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Is the 10mm a good round for moose?

Dan In Alaska

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2007
3,084
12
Anchorage
I went hunting with a few buddies over Labor Day Weekend. We had caribou tags, so we were primarily looking for 'bou, but there were none to be found. We talked to several guys that had been hunting the area all week, and they complained about not seeing any caribou yet.

Caribou country:


My buddy, Clint, and I did some riding and a lot glassing that first morning, not expecting to see much. We spotted a cow moose early in the day. She was all the way across the draw, about 3/4 mile away, so we thought we'd try and see if there were any 4-wheeler trails that would take us over the other side. We figured if there was a cow over there, there might be a bull over there, as well, so instead of waiting around for a caribou, we'd go and look for a moose.

Lots of 4-wheeler trails in this area, and they were in pretty decent shape:


After a 30min ride, we got to the end of a trail that stopped at a nice look-out. I went to take a leak, and Clint walked over the edge, down the footpath a little further. Clint left his moose tag at home, so of course, he spots this bull. He tried to get my attention with a really lousy cow call, sounded like the yowl of a deranged alley cat, so I sort of ignored it, until I saw Clint walk back up the trail, all wide-eyed, "dude, there's a big-ass moose over here!" I finish doing my business, grab my rifle, and make my way over to see what all the fuss was about.

I spotted the moose, and he looked pretty good. I ranged him, and he was 140 yards out. Of course, he was downhill from us, and there was a pretty steep part of the hill we'd have to contend with, getting him out of there. I tried like hell to talk myself out of shooting him; I really did. "He only has three brow tines on each side, are you sure he's 50-inches wide?" I asked. "Oh, hell yes," Clint replied, "He's bigger than the moose on your wall," referring to the 53-inch moose I shot years ago with Chris.

I said, "He's all the way down there, though, and we'd have to pack him uphill." Clint darted back, "Who gives a shit? There's four of us, and Joe counts as two!" Joe is Clint's 22-year-old son, a former wrestler. He's strong as all get out, and pain doesn't seem to bother him.

"If you had your moose tag with you, would you shoot him?" I asked. Clint said, "Absolutely!"

It was a 140yd, resting chip-shot with my .300 Win mag. I was shooting Barnes 168gr Tipped TSXs at 3300fps with RL-26. The first shot punched through both lungs. He reacted at the shot, but he wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere. After the initial reaction, he didn't really seem to be all that phased by the shot, and it bothered me that he was still on his feet. I hit him again, a high shoulder shot this time, and he dropped. I remember dropping my first moose with a high shoulder shot, so I was satisfied that this moose dropped right away. After 15-20 seconds, though, he got back up again! I sent the third round directly on the shoulder, this time, and dropped him again. "That took a lot," I remember thinking to myself, "How did I ever kill one of these things with a 7-08?"

From our vantage point on the hill, Clint and I watched him for a while, as I gathered my pack with knives and game bags. After about 10min, I headed down the hill to find him, and Clint stayed up top to guide me to him. I left my rifle at the top of the hill, but I took my 10mm with me in a chest holster. It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Our vantage point on the hill. I used the small tree, in the center, as a rest to shoot downhill.


There was a pretty steep section, going down the hill, but there were plenty of small shrubs to hang onto. I kicked a grouse up right at the bottom of the hill. That got my attention! A few yards later, the same bird flew out of the tree he landed in, and caused another spike in my heart rate. Come to think of it, that's the only damned grouse we saw all weekend. What an asshole.

Walking in on him, I heard the moose before I saw him. He was on the ground, behind a couple of trees, and facing away from me. He was slumped over and had very labored breathing, but he wasn't quite dead yet. I wanted to keep the skull intact, so that antler measurements could confirm that he was legal. I knew he didn't have the required number of brow tines, for this area, so he had to be 50" or wider to be legal. I figured I'd shoot him at the base of his skull to finish him off. It made sense at the time...

After my 10mm barked, he perked up, and as he was swinging his head around to look at me, I shot him in the neck twice more -- before he stood up! I saw the bullets hit him, right at the neck/head junction, and he just stood up like it was nothing! I was only 10-feet away from this guy, and he's now on his feet! What. The. FUCK!? I triple-tapped him in the chest, and he went down again. He fell on his side, this time, and his antlers got tangled in a small clump of alders, so he couldn't move his head very well. I moved forward quickly and put one more round in the back of his head/neck junction, from an arm's length away. He immediately tensed up from the CNS hit. A few more kicks from his hind legs, and he was down for good.

Then, the adrenaline kicked in! "Holy shit!" I hollered. Clint yelled back, from the top of the hill, "What the hell is going on down there? Sounds like a goddamn war zone!" There was some more long-range bantering, between the two of us, and there were more than enough "fucks" and "shits" strewn about the place by the time we settled down.

A quick selfie, before Clint got there. You can see the bottom side of the antler tanged in the brush, which allowed me to get really close for the final shot, without getting poked.




Clint grabbed his gear, and came down to join me. When we gutted and butchered him, we found both lungs were completely gelled and his chest was full of pooled blood. He also had several broken ribs, a clipped spine, and two bullet holes through his shoulder blade. How he kept getting up, was beyond me. Toughest moose ever, or just lousy shooting on my part? I don't know, but a moose is a big enough animal for both, I suppose.

We gutted him, removed the top two quarters, a back strap, and a tenderloin, then headed back to camp with the first load of meat. We were a little late meeting up with the other two hunters, but at least we had a good reason. We quickly gobbled up some lunch, and headed back to the kill site. The four of us finished dismantling him, bagged up all the meat & ribs, and we packed him out the 150 yards to the wheelers. We were back at camp about supper time.

There was meat on two other 'wheelers that aren't in the picture.


The antlers measured 54-inches across, so yeah, these are bigger than the set I have on the wall. Here's a better look at the antlers:


When we were processing the meat, I found the remains of one of the Tipped-TSXs on the offside shoulder. It was pressed up against the thickest part of the shoulder blade, just above the ball and socket joint. It lost two petals, but still retained 85% of its original weight. I am a little surprised it didn't completely penetrate.


I found a 200gr XTP from the 10mm, when we were gutting it. It broke a rib going in, but stopped in the nearside lung. It didn't penetrate very far, at all. I think I'll use solids or FMJs from now on; no more hollow points.



Sorry I suckered you into reading my hunting story.

So, what's the bottom line?
No. I don't think the 10mm is a good round for a moose. It'll work in a pinch, I guess, but I won't pretend that it's ideal. When that moose stood up in front of me, I would have felt a lot more comfortable with a rifle in my hands!
 
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Big Stick

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Nov 18, 2007
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Beautiful day for a Moose Rodeo,well done.

HP's have a place in a rifle,but not in a pistol...FMJ's for me,there................
 

Vek

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2009
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I watched a very wounded moose drop from about 10 yards away to a buffalo bore tmj out of a glock 20...that bullet made it to the spine in the high shoulder and stopped, but gave things enough of a jiggle to drop it. The 310 hardcast out of the 44 to the base of the skull took care of the rest. They can take a lot of lead. That's a nice moose.
 

Big Stick

Well-known member
Nov 18, 2007
40,812
142
Paradise
I watched a very wounded moose drop from about 10 yards away to a buffalo bore tmj out of a glock 20...that bullet made it to the spine in the high shoulder and stopped, but gave things enough of a jiggle to drop it. The 310 hardcast out of the 44 to the base of the skull took care of the rest. They can take a lot of lead. That's a nice moose.


Solids do tend to trump HP's,in a pistole.(grin)

Walked within 5yds of Cubs 10' up in a tree,day before last and only then did I hear her teeth chattering. Never saw her,but a Grock 34 full of FMJ's and wearing a LaserGrip,sure is soothin'.

It ain't no fun,when shit goes where you want,but don't do it's job....................(grin)
 

cwh

Administrator
Nov 18, 2007
4,302
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Anchorage
Great pics, and great story. Was glad to hear you connected.

I got to finish one with my 10mm also. I was shooting 180 FMJs, and it was a one and very much done affair. In case you haven't got that memo yet :)
 

Dan In Alaska

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2007
3,084
12
Anchorage
Nice moose Dan! 3300 with a 168 is moving!
Reloader 26 is no joke! Unfortunately, it has become unobtainium.

I'm actually sitting pretty good for most of my powder needs, for the stuff I shoot the most. I would like a couple more pounds of RL-26 and CFE-BLK, though.
 

Calvin

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Nov 17, 2007
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I need to grab a fistful of cash and make the powder rounds this morning.

Looks like moose hunt at the end of next week. Our hunts down here aren’t as dry as yours up there. Our criteria is “Can I survive the trip there and back”. Grin.
 

Dan In Alaska

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2007
3,084
12
Anchorage
We went out to look for a caribou, over the weekend, during the extended season. We saw a few, but they were up high and getting chased pretty hard.

We saw quite a few big moose, as well, almost like the damned things have calendars or something....moose season is now closed, so they are popping out like crazy!
 

cwh

Administrator
Nov 18, 2007
4,302
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Anchorage
The moose rut is in full swing now, and they are dumb as fuck. Neighbor almost got himself trampled calling one last week.

We had one (probably the same bull, which is 3x3 an mid to upper 50's) grunting and carrying on 20 yards from the bedroom window a couple nights ago. I prefer to drive for 6 hours and then run out a nice muddy trail though. Wouldn't want to knock one down in the backyard. Unless....
 

Big Stick

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Nov 18, 2007
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I get home tomorrow.

Really don't see any "nice" weather forecast,but that's no real "surprise".................
 

Calvin

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Nov 17, 2007
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We got in a solid week up there, came home today which hurt a little. Finally got a legal bull coming but couldn’t seal the deal. Survived a good blow on anchor one night. I picked up a 44lb Bruce before that trip that saved my bacon. I hate se moose hunting.
 

Big Stick

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Nov 18, 2007
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I see the boys killed a few and nobody is hating on 147's in the flesh,pun be intended.(grin)

Guys at work killed some Hogs and 147's there too.

Saw the forecast and was wondering if anyone built an Ark?!?........................(grin)