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Long Range Elk Rifle

 
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  #29  
Old 03-23-2009, 08:13 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,549
Re: Long Range Elk Rifle

I went through which cartridge to shoot last fall and I got my hands on every rifle I could that had a proven track record of being accurate and I shot them and found that I could not shoot my dads 300 wby to its most accurate because of recoil.
I also have to shoot one gun for deer and elk. I ran tons of number on the computer. I ended up with a 270 WSM shooting 140 grain Accubonds @3341. On elk I plan on keeping it under 800yds.
I plan on having a braked, large 338 for elk once my shooting skills reach the range that it would be needed, Kirby Allens stuff is really interesting.
I work for a ranch that has 800+ elk coming on and of all hunting season and the most common wound we see is an elk that was hit in the shoulder. If a guy plans on shooting elk in the shoulder make sure that it will get all the way through.
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  #30  
Old 04-22-2009, 01:53 PM
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Re: Long Range Elk Rifle

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
I work for a ranch that has 800+ elk coming on and of all hunting season and the most common wound we see is an elk that was hit in the shoulder.
My son tells me that he studies with another student who's parents have a farm on the Olympic Peninsula. The boy says that they have an elk graveyard with a dozen elk with arrows in them going there to die every year.

This all seems like a terrible waste to me, having spent so much time and money, and not got an elk yet.

On topic, I am done with the 270 for elk.
I have 7mm Mag, 300 Win Mag, and 338 Win mag rifles.
I am going to use them instead.
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  #31  
Old 04-22-2009, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 670
Re: Long Range Elk Rifle

.338 no thanks. The muzzle brake is hard on the ears in the field and I won't wear ear plugs while hunting. I push a 180 grain berger at 2950 in a 7rm and it runs with the big boys to 800 yards with no annoying brake. Don't get me wrong I love shooting the big .338's at the range but in real world hunting where it could be a close or long shot get something you don't have to wear ear plugs. I tried it a few years back and I'm done with the brake thing in the field.
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  #32  
Old 04-22-2009, 04:15 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 16
Re: Long Range Elk Rifle

Up until May of 2008 I mostly hunted with a BAR Safari II in 7mm Rem Mag with 160 grain Sierra Gameking bullets. Never needed anything more for antelope, deer, or elk. However, I wasn't shooting over 400 yards. I give the BAR to my oldest son for graduating from High School. Believe me, it was well worth it.

I did some trade work back in 2002 and had Christensen Arms put me a custom .300 Ultra Mag together. It has a 26" barrel with a VAIS muzzle brake and sits in a MPI thumbhole stock. The scope is a Leupold 6-20x50 Long Range with a custom elevation target turret. I handload with 96.0 grains of RL25, Fed 215M, and 180 grain Nosler Accubonds. My muzzle velocity is 3,400 fps. Personally I've only taken two cow elk with it. One at 491 yards and the other at 608 yards. Both one shot kills. In the fall of 2008 my cousin used this rifle to kill a 368 7x7 bull elk at 973 yards. The 180 Accubond was a little light for that distance but put the bull down with a low spine/high lung shot.

I just finished building my own .338 Ultra Mag using a Rem 700 action and a 28" fluted barrel from Lilja. It sits in a Manners GAT thumbhole stock. With the Leupold Mark 4 6-20x50mm scope it weighs in at 12 lbs even. So far I've worked up a 250 grain Sierra MatchKing load averaging 3075 fps muzzle velocity with clover leaf groups at 100 yards. I'm looking forward to stretching this rifles legs at longer distances in the near future. With 250 grain Accubonds or TSX bullets it should be a killer rifle on elk... as long as I don't have to pack it far.

I think, however, I'll head back to mostly hunting with the 7mm Remington Mag. I recently purchased a Remington Sendero SF II chambered for this cartridge. Performing a few accuracy enhancing modifications should turn it into a decent long range shooter. With Berger producing the 168 grain and 180 grain VLD bullets with ballistic coeficients over .600 the numbers are very impressive out to 1,000 yards, and with allot less recoil. I personally think this is plenty for elk out to 850 or so yards. Each to his own though.

The pic below is of my cousin's bull he took last year with the .300 Ultra Mag.

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  #33  
Old 04-22-2009, 10:52 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
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Re: Long Range Elk Rifle

Choosing an elk caliber will get more different opinions than just about any topic it seems. I think you need to choose a caliber also based on experience with elk also. I grew up killing elk, I'd pull up on one like others pull up on a whitetail.
I'm trying to extend my range into LR category, my biggest concern is shooting accuracy. I already have the confidence that if I put a reasonable caliber round behind an elk shoulder at a velocity that the chosen bullet will perform I will be tagging out.
It seems that under the 800 yd mark there are may choices after that and especially the 1200 yd+ the large 338's seem to dominate.
I am novice to the true LR hunting but not to elk hunting, the longest shots last season was a buddies @ 532 yds, 30-06 180gr behind the shoulder, she turned and dropped dead. Mine was @ 450 yds, 300 weatherby 168 tsx bullet went through heavy leg bone just in front of the heart, dropped like a head shot.
The rest of the elk I saw shot were all under 350yds. Only saw one require more than one shot and that was a 7mm place to high on shoulder and it blew up.
A few years ago saw a rag head pack a magazine full of 338 rounds, when we skinned him it looked like the bullets were not opening up and dumping there energy, at the range he was shot one round from a 243 would have trashed him.

As a side note all the elk that died or were killed on the ranch I work at, because of being wounded, were wounded with a rifle. None showed arrow wounds.
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  #34  
Old 04-23-2009, 12:40 AM
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Re: Long Range Elk Rifle

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
It seems that under the 800 yd mark there are may choices after that and especially the 1200 yd+ the large 338's seem to dominate.
.

If the 338 Lapua Magnum is down to 338 Win Mag velocities 100 yards from the muzzle, does that mean my 338WM can hunt to 1100 yd+ ?

A 338L 250 gr BT 2964fps muzzle at 1200y has dropped 49 feet and drifted 12 feet in a 10mph wind and is down to 1137 fps.
That is a hard first shot to make while hunting.
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  #35  
Old 04-23-2009, 04:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Bern, NC
Posts: 347
Re: Long Range Elk Rifle

If not going for long range, and what you said about most kills are under 350 yards, should I just forgo the magnum craze and just go to a 338-06 shooting a 225-250gr bullet? I know it won't do for long range....but would that work out to about 500 yards? Was thinking of that for a bear gun, but if what you said about most elk kills being closer than the 600-1k I may just do that. Is there any north america big game that it won't take? A friend of my mother-in-law says he'll take me moose hunting if I ever get a tag for one in Maine.

Thanks for all the help and information guys! Keeps me from spending my money and regretting it later!
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