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Enough Elk Gun

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by txcookie, Jun 16, 2013.

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  1. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Absolutely. Especially if you handload.
     
  2. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    I'd be content with a .270 on everything up until brown bear. Even then, it's probably more than adequate... but being "dangerous," I'd just prefer more certainty. People just have personal preferences that they want to sell, that's all.
     
  3. CPLofMARINES

    CPLofMARINES Member

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    Jack O'Connor did just fine with it. As a matter of fact I
    Have been considering one. A 25/06 will kill an Elk, shot
    Placement and YOUR effective range is paramount.

    SEMPER Fi
     
  4. Mike Sr.

    Mike Sr. Member

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    270.......!!!!!!!

    Just my thoughts:

    In a Mountanous terrain, canyons, valleys, grassland spaces at the tree line...etc....wind can play hell with any trajectory but especially with light bullets.

    My 6x6: 580-lasered yards, up hill, thru the right shoulder bullet came to rest under the hide of the left shoulder.... 338 Win Mag/200 grain.

    A 338 can do everything a 300WinMag, 30-06, 270, 308,, 30-30, 25-06 can do but those can not do everything a 338 Mag can do!
     
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    And your preference, obviously is a .270. My question to you is how many elk or moose or bison have killed with your .270? You say you'd be content with a .270 up to brown bear, but you'd be content hunting moose or bison or elk with a .270 based on what actual field experience? I'm not trying to dog on you I'm genuinely curious.

    Plain and simple you don't take that shot with a .270 Win. It goes back to knowlng your equipment and it's inherent limitations.

    My furthest ever elk kill was on a bull at 443 yards with a .375H&H shooting a 285 gr Speer Grand Slam it was last afternoon deal on a perfectly calm day with a rock solid rest. The bull was quartering away at about a 3/4 angle two more steps and he would have been gone forever. I hit him behind the last rib and the bullet exited the point of the off shoulder dropping him instantly. I wouldn't dream of taking that shot with an 06 or a .270 or even a .300 mag of any type. Once again going back to knowing your equipment and your capabilities with it.
     
  6. txcookie

    txcookie Member

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    mikesr 580 Way to far for my talents....
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Just a point of trivia...

    .270 Winchester, released in 1925
    .375 H&H Magnum, released in 1912

    and....

    .400/.375 Belted Nitro Express -- 1905
     
  8. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    Not an elk hunter, not even a hunter anymore.

    Recently purchased a 25-06. Have done a ton or reading on the caliber and a lot of elk have been killed with it. Of course you have to be able to shoot straight!

    Surprised me. You should be fine, given reasonable ranges and reasonable target presentation.

    Good Luck.
     
  9. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    The same year in fact that the .300H&H AKA the .30 Super was released.
     
  10. j1

    j1 Member

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    An ex elk guide named Skeeter Skelton killed numerous elk with a 243. However being a guide he spent a lot of time in the field and could pass up anything but a shot he really liked. It was said that he never wounded an elk. Is a 243 enough gun? It was for Skeeter Skelton.

    I own and have shot a 30 06 for close to fifty years and think that it is enough for me. Now the trick is to see an elk in Pa. I said that as a joke but there ARE ELK in western Pa.
     
  11. fdashes

    fdashes Member

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    You should see what it does to a chigger (whatever the hell that is). Sounds like something the Northeast doesn't need but we have plenty of .270 just in case.
     
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I had one of those in .243.. a superb weapon. I wish I had one in .350 Remington Magnum.. just for the fun of it.
     
  13. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I hadn't heard that Skeeter Skelton was an elk guide, he lived out his last years in Deming NM which is about 50-60 miles from elk country and prior to that spent his time in Texas. Are you sure it wasn't his son Bart? NM State Trooper and later Customs man or DEA I think.
    Either way I would have some reservations hiring a guide or outfitter that packed a 243 for elk.
     
  14. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    LOL... Never shot a .270 in my life. I don't even really have a preference. I use a .30-06 and .44mag, but that's kind of just because it's what I have. I don't even live where there are elk, moose, and bison. So no, never shot anything with the .270. However, math, science, and case history are our friends. A .270 will obviously kill those animals.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  15. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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  16. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Obviously late season and the elk have started to regroup into herds, it's been my observation that they don't spook nearly as easy when in their winter mode.
    Good tracking snow, calm animals, capable caliber under the conditions and hopefully a practiced shooter and you have a positive outcome.
    Same elk in regular season moving through heavy pinion juniper with no snow and a 243, not on a bet, even at 100yds.
     
  17. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    270 is plenty of gun. To me the 25-06 is too light. Yes the are both based on the 30-06 but the 25's bullet options tend to be light/fast varmint rounds. Penetration is important in big game. Yes plenty of white tail and even mulies have fallen to it, but I feel it's light. 270 (imho) should be loaded with the heaviest bullet you can get for elk.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  18. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    This is what I'm talking about. The .270 and .30-06 are certainly capable of taking elk and moose when the conditions are good. No doubt about it.
    However, in instances like this, they are inadequate. IF you find yourself in a situation such as the one H&H Hunter mentioned here and you're armed with a .270 or '06, you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass on the shot.
    I agree that the round is capable of taking elk. I just don't think it is ideal for the job. The ideal round for the job is one that will get the job done when conditions aren't perfect.
     
  19. Dr T

    Dr T Member

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    I used to read the same sort of arguments when I was in high school in the 60's. There are a number of schools of thought.

    One school holds that anything smaller than a 375 H&H is inadequate for anything larger than a jackrabbit (and that you aren't a MAN if you can't shoot 100 rounds from one off a bench in one sitting).

    One school is that the bullet size doesn't matter as long as the bullet is fast enough.

    A third school is that a well-constructed bullet with the proper placement can kill just about anything.

    I adhere to the third school and read the other arguments for amusement.

    Just remember the guy that killed a bunch of elephants with a 7 x 57...
     
  20. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    My Dad (1922-2004) killed several fine bulls with his 300 Savage levergun. None got away!

    TR

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Armed Therapist,

    I appreciate your honesty. Math and science are our friends however with no actual field experience it is impossible to correctly visualize and process many of the elk hunting scenarios of which I have spoken. As they say an ounce of experience is worth a ton of book knowledge. Which is precisely why when I read gun and caliber advice on the net I sincerely appreciate an honest answer as to the writers background.

    Exactly,

    The difference between adequate under the right conditions and totally capable. As has been mentioned multiple times here lighter calibers are perfectly adequate if you are willing and have the discipline to only take the right shots. Unfortunately many folks don't. I'm sure none of the ethical hunters that take the time to post a debate here on THR would ever do so. But it sure as heck happens every year.

    Sure enough. And of course their are multiple hundreds of elephant killed every year with FN park service rifles in 7.62 NATO during cull and PAC operations. The secret is to have perfect knowledge of where the brain is in an elephants head and to be able to hit football sized brain from any angle. The secret is to shoot several dozen elephants and get really good at finding the brain and to get really close before shooting. Once again and as mentioned waiting for the perfect shot presentation for your given caliber and the limitations it presents.

    Using a small caliber on elephant is an art form really as you can only effectively kill them with a perfect head shot. Young rangers are required to use a heavier caliber generally a parks issue .458 WM until they perfect the art of finding the brain. It should also be mentioned that of all the elephant hunters of the era and of all the elephant hunters since then and of all the professional elephant hunters operating today none with the exception of Bell and two three others ever recommended anything under a .400 cal firing a 400 gr bullet and most were .500 cal + guys by choice. And the simple reason is that if you have to stop an elephant or make a shot on a retreating elephant nothing less will do the job.

    Some recommended reading/viewing if you are interested in what current day professionals have to say on the subject.

    http://www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za/bookspublished.html
    Ron was a cropping officer and killed 5 times more elephant than did Bell.

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Guide_to_Ndlovu.html?id=hON-GQAACAAJ
    Richard Harland was a also a cropping officer with several thousand elephant kills under his belt

    http://www.cmsafaris.com/hd-filming-photographic-safaris/dvd.htm
    The instructional elephant hunting video is a must if interested in the process and weapons best suited for hunting elephant. The interview with Ian Nyschens is worth the price alone. Buzz is a top professional who specializes in elephant hunting. he put together the very best instructional video I've seen on elephant hunting. There is also a graphic demonstration on the difference between a .470 NE and a .500 NE when it comes to stopping an elephant filmed in this DVD. It's impressive.

    (I'd recommend his book "Months of the Sun" but I just noticed that they are selling from $250 to nearly $1,000. I guess I need to hang on to my signed copy that I bought for $60.00!!)
     
  22. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    As others have said .270 is plenty gun if you work with in its capable range. I chose .375H&H for my elk rifle after many long conversations with H&Hhunter. Is it any "better" than a .270 or 06? Nope. But it give me more flexibility and anyone that knows me will attest, I like to be different.
     
  23. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    The .270 is plenty of elk rifle. My elk have fallen to a .300 Winchester (1), a 30-06 (2), a 45/70 (1, my first elk), and a .54 caliber round ball (3). They all died with one shot, and were shot within 100 yards. The .300 didn't kill it's elk any deader than any of the rest. Dad has gone four for four, not only with the same 30-06, but from the same box of cartridges. Shot placement is key.

    The thing that gripes me about the super-magnum cartridges is that instead of elk HUNTERS, we get the woods crammed full of elk VARMINTERS, taking shots they should never attempt, using rifles they haven't practiced with because the rounds are "too expensive to to plink with." Besides, the ad copy says the muzzle blast decalcifies the elk's spinal column and they drop dead at the sound of the shot. No worries, right?

    Thus endeth my rant.
     
  24. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    Hmmm, must be a different Skeeter Skelton than the gentleman most of us are familiar with. He considered the .243 to light for DEER.



    http://www.darkcanyon.net/Skeeter_Skelton_Rifleman.htm

    On a related note, the first elk I killed....a 30-06 put it down...but a much smaller caliber was used to dispatch it. I have carried a .270 while hunting elk, but definitely with the knowledge that I was range limited and marginal shots were not on the menu.

    My father loves to tell the story of his last elk. He took a 75 yard head shot at a medium bull. He says he knew he hit it because he saw the bull go down on its front knees when he shot. The elk got back up, and walked another 100 yards, then dropped. When my father had the skull steamed for mounting, the entry wound was in the ear canal, the exit wound was through the center of the forehead. I have seen the skull to verify, and remember as a child when it came home, it had a bullet hole square in the middle of its forehead.
    That elk took a 180 gr. rn bullet @ 2600fps or so right to the ear, that bullet rattled around inside, then blew a hole through the front of its head. And it STILL walked a football field away to die.
    Stories like that are what breeds magnum wars, lol

    Myself, I hunt with a .300 winmag, but am rethinking that philosophy. The elk here live in cover and go to cover to die. The only DRT shots I have personally heard from successful hunters have all been neck shots. Elk are allergic to the neck shot, it would seem. Tracking around here seems to be a given. There is a lot to be said about punching a big hole low in its body cavity, so the body cavity fills up with blood and starts leaving a trail. People here shoot low on elk for the lower lungs and heart so they get an early blood trail. If you shoot to high up on the animal, the philosophy goes, even with both lungs holed, the body cavity will fill up with blood before the animal starts leaving a trail, and be harder to track.

    .300 winmag and 7mm magnum are the biggest elk calibers here,
    then 30-06,
    then .338 winmag,

    there are actually a lot of bigger calibers used here on elk as well. We have Roosevelt elk, they get pretty big...about 1k lbs for a bigger bull, often more.
    Some people go so far as to use 458's and 416's. The guys ive talked to like that usually cite a desire to drop an animal dead where it stands so they dont have to track and pack it out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  25. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    This is the first time I've EVER heard of using something like the .375H&H on elk. I've mostly heard .270, .30-06, .308, .300mag, 7mm mag, .338mag, and .45-70. Never the H&H, though. LOL
     
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