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Old October 26, 2011, 05:26 PM   #51
Wyoredman
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On a side note, I don't actually spend much time "at the range". What I do is shoot my rifles almost every weekend on the huge tracts of BLM that are near my home.

My family loves to shoot at any target we can find. We will be driving through the desert and stop for lunch, see a rock on a far cut bank, get out the rifles and have a competition to see who misses first.

No bench, no range finder, just us and the guns! It is great fun.

It seems that we do waste alot of ammo though, because I reload yet when hunting seasons come around, I am always buying factory ammo! Go figure!
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Old October 26, 2011, 06:18 PM   #52
Daryl
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It seems that we do waste alot of ammo though, because I reload yet when hunting seasons come around, I am always buying factory ammo! Go figure!
Interesting. I always shoot up factory junk on targets and such, and save the brass to load back up for hunting.

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Old October 26, 2011, 08:46 PM   #53
jmortimer
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"I'm not a big fan of the .243 for deer....."
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Many cartridges will work for deer but the .243 seems perfect for deer. You can't say any other cartridge is better for deer as it is DRT effective. That is as good as it gets. Again, there are many great choices and .243 is one. As for elk, it will get the job done, but not the best choice obviously.
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Old October 27, 2011, 07:36 AM   #54
Daryl
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"I'm not a big fan of the .243 for deer....."
I'm not sure there's a better one. The .243 has light recoil, is easy to shoot well, and drops deer dead with a properly placed bullet. It even has a pretty decent effective range on deer sized game.

I'm not sure what else one could ask for?

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Old October 27, 2011, 01:04 PM   #55
tahunua001
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and let the flaming resume lol. anyone that says a 243 is not suited for deer has probably never hunted with anything less than a 300 win mag and I pay them little mind. I just politely smile, change the subject and roll my eyes as soon as they aren't looking
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Old October 27, 2011, 02:00 PM   #56
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Will a 243 kill a deer? Sure. Is a 270 better? Yes.

I thought this thread was about elk which can be several hundred pounds heavier and thicker than a deer.
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Old October 27, 2011, 02:06 PM   #57
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Yep, it's about elk! Cutting her up tonight after work! She's been hanging for a week and is ready! Fresh steaks tonight! Yeah!
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Old October 27, 2011, 02:13 PM   #58
Daryl
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Will a 243 kill a deer? Sure. Is a 270 better? Yes.
Dead is dead.

A lot depends on the shooter's abilities, and the distance they need to shoot.

I've killed a lot of deer with a .243. I've also killed several with a 7mm Rem Mag, and even a few with a .270 Win. For most shots on deer, there really isn't much difference between them concerning results on target. If anything, my experience has shown the .243 to be more destructive to meat, but a lot depends on the bullet chosen.

Yes, elk are some bigger, and that should be taken into account by anyone considering hunting elk with a .243. A good hunter ALWAYS considers the size and temperment of the intended game when considering a cartridge to use.

But as long as the limitations of the cartridge are realized and respected, there's no reason why a .243 can't be used for elk. Note that this is a BIG qualifier for a lot of shooters who aren't disciplined enough to restrict their shots to those the cartridge is capable of executing.

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Old October 27, 2011, 02:17 PM   #59
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My brother hunts Wyoming elk every season with a Remington 700 .243. With the exception of a single elk that needed two shots, all of his elk have gone down with the .243 on the first shot. Probably over a dozen. I prefer 30-06, but he makes it work
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Old October 27, 2011, 02:50 PM   #60
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A lot depends on the shooter's abilities, and the distance they need to shoot.
That is true. But, in the field hunters don't shoot nearly as well as they think they can. If you are going to shoot the elk broadside in the heart or brain it doesn't matter what you use. But, except on forums that does not reliably happen.
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Old October 27, 2011, 03:15 PM   #61
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Yes, elk are some bigger, and that should be taken into account by anyone considering hunting elk with a .243. A good hunter ALWAYS considers the size and temperment of the intended game when considering a cartridge to use.

But as long as the limitations of the cartridge are realized and respected, there's no reason why a .243 can't be used for elk. Note that this is a BIG qualifier for a lot of shooters who aren't disciplined enough to restrict their shots to those the cartridge is capable of executing.
You see, that is exactly the problem. many people would never, ever give up their 30-30 rifles, "because it's killed ***** deer and it works."

Sure it does.

When nimrods lime my nephew read about heroic against the odds shots dropping elk, it fills their wooden heads with delusions of competence. They take the .243 that they bought for deer when they were 14, and haul it to another area and decide they're going to hunt elk with it. They then shoot an elk in the butt and leave a mediocre wound, instead of "doing their part," as is necessary to make sub optimal rounds successful.

Any larger cartridge will result in a whole lot more bleeding, and an eventually quicker kill. for example, a .460 weatherby will probably bleed out an elk with a butt shot in just a few minutes, if the arteries in the area are lacerated.

The problem with saying that *** is good for *** "if you do your part" is that it gives blanket permission for the intellectually challenged among us to go after an elephant with a 7 mm mauser, becasue it worked for ***, and OF COURSE I CAN DO MY PART!!!"

The issue swings both ways, so to speak, as people show up in the field with belted magnums, absolutely certain that their own flaws will be compensated for, because his gun "will do it's part!"

Obviously, this reflects my deeply cynical, but mostly accurate, understanding of the human race. almost all of us far overestimate their own level of competence in anything that they do. I used to, somewhat, I am far more realistic now. I no longer, for example, kill squirrels with a pellet gun, even though "it works." Lots of times it don't
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Old October 27, 2011, 04:15 PM   #62
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You see, that is exactly the problem. many people would never, ever give up their 30-30 rifles, "because it's killed ***** deer and it works."

Sure it does.
A lot of elk have been taken with 30-30 rifles. If someone can shoot it well, and is familiar with it, they're probably better off with the 30-30 than a new .300 ultra mag that they bought last week "just for this hunt".

Quote:
When nimrods lime my nephew read about heroic against the odds shots dropping elk, it fills their wooden heads with delusions of competence. They take the .243 that they bought for deer when they were 14, and haul it to another area and decide they're going to hunt elk with it. They then shoot an elk in the butt and leave a mediocre wound, instead of "doing their part," as is necessary to make sub optimal rounds successful.
This is exactly why, in my earlier post (and is also indicated in what you quoted of mine), I don't generally recommend such a light cartridge for elk for the average hunter. They're not disciplined enough to restrict their shots to those that are optimal.

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Any larger cartridge will result in a whole lot more bleeding, and an eventually quicker kill. for example, a .460 weatherby will probably bleed out an elk with a butt shot in just a few minutes, if the arteries in the area are lacerated.
If the arteries are lecerated, so will a .243.

Since you mentioned the .460 Wby, the only fella I ever saw using one was after a buffalo on a ranch in northern NM. He missed it three times, which isn't so bad unless you realize that he missed it all three shots at some 20 yards or so. He finally killed one after shooting it two or three times, and THEN we (we were in a different group) realized that he'd actually hit another, unintended one. My buddy took it to save the fella having to buy two of them. This was just a cull; I'd hate to imagine this guy trying to shoot an elk on an actual hunt. Believe me, I'd much rather see a fella hit an elk through the chest with a .243, than see him hit one in the butt with a .460. That buffalo ran a good mile before Don got a shot at it, even hit through the neck with a .460 wby.

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The problem with saying that *** is good for *** "if you do your part" is that it gives blanket permission for the intellectually challenged among us to go after an elephant with a 7 mm mauser, becasue it worked for ***, and OF COURSE I CAN DO MY PART!!!"
If someone CAN'T do their part, then they need to practice their shooting and stalking skills. Don't blame anyone but them for their poor performance. It's not the cartridge that makes them fail; it's them. If someone chooses to hunt with a light for the critter cartridge, it's also up to them to realize and honor the limitations of that cartridge. It's also their responsibility, btw, to realize and honor their own limitations, no matter how big of a cartridge they may try to utilize. Butt shots are generally not a good idea, no matter the cartridge used.

Quote:
The issue swings both ways, so to speak, as people show up in the field with belted magnums, absolutely certain that their own flaws will be compensated for, because his gun "will do it's part!"
Unfortunately, this is absolutely true. I once shared an elk camp with a "friend of a friend's friend" who was almighty proud of his .300 RUM he'd bought the previous week. Later in that hunt, he was kicking himself for not taking a shot in excess of 700 yards "because his rifle would certainly make it". Instead, his friend convinced him to try to get closer to the bull, and they lost track of it in the resulting stalk. That guy was a piece of.....work, for sure.

Quote:
Obviously, this reflects my deeply cynical, but mostly accurate, understanding of the human race. almost all of us far overestimate their own level of competence in anything that they do. I used to, somewhat, I am far more realistic now. I no longer, for example, kill squirrels with a pellet gun, even though "it works." Lots of times it don't
Nothing wrong with limiting your own use of firearms you hunt with. What I'm getting from your post, though, is that caliber should make up for poor shooting. In this, I disagree.

For me, the minimum cartridge I'd use for elk is a .243 Win. Sure, I'd rather have my 7mm mag, but I could make the .243 work just fine. How? By limiting the distance I'd shoot, and not taking shots at questionable angles. If the shot wasn't perfect when opportunity offered itself, I'd pass and wait for a different shot...or a different animal.

The 7mm mag would give me more flexibility, ability, and range as long as my shooting skills are adequate, but the shot would still have to hit it's mark. There is simply no excuse for poor shooting in the hunting fields. If one's abilities don't enable them to hit said critter at 300 yards, then stalk closer or pass the shot. If the shot angle is bad (like facing away so that only a butt shot is possible), then again, wait or pass.

A bad shot, whether with a .243 Win or a .460 Wby is still a bad shot. Never exceed the abilities of the cartridge and the shooter.

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Old October 27, 2011, 04:45 PM   #63
briandg
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A lot of you guys seem to agree with me in principle, saying that maybe even a majority shouldn't carry a 6 mm round after elk, because they won't make the effort to stalk near, pass up long shots, or make sure that the shot will be clean. I agree. Most people shouldn't

I keep hearing that the .243 will cause just as deadly a wound in a poor shot as a 300 magnum, but do you guys really believe this, or are you truly convinced that the small bore rifle is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the equal of a large bore magnum with equal opr higher velocity and nearly twice the bullet weight? I'm not buying it. a haunch shot with a larger bullet is inherently going to create a bigger and more damaging wound, and that will probably be the deciding factor between crippling and a chase and injuring and a LONG chase. Am I not hearing all the time about magnums destroying too much meat, so smaller and lighter cartridges are used?

The thing that keeps coming up is that competent hunters don't need a magnum, which is true, but even competent hunters can be tricked by wind or other factors. The other thing is that the incompetent hunters should get better at the sport, and then they can carry small guns.
Do you often see people working really hard to get better at anything? Most people play at their hobbies. You're familiar with serious hunters and competition shooters, but there are a lot of morons out there who take .460s after buffalo, and then miss over and over.

We can't make them improve their skills. What we can do is tell them, "you can't hit the broad side of a volkswagon and you're shooting a prairie dog gun at an elk? What are you, a fool?"

Instead, we permit the foolish to do their own thing.

I would prefer to see minimal caliber of .270 and minimum bullet weights and velocities put in law. I would prefer that we as a community put more effort into discouraging otis down the street from taking his trusty old .410 out after hogs, or other foolish things. I'd also like to see us, as hunters, macing people that we see shooting into bushes, or engaging in other things that are equally stupid, but so far, I've never seen anyone do that but myself. We're afraid to criticize the truly stupid people in person.

My brother in law was dropped on his head as a kid. Seriously. NO kidding.

One time, he told me that he had a cat that was raiding his trash every night. He lived out in such deep country that he didn't even have reliable electricity. One night, he got his 45-70, and waited up for the cat. It was pitch black, he said, and when he heard the noise, he shot where he thought the can was, and told me a cock and bull story of finding just the tail the next morning.

I reminded him that he was an idiot. Many years later, I siezed all of his firearms when cleaning his house of trespassers, and they are still in my basement. He knows, but the only times he asks about them is when he wants to sell one. he sold the 45-70 recently, it's too bad I didn't have the cash he needed.

I just need to quit posting here. I try to use logic, and it just keeps coming back that competent people can do it. My thoughts are that even the competent should avoid it unless they have no other weapon available,or they are physically unable to fire one of the 06 based cartridges.
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Old October 27, 2011, 04:57 PM   #64
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Mr. briandg,

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What we can do is tell them, "you can't hit the broad side of a volkswagon and you're shooting a prairie dog gun at an elk? What are you, a fool?"
I'm not a fool. I am an American who lives in Wyoming who shot an elk with a .243. Please don't ruin my thread.

We do understand your points, others have different points, but we all enjoy this site and like to keep the discussion going.

Again, are there any other hunters who would like to share their elk and/or .243 stories?
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:23 PM   #65
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Instead, we permit the foolish to do their own thing.
It is the price of Liberty.

I have, in the past, made the same points you just did, but in re: .223 for deer ...... I have given the debate a good deal of thought...... and now I think the "There Oughta Be A Law!" mindset is wrongheaded...... up to a point. On the one hand, the we cannot legislate Wisdom ..... on the other, the game belongs to all of us, and should be managed by all of us..... it is a sticky wicket.......
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Old October 27, 2011, 05:56 PM   #66
Daryl
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I keep hearing that the .243 will cause just as deadly a wound in a poor shot as a 300 magnum, but do you guys really believe this, or are you truly convinced that the small bore rifle is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the equal of a large bore magnum with equal opr higher velocity and nearly twice the bullet weight?
That's not even close to what I said.

I said a poor shot is a poor shot. That's a fact.

You said that a butt shot would be lethal within a few minutes with a .460 wby if the arteries were lacerated. Note the qualifier.

I said the same thing would happen with a .243, again...if the arteries were lacerated.

It's also a fact that lighter kicking cartridges are easier for a lot of shooters to shoot accurately. Something like a .270 Win or a 30-06 Springfield makes a whole lot more sense than a .460 Wby OR a .243 for the average elk hunter. The .243 tests the discipline of the hunter, while the .460 Wby tests the ability of the shooter to absorb recoil and still shoot accurately.

I will ALWAYS recommend a middle of the pack cartridge to those who ask about elk cartridges. A .270 Win, or a 30-06 doesn't often cause the bearer to dream of 1000 yard shots, but will put an elk down at the ranges most often presented to a hunter in pursuit of elk without limiting their chances of success like a lighter cartridge might.

That said, if I'm asked what cartridge I would consider as minimum for elk for my own personal use, I'd have to say the .243 Win. I started shooting this cartridge in 1976, and have never been without one in my collection. I've put many thousands of rounds downrange from so-chambered firearms, and I know the capabilities and limitations of the cartridge pretty well. I also know my own abilities and limitations with the cartridge.

With that in mind, I'll not fault those who are willing to accept and honor these limitations if they choose to carry a .243 on an elk hunt.

Quote:
The other thing is that the incompetent hunters should get better at the sport, and then they can carry small guns.
In truth, my point is that the incompetent hunter should become more competent, and then they can carry what they feel is appropriate for their intended use. Carrying a large magnum, and thinking that it'll make up for poor shooting is a bad idea. In most cases, it won't.

And I've trailed enough elk that were hit poorly by other hunters using big magnums to know. I even know of a few that were finished off by other hunters (in my party), and no one ever trailed them up. Apparently, the original shooters didn't even know they'd scored a hit.

Daryl

Last edited by Daryl; October 27, 2011 at 06:10 PM.
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Old October 29, 2011, 09:24 AM   #67
Jack O'Conner
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I wouldn't ever consider taking a shot at running elk with a .243 rifle. But 35 Whelen or 12 gauge slug gun at less than 100 yards? Yes, I'd take the shot(s).

Photo was taken at Wind Cave Nat'l Park, South Dakota. Animals are fairly easy to approach which is a great big thrill for me. But Nat'l Parks are off limits to hunting.

Jack
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Old October 29, 2011, 11:15 AM   #68
tahunua001
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this conversation is getting quite heated again. this almost makes me want to shot a deer with my 9mm carbine and post a thread and just park up in front of the computer with a bag of popcorn and a big gulp haha.

all jokes aside, why cant people just take this story for what it is and agree to compromise and say even though it is a bad idea, 243 will kill an elk. there are better rounds out there for the job but if you were in a pinch a 243 would work.

if a guy has a 2 acre yard and his riding lawn mower breaks down he could still use the pushmower in his shed. yes it requires more patience and work and is not as well suited as the rider but it'll cut the grass
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Old October 29, 2011, 02:15 PM   #69
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For me, if ever the chance comes around, I'll be using my 7mm rem mag.... Because it could be the only elk hunt that I experience.
However it's no ones problem but mine, why I choose the calibers I choose. I could see being a proficient enough shot to use a .243 win to take elk. I don't use a magnum because I'm not competent, I use one because I'm proficient with my rifle.
Truth be told I really think my .270 win is all I need to take elk cleanly. I've been reading for years how they do a nice job on elk. (my .270 is alot lighter than my 7mm rem mag)
The op did a nice job taking the elk, saying that the penetration from the 100 grn bullet was satisfactory......... what more can you want!?@#$%&
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Old October 29, 2011, 05:01 PM   #70
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This thread has degenerated, as always. So, how 'bout adding a little spice to the pot...


I can hunt Antelope with a 7.5" Super Blackhawk, or a 5.5" Blackhawk. But, why bother, when I have a 4" GP100 in .327 Federal?

Some things in here are not what they appear.
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Old October 30, 2011, 06:28 PM   #71
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Thats cool. any goat with a handgun is an accomplishment! I love the GP100!
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