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Old July 3, 2007, 03:21 PM   #1
steelrat
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30-06 Elk Round

What is the best weight of bullet to get for a 30-06 to take elk? Looks like they range anywhere from 150-Grain to 220-Grain. What's the difference between them?
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Old July 3, 2007, 03:32 PM   #2
davlandrum
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weight

I like Rem Premier Accu-Tip 180 grain. They shoot well for me. I like 165 grain for Mule deer, although 150's would work just as well.
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Old July 3, 2007, 03:35 PM   #3
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I have always used the 180gr Sierra SPBT. I've taken deer, elk, antelope, moose and black bear with them and found them very good bullets.

I took my Barren Ground Grizzley and my Polar Bear with the 220 Barnes. One shot each, by being verrrrry lucky.

Generally speaking, the lighter bullets are for greater velocity (therefore greater range for pointblank zero) and smaller animals. I have used the 180s for rockchucks, but the 168s or 150s are a little better for long shots.

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Old July 3, 2007, 04:08 PM   #4
taylorce1
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I think if you use 180 grain and heavier you can get by without using a premium bullet on elk. If you go with 150 or 165 grain I think you would be better served by a bonded core, Partition, or Barnes bullet. I've had great luck with the Nosler Partition in 150 grain on elk from my .270 Win.
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Old July 3, 2007, 05:28 PM   #5
davlandrum
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My buddy is working up loads using the Nosler Accu-bond 165s. That may become my "do-it-all" round (not planning on polar/grizzly hunting in the near future).

I was concerned when I started about having enough punch with the 165s on elk, but now admit, they probably have plenty of juice (good bullet constructions, good shot placement, etc)
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Old July 3, 2007, 10:16 PM   #6
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I will probably never get to go elk hunting, but I sure would not want to go with an unproven bullet. Nosler Partition 180 gr. 30/06 and 48.0 of IMR 4064.
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Old July 3, 2007, 11:35 PM   #7
FirstFreedom
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Most any 180 or 220, or a premium (bonded or partition) 165 will do if you do.

Federal has some nice choices in it's premium line (Vital-shok), in 180s:

-Nosler Accubond
-Barnes TSX
-Barnes MRX
-Nosler Partition
-Nosler Partition - HE (high energy - higher velocity rounds - turnbolt only)
-Trophy Bonded Bear Claw
-Trophy Bonded Bear Claw - HE (excellent choice)
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Old July 11, 2007, 06:53 PM   #8
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Local stores sell stacks and stacks of 180 grain Remington core-lockt ammo every Fall to local elk hunters. There are many guys who fill their freezers filled annually with premium elk steaks hunting with 30-30 carbines but its supposed to be a secret.

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Old July 12, 2007, 08:31 AM   #9
ZeroJunk
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I got my first rag horn with a 150 grain Sierra BTSP.He fell where he stood.Consensus of opinion is that you should use a bigger better bullet.Now I use 165 grain Nosler Partitions.If you slam something in to the heavy front shoulder of a big bull you may wish you had used something heavier than that.
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Old July 14, 2007, 08:25 PM   #10
Ifishsum
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I've heard a lot of people say they use 150 for deer and 180 for elk. Fine, except that you have to rezero your rifle whenever you change loads, and many do not. Besides, if 180 will kill an elk it will kill a deer. I personally use a quality 165 gr bullet for both and it has worked well for me so far, never had to shoot an animal more than once. Shot placement is the most important factor at any rate.
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Old July 15, 2007, 12:47 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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Based solely on the depth and size of the imprints on steel at 500 yards from my .30-'06 and Sierra bullets:

The 150-grain SPBT made a slight indentation.

The 165-grain HPBT made a bit deeper indentation.

The 180-grain SPBT made an indentation twice as deep as the 165. The mini-crater area was also twice as wide, with some splash-back of the steel.

From this I conclude that the 180-grain bullet would be best for deeper penetration in the event of an angling shot on a large animal.

It is further my opinion that the R&D in bullet construction has it that nowadays in 30-caliber, the 180 penetrates as well as the 220-grain bullets of "yesteryear". For all practical purposes, anyway.

Art
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Old July 17, 2007, 05:28 PM   #12
Zombie Steve
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Do your part and a 180 grain load will work just fine.
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Old August 1, 2007, 10:56 PM   #13
7mm-08
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I have only dropped one elk and she fell to a Winchester 180gr. power point.I have used 180gr nosler partiton,180gr Hornady light magnum.But the power point worked best for me.
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Old August 8, 2007, 09:42 AM   #14
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I'm a big fan of the 180gr nosler partition. I think federal has some new Heavy Energy '06 loads, 180gr at 2880fps if I remember right. I havn't shot them yet, but might be worth checking out.
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Old August 8, 2007, 10:10 AM   #15
Charles S
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Ah..finally sensible caliber selection for elk..

Honestly I like the 180 gr bullets for animals that large. The premium 165s will work just fine also.

I however will assert that the premium 180s like Barnes, Nolser, and Swift allow the shooter to take tougher shots like quartering away with greater confidence due to their potential for higher weight retention and deeper penetration. Also the newer premium loadings like the Barnes triple shock, Nolser Accubond, and Swift Scirroco have higher ballistic coeffecients giving the hunter a few more yards of range (a greater maximum point blank range).

Honestly any of the 180 grain 30-06 loads (just as Jack stated) will work just fine.
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Old August 17, 2007, 10:57 AM   #16
VirgilCaine
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180g Nosler partition. However, my evidence of efficacy is purely anecdotal... Hit 'em where your supposed to, they won't go far.
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Old August 17, 2007, 02:47 PM   #17
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I've used Nosler partitions to take five elk. Three were taken with 180 gr partition in .30-06 and .308, two were taken with a 210 gr partition in .338.

None required more than one shot. I'm sold on Nosler Partitions.
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Old August 18, 2007, 12:22 AM   #18
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+1 to Bottom Gun
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