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Old June 27, 2007, 04:18 PM   #1
mrawesome22
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.243Win for Elk?

Would you trust a .243Win rifle to take down your trophy Elk?

I wouldn't. But I was flipping through the channels a while back, and flipped to the Outdoor Channel. There was a boy (12 or 13 I'd say) sighting in on a nice bull. He shoots. He misses. Bull just takes a few steps and stops. The boy shoots again. A hit. The bull goes about 50yds and falls over. Then they cut to them (the boy, his dad, and a guide) standing by the bull. Then they say how far the shot was and what the rifle is chambered for. 535yds and a .243Win

Do you think this would be a common scenario at this range? Or did this kid just get really lucky?
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Old June 27, 2007, 04:43 PM   #2
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I think it is foolishness and probably fake.

Sorry, but your thread reminds of what I was thinking this weekend while watching a hunting show. Evey guy on there successfully shoots a trophy buck/elk/whatever.

Which ain't that hard when they release a farm-raised Elk and wait for it to trot a couple of yards away from the truck (just out of camera view), and then shoot the thing.

I've no evidence that this is going on, so I guess I'm just suspicious. And jealous if there is no hokey-pokey going on.
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Old June 27, 2007, 04:59 PM   #3
Edward429451
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Thats irresponsible shooting to me.
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Old June 27, 2007, 07:22 PM   #4
ZeSpectre
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Disclaimer - I'm not a hunter so I have no personal experience.

My dad took a LOT of deer at some pretty fair ranges (150-300 yards) with a Remington 760 in .243 and he swore by both the rifle and the caliber. He really liked it a lot and he was VERY good with it (though ya still suck with a pistol dad <grin>).

So it says something to me that he didn't even pause to select a bigger gun when he went on an elk hunt with my great-uncle.

.243 is a great round and you can do a LOT with it, but I think you also need to know what is outside the envelope for responsible hunting.
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Old June 27, 2007, 09:29 PM   #5
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Seems to me that the kid got lucky at that range, and it's quite irresponsible. The .243 will work for elk, according to many, though perhaps marginal. In any event, it's not really a great long-range round, nevermind the skill needed to shoot something at that range under field conditions. I'd not have big problem using a quality 95-107 grain hunting bullet from a .243 win on elk, within a reasonable distance - out to 300 yards or so. Wouldn't be my first choice, but it's not unethical in my book. It's the distance much more so than the caliber that makes the shot in question unethical. But it's really a combination - a .243 bullet will have lost a lot of steam at that range, and not being a particularly heavy bullet to begin with, it's not going to have much energy left for penetration when it reaches the target. Obviously it worked in this case, but it's a lot of luck, I'd guess. The fact that it took a *complete* miss of a very large animal, before the hit, speaks volumes about the unethical nature of the shot.

Elk are larger than deer, and thus have a larger vital zone, and thus the distances to shoot at them ethically are going to be a bit longer than deer. If I had a good field rest, and didn't have a lot of wind, I'd probably take a shot at an elk at up to 350 yards. If it was a huge 7x7 (bull of a lifetime), then I'd chance a shot out to 400. But 535? No way; just not ethical with the accuracy of my hunting rigs, my own mediocre skill, and field condition rests. Even assuming plenty of time to take the shot and little to no wind. And I'd definitely use a .270 or .30-06, not .243. I believe in some states you MUST use a .25 caliber or larger to be legal, though I think 6mm/.243 is the minimum in others, IIRC.

Fremmer, I wonder if you're right about that.... regardless, it's *definitely* the case that for every "X" number of succesful harvests you see on the hunting show, there are "Y" number of misses or woundings with no recovery - how many proportionally? I dunno; I'd sure love to know. Heck, they even show misses quite regularly, but usually only the ones which are immediately followed up with hits. There are also of course X*10 film sessions when no shot at game presents itself. Oddly enough, I've never seen them show hits which are bad hits that result in no recovery. But you KNOW it happens on film, since complete misses happen.
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Old June 27, 2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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I consistently drill the 500meter target at the local range w/ my .243. That being said, Iprobably would never take that shot on an elk.
Not a lot of knockdown w/ it at that range.
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Old June 28, 2007, 12:30 AM   #7
nkielborn
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the .243 is a great round at 350 yds it still has over 1000 ft lbs of energy with a 90 grain remington nosler bullet. its not ideal for elk i agree but it will do the job. somewhere i read ideally u would like to have over a 1000ft lbs of energy left when it hits large mammals. at the range better choices could have should have been made i grant yall that but the proper shot did its job in the end. i would not have taken the shot because of my inexpirence and i would rather not miss or gut shoot it.just my .02 cents
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Old June 28, 2007, 10:32 AM   #8
Art Eatman
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I've always sighted my rifles for a 200-yard zero. With that zero, at 535 yards a .243 is gonna need a holdover of around five feet in order to hit a target.

Any sort of breeze, and some two feet of wind drift comes into the deal.

With a laser range-finder you can tell 535 yards. Without one, you're guessing about "Aw, somewhere between 450 aand 600..." Good luck.

IOW, color me dubious.

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Old June 28, 2007, 10:44 AM   #9
mikejonestkd
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I was always under the impression that Hunting involved actually getting fairly close to the animal- otherwise it is just sniping. 535 yards...good grief!!!!

As much as I love the .243 win for deer it would not be on my list for elk hunting, ever.
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Old June 28, 2007, 10:57 AM   #10
hoytinak
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Quote:
Thats irresponsible shooting to me.
+1.....although I love the .243 for whitetail as it was my first deer rifle, but at 535yds, I would have passed on the shot
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Old June 28, 2007, 11:54 AM   #11
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535 !!! Knowing my personal limitations as a shooter, not a chance. Given perfect conditions at a range, I would not be confident at that range - regardless of caliber.

I started hunting with a bow, so when I started rifle hunting being able to reach out 200-300 yards was a whole new world. I would gladly watch my hunting buddy do it, and would expect him to hit it hard.

One of those old Army things - "Know yourself". I know that would be an irresponsible shot for me. One I would probably regret.
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Old June 28, 2007, 06:21 PM   #12
Edward429451
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I was reading some real old gunbook the other night and the oldtimer made the comment thatbe sure your rifle has at least 250 ft lbs for clean kills on big game. Given that the DOW dictates 1000 ft lbs at the muzzle, I assume that the writer meant 250 at the animal. That would make sense I think.

So how much energy would that 243 have at 535?
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Old June 28, 2007, 06:35 PM   #13
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There is a picture of a kid with a dead moose in the new AK Hunting Reg book. The caption says he killed with a .243.

The .243 is a favorite with a lot of native hunters and I think it's great for caribou, sheep, goats and black bears. It would do the job on an elk with a good bullet at 300 yrds and under with an emphisis on under.

But 535 yrds? Done by a 12 or 13 y.o.? Nah...........someone is either blowing smoke or got overly ambitious with their range estimation.
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Old June 28, 2007, 08:45 PM   #14
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Not likely.

The .243 is a great round there is no denying that but unless you hit an Elk absolutely perfectly at that range there is no way on Earth that it would work.

Ive been shooting for a long time and consider myself to be a decent shot but I couldnt make that kind of a shot. If I can't make it the chances of a kid making it arent very good. Unless this kid is some kind of boy wonder I'm gonna call B.S.
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Old June 28, 2007, 09:15 PM   #15
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Are we sure it wasn't 535 feet? That sounds more reasonable.
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Old June 28, 2007, 10:01 PM   #16
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Heck I worry about my kid using a .243 on deer at NORMAL ranges because that little bullet doesn't make a very big hole and the consequent blood trail can be awful hard to follow. He can put 3 shots in a dime on paper, but only time will tell what happens at The Moment of Truth when he sees horns and adrenaline is factored in. 535 yards? Unethical shot at a splendid game animal. Not the type of thing that PETA and the other antis need to crow about IMHO.
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Old June 28, 2007, 10:36 PM   #17
mrawesome22
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Well I'm glad to read that most of the responces have agreed that it was an unethical shot.

I love to hunt and kill animals. But it tears me up to see an animal suffer. I feel animals deserve a quick and humane death. There is no reason to make an animal suffer. And I believe this could have easily ended up in a suffering, for who knows how long, elk.

I'm probably the most descriminitory person you'll ever meet about believing things you see on the television. But the camerman was directly behind the boy and elk, and the elk appeard to be WAY out there. Then the camerman started zooming and the boy shot. The first shot went right under the gut. Second shot nailed him.

Maybe the person declaring rifle chambering was wrong? And maybe the editors didn't catch the mistake? Anyway, maybe someone can dig up a video of this. I can't as I live way out here in the boon docks and I am limited to dial up.

But I would love for someone to post a link to the video of this and then hear what people think. Let me go try to find something.
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Old June 29, 2007, 09:25 AM   #18
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A friend of mine wrote a scholarly article on range estimation and found that the degree of error increases as range increases. Average people can estimate range out to 100 yds pretty well (usually within 10%). Experienced hunters tend to do slightly better, usually maintaining the same margin of error out to 150 yds or so. Past 200 yds, range estimation drops off significantly.

Either the range is incorrect, the kid was incredibly lucky or someone is blowing smoke. If it did happen, it was certainly unethical. I personally won't take a shot over 400 yds at a game animal, ever. I won't go over 300 without a dead-solid rest with a gun and load that I have used extensively and having adequate power to do the job.

As an aside, red stag are taken with a .243 as a matter of policy but the ranges are quite close.
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Old June 29, 2007, 12:49 PM   #19
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I know plenty of people who responsibly take elk on a regular basis with the .243 Win. It is a capable caliber although not an Ideal one for elk. I wouldn't use it for a first choice, but then a lot of people frown on my rifle of choice for elk the .270 Win.

535 yards is a long shot but I would't say an unethical one. If conditions are right and with a steady rest a lot of hunters who are familiar with their rifles can make that shot. I can't say much about the distance as I've taken shots on animals (mainly varmints) at longer ranges.

Combine the range and the caliber I feel that the person guiding this hunt or mentoring it wasn't doing their job properly. If this hunt even took place at that range with that caliber. Would we be so upset if the kid had used a .300 Win Mag at that range?
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Old June 29, 2007, 05:58 PM   #20
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as with most game animals, taking an elk at distance begins and ends with shot placement. if you can hit your mark on demand, repeatably, at 535 yards with your .243, good on 'ya and take the shot with confidence. if, otoh, you've never even tried shooting at such range, you've no business shooting- especially with a light / marginal caliber
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Old June 29, 2007, 06:39 PM   #21
Edward429451
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I wouldn't take that shot, but nowadays, hey, the kid might've been shooting that rifle and studying ballistic programs since he was 7. Maybe had a cheat sheet taped to his stock and daddy ranging for him with a laser.

It could be true.
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Old June 29, 2007, 07:07 PM   #22
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Two feet of drift from the wind?!? Sounds like an easy shot to me.....

Last edited by Fremmer; July 1, 2007 at 01:36 AM. Reason: Art had already answered my question
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Old June 29, 2007, 07:54 PM   #23
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Looks like, in 10mph crosswind, at 500 (35 yrds short of the target), it would drift anywhere from 20.4 inches to 25.4 inches, comparing 85 grain sierra gamekings up to 100 grain Nosler partitions, in federal ammo:

http://www.federalcartridge.com/ball...firearm=1&s1=1

Check the boxes on the ones you want to look at, and then click "Compare" in the upper right.
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Old June 29, 2007, 09:09 PM   #24
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"...a common scenario at this range..." Nope. The most common 'heavy' .243 bullet weighs 100 grains. In Remington factory ammo, it drops 45" at 500 yards with a 200 yard zero. If the kid actually made that shot, he got lucky.
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Old June 29, 2007, 09:23 PM   #25
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It will work?????

Ribs and vital shots are the same on a elk as most other deer like game.The 243 bullet WILL reach vitals.It's not like grizzy tissue or buffalo.The elk will not go far with good hunting ammo.At shots within 200YD. with a nice side dual lung shot .BUT Is there better rounds for elk yes.
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