When I got my first SKS rifle a Yugoslavian M59/66A1at the time I wasn't doing any bullet casting for rifles. Jacketed bullets mainly Hornady 123 gr. FMJ, SP an V-MAX an once fired 7.62 x 39 brass were fairly cheap by today's standard so that what I loaded along with some 150 gr. Jacketed loads to mimic the Bear 154 gr. SP steel case ammo.
Some of my jacketed loads I've worked up. Even though the groove dia. of my SKS rifles are all around .311" the .310" dia. jacketed bullet always shot the best.
Here is the first test target from a load I put together, people say the SKS rifles are not that accurate but you will never know until you try some handloads.
Most of all those jacketed bullets for the 7.62 x 39 that I don't have loaded up are in storage waiting on a rainy day as I've been casting my own bullets for several SKS rifles for around twelve years now. I shot the Lee .312" TL 160 gr. RN bullet for most of those years and still do, Alox TL was the lube of the day back then but I've been on the powder coat band wagon for several years now an it makes a world of différance keeping gas systems nice an clean.
Along the way I picked up the Lee .312" 185 gr. RN mold as well as an NOE 155 gr. FP bullet, I ran both of those bullets through the lube sizer before PC came along but everything gets powder coated these days.
L to R Lee. .312" 160 gr. RN, NOE .314" 155gr. FP and Lee .312" 185 gr. RN.
For general purpose plinking I like Alliant 2400, my Chinese SKS will cycle reliably with as low as 12.5 grs. of 2400 an dump the brass right at my feet. But in general I use 15.5 grs. of 2400 with the 155 an 160 gr. bullets, because my other SKS rifles want cycle with that low of a charge weight. For the Lee 185 gr. I like either H or IMR-4895, you can fill the case with all the 4895 it will hold an never have to worry about over pressure an it's a pretty good thumper on steel plates out to 100 yds. I know a few individuals who have taken deer with the Lee 185 gr. RN in bolt gun chambered in 7.62 x 39.
A few years ago I took to the range one day to do an ammo test with my Yugo SKS after I had a Choate Drill an Tap scope mount installed. I had previously when I shot steel case ammo had done test to see what my rifle liked best, ammo does matter even the cheap steel case stuff some rifles will like some brands better. Golden Tiger and Brown Bear are what my rifles liked best as you can see by the target below. One thing of note, if you look at the target you will see one rd. that is outside the main groups. IN some SKS rifles for reason unknown to me the first-hand chamber rd. shoots to a different POI but it's random and not always the case.
Anyway the whole point is that shooting cast lead in gas operated rifles like the SKS can be cheap and inexpensive plinking or even used for hunting purposes with the right cast bullet design with a good meplat and alloy that gives good expansion.