I have seen deer drop with shoulder shots with 22-250 and swifts at 400 yards and the energy is down to about 600 lbs. I would say for elk about 1000 lbs minimum with good shot placement. The experts say 1000lbs for deer and 1500lbs for elk, but I think thats a little much. Bottom line is to put the bullet in the chest cavity with an ample amount of energy and likely the animal will be yours.
I never plan for a perfect shot angle while using a minimal set-up. There are far too many variables in the field and not everyone can pass up on a shot which isn't 100%. Sometimes 95% will be the best that you will ever get.
I typically use cartrides and bullets that are more then is necessary under ideal circumstances but will get the job done if the environmental conditions, or the bullet impact, was not exactly as I planned.
I agree that with elk, more is better. That is why premium bullets make sense. You usually don't get the perfect shot presentation. Angles are harder to pull off on a big animal like an elk. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
I have to agree with remingtonman_25_06 that 600fpe for deer is adequate but for elk I would try and keep it towards that 1200fpe. This is given good placed shots. Don't get me wrong on the part that more is better when it comes to energy. Also good bullets are a big part. Like peolpe have said, solids aren't good big game bullets for american game. I haven't tried the accubonds yet but I have had awesome performance with the ballistic tip. Both elk I have seen hit with the .308 180grbt fell where they stood. 100yards for one and a tad over 500 for the other.
I dont know who ever came up with the imaganary word of "Over Gunned"
Energy requirements are a subjective thing , its not actualy the energy that you need to be looking at as much as it is bullet performance. now if the chance of you shooting a bull at 500yds in the butt as hes walking away then yea your gonna need more energy to get that bullet through 4-5 feet of body to get to the vitals.
if your going to be hunting up close and be in a position where you'll have to make a hurried shot at a bad angle then shoot somting a little biggerish b ut if you now that your shots are gonna be in the 300-600yd range on animal that are grazing and you'll have time to wait for a broadside shot then you caliber and bullet choice gets alot larger.
But as for the energy question
If I shoot s bull through the ribs at 10feet with my 45 ACP and a 230gr XTP I know hes not going to go far and thats only 500lbs enegy max !!
What need to be answered here is what caliber are you shooting , then maybe someone can give bullet and range estimations.
As I said earlier- using 7mm rem mag- have been using Barnes TSX 160 gr- but am considering Berger 168 gr VLD- also considering Accubond 160 gr after previous comments. I am just looking for some guidlines as I extend the ranges that I am comfortable with shoot at as to where it becomes borderline that the bullet will not preform well. I don't want marginal shots the would and have a poor chance of humane kill. I do appreciate all the feed back that has been given- I did shoot a nice bull this fall at 450yds with the Barnes TSX 160gr and thought it preformed very well. 1 shot! But was just wondering how far that might extend if you needed to. I agree shot placement is critical, but there comes a point somewhere that the bullet no matter which one you use does not retain enough energy or velocity to perform as it should. That is what I'm looking for, realizing that that distance will change depending on the bullet selected. I like the Barnes but would like to look at other options if they would do better. Thanks- does any one know BC for 160gr Accubond?
It seems also that there is a greatest distance that an individual can consistently hit a target. That distance should be taken into account along with retained energy and bullet performance.
I have determined that my bullet will do its job on deer at X distance, but I cant put it where it needs to be past Y distance.
Man I hope I find a load that shoots better!