7mm-08 max range on elk?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by EXPRESS, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. EXPRESS

    EXPRESS Well-Known Member

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    I will be travelling to Colorado for a DIY elk hunt in 2010, and am planning to take my lightweight LR hunting rifle because we will be doing a lot of hiking and need to be completly mobile. Normally I use this rifle on chamois in the alps here out to 600 yards with no problems.
    This will not be an intentional long range hunt, but I do want to hear from those who have experience with elk how effective I can expect the 7mm-08 to be at the longer ranges.
    I'd like to hope to get my bull with a close shot after a good stalk but conditions might force me into taking a long "only opportunity" shot, so I'd be willing to push the envelope a bit, say out to 500 yards.
    Is that asking too much of the round? I plan on shooting a 160 grain bullet, at the moment it's shooting .5MOA with 140gn Failsafes, but I think I'll will want more penetration from a heavier bullet on such a big animal.

    If anyone can suggest a good bullet that would be of some help, the Berger 168gn hunting bullet is appealing, just maybe the 180 will be a bit too much to get decent velocities.
    I have never had any problems with SMKs hunting with my heavier rifles, where I tend to use the heaviest for caliber weights but I would not feel comfortable using them with what seems to be a marginal caliber so I've left them out of the equation.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Booney

    Booney Well-Known Member

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    With a well placed shot I dont think even 600 yard would be a problem. I know a lot of elk have been killed at that range with even a 270win. So I think you will be fine good luck. I would go with 160 accubonds great bullet used them first hand.
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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  4. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I have run the distance out to 540 yards, but that was with 140's. I would use the 168 Berger this time around or a 160 AB
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    But I would try to get under 500 yards on ELK if I could and 600yards on deer.

    Ether the 160 Accubond or the 160 Ballistic tip will work.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    The two questions I ask myself when detrming max hunting range for a cartridge/bullet are... 1) at what range does the bullet come to its minimum expanding velocity and.. 2) does it have enough momentum at that range to penetrate completely through the boiler room with a well placed shot. For elk, I look for 40 lb ft of momentum. This is based on what I have observed reported here on LR elk kills and is subjective.

    Your max range is dependant on the velocity and terminal performance of the bullet use which is dependant on enviromental contitions such as elevation, temp, etc.

    If I was hunting with a 7-08, my first choice of bullet would be a 150 E-Tip (especially for elk) Minimum expanding vel = 1800 fps. My powder would be RL17 which works very well in the 7-08. I would expect an MV of 2900 fps or greater out of a 24" barrel.

    Based on that data, if I was hunting elk @ 10,000' elevation I would be comfortable with an 800 yd shot on an elk. The bullet should be able to completely penetrate and hit ribs going in and out and expand. You cant ask for much more than that.

    Having said that, elk are tough critters whether you hit them close or far and there is a good chance you'll need a follow up shot. Any guide worth his weight in saw dust will be working a cow/calf call to calm the bull after being shot.

    Another bullet choices would be the 160 AB.

    Hope that helps,

    Mark

    Just noticed you said DIY... get a mouth reed type cow calf call and practice with it. After making a shot, immediately start a calf in distress type call. This is very effective in calming elk.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  7. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Well-Known Member

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    How far would you take a LARGE sambar with your 7-08? Then reduce by 100 yds or so.
     
  8. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    0 yards.

    If you can afford to travel from Italy to Colorado for an elk hunt then you can afford an elk rifle. Please do not take that big of a chance on wounding and losing elk with a rifle not intended for that purpose. I am not being ugly, just seriously trying to help you from potential heartache.
     
  9. loaders_loft

    loaders_loft Well-Known Member

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    Good point and well stated. lightbulb
     
  10. Topshot

    Topshot Well-Known Member

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    Not very far then!
    I have considered a light weight 7-08 for sambar but I would limit the range to about 300 yards. So at least at this range or less you might get in a second shot if need be.
     
  11. EXPRESS

    EXPRESS Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I should have pointed out that I want to use the 7mm-08 because it is my lightest rifle, the next step up is a 15lb .300 win mag that I would love to use, but since it is not a guided hunt, I will have to also carry my camp on my own back, which means a 6.3lb rifle(loaded sling and scoped) will be the more feasable option.
    It is only a 22" barrel, so I can't expect to get great velocities.
    Also I don't intend on making a long shot, but if it comes up as the only resort I just wanted to hear what people's experience had been.

    Montana Rifle Man has pointed out the two most important points, and Booney made a good point, plenty of people have shot elk at 500 yards with whatever factory ammo was on hand, maybe not with a 7mm-08, but the point is always going to go to shot placement.

    I am fairly confident that it will work and will try both the 160gn Accubond and the 168gn Bergers so see what kind of accuracy I get. I noticed the 168gn Berger has a BC of .617, which gives it impresive downrange ballistics, has everyone found the BCs they give for these bullets to be realistic in the real world?
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who doubt that a 7mm is able to take an elk at long range, one of our members took a good bull with a 7STW at over 1300 yds last year with a 162 g AMax. It took 3 shots in the the shoulder and two were complete pass throughs.

    Let it be known that the 7-08 would not be my first choice to hunt elk with but if that's the rifle I had that is what I would use and I would make it count. There's more to elk hunting than pulling a trigger. I would be very picky about my shot and would want a good view of what direction the elk went if it didn't drop.

    My criteria for the max range of a shot would be the same as if I was shooting a 300 RUM or 338 EDGE. Min expanding velocity and adequate momentum for penetration.

    Many elk have been taken with 243's, 25-06's, 264 Win mags and 270s. Another member in another thread said he has taken 25 elk with a 6.5 cal. These are not my first choices but they work if you use good shot placement with a good bullet and good hunting practices. And using a cow call does work.

    Mark
     
  13. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I have a quit claim deed to a good money making bridge on the outskirts of New York if you would like a good investment piece of real estate! I will give you a really good price on it. Just send me a cashiers check if you are interested.
     
  14. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Express.

    I will add to my other post on this subject.

    The 7/08 is one of my favorite calibers and I have taken big game out past 600 yards
    with my rifles and beyond 500 with my 7/08 pistol so I know it will kill if proper shot
    placement and bullets are used.

    That being said; It would not be my first choice for ELK but if I had or wanted to use
    the 7/08 for ELK then I would limit my shots to a distance that 1400 to 1500 ft/lbs
    of energy at the POI was achieved with whatever bullet/ load I was using.

    J E CUSTOM