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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
Minimum Elk Cartridge

Both uphill and downhill shots will reduce the drop of the bullet because the horizintal distance is reduced, (while you are 300 yards from the animal, gravity is acting on bullet during the horizontal distance, which, through trigonometry, is LESS than the 300 yards. The factor of gravity's effect on the bullet while shooting up or down is negligible.) meaning you will hit high when shooting uphill and downhill. How much depends on the angle. Little change from about 0-15 degrees.

[ This Message was edited by: mister_venison on 2004-04-03 09:35 ]

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Minimum Elk Cartridge

This topic could be called "Reinventing the Wheel". If your new at hunting big game whether it be elk or...Ask the guide your hunting with what his recommendation might be or maybe you know someone with knowledge of the particular game on your agenda. There are alot of variables. Area to be hunted. Expected distance for a shot, always prepair for the longest shot, you should have some knowledge of the area to be hunted before you depart on the adventure. If the game to be hunted is larger than deer. Use the largest bullet for caliber that your rifle will shoot accurately. That means some time spent at the range. I won't use any caliber that delivered less energy than a 270win with a 130gr spitzer bullet on even the smaller of the game, not to say that smaller caliber wouldn't work, and if I was going after one of the large game animals with a 270win I would be looking for one of heavier bullets in that caliber that shot well in my particular rifle.
As far as the area to be hunted, I would want to be carrying a rifle with a caliber for the worst case scenario, I don't have any desire to be some critters hot lunch.
My recomendation for smallest elk caliber would be 270win with at least a 140gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 09/20/2003
Posts: 138
Minimum Elk Cartridge

I haven’t read all the responses to this subject so please forgive me if I step on anyone’s toes.
I would like to say this
many and elk has fallen through out the years to 30/30 as well as others big game so don’t rule that round out. Most of the elk I have taken were with a 30/30 and less then 150 yards. I will tell you that at that range and with a 170 grain round I have recovered bullets that went through both shoulder bones and roped them like a ton of bricks ,a 30/30 can and will do the job .

I know friends that swear by the 270 and some others that wouldn’t shoot with anything less then a 7mm
.
I however would say to you this.
Bullet placement is the key. Learn your gun; find the round that gives you the most consistent shot placement and work on that.
I have friends that will not under any circumstances take a shot were they do not have a clean shot to the neck and would never dream of a hart lung shot.
I myself chose the hart lung area, that’s where I am most comfortable shooting.
Then ask yourself whats furthest distance are you comfortable shooting at, where I can 100% of the time put that bullet right on the mark and stick to your decision.

If that bull is 50 yard further then get closer ,after all that’s the name of the game right. If that bull is just to far and you can’t get close enough then, it just wasn’t meant to be. You may need to back off and try another angle or even try another day, but don’t get in a hurry the time will come.
Lastly remember you, yourself are just as much part of the weapon system as your rifle is and if you are not capable of the shot it will not mater if you have a 300mag or a bazuka its not going to happen so when you have that rifle on safety the button between your ears should be on safety and only when you are positive of your target and positive of you ability to make the shot should your system be armed. No mater if you choice of weapon is a 30/30 or a 300 mag you owe it to yourself and the game you hunt

Elk hunting is a fabulous experience and the opinions as to what make it fabulous are as many as the opinions on the caliber to use. In the end it will boil down to you and you abilities
Have a good hunt and have good luck while you’re at it

[ This Message was edited by: captchee on 2004-04-04 09:59 ]

[ This Message was edited by: captchee on 2004-04-04 10:03 ]

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Minimum Elk Cartridge

There is a list of caliber as long as my arm that, if used on elk, the elk wouldn't be able to tell you the difference. As long as a round (cal., bullet constuction) is used within it's effective range, the bullet is placed into the kill zone and the bullet reacts as it was designed to. After the trigger is squeezed I don't have any control over what will happen. All I can do is rely on the bullet reacts the way I intended it to. That's assuming there was good placement. If the placement was poor the animals going have a bad day and I end up with a long day.
This last season a friend of mine took his son on his first elk hunt. Set the boy up with a 300 savage with factory rounds. They brought a bull home. First shot was around 10:00am and they were loading the bull in the truck at 2:00am the next morning. Thats a long day. Practice and familiarity with the rifle of your choice are key factors, as well as caliber. The 300 savage was more than enough gun for his elk at the short ranges and thick forested area they were in. Iv'e also done some hunting in another state where the shot usually averaged 200+ yds. (lots of open country). What I saw alot of was hunters using calibers of 30-06 and larger. when they would spot an animal they would simple start blasting away. If they had a good hit that was skill. If they missed It was time to reload and find something else to shoot at.
Something I heard an old timer tell me years ago was that I had to talk to my bullet and tell it where I wanted it to go. That make sense to me. It doesn't mean your not going to get a flier every once in awhile.
Good hunting and aim well.

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Location: Northern California
Joined: 02/09/2004
Posts: 21
Minimum Elk Cartridge

What rito said... Well put. But… next season will see me in a different light. I’ll be sporting a Winchester 1886 45-70. That and a bunch of face paint and scent maskers…. I’ll bring the 27 too just in case I don’t ‘rambo’ my way into an Elk by the last day!

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 04/08/2002
Posts: 99
Minimum Elk Cartridge

It's been 2 years and this topic sure has developed a lot of discussion. Thanks for your responses, isn't this fun? Wink

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Minimum Elk Cartridge
Craig wrote:

Here is another question: How does an uphill or downhill shot affect drop or performance at that distance very much?

The moderator posted an article about 25 things you should know about elk hunting. This is what the author wrote.

"2). When you’re shooting at a steep uphill or downhill angle, the point of impact of your bullet is higher. If you’re standing on a steep mountainside, say 40 degrees, shooting at a bull 200 yards above or below you, if you aim for the middle of his chest cavity, you might miss him entirely. Aim for the heart at the bottom of his chest."

By the way the author also states in his opinion that a 30-06 should be the bare minimum for elk. Big smile

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Location: Denver, Colorado
Joined: 03/07/2004
Posts: 57
Minimum Elk Cartridge

I am still pretty confused, but from my confusion- i get this. Since I reload my own, and I use the nosler accubonds, I feel that I can use my 270 rifle that I already own. Now when I purchase a new rifle I would go for a larger caliber, but I am not going to run out and buy a new rifle if the 270 I have shoots well. Sound good to every one?

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 596
Minimum Elk Cartridge
reconabe wrote:
Now when I purchase a new rifle I would go for a larger caliber, but I am not going to run out and buy a new rifle if the 270 I have shoots well. Sound good to every one?

The way I look at it is what purchases you decide to make is your own business. The question of mimimum elk cartridge is not an economical dilemma. Its an ethical one. Think about it. If you are going to make a decision on what cartridge to use it should be for the right reasons. That is you feel your 270 will consistantly and cleanly take the biggest animal of the species and sex you are hunting. Not because you don't feel like buying a new rifle, thats irresponsible.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Minimum Elk Cartridge

The standard for minimum energy delivered at impact on elk is 1,500 fpe. That is, the minmum amount of energy needed at impact to kill elk. This is a figure I have seen in many publications from loading manuals to books written by "authorities" on the subject of what is needed to drop an elk.

Personally, I feel that is a wise figure, 1,500 fpe. So does that say that any round that can deliver 1,500 fpe at impact is a good round to use for elk. No it does not. Bullet construction is also a critical factor.

A 270win throwing a 140gr Nosler Accubond at 2900 fps is delivering 1,587 fpe at 350 yds. There seems to be plenty of energy up to 350 yds.

We also know that the construction of the bullet is important. The 140gr Nosler Accubond has a heavy, tapered, alloyed copper jacket for controlled expansion with a core that is bonded to the jacket to retain bullet weight. Noslers claim is the Accubond reacts the same as the partition. Sounds to me as though they've designed themselves a very good bullet. Myself I don't find anything unethical about using this combination. In fact I think it is a very good combination.

What might be called the standard round for elk, the 30-06 throwing a 180gr Nosler Partition, delivers 1,701 fpe at 350 yds. If my math is correct that is only 120 fpe difference at 350yds.

Also, from what I understand about the Accubonds is, they retain more weight than the Partitions. I would not hesitate to use the accubond on elk out of a 270win.

This year, if I can get out after one I also intend on using a 140gr Accubond on one of those forest monarchs out of a custom 270wsm that will throw it at just about 3,400 fps. At 350 yds it will still be carrying 2,218 fpe. If my math is correct that's 517 fpe more than the 30-06. WOW!!!

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