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Old September 19, 2012, 08:21 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,258
I'll make my comments. Starting with nobody has said you can't kill an elk with the 7.62 x 39, just that it isn't the greatest elk caliber available, but its what YOU have available, cool. Basic concept is to keep within your range, within the cartridge's range and go forth (oddly very sound advice no matter what you are hunting for or with, whether it be elk and a 338 Win mag, or a .30-30 and whitetails). Personally while I am not a big fan of the 7.62x39 I am not a hater either. Plenty of elk have been killed with things like .30-30 and. .243 doesn't make it perfect, just that you have some more limitations. My biggest concern with your choice is the 3" at 100 yards with iron sights, why not add a scope and see if the groups shrink, and the bullet and YMMV here but when you get to rounds that are a little lacking in the power dept. I start thinking heavier bullets and better construction say maybe a Barnes X or Nosler Partition in165 grain range assuming you reload or can find such ammo. The other comment I will make, is with a rifle/cartridge/shooter combo shooting 3" groups at 100 yards I wouldn't ever shoot for the neck or head, I have personally recovered/found at least 6 deer in my life that have had a jaw shot off, bullet hole through the throat etc. Including one I shot in the head with a .280 Rem at less than 100 yards, she never even fell down, ran off like a miss and stopped to look around and I put a second bullet through her shoulders. there was a very nice bullet hole in her skull but missed the brain, had she not stopped for the second shot I would have assumed a clean miss and condemed her to a slow death. Bullets through the lungs with expansion and a good exit will kill them, you might trail it a 100 yards or so but it will be dead, thats why I would tend to lean more toward something that would hold together and punch through that big old chest i.e. Partition, grand slam, Barnes etc. however in the end it is your hunt, and your choice as long as its legal.
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