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Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by rwk, Dec 31, 2012.
What would be a good all around cal. for deer and elk size animals.
This should be good, I'll get my biased opinion in before someone goes of the deep end!! I really like my 270 WSM loaded with 165 Matrix bullets and I really like a 338 RUM with a 300gr Berger.
Like stated above this is going to be interesting and I bet my best skunk hide that someone gets their feelers hurt.
As much as I would like to inject that a 204 with a berger 70 grainer is perfect
I rarely shoot deer, so my input is elk only. I will truthfully say that 30 caliber magnums work for me. For long range hunting I like big heavy bullets for ballistic coeficient, and penetrating reasons I personally feel a 308 will work to 500 yards under ideal conditions.
Everyone likes something different. I hate muzzle brakes, except on my 300RUM, which I feel is unshootable with accuracy without the brake.
I have killed elk with 7mm, 270, 264, 25,223, with the exception of the last two all will work, and bigger can be better.
Best of luck
I find myself recommending the good old 7mm Rem Mag to guys who ask me that question. These are not dedicated long range shooters, just guys who hunt deer and would like to go out west and hunt elk a time or two. Recoil is very manageable and trajectory is quite flat while having the capablility to deliver quality bullets like the 160 and 175 gr Partition at decent velocity. Throw in the VLD bullets of 168 and 180 grains and you are talking a very capable long range cartridge for game up to elk size. Just my two cents worth.
I would say 7mm Rem Mag & I don't have one. I have a .264 Win Mag &. 300 H & H . I tell people to buy what Wal-Mart sells for ammo if they don't reload...
You'll get as almost as many opinions as there are people on this forum. Basically I'd say the 7mm is a great choice for the reasons stated above. Now after having said that, there are lots of other good to great choices. Lots of guys want nothing smaller than a .30 caliber. Big animals and a bit of distance. They want to kill it and not miss or lose it. the big 30.s to 33's have the advantage in this dept.
I have a friend that has likely killed in excess of 50 elk and always used a .270 w/ 130 gr partitions. Not a long range load for sure, but he made it work on a lot of elk. Probably never killed one in excess of 350 yards and knows how to shoot his gun. That load wouldn't be any different than a 6.5 w/ a 130-140 grain bullet. Some of those will also reach out. Pick one and learn to shoot it well. A good bullet helps a lot too. Good luck. Bruce
Any of the short/middle magnums in 270, 7mm, or .30cal will serve you well as a double duty rifle. The 7 Rem Mag being the middle ground of the lot. If there were no deer in the picture the big .30s and .338s rock as elk specific rounds. I've shot whitetails with the 300 Ultra,338 Win,300 Win,7 Rem & 270Weatherby. All worked wonderfully,although the big .30s and 338 seemed a little silly. Not necessary for 180lb deer. The 7 RM with a quality 150 or 160gr bullet and the best glass you can swing in the 3X-9X or 4X-16X catagory,may be the finest combo rig yet.
A 300 win mag with a good brake is hard to beat. We killed 19 big game animal with mine this season. Shooters from 13 years old with their first bull to seasoned hunters 73 yrs young. My wife shoots mine and dumped her elk at 585 yards. This was with the Berger 215 Bullet. Animals included antelope as far as 1285 yards, deer, cow and bull elk. All were one shot kills and not one complaint of recoil. Freezers are full. When ever elk are concerned a 30 and up will always be my first choice.
+1 on the 300 win mag.
It does it all pretty well. Mine has killed everything from ground squirrels to elk. Good bullet selection and decent long range performance. Might be a little over gunned for squirrels.
...the one you can shoot best. i used to think a .308 was a baby gun and didnt want to shoot anything bigger than a coyote farther than 300 yards. i recently got a very good one for a good price, and the more i shoot it, the more confidence i have in the little 30 cal. i would be very confident in taking a 500 yard shot at elk with it. 800 at a whitetail. the lack of recoil and cheap shooting makes it fun to shoot a bunch and i think that counts for alot.
i still like the 7mag tho
Ive shot a lot of cals from .223 thru 30.06 and .264 and 300 win mag for hunting diff places over 50 years and I never found a calibre I liked as well as the .270 win. It does everything, and with todays Superformance and Powermax ammo it does everything well. And with aplomb. I still have a 243, 300 win mag, and a 338 win mag, but my 270 gets the all around nod. Good luck finding yours.
The .270 gets my vote, especially if it's for both elk AND deer. The larger calibers are great for elk, but you really don't need a cannon for deer.
Besides, the best caliber is the one you can practice with ALOT and get proficient with and the .270 is a lot easier on the shoulder AND the wallet.
"Dead is dead, bigger doesn't mean deader."
Back in the day, Jun 1964 I was in your shoes. Took home a previously hunted 1953 Mod 70 FW in .270 Win. Being poor people from SC, this was my kill everything in North America including AK gun. Fast foreward 45 years to Oct. 2008, and I had taken Deer-Moose-3 Blacks and a cow ELK but the BULL of a life time got up walked off after a single shot center Right shoulder at 50 yds. 140gr Black Talon dropped him in his tracks-DRT-NOT. Ordered the Tikka T3 SS Lite in 338WM as soon AS I got back to SC. You can't be over GUNNED, but you can be under GUNNED. And, you won't know it till it is toooooooo late.
PS: When I get real old (like Roy) and decreped I will borrow my 3 yr old G.D. (still in the box) 700 youth in .243 WIN, for ELK and all game.
Good luck with your choice.....