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Ok guys I need your real life experience. I am heading out for elk. If I pull the trigger it will only be on a mature bull. I really had not planned on using the 6.8 with 18" barrel for elk. Having seen it hit on a mule deer I am reconsidering shouldering it instead of my 3006. I won't take a shot past 300 yds. Right now I only have SSA 110 grain TSX Combats. Normally I aim for the heart, not head or neck shots. As hunters you know that a quick kill is all that is acceptable and you know few shots presented are like the pictures in magazines.

1) Does this load have enough to do the job under reasonable conditions?
2) If so what are the boundaries, such as range?
3) If animals are quarteing away will the bullet reach deep enough?
4) Will this load make it through leg bone or shoulder and deep into the heart-lung area?
5) If you have shot elk or caribou, would you use it the same way again?

Thanks, Greg/buellist
 

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buellist said:
Ok guys I need your real life experience. I am heading out for elk. If I pull the trigger it will only be on a mature bull. I really had not planned on using the 6.8 with 18" barrel for elk. Having seen it hit on a mule deer I am reconsidering shouldering it instead of my 3006. I won't take a shot past 300 yds. Right now I only have SSA 110 grain TSX Combats. Normally I aim for the heart, not head or neck shots. As hunters you know that a quick kill is all that is acceptable and you know few shots presented are like the pictures in magazines.

1) Does this load have enough to do the job under reasonable conditions? Yes but range limitations and not the ideal choice.
2) If so what are the boundaries, such as range? 0-100 best 200MAX
3) If animals are quarteing away will the bullet reach deep enough? YES if you come in right behind the shoulder look at range
4) Will this load make it through leg bone or shoulder and deep into the heart-lung area? From what I saw on hogs I would say yes but keep it at 100 maybe 150. At those ranges th TSX when thru both shoulders and exited on a 300lbhog.
5) If you have shot elk or caribou, would you use it the same way again? Constructor has and would again.

Thanks, Greg/buellist
Honestly if this is about taking the best gun for the job take the 06. If this about I want to kill a big ass elk with a 6.8 and just want to know its reasonably doable then yes it is with in the range limitations. Its not like you won't have the abilty for a very fast followup shot. But really th 06 is best for the job.

If you honestly thing your shot is more then likely going to be more then 100-150 I would go with the 06. It all depends the terrain you will be hunting.
 

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Buellist,

With many years of killing experience in the field, using 6.8, I would say that the Sierra Pro Hunter is not a tough enough bullet for the Elk. I have already managed to lose a big boar pig at my ranch, even using the Nosler Accubond, and that is a BONDED jacket/core expanding bullet, whereas the SPH is even more fragile.

The ONLY bullet I would even try on an Elk, if I were you, is the Barnes TTSX. See my other posts on it.

I would attempt to get the bullet as close to 2800 FPS in your 18" barrel, as possible. If this can be achieved, and you get good accuracy, then that bullet will penetrate the Elk's very thick thorax, and likely go through the heart, then exit, leaving you a blood trail.

I WOULD NOT use the SPH. With an animal of that size, you will have extreme expansion at closer ranges, and if you are < 100 yards, you might even have jacket / core separation. If you are > 200, you will have just enough velocity to expand the bullet, but penetration will then be very limited, and you might not destroy enough of the vitals, and will almost certainly not get an exit.

I am using the Barnes 110 grain TTSX with 29.5 grains of RE10X and getting 2700 FPS from a 16" barrel.

Good Luck and hope this helps.


ETA: I just saw that you have the 110 grain Barnes TSX combats. This bullet is superior for the larger game like Elk, to the soft points. However, it could be marginal at ranges over 250 yards. Moreover, the Tipped TSX is a much better bullet. I don't think you are going to get all that much more range from the TTSX, unless you can get them to around 2850, and you would have to reload that yourself. This should stimulate you to EMAIL Barnes about this, and ask them to release the TTSX in a 85 and 100 grain weight, so that we can get them up around 3000 FPS...that is where monoliths perform best.

The TTSX is the next step in the evolution of the Barnes X line and it is absolutely improved versus the TSX. Drive them fast....very fast if you can.
 

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How about the 85 Gr. Barnes? That has better velocity.
 

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paulosantos said:
How about the 85 Gr. Barnes? That has better velocity.
I like the 85 grain barnes, but then you are taking it into territory where lighter bullets have rarely gone with a high success rate. Remember, the bullet, no matter how well constructed, has to retain enough energy to push all the way through the target. If that little 85 grain slug fully expands, then the frontal area will be large enough to slow its forward travel substantially, and at just 85 grains, the momentum may be overcome by the "sail effect" of the expanded tip, especially if you shoot the Elk at ranges of 200 yards +.

Though I think the design is superior to soft point bullets, and the velocity is great, I would analogize shooting an Elk with the 85 grain Barnes to shooting a big Whitetail with the 53 grain Barnes TSX in .223. It's not that I think it won't work, because I have heard numerous reports of good kills with that load, but for me, it seems to belie the general principle that you should match the "gun to the game."

While its a nifty feat to kill a deer with a .223 (even despite the inevitable occasional cripple) and perhaps to kill an Elk with an 85 grain TSX, I still would opt for a larger bullet. That animal is huge and an 85 grain bullet just sounds like it is very marginal, at best. I think the 100 grain (if they made them in TTSX) or 110 is the lightest I would go.

You would have to place that bullet with extreme, surgical precision. In that kind of hunt, I would think that you would want just a little margin for error, because as mentioned by the OP, there could be quartering presentations, or worse, a moving animal.
 

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paulosantos said:
How about the 85 Gr. Barnes? That has better velocity.

If your paying for a guided Elk hunt I would take nothing less then a 30-06.

NOW, if its a DIY hunt and you can go many times a year, take the 6.8, use the Barnes TSX or TTSX as suggested. My thoughts, TTSX and TSX best hunting loaded ammo for the 6.8 hands down.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's a do it yourself hunt and only 2 1/2 hrs away. Based on you comments, I am taking both 6.8 and 3006. I know the area pretty well. I should be able to better match the gun to the situation now. A man has got to know his limitations and his equipment's too. Also, it aint what you got it's how you use it. What you guys have told me will help sort both those out. Thanks again gentlemen for the facts.
Greg/buellist/gone hunting
 

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If it was guided and you are sticking with the 6.8 i wouldn't shoot out more then 200yrds...Maybe take another rifle if you cannot stalk close enough for the shot and have to take a longer kill.....since these hunt not cheap, i would make sure i got the rifle tuned ....for the holdover also...the usual rule with shooting bigger Game with smaller rounds is go for more of a Vital shot as possible...in My IMO

Good Luck ,have fun and take lots picts!
 

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IMO its a little light. You reall want over a .25 sd and over 1000 fpe.

I think with a 110 gr barnes bullet in a 20-24" upper loaded super hot
you would be fine out to about 150-200 yards with a good shot.
 

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M. Larue just posted on BARFCOM that he killed a ELK at 4?? yards with his Grendel using a 120 Gr. Barnes TSX (2500fps), so I would think that a 110 Gr. Barnes TSX or TTSX with a a MV of 2800 fps would work.
 

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paulosantos said:
M. Larue just posted on BARFCOM that he killed a ELK at 4?? yards with his Grendel using a 120 Gr. Barnes TSX (2500fps), so I would think that a 110 Gr. Barnes TSX or TTSX with a a MV of 2800 fps would work.

is that 4 yards or 400?
 

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First that was an a very good cold bore shot by a very good shooter. My hats off to Mark. But the EXACT same performance and more can be had from the 6.8. Inf act as I have shown many times exceeds that inside 600 yards.

Just because its been done doesn't means its a good idea or recommend for the masses. Mark is obviously a hell of a shot. There are lots of things that go into that stuff and as people seem to many times forget as rifle bullet drop below the level where they expand fully or frag they penetrate VERY deep. This is why the TSX almost always goes thru and thru. The front tip goes at most and you are left with non expanding solid. That solid actually leaves a very good wound path even though its not huge in frontal area.

Now a few comparison numbers I think are in order to give some perspective.

Most consider 2000 FPS and 1000 lbs the recommended min for even large deer.

Th 6.5G 20" lothar barrel projectile profile 120 TSX:

MV 2500 @ 400 1650 FPS 749 LB energy and 42" of drop with a 100 zero The shot was soft tissue shot.


Comparing that to the same quality and length 6.8 you have a 110 TSX or TTSX from a 20" Match barrel woudl be 2800 FPS

With the TSX the numbers are 1776 and 771 with only 34.3" of drop with a 100 zero.

With a TTSX they go to 1907 FPS and 888 lbs with only 32" of drop with a 100 zero

How about the Sierra 130 SPBT at 2600 FPS MV 1808fps 943lbs drop 37"

Or maybe the Accubond using Constructors actual real drop and chrono numbers form his 20":

2836 MV @ 400: 2009fps 1165lbs 29.8" drop with 100 zero


The same exact thing can be done with th SPC but only because the Grendel is " LR" everyone seems to think it amazing. But I still wouldn't recommend it. Funny how you have the Grendel boys countless times whining when we suggest the SPC can be used on anything bigger than deer but along comes someone famous that does the same thing with the Grendel and they are all out in mass talking about how they are planning on using there guns on every thing up to MOOSE! You could have just an easily be stuck tracking that Elk for miles thru steep train and may never find it.
There is a guy on this site that took a large deer at 436 yard with a 90 TNT.DRT. Still who here would recommend that? But if you are an excellent shot etc many things you wouldn't recommend become doable.

Congrats to Mark on a successful hunt.
 

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I pretty much have to agree with TimW. The 6.8 and 6.5 are both good rounds and will obviously kill elk and others at a good distance if the shot is 'perfect'!!! However, if you are taking that shot at distance and it is an angle shot that happens to hit bone or is a little back or whatever, you could be tracking a wounded animal for a long time. The only way I would use the 6.8 on a bull elk would be if I knew I could place the bullet where I wanted it to go. This will be different with different people, but for me, I think 250yds would be about my maximum. There are others here that can shoot a lot better than me, but, shooting paper holes is considerably different than live animals. Make you shots count!!!!!!! Know your animals and their vitals areas and make you shots count!!!!!!

It obviously can make clean kills on animals as large as the bull elk. Just make sure you can make the shot when the pressure is on. If there is any doubt in your mind, then pass...but if your confidence is there, make the shot and post plenty of pictures :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kelly
 

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Well said.

There is this kind of quandary with hunting. Here in the US its evolved into this, you need a magnum for P-dog mentality. Then you look at our hunter 100 years ago and they were hunting very large animals with basically pistol calibers. But they didn't shoot anywhere near the ranges we do today so even if the power of th round matches up to what they regularly used that error factor doesn't. Back then people knew how to hunt and it wasn't anything like what most know today. I was lucky and had my grandfather indoctrinate me into that world. People don't know half the stuff people of that generation that lived in the country did. We have tools and gadgets that do it for us and we have lost the knowledge. Not to mention knowing your ammo / gun so well to shoot with open sites out to 300 yards with nothing but open hold overs and going off your calibrated eye. But they also knew how to stalk and read signs far better. Now a days you got out in the national forest without a GPS and people look at you like your crazy. Without a compass and map forget about it. The issue with the use of all these convenient tools etc is we loose touch with those things the tools do for us and it has a effect.
 

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,

Look at it this way.

What a .270 Winchester will do at 300 yards,
the 6.8 SPC will do at 100 yards.

The .270 Winchester has a 200 yard equivalent
head start on the 6.8 SPC.

So, if you would shoot an elk at 400 yards with
a .270 Winchester, you could shoot one at 200 yards
with the 6.8 SPC.

I am calculating with 130 grain bullets with an
initial velocity of 3000 fps for the .270 Winchester
and 2500 fps with the 6.8 SPC.

I'm sure the 110 grain TSX would do as well.

Where you hit'em is the most important factor.

Don't out reach your confidence or ability.
If you have more confidence in your 6.8 in
making a clean kill, take it.

dxr

.
 

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That is a great way of looking at it DocX. I have to agree. That also falls inline with my early recommendations but comparing it to what you would do with th .270 where it uses the same caliber bullet is not only logical but easy to understand.
 

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.

Tim - Yes, with the outstanding hunting bullets that are offered today,
the 6.8 SPC has plenty of killing power for most game. I would draw the
line at an impact velocity of 2000+ fps for deer/elk/black bear. This
equates pretty much to an appx. 200 yard maximum range. Of course, it will
kill farther out, but I think this is a good maximum to set for ++ reliable
bullet expansion/penetration performance.

.
 

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Yep I usually live by the 2K 1K terminal ballistic level on high powdered rifles. 2000 fps and 1000 lbs. Honestly if you can't stalk to at least 200 maybe 300 yards with a really spoked animal you really need to work on your woodman's skills.
 
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