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Old May 19, 2009, 04:04 PM   #1
WAPITI_ASSASSIN
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Elk Rifle

So i believe that when it comes to taking elk, the initial shot is the more lax part of the trip. The hard part for me is tracking, locating, and getting into position. But even still after all that hard work you never want your rifle to not have what it takes!
so I guess I'm asking...
what is your choice elk hunting rifle and why?
please include terrain issues...
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Old May 19, 2009, 04:10 PM   #2
FALPhil
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Marlin 336 in 35 Rem because it is BAD JUJU for wapiti.
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Old May 19, 2009, 04:14 PM   #3
liberty1
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Remington 700XCR 7mag. Rolling oak brush with 100 to 400 yard shots.
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Old May 19, 2009, 07:46 PM   #4
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Well, since I turned 50 the other day, my recipe is a 6lb 3oz Tikka chambered in 30/36 or 300wm. Lead coming out at 3k velocity. Mountainous terrain up to 12K elevation, dry or snow. 100 to 500 yds. 3x9 Burris glass on top.
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Old May 19, 2009, 09:31 PM   #5
FrankenMauser
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Ruger M77 Mk II, .270 Winchester, SS / Laminate, 3-9x40mm scope.
The .270 Win is plenty capable of delivering the damage needed; given proper bullet selection. Add the ability for flat, long shots, and you're golden.

When the terrain gets tight, or nasty, I pull out my Russian SKS. 7.62x39mm may not be regarded as the best Elk cartridge, but it is ballistically superior to many .30-30 Winchester loads. Add the fact that it is a semi-auto carbine with elevation adjustable sights, and it works well for those that give it a chance.

Since the Elk hunt here usually includes pretty miserable weather... It really helps that both rifles are essentially 'all-weather'.
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:14 PM   #6
tyrajam
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Hey Mr. W. Assassin, I lived in Grants Pass 30 years ago when I was just a little tyke, and my dad brought a few elk out of those hills with a 30/30. He also brought quite a few deer out of those hills with a .22, but different story, different time.

I think a 30-06 is the best elk cartridge out there, although I have been wanting a 338-06 for quite a while. If you like shooting a big magnum, then great. I don't think having 20" of bullet drop at 400 yards instead of 24" is worth the extra recoil, because as big and tough as elk are, a good 180gr bullet in the ribs will kill them just as quick whether there is 50gr of powder behind it or 80gr.
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Old May 19, 2009, 11:04 PM   #7
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My Elk (and all other big game) rifle up to this point has been my Model 70 Super Grade in .270 Win. Two reasons: #1 Its what I had. #2 I have shot it enough to know exactly what I can do with that rifle, and to gain confidence in the cartridge itself. I have had my .270 for almost 20 years, and love the gun and cartridge, and would have no issues using it on any big game. That said, I did just pick up a .358 Winchester, primarily for elk hunting. The .358 gives up some in the trajectory and the bullet velocity, but still packs quite a punch, and is quite capable of 250-300 yard shots, which is about as long as the shots get in the areas I hunt. I wanted to expand the calibers in my collection a little, and I liked the punch the .358 delivers with 250 gr. bullets (and its a bit of an oddball, which appeals to me). I also considered the 35 Whelen, which would give alittle more velocity and range, but just liked the .358 Win a little better.
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Old May 20, 2009, 06:32 AM   #8
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I have used 300 WBY, 30/06, and 280 Ackley Improved in the Montana mountains. They all work fine. Next Year I am going to take a 7MM Rem mag most likely.

I would suggest anything between a 270 with the heaviest premium bullets you can find and whatever is the biggest thing you can stand to shoot.
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Old May 20, 2009, 06:55 AM   #9
taylorce1
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All the elk I've taken have been with either a .30-06 and .270 Win dark timber to open meadows 8000-14000 feet. Used 180 grain in the 06 and 150 grain in the .270. From 50-250 yards never had an elk take more than 10 steps. I've taken my .338-06 and .35 Whelen elk hunting but have never connected with elk with either rifles. Now I have a .375 Ruger to try.
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Old May 20, 2009, 07:26 AM   #10
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270, 30-06, 7mm mag. 300 mag, 338 mag all will do fine. there are many others as well. just some hve more limitations than others. in the right terrain / range, you could use a 357 magnum, but it would require very short range well placed shot. i suppose that in a survival situation, you could use a 22lr if it was the only thing you had, and it was a true life or death situation. but anything that is underpowered is going to be like a bow and arrow. stick it and wait for it to bleed out. only a modern bow and arrow have a 22lr beat by a mile. my preferance would be one of the magnums (7mm, 300, 338, 8mm), a decent shot with one of these will ensure a good quick, clean kill. no tracking required. then, all you have to do is figure out how to get that monster back home!
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Old May 20, 2009, 09:46 AM   #11
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I've killed several with my 270, with generally good results. The only thing I'd change would be the ability to punch a hole clear through them which the 270 often doesn't do.

If I was getting a new rifle specifically for the job, it would probably be a 300 Win Mag. I'm not though, as we now do the bow thing. jd
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Old May 20, 2009, 10:33 AM   #12
davlandrum
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Since my rifle needs to do it all, I hunt with an -06.

Quote:
If I was getting a new rifle specifically for the job, it would probably be a 300 Win Mag. I'm not though, as we now do the bow thing
+1, although I would also look long and hard at the .338 Mag.
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Old May 20, 2009, 10:36 AM   #13
Daryl
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Browning A-bolt in 7mm Rem Mag, in big pine, heavy oak brush, and open meadows.

Why? Because that rifle is almost an extention of myself. I've been shooting it for about 20 years now, and when it booms, something falls down.

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Old May 20, 2009, 01:33 PM   #14
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The .300WM works just fine!
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Old May 20, 2009, 01:50 PM   #15
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CZ550 in .375 H&H Magnum. It's the only rifle I have.
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Old May 20, 2009, 03:04 PM   #16
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The hard hitting BLR in .325WSM. Almost 4,000 FPE at the muzzle out of a rifle weighing less than 7lbs (sans scope). Mine has the pistol grip stock and is as handy a rifle as I've ever carried.
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Old May 20, 2009, 06:38 PM   #17
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
... a 270 with the heaviest premium bullets you can find ...
Not a good idea, unless you test the ammunition before hand. (As should be done anyway.)
Many companies are loading 160 grain bullets in .270 Winchester ammo now. However, the rate of twist in most .270 barrels is not fast enough to handle the longer projectiles. (especially 150+ grain Barnes bullets) So, the whole purpose of having a "great" projectile is nullified by the fact that the rifle is now less accurate than a potato cannon.

150 grain ammo in the .270 - try it first.
160 grain ammo in the .270 - try it, but plan to be disappointed.

A properly placed bullet is all that is needed. Premium construction helps.
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Old May 20, 2009, 06:55 PM   #18
ZeroJunk
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Quote:
Not a good idea, unless you test the ammunition before hand. (As should be done anyway.)
Many companies are loading 160 grain bullets in .270 Winchester ammo now. However, the rate of twist in most .270 barrels is not fast enough to handle the longer projectiles. (especially 150+ grain Barnes bullets) So, the whole purpose of having a "great" projectile is nullified by the fact that the rifle is now less accurate than a potato cannon.
Might be a problem if you were trying to push it 3200 FPS out of a 270 WBY Magnum or similar. There will be a difference between how a particular 270 Win rifle will shoot a 130 and a 160, but I wouldn't bet a whole lot on which one it will shoot the best.
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Old May 20, 2009, 08:14 PM   #19
GeauxTide
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.338-06 with 210 Noslers.
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Old May 20, 2009, 09:02 PM   #20
riggins_83
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Remington 700 SPS 30-06 with 180 grain Winchester bonded cores.. lots of heavy wood cover here.
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Old May 20, 2009, 10:37 PM   #21
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While there are many opinions I have to disagree with a few. I have limited experence, having been an elk guide for only 9 years. However I live in elk country and have either shot or seen shot over 100 elk. For me THE rifle and cartride is a pre 64 model 70 Winchester in 30-06. I have seen elk taken with such a varity of calibers and rifles that I came to the following conclusion. If you can shoot it well, use the Nosler partition bullet, in heavy for caliber weight, most anything will kill an elk IF you can place your bullet in the vital area EVERY shot. However if the question is what is the BEST rifle and cartrige combo, the above mentioned is the standard all others are judged by.
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Old May 20, 2009, 10:50 PM   #22
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I use either my .270 or my .45-70, and they've both worked just fine. The poster above who said his dad always used a .30-30 on elk and a .22lr on deer was right on. Placement and hunting skill is more important than caliber.

Now if you're going to hunt just once or twice in your life, maybe a .300 Wby or .300 Win Mag or larger would be the ticket. On the other hand if you want a more versatile cartridge, anything from a .264 Mag on up will do fine, and you could use it for other game as well.

Just my opinion of course.
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Old May 21, 2009, 01:21 AM   #23
W. C. Quantrill
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One gun, one load, all game. M700 .30-06 with 165gr Hornady BTSP's, loaded with with H4350SC powder which is an ADI powder. As soon as I am out of this powder, I will be going to Varget as it is usable in all my rifles, lower pressure and maintains velocity. 2850 to 2900 fps.
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Old May 29, 2009, 07:32 PM   #24
James R. Burke
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Most mentioned very good calibers. Mine would be a 30-06 with a heavy Nostler partition, just because I have one. But no matter what you are using or shooting, I believe in shot placement. It is key. A good sportsperson will pass on a shot that they are unable to get good shot placement. That is a very hard thing to do, but it is the right thing.
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Old May 29, 2009, 08:16 PM   #25
skydiver3346
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I agree with FALPhil:

That .35 Remington is definitely hard to beat on Elk. (providing they are not too far away). I love the Marlin 336 in .30-30 and .35 Remington for all game that I hunt. However, if it is long distance, it is a Blaser R93 in .280 for me.
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