243 For Elk?

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243 For Elk?

I'm planning an elk hunt in montana this fall and a couple of buddies of mine say I need more gun than my  Win 243. I have no trouble killing deer with the gun and I'm used to it. Elk can't be any harder to bring down than a deer. What do you guys/girls think?

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 270 or higher.

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lots of people shoot elk with 243 just depends on the distance you will be shooting

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There was a video on here not too long ago of a person dropping an elk in its tracks at 600+. Shot placement is everything.

Is it impious to weigh goose music and art in the same scales? I think not, because the true hunter is merely a noncreative artist. Who painted the first picture on a bone in the caves of France? A hunter. Who alone in our modern life so thrills to the sight of living beauty that he will endure hunger and thirst and cold to feed his eye upon it? The hunter. Who wrote the great hunter's poem about the sheer wonder of the wind, the hail, and the snow, the stars, the lightnings, and the clouds, the lion, the deer, and the wild goat, the raven, the hawk, and the eagle, and above all the eulogy to the horse? Job, one of the great dramatic artists of all time. Poets sing and hunters scale the mountains primarily for one and the same reason--the thrill of beauty. Critics write and hunters outwit their game primarily for one and the same reason--to reduce that beauty to possession. The differences are largely matters of degree, consciousness, and that sly arbiter of the classification of human activities, language. If, then, we can live without goose music, we may as well do away with stars, or sunsets, or Iliads. But the point is we would be fools to do away with any of them. 

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 Personally I would not hunt Elk with anything smaller than a .270.

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270 or bigger IMO

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Eastwood Said: Elk can't be any harder to bring down than a deer. What do you guys/girls think?

Seriously? 7-800 pound animal (big bull), built to withstand the environment, predators, and terrain of the mountains.   Not saying a .243 cant in the right hands, but based on your above statement I would guess you're probably not that seasoned.

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i agree big tough animal my buddy shot one in CO and had her laying down bout 10 yds from him and so much blood you wouldnt have thought she could get up but she did and we never found her...was thick oak brush and he shot her with 338 ultra mag...made us sick we couldnt find her

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 Will the 243Win work?  Yes.  Will a 270 or something even larger work better?  Yes.

I've killed 7 elk.  6 via 300Win mag, 1 via 257 Wby.  I've witnessed 3 more killed.  2 via 300Win mag, 1 via 270Win.

I wouldn't use the 257Wby again if I had other choices.  The 270Win did an outstanding job, shot through the lungs had the cow on the turf in about 10sec.  The 300Wins were even better.

Unless I had no other choice, I wouldn't spend the $1K for a MT tag and haul along a 243Win.  If they've got something lined up for you on a private ranch where the elk come down out of the mountains and present you with a standing 200yd shot out in the open, by all means, take your 243.

This moment is a paradox, it's the oldest you've ever been as well as the youngest you'll ever be.



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If you do use a .243, do the elk a favor and at least use a Barnes/GMX-type bullet in case you hit it in the shoulder.  A ballistic tip or SST would most likely leave a big pock-mark and bounce off.

I say to hell with that pot o' gold.

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I know the .243 isn't legal in ND for Elk. Not sure about Montana though.

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ggenthusiast Said:
If you do use a .243, do the elk a favor and at least use a Barnes/GMX-type bullet in case you hit it in the shoulder.  A ballistic tip or SST would most likely leave a big pock-mark and bounce off.

This right here is why I wouldn't use a .243 in anything but the most controlled shot. .243 to the shoulder will take out one lung if you're lucky, unfortunately with something as tough as an elk you probably just lost your prize.

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ggenthusiast Said:
If you do use a .243, do the elk a favor and at least use a Barnes/GMX-type bullet in case you hit it in the shoulder.  A ballistic tip or SST would most likely leave a big pock-mark and bounce off.

I shoot 100 gr. Partioned Noslers

Steve

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Unless you're willing to buy something bigger than a 270, do the elk a favor and dont go! Shot placement is critical no matter what caliber you are shooting, but the margin of error with a 243 is much lower than with a bigger caliber. Use this trip as an excuse to buy a new gun! Preferably 300 or larger IMO

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If you know your shots will be easy and your a lung popper - go for it (just not in ND) as i've seen guys in my party do it without issue.  My opinion is get your hands on a 270 or bigger.  If you are mountain hunting and have a split second shot you'll want something with punch.  I used a 30-06 one year and a 270 two years for elk and tagged out each time.  Heck - take the opportunity to add to the arsenal.  Today i'd go with a 7mm.

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the old .308 seems to get er done,  if looking magnum i am into the .284 flavors
http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=3125949#Post3125949

 Adn

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 For the sake of the animal, I will borrow you my .270, 7mm, or 7mm Ultra Mag. Of course a .243 will kill an elk. However, with using a smaller caliber, the margin of error is that much less, along with wounding, kill time, etc. Personally a 100 gr. seems light to me for elk. Would much rather see someone in at least that 117-160 grain area for elk. However, thats just my opinion, I am by NO MEANS a caliber expert. 

 

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I can catch pike on a bare hook and 2lb test mono, but that doesn't mean that I would target pike with that light of tackle.  Get something .270 or bigger.

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Good way of putting it Enslow.  

Enslow Said:
I can catch pike on a bare hook and 2lb test mono, but that doesn't mean that I would target pike with that light of tackle.  Get something .270 or bigger.

 

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Enslow Said:
I can catch pike on a bare hook

BS!

This moment is a paradox, it's the oldest you've ever been as well as the youngest you'll ever be.



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Perfect shot, perfect conditions, on a small elk, yep a 243 might get it done. How about a big bull of a lifetime,  at long range in not so perfect conditions? Your chances are slim to none. The right equipment is always better than going half assed, which is exactly what you would be doing. Argue all you want, but my recommendation is to carry as much gun as you can handle efficiently!

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tearbear Said:
Perfect shot, perfect conditions, on a small elk, yep a 243 might get it done. How about a big bull of a lifetime,  at long range in not so perfect conditions? Your chances are slim to none. The right equipment is always better than going half assed, which is exactly what you would be doing. Argue all you want, but my recommendation is to carry as much gun as you can handle efficiently!

Well put.

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 I have to agree why take the chance of wounding an animal because you are using the wrong gun.  enough other things can go wrong I would hate to have to small of a caliber be to blame.  What ever you decide though good luck.

 

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Eastwood Said:
I'm planning an elk hunt in montana this fall and a couple of buddies of mine say I need more gun than my  Win 243. I have no trouble killing deer with the gun and I'm used to it. Elk can't be any harder to bring down than a deer. What do you guys/girls think?

243 loaded with a 105 gr. turning hard will do the job at 300 yds IF you have the right gun that will stabilize the 105 pushing it hard is a really good combination.. 25-06 has no problem with moose and elk pushing 100 gr.

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marksman Said
243 loaded with a 105 gr. turning hard will do the job at 300 yds IF you have the right gun that will stabilize the 105 pushing it hard is a really good combination.. 25-06 has no problem with moose and elk pushing 100 gr.

What rate of twist are you talking for the .243?

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huntorride365 Said:

marksman Said
243 loaded with a 105 gr. turning hard will do the job at 300 yds IF you have the right gun that will stabilize the 105 pushing it hard is a really good combination.. 25-06 has no problem with moose and elk pushing 100 gr.

What rate of twist are you talking for the .243?

1:9 or better will get it done with most 105's.

This moment is a paradox, it's the oldest you've ever been as well as the youngest you'll ever be.



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Horsager Said:
 


1:9 or better will get it done with most 105's.

Ok. Just bought Rem 700 sps varmint, has the 26" barrel, believe 1-9 1/4 twist. Thought was a longer range coyote rig for me, and then let the daughter use it for deer. The more I think about it, even though it will be heavy, I think it will be a great antelope rifle for me, if it will stabilize the bigger bullets.

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 105 A-Max might work.

This moment is a paradox, it's the oldest you've ever been as well as the youngest you'll ever be.



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243 100 gr      .244 dia   3100fps
25-06  100gr   .257 dia   3350 fps
270  130 gr      .277dia   3050  fps

there is only .033 difference in total diameter less than the thickness of a dime

So what makes the 270 better     will a 270 kill better with the same placed shot than a 243

energy at 200 yds
243 1457
25-05 1508
270 1788
 this is from the hornady third edition
   It looks like a horse apeice   I would assume that more shooting with the 243 would do more than a new gun that you are not used to. 

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Horsager Said:
 105 A-Max might work.

Alright, thanks. Should have it set up in the next week. Then workin on the Montana in .308, think that will be all the wife will allow for this year, anything else (another 1911 would be nice) and I'll be sleeping in the loft of my garage.

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Elk are damn tough animals. Real lead packers. If they were carnivorous, not many men would walk in the woods alone.

My first choice is a 300Win. after that a .270 Mag, .308 or 30-06. It comes down to hitting them with the heaviest weight you can. Nothing below 150gr in my opinion.

My buddy dropped a real nice bull in Co. 2 years ago with a high shoulder shot at 572 yards. Folded him in his tracks with a 300Win. shooting 180gr Barnes.

Jack Dunn

Life is like sex, you can either lay back and let it screw you, or get on top and ride the hell out of it!

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Though I agree with Robert Ruark and his book "Use Enough Gun", I will also play devils advocate here. It is better that you are comfortable with the gun so you make a good shot. If you are comfortable with a bigger gun and are confident in your shooting abilities, use a bigger gun. If you're gonna buy a new gun, I hear that the 7mm-08 is a good choice. 

Is it impious to weigh goose music and art in the same scales? I think not, because the true hunter is merely a noncreative artist. Who painted the first picture on a bone in the caves of France? A hunter. Who alone in our modern life so thrills to the sight of living beauty that he will endure hunger and thirst and cold to feed his eye upon it? The hunter. Who wrote the great hunter's poem about the sheer wonder of the wind, the hail, and the snow, the stars, the lightnings, and the clouds, the lion, the deer, and the wild goat, the raven, the hawk, and the eagle, and above all the eulogy to the horse? Job, one of the great dramatic artists of all time. Poets sing and hunters scale the mountains primarily for one and the same reason--the thrill of beauty. Critics write and hunters outwit their game primarily for one and the same reason--to reduce that beauty to possession. The differences are largely matters of degree, consciousness, and that sly arbiter of the classification of human activities, language. If, then, we can live without goose music, we may as well do away with stars, or sunsets, or Iliads. But the point is we would be fools to do away with any of them. 

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Keep in mind the 1:9.25 twist is a hammer forged barrel or button rifle barrels.  Which means you will be lucky if you have a 1:9.25 more than likely something different.  My guess you won't stabilize a 105.  Cut rifle barrels are exactly the twist they say they are, however I always run a cleaning rod down them to make sure before I have them chambered.

Brent

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Take your .243, practice with it, load up Barnes bullets and you will be enjoying elk.

A friend of our family has shot over a dozen of them with a .243 and that was 30 years ago with Partitions.

It will work just fine.

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Horsager Said:
 Will the 243Win work?  Yes.  Will a 270 or something even larger work better?  Yes.

I've killed 7 elk.  6 via 300Win mag, 1 via 257 Wby.  I've witnessed 3 more killed.  2 via 300Win mag, 1 via 270Win.

I wouldn't use the 257Wby again if I had other choices.  The 270Win did an outstanding job, shot through the lungs had the cow on the turf in about 10sec.  The 300Wins were even better.

Unless I had no other choice, I wouldn't spend the $1K for a MT tag and haul along a 243Win.  If they've got something lined up for you on a private ranch where the elk come down out of the mountains and present you with a standing 200yd shot out in the open, by all means, take your 243.

yea I agree.  I'd never spend that kind of cash and not take a bigger caliber.  not saying you can't do it with a .243 but there's just too much chance to need a bigger caliber.  not worth the risk

 

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for sake of discussion,

if you double lung the elk and he gets up and hobbles over the ridge and falls 1000 feet down the hill now you and your buddy or guide have an extra 3 hours of work, and may have to leave it over night and hope the wolves dont get it...

on the other hand shoot something larger, punch both shoulders, anchor the animal in its place now you saved hours, the animal a lot of un necesary pain and the damn wolves wont eat your trophy.

take whatever gun you please but keep this in mind

 rEVOLution 2016

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theSting Said:
Take your .243, practice with it, load up Barnes bullets and you will be enjoying elk.

A friend of our family has shot over a dozen of them with a .243 and that was 30 years ago with Partitions.

It will work just fine.

I'll take this for face value and still say it's bad advice. Somebody killing over 12 elk obviously knows how to hunt elk, quite a difference between that and someone who is wondering if they are harder to kill than a deer. There are a few guys that have commented that have actually hunted and killed elk themselves, take their advice. Anecdotal evidence always sucks.

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Not bad advice. Its understanding bullets and shot placement. A well placed lung or heart shot with a .243 and a good bullet will kill him no problem.

Heck most of the guys on here can shoot a coyote at 400+ yards no problem...shoot the elk in the head with it...he won't move.

huntorride365 Said:

theSting Said:
Take your .243, practice with it, load up Barnes bullets and you will be enjoying elk.

A friend of our family has shot over a dozen of them with a .243 and that was 30 years ago with Partitions.

It will work just fine.

I'll take this for face value and still say it's bad advice. Somebody killing over 12 elk obviously knows how to hunt elk, quite a difference between that and someone who is wondering if they are harder to kill than a deer. There are a few guys that have commented that have actually hunted and killed elk themselves, take their advice. Anecdotal evidence always sucks.

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 As much as I dote on the 243/85 TSX combo for killing lots bigger than it is and being far more effective than most would guess @ ranges most wouldn't consider, I'm not hauling any 243's to MT this fall if I draw a combo tag.

This moment is a paradox, it's the oldest you've ever been as well as the youngest you'll ever be.



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huntorride365 Said:

theSting Said:
Take your .243, practice with it, load up Barnes bullets and you will be enjoying elk.

A friend of our family has shot over a dozen of them with a .243 and that was 30 years ago with Partitions.

It will work just fine.

I'll take this for face value and still say it's bad advice. Somebody killing over 12 elk obviously knows how to hunt elk, quite a difference between that and someone who is wondering if they are harder to kill than a deer. There are a few guys that have commented that have actually hunted and killed elk themselves, take their advice. Anecdotal evidence always sucks.

Yep! Shot a dozen and recovered 6 of em!

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Horsager Said:
....... to MT this fall if I draw a combo tag.

Shouldn't be an "if" again this year as long as you fill out the application correctly.

I say to hell with that pot o' gold.

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If you are willing to limit shots to 100 yards in an open area and at an unalarmed elk, (cow)
then a 243 would be ok (maybe).  You would be better off with your shotgun shooting slugs.
Seriously, elk hunts are hard enough without limiting yourself by carrying a small rifle.  I have shot 22 elk and must tell you that a 270 may be on the small side at times.   If you can handle recoil, get a 7mm mag.  If not , a 308 or 30-06 would serve you much better.  Do not get to wrapped up in bullet speed, rather lean towards the heavier bullets for the caliber.  A lot of times elk will not even show a hit from a rifle.

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ggenthusiast Said:

Horsager Said:
....... to MT this fall if I draw a combo tag.

Shouldn't be an "if" again this year as long as you fill out the application correctly.

I and a buddy drew Wyoming again this year, the other half of the group did not, thinking they didn't utilize their preference points. Pay attention to the details, it's a long wait til next year. (2013)

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unless they changed something, MT had leftover elk combo licences last year.  They eliminated outfitter-sponsored and raised the price of the general combo to offset lost revenue.

I say to hell with that pot o' gold.

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ggenthusiast Said:
unless they changed something, MT had leftover elk combo licences last year.  They eliminated outfitter-sponsored and raised the price of the general combo to offset lost revenue.

Did hear that but havent looked into it. May be something I consider next year as I think I'm going to start building more points in Wy. for one of the Black Hills units. The unit that we hit now is in the Medicine Bow Mtns, we have been able to get into elk but the Black Hills unit would be close and I think has bigger bulls in general. Learning new areas is half the fun.

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NO

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While we're on the subject; I will going on my first elk hunt this fall. What are recomendations for an effective bullet. I will be taking my 7mm Mag. I shoot 159 grain Hornady SST's for deer is that going to be an effective round for elk? Or should I bump up to 175 grains?

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Birdhunter81 Said:
While we're on the subject; I will going on my first elk hunt this fall. What are recomendations for an effective bullet. I will be taking my 7mm Mag. I shoot 159 grain Hornady SST's for deer is that going to be an effective round for elk? Or should I bump up to 175 grains?

imho,  leave the sst bullets at home.   Go with a bonded, partition type bullet or copper.

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Birdhunter81 Said:
While we're on the subject; I will going on my first elk hunt this fall. What are recomendations for an effective bullet. I will be taking my 7mm Mag. I shoot 159 grain Hornady SST's for deer is that going to be an effective round for elk? Or should I bump up to 175 grains?

140gn TTSX.  R-19, R-22, Ramshot Hunter in no particular order.

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Thanks for the advice ya'll.

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ndbwhunter Said:
Unless you're willing to buy something bigger than a 270, do the elk a favor and dont go! Shot placement is critical no matter what caliber you are shooting, but the margin of error with a 243 is much lower than with a bigger caliber. Use this trip as an excuse to buy a new gun! Preferably 300 or larger IMO

fully agree, it should be illegal to hunt elk with a caliber that small. Oh, i understand the sniper marksman on this site will differ, and, im also aware you can kill and butcher 1 ton cattle with a .22 rimfire, Elk are one tough animal and front end bone hits require a pile of energy that a .243 isnt going to give you like a .270 or larger. Also, it will save you pissing off the locals when a non-resident comes walking out of the hills with a wounding weapon. .243 is a great gun but not for elk. 

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