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

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

  1. Red Leg

    Red Leg SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Any rifle you bring represents compromise. A .30 of any derivative would not be my first choice for an eland. Doesn't mean 7.62 won't work - any of them will - but on an animal that large, where a drop of blood means I have bought it, demands some respect. A lot will depend where you are hunting him. In much of Namibia and northwest RSA, the traditional hunt is to walk a bull down from a waterhole track at dawn. It can be an all day event and that .308 will be a godsend on that forced march. However, when you get to him, the chances of having that perfect broadside shot are very remote. I have killed them with a .338 (250 gr) and .375 (.300 gr) and never felt under-gunned.
     
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  2. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    This is an old thread. I took a .308 and 165 Woodleighs for plains game on my first African hunt and I hunted Eland (large Plains Game) on my second with a 9.3x62.

    The .308 (on my 1st hunt) out to 100 yards with the Woodleighs was perfect on plains game. On an Eland at 300 yards .... I believe you are right at the outer edge of the performance envelope for that cartridge. Impact velocity will have dropped off, I would not do it. I would also question a PH that wanted me to take a shot at an Eland at that distance with a .308W. Inside 100 yards with perfect presentation, maybe.

    There are simply better cartridges for the job at 300 yards/metres.
     
  3. Poucher

    Poucher AH Member

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    maybe you have to think the other way....
    At 170-180 yards a bullet (180 gr) fired from a 300 win mag rifle has the same speed as one fire from a 308 at the muzzle. And if you think 300 yards is the max distance to shoot and Eland with a 300 win mag, you have to get at least a 100 yards closer to take the shot with the 308 win in order that the bullit have the same chance to penetrate and reach the vitals.
     
  4. Primo661

    Primo661 AH Member

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    Personally I ask myself three questions. And if I am happy with the outcome after answering all three questions then I consider the cartridge as suitable. A question like this is highly subjective and you may not agree with me but this is how I do it and I've found that it works equally well with rifle or blackpowder.

    I start by asking myself the question "What is the worst that could happen if I am shooting within my usual ability?"(discounting pulling shots or similar) Once I've answered this question, the next thing I ask is "Will my chosen cartridge still do what is necessary in the worst case scenario?". If my worst case scenario is that my planned double lung shot ends up hitting a should blade, will my bullet of choice still reliably hold together and penetrate at least the whole way through the chest cavity so as to get both lungs?

    I then take it one step further, because I'm not one to let my PH fix my mistakes if I can help it. Say for instance the calibre satisfies my first two questions, my final question is "If I make a human error and wound the animal, does my chosen cartridge have enough behind it to perform well on follow up shot from what will be a less than ideal angle and unknown range?" What this means is, if you pull the shot and it hits the guts and the eland runs only 100m and stops(best case scenario, but any further and you will be tracking/repositioning for that follow up shot) how capable are you of taking that second shot knowing you wont have time to range the animal. A typical 308 load is going to drop almost half a meter from 300m to 400m. Can you judge distance THAT well that you can make that shot at an estimated range when it counts?

    For myself, a 308 isn't enough gun for an eland at anything over 150 meters or so. Call me overly cautious, but that's just me. I know hunters from the Karoo who would laugh at my apprehension for shooting at unknown distances inside 500m but like I said, this is a very subjective topic.
     
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  5. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    Very wise words Primo. Welcome to the forum!
     
  6. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    Clify nailed it in the beginning of this thread. Talking about shooting a eland in the shoulder at .300 yards with a .308 is like a dog spinning in circles chasing his tale. I would bet there isn't one PH in a hundred that would let you take that shot even if you wanted to. The whole idea goes against what is sporting and fair to the animal, your odds of success even with the best premium bullet aint very good. A eland bull is as big or bigger than a big bull moose and a hell of a lot tuffer in my experience. Having said all above I suppose inside a tall fence in SA they probably might let you do it whither I figure its sporting or not. I shot my eland in Mozambique with a .375 at 75 yards and sure didn't feel over gunned.
     
  7. colorado

    colorado AH Enthusiast

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    When I do finally make it to Africa for a plains game hunt I'm bringing my 500 Jeffery. It's the only rifle I hunt with these days. Everything from grouse, to elk to bears. Sighted 2.5" high at 100 yards, it's dead on at 25 yards and dead on at 180. It's 7' low at 250 and 14" low at 300 which is about as far as I'll shoot it. Launching a 570g TSX at 2300 fps it still carries 3600 ft/lbs of energy at 300 yards. They don't get up ... :)
     
  8. hunthardsafaris

    hunthardsafaris AH Fanatic

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    I agree that your PH will get you closer,much closer on Eland. Loaded with premuim ammo the 308 will kill a Eland at moderate distance every time. It may even do so at 300yards, but shot placement is critical and premuim bullets may start failing in the expansion category due to loss of energy. I use to cull a bit in SA and we have taken animals at ranges exceeding 300yards quite a bit, conventional 308 bullets fail to open beyond 400 meters 80% of the time unless solid bone is encountered. Due to the nature of the culling operation I switched to a Scenar FMJ bullet that delivered more accuracy and stabillity at longer ranges in my 308. So yes, it can be done, I would not however advise it on a trophy hunting safari.
     
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  9. CAustin

    CAustin AH Legend

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    It will always come back to shit placement! If it were me, I would use my 416 Ruger first choice or the 300 win mag second choice.
     
  10. colorado

    colorado AH Enthusiast

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    In all honesty, even though I've made 500 yard shots on elk with my 270, I think I'd pass on a 300 yard eland shot these days and just try and get closer. Though that's easy to say until a top ten record book animal is in your sights. I've been hitting some scuba tanks at the Fort Carson shooting range at 850 yards with my 270 Weatherby, but the rifle just doesn't "speak to me". I'm probably going to sell it. I just like my 500 Jeffery too damn much.
     
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  11. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Or even shot placement. ;)
     
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  12. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    The .30 is not my idea of a proper eland rifle, be it the .308 or .300 super galactic triple belted death magnum.
    Seems to me that the .338-06 / .318 Westley Richards / .35 Whelen / 9.3x62 / 9.3x74R are all very good minimum cartridges for Eland, with 250 gr to 286 gr bullet @ about 2400 fps, a little more or a little less.
    Shooting an eland at 300 yds, no matter what the cartridge, is not my idea of the proper way to honor such a magnificent and regal beast in the first place.
    Such are my personal guidelines for myself but, I am sure there are other hunters who do things differently than I do, and that is the way things are in the hunting community I expect.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  13. lcq

    lcq AH Fanatic

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    For me the best part of the hunt is the stalking.
     
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  14. Cable68

    Cable68 AH Member

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    Personally I'd prefer some sort of magnum in a .308 in order to have a 200 grain bullet. 300 gr Nosler Partition is what I used for my eland.
     
  15. Sable123

    Sable123 AH Veteran

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    @Technologist So what was the outcome? Photos? Story? Interested to hear how it turned out in the end.
     
  16. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH Elite

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    308 Win.? Woow.
    My favorite cal. 9,3 x 62.
    Minimu cal. 338 Win , recommendet cal 9,3 x 62 and 375 /"Shot Placement /
     
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  17. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH Elite

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    Velo Dog thank you.
     
  18. Technologist

    Technologist AH Member

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    My father and I went to a superb place near Bloemfontein. It was my first time hunting in South Africa, and it was amazing. The people were great too. Skilled, knowledgeable in their field and very friendly.

    To me, this thread was a way to use the collective experience on the board to get a feeling for the maximum performance of my rifle. It is a beautiful, albeit worn, Sako L579 in .308 Win. the barrel is cut to 22.5 " and threaded. I've got a Swedish made suppressor from Stalon on it. It's quite light and manageable and very comfortable to shoot. ( I can't believe some PH:s go through their career standing next to the sticks when the shot goes off, not wearing ear protection! )This was the first time I killed anything with it (although I've obviously shot hundreds of practice shots first, and plenty more to develop a load).

    I settled on the 165 gr Hornady interbond, because I've been satisfied with the interlock previously, but I figured that this hunt deserved a little extra in the bullet department.

    I shot plenty of the smaller plains game species. Performance from the .308 was absolutely satisfactory. Nice exit wounds, lots of blood. I had good luck with my marksmanship as well. I believe the first three kills were with one shot hits to the heart of the game. The eland and the flakvaark were hit a little too far back, but I got the lungs none the less.

    The eland was stalked in an area that alternated between bushy trees about 2-3 meters in height and open surfaces with red dirt. The stalk was very exciting, if a little short. We went for a culling eland cow, and I ended up shooting it from just about 200 meters. The group went off and she kept along for about 50 meters before she lost steam and piled up. Dead when we arrived.

    As for the performance of the .308, this was ofcourse not a mature bull, but a decent cow, and the range was 200 m instead of 300 m, but I'll leave a report anyway.

    The hit was far back, but to the lungs. Most of the bullet, including the base, stayed together, and was gathered by the good people in the buther shop at the far side of the animal (don't remember if it was in the shoulder or beneath the skin). As I remember it, part of the bullet had passed through (I believeI found a very small exit wound). The part that was gathered wasn't perfeectly mushroomed but it was decently expanded.

    I'm very satisfied overall, but I think I'll give monolithic bullets a chance for the next time around. If it would have stayed together just a little bit more then it would have gone through, which I think is a good indication that you have some margin. If I ever end up taking that 300 meter shot at an eland bull, I suppose it would be advisable to not hit the shoulder bone.

    The last day we stalked a beatiful eland bull that we never got a shot at. I'm just as happy, as I got plenty of other successful hunts during the week. To be honest, having one failed stalk in the bunch kind of proved to me that the others were "real". Hunting wise, it was an exceptionally successful week, at least by my standards. The whole experience was fantastic.

    Thank you all for the advice!

    [​IMG]
     

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  19. gizmo

    gizmo SPONSOR BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I would try and get closer. Would I take the shot? If I needed to yes but... Only if I was comfortable with it. I can and have shot animals that far but I prefer not to. I killed my wildebeest at that range but it was last day of the hunt and the only shot I had at him. I was also using a 300wm. I've killed a lot of deer at 300 yards but like I said I prefer to get closer. If I don't think I can make a clean kill I won't shoot. Better to let it walk than wound it.
     
  20. CAustin

    CAustin AH Legend

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    Not sure I would take the 300 yard shot with my 308 simply because it doesn't have compensation optics not because the 308 couldn't do the job. I would aim for right behind the shoulder and avoid that shoulder plate on the Eland.
     

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