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Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 880
I killed my elk this year

I killed my elk this year with a lead round ball out of my primitive Hawken. The ball has a BC about like a rock. It makes me chuckle a bit on what some guys think isn't enough bullet for elk, or even deer.

I've grown tired of the heat in muzzleloding season. Next year i'll use my Swedish Mauser 6.5x55mm during the 3rd rifle season. That old gun has got me plenty of elk and muleys with a 140-160gr SP.

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Posts: 2368
Bullets

I have to agree with you Still Hunter.  It too make me wonder just how all that game was harvested into near extiction by the end of the 19th century with hunters using simple unjacketed lead bullets or lead balls. What about all that African game that was cleanly harvested by Europeans in the past with their 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser?  Seemed to work just fine for them, in fact that cartridge is still commonly used for Reindeer hunts and stag hunts in Europe.

I hate to be a menace about this subject, but I think new hunters (and even many seasoned hunters) way over-think this type of stuff.

Listen.....my advice, just keep it simple, that's a philosophy that has always served me well in the field, stear clear of all this exotic ballistic tipped stuff or anything with a polymer tips, nylon tip, or anything with fancy colored or sperate metallic tip, just stick with a standard jacketed soft-point or tougher and you'll be fine, so long as it shoots accurately in your rifle.  Seriously, it's okay to explore your options and gain as much info as you can on various bullets, but I really think your time, energy, and money would be better spent obsessing over other aspects of your hunt.  That's the problem with all these millions of choices and options in todays market, it's good to have choices, but I think too many choices just does nothing but drive a person crazy sometimes and makes people over-think stuff too much, that's got to be terribly frustrating for you and you don't have to put yourself through all that.  You can worry about all that exotic stuff later.  25 or 30 years ago we didn't have as many of these distractions and the choices back then were plenty good.

Just offering some friendly advice, take it or leave it for whatever you think it's worth to ya. Anyway I think I've chimmed in enough on this subject.  I'll leave you guys to carry on the discussion. Good luck Remington742!

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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3946
I think that a lot of this

I think that a lot of this what bullet to use, bonded or lead, pure copper or whatever is a lot like what rifle you like to use.  Granddad used a old 44-40 to kill his deer and elk so why buy one of the new magnums? 

So if it is what you like to shoot and you don't mind the extra cost for the premium bullets and rifle then go for it. 

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new vs old

Critter wrote:

I think that a lot of this what bullet to use, bonded or lead, pure copper or whatever is a lot like what rifle you like to use.  Granddad used a old 44-40 to kill his deer and elk so why buy one of the new magnums? 

So if it is what you like to shoot and you don't mind the extra cost for the premium bullets and rifle then go for it. 

Yeah I get ya.  I'm defintley not advocating that we all go back to using sticks and stones to hunt with since that's what our prehistoric ancestors used.  All I'm saying is find a basic well constructed bullet that works for you and stick with it. 

Bonded or unbonded...solid copper, or lead core...nickle plated cases or plain brass...the list goes on and on.  This one mushrooms, but the other one mushrooms more, this one comes in a pretty box, the other one doesn't.  This one gives me 1 ft/sec faster than the other.  I mean, you see it, righ Critter? You can see what all these millions of choices and all that marketing hype does to peoples brains these days!  Causes people to almost go insane lol

Sorry to mension about nickle plated cases vs plain old brass ones, I'm sure that's going to cause another headach, but lets leave that to a whole other disucssion.  I'm not trying to poke fun at anyone in particular or add any type sacrasm to the debate, just poking fun at how things have gotten these days in general when it comes to equipment and gear.  Over equipped and terribly under skilled is how one old timer referred to my generation. All in all, people can use whatever bullet or caliber is legal.  I don't care.  I'm just saying.

Joined: 06/20/2011
Posts: 33
I have shot many bulls with

I have shot many bulls with the 270 130gr. Not because I thought it was the best caliber and grain for the job but because it was all I had. I never had a problem nocking the bulls down out to 200-250yds but after that it got iffy. One year I hit a big bull at 400 yds. Three shots right to the lungs and he never even missed a step or limped. Luckily I was able to run him down and get a closer and put one in his neck. Now I use a 300 mag and it works a little better. Rifles are tools and it helps to have the right tool for the job. My advice is know your rifle limitations and yours as well. The 270 does work great just know you can't lob them bullets in from 400yds! Thumbs up

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400yrds?

Trifecta Outdoors wrote:

I have shot many bulls with the 270 130gr. Not because I thought it was the best caliber and grain for the job but because it was all I had. I never had a problem nocking the bulls down out to 200-250yds but after that it got iffy. One year I hit a big bull at 400 yds. Three shots right to the lungs and he never even missed a step or limped. Luckily I was able to run him down and get a closer and put one in his neck. Now I use a 300 mag and it works a little better. Rifles are tools and it helps to have the right tool for the job. My advice is know your rifle limitations and yours as well. The 270 does work great just know you can't lob them bullets in from 400yds! Thumbs up

I understand and certainly agree with the philosophy of using the right tools for the job.  But I also know that every rifle and cartridge has it's limitations.  As far as your last sentence goes.......sure you can lob those .277" bullets in from 400yrds!  I've done it in years past. I don't recommend it and haven't done that since, likely won't be doing so again.  I personally wouldn't shoot much farther than that distance on elk, but a well placed shot from a high velocity 130 grain will penetrate at that distance if you know what you're doing.  Those shots were made on a couple cows and it performed.  Granted, my elk are typically shot within 200 yrds, and most taken within 100 yrds.  Like I keep saying......if a hunter can't get to within 200 yrds of their elk then they need to seriously rethink their hunting strategy.  One critical ingredient is this fine sport that is often neglected and goes missing by many hunters is the art of actually "hunting". I find that long shots will be unessesary if you are actually hunting.  Just an opinion, based on experience.  The only North American biggame animal I've ever found nessesary to have to take 400 yrd shots on were a few wary Pronghorn on very flat terrain, just couldn't get any closer without spooking them, but that's a whole other subject for a different animal.

Joined: 06/20/2011
Posts: 33
I know what you mean about

I know what you mean about actually hunting and getting closer the older I get the wiser I am about which shots to take and which shots to pass on. That bull I shot at 400yds was in very flat open country and let me tell you elk are every bit as wary as antelope when they are in that kind of terrrain. I love the 270 for the accuracy but it does lack some knockdown when you get out there that far.

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knockdown

Trifecta Outdoors wrote:

I know what you mean about actually hunting and getting closer the older I get the wiser I am about which shots to take and which shots to pass on. That bull I shot at 400yds was in very flat open country and let me tell you elk are every bit as wary as antelope when they are in that kind of terrrain. I love the 270 for the accuracy but it does lack some knockdown when you get out there that far.

Yeah I get you, but just imagine how much energy and velocity you quickly lose in those really heavy bulleted magnums once you pass the 500yrd to 600yrd mark?  They're terminal ballistics and performance goes down hill pretty quick.  A 200+ grain bullet is dropping pretty fast beyond 500 yrds, even if it left the muzzle at around 2900 ft/sec.  Granted they are superior balistically out to about 400-500 yrds.  Personally I'll trust my 130 grain .270 Win at ranges inside 200 yrds on cow elk rather than to use a heavy bulleted magnum out beyond 500+ yrds. Big smile

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Posts: 42
I prefer a 140 gr.

I have shot a lot of elk with a 270 and 140 gr. Bullets. I have had great results with sierras and noslers but it does come down to placement however, if you are a little off then a bullet with great penetration will help. Heck I've shot a few elk with a 243 and it will kill elk with proper placement and they all dropped

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.243

Raghorn shooter wrote:
I have shot a lot of elk with a 270 and 140 gr. Bullets. I have had great results with sierras and noslers but it does come down to placement however, if you are a little off then a bullet with great penetration will help. Heck I've shot a few elk with a 243 and it will kill elk with proper placement and they all dropped

I have a buddy who uses his .243 Win out of a Savage rifle to hunt cow elk with and he seems to drop them every time his gets a clean shot.  I personally don't advocate the .243 Win for elk, but it is capable of a humane kill on elk as long as you do it right.  He knows the limitations and keeps his shots inside a reasonable distance, also avoids the shoulder bone.  I don't think he's ever lost a cow he's shot. 

As far as shot placement goes, I completely agree.  That goes for every cartridge you use regarless of how powerful.  A miss with a heavy magnum is still just a miss.  

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