308 ammo for elk (barrel length)

kolob10

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.308 with 168 gr. Nosler Accubond or Hornady ELD out to 300 yards. Beyond that I would opt for 300 WSM or 300 WM with 200 gr projectiles. My longest .308 shot was 210 yards on a cow. My bull hunting brings out the 300 WM. Good hunting.
 

grnorthcutt

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I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I wouldn’t suggest it. After running some quick numbers for both 150 and 165gr ABs, you would be falling below the minimum 1,800fps at 400 yards. Elk are a strong animal and can go a long ways with a pin hole through the lungs. I like your idea about a 300 wsm a little better. I’ve seen what 165s do to elk out of a wsm at 525 yards and it’s impressive. But that was out of a 24” barrel.

If you don’t mind me asking, why are you set on such a short barrel?
Thank you! I mainly want a shorter barrel due to having a suppressor that adds length. A 22 inch 300 wsm would probably be my alternative.
 

JMW67

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Thank you! I mainly want a shorter barrel due to having a suppressor that adds length. A 22 inch 300 wsm would probably be my alternative.
Just a question why are you wanting to hunt suppressed not trying to be an as- just asking
 

FEENIX

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Thank you! I mainly want a shorter barrel due to having a suppressor that adds length. A 22 inch 300 wsm would probably be my alternative.
As I noted in #6, the .300 WSM would be a better choice. FYSA, the shortest barrel that accepts my suppressor is 22" (6.5 CM) and the longest is 30" (.270 AI). My .300 WSM has 24" barrel.
 

Dean2

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I don’t doubt that you have been successful with a standard size 308, again not my first choice, but it can be done. But how many have you shot at 500 yards with a 16” barrel? A majority of factory ammo would drop below 1800 fps past 400 yards and some even shorter than that. Being that you are a “guide,” I would expect you to be more ethical than to shoot an elk at 500 yards with the stated weapon of choice. The math just doesn’t add up.
To be clear, I have never shot or seen anything shot with a 16" barreled CF rifle. Min Legal length in Canada is 18"

Second thing, I guess all of the animals I shot with Black Powder rifles are going to be terribly distressed to know they should not be dead. Not a single one of my BP guns hits 1800 fps at the muzzle, let alone at 100 or 200 yards. My BP 45-70 has a MV of 1200 FPS and is lucky if it is doing 800 FPS at 100 yards. Despite that, millions of Bison died getting shot with a gun that is way too slow and where the math doesn't work.

I have held a guide license every year for over 30 years, and I will have one again this year. Don't question my ethics as a way to justify talking through your hat. I am fine with debating and different points of view, but calling me unethical would not go well face to face nor is it acceptable on a forum.
 

Canhunter35

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Hey guys, I'm looking at getting a Sig Cross in a 308. The Cross is a 16inch barrel and I will have it suppressed. With the shorter barrel length, I'm debating what factory ammo would be best out of that shorter inch barrel for elk. This will be my first Elk hunt and the outfitter is advising most shots are within 300 yards, with 500 yards being possible but seldom. Looking at the Hornady precision hunter with the ELD-X bullet although the Nosler Accubonds seem to be a classic. With the shorter barrel length I feel like bullet selection is crucial. Any advise would be appreciated! Thanks
The bigger question I would think is if ur trophy hunting or not.
If ur willing to pass on a poorer shot, it’s fine. Since u actually haven’t bought the rifle yet, options are many. I’ve shot deer and antelope at 500+ yds with a 308 and a 24” barrel, I’ve shot elk out to 450yds. My farthest game is 830 yds, as much as I’ve enjoyed my 308, it’s not a 500yd elk gun to me. Out to 300 though it’ll be just as good as any magnum.
 

rustyshackleford

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To be clear, I have never shot or seen anything shot with a 16" barreled CF rifle. Min Legal length in Canada is 18"

Second thing, I guess all of the animals I shot with Black Powder rifles are going to be terribly distressed to know they should not be dead. Not a single one of my BP guns hits 1800 fps at the muzzle, let alone at 100 or 200 yards. My BP 45-70 has a MV of 1200 FPS and is lucky if it is doing 800 FPS at 100 yards. Despite that, millions of Bison died getting shot with a gun that is way too slow and where the math doesn't work.

I have held a guide license every year for over 30 years, and I will have one again this year. Don't question my ethics as a way to justify talking through your hat. I am fine with debating and different points of view, but calling me unethical would not go well face to face nor is it acceptable on a forum.
This is a debate I’ve had with a buddy it mine many times. My guess is if you’ve seen a lot of wound channels your BP kills were probably just as quick and humane as your hi powered midbore at 2600-2800 ft/sec. A 50 cal muzzleloader kills just fine at 1600 ft/sec or so. Just as dead as a 308 pushing a 165 at 2800. The 308 is going fast enough that coupled with an expanding bullet it creates a wound channel that is disproportionately larger than it would at 1600 ft/sec. that’s the additional kinetic energy and the velocity such that when it hits and does make a temporary cavity, the tissue is pushed aside more violently than the elasticity of the tissue allows. So for me, shooting relatively small bullets at large game I want more velocity than what the 16 inch 308 can muster with most factory rounds at 500 yards.
 
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hunter67wa

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Aren't you glad you asked? I shot a 308 with a 20" a CTR suppressed with 180 AB and have had great luck. I have a friend here in WY who is a guide and carries a 308 as a back-up shooting 130TTSX and has some clients use it and every animal shot bullet has never been recovered out to 500 yards.

Just be a good shot. Have fun.
 
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To be clear, I have never shot or seen anything shot with a 16" barreled CF rifle. Min Legal length in Canada is 18"

Second thing, I guess all of the animals I shot with Black Powder rifles are going to be terribly distressed to know they should not be dead. Not a single one of my BP guns hits 1800 fps at the muzzle, let alone at 100 or 200 yards. My BP 45-70 has a MV of 1200 FPS and is lucky if it is doing 800 FPS at 100 yards. Despite that, millions of Bison died getting shot with a gun that is way too slow and where the math doesn't work.

I have held a guide license every year for over 30 years, and I will have one again this year. Don't question my ethics as a way to justify talking through your hat. I am fine with debating and different points of view, but calling me unethical would not go well face to face nor is it acceptable on a forum.
Now we’re comparing 250gr or more and nearly 1/2” diameter projectiles? I don’t know anything about hunting with BP and don’t claim to. But that seems like an apples and oranges comparison. Velocity itself won’t kill anything, but it is what is required for bullet expansion along with resistance of course.

That is a long career as a guide and something to be proud of. I don’t doubt your experience, and to guide for 30 years you have obviously proven to be ethical.

I also am not talking through my hat as you say. Bullet manufacturers state a minimum velocity for a reason. It is their opinion, and mine, that it is unethical to kill big game at distances where the bullet falls below the stated minimum. Killing isn’t so much the question as much as successful recovery is. A 22lr will kill an elk at 50 yards too, but I would hope no one would ever try that. Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it is right to take the risk of doing it.
 

xsn10s

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A friend of mine has shot more elk with his 308 Win/ 165gr Partition than any of his other rifles. But he limits his shots to 300 yards. IMO if you really need a short barreled rifle then I think a 30-06 22" barrel pushing a 185gr Berger will be good out to 500-600 yards. If factory ammo is needed then a BT/ AB going at least 2780 fps should work. Just my 2 cents worth from the peanut gallery.
 

tnek13

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A second on Hornady Superperformance SST - Hope you can find it somewhere. I like your choice in rifles, I just picked mine up today. The 308 at reasonable distances is an adequate round.
 

Wallrat

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A friend of mine has shot more elk with his 308 Win/ 165gr Partition than any of his other rifles. But he limits his shots to 300 yards. IMO if you really need a short barreled rifle then I think a 30-06 22" barrel pushing a 185gr Berger will be good out to 500-600 yards. If factory ammo is needed then a BT/ AB going at least 2780 fps should work. Just my 2 cents worth from the peanut gallery.
Right. This whole time, I’ve been thinking “ why not get an 06?
 

LVJ76

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As many already mentioned, dont settle for doable or just good enough. The animal you are hunting deserves a quick death.

Is the 308 enough? Yes. The issue is how far can you effectively kill an elk? 16" to 22" of barrel does make a difference.

Old saying: "Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it". Do you really want to have to pass on a shot because you just didn't have enough gun?

If you are going with a 308 get one with a longer barrel, or get a larger cartridge like a 30-06, 300WSM, 300 Win Mag, etc.

I'm with @FEENIX on the minimum 1500 ft/lbs for elk, better safe than sorry.

Just my $0.02.

Stay safe and good luck on your hunt.
 

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