300 yard eland shoulder shot with a .308 - would you take it?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Technologist, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Technologist

    Technologist New Member

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    Hello!

    If all goes well, next year I might be going to South Africa with my dad for plains game hunting. I've been craving a nice, light .308 for about a year and I'm getting to a point where I'm feeling a firearm purchase might be justified. I live in Sweden and our unarmored moose are no match for .308 boomsticks. Neither are our brown bears. I want to get the 20" .308 to use as my "only" hunting rifle. It will be enough for all Swedish hunts, and this South Africa trip won't be a frequently reoccuring thing. I might get a .300 win mag in the future but it's not at the top of my "to buy" list. I don't want to have to buy two rifles, I'm on a student budget.

    I believe in volume practicing and marksmanship. I often hear people say any caliber is good enough for any animal, only to find out they are talking brain shots. I'm not comfortable with brain shots, to me shot placement means lungs and/or shoulders and lungs. The heart is a bonus.

    I know this subject is old and rehashed, but would you consider the .308 enough for eland, even at a range of 300 yards, even if you were intending to go for the shoulder?

    Would I be fine hunting Eland with a 20" .308 that I had practiced a lot with?

    Thank you.
  2. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    First welcome to AH In my view .308 is more than enough gun for any plains game. I would say try and get a bit closer as 300 yards is quite a distance away. It all comes down to bullet selection and shot placement.

    But in short. Buy yourself a .308 and come enjoy Africa

    Good luck
  3. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    Would I shoot an Eland at 300 yards on the shoulder with a .308?

    No

    I would try and get closer and I would put in through the lungs.
  4. Technologist

    Technologist New Member

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    Thank you! This seems like a nice forum!

    I have have rarely or never taken a shot at live game at over 150 yards. If they're that far away then I usually have a good chance at sneaking up on them... If I'm on a paid hunt I would prepare for any situation though, and I have no idea of what kind of opportunities we would face. The 300 yard maximum is more of a worst case scenario thing rather than my intention. I do intend to practice at the 300 yard line though, and .308 ammo is availible in bulk. The magnum is not!

    Thank you for your input. Would you act differently with a different gun?
  5. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Pretty sound advice, get as close to your intended target as you can, and use quality ammo and you will be fine. I do believe the 308 (with a good bullet) would answer your own question. I do feel there is a lot less that can go wrong, i.e. human error, with a closer shot. If you HAD to stretch the envelope to 300 yards I still think you would be fine with a strong bullet. There's 2cents for you.
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I would aim for the lungs with a .308 Win, you can do the high shoulder shot with a 300 Win Mag or 338 Win Mag. A eland is huge, a double lung shot is recommended and most bullets can accomplish that job.
  7. Technologist

    Technologist New Member

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    I notice that enysse is the first replier to say that there is a relevant difference between the different .30 caliber cartridges for this scenario.

    I was under the impression that the aiming point for a lung shot is quite close to the shoulder and that an attempted lung shot easily could end up being a shoulder shot, especially at 300 yards...
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think they are quite different. When someone aims on any animal for the lungs and you have a broadside shot, you can use soft point bullets and kill a animal with almost a guarantee. Same thing with a quartering away shot, but if you take the quartering too shot you better use premium ammo or that front leg, shoulder or angle of rib cage can bounce a bullet off the animal. Same thing with the high shoulder shot, you need premium ammo or you won't necessarily get good penetration. There is a shot placement guide link on the side of forum, you can clearly see the big part of the eland's shoulder is high and the lungs don't have to much protection. Follow the front leg straight up and pull the trigger.
  9. Technologist

    Technologist New Member

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    And thus, as I understand you; versus a large animal, using a .308 (handloaded ammo premium bullets), at the extended range of 300 yards, it would be unwise to take a shoulder shot, but wise to do so with a .300 magnum.

    Others seem to be saying that a .308 would be fine, perhaps with the additional advice of avoiding the 300 yards shots.

    My conclusion so far is that the .308 would work, but that I should ask the hosts about what the common maximum shot distance is at their hunting grounds. Still appreciating replies! Hitting the sack now though...
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think the .308 Win is fine, I'd use it...no problem.
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A friend took for his first safari to RSA, a .308 and a .30-06,(he liked both guns really well!). Both loaded to under max thus the '06 was doing a little better than the .308 but not hugely. He could tell no difference in killing power between them. Keep the shots under 300 yds whenever possible, thats a long shot for most hunters, me included. I plan on eland with a peep sighted lever gun for my next trip. Gonna get REAL close!!:eek:
  12. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Your chances of a 300 yd shot are slim. Every PH I have hunted with has never put my sticks up for a 300 yd shot. They all want to get closer and usually can. That said, my partner 2 years ago, shot an eland at 240 yds with a 308 but using NORMA 180 gr ammo Shot was right on the shoulder and penetration was not too good. It got into first lung only. We had a fun couple of hours tracking it for the finishing. I was not impressed with the Norma bullets. On skinning only small fragments could be found. Even with premium bullets I would be hesitant to do a 300 yd shot on an eland with a 308. Your 308 will be fine for everything you hunt but try to keep the shots to 225 yds or less and I'll bet you a beer you can keep them to 225 or less with no problem.
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Since you like the 308 and you can practice lots, it will be your choice.
    Premium bullets are a must.

    If you are that sneaky while hunting at home you just need to do the same thing in Africa. The PH will be more than willing to accommodate that style. It's more fun than just sniping animals.

    Moose are babies. Eland, in my experience, are not.

    Good luck on your hunt.

    Sneak in close with your 308 and take lots of pictures of your hunt and write that hunt report for us.


    I personally have no issues with a rested 300WM out at 300 yards. (with lots of practice)
  14. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    I would use it to.

    I just wouldn't feel really good about a shoulder shot at 300 yards on an Eland with it.

    I would rather it go double lung with that smallest of .30 caliber cartridges.

    I would feel a lot better about it with any .300 Mag including my Weatherby but I would still aim for the lungs. I would just feel better knowing that if I was off a little I still could get through at least the near shoulder easily.

    And I would be using a TBBC or Swift AFrame or Nosler Partition in that order.

    Nothing wrong with the .308 but I wouldn't want to be pushing the envelope with it. I took a bunch of animals with a 7mm-08 and Nosler Accubond last May but the biggest was Nyala at 170 yards
  15. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    Spot on
  16. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Not all Norma bullets are made equal. Just like from any other ammo/bullet maker.
    Your partner clearly chose the wrong Norma bullet for the job.

    I think a good shot clearly can kill Elands at 300 yards with a 308 Win using a high quality bullet, but to me that feels more like sniping and less like hunting.

    If you don't reload your own ammo Technologist, my advice to you, is to use the 168 grain Barnes Vor-tx factory ammo and zero it in at 200 meters or 6 cm high at 100 meters.
    Then you will be around 10 cm low at 250 meters. Keep all your shots inside 250 yards and you will have no need to adjust the sights or the aiming point.
    The best is to keep all your shots inside 200 meters in my opinion.

    You also need to consider that most likely will many and maybe all of your shots be done standing and using shooting sticks.
    So practice a lot standing with shooting sticks before you board the plane to South Africa.
  17. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Worst case scenario at 300 yds with a .308? Sure.
    But then go with something like the Barnes TSX or another monometal bullet like Hornady's GMX. Have heard very good reports on their performance. I am no great fan of lead core bullets.( Sure, you get good bullets, its just my preference) If you have a bullet made from a single medium, it basically eliminates any break up.

    Your ph WILL get you closer. You tell HIM what range you are comfortable with, and it is his job to get your there, just from his knowledge of the area and animals you will be hunting.

    Best Regards,
    Marius Goosen
  18. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH, Technologist, you will probably shoot your eland at 100m. or less, these african PH like to get in close :thumb:
  19. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Just for clarification, my partner had to have the PH borrow a box of ammo because he had a good friend "reload" 80 rounds that he did not try through his rifle before we got into the Kalahari Desert, 50 miles from no where. The reloading dies were set wrong and bulged the shoulder of all the reloads while trying to set a crimp on a bullet without and grove. He found the problem at the sight in on the first day. The PH drove 70 miles away at night just to get one box of 308s. Normas. Only ones available. He won't make that mistake again!
  20. Technologist

    Technologist New Member

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    I do reload, and I will make sure I know very well the performance of whatever load(s) I bring. I e-mailed a PH that my dad hunted with earlier and he answered "the .308 will be perfect! Just make sure to bring good hard bullets - barnes for example".

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