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View Full Version : 7.62 x 39mm for deer hunting?


keita
February 20, 2007, 02:02 AM
Hey fellas, I've got a question. I'm gonna get together with some buddies in the cabin in NC for poker playing, duck hunting, and perhaps deer hunting. I'm flying, so I can take 2 long guns with me. In addition to hunting, we like to just shoot around skeet and plink by the river in front of the cabin.

I was planning to take my shotgun to shoot skeet and duck, and my AK-47 that I want to show my buddies to shoot around/plink, and thiking about deer hunting since stands are set up in fairly dense woods and the longest shots are not going to be more than 50 yards. 50 yard bench grouping with open sight has been about an inch, so accuracy shouldn't be a big issue.

Of course I'll get a hold of 5-round mags and some decent hollow-points to hunt in addition of loads of steel-cased Russina ammunition to plink with, but I was wondering what y'all thought about 7.62x39mm for deer hunting??

DonR101395
February 20, 2007, 02:07 AM
I don't see a problem with it. Ballistics are similar to a 30-30 out to 100 yards. As long as you keep the distance reasonable, choose suitable ammo and don't tell Zumbo. You should be ok.

Jseime
February 20, 2007, 02:14 AM
I have seen it done and its not pretty. My brother attempted to take down a small mule deer buck with his SKS and when we were cleaning it we pulled out five fully expanded bullets. He shot it at 20 yards and the first round didnt even penetrate fully. Do yourself a favour especially if you are going to be in dense wooded areas shooting from a treestand and use enough gun.

banditt007
February 20, 2007, 02:16 AM
yup, a lot like the 30-30, which is said to be the all time most popular deer hunting cartridges of all time.

Maybe others can chime in, but what i remember seeing during 'back yard' tests was that the hollow point 7.62x39 dosent expand well/wont expand. I want to say you would be better off with soft points.

Also if you can get a hold of some slugs, that can group decent, at 50 yards you wont get much better than a 12 gauge slug in a deers vitals. expansion or not its already aprox 3/4" hole. a nice 'drain hole' already.

hoytinak
February 20, 2007, 03:08 AM
I've hunted with an SKS when I was younger with no problems. Only shot two whitetail with it, one was about 50 yards the other about 100. Both nice clean shots. As long as your AK setup legal for hunting....at short ranges you shoot be ok.

Csspecs
February 20, 2007, 03:09 AM
I think that with 150 grain soft points an AK-47 makes a dandy hunting rifle. Heck I am setting up an AK based shotgun (saiga) for duck hunting.

"AK-47 for when you absolutely have to kill every deer in the woods, accept no substitute."

hoytinak
February 20, 2007, 03:30 AM
yeah the 150gr soft points are what i used with both deer and both were good clean kills

WeedWacker
February 20, 2007, 04:55 AM
I don't understand why a 7.62 x 39 would not penetrate a deer if it can punch through some APC armor like the LAV 25 (this information is correct, I have it from a marine who works and drives one of them. Plus he's my best friend and now I'm worried :eek: )

And I don't think the Siaga ak type shotgun is even legal for duck unless you have only three shots (a plug is required in the states I hunt in if it's a pump/autoloader) But I think it would be good for turkey or pheasant and upland birds.

Long Path
February 20, 2007, 05:04 AM
Weedwacker, military AK ammo is usually steel core FMJ. It penetrates much better than even the lead-core FMJ sold here lately. But most ethical hunters use an expanding bullet when hunting, so a hollowpoint or softpoint lead core bullet is used. The traditional weight 7.62X39 bullet, which is also offered as an expanding bullet, is a good deal lighter than the newer, better, heavier 150 hunting load.

For careful shots on unaware deer, I wouldn't have a problem with 7.62X39 for deer hunting, using the heavier bullet loads.

But don't kid yourself that it's a semi-auto .30-30 (which is considered by many to be the minimum yardstick for deer hunting)-- it's not.

22-rimfire
February 20, 2007, 11:10 AM
I have mixed feelings on the subject as some know. As was said, the 7.62x39 is similar to the 30-30 win. Yes, it is big enough for whitetail deer at modest ranges. Use expandable bullets and make sure that it is legal in NC with regard to magazine capacity etc. You could just as easily said you wanted to take your Ruger 7.62x39 Ranch rifle.

The other side of me says you should leave it at home and take a more traditional hunting rifle. It is one of those quandries that I find myself in with regard to 2A rights, firearm ownership, and hunting. I really don't want to see ownership of these firearms restricted in any way, but I prefer to see hunters with more traditional firearms and exercise good judgement so that the anti-hunting folks don't get their feathers more ruffled than they are. I know John Kerry did not have the semi-automatic AK's in mind when he said he did not want to restrict hunting rifles or shotguns. Didn't believe him for a minute. There is the quandry.

If Zumbo had just said something like this, maybe he would not be in the hot water he is presently in. He would be just expressing his opinion about prudent choices of rifles for hunting. He just took the issue too far with the terrorist thing and so forth. The AR fans would still get their feathers ruffled somewhat. I know, what about an AR in 308 caliber? I think varmint hunting with an AR would be a blast.

If the AK floats your boat, use it. Try for a one shot kill.

Jseime
February 20, 2007, 12:42 PM
I don't understand why a 7.62 x 39 would not penetrate a deer if it can punch through some APC armor like the LAV 25 (this information is correct, I have it from a marine who works and drives one of them. Plus he's my best friend and now I'm worried )

Different bullet types. I'm not saying that the 7.62X39 cant kill deer it can I've helped field dress them but I am saying that it is not the best choice for the job. If you are a good enough shot and know the area and select your shots carefully you can take a deer down, however be prepared to track. I think you would be better served with a .270 or .30-06 in a rifle designed for hunting as opposed to spray and pray.

Csspecs
February 20, 2007, 01:53 PM
And I don't think the Siaga ak type shotgun is even legal for duck unless you have only three shots (a plug is required in the states I hunt in if it's a pump/autoloader) But I think it would be good for turkey or pheasant and upland birds.

There are two round magazines. For upland birds the five round mag will be used.

I have a saiga in .308 21.8" that I am converting to a AK stock set I made. Should be good for deer.

I think you would be better served with a .270 or .30-06 in a rifle designed for hunting as opposed to spray and pray.


Always good to post about stuff that you don't have a clue about. At 50 yards even a shot out AK should keep inside of 4-5 inches, and a good one is more like 3-5 at 100 yards.

Jseime
February 20, 2007, 03:15 PM
All I was saying is that the AK was designed mainly as a full-auto battle rifle while the modern sporting bolt-action is designed to shoot slowly with precision at longer distances.

If the AK is anything like the SKS I own, and I think it is, the accuracy is not on the same level as my Ruger M77, at any range. I don't like to use something for a task it was not designed to do.

Csspecs
February 20, 2007, 03:21 PM
Then stay away from .30-30 lever actions.

Some people hunt in swamp land or dense brush, in the area I hunt 100 yards is a long shot that you rarely see. If most of your deer shooting will be at around 50 yards AKs and SKS rifles can get the job done.

Oh your from Canada, deer are large up there right? South Carolina deer are about 120 pounds right? So the 7.62x39 is more than enough, I know of people that use .223rem on deer here in the south as they are about 75-85 pounds and the round is big enough.

sanson
February 20, 2007, 03:21 PM
7.62x39 is OK for deer @75yds or less.. but I would prefer a good bolt gun

sanson
February 20, 2007, 03:25 PM
marlin 30-30 grouping is 1.5"@100yds.. accuracy falls between a good bolt gun and a gasser. now watch the AR guys start screaming:D

Csspecs
February 20, 2007, 03:31 PM
Never seen 1.5 inch groups from a lever action, best my friends get with theirs is about 3-5 inches. And I get the same kind of groups from my Yugo SKS, but my ammo is 3.29 a box and theirs is 15.00 so I can target shoot more.

And as far as this little debate goes, there are many people that hunt deer with buckshot, and I know that my SKS is better after 30 yards than buckshot.

sanson
February 20, 2007, 03:37 PM
7.62x39 will kill deer nicely close range. my buddy and I shoot regularly at cans for therapy. my levergun outshoots his sks with either of us shooting it

sanson
February 20, 2007, 07:12 PM
I have nothing against hunting with an sks or any 7.62x39 gas-gun. I only suggest with the price of a used 30-30 being as low as they are, it would be a more common choice.
edit: my first choice would be a bolt gun in .243,.270 or .308

oldbillthundercheif
February 20, 2007, 07:15 PM
As long as nice, expanding ammunition is used and you stay kosher with all the local regulations, I don't see a problem.

XLT
February 20, 2007, 07:17 PM
Sanson... I was replying to the "Gamemaster"

XLT
February 20, 2007, 07:23 PM
Bag-full of dittos, Don

sanson
February 20, 2007, 07:27 PM
no problems here :)

rem33
February 20, 2007, 07:54 PM
If I was buying a gun for deer hunting I would pick a more powerful caliber. If all I had was 7.62X39 I would feel OK with good hunting ammo if shots were not to far.

Greybeard
February 20, 2007, 08:01 PM
Quote: "50 yard bench grouping with open sight"

That's great - but likely in good light. Other than what's been mentioned, the only potential major problem I see is probable inability to get a good sight picture in the first and last few minutes of legal shooting hours. That's where a good scope often helps.

Jseime
February 20, 2007, 10:14 PM
Oh your from Canada, deer are large up there right? South Carolina deer are about 120 pounds right? So the 7.62x39 is more than enough, I know of people that use .223rem on deer here in the south as they are about 75-85 pounds and the round is big enough.

Yeah we have big deer biiiiiiiiig deer, I'm sure you've heard of the Hanson Buck, he was shot in a piece of bush an hour from my house.

If anything I like to be over-gunned to a certain extent, my .270 took two deer with two shots and no tracking whatsoever required this season, I have seen too many deer shot with a 30-30 or a 7.62X39 that needed to be tracked down and finished with my .270.

22-rimfire
February 20, 2007, 10:27 PM
Choose the right ammunition and you will be okay. Take careful shots. The other discussions are simply a side bar.

There seems to be little middle ground on these discussions concerning using battle rifles for hunting. If you feel the use of semi-automatic battle rifles for hunting is inappropriate, then you're against the right to keep and bear arms in totality which is pure bull. There are a lot of passionate people with strong opinions on this topic.

WeedWacker
February 20, 2007, 10:34 PM
Never seen 1.5 inch groups from a lever action

Done it. 6x scope on a marlin .30-30 and a benchrest helps.

claude783
February 20, 2007, 10:35 PM
Practice with the cheap ammo. Then, purchase a couple of boxes of the 150 gr. soft point. It will work just fine!

As far as the liberals are concerned, they get upset when they see your kid playing with a squirt gun, so don't really care what the political correct crowd thinks. When the lights go out, it will be the "gun" nut next door they will be flocking to for "protection".

During the Rodney King riots here in Los Angeles, many a liberal became a conservative 2nd amendment adocate. My foreman at work, his wife was "anti-gun" until the unruly mob was about two blocks from their house, then it was "buy" the biggest gun you can get. However, they were suddenly disturbed when they discovered there was a 15 day waiting period...today they own 3 guns, and are pro-2nd.

keita
February 20, 2007, 11:15 PM
Thanks for all those who posted useful information.



To everyone else with good info, thanks again and I'll find myself a good HP or softpoint that would work.

I would take my bolt gun if I had the space, but as I explained initially, the space is limited and versatility is important here.