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Elk Hunting for a new hunter

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Old 05-22-2013, 01:01 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3
Elk Hunting for a new hunter

I am taking my daughter for her first elk hunt this year. The dilemma I have is this: she is a small structured woman and the calibers I currently have is a 300 win mag, 338 win mag and a 240 weatherby. I know she will not be able to handle the recoil of the 300 or the 338. I don't want her to become recoil shy or turn her off completely to shooting. She has shot the 240 weatherby and likes it very much, however, the recoil is close to the maximum she is comfortable with. My question is this: will the 240 weatherby be enough gun to take an elk out to 400 yards? If not, then what caliber would be a good choice for her with enough knock down power at 400 yards and still have mild recoil? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:31 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gillette Wy
Posts: 323
Re: Elk Hunting for a new hunter

The .240 will kill an elk,however; it is not a great choice. Elk are large animals with lots of vitality. I would suggest a .26 caliber minimum. My first choice is a 7mm 08. Lots of great bullets with light recoil. Most of the 6.5's have light recoil and will do the job well. The good old .308 is another great caliber. These all offer a significant advantage over your .240. There is another thread about a rifle for a guys wife. Try the search function and see if you can find it. Has a good number of well reasoned responses. Bruce
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:38 PM
ntg ntg is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: ID
Posts: 295
Re: Elk Hunting for a new hunter

Ditto pretty much. I was going to say, 7-08, 260rem, 6.5x55, or even a 270win...loaded right they'll do the job and recoil shouldn't be more than the 240 (although I've never shot a 240). It's always helpful if you've got a friend or gun club where you can find someone with one of these rifle/calibers and where they'd let her fire it a few times to get a feel for what each is like. Granted overall rifle weight and other factors will change it a bit from rifle to rifle, but that would give her an idea of what she could skillfully shoot.
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:54 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 615
Re: Elk Hunting for a new hunter

I agree with everything else posted so far, but I will also throw out there that you could just put a brake on your 300 as well. Would be cheaper than buying a new gun and should reduce the recoil to the point that she should have no problem shooting it. Just a thought!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:14 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,459
Re: Elk Hunting for a new hunter

Many young first time elk and old hands kill elk just fine with a 243 every year, much better she shoots a gun she likes and shoots well. Elk die just like anything else!!
High Fence, Low Fence, Stuck in the Fence, if I can Tag it and Eat it, it's Hunting!

"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:40 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NW MT
Posts: 2,587
Re: Elk Hunting for a new hunter

The 240 has the same E as a 7mm-08 at muzzle and carries 1294@400 and 1075 @ 500.Use a good bonded bullet or barnes type.In the boiler room = dead elk. I shot a few bulls with my 243 as did my son as beginning hunter.Now I favor larger, but the 7-08 is the exact case as a 243, the 240 has much larger case capacity and is very capable. I bet it holds as much energy as the 7mm-08 too 500 or very close.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: GSP, SC, USA
Posts: 623
Re: Elk Hunting for a new hunter

Also, I would be sure that a LIMBSAVER butt pad was on that puppy, which ever it is. Safe hunting & Good luck.
Son, The first shot is the important one - the others just make him run faster! Grandpa 1949
NRA Life Member 1970
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