Let's see those cast bullet hunting pictures !

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mtngun
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Let's see those cast bullet hunting pictures !

Postby mtngun » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:38 am

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.
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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 ?
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I was home in time for brunch.
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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.

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mtngun
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Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: Let's see those cast bullet hunting pictures !

Postby mtngun » Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:57 pm

OK, here's what the puny 357 mag rifle does to a bull elk. You're looking at his breast. I was aiming at the very front of his chest because he was running, and I wrongly guessed that the bullet would centerpunch his heart. Nope -- it landed at the very front of his chest. There was evidence that either the bullet or bone shrapnel may have nicked the heart/lung, but the organ damage and blood inside the chest cavity was minimal.
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What it did was shatter the shoulder bone going in, and the same bone going out. Apparently, it exited. I have not recovered a bullet and do not expect to.
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The other shoulder was shattered in about the same spot. Considerable meat lost due to bone shrapnel.
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Conclusions
-- the first shot, on the shoulder, was the money shot. His shoulders were shattered and he wasn't going far. All he needed was a coup de grace.

-- the hard cast bullet busted through big bones. We're talking both shoulder bones on a bull elk !!!! :shock: And then it exited.

-- my only complaint is that considerable meat was damaged. Being new to rifle hunting with cast, I am not used to seeing this much tissue damage. At wheelgun speeds, hard cast just pencil through and leave a finger size hole. Rifles are a 'nuther story. Remember, this was a hard bullet, but it had a 75% meplat and 1600+ fps impact velocity. At that velocity, even a hard nose will rivit, essentially becoming a full wadcutter.

-- Is the 357 an elk cartridge with a 190 gr. hard cast ? Look at the pictures and you decide.

kaytod
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:04 am

Re: Let's see those cast bullet hunting pictures !

Postby kaytod » Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:24 pm

Great elk Dan and great picures too. Congratulations.
Todd


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