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7.62x39 as a deer round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by cwmcgu2, Jul 5, 2008.

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  1. cwmcgu2

    cwmcgu2 Member

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    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.
     
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    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
     
  3. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    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.
     
  4. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    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.
     
  5. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    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.
     
  6. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    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.
     
  7. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    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.
     
  8. trstafford

    trstafford Member

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    Very good deer round

    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
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Since the 7.62X39mm is a proven man stopper and deer are man size animals you should be fine using it within reason.
     
  10. Bartkowski

    Bartkowski Member

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    I would trust it out to 200 yards, and maybe 250 yards if the deer is smaller.
     
  11. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

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    Great for pigs too!

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

    High Planes Drifter Member

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    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.
     
  13. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Oh boy...he's at it again...:rolleyes:
     
  14. King Bear

    King Bear Member

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    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.
     
  15. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    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.
     
  16. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    OK prove me wrong???????
     
  17. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    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). ;)
     
  18. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

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    It'll Do. Not Great, but it will do.

    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.
     
  19. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    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


    more here

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

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    This 500lb hog, complete with 1" thick rib plate, was taken by a 7.62x39 shooting 125gr bullets.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  21. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    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.
     
  22. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Personally.... I think that "rbernie" fella has been cheating by shooting hogs that haven't read the ballistics charts.


    :cool:
     
  23. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    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
     
  24. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    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:
    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    ... 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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2008
  25. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    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.
     
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