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Caliber and bullet for elk hunt

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Whale View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Caliber and bullet for elk hunt
    Posted: October/26/2018 at 15:03
I have had no success in obtaining an elk tag. So I am now inquiring about guided elk hunts in the US and Canada. Just wondering what caliber and bullet you elk hunters use.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peddler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2018 at 15:57
You will now receive at least 25 opinions ranging from 6.5x55 to .458 lott😂💥.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2018 at 16:00
My fam has killed elk with .243, .308, 7mag, 300 savage, 300 mag, 45-70.  I hunted this year with a 6.5 creed, but didn't get a chance to shoot one.

Any decent size rifle caliber will do.  Its most about where you shoot them than anything.  Bring one that you are very confident with and that you shoot well. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2018 at 18:50
I agree with supertool, but after reading about everyone's adventures, I think I would bring a BIG gun!!  Hahaha!  

If Rancid Koolaid said a 300 Winchester didn't drop an elk in his tracks, I would bring something BIGGER!!  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scrumbag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2018 at 03:17
9.3x62 I'm sure would be excellent in the timber though not so flat shooting if you need a longer shot
Was sure I had a point when I started this post...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2018 at 05:14
 .220 Swift is my choice for elk...go big or go home...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2018 at 08:49
Robert Ruark shot a hyena in Africa with a 220 Swift! The bullet just flattened out on his hide and Ruark was cussing that rifle for the rest of the book!  Ha!  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Son of Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2018 at 08:53
...and yet, years ago people were actually KILLING tigers with the 22 Savage Hi-Power!!   


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote urbaneruralite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2018 at 20:29
When going guided, consult the guide. It helps if you and the guide are on the same page as to what your gun will do. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Whale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2018 at 12:07
 Thank you everyone who posted a response to my question. In my haste to post, I should have asked who used a .270, 30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag? The reason being my elbow and shoulder surgeries. These are the calibers that I can tolerate with cortisone injections. If I need revision surgery there will be no hunting in the future. Again, thank you everyone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RifleDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/04/2018 at 21:34
Originally posted by Whale Whale wrote:

 Thank you everyone who posted a response to my question. In my haste to post, I should have asked who used a .270, 30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag? The reason being my elbow and shoulder surgeries. These are the calibers that I can tolerate with cortisone injections. If I need revision surgery there will be no hunting in the future. Again, thank you everyone.

Of those, I've used 7 mag on elk with success, and have seen several elk killed by all 3 of those chamberings. All 3 are adequate for the job. The bullet used and placement of said bullet is more important than the cartridge. Pick a good controlled expansion bullet that shoots well in your rifle. Pick something with a reputation for being tough and retaining a decent % of its weight after expansion, either in a monometal design or bonded core. Pick bullets on the heavier side of the range for their respective calibers; ex: 140 - 150 gr. in .277", 150 - 175 gr. in .284", 180 - 200+ gr. in .308".
Examples: Barnes LRX or TTSX, Hornady GMX or ELD-X, Nosler Accubond, Accubond LR or E-Tip, Trophy Bonded Bear Claw or Tip, etc.
One of our fellow OT members makes Badlands Precision Bulldozer bullets, which are an aluminum tipped monometal bullet, and they would be a good choice as well. They shoot well and are very tough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote koshkin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2018 at 17:07
I suspect that RifleDude is right on the money.  

I am not much of a hunter, but I spend a lot of time shooting with other people.  I think it is really critical to make sure you are shooting a caliber you can shoot well without worrying about your hurt shoulder and all that.

The quality of modern bullets is such that cartridge differences for most North American game are not that critical (within reason).  

For what it is worth, bullets from Badlands Precision seem to fly faster than I expected (likely due to short bearing surface), so you can pick up a bit of extra energy that way.

If your shoulder hurts, use your 270 with the right bullet.

ILya
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BryceCla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2018 at 06:31
Originally posted by Peddler Peddler wrote:

You will now receive at least 25 opinions ranging from 6.5x55 to .458 lott😂💥.

Ain't that the truth. And after a few seasons, he will have tried at least 25 of those options as well. haha
Hi!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mike650 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2018 at 06:48
7mm Winkle. 😉
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote urbaneruralite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2018 at 08:04
For reasons I cannot quantify, I find the /06 class cartridges deliver more recoil to my shoulder than .308 class. If your guide is confident in providing opportunities inside 300 yards, take whatever you like that throws at least an 140gr bullet and have fun.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote supertool73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2018 at 09:18
Probably because they have more powder in them vs the comparable caliber short case.  Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/13/2018 at 09:42
 I've only been on a few elk hunts but was successful on the first (sorta, won't derail this thread with that story).  I hunt quite a bit and do tend to over-gun in an effort to avoid under-gunning.  My mindset is an animal can't be "too dead" but can definitely be "not dead enough."

If you are recoil-sensitive, I'd be comfortable with a 308 or even 7mm-08, so long as you run the right bullets.

I've had great success with Barnes TTSX and TSX.  If it is something I care to recover, I shoot it with a Barnes projectile.

But there are other good bullets.

I do favor 300WM, much of it is confidence and experience, some is simple voodoo.

Some states allow suppressed hunting, and a can on a thumper takes MUCH of the thump away, at least for the shooter.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kickboxer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2018 at 06:16
 Can't go wrong with .300 WinMag.  On my last Axis hunt (typically respected as at least as "tough" to take as elk) I used .300 WinMag 190gr Black Hills BTHP Sierra Match King.  Heart and lung shot... DRT. I've always really liked this caliber.  My opinion, can be used for just about any type of hunting.  Nothing I'd be fearful to face with it... maybe the Hulk, but he absorbs and dissolves bullets (that don't bounce off)...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rancid Coolaid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2018 at 08:53
 As someone will point it out:  Sierra explicitly states that they do not recommend Matchkings for most hunting applications.  That said, obviously they work, but they are not a purpose-build hunting bullet, and are actually purpose-built for a different purpose.

I too have hunted with matchkings, there is much to be said for the confidence that arises from knowing exactly where the round will strike within 600 yards of my shooting position. Though the Barnes bullets I like for hunting don't have the same BC or the same reputation for extreme precision and accuracy, they much more effectively transfer energy from bullet to target.

In closing, 300 Winchester Magnum is a great caliber for almost anything on this continent - and for many, many species on the other continents.

Though it is not for the recoil-sensitive - at least in most rifle configurations that do not include a suppressor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote urbaneruralite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2018 at 11:47
Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

Probably because they have more powder in them vs the comparable caliber short case.  Embarrassed

Ha. I set myself up for that. 

No, I mean if loaded the same. I perceive that a light .270 load kicks more than the equivalent .260 load in similar weight rifles. I went through this after my wife rejected a .270 loaded for low recoil in favor of a 7mm08. By the numbers it should be the same. If anything I would think the wider bullet would push back more. There was no arguing it with her. I tried it a couple different ways with different -08 and -06 after that. Those -08s always seemed easier on me. 

Another anomaly is while I prefer short actions, I shoot a long action more accurately. There should be no difference, but I have shown it often enough that I don't take some shots on game with my preferred short action rifles. 

These things are subjective and perhaps not useful to OP, but might be worth considering all the same.
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