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Question by J-GRIZZLE. Uploaded on February 04, 2009
A good all around caliber is 30.06, but when it comes down to it, no matter what caliber you use it's all about shot placement.
id buy something from .270 to a .300 with a synthetic stock so you don't have to worry about dinging up the wood.
My cousin who is an elk guide swears by a .308
30-06 with a good 180 grain bullet will do a fantastic job. But if you want to really nock there d^^k in the dirt, my Browning A-Bolt 338 Win Mag with a 225 grain would be my choice and my 30-06 03-A3 as my backup rifle.
The best moose kill I have ever witnessed was a teenager with a 30-06 shooting off the shelf 180 grain Remington Core-Lokt® and it was a monster!!!!
Bottom line, the maximum range you will be shooting you must be able hit “MOP” or Minute Of Pieplate at that distance. I have seen too many hunters that were over cartridged that were lucky to hold a 6” group at 100 yards due to massive flinching and expecting to drop a caribou at 400. They blamed the gun until I shot a ½ to 5/8 inch group with it.
308 or 30-06 would be a darn good choice!!
7x57 Mauser or 7mm 08 would be my minimum recommodation,, but more important it needs to be good bullet placed in the right spot. Elk are tough, and tracking a wounded Elk is as tough as sport hunting gets. A neighbor of mine kills a couple every year with a .243, so caliber selection isnt all that important, bullet placement is!
#0-06 is hard to beat with 180 Part. or XXX bullet.
Well the top things I would pick-
300 Ultra Mag
Any bullet grain 150-200 should work well.
i would go with a good 30-06. and good ammo, at least 180 gr
J-Grizzle . . .
I suggest a scoped composite- or laminated-stock bolt-action rifle. Use a rifle that doesn't weigh too much--maybe 8lbs max with a scope and sling--because you'll likely have to hike and climb and cover a lot of rough country to earn your elk.
Some hunters like to use semi-automatic rifles. And there are good-to-excellent semi-automatic rifles in the U.S.--the current edition of the composite-stocked Browning BAR comes to mind. Most hunters, however, find bolt actions to be more reliable and accurate under the worst conditions--like those you may encounter on your hunt--and some (or perhaps many) hunters hold that using semi-autos to hunt large game is less sporting (and certainly less traditional) than using a good bolt action. But it's your rifle and your call.
As far as calibers go, I've known excellent shooters who successfully took one-shot kills on their elks from their .243s and .257 Roberts . . . but these shooters used excellent bullets (Nosler Partitions, I seem to recall), and they put their handloaded rounds directly through the lungs of their elks at under 200 yards.
Proper shot placement with an excellent bullet and a rifle you know and are comfortable with is far more important than which centerfire caliber you use.
I hope to go elk hunting myself this year or next, depending on finances, time and tag availability.
I'm taking two rifles with me. One will be my cheap, worse-than-outhouse ugly, plastic-stocked Savage Model 111 in .270, handloaded with 140-grain Nosler Accubonds or Barnes TSXs, or 150-grain Nosler Partitions. This rifle always shoots very accurately.
My second rifle? A .257 Ackley with its new barrel in an H-S Precision stock, handloaded with 120-grain or 115-grain Nosler Partitions or 115-grain Barnes TSXs or Nosler 110-grain Accubonds. I've seen what this rifle can do on big tough pigs and a whitetail doe I took a few months ago. I have no worries at all about using this rifle and cartridge via a lung shot on any elk within 300 yards.
So depending on what you're most comfortable with, what you can shoot most accurately at any reasonable distance, and whether you handload or not, you might wish to start with a .257 Roberts or 25-06 or .257 AI and go up from there, but stopping well short of any rifle or caliber that makes you flinch, go deaf, or make inaccurate shots. Go to the range. Experiment with your friends's rifles in every caliber you can find. Then pick the rifle and caliber that suits you best.
30.06 180 grain bullet, if you have to cover a lot of ground where your shots can reach 300 yrds or so, definitely go to the 300 win mag with a 20x scope
The old 30/06 has been doing this for decades. For a bit more power the .338 win is a good choice. Good bullets and shot placement are always a priority even if you happen to settle on Petzel's .375 Eargasplittenloudenboomer!
i would probably use a .300 win mag but the 30/06 is another great choice
Love the '06, but if you want 'best', I'd say .338, if you can handle it, if not, get a good bullet in the '06. 165 TSX or 180 Partition.
30-06. Period. The bullet is too heavy sometimes, but a 270 is only good enough if you know your gun and your bullets.
anything you can shoot accuratly in 30 or above.
I like mine in 300 or 338 win mag, with the heavy bullets. 225 barns tsx in 338 and 200 grain ballistic tips in my 300. its bullets that they like and do excellent on the big game.
For Elk and elk alone, I would choose a synthetic stock bolt action rifle in .338 Win Mag, with a good fixed 4 power scope. Buy good ammo and this setup will work great. If I wanted a cross over deer and elk rifle I would go with something smaller like a 30.06
I prefer the 30.06 with 180 gr handloads...
a lot of old-school elk guides swear by the .338 wm and the .35 whelen ;)
I've never hunted elk but my idea would have to be a .700 ultra mag
I have shot a lot of elk in my day with calibers from the little .22-250 Remington to the bad ass .338 Remington Ultra Mag. Here are my suggestions on calibers for elk hunting. The .243 Winchester, 6mm Remington, .240 Weatherby Mag, .25-06 Remington, .260 Remington, .270 Winchester, .270 WSM, .280 Remington, 7mm RSAUM, 7mm WSM, 7mm Remington Mag, 7mm Weatherby Mag, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .300 WSM, .300 Winchester, .300 Weatherby, .325 WSM, 8mm Remington, .338 Federal, .338-06 A-Square, and the .338 Winchester Mag. I have been guiding for 47 years and had clients come with .375 Ruger. I had them shoot a 6mm Remington instead because the recoil scared them into flinching. Elk are tough animals but you don't need a big cannon to kill one. I prefer a short action bolt-action rifle. My advice would be shoot the the biggest rifle that you can shoot accurately without recoil being a big pain in the butt. But when it comes down to it, your first shot is the most important and shot placement.
This is such a broad question and at the end of the day comes down to personal opinion. Yes, there is a range of appropriate rifles and caliber ammunition that works best for elk, but there is no "silver bullet".
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