Long Range Elk Rifle

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Greywolf18, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking into building an elk rifle for reaching out and touching them 600-800 yd. Several ppl that I have talked to said to get a 338 to make sure they go down and not run as far. However, one guy I know says the 7 mag is all you need. I was looking into the new 7mm WSM, or just a regular 7 mag. Or maybe a 280, 338, 300win mag/wsm. Just curious what everyones thoughts are.

    I will be putting on a 26-28" heavy barrel ( I really don't care about the weight). Putting it on an old winchester 30-06 action. I've asked before about making a target rifle, but think I'm going to make it a designated elk/big game hunting rifle. I will prolly put a break on it so recoil isnt an issue either.

    I know this will get a whole bunch of diff responses, just wondering pro/con's of the diff caliber so I can choose what is right for me. Thanks for the help!gun)
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    With the proper bullets ( 160grs+ )all of the rifles you listed will do the job at 6 to 800 yrds.

    But Elk are very big and I would recomend the 300 win mag,300 Weatherby or the 300 RUM
    with 200+gr bullets.

    If you will/can shoot over 800 yrds then I would recomend any 338 out to about 1200yrds.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Go with the 338 RUM/Lapua/Edge/Allen EX/Allen Mag. Shoot the 300 SMK.
     
  4. rooster740

    rooster740 Well-Known Member

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    I am by no means an expert on elk killing rifles, but as a guide who has seen a ton of elk killed, and an owner of many different rifle calibers. I will offer this opinion. I started to think I needed a super cannon. I'll inject that I love my 308win and this past fall shot completely through the chest of a cow elk at 550 yards, with a 168gr. Barnes. Back on subject, super to me is a 300 Ultra with 200gr accubond. It shoots pretty bug holes, super fast and super loud. My story goes like this. This past fall while hunting we spotted these bulls, and were trying to get within 600 yard because of a strong wind. The issue that slapped me in the face, is that a different bull presented himself in the timber, and this cumbersome cannon was not condusive to off-hand shooting. The bottom line is I can kill every rock in the country with my cannon. For elk hunting out to 600 yards I will choose the rifle and caliber that I can shoot effectively in every situation.
    I am a computer moron and this is the only way that I can show off pictures. Below is the web address to some pictures of elk that some clients have killed with me. Many of the hunters were young first time hunters with non magnum calibers.
    MySpace.com - hANK huntin' with Hank
     
  5. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    rooster740

    Point well made!

    I guess why I never bring an elk home is that I pass on the short shots for the long ones that so far haven't presented themselves.

    I too can break those rocks in to small pieces but the dern things can't be chewed no matter how long ya boil 'em.:)

    PM me on what the deal is to get to ride one of those critters on a hunt. Especially that pinto that ya can shoot off of ..........once:cool:
     
  6. Sharpstick

    Sharpstick Active Member

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    Lots of correct answers to your question. I like the 7mm Rem Mag with a 180 VLD.

    At 600 yards, it's going faster, has more energy, and drifts less in the wind than a 300 Ultramag shooting a conventional design 180gr.. That, combined with less recoil and seeing a bunch of elk go down quick with 500+ yard shots, makes it tops in my book.
     
  7. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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  8. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    I was originally leaning towards a 7mm Mag shooting a 180 bullet. However, I remember talking to someone who's gone several times saying that guides love it when guys bring out the 338 cannons because they won't run and just kills them in their tracks. However, I know lots of people swear by the 7mm so I'm just trying to get as many opinions befor I do this. I did see the poll on the website, and thats what got me thinking a 7wsm. I was thinking of a 300 RUM, but my dad has a 300 SAUM which he says in a couple of years will be mine so I don't want to do a 300 RUM, or 300 WSM. Does anyone know if their is that much of a difference between the 7mm rem mag and a 7mm wsm? I understand the ballistic tables are close, but I'm looking for real world/shooting opinions. Also, I read one article saying the 7wsm will only last about 1000 rds in the barrel, anyone know if this is true?
     
  9. 338 LEGEND

    338 LEGEND Well-Known Member

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    There is NO magic killing round only powder capacity and bullet size. that being said if you want to drop somthing big shoot somthing big. get somthing that will handle a min of 90 grains of powder and 200 grains of bullet. Can you kill with less? ( yes ) should you try to at 800 plus yards? I would not want to track one up and down a mountian range. The 300 saum is great but it is no 300 ultra. Get a 300 ultra mag or a 338 ultra mag and never look back. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  10. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    +1

    Don't mistake a 300 RSAUM for a RUM two different creatures. A RUM pushing a 200 NAB at 3250 FPS with a well placed shot kills with extreme prejudice!! Since you are building for elk I would go with a big 30 or mid .33 like a RUM or Edge. All of the cals you mentioned will work buut if it's for elk why not hit em hard? just my .02

    PS I shot a whitetail buck the last day of this season @ 515 yards standing at the edge of the woods at last light with a 6br. I agonized over the shot for several minutes kicking myself for not bringing the 300 wsm. My point being if I paid for an elk hunt and wound up in a similar position I would want to hit it Hard. Not saying a 7 WSM or other cartridge might not drop it in its tracks but in my opinion they dont hit like a big 30 or a 300 grain smk.
     
  11. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    What he said...
     
  12. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Just about the only 7mm that I'd feel very comfortalbe shooting elk at 600-800 yds would be the 7mm Allen Magnum spitting the 200g Wildcat Al RBBT at 3300fps+.

    My brother shot a cow at 428 this year with 300WSM. Two good hits in the kill zone with 3050fps 180g Accubonds. Neither exited. Dead elk, but just an indication that you are starting to run out of ooommphh a bit and shot placement become more and more important. Not that it ever isn't important, there's just less room for error.

    Given the choice: big animal...big gun. The SAUM is no UM. Your best bet for off the shelf, cheap, knock-em-dead elk killer is probably the 338 UM. It packs a heckuva wallop with a 225 or better yet, the 250 Accubond. The 338 Edge would be better, then you're into the 338 Lapua Imps and then the 338 cal 408 Chey-Tac based cases. I'm in the process of gathering components to have Kirby build me a 338AX (Lapua Imp) for a long range elk killer. Hard to beat elk stopping power for a packable mountain rifle.
     
  13. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Sharp,

    You may want to run you numbers because a 7mm Rem Mag will not match a 300UM. According to Exbal, a 180 VLD at even 2800fps (.659bc) will still not match the speed and energy and is only 1/4 MOA wind drift less at sea level compared to a 300RUM using a 180 Accubond @ 3300fps (right on the can of Retumbo) and the Accubond is a dog balistically to the VLD. That's comparing apples and oranges. At least use a VLD for the 300RUM to get a valid comparison. Do so and the 300RUM will completely eclipse the 7 Rem Mag. It's a simple matter of horsepower/cubic inches here--the Rem Mag cannot match the RUM. Use a 210 VLD (.625) or the 240 SMK (.711--I push the 240 to 3K with 104g of US869) and then do your comparisons.
     
  14. 338 LEGEND

    338 LEGEND Well-Known Member

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    Amen jmden
    GREAT post
    The 240 out of the 300 ultra is hard to beat.