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Old 01-09-2018, 01:54 PM
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Default 7.62 x 39mm as big game round?

I tried the search feature here, but I could only find one thread about using a 7.62 x 39mm rifle for big game hunting, and that was specifically about the merits of the AK-47 platform to launch said round.

So, what do y'all think of this caliber for hunting deer, bear, or other big game, even things not native to Georgia like elk, moose, brown bear, etc?

What got me interested in this "caliber debate" was a statement in the current issue of GUNS & AMMO magazine, where in a review of the Ruger American Ranch rifle (bolt action, 7.62 x 39mm), the writer said that this caliber was good for reliably taking any game in the lower 48 states.

Really? Any game in the continental USA?
Earlier in the article he said the rifle/ cartridge would be great for long hikes up and down mountains, looking for 400-lb. critters. But later he expanded that praise to say the gun, in this caliber, was good for anything in the lower 48.

Now, I've always considered the 7.62 x 39mm Soviet AK/ SKS round (not to be confused with the big 7.62 x 54 Rimmed round those Mosins and belt-fed machineguns use) to be "adequate" for deer or black bear out to 150 yards. Just like a lever action .30-30. If you have a rifle that's got enough accuracy, the velocity and kinetic energy should be good enough out to 150, maybe 200 yards, tops.

And I was always figuring that these rounds would be used against animals weighing no more than 300 lbs (black bear), unless it were really close and shot placement could be perfect, in which case even 500 lb. animals could be taken with either a .30-30 (150 gr. soft point at 2,300 f.p.s. muzzle velocity) or the 7.62 x 39 (123 grain soft point at 2350 f.p.s.).

What do y'all think?

P.S. The Ruger American Rifle's got the accuracy. With American-made brass-cased ammo, it was grouping under an inch at 100 yards. Even cheap Wolf ammo came it at only 2", which is twice as good as I've ever gotten from any AK or SKS in that caliber.
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