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Old April 30, 2017, 01:12 AM   #26
bamaranger
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30-30 v. 7.62x39mm

One of the issued to watch out for when comparing velocities with the above two calibers from the catalogs, is to pay attention to barrel length. A common tendency for many years was to list velocities of assorted calibers from test barrels that were not reflective of actual sporting rifle barrel lengths.

As an example, many, if not most, velocities for "rifle" cartridges were taken from 24" test barrels, which yielded speeds higher than what the shorter barrels from sporting rifles could produce. Consider the M94, in its most common guise, has a 20" barrel. Many other bolt sporters in that era were coming off the line with 22" barrels.....though we seem to be back to 24" in some models these days.

Point is, compare actual velocities. These days, a chronograph is available at reasonable prices to anybody that really wants one. Mine makes a liar out of me all the time. Here are some velocities from my x39 rifles with assorted loads:
Ruger 77MkII w/ 20" bbl
135 gr Sierra PSP..........................2130 fps (mild)
110 gr Speer Spire Pt....................2330(mild)
123 gr Hornady SST.......................2225
150 gr Hornady RN (for .30WCF).....1900 (mild)

Ruger Mini 30 w/ 18.5 bbl
135 gr Sierra..........................2080(mild)
135 gr Sierra...........................2182( hotter)
110 Speer................................2100(mild)
123 Zombie Max factory (SST).....2080
150 gr Hornady RN, .30WCF.........1800(mild)

As the 135 gr Sierra bullet is no more, no point in experimenting with the few I have left, but I believe that I could safely get that bullet weight over 2250 fps from the bolt rifle. At its rather relaxed 2130, I killed a whopper 180 lb whitetail with a heart shot that ran about 50 yds, a shoulder shot 2-1/2 year old was DRT, as was another whopper at 175 that broke the spine. I also believe I could get the 150 gr 30-30 type bullets over 2000 fps from the bolt rifle, but have not tried. The SST at 2225 is pretty near a max load, and bamaboy took a doe with it this year with good wounding and through and through performance with a 60 yd double lung broadside shot. That doe ran into a nearby fence but would not have gone far.

I just don't push the Mini, but results with it are pretty much the same, despite its lower velocities.
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Old April 30, 2017, 04:50 AM   #27
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i guess deer have grown kevler skin since my grandfather had shot several ton of them with a winchester 30-30 carbine, starting in 1913 and i think the older ammo was a 150gr bullet at 2000-2100fps. put the bullet where it needs to go and you will be eating venison. eastbank.
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Old April 30, 2017, 02:00 PM   #28
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The 30-30 used to be the most popular hunting cartridge but it has been replaced with the venerable 30-06.
The 30-30 is still a good deer cartridge within the limits it is used under.
This discussion was about the 7.62x39 and the ethical limits that might govern its use as a deer cartridge. Without more than stating the facts that it is a lower capacity case than the 30-30 and it produces velocities under those of the 30-30 one would assume that its ethical use would be somewhat under that of the 30-30. Just take the two cartridges with the same bullets fired from a gun with the same action and you get a reduction of power in the 7.62x39 from the 30-30.
The range limit on the 30-30 is generally regarded as 150 yards. It would seem to me that the 7.62x39 would have a somewhat lower acceptable ethical range. Keeping the pressure for each cartridge within its norms. The limit of powder capacity keeps the 7.62x39 at lower velocities than the 30-30, especially with heavier bullets.
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Old April 30, 2017, 08:03 PM   #29
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Shootist, the range limitation of the thutty-thuttty is due more to the typically-crappy iron sights than to the ballistics.

Pretty much the same for the typical SKS or AK.
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Old May 1, 2017, 09:40 AM   #30
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I think the ethical distance for any gun has more to do with the shooter then the gun/ammo.

I grew up hunting with my grandmother's cousin. He did all his hunting, large and small game (white tails and hogs were the biggest critters) with a 25-20 pump. He was good with it. We weren't what you call rich, but he was worse off then we were. He fed his family on what he hunted and grew.

They always had meat, not sure he paid a lot of attention to hunting seasons, but back then game wardens didn't mess with subsistence hunters and in reality that is what he was.

I have a 25-20 Rem Model 25, its a great little rabbit gun but I don't think it would be my number one choice for a deer rifle.

Yeah a heavier rifle would have been better, but he didn't have one and couldn't afford one. But he could shoot, and that's what counts regardless of what rifle one shoots.
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Old May 1, 2017, 10:20 AM   #31
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The 30-30 is more than adequate within it's limitations. A family in our church showed a video of one of their son's (he was about age 12 or so at the time) take a mature bull moose with his 30-30 trapper. Now they are avid hunters and his dad was right behind his son's shoulder videoing everything, and the moose turned out onto the trail they were stalking on at about 30 yards away and one shot and the moose immediately fell under it's own weight dead. Now if I remember right the moose was facing them so the shot was right dead center chest shot.

It's more about the circumstances (shooter, distance, orientation of game, etc) than energies. As an ethical hunter who can stalk game, I would imagine a 30-30 could take any game in the lower 48 with the right shot. But there are a lot of hunters who aren't willing to stalk game to shoot within the limitations of a lower energy cartridge, so they go and buy a 300 win mag and fire away, which will help but not alleviate problems associated with a poor shot situation.

I don't buy that the 30-30 is a poor choice for a deer cartridge, it's filled more freezers of meat than any other cartridges I bet.
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Old May 1, 2017, 12:24 PM   #32
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I think the 30-30 is an excellent deer gun. Even shooting an elk wouldn't bother me too much but I would stay within a range that the round was up to the task.
Shoot a moose at 30 yards? I might not but it is a decent range for the 30-30. Would you take that shot at 200 yards? I wouldn't and I don't believe it would be ethical for even the best shooter with a 30-30.(unless he could put the round into the brain or spinal cord)
All guns have their limits due to their velocity and ammunition limitations. As long as you work within their limitations every one is good to take game.
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Old May 1, 2017, 04:08 PM   #33
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Well, I think there's been a bit of thread creep and perhaps the OP was not so clear, although some posters got the point I was trying to get at.

I'll reiterate the situation with a hypothetical scenario: Your family is starving, their freezer is empty and you have a single round of x39.

Suddenly at 100m you see a rabbit next to a small deer, next to a larger deer then a wild boar, the a moose etc... You get the point.

You have one shot to kill the biggest animal you can to feed your family, but if you don't bring it down you'll not get anything.

So which animal do you feel confident the x39 would fell with a single shot (ie ethically kill) reliably enough to get the most meat for your freezer?
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Old May 1, 2017, 08:12 PM   #34
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Well if that's the case the rabbit has to small of a vital area depending on how accurate the rifle is.

I would shoot the biggest animal I was comfortable with. I don't know how to kill a boar so moose or deer.

I have a family friend that only head shoots game. I'm not a fan of it but he thinks an eyesocket is like a funnel to the brain. And he kills enough to feed his family. I prefer a heart/lung shot.
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Old May 1, 2017, 09:33 PM   #35
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I would most definitely go for the moose and if it didn't drop there track it until I found it. It's only 100 yards away. Unless it's in thick brush with a clear shot I would be more hesitant as it could get somewhere without me being able to see it without a blood trail.

Also depends on the bullet if FMJ I would be more apprehensive, if SP, I stand by my answer, there have been lots if success with x39 SP ammo on deer sized game.
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Old May 1, 2017, 11:35 PM   #36
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Probably the moose. I shot a good sized deer in the shoulder at about 70 yards that was trotting past me and it broke the shoulder and dropped it right there. I shot a big doe right between the eyes at about 80 yards with the same gun, but I did have a log to rest on. Last year I shot a doe at about 60 yards through the lungs. It went no farther than any I shot with a 30-30 or a .303 Savage. Savage used to do ads for the .303 with moose in mind. It was really nothing more than a 30-30. If you do not have faith in a cartridge, DON'T USE IT.
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Old May 2, 2017, 06:18 AM   #37
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The 7.62 X 39 is a battle cartridge that has been chambered in some sporting rifles. Despite its origins, it kills deer sized animals quite well out to approx 150 yards or so. But it is not the equivalent of a 30-30 carbine loaded with 170 grain ammo. I doubt if the 7.62 X 39 is a great choice for taking wild hogs except at fairly close distances.

But this cartridge still has a lot going for it: moderate recoil, good accuracy in the right rifles, and affordable ammo. It's bullets are designed for rapid expansion at these moderate velocities which greatly adds to killing power through tissue and organ damage.

I'm a big fan of the CZ 527 carbine!

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Old May 2, 2017, 08:32 AM   #38
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KragWy said.
"I think the ethical distance for any gun has more to do with the shooter then the gun/ammo."

Read that line 5 times and let it sink in.

A man who is very skilled with his ordinary tools will beat an unskilled man with excellent tools 99 times out of 100.

A man with a 7.62X39 who is very skilled in it's use will know from using it that his distance is limited by the shedding of the bullets velocity, so I am not trying to day a 7.62X39 is a good 800 yard deer rifle, even if the accuracy was up to the task.
But any man who has shot his rifle enough to be able to use it, up to the rifle's ballistic limits is gong to be someone that brings home the meat a LOT more than most others do.

Given a proper bullet, I would guess the range to be about 300-350 yards on deer. If men were honest, they would admit a 300 yard ability will cover about 90% of all the shots you will get in your life.

Not every hunter, but most hunters shoot closer, MOST of the time.
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Old May 2, 2017, 11:03 AM   #39
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I have a Bushmaster AR in 7.62x39 and a 16"barrel. I put a holo sight on it and have used it to chase deer in dark timber when I pull a tag for that area. I would be willing to take shots out to 100 yards without thinking, but the usual deer encounter distance is short, brief and 50 yards or so.

I wouldn't use that setup to lob one out 150 yards, and I have a 30-06 and 260 Rem if I were hunting more open ground.
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Old May 8, 2017, 07:36 PM   #40
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It is a respectable question.

I believe we consider minimizing the suffering of our prey,not wasting our prey and,as you pointed out,not wasting the opportunity to feed a hungry family.
All reasonable parameters.

And so I ask,how close can you get to your game?
How precisely can you place your shot?
What is your bullet weight and construction? Or ,in other words,What penetration and wound channel can you expect?
How well do you know your animal's anatomy? Can you see the organs inside?
Are you doing surgery or poking holes in a brown spot?

What were the ethical considerations for a Native Amarican with a precious stone point,a split shaft,and a bow made of natural materials on hand?
Probably not so very different.

The folks who killed grizzlies and bison with a patched round ball,or a 38-40,or 44-40 early Winchester had no ballistic chart. They had a gun.

The often mentioned Karamojo Bell harvested thousands of elephants. Many with a 7x57,with the ammo of the day.
A seat of the pants guess at ballistics would be a 175 gr bullet at 2400 to 2500 fps. Your 7.62 x 39 is approximately a 123 gr bullet at nearly 2400 fps.

I have the luxury of choosing firearms from my safe like golf clubs."I think this calls for my 5 iron" I have a grocery store and a pickup truck.I have the option to not shoot.

Suppose the rifle is an old...what? Marlin or Remington or Winchester,in 25-20 or 32-20.Arguably,small game cartridges.
It might be Grandpa got his deer with the rifle every year for 30 years.

It also might be Grandpa used a .22 to drop a steer when he butchered.

Iknow it takes a certain amount of experience to gain confidence...and sometimes experience is bad experience...

But I have a respect for someone who uses one rifle successfully for a lifetime because "That's the one I always use". Its like the Native American's bow.

I'm skeptical of the guy who pursues a stunt with the game animal bearing all the risk.

I might be the one with the problem,but I'm skeptical of the guy who leaves his 30-30,or 308 ,in the safe and chooses the 25-20 just for the yucks and bragging rights of how little of a gun he can use.

In the book "Use Enough Gun", Robert Ruark (its been a long time) had something to say about using a .220 Swift on African game.

Mr Pond,you will find the ethical choice by looking at yourself in the mirror.

Whether it works,or not,and what it means to you,will not be found on these pages.
Or in any of my opinions.

Pulling a trigger is like that.

Last edited by HiBC; May 8, 2017 at 07:42 PM.
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Old May 9, 2017, 01:14 PM   #41
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I have hunted deer with a 357 and it is a capable deer cartridge from a 6 inch barrel out to 50 yards. There is no way I would use it at 100 yards,
So why are you handicapping yourself?

What happens when you only wound that animal and it takes of and the next time you catch up to the animal or see if when you have tracked it for acouple of hours it is standing up in a clearing 250 yards away

can you take the shot your are ethically obligated to and be sure of putting it out of your misery?
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Old May 9, 2017, 03:52 PM   #42
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When I was pistol hunting I never had to use two shots. I don;t shoot unless I can make a clean kill. I wouldn't take the 250 yard shot even with my rifle. I limit my shots to a range and shot that kills. Only one deer that I shot moved more than 25 yards. He was dead when I found him a few minutes later. That was the first deer I shot in the heart lung area.
I have walked away from more shots than I ever took. Either I wasn't ready to shoot or the deer wasn't ready to be shot. I am not a good hunter but I never take a shot I can't make.
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Old May 9, 2017, 04:40 PM   #43
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HVA,and Shooter
You two have perfectly illustrated my point.
Shooter HAS exercised restraint,skill,and discipline. He has a series of clean kills. He can look in the mirror . No regret.

HVA,your sentiments are perfectly honorable! You can look in the mirror!

And nothing I say,or you say,makes any real difference in the case of Mr Pond.
He is doing fine,in gathering information.He works to develop skill with his rifle.
I trust he will do just fine.I probably would not encourage taking moose with the 7.62x39.If my family was hungry,my only riflewas a 7.62x39,and a moose was there....??? I might see how close I could get.(I do not poach)
For each of us,we own the outcome,success or failure,every time we shoot.
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In the face in the mirror,we see the good shot,or the fail.

We do our best.
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Old May 11, 2017, 03:35 PM   #44
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I do not have any experience with killing deer with either the 30-30 or the x39mm. However I would submit that I think that the shape of the bullet, not just JHP vs. FMJ matters as well. The 30-30 was a lever rifle that used a non-pointed bullet as opposed to the x39mm which would've been firing a soft point bullet or a hollow point (which actually doesn't act like a scoop if you look at the aerodynamics) which would be closer to a spitzer shape. Now does that make a lot of difference, idk I'd actually have to take it to paper, but I would venture a guess that the 30-30 and the x39mm are closer than a lot of people here are guessing.

Granted this directly affects velocity, so looking on paper (7.62 source 30-30 source), the 30-30 has over 800ft-lbs (energy source) out past 200yds whilst the 7.62 has that just under 200yds. However the flat nosed bullet vs. the less aerodynamic bullet *could* result in better accuracy from the more aerodynamic bullet.

I guess what I'm saying is that there's more to it than just the energy, the rifle, or the shooter. But I think you've got enough information to say that both the 30-30 and 7.62x39mm are humane to kill a deer out to at least 150yds. Beyond that, well it would appear that YMMV.
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Old May 13, 2017, 12:09 PM   #45
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The shape of a bullet won't determine accuracy at moderate range. Terminal ballistics shows that a larger flatter nose is a more effective bullet than the spitzer shape at lower velocities. With any good hunting bullet designed for the velocities used it shouldn't make much difference.
I'm fairly conservative when it comes to hunting ranges and I have be sure that my first shot will be well placed and the bullet will perform on target to provide for a humane kill. I would limit my shooting with either round to near 100 yards but I recognize the the gun, with an appropriate bullet and a well placed shot, is capable of humanely dispatching a deer at around 150 yards. Beyond that and you are either very good, using a special bullet and target area or too blind to see the limitations of your ammo or skills. If you can accurately place a light, fast expanding, bullet into the head or neck then you could easily expand the range to the limits of your abilities.
The ammunition has limits but those limits vary with shot placement and bullet construction.
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Old May 16, 2017, 08:06 AM   #46
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OK, so a mixture of responses.

I guess some might ask why I'm asking and I'll explain where I'm coming from.

I have no hunting experience. I'm an adequate shot, mostly but under pressing conditions such as hunting I'm doubtless worse.

I don't want an animal to suffer. Frankly, I don't want to kill but I think it's something I need to learn: you never know what life will bring.

There is endless debate by people more experienced than me about what is or is not enough for a given game animal. Some say .223 is plenty, others say no less than 30-06. Me? I say nothing...

In Estonia the hunting regs only make statements about bullets. Nothing else apart from specifying centrefire for large game. Bullets must be >/=6.5mm, >/=130gr and be SP or HP (no FMJ).

I have a .308 and I have a x39. I could load to those specs with either. Legally, I could shoot anything on my list with either assuming the bullets are as stated.

Ethically I would not. Instead, I'm trying to gauge the "efficacious range" of x39. Not in terms of distance, but in terms of animal. What could it easily take down?

I gave 100m as a set distance because most rifles will shoot accurately out to that range, but in the forest near where my country home is, it would more likely be 20-70m and the main game there is boar, deer and moose.

Hence why I tried to phrase my question as I did...
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Old May 16, 2017, 09:30 AM   #47
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100m to 150 M max would be a very good outer limit to set with that round.
With deer, you can often get well within 100m as your skill increases.

Pond:
Quote:
I don't want an animal to suffer. Frankly, I don't want to kill but I think it's something I need to learn: you never know what life will bring.
1. don't want an animal to suffer.
This is understandable. This is right. The point is to put food on the table, not pull the wings off of flies. I've only been a big game hunter for a decade or so and I've killed a couple deer using bow and rifle. All of them were quick. None were pain free for the deer. But let me offer some broader perspective: last year while elk hunting, I heard a mountain lion kill a deer in the middle of the night within 50 yards of my tent. It was not painless and the struggle went on for much longer than it's ever taken for a deer to die by my mechanical means. If people tell you hunting is cruel, I will assure you that the natural world (even without the input of humans) is more cruel.

2. I think it's something I need to learn:
It's an important thing to know for both functional reasons (b/c we don't know what the future will bring) and psychological reasons. If everyone (in my humble and often wrong opinion) learned this lesson, the world would be a better place. It sounds weird, but if people understood the cost of living is paid by something else dying (see above cat/deer story to recognize that this isn't just a human issue), then people would lead much more focused lives.

Good luck with the hunting.
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Old May 16, 2017, 09:44 AM   #48
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I first suggest you learn about the anatomy of your game animal.
Instead of shooting at the brown hide of the animal,"see inside" the animal,and shoot at an organ.That helps get the angles right.
I don't shoot at moving animals.

I don't know all the animals you may hunt. My opinion is not worth much,but I think,with good shooting and proper bullet,you will have good power on a 50 to 60 kg deer sort of critter.
Having said that,you have a wonderful hunting rifle in your 308.

I can think of few situations where I would choose a 7.62x39 if I had the option of a .308....particularly on any large deer or moose.

I don't know if this will be worth the investment to you,but try Amazon for a book "The Perfect Shot" . It shows pictures of a variety of animals ..their organ locations from angles and suggested target areas.
Its been a long time,I did not buy the book,but you may find it useful.
A pig,for example,is not quite built the way intuition may suggest.

I know a .308 can deliver clean,one shot kills at 300 yards on an elk .And it is not "Too much gun" for a 50 kg deer at 50 yards.

If you take out the heart/lung area with your .308...and a well place shot through the ribs will turn the heart/lungs to soup,you don't lose much meat.

I think on deer at modest ranges,the x39 would be adequate. "Boar" can mean many things,from 60 kg feral pigs to 600 lb tuskers!
I have never shot one. A shot behind the ear is preferred by many. I'm sure it could make dressing easier.A hit behind the ear with a x39 should work fine but I see no draw back in the .308.I would choose the 308 unless thes pigs are the size of a large dog.

Moose? Hands down,.308,and perhaps a 180 gr bullet,or a tougher 165,like a Nosler.

The 130 gr bullets of a x39 are a bit short on sectional density,which plays a part in penetration.

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Old May 16, 2017, 12:24 PM   #49
Pond, James Pond
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Having said that,you have a wonderful hunting rifle in your 308.

I can think of few situations where I would choose a 7.62x39 if I had the option of a .308....particularly on any large deer or moose.
From a fixed position, yes, my .308 is far better but at 6.5kg and scoped, it is not good for brush and woodland. The VZ is light and manoeuvrable.
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Old May 17, 2017, 01:48 AM   #50
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I would use the 7,62x39 on hogs out to 75 to 100 yards without a doubt.
Deer, assuming they are not bigger than 250 pounds and you know where to place a shot from any perspective angle I would also go along with, out to the same distance. When you mention Moose you should mention the size of the animal you are targeting. In North America moose get six feet (2 meters) tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 1500 pounds and more (680 kilos). The Moose is not a target I would shoot with the 7,62x39 unless it was the only gun I had and the moose was attacking. These are big majestic animals that deserve respect when harvesting. Even your 308 is on what I would call a minimum cartridge to be used only at close range. I tend to be very conservative so there are likely to be others who might argue. I would recommend the moose needs at least your 308 and leave the 7,62x39 for the smaller animals.
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