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Thread: How has 7.62x39 performed against moose?

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    Default How has 7.62x39 performed against moose?

    I'm curious because a rugby buddy of mine takes his SKS out every year, but has yet to take a moose with it to my knowledge. I'm sure across the creek the ruskies are using 7.62x39 quite a bit, but anybody have seen/heard of its effectiveness over here?

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    It's pretty similar to the 30-30 isn't it? As with any round, shot placement is king.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dawgs View Post
    It's pretty similar to the 30-30 isn't it? As with any round, shot placement is king.
    That's the rub...most of the guns chambered for it won't shoot for beans and finding a decent bullet to use in one is pretty tough as well, or at least used to be.

    The Chuchki people across the Straight do ok with them, but they tend to rely on the harpoon more than the rifle. The Siberian taiga trappers and hunters tend to use the 7.62x54R Moisin instead.

    But why? When all these great performing budget guns and ammunition are available for the exact same price!!!
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Yeah, people are always sayin it compares favorably with the 30-30, but we're talking 130 grain or thereabouts, bullet weights. The 30-30 can use 170 grain bullets. AND, bullets that are designed to perform at 30-30 velocities.

    I'm sure you can keel a moosaboo with the 7.62x39, but I'm bettin you won't get anywhere near the terminal performance of the 30-30.

    You can load 125 or 130 grain bullets in a 30-30, but who would use them on a moose? (Don't tell me.)

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    Like many other things, it will work but why would you. You can buy a Mosin for $150 or less and Cabelas has Herters 180gr hunting ammo for about $17 per box which in my gun will shoot under 2" @100yds. PPU is available cheap as well but the stuff won't shoot under about 5" in my rifle but so far my reloads won't either. Still working on that one. I saw a moose shot with a mini 14 in 223 using 55gr soft point and it only took the guy 7 hits to put it down. Not my idea of a lean kill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Yeah, people are always sayin it compares favorably with the 30-30, but we're talking 130 grain or thereabouts, bullet weights. The 30-30 can use 170 grain bullets. AND, bullets that are designed to perform at 30-30 velocities.

    I'm sure you can keel a moosaboo with the 7.62x39, but I'm bettin you won't get anywhere near the terminal performance of the 30-30.

    You can load 125 or 130 grain bullets in a 30-30, but who would use them on a moose? (Don't tell me.)

    SOTN
    I'm with you on this one Smitty- folks say it compares to a 30-30 on a ballistics chart, but the 30-30 kills completely out of proportion to what the numbers say it will.

    The single animal I've shot with the 7.62x39 was a whitetail many years ago, and the results were "less than enthusiastic". I'd much rather have a 30-30. That was back in the day of the $75 SKS...now that SKS rifles command the same money as a Ruger American in '06- why would a guy ever choose one?
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    There are some 156 grain soft point loads for the 7.62x39mm which do very well out of a CZ-527 bolt action carbine or an SKS as far as accuracy is concerned. They are going about 2150 fps from an 18 inch barrel and they compare almost to a 30-30 trapper carbine.
    The problem being that the Russian bullet construction is sub-par and they come apart. The same load with a US. British, Swede, or German designed an built bullet would be much more effective.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    There are some 156 grain soft point loads for the 7.62x39mm which do very well out of a CZ-527 bolt action carbine or an SKS as far as accuracy is concerned. They are going about 2150 fps from an 18 inch barrel and they compare almost to a 30-30 trapper carbine.
    The problem being that the Russian bullet construction is sub-par and they come apart. The same load with a US. British, Swede, or German designed an built bullet would be much more effective.
    I've always thought that little CZ527 carbine would make a neat Eastern whitetail gun with hand loads. I'm sure the loads I used back then were Russian SP, I'm not sure they expanded at all. It took a long tracking job to recover that deer and the blood trail was minimal.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    A few have asked why would one choose a 7.62x39?
    Because they don't have the knowledge that we do and if some one tells them it will do, they go for it. My brother hounded me for my 300WM for a caribou hunt...told him to pound salt. He continued his request for a rifle. I gave him a Rem 788 in 243. (My 300 was new to me and I was still salivating and petting it? Not a sound choice for many. However, he is an accomplished bow hunter. I told him it would do the job if he made a bow type shot...broadside in the spot, no quartering toward, no raking shots, and limit to 200 yards. He brought home two bou. Another in the party that ribbed him hard on his pea shooter had a 300 WM. This fellow wounded a caribou, which he did not recover. Any who, my brother used it because I told him to. Hopefully, if someone tells another it's ok to use a 7.62x39 they will include the cartridges limitations and advice for an appropriate bullet etc. Part of the reason why most of us would not consider it is that we relish in the idea and practice the art of choosing a caliber most appropriate for the task at hand.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I've taken many a mule deer with a model 94 30-30 and one with an SKS 7.62x39 . . . the round seemed to kill very much the same to me. The hunt came between the day all my rifles were stolan and the day the insurance check came so I grabbed a cheap SKS, I think it was under $150 from G&J Sales including ammo and 5 round hunting mag.

    The thing I didn't like was I had to get MUCH closer with the SKS because the thing was so inaccurate . . . I've shot hundreds of imported military AKs and SKs since and the most accrete ones seem to be just tolerably accurate, the platform can be accurate with a good barrel and properly set up gas block as proven by Saiga and some of the better American kit built guns.

    In other words I think 7.62X39 a poor choice for hunting let alone moose hunting because the guns shooting it are made for SPRAY-N-PRAY combat but the round itself is very much like a 30-30 if in a good gun . . . however for the price of a good rifle in 7.62x39 you could have a very nice used 30-06 or a fleet of Mosins.
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    Default How has 7.62x39 performed against moose?

    I don't have any direct advice on the sks, but if the OP just needs a cheap moose gun I'll second the Mosin, bigger bullet, more powder and crazy accurate with the old sights that come on them.

    I used one my first year up here and the time I took to sight in was the first time I'd shot the gun extensively. I had no trouble breaking clays at 100 yards every shot.

    Never got to shoot anything with it unfortunately.


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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I don't have any direct advice on the sks, but if the OP just needs a cheap moose gun I'll second the Mosin, bigger bullet, more powder and crazy accurate with the old sights that come on them.

    I used one my first year up here and the time I took to sight in was the first time I'd shot the gun extensively. I had no trouble breaking clays at 100 yards every shot.

    Never got to shoot anything with it unfortunately.


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    Agreed. Good advice.
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