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Ok, this is a completely hypothetical question. There is no scheduled impending hunt and replies like neither get a better\more powerful rifle need not be made. But if you were going to hunt elk and you only had these 2 options which one would you choose and why?

6.8 SPC 115 grain Federal Fusion 1558 ft lbs at the muzzle, 1290 ft lbs at 100 yards, and 1059 ft lbs at 200 yards
or
350 Legend 160 grain Federal Fusion 1879 ft lbs at the muzzle, 1411 ft lbs at 100 yards, and 1041 ft lbs at 200 yards

Hypothetically, if you had a younger kid or even a smaller woman who was sensitive to recoil it may come down to a choice like this if they can't handle something bigger. I'll just say if it were me using either one I would limit shots to 100 yards or closer on elk. I also realize that this is a 6.8 forum so there might be some 6.8 bias in the answers. Just curious as to other's thought process on this.
 

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If you can hook up with a buddy who reloads, I'd suggest the Cavity Back Bullets' 120 grain hunting bullets for the 6.8 rig, check to see whether he makes pills for the 250 Legend while you're at it.

The other question is... will you be hunting in grizzly country? If so... I'd want to KNOW the bullet will be solid (in either case), I might even lean more towards the 350 if hunting in grizzly country.
 

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If you can hook up with a buddy who reloads, I'd suggest the Cavity Back Bullets' 120 grain hunting bullets for the 6.8 rig, check to see whether he makes pills for the 250 Legend while you're at it.

The other question is... will you be hunting in grizzly country? If so... I'd want to KNOW the bullet will be solid (in either case), I might even lean more towards the 350 if hunting in grizzly country.
For the sake of argument let's say that the shooter is either not in grizzly country or has someone else with them backing them up with a rifle sufficient for grizzly protection. Reloads are out so the two fusion loads it is. Looking for pros and cons of each one over the other if used on elk out to 100 yards. Something along the lines of: "Well the 350 makes a bigger hole so there should be a better blood trail. On the other hand, the 6.8 has a bullet with better sectional density so should penetrate better." Or anything else along those lines that would make you choose one over the other.
 

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If you are going to sale/ give / throw away the gun after the elk hunt then it would not matter enough to care . If you plan on keeping the gun then the answer would be to get the straight wall leg if you live in a state that allows straight wall rifles only and go 6.8 anywhere else .

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I would lean towards the 6.8 Fusion. 250 FPS velocity advantage at 100 yards according to Federal's website. Deeper penetration to reach the vitals is my thought.
 

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If you are going to sale/ give / throw away the gun after the elk hunt then it would not matter enough to care . If you plan on keeping the gun then the answer would be to get the straight wall leg if you live in a state that allows straight wall rifles only and go 6.8 anywhere else .

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In this scenario, you already own both rifles and will keep both of them. You aren't purchasing a rifle specifically for this hunt. You are just trying to determine which one of the two that you already own is the better choice to use on the elk hunt.
 

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I would probably base my decision on ranges I figure that I would be shooting at. If longer ranges I would go 6.8, shorter probably the 350 legend.
 

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The 115 grain federal fusion is a light recoil round from what I can tell. In my Mini 6.8 or AR, they kill deer pretty goodly from both guns with out much recoil or felt recoil. But then, one does not feel much recoil when acutally shooting at some thing your going to eat or kill for some reason it needs a killing.
 

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In my opinion, they are both slightly under gunned for elk. I do prefer bigger calibers... But, based on your parameters, I'll choose the 6.8. The higher volosity makes it flatter shooting with less recoil.
 

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The higher velocity of the 6.8 gives it the edge in hunting animals. It will require less thinking and ues of appropriate hold over to get the round into the kill zone allowing a less capable hunter to have more room for error.
 

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While gel is not an accurate substitute for tissue and bone, most 350 Legend tests show more penetration than what you are going to get with the 6.8. If I'm hunting an 800+ pound animal, I'll take penetration. Elk are significantly tougher than deer, and vital organs are further apart. I have a hard time getting a 6.8 to exit a 200lb hog.

I know that other choices aren't welcomed...but this is kind of like asking whether a 17 HMR or 22 WMR is better for hog hunting. They both might get the job done but shot placement (and range) becomes much more crucial, and neither have the efficiency of much more popular cartridges...which are more popular for a reason.
 

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I've shot the 350 Legend and have a Ruger Mini 6.8 SPC. If recoil is the issue, go with the 6.8. At 100 yards the 6.8 shot tighter groups than the 350. I believe the 350 legend uses a 357 cal bullet. 357 is a fast and reliable round. It is supposed to be the fastest straight wall round out there. The 350 Legend definitely has more kick to it then the 6.8 does, but if you have a jacket on, you're probably not going to fell that much. Over 150 yds I would pick the 6.8.

Here in Ohio you can hunt deer with the 350 Legend, but not the 6.8 SPC. Coyotes, thats a different story. If I can swing it, I will probably get the 350 Legend somewhere in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
While gel is not an accurate substitute for tissue and bone, most 350 Legend tests show more penetration than what you are going to get with the 6.8. If I'm hunting an 800+ pound animal, I'll take penetration. Elk are significantly tougher than deer, and vital organs are further apart. I have a hard time getting a 6.8 to exit a 200lb hog.

I know that other choices aren't welcomed...but this is kind of like asking whether a 17 HMR or 22 WMR is better for hog hunting. They both might get the job done but shot placement (and range) becomes much more crucial, and neither have the efficiency of much more popular cartridges...which are more popular for a reason.
That's interesting. If you have seen gel tests with both rounds and the 350 has better penetration that's surprising. Sectional density of a bullet (the relationship between it's diameter and length) usually is a good predictor of penetrating ability. The 350 has a relative short fat bullet (poorer sectional density) compared to the 6.8 that has a longer skinnier bullet (better sectional density). However the 350 bullet is heavier and has more impact energy at closer ranges. Most gel tests are done at close range so that may be why the heavier bullet with more energy looks to penetrate better despite its poorer sectional density. However, at longer ranges, I'm not sure the gel tests would show the 350 with better penetration. In my original post, if you look at the muzzle and 200 yard energy figures, the 350 has 321 more ft lbs of energy at the muzzle but 18 ft lbs LESS energy at 200 yards compared to the 6.8. The more efficient and aerodynamic bullet of the 6.8 sheds its velocity and energy much less quickly than the shorter fatter less efficient bullet of the 350. With the impact energy at 200 yards basically being a wash, you have the extra weight of the 350 bullet vs the better sectional density of the 6.8 being the factors for penetration. It would be interesting to see what the gel tests would look like at 200 yards. In the real world, if shot placement was good, it probably wouldn't make a difference.
 

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I've shot the 350 Legend and have a Ruger Mini 6.8 SPC. If recoil is the issue, go with the 6.8. At 100 yards the 6.8 shot tighter groups than the 350. I believe the 350 legend uses a 357 cal bullet. 357 is a fast and reliable round. It is supposed to be the fastest straight wall round out there. The 350 Legend definitely has more kick to it then the 6.8 does, but if you have a jacket on, you're probably not going to fell that much. Over 150 yds I would pick the 6.8.

Here in Ohio you can hunt deer with the 350 Legend, but not the 6.8 SPC. Coyotes, thats a different story. If I can swing it, I will probably get the 350 Legend somewhere in the future.
.450 Bushy is legal there too. 200yrd. just saying.;)
 

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That's interesting. If you have seen gel tests with both rounds and the 350 has better penetration that's surprising. Sectional density of a bullet (the relationship between it's diameter and length) usually is a good predictor of penetrating ability. The 350 has a relative short fat bullet (poorer sectional density) compared to the 6.8 that has a longer skinnier bullet (better sectional density). However the 350 bullet is heavier and has more impact energy at closer ranges. Most gel tests are done at close range so that may be why the heavier bullet with more energy looks to penetrate better despite its poorer sectional density. However, at longer ranges, I'm not sure the gel tests would show the 350 with better penetration. In my original post, if you look at the muzzle and 200 yard energy figures, the 350 has 321 more ft lbs of energy at the muzzle but 18 ft lbs LESS energy at 200 yards compared to the 6.8. The more efficient and aerodynamic bullet of the 6.8 sheds its velocity and energy much less quickly than the shorter fatter less efficient bullet of the 350. With the impact energy at 200 yards basically being a wash, you have the extra weight of the 350 bullet vs the better sectional density of the 6.8 being the factors for penetration. It would be interesting to see what the gel tests would look like at 200 yards. In the real world, if shot placement was good, it probably wouldn't make a difference.
Don't count out bullet design over sectional density. A lighter, all copper 6.8 is going to out-penetrate a heavier varmint/target 6.5 etc...etc... and I understand that math doesn't lie. Most of the 350 Legend hunting bullets are not designed to expand as violently as 6.8 designs. Don't worry about losing me with numbers and explanations, I've got a few years of studying/instructing this stuff under my belt too :).

I have also seen nothing but more penetration as velocity slows down somewhat (and to an extent...obviously below expansion threshold the argument becomes invalid as you are just shooting FMJ at that point, and now the roles are reversed and more velocity equals more penetration). Lower velocity simply causes the hunting/self defense style bullet to mushroom/fragment less...creating less drag/friction in the gel, and with less surface area contacting the media for drag you get more penetration. Works for denim gel tests too for self defense handgun rounds as they tend to open less as the bullet goes through when compared to bare gel shots.

There are some 100 and 200 yard 350 Legend tests done by the YouTuber: Social Regressive. It really shows that the bullets don't open up much, massive energy dump is non-existent, and that penetration is pretty excessive. Unless straight wall cartridge use was required by law, I definitely wouldn't choose the 350L for deer hunting. However in this hypothetical question we are hunting something 4-5 times the size of a deer. That brings me back to my previous statement that I'd trade penetration over expansion. That being said, I wouldn't be excited to shoot essentially a FMJ at 200 yards out of the 350L either.


 
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