Author Topic: .45 PRB versus elk  (Read 30750 times)

Offline Stormrider51

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2015, 01:53:52 AM »
My point was not to compare archery to muzzleloading but to show that it's possible to get close enough to accurately place a ball regardless of size.   ;)

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Offline gunmaker

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2015, 02:08:33 AM »
Sure you can get close enough to smell 'em,  I've lived in western Elk country most a my life, NO bullet will kill an Elk if it's a bad placement.  In Washington a poacher killed two cows with a .22 pistol (State now owns that gun) about 15 yard shot.  On other hand I watched a "Davy Crockett" shoot a nice bull 5 times with a .300 win.  last shot point blank to head as it scrambled back to it's feet from #4 hit.  God what a F#$%^ up Last trip with him......45, sure with a 565 gr. long bullet.....Tom

Offline WadePatton

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2015, 04:02:31 AM »
My point was not to compare archery to muzzleloading but to show that it's possible to get close enough to accurately place a ball regardless of size.   ;)

John
Gotcha.  
 
Ton of variables on getting close.  But yeah, I have friends (neighbors) who only hunt elk with archery equipment-and are routinely successful on public land (CO).  
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 04:19:04 AM by WadePatton »
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Offline Daryl

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2015, 04:22:39 AM »
John- the chance of hitting a rib or even stronger bone is too high to even contemplate with a .45 in my honest opinion.  I would expect a .50, with a decent load, would be much better.
Had to laugh at the suggestion of the 565gr. .45 cal. bullet.  A friend of 'ours' hunted just about every year on the special weapons\'s hunt- using a Parker Hale Volunteer rifle with a 475gr. FN bullet - worked splendidly on moose and would also be 'prime' for elk- or anything else - but - a .45 cal. round ball - no thanks.
Heavy elongated bullets in proper rifling twists, make wonderful small calibre big game rifles - of fed correctly.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 07:10:36 PM by Daryl »
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Offline gunmaker

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2015, 06:55:55 PM »
any 45 long colt bullet will work as well.  A.451 bbl. 1:18 Rot will throw a 565 gr'er to 1000 yd.    ;)  Tom

Offline Daryl

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2015, 07:11:24 PM »
So will a 48" twist - probably, but they'll keyhole all the way.
Daryl

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Offline lexington1

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2015, 07:41:32 PM »
I think a .45 round ball would not be a good choice for elk. I shot an elk with a .50 round ball and 90grs. of 3f. He was uphill, about 60 yards from me. The ball hit a rib and traveled up the curve of the rib and took off the very top of the spine. We searched for it the rest of the day and eventually found him still alive the next morning. Daryl is spot on when he questions the .45's ability against large bones.

Offline hanshi

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2015, 08:08:02 PM »
Although a .45 prb would be my last choice of the calibers that go up from there, I would use a ball cast from WW if I had to use a .45 on elk.  The harder lead would hold up against bone much better and give better penetration.  I think a .50 should do quite well and a .54 even better.  Now, I've never even hunted elk so take that into consideration.
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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2015, 08:32:14 PM »
  Elk and moose a big tough wild animals, Hanshi. I heart shot a young bull moose with a suppository gun. He was facing me, a frontal shot. That moose ran 150 yards at a gallop. Upon opening, it had a fifty cent piece size hole right through the center of his heart. A 45 RB may kill an elk, but it most likely will mean a prolonged search for that animal. I want to "anchor" them.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2015, 08:59:47 PM »
Since I would presume that elk season is over for now, You have until this coming Fall to build or otherwise obtain a .62 cal long rifle.  My moose rifle is a   .62 cal Chambers Edward Marshall.   I  highly recommend it . 
Going after large animals like elk etc with a .45 is IMO the equivalent to fishing for muskie with 4 # test line.
Either poor planning or wishful thinking…or just desperate for meat.  If the later, you'll still be better served with a larger bore.   I use my .62 rifle or my 10 bore for game larger than deer.  The performance on game , compared to a .50 or even a .54 has to be seen to be truly appreciated. 

Offline Dphariss

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2015, 09:22:11 PM »
Depends on several things. If the rifle is accurate and range is 50 yards or less and I wanted an elk would shoot it in the head or behind the ear or under the chin if facing me.
Even a lung shot would likely work if done right and the range not too great.
But it would not be my first choice.
Dan
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2015, 09:27:58 PM »
On large American game the best bullet weight for a 45 is about 420 gr.
I dislike very heavy bullets for game.  Even on Elk I would much rather have a 300 gr than a 500+ grain bullet.

Dan
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Offline sz

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2015, 09:46:02 PM »
No I would not.
That's not to say a 45 round ball could not kill one.  It could, but so do 22 Long rifles from time to time.
Many of them shot with a round that is too small die later, and are not brought to bag, or suffer longer than is necessary.

I hunt elk all the time and I have for many many years.
I recommend a round ball of 54 cal as a good starting place.  I have a friend who killed 4 of them with hardened balls from a 50 cal, and 3 of the 4 exited the elk.  All bulls too.
So if you are a good shot, and a good hunter, perhaps a 50 with HARD balls is ok.

Most of the rifles I build for western Elk hunters are 58 and 62 cal however, and I have not had anyone say they were too small.
54s seem to do well too, with Wheel Weight lead.
Wheel weight metal makes a better killing ball then pure lead.  Pure lead is soft enough to turn into a “collar button” on impact at times, and that impends penetration extremely.

If you get the ball clear through your elk’s lungs and out the other side of the hide you’ll have meat.
I believe all 45 caliber "elk rifles" shoot bullets, not balls.  

« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 09:47:41 PM by sz »

Offline J Henry

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2015, 09:58:35 PM »
stormrider51 ,,,  keep in mind,as Iam sure you will/are  ,,,  Fire Power will not make up for poor shooting/shot placement ,,, Hunt  ,, get close ,, shoot good and enjoy ,,

Online elk killer

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2015, 12:33:40 AM »
i killed a few with a .54 and 80 grains 3fff
always tryed for a neck shot
dont think it was ever more than 80 yards if that
placement is everything
only flintlocks remain interesting..

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2015, 02:46:52 AM »
 A good friend (Bob) killed a nice bull elk with his custom .58 Hawken, some years ago. We camped next to each other at a local rendezvous, and I got to watch him tell his hunting story, and parade his nicely tanned elk hide around, for about half a day. An old timer set up camp next to him late in the afternoon, and soon was hearing the story, and looking at the elk hide. The old boy said after seeing how nice that hide came out, that he as sorry he hadn't saved any from the elk he had killed with his muzzleloader.  My buddy Bob asked him how many elk he had killed with his muzzleloader. The old guy thought a minute, and said fourteen. Bob asked him what kind of muzzleloader have had. He said a Dixie Tennessee  mountain rifle in .50 cal. Bob asked how many of them he had to track down, or had lost. The old guy said none. He said get close, shoot them through the lungs, and then dig a sandwich out of your pack, and have lunch. The elk will usually just keep grazing until he falls over, and thats when the fun ends. Oh and you won't have time for lunch after the packing out gets started.
 Bob never brought his elk hide to rendezvous again.

                  Hungry Horse

Offline Stormrider51

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2015, 03:14:43 AM »
My Dad killed five over the years.  All were taken with a .45 cal flintlock that he built in the style of Jacob Dickert.  Of the five elk, three never moved a step.  The other two dropped within 20 yards.  He never owned a rifle larger than a .45.  The day I showed up with a .50 he asked if I was planning to hunt elephant.

Storm

Offline Dan

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2015, 06:08:31 AM »
Although a .45 prb would be my last choice of the calibers that go up from there, I would use a ball cast from WW if I had to use a .45 on elk.  The harder lead would hold up against bone much better and give better penetration.  I think a .50 should do quite well and a .54 even better.  Now, I've never even hunted elk so take that into consideration.

Interesting observation that and consistent with my experience.  Some years back i launched many round balls of .31 caliber at hogs from distances of 30 yards or less, mostly less. They were hardened, not the least soft.  In the process I found they will penetrate large hogs, and by that I mean in the range of 250# or more, without fail unless they strike a major bone.  Major does not include ribs or even such obstructions as a shield. By penetrate I mean thru and thru with enough snap to kill hogs on the other side.  On three occasions it led to multiple kills with a single shot.

Were I to pursue this I would likely go beyond WW in hardness, likely by adding a bit of antimony to the mix.

patiodadio

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2015, 03:19:00 PM »
In KY a muzzleloader must be .50 cal or larger to hunt elk.

Offline J Henry

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2015, 04:44:58 PM »
 Technical question,, Retorical in nature!!!!  IF I am shooting a 50 cal but loading it with a PRB .490 with a 10 patch ,,  am I shooting a 50 cal or less,,I know the "Intent" of the law but wondering about the "Letter" of the law...

Offline Dphariss

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2015, 05:17:55 PM »
A good friend (Bob) killed a nice bull elk with his custom .58 Hawken, some years ago. We camped next to each other at a local rendezvous, and I got to watch him tell his hunting story, and parade his nicely tanned elk hide around, for about half a day. An old timer set up camp next to him late in the afternoon, and soon was hearing the story, and looking at the elk hide. The old boy said after seeing how nice that hide came out, that he as sorry he hadn't saved any from the elk he had killed with his muzzleloader.  My buddy Bob asked him how many elk he had killed with his muzzleloader. The old guy thought a minute, and said fourteen. Bob asked him what kind of muzzleloader have had. He said a Dixie Tennessee  mountain rifle in .50 cal. Bob asked how many of them he had to track down, or had lost. The old guy said none. He said get close, shoot them through the lungs, and then dig a sandwich out of your pack, and have lunch. The elk will usually just keep grazing until he falls over, and thats when the fun ends. Oh and you won't have time for lunch after the packing out gets started.
 Bob never brought his elk hide to rendezvous again.

                  Hungry Horse


Most will graze till they fall over? Good grief. Did he shoot them in the St Louie Zoo?
Did it not occur to anyone that the "old guy" might have been a BS artist?

Dan
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Offline bob in the woods

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2015, 05:34:56 PM »
At this point, I don't have anything further to add that wouldn't get me in trouble with the moderator  ???
I know there are always exceptions, but for those of us who actually hunt large game i.e. elk, moose etc with round ball shooting long rifles, it's already very plain to see that a .45 would not be a first or even second choice.  Can a .45 round ball kill an elk ? Sure.  Some folks win the lottery too, but for the rest of us, real life prevails. 

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2015, 05:43:35 PM »
There is more than one tall tale told herein.

gbeauvin

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2015, 07:15:16 PM »
Technical question,, Retorical in nature!!!!  IF I am shooting a 50 cal but loading it with a PRB .490 with a 10 patch ,,  am I shooting a 50 cal or less,,I know the "Intent" of the law but wondering about the "Letter" of the law...

Not surprisingly, it will depend on the letter of the law.  My own state calls out "muzzle loading rifles .40 caliber or larger" for deer.  It specifies the caliber of the rifle, not the size of the ball.  Other states, however, do specify a projectile size rather than a rifle caliber.  YMMV.

-GB

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: .45 PRB versus elk
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2015, 03:33:30 AM »
First off, that patch and ball combination is too loose and will give you poor accuracy in most cases.  Game Wardens live in the real world - don't carry around a micrometer to check whether your assortment of balls may contain a few which are less than full .500".  Everywhere I have ever been they would check the caliber stamped on the barrel or look at your cartridge if you were using a non muzzleloading firearm.  Besides .490 rounded off to the nearest nominal caliber is .50.