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Minimum Elk Rifle?

 
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  #1  
Old 08-01-2013, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 908
Minimum Elk Rifle?

I posted a question about the .243 on ELk, what I would like to hear back on is what would be the Minimum you would use for Elk hunting. I saw that one person said that the .30-06 is good out to 700 yards...............What kind of energy would be left at that distance assuming your using a 180 gr bullet. I was told that the .243's max distance is 400 yds on Deer ........I would assume that the 6.5x284 would have the same max distance on Elk...........Now im assuming that we are talking out to 500yds which in my book is still a long shot.....................

In your personal opinion what would be the minimum cartridge you would use on elk and what bullet would you use.

G
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2013, 02:03 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 79
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

You are going to get 100 different answers from .22 to 50cal. The best thing to do is go here and get familar with ballistics. This link will save you so much time and be able to give you drop charts for your loads as well. Fantastic and FREE!!!

JBM - Calculations

If you go to the Trajectory (or Trajectory/Drift if you want wind drift too), select a bullet make/weight from the list you plan to use. Enter the FPS your load or factory clocks at, the twist of your barrel and the distance you plan to shoot (default is 1000yds) and hit enter, it will give you the drop, velocity and energy of that load at a given distance in 100yd increments. All the data you need will be presented.
May say a good rule of thumb is 1800 fps (depending on bullet expansion) and 1500 ft/lbs of energy on target. To some, that will be over-kill, to others the min. Also, shot placement is key as well. A big bullet not in the kill zone is not as effective as a smaller one in the right spot. You will also here "there is never too dead".. which means biggest you can handle is best. All subjective to an extent. 100yds away with a .243 is different than 800yds away with a magnum.

Big Factors:
Distance - How far do you plan to shoot? Max limit you place on yourself
Recoil Tolerance - Can you hit what you are aiming at with a Magnum?
Weight - Can you carry a heavier gun to absorb recoil of bigger caliber or do you need a uber light carry.

All things I've taken in on my learning process.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2013, 02:51 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 615
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

Yep, exactly what he said. There is also a ballistics calculator on this website (on the top bar).
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2013, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Allegan, MI
Posts: 1,181
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

AS stated by hawk45, you need to read up on calibers and ballistics based on your statements in your post when you're relating distances when shooting at a deer as compared to a much bigger elk. Most of it has to do with ft/lbs. of energy left at POI on the animal and that distance is going to vary because it is obviously going to take more energy to put a bullet into a huge elk as compared to a deer or antelope. The small .243 does not have the energy very far out even on a perfect shot to be considered more than marginal at best on an animal the size of an elk. Here are two good sites with lots of information on calibers and ballistics. The first has a ton of calibers you can click on to get a lot of information just like the .243 that will come up. The second also gives you a list of calibers you can click on and then all the cartridges for that caliber come up and you can look for bullet weights, etc. and keep clicking to the right for powders, primers, etc. for them. I prefer the first link myself, but thought I'd throw that other one up too.

.243 Winchester

Steve's Reloading Data Pages
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2013, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 79
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

Great link TopGun, adding to my favorites.
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2013, 03:05 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Allegan, MI
Posts: 1,181
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk45 View Post
Great link TopGun, adding to my favorites.

I think so! Check the other link I just added to that post. It's a little more involved, but is also pretty good.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2013, 03:54 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 79
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topgun 30-06 View Post
I think so! Check the other link I just added to that post. It's a little more involved, but is also pretty good.
HOLY MOLY!! Now if I could just find reloading supplies.
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