I've finally chosen a caliber...

Discussion in 'Big Game' started by pigeonhunter, May 11, 2004.

  1. pigeonhunter

    pigeonhunter Well-Known Member

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    My next big game rifle will be a lefty Browning Stainless Stalker in 30/06. (If I don't blow all the money on shotguns and duck hunting :oops: )
     
  2. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    Congratulations on selecting what is probably (especially if you handload) the most versatile cartridge around. It's an ideal Elk cartridge, and can be adapted to everything from varmints to brown bear. Plus, every little mom & pop store in hunting country has '06 ammo, should you ever find yourself in need.

    I have an old (1976) Ruger M77; loaded with 165 grain Sierras and 56.5 grains of H4350 it will shoot 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards all day long.

    Now, we gotta get you into reloading brass.....
     

  3. gwp4ever

    gwp4ever Super Member

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    I'm not knocking the versatility of the '06 but it isn't the "ideal" elk cartridge. If you are talking stictly elk then you really need at least 7mm mag or .300 win. I prfer the .338. The '06 will handle them but eventually you come acrossed a big bull and some of them can take three or four hard hits from and '06 or .270. I've seen it several times. I've taken several good sized bulls with the .338 and it has made a believer out of me.
     
  4. Grouse Getter

    Grouse Getter Member

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    Yes the 30-06 is likely the most versatile rifle caliber there is. The 30-06 is to the rifle world what the 12 gauge is to the shotgun world. But as gwp4ever says elk are tough animals and I also believe the .338 is a better choice. I shoot a 7mm Rem Mag and have seen bulls hit with this cartidge and pile up after a few steps and others that act like they were not even hit and travel quite a ways before dropping, both with lungshots. I do a lot more deer hunting than I do elk hunting and for this I like the 7 Mag. But if I was to buy an elk only rifle it would no doubt be a .338 of some sort. That being said though the 30-06 is still a great cartridge and is plenty capable of taking elk and if you are looking for an good alround cartridge it is not a bad choice. :D
     
  5. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    I've heard a couple theories on why it happens, but I don't think anybody knows for sure.

    I've shot an elk with a .30-'06, about a 180 yard shot, broadside, and when I hit him, he dropped like he'd been hit with Thor's Hammer.

    My hunting partner had basically the same shot, except it was closer - about 125 yards - and he was shooting a .300 Weatherby Mag. His hit was basically the same as mine, and he's shooting quite a boomer, but his elk ran about 50 yards before it dropped.

    I've seen the same thing with whitetails and a .30-30; sometimes they drop right in their tracks, and sometimes they go 30-50 yards. When you field dress them, the heart and one or both lungs are hit - the internal damage looks the same.

    Howcome?
     
  6. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    I left Montana 4 years ago and have missed it for 4 years,I've killed plenty of elk and more mule deer and whitetails than I can count,and I did it with the 30/06 ruger 77,older version,I only have a weatherby 300 mag because it was a gift.I have only taken 3 deer with that gun,all the rest was with the 30/06 handloaded with a 180 gr hornady,and partitions.One shot was measured by a game warden 388 yards.I plan to get another rifle one day but it will never replace the many memorys of my old 30/06 and almost all was one shot kills,I've only had to shoot another round 2 different times because they were too close for proper expansion.The 30/06 is king of the hill in my book.Drop-Shot
     
  7. TXVAshooter

    TXVAshooter Super Member

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    Re: re: I've finally chosen a caliber...

    Drop shot, I'm not sure what the answer is either, but here's my 2 cents. I truly believe there is such thing as too much gun for an animal. I can't speak to elk, I've never shot one. But IMHO, when I've used my .243 on deer, I've dropped them with one shot. I used a .300 mag once on one, and blast if it didn't take two shots to dispatch it. While shot placement is always a rule to take into consdideration, this deer that took the .300 mag twice was about 75 yards, broadside for the first shot in the shoulder. went running pell mell away from me before stopping about 150 yards out behind brush, finally stepped out enough to put another bullet into it. It dropped then. Two bullet channels in that deer, both in the shoulder, but narrow holes on the exit. Before folks ask if I had FMJs, no, they were 180 grain softtips. My theory was that the bullet just goes to fastf ast through lightskinned game, where as the slower .243 has time to create a wound channel that drops them. No disagreeing with the .30-06 and .338 both probably being great calibers. Need to use an adequate caliber, and be sure of that shot placement is the most important thing.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    TX...

    You are right in the X ring with that! :D Nothing makes up for shot placement. :idea: It is THE most critical element in taking an animal with bow or firearm.

    Extra horsepower is necessary for the bigger animals, simply because they ARE bigger.

    HOWEVER:
    I had a friend who lived in Africa for six years and shot some problem elephants, about 75 of them...He used a Winchester Mdl 70 in 30-06 with 220 solids. :shock: He also used a vintage Weaver K2.5 and Weaver mounts. He would take the scope off for close work. The scope returned close enough to zero that it took him one trial shot, then one adjustment to get it right back on. He didn't put the scope back on until everything had calmed back down, however. Back then there weren't as many choices in moderately priced QD mounts.

    He lived through all this, just to come back to Nevada and be crushed to death when his car fell off jack stands while he was under it. When I heard about his demise this way, I made up my mind to go where I wanted and hunt what I wanted...find the $$$ somehow and not worry about some bad Dugga Boy or old gray Uncle Big Ears doing me in.

    Moral...choose an appropriate caliber and get your a** out there and LIVE your dream. A great old '06 in the hands of a marksman is hard to beat... :wink: :D

    Regards,
    luv2safari
     
  9. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Amen brother,luv2safari I may never get to hunt the game you have hunted but I enjoy every story almost as if I was there.I wish I was younger and heathy but keep em coming,I'm lovin it.I am out of a wheel chair and walking around a bit,and this site keeps my heart pumping,Thanks.Drop-Shot
     
  10. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Hey wwb,I have a theory,1 year I shot a 5x5 elk with the same kind of 30/06 you have,he went down for the count right there,about 90 yard shot,the next year on that same set of rocks I shot a 5x4 in the same place,he acted like he wasn,t hit.I watched him run down a gulch and up a hill and he died before I could shoot again.Both were the same distance,180 gr partitions.Inside he was like jello.I think animals are like people in that some are more defensive and tougher.I worked my young butt off hauling that elk out.I saw a man get shot when I was 15,he was climbing through a window right by the main road in West Palm Beach Fl about 1966,he was shot with a 30/30,he jumped down and ran untill he hit a ditch and then fell.We witnessed it so we had to stay for the coroner,he said the guy was dead instantly.I said no sir he ran,the coroner replied some people run as much as a mile before stopping,some run less.I watched a home owner(found this out later)protect his self by shooting this 17 year old that had a fling with his wife,and she stopped it.After seeing that I think,and I am no expert,that some people are harder to kill than others.FMJ 9mm has killed alot of folks and wounded twice as many.So I think??? mabe some animals are like people and are harder to kill?How does that sound?Reasonable?Drop-Shot
     
  11. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    :idea: Drop Shot,

    You are right about there being a difference among individual animals within a herd. We had a hunter take a very nice cape buffalo with two shots from a 375 H&H and 300 gr. solids. The buff ran about 60 yards and fell over in a death roar and thrash of his head.

    That afternoon he shot a somewhat smaller buffalo with the same rifle and ammo. He made about the same shot...across a front leg and through the heart...put all four rounds into the buff and watched it vanish into the miombo bush, as if never touched! By the time we had kicked buff out two more times we had hit him 16 times with everything from the 375 to 470 NE. He was several miles from the original encounter when he made up his mind to drop over and die. He was an expensive d**ned buffalo at the price of big bore ammo in Africa. :wink:

    Go figure...??!! :? :?
     
  12. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Hey luv2,how heart pounding is going into the bush looking for a wounded animal?He could be lying in wait for you.I would love to go 1 time,with an experienced hunter.I have to admit I'm abit scared of hunting an animal that hunts back.It has to be a great rush,I could only imagine.Drop-Shot
     
  13. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    D-S,

    Old M'bogo has a trick he uses often. :wink: When wounded, he'll run down an open trail through the bush or long grass until he is out of sight. He then leaves the trail to one side or the other, runs out about 10 yards to the side and circles back 30-40 yards...then waits for everyone to pass him up before he steam rollers out from the side and behind some startled oaf who gets tossed, then pounded to fertilizer into the red African clay. :shock:

    I learned early on to be the nimrod stuffed safely into the center of the line :idea: ...never at either end. :!: :twisted:
     
  14. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    That makes the hair on my arms and back stand up,and chill bumps,and I'm no wuss,I'm too old to start now myself,but I sure enjoy your stories.Drop-Shot
     
  15. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Luv2 and 8point I bought a 338 winchester 70 at the gun show and It's used,it has a black fore end and then wood all the way,in fair condition,I want to know more,the serial # is G1457615 ,the first scope hole towards the rear of the gun looks like it's buggered up a little,it looks like it may be a little bit larger so I'm going to take it to a gunsmith for inspection and see if that will be a problem.I got it for 345.00 out the door.Can you tell me from serial number when it was made?Drop-Shot
     
  16. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    txvashooter,I've done alot of thinking about your post that some guns can be too much gun for that animal,and I feel you have some thing there.I shot a mule deer at 80 yards with a 300 weatherby mag,I was hunting elk but I did have a muley to get for the year,It took two shots,I have shot mule deer with a 270 and you can't die any faster,he was a 5x6 and a monster muley,about the size of the one I shot the year the year before with a 300 weatherby that took two shots.I'm not sure that the 243 would have been enough but the 270 sure was.I may well try the 243 when I get back,cause I'm starting to see it your way,mabe the243,the gun I leave home,would be the perfect mule deer round,and the 243 don't kick like a mule.I looked at an older ruger in 270 and the folks at the table said "make me an offer,I can't give that gun away" I may get one again,Heck,I don't know why I got rid of my last one.Thanks for making me re think calibers.Drop-Shot
     
  17. TXVAshooter

    TXVAshooter Super Member

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    DS-

    Those 'ol 270 are a fine deer caliber, fo sure. I'd gladly take one for my classic calibers list. My family actually has a few in it, we all kinda share guns for the most part. My father also has a .270 Weatherby Mag. What a boomer! But hell on wheels for long shots. Always enjoy your posts, DS, keep 'em coming.

    TXVA
     
  18. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Thanks txvashooter,I needed to hear that.Some times I feel I post too much but I'm disabled and can't do much but sit at the computer and make short walks.I just bought a liberty gun safe and am cleaning all my guns one at a time and enjoying it,putting all the rifles on one side and shot guns and unscoped rifles on the other.Thats about as much fun as I can get right now,but I'm getting better.I have my old 10 gun safe that I keep in the closet and will put some guns in there.Have a surpurb day and talk to you later.Drop-Shot
     
  19. 8pointduck

    8pointduck Super Member

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    You post all you want my friend. :)
     
  20. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    Dropshot,
    You keep right on posting, Buddy. I for one like reading your posts. You make sense and know what you're talking about. Heck you're kinda like a teacher. Telling us about lapping barrels and how to turn a quick dollar at the gun show. Keep em coming ,PLEASE!