264 win mag for elk?

Jud96

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I’m not an elk hunter, but I have followed this page for years and have seen a lot of people on here and other places harvest elk. If your .264 has a 1-8 twist or faster, load the Berger 156gr EOL bullets. Those will put you in 7mm magnum territory and give your .264 some the best ballistics it’s capable of.
 

codyadams

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I have the 156's loaded up to 3220 and change with a max charge, a practical load is 3175-3200, out of a 26" barrel, saami chamber, using Retumbo and ADG 7 mag brass. With a .355 bc, it retains that energy way out there as well. However, where I hunt elk with this gun ranges are rarely under 300 yards, and this is also a 12 lb rifle. If I wanted a load that would be good for close in out to 600 or maybe a little more, I would look at the heaviest hammer bullet that your twist will stabilize. But with this 156 load at elk hunting elevation here in Wyoming, it retains 1500 ft-lbs out to 1175+ yards, and the elk we have taken in the lase several years have ranged from the closest at 500 yds, to the farthest at 910 yds. For that, the Bergers are perfect. When we are going through timber and ranges will likely be closer, I grab a lighter rifle with a heavier constructed bullet. My preference is a 20" barreled .308 win with 165 grain pills.
 

Plinker147

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Yes without a problem. Any of the good 140 gr and up bullets will do just fine. ABLR, AB, BERGER, EDLX all will work. ABLR is my preference
 

gbett308

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I have the 156's loaded up to 3220 and change with a max charge, a practical load is 3175-3200, out of a 26" barrel, saami chamber, using Retumbo and ADG 7 mag brass. With a .355 bc, it retains that energy way out there as well. However, where I hunt elk with this gun ranges are rarely under 300 yards, and this is also a 12 lb rifle. If I wanted a load that would be good for close in out to 600 or maybe a little more, I would look at the heaviest hammer bullet that your twist will stabilize. But with this 156 load at elk hunting elevation here in Wyoming, it retains 1500 ft-lbs out to 1175+ yards, and the elk we have taken in the lase several years have ranged from the closest at 500 yds, to the farthest at 910 yds. For that, the Bergers are perfect. When we are going through timber and ranges will likely be closer, I grab a lighter rifle with a heavier constructed bullet. My preference is a 20" barreled .308 win with 165 grain pills.
Just curious, are you loading the 156's anywhere near or over the max load? I am getting a 264 with 1:9 twist barrel and plan to reload for it.
 

lancetkenyon

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Just curious, are you loading the 156's anywhere near or over the max load? I am getting a 264 with 1:9 twist barrel and plan to reload for it.
I would not even consider the 156 Berger with a 1:9" twist. Berger states "1:8" minimum", minimum being key. There is a difference between "minimum" and "optimal". I run a 1:7.5" for the 156 in two rifles, and they are accurate as heck a LONG ways out there.

With a 1:9", I would be loading a 130-135 at blistering speeds. But, I would also not shoot this combo for elk. Deer and pronghorn slayer though.

Just my opinion.
 

gbett308

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I would not even consider the 156 Berger with a 1:9" twist. Berger states "1:8" minimum", minimum being key. There is a difference between "minimum" and "optimal". I run a 1:7.5" for the 156 in two rifles, and they are accurate as heck a LONG ways out there.

With a 1:9", I would be loading a 130-135 at blistering speeds. But, I would also not shoot this combo for elk. Deer and pronghorn slayer though.

Just my opinion.

All good advice, so 140-156 grain bullets will be inaccurate out of a 1:9 twist barrel? No chance of tuning those?

Seems like a lot of wasted cartridge space in the 264 win mag with max load of 57.0 for a 140 grain bullet and 79.0 grains of space overall. Have you worked up to loading above max loads? How does this affect the rifle?

Thanks.
 

codyadams

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Just curious, are you loading the 156's anywhere near or over the max load? I am getting a 264 with 1:9 twist barrel and plan to reload for it.
My data isn't pressure tested of course, but I always work up until I see sure pressure signs, and my loads I run are always below that by a fair margin, I work up to max so I know where it is, so I know how much room I have. Once I find max, I stay away from it. I never load at or above max, and strongly advise not to do so. As far as a book listed load, I don'tbelieve there is a book load at this time for the 156 in a .264 wm. In this gun, with this specific set of components, max, or first sign of any pressure signs, comes in around 3225 with the 156. I will keep the load I run in this at 3200 or less for saftey reasons, which gives roughly .5.6 grain or room from initial pressure signs. Once final develooement is finished the load may even end up at 3100 fps, depending on how accuracy plays out.

Also, as Lance stated, the 156 would be a poor choice in a 9 twist. It is being shot out of a 7.5 twist in this .264wm. While you may be able to attain accuracy in a 9 twist, if you fully understand how bc, twist rate, and terminal performance intermix, you will see it simply isn't a good option. The lack of twist will lead to a bullet somewhat unstable, which will drop the effective bc of the bullet, taking away much of the reason for using a heavier bullet in the first place, as well as cause negative effects on the terminal performance of the bullet.

The .264 was designed originally as a "light and fast" hunting cartridge, with the industry standard load being a 100 grain bullet around 3600? fps, and was the main advertising point when the cartridge was introduced, if memory serves me right. It made a fantastic max point blank range pronghorn and deer cartridge. That is why SAAMI standards have the .264 wm with a 9 twist, it was designed to run 100-130 grain pills. But it's popularity faded out for preference of the 7 mag, due to a wider selection of bullets and having a longer barrel life. The .264 wm is coming back around because of the popularity of long range, and high bc 6.5 bullets available. It fills a nice void between the 6.5x284 and the 26 nosler. The vast majority of people building them are putting 7-8 twists on them to run these bullets however, and factory rifles such as the sendero, unfortunately often still come with the conventional 9 twist. That is the biggest hindrance of the commercial .264wm these days.
 

Jud96

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Yeah I agree with the others, if it’s not at least a 1-8, I wouldn’t bother with the 156s. The 130gr AR Hyrbid or the 135gr Berger Classic Hunters would be great. Both of those are fully stable in a 1-9 at sea level. Personally I wouldn’t use either on anything bigger than a mule deer, just not enough bullet mass to push through on bigger game in my opinion
 

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