Elk Bullet Advice

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Castaway
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Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:54 pm

Elk Bullet Advice

Post by Castaway » Sat May 04, 2019 4:30 pm

45-70, 30 inch barrel and will load with black. Never been elk hunting so I’m asking advise from those who have. I have a PP mould that throws a 0.452”, 420 grain bullet I use for deer with smokeless. Also have a Hoch grease groove mould that drops a 554 grain bullet at 20:1. A buddy is insisting I get a Gould, 330 HP. Any advice is appreciated

BFD
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:36 pm

Re: Elk Bullet Advise

Post by BFD » Sat May 04, 2019 4:41 pm

You are good. You can use that paper patch bullet as is, or size it down to bite diameter.

64ish grains of Swiss 1.5fg or 2fg a thin plastic was about 0.1" of gears cookie, an LDPE was and bullet will be a place to start. There are a million variations, lots of tricks and no single best way, but I am more than happy to help.


I'd never shoot an elk with a groover. They deserve better and will taste better if shot with a paper patch.

Woody
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Location: Freetown, Indiana

Re: Elk Bullet Advice

Post by Woody » Sat May 04, 2019 4:48 pm

All three will work, but my vote goes with the 554 Greaser. Heavy is always good when dealing with an Elk. I've shot many with conical bullets spit from a muzzle loader and 80 grains of 2 FG Swiss. Most dropped immediately, all dropped within sight. Only one required a follow-up shot, only because he still standing by the time I got reloaded.

Woody
Richard A. Wood
If you are surrounded. You are in a target rich environment.

Dennis Armistead
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Location: Payson Arizona
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Re: Elk Bullet Advice

Post by Dennis Armistead » Sat May 04, 2019 5:12 pm

For quite a few years I've only been hunting with the .45-70 and a Sharps rifle. I've also taken many game with it including Elk. Where are you located/hunt? I first started using PP rounds but found that they are to fragile for my style of hunting. (I don't drive roads and hope to see game) I do a lot of horse riding/severe climbing, and I don't want to worry about severe weather ruining my rounds. (been there done that) I'm sure that a lot of hunters use paper patch rounds and are successful. Brent is one of them. I however switched over to grooved rounds and could stop worrying about their condition and could focus on hunting instead. The round that I use is the good ol' 500 gr. Govt. I cast at 40:1. I don't use poly wads for hunting because I don't want to leave plastic out in the forest. (might seem silly) I use vegetable fiber because they are biodegradable. Elk have massive leg and shoulder bones so I want as much mass as I can get for penetration. The Govt. rounds have given me very good service. I've never recovered one from an animal. Hope this helps.
Dennis
Experience trumps intelligence every time.

BFD
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:36 pm

Re: Elk Bullet Advice

Post by BFD » Sat May 04, 2019 5:59 pm

I used to worry about paper patches in the field, but after more hunting and animals than I can count, I finally gave that one a rest. I just put them in my shirt pocket. 2 weeks of being dumped in the Alaskan moose bush where it rained every single day and there was nothing but a tent for shelter proved I had been overthinking that problem for years. But there are other remedies if that is a concern.

Woody does like heavy bullets but all those bison died from much lighter bullets. Elk are not tough. They will go down.

But I know you will get many more recipes and recommendations and the thing is, they will all work. So, you really can't go wrong.

Brent

BFD
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Re: Elk Bullet Advice

Post by BFD » Sat May 04, 2019 6:12 pm

How about things NOT to do.

Do not build your cartridges to engrave the rifling on loading. Leave some room for fouling. This is about pragmatism not precision accuracy.

Do not use a bullet without a wide meplate or very, very blunt round nose. If that heavy bullet is something like a Postell. I'd leave it at home.

I was going to say do not use really hard lead, but if you have a wide meplate, and load a hot 3fg cartridge, I may retract that recommendation. Pure lead will work in your paper patched bullets though 30:1 or softer will be fine too.

Do not go into the field without someway to clean your barrel after a shot. You probably will not have to, but it's nice if you can. I can help you put together a kit that will fit in a tobacco tin or smaller and cost you pretty close to nothing.

Do not underrate the utility of a lace-on sling.

I'm sure there are others.

Dennis Armistead
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:09 pm
Location: Payson Arizona
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Re: Elk Bullet Advice

Post by Dennis Armistead » Sat May 04, 2019 6:41 pm

BFD wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 6:12 pm
How about things NOT to do.

Do not build your cartridges to engrave the rifling on loading. Leave some room for fouling. This is about pragmatism not precision accuracy.

Do not use a bullet without a wide meplate or very, very blunt round nose. If that heavy bullet is something like a Postell. I'd leave it at home.

I was going to say do not use really hard lead, but if you have a wide meplate, and load a hot 3fg cartridge, I may retract that recommendation. Pure lead will work in your paper patched bullets though 30:1 or softer will be fine too.

Do not go into the field without someway to clean your barrel after a shot. You probably will not have to, but it's nice if you can. I can help you put together a kit that will fit in a tobacco tin or smaller and cost you pretty close to nothing.

Do not underrate the utility of a lace-on sling.

I'm sure there are others.
Very good points Brent, I pack a bore snake in an altoids tin and put that in my pocket. I also use a Calvary sling that I made and clip it on my saddle ring for those long hauls. I have also modified those Govt. bullets to have a .400 meplat and they work great.
Dennis
Experience trumps intelligence every time.

Stephen Borud
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Location: Casper Wyoming

Re: Elk Bullet Advice

Post by Stephen Borud » Sun May 05, 2019 9:19 am

Some really good real world advice in the above comments. I built a five piece cleaning rod that I carry in my pack at all times. I might have to get a piece of string and make a pull through set up like BFD mentioned. Ive only killed one elk with a Sharps and it was a Big 50 using a 473 grain paper patch bullet. The bullet has a .250 flat on the nose mixed 1-60. The same bullet has killed lots of antelope and deer. My 45s I use for hunting also shoot bullets that are between 490 and 510 grains, they all have meplates of .180 to .250 mixed 1-60.

Patch your bullets .002 under bore diameter for easy fouling and follow up shots. I also keep my PP rounds in my pocket. Never have had any issues with them getting wet, you can even put them in a small ziplock bag if need be.

Good Luck on your hunt.

SB
RM1
Founding Member of the Bow and Arrow Death Sqaud.
The Big 50 it's what's for death.

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