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Discussion Starter #1
I have been working up the loads for my Sako A& Remington 7mm magnum as previously posted. My rifle barrel measures 22.5 inches to the start of the muzzle brake and 25 inches to the end of the muzzle brake. Yesterday, I shot Nolser Accubond 160 grainbullets with 61 grains of IMR 4831 and got very good results at 200 yards. My muzzle velocity averaged 2707 for 10 shots measured with my Magnetospeed chronograph.

Is this sufficient muzzle velocity to kill an elk at distances out to 400 yards? Looking at Nosler's website, it would appear that the bullet mushrooms well at this speed up to 2900 fps. At 3200 fps, it appears the bullet begins to break up. A friend says I can increase the powder charge beyond the recommended maximum of 61 grains as long as I go slowly and check for cartridge deformation and back off if I see this. Any suggestions?

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That's plenty for elk. I think 400 yards is a long shot under hunting conditions. I know people that elk hunt with a 243. I think there are lots of better choices than 243. 25-06 used to be a popular elk round. It ain't much different than a 243. I think the 243 played a role in the 25-06 losing popularity.
Like anything else, it's all about shot placement.
 

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That's plenty for elk. I think 400 yards is a long shot under hunting conditions. I know people that elk hunt with a 243. I think there are lots of better choices than 243. 25-06 used to be a popular elk round. It ain't much different than a 243. I think the 243 played a role in the 25-06 losing popularity.
Like anything else, it's all about shot placement.
400 yards would be the maximum I would ever shoot and the conditions would have to be perfect for me to even try it. Both deer I have taken were single shot kills, one at 115 yards and one at 165 yards. I feel no need to try to impress anyone with a long range shot. I have practiced out to 300 yards and I can get good hits in that range.
 

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At 400 yards you are probably looking at 2100 fps. How well will your bullet mushroom at it's 400 yard velocity? Probably 2 foot of drop. Hope there ain't know wind. I like shooting at long range, but I don't have the confidence to hunt at long range.
 

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My last 5x6 bull generated over 300 lb of processed meat, placing him very close to 1000 lb on the hoof. A .30-06 factory Federal 220 gr RNSP @ ~ 100 yds had no problems making him very sick on the first impacting shot.
 
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Your 7mm with 160s should work fine on elk. Keep in mind most elk are taken inside 200 yds. and I've taken most of mine inside 100 yds. The 2700 fps might be a bit on the low end, you might try increasing your powder charges if pressures allow and groups hold together. My wife's 7mm is using 160 gr Speer bullets and it's registering around 2900 fps out of a 26" tube.
Some people do hunt elk with 243s but I can't recommend a caliber so small, or even a 25-06, I've seen the results and they typically under-perform. The 270's and up tend to work well with proper bullet selection.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At 400 yards you are probably looking at 2100 fps. How well will your bullet mushroom at it's 400 yard velocity? Probably 2 foot of drop. Hope there ain't know wind. I like shooting at long range, but I don't have the confidence to hunt at long range.
I have not run the numbers through my ballistic calculator yet. I am zeroed at 200 yards.
 

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I would not chance a 300+yrd with a .243. It can and has been done just not by me. .243was my preferred caliber when I use to be able to hunt sheep. My sheep hunting days are long over. As for elk, the last thing I would want is to wing one with a smaller, lighter caliber (or any caliber for that matter). The thought of tracking a wounded elk over several miles holds no appeal to me whatsoever. I've seen 170lb dear wounded by a poorly placed 30.06 travel for several hundred yards before dropping. That was hard enough to track thanks to an incompetent hunter. I can't imagine having to track a injured 1000 pound animal that can typically travel up to 10 miles in a day normally. Besides when I hunt it's strictly to fill the freezer so I don't take chances with a longer range shot. Al that being said a 7mm magnum at 250 yards should be more than adequate. If your comfortable taking a longer shot god bless you and good luck with your hunt.
 

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I'm glad to see you specified a caliber. Your thread title made me recall an elk kill made by my pick-up truck at ~63 mph. :blink:
 
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I'm glad to see you specified a caliber. Your thread title made me recall an elk kill made by my pick-up truck at ~63 mph. :blink:
Was there anything left of your truck?
 

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According to Chuck Hawks, you need the bullet to be packing 1,200 ft. lbs. of energy when it hits the beast. If I recall correctly, deer are in the 900 ft. lbs range. You'll have to do your own math :smile:

Elk Cartridges


Whatever you think about Chuck, the amount of energy needed, seems to be universal amongst the hunting community. How to get that energy, not so much LOL. It sounds like you're packing some hot rounds. I think you should be fine assuming you hit it appropriately of course.

Dude! Have a great hunt!! Fun!
 

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I've never shot anything 400 yards away. So or me the fun of hunting is getting within 50-100 yards. I learned to hunt with an Ithaca M37 slug SG. :wave:
 

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I've never shot anything 400 yards away. So or me the fun of hunting is getting within 50-100 yards. I learned to hunt with an Ithaca M37 slug SG. :wave:
If you are "aiming" at being humane, either way is a rush.

Stalking vs bumping into something, without a doubt takes some skill, but hitting something 400 yards out is a freaking science.
 

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You should be fine. Those bullets have a better sectional density and ballistic coefficient than the 130gr .277 bullets I use. I used a .5 BC on a calculator and you should be right at 1500 lbs of energy at 400 yards. Some say that is the minimum. Then I ask them so no one ate elk when we had flintlocks?
 
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