What's the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Inukshuk, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Inukshuk

    Inukshuk Well-Known Member

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    What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    Hi all
    A friend of mine wants to get a good rifle for caribou hunting, but has a bad shoulder, so what would be the minimum caliber to use that can do the job well with minimal kick? Shooting distance could go to 500 yards.

    I mentioned the 308, but I don't know about it's kick. I never tried one.
     
  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    You complicated the matter by including elk in your question - I believe most hunters would agree that elk are inately tougher critters than caribou. One reason is body weight, a really big bull elk is far bigger than a bull caribou, plus sometimes elk just seem to take a lot of killing.
    I would suggest you could go down to the .257 range, my son has taken a lot of caribou with his .257 Weatherby and they drop dead. The .257 Roberts or .25 WSSM would do the job almost as well. Matter of fact I expect the .243/6mm with the Nosler 95 grain bullet would also kill caribou very cleanly.
    If I was recoil sensitive I would consider a Win. Coyote in .25 WSSM. You could also consider the 7mm range of cartridges - hard to beat a 7-08 for a nice shooting cartridge. Again you could do the Coyote in 7mm WSM, that would be a heck of a long range rifle and it would not recoil much. I find that the 7mm WSM kicks noticeably less than the .300 WSM - due to lighter bullets mostly.
    Living up where you do ammo availability would have to be considered - of the above the .243 would probably be the most available. What about the .308 Win? In a medium weight rifle the .308 does not recoil that bad, and it is a proven killer. Use 150 grain bonded bullets and the .308 is a killing machine out to 600 yards.
    None of the above are good choices for elk tho - although lots of guys kill elk with lighter rifles the .300/.338 mags are the best choice.
     
  3. Inukshuk

    Inukshuk Well-Known Member

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    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    Hi Ian
    Can We change the pad on the 308 to absorb better and if so which one and where to get it.?
    Off the subject question?
    Do you know where in Canada I can get a Harris Bipod good price of coarse?
     
  4. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    Get a SIMMS pad best I have ever owned. I put one on my 375 H&H it now feels like a 300 win.
     
  5. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    Dakor, not sure if Simms makes these but the best pad I have used is called the Limbsaver, it is very soft but somehow takes recoil right down. Might be the same pad you are suggesting.
    You can buy them from Brownells to fit most rifle stocks.
    As for a good place to buy anything hunting related in Canada - that is a good question. There is a new Bass Pro Shop near Toronto, I expect they should have as good prices as anywhere.
     
  6. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    For a readily availabel factory cartridge, I would suggest the 270, 7-08 and the 260Rem. Just match the bullet to the game and distance.

    A heavy for cal bullet like the SST will anchor any caribou and elk out to 500yds on broadside presentations. If you want the option of heavy quartering shots, then look at the partition, Barnes, or Failsafe.

    Killing is about getting the right damage in the right place. With the vast choices in bullets, you can match just about any cartridge to any non dangerous game.

    With a rifle that doesn't cause flinching, the ability to hit the mark goes up. And that is what causes the killing.

    Jerry
     
  7. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    Ian you are right Simms Makes the LimbSaver pad and they are great!!!
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    gotta chime in here...

    Boo Boo and Elk... thats kinda tough...

    I'm gonna say because Elk are in the mix your gonna do better with a .30 cal. bullet....

    think long and hard about the 30-'06.. loaded with 150-165 gr bullets should be real good on Boo-Boo and loaded with 180 gr bullets it should do Elk real nice...

    as always placement is key...


    Definitly get a real good recoil pad and but an "answer" break on the front...
     
  9. budlight

    budlight Well-Known Member

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    Re: What\'s the minimum caliber for Caribou or Elk?

    I've taken a few of your northern Canada Boo's with my 270. If you reload and chrono your loads. The 140 grain Barnes BT's are deadly when launched @3200 fps.