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Anderson Manufacturing’s Optic Ready 16” 7.62x39 Complete Upper
By George Ross Jr. January 5, 2022

Today we will be taking a look at a 7.62x39 chambered complete upper from the good folks at Anderson Manufacturing. Anderson Manufacturing is known as a value orientated manufacturer and I use their stripped lowers and lower parts kits a lot. One could almost say I’m a fan boy. For my first hunting AR build I used an Anderson Optic Ready 6.5 Grendel complete upper and loved it. So for my first hunting AR-47 build I patiently waited for the optic ready 7.62x39 complete upper to finally come back in stock. The upper came back in stock in early October leaving me with precious little time to finish the build before rifle hunting deer season in WV (Thanksgiving week).


Anderson Manufacturing does a good job of packaging their complete uppers. They come wrapped in plastic foam in a tight fitting card board box. This solution does the job from keeping safe from the riggers of shipping.

Fit and Finish

I have no serious complaints with the fit an finish of this upper except for the barrel. There is a ring about 2 inches away from from gas block towards the flash hider that is shinier than the rest of the heavy barrel. I guessing this is part of the machining process. More specifically were the barrel is held if I had to guess. Non the less there is a shiny ring on the barrel.

For some reason I really like the knight stalker flash hider that comes on this upper. Like most flash hider muzzle break combos it is hard to tell if this helps with muzzle rise, but it looks really good.

Overall outside of the shiny barrel ring I am happy with the fit and finish of this upper.


This next bit only applies to the one I purchased. The complete upper I purchased was not supposed to be RF-85 treated, however the complete upper I did receive had an RF-85 treated bolt carrier group. Before I put out this review I reach out to Anderson Manufacturing to see if this was in error or if they were putting out RF-85 treated bolt carrier groups with all of their complete uppers nowadays. They replied to my inquiry on the subject and confirmed that I must have received the RF-85 treated bolt carrier group in error. I have no idea if the RF-85 treatment makes for a better bolt carrier group and I treated it no differently than any other I have reviewed; just don’t expect the RF-85 treatment on the bolt carrier group of the complete upper you would purchase if you would decide to do so.

Test Build

Below is the complete parts list I used to test this complete upper. I also included links to for you if you see a part catches your fancy.

At The Range

The ammunition I used to zero this test build at 50 yards was TulAmmo 7.62x39 122 grain hollow points. Anderson recommends that you do not “use steel case and bi-metal jacketed ammo”, but this was the only hollow point I could find at the time and I wanted to use this rifle for hunting. My best 5 round group after getting zeroed in was 1-3/8” again at 50 yards. For me these are not bad results. I have shot worse with “better” ammunition. Check out my ammunition round up for more details on that.


This is where things start going off the rails. When zeroing the test build at the range I had a couple of failure to feeds and I was only loading the 10 round magazine I was using with 5 rounds maximum. At the time I didn’t pay it much attention as I had not lubricated this upper. I just took it out of the box added a new Magpul hand guard and Black Rifle Arms enhanced firing pin and headed to the range. After I had zeroed the rifle in it was cleaned and lubricated.

Fast forward to the first of my two hunting days this year (work sucks). Upon chambering a round in the woods I had a failure to feed. This time the 10 round magazine was full and I had to work overly hard to get the rifle into battery as the round was stuck between the feed ramp and bolt still half in the magazine. I didn’t see any deer that day so I never took a shot. When I left the woods that afternoon I unloaded the rifle and lost the round that was chambered. The next morning when I went to chamber a round in the woods another failure to feed. This time there were only 9 rounds in the 10 round magazine so the round ran further up the feed ramp than before and simply re-charging the upper to put it into battery. I still didn’t see any deer so when I unloaded the rifle that afternoon I managed to get the extracted round. I noticed that the jacket had clear signs of resistance on it. I had finally reached the limit of my patience. Hunting rifles are no good if they can’t chamber a round. So when I got home I set out to find out what was going on with this upper.

After comparing this upper with the other 7.62x39 complete uppers I own. I found the problem. The Anderson optic ready 7.62x39 complete upper has one serious flaw. It utilizes M4 style feed ramps. All the other 7.62x39 uppers I own use 300 Blackout feed ramps which does a much better job of reliably feeding the wider 7.62x39 bullet. M4 feed ramps are designed for 223/556 bullets which are more narrow than the 7.62x39. The result of this is that the wider 7.62x39 rides to edges of the feed ramps as the bullet feeds through instead of the ramp itself.

And one more thing on reliability. This complete upper doesn’t come with an enhanced firing pin. So good luck setting off those Berdan primers. Anderson does not recommend using steel case ammunition with this complete upper, but not all brass cased 7.62x39 ammunition is Boxer primed. So for reliable primer ignition I would most defiantly recommend an enhanced firing pin for this complete upper.


Anderson Manufacturing gets a lot of things right with their optic ready 7.62x39 complete upper however the 7.62x39 cartridge requires more than just quality craftsmanship. For a cartridge that wasn’t developed for the AR platform mil-spec doesn’t always cut it. A poor choice of feed ramp style and firing pin renders this complete upper unreliable. With a price of $435.99 direct from the manufacturer this “value” upper is nearly twice as expensive as some other competing value uppers that run reliably. The Anderson Manufacturing optic ready 7.62x39 complete upper has a very real need for the owner to polish the feed ramps (or dress them as Anderson suggested in their response to my concerns) and install an enhanced firing pin. Which only adds to the cost of owning this “value” upper.

If you are looking for a 7.62x39 complete upper that operates reliably out of the box? The Anderson Manufacturing optic ready 16” 7.62x39 is not the way to go. However for those who do not mind putting in a little elbow grease and cash this complete upper may be worth it. Once I get this one worked out I will let you folks know how it all works out.