So what wrong with a .243 on Elk?

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Greg Duerr, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Over the past years many Elk have been hunted successfully with the 30-30 and similar rounds.................yet today when someone mentions using the .243 we are looked at like we are crazy.
    Some years in the past when I was much yonger I hunter with a guy that used a old 32-40 probably not as good as a 30-30 but close. One moring we were hunting along a ridge and came on to a young forky. He hit him right in the neck, and the buck started to take off I then hit him, but pure chance in the neck also, he dropped like a rock. Heres my thought, the .243 I used was smaller in bullet diameter but the power factor was so much greater. In our past the 30-30 was a great hunting round but today it is not, why?
    Im confident that if the distance is kept under 200 yards that with a good bullet and in the hands of someone who can put that bullet were it will do the most damage that the .243 is a much more efficent round than the 30-30 ever thought about being........................yet when talking with my brother in law who hunts elk he thought I was crazy...........................funny how things change how our thought change based on what other think and feel rather than what experiance shows us.

    lightbulb Forgive my spelling
     

  2. Mike 338

    Mike 338 Well-Known Member

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    When your punching a hole through something's vitals, chances are fair it'll die. Small holes increase the likelihood of the animal increasing the distance from where it was shot to where it died. After you've packed out a few elk from the steeps, you'd do just about anything to lessen the distance you need to unnecessarily pack meat, usually straight up the mountain. Big holes that go deep decrease your odds of getting a runner and that's reason enough for me.
     

  3. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    The 30-30 was not a great hunting round, which is why its use has faded away. Its use was popular because at the time it was a powerful accurate round. When new cartridges were developed, hunters quickly realized the inadequacies of the 30-30.. A .243 on Elk? Maybe if I needed to survive.

    Don't handicap your hunting or unnecessarily put animals at risk of being wounded and not harvested.
     
  4. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    The 30-30 will fade away just like what we use today will fade away in 30 years. I have killed a lot of deer with a .243 and all went a very short distance when hit in the right spot.......................Does speed kill better than bullet diameter? When in Idaho I talked with a lot of Elk hunters that told me that they would not hunt with anything smaller than a 300 Win Mag, so im handicaping myself with a .270 or a .280. Your probably right about the .243, but my point was that the .243 is a far better round than the 30-30. I have only shot one Bull Elk in my life. It scored 320 but with a 180gr bullet from a 300 win Mag it still went over 100 yards
    The bullet went through the lungs and broke the far shoulder, which proves your point very well.........................yet on the hunt another guy killed a really nice Bull with his 25-06 and it traveled less distance than mine .............you can never tell what damage any bullet really does. I guess my thought was that the .243 has a lot more going for it than the older cartridges yet in those by gone days the 30-30 or any of the others were real Elk killers expecially when they came with smoke less powder. Maybe Im doing more talking to myself as my big caliber is a .243 AI..........I will find out more this January when Elk season starts
     
  5. hunterbob

    hunterbob Well-Known Member

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    The 30 30 has taken more animals than any caliber over the years. I carried one with open sites; carried it hunting mountains around rocky ledges, where it would be fast shooting at close range; in brushy woods where shots were close. It can't be beat for that. If you are confident of the rifle you have, that's all that matters. My Favorite is my 308 Savage, and I always say bigger is better. I have shot deer with a 243 too, and they ran 50 yds with a heart shot. I had done the same with my 308, and on occasion, they had run 50 yds.. bullet placement is everything, but critters just don't know when they are dead sometimes.
     
  6. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Your right about that ..................I once shot a coyote with my 22-250 blew a huge exit hole out the other side and he still ran over 75 yards...........we could not believe it.... Like you said some animal just dont know they are dead.
     
  7. HuntnID

    HuntnID Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend from Montana that always used to hunt elk with a 220 Swift. I thought he was crazy but he and his dad killed a lot of elk. If a 220 Swift can do it, I see no reason why a 243 couldn't do it. However, I don't think the thought process is that a 243 CANT kill an elk, but it won't always kill it in the most efficient manner. Why you are spewing out a 300 grain bullet from a 338 Edge or the like, I believe you have a bit more room for error than with a 243.
     
  8. hunterbob

    hunterbob Well-Known Member

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    I heard there are some cute cuddly Grizzlies up there and I really wouldn't want to have a 220 or 243 and run into one.:D
     
  9. HuntnID

    HuntnID Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Sometimes it is weird. I was telling him about my 338 Edge and how I needed 300 grain bullets for it. He seemed to think I was crazy. I talked him into getting a 300 RUM. When we went out to purchase bullets for him to reload, he wanted to buy the 150 grain bullets. It was pulling teeth and took some significant peer pressure to get him to buy the heavier pills.
     
  10. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Destroy vital tissue and things die. Various factors and circumstances affect the best way to do that. The 30-30 and the model 94 in its day and time fit the ticket. A small rifle handy, readily available will fill the pot by virtue of being available when animals present themselves. These days we (most of us) don't wait for an animal to wander by while we're
    fixing fence, moving cattle, or herding sheep. How often does one get a Nevada Elk tag? How many days in the field does that reduce to? How many opportunities, and what kind are there? Mostly we have different circumstances than previous generations and fit our equipment accordingly. I haven't killed as much game as some, but I have done it in a few places. The canyons and jungles of North Idaho are different than habitat than Texas or Nevada. Elk hunting in Wyoming an elk that moves 600-800 yards when hit may be recovered as it can be seen until it lays up. That same elk in N. Idaho, NE. Washington, or coastal Washington is gone. Look at the Defensive Edge (and others) videos and you'll see animals can fall or slide nearly that far. I once saw a steer shot for slaughter with a 30-30 that was on its feet 15 minutes later. Shot by an experienced hand, with a rifle all he used for was killing steers, ammo from a half empty box, the previous ten had worked just fine, placement good, angle good, range less than 15'. Steer crossed his eyes, sat on his ass, shook his head, got up and ran full speed to the far fence (400 yards) turned left to the next fence line (200 yards) turned left and came back down that fence line another 200 yards and stopped. He lay down there and was finished with another round behind the ear. If left alone he likely would have died there, but who knows? Stuff happens, it may not have happened to you before, and it may not happen to you again, why not be prepared for opportunities that aren't optimal?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  11. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Your right, it would give you a lot more room for error as that 300gr er would shoot end to end on an Elk. I guess for me its just that all I have is a .243AI I have a cow elk tag for this winter and thats when I will see what really happens. I will not take a shot over 200 and I will wait for the moment when I can put it right into the lungs. I think that when your limited with the rifle you have you know what needs to be done. When I hunted with a .54 cal Round Ball I never ever took a shot over 100, prefering to take a shot at no more than 75 so I hunted like I had a bow in my hands.
    With the lighter stuff is all about distance plus bullet placement. I have read where one guy shoot Rooster Pheasants with #9 shot but only in the first part of the season when the first year birds are hold ing really tight, for him pellet size is not about the size of the bird but the distance, the same with shooting Elk with smaller caliber rifles. Some years ago I went deer hunting with a freind .......he had a tag but I did not . I was hunting for Coyotes with my .222 loaded with 46gr Calhoon bullets. He told me that if you see a nice buck shoot it.............Of course I ran into a really nice 4x4 one moring and hit him right behind the shoulder at just over 100 yards. He went down tried to get up then fell back dead..............is the .222 a Mule Deer cartridge, not really but when all things come together you would never go hungry. Hey, some guys hunt with the .22-250 and the Barnes 53 gr X bullets and seem to alway collect a nice buck................Its what works for you.

    Greg
     
  12. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    It really boils down to bullet performance and shot placement. If it was me, I would probably opt for a 105 gr Barnes X or a bonded bullet. Make sure the shot is in the lungs and not in the shoulder or slip the shot in behind the ear and be prepared to keep shooting until the animal is down. If I only had one gun, that is what I would do and a cow elk is much easier to kill than a large bull.
     
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I've seen so many elk whacked with a 243 it still surprises me when someone seems to think you can't kill elk with one! I've seen elk piled up hard shot with a 243. Blow a hole through the lungs and they die, I've seen holes from a 243 through an elk chest that that would make a 338 blush in embarrassment. One little gal last year shot a bull facing her just of center crossing to the back of the of side ribs, it crushed him no problemo!
    low a bullet fast
    Put a bullet that will open and trash lungs and make it to the other side, 105 Berger is stellar or a decent soft point works wonders. I would avoid neck shooting thought, an elk neck is thick solid muscle and can slow a bullet down enough to not break the spine, I've found quite a few bullets next to the spine that just did not have the poop to get it done.
     
  14. Greg Duerr

    Greg Duerr Well-Known Member

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    Bigngreen

    Sounds like your speaking from a lot of experiance, and experiance seems to be far and few now adays. i dont like the idea of a new rifle just in case I buy an Elk Tag. Two years ago I had an antelope tag and shot the 80gr TSX Tipped Barnes, The hole it put into that Antelope was scarry, and that was with a Standard .243 not the Ackley I have now. I would guess that if I had I could get close to 3500 fps, scarry to think about it. The only problem I have with the Ackley is that it WILL NOT shoot boat-tail bullets. Once I tried Flat base WOW, it shot. 100 gr Sierra Pro Hunter average .306 and the Berger 80gr Flat base, Three groups, .166, .184, and blew the last one it went .301 If you beleive in something it works.

    What part of Montana are you from?

    My Wifes Parents live in Carmen, Idaho just south of Montana right along the Bitterroot Mts................Thats where I will be hunting next year.

    Greg