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AK-47 as a trail gun? bear gun?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mailman, Jul 1, 2012.

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  1. mailman

    mailman member

    I love my AK-47 and know its more powerful then any handgun cartridge made. A lot of people carry a 44 magnum as a trail defense gun, but what about the AK? The AK is much more reliable then the M4/M16 jamomatics. What about bears? Oftentimes the 44 magnum is used as a bear defense system, but the Ak is more powerful then the magnum.
  2. Cal-gun Fan

    Cal-gun Fan Well-Known Member

    Depends what you're thinking when you say trail gun. I wouldn't take an AK backpacking, but if I'm, say, truck camping, or driving up to a spot in the woods and hiking? Sure, great choice. I'd advise you use Wolf 154gr soft point rounds.

    Where do you live? Black bears are generally non-aggressive and afraid of you. I really enjoy seeing them out in the wild, wouldn't want to shoot one.
  3. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    There isn't a huge difference in energy between the two compared with heavier 44 slugs. But, the bullet design for the 7.62x39 is a spire point, not a truncated slug like the 44 mag. The rifle round is designed to yaw and tear flesh, making a wound channel, and the 7.62 isn't that good at that. It more or less just blazes on through. The 44 smashes, creating a devastating shock that puts a hostile critter on its behind. This projectile design is why shotgun slugs are popular in bear country.

    I'm not a bear expert, but I advise against the AKs use for bear medicine. Coy dogs? Sure. Deer? Absolutely. People? Yup.

    No bears though.

    The AK has the 44 trumped in range. Most bear charges, from what I read, are kinda like people skirmishes; close range and happen quick. Unless you know the bear is going to attack from 200 yards away, the rifle round is not as ideal as that flat, heavy bullet of the magnum.
    I would suggest a 44 mag lever action, with a stout pistol as back up should you need it, like a Glock 20 or Colt anaconda. But, your best bet is an 870 with slugs.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    I like my AK bullpup as a brush/trail deer rifle.

    But make no mistake its NOT a large caliber magnum revolver shooting hardcast bullets. Even though energy figures favor 7.62x39 it takes understanding the difference in how a medium bore intermediate rifle cartridge kills vs the completely different mechanics that are in play with a large caliber slow moving chunk of lead.
  5. fallout mike

    fallout mike Well-Known Member

    M4,M16 jamomatics??
  6. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    Yeah, idk about that one either. I'm not a huge fan of DI, but jamomatics the M4 is not. They can jam, but they do not deserve that title. M16 of the Vietnam era might, but today's guns are a world apart from their predecessor.

    You know what the M4 also isn't? A bear gun, kinda like the AK-47 shouldn't be.
  7. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    Or just get yourself a 16" Saiga .308 with the skeleton stock. Even unconverted, they're a very handy rifle. Lightweight, compact, and a LOT of firepower in your hands.
  8. fallout mike

    fallout mike Well-Known Member

    Yep, when I think of a bear gun a ak47 isn't in my thoughts.
  9. savage1r

    savage1r Well-Known Member

    Only if you're reloading 200gr .314 gc'd bullets in it.
  10. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    Even if the choice was between an AR and an AK, I'd take the AR all day long. The main reason being the availability of ammunition. The only ammunition available for an AK are the steel cased import variety, as far as I know. It's been a while since I gave AKs any thought.

    Your charaterization of ARs as being jamomatics leads me to believe that you know very little about ARs.

    In any case, I own plenty of rifles to include crack barrels, semi autos and bolt actions. These days, my chosen woods/trail rifle has been a carbine length lever action. If you need the thump, a .44 would do nicely.
  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    Why not? I keep the SKS across the handlebars for two and four-legged predators.

    Now, where I live, I won't encounter anything bigger than a black bear. Grizzlies are a different conversation.
  12. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard, mailman!

    That said, time for a little chastising :evil::

    Wrong. Even from a handgun, heavy .44 mag loads can exceed the energy of 7.62x39mm from a rifle:


    Then there are the .454 Casull, .460 S&W, .500 S&W and a number of other proprietary and wildcat big bores that can produce much more energy than the 7.62x39mm (think nearly 3,000 ft/lbs for the .460 mag and .500 mag. from a revolver)

    People like the .44 (and other big bore magnums) because carrying a handgun is much easier when they're not actually hunting the bear.

    This tired old rhetoric has been proven wrong time and time again. It's something the AK guys like to spout off to keep ground whilst admitting that the AK will not hold a candle to the AR's accuracy. Simple fact is, both are very reliable weapons. Incidentally, of the numerous examples I own/have owned of both, the AR has proven more reliable than the AK. If it's my butt on the line, I'll take the AR every single time.

    Don't get me wrong, the AK is preferable to a sharp stick for sure, but as falloutmike said:

    If I'm gonna take a long gun into grizz country, it won't be chambered in a pitiful round like the x39. It'll be my .45-70 levergun with heavy loads or a 12 gauge with Brenneke slugs.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  13. Snowdog

    Snowdog Well-Known Member

    You lost me at the "jamomatic" comment.

    Bingo. The 60's are over.
  14. plateshooter

    plateshooter Well-Known Member

    You have an AK, and you say you love your AK. From my personal experience, Wolf 154gr steel case AK ammo worked great on the two 250lb+ hogs I have shot with it. Tennis ball size exit wound and the hogs were both dead at the shot. IMO, the AK would make a great trail gun. We all have our different opinions and experiences but I would feel quite confident with my old SAR1.

    As far as ARs go, I have a 20 inch barreled AR in 762X39 and I like that gun too. The one I have is just too heavy for me to consider it a trail gun. No jams, very accurate and reliable with the AR Stoner 10 Round mags that I use.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012
  15. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    PRVI Partizan makes an evil soft point that resembles a .30-30 round. I feel confident it'd wreck anything short of a grizzly's day. Just a nasty round.
  16. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    Are you referring to the Grom?
  17. Ian

    Ian Well-Known Member

    I built an SBR AK that makes an absolutely fantastic trail gun. It's a great balance of size and firepower, especially with a 20-round mag of softpoints.
  18. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Well-Known Member


    You beat me to it. The advantage of the AK over a 44/460/500 revolver is the rate of fire. I know there are a lot of wheelgunners that are extremely talented but most people can accurately get off more shots with an AK at a given distance than with a revolver. The disadvantage would be if the bear surprised you---probably easier to employ the revolver if the bear got a hold of you (but the goal is to not let that happen :D)
  19. msrfrog

    msrfrog Well-Known Member

    I got my saiga 7.62 as a black bear gun. They are getting to the point of being a pest here.But I had always wanted a ak type gun. It is fun to shoot and not too heavy to sling around the trails. I can not wait to convert mine.
  20. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    an ak with proper loads with bullets designed for bear/penetration, would be a good trail gun as the spire points would produce good penetration to reach the vitals,and not expand in the fat like hollowpoints will.also,clip capacity,at 30,if applicable by law,should be sufficient.
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