Originally Posted by Marble
I would prefer to get the 300 wm. Get into handloading and load it down to what you want. Then you can always make it faster and change it up in the future.
I have the 7mm and 300wm and they both seem to have the same recoil. If they do or not, IDK.
I was also going to comment that I never could tell the difference in recoil between the 300 WM with 180gr bullets and the heavy bullets in a 7mm mag.
I would do a straight 284 Win or 284 Shehane before I went for a 308. Pretty low recoil, good velocity, and good barrel life.
500 yard elk is a tall task for the small 308 if a shot misses it's mark a little.
The big problem with the 308 is that to get any bullets in 30 cal with a decent BC you have to be using 180gr or heavier. In which case the velocity of the 308 suffers greatly. That's why the 300 win mag and 300 ultra mag are more common for long range hunting. Gotta have more horsepower to push the heavier bullets.
If not handloading, then a more traditional caliber would be best. 338 Win Mag is an elk killing machine as well.