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What is best caliber for elk hunting?

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What is best caliber for elk hunting?

Old 08-28-2009, 10:22 AM
Typical Buck
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Originally Posted by shesakiller
I believe I might be intimidated by anything with more punch, which, I'm told, the 7mm mag has.
I can't tell any difference between my 30-06 loaded with 180 gr bullets and my 7mm Rem mag with 160 gr bullets for what ever that's worth.

My wife is a small 5'2" and 120 lbs. and she shoots both with no problem. She hunts with the 30-06. A good pad on the stock and she never looks back.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:45 PM
Nontypical Buck
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I don't know what you went with or your shooting ability.
I just purchased a 7mm Mauser(close to the 7mm-08) for my daughter to hunt elk/deer with.It will be more than adequate for elk under 300 yds.We also looked at the 6.5 x55 sweed,260,280,30-06,308 and many others.
Now my daughter has shot several guns 243,25-06,308, 22-250 and other shotguns.She is very sound shy,as for kick the .308 was more than enough for her.
Now my wife hunted elk for the 5 years with a 30-378 wby of her dads,she has no fuss about my .338 Ulta mag or .300 WBY.What I can tell ya is when I gave her a 270 her groups went form 3 inches at 100 to 1/2 at 100.
She has killed 5 elk shooting 150 gr Federal blue box.
So I guess what I'm saying is go out and shoot a few and see what you like.

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Old 09-01-2009, 09:09 PM
Boone & Crockett
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How much does a deer weight ?

Most states have .243 as the minimum caliber.

How much does a bull elk weight ?

You do the math.................................
You know I have posted the math on this several years ago. Minimum cartridges for game.

Average deer = 178 pounds
Average elk = 700 pounds
Average moose = 900 pounds
Average cape buffalo = 1800 pounds
Average African elephant = 12,000 pounds.
Average weights taken from tables available on the net.

100 grain .243 = .56 grains per pound of deer and 10.93 foot pounds of KE per pound of deer.

150 grain .270
= .19 grains per pound of elk and 3.83 foot pounds of KE per pound of elk.

180 grain 30-06 = .2 grains per pound of moose and 3.23 foot pounds of KE per pound of moose.

300 grain 375H&H = .167 grains per pound of buffalo and 2.36 foot pounds of KE per pound of buffalo.

300 grain 375H&H = .025 grains per pound of elephant and .355 foot pounds of KE per pound of elephant.
All ballistics taken from the Hornady web site.

In order to get the .243/deer equivalent on an elk you would need to shoot a 390 grain bullet at 2975 fps and generate 7650 foot pounds of KE at the muzzle. This is more than the 416 Weatherby generates.

To get the .243/deer equivalent on a Cape buffalo you would need to shoot a 1000 grain bullet at 2975 fps. and generate 19700 foot pounds of Ke at the muzzle. This is considerably more than what the 50bmg generates.

Last edited by bigbulls; 09-01-2009 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 09-09-2009, 02:07 AM
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Bigbulls-----you've been smoking too much dope!
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:05 AM
Dominant Buck
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interesting take bigbulls. Food for thought about loads and calibers.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:35 AM
Boone & Crockett
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Bigbulls-----you've been smoking too much dope!
Why do you say that?
Because the math doesn't lie?
Not the answer you wanted to hear?
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:18 AM
Fork Horn
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There's nothing wrong with the .270 Win. for elk hunting. My wife's great grandfather is 94 years old, still hunts elk every year, and has killed more elk than most people have ever seen. The only caliber he's ever used is the 270. That said I really like the .308 Winchester. I bought my wife one and it's a good all around cartridge, with ballistics not too far behind the tried and true 30-06. The other advantage is you can get relatively cheap ammo for the .308 so you can get a lot of practice time in without breaking the bank. If you do want to go with a bigger round and you're worried about recoil get yourself a Caldwell Lead Sled and use it when you're shooting from the bench. When you're shooting in the field you won't feel the recoil because you'll be too caught up in the moment.

AK Jeff
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:41 PM
Fork Horn
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Any of those cartridges are fine for elk. The most important thing is finding a rifle that fits you well. This makes it easier & more pleasant to shoot, so then you'll practice more, and then you'll be far more likely to hit where you're aiming.

'taint the BOOM that kills 'em, it's the holes & the broken body parts!

I'm taking my 7x57 (just an old-school 7mm-08) to elk camp this Fall. The hunters may laugh at me, but the elk won't.

Good Luck!

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Old 09-11-2009, 05:26 PM
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6.5x55 has been putting down moose for the swedes for years...
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:06 PM
Fork Horn
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its not what you can shoot, its what you can shoot straight and comfortable go with 270 i have shot more with that than all other put together
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