I have baged a deer with my Yugo and a decent scope. They are not the most ideal rifle for shooting deer, but if that is all you have and nothing else you could give it a go. I would use the premium Winchester hunting ammo.
I would say keep it within 100yds if you can. Out past that the 7.62x39 drops power quick. It could be done, but if possible go with something bigger. If price is a big factor, you could consider a K31 or a Mosin...
Caliberwise, yes, it'll work fine. IF it will feed the soft-point ammo. I once had a Norinco that wouldn't feed SP. Worked well with HP and FMJ.
Also, many places have a five-round magazine limit - either block the 10-round mag or use a five-round detachable.
the allmighty - Any cartridge that can take down a man will work just fine for deer. It is my understanding that they have plenty of punch left, out to about 300 yards, much more than a .223. Accuracy is questionable at that distance, enough so that it wouldn't be wise to shoot at a deer beyond about 200 to 225 yards, which is about as far as you want to drag a downed deer. I know of at least 1 cow that was shot at about 300 yards, with an SKS 7.62 x 39mm, and it dropped like it was hit by a .375 H&H, and it never moved or even wiggled. I didn't see it drop, I heard from the guy who reported it, and he saw it go down as he heard the shot. I don't know who did it, but I would like to see whoever it was, get busted for cattle rustling!
Yeah, the SKS has plenty of power. The main limit on the range is probably more likely to be skill of the shooter than the gun. Most people, with a scope, aren't gonna be able to hit a deer much past 200 yards, IMO. But it mostly depends on the shooter. That caliber has plenty of energy, too. I agree with Gyrene that it has plenty of punch to take a deer, out to 300 yards, if not somewhat more. Especially if you use an expanding round like soft or hollowpoint. They'll drop coyotes like nobody's business, and just as a testament of its punch, if you can get some stuff with steel cores, at 70 yards they'll blow right through both sides of a steel truck wheel. ~3/16'' on each side.
is that that crazy Hmong guy I heard about? Did they ever catch him? That story really steamed me. The U.S. moved the Hmong over here, and then they have all these horribly violent gangs annd stuff that they brought with them.
Life sentence? How about a life-ENDING sentence like the chair? they KNOW he killed all of those hunters, yet they won't give him capital punishment. where's the justice in that? Sorry this is off topic.. uhmm yeah let us know how the SKS works if you get one. good luck.
I used to have a gunsmithing friend named Tony West who was one of the few C&R gunsmiths that did work on Lee Enfield rifles and SKS carbines. Tony told me that the SKS had the capability to achieve super accuracy if a few things were done to the rifle. He explained that due to their manufacture and storage/ preservation, most SKS carbines have poor stock beddings as they come out of the arsenal. The stock bedding varys according to what nationality produced the SKS. Tony came up with a method called a "snug bedding" where he basically shimmed up all the loose stock areas around the bands and reciever screws as well as the trigger group and a reciever contact points. He claimed this bedding ceased all play from the reciever while firing and prevented groups from wandering all over the target. Tony went on to explain that the SKS usually suffered from a poor barrel crown since it was mass produced as a military carbine. This caused the SKS to shoot away from its point of aim. A telltale sign if you have an SKS neeing a new barrel crown is the sights. If your front sight is drifted substantially to the left or right you may have an improperly cut crown. Tony cut a 45 degree crown on all SKS carbines he worked on a lathe. In late 2002 he did all the custom worked previously mentioned as well as a high polish reblue to my Romanian SKS that was in poor condition. He also checked the chamber for headspace, the trigger group and firing pin for reliability. The SKS trigger as he explained to me, needs usually a complete disassembly, cleaning, and lubrication. Trigger jobs on an SKS can be risky and 90% only need the cleaning, lubrication. The trigger on my SKS went from a horrid 9+lbs to around 3 1/2lbs. That SKS now shoots 1 1/2 MOA with Winchester 7.62X39 ammo and 2 1/2 MOA with Russian milsurp. Be careful with US ammo when shooting your SKS since they have softer primers than Com-Bloc milsurp ammo. Most SKS carbines have a free-floating firing pin. Tony is no longer in business but I would guess the same work could be done by Jim Balough at Black River Gunsmithing.
Jesse, I agree. I used the shim idea on my Yugo and Sino-Soviet SKS, and it really tightened the groups! I was surprised when I realized just how much vertical play the barrel had in the stock.
I haven't done a full bedding job, but some guys on the Gunboards forum have, and report serious improvement.
It's silly the number of people on this thread that say a 7.62X39 has plenty of punch for deer out to 300 yards. Would those same people think the same thing of the 30-30? The 7.62X39 has less punch than the 30-30.
If I'm not incorrect, I believe the 30-30 has a much worse ballistic coefficient than the 7.62x39mm, so it slows down a lot faster in-flight. Hence, less energy at longer ranges. I don't know much about the 30-30 specifically, so I can't say any more than that.
The 7.62X39 with a good handload in an SKS type firearm will do about 2300 FPS with a 123 grain bullet. The 30-30 will do the same thing with a 150 grain bullet. The BC of the 123 grain bullet is about .292 while the BC of the Barnes XFN is about .269, the BC of the Speer 150 grain is .268 and the Speer 170 grain is .304. With that being said, the 7.62X39 does not make for a good deer cartridge at 300 yards as does not the 30-30. FPE from the 150 grain load at 300 yards would be roughlt 740 FP, less for the 123 grain load.
Heck, if I were shooting at 300yds I'd want something a heck of a lot flatter even if it had the power. Risking an inhumane shot isn't worth the price savings on the rifle. Get a Mosin at the same price if you want to take long shots, or a number of other full powered bolt actions, including the straight pull Schmidt Rubin. If all you want to do is hunt, the high price of 7.5x55mm ammo shouldn't be so bad, which now with Wolf Gold ammo is about the same as 30-06 and such.
Well, most factory loads of the 7.62x39 are running at at LEAST 2400fps, usually 2450. What's up with the 2300 fps handload? 740 lb/ft is still quite a bit though, IMO. Though you're calculating with slow bullet speed to begin with if you used the 2300 FPS info.. Granted, that's not great energy left at that range, but still should work. Even if it is too weak to take it down immediately, lol, I'm not real concerned with an "inhumane" shot around here.. there's herds of about 20-30 (at times) that roam these cornfields, destroying farmers' crops substantially. I see 5-8 of them every night, like clockwork, same spot.. But if doing regular shots at 300+yards, I agree you should go to a higher-powered rifle. SKS's aren't reliably accurate enough, according to the ppl on here anyway, to shoot well enough at that range (for all variants, anyway). I dunno how we got off on 300yds. The vast majority of deer hunting shots are within 100 yards I'd guess, and the 7.62x39mm definitely has enough energy at that range. Unless you want to like.. blow its head off or something. In which case I suggest an AR-50 or Barrett 20mm HE round.
I agree that 100yd is the max a SKS should be used for whitetail hunting. As far as humane shots go, no matter how many deer you take you shouldn't be content to let it dies slowly and painfully. You want to take it as cleanly and promptly as you can, and if you don't, then you've made a mistake, which does happen, but it's a mistake and should be learned from.
To me hunting is a harvest that should be done with care and respect to God's creatures who we are placed in charge of.
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