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 GOLD 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.
     
  2. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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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.
     
  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 Veteran

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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 ... :)
     

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