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The Ultimate Elk Rifle

Old 04-28-2003, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 270
Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

EKM, Thanks for the input. I really appriciate it. I have a buddy that is an amature smith and he' s going to help me with the scope. I' ve done it, but I like to be double checked. As for size. I' m 6' 5" and about 300 lbs. Down to 250-260 by the hunt. Bustin my A$$ to get their.

As for the 500 yard shot. Like I said......The shot was taken by a guy last year.....I don' t anticipate that long of a shot......just want to be able.

Thanks again for all the info
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Old 04-30-2003, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 270
Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

Got to shoot it today! Boy, can that dog bark. It' ll take a little getting used to. I took the advise of EKM to shoot off hand and hit the target about 4" high w/all three shots at 50 paces. Just three shots today to get a feel, plus I ran out of time. I think I' m going to like it, the trigger is the best I' ve ever shot. Scope is my next question, better for another thread I think.
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:41 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: MN USA
Posts: 1,392
Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

firsttimeelkhunter - One suggestion if you go with the 338. Make sure you make the heart or lung shot and not through the shoulders or other areas that you want to keep. Not that it won' t kill the ELK through the shoulders. It definitely will, but just about any meat near the path of the slug will be bloodshot and/or shreaded.

The fellow we stay with in WY and hunt with is big on 338s, because it will kill and/or substantially slow an Elk with even a marginal shot. However, this past year he inadvertantly hit a big cow through one of the rounds on a shot of about 200 yds. where the animal took a step down a ravine going away from him just as he squeezed off the shot. He got the Elk, but most of the round on a hind 1/4 was pretty well ruined.

The other reason he and others in area with dangerous predators like grizzlies carry this is to stop such an animal, if God forbid they have to.

However, there are a number of other magnum calibers and heavy load combinations that you could say the same about, I' m sure. I' m looking at a Tikka Hunter or T3 300 WM for similar reasons and I like the rifle and out of the box accuracy.

Don' t use the 338 on the Whitetails up in MN!
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Old 04-30-2003, 09:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 270
Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

Our area had a five deer limit last year, My new stand is over a swamp and I could have shots at multiple distances. The .270 is the favorite, but I might take out the .338 for a late season shot at a big buck.
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Old 04-30-2003, 10:03 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,679
Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

That' s the best way to get good with it and see what it can do.
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Old 05-02-2003, 01:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Posts: 1,964
Default RE: The Ultimate Elk Rifle

First Time,
Au contrare! Counterbalancing vote here. 338 Mag on Elk -- I intentionally go for low in the shoulder (although center shoulder will work well) -- plenty of vital pulmonary organs right behind that shoulder plus you' ll take out their front axle so you' ll own them right there! Also plenty of target area to put the hit on if circumstances are challenging.

We butcher all our meat in camp -- kind of like a backwoods CSI autopsy lab added onto the field dressing/quartering/deboning process -- all sorts of calibers in camp from the 7mm Mag/30-06 range on up. My observation is that velocity and quality of bullet is the key factor that determines whether there will be excessive blood shot meat an undue distance from the wound channel. 338' s with heavier bullets (250 gr. noslers) are medium velocity and certainly DO damage the meat a good 1" out from the wound channel but DO NOT even come close to ruining whole elk quarters in our experience (as a practical matter I DO recommend shooting them in the front and NOT the rear quarters).

Remember as someone said, " the animal is bigger than a Honda Goldwing" . When trimming a 338 shoulder shot quarter I would say the bloodshot meat discarded is better measured by ounces than by pounds with some of the transition area going to the burger/jerky bin. Remember a shoulder is about half roasts, a couple steak cuts, and the balance burger/jerky anyway. The key thing is to GET THE ANIMAL.

We have one gentleman in our camp who shoots a 7mm Mag loaded hot with thin jacket bullets -- " exploding bullets" he calls them -- THOSE has been our worst blood shot meat/trimming exercises to date. I think the same caliber in a nosler or trophy bonded bear claw would be much, much less of a problem and probably kill better even though he gets more than his share as is. When his quarters/deboned clusters come in I just pass the steel over my knife a few times, get to work and trim them up.

In my experience, deer are delightful to shoot insofar as they are so cooperative with that nice little 125 yard turn broadside, pause and look maneuver they offer so often -- too curious for their own good. Expect no such cooperation from elk, if they know " something is up" -- with elk hunting things seldom go just right according to plan -- shot opportunities are more varied/challenging. If you are lucky enough to catch them unawares and get a heart/lung shot I guarantee you a 338 will do its part -- on the other hand if its is a raking quartering shot or a shoulder shot going right through bones it will do its job there too -- even breaking both shoulders. Such versatility in " getting the job done no matter what" is why it is one of our favorites.

Shoulder shot? No problem -- 5-10 minutes of knife time when we butcher and I' ll have it all cleaned up!
Heart/Lung shot? Good for you -- 5-10 minutes less of knife time.
If you have the right shootin' tools either one will come and go as easy as the other -- and that is handy.

Never Go Undergunned,
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