Featured Len Backus and Robb Wiley discuss some of the best elk hunting calibers - Video

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Len Backus, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Labaherd

    Labaherd Member

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    When I had my current rifle built a couple years ago they offered the 6.5-284. I didn't know much about the caliber so I stuck with my tried and true 7mm. I went to a shooting school they offered and they brought 2 6.5's. Those 6.5's were going target for target against 338 laupas and 7mms. 1232 yards was a piece of cake for them.
     
  2. baret1967

    baret1967 New Member

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    I have yet to draw an elk tag either in California or Nevada I hunt with an old Mauser in 6.5 X 55 and have taken mule deer at 500 plus yards with one shot kills every time, practice and confidence are whats needed accurate rifles help but you have to know your limitations
     
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  3. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

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    Well said.
     
  4. lilharcher

    lilharcher Well-Known Member

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    My braked 300WM kicks like a baby too, but I also have a 6.5 SAUM and am currently building a 7 SAUM throated for 180 gr pills. Never understood the "myth" of being scared of the recoil, but then again, I'm only 39 and have been shooting a muzzleloader the last 3 months for my upcoming hunts (despite the recoil of my ML, it doesn't even cross my mind).
     
  5. Bbear

    Bbear Well-Known Member

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    Took my first two elk with a 25-06. It was all I had (other than a 243). I moved to the 300 WM and 338 WM for several, at least, until my shoulder was injured. Recoil has gotten painful, literally.
    So, I sold those two and got a 264 WM. Recoil is much lighter and it will work on anything I plan on shooting, up to and including elk, out to as far as I plan on shooting them.
    My back-up rifle this year will be the venerable 308.
     
  6. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    I've taken a few bull elk with my 338 RUM and 338 Lapua, but plan on trying my 7mm mag using 180 VLD's on my next hunt.
     
  7. BigGrizz

    BigGrizz Active Member

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    To me, terminal performance is centered around the projectile. Recoil can be overcome, if it's a major concern for somebody. I can shoot my Christensen 338LM all day and be no more sore than if I were shooting my Ruger MKII 308. The projectile is what gets the work done, though.

    With the right bullet, a hunter can get the job done. I've seen older men take a full list of critters in a matter of days with a 25-06. That was deer to bull moose. It can be done. How those critters reacted to that shot? No idea.

    There is a reason, however, for the 30's being the standard for long range and big game- they hit harder. Smaller rounds may go target-for-target with larger ones, but thats a matter of accuracy, consistency, shooting skill, etc. Thats all stuff that matters at the range in a relatively controlled environment. In the wild where things are very dynamic, I'll take the more powerful round every time, no questions asked. Because the familiarity and experience (as there sometimes is none) of the situation and environment are very different from what most experience while shooting at the range. So, my experience tells me to use more kinetic power. I could see me trying a smaller, lower recoiling cartridge, but I know I would not become committed to it for anything bigger than deer, effectively making such a gun obsolete for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  8. Jeremy338

    Jeremy338 Well-Known Member

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    IMG_0472.JPG
     
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  9. Jeremy338

    Jeremy338 Well-Known Member

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    6.5 gap4s
    1 shot 450 yds
    140 berger
     
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  10. Win.308Stealth

    Win.308Stealth Well-Known Member

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    Hitting a target and killing an animal are two different stories. Got a have enough gun, especially at longer ranges.
     
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  11. 308 holes

    308 holes Well-Known Member

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    I may be a lil late replying but after 25 years (yes 25 years) i finally drew the coveted bull elk tag i can say I'm super excited for Oct 22nd to arrive but I'm juggling rifles around in my head and cannot decide on a caliber,I can say the 6.5 creedmoor and the 143 eld-m is devastating on a cow elk my wife killed her cow Saturday evening with a 6.5 creedmoor.God knows I love hunting with her.So the cows start moving we get to 300 yards belly crawling across the field and she gets to a spot she can shoot ,gets setup and all of the sudden buck or in this case cow elk fever sets in shes shaking so bad she whispers to me I can't hold the crosshairs steady ,I whisper back take a couple of deep breaths and boom the gun goes off,my wife hits the cow in the hindquarter,now the fun part of this tracking a wounded animal which it's turning dark the truck is 4 Miles away and the only flashlight I have on me is my phone at this point so we track this cow another mile to mile and a half finally she beds down we can see her head up at 400 yards so I sit down and let my wife use my shoulder as a rest and puts one in her head .But back to the 143 eld-m it's more than enough for cow elk if I knew how to post pics I would
     
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    I liked the tone and openness of the discussion. I certainly agree with every thing said as there are some good pointers from a person who has seen tons of hunters of various abilities.

    The comment that the ability to spot your shot being vitally important is the comment that struck me the most. The relationship between size of cartridge and this ability was noted.

    Me being a bit of a particular old geezer with a major hangup on spotting each shot I can spot all shots with each of my rifles including 270 WSM, 338 RUM, 300 Win and 375 Allen Magnum. None of these are stock factory rifles. Each has been heavily modified by me or someone who knows what they are doing as with the one fully custom rig. Also all are either braked or suppressed.

    I also haven't required more than on shot on an animal for longer than I can remember. (which in my case may have been yesterday...)

    Having said that one should know that I only brake the trigger under nearly perfect prone shooting position. It's either that or the shot isn't taken until I am comfortable with the position.

    I'm in no hurry, not starving for meat and not lucky enough to be trophy hunting. I simply don't want to have to chase anything. Way too darn old for that...
     
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  13. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    We can go to the rifle range and put one hole after another into the middle of the target from the bench. If hunting elk involved shooting from a bench, and shots could be picked and carried out perfectly, this discussion wouldn't exist. Move the shooting to the field, to uncomfortable positions, or places where the bipods aren't tall enough to clear the brush and things change. Yesterday, I harvested a buck antelope, crawled to within 240 yards, went prone and couldn't get a sight picture, and he spotted me. So I decided to shoot off my knee, I didn't have my shooting sticks with me, because I thought the bipod would be all I needed. I took the shot, though not steady and heard the shot hit. A 300 grain berger from a 338 rum leaving the barrel at 2800 makes a good whop. The hit was a little far back, oops, the buck walked 10 feet and laid down, I got prone and finished the job. The point is, a lesser gun and that antelope would have probably run off, getting hit with 4500 ft lbs of energy helped the situation. With good hits, elk usually go down, but with a bad hit, elk are often lost. I will stick with a bigger gun.
     
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  14. BigGrizz

    BigGrizz Active Member

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    Harumph!!