Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.


Old 09-30-2012, 04:01 PM
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Default Overkill?

Is there such thing as overkill? Any stories out there of someone who uses WAY too much gun for the prey?
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:52 PM
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No, there is no such thing as over kill. I've never seen one animal more dead than another based on the cartridge they were shot with.

You can obviously use more gun than you need but dead is dead.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:43 PM
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Although there isn't much arguing that "dead is dead," I could also draw the comparison between using a brad hammer to hang my wife's art on the wall, or I could use the 4 lb hammer out in the shop. Sure, there isn't much that 4 lb hammer won't drive through drywall, but it isn't going to be pretty. And I'll take a framing hammer over that 4-pounder for sure if I'm going to swing it all day.

I know far more people than I'd like to who arm themselves not so much with "more gun" than the game requires, but with enough gun to bestow upon them an attitude that they no longer need to be as precise in their shooting, or that those half-mile shots they used to miss all the time were now going to be a piece of cake.

Let's take elk. I've personally used a .375 H&H, a .300 Wby Mag, a .30-06, and a .243 to kill elk. Broadside pass-throughs, head-on, and quartering both to and away. That's right - dead IS dead. One bull took a 300 grain bullet through both lungs and heart and still made it 100 yards in the direction I preferred he not go. Another took a 100 grain bullet through the heart and dropped in his tracks.

A few years ago I was hunting with a friend who was using his new .300 Win Mag, I'd brought my .300 Wby Mag. We both took elk at just under 200 yards - and both were quartering shots. His took three shots to finally put down. Mine took just one, but he made it 50 yards or so back into the timber, nonetheless proving the superiority of the Weatherby over the Winchester (not). A bit disgusted, we re-zeroed his rifle ("dam* scope must've gotten knocked off zero, y'know?"). His problem wasn't the scope, or his caliber, it was his "zero", and I'm being generous. His problem was that he was all over the map, more likely than not because he was VISIBLY flinching. Unfortunately, he's not the only one I know to do that (heck, I flinch myself sometimes with a .338 or .375). And I know guys who flinch with .30-06s and .270s as well.

No, I'd have to agree that "dead is dead," but I believe there are hunters out there who'd find themselves in a much more productive relationship if they were using a "lighter" or "milder" chambering. Maybe this season will prove me wrong, but I've never had an elk drop in its tracks with the .375, .300 Wby, or the .30-06. Since I own all three though, it'd be silly to take the .243 again - wouldn't it?
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:45 PM
Nontypical Buck
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I agree with big bulls.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:02 PM
Typical Buck
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Dont reckon I've ever seen something "to dead"... well there WAS this one time out of frustration I shot a squirrel with a 45acp. The "remains" were quite messy, but he was equally dead as anyother tree rat I've ever killed!
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:02 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Some find heavy recoil a problem and as a result don't practice as much as they should. As long as you can handle the recoil and blast, shoot what you want. Extra power, however, will not be a substitute for good shooting. A gutshot elk will travel just as far whether it's hit with a 375 H&H or a 30-06. You can't miss 'em fast enough to kill 'em. Also, be prepared to pay some premium prices for the ammunition to feed the magnums.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:49 AM
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I use my 338 mag for varmits a few times a year. Most people say that is over kill but its good practice for big game.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:05 AM
Fork Horn
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In most cases, no. Better to have a little extra firepower than to show up under-gunned.

Having said that, I've shot a couple whitetails with a .300 Win mag. Big exit hole on the way out, wasted more meat than I was happy with. A little too much firepower for deer.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:16 PM
Typical Buck
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Unless of course you are concerned about meat and it's survivability. One hits deer in the middle of the hind-quarters with say a 300 grain softpoint bullet from say a 300 RUM...while I agree dead is dead...the lack of usable meat in this scenario will be self evident upon skinning the animal...overkill exists and is real.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:21 PM
Nontypical Buck
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i disagree...a 30-06 hole waste more meat than a 223. the hole comparison was day and nite. i had one and a half more shoulders than my buddy. he bought a 243..because 223 was to small cal for him
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