15 replies [Last post]
Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

Donmillion...that is true, about needing to be good with the guns you have. It does take time. So I hunt with the ones I'm comfy with, and gradually break in new ones. There are only a few that I really trust to hunt with, most notably a Browning BLR in 308, and a Remington 660 in 6mm, the rest, until they get to that point, are just patiently biding their time, and occasionally blowing holes in the hill back on the farm.

Location: Minnesota
Joined: 01/05/2004
Posts: 5
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

With elk's body structure and toughness, anything beyond .458 caliber would be overkill. An arguement could be made for carrying the .375 H&H, .458 WM, or .458 Lott ; especially in bear country. However, the Nitro Express calibers would start edging into the distinct "showing off" category.

Most hunters fall into the category of marginal shots; where they take their trusty rifle out once a year and shoot 3 shots to ensure they can still hit the old pie plate at 100 yds. Maybe they even shoot a whole box at the range to keep sharp. They may even show off their bruised shoulder demonstrating they ability to shoot the big gun.

My point is shooting a big gun is definitely not for most people. Many people I know couldn't accurately shoot a .458 Win Mag to hit an elk at extended ranges (+100 yds). I believe in Ruark's statement of "Use enough gun!" but not at the scarifice of accuracy and bullet placement.

As a side note, I wonder what an 8 bore rifle would do to an elk at 100 yds. Think it would lift it off its feet?

Location: North East Ohio
Joined: 11/05/2003
Posts: 32
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

Have you guys seen the article about the double rifle in 4-Bore?


The article is well written about how he makes that cannon of a rifle and takes it hunting. It is very entertaining.

I think the 8 or 4 bore would make some wicked Elk medicine.


Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

If your hat flies off, your eyes start watering, you've got an excruciating pain in your shoulder and you can't get back on sight. You probably used to much gun for elk.

On a more serious side.
A few days ago I was listening to a couple of gunsmiths talking about the calibers that are being requested. The thing that I notice to be the biggest disappointment were how many requests they were getting for assorted different magnums that are on the market. Their point was that under hunting conditions you don't need as much gun as is being order and most hunters would not be able to use the caliber with any efficiency. Their feeling was that these calibers were being ordered because they have the word "magnum" in there nomenclature.
Velocity sells.

Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 890
How much is to much for Elk, cartridge wise.

Yes, velocity sells. Actually, MUZZLE velocity sells. I don't even read hunting magazines anymore, because of the number of articles stating things like the .300 magnums, particularly the 300 Rem Ultra Mag, are the minimum for elk, and everything below is marginal. The articles tend to glow with talk of 400 yard shooting at elk and deer and whatever else, and about sub-MOA accuracy at 100, 200, and even 300 yards. People seem to think, and often they're younger and less experienced individuals, that an ideal deer/elk gun has to drive a 180 grain bullet at 3250 fps MV, and that anything less is ''an old man's rifle.'' That same 180 grain bullet, fired from a 308 Winchester at 2600 fps MV, would drop a bull very efficiently probably out to 200 yards if it hits the heart. A 160 grain factory load fired at 2950 fps MV from a 7mm Remington Magnum will drop an elk dead in its tracks at farther ranges than most of us could shoot. Admittedly, I am no Marine Sniper, and I don't crave sub-MOA accuracy. I feel any gun that will print 1-1/2 inch groups at 100 yards is a very accurate hunting rifle, and since even a pronghorn boasts a kill zone about 8 inches in diameter and an elk has one that might be triple that size, what you need is a rifle that will reliably put shots into these targets at the distances you're likely to be hunting at. All but one of the deer I saw during 2003's hunting season were in the 50-60 yard range. A 16-24 inch kill zone similar to that found on a big bull might be easy to hit at 100 yards from a bench, but once you add some punishing recoil such as that found in the larger magnums, mix that with natural hunting positions and uneven terrain, and the groups will expand. At 300 yards, the slightest twitch will throw the bullet off the point of aim. I myself don't have a problem with flinching, because I don't mess with oversized guns, and when I shoot my 300 Weatherby, I take it in very small doses.

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