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View Full Version : AR deer hunting? not 5.56....


CCRBUM
12-01-2009, 12:04 PM
So I'm sure this has been discussed over and over already BUT!... I'm lookin for an upper for my AR (not in 308) to set up for deer... seeing as how 5.56 is not legal to take deer in my states! I'm lookin at 6.5 Grendel, 6.8SPC and 7.62x39... I know 7.62x39 isn't really in the same class as the 6.5 and 6.8 but really... what's the advice? I know as far as accuracy the 6.5 or 6.8 would be better but I'm not gonna be taking the deer out past 200 yards and I'm not lookin to win any competitions with it. My thinking is that the 6.5 would be cool to have, would do just fine with dropping deer and if I did decide to do some long distance shooting it's there. The 6.8 would also be cool to have, good for deer but not distance. The 7.62x39 would be fun, cheap to shoot and could also take deer... I would be able to spend a lot more time with it playing at the range too than the 6.5 or 6.8.. So really any of the three would work but as far as overall ability functionally drop deer inside of 200 yards which one? Thanks guys.. I've got a about a year to work on building or buying the upper so as far as needing something NOW it's not an issue..

THT
12-01-2009, 12:06 PM
Personally, I'd go with the 6.5G if cost isn't an issue. Ballistically superior but pricey.

Purple K
12-01-2009, 12:10 PM
6.8spc is more affordable and more plentiful than the 6.5g

Fjold
12-01-2009, 12:13 PM
Any of them will work on deer to 200 yards. If you don't reload choose the 7.62x39mm.

Purple K
12-01-2009, 12:15 PM
three-way tie. Who's gonna be the tie-breaker?

rc50cal
12-01-2009, 12:16 PM
All three will work fine on a deer. I am partial to 6.5 Grendel, and I am building a long range precision 6.5 AR. Both 6.5 and 6.8 are more expensive than 7.62 x 39 for plinking ammo, but I think good hunting rounds would be closer in cost.

wash
12-01-2009, 12:49 PM
I've heard that right now it's almost impossible to get ammo for the Grendel.

On the other hand, I'm going to buy 1,600 rounds of 6.8 SPC today (mail order) and I've even found some locally.

I don't have any experience with 7.62x39 beside shooting an SKS a long time ago. Luckily it was at a range with steel gongs up on a hill about 3-400 yards from the firing line. I tried two stripper clips and I couldn't hit them. The bullet drops a lot at that distance and I had never shot more than 100 yards before that. That rainbow trajectory turned me off.

Beyond that, the AR wasn't designed for the 7.62x39 and the 7.62x39 wasn't designed for the AR. 6.8 SPC was designed for the AR and there are good magazines available.

For all I know there could be a lucky accident, the 7.62x39 might work perfectly in the AR and 7.62x39 AR magazines could be great but I couldn't tell you.

I can tell you that 6.8 SPC loaded with the right bullet has a very good track record on deer and boar out to around 300 yards. There are reasonably priced uppers available and good magazines. It might work out more expensive than 7.62x39 if you want to use it for plinking but that's what .223 is for.

Lastly, if you pick 6.8 SPC, do some research before you buy, the original chamber and rifling left a lot of performance on the table, look for an SPC II or DMR chamber, don't get 10-1 or 9.5-1 twist (mine is 11.25-1).

gun toting monkeyboy
12-01-2009, 2:02 PM
6.8 seemed like the best of the three in terms of cost of ammo vs. performance vs. reliability. I decided to go that route, and expect my upper to show up here any day. Here is basically what I found:

6.5 packs the best long range punch of the three. But ammo is expensive, and brass is hard to come by.

7.62x39 is inexpensive to shoot. But the bolts are known for cracking. And finding magazines was harder than the other two. I am also not a real fan of hunting medium game with this round out past 100-150 yards.

6.8 is less powerful that the 6.5 and not as cheap to shoot as the 7.62x39. But... It give performace that is almost as good as the 6.5 out to about 300 yards. And parts, reloading supplies, magazines, and even ammo are available in many places. For much less that the 6.5. So for an all-around AR hunting cartridge, it seems to be the winner for me.

professionalcoyotehunter
12-01-2009, 2:05 PM
What state are you hunting that does not allow 5.56 for deer hunting?

Dirtbiker
12-01-2009, 2:16 PM
No love for .458 SOCOM, 450 Bushmaster or 50 Beowulf? These will all drop any deer in their tracks even in brush.

aermotor
12-01-2009, 2:19 PM
6.8 is a great choice imo, it most likely be my next upper if Grendel doens't become more widely available.

CCRBUM
12-01-2009, 2:19 PM
Kentucky and Virginia... So it sounds to me like I should lean more towards the 6.5 or 6.8 and from the sounds of ammo availability the 6.8 seems the be the way to go. so next question... buy the complete upper or build one? and who from?

professionalcoyotehunter
12-01-2009, 2:19 PM
Might as well bust out the .338 Lapua then.

RAMCHARGER
12-01-2009, 2:20 PM
How about the 30 Remington AR???

reidnez
12-01-2009, 2:27 PM
6.8 will suit you just fine, and the cost/availability benefits are big. Yeah, the 6.5 is a bit longer-legged, but I generally wouldn't take a shot at a deer past 300 yards anyway so the advantages (for me) are limited in terms of hunting use.

6.8 is becoming more and more mainstream (and thus cheaper and easier to find.) 6.5, on the other hand, is pretty much limited to an enthusiast group--much like 10mm auto for handguns. 6.5 is a great round, but if you want to get into shooting it you will probably need to get into reloading and custom components. The off-the-shelf availability is very limited.

Super Spy
12-01-2009, 2:29 PM
I've been down the same path, I'd pick the 6.8 over the 6.5 because of availability of ammo, do your homework and make sure you get the correct newer style chamber and the correct twist rate....AR-15 performance seems to be the way to go and you can get a nice upper from them for around $700. I too was curious about the 7.62x39 and for similar reasons....here's the catch, it cost more to buy an upper in 7.62x39 then to buy a Saiga (I just ordered a Saiga IZ-132 for $339 from Atlantic Arms) no worries about feeding problems, no need for a bullet button (in CA) and cheap ammo. I also just found factory loaded lead free hunting ammo so I can even use it in Condor country.

I love my AR and I'm building one in 308, but for hunting the Saiga may just be the low price ticket to success.

gun toting monkeyboy
12-01-2009, 2:29 PM
Bison Armory is doing mine. I sent in all the parts, and bought one of their barrels for $200. They are assembling it and test firing it for me for free. It has the new chamber dimensions and barrel twist, so I am good to go with anything anybody commercially loads for 6.8.

Bug Splat
12-01-2009, 3:04 PM
No love for .458 SOCOM, 450 Bushmaster or 50 Beowulf? These will all drop any deer in their tracks even in brush.

....or behind brick walls :D

Baxter
12-01-2009, 3:22 PM
My 450 bushmaster dropped a mulie like a sack @ 150yds. Iseem to be able to find ammo easily to. Good luck with the build.Bushmaster had these uppers for sale @ 590 bucks.

wash
12-01-2009, 3:24 PM
Silver State Armory has crates of 2008 production military surplus 6.8 SPC 115 grain OTM (Sierra Match King) Tactical load (for SPC II chambers) for under $1,500.00 shipped. Packaged in 20 round boxes inside ammo cans, two 800 round cans per crate.

http://www.ssarmory.com/images/products/display/SSA115OTM_bulk_M2A1.gif

While it might not be "sniper" ammo, it's really good stuff, a lot better than your typical surplus ball ammo, suitable for hunting at least two legged prey.

CCRBUM
12-01-2009, 3:29 PM
one day I'll get the 50 Beowulf but for now I think I'll go with the 6.8... so Bison Armory seems to have some good prices on their stuff. I'm assuming that their upper is minus the BCG for that price. Is that a correct assumption? and what is their quality like? This have been REALLY helpful guys!

reidnez
12-01-2009, 3:42 PM
Silver State Armory has crates of 2008 production military surplus 6.8 SPC 115 grain OTM (Sierra Match King) Tactical load (for SPC II chambers) for under $1,500.00 shipped. Packaged in 20 round boxes inside ammo cans, two 800 round cans per crate.

http://www.ssarmory.com/images/products/display/SSA115OTM_bulk_M2A1.gif

While it might not be "sniper" ammo, it's really good stuff, a lot better than your typical surplus ball ammo, suitable for hunting at least two legged prey.

As far as I know, neither the military nor any official agency has yet adopted a 6.8SPC weapon (correct me if I'm wrong), so how can there be surplus? I suppose it's possible that the government ordered some for testing, but it seems like they'd use it up. :confused::confused:

wash
12-01-2009, 3:44 PM
AR15Performance would be my my choice.

They make their own bolts from 9310 alloy and only sell barrels with a headspaced bolt.

The prices are reasonable.

wash
12-01-2009, 3:45 PM
It's not U.S. military surplus...

If you order some they will tell you more of the story.

aermotor
12-01-2009, 3:55 PM
800 rounds for $696 + shipping, that is pricey. http://www.ssarmory.com/6.8_spc_115OTM_M2A1.aspx

CCRBUM
12-01-2009, 3:58 PM
so for hunting purposes is it worth going to the 20" barrel or should I stick with an 18" or even the 16"?

Fjold
12-01-2009, 4:34 PM
20", why handicap yourself with less velocity? The shortest barreled hunting gun that I have is a 20" AR but all my medium game rifles sport 22"-26" tubes.

wash
12-01-2009, 4:45 PM
6.8 SPC gets it done in 16".

There isn't much more velocity to be had with longer barrels.

Jpach
12-01-2009, 4:55 PM
It's not U.S. military surplus...

If you order some they will tell you more of the story.

Could you tell the story who dont have the $$$ to drop on the 6.8 but who are interested? It interests us!

wash
12-01-2009, 4:55 PM
For ammo loaded with Match King bullets that is pretty cheap.

In 100 piece quantity, SMK's are about $0.24 each and SSA brass is about $0.42 each. They are selling the loaded ammo for $0.87 a piece. It's bigger quantity but it's primed, loaded, boxed, in cans and crated.

It's a good deal for premium ammo.

Jpach
12-01-2009, 4:57 PM
AR15Performance would be my my choice.

They make their own bolts from 9310 alloy and only sell barrels with a headspaced bolt.

The prices are reasonable.

+1 billion.

OP, AR performance has awesome uppers for awesome prices. Harrison, the owner, is a very cool guy and has been known to treat his customers right. Im going with him for my 6.8 build. And you should too
http://www.ar15performance.com/store

bombadillo
12-01-2009, 5:01 PM
Get a .308 lower and snag one of These (http://www.marksarmory.com/53001.html) from marks armory. You can get a 20" Hbar .243 that'll be perfect for most deer.

wash
12-01-2009, 5:03 PM
Could you tell the story who dont have the $$$ to drop on the 6.8 but who are interested? It interests us!
When they posted the deal on 68forum, they didn't want to get in to the details. I shouldn't spread what I've been told (and that isn't much).

What they will tell you is that they are moving out of Nevada and you can infer that the ammo has been sitting around since 2008.

CCRBUM
12-01-2009, 5:25 PM
Get a .308 lower and snag one of These (http://www.marksarmory.com/53001.html) from marks armory. You can get a 20" Hbar .243 that'll be perfect for most deer.

Not a bad idea! right now though I'm trying to build off of my existing lower. I think if I went that rout I would not be able to cover travel expenses :(

wash
12-01-2009, 5:42 PM
I've heard that the AR10 platform is much heavier than the AR15 type.

A 20" heavy barrel can't help.

Jpach
12-01-2009, 5:42 PM
Thats a smoking deal. The only turnoff is the chrome lining. Yea it will extend the life but its not so great for accuracy

CCRBUM
12-05-2009, 8:48 AM
ok so one last question. Is there really a huge difference in accuracy between a 16" barrel and a 20" barrel for the 6.8? one of the uppers I'm looking at is the Stag 6.8 upper.... I know it's not the best! But it'll allow me to play around with it and see how I like it without spending too much money :)... I know I read one report based off on 16" uppers and they didn't seem to do too bad out to 300 yards. Good enough to still kill a deer. So I'm sure I'll gain some accuracy going up to a 20" barrel but will it be that much and worth hauling around the extra weight?

5150Marcelo
12-05-2009, 8:54 AM
Isnt 243 an option to use on a 308 platform?

wash
12-05-2009, 12:35 PM
I heard of one person getting a bit over 100 fps more with a 20" 6.8 SPC. In my opinion it's not enough gain to make up for the weight and length.

You should look hard at AR15Performance before you buy that Stag. The price isn't much higher and you get a 9310 bolt in the bargain. I don't know how the Stag's are built because I got a great deal on my upper and didn't have to compare.

CCRBUM
12-05-2009, 3:31 PM
good to know wash. I'll look into AR15Performance a little more before I make a final decision!

CCRBUM
12-05-2009, 5:50 PM
I don't know if I could afford to shoot the .458 SOCOM haha.. but man that has got to be a blast to shoot!..... no pun intended! :D

C.G.
12-05-2009, 9:34 PM
I was going to suggest .458 SOCOM. Would that be overkill?

Yes.

Rob454
12-06-2009, 12:22 AM
I used to take deer with a SKS when i was a kid and sometimes i still take my SKS with me when i want something light to run with. If you get the 7.62 then you can get some brass cases and then reload those for hunting and then buy mil surp ammo to plink with.

wash
12-06-2009, 9:26 AM
I'm sure .458 SOCOM would do the job on deer but the price would be high and ammo would be hard to come by.

Maybe that Bushmaster would be better but 6.8 SPC seems more appropriate to me.

Mesa Defense
12-06-2009, 10:30 AM
Do not use the 120 Grm 6.5 TTSX on small game like a Cali deer. It's like shooting a pencil.

TSX performs much better on game from the Gren.

Best is the Scirocco II

CCRBUM
12-06-2009, 5:00 PM
just how big of a hole would the .458 SOCOM put in a deer inside of 100 yards?

Sick Boy
12-06-2009, 5:10 PM
I am currently starting my 6.8 build and while I was gonna go straight to AR15 Performance, I saw the Wilson Combat uppers last night and now I am torn between the 2. Damn!!!

IrishPirate
12-06-2009, 5:21 PM
i asked about building an x39 AR earlier and found out there are a few problems with them (almost completely magazine related) that are still being worked out. If you've got a year, it might be fixed by then. I'd say x39 is the best way to go if you're worried about money.....but if you get into reloading then none of them would be an issue and you could go with the one that will satisfy the most needs/wants from the gun (all money aside). Of course you could build an AR47...an AR that takes AK mags. but lets not get to crazy into building. we'll start a new thread for that...;)

cgseanp1
12-06-2009, 5:22 PM
Isnt 243 an option to use on a 308 platform?

Read post 32:)

CCRBUM
12-06-2009, 7:27 PM
IrishPirate - the more I read about the 6.8 the more I like it :)... I'll keep my 5.56 for plinking but with primarily using the 6.8 for hunting I'm feeling a little more comfortable with the cost of shooting it. But if by then they have the kinks out of the x39 I may have to get one too!