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30.06 plenty gun for elk?

 
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  #1  
Old 12-31-2013, 11:30 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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30.06 plenty gun for elk?

Hi guys,
I know this may have already been beat to death but having killed an elk just a few days ago, I wanted to bring this up. This is my first time posting and while I am not brand new to long range shooting, I am new to long range hunting.

So, I killed a young cow with a 30.06. The cartridge load was: Nslr comp 168 gr pushed by 59.0gr of Rl 19. The range was about 40 yards. It was a good hit with the bullet punching through the left side of the ribs and stopping at the back of the hide on the right side. (So didn't go through and through).

So, I guess what I am afraid of is that at longer range the bullet might not penetrate if it didn't go through the other side of the hide. Also, this bullet was basically a FMJ, so what would've happened if it was a controlled expansion hunting bullet? So how far would a 30.06 may be effective on elk(cow/ bull)? I am thinking about coming up with a new load with Berger VLDs and IMR 4350 but I am wondering if I need a new elk gun! Has anyone shot an elk with a 30.06 past 500 yards? If so, what was your experience?
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2013, 12:05 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
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Re: 30.06 plenty gun for elk?

You would be much better off using a true hunting bullet than the bullet you currently have chosen. With a 30-06 I would probably recommend the Accubond or Accubond Long Range. Truthfully the ABLR would be a great fit for the 30-06 because of the slower muzzle velocity. Bergers could work, but seeing as you want to use a heavy-for-caliber bullet with them, it might not be the best choice, expecially if you might encounter those 40 yard shots. Choose a heavier bullet in the 180-200 grain range and go from there.

As far as the effective range, you can definitely shoot the 30-06 effectively on elk out past 500 yards. There are a lot of guidelines you can follow to determine exactly how far based on energy remaining or velocity, but that is up to you. I am sure some of the big 30-06 users will jump in shortly (I have one, but don't use it a bunch), but figured I would throw in my two cents.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Indiana, USA
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Re: 30.06 plenty gun for elk?

I have not shot one past 500 yards, but have dumped an average 5x5 bull at 426 yards using a 180 grain Federal Premium Nosler Partition from an '06. My personal opinion is that an '06 is adequate, with premium bullets and proper shot placement to probably 600 yards. Energy at 500 should be in the 1400 pound range, maybe down to 1300 at 600. Your mileage may vary. I do not believe it would have adequate energy beyond 600 for elk, but could be proven wrong.

Dirty Steve
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:12 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Re: 30.06 plenty gun for elk?

Cohunter, I am in Arizona where most of the shots are not in the double digits. I just got lucky and someone shot at those elk and they stampeded towards me. But I see what you are saying. Accubond Long Range? Hmm... Will have to look into them for sure! Didn't they just come out? How easy is it to find them?
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2013, 01:35 PM
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Location: Spokane, WA
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Re: 30.06 plenty gun for elk?

Everybody will have their opinion, I think you need more bullet not more gun. Although the 300 magnums are great I still prefer more bullet.

Expanding bullets penetrate less than non expanding bullets. I like the Accubonds a great deal but the advice to use a bullet weight less because they stay together is wrong. That large frontal area will penetrate less.

The .308 200 Accubond works very well in the 30-06. 2600 fps is doable. Nosler recommends an 1800 fps minimum terminal velocity. This bullet has a claimed BC of .588, even if this is a little optimistic you've got a 600 yard system.

The Long Range Accubonds claim 1300 fps expansion thresh hold so they will likely produce a larger frontal area sooner and grain for grain penetrate less. The 190 has a stated BC of .661 the 210 .730

Nobody has a lot of experience with these yet, and Noslers claims may be optimistic. We have until next season to figure it out a little better.

I'm always up for more gun, but my advice with the 300 magnums is the same as for the 30-06 good 30 caliber bullets star at 200 and go up.

There are other guys liking Bergers etc. I just have no first hand experience. Credible folks here have posted a lot of good threads, with pictures etc,. Look them up and scroll through pretty impressive,
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:55 PM
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Re: 30.06 plenty gun for elk?

I agree with Carl. Bullet weight is your friend. and pretty much never works against you. I cant tell you how many people think the magical 3000fps mark is where they need to be but in reality its just a number. when it comes to putting hair on the ground diameter and weight (high sectional density is key) are king.

That being said I shoot a LOT of barnes bullets and the whole Barnes philosophy flys in the face of everything I just said. they say (in the 30 cal for instance) that you can go lighter and get your velocity up and still have your penetration because of the nearly 100% weight retention... I still prefer the heavier Barnes but I have come to be fond of the 180 gr 308's and the 225gr 338's I have seen a lot of elk killed with both at some impressive ranges considering the relatively low BC and they always expand well and penetrate the entire animal. (shoulder to shoulder typically) if you are going with cup and core bullets I say 200+ is a great choice. barnes you can get away with a little less.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2013, 02:29 PM
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Re: 30.06 plenty gun for elk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HARPERC View Post
I'm always up for more gun, but my advice with the 300 magnums is the same as for the 30-06 good 30 caliber bullets star at 200 and go up.
I completely agree with this. The only reason I mentioned 180-200 grain bullets for the '06 is that in the limited research I have done, it seems like once you get above the 200 grain bullet in a 30-06, it is somewhat of diminishing returns. The area where the heavier bullet surpasses the lighter bullet is out past where you could kill an elk. At least that has been what I have found. This is one of the only calibers that I reload for where I have noticed this. Once you get to the 300 mags, heavier is definitely better.
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