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Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

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Unread 05-16-2013, 10:13 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

I am planning sometime hopefully in the not too distant future to go with an outfitter on a western wilderness horseback elk hunt and am unsure what gun I should take with me. I know that my 300 RUM and 7 Mag will be my better choices (with the right bullet of course) but they both have heavy contour barrels and could become a problem to lug around in the mountains. The outfitter said that shots over 350 yards would not be completely out of the question but 9o% of shot opportunities would be around 250 yards and closer. Also, he mentioned that some days we might not be hunting too far from the horses and then some days we may be in the mountains hunting all day and leave the horses where they were tied up earlier in the day. I have both the 300 RUM and 7 Mag set up to shoot long (800 yards with the 7 Mag and 1000+ with the 300 RUM) and still may take one of them since with my luck a nice 350" bull will probably appear standing across the canyon at 600 yards. I do have a 308 Win. that shoots the 168 grain Amaxes very well but realize that this would not be the best bullet/caliber for elk hunting. However, this gun would be much easier to tote around in the mountains since it only weighs around 8 pounds with scope. The 7 Mag with scope weighs right at 11 pounds while the 300 RUM weighs a little over 14 pounds. Anyway, is there a .308 bullet that would work well out of the .308 Win out to around 400 yards ( assuming the bullet could retain a minimum of 1500 ft. lbs. of energy and a minimum velocity of 1700 to1800 fps)? I have only hunted whitetails (with the exception of one cow elk I took in KY a few years ago with the 300 RUM) and don't want to go under-gunned. I am currently considering the 168 Barnes TTSX bullet, the 180 gr. Accubond, and the 168 grain Berger. Any and all advice would be much appreciated and I would really like to hear some real world use with the small .308 on elk.
Thanks in advance for your help!
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Unread 05-16-2013, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 9,995
Re: Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

If you're within 500 yards, and it was me shooting, I'd load up some 210 Berger VLD's, with 39.1gr of Varget and Federal 210M primers in Lapua brass, seated up against the lands.

It leaves my muzzle at almost dead-on 2,400 fps, and should be pretty devastating at 250, and should do fine @ 500 if I take a wild guess.

If you didn't want to go that heavy, a 168 Berger VLD backed by 44.0gr of Varget would be another viable solution as a very accurate load that is moving around 2,775 out of the muzzle for me.

This is just simply my opinion, and I have no basis for elk, These are just loads I shoot out of my .308 Win. I know Bergers are some of the best bullets I've put through my rifles. And I would naturally assume that at that close of a range (250-350 yards) that either of those loads should get the job done.
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

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Unread 05-16-2013, 08:39 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 268
Re: Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

A factory Remington 700 XCR in 7mag, 300Win 8.25 pounds scoped with a 3.5-10x40 Leupold?
If you can afford a guided elk hunt can't you also afford a rifle and scope well suited to the job/terrain?

Why not bring a rifle, scope, and bullet that performs comfortably from 0-350+ yards?
Also I would ask him how many 350+ yard shots have been taken and exactly how far those shots were.
My custom built 300Win and 338Edge rifles are capable of much farther than 350 yards with their 2.5-10X Nightforce scopes and they only weigh 8.5 and 8 pounds 10 ounces respectively. They could be made to weigh less if you really felt you needed that (I would not advise that with the 338 Edge).

The 300Win with a 200 Accubond/TSX makes a sensible do most Elk combinations without creating a lot of recoil at 8.5 pounds.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 09:26 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
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Re: Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

i carried my sendero on a rocky mtn sheep hunt. quite a bit heavier than my ti. i had more confidence in it if a 759 yard shot was necessary.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 10:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Idaho
Posts: 366
Re: Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

Hand loading the 180gr accubond in a 308 Win with Reloader-17 in Win cases 210M
getting 2740 fps out of a 22" barrel....You might want to give it a try......
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Unread 05-16-2013, 11:38 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: washington utah
Posts: 230
Re: Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

My wife killed a large six point bull with a 308 and 180 accubond, she shot it at 20 feet in the lungs 3 times each time knocking it down only to get back up again. Finally shot it in the neck to kill it . We have never felt so under gunned. Switched to 180 balistic tips hopeing to do more damage.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 11:40 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
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Re: Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

When and if the new 190ALR ever shows I'd bet that would be a good choice but if course is purely theoretical at this point.

The 200 Sierra game king, 175 LRX would be my top pic if your rifle digests them well. The 200 expands at 1500'sec and at elk altitude you can exceed 1500# of energy past 600 yards. Some will say the 308 is not a 600 yard elk cartridge and I call bull crap. She'll do just fine with the right bullet.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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