The Marlin 357, 190 gr. heat treated WW, about 1725 fps if I remember correctly. Range was 50 yards, elk were running through trees, the light was dim. In the early morning glow, I thought I saw horns, but I had an either sex tag, so I didn't care about horns. As soon as the front sight covered a shoulder, I squeezed.
A neighbor stopped by (the elk was only 50 yards from his property line) and offered to haul the elk out with his tractor. Who was I to argue ?
I was home in time for brunch.
I'll post autopsy pics later. My initial impression is that the first shot hit him low in the shoulder, putting that shoulder out of commission, but not hitting vital organs. Several other elk were lingering next to him, and I couldn't be sure which elk was mine, so I had to hold fire until I chased the other elk away.
He picked himself up and staggered a few steps, so I busted him again, and he fell to the ground, but was still struggling. I busted him again as he flopped on the ground, even though I could scarcely see what I was shooting at due to the dim morning light and brush in the way. Finally, a head shot was required to end his suffering.
This is the only time Elmer Keith's advice to "bust it in the shoulder to knock it off its feet, and then finish it off" has actually worked for me. It wasn't great marksmanship, but like I said, this was a snap shot at game running through the trees. The lever action with its ghost ring sight and hard cast bullet was just perfect for these hunting conditions.
As always, I am grateful for the meat.