7.62x39 as a deer round?


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cwmcgu2
July 5, 2008, 07:20 PM
I have a Leupold Scout Scope on an M44. I was experimenting with the scout rifle concept, and although its been a fun gun it doesn't quite fit my needs as a deer rifle. I am pondering picking up a Mini-30 with a Ultimak mount for the scout scope. I know the Mini-30 is no sharpshooter, but it'll shoot better than me.

My question is, how do yall feel about the 7.62x39 round for deer? What kind of range can you get out of it? Do any of yall use it for hunting? If so out of what platform. Thanks in advance.

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R.W.Dale
July 5, 2008, 07:23 PM
The 7.62x39 cartridge will do anything the 30-30 will do at the same ranges. In terms of terminal performance on game the two are practically interchangeable

jaysouth
July 5, 2008, 07:26 PM
I know of a "professional deer hunter" (read full time poacher) who kills dozens and dozens of whitetail deer every year with an SKS and hardball ammo.

aka108
July 5, 2008, 07:27 PM
Ok for little old FL whitetail but a little anemic (I would not use) on the larger Western mule deer. And, I sure would not use a Mini-30 for anything other other than plinking at really large close in targets. Had one. Don't worry, you can shoot far better than the Ruger.

rbernie
July 5, 2008, 07:29 PM
Under 200 yards and 400lbs, and using suitable bullets - the chambering has adequate power and works well. It was my preferred hunting round (using handloads) for deer for years.

Just enough, and not too much. Just use the proper ammo and an adequately accurate rifle. I have both AR15s and bolt guns in 7.62x39, and am very happy with any of them.

RyanM
July 5, 2008, 07:51 PM
7.62x39mm is fine on deer with a good bullet. Just use a domestic manufacturer, or Wolf Military Classic 124 gr JHP, or Lapua 125 gr JSP. I'd use Lapuas on larger deer, and the others on smaller, myself.

Seafarer12
July 5, 2008, 08:01 PM
I would use it if I reloaded it with good bullets. The main thing that keeps me away from the .311 caliber is lack of bullets.

trstafford
July 6, 2008, 12:58 AM
In Europe it is one of the most popular deer rounds. I have a CZ 527 carbine in 7.62x39 it is an outstanding woods gun. There are also 154 gr soft point bullets available. Since most woods shots are under 100 yards I feel totally well armed even though I could carry from a selection of other more powerful deer rifles I really love the feel and handling of this rifle in brush.

I would and have also recommended it as a first rifle for women or youth because of its limited range compared to a 243 in case of a missed shot, its light weight, cheap ammo for practice, light recoil and heavier bullet weight, also the magazine is safer to unload because all rounds aren't cycled through the action to unload and easier to control if I have the magazine in my pocket until I am ready for my son to shoot. The Ruger 77/44 or deerfield carbine in 44 mag. also meets this criteria.

http://cz-usa.com/product_detail.php?id=15

ArchAngelCD
July 6, 2008, 01:11 AM
Since the 7.62X39mm is a proven man stopper and deer are man size animals you should be fine using it within reason.

Bartkowski
July 6, 2008, 01:23 AM
I would trust it out to 200 yards, and maybe 250 yards if the deer is smaller.

Snapping Twig
July 6, 2008, 01:24 AM
Great for pigs too!

Handloading a 150g bullet will take it to a very impressive level. I use NBT.

High Planes Drifter
July 6, 2008, 01:51 AM
I used to be friends (long ago, lost touch over the years) with a guy who used to hunt with an SKS, sporterized stock and fitted with a scope. He was very succesfull at filling his freezer year after year. I've always hunted with a .30-6 , so I cant comment first hand; but I wouldnt have any aualms about hunting with his rifle. I knew how succesfull he was using it.

35 Whelen
July 6, 2008, 03:35 AM
The 7.62x39 cartridge will do anything the 30-30 will do at the same ranges. In terms of terminal performance on game the two are practically interchangeable

Oh boy...he's at it again...:rolleyes:

King Bear
July 6, 2008, 04:20 AM
Well, the Cor-Bon 150-gr SP comes in 100 fps shy of a 150-gr .30-30 at the muzzle. Of course it'll retain velocity a little better due to the sharp pointed profile. IMO it'll do anything the comparable weight/velocity .30-30 will. Which includes deer, event he larger ones, and small to medium hogs.

I've taken many of both through the years with the 7.62x39.

BTW, I would NOT use the Wolf Military Classic 124-gr JHP, because they don't expand often, usually preferring to fragment, and you can lose a lot of meat that way.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 6, 2008, 08:48 AM
I use my Mini30 to fill my doe tags, the rifle has it's share of detractors - some of it deserved I suppose but a little tuneing & tweaking did mine right.
Winchester makes a SP round that I used, one slug I recovered from a front-on shot seperated. but dead is dead and all does taken were one-shot kills with no run-offs.
I use it also for hogs and been experimenting with 150 gr polymer-tip premium slugs for handloads with great results.
anticipated shots under 150 yards are preferred when selecting a stand IMO.

R.W.Dale
July 6, 2008, 10:14 AM
The 7.62x39 cartridge will do anything the 30-30 will do at the same ranges. In terms of terminal performance on game the two are practically interchangeable

OK prove me wrong???????

35 Whelen
July 6, 2008, 10:37 AM
OK prove me wrong???????


I'll let you do it. Your assignment is to study bullet sectional density and report back to the class as to why a 170 gr. is superior to the 150 gr. (given similar construction, of course). ;)

jjohnson
July 6, 2008, 10:47 AM
Okay, as noted - this round is close to 30-30 performance. Given proper bullet selection and bullet placement, it's not bad as a deer killer. Not as good, mind you, as ballistically superior .308 and faster class, but if you work with your limitations - bullet and shot placement - okay.

Sure, I know there are a lot of deer poached every year with .223, .30 Carbine, and God only knows what else. If you're looking for clean kills, buy premium expanding bullet ammo or load your own for hunting.

Most of the European deer species are smaller than whitetail. If you're a "meat hunter," don't view this as a deal where you're depending on a bunch of follow up shots. If you approach this like you had a 30-30 levergun, where you want the first shot to count, so you are careful what you do, you will likely be happier.

I've never owned a mini-30 but you make a good point - it's not a tack driver, but if your shots are under 100 yards, it's still Minute of Deer.

R.W.Dale
July 6, 2008, 10:52 AM
I'll let you do it. Your assignment is to study bullet sectional density and report back to the class as to why a 170 gr. is superior to the 150 gr. (given similar construction, of course).

sectional sensity isn't everything, velocity is the fuel that puts it to work

because the anemic sub 2000 fps velocities that factory 170grn ammo produces pretty much negates any precieved benefit you gain from using 170grn 30-30 ammo.

add to the mix that the 7.62x39 handloader can load 170grn 30-30 bullets to the same velocities 30-30 factory ammo generates.

So I stand by my statement


It never fails that anytime someone mentions 30-30 and 7.62x39 in the same topic. Someone whose never seen a chronograph and doesn't understand even the most basic principals of external ballistics, will try to point out that 30-30 is much closer to 300WBY mag in ballistic performance than it is 7.62x39

Here's the REAL data straight from the manufacturers themselves

Wolf 154grn SP
Muzzle velocity 2116fps 100yds 1996fps 200yds 1880fps 300yds 1659fps

Remington 150grn sp remember these velocities are grossly overrated
Muzzle velocity 2390fps 100yds 1973fps 200yds 1605fps 300yds 1303fps

notice that at any range beyond 100yds the little russian round has more energy and velocity than the venerable 30-30win and at 300yds the x39 has more energy than 30-30 does at 200

even Hornady's much hyped LeverRevolution ammo only slightly improves on the $4 a box wolf 154grainers

Hornady published velocities again wildly optimistic

muzzle velocity 2400fps 100yds 2150 fps 200yds 1916fps 300yds 1699fps

Strange how from 200m on performance in uncannily similar

REAL data from a 20" barreled 30-30 shooting the 160grn Hornady ammo

muzzle velocity 2287fps 100yds 2044 fps 200yds 1817 fps 300yds 1608 fps

it's amazing how much diffrent a rifle at the range can be from a barrel in a laboratory

http://www.realguns.com/archives/120.htm

more here

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=3549209#post3549209

rbernie
July 6, 2008, 10:57 AM
Your assignment is to study bullet sectional density and report back to the class as to why a 170 gr. is superior to the 150 gr. (given similar construction, of course).This 500lb hog, complete with 1" thick rib plate, was taken by a 7.62x39 shooting 125gr bullets.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=41166&d=1150376185

The key is bullet construction. A 170gr pill that expands too quickly loses all of its sectional density advantage relative to even a puny 125gr that maintains its shape well. The problem with the stated argument is that it presupposes that all 150gr and 170gr bullets are of equal construciton, which they are not. Pick an appropriate bullet first, and worry about the SD next.

Oh, and the carbine in the picture is a 7.62x39 chambered AR15.

Back to the OPs question - you can use more gun (and for larger hog I'd actually recommend it) but for most anything under 400lbs and inside of 200 yards, the 7.62x39 *can* be effective. It also can be easier to shoot than a more powerful chambering, if you're sensitive to recoil or muzzle blast. I like it because I can get in a lot of practice from field-expedient positions with cheap Russian ammo and then use the good stuff for hunting.

A rifle that you can shoot well is always better than a more powerful rifle that you cannot.

Deer Hunter
July 6, 2008, 11:03 AM
Alright guys....

All this talk about the x39 not being as good as the 30-30, or .308, or .30 whatchyamabangit has got me a bit confused.

Because I guess all those deer I killed from age 9 to 14 weren't really dead! Dangit all, I guess they were just fakin' and being a good sport to a new shooter.

I guess that 120 yard shot from an SKS I made on my first buck didn't get near it. The deer got spooked and fell on a sharp rock or something.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, the 7.62x39 is a wonderfully potent round for deer in the hands of even a novice hunter, like me when I was a (younger) kid.

Shawnee
July 6, 2008, 11:42 AM
Personally.... I think that "rbernie" fella has been cheating by shooting hogs that haven't read the ballistics charts.


:cool:

NCsmitty
July 6, 2008, 11:43 AM
I have loaded 7.62x39 with bullets ranging from 22 sabots to 150 gr psp and find the round adequate within it's range limits which includes the person's ability to put the round on target. It will take deer much as the venerable and trusted 30-30 has for generations. Practice ammo is relatively cheap and it is fun to shoot. As stated before, those who are recoil sensitive find it easy to shoot accurately.
For me, I would be more comfortable with at least a 308 based cartridge for the extra muzzle energy and flatter trajectory. :)

NCsmitty

35 Whelen
July 6, 2008, 01:53 PM
You'll hear no arguement from me regarding the (short range)effectiveness of the 7.62x39 cartridge for deer. I don't think anyone here will argue that it's not too small for deer.

But tell me it's the ballistic equivalent of the 30-30, and I'll disagree with you every time. Tell me a 170 gr. bullet is no better a hunting bullet than a 123 gr. or 150 gr. bullet of similar construction, and I'll roll my eyes and move on to something more interesting.

This hog:
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/PB290054a.jpg

was killed last January 2 75-80 yds. with this bullet:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Sierra140gr-2.jpg
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h6/308Scout/Sierra140gr.jpg

... a .284" Sierra 140 gr. GameKing w/ a muzzle velocity of 2940 fps. The bullet struck the boar in point of the shoulder as he quartered right and towards me. When I gutted the hog, I found the bullet under the skin behind the left shoulder. If a hog that size (150 +/- dressed) wrecked a quality hunting bullet such as the one pictured, can you imagine what it would do to the run-of-the-mill 123 gr. SP?

Yes, krochus, a 7.62x39 handload will run a 170 gr. the same speed as a 30-30...few times...then you will have destroyed the rifle (and possibly yourself)while trying to prove a point.

The attraction to this cartridge is the rifles in which it is chambered. Guys like the rifles then justify the use of the cartridge for hunting. I know that a few people use bolt action x39's for hunting, but if there are ever a ban on hunting big game with semi auto rifles, does anyone think the 7.62x39 would be as popular for hunting as it is today?.

To me, hunting anything larger than deer with the little round is like using a butter knife for a screwdriver.....it might work, but eventually, you're going to ruin a screw and lose game. Why do it when there are better tools available?

Also, anyone ever notice that you NEVER see posts about game that was wounded and got away? Of course not! We only read of the success stories.


35W

P.S.- Bernie, reread my post...you have to compare bullets of similar construction. Also, from the picture, it appears your hog was killed in the Post Oak Savannah region of Texas (near where I live). Maybe your hog really did weigh 500 lbs....scales do not lie. But I am friends with a number of ranchers and hunters who trap hogs daily and sell them by the pound to wholesalers. According to them a 300 lb. hog is huge, and from what I've seen in my 30+ years of living and hunting in Texas, I'd agree with them.

MTMilitiaman
July 6, 2008, 02:04 PM
I shot a small doe with standard Wolf 122 gr FMJs at about 50 yards. Despite the small size of the deer and its broadside orientation, the bullet still tumbled. The deer made it maybe 30 feet then rolled up under a tree and died. The rifle was a Yugo SKS with Techsights. I'd rather use this combo than any .22 centerfire, and possibly even before a lever action .30-30.

My Yugo shoots close to 2 MOA even with Wolf ammo.

And there are definitely better choices for hunting ammo. But any non-M43 pattern FMJ will be more than adequate, even if it isn't legal in some states.

As for comparisons to the .30-30, they're interesting, but not really relevant. If you put a 125 to 154 gr JSP from a 7.62x39 in the boiler room and the deer ain't going far. I'd trust my Yugo out to at least 200 yards, and be confident in my ability to place the round out to that range.

R.W.Dale
July 6, 2008, 02:06 PM
Yes, krochus, a 7.62x39 handload will run a 170 gr. the same speed as a 30-30...few times...then you will have destroyed the rifle (and possibly yourself)while trying to prove a point.


Oh please! 2000 fps with a 170grn bullets isn't going to overstress even the rattiest SKS anytime soon. The 7.62x39 has a somewhat low but throughly modern pressure rating, the 30-30 on the other hand has slightly more case capacity carries a pressure rating more befit of cartridges used when Victoria was queen of England. The performance envelopes for these two rounds pretty much overlaps everywhere.

So tell us what a 170 grain 30-30 bullet at 2000 FPS will kill that a 154grn x39 projectile moving 150 fps faster won't we're only talking 16grs diffrence here, hardly an earth shattering amount.


. a Sierra 140 gr. GameKing w/ a muzzle velocity of 2940 fps. The bullet struck the boar in point of the shoulder as he quartered right and towards me. When I gutted the hog, I found the bullet under the skin behind the left shoulder. If a hog that size (150 +/- dressed) wrecked a quality hunting bullet such as the one pictured, can you imagine what it would do to the run-of-the-mill 123 gr. SP?

The x39 bullet would probably have penetrated fully due to it's not being overstressed by the inordinately high impact velocity of the kill you cite

your impact velocities would have been around 2840 fps with a 140g cup and core bullet. I'm amazed it penetrated at all and didn't blow up like a varmint bullet. You should write Sierra a letter praising their product. Next time try to match bullet construction to the impact speed you're using them at.

MTMilitiaman
July 6, 2008, 02:08 PM
Oh please! 2000 fps with a 170grn bullets isn't going to overstress even the rattiest SKS anytime soon.

Also, don't forget the gas system on the Yugo can be turned off, almost totally negating any concerns about excessive wear. Of course, then you'd have to cycle the bolt manually.

With Techsights, my Yugo is most accurate than any lever action I have experience with, which admittedly isn't much.

JShirley
July 6, 2008, 06:29 PM
2000 fps with a 170grn bullets isn't going to overstress even the rattiest SKS anytime soon.

I personally think the x39mm is a fine short to medium (150 meter) range deer round, but I don't want to shoot 170/2000 fps through an SKS!

35W, I also don't want to shoot a 140 grain .30-30 flying close to 3000 fps, either, unless it's out of a bolt-action or strong single shot.

If you look at krochus' original statement, it's true. The x39mm has primarily suffered from being loaded with cheap bullets and downloaded for surplus guns of unknown strength. Why don't you let it go, and move on.

John

King Bear
July 6, 2008, 08:25 PM
Also, don't forget the gas system on the Yugo can be turned off, almost totally negating any concerns about excessive wear. Of course, then you'd have to cycle the bolt manually.


Not to mention you'll get at least a small increase in velocity.

So you end up with a straight pull bolt action that's no slower to hand cycle than a levergun, with a cartridge that can perform the same duties. Don't see a problem..

Of course some want to focus only on the heavy end of the bullet spectrum, and in that, the .30-30 looks better, at least a short way from the muzzle.
Either way, I doubt the target can tell the difference.

GunTech
July 6, 2008, 08:39 PM
Comparisons of 7.62x39 vs 30-30 are only valid up to a point. If you compare 150gn bullets in both, but are restricted to a flat nose in the 30-30, the 30-30 starts with more energy, but the better BC of the 7.62x39 spitzer makes the difference past 100 yards. If you compare the same bullet in both cartridges, the 30-30 comes out on top.

240SX
July 6, 2008, 09:43 PM
I haven't had my Mini-30 (KMINI-30-P) for long, but I'm mine shoots just fine and I can't wait to deer hunt with it. I've used my Mini-14 for deer hunting, and have dropped more than I can count. As many people have already mentioned 7.26X39 will do just about what a 30-30 would do, however is 30-30 is a better round, right on gun tech. You've got to think that 7.26X39 is the same ammo the Kalashnikov AK - 47 shoots too and that is a semi-automatic, but may have (more than likely) was once a full-automatic rifle.

BTW: I've got Leopolds on both of my Rugers listed above, my patters at the range are nice and tight. Only a slight drop at 100 for the 7.26X39 and the .233 pretty right on.

rbernie
July 6, 2008, 10:20 PM
If you compare the same bullet in both cartridges, the 30-30 comes out on top.
I dunno; my 174gr RN 7.62x39 load chugs out of a 16" AR15 barrel at 1950fps on a 50F fall day, same as a 170gr FN from my 16" Marlin 336. The 174gr 7.62x39 load feeds from my MGW 10rd AR15 mags like a champ, and the bullet is stoutly built (being designed for use in 303R and 7.7 Japanese). It plows thru just about ANYTHING.

I love my 30-30 rifles, and 30-30 is second only the 223 as my most commonly-used practice round. I probably handloaded and shot close to a thousand rounds of 30-30 over the last two years alone. But if there is a measurable difference in field performance between the 7.62x39 and the 30-30 inside of 200 yards, I ain't seen it.

from the picture, it appears your hog was killed in the Post Oak Savannah region of Texas (near where I live). Maybe your hog really did weigh 500 lbs....scales do not lie. But I am friends with a number of ranchers and hunters who trap hogs daily and sell them by the pound to wholesalers. According to them a 300 lb. hog is huge, and from what I've seen in my 30+ years of living and hunting in Texas, I'd agree with them.
The hog was shot on a 2000 acre ranch north-northwest of Bridgeport. And yes, a five hundred pound hog is bloody big - especially at contact distance.

GunTech
July 7, 2008, 12:55 PM
rbernie, my comments was only in terms of calculated kinetic energy. I doubt anyone in the field could tell the difference. You have to have huge disparities in energy before there a noticeable performance difference on game. The difference between 30-30 and 7.62x39 is like the difference between 243 and 6mm Remington. In the field indistinguishable.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 7, 2008, 03:59 PM
shot placement is king, penetration is queen.

dogngun
July 7, 2008, 04:17 PM
This is pretty funny: there has been a lot of criticism of the 7.62X39 because it is "similar to the old .30-30."
That is not a bad thing if you think about it. A lot of deer got put in the freezer by the "old .30-30" over the last hundred and some years, and it is still around and still going strong. I'd use an SKS, if I could in my state, but I am not legally allowed to hunt with an autoloader in PA.

Use the JSP, not the hollow point, IMO.

Good luck.

mark

gtmerkley
July 7, 2008, 07:09 PM
7.62x39 has the same power as 30/30 ak47's are better then mini-30 so why buy one

ds92
July 7, 2008, 11:41 PM
In my opinion, you'd be better off with a 7.62x51 (.308) for long range but for up to 200 yards i think the 7.62x39 should suffice for light-skinned game.

chris in va
July 7, 2008, 11:50 PM
If I ever go hunting, my CZ carbine will be my primary choice. Had it all set up and sighted in last year but nobody took a 'newbie' out, so maybe this season.

MCgunner
July 8, 2008, 11:12 AM
I used to handload my Norinco SKS for deer, managed to take one at 80 yards with it. I've not used it much preferring a real hunting rifle (Remington) in .308, but hey, it works. I have converted the gun to night hunting hogs and have some Wolf 154 soft point for it. Yet to take anything with that load, yet to be proven, but I have confidence in it at night hunting ranges. It's accurate enough and powerful enough for the job. No, it's not quite a .30-30, but it ain't far behind and I don't think I could find a .30-30 for 75 bucks that is near as reliable. LOL

nathan
July 8, 2008, 05:40 PM
The ammo is as good as the .30 30.

JohnMc
July 8, 2008, 09:00 PM
If one goes by the "800 ft/lbs is humane" rule, according to data from the Winchester and Federal websites, both rounds, in soft points, are good out to ~200 yards, at least with what a non-reloader like me can get at WallyWorld or the local shop.
Looks to me like a toss up.

Hopefully, this looks right, but here's the data:
Winchester 30-30 150 gr. Super-X Power-Point
Winchester 7.62x39 123 gr. Super-X Soft Point
Federal 30-30 170 gr Win. Soft Point RN
Federal 7.62x39mm Soviet Soft Point 123 gr
Energy in foot-pounds

**** **30-30/Win* *7.62x39
*Yards* Win* Fed* Win* Fed
Muzzle 1902 1827 1527 1508
* *100 1357 1354 1129 1153
* *200**945**990**818**868
* *300**651**719**586**646
* *400**462**535**425**482
* *500**357**424**327* 370

TheGrimReaper
July 8, 2008, 11:44 PM
YES!!! The 7.62x39 is an excellent all around cartridge....it can take most game in N. America. Shoot it with confidence.;)

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