Rockymt, Sorry to have offended you. This forum is kinda like watching the 6 o'clock news. All you ever hear is a short soundbite edited exactly the way they want you to believe it. I just can't write an essay every time I get on here. In long range hunting for elk I have found the 338 to be the most effective weapon. Most of the 7mm ultramags I did came back for rebarreling because of short barrel life or after the elk hunt they realized a larger, heavier bullet would be better. I still have two and five 7mm stw's. The 7mm's are great calibers and mine shoot very well. There are better choices for long range elk though in my opinion.
I have shot quite a few record class elk with a bow, more than ten booners. Also some with a pistol and many with a rifle. Also through guiding and being in a ton of hunting camps for 40 years have seen hundreds shot with every caliber. My wish is not to offend anyone but to help guys through my vast experience so that hopefully they don't have to spend a fortune like I did to figure out what is best. They can draw from all that experience and do it right the first time. Whole lot cheaper that way. I don't care if nobody listens or cares what I say. All I can do is put it out there and let them decide.
JE wrote about exactly what a 7mm ultra will do and if that is what a guy wants have fun with it. I just said my experience with it. They can get one knowing they may have shortenned barrel life but the ballistics are great. Good luck with your hunting this fall.
Was not offended. Can't get the proper "emotion" in the typing. You are right, there is always a point down range that the larger caliber will out perform in how hard it hits. So why don't we all carry .50's? I think it all comes down to making the proper bullet choice for the caliber you are shooting. Then, horse power never hurts.
To hunt... or not to hunt...? What a stupid question.
The reason we don't all shoot 50 cals is because everything I discuss on here are hunting weight rifles. I have found a rifle scoped out with bipod under 11 pounds is a hunting weight rifle that most guys in good shape can carry and hunt with. Within that criteria the 338 caliber is the best available long range elk rifle that I have found.
Elk are very large tough animals that can carry a lot of lead. All shots are not perfect right through the boiler room even though a guy sitting at his computer reading ballistic charts would like to think otherwise. Here is the difference between a heavy, large caliber bullet and a small caliber bullet no matter what the bullet construction. If you hit an elk anywhere in the torso with a 338 or larger caliber heavy bullet at any range you will probably still get your elk. With a smaller caliber rifle you probably will not get your elk. A gut shot elk hit with a 300 grain 338 is one sick sob and will just hunch up and probably not go 50 yards before lying down untill he dies or you sneak close and finish him off. With a smaller caliber he will go several miles untill he dies. The guy who wants to always bring home his elk, understanding he is not perfect every shot will put all the odds in his favor. There is a reason for minimum calibers in Africa for the big stuff. They kill better.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
Had a 300 RUM it took 3 shots of 200 gr Accubonds into the boiler room of a Ca Black Bear to kill him. They were doing 3200 FPS . Guide told me to try and shoot it in the head behind the ear it'll turn it off like a switch. Point is its shot placement. Now I shoot a 270 WSM with 140gr Bergers at 3250 that's good enough for my hunting. Black Bear, Deer, Pig , Lion ,Coyotes.
How does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?
Wooo hoooo you're raining on my parade............ But I'm one of those power driven folks.
I shoot a 270 Allen Mag but wish I would have went with a 7mm due to the lack of 270 heavy bullets. I've shot her an extra bunch just just because. I fully expect to get a few shots over 1000 rounds through it. A 7mm smoker should exceed that amount of total shots just because it would be in someone else's hands. Once I get things settled out the rifle won't see 10 shots a year thus its life will be long.
I am treating berger bullets very harshly. The 150s won't shoot at any "reasonable" velocity in my fast twist 3 groove 30" bbl. The less the jump the smaller the group but min size is 1.5 MOA.
I'm working on a process to reduce 7mm Bergers to 277. When this is done to the 168s group size is right around 1 foot @ 50 yds. Really!. All holes are out of round to some extent. More than 90% of the holes are nearly horse shoe shaped. This is at velocities less than 3000 fps.
I suppose the same results would be achieved with the 180gr normal jacketed bullets.
The 180gr thick jacket match bullet shows good promise.
Highdrum, I'd recommend something like a 338 RUM, EDGE, or some such. Push the 300 SMK to whatever velocity you wish. Learn its drop and you're good for long range on larger animals. My carry rifle is a 338 RUM sporter weight with its range being limited only by the scope on it. To 900 yds its deadly and really fun to shoot.
But I wouldn't run away from one of the big 7s but I'm bettin you'll be short on bullet selection. One of the noted smiths here has gone the berger route and has ended up shooting 160 NABs in his. He mentioned, if I recall correctly, that he didn't notice much if any difference in jacket thickness between the regulars and the thicks.
When the Wildcat bullets gets going later this spring/summer bullets will no longer be an issue.
Sorry to get off subject, but Roy I have been trying to get some heavys from Paul he told me he was having problems with jackets comming apart in an 270AM 3 groove with lots of rounds throught it he was using to test with. He sent me some to try in my 5r rock first shot 530 yards direct hit. I knew they were working in my gun so just to be sure punched paper nice round holes. 7mm RHB told me that the 5 r barrel seemed to work better with the wildcats I wonder if you would have better luck with your experiment using a 5r barrel??
I know you have invested some $$$ in your equipment it may be worth a try .
I run the 180gr VLD at 3184fps in my 7mmRUM. You can kiss the barrel a slow goodbye after 150-300 rounds as the throat wanders off down the bore- fully worn out at around (accuracy wise) 600 rounds if long range precision is your game. I will be lucky if I keep this current barrel past 400 rounds, will just have to wait and see how it wears. Have a look at the 7mm-.300 Win mag thread if you want a low recoiling flat shooter that won't turn you sour. Otherwise, as others have suggested, you will need to go up in caliber. A super flat trajectory really isn't that big of a deal anyway, not with modern software. It's the shooter's ability to understand the wind that is the biggest challenge.
The over bore hyper velocity magnums always look like the cats meow on paper and in the ballistic software but there are several prices to be paid to get those cool paper ballistics. Cost of powder, constantly replacing beat up brass, costs to the gun smith for setting the barrel back regularly, costs of new barrels and the cost to redevelop new loads for all those new barrels. I have played the game and payed. And payed and payed.......Now I am looking into the WSM variety. Then again, I shoot ALOT.
Currently my .300 RUM is running just over 3100 with a 180gr Interlock. I'm guessing barrel life would be a lot better at this speed, but I want more. My groups are .4"s everytime now. Maybe when this weather clears up some, I can experiment with the Bergers and Accubonds.