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best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

 
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2011, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: wyoming
Posts: 16
Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

i too have been trying to figure out what caliber rifle to get started long range shooting and was sure a 308 win would work great but when i see the custom long range hunting rifles rifles they don't even make 308 or 30.06 etc and i have figured out that the difference is if you want to do long range shooting or long range hunting.
my health wont let me elk hunt anymore but i can still go for mule deer, antelope, whitetail etc.
i was thinking savage 111 7 mag or 6.5 x284 with nikon monarch 6x24x50 or 8x32x50 could someone please tell me if they have ever tried this set up or have an opinion about my choice? i really could use some input. and would appreciate the help.
thanks
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  #16  
Old 05-01-2011, 12:38 PM
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Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Kirby,

Where i hunt moose shots can be close. Last year we had 3 moose get within 60 yards. But we had 6 moose out past 500 yards with the furthest this year at 890 yards lasered. A lot of the time the moose can be close but i was surprised how many were out past 500 yards. I might not have as much as experience as other, but i would like to say moose are that easy to kill. Elk seem to run when there hit. I have witnessed a moose hit with a 160 grain accubonds from a 7mm mag at 100 yards, and it continued to eat like nothing happened. We racked another shell and fired again and hit him again. He ran 50 yards and stopped. walked to the water and continued to eat. We hit him again and he dropped in his tracks. We unloaded and started to drive up to him and he got up walked to shore and stood there. We hit him high shoulder and he was finally finished. when we got there he had 3 shots in his lungs and the third was a high shoulder shot. I dont mean to be rude to anyone its just my personal opinion that moose are almost as tough as elk. they just react differently.

I will also be hunting elk though in Montana this year and hopefully years to come. i figured once we hunt it this year we will be going back!! Once i get better at longer ranges i would like to continue to back up till we hit the 1000 yard mark.
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  #17  
Old 05-01-2011, 01:44 PM
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Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

Matt,

I would agree and disagree with your comments. Here is why.

In temperment, moose are generally MUCH less "driven" then elk are. BY that I mean that they have a much more relaxed way of life then elk do in their temperment. Yes, moose can get a bit pissy and when they fight they can get very serious about it.

When an elk spooks however, it will often run, and run and run and run and within minutes its in a different sip code. This can happen and often does on an elk that has been shot but the shot impact did not contact any major support bones or nervous system.

A moose on the other hand, generally will not run far. It may hit cover but then generally will hole up. They may in fact wait for you to come and make a charge on you but they generally will not cover the ground that an elk will when injured. This is what I mean by the fact that they are easy to hurt.

If you next look at the lung capacity of a bull moose you quickly realize, as you have witnessed that if you put a bullet or several bullets through the lungs, it will STILL take some time for the animal to actually drown in its own blood. This time can be greatly increased if the bullets impact is low in the chest without hitting the heart or near the rear of the lungs. They just have a HUGE lung capacity.

Elk on the other hand seem to have much higher heart rates then moose so an elk shot though the lungs will generally bleed out faster but they will also generally be running while they die and they generally run into the nastiest cover they can find and run until they can no longer run from blood loss.

IF a moose had the drive that elk did, they could cover miles with even good shot placement.

I have shot elk with clean shots through the chest cavity and the bull hardly reacted to the shot but he fell over dead within 20 yards after several seconds.

I have also seen elk shot perfectly behind the shoulder that took us on a mile long hike.

I have also shot moose with my 7mm Allen Magnum and 160 gr Accubond at 3500 fps. First shot at 200 yards put the bull on his nose but he instantly regained his feet trotted 50 yards and stopped. Second shot was behind the shoulder, no reaction but the shot was certainly lethal, third shot was actually at the bull as it charged my guide. This shot impacted at the crook of the neck and broke the spine of the bull and he fell for the last time.

My point is simply this. A marginal shot on a moose with a lesser caliber will generally result in the moose hitting the first bit of cover and he will stop there offering either another followup shot or just take time for them to pass.

A marginal shot on an elk will result most often in a long training job at best and often a lost animal simply because once they start running, they seldom stop.

A moose may take a long time to die, that is for sure. But they are not hard to kill. Most people often panic because the animal does not appear to be effected by the shot and keep shooting when in most situations, the animal is dead, its just a matter of time but because the hunters have enough time to empty their rifle on the moose, they feel they are not using an adequate weapon for moose. That is hardly the case. They just need to realize that the critter they are hunting has a HUGE lung capacity, HUGE blood supply and unless you hit major support bones and often take out the nervous system as well, you will not get much reaction from a moose when you shoot him.

ALso consider that a 500 yard moose is a HUGE target. Easy to hit. A 1000 yard moose is still a huge target. Just the nature of moose, unless they are spooked, they seldom move around much at all. Slow, big, will not run much after being shot, perfect long range targets even with moderate chamberings.

My recommendation for to use a 300 RUM would work perfectly well in any situation you recommended, vastly superior to your 7mm loading for moose so not sure what your arguement really is directed towards to be honest. Still, I would never feel under gunned with a 7mm magnum and a quality bullet for any moose hunting, even for 1000 yard hunting.

For elk however, and their likelihood to cover alot of ground after a solid hit, I would recommend something alot larger, again, for over 800 yards, at least a big 30 cal magnum and for 1000 yard elk hunting a larger 338 magnum would be recommended.

Your example of your experience with the moose proves my point, you had PLENTY of time to get additional shots into that moose. Just because he did not react to you do not think he was not dead on his feet. If your expecting to take a moose off his feet with any rifle with a clean chest impact, you will be very unimpressed with every chambering out there. It simply does not happen that often without hitting high shoulder or spine.

Most moose that fall to the shot are in fact spined. This is because most of the time, the hunter does not realize how low the spine location is compared to other big game animals because of the large dorsal fines making the hump on the mooses shoulder. They shoot for high shoulder and more often then not spine the animal instead.

had you hit the bull on the first shot in the high shoulder and he fell on his nose, you likely would have had a different opinion of the mooses toughness.

My point is simply this, his lack of reaction to the shots has nothing to do with toughness, but more to do with sheer size more then anything else.
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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  #18  
Old 05-01-2011, 03:49 PM
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Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

kirby,

i didn't mean to offend you if i did. I didn't want to try to change your mind on moose either. I sometimes get carried away cause some people think moose are as easy to kill as a gopher at 3 yards with a 50 cal. i just think some people dont realize how tough they actually can be. We have had moose drop where they stood, we have had moose run over 2KM and we have had moose do exactly what i told you early. My point was that you said that if i was only hunting moose and black bear that the 300 RUM was all i needed. And i agree that the 300 RUM is all i need and the 338 would be a little bit of an over kill, hell my dad ueses a 270. win but i thought you were trying to tell me its cause moose arn't that strong, not much stronger then whitetail :P and that most of the time you dont take long shots that the 338 was an over kill. The reason im even considering one of the two is cause i wanted to get into serious long range. i wanted to practice and have some fun, own a real big gun. I am and would be happy with the 300 RUM or the 338 Edge but i do want to make sure i am not just wounding an animal at extended ranges and will be hitting him hard!!

i just wanted to let you know my personal opinion is that moose are one of the toughest animals i have encountered. They my give you a second or third or even fourth shot, and they might not run from Canada to the US but i believe they are tough. I do realize Elk are just as tough and more.

i just wanted people that will be answering this to know that i will be hunting elk as well and the guys i have spoke with have told me i may get up close in personal but i may have to prepare myself for shots 300, 400,500 yards and thats is where i limit myself untill i make sure my gun can still preform and keep a tight enough group that im not working off luck. Dave the guy that owns the range in Montana has a buddy that shoots a 338 RUM and harvested an elk at slightly over 800 yards 2 years ago. Dave was telling me that there is an unbelievable amount of shooting opportunities so i just want to have a rifle in either a 300 RUM or 338 Edge that i can have some fun, and practice with out too 1000 yards and untill i can continually hit that with good groups and then i will back it up for fun. i would like to harvest animals at those ranges if the opportunity presents it self. Because i am new to this i just want to make sure im not under gunned
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  #19  
Old 05-01-2011, 04:09 PM
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Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

No offense taken in any way, I agree with alot of what you say.

I personally believe moose are not as tough as you think they are, they just are so large they can take alot of abuse before going down.

Shot placement is everything, no matter what we are hunting. Because of the anatomy of moose, I beleive there are alot more "low quality" hits then many realize. As you said, some moose go right down.

I know of a situation when good moose was hit solidly, not long range, around 400 yards with a 375 RUM with 260 gr Accubonds at 3100 fps. The bull never lifted his head when hit even though there was a huge SMACK on impact. I was watching through a spotting scope and clearly saw the impact of the shot. The bull was in a frozen meadow so I told the shooter to chamber another round and just get on the bull. He was 500 yards from the nearest cover so we just held there and watched him because I knew the shot was good. The hunter also knew it was a good hit.

After 3 minutes the bull started to realize something was wrong but he never spooked, just stopped eating. He slowly started walking toward some water so the hunter gave him another blow in the chest, again, very little reaction but the bull walked another 20 yards and laid down. We could see the bulls head for 15 minutes before he finally laid down. the whole time, blood was constantly coming out of the bulls nose.... Then finally, he just laid his head down and died.

On three other occasions I witnessed two other bulls taken, one with a 243 Win and 100 gr Partitions, one with a 280 Rem with 150 gr Partition.

The 243 cal bull took the 100 gr partition through the spine and for some reason was dead by the time we got to the bull which was around 30 minutes from the time of shot because we had to make our way around a river.

The bull taken with the 280 was a high shoulder hit that put the bull on his nose as well and died with a follow up shot when we got up to him but he could not move.

I have also heard of accounts from serious archery hunters that say if you get an arrow in the body of a bull moose, you will recover the animal 90% of the time on the same day that the bull was wounded.

That certainly can not be said for elk hunters.

Again, certainly not offended by your comments and do not question them at all but I believe the toughness of moose has more to do with their huge size and ability to absorb punishment more then actual toughness. Still, both need to be addressed to have a successful hunt.

No qualm with your comments at all.

Good hunting.
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Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

allenmagnum@gmail.com
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2011, 04:47 PM
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Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

looks as if we reached an understanding and both agree that the elk is the tougher of the two but the moose is still a tough animal due to size.

thank you for your response though on the caliber. so you think the 338 is not needed for my intened purpose on Moose, Elk, Black Bear, Whitetail and caribou. Now do you say that the 338 is no needed because its more money or just cause its not needed?
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  #21  
Old 05-01-2011, 05:00 PM
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Location: Wyoming
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Re: best Long Range Caliber for big game! please look

I have killed many elk and moose. From what I have seen elk and moose differences tend to be about like what Kirby said. For all the type hunting you described, if I was going after one rifle it would be a 338 caliber. I have a Tikka T-3 light in 338 winchester I carried all over Alaska last year and have never made more than one shot on big game to 800 yards. That includes grizzly, sheep, caribou, elk, etc. With another 338 winchester I took a huge moose at 1100 yards first shot. I have a rem 700 338 RUM with a brake that is an excellent all around rifle for your purpose in a factory rifle. It has also taken every animal I ever shot with it with one shot. However the last big 6x6 bull elk I shot with it was three shots through the chest. He was already dead when the last two hit him. At 800 yards I thought he was standing on a steep slope but was lying there dead after the first shot and I didn't know it looking through my little window through the spruce. When he didn't flinch after the sound of the last two hitting him dummy figured he was shooting at a dead elk and was right.

There are several good 338 options in a factory rifle. These are just a couple I have tested with good results the past couple of years that will not break the bank. If you are looking to have consistent succes at 1000 yard type hunting I recomend getting Kirby or one of the other good guys on here to build you a top notch long range rifle in 338 something with a custom action.
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