rifle for elk?

Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
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687
Cartridge's for elk for someone that's only 125#, huh. Like most are saying, the 270 will work fine and you don't have a problem with recoil. But special trip calls for a special rifle if the money isn't a problem. Having never been a fan f the 270 for whatever reason, I'd be looking at either the 7mm-08 or a 6.5 Creedmoor. My last two elk were both shot with my 6.5x06 and 140gr cup and core bullet's, did a fine job. 6.5's are really over looked in this country but sound's like Europe is in love with them. If I went with the 7mm-08 my bullet choice would be something along the line's of a 160gr bullet, premium bullet wouldn't really be needed. Now I've never had a 6.5 Creedmoor or a 7mm-08 but I've had a few 6.5x55's, have one now and several 7x57's. What those two tell me is about bullet's proformance at certain speed's. You mentioned 300yds, that's the limit I set for myself, not into blasting away at long ranges at big game. But over the years I have never felt the need to take a shot at 300 yds. Did it once on a deer at 330 yds just to say I did ti, pretty sorry reason to take a shot I didn't need to take. Thing to remember about hunting cartridges, they need to used a heavy enough bullet to work at the velocity the cartridge can fire them and need to get inside and destroy vital's to be successful no matter the cartridge. It's really about bullet choice and shot placement, cartridge is no where near as important as those two point's.

I have no doubt in my mind that even a 223 with a good bullet will knock an elk right down with good placement but I would question it in the chest cavity. I'm probably wrong about that! I have a 25-06 that with the load I use in it, 117gr interlock, would kill an elk as fast as anything, but even so, I have more confidence in a heavier bullet. 6.5 is a small as I would go for elk. It has much better bullet's for the job than anything smaller. At the same time everything bigger also have bullet's up to the job. Field is really wide open for you, what do you think you want? Once you figure that out, find one if you can to shoot and see hot you like it. Put thought into the bullet you would use and consider how well you shoot it as to recoil. If you can handle the recoil but just don't shoot it well, it's probably the rifle your shooting, not the cartridge! Become very confident it the rifle your using and place your shot's well, game over. When shooting at an animal, the buck fever excuse for a bad shot or missed shot don't cut it for me. You need complete confidence in yourself and your rifle and at trigger time, you are no lnger a hunter, you need to become a shooter. Do that and what you choose will not matter so long as it's legal.
 

Zootownelk

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Aug 26, 2016
Messages
51
Agree with others- .270 is just fine. My uncle has shot 30+ elk with his. Lots of good options on ammo these days. I've only used Federal Premium, Nosler, and Barnes bullets, but you want a tough bullet that will retain weight for good penetration.
 

tzone

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Aug 6, 2018
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MN for now
i want to get a rifle for elk hunting. i wont be going this year since it looks like i wont have any spare time, but next year my dad and i will hopefully be going. im looking for any advice u guys can give on a good rifle for elk. what rifle? what cartridge? etc. heres the main problem, i am very small, only about 125lbs, so i need a lighter recoiling rifle. i have a weatherby vangard in .270win that i can handle just fine. most everyone ive talked to say i should get something a bit bigger for elk. shots will be no more than 300 yds. what do u smaller guys, or ur wives or kids shoot? my max budget is around $1000. thanks guys

I'd use the hell out of that .270 and practice, practice, practice!! There have been 10's of thousands of elk killed with a .270.
 

Gila

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Jun 8, 2019
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New Mexico
I don't need or want anything more. Hornady has found a way to pump some powder into that 30-03 case that almost matches the ballistics of the .270 winchester short magnum. Couple 3200 fps muzzle velocity with a 130 gr that holds together and penetrates well, and you will have a lethal combination. I had really good results with the interbond on Pronghorn. However I am going to try the new GMX for my first elk hunt. The Hornady engineers have been on a roll lately.
 

WVgoodguy22

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Mar 29, 2019
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54
I would agree with everyone on this thread. That is what I have, but I have only been able to hunt whitetails with it. We've been handloading 130 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips and 53 grains of IMR 4350 for a couple decades and that has worked well in my late 90s Savage Model 110 in 270. That would work well for mule deer and pronghorn and even elk, but if I do get a chance to go out west and I bring my 270 I will reload with some 145-150 grain premium bullets like the Nosler ABs, Partitions, or the Hornady ELD-X among a couple other options I would have to figure out. Now saying that, I just put a New Savage Model 110 Long Range Hunter (with Accufit) in .300 WSM on layaway since it was such a great deal ($200-300 less than I saw it anywhere else). I don't need it but wanted a 30 cal. Plus I am also 260lbs. I wish you the best of luck out there and with plenty of practice that 270 will fill your freezer if the opportunity arises and you do your part well.
 

Bigjav

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Aug 3, 2016
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Central California
a 270 is more than up for the task, but if you’re only 125 pounds you might want to start packing around a weighted pack or get a weighted vest and hike around to start getting your legs and back in shape if you happen to get one down so that you don’t get hurt packing it out...best of luck!
 
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The Yetti

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Jun 5, 2017
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Widefield, Colorado
I'd use the hell out of that .270 and practice, practice, practice!! There have been 10's of thousands of elk killed with a .270.
This right here. Nothing replaces trigger time for confidence when it matters. Take the rifle you have, buy a bunch of ammo and shoot! Shoot from field positions, shoot when your breathing hard, make the uncomfortable comfortable. There aren’t many shooting benches where the elk are, so time and money invested in your shooting will pay larger dividends than the money spent on a new rifle!
 

JamesM

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Jun 25, 2019
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I would imagine shot placement is whats most important. I recently bought a Browning hells canyon speed in 30/06, thing is a tack driver! Its all about shot placement!
 

kmott

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Jan 16, 2010
Messages
60
Location
idaho
i want to get a rifle for elk hunting. i wont be going this year since it looks like i wont have any spare time, but next year my dad and i will hopefully be going. im looking for any advice u guys can give on a good rifle for elk. what rifle? what cartridge? etc. heres the main problem, i am very small, only about 125lbs, so i need a lighter recoiling rifle. i have a weatherby vangard in .270win that i can handle just fine. most everyone ive talked to say i should get something a bit bigger for elk. shots will be no more than 300 yds. what do u smaller guys, or ur wives or kids shoot? my max budget is around $1000. thanks guys
don't let folks tell you the .270 is to small ! .270 will kill any animal on the planet at 300 yards, IF, you have the ability to put the bullet where it needs to go. I"ve kilt lots of elk with mine
 

grandejuan

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Aug 8, 2016
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410
Location
Arizona
Have to second, third and fourth the suggestion of the 270 Win. Go with 150 grainers, place the bullet properly and prepare to get messy! For sure use a good bullet like a partition (my favorite). GJ
 

kmott

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Jan 16, 2010
Messages
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idaho
I generally(not always use 140 gr for deer and elk. my gun just likes em better then 150 gr
 
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