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Old September 4, 2012, 02:10 PM   #1
Sweet Shooter
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3030 For small Elk

Is it enough for smaller cows? I have some friends who say "heck yes" get close and you're good.

I've not shot Elk before and while I understand they are bigger I'm wondering if I am out of my depth. I worry more about the derision from "pro" hunters who obviously know everything there is to know about hunting with firearms.

But I'm hearing that no one is happy with you unless you use 300WSM or more. I'm not going to do that... I'll stick to deer.

What is your opinion? I'm thinking 150gr psp at about 2200fps up to no more than 100 yards?

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Old September 4, 2012, 02:27 PM   #2
Strafer Gott
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If fellas, my self included, can bag an elk with a sharp stick, you are most certainly equipped. Shoot the heavy bullet, and go for it.
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Old September 4, 2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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Many, many, many elk have been taken with a 30-30 (30WCF as it was know in the good ole' days). Get close enough to make the shot, it won't be a problem. BTW, use a heavy bullet!
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Old September 4, 2012, 03:18 PM   #4
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I haven't used a .30-30, but I've used .30-06 and .270s. The .30-30 is responsible for a lot of first elk around here, as it's an easy shooting caliber with plenty of oomph for elk. Shoot the bullet that's the most accurate for you and put it in the boiler room. Center-punch the lungs and they won't go far.
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Old September 4, 2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Nosler makes (or maybe "made"-dunno if they still do) a 170 grain RN Partition for the 30/30 that will through a deer lengthwise ..... should be no problem getting through the vitals of an elk.
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Old September 4, 2012, 03:39 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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Where are you guys when I tell people that a 243 is enough for elk and the only support I get is the crickets chirping!?

Yes, a 30-30 is enough for elk, within reason of it's energy, shot angles, and your skill, same as a 243!
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Old September 4, 2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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Absolutely, a 30-30 will kill them just fine. I would bet there are thousands of elk killed every year with 30-30s. You will have to be within 150-ish yds and place your shots well, but a 30-30 will work fine. After all, they were wiped out in most of the eastern states by settlers with 36 to 45 cal black powder rifles, and a 30-30 has more energy than those do.
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:14 PM   #8
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Brian, I had a thread last year about the cow elk I shot with my .243. I feel your pain, they weren't nice to me, either!

Edit-Here is the thread: http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...hlight=243+elk
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:21 PM   #9
Sweet Shooter
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Okay, so what is my upper limit would you say? What if I stumble upon a fat cow, a 700-pounder? Is that too big for me and my 3030?
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:25 PM   #10
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Absolutely not! Shoot her dead!
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:30 PM   #11
Stukaman
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Read a story in American rifleman I think it was about a lady single mom I think back in 30s? That killed an a Moose from her canoe in Alaska with a 30/30 so yeah I think it's enough for elk of ya do right.
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:33 PM   #12
ligonierbill
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Don't think you will find any 700 lb. cows, but your 30-30 is still fine. Just get close. Hunt the timber. Last successful elk hunt I had, I don't think we had a 100 yd shot, and my buddy and I each shot one at about 20 yd. The 7 mag I was carrying did not provide an advantage at that range.
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Old September 4, 2012, 05:40 PM   #13
Sweet Shooter
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Okay... thank you. It's coming to that time of year!!! I'll see how the lay of the land looks and take or pass based on that.

I actually don't want a big animal. I'm by myself out here and it's going to get cold very soon. I worry about getting stranded out there with an animal that's too big. I can dress and quarter it by myself but if I have more than a few feet of snow I'm going to be hating life. My deep freeze is now clean and empty.

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Old September 4, 2012, 06:37 PM   #14
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A 300 mag, 30-06, 308, and a 30-30 all shoot basically the same bullets. The 300 hits a 600 yards at about the same speed as the 30-06 does at 500 yards, the 308 at 400 yards and the 30-30 at 100 yards. I'd have no problem using any of those rounds at those ranges and would expect the same results from them all.

It is all about understanding range limitations, bullet construction and placement.

And by the way, I'd use a 243 for elk. Not my 1st choice, but I'd use it.

This is for you Brian.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0w1c-gf18
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:20 PM   #15
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The limit on the 30-30 is not its ability to kill well. Its limitation is range only. A 170 grain 30-30 bullet works very well. I have several friends who are working cowboys and they have probably killed 30 elk including a few big bulls, with 30-30s.
If you hunt in the timber where shots are close, you will not have a problem.
As Gott said, Archers kill them with "sharp sticks". I killed one that way myself.
Shoot carefully and you'll do fine as long as you don't try to kill them on the other side of a wide canyon.
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:21 PM   #16
bcarver
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could and should

If you are gonna buy a rifle to hunt elk...don't buy a 30-30.
If it is all you got use a good bullet and study a vitals diagram.
Save and shop/ swap and buy a better "all round" gun. 30-30 is fine but
where they live are some wide open spaces. You could extend your range.
What kind of sight do you have? Most people assume a lever action. this limits ammo. If it is lever action, look at Hornady Leverlution ammo.
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:24 PM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
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That's awesome! I'm bookmarking that video!

I'm remembering you guys too, the next time "243 ain't enuff fer elk!" comes up, you're getting a PM for reinforcements!
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Old September 4, 2012, 08:41 PM   #18
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I have killed many elk with quite a few calibers, but only 1 with a 30-30. Heavy bullets should work better. The 150 grain bullets are often built for lightweight game animals. The one elk I killed with a 30-30 was a large cow at 200 yards. Two lung shots later she was mine. I now realise that the range was too far for the size of game.
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:09 PM   #19
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A .30-30 with the proper bullet will kill any size elk within range - probably 100-150 yards depending on the shooter's accuracy. Enjoy your hunt!
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:11 PM   #20
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I suspect you will be fine if you are a good shot with it and able to stay calm. I bet in the last 100 years there has been a great deal of elk killed with the 30-30
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:31 PM   #21
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I've killed elk with rifles from .243 win to 338 win mag and with a 44 mag revolver I carried daily when I lived in Colorado. I have seen many others killed with all types of calibers so I know that there are calibers that are proven performers and they start at the 7mm Rem mag and get bigger. Just because you can kill elk with small calibers you cannot let the exception be the rule. You are about to go on your first elk hunt from the sounds of it so I would opt for as big a gun as you can accurately shoot and go with someone who can tell you if and when and where to shoot. Elk are big and tough. The 700 pound elk mentioned is a monster most big cows will go 400 or a little more. Good luck.
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:47 PM   #22
Sweet Shooter
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I'm going by myself. I'm walking in (out). I'm not carrying a big rifle, I'll sleep rough for a max of three days and I am prepared. Always am. Part of what makes me want to hunt is being by myself. 400lbs cow would suit me fine on this tag.

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Old September 5, 2012, 06:36 AM   #23
rgrundy
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Good luck. You're walking in and bushwacking. Good way to hunt. From what I've learned about 3 miles is the limit of most human's endurance when it comes to packing out an elk and if it's hot (90 during the day and 60 at night) you have about a day to do it. Quarter and bag it and hang it up. You'll be able to take a good elk out in 3 to 4 trips. Good luck on your first hunt.
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Old September 5, 2012, 08:34 AM   #24
Sweet Shooter
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@rgrundy, that is good to know. I have identified two forks of river that are about 2.5 miles long... they may be all but dry in two months but still give me a good inroad. It's the snow I worry about most... not that I worry though.
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:41 AM   #25
huntinaz
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I've seen a few elk killed with a 30-30. It helps to hit them well
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