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Elephant Shot Placement

This is a discussion on Elephant Shot Placement within the Firearm Shot Placement forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hunting Elephant Shot Placement Post your questions, comments or pictures relating to hunting shot placement. Hunting Elephant Hunting Elephant...

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    Default Elephant Shot Placement

    Hunting Elephant Shot Placement

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    Default Elephant Front View Shot Placement

    Hunting Elephant Front View Shot Placement

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    Default Elephant Rear View Shot Placement

    Hunting Elephant Rear View Shot Placement

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    Hunting Elephant Distances

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    Default Hunting Elephant Simulation

    Hunting Elephant Simulation

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    Thank you for posting this Jerome, I am having a hard time visualizing the brain shot on an elephant. With most other African animals there is a North American counterpart that I can study or think about regarding shot placement. Deer/impala, elk/kudu and so on. But with an elephant there is nothing to compare it with. Even at the zoos in my state all of the elephants are of the Asian variety and from what I have read they have a differant skull conformation and brain placement. From my earlier posts you may know that I will be going after my first elephant this year and I want to do my part right. Jim

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    Indeed Jerome, you are a great service to us all. Great illustrations of the animal giving an idea of what needs to be done when the time comes. No matter how big the animal, the target is always small.

    Jaustin you are already doing your part by learning as much as possible about the shot placement for your elephant hunt, which is great. You are going to be better for it - the more you know, the better prepared you will be for the unknown. Just remember that every situation in the bush, presents itself on its own terms...

    With regard to shot placement on elephant, there are two fundamentals i share with hunters i hunt with; look for the crease of the ear (on side-brain shots) and between the eyes (for frontal brain shots). The key to these fundamentals is VISUALIZE. Once you note the markers mentioned above, visualise the target inside and get it right. An elephant brain is not a tough target (assuming that you are going to do the right thing and get real up-close and personal) unless you bring angles into the equation. The size of the animal in comparison to a hunter already has an element of angle, but this is further highlighted by the distance from the animal (closer or further).

    As much as possible i consider a lung/heart shot on an elephant as an insurance shot rather than a kill shot. They are very emotional animals and deserve a quick death. I am quite sure you will pull off the ideal shot Jaustin and just ask you to enjoy the experience of hunting one of the worlds greatest animals. Share the stories bwana.
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    I think most hunters have a problem with the frontal brain shot angle, other than that the shot is a simple one and at close range..but be sure you have tested your rifle at very close ranges, you may be surprised where you point of impact may be..Do your homework before you shoot and elephant is the best advise I can think of right off hand..

    As to the heart shot as a primary shot, I have only seen one elephant killed with a first shot to the heart and that was with a 7x57 and a 175 gr. Woodleigh solid..The elephant took the shot in the heart I believe and took off, I took a shot with my 450-400 at about 50 yards or less at the upper spine and (jeez I hate to say this) missed the whole damn elephant!! zinged it over his back. What I recall most is the little 7x57 bullet made a pass through!!! and blood spewed at least 10 feet out each side and I mean spewed..My only comment was "aw s--t, look at that blood stream" We heard a crash, the breaking of trees and brush as he fell dead at about 100 yards..I was impressed, to say the least, with the whole scenario short of my shooting which I hate to admit to, but it was what it was!
    RAY ATKINSON

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    Default Shot Placement on Elephant Cows

    Article taken from the AfricaHunting Hunting Articles & Stories posted By Norbert Hansen.

    Elephant Shot Placement & The SuperPenetrator
    By Norbert Hansen

    In the season 2001/2002 I tested the SuperPenetrator on hunting elephant cows and this was simultaneously a lesson on shot placement. The SuperPenetrator, optimized for elephant head shots, performed extremely effective. The tissue pressed out the ears and trunk indicates high pressure damage inside.

    Eight big mature elephant cows were hunted, 5 with tusk and 3 tusk less.
    Distance was between 15 to 22 meters.
    Five frontal head shots, all one shot kills under very varying angles.
    One side brain shot, also an one shot kill.
    Two side head shots which were not perfect and needed two respective three more shots.
    White arrows indicate the bullets entrance, red lines mark the bullets path inside.

    My experience from many head shots now is, that it is more likely to bring down an elephant with a frontal head shot than with a side head shot, though the brain itself is a smaller target from the front than from the side. The reason is, that a good bullet / cartridge combination after passing the brain can damage also the first vertebrae of the neck. When missing the brain from the side, a quick neck shot is a very effective means to bring down the animal.

    Frontal head shot, head was angled down, one shot kill


    Frontal head shot, angled sideways, one shot kill


    Frontal head shot, downhill, one shot kill


    Side head shot, one shot kill


    Frontal head shot, uphill, one shot kill


    Frontal head shot, very straight, one shot kill


    Side head shot, too high, second neck/spine shot takes it down, third finishing shot in the chest



    Herd was running away, quick shot was too high, elephant was stopped with a hip shot (1), brought down with a spine shot from behind (2) and finished with a brain shot slightly angled from behind (2). (1) in the third image is the bullets exit from the first shot.



    An elephant bull with a clean frontal brain shot


    Cartridge
    .458 Lott/Watts.
    Case length 2.85
    COL 3.64
    SuperPenetrator 500 gr at 2380 f/s
    Compact brass design with integral disk.

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    The above pictures illustrate that the angle of the shot changes on these big pachyderms as the range becomes shorter or longer, whichever the case may be and that can create mistakes on the shooters behalf..About all you can do is study the anatomy and try and get an idea of where the brain lies before you pull off the shot..It is easy enough with a little practice, and after chopping into an elephants head first hand, much the reason for a novice to take a broadside shot which is very easy to do at elephant ranges, but again I strongly advise that anyone hunting elephant or any animal for that matter, know before hand where you bullets strike at 10, 15 and 25 yards..I have seen enough coup de grace shots missed to be concerned about this subject, and by some damn good shots.
    RAY ATKINSON

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    Default Points Vitaux Chasse Elephant

    Afrique chasse points vitaux du gibier africain - Elephant
    Placement de balle pour un tir efficace




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    Default ELEPHANT SHOT PLACEMENT

    Hi guys,
    I recently found this amazing picture while browsing the net.As a hunter, i started figuring out where i would place my brain and heart shots if i were hunting this mighty jumbo but that proved quite hard (especially the brain shot).
    I thought i would post it here and see if i could get some help.All help will be appreciated.

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    Drinking a sundowner and sleeping to the sounds of roaring lions after a long day of trekking in the African wilds is an experience of a lifetime .

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    Hi M"bogo Hunter,

    GORGEOUS PHOTO.

    Never took a pachy !!! ever shall some day .

    Monish
    ITS NOT THE RIFLE BUT THE MAN BEHIND THE RIFLE

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    Thank you Monish.Its exiciting to hunt pachyderms bwana.
    Drinking a sundowner and sleeping to the sounds of roaring lions after a long day of trekking in the African wilds is an experience of a lifetime .

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    Yup you are right Mbogo Hunter, it must be a great feeling , never had a chance shall try taking one some day.

    Monish
    ITS NOT THE RIFLE BUT THE MAN BEHIND THE RIFLE

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    That's a great photo M'bogo hunter. . . and hunting elephant is a truly great experience.

    BTW, you should view the Elephant shot placement guide Jerome has posted on this site. Its got all you'll really need to visualize your shot placement.
    .
    There is only one degree of dead . . . there are many degrees of wounded

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    Big5 - Thank you for the advice and compliment.I went through the shot placement guide and got an idea of where i would have fired if i were hunting that pachy.The brain is at the eye level (and well back the head) though this guy is facing me at an angle and has its head raised a bit.

    In this case, my bullet would have gone in a little bit below the eye level and more to the left of the head.I wouldn't have taken the heart shot because i think the left tusk is in the way.

    This beast really is majestic and wise!More thoughts on the shot placement are welcome guys.
    Drinking a sundowner and sleeping to the sounds of roaring lions after a long day of trekking in the African wilds is an experience of a lifetime .

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    In this particular quartering front view position and posture, this Elephant would be a much better candidate for a brain shot. The brain level (green line) is an imaginary line representing the location of the brain however the height of the bullet placement when targeting the brain changes depending on the distance between the hunter and the Elephant as you can see from the example in the picture below. In this case I chose to hit just beneath the brain level (green line) in order to compensate for the distance and the angle of the shot.







    The quartering heart front view shot placement on an Elephant can be a good shot to take, however in this instance his left tusk is much in the way as well as his left leg which is fully extended forward.


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    Jerome a great post, and very informative would be very heplful in my future endeavour to take a pachy somday.

    Monish
    ITS NOT THE RIFLE BUT THE MAN BEHIND THE RIFLE

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    Thank you very much Jerome.Your post is very helpful and i learned a good deal from it.The first visualization of my brain shot was a bit lower than the one on your post but much more on the same side.The way you visualize the brain & skeleton is superb!It makes learning shot placement a lot more easier!Thanks again.
    Drinking a sundowner and sleeping to the sounds of roaring lions after a long day of trekking in the African wilds is an experience of a lifetime .

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