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Thread: 160 grains enough for moose?

  1. #1
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    Default 160 grains enough for moose?

    I am preparing for my Tikchick moose hunt in September and have been shooting my Savage 7mm rem mag a lot lately. I have discovered it does not like 175 grain bullets no matter what manufacturer. I have tried core-lokts, federal power points, federal fusions, and a few others. I don't have a decent sporting goods store so I am kinda limited on what I was able to pick up. It will group 160 grain nosler accu-bonds under two inches at 200 yards. That group changes to a foot plus with the 175s. One of the ****dest things I have seen a rifle do. But I am very worried about what that ballistic tip will do on a moose shoulder at 50 yards. My guess it could splatter under the skin without penetrating the bone. I am going to see how some 160 grain nosler partitions pattern. Does anyone have any advise that could help me out? I would really appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Member lawdog's Avatar
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    Default I'm sure others would disagree...

    but I'm of the opinion that nothing less than a thirty cal is desirable for moose. I will be hunting moose this fall with a 300wsm 180 tsx. I would have referred to use a .338 250gr. instead but don't have one and i've killed moose before with the 300. so i know what it will do. I witnessed a bad deal with a weatherby 7mm mag 160 tbbc. This moose was hit three times and took off like a bat outa hell. Never did find him. I think the problem is that sometimes guns can be too fast and light for efficient killing. I'm sure that a lot of moose have been killed with a 7mm and I'm not going to argue that but I would rather see a .338 250 (bonded) going a lot slower and driving in deeper. My .02

  3. #3

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    No prob. IF you put the bullet where it belongs, as is always the case. The Nosler 160 Partition is my favorite bullet for the 7mm Rem Mag, the 284 Win and the 7x57, and it's made consistant 1-shot kills on moose and elk in all those calibers. For some reason it seems to kill quicker than the 175 partition, even in the 7 mag. Go figure.

    Moose are really pretty easy to kill (as are elk) when you put a round through the lungs. Lots of stories to the contrary out there, but I have to believe what I see before I believe what I hear. Marksmanship is the great leveler for all calibers.

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    Smile

    Yep, What BrownBear said...... True statement there.. They're not that hard to kill if your bullets goes where it's supposed to go.
    I personally would never use a ballistic tip on big game period, that's just me though. In my opinion, its a varmint bullet should be used as such.
    I shot a moose in the shoulder with my 270 using a 150gr nosler PT at 125yds, and it blew his shoulder literally to pieces and dumped him on his *****.
    Jim Zumbo hunts North America with his pet 7mm and look what he kills... I say go gor it, but use a well constructed big game hunting bullet and put it where it belongs.

  5. #5
    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Default

    I've used my .30/06 w/150g Hornady's and dropped moose with one shot everytime. I've also used my .300WM w/180g Winchester FailSafes and dropped them with one shot dead! It is all with shot placement. Best place I shoot is head shots, don't like ruining the meat.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    Default Bullet size

    I think you in good shape. I use a 150 grain in my 270 and it works fine. Keep in mind that you distance of your shot has a lot to do with knock down power (placement too). I made the mistake of thinking a 135 caribou load would do the job on a 53 incher a few years ago. The first shot was near 300 yards and was well placed but you can guess the rest of the story, 3 more shots to bring that guy down. We live and learn.

    Walt
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  7. #7

    Default Accubond

    If you are getting good groups with the BT, try the Accubond. If they make it in the same weight as your BT, you may be able to use the same load with the same results, but have a bonded core bullet.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  8. #8
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    Dropped this guy with one shot 160 Barnes tsx out of a .280.This gun has countless kills and has taken everything except grizzles.


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    Thumbs up Shot Placement is Key

    I can't agree more with the many comments that have been made about WHERE the bullet hits. Shot placement is the key to a fast clean kill. Now with that being said, my personnal preferrance is a 338 win mag, 225 Hornady Interbond for moose.

    However, this past moose season I procrastinated and failed to reload rounds for my 338 win mag. So, I went moose hunting with my 308. I had about 4 boxes of the Hornady 150 SST's Interbond loaded. I have shot several black bear, white tail deer and a few wild hogs in west Texas with the load and was very pleased with the results.

    The reason why I like the 338 win mag over many of the other fine choices is this; the 338 win mag is far more forgiving if I make a bad shot and it can compisate for my error better than many of the other "lighter" rifles.

    I did get my moose with my 308 using the Hornady 150 SST Interbond. One shot, went right down. I was thankful for a perfect shot placement. However, I will NOT make it a habit to moose hunt with my 308. I'm sure many of you have seen the video of the Eskimo who hunted polar bears back in the 70's using a 223 cal. One shot when the polar bear was maybe 20 -25 yards away. Not my idea of a fun day.

    So, that's my "two cents" worth. Yes, your 7 MM will do it. IF you get the correct shot placement.

    Good Luck and I hope to hear from you after the season is over. I would like to hear how you did.

    ihuntbears........ and moose too..lol

  10. #10

    Default Ballistic tips/Accubonds

    You said you were grouping Accubonds well, and then went on to question the validity of Ballistic tips on big game. Those are two different bullets. If you have been shooting Accubonds, I'd say you are good to go. Just wait for a broadside presentation and put it through the ribs. BT's on a moose would definitely be a no-no.

  11. #11
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    Default

    First let me say thanks for all the information. I will take the in the field experience over manufacturers hype any day. Fullcurl, the bullets that have been grouping well were 160 grain Nosler Accu bonds loaded by Federal. I guess I should have said POLYMER tip instead of BALLISTIC tip. You are right, the two terms are not exactly interchangable. Being a big time coyote hunter has led me to call anything with a plastic nose cone is a ballistic tip, just like a cotton ear cleaner on a plastic stick is a Q-tip, no matter what the brand. Sorry if the generality caused some confusion. Hope this clears it up some. Again thanks everyone!

  12. #12

    Default Placement, distance, and knock-down power info

    I agree shot placement is always critical, but you should also know the knock-power and your maximum distance for that particular caliber and load. FYI:

    Here are some ballistics for a 160 and 165 grain bullet for three different calibers, that may provide insight for your hunt. Note I do not have the exact ballistic specs for the bullet you are using, but the example will be in the correct ball park for determining relative knock-down power. The grains of powder are close to maximum for each caliber for consistency. As you can see, for the 7mm RemMag knock-down power drops below 1,000 ft lbs at about 150 yards and is 868 ft-lbs at 200 yds. At over 150 yards your moose shot should be in the vitals, heart shot preferred with a 160 grain bullet.
    7mm RemMag 160 grain, Ballistic Coefficient 0.35, 69 grains of IMR 4831 powder, muzzle velocity =2900 fps, zeroed in for 200 yards = +1.8 inches at 100 yds, -7.9 inches at 300; your equivalent energy-foot-lbs (“knock-down” power) would be 1288 ft-lbs at muzzle, 1061 ft-lbs at 100 yds, 868 ft-lbs at 200 yds, 703 ft-lbs at 300 yards.

    30-06 Springfield, 165 grain bullet: Ballistic Coefficient 0.433, 59 grains of IMR 4831 powder, muzzle velocity =2670 fps, zeroed in for 200 yards = +2.1 inches at 100 yards, -8.7 inches at 300 yards; your equivalent energy-foot-lbs would be 991 at muzzle, 812 ft-lbs at 100 yards, 687 ft-lbs at 200 yds, 577 ft-lbs at 300 yards.

    300 Win Mag, 165 grain, Ballistic Coefficient 0.433, 72 grains IMR 4831 powder, muzzle velocity =2900 fps, zeroed in for 200 yards = +1.7 inches at 100 yds, -7.4 inches at 300 yards; your equivalent energy foot lbs would be 1344 ft-lbs at muzzle, 1149 ft-lbs at 100 yds, 977 ft-lbs at 200 yds, and 820 ft-lbs at 300 yds.
    Hope this is useful to you. Good luck huntin, lets us hear how you do!

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    Alaskasourdough, what is considered the minimum ft/lbs energy for moose? That might help me decide what I need to do.

  14. #14

    Default 160 grain for moose ...

    Quote Originally Posted by huntnut78 View Post
    Alaskasourdough, what is considered the minimum ft/lbs energy for moose? That might help me decide what I need to do.
    I keep my loads for moose at 850 ft lbs or higher, that helps assure a clean kill, rather than wound the moose and have to chase it to get another shot. So I would suggest your 7mm RemMag with 160 grain bullet is fine out to 150-200 yards with a good placed shot. Got a good scope on it?

  15. #15

    Default 160 grainers

    My favorite caliber bar none is the .280 Remington. I shoot 160 grainers exclusively and have taken moose, bears, a number of caribou, deer and other game with it. Unless I am hunting brownies or in brown bear country, this is what I normally carry. I have never had a moose run when I shot it, because I was careful with my shot placement. I have taken 11 over the years, and only a few with other than the .280.

    That is a key issue, but bullet selection as important. Don't use anything less that a Nosler Partition (my choice) premium bullet. Using the bargain ammo bullets can cost you a good animal, as happened to me before switching to the Partitions. Had Hornady and Speer bullets fail, but never a Nosler.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

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    Alaskasourdough, I have a Leupold VXII 4-12 x 50. I love the clarity of the scope, and I am comfortable with my shooting ability, because I do shoot a lot. But I have to say I am extremely disapointed with the way this gun shoots 175s. I was shooting off of a Caldwell Lead Sled and fired six rounds at 200. Walked up to the paper and it looked like it was shot with 00 buck at twenty yards. It was honestly a foot wide group. I thought for sure something had come loose or my scope came apart, so I switched back to the 160's and shot a little less than a two inch group right above the bullseye. I have never seen a rifle THAT finicky before. I am going to have to track down some 160 grain partitions. Unfortunately I live in the democratic dictatorship of Illinois, who has the most restrictive gun laws in the US next to Washington DC. Not Cabelas, Midway, Natchez Shooter Supply, or anyone else will ship loaded ammo to Illinois. So I am going to have to find a store that carries those rounds and drive to pick them up.

  17. #17
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    If a 160-grain bullet can't kill a moose, then I'm not sure what will . . .

  18. #18
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskasourdough View Post
    ...
    30-06 Springfield, 165 grain bullet: Ballistic Coefficient 0.433, 59 grains of IMR 4831 powder, muzzle velocity =2670 fps, zeroed in for 200 yards = +2.1 inches at 100 yards, -8.7 inches at 300 yards; your equivalent energy-foot-lbs would be 991 at muzzle, 812 ft-lbs at 100 yards, 687 ft-lbs at 200 yds, 577 ft-lbs at 300 yards.

    4831 isn't an ideal powder for the bullet. When comparing what the rifle will do, it's probably more fair to look at 4350 or RL 19, both of which should sling a 165-grain bullet in the 2800-2900 fps neighborhood from the '06.

    That's quite adequate for moose. Like the 7mm RM, it's on the low side in case of bear. (I know one assistant guide who carries a .270 on Kodiak, but I think you'll find him in the definite minority.)

    Come to think of it, Alaskasourdough listed 2900 as a muzzle velocity for 4831 and a 165-grain bullet for the .300 Win. IMR says that's about the muzzle velocity for the starting load (70.0 grains), and lists a max upwards of 3100 (75.2 grains). Not that every handload needs to be a max load, but if we're comparing...

    I'm probably just being a detail nut. The 7mm RM is enough for moose, as long as you put the bullet where it needs to go. I submit it has enough power to do so beyond 200 yards, but I don't know for absolute certain that I could meet criteria 1 (shot placement) reliably beyond 250 or so. If the same is true of you, your 7 mag with the 165 grain bullets oughta be fine. Just watch out for the sharp-toothed brown furry things.

  19. #19

    Default Probably the load, not the rifle

    Quote Originally Posted by huntnut78 View Post
    Alaskasourdough, I have a Leupold VXII 4-12 x 50. I love the clarity of the scope, and I am comfortable with my shooting ability, because I do shoot a lot. But I have to say I am extremely disapointed with the way this gun shoots 175s. I was shooting off of a Caldwell Lead Sled and fired six rounds at 200. Walked up to the paper and it looked like it was shot with 00 buck at twenty yards. It was honestly a foot wide group. I thought for sure something had come loose or my scope came apart, so I switched back to the 160's and shot a little less than a two inch group right above the bullseye. I have never seen a rifle THAT finicky before. I am going to have to track down some 160 grain partitions. Unfortunately I live in the democratic dictatorship of Illinois, who has the most restrictive gun laws in the US next to Washington DC. Not Cabelas, Midway, Natchez Shooter Supply, or anyone else will ship loaded ammo to Illinois. So I am going to have to find a store that carries those rounds and drive to pick them up.
    Your trouble with 175 grains is probably not the rifle but the load. If it is a factory load, you can't change anything but the batch, check the batch number on the box and try another box if you haven't already. It may be close to the max load for that powder, which is usually not a good idea. I have found in my reloading that as I approach the maximum load for most powders, the group begins to spray. A grain or two under max gives better groups. Also, in the above examples I referenced IMR 4831 powder in each example just to be consistant. Yes, different calibers and individual rifles will be perform better or worse with different powders. My 300 Win Mag performs like a tack driver with IMR 4831, best performance with 180 grain bullets. I agree with your choice of scope, I have the same. Yes, it does give you additional confidence when you know you can rely on it 100%!

  20. #20
    Member BigHorn Hunter's Avatar
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    Default It will be plenty.

    My personal choice for open country is a 300 WBY, for broken/bush country I use a 375. This has as much or more to do with I love these 2 guns as to the actually caliber.

    I have seen way too many dead from a 30/30 and Mini14's to say your 7mag won't work.

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