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Thinking the hardest thing to do is NOT SHOOT. If it’s not a nearly sure thing for whatever caliber you’re using, just accept that you have to walk out the woods “skunked”. Nearly anything will kill the critter if everything is just right….but more power/good bullet construction gives a wider range of acceptable shots.
 

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Experienced hunters please comment................ Many shooters (like myself) have but one big game rifle. Questions are asked often if a certain cartridge is adequate for this or that game. It is always very interesting to see the suggestions, etc. But usually not front and center is the most important factor......the rifleman. Such as his or her shooting skill. Range estimation. Knowledge of the quarry's anatomy. Understanding the rapid drop in downrange energy. And the temperament to hold one's fire if conditions just aren't right for a clean kill.
Such discussions bring to mind an older customer and his wife (both now passed on) that hunted deer and elk together, he with a 30/06 and she with a 250 Savage (which he called a 250/3000). He cautioned his wife to only take broadside shots under a hundred yards, and said she usually dropped her animals where they stood. I would not be surprised if she killed them with the 87 grain bullet that Savage loaded to get over 3000 fps.
I think if I had no access to a more potent rifle I would take my 6mm Rem. on an elk hunt.
I would choose .308 plenty of knock down power. Good enough to kill any animal in
North America , or my .444 marlin Winchester
It’s great hunter in the brush. My .02 thx
 

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It’s a good man who can have the right gun at the right time .
Most of us have to do the best we can with what we have got at the time we need it.
If you have to spend more time because of what you have that’s ok just don’t shoot hoping for the best .
Take your time , breath deep , remember what it is you need to do and do it properly.
Nobody wants to lay in bed regretting pulling the trigger especially if it was just to make a great tale to brag about.

cheers.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Thinking the hardest thing to do is NOT SHOOT. If it’s not a nearly sure thing for whatever caliber you’re using, just accept that you have to walk out the woods “skunked”. Nearly anything will kill the critter if everything is just right….but more power/good bullet construction gives a wider range of acceptable shots.
Well said @ribbonstone2, well said.

RJ
 

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My Uncle Harold hunted with a 35 Remington rifle. But Aunt Lillian hunted deer and bear with a Remington slide action rifle chambered for the 25 cartridge. Ballistics and performance very similar to the 25-35 Winchester. She downed many animals with her rifle while hunting within the steep country of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. No animals travelled very far after her bullets smashed through the chest organs. The so-called experts state that this cartridge is too weak for bears but apparently, bears do not read such things. What's my point? A good big game bullet that is shot into the chest organs will cause rapid demise of that animal. The diameter of the bullet prior to expansion is of little consequence.

TR
 

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What a particular bullet and rifle is capable of doing and what actually happens on impact with a living animal is so shrouded with variables that the differences can be extreme. Even if the bullet takes out both lungs, the heart and the liver an animal can still function for at least 30 seconds. Where one animal drops DRT another will run a long ways.

I am not, what I consider to be, a good hunter. I sound like a mad bear moving through the woods and if the tracks are easy to follow I can get off track easily. I am a good shot and my guns and loads are capable of sub MOA shooting. I have walked away from more animals than I have shot. I have never had to track an animal that I shot. I shoot CNS shots only. That is how I started hunting and it is the only way that I will harvest an animal. Yes, I walk away from a lot of game but that is OK with me.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Having started shooting small furry ground dwelling rodents at an early age has given me a lot more confidence in my shooting abilities and my rifles. What may be more than adequate for me, others may pass on.

Nothing beats trigger time at a critter the size of small red bull cans that may decide to move at any second. Gotta be quick on the aim 'n squeeze!

RJ
 

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Having started shooting small furry ground dwelling rodents at an early age has given me a lot more confidence in my shooting abilities and my rifles. What may be more than adequate for me, others may pass on.

Nothing beats trigger time at a critter the size of small red bull cans that may decide to move at any second. Gotta be quick on the aim 'n squeeze!

RJ
When I was a kid, the adults always outdid me when Prairie Dog shooting. It used to bug me terribly as I was almost always a better wing shooter that my Dad and his friends. After my Dad died, I took about a 10 year break from Prairie Dogs, but in my early 20's started again. In those years I spent a lot of bench time and I think my confidence improved.

Bench time...target shooting...clays...whatever shooting related can improve your confidence and abilities. Correct rifle along with a good bullet will take care of the rest.
 

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The shorter the season...or the more you paid for a 3-5 day hunt...the harder it is to say “NOPE” and let the iffy shot go. Some times all you can get is one day to hunt...really does put the pressure on to shoot whatever is offered. We should pass on an iffy shot….but often don’t because we won’t get another.



(Although it’s common enough to fill a tag...and then immediately see a big one. It’s like they somehow know and just want to put in a “nany-nany-boo-boo”).


So we tend to go for much more cartridge than we really need in order to make ourselves think that it makes up for a less than ideal shot. More a placebo than an actual cure...but belief is part of the battle.


Not immune, I still bring a more powerful rifle on a rare out of state hunt, where I have very limited time…..much more powerful than the ones I’d bring for home-hunts where I’ll have as many days hunting as I care to take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
😂 i've killed a few neck shots in my day😂, but i'm inclined to go to the chest of the deer. my friend, using his 243, is always aiming at the shoulder or behind the shoulder. 100-105gr remmies, winnies, federales, hornady, sierra....you name, he has shot deer with it and they are drt or close to it(20ish yards). the hunting conditions are the same(30-50 yards) in the brush. but i gave up on the 243 and he still uses it. in my mind, the 25 calibers are the way to go for deer. in his mind, its the 24 calibers. heck, my ex wife uses/used a 243.

😂 one time i was using a 85gr barnes x-bullet(it was in the early '90s). the x-bullet was about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2" at 100 yards. i can't remember the powder i used(i think it was imr4831?). anyway, a 1 1/2" group at hunting ranges(50-70 yards max) wasn't that bad, but not that good. sub minute groups were the rule back then and all of my 243s were shooters. i did the ladder thing and i came up with 1 1/4 - 1 1/2". i did dig them up on my berm and they did an X. so i took them out and shot a doe. i shot her behind the shoulder and instead of coming to the deer's demise, she ran. alot. a 1/2 mile into the brush alot. there was snow on the ground but the deer did not bleed. so i tracked her, thru the brush, alot. there was small drop of lung blood(frothy bright red) every once in awhile and i hoped that she would go down, alot. but my prayers were not answered, or rather going on knees, i swore alot.😂 finally i came upon her dead. i noticed the entry wound was right where it was supposed to be(1/3 way up, behind the shoulder) and the exit wound was small about .24" . when i gutted her, i found a pencil type hole thru the doe's lungs. it was the same instant that i decided that the 243 wasn't good fer deer. there was some scuttlebutt(pre internet) that said that the x-bullet wouldn't open up consistently. it was right and i sold the 243 (again) and got something else.

i think it was at the time my custom 98 mauser(FN) in 7x57 came out. 7 mauser and 139gr hornady fn would make it my favorites.
View attachment 101530
What a strange bullet performance story. Thanks.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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@tdoyka I suspect that the petals blew off that Barnes catasstrophy of a bullet and all that was left was the base. That's been my experience with them at "close" range. To be more specific, at a range too close before they've had time to slow down some.

RJ
 

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it could be, but i think it never open up. i didn't see (in the lungs) the petals go off track. the x bullet was later known that unopening of bullet on game was iffy. the barnes tsx bullet is a good indication that barnes' learned what and what not to do. i have some x bullets that i've dug up(somewhere:unsure:) that i came to the conclusions that it was one unopened bullet to 3 or 4 X x-bullets.
 

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My brother in law has used a .243 since 1975. He's handloaded since about 1987 and loves Nosler Partitions. He says they work great. Close shots or out to 200 yards. He tried Nosler Ballistic Tips and they acted like a bomb with close shots. I told him they are designed as a long range bullet. They'll probably expand good at longer range. Close shots and they are nuclear.
 

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My brother in law has used a .243 since 1975. He's handloaded since about 1987 and loves Nosler Partitions. He says they work great. Close shots or out to 200 yards. He tried Nosler Ballistic Tips and they acted like a bomb with close shots. I told him they are designed as a long range bullet. They'll probably expand good at longer range. Close shots and they are nuclear.

in my 270 win i used 130gr nosler bt. i "guessed" at under 2800fps the bullet acted like a mushroom. at over 2800fps it was a grenade. i shot at a doe that was about 125+/- yards and the bt acted like a mushroom. i shot many deer at under 50 yards and the bt was a grenade(lungs and chunks of heart soup).


post #73
shootersforum.com/threads/a-max-bullets-for-hunting-whitetail-deer.155217/page-4

shootersforum.com/threads/why-the-hate-for-noslers-ballistic-tip-bullets.156817/
 

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Experienced hunters please comment................ Many shooters (like myself) have but one big game rifle. Questions are asked often if a certain cartridge is adequate for this or that game. It is always very interesting to see the suggestions, etc. But usually not front and center is the most important factor......the rifleman. Such as his or her shooting skill. Range estimation. Knowledge of the quarry's anatomy. Understanding the rapid drop in downrange energy. And the temperament to hold one's fire if conditions just aren't right for a clean kill.
Such discussions bring to mind an older customer and his wife (both now passed on) that hunted deer and elk together, he with a 30/06 and she with a 250 Savage (which he called a 250/3000). He cautioned his wife to only take broadside shots under a hundred yards, and said she usually dropped her animals where they stood. I would not be surprised if she killed them with the 87 grain bullet that Savage loaded to get over 3000 fps.
I think if I had no access to a more potent rifle I would take my 6mm Rem. on an elk hunt.
Fear the man with only one gun, as he probably knows how to shoot it. That does, of course, only apply if he actually uses the one gun he has.
Many moons ago, a Savage 99 in 250/3000 was my only centerfire. And it killed antelope, deer, and elk without issue. But I never took a shot beyond 120 steps on an elk. Never took a shot at less than 120 steps either, lol. My self imposed restriction was 150-175 yards. Then I acquired a 30-06 and quit worrying about whether I had enough gun. Btw, that elk went about 8-10 yards after the shot, made with 100gr Remington factory ammo.
The answer to your question is, take your 6mm Rem on an elk hunt. Practice from hunting positions, not just punching holes from a bench. Everything you mention about the rifleman is spot on, regardless of the caliber/game involved. Be confident in what you are competent with. And don't try and shoot an elk at 500 yards with it, please.

And then find a way to add to your choice of caliber. Just 'cause.... :cool:
 

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Absolutely correct placement of the bullet is all that’s need
Well that's almost true. But if you don't really know what your bullet does, your lost. Say hunting deer. Your using your 25-06. in that cartridge taking a lung shot with a 120 gr bullet and a 75gr V-Max your gonna find different performances with the bullet's! One may work well there and the other may not. There is no doubt in my mind that I could kill an elk with that 75gr V-Max but I would not take a lung shot. Yet the bullet I use to hunt with my 25-06 is a 117gr Inter lock and I'd do a lung shot in a heart beat with it. Two different bullet's at grossly different velocities that are going to react in different ways. Know you bullet! BTW, never used a 25-06 on elk as I have better choices.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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BTW, never used a 25-06 on elk as I have better choices.
I have, worked quite well with good placement. But as you said, rather have a little more freight in the train.
The 120gr bullets are pretty much all designed for the Weatherby velocities, and from my experiences; aren't consistently reliable when fired in a 25-06. Recovered a couple bullets that really didn't do much/any expansion; just tumbled and came to rest somewhere.

Cheers
 
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