SKS as a short range deer rifle?


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Saiga39
June 4, 2008, 10:45 PM
I built an AR and I'm in the process of selling my Saiga 7.62x39 conversion and I have around 1400 rounds of ammo that I'm wondering what to do with.

I don't have a deer rifle and I hunt with a friend on his property using his .308. Shots are less than 100 yards.

Every time I look at a gun parts type catalog and I come across the picture of the SKS with the camo ATI stock and I think that with maybe a scout scope mount would work nicely as a short range deer rifle.

What does everyone think about that???

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ArmedBear
June 4, 2008, 10:52 PM
Should work fine.

Will it be any cheaper than just keeping the AK?

Art Eatman
June 4, 2008, 10:56 PM
If the ammo is soft-point, expanding, probably okay. FMJ? No way. But the 7.62x39 is roughly equal to a .30-30.

The way I figure it, I don't shoot at a deer. I shoot at a particular spot on a deer. That spot is about the size of the end of a beer can. My limitation, then, is the reliability of always hitting where I aim inside that three-inch circle.

TAB
June 4, 2008, 11:06 PM
If its legal to use( IE mag capicty and ammo) it would work just fine for a close shot.

justin 561
June 4, 2008, 11:07 PM
A SKS can be perfect for what you're going for, even at 150-200yd is still in range for a SKS to drop a deer. A new/non issued SKS is $199-$230. Far less than any AK you're going to buy right now. The SKS is a useable close range hunting rifle. Remember, its a 10rd fixed mag, make sure your state doesnt have limitations on how many round mags you can hunt with.

ArmedBear
June 5, 2008, 12:24 AM
I believe that 5-round magazines are available for hunting where you can't use the 10. Also, depending on your F&G laws, you may be able to put a block in the magazine like duck hunters, and be legal.

Deer Hunter
June 5, 2008, 12:30 AM
Your saiga would be a bit more accurate, plus it's brand new.

but if you're dead-set on an SKS, they make fine deer guns as well. Shot my first with an SKS.

packnrat
June 5, 2008, 12:49 AM
get a mosan naget, better for the shot and has lots more umph in the round.

plus not as many worrys about how many rounds in the gun.


:uhoh:


.

buck00
June 5, 2008, 06:13 AM
A SKS can be perfect for what you're going for, even at 150-200yd is still in range for a SKS to drop a deer.

I agree you can hunt a deer with SKS, I just question the choice of round and the accuracy.

If you can drop a deer in the woods with a Yugo SKS, open sights, at 200 yards, then more power to you. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'd just be wary of the idea of getting the round exactly where you want at such a distance. It would be a shame to miss or wound a deer because you're trying to save money on the rifle. Remember, this rifle was invented to arm the proletariat hordes in eastern Europe in the mid 40's. ;) It is much more glamorous and evil looking than your uncle's Winchester Model 70, but what has proven itself more in North America?

To make a long story short, I have a family member who (in MD) opened up on a deer in the woods like it was the Tet offense with a Chinese SKS. Pop pop pop pop pop. Despite numerous hits, the deer was bounding off... and down the hill a second member from the hunting party (a more experienced and wise hunter) dropped it with a single shot with a 30-06. They compared the wounds and the 7.62 x 39 had gone through tiny like ice picks, the 30-06 exited large causing much more damage (of course the shot placement was better).

So in conclusion, can you use an SKS to hunt? Yes of course, but I would stick to .308 if I were you. :scrutiny:

redneck2
June 5, 2008, 06:26 AM
Despite numerous hits, the deer was bounding off... and down the hill a second member from the hunting party (a more experienced and wise hunter) dropped it with a single shot with a 30-06. They compared the wounds and the 7.62 x 39 had gone through tiny like ice picks
Most likely it was FMJ, or at least behaved like FMJ.

EVery year at hunting season there is someone that posts in the "Hunting" forum about using FMJ.
:scrutiny:

Even with multiple hits, it many not have left enough blood trail to follow. I've seen deer with their lungs and/or heart destroyed by a 12 gauge slug and still run over 100 yards. That's a LONG way in thick woods.

TimboKhan
June 5, 2008, 07:04 AM
7.62x39 is a perfectly acceptable deer cartridge. I am not sure why people think it wouldn't be, but the simple fact of that matter is that it is pretty close to the .30-30 ballistically. No one is arguing that the .30-30 isn't a good round, right?

gcrookston
June 5, 2008, 07:38 AM
In my experience, you will find the SKS's 7.62x39 on par with a 30-30 when it comes to accuracy and stopping power. Though I've not used one to hunt deer, I would think the only issues you'll have to address are the correct hunting ammunition and magazine for your area. (where I hunt we are limited to 5 rounds and soft point bullets).

Ash
June 5, 2008, 07:49 AM
I disagree that an SKS will be on par with a 30-30 as far as accuracy goes. I have never fired one that was as accurate as my Marlin, Mossberg, or my grandfather's Winchester. The SKS is in my opinion capable of hunting deer, but I would keep it at 100 yards, no more. They just aren't all that accurate for long range.

Yet, why not just sell the ammo and buy a nice hunting rifle? You have the AR for target shooting, so the insane cost of hunting ammo won't be a big deal (get some range time with your hunter, of course). But, by the time you buy an SKS, replacement magazine, replacement stock, mount, etc, you could have a Savage 110 or heck, a nice used Remington 700 or Howa 1500 (since you would have to buy a used SKS). Or, you could get a great lever gun for the same price as the SKS before you get the upgrade parts, and then have a far better mounting option for a scope.

I have seen the SKS used for hunting quite successfully, and I won't dare say don't buy one - having the ammo can be reason enough of course. But for hunting, there really are better choices.

Ash

ImARugerFan
June 5, 2008, 08:21 AM
12ga pump slug gun would be even better for short range in my opinion!

qwert65
June 5, 2008, 09:18 AM
I know people who hunt with an sks successfully, but It's not as powerful as a .30-.30 esp with 170gr ammo

course, I only use generic ammunition

Saiga39
June 5, 2008, 09:37 AM
"I disagree that an SKS will be on par with a 30-30 as far as accuracy goes. I have never fired one that was as accurate as my Marlin, Mossberg, or my grandfather's Winchester. The SKS is in my opinion capable of hunting deer, but I would keep it at 100 yards, no more. They just aren't all that accurate for long range.

Yet, why not just sell the ammo and buy a nice hunting rifle? You have the AR for target shooting, so the insane cost of hunting ammo won't be a big deal (get some range time with your hunter, of course). But, by the time you buy an SKS, replacement magazine, replacement stock, mount, etc, you could have a Savage 110 or heck, a nice used Remington 700 or Howa 1500 (since you would have to buy a used SKS). Or, you could get a great lever gun for the same price as the SKS before you get the upgrade parts, and then have a far better mounting option for a scope.

I have seen the SKS used for hunting quite successfully, and I won't dare say don't buy one - having the ammo can be reason enough of course. But for hunting, there really are better choices."




ASH basically nails my thinking on this. I don't know if I'd try over 100 yards with the SKS. I'm sure it would be fine for plinking targets at that range but I do want to put the deer down. The SKS would end up being a rifle I wouldn't have to worry about beating on as much. I'm leery of selling the ammo to whoever on the internet. I could probably sell it on this forum with less worry. I don't want to end up dead at some rest area on the highway because the person buying it had no intention of paying for it or shows up with less money . There are plenty of low cost hunting rifles out there. There's a new Mossberg 30-06 w\scope listed in the For Sale section of this forum for $325. I've seriously looked at that. But that type of rifle will always be out there available.

smee781
June 5, 2008, 09:45 AM
What about a CZ? They make a bolt action 7.62x39 and that would make a great deer gun. The only unanwsered question is what type of ammo do you have? soft point or FMJ???????:confused:

TCB in TN
June 5, 2008, 09:57 AM
I have never deer hunted with an SKS, but for a while had one as my "ranch rifle". Killed more than a few yotes, and a number of canine, feline, and assorted other preds, and none of them seemed to be any less dead than from my 30-06, .270, or even my .243. Further more in my experience the problems with SKS accuracy have far more to do with using cheap ammo and the poor sights than with the rifle itself. Puting a solid scout scope down on the barrel and using quality ammo should more than remedy those issues.

Hokkmike
June 5, 2008, 10:00 AM
Roughly eqivalent to the vaunted and time honored .30-30, so why not. (Except not in my state where semi's are illegal for hunting)

IndianaBoy
June 5, 2008, 10:02 AM
There really are so many options that are better choices.


Even fun mislurp rifles that are better choices.

I deer hunt with a Yugo mauser. It shoots exactly to POA with both milsurp and my handloads. I use a well constructed hunting bullet for deer hunting.


It would probably work. But it is less than ideal.

BattleChimp Potemkin
June 5, 2008, 10:11 AM
Keep your Saiga! Why would you want to sell it and get an SKS?

rangerruck
June 5, 2008, 11:03 AM
Your saiga is your short range deer rifle, the sks is about twice as heavy, and it will all be weight upfront. yuch!!!!

baconbeard
June 5, 2008, 11:26 AM
I have a Remington 700 in 30/06 I use and my buddy uses his chinese shorty(dare I say "paratrooper"?) SKS and he always brings somthing home, sometimes the trophy. I believe he has a 4x Tasco on top.It works pretty good in the brushy foothills of South Carolina

islandphish
June 5, 2008, 11:38 AM
I killed my first deer with a SKS. It had a sporter stock and a padded sling and a scope on it. But it was still an SKS.

Would I use one today? Nah, I've got cooler toys now. Would I worry about it if that was all I had? Not if I bought decent ammo.

justin 561
June 5, 2008, 12:14 PM
The SKS is able to reach and hit where you want it at 200yds, given the shooter is competent and you have a scope. Front weight of as Yugo SKS can be solved by removing your bayo.

jimmyraythomason
June 5, 2008, 12:15 PM
Is the SKS suitable for deer? That depends more on the hunter than the rifle. If you can hit a deer at 200 yards,the SKS will kill it(with expanding bullets)! If you can't hit a deer at 200 yards ,it doesn't matter what gun you use.

cracked butt
June 5, 2008, 12:28 PM
Shots are less than 100 yards.

If you say that shots are going to be less than 100 yards, you are probably in eastern hardwoods, tamaracks, or swamps where your longest shots will be much closer to 50 yards than 100 yards. A SKS with softpoint ammo would be plenty good for this.


As far as accuracy goes, SKSs are all over the map, but my Yugo is at least as accurate as my last winchester 94 was.

The only problem you'll probably have with a SKS is resistance from all of the gun snobs who think that your gun is too 'ghetto' for hunting and who insist that you need a weatherby or winchester in at least 30-06 to kill at deer at 50 paces.

M'bogo
June 5, 2008, 01:30 PM
I'd try the Wolf 154gr soft points out in the SKS or any other 7.62x39 when you are getting your gear ready to hunt. I have a paratrooper SKS and a CZ 527 cabine and have taken several deer with the 154gr Wolf ammo. All have been one shot stops with the the deer dropping in sight.

M'bogo

Matt Dillon
June 5, 2008, 01:47 PM
I would keep the shots closer to 50 yards, but 7.62x39 is perfectly acceptable with regard to ballistics, providing that it is not FMJ. I like to use Hornady VMAX in my hunting ammo in this caliber.

Saiga39
June 5, 2008, 04:12 PM
50 yards is probably more like it. My friend has one stand about 25 yards from a kudzu patch that the deer tend to bed down in.

Deer Hunter
June 5, 2008, 04:25 PM
Place the bullet right and it'll kill out to ranges that you probably wouldn't feel comfortable with.

First deer I took with it was at 120 yards, open sights. Don't let anyone on this forum tell you that the 7.62x39mm round with a SP bullet wont kill a deer. It all relys on your abilities.

aspade
June 5, 2008, 04:29 PM
Unless you're planning to shoot 1400 deer, the ammo you have now doesn't matter. Use it for practice, one box of soft points will fill the freezer for years.

Mike 56
June 5, 2008, 04:51 PM
A SKS would be fine for dear hunting but i think your Saiga would be better. Many consider a SKS to be a modern day 94Winchester.

Mike

TimboKhan
June 5, 2008, 05:24 PM
Many consider a SKS to be a modern day 94Winchester

I'm not trying to pick on you here, but I have been an SKS fan for a long time, have participated in lots of discussions on the SKS, have visited SKS boards have shot thousands of rounds of 7.62x39 and own several SKS's. I have never, not even once, heard anyone say that a SKS is a modern day 94. Frankly, I am not even sure what that would mean, considering that up until just a couple of years ago they were still making the 94, and they are as easy as pie to find.

ArnoldSKS
June 5, 2008, 06:07 PM
:confused:I use my Norinco SKS for whatever. I can put a nice group of 3-5 shots together out too 100yrds about the size of a quarter. I have a Butler Creek Sporter stock (cutting down on weight) and redone the bolt and trigger. My SKS prefers Federal 123gr soft point ammo (Power-Shok).

I have to agree with ASH, I have put a little to much into my SKS, I could have a better rifle, but I got what I got and I love it. Best of luck with your choice and enjoy.

Here's a picture of my toy. It's in the shop having a Choate Scope mount put on and I bought a Barska 3-9x40 scope for it.

Ignition Override
June 6, 2008, 01:26 AM
A single jhp x39 SKS round killed a large feral pig, according to a topic weeks ago at 'Perfectunion'. The photo was quite graphic.

Wouldn't it also kill a deer?

R.W.Dale
June 6, 2008, 01:28 AM
I have never, not even once, heard anyone say that a SKS is a modern day 94.

I've heard this statement in various forms from several people.

Frankly, I am not even sure what that would mean,

It just kinda means that an SKS does the same things to the same critters for the same demographic at the same price range that the winchester 94 did for years and years

The Highlander
June 6, 2008, 01:40 AM
A single jhp x39 SKS round killed a large feral pig, according to a topic weeks ago at 'Perfectunion'. The photo was quite graphic.

Wouldn't it also kill a deer?Most definitely, and at ranges much longer than the OP will fire at. Only thing people worry about is the lack of expansion if fmj rounds are used. Under 200 yds, if a soft point isn't used you may just get a pin hole and bleed the animal slowly over time. Soft points in the sks make it a perfect deer rifle though.

MCgunner
June 6, 2008, 01:29 PM
Mine is about a 3 MOA gun, getting weak and accuracy iffy at 200, but out to that, I can make a lung shot.

I used to shoot 135 grain Sierra handloads at about 2150 fps. Was a good load for hunting, but Sierra dropped my bullet. I have a hundred rounds of Wolf 154 grain SP ordered I'm going to test. Hoping it'll be a decent load on hogs and maybe deer. I normally don't use the gun for deer hunting, have a .308 Remington M7 and a few other superior rifles for that and handgun hunt a lot, but I have taken one doe with it at 80 yards head on, shot low in the neck and exited the ribs on the right side. She ran about 100 yards and piled up. The shot was perfect, the bullet expanded well, she just seemed to have a lot of juice left in her after the hit. It happens and I'm not ready to condemn it based on one kill. Didn't lose the deer, though. She had a gaping hole in her ribs and lots of blood loss, but I didn't get a blood trail. It started pouring down rain 5 minutes after I made the shot. :rolleyes: I got out of the blind after the blind after the rain lifted, walked back to my dirt bike to go for help to find her, and she was laying next to my back tire! ROFL.

Mods....

5 round mag
3x9x40 lighted reticle scope
vented handguard with case deflector attached
Ambidextrous safety
Bayonet lug removed
Chote camo sporter stock

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=46258&d=1160679112

MCgunner
June 6, 2008, 01:33 PM
I can put a nice group of 3-5 shots together out too 100yrds about the size of a quarter.

That's one HELL of a lot more accurate than ANY SKS I've ever fired and I've fired more'n a few. You're talkin' 1MOA there, hard to believe from an SKS. But, they're adequate for hunting. I've fired few that wouldn't do at least 3.5" at 100 and most would go 3".

ArnoldSKS
June 6, 2008, 05:19 PM
MCgunner,
The trigger job and good ammo made the biggest difference. The rest is breathing and my scope. The scope on the picture is a FM 2-7x28. It worked great for the first 50 or so rounds and then the thing shock apart. I purchased a Barska scope and they say that they are pretty good scopes. I well post the targets when I get too the range.

pdowg881
June 6, 2008, 05:31 PM
That scope on the dust cover holds POA? What kind of ammo and how much did it cost? Are those bench groups. That's very impressive. What did you do to the bolt asnd trigger? I would love to be able to shoot those kind of groups with my SKS.

res45
June 6, 2008, 08:26 PM
If you want some heavy loads try loading some Speer 150 Gr. .311 Hot-Cors. I shot both the Speer and Hornady offerings in my stock YUGO & Chinese SKS with equal results.
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j1/rhsikes/scan1-2.jpg

Hornady 123 Gr. .310 SP work great for me also.
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j1/rhsikes/MyReload.jpg

MCgunner
June 6, 2008, 08:44 PM
I'm not sure if that 150 Hornady would expand at SKS velocity levels, but thanks! I wrote those recipes down for the future. The groups are certainly impressive. :D I'll have to read up on that Hornady bullet, but I'm figuring it might be okay for something heavy as a big hog. It's probably intended for .303 British which would only push it maybe 2500 or 2600 fps, so it might be decent.

The trigger I have on my 20" rifle is quite unusually crisp. I found, when I was ordering these things, that about 2 out of 10 I ordered of the Norincos would have a decent trigger sans any creep. The other 8, like the one in my paratrooper, were spongy as hell. I kept one of the good ones for myself for my sporterizing project. Maybe the gun just needs a decent load. All I've ever fired out of it are .308 diameter Sierras and mil surp and Wolf crap.

res45
June 6, 2008, 09:03 PM
The 150's are the Speer and the 123's are the Hornady. Sorry If I didn't make that clear on my post. I had some pics of the 150's I shot into wet phone books but they seem to be lost. They penetrated into the 6th book each being 2 1/2" thick,lets just say expansion wasn't a problem. The 123 Gr. SP pretty much disengrated inside the 5th. book. The Sierra Pro Hunter bullets in 125 Gr. .310 & 150 Gr. .311 are excellent bullets also.

longdayjake
June 6, 2008, 09:14 PM
The first deer my cousin took here in eastern idaho was taken with a norinco sks and full metal jacket surplus rounds. He didn't know any better. It happened to be a trophy buck and everyone swears at him because all it took was a $100 gun and a .05 cent bullet. Granted he did a LITTLE tracking but found the buck dead. I was impressed with his accuracy while using those crappy iron sights. I still cant hit anything with them and I have shot thousands of rounds through the stupid thing. I prefer the m1 peep sights. but if you are good enough with those sights then go for it. FMJ bullets work but why risk it?

res45
June 6, 2008, 09:26 PM
A cheap upgrade for any SkS is just to replace the front sight post with one from http://www.tech-sights.com/ look on the Accessories page. Half the size of the original post,gives you allot finer aiming point. Should improve your shooting quiet a bit.

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j1/rhsikes/Rifles010.jpg

ArnoldSKS
June 6, 2008, 09:35 PM
pdowg881,

The mount is a Leaper side mount. It worked ok, but after I cleaned the rifle I had to re-zero it and the scope went to crap. I found this cool website, http://www.surplusrifle.com/sks/index.asp, This guy has every thing on it. How to rework the trigger, bolt rebuild and various scope mounts. This is a pretty cool website.

TimboKhan
June 6, 2008, 09:38 PM
Huh. Well, you learn something new everyday! I have never heard anyone refer to it as a modern day 94, but evidently people do. Color me informed!

surfinUSA
June 6, 2008, 09:44 PM
One of my bad weather rifles for pigs down here in the florida swamps is an SKS. All I did was change out the sights to williams fire sight up front and peep rear. I use Remington soft points I think they are 124 gr. WOrks fine and definately is the modern 30-30

res45
June 6, 2008, 09:46 PM
My YUGO with the Choate drill and tap mount / 3 x 9 x 32 Bushnell.
http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j1/rhsikes/Rifles003-1.jpg

556A2
June 6, 2008, 09:57 PM
It will work perfectly fine as long as you are using a decent softpoint bullet, and have it sighted in. The SKS was/is frequently referred as "The Poor Man's Deer Rifle" in the rural South. I would not recommend a Yugo SKS since they are bigger, and weight more compared to a Chinese, Romanian, or Russian SKS. You should able to find a nice Chinese for under $200 very easily at nearly any pawn shop. A good upgrade would be a set of Tech Sights which are aperture sights like the M16A1's sighting system. Otherwise, just keep you shots under 150 yards and you shouldn't have any problems.

Another options is you could just buy a .416 Rigby because deer have gotten so much tougher to kill according to the internet and gun rags. :rolleyes:

kentucky_Dave
June 6, 2008, 10:37 PM
A hungry man does not care what his rifle is reputed to be...
he does not care to consider any shortcomings...
he adapts his technique and uses the tool he has available to eat...:D

right?

:neener:

RIGHT!

That SKS, in practiced hands, will undoubtedly place food on the table.

dscottw88
June 6, 2008, 11:15 PM
I wanna take my first deer with my newly acquired Garand. I love just thinking about it.

goon
June 7, 2008, 02:24 AM
When I had SKS's I was able to make fairly consistent hits on dinner plate sized targets at 200 yards with open sights and Wolf ammo.
I've never been the best rifle marksman. Actually, I kind of suck in comparison to my dad and how good my grandfather and great uncles were.

Power isn't quite at 30-30 levels but with the right bullet it should do fine. Just make sure you get something that will expand reliably.

I'd say if you have a decent SKS it should work as well as anything else for 100 yard shots.
For cryin' out loud, it's not that far - I was breaking 5" balloons today with a 10/22 and the cheapest ammo I could find at 100 yards. If I can manage that I don't see why a guy with about any half decent rifle couldn't hit the vitals of a deer at that range.
Deer have been killed at that range with .22 LR rifles, '73 Winchesters firing revolver rounds, and flintlock rifles - why would an SKS not suffice?

BTW - thanks for the heads up on the SKS front sight upgrade. Another SKS may be in my future eventually and that front sight looks like an excellent accessory.

CajunBass
June 7, 2008, 09:00 AM
I have often wondered why people seem to think the 7.62X39 is the cats meow for a battle rifle, but at the same time seem to think it's not enough to kill a Whitetail deer. :confused:

res45
June 7, 2008, 11:27 AM
I never though of my YUGO as being a heavy rifle,it's only 2 lbs. more than my Chinese which weighs in at 8 lb fully loaded. I never took all that junk about the SKS being inaccurate either,shooting that crappy Russian ammo doesn't provide any reliable evidence of the shooter ability or the rifles accuracy it's just to inconstant.

I have been reloading for 25 years and I have yet to develop a load for any of my rifles that wouldn't shoot 1" or less groups at 100 Yds. just takes a little time a patients use the right bullet to get the job done and don't overstep the limitations of yourself and your rifle. Bullet placement and performance is key to a successful kill,using more gun isn't going to make up for the lack of ether one of those. Article of interest http://www.eabco.com/swiftbulletco02.htm

tenbears
June 20, 2008, 10:44 PM
Does anyone have a good source for an SKS trigger assembly? Been trying to find one, but it's always sold out. With the flood of SKS's in this country I would figure an adequate supply of parts somewhere?
Thanks

Ignition Override
June 21, 2008, 01:26 AM
An SKS with fmj hp killed a large feral pig with one shot.

Why can't the same type of shot kill a deer? :confused:
Just curious (as a very late-blooming, middle aged frequent plinker), because I've never hunted.
But saw the graphic color photo of the dead swine and the nasty fatal wound.

Art Eatman
June 21, 2008, 09:43 AM
Ignition Override, it was not until recent years that hunting-type ammo was available. FMJ is not good for hunting.

A drawback for the AK genre, generally, is the quality of the as-issue sights compared to peep sights or scopes. You don't shoot at a deer; you shoot at a particular spot on a deer.

I guess the last and maybe the most important thing is that with Bambi, the deal is "clean, ethical kill". That doesn't apply to combat.

Deer Hunter
June 21, 2008, 09:53 AM
I grew up killing deer with an SKS. I've used ballistic tip, soft point, hollow-point, and once even FMJ.

I was young and used whatever my dad stuck in the gun. All I knew was that if I did my part, the gun would take a deer. If the deer was within 150 yards, I could take it.

It would make a great deer gun for short-range shots.

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