I must have missed this post. Looks like a good one for discussion.
To the original poster= I am a very large fan of the 7mm and have had almost all of them at
one time or another.They have all served me well for the type of hunting I used them for. But
like everything else they to have there limits.
I am also an advocate of using the largest caliber practical/possible when hunting.
My recommendation for the best Elk Caliber would be -
Max distance you are capable of hitting 1/2 to 3/4 MOA consistantly.(Never plan on closer
distances and you will allways be better prepared).
Look at the energy levels @ that distance and limit energy to the recomended level of
1500 ft/lbs. (less energy will do the job but may not perform as well overall.
Don't consider weight , recoil and cost of ammo yet, (That comes later when you decide
what caliber you chose. I see all the time where ammo cost is an issue. My opinion on this
mater is simple. After spending $$$$$ on a long range Rifle and large amounts of $$$$$
on a Elk hunting trip
The ammo is on of the cheapest parts of the hunt and should be the
best you can buy or Load.
Years of hunting deer at extreme distances taught me that even though the 7mms performed
well, A 30 cal with the energy and trajectory to match the 7s performed better.
I bow hunted only for Elk for over 20 years and after a shoulder injury I had to lay the bow
down and pic up the rifle for my Elk hunting. Having killed Elk with a bow I can tell you they
can be very hard to bring down Quick. So knowing that there have been thousands of Elk killed
with 270s and 30/06s I still decided to go with something larger to minimize loss potential.
I am into one shot kills and dropping an animal in his tracks so armed with this I chose the 338
RUM and have not been sorry. My limit with this combo is 1100 yards. If I chose to hunt Elk
beyond 1100 yards I will up the power to something faster in 338 or something larger.
At one time I was not a big fan of the 338 because of the limited calibers and bullets available
but that has changed due to improvements in bullets and cartriges in 338.
So with all of that said , My recommendation would be a 338 of your choosing, with a muzzle break
if needed, weight has never been a consideration of mine unless miles of walking is nessary and
the cost/availability of the ammo also not a consideration because you need to go prepared.
Practice and familiarize yourself with the rifle and its limits and you will minimize problems.
Don't be talked into something that is very limited for your hunts because others have "Done"
it with less. There is no such thing as over kill. Dead is dead.
Go with the best chance for success.
J E CUSTOM