Max effective range for a .308

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by megastink, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. megastink

    megastink Well-Known Member

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    What is the max range to take an Elk with a .308? I shoot Hornady Custom Match right now with 168 gr A-Max.

    I am planning on beginning to reload next month, so if you have a good recipe for medium to big game, please let me know!

    Thanks all!

    -Mega
     
  2. HJW

    HJW Well-Known Member

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    The rule of thumb is 1500 lbs. of energy. So 400 yards give or take?
     

  3. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    The minimum energy level to cleanly take game will always be up for debate:)
     
  4. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I agree but if someone ask me what amount of energy does it take to cleanly take a elk I will always use what seems to be the standard 1500 for elk 1000 ft lbs for deer. Now I have taken deer with a lot less energy but the placement was perfect.

    One when learning has to start somewhere and the above seem to be good numbers.
     
  5. frickpse

    frickpse Member

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    i would use a different bullet also with elk. amax's work fine and dandy with deer but i think you may want a stronger bullet with elk, like tsx, ttsx, bergers hunting vld, or the accubond
     
  6. zupatun

    zupatun Well-Known Member

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    Would also depend on your rig, bullet and your load. If I put a 200 grain pill in my 26" barrel behind a stiff load of RL17 I might see 1500 out past 800...it all depends I guess. 165 Interbond in front of 44.5gr of Varget gives me 2000fps and 1471 at 400yards...marginal. Need to do more homework and figure out what works for you.

    Matt
     
  7. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    +1...Amax is a great bullet for deer, but you will want a tougher bullet for elk. Barnes, Bergers and Accubonds are all good options.

    Also, pretty much agree on 1500lbs for elk and 1000lbs for deer.
     
  8. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

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    I got into a very lively discussion elsewhere regarding the 1500/1800 lbs of energy. Whether or not one believes it, it does create a mark or setpoint to relate to. I first found it discussed by Ackley in the late 50's and since by other authors. To me based on what I have seen and done in the field it makes sense. However it boils down to where the bullet goes. A bad hit is a bad hit and sometimes energy will make it better, but not always. Many justify the use of a caliber producing less energy on the statement similar to "I would rather hit it well with a lesser cartirdge than wound it by flinching". Of course many hunters (shooters) may flinch, and if so should shoot something that will not make them flinch. However the smaller the cartridge the smaller the margin of error. Animals that stand around for several min, may unexpectdly move at the squeeze of the trigger, and that 3/4 of a second to impact is a long time.
     
  9. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    Took a big bull at just over 1K a few weeks ago. The 210VLD struck him at 1800fps and 1510ft/lbs of energy. The bullet completely shattered the shoulder bone and went on to take out the lung. After seeing the results I decided that I wouldn't be afraid to stretch it to 1,150yds or so in the right conditions. This would put me at 1650fps and 1250ft/lbs of energy. Although, I'm close to having my 230 Hybrid Target load at 2,950fps finished up. The numbers with the 230 look much, much better at those distances:D
     
  10. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

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    That is amazing,!! Your skills and equipment exceed mine, by far! I am working towards 600 yards. What rifle cartridge combo are you using? Did you post pictures/narrative? I would love to hear more!
     
  11. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the compliment, I have been investing a lot of time over the last couple of years improving my knowledge and gaining LR shooting experience. It all came together and paid off this season. I use a Custom Rem 700 300RUM pushing a Berger 210VLD at 3100fps. It is topped with a Shepherd 310PE1 scope. As I mentioned above, I will be trying Berger's new 230 Hybrid Target bullets on game next season, the velocity and energy numbers are awesome even compared to my 210 load. I have included the link to the full story and photos on my elk hunt a few weeks ago.

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f86/1-003-yard-roosevelt-bull-80724/
     
  12. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

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    I did read your original post but did not connect the two. Very nice write up. I was raised in Oregon and spent Christmas in Vernonia !! Congratulations again.
     
  13. 82ndreddevil

    82ndreddevil Well-Known Member

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    I really like this rule of thumb of 1500 pounds of energy. Too many people seem to think that just because you can hit it, that you should take the shot. I admit I would take a 600 yard shot with my 300 win mag if I needed too :) I guess one other factor to consider is if you are shooting at cows or bulls, perhaps you can extend your max effective range standard for a cow? Good discussion post!
     
  14. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    308, plenty for elk. 168 AMAX, not so much. Take it from a guy who has extensive knowledge about the 308, its ballistic capabilities and AMAXs in 308s.

    My top choice load for the 308 for elk is hands down the 200 grain Sierra Game King. It has a good BC, good sectional density and its velocity for expansion zone is perfect for the 308. Fired out of a large magnum it wont hold up very well on elk for close up shots but at 308 velocities its perfect. That said, it will also expand at 1500'/sec which with its good BC at elk altitudes will get you way out there. More energy is better but if you can take a double lung broadside shot and have 1500'/sec or more, I would not hesitate.


    At 6500' ASL and 35 degrees F. and 2500 FPS at the muzzle, 1500'/sec comes at 925 yards with 1000 foot pounds of energy. If you go with the 1500 foot pound rule, it gets you to 575 yards. Most will argue that this is where you should stop. Either way, iit is a legitimate 600 yard elk load.

    2500'/sec is very doable in a 308 with a 24" barrel or longer. With the right powder I have milked 2650 in a 26" but it is a high pressure load and it takes powder that isnt known as being as temp stable as some of the H powders. 2500-2550 is a realistic number for the 308 and the 200SGK.

    M