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what a concept.. using logic and facts to select a rifle

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what a concept.. using logic and facts to select a rifle

Old 02-07-2019, 07:29 PM
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That ethical duty thing is always a slippery slope. Since we all essentially have our own idea of what's ethical.

If I want to take a .25-20 Winchester for deer, there are some people who would scoff at that. Saying that there are much better options etc. Even some who would bring ethics into it saying that using a rifle like that is an ethical problem because I have other options better suited to the task and which have a much lower chance of wounding game. And they're right. All things being equal (shot distance, angle, deers body language, etc) a .300 mag at 35 yards is going to have a lesser chance of only wounding an animal than a .25-20wcf.

But I don't think that means it's unethical for me to try to take a deer with a .25-20.

Match your shot limitations to what you're using. And don't have unrealistic expectations or take unrealistic shots.

An elk hunter could hunt their entire life with a .30-06 and do just fine. Or with whatever variety of .300, or a .338, or a .35 or a .375 or a .270 the list goes on...

As long as they match their expectations and shot choices with their chosen rifle they will be fine.

Now for the guy who wants one rifle to hunt with and wants the best, or as reasonably close to the best, option available for him then you start looking at everything with a fine tooth comb and picking apart all the different load options and combinations available and trying to decide what suits your needs and what is best matched to the game animal(s) that you'll be hunting, the locations and the distances and angles you expect to encounter.

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Old 02-07-2019, 08:17 PM
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what always bothered me were stories of...

"well I was on a combo hunt... for say blacktail and grizzly..."

and I saw a big grizzly when I was deer hunting and had deer ammo in my gun...

I'm mostly a 1 gun, 1 bullet guy, if it'll kill and elk, it'll kill a deer,, but the reverse is not always ideal IMO.

also some of these shows, no one reloads quickly, i've seen game get hit, drop, get up, run off, had the hunter been ready...reloaded, they could have got off a 2nd shot.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:49 AM
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yes, its always rather puzzled me that many guys want to carry a 4-6 lb rifle and chamber it in a cartridge that limits recoil significantly ,
yet they ignore physics and don,t grasp the concept that .
you can easily calculate both the cartridge recoil potential and down range retained energy.
a rifle is a tool, you should select the best tool for the job at hand, not the select the smaller and easy to carry tool ,
that may not get the job done when its used.





theres no free lunch! but you can significantly reduce felt recoil
use of a PAST recoil shoulder pad , a rifle stock recoil pad, and proper use of a sling and bi-pod , and high quality optics ,goes a long way toward reducing the potential problem.
use of a properly designed muzzle brake, butt stock recoil pad, shooting pad sewn into the shoulder of your vest or parka a decent sling and a bi-pod all help both accuracy and reduce felt recoil.
and one factor that can,t be ignored is the need for rather consistent & repetitive practice from field positions
if you only pick that rifle out of your gun safe the weekend before the season opens you can reasonably expect your skill and familiarity to be rather pathetic,
compared to a guy that visits the local range at least every 30-45 days during the year.
use the calculators but keep in mind most game is shot at well under 300 yards so you don,t require a fire breathing magnum,
what you do require is consistent repetitive accuracy of shot placement and a knowledge of the games anatomy,
and your being in the physical condition to be in the right location at the correct time to make use of any opportunity you get.

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/i ... 0094310010

HB25CS 25C Model S -13.5-27" Swivel Bipod
no thats not my rifle but its damn near its clone
Ive used a 340 wby or 375 H&H carbine on most hunts for decades,
I used a stiff load of H4831 and a 250 hornady sighted in 3.5" high at 100 yards ,in the 340 wby for decades
never had any reason to change

my late hunting partner used a browning BLR in caliber 358 win loaded with a 250 grain Speer bullet ,
over 44 grains of IMR 4064 and a 215 fed primer for 4 decades
he had a 2x7x Leopold scope, similar to this picture
he constantly jokingly referred to my rifles as CANNONs, but both of us were very content with the results we got over decades

sighted in at 3.5" high at 100 yards, this put the bullet impact almost dead on at 200 yards,
and about 11" low at 300 yards he never failed to kill any elk he shot
a 358 win is certainly not a magnum and recoil is tolerable for most people

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-08-2019 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:07 AM
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I agree with salukipv1 about using enough gun. I like a caliber and bullet choice that works for those perfect shots and also works if the animal suddenly moves while firing and the shot changes to not so perfect. I use a 270 when deer hunting because black bear is also on the menu. It works great on antelope also. It's not so fur friendly on coyotes but they are DRT. I use a 338 when elk or moose hunting and know it's got enough for a griz if needed. There are hundreds of calibers and rifles one could choose that will get the job done. I just like using classics that I know will get the job done.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:57 PM
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Iíve killed over a hundred deer with rounds from 22LR to 458 Lott. Started on a borrowed 270, bought all of the magnuitus hype and bought a 30-06 of my own once I saved up enough. After all of these deer, Iíve really come to realize the 243win class of cartridges (6 Dasher, 6 creed, 6.5 Grendel, 6 PPC, etc) are the most efficient deer killing cartridges available which donít require any concession by the shooter. If I have a deer in the scope under 800yrds, I wonít take any more thought with a 243win than with a 300win mag.

I never have believed more powder can really make up for poor shot placement. I took a few shots over the years which I consider to be unethical now, after that learning experience - I believed other hunters who tried to convince me shooting in the shoulder to ďknock a wheel offĒ might ruin some meat, but they canít run far... so unfortunately I ruined a bunch of meat, and tracked a deer for over a mile... so I learned the hard way to not listen to hunterís mantras, and logic out for myself what works and what doesnít.

Iíve largely found a lot of ďfactsĒ passed around by hunters certainly are not such. Claiming a larger caliber makes up for poor shot placement certainly isnít a fact.

Big game is big game, and deer arenít big. If I drop more than 40grns of powder to kill a deer inside 600yrds, I think long and hard about why Iím doing something largely silly.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:07 AM
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while Id also agree power will not make up for bad shot placement, yet,
Ive seen more than ample evidence that theres,
a pronounced difference in the average elk or deer's reaction to being hit ,
with something like a 300 wby, or 35 whelen vs a 243 or 257 roberts,
both class of cartridges deliver a lethal non-survivable wound,
if its carefully placed in the vitals, with a decent bullet ,
especially one with a .240-.300 sectional density,that penetrates really well .
you can,t ignore physics, a heavier mass of similar ballistic shape, at similar high velocity carries more retained energy
thats not really debate-able, but many of the guys that kid me about my use of a 340 wby or 375 H&H,
have watched me shoot and drop deer and elk, and dress out deer and elk,
as a result theres been several converts over the decades,
larger caliber projectiles may not be more lethal,
but they darn sure seem to impress the game more on impact.
my dad used to say selecting a rifle caliber for killing games,
a bit like selecting a rifle to punch holes in a 55 gallon,barrel of water
where you place the shot maters,a great deal, and if its not well placed you won,t drain the contents
but the larger the hole the quicker you can expect the contents to drain.
and if theres a hole in both sides your going to drain the contents faster yet.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-09-2019 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:54 AM
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I donít really see any logic at all in lumping elk and deer together in the same rifle class. A 150-300lb animal takes a lot less killing than one of 450-700lb.

I donít scoff at guys who choose to use a magnum rifle just for deer - to each their own. But I donít really abide when someone recommends a magnum rifle to new would-be deer hunters who may not know any better to see the advice is tainted.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:15 AM
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duplicate post

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-09-2019 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:17 AM
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your experiences may differ from mine, but heres my take after 50 years of mostly ELK and mule deer hunts.
if you've been consistently successful using your current rifle theres no reason to change.
the most common problem I see is not the rifle or cartridge, used its the operators inability to accurately place shots under field conditions.
accurate shot placement is by far the most critical factor, if recoil effects your accuracy , go with the cartridge your more comfortable using.
one of the more successful members of my hunt club has used a 270 win for decades,many guys stick with a 30/06
I'm in full agreement that the 257 roberts,25/06-6.5mm- and 270 win and even the 308 win class of cartridge
throwing a 100-165 grain bullet in the 2600fps-3200fps velocity range is about ideal for most deer hunting ,
I've consistently had excellent results with cartridges in that class on deer
(the 25/06 , 257 wby and 270 win are personal favorite's)
yes these have also worked on elk. (seen it done many times)
but as your sure too be aware ,as is anyone who has much experience,
shot placement is very critical,hit correctly almost any center-fire cartridge can work reasonably well.
even with very good shot placement, in my past experience, about 40% of the elk run after being hit
yeah, I,ve often wondered if elk being a reasonably large,400-800 plus lb animal had a tendency,
if wounded,,too stomp and gore hunters like a cape buffalo ,or claw and bite like a Kodiak bear,
if we would see what I consider rather un-realistically light caliber rifles being used on elk.
I know a few guys in my hunt club think theres nothing unsporting or unethical in using a 24-25 caliber rifle,
on elk, I know of a few cases where several follow -up shots were required,
now obviously bullet selection shot placement and hunter skill plays a huge part here, not just the cartridge used....
but still I think if the hunter could reasonably be expected to be at serious risk if he failed to deliver a first shot stop mortal wound,
we might see a shift to larger bores and a bit more power in respect to the consequences of failing to deliver a rapidly lethal wound

anyone using those rifles needs to wait for the correct shot angle,
and be well within a reasonable range to consistently destroy the vitals,
get that correct and "your golden" in most cases, deer are as you stated far more "fragile",
and not as heavily muscled , a fast expanding projectile in the upper heart/lung area does impressive damage.
a bullet designed for elk generally zips through, and while its frequently going to cause lethal damage , its slower expansion,
has occasionally resulted a a tracking job for the rather short distance they run until they bleed out.

heart lung lower center chest

upper chest spine/shoulder

elk are a bit more heavily built , you benefit from deeper penetration, and a bit deeper penetration, is beneficial.
the same deer cartridges can work, on broadside shots,but a larger caliber you bring a bit better tool to the job,
if you select something like a 165-250 grain bullet in the 2300fps-3100fps velocity range,
are about ideal for most elk hunting, (in my experience) these cartridge's tend too consistently exit on chest shots, after taking out the vitals,
even if a foot or two of non-vital hide and muscle on a raking angle protects the vitals.
shots easily and ethically made with the 30-375 calibers but best avoided or almost mandating a premium bullet, with the 24-25 calibers,
and requiring a premium bullet in the 26-28 calibers in some cases

in 45 plus years of dressing out game Id suggest a 270 win,308 win, or 7mm 08 loaded with a premium bullet is about the smallest calibers,
I see consistently and quickly put down game effectively
yes a cartridge like a 257 roberts or 6mm rem, or 243 win in skilled hands works under nearer, ideal conditions

but if that elk of a lifetimes standing out at 300 yards and I need to make a less than ideal shot angle shot,
Id rather have a higher quality 180-200 grain bullet in a 30/06 or a 225-250 grain in a 338 caliber

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-10-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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