Elk Caliber?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by rryun, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. rryun

    rryun Member

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    Im looking to buy a gun to shoot out to 800? and maybe farther for weekend practice. I dont know if factory guns will fit the bill or a custom rifle would work better but as long as the ammo is readily availble at bass pro or cabelas. not 100% on caliber thinkin 7 mm but im new to the larger calibers and just want some advise for a tack driver
     
  2. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    300WSM
    300Win
    300Wby
    300RUM
    338Win
    338RUM
    340Wby
    What do you want to pay for over the counter ammo? 300WSM, &300Win, & 338Win are your most affordable bet.
    How long of barrel life do you want? 338Win is longer barrel life of the above.
    Is it for LR Elk only, or rarely Elk, & mostly LR Deer size game? Maybe a 300 would suit you better for its unmatched bullet selection for different critters?
    Put a brake on any of the above, & recoil is a non issue.

    I'm just not a fan of the 7mm in any form. Sorry.
     

  3. rryun

    rryun Member

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    My thoughts on it was a shade higher BC and a shade quicker which would slip through the wind a bit eaiser?? but i dont have the experience to know for sure about all the technical specs on long range sniping
     
  4. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a 7mm fan will give you some factory #'s you can crunch on JBM Balistics calculator.

    I'm not that guy. I roll my own, hot, to whatever my rifles like for accuracy.
    I can tell you for sure that to reach the minimum recomended 1500 ft lbs for Elk at 800 with factory ammo, I'm goin with a 300, or a 338.
    Interpreting numbers & statistics can prove confusing & tend to lean towards wichever side of an argument you want them to, depending how thier used. (x wt bullet with x b.c., at x speed at x yds has x ft lbs of energy).
    But, What about sectional density, & momentum? Now, run the numbers, & see what happens..... The ol 7mm doesn't shine so bright in my book, compared to its rivals.
    "The person with the most lugg nutts usually wins in a wreck"
    Plus, when was the last time you had an Elk consistantly give you perfect broadside shots for extended periods of time durring hunting season? Some do, most don't. I want to fill my freezer, so, momentum plays a large part for me.

    Some folks still think the 7mm hung the moon, & that's fine. I'm just not one of em'.
     
  5. ToKeepAndBear

    ToKeepAndBear Well-Known Member

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    Since you do not plan on reloading (which I recommend if at all possible) I would get a 308. Even if you do reload, it still may be the best overall choice. Cheap factory ammo (FGMM), moderate recoil, proven performance on game, good barrel life, and a boatload of rifles to choose from in factory or custom. (My personal preference is for Sako TRGs - robust, excellent trigger, slick action, reasonable weight, excellent reliability, and good resale if you ever decide to sale.) Since you are new to long range shooting you will need to shoot a considerable amount to get things figured out (and because it's plain fun!). This applies even if you have been shooting your whole life at shorter ranges (400 yards and less) and consider yourself a "good shot". However, do not buy a lightweight sporter model, get something with a little meat to it (rifle only 9-11 pounds), so that the recoil does not bother you.

    Also factor in the cost of a good scope, anywhere from $300-$4000. A good entry level scope would be a SWFA SS 3-9 with the mil-quad reticle ($600). You will still need to factor in the cost of a good mount and rings ($100-$500), good rangefinder ($700-$2000), spotting scope ($400-several thousand), tripod, bipod, shooting mat, and if shooting on your own, good AR500 steel targets. You probably already have an Ipod touch or Iphone that works well as a ballistic calculator with inexpensive apps. If you have some shooting buddies they may have some or most of this so that you don't have to spend so much initially. Try to shoot with another person as much as possible. A spotter will help immensely and you will learn about reading the conditions while spotting for your buddy. I have almost as much fun watching my friends/family shoot as I do pulling the trigger myself.

    Good luck! Part of the fun is doing the research and putting your rig together. If price is a big factor, go cheaper on the rifle, and buy more ammo for practice. I am going shooting with my buddy this weekend and can't wait!
     
  6. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    For factory ammo & good terminal effect at 800 yds, 2 things you called for, I would go with 300WM, although the factory 300WSM is loaded to higher pressure, thus tit for tat.

    If you load your own later & you will if you start shooting alot, the 300WM will have better performance with heavy bullets than the 300WSM if both are loaded to max.

    338 cal. is great for beyond your 800limit especially.
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    DITTO - winmag had a good list, and I echo this post.I shot a far share of elk w/7mm, but there came a time where I was pushing it to far. A SakoTRG 42 IN A 300WN would fit the bill for you. They usually shoot 1/2 moa. You can get good factor ammo, they have adjustable stock and trigger. Haveseen them new on a group buy for 2250. I want a 338 lapua for a pratice rifle in trg.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  8. ToKeepAndBear

    ToKeepAndBear Well-Known Member

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    Let's look at an example of factory ammunition out of a 24" barrel 308.

    Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Ammunition :: Rifle :: Choose by Caliber :: 308 Win :: 308 Win 165 GR InterBond® Superformance®

    Let's use a reasonable altitude of 8000 feet, temp 50 degrees for elk terrain.

    Trajectory
    Input Data
    Ballistic Coefficient: 0.447 G1 Caliber: 0.308 in
    Bullet Weight: 200.0 gr
    Muzzle Velocity: 2840.0 ft/s Distance to Chronograph: 10.0 ft
    Sight Height: 2.10 in Sight Offset: 0.00 in
    Zero Height: 0.00 in Zero Offset: 0.00 in
    Windage: 0.000 mil Elevation: 0.000 mil
    Line Of Sight Angle: 0.0 deg Cant Angle: 0.0 deg
    Wind Speed: 10.0 mph Wind Angle: 90.0 deg
    Target Speed: 0.0 mph Target Angle: 90.0 deg
    Target Height: 12.0 in
    Temperature: 50.0 °F Pressure: 29.92 in Hg
    Humidity: 0.0 % Altitude: 8000.0 ft
    Vital Zone Radius: 5.0 in
    Std. Atmosphere at Altitude: No Pressure is Corrected: Yes
    Zero at Max. Point Blank Range: No Target Relative Drops: Yes
    Mark Sound Barrier Crossing: No Include Extra Rows: No
    Column 1 Units: 1.00 in Column 2 Units: 1.00 mil
    Round Output to Whole Numbers: No
    Output Data
    Elevation: 1.203 mil Windage: 0.000 mil
    Atmospheric Density: 0.05780 lb/ft³ Speed of Sound: 1106.7 ft/s
    Maximum PBR: 358 yd Maximum PBR Zero: 305 yd
    Range of Maximum Height: 170 yd Energy at Maximum PBR: 2357.8 ft•lbs
    Sectional Density: 0.301 lb/in²
    Calculated Table
    Range Drop Drop Windage Windage Velocity Mach Energy Time Lead Lead
    (yd) (in) (mil) (in) (mil) (ft/s) (none) (ft•lbs) (s) (in) (mil)
    0 -2.1 *** 0.0 *** 2845.4 2.571 3594.8 0.000 0.0 ***
    50 -0.5 -0.3 0.1 0.1 2765.6 2.499 3396.2 0.053 0.0 0.0
    100 -0.0 -0.0 0.5 0.1 2687.4 2.428 3206.7 0.108 0.0 0.0
    150 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.2 2610.5 2.359 3025.8 0.165 0.0 0.0
    200 -2.7 -0.4 2.2 0.3 2534.9 2.290 2853.2 0.223 0.0 0.0
    250 -6.1 -0.7 3.5 0.4 2460.6 2.223 2688.4 0.283 0.0 0.0
    300 -10.9 -1.0 5.1 0.5 2387.6 2.157 2531.2 0.345 0.0 0.0
    350 -17.2 -1.4 7.1 0.6 2315.8 2.092 2381.2 0.409 0.0 0.0
    400 -25.1 -1.7 9.4 0.7 2245.2 2.029 2238.2 0.475 0.0 0.0
    450 -34.7 -2.1 12.0 0.7 2175.8 1.966 2102.0 0.543 0.0 0.0
    500 -46.2 -2.6 15.1 0.8 2107.5 1.904 1972.2 0.613 0.0 0.0
    550 -59.7 -3.0 18.5 0.9 2040.6 1.844 1848.8 0.685 0.0 0.0
    600 -75.2 -3.5 22.4 1.0 1974.8 1.784 1731.6 0.760 0.0 0.0
    650 -93.0 -4.0 26.7 1.1 1910.4 1.726 1620.5 0.837 0.0 0.0
    700 -113.1 -4.5 31.5 1.3 1847.3 1.669 1515.2 0.917 0.0 0.0
    750 -135.8 -5.0 36.8 1.4 1785.6 1.613 1415.7 1.000 0.0 0.0
    800 -161.2 -5.6 42.5 1.5 1725.4 1.559 1321.9 1.085 0.0 0.0
    850 -189.6 -6.2 48.8 1.6 1666.8 1.506 1233.5 1.174 0.0 0.0
    900 -221.0 -6.8 55.7 1.7 1609.7 1.455 1150.5 1.265 0.0 0.0
    950 -255.8 -7.5 63.1 1.8 1554.4 1.405 1072.8 1.360 0.0 0.0
    1000 -294.3 -8.2 71.1 2.0 1501.0 1.356 1000.3 1.458 0.0 0.0
    21/02/12 22:48, JBM/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi

    Over 1500 ft*lbs at 700 yards and over 1800 fps with factory ammo. It's not 800 yards for the 1500 energy stipulation, but close (1321). Plus it is a whole lot cheaper and easier to practice with than the magnums. If you reload you may be able to do a little better with a 200 SGK, runs at 2500+ fps out of my 20" TRG with MR-2000, probably get around 2600fps out of a 24" barrel.

    but i dont have the experience to know for sure about all the technical specs on long range sniping

    You know how you get experience? With lots of practice in a variety of conditions. Don't expect the better ballistics of a 7mm Mag (although good factory loads with high BC bullets may be hard to come by) to compensate for a lack of experience. Yes, you have to have enough energy for a reasonable expectation of bullet performance on game. A high BC does help in difficult wind conditions. But shot placement from a hunter that knows his rifle/ammo inside and out is likely to be much better than one that shoots the magnum every now and then.

    I would hold off on rigid distance requirements until you get some experience. You will quickly see that the conditions and your available shooting position will likely alter your accurate FIRST round hit range.
     
  9. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Uuuhhm, looks like the factory stuff ran out of steam around 400 yds.
    Were you meaning to bullet diameter? Instead of a 308 win cartrige?
    What 308 pushes a bullet bigger than a 150gr past 2800? (Superformance factory ammo stated 24-2900ish with a 165)
    I'm lookin at Hornady 7th edition (pre Superformance load data) right here, & 2800fps with a 150-155 gr is max load.
    So....I turn a couple pages to 190gr bullets and, 2400 fps is max load with 190's....
    How the Hell did you come up with a 200 grain bullet at 2850?
    You got some numbers crossed somewhere friend.
    To put it in perspective, a 300 win mag max load according to Hornadys load book, with a 190 gr is 2900..... That's a far cry from any 308 at any elevation.

    While the 308 is also a neat round, cheap, & fun to shoot, its no where near an 800yd Elk cartrige. 400 +/- ya.
    Not putting you, or your round down. Just shedding light on some obviously mistaken numbers, for the o.p. so he doesn't make a drastic mistake, & think those numbers were realistic.
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Looks like he just ran it for a 200gr bullet not the one linked to which is a 165, which drops the energy down around 1070 ft lbs. I like smaller cals but that's pushing it even for me, ya you could get it done but much better choices are available.
    For long range commercially loaded fodder look into HSM ammo, for an 800 yard elk I'd look at the 270 WSM with 150 VLD, 7mag with 168 or 180 VLD, 300 Mag or WSM in the 185 or 210 VLD. I personally loath the 7mag and have dumped elk out past 800 yards with a 270 WSM with ease and like 338 RUMS as well but for a solid factory ammo shooter the 300 Win is likely the most solid choice, loaded with quality hunting bullets like the 210 Berger VLD!!!! IMO of course :D
     
  11. XCalibur

    XCalibur New Member

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    I would look at the 7mm WSM if you are recoil sensitive and new to shoot high power. With a good 160gr like the accubond it will do just fine for elk. Last elk I killed was 650yards across a canyon with the now discontinued 160gr Barnes XLC, through both shoulders, dead right where it was standing. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  12. ToKeepAndBear

    ToKeepAndBear Well-Known Member

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    Whoa! I did run the 200gr with the 165 BC and velocity. Thanks for the correction gentleman. I was up too late typing instead of sleeping! Those numbers did seem very solid for factory ammo!

    Here is the correct data for the factory 165:

    Trajectory
    Input Data
    Ballistic Coefficient: 0.447 G1 Caliber: 0.308 in
    Bullet Weight: 165.0 gr
    Muzzle Velocity: 2840.0 ft/s Distance to Chronograph: 10.0 ft
    Sight Height: 2.10 in Sight Offset: 0.00 in
    Zero Height: 0.00 in Zero Offset: 0.00 in
    Windage: 0.000 mil Elevation: 0.000 mil
    Line Of Sight Angle: 0.0 deg Cant Angle: 0.0 deg
    Wind Speed: 10.0 mph Wind Angle: 90.0 deg
    Target Speed: 0.0 mph Target Angle: 90.0 deg
    Target Height: 12.0 in
    Temperature: 50.0 °F Pressure: 29.92 in Hg
    Humidity: 0.0 % Altitude: 8000.0 ft
    Vital Zone Radius: 5.0 in
    Std. Atmosphere at Altitude: No Pressure is Corrected: Yes
    Zero at Max. Point Blank Range: No Target Relative Drops: Yes
    Mark Sound Barrier Crossing: No Include Extra Rows: No
    Column 1 Units: 1.00 in Column 2 Units: 1.00 mil
    Round Output to Whole Numbers: No
    Output Data
    Elevation: 1.203 mil Windage: 0.000 mil
    Atmospheric Density: 0.05780 lb/ft³ Speed of Sound: 1106.7 ft/s
    Maximum PBR: 358 yd Maximum PBR Zero: 305 yd
    Range of Maximum Height: 170 yd Energy at Maximum PBR: 1945.2 ft•lbs
    Sectional Density: 0.248 lb/in²
    Calculated Table
    Range Drop Drop Windage Windage Velocity Mach Energy Time Lead Lead
    (yd) (in) (mil) (in) (mil) (ft/s) (none) (ft•lbs) (s) (in) (mil)
    0 -2.1 *** 0.0 *** 2845.4 2.571 2965.7 0.000 0.0 ***
    50 -0.5 -0.3 0.1 0.1 2765.6 2.499 2801.8 0.053 0.0 0.0
    100 -0.0 -0.0 0.5 0.1 2687.4 2.428 2645.5 0.108 0.0 0.0
    150 -0.7 -0.1 1.2 0.2 2610.5 2.359 2496.3 0.165 0.0 0.0
    200 -2.7 -0.4 2.2 0.3 2534.9 2.290 2353.9 0.223 0.0 0.0
    250 -6.1 -0.7 3.5 0.4 2460.6 2.223 2217.9 0.283 0.0 0.0
    300 -10.9 -1.0 5.1 0.5 2387.6 2.157 2088.2 0.345 0.0 0.0
    350 -17.2 -1.4 7.1 0.6 2315.8 2.092 1964.5 0.409 0.0 0.0
    400 -25.1 -1.7 9.4 0.7 2245.2 2.029 1846.5 0.475 0.0 0.0
    450 -34.7 -2.1 12.0 0.7 2175.8 1.966 1734.1 0.543 0.0 0.0
    500 -46.2 -2.6 15.1 0.8 2107.5 1.904 1627.1 0.613 0.0 0.0
    550 -59.7 -3.0 18.5 0.9 2040.6 1.844 1525.3 0.685 0.0 0.0
    600 -75.2 -3.5 22.4 1.0 1974.8 1.784 1428.6 0.760 0.0 0.0
    650 -93.0 -4.0 26.7 1.1 1910.4 1.726 1336.9 0.837 0.0 0.0
    700 -113.1 -4.5 31.5 1.3 1847.3 1.669 1250.1 0.917 0.0 0.0
    750 -135.8 -5.0 36.8 1.4 1785.6 1.613 1168.0 1.000 0.0 0.0
    800 -161.2 -5.6 42.5 1.5 1725.4 1.559 1090.5 1.085 0.0 0.0
    850 -189.6 -6.2 48.8 1.6 1666.8 1.506 1017.6 1.174 0.0 0.0
    900 -221.0 -6.8 55.7 1.7 1609.7 1.455 949.2 1.265 0.0 0.0
    950 -255.8 -7.5 63.1 1.8 1554.4 1.405 885.1 1.360 0.0 0.0
    1000 -294.3 -8.2 71.1 2.0 1501.0 1.356 825.3 1.458 0.0 0.0
    22/02/12 05:06, JBM/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi


    and with handloads the 200gr SGK at 2600 (I have shot it as high as 2585 (Oehler 35p)in a 20 in barrel)

    Ballistic Coefficient: 0.550 G1 Caliber: 0.308 in
    Bullet Weight: 200.0 gr
    Muzzle Velocity: 2600.0 ft/s Distance to Chronograph: 10.0 ft
    Sight Height: 2.10 in Sight Offset: 0.00 in
    Zero Height: 0.00 in Zero Offset: 0.00 in
    Windage: 0.000 mil Elevation: 0.000 mil
    Line Of Sight Angle: 0.0 deg Cant Angle: 0.0 deg
    Wind Speed: 10.0 mph Wind Angle: 90.0 deg
    Target Speed: 0.0 mph Target Angle: 90.0 deg
    Target Height: 12.0 in
    Temperature: 50.0 °F Pressure: 29.92 in Hg
    Humidity: 0.0 % Altitude: 8000.0 ft
    Vital Zone Radius: 5.0 in
    Std. Atmosphere at Altitude: No Pressure is Corrected: Yes
    Zero at Max. Point Blank Range: No Target Relative Drops: Yes
    Mark Sound Barrier Crossing: No Include Extra Rows: No
    Column 1 Units: 1.00 in Column 2 Units: 1.00 mil
    Round Output to Whole Numbers: No
    Output Data
    Elevation: 1.318 mil Windage: 0.000 mil
    Atmospheric Density: 0.05780 lb/ft³ Speed of Sound: 1106.7 ft/s
    Maximum PBR: 335 yd Maximum PBR Zero: 284 yd
    Range of Maximum Height: 158 yd Energy at Maximum PBR: 2165.3 ft•lbs
    Sectional Density: 0.301 lb/in²
    Calculated Table
    Range Drop Drop Windage Windage Velocity Mach Energy Time Lead Lead
    (yd) (in) (mil) (in) (mil) (ft/s) (none) (ft•lbs) (s) (in) (mil)
    0 -2.1 *** 0.0 *** 2604.1 2.353 3011.1 0.000 0.0 ***
    50 -0.4 -0.2 0.1 0.1 2542.7 2.298 2870.7 0.058 0.0 0.0
    100 -0.0 -0.0 0.5 0.1 2482.1 2.243 2735.5 0.118 0.0 0.0
    150 -1.0 -0.2 1.1 0.2 2422.4 2.189 2605.4 0.179 0.0 0.0
    200 -3.5 -0.5 2.0 0.3 2363.4 2.136 2480.2 0.242 0.0 0.0
    250 -7.6 -0.8 3.2 0.4 2305.3 2.083 2359.7 0.306 0.0 0.0
    300 -13.3 -1.2 4.6 0.4 2248.0 2.031 2243.8 0.372 0.0 0.0
    350 -20.7 -1.6 6.4 0.5 2191.4 1.980 2132.3 0.440 0.0 0.0
    400 -30.0 -2.1 8.5 0.6 2135.7 1.930 2025.2 0.509 0.0 0.0
    450 -41.1 -2.5 10.9 0.7 2080.7 1.880 1922.3 0.580 0.0 0.0
    500 -54.3 -3.0 13.6 0.8 2026.6 1.831 1823.6 0.653 0.0 0.0
    550 -69.5 -3.5 16.6 0.8 1973.3 1.783 1728.9 0.728 0.0 0.0
    600 -87.0 -4.0 20.1 0.9 1920.9 1.736 1638.3 0.805 0.0 0.0
    650 -106.9 -4.6 23.9 1.0 1869.3 1.689 1551.5 0.884 0.0 0.0
    700 -129.2 -5.1 28.0 1.1 1818.7 1.643 1468.6 0.966 0.0 0.0
    750 -154.2 -5.7 32.6 1.2 1769.0 1.598 1389.4 1.049 0.0 0.0
    800 -181.9 -6.3 37.6 1.3 1720.3 1.554 1314.0 1.135 0.0 0.0
    850 -212.6 -6.9 43.0 1.4 1672.6 1.511 1242.2 1.224 0.0 0.0
    900 -246.4 -7.6 48.9 1.5 1626.0 1.469 1173.9 1.315 0.0 0.0
    950 -283.4 -8.3 55.3 1.6 1580.5 1.428 1109.2 1.408 0.0 0.0
    1000 -324.0 -9.0 62.1 1.7 1536.2 1.388 1047.9 1.505 0.0 0.0
    22/02/12 05:11, JBM/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi

    If you decide to handload, 1468 of energy at 700 yards, 8000 feet, and 50 degrees.

    Don't get me wrong, the magnums are great for killing stuff a long ways out. It was mainly his being new to long range shooting that prompted the non-magnum recommendation.

    Thanks again for the correction!
     
  13. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    That's a near max load (with one of the powders listed) velocity from Barnes with a 200gr with a 24" pipe, out of a 300WSM! There's not a 308 in the world that can run with a 300WSM.

    I gotta wonder where in the heck you get your numbers for a 308?
    Your over the max listed load from Hornady (for a 180gr!) By 100fps, with a 22" barrel. Heck man a max velocity for a 190 out of that same book says 2400 fps (with one of the powders topping out at 2300).
    But hey, your only 50 fps faster than the max load listed by Nosler for a 180gr with a 24" pipe...
    A 20" pipe on a 308, shoving a 200gr bullet at 2600ish? Come on:rolleyes:
    Maybe I'm incorrect. I dunno. I've never used nitrous infused bullets ontop of rocket fuel, out of a small case capacity cartrige with a short pipe...
    I'd have to see it in person to belive it. Where are you getting your numbers?
     
  14. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

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    I agree bigger is better, and yes 800 yards is a long haul. But an elk isn't a Sherman tank. I have taken a couple of dozen elk with a 7mm mag out to 700 yards. Most were right around 400-500 yards. My brother has shot 10-15 elk with his 7mm mag out to around 600 yards. Having said that, I dropped down to a 7mm from a 30-338 and I do think the 30-338 (or other .30 cal mag) is a better long range caliber for elk.

    I don't consider a .308 Win a long range elk gun. But I was visiting with a guy last month that shot 11 elk last year (elk reduction program) with Barnes TTSX bullets in the 200-300 yard range. He told me he is rethinking his 300 RUM.