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Discussion Starter #1
im looking for a good 7.62x39 hunting cartridge for taken out white tail in eastern WA. ive heard mixed reviews on various ammo but not to many actual tests on gel or critters. some ammo I snagged up recently has been:

- brown bear 125gr SP
- Hornady Z-max
- PPU 123gr SP RN

since buying this ammo ive learned that the Z-max stuff is basically V-max which is not good for large game so ill shoot it up as novelty ammo and keep the nice brass for reloading. now I just watched a video about golden bear SP ammo and it performed very poorly in ballistic gel which is a real concern. any idea if golden bear and brown bear are using the same bullet? (looks the same to me from pictures)

now I cant find squat on the PPU SP RN cartridge, its like it just popped out of thin air! I picked up 5 boxes recently and its one strange looken bullet. the price wasn't bad and its reloadable brass if the bullet doesn't turn out great. any one have any detailed test information on this cartridge?

another cartridge ill try if I can find some is the Hornady steel cased SST rounds. I know the SST bullet used in other cartridges has a good history on taken medium/large game such as deer. has any one used the 7.62x39 SST with success?

thanks all
-matt
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
thanks, I already picked some up from midway usa but if it ends up shooting well ill be buying more. im more interested in testing that any one has done. im simply too broke at the moment to spring for gel to test the bullets myself so im hopen someone else has tried them on either gel or deer.

-matt
 

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There has been a lot of discussion about the 8M3 hollow points over the years, so you could do some searches regarding that bullet, although the Russians have relabeled everything so many times that I am not even sure if 8M3 is currently available. For a while it was the Ulyanovsk Wolf military classic 124 grain hollow points.
 

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Recently there was a thread over at ARFcom where someone tested the Silver Bear 125 grain SP. If I recall correctly, the bullet had a 1 inch neck when shot into ballistic gel. I believe the bullet began to expand at that point and penetrated over 20 inches. I also believe that Winchesters 123 grain SP was highly recommended as a self defense round.
 

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Haven't used it personally but I have heard some good things about that round nosed prvi ammo on another forum. It really would be nice if those cheaper soft point steel cased rounds would be reasonably good on something the size of deer or hogs. At least for some things you figure the extra penetration like in that gel test, would be a good thing. Don't know though. I do know they're the hunting ammo I got at the moment, and I'm planning on putting them to the test this season if I get a shot at a deer. Last year I saw one (actually 2) for the first time. But the one I shot at happened to be already running like crazy across my field of view, and by the time I could make out that it had enough antler points to be legal, it was already an uncertain shot (but my dumb a## wasn't about to let that stop me from my first ever chance at harvesting one). I let loose 2, first one missed 2 feet in front of where he was at that stride, 2nd one felt better, but I saw no impact on him, no blood, nor did it slow him down or make him react in any way, so it probably missed too. I could've tried a third time, but it would've been a quartering away shot, and I figured if I didn't get him with that 2nd shot, he earned it, so I just let it be. Next time out, I saw another one that seemed unaware of me, and it was in a field as opposed to some dense woods, nice good first ever shot opportunity in other words, but I just could not see that 4th antler point I needed on it anywhere, so I watched as it just cluelessly walked from one patch of woods across the field and into another patch nearby.
 

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Anyone get the chance to use any of those 7.62x39 hp or sp rounds during deer season? I had a chance at just 1 shot both regular and antlerless season and I took too long. I should've known right off the bat it could easily be the only shot I get all season, just as it turned out to be. Didn't learn from last year apparently. First hour of the first day I went, I walked into 2 does crossing a trail from wood into a prairie type field, I hesitated cause honestly I felt like I should put more work in, if I'm going to kill something, and as I got over my several seconds long moral conundrum and got ready to shoot, they sensed something was wrong, and started leaping off the opposite way. I still could've shot but it wouldn't have been a good clean shot, and I thought, there's plenty of time for another opportunity. WRONG. Saw only 1 more deer all season. And there was too many trees and branches between it and me.
 

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The Hornady SST round will explode at high velocity and expand at low velocity. It's what I use for hogs in east Texas.
 

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I have been dropping whitetail with Federal 123gr SP 7.62x39 for decades, it's never taken more than one round.

I recently started to use PPU 130gr SP .270 win for larger game, never had a problem there either.

Never did any formal testing, just shot placement and meat in the freezer testing ..... :)
 

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My Tabuk (s) has downed 5 deer so far this season.

My special handloads drop them quick The shortest shot being 50yds and the longest about 460yds. Broke the hell out of the shoulder on the long shot.
150gr BTHP Sierra Matchking (I know it is slightly small but they don't make one in .311) backed by 26.9grains of IMR 4227. Exits the barrel at a whopping 2900fps
 

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A neighbor just used my Norinco Hunter loaded with the Privi Soft Point Round Nose to take a six point. We had previously used in checking the sights...

Accuracy and performance on game are both excellent; makes a big hole in deer... It may be a little underpowered. It seems to be short stroking the rifle and jamming on loading. The rifle is working perfectly with Wolf HP and FMJ, just not the Privi SP-RN...
 

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The Prvi 123 gr. SP bullets are excellent for hunting but the large exposed lead nose can cause feeding or jamming issues in some semi-auto rifles,it's basically one of those things your going to have to test out yourself. If your rifle has feeding or jamming issues with other types of SP or HP ammo it probably going to have issues with the Prvi as well.

For basic hunting purposes if you only going to be shooting a couple boxes a season or over a couple of seasons and you don't reload just pick up a couple boxes of Remington,Winchester,Federal SP's, or Hornady SST etc. and call it a day.

As far as the Russian HP and SP bullets there all basically the same steel jacket non bonded lead core bullet. The SP just has exposed lead while the HP for the most parts are just a FMJ with the tip opened up. Will they take large yes do they always expand most time not.

Several gel block test with different Russian steel case ammo,your results may vary.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Mrgunsngear?feature=watch

http://www.youtube.com/user/mainejunker?feature=watch
 

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I used Wolf Military Classic 124 grain HP last year for deer season, cause it was the best grouping stuff I had available that I could practice a lot with. I actually ended up getting some shots, and the results were ambiguous enough to have me try it again this year. That year I got a shot at a good size spike with 4" antlers that was somewhere like 35 yards (+ or - 5yds) away. I got too excited and shot it low at first, hitting it in the leg. It jumped, and tried to walk off cause it couldn't run. It got maybe 10 yards, when I steadied myself and got a better shot. That one was as it was quartering away at this point and it went pretty much from just beneath the rib cage on one side, out by the front leg on the other. Plenty of pass-thru, not much expansion, but the deer dropped a yard or two after the second shot and that was it. By the time I field dressed it, the chest cavity was filled with blood. Though any blood trail was basically nonexistent even from the first shot that hit low. I was a little encouraged by dropping it quickly, once I took a better shot.

This year I tried a few of the related brand soft points, to see if they would be better candidates but since they didn't group as well out past 50 yards at the shooting range, I still stuck with the MC HP's for this season. This time when I got a shot, it was at about 30 yards (+or-5 yds). I shot, hit behind the left front leg, and maybe 3 inches below the spine. It felt like a good shot and even the deer looked like it was done. Fell over and started kicking like it was just spasms and it was already dead. But a couple seconds later, it got up and tried running for it. I shot another time in mid run, and it kept going. It stopped as if it was out of energy and laid down and at that point I shot it again at 15-20 yards and it was done. The entire run wasn't more than 20-30 yards and a few additional seconds from the initial shot, but I was pretty unpleasantly surprised it got back up to begin with.

So this leads me to my question. Has anyone used the Silver Bear HP or Soft Points and found them to actually do what you would expect them to as far as expansion. And also since I never used the Silver Bear HP's yet, just how do they group? The Wolf SP's didn't group well, the MC hollowpoints don't seem to expand hardly any, are the silver or even golden bear bullets any better in these regard? The gel tests seem to point both ways. One gel test for the Brown Bear and Golden Bear SP's didn't seem have the bullets expand any, but then another seemed to have the silver Bear SP's expand good. Wonder which is which, cause 24 dollars a box for good soft points is steep and doesn't allow you to practice with them even outside of hunting purposes.
 

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At the time I wrote the previous post PPU SP ammo hand a large RN style bullet there new updated bullet has a bullet style similar to those found on most all other type SP ammo so feeding issues should be eliminated.

As far as Russian SP and HP ammo goes being they have a steel jacket bullet which is basically a steel sleeve with a lead core with the bullets base rolled over to hold the core in there is no core to jacket bonding at all so core and jacket separation is pretty common. I think performance is just going to be hit and miss regardless of what brand you shoot.

The bullets design in the Russian and other commie SP & HP ammo is more for marketing purposes an not really designed for expansion purposes at all even though at time it may work as intended. I think you will find this ammo fairly cheap for hunting purposes 20 round box - 7.62x39 123 grain Soft Point Prvi Partizan Brass case ammo - PP734 | SGAmmo.com This is pretty good ammo as well.

I reload all my own hunting ammo for the X 39 using quality commercial bullets so I really don't have to deal with the expansion issues.
 

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At the time I wrote the previous post PPU SP ammo hand a large RN style bullet there new updated bullet has a bullet style similar to those found on most all other type SP ammo so feeding issues should be eliminated.
I was actually about to order me a few boxes of the newer ppu sp's a little earlier, when I heard from someone on a hunting forum that they had experienced failures to expand with them too (granted the deer was 125-150 yards away they said). I feel like the round nosed ones are still better than the current production ones, at least judging from the amount of positive reviews people have had for the round nosed ones. I never personally tried either of them yet.

The bullets design in the Russian and other commie SP & HP ammo is more for marketing purposes an not really designed for expansion purposes at all even though at time it may work as intended.
I suspected the expansion and all that wouldn't be good from the start, I just hoped that there would be at least some degree of it to help finish things off quickly, if the shot is already a good one. That's what I hope would be the case with the Silver Bear SP's and HP's at least. It may not have been the perfect shot placement on my behalf, but I'm pretty sure it was still good enough that it should've been a 1 shot event. From images of where deer vitals are, it seems like the heart would've got missed, but it should've still had plenty of lung to mess up. It only being my 2nd deer, it already was dark by the time I got to the chest part of the field dressing and I didn't pay much attention just how the lungs, heart, and liver looked, and I kind of wish I would've. At first I thought it was just adrenaline that got her to get back up and run off a bit, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it was.
 

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I suspected the expansion and all that wouldn't be good from the start, I just hoped that there would be at least some degree of it to help finish things off quickly, if the shot is already a good one. That's what I hope would be the case with the Silver Bear SP's and HP's at least. It may not have been the perfect shot placement on my behalf, but I'm pretty sure it was still good enough that it should've been a 1 shot event. From images of where deer vitals are, it seems like the heart would've got missed, but it should've still had plenty of lung to mess up. It only being my 2nd deer, it already was dark by the time I got to the chest part of the field dressing and I didn't pay much attention just how the lungs, heart, and liver looked, and I kind of wish I would've. At first I thought it was just adrenaline that got her to get back up and run off a bit, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it was.
Hello Haris,
Your deer was able to get up and run because you didn't hit the heart. Its lungs were gone and it would not have gone far even if you had not shot it again. I have seen lung shot deer hit with much larger caliber rifles do exactly the same thing. They will drop on the spot from the shock of the hit then get up and run, but again not that far then lay down and die. You need to get your shot some lower. Like behind the front shoulder midline to a bit lower yet to get the heart too. A lung shot will do the job but not as fast as a heart shot. I use Hornady 124 grian SP .310" diameter bullets over 24.0 grains of H4198 powder. But really any good commercial loaded ammo like Prvi, Winchester or Federal using a spire pointed soft nosed lead core copper jacketed bullet should be fine. Good shot placement and keeping the range at 150 yards or less will greatly improve your chances for a one shot kill with the 7.62x39.
 

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Hello Haris,
Your deer was able to get up and run because you didn't hit the heart. Its lungs were gone and it would not have gone far even if you had not shot it again. I have seen lung shot deer hit with much larger caliber rifles do exactly the same thing. They will drop on the spot from the shock of the hit then get up and run, but again not that far then lay down and die. You need to get your shot some lower. Like behind the front shoulder midline to a bit lower yet to get the heart too. A lung shot will do the job but not as fast as a heart shot. I use Hornady 124 grian SP .310" diameter bullets over 24.0 grains of H4198 powder. But really any good commercial loaded ammo like Prvi, Winchester or Federal using a spire pointed soft nosed lead core copper jacketed bullet should be fine. Good shot placement and keeping the range at 150 yards or less will greatly improve your chances for a one shot kill with the 7.62x39.
Goose, the only things that made me think that may not have been the case is the way the legs kicked and how it started hauling rear once it got up (even though it seemed to sit back down before shot #3). It seemed almost as if it was more just nerves firing and that the deer was dead already, before it got up. I've only shot 2 so far, so I'm not too familiar with the reactions. From the shows I've seen on tv, I don't recall them really kicking as if their spasming (sp?) much once they drop, unless they're gone already. Does that happen? I can post a picture of the deer and kind of direct you to where at least one of the shots is (still not too easy to see but can be made out), if you think that would help you tell me better?
 

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Goose, the only things that made me think that may not have been the case is the way the legs kicked and how it started hauling rear once it got up (even though it seemed to sit back down before shot #3). It seemed almost as if it was more just nerves firing and that the deer was dead already, before it got up. I've only shot 2 so far, so I'm not too familiar with the reactions. From the shows I've seen on tv, I don't recall them really kicking as if their spasming (sp?) much once they drop, unless they're gone already. Does that happen? I can post a picture of the deer and kind of direct you to where at least one of the shots is (still not too easy to see but can be made out), if you think that would help you tell me better?
Just some good ol boy deer huntin speculation here but I think that your high hit just under the spine most likely caused nerve damage. Good chance bone fragments from the rib cage when the bullet punched through did nerve damage and thus the leg movement you observed. I am pretty sure or as sure as one can be from the reaction of the deer you took out at least one lung. When a bullet hits a deer in the rib cage area it often takes a different path than straight through and can be tumbling as well causing all sorts of things to happen. If it got up and ran it was still alive, the damage the bullet inflicted more than likely was going to be fatal but had not taken effect yet. Ask a bow hunter how far a fatally hit deer can go as its dying. It can be surprisingly far. In this case with the deer not having run all that far after the second shot your third, call it insurance, shot may not have been needed but it didn't hurt anything to have taken it. The more you hunt the more you will observe and learn. Bottom line here is you did a good job and have meat to show for it.
 

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Just some good ol boy deer huntin speculation here but I think that your high hit just under the spine most likely caused nerve damage. Good chance bone fragments from the rib cage when the bullet punched through did nerve damage and thus the leg movement you observed. I am pretty sure or as sure as one can be from the reaction of the deer you took out at least one lung. When a bullet hits a deer in the rib cage area it often takes a different path than straight through and can be tumbling as well causing all sorts of things to happen. If it got up and ran it was still alive, the damage the bullet inflicted more than likely was going to be fatal but had not taken effect yet. Ask a bow hunter how far a fatally hit deer can go as its dying. It can be surprisingly far. In this case with the deer not having run all that far after the second shot your third, call it insurance, shot may not have been needed but it didn't hurt anything to have taken it. The more you hunt the more you will observe and learn. Bottom line here is you did a good job and have meat to show for it.
Cool, sounds good. That's what I was hoping happened, and I kind of suspected it to be more of just an adrenaline thing initially, but once I got to talking to some of the people at the hunting forum, several of them seemed to think it that the deer would've been lost had I not shot it that last time. I almost didn't shoot that last time once it sat/laid down again, but it was getting pretty dark so I figured to play it safe.
 
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