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Choosing Calibers

 
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  #15  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:04 PM
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Re: Choosing Calibers

Take a look at the "6.5x284 or 338 win mag" thread on the longrange hunting and shooting forum.
A big magnum is not required to kill elk, good shooting is. The 6.5x284 will make a fine elk rifle at 600.
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  #16  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:45 PM
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Re: Choosing Calibers

I'm kind of partial to this one but since it's been around since 1906....it's not quite as 'appealing or classy' as the new kids on the block!


'06cartridge by Sharps45 2 7/8, on Flickr
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2012, 10:27 PM
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Re: Choosing Calibers

My 600 yard elk rifle is a 300 Win Mag, and the back up is a 7mm STW shooting 180's and 175 partitions respectively. Both will do 5 inch groups at that range with the 1500 lbs energy being met.
There are many cartridges that will take a well hit elk cleanly at 600 yards. What you want is one that will take the "not so well hit" elk. Many hunters overestimate their abilities at that range, with the rusults being unhit or game that was hit and got away. Use as much gun as you can shoot accurately.
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  #18  
Old 09-25-2012, 11:31 PM
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Re: Choosing Calibers

"use as much gun as you can shoot accurately"
This is sound advice. I have shot elk with 270, 30-06, several different 300 magnums, 358 STA, 7 rem mag, 7-08, and a few others. They all worked very well. Perhaps the most devastating elk killer was a 300 Jarrett pushing 200 gr. bullets to 3028 fps.
The 300's and 358 were just as accurate as anything else I have shot though it did take a lot of practice and required focus to shoot them well.
My personal favorite is the 7 rem mag. It hits hard at long range, kills just as effectively as the 300's did though perhaps not quite as dramatically as the Jarrett, and does so with less recoil.
I am shooting a 270 WSM for elk this year. With the heavier bullets it will be virtually identical to the 7 mag. Looking at the stats on the 6.5-284, it delivers plenty of the right stuff for elk shooting as well.
I am not convinced going bigger necessarily means more room for error. With the selection of bullets we have available today, we can have deep penetration, explosive and devastating performance, or something between the extremes to tailor the performance of our load.
How much room for error do we really need anyway? A poor shot with any caliber is going to result in a lost elk. Perhaps something that isn't too punishing can be mastered to a level where one is more likely to make a better shot in the first place.
I would like to hear more talk in these forums about picking good shots than all we hear about planning for poor ones.
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  #19  
Old 09-26-2012, 12:32 AM
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Re: Choosing Calibers

Quote:
Originally Posted by COBrad View Post
"use as much gun as you can shoot accurately"
This is sound advice. I am not convinced going bigger necessarily means more room for error. With the selection of bullets we have available today, we can have deep penetration, explosive and devastating performance, or something between the extremes to tailor the performance of our load.
How much room for error do we really need anyway? A poor shot with any caliber is going to result in a lost elk. Perhaps something that isn't too punishing can be mastered to a level where one is more likely to make a better shot in the first place.
I would like to hear more talk in these forums about picking good shots than all we hear about planning for poor ones.
I am in full agreement.

In 30 years of guiding deer and antelope hunters (some with virtually no hunting experience at all); Generally speaking, the ones who gave me the least amount of grief were shooting guns that they can handle, and that they can shoot well. As a guide, it was up to me to get them into a steady position at a sure distance. Generally, that was under 300 yds and 200 preferably.

A leg or gut wound on a 70lb antelope with a 300 Ultra Mag is no more deadly than a leg or gut wounded animal shot with a 243.............Seen it, seen it many times. In my experience, most guys that need a guide and are shooting the big guns are more likely to miss or flub the shot than the guys shooting something reasonable and accurate. Statistically, IME; the folks that are using a moderate recoiling gun are placing their shots more accurately.

I remember a couple of antelope hunters from back nearly 20 yrs ago that had the best optics and most expensive rifles money could buy. They were shooting 300 Weatherbys in the most high dollar configuration that Weatherby made at the time. Swarovski Scopes and Binos. Doing everything I could to get them within 300 yds of SCI bucks on public land, getting them into prone positions and talking them through the shots..............you know, "breath relax, take your time.....he's not going anywhere......wait till he's broadside. Breath relax aim and squeeze..........take him when your ready". These guys were probably the worst rifle shots I'd ever guided. Took 2 full days with positions on at least 3 or 4 bucks per day for them to get their bucks down............and about 20 shots for each guy. Granted, this is an extreme example of a real situation, but generally it was the guys shooting 7mm magnums and bigger that missed the most. Rarely had an issue with the fellas using 30-06's, 308's, 243's, 270's or 25-06's.

I believe this stems from the flinch, IMO most of us humans flinch to one small degree or another with anything that causes discomfort to our shoulders or head, and usually it's not even a conscious decision.......it's totally instinctive and involuntary. Unsteady shooting positions and heavy triggers just amplify the errors caused by the flinch and big boomers just amplify the flinch reaction.
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  #20  
Old 09-26-2012, 12:04 PM
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Re: Choosing Calibers

SBruce, I always welcome the input of an experienced guide, and your observations mirror mine.
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  #21  
Old 09-26-2012, 03:52 PM
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Re: Choosing Calibers

timmymic i have a 7mm 08 and use it alot for elk have taken bulls and cows out to 500 with it. you just need to pick your shots and expect to track a litttle. i use the 140vld hunting in it for deer and the 140 accubond for elk then shoot almost the same out of my gun.i shoot them at 2900 with rl19 rick
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