6.5 Banned on Elk by Outfitters?

MuleyFever

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I was just looking at an outfitters web page. There was a what to bring or something like that section that said dont bring the biggest gun you have bring the one you shoot best, or something to that effect. A comment like that makes me think they know what they are doing.
 

AaronMColeman

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- It's funny how anything with a 6.5 in its name is not enough for an elk. Nevermind that 6.5Swede has been used for decades on moose (but that's in Europe and wouldn't work in North America).
- Anything with a 7mm or 30 (300, .308) in it's name is great for elk. Nevermind that most guys will flinch when pulling the trigger on a 300RUM.
- Anything with a 7.62 in its name is a commie caliber. Nevermind that a .30-06 is also called a 7.62x63 in NATO equivalency.
- Anything with a 260 in its name was grandpa's round. Nevermind that a 260 remington is not that much different than a 6.5 creedmore.
- And we have just decided that a .243 or 25-06 is fine, but only for a cow but not nearly enough for a bull?
- Oh, and while we are at internet gospel truth, where in the world did we get the idea that 1600ft/lb is the perfect number to kill an elk?

It's all absurd. These discussions are great for helping individuals figure out what works for them and their style of hunting. Once it gets past that, I think the broad generalities are just worthless. I'd take anything from a 6.5 CM up to a 300 WM for elk...anything below that doesn't have the range I would like anything above that kicks too much for me to be comfortable and accurate. The rest of the debate is just fun gun discussion to me.

Again, shoot more, shoot from various positions, don't shoot more than you can handle, don't shoot further than you are comfortable, and don't take a rimfire to kill an elk...I think that's just silly :)
 

6.5x284

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First I agree a business owner has the right to set any caliber restrictions they deem appropriate. In this particular case however, it’s just dumb. A 6.5 caliber in the right cartridge can run with a lot bigger cartridges due to its efficiency. I happen to be a 6.5 and .308 caliber fan and have many of both. My favorite are a 6.5 SAUM and 300 Win Mag. I happen to hand load, but many don’t. While my comparison will be my 6.5 SAUM hand load against off the shelf 300 Win Mag factory ammo (not entirely fair), many clients are running factory ammunition in these larger cartridges the outfitters are deeming appropriate. Let’s look at energy over distance between these two until my personal energy limit for elk, 1500 ft lbs (1200 for mule deer).

6.5 SAUM: Personal Handload
156 Berger at 3030 fps (confirmed to 1400 yards)

Ft Lbs:
200 yards: 2713 ft lb
500 yards: 2108 ft lb
700 yards: 1765 ft lb
1000 yards: 1333 ft lb
(MAX 1500 ft lb yardage: 875 yards)

300 Win Mag: Hornady 200 ELD-X Precision Hunter
200 ELD-X at 2850 fps (box velocity)

Ft Lbs:
200 yards: 2973 ft lb
500 yards: 2187 ft lb
700 yards: 1761 ft lb
1000 yards: 1243 ft lb
(MAX 1500 ft lb yardage: 825)


As you likely guess the Win Mag starts off with more energy, but not a lot. By 500 yards they are damn close and by 700 yards my SAUM has more energy than the Win Mag with factory ammo. With the smaller 180 stuff, I run away with it in a 6.5 much much faster.

The better answer would be for a guide to impose an energy minimum. Let them limit to whatever they feel comfortable with on a direct shoulder hit and simply take the 25 seconds to calculate the max distance for that specific cartridge/caliber combo. But all cartridges in a given caliber are not created equal. This is especially true with your fast 6.5’s like a .264 WM or 26 Nosler.

Here is this years elk taken with a 6.5 at 351 yards. Biggest bodied bull I’ve seen in a long time. Pass through through the throat quartering hard too, exiting behind offside shoulder. 2395 ft lbs. 159 ft lbs less than the Win Mag would have had in the example above. Both cartridges would obviously kill this bull just as dead if the bullets hit somewhere vital.



Rant over.


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6.5x284

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Ft lbs of energy isn’t a metric used to determine how a bullet performs.

Neither is caliber. Ft Lbs is the only thing that matters to determine performance on live media along with the physical construction design of the bullet. While some argue velocity, it’s simply part of the energy equation and is already taken into account. A minimum energy factor already has a minimum velocity built in with the actual physical bullet design components determining how much of each is bled off for that distance. There is a reason every box of hunting ammunition has a ft lb of energy listing at varied yardages on the box of ammunition.


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wyosam

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Neither is caliber. Ft Lbs is the only thing that matters to determine performance on live media along with the physical construction design of the bullet. While some argue velocity, it’s simply part of the energy equation and is already taken into account. A minimum energy factor already has a minimum velocity built in with the actual physical bullet design components determining how much of each is bled off for that distance. There is a reason every box of hunting ammunition has a ft lb of energy listing at varied yardages on the box of ammunition.


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In your example though, the bullet exited. You don’t know how much energy the bull absorbed. You’d need to know the weight of what exited and it’s speed to determine remaining energy, then subtract that from what it had when it hit the skin on the near side. If you built an FMJ to the exact dimensions as whatever you shot that bull with, and sent it at the same speed it would have exactly the same energy on impact, but much less would be used, because it’s going to punch through retaining most of its weight and a fair amount of velocity. Velocity required to make the bullet perform as intended is a better measure in my mind. Also requires that the bullet functioning as intended is enough to make a clean kill.


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Formidilosus

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Neither is caliber. Ft Lbs is the only thing that matters to determine performance on live media along with the physical construction design of the bullet. While some argue velocity, it’s simply part of the energy equation and is already taken into account. A minimum energy factor already has a minimum velocity built in with the actual physical bullet design components determining how much of each is bled off for that distance. There is a reason every box of hunting ammunition has a ft lb of energy listing at varied yardages on the box of ammunition.


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How does ft-lbs energy factor in wound channels?

What does the wound look like at 1,000 ft-lbs? How about 1,500? How deep is it? How wide? What is the shape?
 
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6.5x284

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In your example though, the bullet exited. You don’t know how much energy the bull absorbed. You’d need to know the weight of what exited and it’s speed to determine remaining energy, then subtract that from what it had when it hit the skin on the near side. If you built an FMJ to the exact dimensions as whatever you shot that bull with, and sent it at the same speed it would have exactly the same energy on impact, but much less would be used, because it’s going to punch through retaining most of its weight and a fair amount of velocity. Velocity required to make the bullet perform as intended is a better measure in my mind. Also requires that the bullet functioning as intended is enough to make a clean kill.


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You are right, we don’t know how much the animal absorbed. The 1500 minimum (or whatever somebody wanted to designate as an outfitter for example) is just to ensure the bullet has enough energy to travel through the shoulder joint and into the vitals. Not the minimum the elk would need to absorb.

As far as Velocity requirement, also a possibility but it’s pretty well covered in an energy minimum since that’s a large part of the actual equation. Playing with all the bullets I run and the manufacturer minimum velocity for proper expansion, all of the minimal velocity yardages are later than the minimum energy yardage. In other words I could shoot at a distance for proper bullet performance expansion wise according to the manufacturer and potentially not have enough energy to go through a shoulder joint. I’m sure there are some bullets where this isn’t the case but for the ones I ran through numbers on it’s not. That’s why I’m such a fan of minimum ft lbs vs strictly manufacturer minimum velocity.


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6.5x284

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How does ft-lbs energy factor in wound channels?

What does the wound look like at 1,000 ft-lbs? How about 1,500? How deep is it? How wide? What is the shape?

That’s a factor of bullet design and construction. A ft lb minimum (whatever one wanted to use for a specific animal / target) simply ensures the bullet can physically penetrate to the vitals to do it’s job. The design of the bullet and weather it pedals, mushrooms, fragments, etc... determines the details you mentioned.

Curious if you have thoughts on something besides a caliber restriction for example that an outfitter could utilize if he was concerned. I would even like a banned bullet or allowed bullet list over caliber restrictions.

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Formidilosus

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The 1500 minimum (or whatever somebody wanted to designate as an outfitter for example) is just to ensure the bullet has enough energy to travel through the shoulder joint and into the vitals.

How many ft-lbs is required to penetrate through the shoulder joint?
 

Ucsdryder

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Man, this thread has taught me so much! It started out that the 6.5 wasn’t enough for deer past 500 and elk at any range, and now it’s more powerful and deadly on elk than a 300 win mag with 200gr bullets at 875 yards! Who woulda thunk it!!
 

6.5x284

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How many ft-lbs is required to penetrate through the shoulder joint?

That sir is the question. I have read those who did some tests say in the 800-1200 range reliably quite some time ago. I don’t know how you’d ever truly know, so many variables to include modern bullet technologies and how to accurately record and measure the data. Most people I talk to agree 1500 is safe. I see 1200 and 1500 the most debated as a minimum. Obviously it’s not the end all be all, you could have good and bad results in that window. At the end of the day shot placement is critical. From an outfitter standpoint however a broad caliber ban just doesn’t make sense to me.


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6.5x284

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Man, this thread has taught me so much! It started out that the 6.5 wasn’t enough for deer past 500 and elk at any range, and now it’s more powerful and deadly on elk than a 300 win mag with 200gr bullets at 875 yards! Who woulda thunk it!!

That’s why caliber is such a poor way to delineate vs cartridge. Plus you have bias in there, mine included


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Formidilosus

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That sir is the question. I have read those who did some tests say in the 800-1200 range reliably quite some time ago. I don’t know how you’d ever truly know, so many variables to include modern bullet technologies and how to accurately record and measure the data. Most people I talk to agree 1500 is safe. I see 1200 and 1500 the most debated as a minimum. Obviously it’s not the end all be all, you could have good and bad results in that window. At the end of the day shot placement is critical. From an outfitter standpoint however a broad caliber ban just doesn’t make sense to me.


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So you have no idea what “ft-lbs energy” does, means, nor how to relate that to killing, but it is “is the only thing that matters to determine performance on live media”...?



As was stated- ft-lbs of energy is not a wounding mechanism, does not tell you how deep a bullet will penetrate, or how wide the wound will be, nor the shape. It is a thoroughly useless metric in terminal ballistics and gun writers and hunters bandy it about out of ignorance.
There is not a single major bullet manufacture that designs, tests, or produces projectiles to work at a certain “ft-lb” level. They are all designed to upset in certain velocity windows. How deep the penetrate must be measured by actually seeing how deep they penetrate.

If you want to know what a bullet will due in tissue, you have to test it in tissue, or properly calibrated tissue simulate, and measure the wound created. Ft-lbs of energy does not help you in any way.
 

Formidilosus

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Man, this thread has taught me so much! It started out that the 6.5 wasn’t enough for deer past 500 and elk at any range, and now it’s more powerful and deadly on elk than a 300 win mag with 200gr bullets at 875 yards! Who woulda thunk it!!

Who wrote that? Please provide a quote.
 

6.5x284

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So you have no idea what “ft-lbs energy” does, means, nor how to relate that to killing, but it is “is the only thing that matters to determine performance on live media”...?



As was stated- ft-lbs of energy is not a wounding mechanism, does not tell you how deep a bullet will penetrate, or how wide the wound will be, nor the shape. It is a thoroughly useless metric in terminal ballistics and gun writers and hunters bandy it about out of ignorance.
There is not a single major bullet manufacture that designs, tests, or produces projectiles to work at a certain “ft-lb” level. They are all designed to upset in certain velocity windows. How deep the penetrate must be measured by actually seeing how deep they penetrate.

If you want to know what a bullet will due in tissue, you have to test it in tissue, or properly calibrated tissue simulate, and measure the wound created. Ft-lbs of energy does not help you in any way.

I'm curious to hear if you have thoughts on something an outfitter could do/use as a baseline besides ft. lbs. if you're not a fan of that metric? I like it because it combines quite a few things and makes an easy button solution for an outfitter. To make it clear, I'm using Ft. Lbs minimums as something that could be used instead of an entire caliber restriction for an outfitter. I absolutely understand many things go into the ability to kill an animal beyond how much energy it has. I don't think however, that any other metric takes into account velocity and mass (ft lb metric), and sectional density, and ballistic coefficient (to get your velocity metric to apply to ft lbs). I look at it like pulling a Density Altitude reading vs pulling station pressure AND elevation.

In my eyes, the benefit of ft. lbs. over a velocity window as you mentioned is the velocity is already taken into account along with bullet efficiency with the solution for ft. lbs. I understand and acknowledge manufactures test at velocities to provide maximum and minimums for proper bullet expansion as they design and test it. But those velocity ranges transfer easily to ft. lbs. A manufacturer says 1600 fps minimum for bullet x, well it's extremely likely a ft. lb. minimum ensures the client is above that velocity as long as they choose the right energy minimum (1500 in this case). I’m sure I could find an example that doesn’t fit, but the majority of bullet minimum velocities are in that 1500 ft. Lbs. range. It also takes into account the bullet efficiency/density and weight obviously. The less efficient a bullet, the less ft. lbs. it will have the further out it goes because it bleeds off velocity faster due to the inefficient design. My issue with a velocity minimum is a person could load up a light bullet in a large caliber and send it screaming. It may be a fantastic choice for lots of hunts and it may not be for some hunts. Again, those light bullets bleed off energy fast. If an outfitter wanted to utilize velocity to weed out what they determine not enough power for the game being chased, are they going to look at each bullet manufacturer and make a list of minimum velocity numbers? That seems like a lot of work. Ft. Lbs. seems like the easy button to me to take into consideration their bullet efficiency getting to that yardage and how much velocity it's already shed, and energy at the time of impact in at said yardage with that current velocity. While a ft. lb. minimum wouldn't fit within a manufacturers velocity window 100% of the time, it would say 95% of the time. What it doesn’t take into account is the type of bullet as mentioned earlier, so whether the design is to pedal, mushroom, fragment, etc...

I think there needs to be a solution rather than to just restrict an entire caliber. Maybe it’s as simple as restrict specific cartridges instead. I'm happy to hear any. But, as I said in the first sentence, a business owner can and should have the ability to set up his business anyway they wish so I guess this is really a moot point and scotchy scotch scotch.
 
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roosiebull

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First I agree a business owner has the right to set any caliber restrictions they deem appropriate. In this particular case however, it’s just dumb. A 6.5 caliber in the right cartridge can run with a lot bigger cartridges due to its efficiency. I happen to be a 6.5 and .308 caliber fan and have many of both. My favorite are a 6.5 SAUM and 300 Win Mag. I happen to hand load, but many don’t. While my comparison will be my 6.5 SAUM hand load against off the shelf 300 Win Mag factory ammo (not entirely fair), many clients are running factory ammunition in these larger cartridges the outfitters are deeming appropriate. Let’s look at energy over distance between these two until my personal energy limit for elk, 1500 ft lbs (1200 for mule deer).

6.5 SAUM: Personal Handload
156 Berger at 3030 fps (confirmed to 1400 yards)

Ft Lbs:
200 yards: 2713 ft lb
500 yards: 2108 ft lb
700 yards: 1765 ft lb
1000 yards: 1333 ft lb
(MAX 1500 ft lb yardage: 875 yards)

300 Win Mag: Hornady 200 ELD-X Precision Hunter
200 ELD-X at 2850 fps (box velocity)

Ft Lbs:
200 yards: 2973 ft lb
500 yards: 2187 ft lb
700 yards: 1761 ft lb
1000 yards: 1243 ft lb
(MAX 1500 ft lb yardage: 825)


As you likely guess the Win Mag starts off with more energy, but not a lot. By 500 yards they are damn close and by 700 yards my SAUM has more energy than the Win Mag with factory ammo. With the smaller 180 stuff, I run away with it in a 6.5 much much faster.

The better answer would be for a guide to impose an energy minimum. Let them limit to whatever they feel comfortable with on a direct shoulder hit and simply take the 25 seconds to calculate the max distance for that specific cartridge/caliber combo. But all cartridges in a given caliber are not created equal. This is especially true with your fast 6.5’s like a .264 WM or 26 Nosler.

Here is this years elk taken with a 6.5 at 351 yards. Biggest bodied bull I’ve seen in a long time. Pass through through the throat quartering hard too, exiting behind offside shoulder. 2395 ft lbs. 159 ft lbs less than the Win Mag would have had in the example above. Both cartridges would obviously kill this bull just as dead if the bullets hit somewhere vital.



Rant over.


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badass bull!
 
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