Re: 140 Berger 6.5mm VLD; 1800 fps expansion velocity
I agree with BnG. For a 6.5, I would like to see more than 1800 fps on elk and depending if you're talking cow or bull. I would really hesitate to shoot a mature bull with a 6.5 bullet going less than 2000 fps.
My personal preference lower end limitation is a 30 cal, 180 gr bullet @ 1800 fps or above (assuming the bullet opens @ 1800 fps) which comes out to 1300 ftlbs of energy. A bullet like that should easily penetrate both lungs and do sufficient damage to make a quick kill. I would probably not attempt a shot that would encounter heavy bone with a 180 gr bullet @ 1800 fps. I shy away from using KE as the indicator of what I can or cannot shoot. Elk come in a large size range of about 300 - 900 lbs so what might kill a 300 lb calf might not be a good choice for a large bull, and what might be good for a large buck deer might also be good for a cow or calf elk.
I look at the game animal, bullet caliber and size, bullet construction, bullet terminal characteristics and minimal opening velocity. it's probably a good idea to pad minimum opening velocity by a few fps.
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