Bullet suggestions for elk

Tac-O

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Apr 28, 2019
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New guy here. I've been hanging around this web site for years and absolutely love it. I've learned a lot from you folks, for that I say thanks. A looooong time deer hunter and 30.06 has been my buddy all these years. Reloading has become my hobby upon retirement, so not an expert, but one thing the Air Force taught me years ago, READ THE BOOK and FOLLOW IT. You won't get into trouble.
So to the OP, choose your bullet, Hornady, Nosler , Speer all good, invest in their manual, READ IT cover to cover. Post on this forum for advise, you'll get some good stuff here. Choose your powder, test away, be safe and stick with the BOOK, they've already traveled this path.
By the way, I'm running H4350 180 Nosler AB , getting near 2700fps , good powder according to the book, good bullet, puts meat on the table.

Yes... I definitely go by the book! As I said though, I've just been focused on bowhunting for a bit and haven't done a whole lot of reading through my loading manual lately.

I get all the the suggestions for the accubond, partition, and bullets that are similar. Solid copper barnes was also on my wish list. But as I stated in my original long paragraph, I hope to find a bullet that has good weight retention that doesn't cost 0.70/bullet. I'm hoping to find something that is more like 0.50/bullet or less. I know sierra and speer makes some that are on the cheaper side, but I've read a lot of internet experiences and have seen the pictures of animals killed with those bullets. They seem to be much more frangible and cause more meat damage than I want. Perhaps those experiences are from people pushing those bullets at 3000+fps?

Is there a bonded bullet similar in weight retention to the partition or accubond that is cheaper?
 

bigngreen

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Nov 24, 2008
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SW Montana
I really hate bonded bullets anymore especially without big case capacity behind them BUT if you watch Midway you can pick up blem Accubonds for dirt cheep OR you can choose a bullet like the Accubond the same in a ballistic tip and shoot and practice with the BT and shoot lower volume in the AB. You won't see any meat loss deference between a bonded and none bonded bullet, I processed wild game for quite a few years and you'll see more difference between open tip and tipped that you will bonded and non bonded. I've lost the most meat when shooting Accubombs, that why I didn't shoot them. The best way to save meat is a bullet that is not tipped and shot placement back of the shoulder through the ribs.
 

Satterlee Scott

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Dec 23, 2018
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Spokane
I want to start working on loads for elk for 2020. I've only started handloading this year and have only been shooting Sierra pro Hunter 150g and h4350 powder to get the hang of it. I picked h4350 because it was suggested in Lee's manual as a powder for a wide range of bullet weights.

I'm thinking I want to go with a 180-200g bullet for elk. I have no intention of shooting farther than 400yd. So, if I end up with a 200g bullet, I'll limit my range to whatever will get me an absolute minimum of 1500ft/lbs.

So here's what I'm shooting... .30-06 t3x superlite, which I believe has a 22.5" barrel. I would like to continue using h4350 powder, but I'll go with whatever will get me the best accuracy for the chosen bullet. I will load to the fastest speed I can get without going above recommended charges for a particular powder. So looking at Lee's manual, I might have a muzzle velocity anywhere from 2400fps to 2700fps for a 180-200g bullet.

My question is, if I'm thinking I'm mostly going to be shooting elk from 150-350yd, what bullet will perform the best at those ranges for the gun and cartridge that I'm using? Does anyone have any recommendations on a bullet for that range and velocity that isn't $0.70/bullet and has good weight retention and ballistics?
For the 30s I like the 200 and 212 ELDx and the 210 Nos ABLR you can get both of the those bullets going close to 2700 safely with H 4831. On a side note energy isn't the best metric for how your bullet will kill especially when we segment out medium and high velocity wounds. Keep your Velocity between 3000 and 1800 FPS and the bullet will do what it was designed to. Velocity is the number one wound kinematic regardless of bullet design.
 

entoptics

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Jan 16, 2018
Messages
640
You have moderate requirements, which should be easily met. I totally understand the $0.70 a bullet problem too. I just went through this exercise for a buddy with a pre-64 M70 and also a Rem 700 for my bro-in-law.

My suggestion would be to try the 178 ELD-X. It's ~$0.40, has good construction and excellent B.C., and by most accounts shoots well. The M70 is a shotgun with every bullet we tried, but my BIL's R700 really liked the ELD-X (better than the 165/180 Accubonds even).

With a 22" barrel and H4350, you should be able to get 2750 fps without issue. We achieved ~2800 fps with 55-56 gr of H4350 in 24" barrels. RL22 also worked very well. H4831 was a little too fluffy IMO, requiring substantially compressed loads to achieve the same speed of H4350/RL22.

2750 fps will keep this bullet above 2100 fps and 1800 ftlbs to 400 yds, which should be absolutely deadly on big critters.

If it shoots well in your rifle, it will be very hard to beat for the price. Heck, it might be hard to beat at any price.
 

sceeder

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Mar 15, 2012
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329
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Nebraska
I want to start working on loads for elk for 2020. I've only started handloading this year and have only been shooting Sierra pro Hunter 150g and h4350 powder to get the hang of it. I picked h4350 because it was suggested in Lee's manual as a powder for a wide range of bullet weights.

I'm thinking I want to go with a 180-200g bullet for elk. I have no intention of shooting farther than 400yd. So, if I end up with a 200g bullet, I'll limit my range to whatever will get me an absolute minimum of 1500ft/lbs.

So here's what I'm shooting... .30-06 t3x superlite, which I believe has a 22.5" barrel. I would like to continue using h4350 powder, but I'll go with whatever will get me the best accuracy for the chosen bullet. I will load to the fastest speed I can get without going above recommended charges for a particular powder. So looking at Lee's manual, I might have a muzzle velocity anywhere from 2400fps to 2700fps for a 180-200g bullet.

My question is, if I'm thinking I'm mostly going to be shooting elk from 150-350yd, what bullet will perform the best at those ranges for the gun and cartridge that I'm using? Does anyone have any recommendations on a bullet for that range and velocity that isn't $0.70/bullet and has good weight retention and ballistics?

I've shot and killed 7 Elk with a 30/06 using the Nosler 200gr partition bullet's.
They have great ballistics and good knock down power. Have fun whatever you do. Getting the Elk isn't the most fun being with your friends hunting is the best so if you don't score just have a great time.
 

freddiej

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Aug 10, 2010
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779
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Carson City, NV
okay, my popcorn never got tome this morning.. so here is my opinion/suggestion.
There is no doubt I am a Barnes fan, I do trust them over many other slugs out there. below 400 yards Barnes would be great. using the 165, 168, 180 grain class slugs. specifically the 165 and 180 MRX slugs. my second choice would be the 165 grain Hornady innerbond, and the 165 grain Nosler Accu-Bond.
 

SeboCreek

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Apr 24, 2019
Messages
225
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Hill Country Texas
165 gr. Sierra boat tail with 57 gr. Imr-4831 does a pretty good job and just about anything out West

My son took this elk this year with 180 Federal Trophy Tipped bullet out of a 300 RUM at 350 yards plus.
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Tac-O

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