I appreciate your service ms6852. I really do. I was close enough to being sent to Vietnam that I spent plenty of time thinking about what that meant. I talked to my friends who did go there and I saw what it did to them. None of them came back as the same person they were when they left. It wasn't like they were bad people or anything. They were just different and I know it took a lot to make them that way.
I can't really see how a 7.62 x 39 is so big it's a factor against me. It's not like it's a 30.06 or something. I never notice the recoil at all. I've put thousands of rounds of it down range through both an SKS and an AK and I've never had a problem hitting what I want to hit even with multiple rounds fired quickly. Sometimes my SKS will rise on me but I've learned to control that almost 20 years ago. That rifle is plenty accurate enough to make hits on whatever presents itself out to 100 yards and it will do center mass shots to 300 yards. That's not really something I see being a need though. Where I live there aren't many 300 yard shots because of the hills and trees. I live in some really heavy woods and hills.
As for a well placed shot, that's about as over used of a statement as I have ever seen. Of course you have to hit something vital to stop someone whether you're using a howitzer or a slingshot. Either one can kill you but one has a much bigger capablity of hitting something vital. I don't know why everyone on every gun board thinks they have to repeat that advice. I really don't. Nothing personal but if a person doesn't know that much they shouldn't be allowed to own a gun (hyperbole only there - I'm not in favor of banning guns for stupid people
BTW if someone breaks into my house they will get a double tap, one to center mass and the second one to the brain. I can do that quickly and easily when there's no pressure but who knows if they can do it under real pressure until it happens. I won't be using a 7.62 x 39 to do it though.
I do have a .223 that is strictly a long range shooter for me. It's a bolt action varmint gun. I can hit a 2" group at a quarter mile with it. My eyes aren't what they used to be so I use a scope now. But I've seen people use iron sights and hit targets a lot farther than a quarter mile. One was a military trained sniper from WWII or Korea or both. He was an incredibly good shooter.