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

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

  1. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Veteran

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    Use the Tipped TSX Barnes bullets and not the un-tipped plain TSX barnes bullets. The tipped one are more dependable for expansion. With Barnes bullets the faster you push them the better they perform(expand) so load them hot if you reload.
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That is a good cautionary note. I think I might just head out to the garage right now and cycle some rounds, just to assuage the paranoia.
  3. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hard to believe one would take ammo to Africa that he didnt at least look at and chamber. I carefully load my own and run each round thru the gun before I go anywhere.
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Great advice!
  5. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Yes, and make sure you run each one through your gun BEFORE you go. I load the magazine and work the bolt to load and eject each round that I bring to Africa, I reload also and have done this each of my 5 hunts BEFORE I leave. Your 308 will be fine, I'm just a little cautious on 300 yd shots on eland. They're BIG. Mine was over 2000 lbs.
    My partners did fine on everything else. Longest shot I saw was @ 185 at a heartebeest. Basically it dropped where it stood.
  6. 1ObsessedHunter

    1ObsessedHunter AH Veteran

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    I think the shot is possible but not feasible. In general, I'd say you were undergunned shooting Eland with a .308 at that range, and you run the risk of something going wrong. I haven't killed one...yet, but one of these days I will. At a minimum I would choose one of the 300 magnums and more likley my 340 Weatherby or 375 H&H. I've seen these animals in the bush and they're HUGE. That's my 2 cents...Good Luck!
  7. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    One enormous advantage of eland is that the vital zone is hard to miss. It's as easy to hit an eland well at 300 yards as it is an impala at 100. Barnes TTSX are fantastic, fantastic bullets. I shot an eland last year at 200 yards, broadside with a .300 WBY with 180gr TTSX. The bullet was recovered just under the hide on the far side. The bullet penetrated only one shoulder blade and maybe one rib - no heavy bones. A .308 Win bullet will be traveling much more slowly by the time it gets to 300 yards.

    Our PH carried a .308 and felt it perfectly adequate for eland, zebra, lion, and anything else we might come across.

    All of that said, 300 yards is a bit far for a .308 on very large game. With an ideal situation it would certainly be 100% fine, but a quartering shot through bone or a slightly misplaced shot could result in a long exercise in tracking. Eland can run for miles without so much as breaking a sweat. I would not hesitate a second to shoot a wounded eland at 300 yards or take a perfect broadside, solid rest, no wind shot at 300, but with anything else I'd like to be 200 yds at most.
  8. The Big Game Hunter

    The Big Game Hunter AH Senior Member

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    I personally feel that the .308 is the absolute minimum caliber that you should use on an eland, and only with premium, controlled expansion bullets. Eland are gigantic animals: a big bull eland can weigh more than a Cape Buffalo. The first time a I saw one I was shocked at it's size, it absolutely dwarfs a zebra (which are not small animals).

    That being said, if you practice diligently using shooting sticks and familiarize yourself with proper shot placement on eland, you will likely have no issues using the .308. However, I do think that 300 yards is a little on the long side for that caliber on eland. Luckily, you should have no issues getting a closer shot (100-200 yards) if your PH knows what he is doing.
  9. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    The most important aspect is to remember not to ask too much from your weapon choice. Can you shoot an Eland with a .308 at 300yds, standing broadside. Of course you can. With a well placed bullet just behind the shoulder for double lung shot, it won't go too far. But, what if the animal is quartering away? Now it becomes a different scenario as the .308 would have lost a lot of its energy just getting the bullet out there, and now to expect it to make its way through the stomach to get to the vitals becomes a totally different scenario.
    Shoot it with the biggest rifle that you are comfortable with.
  10. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    I took my .375 BECAUSE I wanted an eland and you never know when you'll have an unexpected chance at something big and dangerous. The problem with the .308 Win is the way it handles bullets of 180 and up. With 150s and 165s its the equal of the '06, but the difference in case capacity becomes an issue with 180s and 200s. Any 180 .308 factory stuff I've clocked has been anemic, say around 2400 to 2500 fps or so, not 300 yard fodder when given a choice. Good safe hand loads, stuff you'd want to count on half a world away, can boost this only to about 2600 or so.

    Couple years back I shot a 6x6 bull elk with my favorite deer rifle, a Win 70 Featherweight, using 165 Hornady Superformance ammo clocked at 2800 fps. First shot was high lung as he was running at 19 paces, perfect mushroom under the far hide. Second shot was an "anchoring shot" at 100 as he was motivating over a small rise, struck the root of the tail. Bullet struck the spine and rolled him over the hill, dead when I arrived.

    But when I saw what the 165 Spire Point did on that big bone, completely disintegrated down to the base, small pieces of lead and copper scattered about leaving just a small crack in the bone, I'll have no part of that bullet on big animals again. Would have done the same thing on the shoulder bone I imagine. Great reason to upgrade to a 30'06 or .300 with 180 gr. at 2800 fps + controlled expanding bullets if you ask me.

    That been said, even though the 500 lb. bull was dead (from the lung shot), if I had to do it again I'd rather have a Barnes or a Partition in the pipe for the next one to cover more 'eventualities.' Same goes for Eland, wildebeest, sable or kudu at any range, and I'd prefer to keep the range a bit closer.
  11. Technologist

    Technologist New Member

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    Using anything but premium controlled expansion bullets is out of the question for this quest. That much I've understood from this thread. Currently I only use hornady's inexpensive 165 gr btsp. Will be complementing them with ttsx.

    I'm awaiting a new .308 now, a Sako Forester L 579 previously owned by a long range shooting enthusiast that showed me some very nice 200 m groups supposedly made with the rifle. He said he had had a smith go over the bolt lugs to ensure proper contact and he shared his pet load recipes with me.

    I have another rifle in .308 and I started this thread to see if I could keep the .308 as my go to allround caliber. I only stock .308 caliber bullets and I only have 2 load tool sets (both .308w). I only buy two kinds of ammo; .308 winchester norma fmj for practice and cases and german 7.62 surplus by the thousands. Ammo commonality is very nice, I'm glad not to be messing around with wildcats and a bunch of very similar but not interchangeable cartridges. The logistics of only using one caliber is a bliss.

    By august I'll be loading up 168 grain ttsx bullets in norma cases. Can't wait.
  12. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    My .308 700 VTR loves 46 grains of Varget with the 168s. Printed three shots at 200 yards of under one inch with it. Gave a box to another friend that wanted to try it, he got right at half-MOA at 200 with it, also a 700.

    Some of the shooting forums post comparable results I've noticed, with various 165s. Some say its max but mild in my rifle, clocks 2675 if I remember right.
  13. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yes it is listed as max but of course most guns will handle max if careful. You can do about the same thing with the same charge of Reloder 15 which is the powder the military uses for the .308 Long Range Sniper round. In my replica M40 and M1A Super Match I use 43.5 grs with the 175 Sierra and both shoot it under 1/2 MOA. I would not want to carry either gun too far into the field however.:rolleyes:
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the post, I'll have to try that in my gun.
  15. Poucher

    Poucher AH Member

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    The name of the game is penetration, inside the 200 yard mark with 180 gr A-frame bullet pushed hard is possible, I`ve seen it!!
  16. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    But would you shoulder shot an Eland, which is much bigger and tougher than an elk at 300 yards with one?

    I wouldn't

    Besides...unless your hunting in the Kalahari Desert there are not many game farms in Southern Africa where you cannot find a way to get inside 300 yards of your target. I have never had to shoot over 240 yards in two plains game hunts in Namibia and RSA with 16 animals collected

    I used a 7mmm-08 and .300Wby on my last hunt but I didn't take an Eland the last hunt. The biggest thing I took was Blue WB and it fell to the .300Wby But my 7mm-08 took Nyala, Bushbuk, Blesbok, Bontebok, Mtn Reedbuck (fun hunt) and I took the BWB, Jackel (chance encounter while looking for warthog) and Impala with the .300 Wby I didn't plan on using the .300 on the Impala but we saw it while looking for BWB.

    I have now problem with the .308 but I wouldn't shoot at 300 yards when there is almost never a reason to and I wouldn't shoulder shot an Eland with it at anything over 150 and even then I would prefer to Lung shoot it. With trackers and dogs just put it through the lungs and go find it.
  17. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    I have a 20" 308 and while it is a great bush gun I soon learned that you suffer a considerably velocity penalty with the short barrel. I would opt for a 24" hunting weight barrel and buy good ammunition if you don't handload. The 308 is vastly under rated and at 300 yds with proper bullets and shot placement I wouldn't hesitate to shoot BC moose (1600 lbs).

    my $0.02
  18. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    I bet you would lung shoot it though....
  19. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    As mentioned, over and over, lung shot should be fine with a premium bullet (I would use barnes). I also agree that you should try to get closer but there are times when that will not happen. My Eland was shot at 293yds fighting last light while the herd made their way back up the mountain, we could barely keep up and would not have gotten another opportunity. I would not have hesitated with a .308 in that situation, dead solid rest and confident from a lifetime of long shots out west.
  20. lcq

    lcq AH Senior Member

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    yup in a heartbeat

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