2016 Black Hills Elk

By sd0311msg

December 12, 2016

I had a 2016 cow Elk tag for the Black Hills in South Dakota. I had switched from 168 AMAX to 178 AMAX and was eager to test the terminal wound ballistics. I was pushing the 178 AMAX with 42.5 grains of Varget at 2488 fps out of a 20 inch Remington .308 build. I had an opportunity on a mature cow at approximately 200 yards. She was on the tail end of a herd of approximately 30 elk that were traveling north at a good pace. I wanted to test the muzzle energy via stopping power and bullet penetration. She gave me a perfect shot. Her near front leg was forward, her far leg, to the rear. She was quartering to me. The impact was spot on, through her near shoulder, through the lungs, and through her far shoulder. She dropped immediately. She attempted to get up a few times but could not because both front shoulders were busted up. She pushed herself by her back legs approximately 50 yards and expired. Upon skinning and de-boning, I was able to recover most of the bullet jacket and lead bullet. It was located just under the skin on the far shoulder. The recovered jacket and lead weighed 102.5 grains. There was quite a bit of micro pieces of lead and copper surrounding the wound channel that I did not take the time to pick out. I was very impressed with the result.

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