Some of my hunting buddies and I are planning a Colorado elk hunt later this year and I will be taking my 300 Win Mag. I almost always take a backup rifle even on deer hunts but the only other rifles I own are a Rem 700 25-06 and a Marlin 30-30. I know that bullet selection will be important, but I wanted to get your thoughts on which would be the better backup for elk.
Myself and the two buddies that I have hunted with for many years only take one rifle between us for a backup that we are all familiar with. In 40+ years of hunting I had to use the backup one time as my horse went down and broke the stock on my rifle. The odds of having to go to your backup in my experience is slim and none.
Between the two you mention I would choose the 25-06 unless your hunting partners have a better choice.
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If your buddies are taking one two then I say take the 30-30. If the season is hot and dry or there's been too much hunting pressure elk can hold up real tight in the trees and a open sighted 30-30 while stalking in the trees can sure give you an advantage when the shot has to be quick. Not talking about a slop shot but a quick aimed shot if one stands up in front of you. Also while stalking in the trees with a scoped rifle turn it down to it's lower power. Remember that always. It can make or break your hunt in mere seconds. Good luck to you.
Thanks for your input. At least one in our party is bringing a .270 and another a .308 so, we will probably have several to choose from. I use 110 grain Nosler AB's for deer and they have performed well and will bring them for the backup. My 30-30 has never been real accurate even with 160 gr Hornady Leverevolutions...but it is a fun gun to carry. Again, thanks for your responses.
I think I might go with the .30 30 Win and Nosler's 170gr Round Nose Partition... specially if your going to be in thick wooded areas; where “bull Elk” here like to hide near the Cow’s. All in all I think the .30 30 lever rifle as a back up might serve you a little well... I’ve killed a couple of “large” Idaho deer with that bullet, caliber and rifle combo, with in it’s range I’m sure it would have no trouble killing an Elk; with a well spaced shot. Yes I know there might be shot's out there, out of range of the .30 30 Win... I guess you'd know better than me the area your hunting and what might happen.