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Old February 27, 2014, 08:38 PM   #1
c.hud
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308 or 300wsm

So Here's My Question, I Want To Hunt Elk Out To 400-500 Yards And I Want The Same Rifle To Shoot Targets Out To A 1000 Yards. I Can Hit Targets Out To 600 With My 270 Winchester. But I Won't Shoot An Elk That Far. So What Do You Think A 308 Or 300 Wsm?
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Old February 27, 2014, 08:45 PM   #2
uofudavid
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Why not attempt to come in closer to the elk?
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Old February 27, 2014, 08:58 PM   #3
Nathan
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400-500 yd Elk shots are not impossible, but require a good field rifle. Generally, this will be as heavy as you can carry, have $600+ optic, and be a legitimate .75 MOA or better rifle off the bench. . .1 MOA in your field position.

Mine, haven't taken the shot yet, is a Savage 12 300WSM with Burris XTR scope weighing about 14.5 lbs, I believe. Not too much unlike the M40 and M24.
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Old February 27, 2014, 09:06 PM   #4
kilotanker22
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most definately the 300 wsm

not to imply the 308 is not capable but the 300 wsm will carry considerably more energy than the 308 and is plenthy accurate
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Old February 27, 2014, 09:29 PM   #5
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400 yards is right on the edge of a 308's capabilities. Well within 300 WSM range. Someone is sure to recommend 30-06 eventually. It'll take you to 500, but I'd skip it and go straight to the 300 WSM.

I'm a big fan of the 300 WSM. It is one of those rounds I doubted for a long time, until I bought one and started shooting and loading for it. You get 98-99% of a 300 WM performance in a 308 sized package with recoil exactly 1/2 way between 30-06 and 300 WM. Anyone who can tolerate 30-06 recoil will never notice the difference when moving up to the 300 WSM.

You don't need a 14 lb rifle to make 400-500 yard shots. Hunters do it all the time with 6-8 lb rigs and 4X -6X scopes. My BIL has taken several at 700+ without resorting to a benchrest rifle. Start shooting at 1000 yards you might need the weight and more magnification.

Mine is 7 3/4 lbs as it sets. Shoots under 3" at 400 yards.

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Old February 27, 2014, 09:39 PM   #6
JD0x0
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The .270 Winchester is arguably more powerful than a .308 win. So go with the .300WSM if you want to see any real difference.

The .270 pushes a higher sectional density bullet faster compared to .308 win
.277" (.270) 150 grain, SD .279
.308" (7.62mm) 180 grain, SD .271

The .270, with a stout hand load, you could push a Nosler Accubond 'Long range' bullet fast enough to end up with roughly 1735ft-lbs energy, 2282fps @ 500 yards. Which should be more than adequate if you're a good enough shot to ethically hunt at those ranges. SD is high enough to penetrate CXP3 game, and the Accubond tends to have the best expansion right around 2300fps.
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Old February 27, 2014, 09:52 PM   #7
Art Eatman
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It seems to me that there is a somewhat higher probability as to a clean kill at 500 yards if one uses the .300 WSM.

All the usual caveats apply, of course, as to one's skill level and the ability to judge the wind and know the distance and trajectory. The usual yada, yada, yada.

Given the R&D which has gone into load development for the .308, as well as what is known about setting up a rifle for 1,000-yard targets, it could be that the .300 WSM isn't the proper tool for that particular job. Maybe; maybe not.

Me, I'm more likely to think of one of each. A dedicated hunting rifle and a dedicated target rifle. Different types of barrels, different weights, different scopes.
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Old February 27, 2014, 10:36 PM   #8
45YearsShooting
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Good advice so far, as usual for this forum.

Quote:
Why not attempt to come in closer to the elk?
That's a good one.

In the last six years, I took three very long shots at elk. They were at 420, 454, and 579 yards, the two longest with 30 caliber Hornady 150 grain Interbond bullets. The bullets performed perfectly on all 3 elk, and they all dropped within 50 yards. Two were big bulls, including the one shot at 579 yards, which was the biggest bull I have ever killed in 30 years of elk hunting.

In all 3 cases, there was no chance of getting any closer, and I usually only get one or two chances a season. The majority of elk hunters get none.

The 579 and 420 yard shots were taken with a 300 Win Mag, and the 454 yard shot was with a 30/06 using Hornady Superformance ammo, giving 200 fps over a normal 30/06 150 gr. load. All were broadside shots.

I am a serious prairie dog hunter used to taking long shots using a bipod. I would not have attempted any of those shots without having a solid rest (my bipod), a solid understanding of my rifle's trajectory, little wind, a rangefinder, broadside or slightly quartering away animal position, confidence the bullet will perform at that distance, and total confidence that I will make the shot.

My wife won't take a shot beyond 300 yards. She knows that is her limit. We all have different limits.

Hope this helps you a bit in making up your mind. Personally I would go with the .300 magnum for shots this far on elk, but it kicks 60 percent more than a .308, so make sure you can handle the recoil and still shoot accurately at those ranges with it. Assuming you are confident at the ranges you mention, bullet performance (and of course placement) at those ranges is key.
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Old February 28, 2014, 12:10 AM   #9
NCummins
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You are aware people kill Elk with a bow right?
.308 doesn't perform near as well as a 300wsm at those ranges. 300 hands down.

There is a video around of a lady dropping an elk at 680 yards with a .243 around somewhere though!
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Old February 28, 2014, 12:46 PM   #10
c.hud
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I bow hunt for elk as well. Not saying I always want to shoot an elk at 500 yards but I want to have the capability to do it with a clean kill if I have too.

In 308 I have been looking at the rem 700 police edition, heavy barrel and im probably going to drop about a $1000 on a leupold Scope w/custom dial system(any body use one of these scopes?). I would love to have a nightforce but don't have 2grand to spend on optics.

In 300 wsm I'm either going to get a rem 700 or a higher end savage and put the same scope on it, just have to figure out what caliber I want.

I do handload and already have a bunch of brass for the 308(someone left a bunch of lapua brass where I shoot in the mountains ) and have looked and cartridges for a 308 are half the price of a 300 wsm. But ive been checking out ballistics between the 2 calibers and 300 wsm knocks the 308 out of the water. I appreciate your guy's input, maybe I will buy a rifle for one and save up to buy a different rifle for the other later.
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Old February 28, 2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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300 WSM does have more down range energy, but ammo is also more $$. I'm a big fan if 308.

That being said, I'll let you in on a little secret. People who try to take those long shots on game will always tell you how the animal just dropped with 1 500yd shot. The never mention the elk missing a front leg or running off never to be recovered; mortally wounded. Luckily most of the long range hunting stories are either a gross error in range estimation or fish tales. Can you walk out to the range and put a cold bore shot with in 5in of POA at 400++yds?? If you can't do it everytime, why would you try it hunting.

Do some reading on hunting ethics.

Last edited by Sierra280; February 28, 2014 at 09:38 PM.
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Old February 28, 2014, 09:26 PM   #12
jmr40
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Quote:
You are aware people kill Elk with a bow right?
Elk country is quite varied. There are places where you will smell one before you see it and a 50 yard shot is a long shot. There are other places where it is wide open and a 200 yard shot would be a close range shot. Guess where the bow hunters hunt.

I'll use Colorado as an example, bow hunters pretty much have the whole state for about a month. Rifle hunters are restricted to 1 game unit for a season lasting only a few days, and you may have no choice but to hunt in one of the wide open places. Even in those places typical shots will usually be under 400 yards, but you'd better be prepared and equipped for a shot that far, or you may well be wasting your time.

A 400 yard shot is not long range, nor unethical for anyone who has done even a little work at that range. Elk have a kill zone about 3X greater than a whitetail deer, and with most any modern cartridge including 308, 270, 30-06 or any of the 7mm or 300 magnums you don't even have to worry about holdover with a 250 yard zero. Even the 308 is capable at that range, just not a lot farther. The 300 WSM gives a bit more margin for error, especially if you do start pushing the envelope at shots longer.
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Old March 1, 2014, 01:33 AM   #13
c.hud
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Ya I typically hunt in Colorado, especially the month of bow season. The ranges vary a lot out here!! I'm a very good shot with my 270 out to 600 yards(I shoot a hotter load than factory). With my 270 I wont shoot past 300 yards for game because I want to be ethical but I want a gun that's a good rifle for hunting and long range. Now I think I am going to buy one high end rifle for hunting and save up for a decent long range rifle. I appreciate everyones opinion.
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Old March 1, 2014, 08:37 AM   #14
ZeroJunk
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Go elk hunting with a bow during rifle season and tell me how that works out.
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Old March 1, 2014, 09:39 AM   #15
Art Eatman
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c.hud, feel free to start a new thread about your next rifle.
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