7.62x39 for white tail?

shawn1172shawn1172 Senior MemberPosts: 588 Senior Member
My friend Seth just took his hunter safety course and plans to hunt for the first time this fall. He doesn't have much of a gun collection though. His only rifles are a Mosin Nagant and an SKS. Since the MN just has the iron sights, original stock and he's only shot it once so far- I suggested he hunt with the SKS instead. He's had it longer and shot it quite a bit. The SKS is in an ATI Monte Carlo style synthetic stock and has a fixed 4x scope on it (no idea make or model). Hunting with semi auto rifles in Maine is limited to 5 round magazines or less so he's going to take out the original internal 10 rd mag and use a 5rd detachable mag I have for my SKS.

First, opinions on his using this rifle? He will buy another rifle at some point but not soon. His only shotgun is setup for HD. The only rifle I could loan him is my T-53 (a Chinese copy of the Mosin Nagant). Mine's in an ATI Monte Carlo stock too with a forward mounted scope, a Simmons 2-7x and has a shorter, carbine length barrel. He isn't used to a forward mounted scope though, only shot mine one day.

Second, ammo suggestions? There seems to be slim pickings in 7.62x39. If you think he'd be better off shooting 7.62x54 (his or mine), what ammo for that? Aside from FMJ not really being best suited for deer hunting, I think it's also not legal for hunting in Maine.

Thanks for any input guys.

Replies

  • HondoHondo Member Posts: 320 Member
    A FMJ is generally not allowed for game...all penetration and no expansion. The 7.62 x 39 is similar to a .30-30. There sould be some type hunting bullet for each of the rounds you mentioned....something with a soft point for instance. The rounds you mentioned are adequate for deer IF YOU KNOW your limits and the guns limits. The SKS is probably limited by it's accuracy potential and range for the round. The Mosin 7.62x54 is in the .30-06 class of bullets. It has more accuracy potential and knockdown power than the SKS. How accurate is you friend with these rifles? How long are the shots you will be offered? Is it 50 yds? Then the SKS has that accuracy. Need to look at what the needs are for the area you will be hunting. There are plenty of good used bolt guns that are chambered in hunting rounds that you you can get at Wallyworld.
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    I think the furthest he would be shooting is 100 yards most likely a lot closer. 100 is only if out on a field, power line, etc. He's mostly going to be hunting in the woods where shots would generally be 20-50 yards. He's not a great shot. Not terrible, but not great either. I think he's competent (skill wise) to hunt with the SKS since he's had it several years and shot it quite a bit.
    He's only had his MN out to the range once. I wasn't with him then but he did say he needs practice with it. He shot my T-53 one day at the range and was making hits at 100 with it- not shooting groups, just plinking at junk we used for targets. He said the forward mounted scope would take getting used to. Whatever he uses he has over 2 months to play with it and get comfortable before the season starts.
    He was originally talking about using his MN but I didn't think it was a good idea. It's a really really looooong gun to be walking through the trees with and he's used to shooting scoped rifles, not open sights.
    He will build his collection but money is tight right now and his rifle focus in mainly on old milsurps. He loves that stuff, foreign and home grown.
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    I'm thinking this Hornady ammo looks good but still open to opinion and suggestions....
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1165116209/hornady-ammunition-762x39mm-russian-123-grain-sst-steel-case
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    My first deer was shot with one. I had just bought my house, just got my hunting license (I wasn't a hunter growing up). I went to take a shower and our shower has a regular window, (not one of the textured glass ones that distorts) and in the back yard, I saw a deer. Ran through the house with a towel on amd grabbed the first long gun I could. An SKS loaded with some old hollow surplus ammo (was my HD gun at the time). Killed the deer very well. And FYI, that round is very loud when fired naked from a tile shower.
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  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    Reviews of the various domestic 7.62x39 soft points suggest they've got enough penetration, provided you don't get crazy with the yardage. In his shoes, I'd go with the Moisin out of habit, but if he shoots the SKS well and is staying under 100 yards, why not?
    WWJMBD?

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  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Doesn't Teach like the build 7.62x39 Mausers for new hunters? I think he'll do fine if he works on bullet placement and keeping the range close.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
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  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,056 Senior Member
    Remington, Winchester, and Federal all make a 125gr soft point for 7.62x39. I would just pick one of them and run with it. Realistically, if he can get 4-5" groups at the distances you are hunting, he should be set to go.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    I used these to kill a hog last year...

    1%207.62x39%20SB%20SP%205-1621.jpg

    Accurate from my chicom SKS, about two to three inches at 50 yards..

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
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  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,668 Senior Member
    He should try the Mosin with irons before he decides on the SKS.

    I have shot a few deer with the 7.62x39. The ammo I have used was a handload, and the Herters 154Gr SP that performed VERY well on an Axis deer.

    Granted, I am using a fine bolt action rifle for my 7.62x39 hunting: CZ-527 Carbine

    I am still searching for a better hunting round, since that 154Gr SP is not as accurate as I want it to be from that rifle. There are a decent amount of hunting ammo out there:
    Privi makes a weird RN SP
    Also the Zombie Max stuff has been used on Deer.

    Also, how much is he looking to spend on the SKS to make it a hunting gun? If it's more than about $200-250, he could pick up a hunting rifle for that much. Might be worth looking into.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 6,461 Senior Member
    shawn1172 wrote: »
    he's used to shooting scoped rifles, not open sights.

    Sidebar: This is why you teach your kids on iron sights...

    That being over, get 100+ rounds of milsurp 7.62x54R and get thee to the range with friend in tow. MN 91's have horrid all day triggers (you start pulling one day and it will go off the next) but once you can shoot one, they shoot pretty darn well.
    There is no reason why a person that has a desire to hunt cannot teach himself to hit minute of deer at less than 100 yards with open sights. He needs to put rounds downrange until he can. Honestly, how can one be considered competant and have the ability to hit a deer in the vitals at 50 yards be questioned? A scope won't make that much differance.

    Size really doesnt matter. Its what you get used to. A 91 is longer than a Rem700, but a dang sight shorter than a longrifle. All will work.

    There are a lot of 7.62x54R commercial loadings that will work without question.

    Now, if he is quite competant, then a 7.62x39 will work. There is less wiggle room and he better put it in the boiler room. My daughter has been using a 30-30 downloaded to 125gr bullets at about 2200 fps, they work adequatly. I wouldnt want her to make a shoulder shot or any questionable shot because I think the results would be less than stellar. However, when place where they should be, they do the job well.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • 30-30shooter30-30shooter Member Posts: 224 Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    I used these to kill a hog last year...

    1%207.62x39%20SB%20SP%205-1621.jpg

    Accurate from my chicom SKS, about two to three inches at 50 yards..

    D

    a friend of mine used those in his mini 30 to go deer hunting last year. he swears by s&b.
    A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders.-Larry Elder I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.-Clint Eastwood
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    Hornady makes soft point 7.62x39 and they make quality ammo. Just sight in the rifle and go to town. I've felled deer with that caliber before. Does the job just fine with proper shot placement.

    hornpic8078.jpg

    -Jason
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    JasonMPD wrote: »
    Hornady makes soft point 7.62x39 and they make quality ammo. Just sight in the rifle and go to town. I've felled deer with that caliber before. Does the job just fine with proper shot placement.

    hornpic8078.jpg

    -Jason

    That's probably what I would use.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,271 Senior Member
    I built a small-ring Mauser for my granddaughter in 7.62X39, handloaded with Hornady 130 grain softpoints. It's very accurate, and she loves to shoot it. I don't think she's taken a deer with it yet, but I see no reason why a good handload wouldn't be effective within reasonable range, probably 100 yards or less. The Hornady 120-something grain softpoints would be a pretty good choice if you're limited to factory ammo for some reason.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • snake284-1snake284-1 Senior Member Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    shawn1172 wrote: »
    My friend Seth just took his hunter safety course and plans to hunt for the first time this fall. He doesn't have much of a gun collection though. His only rifles are a Mosin Nagant and an SKS. Since the MN just has the iron sights, original stock and he's only shot it once so far- I suggested he hunt with the SKS instead. He's had it longer and shot it quite a bit. The SKS is in an ATI Monte Carlo style synthetic stock and has a fixed 4x scope on it (no idea make or model). Hunting with semi auto rifles in Maine is limited to 5 round magazines or less so he's going to take out the original internal 10 rd mag and use a 5rd detachable mag I have for my SKS.

    First, opinions on his using this rifle? He will buy another rifle at some point but not soon. His only shotgun is setup for HD. The only rifle I could loan him is my T-53 (a Chinese copy of the Mosin Nagant). Mine's in an ATI Monte Carlo stock too with a forward mounted scope, a Simmons 2-7x and has a shorter, carbine length barrel. He isn't used to a forward mounted scope though, only shot mine one day.

    Second, ammo suggestions? There seems to be slim pickings in 7.62x39. If you think he'd be better off shooting 7.62x54 (his or mine), what ammo for that? Aside from FMJ not really being best suited for deer hunting, I think it's also not legal for hunting in Maine.

    Thanks for any input guys.

    I agree with Hondo. You should be able to find some sort of soft point bullet for the 7.62x39. And like was said, it isn't much different than a 30x30 in performance. And also, an SKS has a quick follow up shot, so with good bullet placement, Why Not???
    I'm Just a Radical Right Wing Nutt Job, Trying to Help Save My Country!
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    Thanks for the input guys. I'm sure he'll hunt with the Mosin at some point but most likely use the SKS this year. He's a lot more comfortable with it right now. I saw those Hornady SST's on Midway and thought they would be a pretty good option. Someone I work with gave me two boxes (40 rounds) of Federal soft points. Don't have the box handy right now but I think 124 gr. Hornady would be my first pick but I already have these Federals to give him. I guess I'll offer him the Feds but suggest Hornady and let him decide.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,652 Senior Member
    People have been killing white tail with a 270 for a long time. So you will have no problem with a 7.62x39.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,271 Senior Member
    Here's a good whitetail load:

    http://www.natchezss.com/Ammo.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=TL&prodID=TLUL076208&prodTitle=Tula Ammo 7.62x39 154gr Spire-Point 20/Box

    It's got enough weight for penetration, where the 123 grain bullet might not make it to the vitals without a perfectly-placed shot.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    I shot 154 Gr Tula's, 123 gr Hornady SST's and 123gr S&B soft points and some russian military ammo through my SKS when sighting in and testing. The most consistant from my Chicom SKS was the 123 gr S&B soft points. As expected the 154 Gr Tula's shot two or three inches lower than the 123 gr at 50 yards.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,705 Senior Member
    The sks with a good soft point should do great. at 100yd. it should be about equal to a .30-30 winchester.Several years ago I load a soft point, Don't remember which one. Could go look in my book. But a lot of people here used to hunt with one. Everyone had to have one....
  • mohicanmohican Member Posts: 380 Member
    Not all SKSs are created equal. The Yugo variants are typically much more accurate than the ChiCom guns. My Yugo SKS variant is good for 3-4" groups at 100 yards off the bench - translated into If I got into a kneeling position or other field-rested position I would not hesitate to take that shot.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,672 Senior Member
    Midway's got the Prvi Partizan 123 RN load that Bullsi mentioned on sale for $10.09/box
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/641174/prvi-partizan-ammunition-762x39mm-123-grain-round-nose-soft-point-box-of-20?cm_vc=OBv1_761874
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  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,668 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »

    It's a goofy looking round, and it gave feed issues on my bolt action:

    photo-729623.JPG

    But it's worth a try. It is next to the being-discontinued 152 Gr Herter's Softpoint that took this axis deer just fine:

    axis1.jpg
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    Hey everyone. Thanks for all the input. I hadn't been on for a few days and just saw my post got some more attention. Seth has been a member here in the past (before the re-boot). I'll try to get him back on to see all your suggestions himself. I'm a fan of heavy for caliber bullets so Teach's suggestion of the 154 gr. gets my attention.
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    shawn1172 wrote: »
    Hey everyone. Thanks for all the input. I hadn't been on for a few days and just saw my post got some more attention. Seth has been a member here in the past (before the re-boot). I'll try to get him back on to see all your suggestions himself. I'm a fan of heavy for caliber bullets so Teach's suggestion of the 154 gr. gets my attention.

    I've never loaded 7.62x39 as I have not shot the caliber in years and years. It was about $4 per 20 last time I bought it. But if I were to load it today, I would work up a hand load for a CZ bolt gun (.311 bore!) using the 150gr Sierra Pro-Hunter .311 caliber soft point. A little less velocity, yes, but a bit more momentum for the given velocity. I think it would be a good match up with an accurate hand load.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • drwalker47drwalker47 Member Posts: 192 Member
    My son and my daughter-in-law each took a deer (buck and doe) with the SKS I gave him. He did put a plastic stock and 2x7 scope on it. Used the softpoint ammo.
    Celebrate life, moment by moment. I plan to enjoy what time I have left, and that means MORE GUNS!
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