Elk guns

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by glennconnot, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. cat9

    cat9 Well-Known Member

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    On a closer read I see stonecreek is also okay with the 30-06 / 180 ... whether launching it thru a Husqvarna is acceptable is another question.

     

  2. glennconnot

    glennconnot Member

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    Not to interrupt, but does anyone have suggestions for factory load elk rounds for my 7mm rem mag? Assuming I don't make the upgrade to the 338 or other caliber, I'm going to be taking this up the mountains... I see a few Federal 175 grain and such, bullet weight looks to cap at 175 grains and I'd like to know what works, what penetrates well. Is it worth it to use 160-ish grain bullets to get better energy/velocity? Will softpoints get the job done (if I do my part)?
     
  3. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I don't think there is any question that if the elk knows you're not shooting a Sako they'll have much less respect for the shot and may not die nearly as quickly. Just hope that the elk you're hunting don't have internet access.
    By the way, the ones that do have internet access now simply shrug off shots from calibers as large as .375 H&H and totally refuse to die when shot with anything less than a .416 Remington due to having learned how tough they are.
     
  4. C Broad Arrow

    C Broad Arrow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks JBurke

    The info you provided on the 250's has been very helpful. I have used the partiions mostly and was concerned about them getting the necessary penetration based upon a similar scenario that you described.

    Can I ask which McMillan stock you may have for you 338/340? I am looking to restock my 338 to lighten up for carry on elk hunts and the wood is heavier than I want and do not want to scar it during the hunt. I plan to top my rifle with a 3.5 x10 30mm Leupold.
     
  5. jburke832

    jburke832 Well-Known Member

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    c-broad,

    IMO your choice of scopes is excellent. I had a 3.5 X 10 Leupold years ago and moved up their 4X12 for more magnification. I have regretted the decision ever since. Your choice is ideal for dusk/dawn with more than enough magnification. I wish I had never made the trade.

    As to "which McMillan stock" I actually picked up a Weatherby Fibermark stock years ago and fitted it to my rifle. I put the pretty wood in the closet and rarely see it. Now, that being said, you must realize that was done over 20 years ago. At that time the only lightweight stocks were Brown Precision fiberglass stocks that took a fair amount of body work. I had a couple of them but they did not make one for the Weatherby. I am certain other's here can point you in the right direction.

    John
     
  6. C Broad Arrow

    C Broad Arrow Well-Known Member

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    John

    Thanks for the affirmation of the scope. I bought a Brown Precision for my Remington 700 7mm in the early 90's and it remains on my Remmy. Very satisfied with it.

    A buddy has a McMillan for his 338. The only issue is that it is the Varmoint model and not the Hunter.It is a little heavier than what I was looking for. I was looking for both weight and recoil reduction. So if anyone has expereince with a McMillan Edge synthetic stock for the 338 let me know.

    Bryan
     
  7. duplex

    duplex Member

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    Two years ago I was presented with a mostly broadside (minimally quartering toward me) shot on a 650-700 lb. very symmetrical 6-pt. bull at 165 yards. A 250-grain Partition took his aorta off the top of his heart and he did a 180 degree pirouette and dropped in his tracks. Bullet was recovered inside the hide on his off shoulder. At least 85-90% mass retention and well over 1.75 expansion. The expansion was terrific, and the energy was all expended inside the animal. I, too, would sometimes like a double hole set in my animals, one goin' in and one goin' out, but the performance of Nosler Partitions keeps me coming back to use them. Same with my .270 on deer with 150-grainers. Inside 350 yards +/-, I'm satisfied with the flight path trajectories and reliability of energy shock delivered. Quick, humane dispatching of the targeted animal. A final note about glass--with Leupold scopes and their lifetime guarantee, a user can send a scope back to the company and typically have a different reticle installed for around $35. I have buddies who've done it several times.

    Duplex
     
  8. dlshehan

    dlshehan Member

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    Glen, Just buy some good 160 or 175 gr. ammo for your 7mm mag sighted in at abut 250 yds.and practice at all ranges (out to 400yds) this Summer. The 7mm is just fine for elk without a bunch of recoil. Most people don't shoot the bigger mags well because they kick hard, and then they go put brakes on them. I hate muzzle brakes because of the noise. I have had my bell rung more than once by a client shooting a rifle with a brake on a big magnum. You are better off spending your extra money on a good pair of binoculars. You will spend hours glassing the vast spaces of country. Buy the best you can afford. I like Swarovski, but Ziess and Lieca are excellent too. Whatever gun you use, Practice and shoot alot to gain confidence in your equipment. Daryl.
     
  9. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I agree with Daryl. There is very little in the way of 160 or 175 grain ammunition for the 7mm RM that won't do fine on elk. My personal preference would be some ammunition loaded with the 160 grain Nosler Partition, which I believe is available both from Nosler and from Federal. The 160 weight will be some bit faster than the 175 and provide an adequately flat trajectory out to 300 yards. The 160 also has adequate sectional density to provide appropriate penetration.

    But the more important thing is that your rifle shoots the ammunition reasonably well. It doesn't matter how "good" the bullet is if it doesn't hit the target. You may have to spend a few bucks trying different ammunition to find the load that your rifle likes the best, or at least "likes" well enough to give you consistent hits. An elk rifle that groups no worse than 2", meaning that the expected variation from point of aim at 100 yards is about 1" , is fully adequate for elk. It's variation from point of aim at 300 yards will only be 3", not nearly enough to miss the vitals. A load that shoots MOA is better, of course, but don't fret over benchrest-quality accuracy when hunting animals nearly as big as a Holstein.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Sako-addicted

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    Lot's of good opinions on this thread. I guess a general conclusion would be that one could make do with pretty much any "reasonable" caliber for Elk given the environmental conditions and combination of the right ammunition and proper preparation.
    S-A
     
  11. jburke832

    jburke832 Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh, but as usual the devil is in the details. One man's " reasonable" is another man's irrational. So how do we define "reasonable" ?

    Multiply the 200 yard bullet energy of your choice times its caliber. If the resulting number is less than 600 leave it at home. I feel this factor should be a minimum of 600 generally, but I would prefer a minimum of 700.

    Try the math on your own, and I think we can define that "reasonable" caliber.

    John
     
  12. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    So, a .50 caliber bullet requires only 1,200 ft. lbs. of energy to be adeqauate for elk? While a .30 caliber requires 2,000? Even though the .50 may still be .50" when it stops, whereas the .30 may be .60" in diameter?

    Attempts to quantify what is appropriate for various game animals in terms of mathematical formlue always seem more inadequate than the cartridges they would otherwise proscribe.
     
  13. jburke832

    jburke832 Well-Known Member

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    Stonecreek,

    This equation has no basis in science nor is it definitive. If you run the number across a bunch of different cartridges I think you will find it a relatively decent rule of thumb. Set the cut off point wherever you feel appropriate, but I would hope that there are cartridges out there that you do feel are not adequate for elk.

    John
     
  14. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I hunted the Jicarilla Apache reservation a number of years ago where I was guided by native guides. I was using a .338 and my son was using a .375. The guides all carried .22-250's, with which they shot their annual allotment of elk. Of course, they made a practice of only shooting them in the head (a luxury you can only afford if you have plenty of both time to hunt and elk to choose from.)

    While I prefer a .338 for hunting elk, I wouldn't turn down an elk hunting opportunity if all that was available to me was a .25-06, or even a .243. I'd just be more selective about my shots. If all a fellow has for elk is a .270, and he can shoot it well, he'll come home with about as many elk as the guy with a .358 STW.

    The last bull I took ran about 150 yards after a fully-penetrating high lung shot with a .338 225 gr Nosler Partition. My son made the same shot on a bull with a .30-06 180 Partition that only went 50 yards. Now, that doesn't cause me to claim that the '06 is a better elk cartridge than the .338 -- it's more the "luck of the draw" than the caliber you're shooting. A couple of years ago a friend and I both set out to take a couple of whitetail does. I got the first shot with my .270/130 @ 3100 fps which dropped the doe in its tracks with a shot through the center of the chest. A few hours later, my friend made the virtually identical shot on a simlar doe with a 7mm STW/140 gr @ 3350 fps. The little doe took off, jumped a fence, and finally ran out of juice about a hundred yards later (with its insides a mass of jelly). It happens, regardless of caliber.
     
  15. C Broad Arrow

    C Broad Arrow Well-Known Member

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    For those that handload for elk, regardless of calibre, do you have a favourite recipe?
     
  16. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Stonecreek,

    I agree completely, crap happens regardless of caliber. From 1960 until now, I have hunted whitetails along the caprock between Ozona, TX and Sheffield. Started with a 308 Win. then in 1962 went to a 7mm Rem Mag, then switched to a pre-72 sako 264 deluxe sporter in 1980, and about 1992 went to a 300 Weatherby. I filled my tag until about 15 years ago and now I take 1 whitetail a year, and I'm beginning to just look at them now. I only shoot at the heart/lung area because after the first 20 years of shooting those 80 to 120 lb streaks of lightning trying to tag one, I gave up on neck shots because I lost more deer due to a neck shot than any other shot. And I can say the same for the 15 guys on our family lease. It doesn't seem to matter what you shoot them in the neck with, they either drop like a rock or run for a mile until they are out of sight. And hunting the caprock you can watch one for a mile after shooting him...or her.

    Also, after being drawn for a once a lifetime tag on the Valle Vidal in New Mexico, I shot a standing bull elk at 250 yards three times through the heart/lung area with my 7mm RM pushing hand loaded 162 grain Hornady BTSP at 3170 fps, and he never flinched. I left my horse with my buddy and dropped down out of sight into a draw and crawled up to within about 30 yards of the bull and when I peeked over the ridge, he was standing in the same spot. I carefully shot him where I thought his heart should be and he slowly walked about 20 ft. and fell. Field dressing showed his heart and lungs were damaged. So crap does happen!!

    The only 2 guns I've hunted with for the last 10 years are the Sako 264 and the (excuse me for cursing) 300 Weatherby.

    Don
     
  17. C Broad Arrow

    C Broad Arrow Well-Known Member

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    Here is one I plan to try this weekend for my .338Win Mag. I have never used it but was recommended.

    Barnes 225 X
    Winchester Brass
    Winchester Primer
    Viht N160 - 71gns.
     
  18. nwwanderer

    nwwanderer Member

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    We have taken them with a wide variety of calibers, including muzzleloaders. What ever you choose shoot it, and be confident and comfortable with your choice and what the rifle does. Close range to across the canyon, steep up and down, howling winds and thermal currents, wet or sun burn hot, prone, standing or resting on a boulder or pine tree, you need to shoot your pick enough to be comfortable and confident. By the way we have a early 338 Sako we might be persuaded to part with. Lots of eik great habitat in Colorado, enjoy the hunt.
     
  19. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Hello elk hunters. I have read all of your advice and comments and do agree with most of the conversation. However there is one thing that has not been mentioned so far. That is the bullet choice that is based on velocity at a given average range for caliber choice. Please concider that a bullet that impacts the animal at a velocity either too low or too high for proper expansion or penetration will not give the best results. It is often overlooked by hunters but the velocity for the best expansion and penetration at an average hunting range should be concidered for bullet choice of any given caliber and bullet weight. I believe that these factors along with the "Sweet Load" that each particular rifle likes will drop an elk in its tracks when proprly placed. Happy Hunting.

    Sakjim.

    Sunny Central Oregon, USA
     
  20. ishawooa

    ishawooa Member

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    I have used about everything from a 7 mm-08 to a .338 on elk but am very happy with a Finnbear in 7 mm Rem Mag or Ultra Mag loaded with a hefty dose of Retumbo and topped with a 168 gr Berger VLD. For my son and for me either version is good out to 800-1000 yards depending on the wind and weather. I don't recommend these long shots for anyone who has not put in considerable time developing loads, becoming accustomed to the necessary equipment, and knowing when to shoot and when to walk away. Most of my shots are 200-400 yards which are easy with the aforementioned rifles and loads. I will say that I feel more comfortable in grizzly country with my .338 in hand. Like deer rifles, elk guns are much a matter of personal preference. I have two friends who kill bulls and/or cows every year with a .243 but they are patient and willing to forgo a badly presented opportunity. On the other hand I know a fellow who would use nothing less than his .375 H & H. To each his own...
     

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