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View Full Version : 250 yard shot on Elk with either .308 or 7.62x54R


azredhawk44
April 3, 2007, 02:34 PM
2 rifles: M1A Scout 18" and Mosin-Nagant 91/30.

I have a good load that reliably gives me 1.5MOA for .308 from my M1A Scout using Speer Hot-Core 180gr bullets. I don't have a chronograph, but I expect that I am getting about 2400fps.

I have a good load that reliably gives me 1.5MOA for .308 from my M1A Scout using Hornady 165gr BT-JSP bullets. I suspect the velocity to be near 2500fps.

I have Sellier & Bellot 180gr JSP 7.62x54R ammo for my M-N 91/30 that according to manufacturer gets 2625fps.

The area I have been drawn for Elk is very wide open grazing land with rolling hills and occasional patches of trees. It is very possible that the closest I may end up on my Elk will be 200+ yards due to the lack of cover and brush.

I can't afford another rifle this year in time for the hunt.

Do I use one of these 3 above listed loads?

Or do you know of any other solutions to my problem? Put my M1A in "grenade" mode and shoot a bit higher pressure? I never use max published loads in it, btw. I could probably get another 50-100fps out of it that way.

Are there any lighter bullets that will give great penetration? Something like a Barnes banded spitzer solid 165gr for my .308?

All suggestions appreciated.

mikejonestkd
April 3, 2007, 02:47 PM
I have absolutely NO experience with Elk hunting but I totally believe everything I read on the internet and in the gun rags..

You need a MUCH bigger gun like a .375 ruger or a new fangled supershort ultra wizz bang mag to take down an elk. Don't you know that those things are darn near bulletproof?

Most of the ' experts ' claim you need a decent 180 gr bonded/ premium/ partition/ failsafe/ barnes copper or siccorro bullet for elk.

I would think that they are correct, because I believe everything they say...

Use a good 180 gr tough bullet in either rifle and have a great hunt. I think taking an M1A on an elk hunt would be pretty cool. Even Zumbo might agree.

FirstFreedom
April 3, 2007, 02:49 PM
Not the 91/30 since you didn't quote that you have established that it can shoot a group.

Either of the other two should work fine, though I'd lean toward the Hot-cor 180s for retained downrange energy.

taylorce1
April 3, 2007, 02:53 PM
Either rifle will work just take the one that you can shoot the best. Use 180 grains for bullet weight or a premium bullet like Nosler Partitions if you use a lighter bullet. I'd go with the M1A as that sounds like the rifle you shoot the best, but you must use a 5 round magazine to hunt in AZ with a semi-automatic rifle. If you don't have one you need to find one.

R12-4-303. Unlawful Devices, Methods, and Ammunition

A. In addition to the prohibitions prescribed in A.R.S. §§ 17-301 and 17-309, the following devices, methods, and ammunition are unlawful for taking any wildlife in this state. An individual shall not use or possess any of the following while taking wildlife:

1. Fully automatic firearms, including firearms capable of selective automatic fire;

2. Tracer, armor-piercing, or full-jacketed ammunition designed for military use;

3. Shotguns larger than 10 gauge or shotguns capable of holding more than five shells in the magazine, unless plugged with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun, and that limits the magazine capacity to five shells;

4. Semiautomatic centerfire rifles with a magazine capacity of more than five cartridges, unless the magazine is modified with a filler or stop that cannot be removed without disassembling the magazine;

5. Contrivances designed to silence, muffle, or minimize the report of a firearm;

6. Poisoned projectiles, or projectiles that contain explosives; or

7. Pitfalls of greater than 5-gallon size, explosives, poisons, or stupefying substances, except as permitted in A.R.S. § 17-239, or as allowed by a scientific collecting permit issued under A.R.S. § 17-238.

B. An individual shall not place substances in a manner intended to attract bears.

C. An individual shall not use manual or powered jacking or prying devices to take reptiles or amphibians.

D. An individual shall not use live decoys, recorded bird calls, electronically amplified bird calls, or baits to take migratory game birds, as prohibited by 50 CFR 20.21, revised June 14, 2001. This material is incorporated by reference in this Section, but does not include any later amendments or editions. A copy is available from any Department office, or it may be ordered from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Most of all have fun with your hunt.:)

rem33
April 3, 2007, 02:54 PM
We've killed several elk with a 308 using 150 cor-locks not at that distance but a 100 yards or a bit more. If I were you with those choices i would use a 165 grain, Load it on up a bit watching for pressure and you otta be good to go. Far more important than the exact bullet at the exact velocity, is proper bullet placement. Put a bullet thru a elks lungs and he will grace your table. In open country as you describe I wouldn't ruin a shoulder to drop em on the spot. I have killed several shot thru the heart and lungs and none have gone over 50 yards. Not that they can't go aways but in country like your talking not to far to track easy either.

Dirty_Harry
April 3, 2007, 03:39 PM
Use whatever you shoot better with, I have the opposite setup as you, I have the fullsize M1A and the shorter M44, I would pick the M1A. I hate to brag but I feel I can hit anything with that rifle. On a rest I can shoot 2 Moa at 100 yards with Iron sights and I know that can be improved with an optic. I would also feel comfortable with the M44, I shoot pretty well with it to.

sasquatch
April 3, 2007, 03:50 PM
What about your Model 29, Harry? Can you hit anything with it ??

azredhawk44
April 3, 2007, 04:52 PM
We've killed several elk with a 308 using 150 cor-locks not at that distance but a 100 yards or a bit more. If I were you with those choices i would use a 165 grain, Load it on up a bit watching for pressure and you otta be good to go. Far more important than the exact bullet at the exact velocity, is proper bullet placement. Put a bullet thru a elks lungs and he will grace your table. In open country as you describe I wouldn't ruin a shoulder to drop em on the spot. I have killed several shot thru the heart and lungs and none have gone over 50 yards. Not that they can't go aways but in country like your talking not to far to track easy either.

Here's what I am thinking:

250 yards as a zero with the M1A. That gives me a peak at about 150 yards about 4.5" high or so. Velocity at 250 yards with the barnes 165gr bullet will be around 1800fps or so, according to Point Blank and a starting velocity of 2550fps.

Anyone ever used the Barnes 165gr solids for .308 caliber?

ZeroJunk
April 3, 2007, 05:29 PM
Over the last few years my hunting group has killed two Elk with a 270,two with a 280,one with a 30/06,two with a 300 WBY,one with a 7 Rem Mag,and two with a 300 Ultra Mag.Everybody shoots at least 160 grain bullets.The only really hard tracking job was one shot with the 300 Ultra Mag.Go figure.

rem33
April 3, 2007, 05:46 PM
Your reloading right?
Here's some info with a 20" barrel I would guess you'll lose 80 to 100 FPS with a 18. Drop by a big sporting good store like a sportsmans and look at a few reloading books in the 308 pages real quick. You have months to get it all figured out and I am sure you will.

http://www.accuratereloading.com/sscout.html

Jack O'Conner
April 3, 2007, 06:01 PM
I killed a heavy bodied Oregon bull in the 1980's with my .308 carbine loaded with 165 gr Sierra Pro Hunter bullet. It didn't get away.

I've also had good luck with Remington round-nosed 180 grain core-lockt ammo. My Dad always used this ammo and he killed stacks of elk.

250 yards is probably a little long for me. But your .308 is up to the task.

Good hunting to you.
Jack

azredhawk44
April 3, 2007, 06:06 PM
rem33:

Thanks for the link. My current load runs IMR4895-43.0gr under a Hornady 168gr HPBT if I am trying to compare apples to apples as listed on that page. I load identically for 165gr hunting bullets. I guessed my velocity at about 2500fps with the 18" barrel and gas system to feed, your link for a bolt action Steyr 20" rifle shows that charge moving at 2600fps. I'm comfortable with my guess... thank you for re-enforcing it.

Arizona Fusilier
April 3, 2007, 10:36 PM
Just to compare notes Redhawk, where did you get drawn? I've got 4B North, and it's pretty similar to the way you described (hunted in that unit a few times the past several years, unfortunately with no success).

I'm actually contemplating getting a gun for this hunt. It seems that I have good luck getting drawn for elk, so I'm thinking of getting a 30.06 or something bigger and resigning the .270 and .308 to second and third place, respectively.

I'm starting to think for the open spaces, I really need to be prepared for a longer shot than 200 yards, and despite my fondness for the accuracy of my .270, I'm contemplating the downrange energy factor and might feel more comfortable with a bigger load.

This is cow elk, everbody, by the way. Not monster bulls, unfortunately.

taylorce1
April 4, 2007, 12:00 AM
I'm starting to think for the open spaces, I really need to be prepared for a longer shot than 200 yards, and despite my fondness for the accuracy of my .270, I'm contemplating the downrange energy factor and might feel more comfortable with a bigger load.


Last cow elk I took was at 250 yards with a .270 Win using Federal Premium ammunition with 150 grain Nosler Partitions. The way that bullet hit her I wouldn't be afraid to take a big bull with it. She weighed in at a little over 500 pounds field dressed at the processors. After I hit the cow all she did was fall over and slide down the hill side about 10 feet, couldn't ask for any better performance from any cartridge.

According to Federal's ballistics the .270 with 150 grain Partition has only 100 ft-lbs less energy at 300 yards than the 06 with a 180 grain Partition. I would never feel under gunned when carrying my .270 for elk. My suggestion is if you shoot it well stick with it, if you want something different go for it.

rem33
April 4, 2007, 12:56 AM
I have always used 150's but in a 30-06. I took my uncles advice as he had got his elk 17 years in a row with the same. I figured hands on experience was better than a 1000 magazine articles. So far so good we've not lost one yet with 150's but no matter what you use, bullet placement is key.
I have only recovered one bullet it was a second shot, shot at 150 to 200 or so yards across a river, that bullet Went thru the neck bone at a angle on thru the shoulder blade and came to a stop against the hide on the far side. The first bullet had knocked the animal down and as it rose to it's feet I shot again. It still retained well over half it's weight. cor-locks are not spendy but they work great IMHO.

Dad uses a 308 but all are loaded with the same Remington 150's .

ZeroJunk
April 4, 2007, 06:33 AM
The outfitter I use requires 160 grain or better.It's simpler for us to just do it.The first Elk I killed was with a 150 grain bullet from a 30/06 and he fell in his tracks.I know some turn their nose up at outfitters, but I love the Bob Marshall Wilderness and have not figured out a good way to get in and out 20 miles without one.BTW I forgot about two killed with arrows.A 308 will be just fine.Just make a good shot.

sasquatch
April 4, 2007, 10:49 AM
According to Federal's ballistics the .270 with 150 grain Partition has only 100 ft-lbs less energy at 300 yards than the 06 with a 180 grain Partition.

I, too, shoot a .270 with 150 gr. Nosler Partitions. However, the Federal ballistic tables show 1735 ft/lbs @ 300 yards for the 150 gr. .270. vs. 2150 ft/lbs @ 300 yards for the 180 gr. .30-'06. Quite a difference in favor of the .308, I'm afraid (over 400 ft/lbs.).

Ballistically speaking, the .308 150 gr. bullet is a total dog compared to either the 165 gr. or the 180 gr. The latter two beat the .150 gr. hands down.

.308 150 gr. BC - .393 SD - .226
.308 180 gr. BC - .474 SD - .271

Go with either the 165 gr. or the 180 gr.

taylorce1
April 4, 2007, 01:16 PM
I, too, shoot a .270 with 150 gr. Nosler Partitions. However, the Federal ballistic tables show 1735 ft/lbs @ 300 yards for the 150 gr. .270. vs. 2150 ft/lbs @ 300 yards for the 180 gr. .30-'06. Quite a difference in favor of the .308, I'm afraid (over 400 ft/lbs.).


I can agree with that statement. I didn't compare the High Energy (HE) .30-06 to the .270 Win loaded in Nosler Partition. I compared the standard loading in each as that is what I figured most people shoot. If you use the standard load in both cartridges you will get around a 100 ft-lb difference at 300 yards that I posted. I really doubt with proper shot placement you will see a difference in 400 ft-lb of energy except in recoil, the dead elk won't know the difference thats for sure.

sasquatch
April 4, 2007, 02:15 PM
Yep, you are correct. I used the HE numbers for the .30-'06 and the standard load for the .270 Win.

And I agree that the elk won't care.

rem33
April 4, 2007, 02:44 PM
And I agree that the elk won't care

Yep, Shot placement is the answer not caliber or bullet weight.
I have elk burger thawed that was killed with a 30-06. I doubt the elk cares any more then other elk in the freezer that was killed with a 50 Caliber muzzle loader, or the deer with a 308.
Doesn't taste any different either, is kinda like comparing a fish caught on a # 4 hook compared to a # 8, the fish didn't care.

Does make for fun posts sometimes though.

azredhawk44
April 4, 2007, 02:50 PM
Been playing with PointBlank the last day here, and a 165gr .308 sighted in for a "zero" at 200 yards with a 2500fps velocity only drops 4 1/4 inches at 250 yards and 10 1/2 inches at 300. I'll get a laser rangefinder to verify my range guestimate, and put a scope on the M1A. The energy at 200 yards for .308 is almost identical to a 30-30 at the muzzle, and I'm sure I can put down an elk inside of 100-150 yards with a 30-30. As long as I can connect with my target, I have the necessary power to drop an elk out to almost 400 yards with my .308.

A whole lotta worry over nothing, it seems. The gun will do it, I just gotta do my part.

Thanks guys.

sasquatch
April 4, 2007, 02:53 PM
I commend you for all the research you are doing. I suspect that half the folks who attempt shots at 300 yards have no idea how far their bullet drops below their "zero".

The elk are in big trouble now.................