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How far to kill an elk with a .243?

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Unread 12-12-2011, 11:53 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

I would think that if your "coaching" and doing all the practice to become such a proficient shot to gaurentee the shot with a little bullet at that range you have probably already discussed anatomy and shot placement? Isn't it a little late to decide that stuff while on the trigger? I have shot a lot of deer and antelope with a .243 and it does have a good amount of knockdown up to 300 or so but longer is touch and go with me shooting.
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Unread 12-13-2011, 08:10 AM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Originally Posted by Scot E View Post
FWIW, I have watched many of John's videos and am pretty certain that the directions he gives her, ie hold in the center . . . . hold behind the shoulder, are 2 separate sets of directions. Meaning he tells her where to hold vertically and then where to hold horizontally. I have heard him do this on other videos too.

Not condoning the shot or the cartridge choice just pointing out that I don't think he was in any way being irresponsible in his coaching.

Scot E.
I am pretty sure he was telling her where to hold for his wind calls. I have a 243Ai that I am positive would put a 115 dtac within a couple inches of my desired POI at that range. Not gonna say I would shoot an elk with it, but I have no doubt that the results would mimic the video. I hunt with too many guns to ever go afield with even the slightest doubt in my mind that I am under gunned.
I admit that I know just enough to be dangerous.....but dangerous at ever extending distances.
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Unread 12-13-2011, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

On the site that link was copied from John tells you to listen to his wind calls. He explains what he used to call the hold and noted the wind direction change. He said to watch the warm air from the cow's breath as conformation of the change in wind direction, thus moving from mid point to behind the shoulder right before the shot. This was not a one time event with that gun.
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Unread 12-19-2011, 09:36 AM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Magnumitis infected America long ago. Europeans routinely kill moose (bigger than elk) with the 6.5 Swedish Mauser. Eskimos hunt polar bear with the .243 and .303 British. More deer have been poached with the .22 LR than any other caliber. The .243 with a 95 grain Barnes bullet has more energy at 500 yards than a .44 magnum at the muzzle. Using a fragile bullet (except perhaps the Bergers) for heavy boned game can be a problem for any caliber. Bullets like the Barnes increase weight retention and penetration. Many people think you need a .300 Magnum for elk, but I killed a bull last year with one shot at 350 yards (168 gr. Berger bullet @ 2700 fps) out of my 7mm WSM. I thought I was impervious to recoil until I started shooting 400 gr. bullets with 150 gr. 777 out of my muzzleloader. I closed my eyes and jerked the trigger on a 90 yard shot at a cow elk. I have a poor man's ultra light rifle, a Contender Carbine in 7-30 Waters. With 120 gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips, it wouldn't penetrate a small Barbary sheep ewe at 90 yards. I switched to Barnes, and it went through the shoulder and dropped a big ewe in her tracks at 230 yards. I have no doubt it would kill an elk. My friend hit 3 oryx last year with 150 gr. Rem. CoreLokt bullets, and lost all 3. He changed over to 180 gr. bullets and finally harvested one. Bullet sectional density, placement and terminal performance make a big difference. I almost always use a bipod and Barnes bullets. The chance of good bullet placement go up dramatically with less recoil. I've watched dozens of nimrods at the range who can't sight in their big magnums because after the first 3 shots they're flinching so badly there isn't a group. For a great discussion on lower velocity, knockdown, and meat damage, go to EABCO's web site. eabco.com/Reports/report05.htm
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Unread 12-19-2011, 10:27 AM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Originally Posted by Broz View Post
The part that bothers me here about John's Coaching more than the small caliber is the follow up. He should be training to chamber a folow up round and get back on the elk for a good while. Many times they will get back up.
I agree. My dad used the same bullet, 105 gr. Berger, to take a buck antelope this year. I forgot my video camera, but it would have made great footage since it dropped right in it's tracks at 672 yards. The only problem is, it got back up...
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Unread 12-19-2011, 06:21 PM
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Location: SW MO
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

I have mixed feelings about the video. Clearly the cartridge and bullet combo did the trick nicely in this case. I have my doubts about consistent performance of that type. It sure makes me feel more confident in my 7mm STW shooting 168 gr VLD's, though!
The critters have to win every time, I only have to win once.

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Unread 12-28-2011, 11:14 AM
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Location: Big Horn Basin, Wyoming
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

I dont shoot bergers except in my 22-250, but I shoot SMK's which are similar in design in my 338 and they blow up on everything, If anything I have decided that if it were not for the sheer weight of my 300 SMK's it would fail almost every time. No way would I use that bullet on an elk at any range, especially with a beginner hunter who is more apt than an experienced shooter to make a less than perfect shot. I would have loaded her up with 100 partitions and cut the distance in half. but it worked out so thats pretty awesome for the young lady.

" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
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