what rifle would be recommended for distance shots for deer elk at range of 500 yards or more?

by admin

I would like to get into hunting mule deer, elk and larger game but i believe my .300 savage would be way to underpowered. what rifle would be ideal for shots of large distance and still have the knock down power without being over excessive?
im ex army, always shot expert but dont know alot about the variety of rifles and thier capabilities.

The absolute best cartridge would be one of the .300 Magnums. A .300 Win Mag, and .300 Weatherby, or the newer .300 Remington UltraMag. They shoot the same bullet as a .30-06, but they carry much more power out at 500 yards, and shoot much flatter than a 30-06 or 300 Savage. Many of the military snipers use the .300 Win Mag.
Plenty of power for elk at 500 yards.
At 500 yards, a .30-06 has about 1300 to 1500 ft lbs of energy left.
A .300 Weatherby has 1700 to 2000 ft lbs of energy.
A while back I had heard that you need a rifle capable of about 1500 ft lbs. to make a clean kill on an elk, and about 1000 ft lbs. for a deer.
The .300 Magnum solves that problem, and it is extremely accurate.

Muledeer Hunting Montana

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

John S, BaC June 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Thats a very long shot.
I have a 30.06 with a rf/bdc scope. The max range is 875 yards, but I could never get consistency at even 300 yards.
Some guys can shoot 500 yards……but the vast majority of good shooters can not.
Unless you are 1 in a thousand-I would not even try to set up for it.
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stormgale89 June 14, 2010 at 6:02 pm

yeah, you .300 would do for shorter ranges, but the 30-06, .270 winchester and .300 win mag would do a lot better at these ranges.
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Butch C June 14, 2010 at 6:43 pm

500 yards or more? I think you should stick to video games and be a super sniper there.
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John de Witt June 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm

If you’re seriously wanting to take 500 yard shots on unwounded elk, then a 105 mm howitzer would be the thing to use. No such shot should be taken with any handheld firearm by an ethical sportsman. Making tiny holes close together in paper at a thousand does not have nearly the number of variables involved in shooting game, and there’s simply too much that can go wrong. If you gut-shoot a deer or elk a half mile off, you deserve all the opprobrium of the hunting community.
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super61 June 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Long shots are great on a 600 yard range and if your 6" off target then so what.

500 yards on deer is excesive. 6" out on a live target can make the difference between a gut shot or a 200gr bullet heading in to the woods.

I’m happy enough to send it 600yards down range but not at deer.
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WOP2_99 June 14, 2010 at 7:41 pm

While killing shots have been made at those distances, unless you are the most fantastic marksman alive, a 500 yard + shot on any game animal is unethical, unwise, unpredictable and not prudent. I won’t even suggest a rifle of any caliber, as the variables at 500 yards are too many to insure a humane kill.
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Richard June 14, 2010 at 8:20 pm

The absolute best cartridge would be one of the .300 Magnums. A .300 Win Mag, and .300 Weatherby, or the newer .300 Remington UltraMag. They shoot the same bullet as a .30-06, but they carry much more power out at 500 yards, and shoot much flatter than a 30-06 or 300 Savage. Many of the military snipers use the .300 Win Mag.
Plenty of power for elk at 500 yards.
At 500 yards, a .30-06 has about 1300 to 1500 ft lbs of energy left.
A .300 Weatherby has 1700 to 2000 ft lbs of energy.
A while back I had heard that you need a rifle capable of about 1500 ft lbs. to make a clean kill on an elk, and about 1000 ft lbs. for a deer.
The .300 Magnum solves that problem, and it is extremely accurate.
References :

Glacierwolf June 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I am a long time Alaskan hunter, trapper, and former military long distance shooter.

500 yards is a long way to nail a big game animal. I’ve done it – but – you really need to pick and choose the terrain and shot placement………. because you need plenty of clear space to get a good seond shot off.

The choice of calibers – it needs to be one that has the power to perform a ‘quartering shot’. This is a shot where the bullet enters the rear quarter and has enough mass and velocity to penetrate the vital organs. Typically, you will take a nice slow broadside shot at long distance, and if the animal does not go down it is going to be moving away from you – so you next round is a quartering shot.

300 Win Mag and 338 Win Mag – or any belted magnum – will perform a quartering shot at 500 yards. However, the recoil and cost per round – this is never going to be your practice rifle, no long afternoons at the range going through box after box of ammo. You MUST buy a second rifle – 243 Win or 308 Win to practice at 500 yards and learn to read the wind.

I like the 338 Win Mag. I have shot brown bear, moose and caribou – none have ever need a second bullet. At 200 yards most people can put 2 or 3 rounds inside the same hole with it, and , are able to repeatibly hit a coffe can sized target at 500 yards. Mine has a custom muzzle brake and trigger job.

With a belted magnum rifle you are not going to be able to put a moderatly priced scope on it. You need to jump to top of the line – nothing else will survive.

Feel free to email me any questions.
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larry June 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Any belted Magnum will do fine, IF you can hit at the distance. Wind drift at 500 yards is often several feet, and so is trajectory holdover. A laser rangefinder will allow a benchrest situation hunter to correct holdover, but guessing wind speed hundreds of yards away is problematic without several shots allowed to zero in on a bullseye.

The classic technique of seeing how far away you can keep ALL hits on an 8 inch paper plate (the size of a deer’s vitals), is as embarrassing as it is ethical, to be the hunter you yourself can feel good about, not wounding and losing game.
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William B June 14, 2010 at 10:07 pm

3006
effective to 1,000 yards
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old timer / korean vet

David S June 14, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Remington 700 5R Milspec in 300 Win Mag

It uses the same barrel as the Army’s M26 rifle. Features a M700 Stainless Steel barreled action with a 26 inch R5 Mil-Spec barrel, the same type rifling used in the M-24 sniper rifles. Varmint barrel with 1:10 inch twist rate with five lands and grooves and eleven degree target crown. Stock has aluminum bedding in block in standard VS configuration.

The 5R gets it’s name because of it’s rifling. The barrel has 5 grooves, and the rifling in the barrel is radiused. Rifling on normal Remington barrels is rectangular, with square edges. The 5R is milspec and used on the M24 sniper rifles. They say that the barrel has more even pressure curves, since there’s less lands cutting into the bullet, there’s less drag so you get higher velocities with the same powder charge. Now there have always been "fast barrels" and "slower barrels", this will vary between manufacturers and isn’t really something that you can exactly grade a barrel on, even from the same manufacturer.

http://www.snipercountrypx.com/pc-4897-836-remington-700-ss-5r-milspec-300wm.aspx

http://www.impactguns.com/store/047700855059.html
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Football Freak June 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm

I would say the 30-06 good power or the .300 Win Mag good elk gun or I’m just spiting in the wind here

but maybe the .308 but the only problem is that the .308 (Some call the 7.62×39) is that as soon as it

leaves the barrel it starts dropping. (So u lose a little accuracy)
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bearcat June 14, 2010 at 11:43 pm

500 yards???? You need an AH-64 Apache….LOL…seriously, look at the .280 rem or 30-06
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