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#5946061 - 09/25/15 10:37 AM looking for higher caliber Elk gun...
Rob Lay Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 1757
Loc: Southlake, TX
I thought my 7 mag was plenty, it gave me a gun perfect for long distance mountain shots Pronghorn, Mule Deer, and Elk. It is light, little kick, and great ballistics. I think it is still a great Elk gun for text book shots broadside. After recent experience shooting Elk with 7 mag head on and tracking for several days I want to consider a higher caliber for closer rut and Texas drive spot & stalk type hunting where animal not likely to be more than 200, but likely to be looking head on.

Here are stats on my current 7 mag:

150 gr. 3000 fps 2326 200y/lbs 19.2 recoil

I am big fan of the Barnes TTSX, so would love to get a caliber they produce:

300 WSM 150 gr: 3310 fps 2685 200y/lbs 22.5 recoil
300 WBY Mag 180 gr: 3100 fps 2930 200y/lbs 31.6 recoil
300 Win Mag 180 gr: 2960 fps 2659 200y/lbs 25.9 recoil
300 RUM 180 gr: 3250 fps 3233 200y/lbs 32.8 recoil
338 Win Mag 225 gr: 2800 fps 3006 200y/lbs 35.2 recoil

I'm not sure the 300 WSM or 300 Win Mag would provide a huge energy increase over the 7 mag, but it would be an improvement and still keeping the recoil manageable. If I really want to differentiate from the 7 mag, which I will continue to use most hunts, it looks to me the 300 RUM a great balance of performance and recoil

thoughts? thanks!

Sources:

Barnes: http://www.barnesbullets.com/files/2015/05/VORTX-Rifle-rev-5-21-2015.pdf

Chuck Hawks Recoil: http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm
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#5946076 - 09/25/15 10:44 AM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23579
Loc: Wise County Texas
Rob, I have killed a lot of elk with a 7mm using 180gr bullet, they are super tough animals and I keep chambering rounds until they have at least one leg down. Most of the time it is a one shot deal.

I now have a 300wsm, also using 180gr scirrocos (sp) I also shot a bull head on looking at me after I used a cow call to stop him, hit him just above the brisket and he stood there looking at my wife and I, Wife thought I had missed ,but at 123 yards it was spot on, he turned after a few seconds and I hit him again, he made it about 20 yards and went down.

I wouldn't personally spend a fortune on a new rifle unless you just want one, I also wont take another head on shot, unless it is my only choice, just to much there to adsorb the shock.

7mm has taken a ton of elk, it wasn't the caliber my friend.
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#5946086 - 09/25/15 10:52 AM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
BOBO the Clown Online   content
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41086
Loc: Metroplex
I literally had an antelope take I a front chest shot like a champ. When I hit him he took two steps backwards and then started walking again. I was floored., but he died.

If you want to be a grizzly among bears though... 30-378 wby or 338 lupa

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#5946117 - 09/25/15 11:07 AM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: BOBO the Clown]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23579
Loc: Wise County Texas
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
I literally had an antelope take I a front chest shot like a champ. When I hit him he took two steps backwards and then started walking again. I was floored., but he died.

If you want to be a grizzly among bears though... 30-378 wby or 338 lupa


.50 would do it too.........permanently....
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#5946198 - 09/25/15 11:36 AM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9411
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Honestly, a change in bullet will be a huge game changer for you with your existing 7 Mag. I'm assuming you are shooting a Barnes (T)TSX in the 7 Mag. A 7 Mag is plenty for elk, and almost anything in N. America. But, like I have said for years, a Barnes bullet does NOT provide the hydrostatic shock that a lead bullet does. I have had MANY of my customers complain about how far a big game animal runs after being hit with a Barnes TSX or TTSX bullet. We end up switching to a Berger VLD, or other premium lead bullet. They call me after the hunt and tell me that the lead bullet solution is exactly what they were looking for. The Barnes will expand to 1.5 times diameter, and will penetrate deep and exit the off side. But they do not give the large shock like a lead bullet does. A good lead bullet in about 160 to 180 grains will flat out hammer an elk in a 7 Mag. I'd spend some extra money on some good ammo with a good lead bullet, some range time with that rifle and ammo, and work on practicing with your set up. Extra range time will cure a lot of shot placement issues, also.

On the 300 RUM, or any RUM, for that matter. If you can't get it done with a 300 Win Mag, a RUM will not help you either. The RUM calibers are huge over bore, and are the most finicky round I have ever had to reload for, accuracy wise. It is the only caliber I will not guarantee less than MOA with. Brass life is horrible for reloading it, and they heat up a barrel way too fast for any practice time with the rifle.
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#5946230 - 09/25/15 11:55 AM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9411
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Also, on a head-on facing shot, I aim low in the chest, not middle or high. The area of the vitals most forward is his heart, which is low in the chest on almost any 4 legged critter. See drawing below. Most people aim too high, and lack the energy of the bullet to do it's damage by the time it reaches the lung area when hit high.



Looking at the diagram above, the heart is very low, so the head-on facing shot will need to hit there. At the image below, I would aim near the red circle area, if not on the bottom line of the red circle to hit the heart area first. Shot placement in this area head-on will result in a downed animal. But you better make sure your shot placement is perfect, since there is not a lot of room for error on a front facing, head-on shot.
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#5946284 - 09/25/15 12:18 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
QuitShootinYoungBucks Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 6464
Loc: Lubbock, TX
I'm with the others on here-it wasn't the caliber. But if you do choose to step up from the 7mm, I'd skip the .30s and go to the .338.
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#5946298 - 09/25/15 12:27 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
Whiptail Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/13/13
Posts: 118

I only take broadside shots. Barnes bullets work best when they hit bone.

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#5946304 - 09/25/15 12:30 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
rifleman Online   crying
Sparkly Pants

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 43783
Loc: Kingwood
Rob, I honestly think you pulled on the shot and got into shoulder more than vitals. An animal center punched through the chest with a decent bullet is going to die PDQ.

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#5946396 - 09/25/15 01:26 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: rifleman]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23579
Loc: Wise County Texas
Originally Posted By: rifleman
Rob, I honestly think you pulled on the shot and got into shoulder more than vitals. An animal center punched through the chest with a decent bullet is going to die PDQ.


Real good possibility, bullet could have traveled around the side right under the skin..
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#5946408 - 09/25/15 01:32 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
KODIAK Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 394
Loc: Kodiak, Alaska
.338 Win mag. And its great on the big bears, moose, Mt. Goats..etc.
Federal premiums pushing 210 Nosler partitions would be perfect. I use them on everything here in Kodiak. And its a great excuse for a new gun.

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#5946410 - 09/25/15 01:33 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
Revoman Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 1214
Loc: Abilene Texas
I'd change bullet before I changed the gun, 7 mag is plenty. As with anything,,,,shot placement.
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#5946895 - 09/25/15 07:02 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
240z Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/20/10
Posts: 76
Loc: N. E. TX.
As previously stated the 7 mm mag. Is more than adequate for taking elk if the bullet is properly placed.

But If you want gut shoot them, then you need to step on up to a .50 BMG with a deep cavity hollow point bullet. And be prepared to do some tracking.
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#5946923 - 09/25/15 07:22 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
What Chad said.

Your numbers look like you are all about velocity. Sure speed is important, but don't forget bullet weight which also adds to energy delivery. I run a 180 gr Berger VLD in 7 Rem Mag, and every animal I have shot it into has died most ricki tick, including a bull elk at 200 yards.
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#5946927 - 09/25/15 07:26 PM Re: looking for higher caliber Elk gun... [Re: Rob Lay]
JCB Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 22837
Loc: M.I.A.
Get you a 300RUM! Its been my primary caliber since about 2000 and all I hunt is hogs and deer. Where I hunt long shots are pretty common so I like a big flat shooting gun that will put them down quick and that will help me eliminate a lot of guess work on hold over. I am always impressed with performance regardless if its a Yote at 10 yards or a 300 pound Boar at 300 yards. Then again I am under 6' and 150 pounds soaking wet so I am sure some will say I am compensating.

For Elk I would go with a Partition or a A-Frame. You put either one of those on a path to a Elks vitals and there aint much going to stop it from getting there.
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