Low Recoil Rounds Sutiable for Elk

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by TomBillPhill, May 12, 2012.

  1. TomBillPhill

    TomBillPhill New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I’m new to this forum, and I apologize in advance if this topic has been covered. My 65 year old father and I want to go on an Elk hunt, but my Dad has had a shoulder replacement 2 years ago; let me also state that I believe his shoulder is well healed and strong. With that said, we are concerned that some of the larger calibers will deliver too much felt recoil and could cause injury to his shoulder. With this in mind I’ve been researching alternate calibers for him, and I’m wondering if you would find a 6.5 Creedmoor or .260 Remington suitable, when combined with proper shot placement, for taking a elk cow within 300 yards?

    To further reduce recoil, I am exploring building either a .260 Remington, or 6.5 Creedmoor on an AR-10 platform. My thoughts here is that the addition of a buffer assembly and spring would further reduce a low recoil round such as the .260 Remington or 6.5 Creedmoor.

    Your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  2. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tom. Just in the last week or so we had a discussion about the 6.5/.26 caliber for elk. They will do the job w/ good bullets. You should be able to look it up. If you are open to another caliber I'd suggest looking at the 7mm-08. You can get heavier bullets and a better selection of bullets to choose from. Still a low recoil caliber. Out to 300 yards it will do a fine job on elk.
    If you want to use the .26 caliber you might also add the 6.5X47 Lapua to the mix. It may be lightest recoiling of the 6.5's. It has a very efficient case design. Good luck. Bruce
     

  3. TomBillPhill

    TomBillPhill New Member

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    I should have framed my original question better as it is twofold. First, what is the suitability of the .260 Remington & variants such as the Creedmoor and now the Lapua on elk at medium range? Secondly what is the best platform to produce the lowest felt recoil, AR-10 or bolt action?

    Earlier I had mentioned that I was exploring the use of an AR-10 platform, but I have concerns with the weight of this rifle, as I know that we will have to carry this at higher elevations. In addition, I believe that the greater weight of the AR-10 platform will impart a larger amount of recoil, but will the buffer assembly mitigate this recoil, and is it worth the extra weight. I have also been looking at the T/C Icon which is about 40% lighter than the AR and may be a better choice for an extended hunt.
     
  4. 338 bruce

    338 bruce Well-Known Member

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    338 federal, good out to 650 yds.
     
  5. Chugiakbilly

    Chugiakbilly Active Member

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    The .338 Federal is not only soft on the shoulder but will drop any animal on the North American continent, with the exception possibly of the Polar Bear. Enjoy your hunts and keep your powder dry.gun)
     
  6. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    TBP,
    Thanks for looking out for your old man! I am 70 and failing fast but still use a Tika T3 SS LITE in 338WM. I purchased a Rem 700 youth in .243 for myself if I live longer than good health and to pass on to my 3yr old GDaughter some day. 243s have dropped alot of ELK with proper shot placement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    With the super soft butt pad it can't kick much more than a 22mag.
    Please feel free to contact me if you need some questions answered on ELK hunting. I'm a do it your self kind of guy, do more hunting than killing. LOL
    Where are you located?
    Good Luck
     
  7. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    Re: Low Recoil Rounds Suitable for Elk

    Tom,

    As mentioned already the 338 Federal would not be a bad choice at all; you're just limited in the rifles that are chambered in this caliber from the factory.

    A common alternate is to buy whatever caliber you want and then have a muzzle brake installed on the rifle. This will significantly decrease the felt recoil and you won't have to worry if the cartridge is "powerful enough" for an elk. It's the direction I would go rather than cutting back on the cartridge itself.
     
  8. TomBillPhill

    TomBillPhill New Member

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    Thank you for your reply sir. To answer your question, we are located in Kansas City, Missouri.

    I have little knowledge of the .338, but that will change.

    I am very interested in a do-it-yourself hunt, but a hunt of this nature would be difficult due to the distance to states supporting Elk herds, and unfamiliarity with the terrain, hunting spots and so on. We have a friend that hunts on a reservation in NM, and I think this is the route we will initially take, but I welcome any direction you might give.
     
  9. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Dr. Vette on this one.
    Pick a propper cartrige for elk, in the standard variety vs magnum variety. (such as a 270 or 30-06) then put an efficient brake on it.

    In my younger & not so smart years, I rodeoed for college, & did about a year and a half of Northwest Pro circuit. I ended up turning my collar bone backwards, & tore up my shoulder pretty good. To this day I can't pack a heavy rifle for much more than a day without tweaking my shoulder, neck, & back. I'd seriously look in a different direction than the AR. While your concept is sound, those AR's are heavy. (plus you probably won't like the attention your bound to attract packing an AR in the Elk woods) Not that there's anything wrong with it, but Belive me, its not gonna win you any points with your typical elk huntin crowd if they see someone in your party packing a "machine gun" Especially if your not local.
    Some jack wagon goes off & pops a ranchers cow, & your gonna be the first folks looked on with suspicion, eventhough its completely un-deserved. Just what I've seen, id leave the "black gun" at home.
    I shoot featherweight 270WSM with full bore 140Accubond loads & do fine with it on deer, & bear, & my cousin has dumped a few elk with his. I take mine elk hunting too, but haven't bloodied it up on elk yet. However I have taken a pile of elk with my ol -06. O have a couple other cousins that do quite well with thier 270win's on elk too.
    The 270win, 270WSM, 308, 30-06, & 300WSM don't hit the shooter too hard, as far as felt recoil goes, but they still deliver plenty of energy for elk well past your said 300yds.
    If recoil is an issue, have a good quality brake installed, & recoil will be unbelivabley light. Muscle Brake, Pain Killer Brake, DE Brake etc. are all extremely effective at reducing recoil.
    At least you won't be skimping on the propper cartrige selection if you go this route.
     
  10. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    I think Dr. Vette and winmag are right on. Go with a muzzle brake.

    With your 300 yard max range a 308 Win with a muzzle brake would shoot like a dream and have plenty of energy to kill an elk. And being a short action would be a bit lighter. Considering we carry our guns a whole lot more than we shoot them, the weight of your rifle should be a big factor especially with a touchy shoulder. The 7mm-08 would be a great choice as well.
     
  11. skyfish25

    skyfish25 Well-Known Member

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    7mm-08 would be my first choice. Don't get me wrong, I have a 6.5 Creedmoor and love it. My main hunting rifle is a 7mm SAUM. I think the 7mm gives you the best of both worlds, the 6.5 would work. Both will kill an elk okay in the range you are talking about, IMO.

    I agree with some above, get a bolt action rifle. Have a brake installed. Bring earplugs on hunt. Those brakes can be loud.

    Have fun, let us know what you get.
     
  12. 338 bruce

    338 bruce Well-Known Member

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    If you dont allready have a rifle anything smaller than 338 cal is light on elk, a 243 up to any 30 mag will kill elk, a 22 mag will work also, but an elk can absorb .30 and under bullets and you cant tell there hit. My wife killed a big 6 point with 180 accubonds from a .308 and after 3 shots thru the lungs from 20 feet away and finally 1 thru the neck it finally died. The bullets looked like the perfect accubond mushroom. I have killed a lot of elk and a .338 or .375 bullet gets an elks attention and a 200gn 338 federal is no exception.
     
  13. Hntelk

    Hntelk Well-Known Member

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    TBP, I went down the road you are on a few years back, father is over 70, on Coumadin, shoulder problems as well and other medical problems so I had to select the right gun.

    So after much research and time I went with a model 70 Winchester, 3 position safety, 300 wm , wood stock, big bright scope ( zeiss 3x10x50) and the icing on the cake was the muzzle brake. Kicked like a 243 and he had no problems shooting 20 rounds at range w/o fatigue/flinch or excessive bruising on the shoulder.

    This gun weighed around 12 lbs so it could be heavy to carry so I also bought him the mini-me eberlestock so he could slide his gun down middle of his back and still have his hands free and not be too much off balance...( don't need any broken hips) I also had the bog-pod for shooting off sticks...the tripod as the bi pod he was too unsteady.

    Hope this helps, good luck
     
  14. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Question,

    Is your father willing to hunt with hearing protection on, or willing to take the time to put plugs in before he shoots?

    I personally (when thinking 300 yds or less) am thinking about pretty quick shot opportunities alot of times, where the last thing I want to take the time to do is put in earplugs. I'd rather take those few seconds to get as steady as possible and concentrate on the shot, especially if the animal is moving.

    I wont walk with earplugs in either, because I want to hear the brush if it rattles, or the snake that rattles for that matter. Hell, there's at least a dozen different things that I like to be able to hear when out hunting or stalking on foot. Other gun shots, peoples' voices, the bounding of a deer, water running in a creek ect.

    Modern muzzle breaks (as pointed out above in other posts) are most excellent at making a 300 mag feel like a 260 if not less. But I personally wont shoot one without hearing protection, and they are damn loud. I think they have a place in hunting, but more so for long range; where we generally have plenty of time to get into position, and taking a few seconds for hearing protection is only a small portion of the preparation time for those shots.

    Something that can give the best of both worlds is the electronic hearing protection, like the walkers game ear or a variety of electronic muffs, but I don't know how they handle getting rained on, and they can be uncomfortable when we're putting on alot of miles and sweating from head to socks.

    I can't comment on the effectiveness of the 260 caliber, but I've heard tell of many many elk killed with 243's and 25-06 rifles. I agree with above posts, go with a bolt gun. The spring doesn't affect recoil enough to notice much, or offset the other downsides of an AR platform.

    Just my 2 cents.