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Advice 7.62 x 39 mm

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Advice 7.62 x 39 mm

Old 04-02-2012, 03:58 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Default Advice 7.62 x 39 mm

Stumbled into a used Ruger Compact in 7.62 x 39 mm. at a great price. This rifle appears to be in superb condition, groups OK using the 124 gr. FMJ stuff I tried out. (I originally posted 180 gr. bullet ??? Have no clue how that got in my mind. Thanks RR.) Box has 124 gr. Recoil is I'd say pretty light weight. Muzzle velocity seems very similar to a 30.30 Win. I was wondering if anyone here can comment on this cartridge for use on medium game such as deer ... out to about 150 yards or so. If I buy I intend to hand load and would probably be looking at using 150 gr. or 165 gr. bullets. Any feed back welcomed.

Last edited by Mojotex; 04-02-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:06 PM
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As RR has stated, this cartridge in in the .30-30 class. However, think you're going to find performance issues if you attempt to load anything heavier than a 130-grain bullet. One, because your rifle's an autoloader and feeds from a magazine, you're going to have to seat heavier (and longer) bullets deeper in the case to maintain COAL. This will in turn reduce case volume and potentially require lighter charges.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:21 PM
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This is just my opinion.

Great truck gun for yotes and such but not a calling rifle.

Great plinker and fun to shoot.

Great SHTF gun.

Not a gun I would take on a deer hunt. To many better choices for the same money. (unless it was all I had)
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:28 PM
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Being a .30 caliber rifle, I would think that it would be a good gun for the average shooter. Most shots in my neck of the woods are sub 100 yards. The caliber should perform fine for what you want to do with it.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:41 PM
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AS was said already, It's basically a 30-30 with spitzer style bullets. The Ruger compact (bolt action) is a perfect gun for this cartridge and inside 150ish yards it would make fine deer medicine.

There are a bunch of good factory ammo with soft point bullets by all of the major manufacturers. Federal, Fusion, Remington, Winchester, Hornady, Corbon, Sellier & Bellot.

I wouldn't reload any bullets heavier than 125 in it though.

Last edited by bigbulls; 04-02-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:04 PM
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It is a great deer round at close-to-medium range. If you can get it to shoot accurately, I would feel okay shooting out to 200+ yards with it. I only shoot the round out of an SKS, and while the accuracy is decent, I would limit my shots with it to 125 yards or so.

Personally, I would not mess around with handloads, and just buy some decent quality factory loads. All the major companies load hunting bullets in this caliber. If I recall, handloading can be an issue because the bullets are .311 in diameter instead of .308 (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

In any case, I would use a good soft-point bullet in the 125 grain range that groups well in your rifle. I believe there are some 154 grain factory loadings out there as well that might work. Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:23 AM
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I had a Mini-30 and found a good receipt for hand loads (125g PSP) that would consistently group 1.5" @ 100y.
Shot a deer with the gun at 90y and the bullet performed well with a large exit wound in the chest.
IMHO 150y is about the farthest I would take a shot at deer sized game.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:29 AM
Nontypical Buck
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OP stated that the rifle was a Ruger compact. That is a bolt gun and will definitely benefit from handloading. I believe these have a .308 bore in them but check. If so you have a ton of diffierent options for bullets and they will shoot best in your gun.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:34 AM
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Semi-auto is not legal for deer in Pa. I have a 7.62x39 bolt action I built years ago before a commercial version was available. I used a 7.7 Arisaka barrel and action. The barrel is .311-.312 and I have tried both .311 bullets and .308 bullets. The .308 150 Grain Remington Corlokt bullets shoot the best. At 100 yards it shoots as good or better than most new rifles. I have shot a couple deer over the years with it. I think one at about 100-120 yards. One right between the eyes at about 80 yards. One running pretty close but it soon dropped. Although I have never used them for deer, you probably will be O.K. with factory loaded 123-125 soft points if you stay away from the Russian and Chinese scrap. The other poster may be right, your rifle may have a .308 barrel on it anyway.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:56 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Well I bought the rifle. Guy made me such a great deal. Makes me wonder if it is "hot"?

Anyway, I sincerely appreciate the advice. I am going to try out several factory loads first. Looks like there is a decent number of choices are out there. If I cannot get one to group, I will hand load for sure. I suspect I will eventually anyway. Looking at the ballistic info, seems this cartridge and 125 gr. +/- weight hunting bullets will be just fine for deer sized game as long as I don't try to "stretch" the shot.
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