View Full Version : That rifle isn't powerful enough !!!!!

April 24, 2001, 11:32 AM
How many times have I (we) heard this? How many articles have I read that imply this? People telling me that a .270 is not enough gun for certain game. Why would you buy a 30-06 when you can go with a magnum load. I have never owned a rifle with the word magnum after it. Why? No reason, I just never bought one. I think they're great, but are they absolutely essential?
I have hunted deer for the last 7 years with a Remington 7400 chambered in .270. Great round. The main reason I shoot a .270 is because at 6'3" 235, I barely feel any recoil, and I can hit what I aim at all the time. I've been fortunate, everything I hit with it, went into my freezer. I took it on my first elk hunt in 1997. Everyone there had a 300 or a 338. They called my .270 a pea-shooter, even though they all completely believe in the .270 as a great deer round. Now, the reason I brought my .270 was because we were not on a big bull hunt. We had 5 tags for four cows and a spike. We are talking 400-500 pounds maximum. This was not a trophy hunt. I was using 150 grain grandslams, and had some 130 grain bronze points for back up. I tagged elk #4 on that trip. I had a difficult head on shot at about 90 yards. My 150 gr Grand Slam went through the neck, through the right shoulder, and kept traveling on down the mountain. The elk dropped like a stone. I got teased that night.
#1 nice shot with the pea shooter.
#2 only 2 of the other 5 guys had bagged an elk on their first hunt.

I am a believer in the .270, for exactly what I used it for. Deer, cow, and Spike elk. I also now own a Sig SHR 970 chamber in 30-06. I will qualify next year, point wise, for a 'any bull tag.' My brother in law hunts elk with a .300 Weatherby. He asked me if I was going to step up from my new 30-06 to a 'real gun' if I get the tag. Now, I realize that he is half joking, but it is begining to bug me. I have two boxes of Federal High Energy shells, one each of 180gr TB & 180gr NP. I have every confidence that a well place shot will get the job done. I think most of you will agree.

Is the word Magnum required to hunt trophy elk?

April 24, 2001, 02:34 PM
Most states require a certain energy in foot/pounds to hunt big or dangerous game. Considering some of the knuckle-heads toting cannons out there, this isn't bad advice. However, when I was dead certain about building a double-nought, high-speed, light-weight, long range assassin rifle, I just had to have it in .300 winmag. Then I went and shot one........ Let's just say that the .25-06 I ended up buying shoots quite nicely. :)

April 24, 2001, 09:26 PM
The greatest advantage of using the word "magnum" is in marketing. My old 270 has taken a fair amount of game and done it well. I also happen to like my 300wm.
Sad fact is, most folks go overboard on the hardware (scope and caliber, gadgets, etc) and fall short on the software (knowledge, preperation, determination).
You are not undergunned for any elk on the mountain.

Art Eatman
April 24, 2001, 09:29 PM
Lots and lots of elk have dropped to the .270, .308 and .30-'06.

A lot of the popularity of the Maggies is that with the flatter trajectory, the city dude has a better chance when he's wrong in his range estimation. The "killing power" is actually more than is needed, within most shooters' accuracy capabilities. For the above average shooter, the Maggie *does* given him some range advantage, sure.

With the Federal HE in the '06, you're just darned near as well off as if you were using some sort of Maggie.

I've had email correspondence with an Aussie who sez he's chronographed the FedHE, 165-grain, at 3,000. I've tried three rounds of that expensive stuff, and it groups as well as anything else.

If that won't kill an elk, fergit it!

:), Art

April 25, 2001, 10:35 AM
To tag along on Art's saying, Guns&Schnammo annual ballistic charts lists 30-06 Federal Premium HE in 180 gr identical to 300H&H Mag performances.
There, you've got your magnum!
Now, go get some elk!!!


Art Eatman
April 25, 2001, 01:09 PM
Thibault, call home. The village has been worried...

:D, Art

Al Thompson
April 25, 2001, 07:18 PM
The only advantage a Magnum round gives is for extended range shots. IMHO, 99% of us need to get closer, not buy a hardware solution to a software problem.


Eat more possum
April 25, 2001, 08:26 PM
Shoot the .270 or .30-06 with decent bullets at any elk you can make a proper hit on with perfect confidence.

April 26, 2001, 12:46 PM
I really hate it when somebody tells me that my .270 isn't enough gun, but they are using a 7 mm mag. I just tell them that if they would care to look in a reloading manual, I could show them more than a couple listings of the same brand and weight bullet (140 gr) that max loads in both calibers are within 50 fps, and the .270 does it with 5 gr. less of the same powder, at lower pressure, with less recoil, and less noise. Then I tell them that since I reload and they buy over the counter, that not only do even my non-max reloads probably have a little more oomph than theirs, but they are also more accurate, being tailored to MY gun, and cost me about a 1/3 of what they spent. :)


April 26, 2001, 04:38 PM
Tearing a (bewildering) page out of Rich Lucibella and Randy Garrett's book, I will be doing all of my hunting from here on out with rounds that deliver less energy and move slower, offering rainbow like trajectories, so long as the cast lead bullets have flat noses with large meplats and are claimed to do remarkable things by their manufacturer.
Shucks, Ma, who needs a newfangled .300 magnum, or even a 30-06 when there are antiquated, low pressure, slow poke lever actioned guns out there that have "character"?

On second thought,
Please pass the chipped flint, black powder and buckskin, I am going retro all the way! Hand me that charcoal burner!
Don't miss out, evolve!!

Al Thompson
April 26, 2001, 05:46 PM
Things work sometimes out of proportion to their paper ballistics. Seems that lots of powder and high velocity do not always accuratly reflect performance. Many other factors are at play.

I have noted that Ross Seyfried and Elmer Keith are on the record as observing that flat bullets with high sectional density work very well on large animals. Having smacked several deer (carloina whitetails), two buff and a reasonable amount of other critters with a .375 H&H, I observed that it is not at all too much for smaller stuff. In fact, the results were about the same in smaller game as my '06. The point is that while bigger may be better, sometimes you hit the point of diminishing returns.

The various 6.5 caliber rifles have amassed a great reputation due mostly to the practical accuracy and high SD of the bullets (not high speed). I am willing to accept that Randy's hard cast 540 grain bullets will do what he says. He's got high SD and, if the bullets are hard enough, he's pushing them fast enough. Add a easy to shoot quick cycling rifle and it looks like you could do as he says.

Those who have to have "bigger" need to be able to shoot "better" as well.

Play nice!


April 26, 2001, 06:01 PM
Art, you have been misled. I did call and nobody cared. I guess you guys are stuck with me now...

April 26, 2001, 06:37 PM
I devolved one summer a couple of years ago. Shot a Sharps for the first time, .45-70 at a buffalo (target) 600 yds - a one shot kill. Then I bought a .50 caliber muzzle loader. Later on I went to a flint knapping workshop and started learning to make projectile points and blades, learned how to use an atlatl.


April 26, 2001, 08:41 PM
No offense, MAD DOG, but you're acting like a scorned woman. Sorry ladies, no offense to you either.

Art Eatman
April 26, 2001, 08:43 PM
Hang around, Thibault; you'll fit right in. :D (Prove to us you're truly idiotic, and you might qualify as a moderator.)

Neat on ya, Bergie; I was gonna suggest to MAD DOG that we could try spears. However, with a slight tear in a rotator cuff, and arthritis, I get to add the atlatl...:)

MAD DOG, if there was a tree in this desert, I'd sit on an overhanging limb and drop rocks. So: What's the minimum sized rock, from what height, for maximum deer-whop effectiveness? We got lots of cliffs...

:D, Art

Keith Rogan
April 27, 2001, 11:25 AM
Mad Dog,

Methinks you're mixing apples and oranges (nah, maybe apples and kumquats), here.

While a .500 grain .45/70 makes a dandy short range deer round and may be just the ticket if you live in a densely forested area, that's not the big selling point - and it's probably overkill in that weight since you don't need that penetration on light game.
The Guide Gun, properly stoked with some Garret Hammerheads is in effect, a replacement of the old double rifle - a short and handy tool to root big mean critters out of tight places, or to carry as a weapon in places where big mean critters dwell.
Sure, a 26 inch barreled, 9 1/2 pound, .458 Magnum bolt rifle will deliver more energy but you're just not as likely to get that thing up and on target as quickly when you're busting through the alders with two yards of visibility (not that you could aim at that range anyway since it probably has a scope on it).

A big bolt rifle in a substantial caliber makes perfect sense in open country hunting of really big game. But a .45/70 Guide Gun makes more sense in brushy country - and even more sense when following up wounded dangerous game in any country.
Put a steel plate out at ten yards and time yourself hitting it with a big bolt rifle, then repeat the experiment with a Guide Gun.
Two different rifles with two different niches, which just happen to overlap.