Let's buy the perfect out west gun.

Songdog":o40dpzfe said:
I’ll respectfully, but whole-heartedly, disagree.... it DOESN’T “hold true”..... a bullet in the grass bag is a bullet in the grass bag.... it matters little if it’s .243 or .338. There is no “enough gun” to reliably kill stuff with poor shot placement... period. Bigger guns don’t seem to make much difference on bad hits.... big guns just seem to make more bad hits (recoil and potential shooter error go hand in hand).

Furthermore..... starting bullets in a bad place, intending for them to end up in a good place.... is a recipe for long tracking jobs and hellish pack outs. For example: if you’re aiming at the lift hip, trying to drive it through all the clockwork and into the right shoulder... that starts the bullet out a long ways from where it needs to do the bulk of its destruction. I don’t need a rifle that will run a bullet through an elk lengthwise..... because I’m not going to try to shoot through one lengthwise. BUT... I do need one that can handle breaking an elk humerus bone and keep on truck in’.... because I am likely to encounter an elk humerus, whether intentionally or unintentionally, because I’m trying to shoot them very close to where that bone is typically located.

Finally.... bullet technology has come a LONG way.... we no longer have to rely on bullet mass.... we can hedge our bets with bullet construction. So.... the old adage of “use enough gun” is still valid... bullets and cartridges are so good now.... that a lot more rounds can be considered “enough gun”.

Shoot the biggest round you can reliable shoot, put a bullet in it that’s appropriate for the task at hand, and be judicious with shot placement.... if that’s not “enough gun”.... then hunt something else.
My emphasis was on clean kill.

Some of the examples you offered are great examples of bad ideas in action.

I’m sure those happen and I’d never encourage them.

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Songdog":31pg69tm said:
I’ve got a couple of the M-mags here Scotty.... to do just that. We’ll have to compare notes.... once I get around to working on a 162 load.

Where'd you grab the mags from?

And, yup, I agree. I love to shoot long and have been part of some longer shots on animals, but it is still exciting as all get out to be close to them buggers. I am a public land out of stater, like alot of us, so I can either be prepared to shoot long on reasonable opportunities or not have elk in my freezer for the year.. I like to eat... :mrgreen:

And yeah, I fall in the camp of great bullets outta something with some juice, like the 7 Rem or 300 Win. If they are too much to shoot well the 270, 280 and 30-06 are plenty as well..
I think a lot about shot placement. With well over 100 big game animals in my pile I believe that I have learned a little. One of the first things I learned is that every shot is 'NOT THE PERFECT SHOT", we would hope that would be the case, but in reality it is not. A little gust of wind, an unseen twig, the animal moving between when your brain says shoot, and the impact of the bullet. The farther out the more critical those little annoying events, the greater the effect on the point of aim. Several years ago my partner and I killed two bull elk out of a large herd within seconds of each other. Both of us are seasoned hunters and shooters, but we both failed to hold nearly far enough to compensate for the wind. In fact we didn't compensate at all. The result was at least a 15" wind drift at 400 yards. We were shooting a 338 and 300 WM. I truly believe that a lessor cartridge would have resulted in a wounded elk, moving into another county, and dying there. As it was we were able to get a second shot and put them both on the ground. Once again, ENERGY stepped up and perhaps saved our bacon. You cannot always depend upon the perfect, so use enough gun to cover your asp, when things go wrong.
In a perfect world, everyone would make a perfect shot. However, as most know, hunting is not a controlled environment, and bad shots do still happen. I will still take something bigger, with more power in those instances 100% of the time.

A gut shot elk with a 243 is one you will likely never find and chase for miles and miles. A gut shot elk with a 7/30/33 mag is one you will still likely recover, the elk will bed down a lot sooner with that much more damage and energy to it. Same goes for a deer. A gut shot deer will run a long ways with a 243, and you may never retrieve it.. A gut shot deer with a 7 mag is still going to hit with enough authority that you will either get another shot in it before it runs off, or it will die within a couple few hundred yards.

Kudos to the guys who have never made a marginal hit on big game. But I'll bet you dollars to donuts a magnum will definitely help you in those rare occasional instances when it does happen. That's why I use enough gun, because shit happens in the real world of hunting and a perfect shot isnt always made, regardless of range or caliber. Not saying everyone needs to go buy a magnum, but if you shoot it well, theres really no reason not to hunt elk with one. Elk are one of the tougher NA big game. It will only help you if a bad shot happens, it will not decrease your odds any that's for certain. A bad shot can still happen with a lesser caliber just as likely as a bigger caliber, but the bigger caliber has the extra HP to inflict little more damage and have a higher percentage of recovering it, or getting another shot in it before it decides to go on a marathon.

Bottom line is shot placement is critical, obviously. That holds true with anything. Not saying a bigger rifle makes up for that. No one goes into the woods planning to make a marginal shot, but it will happen eventually, and you will have had a greater chance of tagging that animal if you had brought a little bigger rifle along. That's all!!
6mm Remington":19sdkt0i said:
Winchester Model 70 EW SS -
Ruger Hawkeye
Ruger American

Caliber - 6.5 PRC - 7mm-08 - 7x57 Mauser - 280 Remington - 280 AI - 30-06 - 300 WSM

6x42mm Leupold
6x36mm Leupold
3.5-10x40mm Leupold B&C reticle
4.5-14x40mm Leupold B&C reticle

Those are my picks.

all good suggestions. I would think the 6.5 x 55 and the Creedmoor would also work. Personally, I am happy with the 275 H & H. Excellent for Caribou, Wolf, Deer, Sheep and Goats. My husband has a 270 Weatherby that works well for the aforementioned species also. He likes and uses the 270 Wetherby far more than his 257 Weatherby or 300 Weatherby, but he does move up to the 340 Weatherby when headed out for Moose, Bison, Muskox, Bear or Elk. Hard to go wrong with a Weatherby built rifle
My longest successful shot at Elk (haven't lost one yet and won't if I can help it) was 250 yards on the trot broadside. Most Elk my group have shot over the years have been within 100 and several as short as 30. I would not hesitate to hunt Elk with a 7mm-06 or 308. But then again, that .30-06 will do just fine.
My longest kill shot was 540 yards, I was prone, bedded in, and ready when they came out of the timber. That shot was most likely about 8 or 9 years ago. My 2020 distances on two one shot elk kills were, 266 and 410. I consider 300 yards point blank. In the majority of the country I hunt in, a shot under 200 yards, is highly unlikely. We have made a few over the years, but the majority of the shots, are farther. As a footnote, I lost a elk three years ago, he was facing me at 225 yards and I was prone. I believe I killed him but after over two hours of searching I gave it up. When I shot, he ran off with at least 30 other elk, no tracking, no blood no elk.
I am sorry to hear that Elkman. Losing an animal you know you hit is one of the downsides of hunting. I have done it and the memories drive me to be better shooter.

Here in AZ my group has mostly found Elk in the Pinyon / Juniper (PJs) forest. Shots can be very close, or quite far. A wounded Elk is really hard to find if they lose themselves in the PJ maze. That thick hair can soak up a lot of blood and there are already tracks everywhere. Frequently the only way to hunt them is by smell. I smelled myself up on one this year, but I was either moving too fast or too slow as all I saw was a rear leg and then it was gone.
2021 Win 70 EW.jpegFor me I think the cats meow western rifle is Winchesters new offering Model 70 EW with muzzle brake in 6.5 PRC
When the dust all settled nothing said here trump's JOC's
.270 Win for a Western rifle, Magnum rifles are a weak excuse for poor shooting.
There is no Elk in the west that can withstand a direct hit in the boiler room with the old tryed and true 160 NP. For over 300 yds the 150 ABLR will fold up 900lb Bull Moose
Like a cheap suit.
So buy a Tikka in .270 and never look back, it's an unbeatable combo of " Big Medicine" for any game in the hands of a man that knows his gun.
Simple as that. If your in the Big Magnum camp, and it makes you more comfortable to lug one , go for it!