7mm vs 30 cal elk hunting debate


PDA






Kachok
May 22, 2013, 04:10 PM
I have run across this several times in my reading, there appears to be a considerable number of elk hunters that swear the 7mm and 270 cal rifles are MORE effective on elk then the 300 and 338 magnums, I have never hunted elk so I cannot speak from experience on this topic other then to say that does not make sense from a terminal ballistics standpoint, I have never heard a rational explanation for this phenomenon so I has hoping someone would help me out here. Had I only heard this from some weekend hunters I would disregard it as typical caliber worship but having heard this from professional hunters (not all of them of course) has me scratching my head.

If you enjoyed reading about "7mm vs 30 cal elk hunting debate" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
45shooter
May 22, 2013, 04:16 PM
I've seen many times where the guy shooting the "smaller" guns kill better than the guy shooting the "big" gun. It's usually due to a lot of guys not being able to handle the recoil/muzzle blast of the big gun so they don't shoot so accurately. Above everything else, you must be able to place your bullet on the target for a good kill.

yzguy87
May 22, 2013, 04:47 PM
^^^ What he said! As long as you have a caliber that will do the trick theres no point in carrying some 300+ super ultra magnum that you can't shoot a pie plate with. If it were me, I'd probably take a 30-06 just bc im not a recoil junkie and it can get the jobe done of I do my part.

X-Rap
May 22, 2013, 05:27 PM
I doubt "More" effective is correct, as effective might be true. They can only be so dead and .27 and up at 150 gr and going north of 2500-2600 fps will do the job well out to an adequate range.

jmr40
May 22, 2013, 06:26 PM
In reality there isn't enough difference to matter. On paper a 7mm magnum is a better long range round than a .30 caliber though. The most efficient bullet weights in 7mm are right around 160 gr. To get the same BC in a .30 caliber you have to shoot a 200-210 gr bullet.

A 160 gr bullet leaving a 7 mag at 3000 fps will have more energy at long range than a 180 gr bullet @ 3000 fps from a 300 mag because of the much more aerodynamic bullets. Better penetration too. The trajectories out to 400 yards is almost identical. The 300's have a slight edge in energy at ranges under 400 yards, but beyond that the 7's are flatter shooting and have more energy. The 7's have less recoil and there is no advantage in an extra .024" in bullet diameter. Either have more than enough energy out past 500 yards though. It is really about the shooter more than either round.

If you shoot the 200+ gr bullets from a 300, and if you can shoot them fast enough, they will offer some energy advantage. The 300's are going to have an advantage at closer range on game larger than elk. I'd rather have a 300 loaded with 220-250 gr bullets than a 7 mag loaded with 175's if brown bear are on the agenda. But for elk, I'd have to give a slight edge for the 7's, especially at distance.

Don McDowell
May 22, 2013, 07:07 PM
In the 50 or so elk I've shot, and the well over a hundred I've seen shot, the most disappointing "kills" were from a spike bull I shot with a 7 rem mag, that didn't even shrug when hit but ran on down the hill about 200 yds and piled up, and a cow elk I watched as a hunter put a 270 gr bullet from a 375 ouchnouch thru her rib cage on a quartering angle at 219 yds. She hung her head and wandered about 200 yds with the rest of the herd and collapsed. Had she not of been in the open we may not of found her as there was no blood on either the entrance or the exit holes..
Going elk hunting from a far away place, bring the rifle you have the most experience and confidence in(provided it's legal cartridge), it'll kill bigger elk further, than some shiny new thing you have not had a chance to really get to know.

natman
May 23, 2013, 03:24 AM
Shoot the biggest gun you can hit with.

JShirley
May 23, 2013, 05:47 AM
Eh. That sounds true, but I doubt it. I recall I hit my target when I fired a .458 Magnum, but it wouldn't be a very good choice for most elk. So...no. Likewise, the .338 Lapua my fiance was driving tacks with at the SHOT Show. Overkill and too heavy for her (or almost anyone) to carry while hunting.

So, enough gun, but there can indeed be too much. Choose appropriately.

John

Boxhead
May 23, 2013, 06:05 AM
If placed properly with a stout bullet you will not see a difference in performance from the 270 Win to the 338 Win Mag on elk, at least in my experience.

Mobuck
May 23, 2013, 08:37 AM
In my limited experience, I found that elk seem to "notice" the strike of the 30 cal and up bullets more than with the 7mm. A couple of elk I shot with a 7mm Rem mag just stood there like I'd missed and then either toppled over or trotted off a ways. The ones hit with the 300 Win mag showed definite signs they'd took a solid hit although one big bull hit by a bullet that failed to penetrate as expected did hold position for maybe 30 seconds before laying down. As long as your shots won't be over 300 yards, I'd prefer a 30/06 to a 7 mag. I had a 338/06 built because I wanted the bigger bullet w/o the recoil of the 338 Win mag.

sixgunner455
May 24, 2013, 01:48 PM
a considerable number of elk hunters that swear the 7mm and 270 cal rifles are MORE effective on elk then the 300 and 338 magnums

The issue isn't that those *cartridges* are more effective on elk, it's that the *hunters* are more effective when *using* those cartridges. It's more important to hit the elk, than what you hit them with.

I have seen this myself. One elk hunt I was on, a man fired off an entire magazine from his son's .300 wondermagnum at a cow. She ran off with the herd, unhit. We watched the bullet strikes, it was ridiculous how it was hitting all over the place, but not hitting the cow.

The next day, he was carrying *trusty rusty*, his field worn pre-64 Winchester Model 70 in .270 Winchester. The next cow he saw, one shot through the heart and it was a done deal, except for getting her into the truck. She seemed to *notice* the hit - took another step and nosedived.

A young slip of a girl I know hunted elk with her dad last October. She hit a cow through one lung with a .243 Winchester - it was one of those poor shot angles everybody's always telling people are the reason not to use whatever *too small* cartridge they are thinking of using. Well, that cow *did* run off and over the hill.

She piled up on the other side of it, pretty as you please.

That doesn't mean I think everybody should just fuggitaboutit and use the smallest thing, but I do think that you should use something you shoot well, first and foremost.

I'll say it again: It doesn't matter much what you're shooting, if you don't hit the elk, and it doesn't matter much what you're shooting, as long as you do hit it.

My daughter and I will be elk hunting this fall. She will be using a .243. I will be using a .270. Neither of us is really interested in a heavier rifle.

Kachok, you like the 6.5 class of cartridges. If you ever do try elk hunting, I honestly hope you use one, because as familiar as you are with them, I think you will be most effective with one.

Kachok
May 25, 2013, 04:12 AM
Kachok, you like the 6.5 class of cartridges. If you ever do try elk hunting, I honestly hope you use one, because as familiar as you are with them, I think you will be most effective with one.
I am honestly quite familiar with several calibers .224, .243, 6.5mm, .277, 7mm, and 308. I just prefer my 6.5mms they just strike a perfect balance, that and my 6.5x55 is scary accurate. I know full well what my 6.5 can do and would not hesitate to hunt any non-dangerous game with it, that said I am a really good shot with my 30-06 too :)

axxxel
May 25, 2013, 06:29 AM
Sometimes having a larger cartridge helps if you're aiming for the lungs but hit the shoulder. Where I hunt most game is taken with the 6,5*55. Kills moose just fine. Lung shots and shoulder/lung shots are the most common.

adelbridge
May 26, 2013, 02:39 PM
150 grains is 150 grains be it .277, .284 or .300
Skinnier bullets cheat the wind better
A cheaply constructed .300 that doesn't open up wont be anywhere near as effective as a .277 that expands 75% and retains 95% weight.

tahunua001
May 26, 2013, 11:20 PM
anyone that says that a 180gr bullet from a 7mm rem mag is most effective against elk has never seen a 180gr fired from a 300 weatherby magnum or a 420gr cast/gas checked bullet from a 45/70. all are more than capable of killing elk and all have their strengths but there will never be a definitive answer to this debate. it's like AK VS AR, 1911 VS glock, or mauser vs springfield. there are just way too many people on either side that wont back down.

I've seen elk killed with all 3 of the aforementioned calibers and I would personally say that the 180gr from the 300 did the most damage though the 45/70 had the greatest expansion and weight retention(only lost 2grs if you can believe it) and the 7mm still killed the elk deader than a doornail.

Lloyd Smale
May 27, 2013, 08:05 AM
In my limited experience, I found that elk seem to "notice" the strike of the 30 cal and up bullets more than with the 7mm. A couple of elk I shot with a 7mm Rem mag just stood there like I'd missed and then either toppled over or trotted off a ways. The ones hit with the 300 Win mag showed definite signs they'd took a solid hit although one big bull hit by a bullet that failed to penetrate as expected did hold position for maybe 30 seconds before laying down. As long as your shots won't be over 300 yards, I'd prefer a 30/06 to a 7 mag. I had a 338/06 built because I wanted the bigger bullet w/o the recoil of the 338 Win mag.

I agree. Ill never say a 7 mag isnt enough gun for the job but the .30s have allways seemed to put a bit more smack on animals.

Sav .250
May 27, 2013, 09:16 AM
Everybody has an opioion. Even guys who have taken Elk. If the cal used does the job, then it`s a keeper.
More like is bigger .............better?

Loyalist Dave
May 28, 2013, 12:00 PM
It's usually due to a lot of guys not being able to handle the recoil/muzzle blast of the big gun so they don't shoot so accurately.

If the elk hunting community is like the deer hunting community east of the Appalachians..., here we find guys who are bad shots, who try to make up for poor shooting by increasing the caliber and load of their chosen cartridge, instead going to the range and finding an accurate load in the rifle.

I have heard supposed "experts" say that where they hunt whitetails nothing less than a .338 Win will do the trick, and a .30-06 is not enough.

Really?

LD

tahunua001
May 28, 2013, 03:07 PM
If the elk hunting community is like the deer hunting community east of the Appalachians..., here we find guys who are bad shots, who try to make up for poor shooting by increasing the caliber and load of their chosen cartridge, instead going to the range and finding an accurate load in the rifle.

I have heard supposed "experts" say that where they hunt whitetails nothing less than a .338 Win will do the trick, and a .30-06 is not enough.

Really?

LD
I've also had people claim that my caliber of choice is not even going to have the energy to bounce off the 450 LB deer in my area.... our deer rarely break 250..

Resist Evil
May 28, 2013, 03:40 PM
The most effective caliber does its job with shot placement. Three of us have hunted together for 10-12 years now. One uses the 300 Win Mag handloaded 180gr, the other uses the .30-06 handloaded 180gr, and I use the 7mm Rem Mag 160gr factory Nosler Partition as loaded by Federal. For the elk we've taken, shot placement determined how much effective damage was done. Once we are dressing the animal, there seems no difference in damage between our three calibers.

I chose the 7mm Rem Mag for my hunting rifle caliber primarily for its relatively flat trajectory and energy retention over the distances I would take a shot.

.455_Hunter
May 28, 2013, 04:01 PM
In .30-06, I have found the 220 RN loads from Winchester (discontinued) and Federal to be EXREMELY effective on elk. No need to go smaller.

Kachok
May 28, 2013, 05:14 PM
I have heard supposed "experts" say that where they hunt whitetails nothing less than a .338 Win will do the trick, and a .30-06 is not enough.

Really?

LD
ROTFLOL! I had to stop using full powered 30-06 on deer because the damage was so excessive it was just a waste of meat! Ever seen a 9.5" exit wound?!? Anyone that thinks the 06 is under gunned for a deer needs to put the gun mags down and try hunting for a change, because in my neck of the woods it is a wasteful overkill at full stroke.
Never shot an elk before, but I would not think twice about doing so with my full power 165-200gr SGK/Partition/Deep Curl/Hot Core handloads.

Mat, not doormat
May 28, 2013, 05:52 PM
These discussions always strike me funny. Of course, coming from a slug state, I've always been envious of guys who get to use high powered flat shooting rifles, you know, like .30-30s. :p

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2

Resist Evil
May 28, 2013, 06:50 PM
ROTFLOL! I had to stop using full powered 30-06 on deer because the damage was so excessive it was just a waste of meat! Ever seen a 9.5" exit wound?!? Anyone that thinks the 06 is under gunned for a deer needs to put the gun mags down and try hunting for a change, because in my neck of the woods it is a wasteful overkill at full stroke.
Never shot an elk before, but I would not think twice about doing so with my full power 165-200gr SGK/Partition/Deep Curl/Hot Core handloads.


Yeah, but in your state, deer are the size of big dogs, aren't they?

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSPTO6g7d3ZAFWRQCqqjZigj_GCM2-GliPMZSWSp_LYO6zzZ1jAAA

:neener::neener::neener:

Kachok
May 28, 2013, 08:36 PM
Yeah, but in your state, deer are the size of big dogs, aren't they?


:neener::neener::neener:
Nope, the size of small dogs LOL
True story, I almost hit a deer driving a few months back, she darted in front of me and I slammed on breaks, she was so small I could not see her back over the top of my hood (very close) that would be bad enough if I were driving my big truck, but I was driving my gas sipping little Mazda 3!! Coastal deer are bite sized, our avarage deer last year was probably 90lbs and the smallest one was no more then 40lbs! Now we still do see some decent sized ones, we saw a 12 pointer on the way to the hunting camp that had to weigh north of 220lbs easy, would not mind the 06 on something that sized of course I have every bit as much confidence in the Swede on the larger deer and it does not make such a mess of the smaller ones.

MCgunner
May 28, 2013, 09:42 PM
I know of folks that have hunted elk successfully with the .25-06. Me, I never got to go elk hunting, probably never will, but either my .308 or my 7 mag with a proper bullet would be my choice. I'd leave the .257 R at home. :D

Ankeny
May 28, 2013, 10:45 PM
there appears to be a considerable number of elk hunters that swear the 7mm and 270 cal rifles are MORE effective on elk then the 300 and 338 magnums I have shot over a dozen elk with a .30-.338 loaded up with either a 200 grain Sierra or a 180 grain Nosler Accubond. I have also shot over a dozen elk with a 7mm Rem Mag stoked up with 160 grain Accubonds or with a 168 grain Berger. In my experience, the 7mm is not more effective than the .30-338.

49willys
May 28, 2013, 11:00 PM
My Dad has shot elk with 270,7mm mag,and 35 whelen.He swears by the Whelen.Says it just whacks `em!

FSJeeper
May 28, 2013, 11:59 PM
I was Elk hunting about 25 years ago on private land in Colorado owned by this old man that must have been 100years old. Our base camp was a days horseback from his house which was a good 3 hours on very bad non-paved roads from a county paved county road.

He came up to our camp for dinner one night and we started talking about hunting rifles and calibers. I had just bought a fancy shiny new 300 Weatherby mag for the hunt, there were a couple of 300 Win Mags, 4 7mm Mags, and 1 458 Win mag. And then there was this guys little brother he brought with an old 1903Springfield Sporter in 30-06 his grandfather had given him.

The old timer said the 8mm Mauser and the 30-06 were the most consistent Elk killers he had seen in 40 years of bringing hunters up there. He said it made him sick how many Elk were wounded and lost to Magnums. His theory was the shock on the Elk's body made them run and the slower moving cartridges did there work slower and without the same effect.

You guessed it, the young man with the old 1903 was the only one to make a one shot, dead right there kill that trip. The rest of us took more than one shot and/or a lot of tracking to find ours. That kid had more fun paying us back for all the teasing we gave him for his rifle.

Had a similar experience in Africa with a Custom 340 Weatherby Mag. A few days into the trip the guide dropped the rifle and screwed up a very expensive scope. Backup rifle was a 30-06 and I was impressed what it could do to those plains game animals.

30-06 is my go to hunting cartridge from now on.

gbran
May 29, 2013, 12:04 AM
I've used an '06 for all my big game for over 40 years. Not many of those years I didn't take an elk. I've never owned any other big game rifle. Lots of varmint calibers, rimfires.

Kachok
May 29, 2013, 12:59 AM
The old timer said the 8mm Mauser and the 30-06 were the most consistent Elk killers he had seen in 40 years of bringing hunters up there. He said it made him sick how many Elk were wounded and lost to Magnums. His theory was the shock on the Elk's body made them run and the slower moving cartridges did there work slower and without the same effect.

.
I have another theory about that, the man hunting big game with a 30-30 knows his range is limited he is not trying to take as long a shot as he can, rather he is focused on getting as close to his game as possible without spooking it, and he knows he cannot shoot through it lengthwise so he is waiting for a clean shot. The psychology and approach of a hunter using a moderate cartridge can be quite different then one using a big bellowing magnum, I know a recent study was done in Europe that showed hunters using the rather mild 6.5x55 had just as high a recovery rate as those using the beastly 338 Win Mag, I think the same principal applies, and I think I might have answered my own question as well, I would think the perception of a hunter using a 270 Win would be quite different then the hunter toting a 338 Ultra Mag.

Don McDowell
May 29, 2013, 01:14 AM
Kachok I think you're last sentence nailed it. Every elk hunter thinks the rifle he's carrying is the greatest elk medicine around, altho that is subject to change if said hunter turns into a rifle looney of sorts.:cool:

jmr40
May 29, 2013, 08:04 AM
Hunting is something we do for fun. I firmly believe that anyone should use the gun they enjoy using. Anything from a 243 on up to as big as you want to carrry will kill elk just fine. If you enjoy a 338 magnum, then use it. Others prefer a lever in 30-30 or 45-70. Don't let anyone tell you a 243 won't drop elk, they will. If you enjoy using archery, handguns or blackpowder, use it, it works.

The problem is when peolple ask "what is best". There is no clear answer. The real question is "need". Years ago there was a true need for larger caliber guns because smaller calibers would not give adequate penetration on truly large game. Bullet technology has changed all the rules and some guys are still living in the 19th century.

Most all of us are way overgunned today. At one time a 30-06 or 270 were considered midddle of the road. With todays modern bullets a 223 is darn near the perfect deer/antelope round. The 243, 260, and 6.5mm rounds are the new middle of the road rounds suitable for any game in North America including moose and elk. Even suitable for large bear, but on the light side. A 7-08 or 308 are the new heavyweights suitable for most anything. A 30-06 is overkill for anything but the large bears. That is with modern, premium bullet technology. If you are still using old school, pre-1940's bullet technology, then there is a need to stay with the larger caliber guns.

There is no longer any real "NEED" for anything in NA larger than 7mm or .30 cal. Even the magnums only offer greater range, not close range killing power. When it comes to performance on game it is really a small step from 308 up to 338 magnum. To argue about anything in between those 2 is really splitting hairs.

All of them work. It comes down to what you want. All have advantages and disadvantages. It comes down to which advanages or disadvantages are more important to you, and fit your style of hunting best.

ZeroJunk
May 29, 2013, 09:04 AM
I say shoot the largest cartridge to the point recoil is on your mind when you make a hunting shot. Recoil should be the last thing you are thinking about when you pull the trigger on an elk. I don't see the point in shooting something smaller than you can handle comfortably just to be in style. The whole meat damage deal is overblown. If you destroy much meat you made a bad or unwise shot.

MCgunner
May 29, 2013, 09:57 AM
Lots of bovine excretion floatin' around this thread.....http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/lachen/laughing-smiley-001.gif

I don't really deserve a caliber opinion not ever having hunted elk, but I agree with jmr40.

X-Rap
May 29, 2013, 11:49 AM
It always seems that the answer to these discussions boils down to Magnum = trash, unskilled, newb that shouldn't have even been sold a license compared to the real man hunter who used the more "traditional" or smaller cartridge that requires great ninja hunter skills.
Neither is true and the anecdotal stories usually have more bias than fact.
Magnum is simply a name and generally has no more to do with shootability then what the shooter might perceive. I have shot a few old lever actions with steel butt plates that were no better to shoot than any 300 mags and while I'm not an old milsurp connoisseur I am told that some of the old one pack a pretty good wallop.
I can't say that all bullets are created equal but but I also don't believe that any are magic, call me a follower of Elmer Keith but big heavy bullets traveling fast seems to outweigh small light bullets traveling fast with few exceptions.
I'm not saying that we all need to be using 250 gr. in .33 cal to shoot elk but IMO I do want at least 150gr in a .27 cal in general.
That said I personally have shot and seen shot, dozens of elk with everything from 270 - big Weatherbys and if the placement is right the animal will go down.

Kachok
May 29, 2013, 12:12 PM
Oh don't get me wrong not dissing the performance of magnums, a good friend of mine hunted elk for as long as I have been alive and he uses a 300 Win Mag since many of his shots are longer then what he is comfortable taking with his 30-06 in the open country he hunts. All I am saying is having a couple thousand more foot pounds of KE is no substitute for good marksmanship and hunting practices, I think just about anybody who has hunted before would agree with that. Given identical shot placement and range I don't doubt that a 300gr 338 Lapua makes a whole bunch more damage then my 270, but one thing I have seen deer hunting is that weather you are using a 243 or a 300 Win Mag the vitals only get so destroyed, the 300 might have a few inches more remote wounding but the lowly 243 still does the trick remarkably well when you place it right. I don't know about elk but completely destroying the lungs on whitetail is pretty easy even with my little 6.5mm

X-Rap
May 29, 2013, 12:44 PM
I have no disagreement, my rant is with what usually amounts to bashing of hunters because they do and believe just as your friend. I have used many guns and cartridges to take big game and am no novice when it comes to shooting but to hear many I have some magnumitis disease that only afflicts newbs who read more than they shoot.
There are of course many exceptions to what I believe to be my baseline choice of elk calibers, I am no fan of the 308 based family of cartridges for big elk in open country and would say that the 6.5 falls just a little short for me on bullet weight even in a Mag. That is just my opinion and includes some personal experience as well which is what should drive all of our individual choices to some extent.
I have seen some of the most spectacular reactions of elk from a 280 Rem with 154 gr Hornady Hand loads so I won't disparage someone elses choice so long as they behave in an ethical manner which opens up a whole other can of worms.

MCgunner
May 29, 2013, 12:57 PM
The 7mm "magnum" has about the same recoil force as a .30-06. It will also kill anything the .30-06 will kill and carries more energy farther away. That's why I bought one, that and I was thinkin' .280, but figured I could download the 7, couldn't upload the .280. Ya see, SERIOUS riflemen handload.:neener:

Kachok
May 29, 2013, 01:17 PM
I hate to say it but the recoil of my 7mm Rem Mags was considerably higher then my 06 even with 180gr max loads, and my 06 weighs a full 1.2lbs less. I have owned three 7mm Rem Mags and none of them was fun to shoot after a box of 160gr, I still enjoy shooting my 06 even after shooting for three hours, heck my 5' tall sister in law enjoys shooting my 06, only one person ever wanted to shoot my 7mm Rem Mag more then once :D
So yeah I would say there is a noticeable difference in recoil in the real world despite what the charts say, the 7mm RM does not push any more but it is snappy and abrupt recoil, not even adding a limb saver made it fun to shoot but it does make for one hellava hunting cartridge.

MCgunner
May 29, 2013, 02:02 PM
After benching 12 gauge 3" 1 ounce slugs, I can shoot ANYthing. :D But, really, I don't find 7 mag all that much a problem even off the bench, though I do wear my past recoil shield when I'm playing with it. :D

Stock fit, shotgun OR rifle, has a lot to do with felt recoil. I have a CVA Plainsman 50 caliber rifle that beats the living bejesus out of me, no fun at all even with reduced loads and patched RB EVEN with a slip on recoil pad. For one, it beats my cheek bone up. My light weight Cabela's Hawken Hunter Carbine isn't a problem firing 90 grains Pyrodex and a 385 grain Hornady Great Plains Minie. Both rifles are about 6 lbs. The difference is stock fit.

If you calculate recoil force, the 7 mag might be a little heavier than the .30-06, sure, but not enough to write home about. Just googling it, I came up with the following table. Looks like the recoil energy of a 7 mag 150 grain bullet at 3100 fps from an 8.5 lb rifle is 19.2 ft lbs. The recoil of a 150 grain .30-06 at 2910 fps from an 8 lb rifle is 17.6 ft lbs. For me, the difference is minimal. Stock fit, however, is a variable in PERCEIVED recoil.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

Oh, as regards to "snappy", the recoil velocity calculated for that 7 mag load is 12.1 fps vs 11.9 fps for the .30-06. I don't think that's much difference, myself.

Don McDowell
May 29, 2013, 02:11 PM
I don't know about elk but completely destroying the lungs on whitetail is pretty easy even with my little 6.5mm

Elk lungs are huge, and there's not a lot that will destroy them like happens on deer and antelope. But you poke a hole in them and air and blood start going where it's not supposed to and they die somewhere before they cover much over the next 200 yds, and sometimes less.

Kachok
May 29, 2013, 02:39 PM
Maybe none of my 7 Mags fit me right, but they were no fun at all to shoot without the sissy pad, when I bought my first one I did not know a darn thing about rifles, that stupid thing left everyone who ever touched the trigger on it black and blue, even my crazy magnum buddy who shoots tiny deer with a 300 WM had a visible bruise four weeks afterward, any time I bring up that rifle he shakes his head and cannot believe a 7mm hurt him. Maybe it is a psychological thing after owning that old Winchester, I am not recoil shy at all, I play with 3" magnum slugs in a light Maverick 88 for fun but that 7mm hurt!

627PCFan
May 29, 2013, 02:54 PM
Next year I was going to use my 35 Remington, but thanks to this thread I now know that Interlock would just bounce off and bruise the meat thats running away from me :mad:

Ankeny
May 29, 2013, 02:55 PM
I am still kind of old school. If you can handle a "magnum" by all means use what you are comfortable with. Where I hunt, elk are easy to find and I often shoot a bull and one or two cows each year. The same goes for my brother. We shoot a lot of elk.

As I got older, I lost my desire to shoot the larger magnum cartridges. Fact is, I used the magnums because I wanted good terminal performance at what most would considered long distance. Most of the elk I shoot are in wide open country.

I no longer own a "magnum". My primary hunting rifle is a 6.5x284 launching a 140 grain Berger bullet. I have only shot 4-5 elk with that load, and so far it works, but it doesn't seem like the cartridge has as much smack down at long yardage as my old magnums. That's just my perception and it might be different than reality. But physics is physics.

Last fall I killed a large cow elk at a moderate distance with a 7mm-08 shooting a 120 Barnes Tipped Triple Shock Bullet. Hit her through both lungs and she just ran a little way and tipped over. I also shot a couple of deer with the 7mm-08 and they were DRT. On the surface, one would think the 7mm-08 with a 120 tipped trip shock is a killing machine (and it is).

On the flip side, my brother and I were on a herd of 200+ elk at 400 yards last fall. He had his 7mm-08 loaded with 140 grain Accubonds in his hands because it is light to carry. His 7mm Rem Mag was back at the vehicle. He decided to pass because he didn't have enough gun. I killed the elk DRT with a shot into the boiler room from my 6.5x284. Frankly, I think his 7mm-08 would have done the job, but it was his decision and I won't fault anyone for passing on a shot.

I am not an advocate of shooting critters with minimal calibers, but I too think a lot of folks are over gunned assuming they use quality modern bullets. But, I still feel a .243 is on the light side for elk, and I also have a tough time coming to grips with the notion that a .223 (especially out of a 16 inch AR) is suitable for big mule deer and up.

Lloyd Smale
May 30, 2013, 07:37 AM
I too get angry when some internet expert says that anyone shooting a magnum is nothing but a harry ape and that 100s of animals are wounded every year by idiots that cant handle them. Id bet a dime to a dollar that the same guy that missed or wounded his elk with a 7mag would have done the same with a 270. Bottom line is theres not much differnce in recoil between them. Most 7mags weight a lb or two more then the typical 270 and it about equalizes the recoil differnce between them and any differnce left is between your ears not on your shoulder. Sure a mag isnt the right gun for a beginner or someone that shoots 5 rounds a year to sight in his gun and goes hunting but id bet most here are pretty avid shooters and surely wouldnt have a problem mastering even a 300 mag. Ive got 3 grandsons between 9 and 14 and all three of them will jump at the chance to shoot my 7mag off the bench. The cutoff for them where it gets unconfortable is when they shoot the 300 mags. and the older one shoots them all including my 300 ultra mag and ive yet to see anything but a smile on his face when hes doing it. thing is they were never told recoil hurts. Even a 300 mag really doesnt physicaly hurt you. It may startle you a bit but ive never been bruised by one. I wonder how many of the guys that preach overkill with them are out the following weekend shoot 12 guage shotguns. Id bet very few of the proponants of the 243 ect are out with 410s hunting birds because the 12 guage kicks a bit.

ZeroJunk
May 30, 2013, 08:59 AM
I'm with you Lloyd. I have hunted for close to fifty years with a lot of hunters. A man who is a good shot with one rifle is a good shot with any of them and if a cartridge is too much for him to shoot proficiently it only takes him a couple of shots to figure that out.
I have seen new hunters nail elk with 7 and 300 magnums and I have seen new hunters miss elk at easy ranges with 308's and 270's.

Could be that recoil is a better excuse than your nerves got to you or you just can't shoot.

MCgunner
May 30, 2013, 11:10 AM
Id bet very few of the proponants of the 243 ect are out with 410s hunting birds because the 12 guage kicks a bit.

THAT is something I always think about in these magnum bashing discussions. I hunt geese with 3.5" 10 gauge steel T shot. On a good day, lots of geese, I'll shoot a box up in a morning. The sore shoulder the next day just reminds me of good times. :D I even see GIRLS welding 10s and 12 gauge 3.5s in the field occasionally. Those same girls could probably handle a .338, let alone a 7 mag. :D

You ain't gotta be macho, just don't be scared. It's all about breath and trigger control. Forget about the recoil, it ain't near as bad as what the elk gets. :D

I only have one magnum, a 7. I never figured I really needed anything else, bought it to go to New Mexico with, but only ever used it on deer, mulies and whitetail. I don't go west much anymore, stuck in the woods shooting deer and hogs and in the brush and oak motts. Max range for me now days is 150 yards, so my smaller rifles, if I use a rifle, work just fine. I haven't popped a cap on that 7 in a while, but I'd pick it up again if I had an opportunity to hunt elk or maybe nilgai. Actually, it might be a little light for nilgai, but I think it'd work fine with 160 partitions.

Don McDowell
May 30, 2013, 11:26 AM
:confused: I don't really see any "magnum bashing" going on here, except for some self inflicted?
I always get a chuckle over these threads, and wonder just how in the world did we get by killing elk with inadequate rounds like the 250,257,7x57,30-30, 300 savage and 30-40 , 270 and 3006, and then came the 243 and other 308 family cartridges, and families filled freezers every year, most folks shot less than a box of cartridges for the entire year, and some used the same box for several years.
But now we see a constant battering of have to have a magnum with premium bullets , elsetwize said person is just a slob hunter trying to pull stunts..:banghead:

ZeroJunk
May 30, 2013, 02:20 PM
I watched plenty of black and white TV. No way anybody needs these new oversize LED LCD contraptions.

nathan
June 2, 2013, 03:23 PM
DOnt forget the Lee Enfield no 4 .303 Imperial British cartridge. It will take moose and larger critters just as good in closer distances.

Don McDowell
June 2, 2013, 04:59 PM
Yes those 303's had a following as well as the liberated and sometimes sporterized mausers in 8mm.

mljdeckard
June 2, 2013, 08:20 PM
I agree that no matter what you use, you have to take good, ethical shots.

However, elk have a serious layer of fat that can seal up and stop bleeding enough to prolong the death process. My dad once called me to help him recover an elk that had been shout the previous night. He had bumped into some other guys at the mouth of a canyon the last night of a special hunt, between the lot of them, they had shot two elk, one was down. Most of us went to bone out the one that was down, two guys went to look for the other. They saw it on the opposite hill, still walking. The hunt was over, they couldn't take another shot to put it down. I asked the guy what he hit it with; he said a .308.

Now, I have absolutely no idea how well he had hit it or what kind of bullet he was using. I would hunt elk with a 30-06 or .270, but I think if I did it regularly, I would get a .300 win mag or 7 rem mag. I think you owe it to the animal to put it down decisively, even if the advantage is not that big.

hardluk1
June 2, 2013, 09:05 PM
It so much more about the bullet use and bullet placement than the cartidge its just crasy to say this or that is better. I guy that guided us to soome elk had a T/C contender on a late season scouting trip for us and also watching for some coyotes and had a bull elk try to stump him in the ground. He put a barnes tsx 55gr in the chest at 15feet on the second charge from a pissed off bull elk and dropped it darn near in its tracks. Called the wild life officers and explaned his "kill and he got off with a warning and meat went to feed the needy. The 223 was not legal for elk and he had a liecence for the elk.

I use a 7mm rm rifle for the chance of a long range shot with 150gr barnes tsx

mljdeckard
June 2, 2013, 09:19 PM
I'm not sure if that story means that the small bullet was or wasn't good enough? It took two and he nearly got killed.

hardluk1
June 3, 2013, 04:16 PM
No he only shot 1 time. He was charged twice before shooting. Was he lucky?? probably. But shows that a well placed bullet of the right design will do the job used with in in design limits. You just have be an ethical hunter.

And old man I was lucky to know back in south florida now passed on hunted with one rifle for 65 years in a model 70 win in 22 hornet. I know florida deer are not big but he killed some really big ole hogs with that rifle. Just find what your friends hunt with and pick one of them. Most any will work with in there design and limits.

nathan
June 3, 2013, 06:58 PM
know the animal's anatomy by heart and put that shot on that right spot.

If you enjoyed reading about "7mm vs 30 cal elk hunting debate" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!