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View Poll Results: Would you trust a conventional 180 grn SP for Elk to 300 yds?
Yes 66 84.62%
No 12 15.38%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 30, 2010, 11:59 AM   #1
rodwhaincamo
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308 Win for Elk

Would you trust conventionaly constructed bullets of 180 grns from a 308 Win for Elk out to 300 yds?
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Old March 30, 2010, 12:01 PM   #2
mikejonestkd
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Certainly!! A decent partition or bonded bullet would do just fine for elk out to that range.
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Old March 30, 2010, 12:11 PM   #3
rodwhaincamo
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But would a conventionally constructed ("generic") 180 grn SP w/ roughly 1500 ft/lbs @ 300 yds do well? Considering moving from south Texas to northern New Mexico or Arizona, or possibly southern Colorado.
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Old March 30, 2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Elk are not bullet proof and there have been lots of them taken with 308.
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Old March 30, 2010, 01:05 PM   #5
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You're asking if I'd trust that cartridge and load? It's one of the best out there for the purpose.

As long as you can shoot it well, go forth with confidence.

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Old March 30, 2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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It's all about shot placement.Hit the right spot and a 22-250 will kill elk at 300yrds.
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Old March 30, 2010, 01:14 PM   #7
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As above, elk are not bulletproof. Just put the bullet right above his elbow and then go clean him. Lots of elk killed each year with 30-30s and 243s. Most use 270, 308, 30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, they are all pretty close.
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Old March 30, 2010, 01:20 PM   #8
rodwhaincamo
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I'm not questioning the 308 Win as a great cartridge for elk hunting, but the "old school" bullet construction. I'd feel more than confident with most all of the newer bullets, and most confident with a bonded or expanding solid copper bullet as long as it has an appropriate amount of energy (1500 ft/lbs from what I recall).
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Old March 30, 2010, 02:00 PM   #9
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For all my elk hunting I have used and trusted Nosler partitions. I would have no problem with a 180gr partition at 300yds out of a 308 Win. I never have or will use a conventionally constructed bullet on elk.
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Old March 30, 2010, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
I'm not questioning the 308 Win as a great cartridge for elk hunting, but the "old school" bullet construction. I'd feel more than confident with most all of the newer bullets, and most confident with a bonded or expanding solid copper bullet as long as it has an appropriate amount of energy (1500 ft/lbs from what I recall).
You have fallen prey to the marketing hype of the bullet makers and the gun rag writers. The only time you need a premium bullet is when you start pusing the MV above 2900 fps and when your target is at close range when bullet failure is most likley to occur. The .308 can not push a standard cup and core 180 grain bullet to the point of failure at close range. Now if you are talking using 130-150 grain bullets out of a .308 Win then the premium bullets should be used to play it safe.

I've killed elk with 180 grain Winchester power points out of a .30-06 and I've killed them with 150 Nosler Partitions out of my .270 Win. Never recovered a bullet from any, but then again I never looked for one. When the elk is down the work begins and that last thing on my mind is trying to recover a bullet that worked. Both types of bullets will work just fine IMO.
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Old March 30, 2010, 05:46 PM   #11
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I guided for elk for 9 years and with my lifetime in Colorado I have seen well over 100 elk taken. I am a terminal ballistician, that is a person that autopsys every animal taken and I collect recovered bullets that have been removed from animal with over 100 in my collection. All this is to help qualify my next few statements. I much prefer Nosler Partions for everything from coyotes up. Am wondering why you wouldnt just by a box of premimum bullets for elk hunting? A single box should last for years. Doesnt the animal deserve the best? That being said I have seen plenty of elk taken cleanly with standard cup and core bullets. However I have seen Remington core-lokt completely desintagrate in as little as 4" of penatration on small deer. I have had miserable luck with Sierra bullets on big game yet people I respect have had very good luck and penatration with both. However I wonder how many elk have been shot at and thought had been missed by the hunter, that had actually being hit poorly or with improper bullet, and the animal escaped to die a slow miserable death. Yes most SHOULD work well as long as broadside lung shots are taken, but dont try any quartering shots without the best penatrating bullets. Remember elk hunting isnt like what you see on those canned tv shows, many times it takes years to even see an elk and when you do it could be anything but broadside. As to the 308 Win cartridge it should be fine as the 30-06 has probably killed more elk in Colorado than all other calibers and the 30-06 only has @75 yard advantage.
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Old March 30, 2010, 05:49 PM   #12
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I voted YES, I believe 180s in a 308 are satisfactory.

I just wanted to say thanks for not wanting information a 1000 yards or so.
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Old March 30, 2010, 07:16 PM   #13
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The Nosler partition is a proven performer. I'm sure some of the new premium bullets are great also. I have had cheaper bullets leave the jacket under the skin on the front side of a medium size deer. Had to scratch my head trying to understand how that happened.
Anyway, no more elk than one is likely to get a shot at it seems foolish to use a cheap bullet.
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Old March 30, 2010, 07:48 PM   #14
Jack O'Conner
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This photo was taken in Custer County, South Dakota.

I'm wondering how many hunters that responded have hunted elk or observed the flesh tearing power of a .308? The so-called average bull around here is 3.5 years old and weighs 425 - 600 lbs. Ribs, flesh, and hide are not armor-plated at all. A traditional 180 grain soft tip will easily crash through and produce a lethal wound channel.

These animals have very large chest organs and they just don't always fall over from a single chest strike. There is no shame in shooting two or even three bullets into the chest of a large bull. The moderate recoil of .308 allows quick and accurate shots.

Good hunting to you.
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Last edited by Jack O'Conner; March 30, 2010 at 08:14 PM. Reason: error corrected
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Old March 30, 2010, 08:00 PM   #15
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With the velocity of a .308 Win, I would absolutely trust a regular 180 gr SP. But when moving up to higher velocities of the 300 mags, no.
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Old March 30, 2010, 08:36 PM   #16
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3030 Remchester said it best. I'm more of the Elmer Keith school, so mine is a 338-06 with 210 Noslers. Same velocity as a 165gr 308.
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Old March 30, 2010, 08:52 PM   #17
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Funny how the other thread asking about an elk rifle has very few mentions of 308. While 308, with the right loading MIGHT work at 300 yards, a 7 mag, 30-06, 300 mag of some sort WILL work at 300 or longer. I wouldn't have an issue with 308 or 7-08 at ranges under 250, but would personally prefer the additional OOMPH of their bigger brothers in '06 or 7 RM

YMMV
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Old March 30, 2010, 08:55 PM   #18
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You would have plenty of gun with the 308.

Quote:
These animals have very large chest organs and they just don't always fall over from a single chest strike. There is no shame in shooting two or even three bullets into the chest of a large bull. The moderate recoil of .308 allows quick and accurate shots.
Bust 'em til they're down.
Most elk I have come across have a place in mind to head to, it usauly is not an easier place to pack one out of.
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Old March 30, 2010, 09:20 PM   #19
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I would pass on a .308 for Elk at 300 yards. But then again, I would pass on a .308 at 150 yards. I am not trying to start a war here, but most all of my friends that started out with a .308 for hunting elk have traded up to a 7mm Remington Magnum, or a 300 Winchester Magnum. In my circle of friends a .308 is a " Wifes Gun ", or a " Kids first hunting rifle ". All that being said, my wife shot a 320 class bull with a .243 at 30 yards, hit him in the spine and dropped him in his tracks. She now shoots a .25-06, but the fact remains that a little .243 has killed a bigger bull than any other gun in our house. I started out with a .270 win., it worked well, but after having to track a few bulls after shooting them, I then moved up to 7 mm Rem. Mag, no more tracking a shot bull for me so far 8 bulls and counting.
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Old March 30, 2010, 09:28 PM   #20
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Heh. You won't start a war.

Shot placement is everything. You put that .308 exactly where it needs to go and it will do the job splendidly.

Be a sniper.
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Old March 30, 2010, 10:53 PM   #21
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I would have no problem using that caliber or load. As long as it isn't a Texas neck shot, it should do fine.
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Old March 30, 2010, 11:15 PM   #22
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Would you trust conventionaly constructed bullets of 180 grns from a 308 Win for Elk

I hunt Idaho in very big terrrain, big ups and downs, for me to kill an elk demands the best. You must be prepared for any angle for your shot, try a running 40 degree uphill quartering away shot through brush. They don't always just stand there pretty like the hunt videos. A nosler or barnes will do things nicely. I have never had an elk go more than 75 yards after being hit. Deer are usually DRT. Having killed 4 elk and many many deer with both a 338 and 30-06, I know what it takes for me to put venison in the freezer. Now you sound like you might be in flatter terrain and if you have the time to pick ONLY broadside shots you could be fine with lesser bullets, I won't do it. Why risk it??
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Old March 31, 2010, 06:42 AM   #23
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Shot placement being everything doesn't really need to be repeated. The problem is that most are better shots on a forum than in the mountains with a 30 MPH cross wind, totally out of breath, 0 degrees with numb fingers, no good rest to be found, and an elk that doesn't want to be shot.
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Old March 31, 2010, 08:24 AM   #24
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Quote:
I much prefer Nosler Partions for everything from coyotes up. Am wondering why you wouldnt just by a box of premimum bullets for elk hunting? A single box should last for years. Doesnt the animal deserve the best?
The animal doesn't deserve the best bullet money can buy. The animal deserves the best skill that a hunter can learn. Shooting one box of premium bullets over several years does not earn a hunter any skill in the accuracy department. If one box is going to last several years then you are not serious about your sport.

When I got invited to hunt black bear in Alaska in 2006 I decided on the 200 grain Nosler Partition for my bullet of choice. I didn't choose the NP because I thought the bear needed it, I chose it because they were simply on my bench and I had been collecting bullets as soon as I saw the price start to skyrocket. However I blew through 100 of these bullets just in load development and practice at the range before the hunt. So I had to shell out another $45 to buy another 50 bullets to hunt with.

I only shot three rounds in AK, one to verify my rifle was zeroed when I got there. One to drop the bear right were he stood, and a second to make sure he didn't think about getting up. I don't chalk this success up to the fact I used a premium bullet, it was because I spent the time at the range to know exactly what kind of shot I was capable of.

So if you truly are going to develop your shooting skills as a hunter the animal deserves you to spend as much quality time at the range as possible and I’m not talking about just from the bench. I know some people will shoot a standard bullet then switch to a premium for hunting. My way of thinking is if you aren't willing to practice with a bullet you probably shouldn't hunt with it either.

If you are willing to put in the practice and be the best field shot you can be then you will know which shots you can make and the ones you can't regardless of which bullet you use. Confidence in your ability is a large factor, and if using a premium bullet helps your confidence then by all means. Don't think for a minuet however, a premium bullet will make up for lack of skill.
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Old March 31, 2010, 08:44 AM   #25
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Taylorce1, I hear that a lot also. But, it's a little like riding a bike don't you think? I lost interest in just shooting probably 20 years ago. Last year I shot a rifle maybe 8 times. I killed a bull elk with one of those shots, and a nice 10 point whitetail with another. The other shots were to check the scope was where it was when I shot it last and confirm trajectory.


Don't get me wrong, practice is important for anybody to develop as much skill as possible. But, the notion that one has to shoot target after target forever to be able to hunt effectively is exaggerated IMO. Plus you don't need to practice with your $40/box ammo.
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