Energy needed ?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by trader388, May 5, 2005.

  1. trader388

    trader388 Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2004
    To bag an 800lb Elk what is the general rule on the amount of ft/lbs you'll need? I've heard as little as 800 to as much as 2400.
  2. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005

    I would say the minimum I would want for an elk under ideal conditions, meaning a calm animal, broadside, through the ribs and double lungs would be 1000-1200 ft. lbs. of energy at the point of impact.

    I have taken elk under these conditions with no trouble. If the angle changes or bone is involved, then I would say the energy level should go up accordingly.

    Remember that there are shots you shouldn’t take under any circumstances.

    I also think that the energy level should be combined with a properly constructed bullet/caliber combination that is right for the animal and type of shot you are taking.

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004
  4. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2004
    I read an article quite awhile ago in a newstand magazine of a guy who was a metal fabricator and wanted to know the same thing. He had what I believe was called an English jack pounder in his shop which is basically a huge crushing anvil machine that hits very fast repeatedly. Some of the custom chopper builders use these machines to custom make gas tanks. They pinch sheet metal between the anvil and the crusher and can alter the crushing pressure by a switch.
    Anyhow, this guy decided to put an elk's shoulder blade in this machine to see at what pressure point it would break. He started at a low setting and worked his way up until the blade broke and it was just a tad over 800 Ft/Lbs. This shoulder blade was a rather large one and came from a Colorado 6x6 bull.

    This article hit home with me because I had already deduced from my own experiences with killing elk and witnessing elk being killed that it was somewhere between 750 to 1000 ft/lbs when I ran the ballistic chart on the particular load for the range in which the elk was hit.
    On a side note, the needed energy to break the spine is much lower. I have spinal tapped a spike elk at 830 yards with the same load (except it was a Scirocco bullet) as the load that killed my 820 yard cow, and it removed a 4" section of the spine from the elk into a branch of a quaking aspen tree 6' behind the elk! I wish I had pictures of that, but that was on a hunt where I was alone and I didn't want the extra weight of the camera and I didn't think that anyone would want to see a picture of just a dead spike anyway. I have since learned that you ALWAYS take a camera no matter how cumbersome it might be.
    A friend of mine used his camera last fall on a hunt not to take pics of his trophy, but to take a pic of some lowlife poaching a moose during the deer hunt! He got a free hunt out of it courtesy of the Utah division of wildlife remorses-err a I mean resources.