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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

The more heart / lung damage and bleeding. The faster the game goes down. That's besides breaking it's neck or spine.
The more weight a bullet retains. The more energy it delivers.

Just for kickin' the can.
If you deliver two bullets at 1500 ft / lbs
After impact one looses 50% weight...
After impact the other looses 10% weight...
The bullet that retains 90% weight is going to retain more energy. Therefore, pass throughs are more likely and as much or more energy is delivered throughout.

There are hunters up here that swear by pass throughs. The reasoning being, it's easier to track. Barnes X and Failsafe being their preference. Yet I have seen mushroomed Barnes X's and Failsafes that were dug out of downed game. So there are no absolutes.

Bleeding whether it be internal or external is as important as hitting a vital area.

My preference goes to Bear Claws, Partitions and now the new Accubonds. They have a large mushrooming and retain a large amount of their weight. More tissue damage and more retained weight for retained energy.

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Location: North Carolina and Proud of it!!
Joined: 02/26/2004
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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

I agree with fuzzy Big smile
the weight retained is what you are looking for-
you need just enough punch power to get inside the animals chest then it needs to churn-up the heart lungs for a clean kill- 8) 8)

that is what I look for in a bullet !

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Location: North Carolina and Proud of it!!
Joined: 02/26/2004
Posts: 50
What bullet do you like to use on elk?

I agree with fuzzy Big smile
the weight retained is what you are looking for-
you need just enough punch power to get inside the animals chest then it needs to churn-up the heart lungs for a clean kill- 8) 8)

that is what I look for in a bullet !

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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

I don't believe pass throughs are a factor in whether or not game is killed quickly. Although I will admit that for tracking reasons, I can see where a pass through, would be helpful in recovery. But recovery and killing are two different issues.

Quote:
If you deliver two bullets at 1500 ft / lbs
After impact one looses 50% weight...
After impact the other looses 10% weight...
The bullet that retains 90% weight is going to retain more energy.

Ok, this is another way of saying a "mushy" bullet is no good. Breaks up, no penetration. But that wasn't really what I was trying to get at. What I was trying to point out is that pass throughs are a poor criteria for measuring killing power, imo. Lets take two scenarios:

1.) Super hard bullet hits elk, enters at 100 ft/s and exits at 30 ft/s out the other side. All bullet mass that entered, exited.

2.) Softer bullet, enters at 100 ft/s and does not exit. All bullet mass enters the elk and stays in the elk.

In both cases, the bullet masses are the same and enter at the same velocity. In the later case, more energy has been deposited into the elk, than in the first case and more energy has been "dumped" increasing the likelyhood of a quick kill.

This ignores the effect of having two puncture wounds; however in my experience the surface wounds are irrelevant in a quick kill.

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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

If a soft bullet enters an breaks apart. Wouldn't the loss in energy be immediate.

If a soft bullet, with bonded construction to retain weight, enters. Wouldn't it retain energy longer.

In either case the bullets will mushroom to a diameter much larger than their original diameter. The bullets being the same weight on impact. The bullet that retains weight longer, (retains energy longer), is going to destroy more tissue. Penetration being the key and a better chance of destroying vital tissue.

A bullet that mushrooms needs to be able to retain energy for penetration. Energy to forward momentum to vital tissue damage to downed game.

If any bullet can retain enough energy to penetrate to the vitals and cause vital tissue damage. The result will be conclusive. If the bullet can not penetrate for vital tissue damage. There's going to be an animal with some very sore ribs and a hunter that's going to have a very long day.

If the game animal does not have the vital tissue damage, (a hit but, miss to vitals), and there is no exit wound. There is less chance for tracking. This could be a worst case scenario to any hunter.

The longer a bullet can retain it's weight. The longer the chance to reaching a vital organ. The longer the chance to transfer the energy.

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Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

Yeah, being unable to track is a hunter's nightmare. Not knowing whether you connected or not is equally horrendous. My 21 year old cousin, that's younger than I am, he's hunted maybe 4 times in his life, took his first elk in 2003. He used the same .308 Winchester he got for his 17th birthday that he took his first deer with. I got to see some pictures of his elk, it's nothing fantastic, it's certainly no B&C animal, but it is a fine animal, especially by beginner standards. The bullet was a 190 grain something or other, I'm told it pierced the heart. Not bad at all. I would like to know exactly what kind of bullet it was, though.

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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

A bullet that impacts and falls apart at the entry is not worth much. A very hard bullet that mushrooms next to nothing at all and goes shooting right through is better, but not the best, imo.

Instead the best situation (for a quick kill) is one where the bullet enters, mushrooms significantly and stops just shy of the other side of the cavity. In this case only can one be assured that all (or nearly all) the energy the bullet had upon entry was delivered.

Now in the non-mushrooming case, it is quite possible that you'll hit something significant (heart, aorta, bronchial tube) and the effect will be immediate, but I'm trying to get at what is best, year-after-year, hunt-after-hunt, over time.

What I'm trying to say is that there is a fulcrum in bullet hardness. Mush bullets are no good (no penetration), but that does not mean very hard bullets (demanding the pass through) are the best. Optimally I want a bullet to penetrate deeply but not go right out the other side.

I'm bringing this up in the effort to get a quicker kill. In all of the cases above (mush, very hard, just right) the elk/game will most likely die (either because of infection or something more catastrophic) the question is just when and the sooner the better.

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Location: Northern New Mexico
Joined: 05/18/2004
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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

30-06 Springfield 180 gr. Super-X Power-Point & 300 Winchester Magnum
180 gr. Supreme Power-Point Plus bullets have done the job for my brother & I the past few years, for bringing the Elk down in one shot. Shots have been less than 100 yards every time!

Remember, this is Winchester ammo I'm talking about.

I can't say it's my favorite, but I can say it's proven it's self!

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What bullet do you like to use on elk?

I've turned my favor toward the bonded core bullets. Whether they be electrically, chemically or hot / molten cored. These are the bullets I've tried and keep handy.
Speer 180gr Hot Core, 180gr Grand Slam, 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw
Hornady the 150gr & 165gr Interbond
Nosler the 180gr & 200gr Accubond
These are in 30 caliber. Which is my choice for the majority of my hunting.

In 270 caliber I load 130gr Interbond, 140gr Accubond, 140gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claws.

What I like about these is they retain a greater amount of their original weight. Mushroom well and penetrate through bone. If I happen to put one of these between two ribs. Who knows what may happen. Either way I'll get the penetration to the oft side, every time.
I keep a box of each bullet type on hand and load according to what feels best at the time. For smaller framed game, I'll go with the Hot Core, Interbond. For larger framed game, I'll go with the Trophy Bonded Bear Claws, Accubond. For close up, I'll go with Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, Grand Slam. For longer shots, I'll go with the Accubond. Again, there are no absolutes that I know of.

I have a box of each bullet type ready to go. All I need to do is check to see that they hit 2 or 3 inches high at 100 yds and off I go.

There is another philosophy that makes some sense. The smaller the diameter the greater the chance for pass through.

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Location: Hinton, Alberta
Joined: 06/15/2004
Posts: 11
What bullet do you like to use on elk?

I am a big game outfitter in Alberta, and I have been hunting and taking Elk for as long as I can remember. I have used a lot of bullets and loads, and over the last 2 seasons, I have stuck to a bullet and powder for my hand loads, that I believe to be superior to anything else that I have tried.
I am using the 165.gr Hornady SST, loaded with 84gr. of Reloader 29 from Alliant for my model 70 .300 win magnum.
I have taken 2 bulls out at around 300 yards with this round, and both bulls didnt make it 15 yards before hitting the ground. Each of these bulls scored just over 365 gross B&C. I have converted most of my hunters that shoot the .300 to this round, and they all seem to love it.
We have chronographed this round, and I am getting around 3,430 ft/per second out of the barrel. I will admit that it is a little hot but, I am surprised at how accurate, and tight the groupings are at 200 yards.
I like to sight my rifle in at 2 inches high at 200. I can cover all three rounds with a penny at that distance. Everyones gun shoots different, and my other .300 mag. (remington 700) does not shoot this load well at all.

Experiment and see what works for you! That is all part of the fun of getting ready for the big hunt!
I hope this helps you, and if you load and shoot the .300 win mag. I would be happy to send you the recipe.

Good Hunting!

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