View Full Version : .264 Win Mag for Elk

April 11, 2009, 08:59 AM
I'm getting 3100 fps with 140 gr Berger VLDs. Is this round sufficient for Elk hunting?

Thanks for any input.

Brian Pfleuger
April 11, 2009, 09:09 AM
The gun is certainly sufficient.

Ladies, and those with an aversion to recoil, hunt elk with a 243 all the time.

I'm not sure what the difference is, if any, between Berger's vld hunting bullet and their vld target bullet but if you punch a hole through both lungs the bullet will hardly matter. Things that can't breathe die.

April 11, 2009, 09:26 AM
I'm using handloads in my 6.5x55SE this year on my late rifle bull hunt. 160 grain Woodleighs (bc-.509, sd-.328) at around 2500 fps. My barrel twist is 1:8.6", I think the closer to 1:7" you are the better for stabilizing the 160 grain "Telephone Poles".

I always think about getting a .264 Winchester Mag. I bet you could get some outstanding results with these Woodleighs out of "The Westerner". They are supposed to perform best when the impact velocity is between 1900 - 3000 fps. That puts my "Swede" out to a MPBR of 285 yds on an 8" target with the Woodleighs. You should be able to stretch that number out a lot with your rifle.

I don't have any "aversion to recoil" as I really enjoy shooting my neighbor's .458 Winchester Mag and slugs from my 12 gauges. It's just that this 6.5x55SE is my "killing gun" as Patton would say. ;)

roy reali
April 11, 2009, 11:25 AM
It all depends on how much body armor the elk happens to be wearing. A well-armored animal requires a really, really big cartridge to cleanly take down.

April 11, 2009, 11:54 AM
Roy, If you knew half about wild animal body armor that I do:rolleyes: you would be able to make out the trauma plate pouches or just send the bullet in the neck hole... That is the true weakness of critter armor... horizontal neck unlike the vertical human neck...:eek:

April 11, 2009, 12:24 PM
I reload 300WM with the average of 3510 with 150gr. (my crono). I find it sufficient for deer, but for elk, I step up to a 180 gr.

By the way...have tested advertized specs on factory ammo and the have always registered less on my crono.

Brian Pfleuger
April 11, 2009, 01:00 PM
I don't have any "aversion to recoil" as I really enjoy shooting my neighbor's .458 Winchester Mag and slugs from my 12 gauges. It's just that this 6.5x55SE is my "killing gun" as Patton would say.

I wasn't meaning you.:o Just trying to point out that people hunt elk with guns smaller than yours.

April 11, 2009, 03:23 PM
Your .264 is plenty as long as you do your part. I have seen many elk taken down with smaller stuff than that, good shot with a little bullet is better than a bad shot with a big bullet.

April 11, 2009, 04:45 PM
I guess I should have addressed Burger bullets rather than cal. My question is: Is the Burger bullet in 6.5 cal. substantial enough for elk. I shot a Canadian whitetail with the same load and all I could find were fragements of the bullet, no exit wound. Entrance was just behind front leg, small hole through hide, 6"x3" entrance hole through rib cage. Lungs and heart were mush. Deer traveled about 50 feet after the shot. Everyone talks about how tough elk are and I was concerned that the Burger bullet wasn't tough enough. Thanks for the input.

April 11, 2009, 08:14 PM

If all you found was fragments after hitting a large whitetail what makes you think it's good for elk? Because it's dead? If you hit an elk same place with the same bullet I doubt you will find your elk 50' after the shot maybe 5 miles.I've had to track to many elk after being shot with with these little guns,I wont take any one hunting for elk with anything less than 7 Mag,Minimum.I know others will disagree.They haven't shot many elk.Why take the chance of losing an elk of lifetime because you shot it with a marginal caliber.Big bullets make for dead elk!

April 11, 2009, 08:48 PM
If Ican make a suggestion, try some good ole Nosler partitions.

April 11, 2009, 09:31 PM
If someone tells you Nosler partitions failed to do the job, their telling you they missed.

April 11, 2009, 10:27 PM
I'm not sold on the idea of Berger bullets as hunting bullets either especially when it comes to animals as large as elk. I would recommend you use a Nosler Partition as well as a minimum. There are tons of good premium bullets on the market as well as custom one that I think would be better than a Berger.

.264 Win Mag will work just fine on an elk.

April 11, 2009, 11:29 PM
I am going to throw another "use Nosler partitions" at you. I have never used Bergers so I can't comment on THEIR effectiveness. I can comment on my personal use of Noslers, I say go that route.

April 12, 2009, 01:56 AM
try some good ole Nosler partitions

I have no issues with the caliber of your rifle, but I would suggest a tougher bullet, as the others above have posted.

I know guys that have taken elk with .243, .257, and 7.62X39, and with good shot placement, they all worked just fine.

April 12, 2009, 07:45 AM
I am building a Savage 110 in 264 win mag right now. I was originally thinking a 6.5-284 but upon looking at the ballistics. There is not alot of diffrence between the new guy on the block and the Ol' timer. So I opted for the Ol' Timer for nostalgia reasons. I am going to do the same that you have done with Berger bullets for it. I really like them in my other calibers. However it will be more for mule deer and (wyoming wind) antelope hunting. I have a 7 MM mag that I use for Elk. I dropped my bull last year, 1 shot, 150 yards, with a 175 soft point. His vitals were more like gelotin then anything that resembled heart and lungs.

It will be a fine elk cartridge, however, I must agree for elk stick with a tried and true Partition. Elk are pretty tough customers and will take a good shot and run. Even the cup and core bullets will do the job, Something in the 140 grain range. Big game... Big bullet! GOOD LUCK!

Colorado Redneck
April 18, 2009, 01:43 PM
Yeah, I load my 50 bmg with 500 grain leaders at 4000 fps for jack rabbits, but the 750 grain hornady at 6000 fps are what I use on fox. snort.

Tom Matiska
April 20, 2009, 12:26 AM
sufficient, adequte, and ethical aside, the state of Pennsylvania has decided that only 27 caliber and 140 gr are legal for elk..... check your state laws....


April 28, 2009, 04:39 PM
I'm getting 3100 fps with 140 gr Berger VLDs. Is this round sufficient for Elk hunting?

Thanks for any input. Yep.........if you wanna one up that combo try Barnes 130 grain TSX's and elk watch out!

April 29, 2009, 09:13 PM
I have either shot or seen shot over 100 elk and have come to some conclusions on bullets and calibers. The 264 win mag has sufficent power for elk but am not familiar with the hunting properties of the Berger bullets. A broadside lung shot can be taken with most softpoint bullets. However if a bullet must break bones and penatrate at an angle I have learned only a few bullets have the capability to preform CONSISTANTLY. One of these is the Nosler Partition. I use it exclusively on all game from coyoye to elk.

April 30, 2009, 12:10 PM
If that Berger round performed as you say on a light-boned deer, I have to say DON'T DO IT on an elk!!!! While I'm not a fan of .264 Mags because of the barrel length needed to actually achieve the published velocities, that's not the point. I'm sure that yours will do fine IF the right bullet is used. As many others have said, it's hard to go wrong with a Nosler partition.
That being said, I've killed elk with a round as light as the .25-06. Would I unconditionally recommend it to everyone? No. The animals that I've dropped with the .25-06 (love those things) were undisturbed, broadside shots where I was absolutely sure of the bullet placement, and those Noslers were deadly. But, I've also passed up a big bull that was quartering away, because even with Noslers I couldn't be sure of penetrating to the vitals through so much tissue and tough hide. My .300WM w/180's would have piled him up for a follow up, I'm sure.
In my long experience, there just "ain't no free lunch" when it comes to light bullets and big, heavy-boned animals.

Happiness is a steaming gut pile.

May 1, 2009, 06:52 PM
Id think these would geter done...


January 6, 2012, 02:54 PM
I never had a problem killing Elk with this caliber. I shot Elk from 50 yds up to 500 yds and never lost an elk. I use 140 grain XLC IMR 7828 65 grains getting 3,300 fps. I love this round the only thing is never recovered a bullet. I'm going to try the 130 Gr. Berger VLD this coming season see how they do.

January 6, 2012, 03:34 PM
Years ago the .264 Win Mag would burn out the barrel throats quickly so that is one of the reason it lost popularity. I'd bet, with the new powders out now, that it would be a fantastic round and not have the barrel issues....

January 6, 2012, 05:41 PM
I have an uncle that lives, sleeps, eats and breathes the 264 Win Mag. He has killed over 30 elk with it and I lost count of how many mule deer. He has and still uses 140 grain Partitions and Sierra BT and has never had a problem and I have never had to help him track anything.

As for Bergers they are made to break apart and make mush, just like the results you got, and many people use them on elk with great success. The school of thought is that all the bullets energy is transferred to the animal when the bullets does not exit. I am not a fan of that thinking but you'll need to make up your own mind on that.