The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 26, 2013, 12:58 AM   #1
j.chappell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 1,125
First Elk Hunt

I'm heading to WY in the fall for my first elk hunt. Not sure if I am going to have both a bull and cow tag as the drawing hasn't been held yet.

I have decided on a 300 WM for my rifle but am a little hung up on bullet choice. I have some, a couple boxes, of factory federal loaded with 180gr. speer hot-cor bullets but I'm just worried about bullet performance. I don't want to get there and wind up with a poor bullet choice.

I have used hot-cors for whitetail and never had a failure yet but an elk is not a whitetail.

Please any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.
j.chappell is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 01:39 AM   #2
Wyosmith
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 1,241
The 180 gr Hot Core is fine. If you can load your own I'd suggest you try the 180 grain Nosler Partition as the "gold standard" but that's not to say the Hot Core is a bad bullet. I will do ok if you do your part.
Wyosmith is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 02:04 AM   #3
j.chappell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 1,125
Thank you for the reply. My guide said the average shot distance is around 250yrds. I thought the hot-cors would be ok out to a little over 300 with a decent shot.

I have 180gr. protected point partitions on hand. I have been looking for some IMR 4831 or H-4831 but finding powder right now is like looking for hens teeth. I do have a few on hand that I could try but am waiting on a better powder choice.
j.chappell is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 07:22 PM   #4
AllenJ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,288
I have killed a few elk with Partitions out of my 300 Win Mag. My gun likes 70 grains of IMR4350 (Max according to my Nosler manual so don't start there!) and can shoot MOA with it. I switched from Noslers to Barnes a while back and they too have shown excellent results on big game.

I'm not a huge fan of "standard" cup and core bullets for elk. Elk are big tough creatures, and can travel great distances when wounded. With that said, if all I had was cup and core bullets to hunt with I'd still go, making very sure to choose my shot well.
AllenJ is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 09:47 PM   #5
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,456
Your federal loaded with 180gr. speer hot-cor bullets out of your 300 WM will work just fine. Put them in the heart/lung area and you'll not have to worry.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 10:54 PM   #6
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
BIL swears by Federal Premium ammo loaded with 180 gr. Nosler partitions in his .300 WM. He's taken many an elk with them and this fall got a huge, perfect 6 point at 385 yards shooting downhill at a 40ยบ angle.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old January 26, 2013, 11:47 PM   #7
j.chappell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 1,125
I thank everyone for the feedback. I may not get another chance to hunt elk for a while so I will probably load up some 180gr. partitions, just feel a little better about it I guess. I have 4350 and 7828ssc so if I cant come by RL-22 or 4831 by this spring I'll start with those. I'm sure I can come up with a suitable load by this fall.
j.chappell is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 11:14 AM   #8
wap41
Member
 
Join Date: August 3, 2009
Posts: 89
partitions are great,4350 will do the job.Most important is to know where it'\s hitting at different distances and have a range finder with you or know your distances.A poorly hit elk will go a long way.
wap41 is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 12:27 PM   #9
chewie146
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 853
Actually, you'll see failures more often at close range than far. The extra velocity is what causes the bullet to "fail." The farther away you are, the less energy there is to blow that bullet up too early.
chewie146 is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 02:09 PM   #10
lefteye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 678
I've taken three elk (and one black bear) with my lefthand A-Bolt SS .300WM using 180 gr. Protected Point Partition bullets and IMR 4350. In my limited elk hunting experience, this load has been excellent.

Correction: My powder was IMR 4831, not IMR 4350.
__________________
NRA Life Member - RMEF Life Member - Vietnam Vet

Last edited by lefteye; January 27, 2013 at 04:06 PM.
lefteye is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 02:25 PM   #11
Jack O'Conner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2005
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,482
Any 180 grain bullet will do the job.

Jack
__________________
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
Jack O'Conner is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 05:04 PM   #12
j.chappell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 1,125
I thank everyone for weighing in, I've been trying to find some 4831 and rl-22 to no avail. Components are getting harder to come by and I refuse to pay 3 times what something is worth from a scalper at a gun show.

Whatever load I do use, be it factory or reloads, I will be shooting all spring and summer to get use to it.
j.chappell is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 08:01 PM   #13
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Posts: 2,060
As a favor j.chappell:
As of this last Saturday I know of a store front dealer that still has H-4831 long and short cut still in stock. The dealer does have a web site to order from. If you want I can PM you their web (site) link. (If you decide to purchase.) I would buy a couple of lbs minimum to help off-set the Hazmat charges. And another reason to buy more than one jar: Who knows when it will come available again in the near future with all that's going on in the market place. Let me know if your interested by way of a PM. Many times I don't return to look at a past thread I wrote. (PM'ing will surely get my attention.)

S/S
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 09:55 PM   #14
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Location: Deary, Ideeeeeeho
Posts: 522
As was said above by Jack, "any 180gr will do" which is true in most cases.

Using better bullets, is like an insurance policy. If push comes to shove, it just may be a deal maker, while a poor bullet could just be a deal breaker.

The speer "hot-cor" could be likened in some ways to the current bonded bullets, as the melted lead alloy is injected into a VERY clean jacket before the final forming process. It is not a typical cup an core because of that difference in the process, which is a cold alloy core placed into the jacket before forming.

The whole point of the hot-cor is the melted alloy forming some bond with the very clean jacket material

The Federal "fusion" should be a bit of an improvement over the hot cor but only testing would indicate how much.

The Federal web site has test examples posted with the different bullets they load.

The Nosler Partition will be a very small part of the cost involved for your hunt, and it will also be one of the best available.

My 5th addition Nosler book lists the 180gr w/ RL22 producing both the best/ most accurate load in their tests, but a velocity of 3118 fps (max) whicle IMR 4350 gave a max of 3130fps, IMR4831 a max of 3160fps and IMR7828 a max of 3048

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 10:27 PM   #15
lefteye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 678
This is very definitely not meant as a criticism of reloading manuals/data, but they are necessarily imperfect. Load data are necessarily developed with a small number of firearms, generally one rifle for a specific rifle cartridge. The cost of developing load data using many different rifles would be prohibitive and the data would simply be different - not necessarily more accurate for any particular rifle. Reloading manuals are the starting point for developing the best reloads for an individual rifle and they provide information to help prevent us from going too far. We know that two identical rifles are not, in fact, identical. The barrel for one of them was made before the barrel for the other so there is likely to be an extremely small difference in chamber dimensions and bore diameter. A hunter using his/her own reloads must rely on his/her own hunting/reloading experience as well as manuals for their most effective, safe, and reliable loads. (As an aside, I have hunted exclusively with my own handloads for centerfire rifle cartridges for my entire life. But I am happy not to reload .22 Long Rifle.) Oh, and I agree with Crusty's post.
__________________
NRA Life Member - RMEF Life Member - Vietnam Vet
lefteye is offline  
Old January 27, 2013, 11:30 PM   #16
doofus47
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: live in a in a house when i'm not in a tent
Posts: 1,299
Personally, I use 165gr tsx, but I can't fault anyone's choice of 180 as a starting point.
I'm not sure where you're coming from but if you're going to spend all summer practicing your trigger work, you should also practice hiking, a lot.

just saying. Good luck.
__________________
I'm right about the metric system 3/4 of the time.
doofus47 is offline  
Old January 28, 2013, 07:50 AM   #17
j.chappell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 1,125
Thanks for the info, I have been hunting for over 25 years and reloading for almost as long. I have used both factory and reloads for my hunting. I also have chronographed most of my factory loads and all of my reloads for the last 10 years and understand that not all is as advertised and as the books say.

I groundhog hunt all summer as well as hike, camp and fish so I'm not too worried about my conditioning. What I was most worried about was bullet selection and having only shot my 300 at paper from the bench a half dozen times and never having carried it afield for game. That's why I'm planning on shooting it all summer and probably using it for a lot of my groundhog shooting, lol. This is what I always do when I choose to hunt with a centerfire that I haven't taken afield before.

I really appreciate all that has been offered, I feel a lot more comfortable with the choice of bullets and factory ammunition I have on-hand now.
j.chappell is offline  
Old January 28, 2013, 01:20 PM   #18
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Location: Deary, Ideeeeeeho
Posts: 522
Well said Lefteye

j.chappell, sure won't disagree with a Summer long practice session, not at all, but unless you have a very fat pocket that will cost 2 arms and 3 legs if your shooting your chosen factory fodder!

Do I think you need/MUST spend a lot of trigger time with the rifle you'll be hunting with? Without question!

However, I also think you can get a lot of trigger time with other rifles of like action and make gains with much less cost.

Yes it is good to test and shoot at extended distances with your hunting rifle, but shooting at a SMALL target at a much closer distance will provide much of the same effect and results.

Example, a .22LF from a proven rifle, and shot at a dime size target - from hunting positions - at 25yds would be as good as shooting at a 1 or 2" target at 100yds with your hunting rifle.

Are you putting them in there or not? Are you consistanly hitting the point of aim or not? Are your groups looking like a shotgun pattern or not?

Remember to keep the target SMALL and the scope on the low power settings.

Then, indicating you reload, make reduced loads for your hunting rifle and use the same set up as above for your practice.

Many times you don't need to change the scope settings for the close in work with the reduced loads. If your hitting the dime size or smaller aiming point, OR consistantly grouping to the same point of impact even if not in/on the small target, your doing just fine!

Yes, shoot a group or more at the close range with the reduced loads just to make sure they group OK, but once beyond that point, the whole thing is YOUR consistancy and ability to hit consistantly.

Meaning if your holding on the aiming point but consistantly grouping 2" left and 3" high, group after group, Your doing your part correctly and hitting the aiming point is simply a matter of adjusting the scope. Not a big thing and not even needed.

I have used reduced loads - light bullet and small charge of the PROPER POWDER - for family and friends, and not only do the extended shooting sessions not beat the shooter with light bullet/reduced loads, but the lower pressure loads allow for lots more shooting between barrel cooling periods.

Recently load up almost a 100 rounds of reduced "06" ammo for use with a young hunter I'm in the process of mentoring. He needs lots of trigger time, but it needs to be fun and productive.

Clearly I am not suggesting you should not spend some time with your selected hunting ammo, but when talking a Summer's long practice session, you'll need a deep pocket or some alterative practice methods.

Keep us posted.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

Last edited by Crusty Deary Ol'Coot; January 28, 2013 at 01:27 PM.
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot is offline  
Old January 29, 2013, 09:09 AM   #19
j.chappell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2008
Posts: 1,125
I have decided to reload for this trip. I think I'll be just fine shooting all summer. I live in the east and groundhog hunting a few times a week isn't going to break the bank or cost me the proverbial "arm and a leg".

No offence intended but I'm hardly new to hunting, reloading, shooting, or practicing so I'm fairly confident that my shooting this summer will indeed help a great deal.

Its not the rifle itself I need get use to, its the recoil and ballistics that I need to master and that is something you just cannot do with a like rifle or reduced loads.

Thank you for your opinion though all comments are appreciated.

J.
j.chappell is offline  
Old January 29, 2013, 02:00 PM   #20
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Location: Deary, Ideeeeeeho
Posts: 522
Go for it, enjoy and good luck!

CDOC
Crusty Deary Ol'Coot is offline  
Old February 2, 2013, 08:21 AM   #21
DiffyDoc
Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2012
Posts: 22
FIRST SHOT PLACEMENT. It is as simple as that. I use a .243 with 100gr spitzers and 42gr of H-380 with wonderful success. I shoot them in the neck, just behind the head, and I have yet to chase one or wonder if I hit it in the vitals. The game drops right where it was standing and more often than not I have to roll it off of it's feet that it fell on when it died.
DiffyDoc is offline  
Reply

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 11:33 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 0.11860 seconds with 7 queries