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Thread: Cartridge Confusion...

  1. #1

    Default Cartridge Confusion...

    I'm in WA State and decided to post here, rather than in the AK Hunting Forum. I've hunted AK, BC, WA and South Africa, but mostly hunt elk. My experience includes 7mm-08 to 416 Rem Mag. I could stick with what I know, but am always looking for a better mousetrap! This is what I've seen: Moose and elk are clearly hit hard when using a 338 Win Mag and 210 or 250 Noslers. But big game shot with the 225 original X Bullet seem far less impressed with the 338 and take much longer to expire with well placed shots! This goes for Muskox, Black Bear, Caribou. I had to shoot the Ox at 300 yards 3 times, the bear 3 times in a tree and the Caribou twice! Yet elk drop at the shot using the Noslers. Plus the recovered X Bullets from Ox look picture perfect! On the other hand deer shot at long range with a 7 Rem Mag and X Bullets react as though they were struck by lightning! I learned the 375 H&H is not a Stopping Gun! Yet it seems to hit hard and I dropped all my African Plains Game with 1 shot a piece- only a Blue wildebeest ran 60 yards or so, all using Noslers. But on a BC moose hunt an enraged bull who came in unexpectedly to a cow call, was not too happy with us little pale toothpicks in his meadow. He was getting ready to run me down and it took 5 well placed shots around 40 yards with my 375 and 1 poor placed shot from my guide's 30-06 to stop his intent! I've never seen anything like that and realized right then, the 375 is not a Stopper if ever really needed! Yet another calm moose I shot went right down with the same loading with 1 shot.

    I realize every situation is different, as is every animal. My buddies hunt elk with 30-06s, but seem to have to shoot them more than once, so they do not run off and drop in front of another hunters tag! I always hear stories of black bear running off after well placed shots. Then there are articles that claim the 300 RUM is a great big bear gun and a 7MM works perfect for Grizzly! I recall a time when hunters frowned on 30 caliber and under for the big bears, and Alaskans recommended at least 30 caliber for general hunting. But these days guys seem to be taking long range shots at elk using a 7 mm WSM rig. One author seemed to think a 270 was perfect moose medicine. I could go on.

    My question is, if dead is dead, how much gun does one really need for big game these days? Is it time to give up my 338 and 375? I wonder because of the new bullet technologies? As an example one recent article suggests using only modern 150 grain bullets on elk from your 30-06, and that 180s were no longer needed- why the new 150s shoot right through any bull! Another opined the 243 was now a"Giant Killer" using modern bullets. And one hunter shooting a 300 RUM said loaded with the new Hornady 150 GMX, was devastating on elk! Has our new bullet technologies raised the lethality factor considerably for lesser calibers. In other words, can I hunt everything now with my 300 Win or 7 Mag, using the new lighter modern bullets? Or would I just be fooling myself? All opinions appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Here's an insight for you:

    Most of those guys are being paid to write by magazines that are being paid to publish advertising from the bullet companies. If you were a publisher, would you allow anything in print that didn't sing glory halleluya for the new bullets featured in the ads? Gotta be something in print to make you spend money on the new stuff, so the bullet companies will buy more advertising from the magazine.

    Me? Cynical? Nah.

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    You need to match bullet placement, impact velocity and bullet construction to the animal you are shooting. 338 is not a fast round but does shoot heavy bullets so you need to hit scapula, both if possible, to put them down rapidly. A faster round will work better in the boiler room. And, there is always the exception.

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    Some would say that a bull moose pumped up with adrenaline and in a frenzy can take multiple hits if the rounds didn't split the backbone in half. And one well placed shot on an unsuspecting bull would take a few steps and drop. You and your guide had to pump rounds into a "jacked up" bull. From what you have experienced, this theory may hold water.
    Just my .02
    scott

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    Everything I have killed with my .338WM has gone down right there at ranges of 27 paces to 300, that is moose and caribou by way of a Nosler Partition or Hornady Interlock in 225 grains. None were CNS hits, all were through the lungs or through the heart. The same can be said of my .30-06' on black bear, caribou and sheep using a Nosler Partiton or Speer Hot-Cor in 165 or 180 grain.

    I would reconsider your bullet choice, not the cartridge.

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    I've wondered the same thing myself…is bullet technology increasing the performance envelope of the smaller cartridges?

    I think the answer is a qualified "yes."Particularly when you look at the controlled expansion and mono metal bulets compared to the older cup and core designs- the new stuff holds together better at high speed and penetrates farther than a cup and core ever could. A friend of mine this fall walked a .257 bullet that weighed a mere 100gr through both shoulders of a bull elk…at 350 yds. I'm not sure that would have even be possible 40 years ago.

    Does it make the bigger bores obsolete? I'd have to say "no." Long, heavy for caliber bullets at moderate velocity have been shooting through big critters for a very long time now. The '06 220gr has a great reputation as does the 250gr .338 and 300gr .375- but it's a bit hard to hit at longer range with them.

    The mono metal bullets are great killers in the high speed magnums, but when you put them into the medium/low speed big bores I think you're not getting the best use out of them. But bottom line is, anything that allows you to shoot through both lungs will do the trick, regardless of bore size or bullet marketing- double lunged critters die. Dropping something like a moose or elk in it's tracks is nice- but not really an effect you can count on regardless of cartridge and bullet you're using. I've seen some well hit critters with some awful big cartridges go for a ways before dropping and others fall over when smacked with a .270. Doesn't make the .270 a better killer- only a quicker killer in a very specific set of samples. You could easily assemble anecdotal evidence that shows just the opposite.

    A neck injury has more or less forced me to gravitate to the lighter end of the scale and I'm really fond of the .300WSM and the 180 Accubond- I've got a lot of confidence in it and would shoot pretty much anything up here with it. Doesn't mean my .375s wouldn't be equally as effective- just a different set of circumstances in that I shoot the .300 far better these days.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  7. #7

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    http://www.hornady.com/team-hornady/...let-b-kneeland

    At the above URL the hunter describes what his 300 RUM/165 GMX combo did to a cow elk at fairly close range. It sounds devastating and just as effective, if not a bit more than shooting elk with my 338/250 Nosler. OK, I know it's a cow- but still a big animal. I think that might be a 0-500 yard gun effective for most big game from deer to bear, using the same lighter modern bullet design?

    Going from smoke poles to cartridges allowed for a big reduction in caliber required. Are we seeing this again with new bullets? Or is there simply no substitute for the larger frontal area of bigger calibers?

    Obviously the 165 30 caliber must be producing a smaller would channel than a 338 and I always thought the lager channel wins. But does it? Perhaps when using same bullet designs that's so? But is it possible that the 165 GMX scrambles the insides of game so much, that a larger caliber is no longer needed? That's kind of what my 7 mag did to deer using the early X bullets. Like a blender went off inside!

    I really like my 338 WIN. I also like the 325 WSM, 9.3X62 and 300 WIN MAG. I've kind of left the 375 H&H by the wayside, because I no longer see a need for one. Oh, I love the Romance of the H&H, but I feel the 338 Win does the same plus a bit more at range. For stuff that can stomp me, my 416 Rem Mag will do. But how often will I be in such situations? Obviously the 338 is proven. But if today lesser rounds with smaller modern bullets kill just as quick, then perhaps it's time to step down? I guess the only real way to find out is by trying. I may just need to acquire/build a 300 RUM for deer, big black bear and elk near and far, using 150 to 165 gr modern bullets! For some reason the concept of using a smaller bullet intrigues me. On the other hand... someone wake me from this dream!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabochris View Post
    the hunter describes what his 300 RUM/165 GMX combo did to a cow elk at fairly close range. It sounds devastating and just as effective, if not a bit more than shooting elk with my 338/250 Nosler. OK, I know it's a cow- but still a big animal. I think that might be a 0-500 yard gun effective for most big game from deer to bear, using the same lighter modern bullet design?
    A friend of mine shoots the .300RUM with 150 Sciroccos and the results are pretty phenomenal in terms of flat shooting and hitting ability at long range. On close range shots though the meat damage is shocking. Whole quarters turn to purple jelly when hit and ribcages shatter- better practice the "behind the shoulder" lung shot with one.

    He's also taken a 9' Brown Bear with 200gr bullets…very effective. Would I use the 150s on a Brown Bear? Probably not, regardless of construction.

    I think the mono metal bullets have a place though and that's in the really high speed magnums like the RUM and WBYs. I think the TSX really comes into it's own in the .300WBY.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    It "sounds" to me that you are obsessed with that thing called velocity. I am not of a mind to type several paragraphs, so I will mention a few "generalities" in summation.

    The faster an object travels, the faster it decelerates.

    Hydrostatic shock is the most dynamic "killer", the larger the diameter, or meplat of the projectile, the greater the hydrostatic shock on impact provided the projectile is stable/ has the tendency to remain in tact vs. fragmenting. Expansion and bullet design are factors. CNS wounds aside

    "Slow and heavy", this and been shown over and over to be incredibly effective, also it is a relative/comparative term and also indicates how effective momentum is.

    These things have been the subjects of debate countless times and there is plenty of it in this forum, doing a search will lead you to some of them.

    The .338WM IMO, is the "ideal all-around North American big game cartridge" fully capable out to ranges far exceeding that of the typical shooter and one I have come to favor, even over the venerated .30-06'.

    If your intent is to use it for N.A. and African plains game where legal, I suggest the 225 grain Partition if you want to settle on one design. If you want a "softer" bullet develop a load for a good cup and core like the Hornady Interlock, Speer Hot-Cor or Remington Corelockt. I never been anywhere close to disappointed with my .338WM, only surprised by how well it performs.

  10. #10

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    There is no doubt the 338 WM hits game hard. Yet, perhaps bullet/cartridge technology ups the performance of lesser rounds? What really got me thinking about this is... it seems as of late there is a move away from Magnums, in particular mid bore. I've noticed this on line in forums and in many magazine articles. I keep hearing things like the 270 Win is perfect for moose now and the 280 Rem for everything else. That magnums are really not needed. And again that the newer 150 grain bullets in the 06 is the new 180 for elk.

    Years ago on the AK Dept. game site it was suggested hunting with at least a 30 caliber and a 300 Winnie was perfect for everything. Now I hear they say the 30-06 is good for your big bears! In an older hunting AK book I think by C. Batin?... I recall stated- Alaskans do not favor 7mm because of lesser frontal area and 30-06 was the minimum to use in general. Now the 06 is perfect big bear RX? All this made me think, perhaps I am over-gunned and should embrace new technology?

    I've always preferred the 300 WM over the 06 because I felt it realistically gave me an extra 100 yards if needed. But I've also been looking for the perfect hunting rifle for nearly everything- which so far I've yet to find... The 338 WM comes close, as does the 300 WM and similar rounds. But what about even more versatility? I.E. the 300 RUM, which really could be used as a 500 yard big game rifle if needed. Not sure I would try that with my 338 WM. Yes, I view the 300 RUM as a step down. But perhaps with modern 165 bullets the 300 RUM would make for a great all-rounder? Plus if one ever felt the need for a bigger bullet the Federal 300 RUM 200 Nosler Partition compares very well to their 210 338 WM partition- actually significantly bettering it at 400 yards in energy, wind drift and range. Although really not what I'm interested in on this, but available.

    I've never been one to stick with what I use just because it has worked in the past. I'm sort of a Rifle Nut and have always been open to new technologies. I have to ask... where else can rifle technology go? Has the end been reached- sort of like the bicycle? It seems like companies have hit a brick wall and are simply re-inventing old cartridges in a new package. This is why I'm taking a look at all these new modern bullets and powders and have to wonder if smaller calibers are the new direction? I'm using the 300 RUM as an extreme example. But if I could reliably use a modern 25-06 loading for elk, bear and moose, why not? Dead is dead- as long as the new smaller bullets get the job done right. I doubt I'll step down that far, but may try 165 GMX bullets in my 300 WM next Spring Bear season, then same for elk. And for me that would be a step down and leap of faith in new bullet technology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabochris View Post
    Dead is dead- as long as the new smaller bullets get the job done right. I doubt I'll step down that far, but may try 165 GMX bullets in my 300 WM next Spring Bear season, then same for elk. And for me that would be a step down and leap of faith in new bullet technology.
    Well…there's the rub, sort of- modern smaller bore bullets depend on several things going very right at the same time in order to perform. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The mono metals depend largely on impact velocity to get good expansion- at longer ranges they frequently under expand. I've seen several examples pulled from moose that simply could be wiped off and reloaded. Bullets like the TSX are wonderful in high speed magnums and to a large degree- depend on it. Once speed drops off- so does their performance.

    That was largely the genius behind the Partition and to an extent, what they tried to do with the Accubond- a bullet that would reliably expand at lower velocity yet hold together at higher impact velocity (or just the rear core in the PT's case) and penetrate like crazy.

    The early X bullets frequently penciled through without a lot of damage and I understand the latest "Tipped TSX" is an effort to get reliable expansion at lower impact velocity. I don't have any experience with the GMX or the E-Tip bullets but I believe they are all similar enough to have the same characteristics.

    I think part of the equation though is the relatively new ranges- in the "ye olde" days shots beyond 300yds were pretty unusual and more than a little controversial. Now 300-500 seems pretty accepted and more hunters are taking those shots than in years past and I believe bullet technology still has a way to go to catch up- how do you make a bullet perform really well at impact velocities from 3400 to 2000 fps? That's a pretty tall order.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Lots of questions….

    Muzzle velocity
    Bullet weight and Diameter
    Bullet construction
    Shot placement
    Ethical shot distances
    What good are the magnum cartridges anyways


    Here is where I stand now a days, subject to change of course. Most critters around here under 300 yards will die just fine with most all calibers that shoot accurately that far so long as they have the velocity to open up a bullet, say 2000 fps. That would include the 270 all the way up to the 375. You gotta shoot them where it counts no matter what. So, the cartridge you use should afford you the best opportunity for success. Since most cartridges will do just fine at 300 yards or under, your real concern is how the gun, shooter and bullet perform at extended ranges. That seems to be the best reason for a magnum cartridge, to shoot longer with less error if your windage and yardage is a bit off.

    Faster cartridges need better constructed bullets, like the monolithic, bonded and partitions to not turn into a grenade. Slower cartridges do fine with the cup and core varieties. Really slow cartridges do well with big, heavy bullets.

    I like a big hole to track an animal that has a lot of hair, so I prefer the 375 now a days. I also have shot the 300 win and the 300 Rum and like the extended point blank range and confidence to 400 yards, if I have been practicing that far. I think anything shot with any of those guns would be all the way dead if it had a bullet in the lungs because the bullets used would open up and expand to shred lungs. "Anchoring" or "Stopping" any animal where it stands is only a sure thing if you hit the nervous system. Killing any animal is a sure thing with holes in it's lungs. Most all cartridges will do that on this continent.

  13. #13

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    Seems like after using just about every wiz bang cartridge on the market for the last 45 years I have come full circle and now my primary rifles are either the 338 RCM, 30'06 or the 9,3x62. A fat bullet going at moderate speed that punches through the critter and I could care less if I have a 50 yard trailing duty.
    And, gasp! I even went back to Hornady cup and core interlocks bullets and they work as well as anything. Blood shot meat is such a total waste.

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    I have used my Win M70 338 Mag since 1971 when I first got it. In all of those years it has done the job the I have asked and I have not had an issue. I shoot or have shot Nosler's, Sierra's and Barnes bullets. I mostly use 225 Barnes now along with Sierra 215's. In all of those years I do not remember any animal that I have shot more then once. While I have not taken grizzly's with it, I have taken moose, caribou and black bear. My wife shoots a Savage 116 in 338 Mag and she also has not had any issues. She is shooting Barnes 210 and again has not had any issues. I feel that shot placement is a big factor in putting any animal on the ground. Any animal that is high on adrenaline is going to be tough to stop no matter what the caliber being used is.
    Just my .02 worth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Here's an insight for you:

    Most of those guys are being paid to write by magazines that are being paid to publish advertising from the bullet companies. If you were a publisher, would you allow anything in print that didn't sing glory halleluya for the new bullets featured in the ads? Gotta be something in print to make you spend money on the new stuff, so the bullet companies will buy more advertising from the magazine.

    Me? Cynical? Nah.
    Me ain't cynical either, but I'm certain you're right.

    New bullets are mostly for Marketing purposes IMO. They build a new bullet, and get someone to TEST it. Animals die, and the NEW MAGIC bullet ALWAYS works fine and better than the last one.

    There are so many variables that they don't reely know, but they tell you so, and convince themselves, it's so. "Promise them anything, but be sincere".

    Well, it's probably not that bad. I'll buy that there are some slight improvements, but the improvements have limited application.

    There is a problem with bullets, of light weight, fired at High Velocity, say pretty close to 3,000 fps. The bullet may work fine at longer ranges, but at close range, where the velocity is highest, they can over-expand as in BlOW UP. It expands and penetrates out there, but not here, not always, or reliably.

    The Nosler Partition solved this problem a very long time ago. Now, other bullet designs that hold together better, may accomplish the same end. A Controlled Expansion bullet has some merit, IMO. For that application.

    BUT, I don't need a Nosler Partition for my 30-30, but they gott'em. I don't think a so-called Premium Bullet is called for in any cartridge, or load that isn’t very FAST. I don’t think I need one for a 338 WM, because the bullet I would use, (250 grain) ain’t goin that fast. Neither is a 30-06 180 grain traveling at 2700 fps. (OK, they can go faster than that nowadays.)

    Those are just examples. AND, for extry insurance I can use a heavier bullet, which in theory will penetrate more from SD, and it’s slower speed.

    Another less likely problem in general terms, is that a bullet impacting at a very long range will not expand at all, just make a tiny hole, and slow death.

    How are these so-called Premium Bullets gonna help with that?

    The Nosler Partition MIGHT, because it Will, by design, expand more readily, and have some bullet left over. .

    I will also, submit that some so-called Premium bullets might result in an improvement in accuracy.

    I dunno for certain trendwise. I’ve not tested that many bullets in comparison with many others. Most people are pretty much convinced that their new bullets are better before they buy them, and will remain convinced until it’s proven otherwise.

    Not me, though. I et a lotta beans today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Bearcat View Post
    I feel that shot placement is a big factor in putting any animal on the ground. Any animal that is high on adrenaline is going to be tough to stop no matter what the caliber being used is. Just my .02 worth.
    Sometimes you hear these stories.

    How a beeg bear is shot multiple times with a beeg gun and it wasn't stopped right away..

    Then, they say, or at least, leave the impression that a beeger gun was needed.

    They never say, they didn't hit the bear right, the first couple, three shots.

    Smitty of the North
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    Yep. Shot placement is critical and is different for different types of bullets at different speeds. If you can put a bullet behind the shoulders into the heart/lungs the light hi speed expanding bullet works well. From a frontal shot through heavy bone a heavy slower bullet may work better.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    They never say, they didn't hit the bear right, the first couple, three shots.
    You just have to take it for granted that guys never report their screw-ups. It's ALWAYS the fault of the gun/bullet/guide/republicans/democrats/liberals/conservatives. Anyone but them!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabochris View Post
    I'm in WA State and decided to post here, rather than in the AK Hunting Forum. I've hunted AK, BC, WA and South Africa, but mostly hunt elk. My experience includes 7mm-08 to 416 Rem Mag. I could stick with what I know, but am always looking for a better mousetrap! This is what I've seen: Moose and elk are clearly hit hard when using a 338 Win Mag and 210 or 250 Noslers. But big game shot with the 225 original X Bullet seem far less impressed with the 338 and take much longer to expire with well placed shots! This goes for Muskox, Black Bear, Caribou. I had to shoot the Ox at 300 yards 3 times, the bear 3 times in a tree and the Caribou twice! Yet elk drop at the shot using the Noslers. Plus the recovered X Bullets from Ox look picture perfect! On the other hand deer shot at long range with a 7 Rem Mag and X Bullets react as though they were struck by lightning! I learned the 375 H&H is not a Stopping Gun! Yet it seems to hit hard and I dropped all my African Plains Game with 1 shot a piece- only a Blue wildebeest ran 60 yards or so, all using Noslers. But on a BC moose hunt an enraged bull who came in unexpectedly to a cow call, was not too happy with us little pale toothpicks in his meadow. He was getting ready to run me down and it took 5 well placed shots around 40 yards with my 375 and 1 poor placed shot from my guide's 30-06 to stop his intent! I've never seen anything like that and realized right then, the 375 is not a Stopper if ever really needed! Yet another calm moose I shot went right down with the same loading with 1 shot.

    I realize every situation is different, as is every animal. My buddies hunt elk with 30-06s, but seem to have to shoot them more than once, so they do not run off and drop in front of another hunters tag! I always hear stories of black bear running off after well placed shots. Then there are articles that claim the 300 RUM is a great big bear gun and a 7MM works perfect for Grizzly! I recall a time when hunters frowned on 30 caliber and under for the big bears, and Alaskans recommended at least 30 caliber for general hunting. But these days guys seem to be taking long range shots at elk using a 7 mm WSM rig. One author seemed to think a 270 was perfect moose medicine. I could go on.

    My question is, if dead is dead, how much gun does one really need for big game these days? Is it time to give up my 338 and 375? I wonder because of the new bullet technologies? As an example one recent article suggests using only modern 150 grain bullets on elk from your 30-06, and that 180s were no longer needed- why the new 150s shoot right through any bull! Another opined the 243 was now a"Giant Killer" using modern bullets. And one hunter shooting a 300 RUM said loaded with the new Hornady 150 GMX, was devastating on elk! Has our new bullet technologies raised the lethality factor considerably for lesser calibers. In other words, can I hunt everything now with my 300 Win or 7 Mag, using the new lighter modern bullets? Or would I just be fooling myself? All opinions appreciated.
    First hand experience is everything my friend and from your experience if I had a thunder stick question you'd be the one I'd be asking and not some ninny in a gun rag.

    You and your kind are what this forum is all about! You keep sharing your experiences and I'll keep listening and learning! I have been thinking about a moose hunt for a couple of years and figured my 358 winny would be dynamite and I might even take my 7mm-08 and ambush one on the way by and plunk him through the lungs. Uh Huh and my guide calls one in and it comes head hunting like the one that you had to do the rapid fire thing on with a 375 why.... my 7m-08 would be like a bb-gun. Yup I learned something today and I thank s ya!

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    First hand experience is everything my friend and from your experience if I had a thunder stick question you'd be the one I'd be asking and not some ninny in a gun rag.

    You and your kind are what this forum is all about! You keep sharing your experiences and I'll keep listening and learning! I have been thinking about a moose hunt for a couple of years and figured my 358 winny would be dynamite and I might even take my 7mm-08 and ambush one on the way by and plunk him through the lungs. Uh Huh and my guide calls one in and it comes head hunting like the one that you had to do the rapid fire thing on with a 375 why.... my 7m-08 would be like a bb-gun. Yup I learned something today and I thank s ya!
    Well moose sure ain’t like the average flighty deer down south, they are big, strong, well armed and they know it. They act more like wild cattle than deer, they will sneak off into the thick and watch. They very seldom bolt and are often willing to stand and fight if you try to push them . . . They pin those big ears like a pissed off boss mare. Anybody been around livestock can read them pretty well but they sure don’t have the fear/flight thing like deer and elk, they get on the fight like livestock.
     
     
    Your 358win is plenty gun for moose, with the right bullet it will near go end to end. 7mm08 is light enough to need the right angle but plug Bullwinkle in the head with it and he is all done. I’d take the 358 cuz even though I know a 7mm to the noggin will work I don’t know I could hit the noggin when everything gets all western and I need to.
     
     
    The dang things are slow to die but much more likely than him coming for ya is the turkey will go swimming on you and die in the water. I hate that, it’s cold, wet, and nasty getting them out of water any way ya do it! To me one shot on a moose means a water recovery so I try to bust them down at the shoulder first then the boiler room
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