The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old February 17, 2011, 12:00 PM   #76
All in moderation
Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 74
I wasn't to bothered by the op question. Reading into what he said, I took it that he was an experienced hunter (bow hunt 20-30 yards). He knows how to get close. He already has an excellent rifle and caliber, so this tells me he has some firearm experience. I don't know why he wants this info, maybe he is just trying to figure out the maximum capabilities of his firearm to set a limit for himself. He asked the right question, is it enough to QUICKLY kill an elk? So to me it seems he has the ethics. What bothers me is comments of others answering these type of questions. I primarily hunt elk, it is my passion. I also shoot every week out to and beyond 1000 yards. Putting these experiences together I respect the fact that there is actually no need for a 500 yard shot, and there is definitely no chance at being able to make a 100% guarantee for anybody making a 500 yard shot in field condition on game. There is actually no guarantee for any shot.

The reason that these type of answers bother me is there are inexperienced hunters and shooters reading what we are saying. There are just way to many variables and skills needed to make a shot like that, to make it seem so easy. Yes there are guys I know that have the equipment, skill, and practice to take those shots. I would be glad to have these gentlemen in my hunting camp, because I know they would be the first people to pass on a shot like that when the conditions where not just right. These guys are not your average hunter/shooter. They already have thousands and thousands of rounds of experience and are competition class shooters. I suggest, to everyone not to even contemplate a shot like that till you have the experience to know when not to take the shot.

Lloyd, I don't mean any offense to you directly. There were other comments made that I could have used in this post for an example. I do not think you were trying to diminish the skill level needed to make a 500 yard shot. It is just that 100% absolute was the last thing that stuck in my mind. I am not against any type of hunting style at all. I'm not trying to stop people from taking the long shot. I just want to try and get the inexperienced to realize what it takes to make a shot like that.

Last edited by All in moderation; February 17, 2011 at 12:17 PM.
All in moderation is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 02:06 PM   #77
Lloyd Smale
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2005
Posts: 822
no offense taken and you made some good points. It just ****** me off when some wet behind the ear internet expert trys to push his idea of ethics on someone else. You have to keep in mind that half the guys posting here spend alot more time on a keyboard then they do with a rifle. Some just like to see there works in print.
Lloyd Smale is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 04:26 PM   #78
paul84043
Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2010
Location: Lehi, Utah
Posts: 30
The first elk I ever dropped with a rifle was from 460 yards across a small ravine. (scoped it the next year). I used a handhold on a small pine tree for stabilization, otherwise I would have gone prone.
Use your head, the little liney things in your scope and all that math junk that you thought you'd never use, some common sense and some patience.
Held over her back 1foot, (standing still) nailed her square in the killzone.
Ruger M77 7mm-08, zeroed at 200 yards. (I zero at 250 now) excellent elk rifle and reasonably accurate out to 1000 yards with the right bullet.
3/4 MOA (3/4" circle/5 shots) at 100yds. 1 MOA (3" group) at 300yds 1.5 MOA (7.5" group) at 500yds (though most of the variation I'm sure is me...)
When I hit the elk, I was using a 165 gr. Winchester white box soft points.
She ran about 70 yards, stopped, laid down and we let her bleed out for about 20 minutes before approaching. I did rack another in and follow her, if she would have kept going, I would have hit her again.
I found most of the bullet just under the skin on the far side of her chest (after breaking the far rib) when we cleaned her out.
As far as I'm concerned, that was a perfect hit, the bullet expended all of its energy inside the animal with maximum penetration and no overkill.
My father in law hunts elk with a .280 and has dropped many with it. It's a very capable round. The variable is you.
You need to know your weapon better than anyone. If you can put the right bullet where you want it, you can drop an elk with any decent hunting rifle.
I use a 25-06 for deer and Coyotes, and the 7mm-08 for larger game.
We never hunt for trophies, though I don't judge, we clean our own animals, butcher them ourselves and eat what we kill. Elk bottles great!!
paul84043 is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 06:29 PM   #79
gaseousclay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 4, 2010
Location: Frozen Tundra
Posts: 869
Quote:
It just ****** me off when some wet behind the ear internet expert trys to push his idea of ethics on someone else. You have to keep in mind that half the guys posting here spend alot more time on a keyboard then they do with a rifle. Some just like to see there works in print.
I think you're letting your ego get a hold of you. nobody here is claiming they are experts but a lot of people are saying that even experts exercise extreme caution and more than likely wouldn't attempt a 500 yd shot at an elk. that's it.
gaseousclay is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 10:09 PM   #80
All in moderation
Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 74
I don't think Lloyd is being egotistical, I just think he is passionate on this subject.
All in moderation is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 11:10 PM   #81
blutob
Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2008
Posts: 70
I must be a really bad shot, or blind, because I would never even consider trying a 500 yd shot at anything! I'm sure that a very highly trained, expert marksman, who practices regularly, could make the shot under ideal conditions, but less than 1% of the hunting population fits those qualifications.
blutob is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 11:36 PM   #82
Bamashooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2010
Posts: 1,711
Anyone have the 5th edition sierra reloading manaual? Look in the .280 section ( page 451). This lady made a 350yrd. shot on a 6x6 with a 160gr. bullet loaded with 56gr. of H4831. That would put the velocity at just over 2700fps and energy around 2600ft.lbs. With a 150gr. bullet and IMR-4350 it will give you 2900fps and 2800ft.lbs. of energy. A shooter with skill could make a 500yrd. shot with that bullet. I think I could make that shot, but would I try? Best I can tell its not really anyones business. Every hunter has that decision to make.
Bamashooter is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 01:36 AM   #83
All in moderation
Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 74
Sure the velocity and energy are there but there is so much more needed to make that shot. If I was to go into complete detail this would be a long answer, but I will cover some of the important points just to get an idea. First you need a very specific bullet designed for that shot, something with a high ballistic coefficient. That usually is the heavier bullets for any caliber. Then you need a very accurate rifle, something capable of delivering moa all the way out to 500 yards. That would be all shots into 5" at 500 yards. Now you need to get a good secure rest, prone with a bipod would be a good idea. Now break out your range finder because if you are off your range estimation 50 yards you will miss by 13" vertical. Find some way to accurately compensate for 42" of drop and make sure you don't forget shot angle can cause vertical error. Next brake out you kestral weather meter because with just 10 mph wind you will need almost 13" of compensation. Now add that to your moa error and we can be out 18" of horizontal. Wind is very hard to predict because you can't see it and it is always moving and changing. Compensate for wind while still compensating for vertical. Get ready to shoot, Oh wait the elk just moved, now move your whole shooting position to regain your natural point of aim. Get ready to shoot again, Oh wait the wind changed, correct hold for changes, get ready to shoot. Everything is holding, you are in your natural point of aim, relaxed and the shot feels good. Squeeze the trigger wait for recoil, and follow through. Recoil causes you to loose sight picture so you have no idea if you made a hit, luckily we had a spotter with us. He calls the shot. 3" low and 7" back. We just made a liver shot because the elk just wouldn't stand totally broadside for us. The elk took off full run. Get back on target holding natural point of aim, compensate for your new wind and distance that we now don't have time to calculate, then calculate for your first shots miss, and compensate for the speed and direction the elk is moving all at 500 yards. Make follow up shot. Total miss. Elk disappears in cover. We decide that we made a kill shot but we have to wait for the elk to go down and die, so now we have time to analyze what happened. To make this simple let me tell you straight out. We missed our wind call by 2 mph, and where on the out side of our 5" group. This was actually a pretty good shot, but at 500 yards every little error compounds our mistakes 5 times.

Luckily we had a spotter and the ethics to spend half a day picking up the trail and tracking the elk. We recover our trophy and once we get back home we jump on the forums we belong to and say we just made a one shot kill on an elk at 500 yards. Everyone tells us congratulations your the man. We feel proud and say thanks, all the time knowing how close we came to actually loosing our elk.

I really did not cover everything it takes to make this shot but I think you may get the idea. Now consider we were on the the second day of the hunt we still had 3 days left to find a better situation, or better yet we stalked 300 yards and got to within 200 yards of the first elk for that shot. I ask why do you feel a need to take that risk?
All in moderation is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 07:14 AM   #84
Lloyd Smale
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2005
Posts: 822
yup it must be my ego Couldnt be the 40 years ive spent shooting almost ever day and the many many thousands of rounds i put downrange every year. Plain and simple if you cant walk the walk dont! But to the key board comandos that talk the talk maybe you just need a bit more trigger time and bit less keyboard time. ANYONE that knows me knows i post on a couple other fourms other then this and theres not one once of bs in any post i make. Shooting is my life. I dont fool around anymore with motorcyles, boats or snow machines. All my time and money goes into guns and shooting. Like ive posted before ive shot not just one but many deer at those ranges and havent wounded one yet. Elk arent some majic animal that bullets bounce off of or that have some kind of a force field around them. Like i also said snipers routinely make head shots at that range with 308s on targets alot smaller. Problem is very few are willing to put in the time or money to be able to do it. If your not one of them it doesnt give you any right to tell someone who does that what he does isnt ethical because you cant. This will be my last post on the subject. Im not going to waste any more time trying to beat the truth into minds that arent open.
Lloyd Smale is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 10:25 AM   #85
All in moderation
Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 74
Lloyd, again I wasn't targeting you in any way. If you check back a couple posts I was the one who defended you. I love that you are passionate about this subject. Because of your willingness to continue this post a lot of good information has come out for both sides of the argument. I am not a keyboard commando. Like I said, I also shoot every week. I am the first person to admit I am not the best shot out there, but I do own a rifle that I am capable of shooting moa out to 500 yards in some conditions. I say again I would rather have an experienced long range shooter in my camp than a wet behind the ear newbie who has no idea of his limitations. Would I want you specifically in my camp, sure! you sound like a person who loves hunting and shooting with a moral fiber of knowing what you are capable of. I think we would have many good talks around the camp fire and be able to bring game home ethically, even with our personal views on this subject.

Now as far as elk not being magical creatures that bullets bounce off of. Well, I must say that though I don't expect the bullets to bounce off, I do expect the elk to absorb two or three before they go down. That may just be my experience but it happens more times than not. If the elk does not go down, I also expect it to make it a greater distance than a deer, and it usually goes for the thickest cover it can find making tracking very difficult. Again I am not saying you can not kill an elk at 500 yards. I saw one video lately of a group making a 900+yard one shot kill on an elk with a 6.5-284. That elk however did not go down right away and the area they were shooting was kind of open. I admit I could learn a lot form guys like that. I just want the wet behind the ears hunters not to think that so many people are actually taking those shots, what it takes to make that shot, and even though some people have the skills for the shot they wait for better conditions.
All in moderation is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 11:27 AM   #86
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,597
Some people have the skill for those Ma Bell shots; most of us don't. I'm halfway fair to middling, but I've passed more than one shot because I didn't feel confident. My joke is that it's a Zen thing.

My father? He had the skill. Not just the skill, but the confidence to kill a deer at long range in front of witnesses. He didn't tell the stories, they did--or I'd never have known.

One vignette: Three guys, walking-hunting across the White's Mines ranch, west of Uvalde. Norther blowing. They see a way-over-yonder good buck, accompanied by a smaller buck and a few does. One guy sits down, takes a look through his scope and passes the shot because of too much wind. My father said, "Hell, I'll break his neck, from here." The two guys with him figured about 500 yards. The first shot missed, but gave him the windage correction. The next shot broke the deer's neck. Not bad for an offhand hold...

The longest offhand shot I ever saw him make was about 250 yards. He called the white spot and hit the white spot. He was around 65 or so years old at the time. That old Springfield wobbled around and wobbled around such that I was wondering if he'd ever shoot, and if he'd be able to hit. I'm just glad I didn't say anything. Sometimes, silence is indeed golden.

Some folks can, some folks can't.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 04:53 PM   #87
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,371
Back a ways in this string of notes, I said that I probably wouldn't attempt the 500 yard shot. I'm pretty sure I can make the shot, if the wind is mild and I have time and a good rest, and if I know what the range is. A good part of the reason that I probably wouldn't take the shot is that I have a rule that says I "don't shoot anything that's too big to drag". Heck, an elk is way too big to drag, and last thing I want to do is track a wounded elk half a mile and then have to get it back to where I could load it up. If I had the opportunity to shoot an elk, I'm going to have probably too much, rather than too little, rifle, and I want that rascal dead on the ground immediately. I just don't think I could be positive that I could deliver the knockout at 500 yards. But, I probably could, and if I had a herd of good big dumb friends or big strong nephews and sons standing around waiting to do all the tracking, dragging and grunt work, I'd be more inclined to try the shot. Back when I was younger, I shot deer at long ranges (700 was the longest), but when I got through dragging that buck across 700 yards of deep Louisiana mud (which just may be the worst gluelike mud on earth), I started rethinking long shots. So sure...I can make the shot. But I'm not going to do it. Call me lazy or call me smart. Your choice.
603Country is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 05:16 PM   #88
hooligan1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 3,452
Okay gentlemen, here's the deal, if you take a 500yd shot at an elk, and make a bad hit on the animal, there's gonna be some tracking,(hopefully the rascal runs toward you, but he probably won't) that's also hunting! I couldn't blame anyone for trying it, because I saw a time when I definetly would of. But after tracking whitetails as long as I have, I'm not so ambitious anymore to wear my trackin boots all night.Some of the members here always post how ETHICS should be percieved,,,,Not even knowing in person, the one who makes a 500 yd shot on an elk or a freaking raccoon for that matter. Like I said from some of the targets that have been posted on this forum,(they shoot pretty damn good for computer geeks)I know good and well that with their rifle, they are capable of shooting this far EASILY. Just think of how many animals have fallen to this old caliber. Elmer Kieth shot hundreds of animals with his.If it was good enough for him... Nobody should criticize anyone, that practices this range and tries to take a bull at this range. THIS IS THE FIRING LINE...not the critics of hunting ethics club. Now someone could start an ETHICS thread, But the OP didn't necessarily ask for that in this thread. REREAD THE OP'S Question then do your college best to answer it.
__________________
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 05:39 PM   #89
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 5,588
Quote:
Back a ways in this string of notes, I said that I probably wouldn't attempt the 500 yard shot. I'm pretty sure I can make the shot, if the wind is mild and I have time and a good rest, and if I know what the range is. A good part of the reason that I probably wouldn't take the shot is that I have a rule that says I "don't shoot anything that's too big to drag". Heck, an elk is way too big to drag, and last thing I want to do is track a wounded elk half a mile and then have to get it back to where I could load it up.
Well then I wouldn't hunt elk if I were you. My experience has been I've only shot two elk where I didn't have to quarter them and haul them out. I was lucky enough to drop a cow on a trail on a ranching for wildlife and could load her with my come-a-longs, the other was hunting another RFW property and the ranch hands saw me drop it and drug it to my pickup with their quad.

Most of the time I've either had to pack the elk out on my back or on a horse. Less things go wrong if you carry it yourself. So if you want to shoot one where you hope they are going to be because of easy access to haul out, you are going to have a long wait. If you want to kill elk you have to go where the elk are and it is rarely where you want them to be for convience IME.

I don't mind the work getting an animal out of the mountains. You have to pay a price for the experience, and hard work is easier than money for me these days to part with. I'll do the work before and after the elk is down, and it makes for one hell of a memorable hunt. Of course this is just my opinion so TIFWIW.
taylorce1 is online now  
Old February 18, 2011, 06:27 PM   #90
paul84043
Member
 
Join Date: April 20, 2010
Location: Lehi, Utah
Posts: 30
Personally I think it has alot to do with where you hunt.
I'm in Utah and alot of the areas we hunt are very large, very open and very flat. Getting up to 300yds may be nearly impossible, sometimes, if you want to fill your tag, you've got to take a longer shot. But you need to put in the time, practice, and commitment it takes to feel comfortable with it as well.
I severly dislike people that take what I would consider to be an inhumane shot. Know your equipment and how to use it. It also helps to have a spotter, an extra set of eyes and ears to watch the animal, and also to listen for the slap when you make a hit. Lots of times it's very difficult to do that alone...
paul84043 is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 10:31 PM   #91
fletchbutt152
Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2006
Posts: 60
Good elk rifle? No problem!

Take a look at a Lazzeroni in Warbird. 500 yards on elk? Piece of elk steak!
fletchbutt152 is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 11:34 PM   #92
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,371
Yep Taylorce1,

That's why I don't hunt elk. It isn't the money. I just don't have the urge. As I get older I find that I enjoy the hunt more than the shot and I find that I don't shoot game as much as I once did. When I was younger, I'd have taken that long shot and tracked that elk forever, if necessary. Now more of my hunting is on Coyotes and the hogs that are digging up the back part of my ranch. So when I said ya'll could call me lazy or call me smart, I guess the truth is more toward my being too lazy to work that hard anymore. It's easy to drag a coyote, and I get a lot of fun out of the hunt. And if I shot an elk, my wife would be on my case about just where in the world did she expect me to put all that frozen meat, and I don't want that discussion either.
603Country is offline  
Old February 18, 2011, 11:40 PM   #93
reloader28
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2009
Location: nw wyoming
Posts: 963
I swore I wouldnt get into these long range arguements again, but sorry. Not a rant though.

If you catch a calm elk, yes, 90% of the time you can drop them pretty easy (in my experiences). If you jump them (like alot of guys do) or they get a hint of something wrong and get their adrenalin moving, then most times you have problems. Then their harder to put down like anything.

I think you guys are over thinking the skill it takes to shoot at 500yds. Yes, you should practice. But, did you ever wonder why women and kids usually make excellent shots on game? Its cause they dont think about where to hold, how much wind is blowing. They just do it and the animal drops. My wife and daughters have all made 1 shot kills at 300yds and beyond with 243's.

I've made several 500yd shots, my first deer when I was 14. I didnt shoot that much and didnt try to do the scientific thing on it, I just held it on her back like Dad said, and down she went (with a straight 6x scope). I've put 2 holes 6" apart in the lungs of a running bull elk and a hole thru the heart of a running whitetail doe. Both at loooonnng range and both died within seconds. I didnt think about it, I didnt have time. I just shot and down they went.

I am not an excellent shot, just average I think, but something works. With todays modern guns and scopes, it really aint that hard to do and sometimes necessary.

You dont need a tack driver. A 1 1/2" group at 100yds, that is still doable on a deer at 500yds. Elk are a bigger target yet.

I've also seen more animals run farther wounded at 150-250yd shots than the farther out ones. Personally, I think its cause the bullet is going to fast at those ranges to perform to its potential. It slows down and does what its supposed to do farther out.

I have noticed that most guys (not all) that argue against long range killing live in areas that it is never needed. Sometimes, theres no getting around it to fill your tag out here. Dont over think it or you are likely to dowt yourself and miss anyway. I think thats usually what happens. Just make the shot.

I dont want you to think I do long range stuff all the time. I love putting the sneak on stuff in the timber and shooting at a few yards in its bed, it just dont always happen that way.


If this sounds like a rant, its not. I'm just giving my opinion from friends, family and my experiences.
reloader28 is offline  
Old February 19, 2011, 07:32 PM   #94
blutob
Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2008
Posts: 70
603 Country,
I understand your sentiments completely. When I was younger (I'm 54 now), I would usually hunt the part of my property that was way back (4500 ft from the road), and take any shot I could get on deer (there are no elk in NY). The results included many long tracking sessions and exhausting drags of deer back to the road through mud, swamps, etc., many times in the dark. Sometimes on longer shots there were so many tracks I couldn't even figure out which ones belonged to the deer I shot.

The last 3 years I have set up some stands about 300 yards from the road and have spent more time hunting that area, with great success. It is a thicker area so the shots are closer (within 100 yds), and it takes about 15 minutes to get the animal to the vehicle. What was I thinking before! I guess I've become lazy or smart also.
blutob is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 05:05 PM   #95
RwBeV
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 112
The original question- Yes a 280 can take an elk cleanly at 500 yards. Are you capable of making a shot like that? I don't know. I live in the west and I hunt in the west, if you come out here and tell someone how they should hunt your probably going to have a black eye. Same as telling folks out here how they should live its just not going to happen. I have over 30 elk to my credit some over 500 yds. Most where packed out on my back now at the age of 50 and 2 back surgeries later I still pack them out on my back. I shoot a custom Ruger M77 in 6.5-06 it has killed most of my elk and none have ever been lost. Would I tell someone he had to hunt the sameway I do...Hell no, how you hunt and what you shoot is your business.

The worst hunting mistake I ever seen was with an 8mm Rem Mag, the first year they came out, A hunting companion of mine shot a spike elk 12 times yes 12 times, Starting at about 200 yds. the mistake was in bullet selection. I don't remember what he was using but they just blew up before they penetrated. I figure he was using bullets designed for the 8x57 and was driving them fast out of that big old magnum. Noting to do with ethics just a mistake thats all.

Don't tell me how to hunt and I wont tell you to kiss my #%& . If we out here in the west have to live like folks from other states tell us we should there probably wont be any hunting out here and we wont have to worry about 500 yd shots on anything and I do mean anything.

Instead of telling each other how we should hunt we should be trying to give this fellow an honest answer to his questing. Yes a 280 will kill an elk cleanly at 500yds if you can do your part.

Bob
RwBeV is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 05:35 PM   #96
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,597
Summation: There are quite a few 500-yard elk rifles.

There are far fewer 500-yard elk shooters.

Enough...
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14074 seconds with 9 queries