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How far to kill an elk with a .243?

 
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  #29  
Old 12-28-2011, 12:15 PM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

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Originally Posted by Tikkamike View Post
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, .
Just for referance Mike. I would assume your opinion is due to you have not recovered many due to complete pass throughs or you didn't dig far enough. But this might make you feel better about the 300 smk you are killing elk with.

Shot was 526 yards from my Lapua. Bullet almost exited but was on the outside of the far shoulder.






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  #30  
Old 12-28-2011, 12:29 PM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Broz,

I have not recovered one although I have recovered parts. I shot a cow this year throught both shoulders at 864 and it looked like someone drove a pipe through her, it was very effective, my problem actually comes from the 20ish deer and antelope I have killed with that rifle, even the ones hit in the ribs blow enormous holes which tells me my bullet is falling apart on a relatively soft animal, I have never had it fail so I cant say that it will, but it seems to me like a similar bullet in 1/3 the the weight will also come apart like that leaving very little weight retention, so makes me wonder what would have happened if that girl had hit that elk in the shoulder, would it have made it into the vitals? I dont know but im an old school partition /tsx style guy...I know you have have great sicess with your bergers though,
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Get a JOB! I already feed the bears, I dont need to feed you too!

" 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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  #31  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:38 PM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broz View Post
Just for referance Mike. I would assume your opinion is due to you have not recovered many due to complete pass throughs or you didn't dig far enough. But this might make you feel better about the 300 smk you are killing elk with.

Shot was 526 yards from my Lapua. Bullet almost exited but was on the outside of the far shoulder.


Looks and sounds like perfect penetration to me. 99.9% pass thru...cant ask for much more than that IF its passing thru a "vital" area
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  #32  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:39 PM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Mike, I don't disagree about the size of the exit holes, especially on goats. I just wanted you to see the size of the biggest part that is exiting. We better watch what is standing behind the elk or we might need an extra tag..

If memory serves me correctly this bullet had a retained weight of 185 gr. That leaves a 115 gr's of fragnents so no argument there about the fragments. This could be viewed as the best of both worlds you know. Kinda like shooting a bull with a 25-06 loaded with a fragmenting bullet and at the same time hitting it with a 180 from a 300 cal that passes through. Maybe this is why they work well for me and others.

Anyway, I know you are a hunter and thought you would like to see some of my findings with the 300 smk. I have said before I have no issues at all with this bullet. But the Berger 300's are more accurate at long distances in my rifle and buck the wind well too.

Jeff
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  #33  
Old 12-28-2011, 01:58 PM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broz View Post
Mike, I don't disagree about the size of the exit holes, especially on goats. I just wanted you to see the size of the biggest part that is exiting. We better watch what is standing behind the elk or we might need an extra tag..

If memory serves me correctly this bullet had a retained weight of 185 gr. That leaves a 115 gr's of fragnents so no argument there about the fragments. This could be viewed as the best of both worlds you know. Kinda like shooting a bull with a 25-06 loaded with a fragmenting bullet and at the same time hitting it with a 180 from a 300 cal that passes through. Maybe this is why they work well for me and others.

Anyway, I know you are a hunter and thought you would like to see some of my findings with the 300 smk. I have said before I have no issues at all with this bullet. But the Berger 300's are more accurate at long distances in my rifle and buck the wind well too.

Jeff
yeah its very interesting i have to say im suprised its such a big chunk of lead still. i wish i would recover one after nearly blowing a goat in 2 to see what it looks like. But I am with you I have had no problems killing what I shoot with it. my biggest gripe is ruined capes when im lucky enough to find something worth mounting. I think maybe your right about the best of both worlds thing. and my second cow from this year lines up perfectly with that line of thinking.
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" 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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  #34  
Old 12-28-2011, 02:29 PM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

To the original question. Never carry a 243 elk hunting! If you can afford to go elk hunting you should do hunting a favor and buy an elk rifle. Can several guys on here kill elk with a 22-250 and proper bullets and shot placement? Probably can better than most average hunters can with a 300 magnum. However that does not make the 22-250 a great elk rifle. I could take my extremely accurate 308 winchester out with proper bullets and video camera and always wait for that perfect high shoulder shot and make my 308 look like the greatest long range elk killer in the world to average guys. It would not be wise to do that because it would cause many wounded and lost animals just like using a 243.

Get an elk rifle and bullets that will work at any range you can hit the elk and at any shot angle. On many hunts you do not choose the shot or shot angle. The elk does that and you must be prepared for whatever that may be with a rifle that will take him cleanly at any angle and at any range to play your best odds for success on the hunt.
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  #35  
Old 12-28-2011, 03:03 PM
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Re: How far to kill an elk with a .243?

To answer the OP's original question;

Most will agree (I do) that 1500 ft/lbs of terminal energy is minimum acceptable power required to kill an elk sized animal. And 1200 ft/lbs is minimum for deer sized game.

According to my Load Base 3 program, my loaded 243 rounds with 105 VLD's carry 1500 ft/lbs out to 250 yards.

My 243 Ackley Improved rounds loaded with 105 VLD's carry 1500 ft/lbs out to 430 yards.

Both of these loads shot out of the same rifle, a Bruno Custom 243 AI with .274 neck.

243 Win
105 VLD
2978 fps = 1500 ft/lbs at 250 yards

243 Ackley Improved
105 VLD
3300 fps = 1500 ft/lbs at 430 yards

About 3 decades ago, my physics professor taught me that energy is energy and it does not matter the size of your pen..., err, ahh, barrel. The target doesn't care. I have pretty much proven this to myself (and some others) over the years by shooting at all kinds of stuff (phone books, boards, ballistic gel, animals, etc.) at ranges that varied to way out there.

Every year skilled and determined hunters "ethically" take elk and other big game animals with a bow and arrow or a muzzle loader; at the appropriate ranges. Many times because that is the only tag that they could draw. The key is knowing the effective range of your weapon, being able to shoot it well, and taking ethical high percentage shots. Will being in the woods with your 338 Super Mag Ultra Rocket Edge rifle increase your chances of bringing home an animal? Of course.

Will I hunt elk with my 243? Nope. I will use my 7mm Rem Mag topped with a 168 VLD moving at 3025 fps. It carries 1500 ft/lbs out to 690 yards. Which is usually further than I can ethically place a bullet in the field unless I get a chance to really "bench up". If I can draw a bow tag somewhere am I going hunting? You betcha.

Get out there and hunt.
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