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139/140 bullets for elk/moose/caribou with 7mm round?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Notwithstanding this thread: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=479537 , I have this question:

    For those of you who have successfully hunted elk, moose, caribou, or similar with a 7mm round, who has used a 139/140 grain bullet, and who has used a heavier one (160-175 grainer)? Anyone think the lighter ones are adequate or even a better choice for these critters? Where do you try to hit them - heart, high shoulder, neck, what?

    If you think it matters, think mainly of rounds in the 7mm-08/7x57/.280 rem range of velocity.

  2. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    With the size of cartridge you listed I'd go with a tough 139/140 such as the Trophy Bonded / Partition / Barnes X.

    The heavy 7mms give up too much velocity with the smaller cases.

    I'll go for a heart shot whenever possible.
  3. So natman, are you pretty confident that this type-construction of 140 will penetrate clear to the vitals and through them, even on a quartering toward or hard quartering away shot, even on a massive bull elk like this one:


    from say, a 7mm-08??
  4. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Well-Known Member

    I'm going elk hunting next month and I've handloaded 150 gr Nosler Partitions to about 3250 fps in a 7 Rem Mag. If that doesn't do the job, then I'll quit hunting.

    My mom elk hunts with a 7mm-08 using 140 gr bullets and has never had a problem.

    I know a guy who kills an elk a year with 30-06 150 gr Core-lokts and has never had a problem. A quality bullet in the right spot spells dead animal.
  5. Hee hee, good point.... :D
  6. Bwana John

    Bwana John Well-Known Member

    I have shot 2 cow elk with a 7mm Mauser. Used 175 gr BTSP @ 2500 fps. Aimed for and hit heart/lung area, both at ~200 yds. Bullet exited both times.

    Take alot of Texas heart shots do ya? (Or Portuguese head shots, depending on the Continent)
  7. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    I think it's your best bet *if* you're going to use a 7mm-08. Heavier bullets cut down on the velocity a bit too much for my taste.

    If you want a no-holds-barred take-any-shot elk rifle, start with a 338 WM and 250 grain bullets.
  8. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    I'll go with natman....Barnes.....

    I don't have velocity problems with the 7 mag. The 160 partition shoots very well i the gun, too. I'd probably go with that load because it is accurate and will perform in the belted magnum case.
  9. jbkebert

    jbkebert Well-Known Member

    I have been shooting 139 Interbonds through my 7STW and they fly fast and hit hard. Average chrono of 3386fps. I took a large Co. mule deer from a distance of 276 yards. The bullet entered the neck on a quartering towards shot. The bullet then traveled down destroying the shoulder and coming to rest just under the skin. A buddy of mine if in Colorado now hunting elk with the same rifle a 700 sendero and load I use. Granted the 7STW packs alot more powder and speed than the 7-08. The bullet however can take it.
  10. interlock

    interlock Well-Known Member

    i have taken big red deer stags with 7mm08 with 145gr speer hot cor. i have found it very effective. it was from a short barrelled rifle 18.5 inch model 7. i should think velocity would only be 2700 fps.
  11. blackops

    blackops Well-Known Member

    Nice! I would like to take a stag.
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Remember that Nosler's E-Tip and Hornady's GMX offer alternatives to Barnes, if Barnes won't shoot right in your rifle. Both Nosler and Hornady offer 7mm bullets.

    I have found GMX to be really easy to load. Shoots pretty much just like SSTs (by "pretty much" I mean less than 1 MOA POI shift, and less than 1/2 MOA change in group size, with the same powder charge and measured OAL).
  13. interlock

    interlock Well-Known Member

    blackops, are you in the uk?
  14. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    Muzzle velocity and by extension, impact velocity determines how a bullet will behave when impacting game.

    With the mentioned cartridges, launch velocities for the 139-140gr bullets is in the 2,800-3,000fps range.

    I've had outstanding success with the mentioned bullets on elk. No experience on Moose... Caribou split the difference in size between the deer and moose.. so can be extrapalated...

    I've taken several dozen deer (whitetail and muley) with the 7mm08 with the mentioned bullet weights and a friend used the rifle in '05 to take a large bull elk. The bull was shot 4 times. Three times through the chest (heart/lung) with the Nosler 140gr partition, and a fourth through the shoulders with a 140gr Sierra BTSP (gameking). The only bullet not to completely penetrate was the Sierra which was balled up under the hide on the farside.... Everyone else in the hunting party were carrying some form of "magnum". All were amazed at the performance of the "little" 7. Several attempted to buy the Rem.M7 w/20" bbl which weighs a delightful 7.3lbs with the Leupold Vari-X III 2.5-8x scope.......

    However, for body shots on deer, I've found the Nosler 140gr Partition (at least the box I have) to expand too much and not penetrate as much as either the 139gr Hornady, nor the 140gr Remington CorLokt. (facing/angling shots). All the deer I've shot in the body with the Noslers have run over 75yds and involved tracking with minimal blood loss........ I 've also had "problems" with the Hornady 139gr SST failing to expand. The Nosler 140gr BT and Sierra 140gr always expand well and penetrate as well as the Nosler Partiton's in this weight. So, no need for heavier bullets or "trick" bullets in the "little" 7's. They "earned" the 7mm's reputation for game performance by not "over driving" the conventional bullets.

    However, that said, I much prefer the 150gr bullets in these cartridges. They perform and behave just like a 180gr bullet from the .30/06. A good recomendation !!!! (I've got "more" experience with the '06, with over 100 deer taken with it, with bullets from 125gr to 180gr, but I'm a "convert" to the 7's..... sort of...)

    So, it depends....... Shot placement is always IMPORTANT, regardless of what you're shooting.

    FWIW; my brother has always used the 150gr Nosler Part. in his .308wcf (pre-64 Win Mod-70 FW) on everything, and has taken a half-dozen elk along with numerous deer, and a "once-in-a-lifetime Desert Bighorn sheep. All but one elk have fallen, either DRT, or a short run after a single hit. The 7mm08 with the 139-140gr bullets essentially performs like a 165gr bullet from the .30/06- Hence, it will work........
    Has for over 100yrs..... The "Magnums" need heavier bullets to compensate for the higher impact velocities......

    I know, I have 2, a .257wbyMag, and a .300 Ultra-Mag. These two "need" heavier, and stronger bullets.

    Not the 7mm-08 and "company" (7x57, .280, .284wcf, ect). I consider these to be the "perfect" balance for recoil, weight, bore size, ect........ And the little Remington M7, to be the ideal rifle (considering cost..... Not a slam against the Kimber, New UltraLight Arms, ect....).
  15. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Well-Known Member

    Why 4 times?
  16. Well no, not if I can help it - but you gotta do what you gotta do. :p

    GooseGestapo, excellent information; thank you.
  17. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Well-Known Member

    re: Why 4 shots?
    Good question!
    I asked the same thing.
    The guide told him to keep shooting after the elk "humped" up and started trotting off. In the time that a deer makes the "death-dash", an elk can run 2-3 times as far and end up in the bottom of a canyon vastly complicating the process of skinning, quartering, and packing out. As it was, the 2nd and 3rd shots stopped the elks movement, and it dropped at the fourth shot. For what's worth, he stated that he used the fewest shots of anyone in his party that took an elk.
    Week before-last, I was hunting in Wyoming NE of Jackson Hole in the Gros Ventre wilderness area. While glassing for elk at sunset, I counted 11 shots fired in sequence, 5, followed by 3, then 1, then 2 more. All were about 1.5-2miles away. All were apparantly fired by the same party at the same animal.
    It amazing how much "killing" it can take to put down an adrenelin "doped" animal.

    I too was amazed at the photo's of the elk with 3 exit wounds the size of a tennis ball and I have the expanded Sierra 140 Prohunter that weighs 127gr and is .64".
  18. okierifleman

    okierifleman Well-Known Member

    I would prefer a little tougher bullet for elk or moose than I would for caribou but, you might look at either the Nosler Accubond or the Swift Scirocco. I shoot them exclusively in all of my 7's and they have great performance on game, and they are both very accurate.
  19. ms6852

    ms6852 Well-Known Member

    I have had great success with 150 gr federal shok or remington core lokt on elk. I now use the barnes tripple x 150 gr. without a problem. if using the lighter bullets I would strictly use barnes tripplex because it mushrooms fast and provides very deep penentration.

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