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Location: Oxford, AL
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Gun vs Animal

Hello everyone. I hope I don't catch any flack on this subject. LOL. I've hunted whitetail deer, turkey, coon ect., but I've always wanted to go out west and go on an elk or bear hunt. My question is, What cal. rifle and grain size do yall recomend for the large big game animals? I do reloading as well for my 30-06. From the research I've done, my 30-06 should be sufficent in taking one of these animals down with the right placment of the shot. I usually shoot a 150gr BTHP made by serria with 52gr of INR 2064 powder. I've been very accurate with this, but I was thinking I might need to step it up a few grains on the bullet wt. I've seen all the neg. comments yall have made based on LR shooting and such, but I know that I'll be taking shots at least 200+ yds possibly and then again maybe not. I have good control with a firearm and love shooting and hunting. I have several yrs of expirence with firearms and 6 yrs or so reloading. I'm very open minded and love clean fun debates, so help a fellow hunter/shooter out on this Lg Big Game hunting. (remember I hunt whitetail and thats as big as it gets for me). Thanks

reloader

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Gun vs Animal

Here's a nice link if you want to compare Federal factory loads>

http://www.federalpremium.com/ballistics/Ammo_Search.aspx?act=choose&fir...

The 165 grain bullet seems to be the preferred one these days,I wouldn't go any lower. IMR4350 powder gives the 30.06 very nice velocities and energy. I'm not familiar with the INR 2064 powder.

Something heavier than150 grains and I say"you and the 06 ready to go"

bitmasher's picture
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Gun vs Animal

I'd go with 180gr bullets.

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I would have to go with the '06 and 180's and use it for everything.

Don Fischer's picture
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Your 30-06 is fine and as bitmasher suggested, the 180gr would be the best choice. Far better to have to much bullet than not enough. My own preference is for Hornady but I see no reason why most others wouldn't work as well if your rifle like's them. The one bullet I never recommend for game hunting is Sierra's. My experience with them is that they are a soft bullet, meaning they shed far to much weight to quickly. Internal dammage is massive and I even had one blow up just under the skin of a black bear. It seem's thru reading many other post's about them that most other people find the same thing. I don't recommend premium bullet's as I've never used them and don't feel the need to spend twice the money on bullet's. But I would suggest you might try them. They have a great record of holding together and penetrating.

I have used some Nosler bullet's, balistic tip's and partitions, on paper but have not had good luck with them. I suspect that may be because of a long history of Hornady's and complete confidence in them. Therefor, I don't put in the time in load developement. Barnes claims that with their X series bullet's you can drop down in bullet weight and achieve the same results. That may or may not be true. If for no reason other than cost, I won't test the theory, there are just to many good bullet's out there.

If you are intrested in a new cal, I'd start looking at 6.5's with 140gr bullet's and go up from there. I have shot two elk with 140gr 6.5 bullet's and both one shot kills with complete pass thru, broadside on one, front chest and out back of the ribs on the other. The 27 cal I'd recommend 150gr bullet's and 28 cal 160gr bullet's. In each case, large animals have been killed countless times with lighter bullet's but the ability of the bullet's is often determined by bullet weight. ie: many say shot placement is everything and with the heavier bullet's, there are more places that equal good shot placement. The assumed advantage of velocity is far less than many think. Living in the west and having hunted in the west for 40yrs, 200- yd shots are more normal than 200+yd shot's. Another problem with light bullet's, light for caliber, is that at high velocity the bullet takes a terrible beating and at magnum velocities may fail. Were I for some reason to get another magnum, I'd go with premium bullet's to insure they hold together on the close shot's.

I might mention that some people suggest against using boat tail bullet's as they believe the boattail design helps the core and jacket seperate. Myself, I doubt that. If the bullet is designed for hunting, it should not do that. I think where people get into trouble here is using to light a boat tail bullet designed for lighter animals or even target shooting and the softer core fails or a med. wt bullet strikes at to close range and the impact velocity tears up the bullet. The Nosler bullet's boattail containes no lead, it's guilding metal just like the rest of the jacket. The Hornady bullet's, for hunting, have an inter lock that holds the core in the jacket. The speer hot cores are just that; the cores are not really bonded but they seldom shoot loose either. I have in the past shot those
speer's and recovered bullet's and the core and jacket were tight and the bullet's retain an average of 85% of their weight. Same weight retention for the old Hornady spire points and I haven't tested the inter locks, except on animals.

There exist's out here opertunitie's for very long range shooting. I discourage that also. You have far to many places to hunt that don't require it. For some reason many believe that you can see 100 miles here. True in some places but easier hunting with more cover. Strangely, most big game animals prefer some type cover. It works to their advantage,,,,and your's!

You didn't mention what action type you prefer but sounds like your thinking of a new rifle. Action type is not so important as being familar with what you are using. Pump's and auto's both give adequate accuracy for normal hunting ranges, I call that to 300 yds. I also prefer bolt action's for reasons not necessary to go into right now. Single shot's also work well if you like them. What some do is use to heavy or to light a rifle. Remember you'll carry it more than shoot it, I hope. But you'll spend, hopefully, a good amount of time practicing with it. An 8# rifle with a big scope get's fairly heavy going up a hill late in the day and a 6.5# rifle extracts a heck of a toll with recoil durning target practice.

Were I to suggest a rifle for out here, it would have a min 20" and max 24" barrel. 22" is ideal for most standard cartridges. Weight about 7 1/2# w/ scope. It would also have a max 2-7 variable scope. They are smaller in size, about the size of a straight 4x, and balance the rifle better. My own favorite scope's for hunting over the year's, Montana, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska, have been straight 4x and 2 3/4x scopes. My present 6.5x55 uses a 1-4x scope. Even at 2 3/4x you have enough power to see well and shoot well to well beyond anything I'd recommend and the lower power's ride very low helping gun balance and handling. They also gather a great deal of light early and late in the day. A good 2 3/4 I find faster and easier to see with than any open sight. None of this is to say I don't have a few 3-9x scopes on certain rifles.

Well this has been rather windy but I find myself coming off an emotional high tonight! Welcome to the site.

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Gun vs Animal

All the info you got was great. Don touched on it a bit but are you looking for a new rifle and caliber or just wondering if the 30-06 load you are using can do the job or modified to do the job?

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Gun vs Animal

Hey Don:
Thought I might have finally "caught you on one" when you said "The Nosler bullet's boattail containes no lead, it's guilding metal "
I read it as" the Nosler boattail bullet contains no lead"
You're too sly a fox to get cauht by an old dog lol lol lol

Good Post Thumbs up

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Gun vs Animal

Reloader
Welcome to the site, lots of good info here.
You have gotten some good recomendations here. I do a lot of hunting with the 30-06 and have shot bullets from 150 gr to 200 gr. I have to agree with the others because I myself shoot nothing but 180 gr (either nosler partitions or bonded bear claws) bullets out of my -06 now.

Now no disrespect to Mr. F here but I do not reload so I shoot nothing but Federal Premium ammo. True they are more expensive but personaly if I am looking through my scope at a trophy of a liftime I want to know that the ammo I am shooting is the best I can get. I personally like the Nosler partition bullet. It has been around for a long time and has proven controled expansion at close to far ranges. It is the bullet that I have taken the majority of my rifle hunting big game with. I have also done well with the Bonded bear claw bullets (speer I think?) and this year got some premium ammo loaded with Barnes triple shocks, have not used them on any game yet. My Dad is a reloader (tho less and less as the years move along) uses a lot of the triple shock bullets and took a couple Caribou up in Quebec a few years back and those bullets out of a 270 wsm were devistating. My 2 cents for the day.

If you do get the feeling that you need a new gun (and who of us dosent get that feeling every now and then????) I am a big one for recomending one of the belted magnums Rem 7mm Mag, 300 Win Mag or 338 Win Mag once again time tested rounds that will not be dissapearing after the hype is over and all good solid big game rounds able to reach out and do some damage.

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Location: Deer Woods
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Gun vs Animal

I'LL tell some real elk medicine. I have never seen an elk take a step after being pushed over with winchesters 180gr accubond from a 30-06. I have a 30-06 and have used the balistic tips on deer and they never take a step. If you are going to use a 30-06, 150gr is way sufficient because of the rapid expansion
Go with accubond .

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Location: Oxford, AL
Joined: 12/06/2006
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Gun vs Animal

I really appreciate the comments and all the help yall have given. By the way, I'm sorry that was a type-O on the powder I used. I havn't reloaded anything in the past year and forgot the number. I think it was IMR 4064 using 52 gr. I'm also sorry that I did not include the type of rifle I use except for the cal. I use a Ruger M77 30/06 Bolt-action. I have an old cheap tasco that has served me several good years of shooting. It is a 3x9x40. I've shot other wt bullets, but factory loads which was/is Rem core-lockt 150gr. You know, its like I said before I rarely ever take a shot beyond 100yds. Its not that I can't, I just like sneaking up on pray as close as I can then taking them. Thats the bowhunter/stalker coming out of me LOL. All the deer I have ever shot were b/w 10 feet and 95yds. I just took that 10 point buck yall saw in that post my buddy made " don't tell your buddy where to hunt" at 75yds. He stepped into my crosshair and fell right where he stood, using the ammo by Remington. Anyways, I got off the subject a bit. Thats the rifle that I use. I don't want to buy another rifle, I would like to use this one if I can. I bought my dad a 300win mag and I love it, but I want to take an animal with this rifle. It was the first rifle I ever bought (when I was 18). And taking that big big made me so happy even though I shot it with my brother's gun (long story for another time LOL). I want to keep taking animals with this rifle. Its special to me.. I don't mind modifing it at all. Scope, ammo (reloaded ammo prefered), what ever I need to do to set it up. Thank you again folks for all the help. Thumbs up

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