View Full Version : Best big game load and bullet

All in moderation
March 14, 2007, 09:09 AM
I know this will start a debate, but I do learn from others opinions and views. So here it is, what is the min. bolt action rifle cal. and bullet type, that you would use for a 300 yard shot on an elk sized animal to guaranty a through shoulder joint penentration into the vitals. The bullet must penetrate the hardest bone in shoulder and still have enough mass and velocity left to down the animal.

March 14, 2007, 09:20 AM

Any centerfire cartridge from the .270 win/.280 rem/.30-06 Springfield on up will do the job nicely with a tough constructed bullet like a partition, or a bonded bullet, or a barnes, fusion, XP3, fail safe, coreloct plus....

Some here say that the .30 mags up to the .338 win mag are ideal for elk sized animals as well. They are a bit harder on your shoulder but will do the job well.

It all depends on what you can shoot well. practice...

March 15, 2007, 01:44 PM
Oldie but goodey.Super powerful ,flat trajectry.But the best part about the round is universal ammo you can find.Light fast grains for coyote and predatior. To 180GR.+ to take down bearl.Look up the history online and you will make your choise.

March 15, 2007, 03:50 PM
I feel that any mid-caliber cartridge (6mm to 8mm) capable of launching a mid-weight projectile 3 to 5 calibers in length at around 2,700 fps will do very well as an all-around cartridge. Of course, this includes all of the most popular rounds available: 243, 25-06, 270, 7X57, 280, 308, 30-06, 8X57. Looking at a list of most popular chamberings, my bet would be that a large majority of people prefer to shoot rifles in this range, and that they work well.

Outside either extreme of this class, you get rifles that are fully capable of doing the job, but that people either do not enjoy shooting or will not shoot as an all-around cartridge. Like the 220 Swift, 375 H&H, 458 WM, etc. Whether it's because of recoil, rifle weight, bullet construction, etc.

Most common calibers have ample energy to compensate for errors of bullet placement, range estimation, uphill/downhill, etc, but not so much extra energy that they kill at one end and maim at the other.

March 16, 2007, 05:04 AM
.270 Winchester hot 130 grain bullet of your choice. I put down a big ol doe mulie at 300 yards with a single pill this fall and the bullet got full penetration and a nice exit with just a normal soft point so if you stepped up to an SST/Scirrocco/Interbond youd have no problems.

March 16, 2007, 01:07 PM

I asked the same question and there are some answers here that I liked. Like the .270 WSM seemed like a good idea.

March 16, 2007, 01:58 PM
If I were to pick a dedicated cartridge for just that job I'd go with a 7mm mag. Most people make their rifles suitable for many purposes. I'd want a minimium of a 270 for that job. Your mileage may vary depending on variables (shot selection, ect.)

arizona hunter
March 16, 2007, 03:15 PM
Must have a super premium bullet like one of the Barnes X's (any flavor), Fail Safe, Swift A-Frame, Partition, Bear Claw. With one of these (I prefer the Barnes XLC), I would even use my 6.5 x 55 Swede. A Barnes 140 XLC at 2800 fps is 2.2" high at 100 yds and 0 at 220 yds and at 300 yds only 6" low and still doing 2316 fps with 1667 ft-lb of energy. Even if loaded down to 2700 fps it's still 6.6" low at 300 yds with 2226 fps and 1540 ft-lb's.

March 16, 2007, 10:02 PM
Scorch, a 6mm for Elk! You must be a transplanted TXan as they love the little 243/244s for those baby whitetail, feral goats and armadillos But, for Elk give me a 284 bore min with 160g bullet ... and really I'd pick up a 308 bore, even a 300WM and go with 180+gr bullets. But, it is really about where you shoot the beast and the range.

April 5, 2007, 09:35 AM
I've never hunted elk, but if I did I'd use my 300 wthby mag. with a 180 grn. partition bullet. This is what I use for long range whitetail. Very effective!!!

April 5, 2007, 09:50 AM
a through shoulder joint penetration into the vitals. The bullet must penetrate the hardest bone in shoulder and still have enough mass and velocity left to down the animal.

Your sure gonna ruin a lot of meat with a shot like that. Aim just at bit to the rear and take out his lungs or even better heart, or both.

As far as shoulder shots I have only shot one elk that way, that was with a muzzle loader where it takes a minute or so to get another shot off, and your bullet doesn't have the velocity to create the hydro shock destroying nearby tissue A 320 grain bullet under 2000 FPS will break the largest shoulder bone in a elk's shoulder and still go a inch or two. My second shot did go Thur the lungs and I was surprised at the damage it had done even at black powder speeds. From that experience I would suspect any well constructed bullet of 130 or more grains with good velocity would do what your asking. My question is why ruin several pounds of meat? If you destroy the lungs that animal isn't going to travel far. Sounds like a hunting writer's idea to me. Theses guys don't kill for meat and they like to brag how this gun/bullet or that dropped em right in his tracks, and heck with the meat.

IMHO Most of those writer guys have a guide take em out show em the animal which they then shoot and their done. The guide guts, packs, and skins the animal and the game processor cuts the meat. He then goes and writes us a article on his hunting trip or and about the such 'n' such rifle or cartridge he used. I have to admit it sounds like a nice way to make a living. Guys like Zumbo live a life many of us dream about and that just helps sell the Magazines.

Scorch, a 6mm for Elk!

Knew of a guide here in Idaho that just used a 243, deer or elk. But then he knew where to hit a animal and when to not take a shot. A 30-30, 243, or 375 H&H will all do the trick if the bullet is put where it should be placed at a reasonable distance.