.243 Winchester and elk: FIRSTHAND experiences requested.


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Chuck Dye
May 25, 2008, 04:07 PM
I may be hunting with an inexperienced friend this fall who will be hunting with a .243 Win. I would really appreciate comments from those who have hunted elk with the .243, especially guides who may have had customers shooting the .243.

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Racktracker
May 25, 2008, 05:56 PM
I wouldn't stress to much if you will be hunting cow elk, but if you are after bulls, I would be much more hesitant. It can be done, but there are alot of things to consider.

I took a cow elk with my wife's 243 one season. I normally pack an 06, but for reasons beyond my control, my main gun was not available to me at the moment. One shot through both lungs will bring down a cow in a matter of minutes. Shot selection and range will be highly critical. IMO elk would be the upper limit for a 243 to make ethical kills. I would also recommend you use the heaviest bullet available (I used 100gr Rem CL).

TAB
May 25, 2008, 05:57 PM
Would it work? yes, so would a 22.

I would not go any smaller then a 270( in power not bullet diameter...)

DUCKNDAWG
May 25, 2008, 06:39 PM
my opinion is the 243 would be just fine if your buddy can shoot it GOOD!! I have a 243 and use it for everything so i know it will work. i took mine as a back up gun on my elk hunt last year. I used my 25-06 for the hunt and the guide was concerned about it but three other guys on the hunt and two had 270 and one had a 257 and my 25-06 and the guide was impressed afterwards cuz of four shots and four dead elk. I would recommend at least a 100 grain bullet

H&Hhunter
May 26, 2008, 10:18 AM
The .243 should not be considered as a reliable elk gun. Period end of story.

Ridgerunner665
May 26, 2008, 10:34 AM
I agree with H&Hhunter...but if you're going to do this ...use good bullets...I recommend Barnes 85 grain TSX.

Chuck Dye
May 26, 2008, 10:46 AM
Huh!

One firsthand experience in five replies. The Firing Line is running two in eight.

How could I have worded my request better????

Ridgerunner665
May 26, 2008, 10:50 AM
How could I have worded my request better????

You couldn't...

Everybody knows that the 243 is NOT an elk caliber...so nobody uses it. A 25-06 should be the minimum for elk...270 is better.

I'm not saying it won't work...Use a GOOD bullet and put that bullet in the right place and it will work fine.

Ridgerunner665
May 26, 2008, 10:52 AM
One more thing...have you checked to make sure that 243 is legal for elk???

skinewmexico
May 26, 2008, 11:16 AM
Don't know about elk, but I got to watch a yahoo try to prove a 243 WSM worked on oryx. The 3rd shot with a 270 put it down.

Elk were hunted almost to extinction with 30-30s, but that was also when a 100 yard shot was considered long range.

eliphalet
May 26, 2008, 12:04 PM
243 Winchester and elk: FIRSTHAND experiences requested.I have experience killing elk but none with a 243 although I own one, as it would be a very poor choice.

Read about a guy that was killing Grizzles with a 22 till one killed him. Just cause something can do it doesn't mean it is good choice. Be smart get a caliber made for the job at hand.

H&Hhunter
May 26, 2008, 12:13 PM
Ok,

Here is some first hand experience. I've killed a lot of elk. The .243 is not to be considered a reliable elk cartridge under any circumstances. I will not now or have I ever used a .243 for elk hunting and have no plans to do so in the future.

When ever you see a qualifier at the end of the statement "it will work, but...." that means it isn't the best choice.

I've personally seen three bulls killed with a .243 in all three cases they were clean kills at rather close range and all three were lung shots.

The .243 is very marginal under normal hunting situations on an elk sized animal. As a guide I would strongly recommend against using the .243 on elk.

It is really not rocket science the .243 is simply to small and lacks lots of major stuff to considered a good choice for elk.

When you ask a question be prepared to get the answers people are going to give not just what you want to hear.

Grumulkin
May 26, 2008, 01:20 PM
When you ask a question be prepared to get the answers people are going to give not just what you want to hear.

Yes but his questions was about "firsthand" experience. He probably knows all the stuff about how it's a poor choice but that wasn't the question. It was about "firsthand" experience.

History is full of stories of erroneous conclusions based on what the masses thought was correct without any basis on experience or experimentation. The experience of elephant hunters of old and their use of rather small calibers very successfully could mean that if the proper bullets are used and placed properly, a 243 Win. could be very adequate for elk.

Bob R
May 26, 2008, 02:16 PM
I don't know about elk, but those 70gr Speer out of a .243 work like a champ on prairie dogs and coyotes. :D

bob

Racktracker
May 26, 2008, 02:17 PM
I would have to agree with most of the people in this thread. The 243 is a limited elk cartridge at best.

In my case, I didn't have a backup rifle at the time. Literally minutes before dark the night before we were leaving to go deer hunting, the crosshairs of my 06 scope came apart. I was left with the choice of take the 243 or stay home. Even though I had an elk tag, this was primarily going to be a deer hunting trip so I chose to take the 243. I chose to shoot only because it was a standing, broad side, sub 100yd shot. If the conditions were less favorable, I'd have let them walk.

Husker1911
May 26, 2008, 02:49 PM
When fishing, it's considered great sportsmanship to use light lines. It gives the fish a sporting chance to break off and will probably live to perhaps be caught again. Handicapping the fisherman is extremely ethical and even desirable.

In hunting, exactly the opposite is true. One doesn't take to the deer woods with .22 Shorts to prove what a fine sportsman the hunter is. It's inhumane, since the odds are stacked in the animal's favor that it will actually escape the hunter, only to die a long, painful death. It's not a question of it being possible, it's a question of ethics, of respect for the game animal, of providing a sudden, humane dispatching of the animal, of having ultimate respect for the creature.

What does your "buddy" hope to prove by using an under-powered cartridge for a large animal? Does he have some mistaken beliefs that it's more sporting, or is he just a cheapskate?

Vern Humphrey
May 26, 2008, 03:35 PM
My experience is you want to break bones. In the area I hunt, (Eagle County, CO) a wounded animal can go a longway in a short distance (if you know what I mean) -- down into a steep canyon, for example, and leave you one hell of a job to pack him out. You want a cartridge that can break shoulders reliably, and go on to penetrate to the vitals.

ClarkEMyers
May 26, 2008, 03:36 PM
an inexperienced friend this fall who will be hunting with a .243 Win

Not a favor for the inexperienced friend nor for for the elk.

A .243 in the hands of an experienced shot who knows game anatomy and who knows the land being hunted and who knows hunting in general - that 243 can be used to take an elk. Bob Hagel discussed the .243/6mm for big game in several places.

I've seen times when I could have taken a trophy bull with the High Standard .22 WMR derringer we've sometimes used to slaughter for home consumption - and I'm not kidding about the trophy size because the dropped antlers from some years are long dry and available for measurement. Special case of course. We don't shoot the animals in the garden so to speak.

And I have been tempted to do it as a stunt.

But it ranks right up there with high fence hunting and guaranteed trophies in ultimate appeal. Similarly a tree stand over a salt block - placed for the cattle of course - and many other techniques of hunting will allow most anybody to take an elk with .243 on good land if not on heavily hunted public land.

The mere suggestion very much reminds me of the notion of taking an inexperienced shooter out to shoot clay birds and giving that inexperienced shooter a .410 because it hardly recoils - then shooting Protection or Annie Oakley's for high stakes money.

Before I'd go out with an inexperienced shooter who had a .243 I'd take the .243 and the inexperienced shooter would have my .308 or my .30-'06 or preferably something that Elmer Keith would approve of assuming practice and demonstrated ability to handle recoil and be a cool shot without fear of the gun AND the inexperienced shooter would have heard lectures about game anatomy and where to shoot and not putting one in the paunch no matter how big and powerful the cartridge.

The best discussion that comes to mind of the .243 is in the course of several pieces by Donald Hamilton to be found in the collection Donald Hamilton on Guns and Hunting. Mr. Hamilton - noted fiction writer see e.g. the movie The Big Country as well as the Matt Helm series - had children and himself had physical problems so that he discusses adapting to recoil and using a commemorative long barreled .30-30 and such as well as comparing animals taken with different cartridges.

At one point IIRC he reflects that he has saddled his inexperienced daughter with a rifle that simply will not allow her to be successful and to make clean kills (as he shoots the wounded animal) - but a .308 on the same case later works to her satisfaction.

uk roe hunter
May 27, 2008, 06:28 AM
I HAVE SHOT RED DEER WITH .243 WIN.
reds are similar but slightly smaller than your elk. The chances of you getting a humane first shot kill in quick time are very limitted. I would not do it again, i use 7mm08 or .30-06 instead.

steve

ZeSpectre
May 27, 2008, 08:25 AM
DISCLAIMER: I've never hunted elk.
So with that disclaimer you may wonder why I'm even bothering to post. Well it's because I am very fond of the .243 Winchester. It's easily my favorite rifle cartridge and I've shot it a lot over the years so I feel that I know it's characteristics pretty well over a variety of real-world circumstances.

Having explained that background, I would NOT recommend using a .243 Winchester for Elk. As hunters we have an ethical responsibility to make the fastest, cleanest kill that we can and in this case the .243 is not the correct tool for doing a clean job.

Skoghund
May 27, 2008, 10:37 AM
UK roe hunter. There is no comparison between a English red stag and a bull Elk.
Even a big devon red is a lot smaller. Elk are more the size of one of our Swedish moose. Not for one minute would i consider useing a .243 on a moose size animal. Apart from the fact its illegal to shoot big game with a .243 here.

41magsnub
May 27, 2008, 12:18 PM
I've shot an Elk with a .243 when I was a kid. It was the only rifle we owned that I could shoot right. My dad was standing right next to me with his .30-06 with a bead on the Elk in case it did not go down. I hit it in the neck and broke it's spine, it fell right over.

waffentomas
May 28, 2008, 10:00 AM
This sort of counts as first hand, I guess:

One of the guys I hunt elk with carries a .300 Win Mag. and is pretty good with it. Every year we go out a couple days early to do some mule deer hunting, and he uses a .243 for that. He thinks the .300 Win is WAY too much gun for deer, but that .243 is his back-up elk gun. But he is not a man of means, and so only owns the two rifles. He's hunted elk with the .243 before when he took a tumble and broke his scope on his .300. He's a 50+ year old hunter and woodsman who knows what is up out there. He took a cow elk at about 50 yards with some odd .243 bullet, a 117gr something or other handload he keeps around for just such occassions. He didn't like hunting elk with the .243, but did it because he had no other options that day until we could get a .270 to him from the house. A couple years ago when a horse kicked his rifle while we were loading up a rag horn elk (a story for another thread), he had the choice of hunting elk with either that .243, or my iron sighted M1A. He didn't even hesitate, he took the M1A.

Tom

berettashotgun
May 28, 2008, 12:27 PM
Watching a show last night, and kinda' had a wild comparison-
A Montana Grizzly ,matured, is about 8+ feet tall and weighs around 800lbs.
A Montana Bull Elk, matured, weighs around 800lbs and has a combined 8+ feet of horn.
Mature grizzly VERY seldom kill a bull Elk, let alone attack one.
Montana Grizzly sometimes hunt smaller Grizzly whom are on the learning curve -hunting Elk.........:eek:

Would you use a 6mm bullet on a bear up there?

Both of my boys used a 243 as youths, killed everything that got in the scopes, I have no doubt about the ability of the 6mm bullet to take any animal walking in this section of the world. Heck, I've seen a 47lb flathead caught on 8lb trilene (XL - of course) , 96 dove shot with 4 boxes of shells from a 28ga 1100 sporting, and 4 turkeys taken WITH ONE SHOT.

Chuck Dye
June 1, 2008, 10:39 AM
H&HHunter,

You appear to be citing a 100% success rate. Is that actually the case, or am I getting a report similar to those from my slot machine playing friends who seem to have no memory for the money played, and lost, to hit those jackpots?

Harve Curry
June 1, 2008, 11:01 AM
especially guides who may have had customers shooting the .243.

In ten years of professional elk guiding I haven't seen a hunter bring a 243 to camp. So I cannot anwer the other half of your question about how the 243 does on elk.

snowpro440
June 1, 2008, 08:04 PM
i have shot elk at 112 yards and 272 yards with 100 gr softpoints , i took both elk with a heart shot at both distances with my 243 ruger . you can kill them but you need good shot placement. i wouldnt shoot over 300 yards but anything under that it will break the ribs and blow up the heart:neener:

Husker1911
June 1, 2008, 09:33 PM
i have shot elk at 112 yards and 272 yards with 100 gr softpoints But why?

JShirley
June 1, 2008, 09:40 PM
IF folks are expert at elk hunting;
IF folk have been present when elk have been taken or attempted to be taken with .243; or
IF folk have used the .243 in many different hunting situations:

These are all "first hand" and valuable opinions. Hopefully you can see that. If you can't, I suggest "use more gun". :rolleyes:

Grumulkin, The experience of elephant hunters of old and their use of rather small calibers very successfully could mean that if the proper bullets are used and placed properly, a 243 Win. could be very adequate for elk.

This is NOT a conversation you want to have, if you think this is evidence. If by "very adequate" you mean "can kill given enough time and if it's not important to recover your game animal", then you're perfectly correct- about like your assumptions about elephant hunters and small caliber rifles. I strongly suggest you do more research before you attempt to talk about this again.

Let me start you on your way:

Claim: "Frederick Courtney Selous used a 6.5mm with 160 grain round nosed bullets at 2300 fps with great results on elephant."

Fact: Selous' favorite rifle was eventually a Gibbs .450.

Claim: "W.D.M. Bell successfully used the 6.5x54 and 7.5x57mms on elephant."

Facts:

Bell only took head shots;

Sometimes the head shots DID NOT WORK;

Bell eventually moved to the .318 Westley-Richards. (250 grain Soft Nose Bullet or Solid; Muzzle Velocity 2400 ft/sec. )

Quoting H&Hhunter:

...as long as we are talking Bell. Here are a few facts that Bell quoters always fail to mention.

By Bells own admission the first full charge Bell faced from an elephant nearly killed him. His tracker was in fact killed in that incident. And when he faced his second charge in thick cover he did so with a .416 Rigby in his hands. While Bell perfered the 7mm he always carried a .450/400 and later the .416 while following up in thick cover.

John

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 2, 2008, 04:53 PM
My goal *for you* is to get 5 pages of responses from people who have NO first-hand experience. So I'll add mine - "it'll work in a pinch". You're welcome! :evil: :p

lefteye
June 3, 2008, 05:28 PM
With all due respect to Chuck Dye and other posters, an "inexperienced friend", a ".243", and an "elk" hunt is a bad combination. Like many on here, I've taken several pronghorns and mule deer, as well as coyotes and rabbits, at ranges up to and slightly over 400 yards with a .243 and a variety of handloads. I carried my .270 on my first 3 elk hunts but never fired a shot. I now use a .300 Win Mag for elk (three hunts, two 5 X 5 bulls and, at about 400 yards, one small Bob Marshall black bear). The .300 is a great cartridge, but it isn't necessary for elk. On one of those hunts my buddy took a 6 X 7 with a .270, but his shot placement was poor and we spent hours tracking the bull to get a killing shot. For an inxperienced hunter I would suggest a .270 (the minimum in my opinion), a .280, or a .30-06. These are powerful enough to take elk cleanly, but their recoil is tolerable for even an inexperienced hunter (after a few weekends of shooting). If I can afford the time and money for an elk hunt, I can afford the time and money for an appropriate rifle, scope, ammo and practice. I have never seen a .243 on an elk hunt. An enjoyable elk hunt is too valuable to risk on a .243. No offense meant - sorry for preaching.

mbt2001
June 3, 2008, 06:16 PM
.243 for elk...

It wouldn't be my 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice. The .243 was invented to be a light deer gun. Not an all around gun.
If I HAD TO, I would take a neck shot.

langenc
June 4, 2008, 11:52 PM
Not many hunters use it but many know how well it wont work.

mbt2001
June 5, 2008, 11:48 AM
Not many hunters use it but many know how well it wont work.

uhhhh

Isn't that like taking a knife to a gun fight? You can do it, but all you will accomplish is finding out that it didn't acheive your aims.

Vern Humphrey
June 5, 2008, 12:05 PM
I suspect enough hunters over the years have failed to kill elk cleanly with small calibers for us to say with some confidence the .243 is really too light.

RancidSumo
June 5, 2008, 12:11 PM
My grandpa was a damn good shot with his (now mine) .243. He shot many elk with it. I think it comes down to how well your friend shoots, not the ability of the .243

XDKingslayer
June 5, 2008, 12:14 PM
When fishing, it's considered great sportsmanship to use light lines. It gives the fish a sporting chance to break off and will probably live to perhaps be caught again. Handicapping the fisherman is extremely ethical and even desirable.

Depends on where you fish and what you fish for.

Down here, using light line on certain fish is irresponcible because you're returning an overly tired fish into dolphin and shark infested waters.

Nothing sporting about that...

Shawnee
June 5, 2008, 01:56 PM
I am probably the biggest fan of the .243 but Elk = 7mm/08.

A hunter/rifleman who owns a .243 and a 7mm/08 can take anything that walks in this hemisphere just fine.


:cool:

Magnum460
June 5, 2008, 02:15 PM
This is my opinion, I wouldn't shoot anything bigger than a whitetail buck with a .243. Just my opinion. Its worth it to go a little bigger with a .25-06 because of ballistics, and you get a little more knock-down power. But still, if you are hunting Bull elk, go with something bigger that a .243. I would rather take the sharper recoil of a 7mm mag or a .300 Win mag than to let one animal walk away wounded and have to suffer. Just my opinion.

azhunter12
June 5, 2008, 03:40 PM
Just get a .308. Problem solved

pete f
June 7, 2008, 05:32 PM
Its not worth the risk.

Can it be done., yup, it can, but should it? probably not.

I saw a smaller bull elk in idaho take 2 243 rounds to the ribs and run a long way. When we got a second chance, the father of the boy said if he does not go down, I will shoot with my rifle. (a .280 with 165 or so partitions) The boy shoots again, the bull is obviously hit, but does not go down, the dad shoots and with in a few seconds its obvious its all over but the dying.... I left them and went back to get the others to help pack out the meat, and when I got back, the boy was disconsolate, he was shooting 100 grain federals, and the first bullet hit leg bone and ribs, and did not enter the chest, the second shot broke a rib, but poked only minor holes into the chest. the third shot, almost dead on from the front, had hit the shoulder bones and broken up. the dads shot was a near perfect heart lung shot.

The ammo was 100 grain fed premium boat tail ammo, which was probably the wrong ammo choice, but it was a good ammo with a good game bullet. The problem when the shot thru nerves, bad luck or what ever hit something more solid than muscle, they did not have the mass to continue on thru the animal.

On that same trip, I saw two .257 roberts shooting 120 grain partitions and a 7.mm-08 with 140 partitions harvest elk with no problems, and in all likelihood, no more recoil. I used a .348 Winchester, because I wanted to use the gun it came in....AND I limited my shot to about 120 yards, AND I was culling. On other trips I have used a .280 and a 7x57 handload.

If your friend is recoil shy, buy some or load some reduced recoil loads, and let him do all his practice with that. then take his rifle and resight it in with full power loads, he will NEVER feel the recoil when he has an animal in his sights.

While you asked for first hand information, I was not the one pulling the trigger on a .243 on Elk, but rather a by stander. I would not use a .243 on elk unless I had NO other option.

jbech123
June 11, 2008, 04:26 PM
History is full of stories of erroneous conclusions based on what the masses thought was correct without any basis on experience or experimentation. The experience of elephant hunters of old and their use of rather small calibers very successfully could mean that if the proper bullets are used and placed properly, a 243 Win. could be very adequate for elk.

True, but also true is that, statistically speaking, large amounts of people believe certain things because they are common sense and based in fact. People in the old days did many things either out of neccessity or due to lack of knowledge at the time. In this day and age, there are plenty of options and there is no reason to hunt elk with a .243. You can pick up a remington adl, stevens 200 and many other good rifles in an appropriate caliber for ~$300. A 243 would likely get the job done at close range with perfect shot placement, but why limit yourself like that? As far as experience and experimentation, maybe your friend is not willing to listen to the heaps of advice about not using a 243 for elk. But I take exception to "experimenting" on a majestic game animal like an elk. These monarchs deserve more respect than to be wounded by some slapdick who wants to experiment with a tool that all the evidence suggests is not appropriate for the harvesting of an 800+ pound animal.

T.R.
June 12, 2008, 04:25 PM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/MWLwoodlandpasture.jpg

My sister-in-law shot several elk with her 257 Roberts. The animals that toppled over quickly were hit through both lungs. But she shot a young bull (approx 550 lbs) through just one lung shot (due to angle). We chased it for well over a mile before she killed it. Total of 4 shots into the animal. My brother traded for a 7mm-08 and she has not wounded any animals with this rifle. Recoil is about the same.

243 bullet is similar to 257 Roberts in many ways.

TR

22-rimfire
June 12, 2008, 05:02 PM
243 for elk? Funny. I don't highly recommend it for whitetail deer.

Inexperienced hunter with a small caliber that requires careful shot placement. No No Loan him/her your rifle after you get your elk.

falrifles
June 18, 2008, 01:18 PM
I agree with 22 rimfire. I have not had good results with the .243 for deer either. I would only consider the .243 for elk in a survival situation.

Sooner or later you will be presented with a shot that is not ideal, on a lifetime bull elk or large deer and you consider it for one reason or another. Season almost over, only shot presented in several days etc. Better to have a bit more gun.

Its better to have a 30.06 with 180 grain bullets for elk. For deer I prefer 150 grain bullets. Especially fond of the affordable WW 150 grain power point handloaded to factory velocity for whitetails.

WD

jbech123
June 18, 2008, 04:12 PM
A hunter/rifleman who owns a .243 and a 7mm/08 can take anything that walks in this hemisphere just fine.
Or if you wanted 1 gun you could just get a .308 - heavier bullet options for things like Alaska Moose and Brown Bears, even though a 7mm/08 or .308 is certainly less than optimal for Brown Bears. It would do in a pinch though I guess.

flyguyskt
June 11, 2009, 04:14 PM
i agree somewhat but also disagree with most posters... here is what i believe.

a 243 loaded to 3000+fps with a solid 100grn bullet like a nosler partition WILL kill elk all day long. will it nock them off their feet? no, but ive also seen them laugh off a 300 winny hit.

now, when do i think it is IS gun enuff... sub 150 yrd, broadside, standing shot in the hands of someone who know how to shoot and knows their weapon AND understands shot placement.

NOT a good caliber if inexperienced...BUT then again i dont want to put a 375 H&H in the hands of inexperience either.

SO here is the bottom line...make sure the friend knows his weapon AND how to shoot it...200-300 rounds at the range in different shooting positions should do the trick. anything less is just plain irresponsible.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE and the 243 winny will get the job done if you dont ask too much of it with less than ideal shots.

i am hunting cow elk this fall and my girlfriend will be carrying her 243. 100grn nos partitions. she knows nothing beyond 100 yards, nothing moving and nothing as far as bad angles... i have full confidence in the fact that she will harvest a nice animal cleanly and humanely.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 11, 2009, 05:16 PM
Nevermind...carry on. :)

natman
June 12, 2009, 06:38 AM
I personally wouldn't shoot at an elk with a 243 unless I were starving and had no other choice. But allow me to quote a couple of very experienced hunters who DID have firsthand experience with the 243:

Rick Jamison (Shooting Times) has a oft repeated story about a big buck he nailed twice with a 243 that went on to be shot and claimed by other hunters. Page 59 "Rifleman's Handbook":

"I couldn't help feeling that a cartridge with more punch would have anchored the buck sooner."

Jamison is a big fan of the 243 *for varmints*, in fact he considers it the ultimate coyote cartridge.

Finn Aargard (NRA Field Editor)

Aargard wrote an excellent article called "The 243 for Big Game".
Page 101 "Hunting Rifles and Cartridges.

"[If you need a varmint / deer rifle] ..trying to make a varmint cartridge work on big game is going at it the wrong way around. It would be far better to choose a cartridge for the largest game he intended to hunt with it, the develop a load for it that would work on varmints."

"...the 6mms are essentially varmint cartridges. With the right bullets and careful shooting, they can be made to perform fairly satisfactorily on big game up to perhaps 200 lbs liveweight. But why choose a cartridge that is only 'fairly satisfactory' when other cartriges are readily available in rifles that are just as light and have no more kick than those for the 243?"

Bear in mind that these lackluster opinions are about the use of the 243 on deer, not the much larger and tougher elk.

natman
June 12, 2009, 12:11 PM
i agree somewhat but also disagree with most posters... here is what i believe.

a 243 loaded to 3000+fps with a solid 100grn bullet like a nosler partition WILL kill elk all day long. will it nock them off their feet? no, but ive also seen them laugh off a 300 winny hit.

now, when do i think it is IS gun enuff... sub 150 yrd, broadside, standing shot in the hands of someone who know how to shoot and knows their weapon AND understands shot placement.

NOT a good caliber if inexperienced...BUT then again i dont want to put a 375 H&H in the hands of inexperience either.

SO here is the bottom line...make sure the friend knows his weapon AND how to shoot it...200-300 rounds at the range in different shooting positions should do the trick. anything less is just plain irresponsible.

PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE and the 243 winny will get the job done if you dont ask too much of it with less than ideal shots.

i am hunting cow elk this fall and my girlfriend will be carrying her 243. 100grn nos partitions. she knows nothing beyond 100 yards, nothing moving and nothing as far as bad angles... i have full confidence in the fact that she will harvest a nice animal cleanly and humanely.

Your post is an excellent argument against the 243 for elk. When you saw an elk not go down with a 300 Winchester hit, what exactly made you think "243 would be the way to go"?

"if you dont ask too much of it with less than ideal shots." Perhaps your elk hunting experience differs from mine. In my experience you have to hunt hard and long to find a bull at all, much less get a decent shot. Why would you deliberately handicap yourself with a cartridge that demands only ideal shots?

I agree that it is not a good caliber for the inexperienced. The problem is that's usually who supposed to be using it. (My girlfriend / son / daughter, etc can't handle the recoil of a 30-06....). And if the hunter has the experience to use a 243, why don't they just use a 30-06?

I agree that under ideal conditions you can kill an elk with a 243. But "Can Kill" does not equal "Should hunt with".

T.R.
June 12, 2009, 03:28 PM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/elkinforestsized-1.jpg

My sister-in-law hunted elk, mulies, and 'lopes with a 257 Roberts for 3 seasons. No problems killing cow elk standing (unaware) broadside at approx 150 yards. In our family we always shoot an elk twice in the chest. The second shot is fired quickly.

But things went wrong the 4th season we hunted together. She shot a trotting young bull and the angle was less-than-ideal. Shot distance was about 80 yards. We chased it for miles before she got two more shots into the animal and ended it. After that, my brother got her a 7mm-08 and she shoots 140 grain Nosler Partitions. Although recoil is about the same, the 7mm-08 is a far better cartridge for elk.

I hunted twice at High Adventure Ranch in Missouri for cow elk. They used to offer late season hunts for $700. which is LESS than what we pay for non-resident Wyoming licenses + trespass fees. The Guide told me he does not like to see elk and boar hunters armed with .243 rifles. He insists on a close range neck shot to down the animal and keep shooting into the chest until he says, STOP.

I'm a big fan of the .243 for mulies and 'lopes. It shoots flat way out there and hits hard. But not my choice for elk. My elk rifle is a .308 shooting 180 grain bullets.

TR

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/cowelkherd.jpg

Art Eatman
June 12, 2009, 03:41 PM
Nice pics, but the OP's hunt was in the fall of 2008.

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