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Elk Caliber

 
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  #1  
Old 05-23-2013, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 185
Elk Caliber

I am going to *try* to go on an elk trip in '14 at the earliest...I spoke to a guide in NM who was pushing me away from anything below a 300 mag / SAUM / WSM. Most shots would be 350 to 400 max. Have never hunted elk so only know what I read online, and of course you never know who to trust online.

I had my mind made up on a 280 or 280AI custom rifle and am in the process of ordering one, but this made me rethink that since I am spending a few $k on a gun. I mostly deer hunt so if I do buy an elk gun it would not get used a ton. Elk and maybe one day moose would be the exceptions to my normal game needs, but don't want to get there and wound a trophy, especially if the trip cost a pretty penny. This would be a trophy trip to the Gila so chance of a big 340" or better is a possibility.

Another option is to get 2 guns...the nice thing about guns is that they can last forever if taken good care of, so while I may not use a 300 every year, it would last for a good long while.

Would a 280 or 280ai be ok in your opinion, as long as loaded with a good 175 partition or other quality bullet (don't think I would need a LR bullet for that range).

I know shot placment is key, but also know not every shot ends up where planned and some room for error can be helpful. I also know everyone has a different opinion, and that this guide's opinion is not gospel, though he is very informed.

So, wanted to get thoughts from folks on the above.
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2013, 01:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Central MT
Posts: 731
Re: Elk Caliber

The majority of elk hunters will preach 30 or bigger. Will smaller work, yes. Which one will get you out of trouble more than the other? One shouldn't have to look too far to know the answer. Try not to "second guess" your equipment while hunting. Usually when "things" don't go quite right you start to question your decisions. Too often not a good situatuation. You should go on your hunt with total confidence in your equipment and your shooting abilities....no second guessing. Select with confidence, take that equipment and confirm your skills with practice. A 280AI will work for the ranges your are stating. Are there better options out there in the event you are not solid with the shot. Yes. But in the end you will ultimately have to make the decision and whaterve decision you make, don't second guess yourself and perfect what you have. Watch out Bulls here you come.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2013, 02:29 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: siletz, oregon
Posts: 120
Re: Elk Caliber

I have what you need. Complete turn key system. I killed an elk at 790 with this set up. Very little recoil with muzzle brake. I have a thread under guns for sale under 338 edge with photos.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2013, 03:13 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 185
Re: Elk Caliber

I am a lefty...makes used much more difficult.
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2013, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 616
Re: Elk Caliber

If you are keeping your shots inside of 400 yards, you should be just fine with the 280. Just make sure you are confident in putting the shot where it needs to be at those ranges and you will be good to go.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2013, 06:04 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 20
Re: Elk Caliber

At that range the .280 or AI would be adequate. If going with the 280 I'd feed definitely use a premium bullet. Actually, if prob use a premium bullet either way. The Barnes bullets are great if your gun will throw them. I'm not a fan of partitions at all. I'm sure most have had good luck with them but I've had them separate while shooting whitetail deer. 2 separate wound channels that resulted in very dead deer in all cases but still not what I'd expected for that you're of bullet. Were it me, I'd be leaving towards right the Barnes, Nosler Accubond, or the Hornady Interbond. Really like the Interbonds personally.I've had full penetration on whitetail at 300 yards and that was along from the rear flank clear through the off side shoulder. If it had entered the ham it would have no doubt traveled the entire length of the animals body. That was a 130 grain fired from a .270 Winchester. Not sure if this helps any. My personal vote would be for the .300 WM though.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2013, 08:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sweet Home OR
Posts: 186
Re: Elk Caliber

Confidence in your equipment makes for good shot placement. Shot placement is key. I have shot many elk. Most with my 7rem mag. One was well past 300 closer to 350. I shot that one with a 243 and an 80gr bullet. I have watched them get shot with 243 all the way to 300 rum and if the shot is true they all expired quickly. But an off shot even with a rum wont end well. A 280 is adequate for the range you are expecting to shoot. But there really is no such thing as overkill because there is no such thing as overdead.
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