Is your bullet big enough, moving fast enough??

Brushcutter

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Aug 22, 2021
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North Bend, OR
Sorry, new at this. I've shot elk with 7mm rem. mag, 308 win. and 325 wsm. They all work fine. I did have difficulty once though. When my kids started hunting, we surprised a 5 point bull. The kids were surprised too, and couldn't get into action before he started to leave. He was standing facing us at about 40yds and started to turn to leave. I fired aiming at center chest with 7 mm Rem. mag. Federal premium 160 gr. Nosler partition. The shot actually knocked the bull back on his rear very briefly. He then got up and left before I could shoot again. We tracked that bull in the snow till dark, then picked up the trail in the morning for a total of 9 miles on the map before finding him bled out. The bullet had gone from center chest to exit behind the shoulder. I didn't hit any vitals, so make what you will of it. All I can say is Elk are Tough.
 

CONatureBoy

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May 19, 2021
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139
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Colorado
What most guys that gripe about other guys using larger calibers & cartridges do not mention is the flip side of it. You never mention those of us that can and do use them properly. Or the fact that with a larger caliber there is also the capability of having a higher BC projectile, and with a larger case comes more potential to get that higher BC projectile to a higher velocity. What does that equate to? More (better) down range performance. Forget the terminal part of it for just a second and let’s talk about what most seem to say is most important…actually hitting your intended target in the intended spot. So let’s flip the script for a second and say that statistically the probability of a hit increases with said larger caliber/cartridge combos and the further out you go the more it goes up exponentially due to one factor that nobody can control…the wind. Try and find a smaller caliber/cartridge combo that will exceed (or even match) a .338 or .375 slinging 300-400 grain projectiles with a BC of over well over .8 G1 @ over 3100 fps. That’s alright, I’ll wait.
You can use whatever you want, I don’t really care. You can also spin it however you want to convince yourself, I don’t care what you tell yourself to make you feel better. Just remember that there is the ability to perform and then there is just straight up performance! They are not the same.
Bryan Litz authored the article "Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) Analysis of the Optimized 300 Winchester Magnum vs 338 Lapua Magnum With Various Ammunition Types." The article reports a scientific analysis comparing the ballistic performance of the Berger 230-grain OTM 30-caliber bullet loaded for the 300 Win Mag, with 250- and 300-grain .338 Scenar and Berger Hybrid bullets loaded for the 338 Lapua, in high- and medium-confidence shooting environments. (Clearly Litz wrote to a military audience.) The analysis assumes the shooter will have a rangefinder, the ammo's muzzle velocity will have a standard deviation under 20 fps, and retained kinetic energy must be at least 1,000 ft-lbs. The article quantifies ballistic performance in terms of retained energy and velocity, and the hit rate on a standard IPSC target.

The 300 Mag performs slightly better than all or most of the 338 loads for some metrics, and slightly worse than some (but not all) 338 loads for others. For example, consider the maximum distance at which a load achieves a 90% hit percentage in a medium-confidence environment:

1631087393865.png


Only the 300-grain Berger Hybrid .338 load (very slightly) outperforms the 300 Win Mag 230 OTM.

As for terminal performance, Litz remarks that "all [five] bullets under consideration are of similar construction: open tip, match bullets with relatively thick copper jackets and lead cores. This type of construction produces the most precise bullets available, while achieving desired terminal performance which is characterized by limited penetration at short range (high velocity) and high weight retention and penetration at long range (low velocity) impacts. All [five] of the bullets under consideration share the same materials and construction, and exhibit the same desirable terminal performance attributes."

The article's overall conclusion is that the two calibers perform very closely, to the degree that some differences "can only really be resolved by elite shooters in the highest-confidence environments." Litz concludes, "if loaded with the 230 grain Berger OTM Hybrid option, the 300 Win Mag is very comparable in performance, achieving similar hit percentages as the 338 Lapua Mag with all bullet options. In fact, the 300 Win Mag loaded with the 230 OTM bullet outperforms both 250 and 300 grain Sierra MatchKing bullets in .338. But the 338 Lapua Mag loaded with either 250 or 300 grain Berger Hybrids will outperform the 300 Win Mag loaded with 230 OTMs" (italics mine).

It seems the science is on your side.

I'd be curious to see the paper's analysis repeated comparing the 230 OTM loaded for a 300 RUM. The differences between the 300 Win Mag and the 338 Lapua are slight enough that an extra 100 fps or so might even things up. I doubt they'd tip the scales to favor the 300 across the board. However, the analysis did lead me to re-barrel my 300 RUM Sendero with a 28" 1:9 twist 300 RUM, so I can shoot 230-grain 30-caliber Berger Hybrids and Hornady A-Tips, rather than spending a lot more to build a 338 Lapua. Whatever the 338's advantages might be, I'll never be an elite shooter hunting elk in the highest-confidence environments. "I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns."
 

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CONatureBoy

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Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
139
Location
Colorado
Sorry, new at this. I've shot elk with 7mm rem. mag, 308 win. and 325 wsm. They all work fine. I did have difficulty once though. When my kids started hunting, we surprised a 5 point bull. The kids were surprised too, and couldn't get into action before he started to leave. He was standing facing us at about 40yds and started to turn to leave. I fired aiming at center chest with 7 mm Rem. mag. Federal premium 160 gr. Nosler partition. The shot actually knocked the bull back on his rear very briefly. He then got up and left before I could shoot again. We tracked that bull in the snow till dark, then picked up the trail in the morning for a total of 9 miles on the map before finding him bled out. The bullet had gone from center chest to exit behind the shoulder. I didn't hit any vitals, so make what you will of it. All I can say is Elk are Tough.
I had the same sort of experience once. Shot a nice bull elk through both lungs with a 220-grain .308 bullet. Tracked it for miles in the snow over hill and dale, and never caught up. The bull fell down in the snow every quarter mile or so, leaving a blood spot that told me the shot went through both sides of the ribs without expanding. I gave up the search late that night when the blizzard turned ferocious with me miles from my truck. Went back after the storm, but never found it. Tough indeed.
 

CONatureBoy

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Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
139
Location
Colorado
Another great, very thorough article about bullet selection for hunters is "Effective Game Killing" on the Terminal Ballistics web site. It explains in detail the several causal mechanisms by which a bullet may cause death, and relates these to bullet size, design, and placement for different types and sizes of game animal.
 

Bravo 4

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Jul 20, 2007
Messages
4,147
Location
The South
Bryan Litz authored the article "Weapon Employment Zone (WEZ) Analysis of the Optimized 300 Winchester Magnum vs 338 Lapua Magnum With Various Ammunition Types." The article reports a scientific analysis comparing the ballistic performance of the Berger 230-grain OTM 30-caliber bullet loaded for the 300 Win Mag, with 250- and 300-grain .338 Scenar and Berger Hybrid bullets loaded for the 338 Lapua, in high- and medium-confidence shooting environments. (Clearly Litz wrote to a military audience.) The analysis assumes the shooter will have a rangefinder, the ammo's muzzle velocity will have a standard deviation under 20 fps, and retained kinetic energy must be at least 1,000 ft-lbs. The article quantifies ballistic performance in terms of retained energy and velocity, and the hit rate on a standard IPSC target.

The 300 Mag performs slightly better than all or most of the 338 loads for some metrics, and slightly worse than some (but not all) 338 loads for others. For example, consider the maximum distance at which a load achieves a 90% hit percentage in a medium-confidence environment:

View attachment 296470

Only the 300-grain Berger Hybrid .338 load (very slightly) outperforms the 300 Win Mag 230 OTM.

As for terminal performance, Litz remarks that "all [five] bullets under consideration are of similar construction: open tip, match bullets with relatively thick copper jackets and lead cores. This type of construction produces the most precise bullets available, while achieving desired terminal performance which is characterized by limited penetration at short range (high velocity) and high weight retention and penetration at long range (low velocity) impacts. All [five] of the bullets under consideration share the same materials and construction, and exhibit the same desirable terminal performance attributes."

The article's overall conclusion is that the two calibers perform very closely, to the degree that some differences "can only really be resolved by elite shooters in the highest-confidence environments." Litz concludes, "if loaded with the 230 grain Berger OTM Hybrid option, the 300 Win Mag is very comparable in performance, achieving similar hit percentages as the 338 Lapua Mag with all bullet options. In fact, the 300 Win Mag loaded with the 230 OTM bullet outperforms both 250 and 300 grain Sierra MatchKing bullets in .338. But the 338 Lapua Mag loaded with either 250 or 300 grain Berger Hybrids will outperform the 300 Win Mag loaded with 230 OTMs" (italics mine).

It seems the science is on your side.

I'd be curious to see the paper's analysis repeated comparing the 230 OTM loaded for a 300 RUM. The differences between the 300 Win Mag and the 338 Lapua are slight enough that an extra 100 fps or so might even things up. I doubt they'd tip the scales to favor the 300 across the board. However, the analysis did lead me to re-barrel my 300 RUM Sendero with a 28" 1:9 twist 300 RUM, so I can shoot 230-grain 30-caliber Berger Hybrids and Hornady A-Tips, rather than spending a lot more to build a 338 Lapua. Whatever the 338's advantages might be, I'll never be an elite shooter hunting elk in the highest-confidence environments. "I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns."
Yep I have a similar article in my desk somewhere. The military has been trying to turn the .300 WinMag into something it’s not for the past couple decades… a .338 Lapua. We have been part of some of the testings. The article I have is newer and throws the .300 Norma (with 215 Berger and very similar in performance to the .300 RUM) & .338 Norma in the mix. Why? Because that’s what we are soon going to. You have a definite step up in performance over what we have in our current conventional Army arsenal (.300 WinMag). If you’ve ever shot the two side by side (.300 WinMag and .338 Lapua, I have both) loaded to their true potential you will see there is no comparison in real life. Or I can load a ho-hum .338 and really push the crap out of a long barreled .300 WinMag to maximize every ounce of potential and skew the numbers to match whatever agenda one wants. Why do I say that? Because that’s what I’ve seen, to the point of asking why are we even going through any testing.
 

Canhunter35

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Jun 13, 2017
Messages
3,071
This discussion should always revolve around if a person is trophy hunting or not. If you have cow tags say and are after meat, you will get a broadside opportunity or can pick the cow that is broadside. The trophy bull isn’t usually as cooperative
 

Canhunter35

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Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
3,071
What most guys that gripe about other guys using larger calibers & cartridges do not mention is the flip side of it. You never mention those of us that can and do use them properly. Or the fact that with a larger caliber there is also the capability of having a higher BC projectile, and with a larger case comes more potential to get that higher BC projectile to a higher velocity. What does that equate to? More (better) down range performance. Forget the terminal part of it for just a second and let’s talk about what most seem to say is most important…actually hitting your intended target in the intended spot. So let’s flip the script for a second and say that statistically the probability of a hit increases with said larger caliber/cartridge combos and the further out you go the more it goes up exponentially due to one factor that nobody can control…the wind. Try and find a smaller caliber/cartridge combo that will exceed (or even match) a .338 or .375 slinging 300-400 grain projectiles with a BC of over well over .8 G1 @ over 3100 fps. That’s alright, I’ll wait.
You can use whatever you want, I don’t really care. You can also spin it however you want to convince yourself, I don’t care what you tell yourself to make you feel better. Just remember that there is the ability to perform and then there is just straight up performance! They are not the same.
Stop injecting logic into this lol, btw goodluck with c19, my buddy spent two weeks on his couch, but it back up and at it now, so hopefully ur on the tail end
 

memtb

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Dec 30, 2013
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1,784
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Winchester, Wy.
Certainly there is no substitute for practice and bullet placement, no matter the bullet! However, I still contend that if the hunter’s season ends when the animal is hit, whether the game animal is killed or merely wounded....would make many hunters very carefully pick their components and their shots. In many places, especially when hunting Africa, you shoot it, you bought it......that may be to reason that you see so many one shot kills, as most hunters are more selective with their shot! “Stroking our ego”, be it using the smallest legal bullet diameter or taking shots that clearly should not be taken, whether beyond our skills or the cartridge capabilities ......have no place in hunting!

I am not suggesting that this be a law......only that we as hunters follow a similar philosophy! I know that the word “ethical” promotes much anger and indignation among many......however, if we all treated every shot as described above, there would be far less wounded and unrecovered animals! memtb
 
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Bravo 4

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The South
Stop injecting logic into this lol, btw goodluck with c19, my buddy spent two weeks on his couch, but it back up and at it now, so hopefully ur on the tail end
Thanks for the sentiment, I am now on the up. The bad thing is it’s going to take about 2 months for a full recovery. That’s what being sick and not eating has robbed from me in the gym, about 15 lbs of muscle.😁 As bad as it was, it could have been a lot worse!
As for the trophy bull vs cow scenario, for someone like me sometimes that cow is a trophy in itself. I’ve shot a couple decent bulls and would much rather that than any cow. However after a couple/few years of not getting to go and then maybe seeing only a couple cows in 9 days when I do, that cow is a trophy in of itself. Waaayyy more so then an unfilled tag in your pocket, $1300 tag soup is pretty sour to swallow. That’s why I try to plan and equip for worse case scenario.
Now when talking size difference and demeanor, I concur. 😁
 

wm5l

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Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
188
Location
San Angelo,TX
Elk season is coming - wonder what we think?
IMO and IME experience, there is a thresh hold for caliber and bullet size when I hunt elk. Many of my friends call me "magnum" because of this philosophy. When it comes to hunting, especially larger game, I run big heavy (195 and larger) bullets at at least 3000 fps mzl vel for elk. I subscribe to no less than 1000 lbs of energy to kill and in the field, things sometimes aren't as perfect as they are on the range or shooting steel - especially at longer ranges when the bullet has a 1 second or longer flight time. Animals move, take steps, turn and have round bones that sometimes deflect smaller bullets upon impact.

I wonder how every one else thinks about this? Yes, I know there have been elk killed with a .243 but is that really what you want to ethically kill an elk with?

SEND IT!
I was always told or have always read 1500# energy for elk size game and 1000# energy for deer size game. Ive only shot one Elk and it was with a 338 Federal at 200 yds. Took two steps and fell over dead, complete pass through with a Barnes 185 TSX Both my FPS and Bullet weight are lower than your minimum stated above. I think its all in where you hit em and how far you shoot them (or shoot at them) most guys cant shoot much over 100 yards and keep it sub MOA in hunting situations.
 

Mike Matteson

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Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,344
I’ll stir the pot. Here’s a pic of what a 105gr Berger hybrid going 2885fps from a 243 Winchester does to an elk at 364 yards. I’m w/ @coldboremiracle. Shot placement is key. That’s the offside. Seems pretty

I’ll stir the pot. Here’s a pic of what a 105gr Berger hybrid going 2885fps from a 243 Winchester does to an elk at 364 yards. I’m w/ @coldboremiracle. Shot placement is key. That’s the offside. Seems pretty toast to me.
Yet blood shot. That's like bring a knife to a gun fight.
 

RevJim

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Dec 25, 2014
Messages
688
Location
Sandy, UT
I have shot a few cow elk but many "elk sized" Plains Game. From 30-06 to 375 H&H, 338WM, 340wby, 300WMs & 35 WAI. "Overall", I found the 300WM with 165-180 Barnes to be outstanding, especially "hitting" springbok at 400yds. Shot a big ol Gemsbok in Namibia right at 375, 300/180 Barnes, DRT. I just "like" the way a Big Gun "hits them", and it gives me an excuse to "use" the bigger calibers, ha. I grew up shooting SE Texas deer/hogs and the 30-06 was "like a magnum". I got made fun of for using a BAR 7mm RemMag for years! Now, they are all the rage down there! go figure.
 

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