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Is there such a thing as "over-kill"?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2007 at 11:04
Chris Farris View Drop Down
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Is there such a thing as "over kill" when selecting a caliber for big game hunting?  State laws say that there is such a thing as "under kill" and have restrictions on how small you can go.

 

What caliber is "not enough" and what caliber is "too much".

 

I hunted with Gen. Craig Boddington in the arctic a few years back.  When we landed on a little lake and got off the plane, the guys manning the camp told us that polar bears were seen a few weeks back near our camp.  At that time I thought I had too little of a caliber.  This was a self guided hunt for caribou and it was every man for himself, until you shot out then we'd pair up to make it easier to pack out the caribou we were hunting.  The second day I hadn't seen any bears but did see four musk ox and tons of caribou, so I was feeling better about my 140 grain 6.5 selection.

 

Craig brought two rifles, one .260 and one .300 Win Mag.  I asked him what the deal was and he said that when he shoots a big game animal with a magnum caliber he gets a bunch of hate mail, saying that it is not necessary for whatever type of animal he was hunting.  Then on the other hand, when he takes big game with a non-magnum, he gets hate mail saying he's crazy and unethical for using a smaller caliber.  So he shot one caribou with the .260 and one with the .300.....both fell right over.

 

Shot placement has everything to do with it, it's just like real estate, Location, Location, Location.  But does a larger caliber give you more room for error?

 

What are the limits on both ends?  Is .30/.378 OK for 100 lb. Texas whitetail?  Is a .22/.250 OK for elk?

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2007 at 11:11
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i think there is only one opinion that matters in dealing with this question, do what makes you feel the most confident, i shot a deer for the first time with a 22-250 last fall and it fell where it stood, i usally shoot behind the front shoulder and usually they run a few yards and tip over, i have also killed whitetail fawns with my 300wsm and not felt bad about it either, so i think this is a matter of personal opinion, i dont care what people are using as long as the animal dies relatively quickly, in craig's case its just because he is well known, if i wrote an article about my deer kills with my 300 wsm or even if i used a 223 i doubt any one would really care. this is an intresting question chris and i am excited to see what everyone else thinks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2007 at 15:44
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Agree with pyro.  Dead is dead. Don't really believe in "overkill" Shoot what you feel comfortable with.  Think the trick is not to over gun yourself with a big bruiser you can't shoot well with because of recoil/flinching.  That said, my one son often uses his 450 Marlin, and the other a 444 Timbre Carbine.  They were originally bought for moose & bear but both boys enjoy shooting them & they shoot them well.  Recoil doesn't bother them.

 

Both have taken deer with them, meat wasn't blown up & deer didn't complain. 308 would have worked just as well but so what?  They enjoy shooting the big guys.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2007 at 15:47
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do they really kick though?? just wondering they seem more like a 45-70 to me but i dont know i have never shot any of the bigger marlins
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2007 at 17:21
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Originally posted by Dogger Dogger wrote:

Think the trick is not to over gun yourself with a big bruiser you can't shoot well with because of recoil/flinching. 

 

Amen!!!
 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2007 at 18:18
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Originally posted by Dogger Dogger wrote:

Think the trick is not to over gun yourself with a big bruiser you can't shoot well with because of recoil/flinching. 

 

Amen!!!
 

 

i will second that amen!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/20/2007 at 21:47
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Originally posted by Dogger Dogger wrote:

Think the trick is not to over gun yourself with a big bruiser you can't shoot well with because of recoil/flinching. 

 

Amen!!!
 

 

Amen times two....

 

Last Blacktail I shot was with a 300 WinMag....  Shot placement was perfect and he fell right there...  As long as you have good shot placement then I don't think it matters...  I do believe you should have a big enough gun to drop the animal as I don't think the animal should be tortured by a small round and die slowly... 

Get the job done right and celebrate your kill...

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 07:33
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I agree with all above.  I like my 300win. mag. I mentioned on Finn's thread, just because I love the rifle and it fits me well, like a glove and gets the job done.  I do not have a problem with flinching, even with my big Wbys and do not fault anyone who wants to use a lesser caliber, as long as they are a competent shooter.  I think most of the guys on this site are.  Now, some of the newbies around here, go out and buy a 243 because of the low recoil, have not shot at a deer before, did little practice shooting before going out and place a marginal shot and never find the animal.  With a larger caliber the deer may or not have gone down.  Sometimes the shots are so bad, it may just shorten the agony, but its agony never the less.  So in competent hands, its his or her choice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 12:28
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What the judge says when he asks you "why did you empty the entire magazine on the guy, when witnesses say they went down with the first shot".

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 13:18
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

What the judge says when he asks you "why did you empty the entire magazine on the guy, when witnesses say they went down with the first shot".

 

we arent talking about how many shots is over kill we are talking about caliber versus game

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 13:34
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Pyro on the recoil question. 

 

The 450 Marlin with 350 grain loads is pretty stiff - would say considerable more than standard load 45-70.  The custom loads from Buffalo Bore or Garrett are a whole different animal.  That very light Timber Carbine in 444 shooting Hornady 265 grains is nor fun off the bench - no problem on game with the adrenaline rush.

 

My older boy also has a Rem 700 in 375 ultra - not sure why he bought it, maybe for Africa one day.  He enjoys shooting it but that's my limit for recoil.  Even on a running deer target it's a beast for me.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 13:37
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so in your mind what do the 450 and 444 compare to within reason ive never shot these animals before
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 14:21
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amount of muzzle energy and momentum dumped into the animal is all that matters -- animal doesn't care what gun or how many shots it takes
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 14:27
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

amount of muzzle energy and momentum dumped into the animal is all that matters -- animal doesn't care what gun or how many shots it takes

you might not care about how much meat you waste or how long you have to chase the animal but i do! one shot one kill.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 14:42
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Originally posted by Dale Clifford Dale Clifford wrote:

amount of muzzle energy and momentum dumped into the animal is all that matters -- animal doesn't care what gun or how many shots it takes

The antis feast on stuff like this. On the gun I agree.........

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 14:46
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sounds like the queen of the anti's is "exploring the bid for the presidency" this makes me nervous, i think i might have to jump parties and vote for the lesser of two evils and vote for obama so she dont get in, bill tried to take away guns and the like and i think hillary with her lawyer background will try harder!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 15:46
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She is overkill.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 15:50
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You might think about another party. I think if you checked the number of guns sold during their tenures Clinton sold more guns than Bush. (maybe for the wrong reason, but more non the less) As far as meat damage I/ve had less with the 50's I've used on antelope and deer than a "more appropriate" caliber. I'm happy that you and Davie Crockett can do it in one shot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 15:59
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As you can see from this 400 pounder, a .375 was more than I needed. It did the job, though. Shot was 50 yards, went in behind the left shoulder and smashed the right one on the way out. The 270 gr Cor-lokt barely started working. I would use this combo again in a minute. Overkill, what do you think?

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 16:08
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nice bear!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 16:24
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Overkill??  Nope, think from the bear's expression was just about right!
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Originally posted by Dogger Dogger wrote:

Overkill??  Nope, think from the bear's expression was just about right!

 

 

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Originally posted by pyro6999 pyro6999 wrote:

nice bear!!

Thanks pyro, he made a real nice rug. I smoked most of the meat and my friends around here thought it was beef. The area of northern Quebec I was in was my kind of country. Of course, I'm a Michigan Yooper at heart and the terrain was similar.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 16:33
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i will have to get that recipe from you, i am after a bear this fall!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2007 at 16:55
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A friend who has deer & elk guided for 25 years states that almost all the hunters who mess up are overgunned. they buy a cannon cause the experts tell them that the bullets from their faithful 270, 300 savage, 308 or 30-06 will bounce of a Mule deer or Elk.
and that the old 4X scope won't suffice in "Big Country". So out they go and buy some monster magnum with a 6-18x50 scope. After getting smacked around and maybe stuffed in the eye by it, they can't hit a bull in the butt @ 25 yards.
If you cannot hit a 12" pie plate @ 100 yards shooting offhand or that same pieplate sitting @200 or off a rest @ 250 then you are not ready to hunt. Keep the old rifle that worked, buy an accurate scoped 22 RF that mimics your centerfire and start shooting 1000s of RFs. When the 12" pieplate is "dead" @ 50 yds offhand and @100 sitting or rest, then restart with the CF (alternate w/the 22) until you can pass the test. Clean old Betsy, locktite all the screws and buy premium ammo. If the guide puts you on a critter, you'll probably put it on the packhorse.
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