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Minimum Elk Rifle?

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Old 08-02-2013, 10:37 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Reno, Nevada
Posts: 950
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?


Im not advocating a smaller Caliber but what I feel best with......... I have always been bothered by recoil, but the more I shoot the better at it I have become.......................Your opinions are always appreciated. I am considering the 300 Win Mag..............with a MB. The only other one I kind of lean towards is the .280 AI. I have turned down a lot of shots in the past because of the Range. Its a Pleasure seeing really nice trophy animals in the wild. For me its the whole experiance. Some of my best hunts I did not harvest an anmial, but saw a lot of nice Bucks. With lots of practice my goal is to become proficiant at 500 yards, Im not there yet.

Its nice hearing back from you.

My next purchase is going to be a pair of Swarovski 12x50 EL's.......................

Then I will be saving for a larger hunting Rifle............

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Old 08-02-2013, 11:17 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 2,516
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

Everyone has different requirements from different experience. I'm not a believer in foot lbs energy, I'm more concerned with how a bullet penetrates and expands at the ranges I'm likely to shoot. I shot my first elk with a .375 H&H. In the coastal swamps I hunted then we hunted in hip boots, at close range, with virtually no blood trails. We killed one bull shin deep below sea level, and by the time we got done field dressing the tide had us knee deep below sea level. One spot was right on a unit boundary, branched antler one unit, spike the other. It was important they stop on the correct side of the river. A few elk got away with smaller calibers in those circumstances due largely in my opinion to underestimating what it takes to break elk bones, or what it takes to penetrate from the back end to the front end. If you're picky about broadside behind the shoulder shots they just don't happen in that situation. Open country the 300 magnums work well for me. If what I had was a .243, I'd go hunting. You've had a couple of threads on this, and you're hesitant for a reason. You also know there will not be agreement on a minimum caliber. Go and have fun. Time and resources available, build you that nice lightweight stalking rifle in a caliber you feel good about shooting.
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Old 08-02-2013, 01:10 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 4,530
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

No one can tell you what a minimum would be, some people can't effectively kill an elk with a RUM at spitting distance while I've seen one guy pile up elk after elk with a 22-250. In normal ranges you can kill elk effectively with any thing you'll kill a deer with IMO, thee only reason I shoot more than my 270 sometimes is because I want range and with that comes big bullets that need displacement behind them, sometimes I like to just blow them out of their hooves too

I was in on 22 elk kills last year, everything from 243 to 338 RUM most of them got piled with a 270 and most at normal ranges under 600 yards. The ONLY elk that was lost were shot with a 340 WBY, the guy shot and lost two and we finally found them a week later and after that we shot the rest of his ammo at a rock, he'll be shooting better bullets next year that have Berger on the box
High Fence, Low Fence, Stuck in the Fence, if I can Tag it and Eat it, it's Hunting!

"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:41 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 2,516
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
sometimes I like to just blow them out of their hooves too

he'll be shooting better bullets next year that have Berger on the box
Amen, to better bullets and taking 'em down hard.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:26 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 7
Re: Minimum Elk Rifle?

I shoot a 270 winchester. that is what i use for elk. Also i hand load gmx solid copper bullets. The trick to small calibers is do not over shoot there range.
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