I do not doubt anything you said in this reply. Thank you for your encouragement. I feel good about the 7.62 x39. In a bolt gun it just seems "right."
I scouted this hunt—it is very tough terrain and I didn't see a shot over 100 yards in the 5 or 6 miles that I covered. If it's not strewn with wood then it's all up and down like a giant washboard. I do know now that there's no way I can backpack in to hunt and have to hunt light with a smaller pack, from an outer camp.
On an original note I took the rifle apart and gave the barrel channel an extra coat of True-oil. Looks like the weather is changing and could be wet. I am going to wax the stock down before I go.