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The Ultimate Elk Rifle

Old 04-17-2003, 10:29 PM
  #21  
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

Before you think about attempting a shot at 500+ yards, have you practiced enough at those distances to put the bullet in the vitals every time? If not then I would advise against it. I havn' t shot near enough at those distances to let the thought even cross my mind.

After saying all that, If you do not feel comfortable in your rifles and your abilites then don' t use it. You need to have confidence in your equipment. If you do decide to trade for a new gun then you will need to practice with that one also.

One thing you should do is inform your guide your maximum range, what ever it is, and that you will not shoot over that distance and make him earn his money. If he is a good guide then he will get you on the elk. That' s what you are paying him for. You should be able to get within 300 yards or less of about 95% or more of the elk out there.
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Old 04-17-2003, 10:41 PM
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

FirstTimeElkHunter,

By studying your two posts it looks like you are experienced with hunting in general and are a good marksman and that you have more than a single rifle.

I think you have good grip on the path you feel you need to go and where you want your hunting equipment to be versus the level within your hunting group. I' m also in the process of purging some of the rifles in my rack that no longer fit my needs or interests and acquiring replacements that reflect where I am headed -- sounds like you may be doing the same. It is not uncommon when one shifts from one level of hunting (deer) to a higher level (elk) that folks buy a new shooting iron to match the occasion and the game being pursued.

If you do go up in caliber I would recommend you make enough of a jump to make it worthwhile -- no sense in clustering all your rifles in the mid-range -- of course this has to be counterbalanced against the holy grail of shooting -- recoil sensitivity. If your 270 is currently your largest then try out some larger rifles before buying your " ultimate elk rifle" .

Note, when shooting your friends larger guns: (1) start out with smaller grain bullets and then work up, (2) take your first shots offhand standing up and don' t worry about hitting anything but the backstop until you get " introduced" , (3) make sure the stock fits, i.e. that your " wrapped around thumb" is at least 1/2 inch from your nose/upper lip -- wad a pair of leather gloves between the butt and your shoulder if you need to " lengthen" the stock on your friend' s rifle, (4) be leary of a short eye relief scope that is " set back" towards your face (scope eye).

Stated mission: You want to be able to shoot elk up to 500 yards ---- you' re going to catch some flak on that one, but I' ll " work with you" on that one without passing judgement and I' ll keep my comments in line with what you say you want. First, elk are tougher than deer -- its good to have plenty of power. Second, 500 yards " weakens" ANY caliber a LOT; therefore you need to start with quite a bit if you want to end up with much at 500 yards in terms of killing power and penetration for elk.

Calibers - probably somewhere in the range of: 300 WinMag, 300 UltraMag, 300 Weatherby, 30-378, 338 WinMag, 338 UltraMag, 338/378, 375HH, 375 UltraMag. I only have experience with two: 338Win Mag and 375HH, but it don' t really matter -- you will have to choose your own comfort level in choosing your own 500 yard elk rifle -- it' s going to be a trade off between " power" and " comfort" . Maybe a 338 WinMag if you are tender (on recoil) and a 338/378 if you are salty.

Get ready for entertaining reading -- some will say use a 30-30 and some a 50BMG -- I would recommend neither of those. Beware of two myths: (1) It is not possible to shoot a high recoil rifle accurately, and (2) Shooting anything more than a 30-06 is guaranteed to create recoil sensitivity and flinch.

Never Go Undergunned,
EKM
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Old 04-17-2003, 11:42 PM
  #23  
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

I will definetly second EKM' s advice on starting with a lot of power for a 500 yard shot at an elk. I would never advise anyone to use a 270 on a 500 yard shot at an elk. The 270 is definetly not the " ultimate elk rifle" but it is a very capable elk rifle when it is used within it' s limitations. I use one cause any shot that I will be able to take in my hinting area would be within the 270' s capabilites.

I didn' t want to imply that you are not proficent with your shooting abilites and hope it didn' t come out that way I just wanted to state that is a long shot and anyone attempting shots that far should definetly know their rifle and how it performes.
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Old 04-18-2003, 11:06 PM
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

I consider myself to be a very ethical hunter and would not attempt any shot that I did not think or rather know I could make a clean and humane kill on. I also do not expect to be making any such shots on this trip. If necessary, and I hesitate to use that word, I' d like to have the capability to do so. I don' t know if this will sound right, but I want me to be the limiting factor.

I have a place to practice long range shots, and will do so a lot. I will be handloading so as to produce the very most effective round available.

The last thing I want to do is to wound any animal. Thats why I' m doing the research and getting the info.

As for the confidence in the .270, out to 350 yards, I' d put it up against anything. Haven' t shot past that yet, so I don' t know. My question was simply is the .270 big enough to do the job?

I appriciate the comments and welcome more. Like the handle says, this is my first time elk hunting and I want as much info as possible. Ryan
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Old 04-19-2003, 12:29 AM
  #25  
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

My question was simply is the .270 big enough to do the job?
Simply put, Yes if you respect it' s limited limitations. Also, like I posted earlier, a 500 yard shot is pretty rare. I wouldn' t worry about it too much. Your 270 is up to the task.
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Old 04-19-2003, 10:30 AM
  #26  
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:22 AM
  #27  
 
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

Thanks, like I said, I really doubt we will have any shots at that kind of range.

I am going to a gun auction this weekend with a 7mm, 300WM and .338 on it. We have these every once in a while in this are and I enjoy them, rarely buy, but its alot of fun.

I' ve been around the site a bit, great info and it sounds like alot great info. Any other suggestions, please feel free, or maybe I should start a new thread? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-21-2003, 02:34 PM
  #28  
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

The " 270 on elk thread" has been kicked around this board as much as a 20 year old soccer ball. But I' ll put in my cents in on this anyway.

It will kill and has killed a lot of elk, however I' ve seen it wound more elk than any other cartridge. There are guys out there like bigbulls who has a lot of success with a 270. However I do not feel a 270 is a reliable elk rifle. I think you have to have above average talent to be able to say " I' ve shot a 100 elk and all but one was dead in its tracks with one shot." Realistically most guys, and I mean like 95%, don' t have the much success with a 300 UM. Me included, I' m a pretty good shot but once in a while I miss. Sometimes I misjudge range or the wind. Sometimes a shot is uphill or downhill. Sometimes I hit the shoulder but with a big enough bullet with enough energy it doesn' t break apart and takes out his wheel.

If you' re a world class marksmen don' t give it a second thought but I would advise getting a bigger cartridge. If your dead set on using the 270 get the biggest bullet you can get which is a 150grs(still not an elk bullet in that caliber). And please don' t shoot much out past 200 yds with it. You would be unethical in my mind to try a 500 yd shot with a 270 on an elk, especially a big bull that weighs around 1000lbs.

In perfect conditions a 270 will kill an elk but you hit that shoulder at 200+ yds and I can about guarantee you' ll be tracking for the next two days. I don' t ask what a rifle can do in the best conditions, I ask what it can do in the worst conditions.

Again just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:00 PM
  #29  
 
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

Thanks for the info. Thats the kind of stuff I' m looking for. Ryan
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:43 PM
  #30  
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Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

" I' ve shot a 100 elk and all but one was dead in its tracks with one shot."
No where that many but I have seen that It kills elk just as dead as the 7mm mag and 30-06 that other members in camp use.
If your dead set on using the 270 get the biggest bullet you can get which is a 150grs
The heaviest bullet available to reloaders is a barnes original in 180 grains and the heaviest factory load is the 150 grainer. A 140 grain Barnes X or a 140 grain failsafe will penetrate like the dickens through an elk. With one of these bullets or a bullet like the Nosler or A-frame I wouldn' t think twice about having to take a shoulder shot on an elk. I will always maintain that the good old 270 is and will always be a capable elk cartrige but the next rifle that I will be purchasing will be a 300 or 338 mag. I will still use the 270 on elk but the larger, heavier bullets do offer some advantages with the longer (over 300 yards) shots through heavy bone. If you want a good elk round that will be comfortable to shoot but feel that the 270 is a bit light then I would look at the 30-06 or 7mm mag or the 338-06. These will give you heavier bullets and still be easy on the shoulder at the range.

Ultimately it comes down to what the hunter feels comfortable with to a certain extent. There are trade off to consider when choosing a rifle cartrige wether you go up or down in the power range. Take it all in and go with what you will be the most confident with.
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