7MM Rem Mag

by Chuck Catchpole
(Cordes Lakes, AZ)

I have Smith & Wesson 7mm Rem Mag that I would not trade for the most expensive gun on the market. I have shot many deer with it, 4 elk and every one was dropped in it's tracks. One was a cow elk at 357 yards, free handed nothing near by to steady. Probably more luck than my shooting ability. I have used a 308 which is good but doesn't have the range as my 7MM. Also have used a 30:30 when I lived in PA which is a good all around gun for deer, especially in PA.

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7mm Rem Mag Big Game Hunting Rifle

by William Elkins
(St. Pete, FL USA)

I purchased a Browning 7mm Rem Mag A-Bolt Stalker 2, will this be a capable elk gun?I also equipped it with talley rings & mounts and the Zeiss Conquest 4.5 x 14 x 50mm AO MC AND #20z-plex reticle with target turret. I'm moving to Colorado in January, so hope I spent my money wisely. Please Advise!!!

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7mm mag long range

by james
(bc canada)

I have been an elk hunter for the last 18 years and spent 22 years prior to that hunting moose. I would consider myself a good hunter. I always put one in the freezer and a few deer to close out the season.

Elk are different. They're very tough animals.
We are told from a young age to shoot the
heart and lung. That wll not stop an elk even with custom hand loads in a 7mm mag that can shoot pie plates at 600 yards all day long.

As stated earlier by some one else break the front shoulders then keep shooting till your clip is empty or he is down. A elk hit in the heart can cross mountain tops dead on the run in 3 minutes or until his heart and lung pump out you will not find him.

Don't stop shooting till he is down .

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Oct 12, 2018
7mm for Elk
by: Joe Graham

I went on my first Elk hunt with 2 other gentlemen . Each had a preference for a specific caliber and reasons for it. One had a 338 and the other a 270 mine was the 7mm with hand loaded nosler partitions. They both said my weapon of choice was not worthy. End story the guy with the 338 fired 4 rounds into his Elk and made a waste of good meat not to mention the cost of his ammo. The 270 came up empty and I took one shot and downed my Elk with the 7mm. Bullet placement is the key. I know a guy that shoots his with a custom 25-06 ! So you go ahead and pick your weapon just learn how and where it shoots.

Jan 20, 2013
Bigger is better
by: Robert D. Jones

Thirty years ago I packed deep into a Wyoming Mountain range and hunted with a very experienced Elk Hunter. He had for years maintained a very expensive lease to take oil company big wigs elk hunting to curry favor with those men who gave his business lucrative contracts. He told me that years before a horse he was leading across a particularly dangerous part of a trail went into the river with his 7mm mag. It came out but without his rifle. He went to a 338 mag and said he would never go back. Hang in there this rant has a point. A few years ago I hunted with a professional hunter in Namibia. After 10 days getting to know him he showed me some pictures he said he had never shown to an American because they may not understand. This man claimed to have taken over 40,000 animals. Getting to know him and seeing the pictures I firmly believe him. He did this meat hunting for the European market years ago. Thousands and thousands of these were Kudu and Oryx every bit as tough or tougher than our Elk. He does not like to see hunters using more gun than they can handle but is as am I a strong believer in shooting large caliber, premium bullets, and heavy for caliber bullets. I know you can kill elk with a 7mm and at long ranges, I killed plenty with a 270 before I made a 338 my elk gun, but with elk bigger is just better.
Robert D. Jones Author "Winchester One of One Thousand"

Dec 19, 2012
by: James

The round I'm using is Hornaby sst 162 moving at 3040
Out of a old tikka m65 . I think my bullet powder combo is good and I need the BC for the distance. bullets seem to work well and stop deer in their tracks but 500 yards + is 500 +
The bulls are smart and don't show them selfs if they do its a split second and their moving . In the valley we are hunting some of the old locals have hunted the same herd we are for over 30 years . We are talking smart elk . So a 100-200 shot iS not something we see . We have gone the other route from the old seniors and use the valley to our advantage and stay our distance from the Herd make them feel safe and get them from across the valley . again shot placement at 562 - 620 -685
Is a little more tricky and they don't stay out in the open for more than a few minutes . I usually get good pass through but sometimes that's not so good . In some cases that can mean a clean little hole if you don't hit bone . Sure you tear the lung and heart apart but if it exits out of the ribs between bone . They don't bleed out well . The hole can coteries up .
Leaving very little blood trail.

Dec 19, 2012
Use a tougher bullet
by: Pat Cassidy

James, to comment on your experience I need to look back on many Elk I have killed and seen killed. The common factor in having an Elk run a long distance after being lung shot is the performance of the bullet. A high velocity, rapidly expanding bullet almost always results in a longer run. In direct contrast a slower, very tough bullet that will always completely penetrate an Elk results in a shorter run.

I have probably shot a couple dozen Elk with those tough bullets and have NEVER had an Elk go over thirty feet. It may be that the rapidly expanding bullet causes more shock and pain that spurs the animal to run. What ever the reason, it works.

In other posts I have recommended testing bullets in two five gallon buckets full of water, laid end-to-end and shot through at 100 yards. If the bullet fails to penetrate both buckets use them on varmints! It is amazing how many bullets fail this simple test. If your bullet remains in the Elk, it has failed you.

Use a bullet with a high sectional density and a very tough construction and I believe you will stop Elk faster. I use and recommend Barnes TSX bullets but you should test the bullets you are going to use.

Dec 18, 2012
Long range
by: Anonymous

We are hunting tough country up here in Canada on public lands with elk that are generations wise and getting close with a bow on the two herds we are hunting is hard. Our average shots start at 500 yards. The bulls are big and weigh in over or around 1000 lbs. They don't drop easy and the terrain is 1500 ft down to the basement where there is only foot access. If a bull has been grazing his stomach will enlarge pushing his heart and lung up under the front shoulder. At this point you can't double lung them without going through the shoulder .
Have taken 6 bulls and a lot of cows and lost a few bulls.

Dec 18, 2012
Shot Placement
by: Dave, ElkHuntingTips.net

I've killed lots of elk and never shot one through the shoulder. Most have been lung shots with arrows and 30.06 or 300 Win Mag. The only ones that have run far were single lung shots, or non-lung shots. I agree that a heart shot can allow an elk to run a good ways before crashing, but a double lung shot puts them down fast. They might slide, bounce or fall down a steep mountain and pile up in something to make them invisible, but they will pile up soon after a double lunger. They seem to go down quicker and calmer with a double lung shot with a bow than with a rifle.

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7mm Remington Magnum

by Dean
(Helena, MT. USA)

I use my Liberty Ruger M77, 7mm Rem. Mag. for antelope, deer, elk. Have it dialed in 3 shot groups inside a dime. Need to have the precision for good shots on antelope. A bad shot can ruin both quarters, front or rear. Have had no problems putting down the elk or deer with it.

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Oct 27, 2012
Elk and 270 cal.
by: Skip shephard

I have used a 30-06 for years. Since moving to Arizona 11 years ago, I have used it on elk. But, I have yet to get a shot at an elk, bull or cow! Last year I picked up a 300Win Mag. My 2012 season was wiped out with a life threatening infection. I have a friend who hunts with a 270 And he has killed elk with it. I think any caliber with a well placed shot, that you are comfortable with is the way to go.

Oct 27, 2012
Use the right bullet
by: Pat Cassidy

I think you said it all Dave, with "My weapon of choice on elk is a bow! No noise. No kick. Quick lung shots kill quickly."
An arrow has very little kinetic energy but great penetration potential. A bullet that penetrates but does not expand quickly kills the same way.
In my experience a bullet made with solid copper (several similar brands) does a great job without ruining meat. Caliber is of less importance than bullet selection. If you really need to shoot long range, use a high velocity round and do a LOT of practice at long range shooting.

Oct 27, 2012
300 Win Mag and 270?
by: Dave, ElkHuntingTips.net

I killed another elk on opening day of rifle season with my 300 Win Mag about 70 yards away. (Near Helena, Dean.) Overkill! On the way out I teamed up with two other guys to retrieve their downed elk, along with mine. One of them always uses a 270 for everything. He's killed several elk with it. He says he always makes lung shots. He says it "makes a pencil hole all the way through". What do you think about making a "pencil hole"?

I'm not a ballistics expert but it seems to me, a lung shot that passes through both lungs will collapse them and take an elk down quickly. It doesn't take a big caliber to do that. The advantage of a bigger gun is that it will do more damage in areas other than lungs. But, "other than lungs" can mean meat lost, or animal wounded. The moral of the story seems to be to wait for the lung shot and don't take risky shots. What are other advantages of using a big caliber for elk?

My 70 yard lung shot would have been just as deadly if I had used a 270, right? What do you guys think about the idea of hunting elk with a 270? I also know a guy who kills elk with a 243.

Now, if I'm going to take a quartering to or away shot at 200 yards, I'm all for the bigger caliber on elk and larger game. As one old guy told me, "three quarters is better than none."

My weapon of choice on elk is a bow! No noise. No kick. Quick lung shots kill quickly.

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7mm Weatherby MAG

by Scott

Just want to get some opinions on 7mm Weatherby Mag bullet. I'm looking at purchasing a 7MM WBY. Do you think 140gr Barnes TXS is enough bullet out to 500 yards?

Thanks and happy holidays!

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Dec 09, 2012
On the Federal Trophy Bonded Tip bullet
by: Anonymous

Anonymous, I have no experience with the Federal Trophy Bonded Tip bullet. From what I can see on the Federal site it is sort of a hybrid style with a solid copper base and a lead insert toward the front. It may very well be as good as the Barnes but it has the potential to shed a lot of weight (the lead) upon contact with heavy bones.
I would recommend testing it in the water buckets. This test has proven to be a very good indicator of penetration performance. I have tested many highly touted "Elk Bullets" and have them fail this test miserably.
The one thing I know from experience is that the Barnes solid copper bullets will pass and will not fail to please.
I stress penetration because I have seen bullets blow up on an Elk shoulder that should have been a clean kill. A Barnes won't let that happen.
Do some testing and have a great time! Pat

Dec 09, 2012
by: Anonymous

Pat, how do you feel about the 160gr Federal Perium Trophy Boned tip?

Dec 09, 2012
Elk Bullets
by: Dave, ElkHuntingTips.net

Here's one discussion: https://www.elk-hunting-tips.net/hornady-30-cal-180gr-sp-interlock-bullet.html

Dec 09, 2012
Barnes TSX on Elk
by: Pat Cassidy

Scott, I think the 7mm Mag is a great long range Elk rifle.
That being said I think you are on the right track with the Barnes bullet. At 500 yards, almost any bullet will perform well as it has slowed down enough to keep it from disintegrating if it hits bone. The Barnes bullet ALWAYS works well.
If it were me I would probably choose the 160 grain for the added sectional density, which aids in penetration if massive bone is hit at closer ranges. I see no advantage to the lighter bullet.
A good idea is to test the bullet you choose before you go hunting. Take two plastic 5 gallon buckets full of water, lay them end-to-end and shoot through them. If the bullet goes through both buckets it is good enough for elk.
Try this test at 100 yards and 500 yards as well if you are serious about shooting that far. That will also tell you if you, the gun and the load are accurate enough for the job.
I have some other bullet comments on this site. Just type Pat Cassidy in the search bar to read them.
Thanks Dave, for the heads up.

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