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elk bullets

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chachi

Active Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
35
I picked up a new ML and looking at working up a new load. I mainly hunt elk and have shot them with a few different bullets between 100 and 200 yards. None have jumped out as the best as far as penetration and so I'm looking at some other options. Mine have been with solid lead bullets (Buffalo, Hornady Great Plains and T/C Maxi Hunter) but my hunting partners have shot a few elk with jacketed bullets (T/C Shockwave and Barnes Spit Fire TMZ). Out of probably a dozen elk we have only had a few exit and most just under the hide on the far side.

Let me know if I'm missing the boat on a great elk bullet. Pics of exit wounds if you have them would be appreciated too.
 

knightnut2000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
241
If you like the big lead conicals I would with Bullshop Bullets a 40-1 mix on the lead in the 395gr LGP little harder BHN than pure soft lead. One that has been proven an Elk thumper is the BullShop 460gr NEX Bullets.
If you are wanting to go with a Saboted Bullets then I would check into maybe like a 290gr Barns TEZ BULLETS or the Hornady 300gr XTP MAG. Or the Speer .452 Deep Curls 300gr.
 

MLMoose

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
13
Barnes 290 TMZ are running out of gas past 160 yds in my gun. Barely made it to the far side of the ribcage with no shoulder bones hit. Killed the bull but no blood trail. Anyone using heavy weight sabots? 350-400 gr with any success? We have close shots early season and out to 200+ yds in the late season.
 

knightnut2000

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Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
241
One bullet I totally forgot about that may fit the bill also is the 300gr Harvester Scorpion PT GOLD . I have killed a deer with the 260gr PT GOLD but to me they seem like the lead is too hard of a lead for deer. Didn't mushroom much at all so they may be a good tuff bullet for Elk - Hogs and even Bear. They are a super accurate bullet that's for sure.
I actually think that the Scorpion PT GOLD and the Scorpion HP are made by Rainer bullet Co.
 

pooldoc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2014
Messages
50
I have had really good results with the 300 gr PTGold in all of my 50 Cal Knights. Great accuracy and performance. Our Texas WT's are small, but the Axis and Aoudad are big tough animals, as are our feral hogs and they have done a number on all three. My long time go to hunting load is 110 Gr(by Vol) of BH 209, Black crush rib sabot and Federal 209A primers. Harvester has recently introduced a 300 gr Scorpion White Lighting with a higher BC. It uses their Green Crush Rib sabot. Just received 50, but due to pending eye surgery have not had a chance to test them. Should work great on Elk.
 

sdporter

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Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
953
Almost all the elk I have shot with ML have been big lead. 4 bulls with my White .504 Whitetail. Home cast pure lead, 460 grain NE copy and 395 grain White Buck Buster copy. I have found all under the hide on the offside. All have been right around 100 yards. The one that went the farthest went about 200 yards but I hit him high and back a little far. The only pass through I have had was with my CVA on a yearling cow at 175 yards with 90 gns BH209 and a T/C easy glide 250 gn non-bonded. Hit her through the top of the lungs and she went 50 yards, jumped the state line fence and piled up.
 

mnoland30

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Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
133
I tried all kinds of bullets for elk, and never got the results I was hoping for (Dead withing 50 yards, with a blood trail) until I tried Remington.458 405 gr. hollow points from Outlaw State Bullets (OSB). Remington doesn't make them in hollow point, but OSB modifies them. In my rifle, they fit perfectly with black harvester crush rib sabots. If those are too tight, MMP makes one for .458 bullets. They work for a quick second shot in my rifle. I've killed 4 cow elk, out to 220 yards, and 3 died on the spot, and one made it 35 yards. I've only recovered one bullet, on a raking shot. It expanded well, but still penetrated very well. I sight in at 150 meters, and put the top of the post on the back at 200 meters. I'm a big believer in Sectional Density. I seldom use anything less than .280. Most bullets are made for whitetail, because that is where the numbers are. Using whitetail bullets on elk results in a lot of lost and wounded elk.
 

MLMoose

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
13
I tried all kinds of bullets for elk, and never got the results I was hoping for (Dead withing 50 yards, with a blood trail) until I tried Remington.458 405 gr. hollow points from Outlaw State Bullets (OSB). Remington doesn't make them in hollow point, but OSB modifies them. In my rifle, they fit perfectly with black harvester crush rib sabots. If those are too tight, MMP makes one for .458 bullets. They work for a quick second shot in my rifle. I've killed 4 cow elk, out to 220 yards, and 3 died on the spot, and one made it 35 yards. I've only recovered one bullet, on a raking shot. It expanded well, but still penetrated very well. I sight in at 150 meters, and put the top of the post on the back at 200 meters. I'm a big believer in Sectional Density. I seldom use anything less than .280. Most bullets are made for whitetail, because that is where the numbers are. Using whitetail bullets on elk results in a lot of lost and wounded elk.
That's exactly what I wanted to know. I too feel that sectional density is overlooked in muzzleloader bullets. I was looking at trying the Barnes Original .458" 400 gr spitzer for a higher BC. I was also looking at Hawk Bullets with a similar bullet and maybe their .430" 350 and 400 gr spitzers as well. They have a higher sectional density and (likely BC) than the .458" bullets. Thoughts? I hunt really open country in the late season and it's tough to get close to a herd of elk.
 

MLMoose

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
13
I tried all kinds of bullets for elk, and never got the results I was hoping for (Dead withing 50 yards, with a blood trail) until I tried Remington.458 405 gr. hollow points from Outlaw State Bullets (OSB). Remington doesn't make them in hollow point, but OSB modifies them. In my rifle, they fit perfectly with black harvester crush rib sabots. If those are too tight, MMP makes one for .458 bullets. They work for a quick second shot in my rifle. I've killed 4 cow elk, out to 220 yards, and 3 died on the spot, and one made it 35 yards. I've only recovered one bullet, on a raking shot. It expanded well, but still penetrated very well. I sight in at 150 meters, and put the top of the post on the back at 200 meters. I'm a big believer in Sectional Density. I seldom use anything less than .280. Most bullets are made for whitetail, because that is where the numbers are. Using whitetail bullets on elk results in a lot of lost and wounded elk.
What rifle, and powder charge are you using with the 400gr bullets? What kind of velocity are you getting?
 

sabotloader

Keep Shooting Muzzleloaders - They are a Blast
Supporter
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
8,341
I picked up a new ML and looking at working up a new load. I mainly hunt elk and have shot them with a few different bullets between 100 and 200 yards. None have jumped out as the best as far as penetration and so I'm looking at some other options. Mine have been with solid lead bullets (Buffalo, Hornady Great Plains and T/C Maxi Hunter) but my hunting partners have shot a few elk with jacketed bullets (T/C Shockwave and Barnes Spit Fire TMZ). Out of probably a dozen elk we have only had a few exit and most just under the hide on the far side.

Let me know if I'm missing the boat on a great elk bullet. Pics of exit wounds if you have them would be appreciated too.
You do not say which rifle you are shooting but I am assuming it is a 1-28 twist.

I have really great performance from the bullets built by Lehigh Defense. They operate on a different theory the normal mushrooming bullet. They use a theory from Germany. They are a controlled fracturing bullet.

https://www.lehighdefense.com/all?ajaxfilter=f2-gun-type,muzzleloader

I use the 452x265 CF for elk. This bullet most always provide and entrance and exit wound.



The way the bullet works it enters the body and as soon as it contact the fluid atmosphere of the chest cavity - the 6 nose petals open. when the open to 40* they separate from the bullet body and move outward punching holes in the internal organs. once the petals separate the really can not penetrate muscle tissue very much at all. Then the body of the bullet with its broken edges continues to penetrate creating further 'hydrostatic' destruction of the internals. The body of the bullet usually exits the body.

I have shot this bullet to 200 yards with really good accuracy. This is a computed ballistic sheet for the bullet.



Other hunters have reported similar success with this bullet.

This pic might help show the damage

 
Last edited:

sabotloader

Keep Shooting Muzzleloaders - They are a Blast
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Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
8,341
It's a CVA Accura V2 LR. So yes, 1:28 twist.
Well them you will have know problem with these bullets. Just match the sabot to your bore and have a lot of fun.
 

Ninering62

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Aug 20, 2019
Messages
611
I tried all kinds of bullets for elk, and never got the results I was hoping for (Dead withing 50 yards, with a blood trail) until I tried Remington.458 405 gr. hollow points from Outlaw State Bullets (OSB). Remington doesn't make them in hollow point, but OSB modifies them. In my rifle, they fit perfectly with black harvester crush rib sabots. If those are too tight, MMP makes one for .458 bullets. They work for a quick second shot in my rifle. I've killed 4 cow elk, out to 220 yards, and 3 died on the spot, and one made it 35 yards. I've only recovered one bullet, on a raking shot. It expanded well, but still penetrated very well. I sight in at 150 meters, and put the top of the post on the back at 200 meters. I'm a big believer in Sectional Density. I seldom use anything less than .280. Most bullets are made for whitetail, because that is where the numbers are. Using whitetail bullets on elk results in a lot of lost and wounded elk.
Thank you, thats good info for someone thats never shot anything other than deer & in under 200 yards. More at under 100 yards with bullets designed for deer that theoretically assume when the op came to hunt hogs, muley, elk or bear that that bullet worked great on a deer so it should do just fine on one of the larger N/A game animals. I assumed the same thing when I was a young shooter branching out from shotgun/slugs & a .50 TC Kawken to brush rifle/high power rifle & inline ML`s. Im still learning nearly 40 years later too, I'm not ashamed to say. And happy to pay forward my knowledge & experiences as well. I love that standard shared of how we all should treat & help each other in here. Instead of the sad norn of today's society to point, blame, criticize, condemn & divide in more ways that I care to try to calculate anymore. Kind regards
 

sdporter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
953
Thank you, thats good info for someone thats never shot anything other than deer & in under 200 yards. More at under 100 yards with bullets designed for deer that theoretically assume when the op came to hunt hogs, muley, elk or bear that that bullet worked great on a deer so it should do just fine on one of the larger N/A game animals. I assumed the same thing when I was a young shooter branching out from shotgun/slugs & a .50 TC Kawken to brush rifle/high power rifle & inline ML`s. Im still learning nearly 40 years later too, I'm not ashamed to say. And happy to pay forward my knowledge & experiences as well. I love that standard shared of how we all should treat & help each other in here. Instead of the sad norn of today's society to point, blame, criticize, condemn & divide in more ways that I care to try to calculate anymore. Kind regards
This has nothing to do with an elk bullet, just a second on the previous comment. We all have a different level of expertise, in different fields. This is by far, my favorite place to come for some additional brain food. There are some extremely knowledgeable individuals on this forum, and I don’t ever recall seeing a derogatory comment towards anyone, for almost any question asked.
There are many willing to help and offer up what they might know about it.
I asked a simple question on another forum, where to dig up some load info for my .416 Barrett. I had searched high and low, to no avail. I had no problem buying a manual but, the ones that weren’t wrapped in plastic, didn’t have it in there, or it was bullet specific. I had one good reply, and one who thought I was some sort of scammer, a “skunk” he called me, won’t go back on there again...Kudos MMF!! Truly a bunch of good guys on here.
 

Muley Hunter

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Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
2,567
If my state would allow sabots i'd shoot nothing but the Barnes T-EZ 290gr. If I didn't get two holes i'd push it faster. It will hold it's weight no matter how fast you push it. (within reason)
 

MLMoose

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
13
I've been shooting Barnes for 10 years and they're great on deer and small bears. But I'm just not getting the penetration on elk,moose, and heavy bears. I'm pushing em as fast as I can while keeping my accuracy. I tested some 400 gr Speer .458" bullets for accuracy the other day. They shoot great and their sectional density should penetrate well. Just need to test them for expansion at lower velocity to simulate a long range hit.
 
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