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Bogsucker

light recoil caliber for elk hunting

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Bogsucker

You might consider a 7mm-08, 7mm mauser or maybe a 260 remington. They all provide more killing power than a .243 with less recoil than a 270 provided the gun isn't too light. You'd also want to shoot the heaviest bullet available for the small calibers as they provide the sectional density needed for penetration. I would shoot an elk with a .243 only with a premium, controlled expansion, handloaded bullet of at least 105 grains. The smaller diameter of the .243 may not provide for much of a blood trail though shot through both lungs an elk shouldn't go too far.

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scotty18

bogsucker, thanks for the reply. I have thought about a 7mm-08 or .308. I like what I've read about the 7mm-08. I know nothing about the .260 rem. All my reloading books are old enough that the 260 isn't in them. I don't know if I want to buy a new rifle. I never hunt with one except when I go to wyoming. I would use my bow except the rancher won't allow it.

Thanks, Scotty

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Gissert

I agree with all of those calibers that Bogsucker mentioned. You cannot go wrong with Nosler Partition or a Barnes X bullet. I perfer Barnes myself, but that is what my particular rifle (.338) shoots well.

The 6.5 x 55 Swedish is a nice light shooting gun as well. It is a fun round to handload. Ruger makes guns in that caliber.

Heck, the .243 has killed a lot of elk over the years. Just look out for those shoulder blades, LOL.

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irvingdog

Clearly, it's "All about shot placement". But for the kind of range performances you require, the 7mm .08 might be the ideal load, combining density and range with reasonable recoil. Obviously, autoloaders and a premium recoil pad like an X-coil also go a long way toward softening the blow.

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scotty18

I applied for a cow/calf elk license in Wyoming for next fall. I have hunted at this ranch many times in the past, and the shooting ranges are within +/- 200 yards. I have a .270 that I would normally use, but I had surgery for a detatched retina about a 15 months ago. My surgen has restricted me to light recoil guns. I have a .243 I would like to get opinions on using a .243 for elk. I know this caliber is regarded as being to light for elk. I load my own ammo and would use Nosler partition 100 gr. bullets. The use of light recoil guns is something that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life.(I'm only 41)
Anyhow any help would be great. I feel if I'm restricted to small calibers I need to make the best of my situation.

Thanks,Scotty

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WyoMin Fisher

Cool, congrats on pulling your tag for out here. I didn't know they had already released the drawing. Guess I better check the list and see if my friend from back home got drawn. I shot my first elk with a .308, nice gun but its all about shot placement. I bought that rifle (my first) when I came to Wyo after shooting deer with a slug in SW Minnesota. Have since started to chase with bow during archery season and .338 during rifle season. Where are you going?
Best of luck! Scott

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Guest

look into a good port job, that's what i'm doing right now. there are lots of places that claim to take the recoil of a 270 to that of a 223 or less. be careful with that eye!

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irvingdog

Remington also makes a pretty darn impressive low recoil load.

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scotty18

Thanks for all the replys, keep them coming. I never thought about porting the barrel. I have several handguns and a shotgun with ported barrels, but it never even cross my mind to port a rifle barrel. Thanks for that idea. I don't ever want to go though that with my eye again. The problem with my eyes will be a concern for the rest of my life so I'm trying to be careful. I've switched from a 12ga. to 20ga. for most of my hunting and sporting clays shooting.
WyoMnfisher, I didn't get my tag yet, what I applied for was the "surplus" cow/calk drawing. I should know soon if I get it. The area where we hunt is south of Buffalo, Near Kaycee. If you know that area we hunt on the south tip of the big horns. My dad started going to this ranch in 1952. Yeah, that makes him in the mid 70's. He still goes out all of October and part of November and he helps guide.

Thanks for all the help, Scotty

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PerchJerker

If the rancher won't let you use a bow, maybe you should check with him on the smaller-caliber rifle you intend to use. He may not want you to use a gun he thinks is "too small".

My opinion is the .243 is too small. The 7mm-08 is the minimum and even on the small side. But as others have mentioned, if you make a perfect shot you'll be alright. If you don't make a perfect shot chances are you'll wound an elk, which you may or may not recover.

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scotty18

Thanks for all the replies. I just bought a Remington model 7 in 7mm-08. Perchjerker- I don't think the rancher will have a problem with me using a 7mm-08. When I started going to this ranch at age 14 I used a 30-30. I believe everyone is correct in stating bullet placement is more important than caliber. I have hunted this ranch most of my adult life and most of the shooting is within 200 yards.

Thanks for the help, Scotty

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Bogsucker

scotty18,

You'll have about 15% less recoil with a 7mm-08(14.60 ft/lb) than a 270 (17.21 ft/lb) in the same weight gun.

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Whelen35

My vote would be a 257 Roberts. Load it up with 100gr Barns X and you will have a dandy light elk gun. For lite loads 75 and 87-87 bullets will work great for varmits, and after your eye heals up a bit, you can load up 115-120gr bullets in the roberts and have something better than the 243 for deer and somewhat larger game, but also one that will go head to head with the 243 on varmits. When I shoot my 243 it seems to have a crack to the sound of the shot that is really in need of ear protection. My 257 on the other hand will not leave your ears ringing if you take a shot without earplugs. They are both slinging their lead at the same speed give or take 75fps. I find the bob to be a bit more versital than the 243, and recoil is low. Plus, the Roberts is just plain cool!!

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Borch

You've got a nice little gun there. You may Still have some recoil there as it's a pretty light gun. My daughters both shoot the 7mm-08s for deer. One has a Rem 700 mtn. and the other a Model 7 youth. Once you get the glass, sling and loaded it really tones down any recoil.

All the 7mm-08 guns I have shot shoot very accurately. Usually an inch or less at 100 yards.

The 7mm-08 is more than adequate for elk using quality bullets and keeping your shots at less than 300 yards.

Good Luck!

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Rolly22

Porting the barrel may also help reduce some recoil and allow you to use a slightly larger caliber than without porting. Just make sure you wear hearing protection when you are shooting.

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Swamp Scooter

Was thinking about this again and wondered if you had thought of using a muzzle loader? I have one and the kick is not the same snap as the high power rifles. 200 yards might be the limit but you could shoot a bigger caliber.

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scotty18

swamp scooter, no muzzle loader. The late time I shot one I thought I broke my jaw! If you read earlier posts, I bought a Remington mdl.7 in 7mm-08. I really like the rifle. I have it taken apart and I'm in the prosess of free floating the barrel and adding pillar bedding. I can't wait to shoot it.
Thanks for all the help, Scotty

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scotty18

swamp scooter, I'm a traditional guy. If I bought a muzzle loader, it would have to be a hawkin replica.(or original) One just like Jeremiah Johnson would use. The ranch we hunt at in Wyo. is right in the middle of the area Jeremiah lived. I've wanted to get a muzzle loader for a long time, but I'm afraid it would sit in my safe like lots of other guns I own.

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Swamp Scooter

Great. I am not referring to the new ones with the pellets but the old black powder. It kind of pushed but did not snap on recoil.

Elk with any gun will be a great time.

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scotty18

I found out today I got my license!

Scotty

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Neighboor

Just use your 270 with the heaviest bullet it can shoot. (I would not shoot elk with any thing less that a 270 imo). It may have more kick all together but will reduce the "quick" jarring of shooting a lighter load. Have someone sight it in for you with this new load this spring summer and just shoot it a few times from bench rest to see if it is "on" for you.

Get a recoil pad. And assuming you are hunting in the fall at 5,000 plus feet in Wy you will be wearing some bulky clothing, right? These items will also cut down on recoil as will a soft forgiving cheek pad.

Even though you are watching out for your health you still need to do the right thing in making sure of a clean harvest of your animal.

Best of luck in your decision and up coming hunt.

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jlm

I would recommend keeping the .270. Anything lighter can be a bit risky in my opinion. I actually think that is too light but it will get the job done with good bullet placement. Take your gun into a gunsmith and have him install a recoil reduction system on your gun. It looks like a recoil butt pad but it is much more. He will actually install spring like device into the butt of the rifle which will reduce the recoil significantly. Hogue Grips makes a great recoil reduction system which is very reasonable in my opinion. It will not alter the look of your gun either, it looks just like a regular recoil pad. I would start with that and if needed I would go to porting or other recoil reduction ideas. Just my 2 cents! Good luck!

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Borch

Ballisticly the difference between 7mm-08 and the .270 is not noticeable. Less than 100 ft/sec. More than adequate for elk out to 300 yards. As long as you put it where it belongs the elk won't notice the difference.

I've read in multiple publications that the 7mm-08 is a good midrange elk caliber loaded with quality bullets. It's not radical thinking.

Go ahead and take your new rifle out. Shoot quality constructed bullets like nosler partitions, trophy bonded bear claws or fail safes and you'll be in business.

Congrats on drawing a liscense.

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