7mm Sherman MAX and 155 gr Edge TLR takes a bull elk in NM

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Korhil78, Oct 15, 2019.


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  1. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    Hunt story with pics and then bullet review with pics below that.

    A co-worker who hasn't hunted much and has never hunted elk before drew a tag here in New Mexico for a rifle bull elk hunt. Since he did not have any experience elk hunting, I offered to help him out. I went up the weekend before to scout out the area that I wanted him to hunt in and found a bunch of bulls in the area. Some were with cows and some were solo but there was one nice one with about 10 cows with him. I decided that we would go after that one since he was very predictable on where he would be at. He was on the top of the same hill/mountain every morning.

    He used a rifle that I had built for my son (7mm Sherman MAX) and we would be using the Federal 155 gr Edge TLR bullet. I wanted to try this bullet out because it has a good BC and is a bonded bullet and would hold together good. I had taken him out shooting a few times and felt very confident that if there was an elk 600 yards or closer that he could make the shot.

    We got to and set up our camp site last Thursday so we could do some scouting again before the hunt started on Saturday. We got up early that morning and made our way to the area where I had previously seen the bull and his cows. Sure enough, he was there again. So we were pretty confident that he would be there in the morning.

    We got up early Saturday morning and while there are only 55 tags for the first rifle hunt here, man there was a lot of vehicle traffic. Luckily not one vehicle went into the area that we wanted to hunt. We got set up and I glassed up the bull and the cows on the hill again. They were almost to the top so we went around the back side and climbed to the top where I thought the bull and his cows would be coming out. Sure enough, right when we were at the top, we spotted his cows. We got down behind a juniper tree and waited. They were coming right to us and I was afraid that the cows would bust us and run off. But still we sat tight because there was nothing that we could do now. A smaller 3x3 bull busted us from the side that we were not looking at and ran to the cows. Amazingly enough, the cows did not run off but the big bull got upset and ran up and tried to run the smaller bull off. This left the bull about 70 yards in front of us and broadside. After making sure that there were no vehicles around the area or people walking down below (it was a flat meadow down below), I told him to take the shot. My co-worker stood up to get over some brush and took the shot but I could see that it was a clean miss as the bullet impacted at the bottom of the hill. The elk ran off but they never really saw us. He was pretty upset with himself but I told him that it happens and that people get nervous and mess up a shot all the time.

    I tried to keep him motivated and the second day came around and we got on bulls in the morning and the evening but the stalks never did work out. Either the bulls moved off or never would come out of the brush for a shot. We were only hunting for 2 1/2 out of the 5 days as we had to return to work. He was a little discouraged but I told him that we don't ever quit until we have to leave.

    On the last morning after giving it a days rest, I decided that we would take another look at the hill where he took a shot at the bull on the first morning. We walked a ways in the dark to get closer to the hill and I started glassing the side of the hill. Sure enough, the bull and his cows were back. We snuck (as sneaky as you can in an open meadow) to within 598 yards of the elk on the hill. The cows had spotted us and were looking a little skittish but were not moving. The bull paid no attention and continued eating. We got prone on the ground and set up the rear shooting bag and bipod up. I ranged right at 598 yards and I checked the wind which was blowing around 4 mph from the 11 0'clock. I dialed up 8.7 MOA and .5 moa left. I talked to him just a bit and made sure he was calm and asked if he felt confident in the shot. He told me he was calm and confident so I told him when the bull turned broadside to take the shot. As he was fixing to take the shot, I was whispering to him as I did at the range "squeeeeeeeezzzzzzzeeeee". The shot went off and I could see through my binoculars that the bull was hit good. The bull stumbled around for a bit and then fell to the ground. He was super excited and when we got up to the bull, he had every right to be excited as it was a big 6x7, bigger than any bull that I have ever killed.

    Elk1.jpg

    Elk2.jpg


    The Federal 155 gr Edge TLR did a great job on this bull at 598 yards. Impact velocity was right at 2400 fps. It entered right behind the leg bone on the front shoulder, shattered a rib bone clear in two, put a quarter sized hole through the lungs and stopped on the offside hide of this old bull. I usually use Berger bullets and I can say that a bonded bullet does not do as much damage in totality because of how the Berger comes apart and shreds the lungs up a whole lot more. The lungs were all bruised up but were not shredded like a Berger does. I can say that whether the lungs are shredded or there is a quarter sized hole going through them, the time to die is pretty much the same. The bull went maybe 10 yards before falling over and died really fast. As you can see in the pictures below, the bullet opened perfectly and did not come apart. I forgot to weigh it last night but I am pretty sure that it retained 70-80% of its weight.

    Bullet1.jpg

    Bullet2.jpg

    Bullet3.jpg
    (excuse the kernel of R17! I removed that later haha)


    The bullet construction itself is a great idea but I believe that Federal needs to get their consistency down as their base to ogive measurements are off by A LOT. I sorted the 5 boxes that I bought and the extreme spread was .015" which is pretty bad quality control in my book. I found that accuracy was acceptable out to 600 yards but at 1000 yards, the accuracy really fell apart. I would not use these bullets over 600 yards for my purposes just because of the lack of consistency which you need consistency at longer ranges. The bullet construction though is exactly what I would want in a bullet. It opened all the way to where the copper bottom starts and mushroomed beautifully.

    I believe that this bullet will hold up better at closer ranges than the Nosler LRAB and will open fine at longer ranges as well but its an intermediate range bullet in my eyes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  2. BEEMAN

    BEEMAN Well-Known Member

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    Nice bull and great write up. Thanks.
     
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  3. marioq

    marioq Well-Known Member

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  4. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the bull A week ago I could not get a shot on in unit 12.
     
  5. Kimber7man

    Kimber7man Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Congrats to your buddy on a stud first bull elk!!! And congrats to you on helping him make it happened. As a fellow “Padawan” elk hunter who also just got my first bull this year, I can relate to the excitement you both must feel.
    Nice bullet performance and great shot.
    This stuff never gets old!
     
    tinker man likes this.
  6. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    Finally got around to weighing the bullet. It weighed 130.8 which yields 84% weight retention. Pretty good.
     
  7. Hiwayman92

    Hiwayman92 Well-Known Member

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    I definitely thing they’re onto something with this bullet design. Somebody will get the manufacturing process down a little better, and this design is going to be a very strong contender. Great write up!
     
  8. 257Tony

    257Tony Well-Known Member

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    Great friend, great story, and looks like great bullet performance! Thanks !
     
  9. Cinchy

    Cinchy Well-Known Member

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    I was curious about this bullet & started a thread about them, mainly on any fouling issues? Very nice write up great bull & very good shot by your friend. But I`m curious why black out his face I would want everyone to see my happy smile taking a nice bull like that!! LOL
     
  10. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t had any issues with fouling being bad. Rifle cleaned right up.
     
  11. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    Congrats to the both of you, and thank you for the great write up and pictures.
     
  12. LVJ76

    LVJ76 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, what a great hunt. Great job helping out your friend!
     
  13. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    The bull ended up taping out at 344”.
     
    GoosePilot and lancetkenyon like this.
  14. hunter67wa

    hunter67wa Well-Known Member

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    congrats to you for helping and your friend with a great bull