All Around Best Deer & Elk Cartridge & Rifle

GodsDsiplGodsDsipl Posts: 1 New Member
Hi there I am looking for some advice.  After several years I just gave my 7mm Browning A-Bolt to my son-in-law.  Now I am looking for a new rifle and not sure what I should get.  I really loved how true the 7mm shot however, because it was a magnum round it tended to bruise a lot of meat.  I am looking for something that give me a cleaner kill but still be effective at 500 and 600 yards.  Any suggestions? 

Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,178 Senior Member
    Ask 10 different people this question and you're going to get 10 different answers...
    "Magnum" has little/nothing to do with the amount of bruised meat you see....it's more about the bullet you're using and  how it behaves...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 27,407 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    Ask 10 different people this question and you're going to get 10 different answers...
    "Magnum" has little/nothing to do with the amount of bruised meat you see....it's more about the bullet you're using and  how it behaves...
    Welcome and I agree with Jayhawker.  Bullet construction has a lot more to do with bruised meat than just about any other parameter.  7mm Mag is a good all around performer for all NA game given the right bullet for the intended game is used.

    A performance envelope of "out to 500-600 yards" is a tall order too if the rifle will be called upon to do deep timber short distances hunting too.  It will require some compromises in your expectations.  Other pertinent factors are how comfortable are you with recoil, terrain and how you intend to hunt, and budget?  These all play a part in asking for recommendations and are the reason why many members have a battery of rifles as opposed to just one do it all gun.

    Ps. if my FIL gave me a nice Browning A-Bolt I'm sure I'd like him a lot :smile:
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 38,574 Senior Member
    As to the bruised meat, don’t aim for shoulders. Aim for the heart/lungs 
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,293 Senior Member
    Welcome aboard
    This message has been deleted
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,091 Senior Member
    As has been said, pick some different bullets and aim for a non-meaty area like the heart or lungs, or buy a .243, a .308, a 7mm-08, or a .260 and experiment.
    Welcome hey.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,790 Senior Member
    If I was to pick a dedicated Elk Rifle for all things elk. No matter when/where. 

    .338 WM
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,982 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    If I was to pick a dedicated Elk Rifle for all things elk. No matter when/where. 

    .338 WM
    ^^Yep.  What he said regarding elk.  I have hunt with a few guy who have tried to use "do-it-all" rifles on deer.  In the end, they end up being WAY too much for deer because they need to be enough gun for elk, making for some pretty gruesome meat damage.  Get a dedicated deer gun (I prefer .243 or 7mm-08) and a dedicated elk gun (7mm Rem/WSM, .300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag).

    On that note, what Jayhawker said about trying different bullets to reduce meat damage is also true.  I was getting significant meat damage with my 7mm-08 using 140 gr. Nosler AccuBonds at just over 2,750 fps.  It turns out that their lead core is particularly soft and prone to opening pretty violently, apparently causing the problem.  I moved to a Barnes TTSX in that same gun, shooting at a pedestrian 2,700 fps with a 140 gr. bullet, and got far less damage.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,151 Senior Member
    Welcome aboard 
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,207 Senior Member

    Welcome.

    I have to echo CPJ's comments.  I don't think the bullet or chambering you use matters that much if it hits a meaty part of the animal, such as the shoulders or hind quarters.  Hitting those parts of the animal are going to result in meat damage.  Anything in the rib cage, though, should put one down and minimize meat damage.  There's other "sweet spots", such as the head or neck, but I don't typically try for them unless I'm confident I can make the shot.

    I've used a 7 mag for both deer and elk with good results.  I've used other chamberings, too.  I've even used different bullets loaded for the same rifle depending on what I'm hunting.  All things considered, though, it's all about shot placement in my opinion.

    I also limit myself to 300 yards or perhaps a tad longer.  500-600 yards is way out of comfort zone.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 2,008 Senior Member
    I packed out more elk meat taken by a 308win than any other cartridge.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,213 Senior Member
    Bullet selection, as previously stated, trumps pretty much any other consideration. That said, your 7RemMag will do anything in North America. Match the projectile to the game at hand, pull the trigger, land the bullet through the ribs...fun's over. Time to work.
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,207 Senior Member

    I think we're talking two different things.  My post was referring to meat damage, which I think is all about shot placement.  Actually, I think it's all about shot placement.  I poor hit with the right bullet at the appropriate velocity is still not going to result in a clean kill.

    For elk, I do prefer the better constructed bullets for elk size animals.  Sometimes you just don't make the perfect shot or have the opportunity, and need a bullet that's constructed to hold together if it has to go through bone.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,118 Senior Member
    I agree with those who cite bullet placement and selection as the main factors for making one shot kills with little or no meat damage. I also agree that 300 yards is a good maximum range for all but the very best of shooters. Don't forget that part of the art of hunting is being able to get into position to make the shot you are confident of.

    I also agree that elk sized animals and dangerous animals deserve their own designated rifle, whereas there are dozens of chamberings that are great for 300 yard shots on whitetail deer. Of course, the magnums work fine on small animals, too. But who wants the extra expense and recoil, just to shoot a deer, whose ancestors have been done in quite efficiently by .30-30's for over a hundred years?
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,790 Senior Member
    Bullet selection, as previously stated, trumps pretty much any other consideration. That said, your 7RemMag will do anything in North America. Match the projectile to the game at hand, pull the trigger, land the bullet through the ribs...fun's over. Time to work.
    This. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 2,008 Senior Member
    I don't worry about meat damage. Shoot one with a slow moving 50cal 320gr slug and there's bound to be the occasional damage. Shots come hard won on public land. I take the opportunities presented. Sometimes less than optimal placement gets it done good enough.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,176 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    As to the bruised meat, don’t aim for shoulders. Aim for the heart/lungs 
    Or right behind the front shoulder in the ribs. If you using 7 mag or a .270-280, it's going to pretty well do a number on the boiler room. Personally, I like to hit them in the lower neck or just under the spine. Puts em down for the count and no good meat is hurt.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,565 Senior Member
    Go find a rifle you like in 270, 7mm Rem, 30-06, etc. Pick the rifle you like, let the cartridge be a far 2nd choice of the matter. You can make "almost" any cartridge do everything that needs to be done in North America and 98% of the world, with any common cartridge. If you like the A-bolt (superb accuracy almost across the board) get another one. Let the chamber be chosen by what is in stock. 

    Meat damage though, like already said, is more of a choice in bullet construction and bullet placement. 
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 38,574 Senior Member
    snake284 said:
    cpj said:
    As to the bruised meat, don’t aim for shoulders. Aim for the heart/lungs 
    Or right behind the front shoulder in the ribs. If you using 7 mag or a .270-280, it's going to pretty well do a number on the boiler room. Personally, I like to hit them in the lower neck or just under the spine. Puts em down for the count and no good meat is hurt.
    Ummm yeah. That’s where......the heart and lungs are....
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
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