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okietex08
May 19, 2012, 10:33 AM
Finally going out for my first Elk hunt this fall in New Mexico mountains. I have a fine .270 but wondering if I need to move up to a bigger caliber and if not whether I should use 150 or 130 gr. bullets. I know Jack would say I am fine, but at not being an expert marksman I just want to be sure. Thoughts?

taylorce1
May 19, 2012, 11:12 AM
No need to move up in caliber unless you want to just buy a new rifle. Just use a premium 130-150 grain bullet and you'll do fine. If you move up in size don't think you need larger than a .308 or .30-06 to get it done.

My advice is if you shoot the .270 well stick with it.

uncyboo
May 19, 2012, 11:50 AM
You need to step up to the .280 Rem. Much, much better for Elk.



























JK you're fine with what you have just use premium projectiles.:D:D:D

WildBill45
May 19, 2012, 11:56 AM
Elk are tough animals, and can go a long way if not shot properly. Your first priority is real rifle shooting, practice off-hand shooting and leave the bench rest for sighting in only. Shoot from one knee, etc. as well. If you can shoot well with a .270, you can shoot well with larger calibers if you are not recoil sensitive. It is of good moral character to dispatch your game as humanely as possible!

I don't know if you live at altitude or not, but that is a major factor in how you may handle physical activity, hence, breath control because you will be huffing and puffing for a few days due to the change in altitude if such applies. The shots are usually longer than most east coast shots, but not always, depending on where you are in the mountains.

The .270 is adequate, with bonded bullets, as I said Elk are big, tough, and a bad angle shot will challenge a .270. The 300 magnums are better, with heavy bullets, 180 or so, and with the extra velocity you won't loose as much energy for those longer shots!

Remember, bonded bullets are for close shots, as cheap bullets can blow up on the shoulder of an elk up close, bonded bullets do not! At longer ranges where the cheaper bullets are going slower, it isn't as much of a problem. A few more bucks spent on quality HUNTING bullets ... practice with the cheap ones ... is worth the price considering what it costs to hunt elk, even if you live there.

Do not expect that target pose ... broadside and smiling ... you will be lucky to just have one standing still; most shots are turning and moving shots, as they usually see, smell, or hear you before you do them!!!:eek:

Brian Pfleuger
May 19, 2012, 12:21 PM
Bigger calibers are not compensation for bad shooting.
A bad shot with a 270 is not going to suddenly be a good shot because you used a 338 Lapua.
Use your 270 and hit where you're supposed to hit. People regularly hunt elk with the 243. It's not a gun issue, it's marksmanship.

VeryOldDog
May 19, 2012, 02:02 PM
More important: get yourself a good guide and limit your distance to 150 yards or less. I have taken elk with a 30-06 and a Ruger Super Redhawk in 480 caliber under 50 yards.

Get a good pair of boots, dress appropriately, get in shape, and have a great time.

taylorce1
May 19, 2012, 02:08 PM
Bigger calibers are not compensation for bad shooting.
A bad shot with a 270 is not going to suddenly be a good shot because you used a 338 Lapua.
Use your 270 and hit where you're supposed to hit. People regularly hunt elk with the 243. It's not a gun issue, it's marksmanship.

+1

I've been on an elk drought as of late, but all that I've killed have fell to a Nosler 150 grain .270 Win or a 180 grain Winchester PP in .30-06. None ran far, maybe 50 yards if you deflate the lungs they can't go very far. Placement of the bullet far outweighs the caliber and charge pusing the bullet. The .270 will do a good job beyond 300 yards on elk and most people don't shoot one that far away unless they are looking for a long shot.

I only know one person who regularly hunts elk with a .243 Win, it gets the job done. I don't recommend it even though it works there are better choices and you have one of them. Another thing to remember is when not to take the shot.

Smit
May 19, 2012, 03:15 PM
Your .270 is a fantastic cartridge for Elk hunting. As Brian stated, caliber size isnt going to matter if it's a poor shot. Also, you are probably used to shooting your gun so you will know how it shoots. Go for the .270

Wyosmith
May 19, 2012, 03:47 PM
I have been hunting elk since I was a very young man and I have used the 270 with great success. I have hunted elk and guided elk hunters for over 35 years. I have never found ANY need to go to a larger caliber.

Not to say I have not killed many of them with bigger guns, but mostly because where I hunt there are also a lot of grizzlies.

So have no fear at all. Your 270 is just fine.
I would agree that a 150 or 160 grain bullet that will hold its weight is best.

RC20
May 19, 2012, 04:47 PM
270 is just fine for elk. 150 gr for sure, get the right bullet as its a large game animal not a deer. I.e. you want penetration and expansion. Not up anymore on what the best one is.

Get enough of those to sight the gun in and at least 20 for the hunt (take 40, you may need to re-sight if the gun gets knocked around).

If you can shoot it accurately, you are good to 300 yards.

The limitation is in the shooter not the cartridge. Know your limits and stay inside of them and you will do fine.

30-30remchester
May 19, 2012, 07:23 PM
WILDBILL45, speaks volumes. I was an elk guide in my younger years, and have been around when an excess of 100 elk were taken so I do have some experence. The 270 Win can take elk cleanly if proper heavily constructed bullets are used. As Bill said dont expect a television hunting shot. Most are taken at bad angles, longer yardages, and many times in challaging places. Though many times a conventional cup and core bullet has killed elk cleanly, many times they have failed and left an animal wounded to die unrecovered. Good luck.

doofus47
May 20, 2012, 01:10 AM
I hunt elk. I shoot a 30-06.
If I had a .270, I would feel just as well-equipped.

Placement first.

1goodshot
May 20, 2012, 08:26 AM
Use a tough bullet that shoots well out of your gun, keep shots under 300 yrds and you will be fine.

kraigwy
May 20, 2012, 09:39 AM
The 270 Win is a great elk round. Easy to shoot, and comes in a lighter rifle (which for me is a huge benifit when humping the mountains).

I'd go with the 150 gran bullet though. The Berger 150 (VLD) is a nice flat shooting round and gets real nasy when it hits something like the heart lung area of an elk.

If you don't reload just about any good quality 150 grn. factory load will work.

You blow up the lungs and it wont go far.

mapsjanhere
May 20, 2012, 09:49 AM
I got two elk in the northern NM mountains last year, and I can only echo the need for a sturdy bullet. My cow took a (too fragile) 7 mm round and made about 400 yards till she finally stayed down. For the bull I used a 308 168 gr TTSX, it made it through the elk lengthwise intact.

chewie146
May 21, 2012, 08:48 AM
I've killed elk to 350 with a .30-06 with full penetration through both shoulders. With the .270, center-punch the lungs, and you'll be great. I've only taken cow with the .270, but the bullet worked fine.

Doyle
May 21, 2012, 08:57 AM
I see people advocationg 150 gr bullets for elk in a .270, but one thing you must check is to see if your gun will shoot 150's. There are MANY .270s out there that won't shoot 150s worth a crap (twist rate is too slow). If that happens to you, you'll have to drop back to a 130 (which is still plently if you buy a good bullet and put it in the right place).

chewie146
May 21, 2012, 01:20 PM
That's the truth! Mine won't shoot 150s worth a darn. 130's are about .5 MOA or that area.

AllenJ
May 21, 2012, 04:23 PM
First off I’d like to say congratulations on getting to go on your first elk hunt. I can’t wait to hear about your adventure later on this year. In my opinion you don’t need to buy a new rifle. The 270 Winchester with proper bullets and a well placed shot should take an elk with no problem. My choice on bullet weight would be 150 grain but as stated above if your gun won’t shoot 150’s go with 130 grain. Bullets I have killed elk with and like are Barnes TSX and Nosler Partitions. You state you are not an expert marksman, time to practice and become one. Shoot your rifle as much as you can before going and learn your capabilities with it. Elk are big, tough creatures able to absorb an incredible amount shock and keep going so you are going to have to come up with some limits on how far you are going to be able to shoot from.

Kreyzhorse
May 21, 2012, 07:22 PM
Practice with what you have. Shot placement is key and trumps and a bad shot with a bigger cartridge everything time.

Congrats on your elk hunt too.

Reef
June 26, 2012, 07:52 PM
My advise is if that's the gun you shoot well with, don't change just prior to the hunt. Elk are tough, took my first one last November, (5x5) in Rifle, Co. I spent many a day at the local range with my 338 WM, using 250 grain Remington ammo. Thing is your gun WILL shoot differently at altitude AND temperature. Don't sight in you gun in the summer when it's 90 degrees and then expect the same performance at 5 degrees.

I missed the first shot at 505 yards, he gave me a second chance and with a solid hit using a 338 win mag he stood there for what seemed like 5 minutes before falling.

Bench rest is crucial to determine what the gun/ammo is doing. After that, you MUST practice field shots, off the backpack, tri-pod, bi-pod, or whatever you expect to shoot from. Also, shoot some after getting your heart rate elevated because when your guides says "LEGAL BULL TAKE A SHOT", you will have an elevated heart rate!

If you have to fly to the hunt it would be a good idea to shoot your gun after getting there to see how your gun made the trip.


Reef

warbirdlover
June 26, 2012, 10:15 PM
BIL is a taxidermist and has taken numerous elk with his .270 and 150 gr noslers.

He borrowed my .300 Win Mag one year and now has one of his own.

Guess both work but one works a little better. :D

BIG P
June 26, 2012, 11:05 PM
The 270 will do you a fine job, If you do yours.Alittle range time with a gun you already know will be better than changing up IMO. Good luck.

Wyosmith
June 27, 2012, 12:07 AM
I have little to offer over what these gents have told you, but to say I have been an elk hunter and a guide for many many years.
The 270 is a very good round. Use a tough bullet. 150 or 160 are best and most rifles will shoot them well. If you have one that won't and you need to go to a 130 just go to a Barnes X or a Nosler partition and you'll be just fine

WildBill45
July 3, 2012, 10:49 PM
I lived in elk country for 25 years, and hunted them every year, mostly with rifle, deer with a bow, and muzzleloader for one or the other some years.

Elk are tough and live in tough country. You want a stop, and a stop now ... unless you love packin' from hard to get to areas. If you must use the .270 use the 150 grn. Noslers as a minimum, North Folk would be better.

A 300 H&H, Weatherby, or Winchester with 180 grain top shelf bullets is even better. If you are traveling far, your least expensive part will be top shelf bullets, but a good insurance if you get a bad angle shot, or an up close shot where lightly constructed come apart ... not the far shots, as the cheap bullets have slowed and will stay together better.

Accuracy trumps caliber every time, but a good shot with a bigger gun will get better results, and is more humane to the Elk!

rgrundy
July 4, 2012, 11:14 PM
If you are paying alot of money to travel and kill an elk get a rifle that will do it easily like some sort of 300 magnum. I've killed elk with a 44 mag handgun and everything from the 25-06 to a 338. With the lighter calibers you just don't have the option of penetrating 2 to 3 feet of elk and killing them and having to pass on a good bull at a bad angle because you are using a light rifle is going to be more than some people can bear. Besides it's a good reason to get a new rifle. :D

FiveInADime
July 5, 2012, 01:58 AM
If you are paying alot of money to travel and kill an elk get a rifle that will do it easily like some sort of 300 magnum. I've killed elk with a 44 mag handgun and everything from the 25-06 to a 338. With the lighter calibers you just don't have the option of penetrating 2 to 3 feet of elk and killing them and having to pass on a good bull at a bad angle because you are using a light rifle is going to be more than some people can bear. Besides it's a good reason to get a new rifle. :D

I've been on several rifle Elk hunts as a spotter and I have seen guys using .270Win. Rifles several times. Maybe it's because I have only hunted in Elk Country but I just don't see what the big deal is with the tough landscape? I don't rifle hunt the Buglers, personally. I go after them with 400gr. Arrows so if I was on a big bull and I am in range to shoot him I would either wait for a clean shot or try to make a better move. Most of the shots I have witnessed were from 200-500 yards. I wouldn't take a 500 yard shot with a .270 Win, I suppose, but I think it's fine for under 300. My cousin shot a nice bull a couple years ago at 562 yards cross-canyon with a 30-378 WBY and that sucker took two steps and died. Thing is, they get drawn for Elk all the time.

I wouldn't buy a new rifle if I was never going to use it again. If you take your .270 just use good judgment. It will work just fine within it's limits if you're using good bullets (even if they're 130GR.).

Sent From My Galaxy S 4g Using Tapatalk

Jack O'Conner
July 5, 2012, 07:27 AM
270 has toppled many animals much larger than deer. I suggest use Remington AccuBond ammo.

Jack

rgrundy
July 5, 2012, 09:36 AM
270 has toppled many animals much larger than deer. I suggest use Remington AccuBond ammo.

Jack

Exactly how many elk have you killed with that load over the years?

ZeroJunk
July 7, 2012, 04:09 PM
Doesn't appear that the guy was too interested, or at least he never commented.

If I was going to buy an elk rifle it wouldn't be a 270. If it is what I had and I didn't want to buy another rifle or recoil was a problem for me I would at least use the heaviest premium bullets available.

Although the possibility of making an unsuccessful shot that would have been successful with something a tad larger is there it's somewhat rare I would suspect.

rgrundy
July 11, 2012, 07:29 PM
I lived in Colorado for many years, lived where I hunted and had the luxury of being able to let the animals walk if the shot wasn't perfect. The hunters that come out for a few days may not be willing to do that and it's best to have something that will do the job under less than ideal conditions. I love to bowhunt too. I called in and shot a 5 point with the bow last year and took a 5X6 with my 300 magnum (trotting at 250 yards through the oaks, not a shot I'd have taken with the 270). I'm in my 60's and did it DIY on public land hunting alone as I've done for years. The bigger calibers with premium bullets allows you to angle the bullet through 2 to 3 feet of animal and get into vitals on less than perfect angles. The lighter guns just won't do it especially if you are looking at a big old bull that may have and inch of mud encrusted hair protecting him.

FiveInADime
July 12, 2012, 12:41 AM
I lived in Colorado for many years, lived where I hunted and had the luxury of being able to let the animals walk if the shot wasn't perfect. The hunters that come out for a few days may not be willing to do that and it's best to have something that will do the job under less than ideal conditions. I love to bowhunt too. I called in and shot a 5 point with the bow last year and took a 5X6 with my 300 magnum (trotting at 250 yards through the oaks, not a shot I'd have taken with the 270). I'm in my 60's and did it DIY on public land hunting alone as I've done for years. The bigger calibers with premium bullets allows you to angle the bullet through 2 to 3 feet of animal and get into vitals on less than perfect angles. The lighter guns just won't do it especially if you are looking at a big old bull that may have and inch of mud encrusted hair protecting him.

I grew up in Northern Arizona and it is hard for me to imagine what it would be like NOT doing DIY hunts on public land. Not much private land elk hunting here (or other animals for that matter). I know we have a real unique situation here. I have run into out-of-state Hunters that paid thousands of dollars for guides on low-percentage late November archery hunts.

I get what you're saying about the client possibly only having a few days on a once in a lifetime hunt. I guess because I would be comfortable hunting an Elk with a .270 Win. I would give that opinion to others. If it really is an expensive OIAL hunt, you're probably right about wanting mo' power.

Sent From My Galaxy S 4g Using Tapatalk

kraigwy
July 14, 2012, 12:37 PM
Code:
270 has toppled many animals much larger than deer. I suggest use Remington AccuBond ammo.

JackExactly how many elk have you killed with that load over the years?

That, and the post below yours are rather silly. You ignored the other post by those who have extensive experience hunting and guiding elk hunts with a 270 Win and pick on Jack because he didn't list his kills.

Guess what, I use a 270 for elk also, I'm not listing my sucess either, except to say a 270 never failed me.

But then, I shoot Model 70s :D

rgrundy
July 15, 2012, 08:16 AM
When your experience is rather thin it's probably best not to list your successes.

langenc
July 15, 2012, 01:15 PM
Save the money that you would have spent on the rifle. Buy 3 or 4 extra boxes of ammo. Shoot it at all angles, distances and positions. You will have money left over after the elk is frozen/mounted.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
July 15, 2012, 04:15 PM
but at not being an expert marksman I just want to be sure. Thoughts?
Just a suggestion. If there's time left before you go hunting. And the money is there for a new rifle. Because you feel uneasy about or are unsure if your 270 will cut the mustard so to speak. Treat yourself to a new rifle and scope set-up. 7mm Rem Mag or 300 Win Mag will get the job done no doubt about it. In hunting BIG game you have to have confidence in your equipment and your abilities first and foremost. After that it's all down hill sledding. If you do buy a new rifle. It would be nice if you could get some Range time prior to your hunt as to get accustom with your new rifle and its scope. This planned elk hunting trip. It very well may be your first hunt. But it may turn out~ not to be your last. Elk hunting is like fishing for muskey's. Both can be an addicting challenge every year.

A litt'l Tip from one Elk hunter to another soon to be Elk hunter: "When hunting any Big game it's better to be over gunned verses being caught under gunned." __Wishing the Best of Luck to You Sir,

ZeroJunk
July 15, 2012, 04:51 PM
the post below yours are rather silly


Why, because I wouldn't pick a 270.

I've killed them with an arrow.

But, if I was going to buy a rifle now, and I just might, it would be either a 7MM WSM or 300 WSM in Model 70 extreme weather SS.

I have killed them with a 280 and a 30-06 , so it is obvious that you don't have to have a magnum.

But, there is no downside to shooting a heavier faster bullet to the point the recoil starts to bother you.

If you are marginally off target the notion that a heavier fast bullet won't penetrate deeper and potentially sever an extra artery or two resulting in quicker kill is what's silly.

The only perfect marksmen I have ever seen are on forums.

I have been hunting elk for 25 years. Being a guide doesn't say much. Some of them are great, but half of them you have to spend time teaching them what to do, especially bow hunting.

The outfitters I know will tell you that a 270 is sufficient. But, it's not their first choice either. They would rather see you with a 308 and a 180 grain bullet.

kraigwy
July 18, 2012, 01:01 PM
the post below yours are rather silly


Why, because I wouldn't pick a 270.

No sir, its silly because of the way you attacked Jack.

Brian Pfleuger
July 18, 2012, 01:18 PM
The OP has never returned. I think this has run its course.