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Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

 
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  #64  
Old 05-15-2014, 10:33 PM
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Re: Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

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Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
I think some people just don't understand ballistics, the 30-06 with a 180 gr bullet has been mentioned several times as decent elk medicine while a 6.5 is too small. If you run the ballistics on the 30-06 with a 180 gr Accubond clocking 2900 fps at my elevation you get to 500 yards with 1850 ft lbs of energy at 2150 fps, definitely enough to get an elks attention in comparison my little 6.5 shoots 160 gr bullets at 3050 fps and hits 500 with 2180 ft lbs of energy at 2475 fps which any elk on this earth will have a hard time with and it RAPES the 30-06. Is my little 6.5 still to small, I think not!

Don't get me wrong I like a big 338 as much as the next guy but really only find the need for that much rifle when I'm fighting wind, distance or just want to blow them out of their hooves which is fun every once in a while also

Not sure you can legally call that a "little 6.5". What is it?
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  #65  
Old 05-15-2014, 10:44 PM
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Re: Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

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Originally Posted by Barrelnut View Post
Not sure you can legally call that a "little 6.5". What is it?
It's little, 6.5 SS runs 70 gr of water capacity and it cycles through a standard short action Rem with bullets seated out. Very mild recoil, almost oddly mild in fact. Pole axed two elk this year at 800+ and I was only using 140's in it.
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  #66  
Old 05-16-2014, 12:42 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
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Re: Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

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Originally Posted by msalm View Post
"Honestly if you can't get within 400 yards of an elk your almost certainly not trying very hard."

I somewhat disagree with this statement.... I've shot elk from 30 to 850 yards and in every instance got as close as possible before taking the shot. Public land CO DIY is the only elk hunting I've done and I've done very well at it having killed 9 elk now with 9 elk tags I've had in my pocket. I've stalked them in timber, still hunted cover, shot across canyons, and got them coming and going to food or cover. Being capable to shoot 500-600 yards opens up opportunities that will fill tags when otherwise you will go home empty-handed. My elk this last season the bull was cutting up slope early morning headed to timber at first light. I shot him at 500 yards before just before he got through a narrow cut to a higher bench and if he made it through there my chance would have been gone.

Hunting on public land in CO I have yet to find that calm herd just hanging around waiting for you to either cut them off or put the sneak on them. Putting yourself in a good position looking over travel areas between food and cover at first or last light will put elk in front of you and if that is 400 yards or farther away you have a better chance of hunting them the next day if you don't get a shot the first time.

So anyway, for me a suitable caliber has evolved from a 30-06, to a 300 WSM, then a 300 RUM and 7 WSM. I have a heavy 300 RUM shooting 200 gr Accubonds @ 3250 (30" bbl) that works well out to 1000 yards I use for an overlook rifle, then I also take a lighter hunting rifle I use for scouting and hunting cover. My new build will be a light TI Pierce action 300 Win Mag that will hopefully be the last elk rifle I build. Not sure on bullets, but the 200 gr accubond has been a great bullet so far.
I concur with everything above. I have a .300 WM and a 7mm I hunt with in CO on a DIY hunt on public land. The great majority of my elk have been killed between the 400-500 yard range. I have also killed several at 100 yards.

Where I hunt, I could have an 800-900 shot at one moment and a 100 yard shot the next. It just varies, so I carry my magnums all of the time.
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  #67  
Old 05-16-2014, 12:46 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Shasta County
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Re: Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

I am tempted to carry my 7-08AI though. It's compact, has a great scope. It's light and shoot 1/2-3/4 groups. I push a 140g AB @ 2950. I think it's plenty to kill an elk and it shoots flat.

But, I like the idea of a flatter shooting, more powerful cartridge. It gives me one less thing to think about when dealing with the set up on killing an animal.
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  #68  
Old 05-17-2014, 09:28 AM
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Location: SW Wisconsin
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Re: Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

Oops

Last edited by msalm; 05-17-2014 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Double post
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  #69  
Old 05-17-2014, 09:28 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SW Wisconsin
Posts: 222
Re: Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

Marble,
I used the 140gr accubond at 3150fps this year and performance was somewhat puzzling, but still good. At 500 yards my first shot was about 10-12" behind the shoulder. No sign of a hit, and upon inspection, no exit. Second shot I held a bit forward and hit him on the shoulder maybe 1/3 of the way up. That dropped him like a stone and the bullet did a hell of a job breaking the on-side leg and plowing through the heart coming to rest in a lump on the far side. I cut skin and the bullet fell into my hand. I didn't weigh it yet, but I'd guess about 50% retention. That bullet seemed to perform excellent, not sure on the other one as we were in a hell of a spot and boned him out without gutting so I didn't go digging for it. On elk with that first shot, I'd prefer to shoot a caliber that will penetrate all the way and if I use the 7MM WSM again I may switch to the LRX or the 160 AB.
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  #70  
Old 05-17-2014, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 51
Re: Adequate Cartridge for Elk???

A .243 shooting a properly constructed bullet (TTSX,GMX,or E-tip) will have no problem taking elk out to 300-400 yards. Certain shots should be avoided, and its not ideal for all situations, but certainly capable. My 240 Wby has had its share of Elk kills, but it is not my go to rifle. I'm not a big magnum person by any means and I hate muzzle breaks, so my elk rifle battery consits of a 6.5 Creedmoor, 280 Ackley Imp, and a 338-06 Ackley Imp. all shooting lead free. Hunting is not a cheap hobby and tags are harder and harder to come by. Waiting 10 years or more for a elk tag is not uncommon in some parts of the country. I don't want to miss any opportunity I have at one so I'll make sure I use one of the above rifles to make sure I can get a bullet in from any angle. Use what you have but remember the limitations of that paticular rifle.
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