Re: 208 AMAX versus 900 pound+ elk
Just a word on the soft A-Max bullet. I shoot the 162 A-Max in 7mm. They have enough bearing surface that they are not too sensitive to seating depth. Unlike hard bullets, you can seat these very soft match type bullets at or even into the lands without massive pressure spikes in a bolt rifle.
Compared to a 150 grain Nosler Ballistic tip in my .308 Winchester, the 162 A-Max has proven to be the stouter bullet and it will normally punch through a mule deer unless very heavy bone is hit. Even if shoulder bone is hit, it will penetrate into vitals, provided you are not at very close range.
For any A-Max bullet, the impact velocity should not exceed 2500 FPS on big game. I would lower that velocity a bit if hitting bone on the way in, unless taking a head shot.
Compared to a Berger VLD, the A-Max can take a longer jump into the rifling and remain accurate due to the longer bearing surface. The fact that the A-Max is about 1/3 less costly and has a better tip and more durable tip also shifts things in its favor as a real world hunting bullet.
When you do the form factor calculation, the 208 A-Max is the .308 cal equivalent of the 162 grain 7mm A-Max, so I would expect similar results at similar speeds, just that the 208 would suit bigger game. The only reason I would feel I need something heavier than the 162 A-Max would be if I were shooting something huge like a big elk or moose.
The new Nosler Accubond LR bullets are going to put a dent in VLD and A-Max sales, as they are just as sleek but more suited to heavy bone hits. When I run out of loaded A-Max rounds, I intend ti try the Accubond LR bullets. For elk, I think I would try the Accubond LR first over the VLD or A-Max if I hadn't worked up any loads yet.
Don't forget the Swift Scirocco as a LR elk bullet. If a close shot is a possibility, that bullet should cover all the bases without packing 2 different loads.