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Old September 13, 2017, 07:49 PM   #1
Mr. Hill
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I found an elk load my rifle likes!

I needed a new .308 Winchester elk round for the upcoming season. Something that would penetrate with good accuracy. I learned my lesson about not using bonded ammo during last elk season.

I tried Remington core-lokts first, but the 180 grainers just didn't group well.

Next, I tried Federal Premium 180 grain Nosler Partitions, and wow, my Remington sure does like them! The groups instantly shrunk, very consistent, and I've heard good things about the Partition round for elk. I'll be going back to the range on Sunday for more practice. Federal Premium ammunition is expensive, but it shoots so well in my rifle that I'll bite the bullet and buy 2 more boxes.

What caliber, rifle, and ammo will you use for elk this season?
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Old September 14, 2017, 12:01 AM   #2
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That's easy! Either my 7X57 with 150 gr Accubond LRs, or my 444 Marlin M98 using Hornady ammo with 265 gr Flextips. My Winchester 1885 in 40-70WCF is off getting color cased, maybe next year.
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Old September 14, 2017, 12:34 AM   #3
Mr. Hill
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That .444 sounds like a thumper!
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Old September 14, 2017, 07:48 AM   #4
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Model 70 Winchester Featherweight, 270 Win w/Hornady 150 IBs
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Old September 14, 2017, 08:17 AM   #5
zipspyder
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Good job OP. Those NP are real game droppers. Excellent round for elk and bonus is they shoot great out of your gun. Not to throw a monkey wrench in it but if your gun likes the 180's it may love the 165's!
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Old September 14, 2017, 10:01 AM   #6
Don Fischer
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What's the bonded lesson you learned?
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Old September 14, 2017, 10:02 AM   #7
Mr. Hill
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It likes 165 grain rounds, but I just can't find any suitable for elk around here, and when I look at ballistics, the difference between 165 and 180 is negligible, at least as far as my shooting ability is concerned. The rifle seems to shoot 180 grain rounds as well as the 165's. It doesn't like 150 grain rounds.

The bonded lesson involved using a very accurate cup and core non-bonded deer round on a bull elk. It keyholed on the exit, leaving on a narrow slit in the far side of the hide. Had that round hit a rib on entry or exit, I don't think it would have penetrated much, if at all. Elk are tough. Penetration trumps accuracy. Somebody here tried to explain that to me before I went on the hunt, but I didn't listen, and I'm lucky to have hit the running bull with a follow up shot before he reached the timber he was sprinting toward.

Last edited by Mr. Hill; September 14, 2017 at 10:09 AM.
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Old September 14, 2017, 03:43 PM   #8
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"What caliber, rifle, and ammo will you use for elk this season?"
I'm taking 2 rifles to NM. First is my old Rem 700 Classic in 7mmRM using handloads with Nosler Partition 160's. Second is my "guide gun" Rem 700 pseudo carbine(20" barrel youth rifle with adult stock) in 308 Win shooting Nosler 168 Bonded "Defense" solid base bullets.
I'm hoping the shots are going to be under 250 so I can carry the little .308.
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Old September 14, 2017, 04:46 PM   #9
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Heck, I have not firmly decided what I will use yet.
I have it down to these;
6.5X54 Mann/Scho with 160 gr Hornady RN or 156 gr PPU round nose.
9.3X74R Ruger #1 with 286 Gr Nosler partition.
9.3X57 fullstock Mauser with either a PPU 285 grain or a Nosler Accu-Bond 250 grain (If I can find some before the season opens)
Or I may use my full stock 8X57 again like I did last year, but this year I will load 200 grain partitions.

Or if I end up running out of time I will grab my 270 Winchester with 150 Gr Nosler Partitions or my 300 H&H with 200 grain Nosler partitions. I love both rifles but it's almost too easy to kill elk with them so I usually like using a closer range gun. But if I hunt and don't get one up-close I can always grab one of those 2 fast steppers and reach out across the planes or a canyon and still fill the tag.
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Old September 14, 2017, 04:54 PM   #10
Wyosmith
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Mr Hill.........you'll like the 180 Partitions.
That's what I was going to send you last season, but we could not get it done in time.
And as you see, they are not giving up anything to speak of in accuracy either.

Happy hunting.
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Old September 14, 2017, 05:27 PM   #11
Mr. Hill
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A lot of cool guns and calibers so far!

And Wyosmith, I should have accepted your kind offer. You were right. I think the 180 grain partitions will work better, if I'm lucky enough to see another one this season. The 180's seem to have a bit more felt recoil, but it's probably purely psychological on my part.
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Old September 14, 2017, 06:05 PM   #12
Wyosmith
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Good luck this year too.
Use your eyes and ears a LOT and you'll probably do fine. Watch the wind and don't be afraid to get your belly in the dirt.
Happy hunting.
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Old September 14, 2017, 08:17 PM   #13
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190gn accubond from a 300 win mag. Good luck everybody.
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Old September 14, 2017, 09:19 PM   #14
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6.5 CM topped with 143gr ELDX.
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Old September 14, 2017, 09:37 PM   #15
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I didn't get drawn in PA's elk lottery for the 7th or 8th year now.

If i had it would have beed my 284 Win with either 140gr. Berger VLD hunting or 150gr. Nosler ABLR.
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Old September 14, 2017, 09:47 PM   #16
lefteye
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A Nosler Partition bullet is perfect for elk. I've only hunted elk three times. Never saw one on the first hunt. I got a 5 X 5 on my 2nd and 3rd hunts with my LH Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker .300 Win Mag and the Nosler Partition bullet. I'm 70 and have never hunted with a factory loaded cartridge. Although I certainly don't regret my elk hunts, I wish I had used my Remington 700 BDL LH in .270 in its Brown Precision stock with Nosler Partition bullets on those hunts. My .270 would have been perfect and dramatically lighter for carrying in the mountains on the Continental Divide.

Edited to add: My 2nd 5X5 was big and is on my wall!
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Old September 16, 2017, 03:54 PM   #17
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"Either my 7X57 with 150 gr Accubond LRs,"

I'd be interested in what you're using for the 7x57 and the ABLR bullet. So far, my results have been rather dismal in three different 7x57 rifles and a .280 Remington. I'd be tearing the hair out of my head if I had any.
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Old September 16, 2017, 04:05 PM   #18
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Dunno if an example of one would be much help but on my last elk hunt I used my 30-06 and the 165 gr. Nosler Accubond. Shot was right at 100 yard and the bullet at the back of the rib cage and passed though to destroy the left lung. Looked like a blob of half melted Jello. The elk went about 30 feet or so and collapsed. The bullet did not exit as far as I could tell but was not recovered. It may have been in the mess of that lung, who knows?
Normally my primary elk rifle is my .35 Whelen with the 225 gr. Barnes TSX. Never have recovered any of those.
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Old September 16, 2017, 05:54 PM   #19
Mr. Hill
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Well, I went out and bought 2 boxes of Federal Premium loaded with Nosler 180 grain.

Set me back $86.00 with tax.

I seriously need to start reloading!
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Old September 16, 2017, 06:37 PM   #20
Scorch
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Quote:
I'd be interested in what you're using for the 7x57 and the ABLR bullet.
Custom Mark X Mauser, 25" Shilen barrel. The load is 47.0 gr of W760, COAL is 3.270". Shoots right around 1.25". I was kind of shocked at how far I had to seat the bullets out to get within a reasonable distance of the lands, the ABLR is a VLD bullet with a long nose and short bearing surface. I would have loaded the regular AB if the ABLR had not been on sale for a lot less than the AB. But since I loaded 120 rounds of ammo, it is quite possibly the last time in my life I will ever load for my 7X57. I don't hunt much any more, although I would love to, and 120 rounds will last a looooong time.
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Old September 16, 2017, 07:32 PM   #21
sako2
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Paul B the nosler tech I talked to said to seat the ablr .050 from the lands. Really tightened my groups up.
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Old September 16, 2017, 09:05 PM   #22
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I think you made a wise choice going with 180's over 165's. I have no doubt that 165's of the same construction would work. Even a good 150. But unless your rifle just won't shoot the 180's there isn't any real down side.

I used to stay with 150, or 165's in my 308's but after experimenting with 180's probably won't go back.

The better BC's of the heavier bullets make up for their slower muzzle velocity. My best hand loads show 165's leaving the muzzle about 100 fps faster than 180's. But at 400 yards the 180's are faster, only drop 1.5" more, and have more energy at all ranges.

If I can compensate for 31" of bullet drop with 165's, then 32.5" isn't enough to matter. The extra weight, velocity, and energy of the heavier bullet may, or may not help. But it sure won't hurt, and since there are no negatives, why not.
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Old September 16, 2017, 10:10 PM   #23
Mr. Hill
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I'm going to the range tomorrow to practice some 200 yard shots, and to get off the bench and shoot from field positions.

Frankly, I'm limited to a max range of 200-250 yards with my present shooting ability. I've finally found a really good outdoor range (Fort Carson) that has much longer available lanes, but I'm going to have to work on longer distances in the future.

But I agree about the higher retained energy of the 180's and the insignificant increase in drop compared to the 165's at longer ranges. At least that's what I think I observed from federal's ballistic table.
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Old September 17, 2017, 03:42 PM   #24
Mr. Hill
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I'm getting better every time.
It was windy today, we had a front move through with rain.
On a whim, I tried the core-lokts from a rest at 100 yards. They produced a 1" 3 shot group this time. I'm going back to the range again next week! At least I can use either ammo, and the core lokts are a lot less expensive for practice ammo.

I had no idea how well my rifle would shoot the 180's until this year.
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Old September 17, 2017, 05:13 PM   #25
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This year:
A Marlin/Glenfield 336 hybrid built from the parts box, with a barrel reamed to .307 Win. Factory Winchester 180 gr ammo. I haven't worked up a handload, yet, and the factory stuff shoots just a bit over MoA. Good enough for now.

Ruger 77 Mk II .270 Win. 140 gr Partition handload, leaving the muzzle at a rather sedate 2,790 fps. There's nothing impressive about it on paper, unless that paper is the target. "Old Reliable" ...needs a little lovin' and some time out of the safe.

Marlin 336 rebuilt as a 444, and customized. Hornady Superformance 265 gr ammo, backed up by a homebrew load with a 275 gr swaged bullet (.40 S&W case as the jacket).
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