Minimum Elk Rifle?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Greg Duerr, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    I posted a question about the .243 on ELk, what I would like to hear back on is what would be the Minimum you would use for Elk hunting. I saw that one person said that the .30-06 is good out to 700 yards...............What kind of energy would be left at that distance assuming your using a 180 gr bullet. I was told that the .243's max distance is 400 yds on Deer ........I would assume that the 6.5x284 would have the same max distance on Elk...........Now im assuming that we are talking out to 500yds which in my book is still a long shot.....................

    In your personal opinion what would be the minimum cartridge you would use on elk and what bullet would you use.

    G
     
  2. hawk45

    hawk45 Well-Known Member

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    You are going to get 100 different answers from .22 to 50cal. The best thing to do is go here and get familar with ballistics. This link will save you so much time and be able to give you drop charts for your loads as well. Fantastic and FREE!!!

    JBM - Calculations

    If you go to the Trajectory (or Trajectory/Drift if you want wind drift too), select a bullet make/weight from the list you plan to use. Enter the FPS your load or factory clocks at, the twist of your barrel and the distance you plan to shoot (default is 1000yds) and hit enter, it will give you the drop, velocity and energy of that load at a given distance in 100yd increments. All the data you need will be presented.
    May say a good rule of thumb is 1800 fps (depending on bullet expansion) and 1500 ft/lbs of energy on target. To some, that will be over-kill, to others the min. Also, shot placement is key as well. A big bullet not in the kill zone is not as effective as a smaller one in the right spot. You will also here "there is never too dead".. which means biggest you can handle is best. All subjective to an extent. 100yds away with a .243 is different than 800yds away with a magnum.

    Big Factors:
    Distance - How far do you plan to shoot? Max limit you place on yourself
    Recoil Tolerance - Can you hit what you are aiming at with a Magnum?
    Weight - Can you carry a heavier gun to absorb recoil of bigger caliber or do you need a uber light carry.

    All things I've taken in on my learning process.
     

  3. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, exactly what he said. There is also a ballistics calculator on this website (on the top bar).
     
  4. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    AS stated by hawk45, you need to read up on calibers and ballistics based on your statements in your post when you're relating distances when shooting at a deer as compared to a much bigger elk. Most of it has to do with ft/lbs. of energy left at POI on the animal and that distance is going to vary because it is obviously going to take more energy to put a bullet into a huge elk as compared to a deer or antelope. The small .243 does not have the energy very far out even on a perfect shot to be considered more than marginal at best on an animal the size of an elk. Here are two good sites with lots of information on calibers and ballistics. The first has a ton of calibers you can click on to get a lot of information just like the .243 that will come up. The second also gives you a list of calibers you can click on and then all the cartridges for that caliber come up and you can look for bullet weights, etc. and keep clicking to the right for powders, primers, etc. for them. I prefer the first link myself, but thought I'd throw that other one up too.

    .243 Winchester

    Steve's Reloading Data Pages
     
  5. hawk45

    hawk45 Well-Known Member

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    Great link TopGun, adding to my favorites.
     
  6. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    I think so! Check the other link I just added to that post. It's a little more involved, but is also pretty good.
     
  7. hawk45

    hawk45 Well-Known Member

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    HOLY MOLY!! Now if I could just find reloading supplies.
     
  8. Topgun 30-06

    Topgun 30-06 Well-Known Member

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    ***Ain't that the truth! I'm glad I got enough stuff a while back for the three calibers I use mostly after the first shortages hit and I have enough for a few years of practice and hunting with those five main rifles. Guys that didn't are hurting right now!
     
  9. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    It's still limited but my local gun stores have them on their shelves but it goes rather fast ... a good sign nonetheless.
     
  10. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    I stop by Scheels ever night to see what has come in ................Ive purchased so far 10lbs of H4350 and 500 100gr Prohuners for my .243 and 200 80gr bergers ...............its a lot easyer having just one rifle.................it would be a night mare having three or four. I do shoot a 19 Badger but getting bullets for it is easy. My rifle shoots H4350 super for both the 100gr and 80

    I have my name @ three different places for some more 80gr bergers................

    Under that communist in the White house this is only going to get worse Componets are going to be really scarse from now on .
     
  11. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    I dont want an ELk Rifle that is heavy, im a walking hunter and dont ride around on a quad............so big recoiling rifles are out .......

    For me the Best cartridge would be the .280 or the .280 Ackley........

    Going from the 100gr in a .243 to a 160gr should be more than enough..........

    Ive read on this sight that several guys shoot 6.5 -284's and consider them good out to 900 yrds for Elk..................

    :cool: :rolleyes:
     
  12. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Greg, use as small of a rifle as you want. Small rifles will kill elk. But don't ignore the fact that if you are going to take a long range shot at elk a bigger rifle/bullet with more SD and BC is better. Know your limitations and the limitations of your rifle. And please if you have a wreck don't come back on here blaming the bullet. Have a great hunt and best of luck to ya

    Jeff

    PS: I have been working with a 6,5x284 with 140's the last few weeks. I will not be sending any at elk at 900 yards with it. Just my opinion and personal choice.
     
  13. 338 bruce

    338 bruce Well-Known Member

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    I have a High power .177 pellet rifle and I shot a spike elk head and had a complete pass thru. Real elk rifles start at 338 and go up, even a pellet gun could kill an elk with perfect shot placement.
     
  14. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Bruce, is that the Daisy Red Ryder Long Range Elk addition? Where you using solid copper's?

    Jeff