Best .308 Win Bullet for Elk

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by rangerman, May 16, 2013.

  1. rangerman

    rangerman Well-Known Member

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    I am planning sometime hopefully in the not too distant future to go with an outfitter on a western wilderness horseback elk hunt and am unsure what gun I should take with me. I know that my 300 RUM and 7 Mag will be my better choices (with the right bullet of course) but they both have heavy contour barrels and could become a problem to lug around in the mountains. The outfitter said that shots over 350 yards would not be completely out of the question but 9o% of shot opportunities would be around 250 yards and closer. Also, he mentioned that some days we might not be hunting too far from the horses and then some days we may be in the mountains hunting all day and leave the horses where they were tied up earlier in the day. I have both the 300 RUM and 7 Mag set up to shoot long (800 yards with the 7 Mag and 1000+ with the 300 RUM) and still may take one of them since with my luck a nice 350" bull will probably appear standing across the canyon at 600 yards. I do have a 308 Win. that shoots the 168 grain Amaxes very well but realize that this would not be the best bullet/caliber for elk hunting. However, this gun would be much easier to tote around in the mountains since it only weighs around 8 pounds with scope. The 7 Mag with scope weighs right at 11 pounds while the 300 RUM weighs a little over 14 pounds. Anyway, is there a .308 bullet that would work well out of the .308 Win out to around 400 yards ( assuming the bullet could retain a minimum of 1500 ft. lbs. of energy and a minimum velocity of 1700 to1800 fps)? I have only hunted whitetails (with the exception of one cow elk I took in KY a few years ago with the 300 RUM) and don't want to go under-gunned. I am currently considering the 168 Barnes TTSX bullet, the 180 gr. Accubond, and the 168 grain Berger. Any and all advice would be much appreciated and I would really like to hear some real world use with the small .308 on elk.
    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    If you're within 500 yards, and it was me shooting, I'd load up some 210 Berger VLD's, with 39.1gr of Varget and Federal 210M primers in Lapua brass, seated up against the lands.

    It leaves my muzzle at almost dead-on 2,400 fps, and should be pretty devastating at 250, and should do fine @ 500 if I take a wild guess.

    If you didn't want to go that heavy, a 168 Berger VLD backed by 44.0gr of Varget would be another viable solution as a very accurate load that is moving around 2,775 out of the muzzle for me.


    This is just simply my opinion, and I have no basis for elk, These are just loads I shoot out of my .308 Win. I know Bergers are some of the best bullets I've put through my rifles. And I would naturally assume that at that close of a range (250-350 yards) that either of those loads should get the job done.
     

  3. X-man

    X-man Well-Known Member

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    A factory Remington 700 XCR in 7mag, 300Win 8.25 pounds scoped with a 3.5-10x40 Leupold?
    If you can afford a guided elk hunt can't you also afford a rifle and scope well suited to the job/terrain?

    Why not bring a rifle, scope, and bullet that performs comfortably from 0-350+ yards?
    Also I would ask him how many 350+ yard shots have been taken and exactly how far those shots were.
    My custom built 300Win and 338Edge rifles are capable of much farther than 350 yards with their 2.5-10X Nightforce scopes and they only weigh 8.5 and 8 pounds 10 ounces respectively. They could be made to weigh less if you really felt you needed that (I would not advise that with the 338 Edge).

    The 300Win with a 200 Accubond/TSX makes a sensible do most Elk combinations without creating a lot of recoil at 8.5 pounds.
     
  4. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i carried my sendero on a rocky mtn sheep hunt. quite a bit heavier than my ti. i had more confidence in it if a 759 yard shot was necessary.
     
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Banned

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    Hand loading the 180gr accubond in a 308 Win with Reloader-17 in Win cases 210M
    getting 2740 fps out of a 22" barrel....You might want to give it a try......
     
  6. 338 bruce

    338 bruce Well-Known Member

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    My wife killed a large six point bull with a 308 and 180 accubond, she shot it at 20 feet in the lungs 3 times each time knocking it down only to get back up again. Finally shot it in the neck to kill it . We have never felt so under gunned. Switched to 180 balistic tips hopeing to do more damage.
     
  7. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    When and if the new 190ALR ever shows I'd bet that would be a good choice but if course is purely theoretical at this point.

    The 200 Sierra game king, 175 LRX would be my top pic if your rifle digests them well. The 200 expands at 1500'sec and at elk altitude you can exceed 1500# of energy past 600 yards. Some will say the 308 is not a 600 yard elk cartridge and I call bull crap. She'll do just fine with the right bullet.
     
  8. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    Rangerman, I agree with X-Man you need more information from the outfitter. I like the more open terrain for elk so my shots tend to be longer and never hunted elk with 308 and not something I would consider using anyway.

    If outfitter tell you 308 be fine then that's the one to use he's the one your paying.
     
  9. rangerman

    rangerman Well-Known Member

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    Since this will probably be a once in a lifetime hut for me that I have been saving for for over 2 years and the fact that I am almost 55 years old I think I will just take two guns and be done with it. My 300 RUM is a Remington Sendero with a custom Douglas 28" barrel and brake, Nightforce 5.5x22x56 scope, Jewell trigger, etc. that shoots the 215 Berger at a legitimate 0.5 MOA at 1000 yards. I have taken several nice whitetail bucks with this gun out to 825 yards and feel very confident that it would serve me very well for long shots on elk.
    The .308 Win. is also a Remington 700 ADL with a Nikon 3x9x40 with the BDC reticle that I only recently have acquired. I have never had the opportunity to take any game with it but have worked up handloads with the 168 gr. amaxes that have shot very well out to around 500 yards.
    Anyone else out there who has taken elk with the .308 Win??

    Please keep the replys coming and I very much appreciate all of you who have shared your suggestions and hunting experiences!
     
  10. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Hay Mike

    What do you do to get the Barns to shoot? Same as berger seating depth?
     
  11. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    Mike - my last two bulls were taken at 11 and 26 yards with a 30-06 here in AZ . that short of a shot is hardly a test . it blew them right over . . going to another state- i would take my sendero. roninflag.
     
  12. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    I am jealous of your Sendero! That's also the scope I want for my next build, with the MOAR reticle. Glad to see another fan of Douglas barrels on here. For some reason, they don't seem to be as popular on here as I would have expected. I've always had excellent results with Douglas.

    I have a Sendero SF 7mmSTW, and love that rifle. It will be with me till the day I die. It's my favorite rifle. Out of the box it has consistantly shot 1 ragged hole groups since day 1, and the only thing I've ever done to it was a trigger job with the factory trigger (40-X style trigger, not those new crappy X-mark triggers).

    Post up a pic of those rigs so we can see what we're dealing with! Everybody needs a little gun-porn in the morning. :D
     
  13. Rbreb13

    Rbreb13 Member

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    When I lived in Colorado. My Elk bullets of choice were Nosler Partition.
    7mm Rem Mag I used 160 grain.
    300 Win Mag I used either 165 or 180 grain, depending on the range. Usually 180's though.
     
  14. albertakid

    albertakid Well-Known Member

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    I have shot several elk with a 308 and 168 grain smk or amax and never had any issues put it where it counts and your good to go no caliber is gonna make a bad shot a good one. Know your limits and shoot accordinly and you ought to have no issues.

    Have seen more elk cover country after being shot with fast magnums than I have anything else due to the bullet just penciling through never had that problem with my 308.

    That being said I prefer my 338 lapua if the shots are gonna be extended :D