15 replies [Last post]
mcb
Offline
Location: North East Ohio
Joined: 11/05/2003
Posts: 32
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

So after stepping into the mud hole called "an argument about minimum elk cartridge" I would like to flip it around. (please see my mud hole at http://www.biggamehunt.net/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=2401&forum=19&43)

What is too much gun for Elk hunting? I have for a long time wished to hunt Cape Buffalo and will hopefully in the future aquire an appropriate gun for such a hunt. This will likely be a Mauser bolt action in either 375 H&H or a 458 Lott. (A longer version of the 458 Win Mag. You can shoot a 458 Win Mag in a 458 Lott chamber much like shooting 38 special in a 357 mag.) If god shines on me and I can talk the "girlfriend with two rings" into it I would love to have a Krieghoff side by side rifle in 470NE. Now that would be a joy of a Dangerous Game rifle. Whichever gun I end up with it will be tuff not to take it on next years elk hunt if I get it before I go. Most likely I will not have it before then but for argument's sake...

Lets assuming we are talking about sporting cartridges not military (ie 50 BMG and similar military cartridges used by civilians) what is the most gun you would take elk hunting.

Cartridges loading .338in and 9.3 mm and .35in diameter bullet seem somewhat common from what I have read here and other places. How about the venerable 375H&H and it new brother the 375RUM? They're heavy hitters and shoot reasonably flat. The 416 Rigby and its brothers like 416 Rem and 500/416 flange, probably the flattest shooting of all of the big five cartridges if you consider/agree the 375H&H a touch light for elephant. Then we get to the classice 458 Win Mag and its big brother 458 Lott and other 458 cartridges. Then we can always step off the deep end with 470NE, 500NE, 577, 600NE and 700NE or maybe a 4 bore. Grin

So what would be too much gun for you? The bigger the gun the heavier it is in general to carry and the bigger the cartridge the heavier the recoil. But to a point the heavier cartridges are going to be slightly more forgiving to poor shot placement. So at what point do you say, "Too big unless someone else is tipping the gun bearer"?

Just for Arguments Sake
mcb

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

I think you hit the nail on the head. It's a question of gun weight and recoil. If you can handle both, then no gun is too big.

Okay, so maybe a 6" artillery piece would be a little large--ruin too much meat, you know. So, as an arbitrary cutoff point I might say that anything shooting a projectile larger than 1" in diameter is overly large. Anything less than that, though, and I leave it up to the comfort of the particular shooter.

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

I agree that you really can't shoot too much gun, other than the "ruined meat" limit that Don mentioned, but where that limit lies (in terms of caliber, momentum, energy), I don't know, since I have no practical experience with it.

I think hunters should shoot as much cartridge as they can accurately/consistently and then no more. This doesn't mean that a 375H&H is necessary but if you shoot it as well as something lighter, I don't really see a down side. If you shoot a 375H&H well, why not use it for deer too, the arguement doesn't really apply to just elk, imo.

The thing is with any of these "which gun" debates is that most can't shoot any of the guns you listed with consistency. Given what I have seen with my own eyes, too many folks can't shoot more than a 30-06 accurately sitting on a bench at paper just 100 yards away. Maybe its because they don't practice, maybe its because they are too sensitive, maybe its that their normal and the folks that can shoot more just have a dearth of sensitivity in their CNS, who knows, but in practice that is what I have observed.

Offline
Joined: 12/27/2003
Posts: 10
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

Hi there, hope I am not intruding. I would like to hear y'all talk more about using the proper bullet weight/powder measurement rather then the actual caliber. I am no hand-loader, but it would seem to me that any decent hand-loader can make the bullet do what you want it to do. At least to a certain degree. That is only part of it. The other thing is shot placement and accuracy. Now whether that be accuracy in optics or your own steady hands... it is accuracy none the less. Now I WAS married... and every time I turned around he needed a different caliber rifle for some reason or another. I have seen all those trajectory ratings and stuff. But if a person can't shoot for Sh**, they can't shoot. There's no magic rifles out there. You have a good rifle, why not talk about bullet selection? Now I know you wanted a NEW TOY and all, but really.... don't you spend enough time and money on hunting already. Why not use that to spend more days in the woods learning what hunting is all about... being one with nature. Not being able to blast the BEGEESUS outta the elk. Although, that is PART of it. Or instead you can buy your girlfriend (with two rings) a third ring. I personally would opt for some better camo, a bracelet, and a dinner out... but hey, that's just me.
:smile: Danielle :smile:

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

Well, TxTomboy, I think you're right. Some folks seem to think they need a new/different rifle for every different animal they hunt. Fact is, the hunting magazines sort of encourage that view, as they print article after article touting this or that rifle for this or that type of game. Then, every once in a great long while they have one of those "best for every situation" articles where they talk about good rifle/cartridge combinations for varying game and situations.

Personally, I own two rifles. One is a .54 caliber muzzleloader. The other is a .30-06. With different loads and bullets, the muzzleloader is fine for deer, elk, bear, and (I hope, one day) moose. The .30-06 can be loaded to work perfectly well for antelope, big horn sheep, mountain goats, and pretty much anything else the average hunter is going to come across in North America. It would be on the small end for hunting brown bear, especially at close range, but then the muzzleloader would work for that.

I see no need for any more hunting rifles in my battery.

Offline
Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

I own several rifles, and I certainly don't need them all. Actually, I could get by using my 12 gauge, using shot and slugs for a very wide variety of game. If I could only keep one rifle it'd be hard to choose. Donmillion...you have a lot more guts than I do...going after a brown bear at close range with a muzzleloader...what do you do if the first shot doesn't drop him? He ain't gonna sit there and trim his nails while you reload! Hope you have some kind of backup!

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

Well, I'm not sure I actually WOULD use my muzzleloader for brown bear, but I COULD. With its 435 grain bullet it delivers a better thump than a .45-70, which is considered by many a good backup gun for grizzly hunting.

I should also add that, while I don't see a NEED for a different gun for every different animal that you hunt, I also don't see anything wrong with it. If you like to collect and shoot lots of guns, more power to you! My only concern would be that, the more guns you have, the more time you have to spend at the range to be competent with all of them. Most folks don't spend enough time at the range with ANY of their guns, let alone with ALL of them.

Offline
Location: Georgia
Joined: 08/13/2003
Posts: 29
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

TX Tomboy,
I love discussing guns with a female. Unless of course it is my wife, then I just ignore her opinion because it is always so different from mine. But then again, most ladies have the same opinion including the ones who hunt.
I like firearms. I can and will never have enough. My wife hunted for years and only had 2 rifles. A .44 Ruger Carbine for whitetails at home and a Ruger Mod. 77 bolt gun for Elk hunting. Her reasoning was, and still is, you can only hunt with one at a time, why do you need more? To her, a gun was a tool and a tool only. It had no more personality or warmth than any other piece of steel and wood, or plastic. The condition of her guns bore witness to this. Rust never bothered her. Scratches in the wood didn't either. It still worked.
I can't really argue with this reasoning. One or two guns is all anyone really NEEDS.

I have a lot of guns. Some admittedly, haven't been shot in years. But I still have them. And want more. A fine firearm gives me pleasure. If someone doesn't understand this, then how do you explain it to them?

I do agree with your statement about putting the emphasis on bullet type and performance and shot placement. I am not sure what you meant by "a good handloader can make a bullet do anything". That is only true within the ballistic and practical limits of caliber and case. You cannot safely make a .45 Long Colt into a .458 Winchester Mag. The need for the .458 will require a totally different gun.
However, you can make a 30 06' into a .308 ballistic wise. As you can a .270 Weatherby Mag. into a .270 Win. Or any other number of redundant calibers out there.
I think this is what you mean; once a bullet leaves the barrel it doesn't matter what the name of the case was it was shot from, what matters is the velocity, the bullet construction and subsequent placement. An animal hit by a 150 Grain 30 caliber bullet traveling 2800 FPS won't know whether it was shot by a .308 or 30 06'. With the same bullet and shot placement the results will be the same.
I too, wish more people would understand the labeling of a piece of brass does not make one a better killer than the other. To say something is better simply because it is a Winchester or Remington cartridge is totally unrealistic, yet heartily believed by many. These are the ones who do not understand terminal ballistics, shot placement or bullet construction.
I personally have no need for a .308 AND a .30 06'. Though I can make use of a .308 Auto and a .300 Mag. bolt action. These last two have different performance and different applications. And even though I have many guns they are all different and have special uses. Except for muzzleloaders of course, I have 3 .54 Caliber rifles.
I feel like, generally, more hunters would make better use of money and time by better understanding the realitys of ballistics and bullet construction, and that this is too often overlooked.

However, I still like guns.
Give me more!!!

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

A hummer mounted fully auto .50 caliber might be a tad overkill, but only a tad.

Offline
Joined: 12/27/2003
Posts: 10
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

OK OK.. so it takes me a while to get back to the disscussion. I say if ya have the time and money for lots of rifles then more power to ya! I personally feel as though I have enough things needing attention in my life that I DON'T WANT anymore at this moment.... that is unless it is a Duramax. Wink
I agree that more ppl should pay more attention to ballistics than just what the latest hunting mags (or elk porn in y'alls case) says. Shoot better, shoot more often... shoot more accurately! Heck, handload of ya can.... but don't buy a new rifle when you don't really need it. It won't make you a better hunter or a better shot. Thanks for letting me butt in for a while.
Danielle

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

Heh ehh... that's pretty good RatherBe. Your hummveee would be complete with personalized plates that read:

BULLBUSTER

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Best .280 cartridge for ElkMaestroHC602/13/2008 05:28 am
Factory cartridge length?Browning208/18/2013 01:44 am
cheap varmint cartridge for 25-06robertsgoalie01307/05/2010 15:45 pm
7mm 08 Anyone?Highflyer1202/24/2009 11:29 am
Rolling block rebarrel nozzlehead001/28/2013 15:50 pm