View Full Version : Best .308 Win bullet for close Elk

February 9, 2001, 04:07 PM
I am asking this question for a friend who often hunts elk (went to Alaska last three season). He pet rifle (which now has an extraction problem) is his Savage lever gun. He is looking to getting a 7mm RemMag but for now the .308 is his gun.

He tells me that his typical shot (whether he decides to take them or not) is from 50 yards to just over 100 yards...maybe 150 tops).

Given those ranges, is there any need to abandon the .308? And if he keeps the .308, what bullet would you stuff in the case for proper expansion in Elk at those ranges (assuming he handloads his own)? What factory ammo would you recommend?


Jay Baker
February 9, 2001, 04:40 PM
My cousin, who lives in Boise, has been using a Win. 70 rifle in .308, for many years. He's killed 19 elk, one Idaho moose, deer, etc., with that rifle. He uses the Federal 180 gr. Premium Nosler Partition. He's a very good shot, by the way, but he killed his moose with that load, about 75/80 yards, one round. Accuracy is paramount, and he practices a lot. His longest shot at an elk, in central Idaho, was about 225/250 yards. Again, no problems.


Al Thompson
February 9, 2001, 08:09 PM
A bonus is that the Nosler Partitions have always shot well for me. Hope it proves true for your friend.

Any good controlled expansion bullet should work well. I would prefer 180 grains for .308/elk.


February 9, 2001, 09:04 PM
That is at the thrust of my question.

The velocity at 75 yards is pretty zoomy compared to, say, 250 yards. Are you saying Nosler, and perhaps most others would perform well at these differing velocities?

I was listening to Tom Gresham's Gun Talk last Sunday. A caller said he had shot a deer or Elk at 450 yards (lung shot), and the animal didn't "drop." Tom wondered if at 450 yards , the bullet did not have the velocity to expand. I can't say which cartridge the guy used since he said it was a "300 Savage." The guy was dopey enough to make me, and Tom, think that he could have meant a .300 Win Mag in a Savage rifle, etc.


Al Thompson
February 9, 2001, 10:02 PM
If the 180 started at 2700 fps and (!) depending on barrel length, elevation, wind, humidity, twist, etc., etc.....

Popping an elk at 450 yards (right) is going to be a tracking job unless you get real lucky. I have not (and hope never) ever shot an animal that far. But - a Nosler Partition is soft enough in the nose (front of partition) that you'd have a good chance of expansion and possibly an exit.

From experiance, the Nosler would be fine from PB to 300 or so. Beyond that, my experiance flags. I've launced the 180 out of an '06 at powder burn distance and acheived 18 inches of penetration. My furthest is a bit over 200 and things were fine. Same load, same bullet.



February 19, 2001, 10:04 PM
If you really must use the .308 for elk, practivce, keep your shots a conservative ranges and use a good bullet. You probably alreday knew all of that.

Put me in for another vote on the Nosler Partition, 180 grain in your case. I know there are more expensive bullets, but I have been using these for years, .300 Win Mag and .338 Win Mag mostly, with very reliable results.

Last elk was 444 yards witnesses by a Colorado licensed guide using a Bushnell Rangefinder. Elevation is a snap with some basic understanding of ballistics and practice. Doping the wind is the tricky part. The .308 will slow down more than bigger cartridges, so keep ranges reasonable.

Happy Hunting!

February 20, 2001, 12:08 PM
Nosler Partition, Winchester Fail Safe, Barnes X-BT bullet.