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:17 am

Without seeing it I can't be 100% certain but a couple quick google searches indicate the M85 is the same mini mauser action that has been imported by Interarms (mark x), Charles Daly, and Remington (as the 799). If that is in fact the case, I'm quite the fan of the action. I had a custom 17 Remington built on a CD action a few years back. The actions are very very similar to the Sako L461/vixen action. The tolerances aren't quite as tight, but it's a good action. I only bought an action so I can't comment on the barrel or stock, but I would suspect them to be on point for that price range. The only potential issue I would foresee is the mag box is pretty small, although I doubt COAL restrictions would be any better with the mag fed CZ. Again, I can't say with 100% certainty, because I do not have a x39 in either. However, I do have a CD/799/M85 in .17Rem, a 527 in 223, and a Vixen in 223. The COAL is more or less the same in all three.

Mounting a scope shouldn't be an issue. Rem 799 bases should work. Warne makes some. If you'd prefer a synthetic stock B&C makes one (have one on my CD) as does Hi-tech, and I believe McMillan.

Bed the action, float the barrel, buy some Lapua brass and rock on.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by thrillbilly » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:43 pm

Ive been wanting one for awhile....only thing Ive heard bad in my researching is its hard on extractors.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by LJ126 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:52 pm

No, but I own the full-size version of it, the M70, in .30-06. The M85 is very similar to it, but unlike the M70 it is not a true Mauser, nor is it controlled feed. They're well built, robust rifles at an affordable price.

The stock on many M85s and M70s are reported to be raw, in that they have token checkering and require additional fitting and finishing after purchase. I can attest to this, as my stock also required work: sanding, oiling, and I still need to send the stock off for checkering.

Replacement stocks are available. I don't know about the M85, but for the M70, Hogue has available both variants of the "Overmolded" stocks. I would like one of the full aluminum chassis stocks.

Mounting a scope should be easy and straight forward. It was for me, anyway.

The finish and polish of the metal is generally very nice, though in spots the finish is a bit more utilitarian. It looks really nice, either way. The trigger is okay, if it is anything like mine. Not a match trigger but serviceable.
Last edited by LJ126 on Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by chrispy » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:10 am

Just be wary of misaligned scope mount holes. Many with this issue have been discovered, to the disappointment of new owners.

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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by LJ126 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:44 am

chrispy wrote:Just be wary of misaligned scope mount holes. Many with this issue have been discovered, to the disappointment of new owners.
This is an issue on domestic production too. I've personally seen Remington 700 and Winchester 70 rifles with poorly aligned receiver holes. Less of an issue with Savage and Weatherby but I guess anything can happen.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by Turtlewolf » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:58 am

I'ld go for the full wood to the muzzle version myself, I am considering one of the full size versions in 9.3x62 for a general purpose hunting rifle.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by Domino » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:29 pm

Well, if you like the idea then I see no reason not to get one. I'd just make sure you see it in person before buying.

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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by LJ126 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:10 pm

Mikeyboy, I took my newly-scoped Zastava LK M70 to the range for some sight in and wanted to share the target with you, if you were still interested in buying the M85.

Image

First group at 100 yards with this scope/rifle combo, after firing five 3-shot groups at 50 yards between two shooters. If you count the X-ring hit as a flyer, that's an excellent group for a deer gun. Remington 150 grain green and yellow box hunting load, available at Walmart.

I'm about 50% certain that the x-ring hit was my fault, and not the rifle, as I noticed myself wanting to flinch a little bit in that group.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by JeeperCreeper » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:15 am

I heard they are rough around the edges and the are no CZ.... but I am also talking out my ass because I have never touched one. For the price, I'd still probably take a swing just for giggles.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by LJ126 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:43 am

JeeperCreeper wrote:I heard they are rough around the edges and the are no CZ.... but I am also talking out my ass because I have never touched one. For the price, I'd still probably take a swing just for giggles.
True. A CZ is a nicer rifle, with a bit better fit and finish. However, accuracy speaks for itself - and at least my Zastava is a shooter.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by crypto » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:36 am

I looked at getting one of these a while back, and from what I could uncover from reading and observing the 'hard on extractors' issue, it appears to be a non-issue.

My conclusion was that steel-case x39 was rubbing the bluing off the extractor claws faster than brass ammo does, and since the finish on those Zastava's isn't the greatest to begin with, some people were seeing bright spots on the extractor and concluding that the extractor was getting worn down. I didn't see any evidence of that, it just looked like bright metal. I think there was probably some anti- steel-case FUD in the mix too.

Ballistically, a x39 bolt gun looks on par with .30-30, although with a better ballistic coefficient so it doesn't bleed velocity off as fast and performs better at range.

The Zastava (and the corresponding CZ x39 gun) seem to perform much better with proper boat-tail bullets, should you find some.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:30 am

Funny how things change in the course of a few months. I was pretty gung ho about getting this bolt gun until Ruger came out with the American in .300 blackout. I haven't purchased neither rifle, but the .300 BLK is going to have similar performance and slightly better accuracy than 7.62x39. .300 ammo is not as cheap as 7.62x39 but its less likely to be affected by ammo panics or foreign ammo bans. The Zastava and the Ruger cost about the same (between $350 to $400) so I'm back on the fence between the two.

The CZ 527 is a beautiful little carbine, but I can almost buy the Zastva 7.62x39 and the Ruger American .300blk for the price of one CZ 527. Its just too nice for a screwing around brush deer gun/plinker, and I rather spend $700 on some other gun project.

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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by crypto » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:53 pm

I really want one of the CZ rifles with a Mannlicher stock, they're pretty gorgeous. But its way too much hassle to deal with special ordering one with a lefty bolt so I havent ever bothered.
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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by tiltonb » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:29 pm

I have a ZASTAVA M85 but I need a new firing pin. I could use a new firing pin spring as well.

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Re: Anyone have a Zastava M85 7.62x39 bolt gun?

Post by roscoe » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:29 pm

I bought the CZ for my daughter in .233/5.56. It is hard to find a rifle that is chambered for both calibers and has iron sights. We are pretty happy with it; it has an amazing set-trigger.

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