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View Full Version : SKS for antelope? Why?


Wyoredman
January 24, 2012, 02:03 PM
Being winter and nine months untill hunting season starts again here in Wyoming, I have been rflecting on last years' hunts.

All these memories got me thinking about a fella I ran into while pronghorn hunting last season. This gentelman was from out of state and was hunting with an old SKS. I know for a fact that he had spent $575 on his licenses and who knows how much on the trip to Wyoming. It seemed odd to me that he did not have a hunting rifle. At first thought I just assumed he couldn't afford a hunting rifle, but then a good cheap used rifle chambered in a hunting caliber can be purchased for nearly the same price as a SKS.

I guess it kind of seems like he was using the wrong tool. Like a carpenter using a hatchet to frame a house. It would get the job done, but a framing hammer would be much more suited to the task at hand.

What are your feelings about using SKS/AK type rifles for hunting?

skywag
January 24, 2012, 02:09 PM
Dead is dead.

jaguarxk120
January 24, 2012, 02:15 PM
For the wide open hunting of Wyoming I would choose something else.

FrankenMauser
January 24, 2012, 02:21 PM
It isn't the wrong tool if you are aware of, and use it within its limitations.

I hunt Pronghorn with anything that tickles my fancy. Last year, I had a Russian SKS and an M38 (7.62x54R) along for the ride. Other years have seen an 1895 Krag (.30-40 Krag), a 20 ga shotgun with slugs, and/or a Marlin 336 (.30-30). Every year sees a .44 Mag Super Blackhawk.

If you know how to use it, understand the limitations, and get the job done... it isn't the wrong tool.

This year, I'm taking a .444 Marlin on the Antelope hunt. ...but I'm planning to only use the Blackhawk to fill my tags.

I was taught that Antelope hunting required a good long-range rifle. Over time, experience showed me otherwise. Not only do I hunt in the plains now (I grew up hunting speed goats in the hills), but my average kill shot is about 100 yards.


As for the SKS...
I hesitate to approve of the rifle, but I did hunt with one, myself. Mine was very accurate (it was a Russian, after all), but I know it was an exception. I have taken most of my Antelope with a .270 Winchester. I'll stick to my statement above, though: If you know how to use it, understand the limitations, and get the job done... it isn't the wrong tool.

jmr40
January 24, 2012, 02:21 PM
It wouldn't be anywhere near my 1st choice, but lots of guys prefer to hunt with guns that are far from ideal. Some guys like the challenge and hunt them with muzzle loaders, bows, handguns, etc. As long as he was happy, I'm happy.

I take a different attitude when asked about choosing a gun for SD,or hunting something that could eat me. I want only the best. But most hunting is for fun, and I have no problems with folks using whatever brings them pleasure.

jimbob86
January 24, 2012, 02:21 PM
Two guesses:

1) He was out to prove something to somebody, such as "The SKS is capable of taking any game in North America." or some such. In that case, I'd like to see the video of when he tries to tackle the Grizzly.

2) He is trying to handicap himself..... some use a bow.... hell, I saw a video this AM of a teenaged girl that took a 200 lb wild boar ......with a SPEAR.

overkill0084
January 24, 2012, 02:35 PM
How'd it work out for him? If he got what he came for, then it was probably good enough.

Wyoredman
January 24, 2012, 03:01 PM
I don't know how it work out for him.

I do have to say that I don't care that he was using that particular rifle, it just seemed a bit odd to me. Not many people in Wyoming use that type of weapon for hunting.

I also have to say that the guy seemed to be nice enough gentelman when we met but he did seem a bit out of place in the Wyoming high desert.

Maybe he didn't know any different?

Just a curiosity.

rickyrick
January 24, 2012, 05:19 PM
I used to think using a bow was odd,but now I understand

Daryl
January 24, 2012, 06:07 PM
I've killed a couple of nice antelope bucks with my bow. Can't see how an SKS wouldn't do well enough, used within it's limitations.

Over the years, I've killed some various game animals with what might be considered unconventional weapons. Stuff like javalinas with a .40 S&W and such.

As long as the shooter can hit their target at the range they shoot to, it shouldn't be a problem.

Kreyzhorse
January 26, 2012, 09:08 PM
An SKS wouldn't be my first choice either but that isn't to say it can't get the job done. I've killed antelope at 300 yards but I've also killed them at 10 yards.

If the gentleman knows his limitations and sticks within them, I see no problem using an SKS or an AK. The 7.62x39 will certainly drop an antelope if the shooter can make the shot he is taking.

johnwilliamson062
January 29, 2012, 12:23 AM
An SKS is inherently much more accurate than an AK and plenty powerful. If you got a good one or did a little tweaking on one you could easily make 100 yard shots with one. Probably from a bit longer range actually.

tahunua001
January 30, 2012, 02:17 AM
I'm not the end all be all on pronghorn hunting but pronghorn "should be" a prairie animal. prairie hunting requires the ability to make very long shots out to 500 yards, I just dont think 7.62x39 has that ability. with that said, if you've found a way to get within 250 yards of said animals(within 150 preferable) I don't foresee any problems at all.

Art Eatman
January 30, 2012, 09:21 AM
Going the other direction: On my one and only antelope hunt, I figured ahead of time that my '06 was probably an "overkill" choice. However, I was much more "married up with it" than any of my other rifles. More likely to make a precise hit. And, sure enough, I did.

I figure that if a fella is all married up with some particular rifle, he likely can do things with it that sorta startle the casual observer...

Wyoredman
January 30, 2012, 02:57 PM
It did do that! Startle me, that is!

L_Killkenny
January 31, 2012, 12:29 PM
To each his own but on my budget there is no way I'm gonna pay the fees and associated travel costs for an out of state hunt and use an SKS, capable or not. Heck, I wouldn't even use one on an in-state hunt. My time spent in the woods is valuable and success is part of the experience. I no longer feel no need to handicap myself with a handgun or crappy rifle for the sake of fair play. Now that's not to say I won't use a muzzle loader if the season requires it or a handgun if there was a handgun only season or even an SKS if some clown thought up a special SKS only season but I'll only get so many shots a critters in my life, I'll use the best tool for the job and then let the chips fall where they may.

LK

jimbob86
January 31, 2012, 12:59 PM
To each his own but on my budget there is no way I'm gonna pay the fees and associated travel costs for an out of state hunt and use an SKS, capable or not. Heck, I wouldn't even use one on an in-state hunt.

Correct me if I'm wrong, LK, but IIRC, Iowegians are not allowed to hunt game with a centerfire rifle...... there's seasons for ML, shotgun and handgun, but no rifle season......

L_Killkenny
January 31, 2012, 01:10 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, LK, but IIRC, Iowegians are not allowed to hunt game with a centerfire rifle...... there's seasons for ML, shotgun and handgun, but no rifle season......

We do have a January anterless season for rifles in the southern 2 tiers of counties. Hoping that they'll start letting us use pistol caliber guns statewide for deer in the future but not holding my breath. Other than that "game" is a broad term. Centerfires are fine for all other game in Iowa.

LK

jimbob86
January 31, 2012, 01:15 PM
Centerfires are fine for all other game in Iowa.



:confused:

What "game" (as opposed to varmits) is legal to shoot with a centerfire rifle in Iowa?

I did not know of the anlerless late season in the southern tiers.... learn somethin', occasionally......

JerryM
January 31, 2012, 01:30 PM
I would not even consider an SKS for antelope. Actually I would not have an SKS.
Having said that if I were to see a great trophy at 400-500 yards using an SKS I would get ill. Hunting was a serious matter to me, and to use junk guns would not ever be acceptable. I liked the outdoors and scenery, but I was hunting basically to take game.

Jerry

L_Killkenny
January 31, 2012, 01:33 PM
What "game" (as opposed to varmits) is legal to shoot with a centerfire rifle in Iowa?


Predators, furbearers, varmints, small game, maybe even pheasants. Don't ask me why you'd want to centerfire a pheasant:confused: but I don't think it's illegal.

Off limits to all rifles including rimfires: Muskrat, Beaver, Turkey, Geese, Duck (I think), maybe a couple more I didn't think of.

LK

Poodleshooter
January 31, 2012, 03:56 PM
SKS are usually just as accurate as a 30/30 Winchester 94 or Marlin 336, and I doubt there would be too much talk against using those old favorites for pronghorn. All three are exceedingly common hunting rifles in the east. There was some talk during the 90s, when SKS cost about $90 or so and were prolific in every gunshow, that the SKS might displace the lever action 30/30 as the most common woods rifle in the east due to the low cost and availability of cheap ammunition.
So from that perspective, I don't see why an SKS wouldn't work for shots under 300yds.

L_Killkenny
January 31, 2012, 04:43 PM
Never seen an SKS as accurate as the average Winchester or Marlin .30-30, don't see anyone here or anywhere for that matter touting them as a great or even good choice for an out of state antelope hunt and popular in the east? How many antelope do they have in the east? BTW, you're 14" low at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero.

LK

jimbob86
January 31, 2012, 08:12 PM
Never seen an SKS as accurate as the average Winchester or Marlin .30-30

Challenge Accepted.

It may take awhile due to shortage of funds, but I am intrigued....

I also submit to you that, while a 4MOA rifle is considered atrocious 'round here, it would be more than adequate for antelope to 150 yards: 4MOA @150 yards is aproximately 6" dispersion from POA, no? Assuming the shooter does his part, 6" in any direction from the center of a speed goats chest would result in a fatal sucking chest wound..... those enormous lungs are wonderful at putting the speed in the speedgoat, but they also make a large target, too....

Poodleshooter
February 1, 2012, 07:20 PM
Never seen an SKS as accurate as the average Winchester or Marlin .30-30
You must have some stupendous Winchesters or Marlins out in Iowa. Out here, groups under 2" at 100yds with any of the 3 are cause for celebration. On a good day, my Winchester is a 3MOA gun at close range-just about the same as an average SKS.

BTW, you're 14" low at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero.
This rainbow trajectory issue is no doubt why no antelope were killed prior to the advent of the 30/30 in the 1890s, and why to this day none fall to muzzleloaders. :rolleyes:

Is the SKS a great gun for antelope-no one is claiming that. Is it adequate? Sure! Is it powerful enough? Most certainly. We may not have antelope in the east, but I know they fall down dead just the same as whitetails and any other thin skinned game of that weight.

BIG P
February 1, 2012, 11:55 PM
Whats that old saying,Beware of the old man with one gun he knows how to use it.;):D

Old Grump
February 3, 2012, 02:08 PM
He could have been a collector and likes to shoot what he collects. I have other guns but sometimes I just have to take out the old M1 Garand for deer hunting. In fact It was my only choice when I lived in New Mexico. If it was good enough for shooting 1000 yard matches it was certainly good enough for 200 yard deer. :D

Jack O'Conner
February 7, 2012, 12:37 PM
Up until about 1894, ALL hunting cartrdiges had rainbow trajectories yet 'lopes still got clobbered. Heck, modern archers topple many pronghorns each year, too.

The widespread myth of only long shots for western game animals is commonly accepted.

Jack

Gunplummer
February 7, 2012, 01:48 PM
I remember when Gun Writers were trying to convince people that the 7.62 x 39 was equal to the 30-30. Or not. Depends which side you were on. I had been using a custom bolt gun for years in that caliber for whitetail and still would get an earful from the experts. Use what you want if it is legal.

HOGSHOOTER
February 7, 2012, 05:41 PM
Use both SKS and AKS for hogshooting.Never had to shoot twice those 130TSX are mean to those hogs shoot out to 150 meters with no probelm.killed a 330lb boar at 145 meters enough said i think.HOGSHOOTER

Wyoredman
February 7, 2012, 05:51 PM
I don't own a SKS, but I do own a AK in 7.62x39. That being said, it never dawned on me to take it hunting untill I saw this fella with his, hunting antelope. I do not begrudge him, but I like my hunting rifles when hunting.

I'm sure he had a good time!

MJN77
February 7, 2012, 06:08 PM
I had been using a custom bolt gun for years in that caliber for whitetail and still would get an earful from the experts

There always seems to be a lot of "experts" around, and never enough people that really know what they're talking about. While I don't think I would use an SKS or AK as a hunting rifle, I believe that they would be just as good as any other rifle as long as you hit what you are shooting at. Isn't that what matters? A good solid hit with a SKS is better than a miss with a 300 mag.

FairWarning
February 19, 2012, 01:11 PM
Good commercial 7.62x39 is slightly inferior to 30-30, whcih I consider the baseline for whitetail, let alone antelope. Any kind of Russian surplus 7.62x39 is well inferior to 30-30 and simply not worth it to me unless you have no other choice. The round and the guns that shoot it are generally inferior to 30-30, but you can spray hundreds of them against 2 legged predators, the true calling of SKS/AK platforms.

4sixteen
February 19, 2012, 04:03 PM
Pronghorns aren't all that wary, and depending on the terrain can be stalked fairly closely. It seems to be more of a stunt to be using an open-sighted SKS on pronghorns just to see if it can be done. :cool:

samsmix
February 19, 2012, 05:30 PM
Having shot a good many Speed Goats in eastern MT (terrain like Wyoming), I can tell you with authority that the SKS in 7.62x39mm, while not my first choice, would be a fine Antelope rifle and catridge to about 300yards. Yes, you are 14" low at that range, but given the gun's 6 O'clock style sights a backline hold at 300 yards will strike the vitals. I have a friend who uses one on mulies, and when he shoots they die. He won't shoot beyond 300yds, because not only is the bullet running out of killing power, 300 is the limit of his ability to keep his shots on a paper plate/the vitals.

Will the little 123gr bullet shoot diagonally through the hip bone to the far side shoulder? No. But even with a 7mm Mag 150gr neither he nor I would take such a shot. From the front, side, or quartering to, this bullet WILL kill any deer or antelope you hit correctly with it.

Before you try it though, be sure to practice that two-stage military trigger, as it is the key to shooting the SKS accuratly