32 replies [Last post]
Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
We all know what an elk gun

We all know what an elk gun is. It's one that doesn't require a perfect double lung shot.

What Colorado thinks is, or isn't the right caliber shouldn't even enter into the conversation. They don't think a .45 cal muzzleloader is enough for elk. A 350gr .45 cal bullet won't kill an elk??

Critter's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4068
That is a problem when you

That is a problem when you have someone setting what caliber should be used for any type of hunting.  I can load my .54 caliber black powder rifle down to less power that that .45 is but my .54 is leagal and your .45 isn't.  Other states just say that the rifle for big game needs to be a center fire round.  I know hunters in Utah that are using a .204 Ruger for deer and antelope and when the animals are hit they go down, but these are experienced hunters and know how to shoot a rifle. 

I used to joke with a friend of mine here in Colorado that while we were elk hunting that he should carry my .22-250 since he didn't have a tag.  Since the .22-250 isn't legal for big game all he had to say if we were stopped was that he was hunting rabbits or coyotes.  Now that .22-250 is the most accurate rifle that I own.  There is no doubt in my mind that I could use it to drop a elk in his tracks at 400 yards with a shot at the base of his skull.  But I never did use it here in Colorado, but have killed deer in Utah with it. 

My personal preference for a elk rifle is my .340 Weatherby, but I won't argue with anyone that wants to drag out their .270, 264, or even a .243 Winchester. 

Just remember a bad shot with a big rifle is almost just as bad as a bad shot with a small caliber, just more room for err. 

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
Good

Still Hunter wrote:
We all know what an elk gun is. It's one that doesn't require a perfect double lung shot. What Colorado thinks is, or isn't the right caliber shouldn't even enter into the conversation. They don't think a .45 cal muzzleloader is enough for elk. A 350gr .45 cal bullet won't kill an elk??
Rationale. Let's up the minimum caliber requirement as well as outlaw bow hunting. After all you can have a $5,000 bow and a ten yard shot and lose an elk without a 'perfect double lung or heart shot'. Or as stated in a recent thread you can make a perfect shot with a muzzleloader and lose your elk, hell it happens every year with 270's thru 338 mags. Lots of variables from peoples shooting skills to those who don't follow up and track to throwing lead at animals 400 yards away when they can't shoot well past 200. I've not killed the number of animals some of the older hunters have but I've killed enough elk and been around others killing elk with bow muzzleloader and rifle to have somewhat of an educated opinion on the matter. And with some discipline regarding the shot taken the 243 will work just fine so to be blunt my wife will be elk hunting 'not deer' with the 243.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
No problem if she discipline,

No problem if she discipline, and shooting skills.

Some will say a 30-30 isn't an elk gun. I've used one since the 50's, and never lost an elk. I'm very disciplined in taking my shots though, and stay within the limits of the guns.

My problem when someone asks about a .243 is it's using about a wife, or youngster. I always think to myself....how much experience do they have? Small calibers are more for the experienced hunters in my view.

I'm talking in general, so don't get all excited, and tell me how experienced your wife is.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
Her

Level as a big game hunter is extreme novice. She has small game hunted taking rabbits. Now in the last year she has taken her hunter safety course and began shooting with me. I've come to notice that those who are adept at skills like shooting pool or playing darts or certain types of athletic sports requiring hand eye coordination it tends to transfer over well to shooting if they haven't shot before. My wife was a big time softball player and very good at pool and darts. And, she took to shooting quick. She shoots very well off the bench and from shooting sticks. From the bench she shoots 3 to 4 inch groups at 300 from the sticks it opens to 5 to 6 with the 243. Maybe the athletic/pool skills thing is off but I also noticed this with my step daughter and son who are skilled in those areas and took to shooting well quickly. So, in my judgement her shooting skills are there under favorable conditions I.e. not more extreme conditions a more seasoned hunter might take a shot in. What were talking here is hopefully an animal unaware of our presence or if so not spooked to the point of running. A non moving broadside shot and if we can't get this no shot will be taken, period. Its not life and death to us that she kill an animal. Ultimately she will be pulling the trigger, but the onus is on me whether or not a shot will be taken. And, I will only give the green light if the most favorable conditions are presented for a succesfull humane kill. I have also, as my dad did with me, drawn anatomy pictures illustrating the kill zone and had her dry fire practice on animal pics. I take killing an an humanely very seriously and want her to have a good experience. It would turn her off to ever do it again if she saw an ugly suffering situation for the animal. So, were going to have the discipline to wait for the right shot or take no shot at all. A kill at all costs is not part of our agenda. I'm glad she is going to be out there with me that is the most important thing. Next year I do plan on having her shoot either the 270 AI or 6.5 Norma.

Offline
Location: Middle Tennesse
Joined: 09/21/2013
Posts: 16
Well again just my opinion

Well again just my opinion but as several have mentioned waiting for the right shot to present itself is very important , using a properly constructed bullet also important and knowing the anatomy of the animal is important.IMO if you have that going for yourself and put the bullet where it belongs you got a dead elk. Whether you're shooting a 243 or a 338.

Offline
Location: Buffalo, WY
Joined: 08/14/2013
Posts: 8
A good hunter who can shoot

A good hunter who can shoot well will do fine with the smaller calibers. A poor hunter who can't get close, can't shoot well because he uses more rifle than he can shoot, won't do well no matter what.

It's something we all know but it sometimes gets lost in the debate.

My dad kidded me back in the 70s when I got a 7 mag. He thought a 30/30 was all he needed for elk. In his case that was true.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
A 30/30 "IS" all you need for

A 30/30 "IS" all you need for elk.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Offline
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1787
Yo

Still Hunter wrote:
A 30/30 "IS" all you need for elk.

Still Hunter, wasn't going to respond to this thread again but then read your post. Just thought it was a little unusual you would give a hearty recommendation for the 30-30 as an elk gun when you relegated the 243 to deer only. If we take a look at the ballistics of the two it seems the 243 is going to give a slight edge.

The 30-30 pushing a 150 gr bullet has a velocity of 2019 fps at 100 yds. At 200 this is 1686 fps and 300 yds it's 1400 fps. The energy levels are 1357 ft.lbs. at 100, 947 at 200, and 653 at 300 yds.

The 243 with a 100 gr bullet is hitting 2697 at 100, 2449 at 200, and 2215 at 300. The energy levels are 1615 ft.lbs. at 100, 1332 at 200, and 1089 at 300 yards.

So, it seems in regard to ballistics you have a slight edge with the 243 shooting a spitzer (a well constructed spitzer) over the venerable 30-30. It seems the only edge to the 30-30 would be the larger diameter of the bullet and a little more weight but the little 100 grainer from the 243 would hit with more ft. lbs. of energy at all distances. With the flatter shooting 243 you seemingly have to worry less about hold out to 200 yds then you would with the 30-30's rainbow trajectory which would aid in ensuring a precise shot into the heart lung area.

So, if all I had was a 30-30 I'd still go hunt elk but I'd limit my shots to 150 yds max whereas if I only had a 243 with a good bullet like the Nosler partition I'd limit my shot to 300 provided I had a good broadside target for either gun.

I do realize with the the new Horndady lever ammo and it's monoflex bullets the numbers are much better for the 30-30 but that ammo is fairly new and your post seems to indicate you've always considered the 30-30 adequate elk medicine. As do I as long as like the 243 you use it within it's limitations.

Just to add I've never used either to hunt elk and wouldn't as I can handle more appropriate calibers. But, for new hunters who need to start with something light and used within their limitations I'd take a new hunter with either one hunting with me.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 920
Soco..........You could have

Soco..........You could have saved a lot of typing by reading my posts.

First off. I said the .243 works fine is used within it's limitation, and knew how to take shots with proper placement. I also said the same thing about the 30/30.

I said over and over that all I do is still hunt timber. First clue is my name. I've never had to take a shot over 100yds with most of them closer. I used a 170gr Partition. More than enough bullet under 100yds. So, the 30/30 is all you need for elk depending on how you use it.

Don't remember saying I wouldn't post again. Can you point that out?

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Favorite Rifle Caliber Small Game91xlt1006/18/2007 00:27 am
358 WinchesterHuntnFish212/21/2008 21:27 pm
Best caliber for dangerouse game ??Harald504/17/2008 09:01 am
Caliber choicesgnome1210/09/2013 11:15 am
New to forumcapnray510/16/2009 13:59 pm