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Old October 13, 2002, 09:25 PM   #1
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Best 7.62 X 39 ammo for hunting deer?

Anyone had any experiance using 7.62 X 39 on deer? Does anyone make a factory load with Ballistic Tip bullets?

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Old October 13, 2002, 10:11 PM   #2
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I regard this cartridge, as well as the .223, as marginal for deer. Sure, they'll kill a deer, but I believe that one's skill should be well above average and that shot placement demands more precision than when using cartridges like the .243 and above.

I've seen ads for soft-point ammo, but none mentioning premium bullets.

Others here have mentioned success in deer-hunting with the 7.62x39, but they limit the range at which shots are taken.

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Old October 14, 2002, 12:00 AM   #3
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Soft points are pretty much essential for any consistency with this round. Hollowpoints might actually be useful, but most guns that fire this round don't like them.
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Old October 14, 2002, 12:11 AM   #4
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Remington makes soft point Core Lokts.
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Old October 14, 2002, 12:45 AM   #5
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If you're using a bolt action, just handload with 150 grains. These are fine for deer. The smaller 125 grains have a poor sectional density and tend to fall apart rather than penetrate.
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Old October 14, 2002, 08:38 AM   #6
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as the 7.62 ruskie is close to the 30-30 win ballistically, it is more than adequate at reasonable ranges with soft point bullets. my wife shot a nice doe with a federal softpoint from her MAK90 and it went less than 30 yards. total penetration, excellent expansion, and the chest cavity was as full of blood as had the doe been shot with any responsible deer caliber. if struck in the vitals, the 7.62x39 stops deer quickly.
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Old October 14, 2002, 11:47 AM   #7
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My son will be shooting a bolt action CZ527 in 7.62 X 39. I'd prefer a good factory load, but if necessary I will handload some rounds. I just didn't want to have to buy dies, shell holder and brass. In a couple years he will be shooting something bigger anyway. With surplus FMJ stuff readily available, I won't be doing any reloading of this round in the future.

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Old October 14, 2002, 06:18 PM   #8
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PMC makes 125gr soft-point load expressly for the SKS. It uses the same bullet they load in their 30-30 Win loads for deer hunting. This is the best shooting ammo in my sporterized SKS (glassbed, trigger @ 3 pounds, scoped with custom low mount), often turning in 5-shot group just over an inch @ 100 yards.

I'd agree that I'd limit shots to 100 yards or so. Although my Dad once took a whitetail @ > 200 yards with a 30-30 & peep sight, but then, he was a 1000 yard (not 100 ) champion.

Check out the PMC stuff - it's great. Wolf also now markets a 150gr soft-point load that is getting a good writeup.

I would NOT use any mil-surplus soft-points for deer ...
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Old October 14, 2002, 06:22 PM   #9
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Buy the softpoint made by PMC ! It's made for deer and uses the same bullet their 30-30 Win ammo uses. My SKS loves it and shoots 5-shots to 1.5" groups @ 100 yards, as long as I let the barrel cool for shots 3-5.

I use it as my nasty, nasty weather deer rifle - fully sporterized, glassbed, scoped with a custom low receiver mount, and tuned to a crisp 3.5 pound trigger.
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Old October 14, 2002, 06:57 PM   #10
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Federal make a soft point also that I took my first deer with back in 85?-87? when they first intro'd the Mini-30.

I'm not sure if they even still produce it.....
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Old October 14, 2002, 09:00 PM   #11
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I can't believe more people don't know about the load I use. The Cor-Bon 150 grain soft-point at 2300 fps! Shoots 1 1/2" groups (5 shots) out of my Mini 30. Yes, I'm serious! Let the barrel cool a full minute between shots.

I've taken deer, coyote, and a 200 lb. boar with these. Never needed a second shot.
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Old October 14, 2002, 09:00 PM   #12
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Georgia Arms loads a 125 grain Ballistic Tip bullet in 7.62X39 at 2400 fps.

Check the following link...

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Old October 14, 2002, 09:32 PM   #13
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Old October 14, 2002, 11:59 PM   #14
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Old October 15, 2002, 06:06 AM   #15
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I've taken pigs with my VEPR II.

Don't use Wolf. It's underloaded. The Corbon and PMC is petty good... Federal isn't too bad either.

Stay within 125 yards. After that, the round doesn't have enough oomph for a clean kill.
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Old October 15, 2002, 08:05 AM   #16
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Mark King beat me to it, I too was going to mention the option of G-A Ballistic Tips. Georgia Arms manufactures some fine ammo; I must have purchase a few thousand rounds from them by now (but who keeps track, right?).

Heck, those 150gr Cor-Bons inGobwetrust mentioned look like winners for sure! I wonder if the gas piston should be removed for a round like that.

One word of caution... those "Hunting" 7.62x39 hollow points sold by Wolf and others certainly don't expand. They tumble, just like an FMJ. Why they market them as "hunting ammunition" must be an importation and marketing ploy.

Stick with American commercial SP ammunition.
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Old October 15, 2002, 08:26 AM   #17
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You hit the nail on the head concerning the wolf HP which are really an open tipped bullet just like the Sierra Match King bullets they market as HP but are not made for expansion. If you look there is no cavity in the lead core.

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Old October 15, 2002, 08:37 AM   #18
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A magazine of Wolf 122gr HPs seems to work well..
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Old October 15, 2002, 12:48 PM   #19
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I used the cheapist hollow point ammo I could find (MAK-90)...Might have been Wolf. 60yd shot on the run. Dropped in its tracks. OK so I hit it in the spine =)
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Old October 15, 2002, 01:24 PM   #20
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Norma made a super-hot 130 gr load for a while, supposedly for the Mini-30. It's ballisticly very similar to a 30-30. In the CZ 527 it should be a great deer cartridge.
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Old October 16, 2002, 07:56 PM   #21
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The bullet they're using is really effective on soft skinned animals, guys.
The 125gr JHP load they have ain't too bad either, but some guns are sorta snooty about it. Most MINI 30's do quite well with it.
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Old October 17, 2002, 12:40 PM   #22
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Wolf has a new 154 grain soft pointo ut for it. havent shot any of the 80 rounds ive got so i dont kow how they work.

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Old October 17, 2002, 06:33 PM   #23
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IMHO the best deal going in hunting ammo for the 7.62x39 is the Barnaul 123gr JSP round. has it for $109/M delivered. It has a real lead core copper jacket soft point bullet. While this bullet won't put Nosler or Barnes out of business, it actually performs like a soft point is expected to. It is steel cased, Berdan primed and non corossive. The cases are not reloadable (as a practical process) but at 11 cents per round, who cares?

The Russian "hollow points" in the 7.62x39 are really steel jacketed FMJ rounds with a very little hole drilled in the nose. They do not expand at all. The reason for the "hollow point" is so that they can be imported/sold as "sporting ammo" rather than bad "military" ammo or horror of horrors "combat" ammo. The ammo itself is great for practice and, of course shootin' & blastin' but it should not be thought of as we would normally think of hollow point ammo that will expand quickly.

Try the Barnaul. It's cheap and it's good.

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Old October 19, 2002, 02:35 AM   #24
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This all depends on which rifle you're shooting.

In an AK47 out to 100 meters you'll be OK. At 200 meters the bullet drops 21", at 300 meters it's 32" and so on.

Don't know the ballistics of other 7.62 X 39 rifles though.


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Old October 20, 2002, 04:17 PM   #25
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hey Lefty: My SKS loves it and shoots 5-shots to 1.5" groups @ 100 yards, as long as I let the barrel cool for shots 3-5.

You have to shoot at a deer that many times to hit it?

Kidding aside, the PMC stuff is darn good in my SKS too. I would not hesitate to hunt deer with this combination.
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