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Tactical rifle for deer hunting

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Gear Jammer, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Gear Jammer

    Gear Jammer Yacolt, WA Member

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    I'm toying with the idea of getting an Tactical style rifle for deer hunting. I know nothing about any of these type of rifles. My budget is in the $500 to $600 range, and I'm wanting something that is fairly accurate out to around 200 yds. I realize that the ammo used makes a big difference of course.
    I've looked at some reviews of the mini 30 and it seems that the new ones are better for accuracy than the older ones, but the price also has been a little out of my range.
    So what would you buy?
    For it to be legal for deer hunting in WA it needs to be .24 caliber or larger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  2. i8asquirrel

    i8asquirrel Keizer, oregon Member

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    I hunt with an AR 15 in 300 blackout and have had good luck. In oregon we can use .22 call centerfire and I have killed many deer with my AR in 5.56

    PS. Only the media calls all these assualt rifles.
     
  3. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    The 7.62x39 is a good choice, my brother used his Ruger 30 this year and dumped it where it stood with minimal damage.
     
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  4. baada

    baada Surprise, AZ Member

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    I'd go with a Legion Saiga 7.62x39. Excellent reliability and accurate out to 400 yards easy. You can pick one up for under $400. For $600, you might be able to find an Arsenal in the same caliber.
     
  5. billgrigsby24

    billgrigsby24 Beaverton, Or Active Member

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    That's a nice buck. I'm sure your bro was pretty dang happy. I've also been toying with the same idea. You will need a 5 round magazine as you cannot hunt in Oregon with a larger mag even if there are only 5 rounds in it. Rugers Mini14 would be a gun. Don't go after Elk with it unless you know you can get a head shot, although I did see a .243 drop a bear dead in its tracks so there's always a chance!
     
  6. Gear Jammer

    Gear Jammer Yacolt, WA Member

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    Duly noted, and adjusted.

    My problem seems to be that most of the semi auto tactical rifles in my price range are too small of a caliber for deer in WA. I have read some good thing's about the saiga's, and I see they come in 7.62x39 and .308, both of which keep me legal in WA.
    My plans would be to use the gun for a brush/woods rifle with a red dot scope on it, and for plinking. I have a .243 for hunting in the open with.
     
  7. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    Might want to look at the 30 carbine for a light, short brush rifle. The newer production inland and universal's can be had fairly cheap.
     
  8. Gear Jammer

    Gear Jammer Yacolt, WA Member

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    The 30 carbine has a great look, much like the mini 30 and the gun I really want, a Springfield m1a. The ballistics just aren't that great on it, it drops a lot at 200 yards, and even though I'm telling myself I'm just looking for a brush gun, I'll most likely use it for more than that. The Saiga in 308 seems have good accuracy, and the ammo is still fairly cheap. At the moment that's what I'm leaning towards.
     
  9. baada

    baada Surprise, AZ Member

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    I bought a converted Saiga-308 recently, and its definitely a looker, but I'm not impressed with the trigger configuration when converted. Take a close look at a good pic of the rifle, and you can tell the trigger is configured to work with the original hunting stock, but once you put the pistol grip on it there is too much upward movement and not enough rearward movement. I can tell just dinking around with it on the table that once I fire it (nope, haven't made it to the range yet), I don't think it'll be a fun shooter. You mentioned plinking as one of the purposes of the rifle you go with. Let me point out the price difference between 7.62x39 (as low as $.20/rd for the cheap stuff) vs 7.62 NATO/.308 (~$.40/rd for the cheap stuff). So on average you'll pay twice as much for plinking ammo.

    I also have an Arsenal SLR-95. Really nice rifle, fun to shoot, definitely minute of deer at 400m with open sights, all around one of my favorite guns.

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd have invested the cash I put into the Saiga-308 towards an AR or bought a whole lot of ammo for my Arsenal.

    All that being said, if you're set on a Saiga-308, I know a guy who'll sell ya a sparkling clean converted one with OD green Tapco furniture.;)
     
  10. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just so you know, there really isn't a comparison between the 7.62x39 and the .308. Yeah, they both use the same bullet diameter...
    Within 200 yards the 7.62x39 will be an effective deer cartridge. It may be accurate at 400 yards, but it won't be packing much energy. The .308 will still be steaming along...

    But, within the parameters you mention, I'd be comfortable with the Mini 30. Kinda want the same thing for myself for that kind of "work". Or a 5 round mag for my SKS!
     
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  11. baada

    baada Surprise, AZ Member

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    Well said. I wasn't even thinking in terms of energy. Absolutely the .308 will have more oomph at 400m. I'd still take the Warsaw round over the NATO round based on my preferred hunting style and cost of ammo, but I won't be selling my .308 bolt action anytime soon, either. Very valid point.
     
  12. jp1985

    jp1985 Linn County, Oregon Active Member

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    I would recommend a Saiga in either 7.62x39 or 7.62x51(.308). I own and use the Sagia .308 with the 21 inch barrel and love it. highly durable and has to **** and back reliability, and for being an ak platform are accurate.

    I use it for deer and elk, and they dont cost much.

    just my .02 .

    Good luck on your search and purchase:thumbup:

    JP
     
  13. baada

    baada Surprise, AZ Member

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    jp, did you convert your .308? If so, did you replace the trigger assembly?
     
  14. jp1985

    jp1985 Linn County, Oregon Active Member

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    No i really like the way it came from the factory and didn't feel the need to convert it:D.
     
  15. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    You can get ARs in many calibers other than 223 ya know.
     
  16. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    If using it for hunting 'also',I would definitely go with the 7.62X51 over the X39.Way better caliber further out.

    How about mounting optics on these?
     
  17. Gear Jammer

    Gear Jammer Yacolt, WA Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys. It sounds like I need to figure out what I'll be using the gun for the most and decide what caliber will best suite needs and go from there. I'm not looking for a 400m gun, but having the option drop a deer at that range is always nice. If I had a little more money to work with, an AR in a larger caliber would be high on my list, but so far all the one's I've seen have been $900 and up, which I just don't have right now.
     
  18. jp1985

    jp1985 Linn County, Oregon Active Member

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    Scope mounting is pretty easy on the Saiga. You can buy a side rail mount for around 50 and that allows you to put a western or eastern scope on it, or you could put a rail over the dust cover and have it western style as on most western rifles.

    As for the Ar in other calibers than .223 I can chime in here as i had an ar 10 (.308) dpms version and sold it to get my Saiga.

    I really enjoyed it and it was very accurate but durability wise it was no where near the Saiga. I hated hunting with it because it was so much heaver than the Saiga and mine had issues when wet or muddied i am pretty rough on gear when hunting at time because i do what i have to do to get to the game;).

    JP
     
  19. baada

    baada Surprise, AZ Member

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    Good choice, imo.
     
  20. jp1985

    jp1985 Linn County, Oregon Active Member

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    Yeah i guess i could in the future if i wanted to its not that hard, but i dont like messing around with the 922r stuff it can get confusing fast.