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ruger mini 30 for white tail

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by HOLY DIVER, Sep 10, 2017.

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  1. HOLY DIVER

    HOLY DIVER Member

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    friend i work with has a mini 30 he wants to hunt with but he shot one last year with factory loaded remminton core locks and the bullet didn't expand what so ever just exit hole looked like the entrance.i guess my question is if any of you guys hunt with the 7.62x39 and what bullet are you having good results with?i was thinking about an A-MAX it has a pretty thin jacket and my thinking is it should expand
     
  2. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I hunted with that caliber years ago- after I got divorced and all I had as a SKS, and later after I had aquired a mini 30. In both cases, with multiple different rounds, I was not satisfied- with either gun. Russian soft points, Winchester SP, and Hornady I ended up with huge 100 yard groups and poor terminal performance- never got an exit wound (or much blood trail), and poor expansion. The biggest difference tween the mini and SKS was with the mini I payed more $ for this to happen. In the end, 20 + years ago I swore off and liquidated the mini and AK's, but kept the SKS as a range toy. Ended up buying a 700 in 243 at wal mart and its been my best friend in a deer stand ever since.
     
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  3. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I would go with a 130gr Nosler Ballistic Tip. They will expand at the lower velocities out to 100 yards or so. The 120gr worked out of my 7mm TCU. It made a mess of a bambi that was taken on a quartering shoulder shot. The next one I shot broadside. Worked swell. I will get back to you on the 30 cal. I loaded a Blackout with the BT for this year's close shots.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The Remington load is a 125 gr bullet at 2300 fps. It should have expanded as long as impact velocity was around 1800 fps or maybe even a little less. It should be a better option than the A-Max. If the shot was near 200 yards then it didn't have enough speed. It could have just been an unusual experience, or it may have worked just fine. Unless you found the bullet you can't say for sure based on what you think you see on an exit wound. The deer was recovered so performance couldn't have been too bad.
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've killed two deer quite dead with the SKS and 135 grain Sieera Pro Hunter handloads. That bullet is no longer available, but it was a .308 diameter bullet that shot about 3.5 moa from the SKS and it expanded well as it was designed for use in .30-30 Contenders. If I wanted to try a handload NOW, I think I'd work with the Nosler 150 BT as it works FANTASTIC in my 12" Contender. Bullets a might big for the case, but I've shot a couple of hogs with the Wolf 154 grain steel cased soft point and it works fantastic, 2.5 MOA out of my SKS and expands well on a hogs shoulder. I don't know that it would expand on a deer/lung shot, though, but I shoot shoulders anyway so they can't walk away even if they have some life left in 'em. :D I might lose a tiny bit of shoulder meat, so what? It ain't worth nothing, but for sausage anyway. :D

    That first deer I got a frontal shot on her (a doe) and the bullet exited the chest only messing up one lung. It ran about 100 yards before it dropped. I got out of the blind and it started pouring down rain for 10 minutes which washed away a blood trail. I finally walked back to my dirt bike thinkin' I'd get someone to come help scour the woods for the deer. When I got back to my bike, the deer was laying right next to it. :D

    I have other rifles, of course, just wanted to try the SKS when I got it and the second deer I shot with it was 6 years ago when we were waiting to close on this house, living in an 18 ft travel trailer in Port O'Connor, Texas. I was hunting my place there, but didn't have any rifles as they were all in storage in Corpus. I had the SKS and a Rossi 92 carbine. The SKS didn't have a scope on it anymore, but I chose it anyway. The Rossi is in .357, so it was sort of a toss up, really.

    I never bought a Mini 30. Things are expensive and from what I've heard, they aren't any more accurate than the SKS. The SKS was only 75 bucks when I bought it. I bougtht a paratrooper carbine, a range toy, for 115 back then. :D

    I've put a scope back on the SKS now and a green laser and am using it for night hunting hogs. It makes a great hog gun. I like the looks of those mini 30s, just ain't gonna part with that kind of money when the SKS is just as good. It's a little heavier than a mini 30, but not a problem for night hunting from a blind.

    Anyway, I've been impressed with that 154 grain wolf soft point on hogs. It clocks 2200 fps, as much as my 135 grain handload, and it's 2.5 moa accurate, which won't win any bench rest shoots, but it's plenty accurate for hogs, even woods hunting deer. I think of it as my little semi auto .30-30.

    For that matter, you could load a .30-30 flat point. Of course, you'd need to handload, but those bullets work GREAT from a .30-30. :D They're .308" bullets, not .311, but they'll likely be accurate enough to 100 yards in the woods. I know that 135 pro-hunter wasn't worthless for accuracy.

    I may be one of the weird folks that likes the caliber, but hey, it's not bad with the right bullet. It's every bit as good as any .30-30.

    tasrba.jpg

    158658d1467055525-my-favorite-sks-10zthy0.jpg
     
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  6. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Yep. That's the problem- as good as a 30-30.
     
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've killed a few deer quite dead with a .30-30. I don't know if it's still true anymore, but they used to say, 30 years ago, that outside of the .22LR, more deer had fallen to the .30-30 than any other caliber. It STILL works to a couple hundred yards. Where you hunt you might have 800 yard shot possibilities, but where I hunt, 50 yards is the norm and 100 is max due to the thick woods. Yeah, my go to hunting rifle is a .308, but it's overkill here. I could do just fine with a .30-30 if all I'd ever done was hunt the woods around here.

    I've taken 6 deer with the .30-30 and five of 'em were from a 12" TC Contender. .30-30 makes a great pistol hunting round. :D Fartherest I've ever taken one with the pistol is 90 yards and he fell dead so fast from a lung shot that I'd thought I'd missed. He fell in tall grass where he stood.

    Yeah, discount rifles of this power level all ya want, but fact is, they get the job done. I trust .30-30 WAY more than I trust .223, put it that way, of course ain't saying much. But, folks seem to swear by the .223 now days and I've loaded up some Barnes TSX, not that I'll ever hunt with 'em preferring my .308 as I do from a traditional bolt gun. I have, as stated, taken a couple of deer and hog with the 7.62x39 and know it works for me. YMMV I mean, it ain't like I couldn't hunt hogs with my 7mm Rem Mag, but WHY? It ain't needed. Belted magnums are for the mountains of Colorado where the elk roam, not the thick woods in eastern Texas.
     
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  8. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    An A-MAX is a match bullet and is not made for hunting anything but varmints. Absolutely not made to expand at all.
    "...exit hole looked like the entrance..." Distance matters. So does shot placement. Expansion really does not. Especially if he killed the deer.
    "...as good as a 30-30..." Typical .30-30 bullet weight is 170 grains. Typical 7.62 x 39 bullet weight is 123(Hornady Interlocks) or 125(Remington Cor-Lokts). Ain't the same or even close. However, the right 123/125 at under 100 yards will drop Bambi with no fuss.
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    THIS works. I've only used it on hogs, as I've stated, but it's death to pigs. I've never taken ANY animal with a 170 grain .30-30. I've always used 150 grain flat points in the caliber until I started hand loading the Nosler 150 grain BT for my Contender which has taken 5 deer. The 150s push just under 2400 fps in a rifle, about 2150 in a 12" Contender barrel. The SKS fires this 154 SP bullet at 2200 fps MV as measured by ME and my chrony. There ain't enough difference in .30-30 and 7.62x39 to argue about, but I'll argue, anyway. :D

    The lightest bullet I've ever used in the caliber and the one I've shot two deer with is the 135 grain Sierra Pro Hunter which, unfortunately, is no longer avaialbe. It was a .308 diameter bullet designed for use in .30, 30 pistols, but the 150 Nosler works better in my experience from the Contender. Since finding this wolf stuff, I haven't bothered to try handloading the Nosler bullet, but being a boat tail, it MIGHT be a little long for the 7.62x39 case. In any case, I'd have a hard time, I think, matching the 2200 fps this Wolf/Tulammo/Silver Bear 154 grain stuff runs. It's some good medicine for pigs. generic_7.jpg
     
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  10. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    Winchester Power Point ammo is quite lethal for deer hunting with this cartridge!

    TR
     
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  11. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Just a note, story at the Flintnapper hog thread in the stickies, but this little piggy fell to the SKS/154 Wolf ammo this morning. :D Range about 50 yards shot at 4AM using a green laser mounted on the scope. This is my night hunting rifle.

    t0gc1z.jpg
     
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  12. DBWY

    DBWY member

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    First post, so trying not to be particularly controversial but there are a number of issues raised that need to be addressed. The first is the Mini 30 as a deer rifle. In my experience, it is not a very accurate rifle and 3 MOA is at the good end of the spectrum. But given the cartridge, that should not be an issue. At 150 yards, 4-5 MOA isn't great but is feasible.

    That brings up point two, the suggestion that 7.62x39 is "as good" as the 30-30. This seems a popular belief but one that isn't supported by objective fact. I am unaware of any 7.62x39 loading in 170grs + bullets. 130grs bullets in 30-30 are leaving at 2500 fps, and even the venerable 170grs Core-Lokt is delivering 100 plus fps above 154grs 7.62x39 bullets. When we add in the Leverevolution cartridges with the 160grs at 2400 - 2500 fps and still delivering over 1,000 ft/lbs at 300 yards, the suggestion that 7.62x39 is "just as good as the 30-30" as a deer cartridge simply doesn't hold up and given the accuracy issues presented by many of the semi-auto rifles it is chambered in, all the more so. Handloaded in some of the several bolt guns now chambered in 7.62x39, it may well be possible to close the gap significantly, so there are discrete cases where it may be "just as good as" but that is not generally true.

    Finally on bullet performance, I think there are two options to look at. The Hornady 123grs soft point is one of the better choices and should reliably expand at the sub 150 yard distances the Mini 30 should be used on deer. Another direction is lead. A 150grs heat treated cast bullet (BHN 12-15) sized .311-.312 for the 303 British should be an excellent performer in this role.

    So, the Mini 30 would not be a rifle that I would choose to hunt deer with but if that's all that's available, at 150 yards or less using a very basic cup and core jacketed bullet (surprised at his experience with the Core-Lokt) or a 150grs lead bullet (not Linotype) sized correctly, it can be used effectively. Best of luck to your friend.
     
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  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'll let my post stand as to 30-30 vs 7.62x39. I only have a .30-30 now days in a pistol, but shoot the SKS, my night rifle. It's a quite deadly hog rifle. With the 154 grain Wolf clocking 2200 fps, it holds 2.5MOA and that's plenty. It puts 5 rounds into 5" at 200 yards, but I have no place in the woods here I can shoot more'n 100 yards and generally I set up for 50 yards while night hunting with the green laser.

    I own a .308, a .257 Roberts, a 7mm Remington Magnum. They're all 1 MOA or better. The .257 is 1/2 MOA. This is total overkill in the woods.

    Most of the lever .30-30s I've fired were 2MOA or worse guns. I have a friend with a pre-64 94 winchester and a lyman receiver sight that can hold 1MOA, it's the exception.

    Use what ya want for what ya want it for, but the OP's friend has a Mini 30 and he's asking about bullets for it, for reloading I think. I don't handload it anymore, but I've tried to answer best of my knowledge.

    Again, I've never even fired a 170 grain bullet out of a .30-30. I like the 150s.
     
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  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Thought I'd add another thought about bullets in this caliber. You can use .308" diameter bullets. I find I give up about 1/2-1MOA using .308" bullets, but to 100-150 yards, it don't really matter. The limit of this caliber, IMHO, is 200 yards. That's where it tends to drop below 1000 ft lbs and accuracy becomes an issue past this range in the SKS and I would imagine the mini. But, don't necessarily limit yourself to trying only .311" bullets. You might find a .308 that shoots good and the ONE area I do think the .30-30 has an advantage of since I don't plan on elk hunting with one (the 170 grain bullet) is that there's WAY more variety in bullets for reloading in .308".

    Me, I'm fat and happy shooting the Wolf 154, but do experiment if your friend is a mind to with .308" stuff. I would think the practical limit in bullet weight would be a 150 grain flat base, but I'd try the Nosler BT boat tail if I were hurting for a good load. You never know, you might find a combination that works with that bullet. And, I'd think you might for sure could make a .30-30 round nose or flat point work well and it'd shoot to 100 yards just fine, does in the .30-30. :D
     
  15. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    If the mini 30 was able to get even near acceptable hunting accuracy on a regular basis it would make a pretty neat little hunting rifle for some types of still hunting. Unfortunately they tend to be less than stellar in the accuracy department. I'm a great big no thank you on the mini series or the SKS for hunting purposes.
     
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  16. hq

    hq Member

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    Factory ammo, Sako 123gr Gamehead. Handloads, Sierra 150gr .311 diameter Pro Hunter loaded a bit on the hot side in quality brass. As far as accurizing a Mini 30 is concerned, lapping the barrel and leveling/torquing the gas block properly goes a long way providing consistent 3-3½" accuracy at 200 yards, which is the practical limit of the round.
     
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  17. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I haven't really kept up, been happy with the 154 wolf with this rifle as it isn't my primary daytime hunting rifle, but that .311" 150 pro hunter may be on my next Midway order. :D Thanks. I need to play with that bullet.
     
  18. darkcloud

    darkcloud Member

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    I have had both an SKS and a Ruger mini 30. I found that neither had the accuracy I wanted nor the stopping power from all angles. Some of it may be sporting ammo just isn't as highly developed for this round. No matter I sold them both. To tell you the truth I'd have more confidence with a lever 30-30. On paper they should do the job but just never worked out for me.
     
  19. hq

    hq Member

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    Mine neither, but a great little fast-handling carbine for whenever the 99/44 Deerfield doesn't have enough range and AR10 is too heavy to carry or slow to aim. Good ammo and slight tweaks are all it has really needed.
     
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  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, my SKS is heavier, especially with the scope and night hunting green laser installed, than my .308. Heck, the SKS weighs 8 lbs with no optics. My little M7 Remington goes under 7 lbs, maybe a little over with the optic.

    In the mini 30 vs SKS comparo, though, 1000 dollars vs 75 bucks and no difference to speak of in accuracy. I'll put up with a little weight, especially considering all I do with it is stand/box blind hunting for pigs at night.
     
  21. hq

    hq Member

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    Yep. That's when I bring a bull barrel rifle with heavy optics. A comfortable seat, good support and plenty of time to aim strips Mini of all of its advantages.
     
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  22. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    I hunted our doe season most of my high school and college years with an SKS or a Mini-30, or a 30A. I'd knock down my buck with a 30-06 or 7mauser, then use my "fun rifles" for the rest of my freezer filling. Back then we could take 9 deer a year, so I had plenty of opportunities.

    Having a Rem Core Lokt 125grn fail to expand is very surprising to me, and based on my personal experience, I'd call that a fluke, an exception, not the rule. I've taken on the order of 30-35 deer with this bullet, and never had one fail.

    I'll second the comments to say the x39 is certainly not an equal to the .30-30, but it's hunted similarly - a 0-200yrd, at best 250yrd deer cartridge, too heavy for smaller game, and too under powered for larger game, but relatively serviceable under ideal circumstances. I'll also second the comments to say a small few Mini rifles I've seen have really delivered serviceable accuracy for deer hunting at these ranges, especially with the relatively poor quality ammunition commonly available for it. But if a guy finds a load their particular Mini enjoys well enough to get the bullet where it needs to be, then it'll do the job. Not as forgiving as the .30-30 with a 150-180grn bullet, but nearly as functional in the field.
     
  23. Mr. Hill

    Mr. Hill Member

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    Does Federal make the Fusion in 7.62x39? Or a Winchester power point?
     
  24. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Winchester makes a soft point in 7.62x39 and I used one to take a spike buck 2 years ago at 100 yards. Since then I started handloading and I looked at the excellent 160-grain FTX Hornady bullets designed for the 30-30. I have not been disappointed. Its accuracy and terminal ballistics are superb for whitetails. Loaded with a slightly compressed load of RL-7, it will deliver over 1K ft. lbs. at 200 yards.

    I reach for my bolt action 7.62x39 these days before the Win. 94 30-30 I've had since I was 14. With LeverEvolution rounds, the 30-30 is 150 fps faster than my x39, but my x39 is much more accurate.

    Anyone who is a fan of the 7.62x39 round really owes it to themselves to get a bolt action rifle to hunt with in that caliber. You will find it is an incredibly capable hunting rig and fun and cheap to shoot too. I think Ruger will hit it out of the park with their American Ranch in that caliber.
     
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  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, okay, but I really bought the SKS because, I mean, for 75 bucks, why not? I dressed it up and decided it would make a good hog gun for night hunting and that's what it is, now, at least for me, though I have taken a couple of deer in daylight with it. :D One was taken with the iron sights, a nice 9 pointer. And, why reach for a x39 bolt gun when I have a nice little compact .308? Nah, I can live without the bolt, though I'm not saying it wouldn't get the job done, far from it. :D

    Thanks for the tip on the 160 partition. :D
     
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