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Elk Caliber

 
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2013, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 787
Re: Elk Caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Oregonian View Post
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.
It's hard to answer when your asking quide what to use and your not agreeing with his choices. I own 280AI and it's one of my elk rifles same as 30-338mag is and I use 160AB in the 280AI over 3000fps. My 280AI was a factory Rem 280 that rifle was never on a elk hunt with me.

I do get pretty set in my ways on what I take on a bull hunt and I can only tell you what I use. I will tell you this much, I've taken more bulls with mag rifles and very few with non mag rifles and my biggest bull was with custom 300mag that now resides with nephew and he's had great luck with that rifle.

I would get a 300mag and be done with it.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2013, 12:45 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Caldwell, ID
Posts: 129
Re: Elk Caliber

My dad has used 300 H&H, 300 WM, and .270. Over the years he has no desire to go bigger than the .270. I shot my first elk when I was 11. Used a 7RM. Used that gun on 19 elk hunts and killed 13 elk. Most were past 350 yrds. My dad has killed at least 2 past 500 with his 270 and one past 600. He shoots 150gr nozler bt. I have shot sierra 160gr hpbt game kings since '98 and they drop elk on the spot.
If someone handed me a 280AI, I would hunt elk with it. Infact my gunsmith only hunts elk with one. My brother killed 2 cows with a .243 in 2 years using a 100gr bullet at 250 and 275 yards. Both one shot kills. My point is.....being 99.9% confident in bullet placement is more important than 99.9% confident the gun is big enough.
Good luck on your hunt. If you get the second bigger gun it will be just one more thing to put a smile on your face!
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2013, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 185
Re: Elk Caliber

Very good advice. I think I am going to get a 280 to have as my primary gun for my primary game....anything smaller than elk. I also plan to get a 300 mag for elk. Wild hate to spend a bunch of $$ for that trip or a moose trip one day and hit it, track it, and lose it.

The normal answer when asking which gun to get - both!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMERSS View Post
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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  #11  
Old 05-25-2013, 12:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 817
Re: Elk Caliber

I hunted a few years ago in Nevada and the outfitter told me that a lot of shots will be over 300. When asked what Caliber he would recomend he told me to just bring your deer rifle..................over the 25 years he has guided the worst mistake hunters make is buying a big Magnum and showing up with a new Rifle. When I arrived at his ranch there was a guy leaving with a really nice 6x6....................300 yard one shot with his 25-06 His wife shot her bull with a 30-06 at 400 her bull scored 369 she did hit it twice .............but the guide told me that that year a hunter showed up with a new 338 Win Mag......... Hit his bull three times bad bullet placement still had to do a lot of tracking. The moral of this story is what ever you buy make sure your a great shot or buying a heavy magnum will be a waist of your time............................
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:15 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: washington state
Posts: 125
Re: Elk Caliber

If you were "only" an elk hunter as I am I would say go with the 300. BUT it sounds like you may spend more time hunting slightly smaller game. The AI will do what you need with a good quality 160 Nosler Partition. I have seen over 100 elk and deer killed with the PT, and never a failure. Keep the distance reasonable and place the bullet well !
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  #13  
Old 06-01-2013, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: PA
Posts: 60
Re: Elk Caliber

My vote is for the 280 ai if it's going to have 24" of bbl or more. Your spending the money for the build, so use it.
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  #14  
Old 06-01-2013, 10:05 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Elkhorn Idaho
Posts: 334
Re: Elk Caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by upacreek View Post
My dad has used 300 H&H, 300 WM, and .270. Over the years he has no desire to go bigger than the .270. I shot my first elk when I was 11. Used a 7RM. Used that gun on 19 elk hunts and killed 13 elk. Most were past 350 yrds. My dad has killed at least 2 past 500 with his 270 and one past 600. He shoots 150gr nozler bt. I have shot sierra 160gr hpbt game kings since '98 and they drop elk on the spot.
If someone handed me a 280AI, I would hunt elk with it. Infact my gunsmith only hunts elk with one. My brother killed 2 cows with a .243 in 2 years using a 100gr bullet at 250 and 275 yards. Both one shot kills. My point is.....being 99.9% confident in bullet placement is more important than 99.9% confident the gun is big enough.
Good luck on your hunt. If you get the second bigger gun it will be just one more thing to put a smile on your face!
This is 100 percent truth,,dont get me wrong I love big mags using a 338-378 Weatherby my self. But my Little girl when she was 12 yrs old and 90lbs dripping wet shot her first bull with a 220 swift and Barnes bullet. I was there with a Weatherby to back her up. The swift dropped it like a rock at 250 yds. Great shot placement is far better than caliber choice. Anyone that argues that is simply a internet troll. Facts are facts..
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