264 win mag for elk?

Eric Alexander

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Mar 30, 2015
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100
We've taken several elk with my son's 260 rem with 142gr ABLRs, including this past year's 680-yard kill on a nice bull all have been DRT no tracking. Other than a 280rem, I don't even take my old magnums out of the safe for elk, no need to.
I think the 260 Rem/142 ablr combo is about as good a balance as one could ask for. Rerifling older SAKO Forester to that cartridge. How long is your barrel/ what action?
 

Caveman0101

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Mar 3, 2008
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Colorado
I think the 260 Rem/142 ablr combo is about as good a balance as one could ask for. Rerifling older SAKO Forester to that cartridge. How long is your barrel/ what action?
Rem 700, 22" barrel, but it's getting a 24" or 26" soon, my son is growing up and is able to handle a longer rifle now.
 

Subzero

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Oct 9, 2019
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AZ
Elk are super tough. I know a lot of people use 6.5 diameter bullets, but I've ran across a lot of videos where the performance was unacceptable in my opinion. Here is a video I ran across recently. I think he is using a 6.5 gap, not sure what bullets. The "action" starts at 7:15.

 

dogz

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Vids really tough for me to hear, what range was he shooting the bull at? And what round, bullet?
 

257Tony

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Vids really tough for me to hear, what range was he shooting the bull at? And what round, bullet?
From the comments on the video, looks like he was shooting a 6.5 saum, 143 eldx. Couldn't determine range.

Looks like poor bullet performance or poor shot placement, or a combination of the two.
 

Subzero

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Hard to tell bullet placement because of the video quality, but I think I saw at least two good hits.
By the looks of bullet time of flight and the area after the bull was taken, I would guess the shots were in the 200yd to 400yd range.

In response to the OP's original question, my personal feeling is heavy bullet 7mm magnum (pick one) as my minimum for elk.
 

Aoudad shooter1975

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Blanco, Texas
When you move down in caliber--you must be more precise in your shot placement--and be cognizant of your range for the energy requirements to put down the game your hunting. I really love shooting and hunting with a 22-250, and a 22 Creedmoor but when the range gets past 350 yards I really question if I should take the shot. The original question is the 264 win mag suitable for elk...again I think yes. With the right bullet, and good placement inside of 700 yards--sure...when you place your bullet less than perfect, use a subpar bullet or it fails, or stretch your range beyond what is acceptable for the caliber--then no. I do think a 264 is on the light side--but perfectly acceptable. I have a good friend that has taken 3 elk with a 257 Roberts, he feels like it is plenty--but I'm the first to tell you he will not be on this site as he feels a long shot is 150 yards...and he places his shot well. With his requirements a 257 Roberts is a perfectly acceptable elk rifle.
 

GrayCreed

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Colorado
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.
Also remember that bigger cartridges can stabilize longer bigger bullets like the EOL with less twist that smaller cartridges. The 6.5 creedmoor and PRC need the 1/8 twist and if they are cursed with a 22" barrel may need a 1/7.5. However, stability is not the product of twist alone but of twist combined with speed. These factors give you faster or slower rpms (spin) which gives you more stability.

You have to shoot them to find out.

A 308 needs a 1/9 or faster twist barrel to shoot 190-200+ class of bullet (or so I've been told) but my brother's 30-06 shoots 190g with a 1/12 twist just fine.

I suggest that if a 6.5 cm needs a 1/8 twist shooting 156 EOL @2700 that's
162,000 ft/pminute
1,944,000 in/pm
÷8= 243,000 rpm

Now let's say a 264winmag can shoot a 156 EOL @3200....that's:
192,000 ft/pmin
2,304,000 in/pm
... So if the 156 is stable out of the cm @259,200rpm then we can divide 2,304,000(inches per minute) by 243,000rpm to find the minimum twist for the 264 winmag to shoot the 156...

Which is: 9.481" (inches) or basically 1:9.5 twist...

SO 😁😎YOU CAN SHOOT THE BERGER 156 EOL OUT OF A 1:9 TWIST BARREL AS LONG AS ITS A 264 WINCHESTER MAGNUM 😉😁😎
 
Last edited:

Jud96

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Also remember that bigger cartridges can stabilize longer bigger bullets like the EOL with less twist that smaller cartridges. The 6.5 creedmoor and PRC need the 1/8 twist and if they are cursed with a 22" barrel may need a 1/7.5. However, stability is not the product of twist alone but of twist combined with speed. These factors give you faster or slower rpms (spin) which gives you more stability.

You have to shoot them to find out.

A 308 needs a 1/9 or faster twist barrel to shoot 190-200+ class of bullet (or so I've been told) but my brother's 30-06 shoots 190g with a 1/12 twist just fine.

I suggest that if a 6.5 cm needs a 1/8 twist shooting 156 EOL @2700 that's
162,000 ft/pminute
1,944,000 in/pm
÷8= 243,000 rpm

Now let's say a 264winmag can shoot a 156 EOL @3200....that's:
192,000 ft/pmin
2,304,000 in/pm
... So if the 156 is stable out of the cm @259,200rpm then we can divide 2,304,000(inches per minute) by 243,000rpm to find the minimum twist for the 264 winmag to shoot the 156...

Which is: 9.481" (inches) or basically 1:9.5 twist...

SO 😁😎YOU CAN SHOOT THE BERGER 156 EOL OUT OF A 1:9 TWIST BARREL AS LONG AS ITS A 264 WINCHESTER MAGNUM 😉😁😎
The 156 Berger requires a 1-8 twist for full stability, even in a .264 Win Mag. Use Berger’s stability calculator and it will show that a 1-9 twist is marginally stabile. The popular belief that speed can overcome twist rate is thrown around too much and is mostly a myth. In reality 300fps isn’t going to change your twist rate. It takes a significant velocity increase like 2000fps+ in order to have 1” less twist be able to stabilize the 156gr Berger. Same with your 308 vs .30-06 claim. The .30-06 is 50-150fps faster than a 308 with equal barrel length. It’s impossible for a 308 to need a twist rate thats 2-3” faster than a 30-06 just to stabilize the same weight bullets. They’ll require nearly identical twist rates to achieve the same level of stability. I suggest messing around with Berger’s stability calculator to get a better understanding of twist rates and just how little velocity affects whether a bullet is stable in a barrel or not. Twist rate and velocity and their combined affect on a bullet’s RPM is way more of an issue than bullet velocity changing the twist rate required with the same given bullet.
 

FEENIX

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Dec 20, 2008
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15,831
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Great Falls, MT
Also remember that bigger cartridges can stabilize longer bigger bullets like the EOL with less twist that smaller cartridges. The 6.5 creedmoor and PRC need the 1/8 twist and if they are cursed with a 22" barrel may need a 1/7.5. However, stability is not the product of twist alone but of twist combined with speed. These factors give you faster or slower rpms (spin) which gives you more stability.

You have to shoot them to find out.

A 308 needs a 1/9 or faster twist barrel to shoot 190-200+ class of bullet (or so I've been told) but my brother's 30-06 shoots 190g with a 1/12 twist just fine.

I suggest that if a 6.5 cm needs a 1/8 twist shooting 156 EOL @2700 that's
162,000 ft/pminute
1,944,000 in/pm
÷8= 243,000 rpm

Now let's say a 264winmag can shoot a 156 EOL @3200....that's:
192,000 ft/pmin
2,304,000 in/pm
... So if the 156 is stable out of the cm @259,200rpm then we can divide 2,304,000(inches per minute) by 243,000rpm to find the minimum twist for the 264 winmag to shoot the 156...

Which is: 9.481" (inches) or basically 1:9.5 twist...

SO 😁😎YOU CAN SHOOT THE BERGER 156 EOL OUT OF A 1:9 TWIST BARREL AS LONG AS ITS A 264 WINCHESTER MAGNUM 😉😁😎
By your numbers, using Berger's twist rate calculator (>1.5 SG ensures adequate stability):

1:9.5"
SG @ 0' = 1.06
SG @ 5K' = 1.28
SG @ 10K' = 1.55

1:9"
SG @ 0' = 1.19
SG @ 5K' = 1.43
SG @ 10K' = 1.73

1:8" (min twist recommendation for 156)
SG @ 0' = 1.50
SG @ 5K' = 1.80
SG @ 10K' = 2.18

"My" .264 WM has a 5R 1:7" 26"; if I push the 156 at 2700 FPS (instead of 3200 FPS) ...
SG @ 0' = 1.85
SG @ 5K' = 2.23
SG @ 10K' = 2.70
 

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