Elk Caliber?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by drtony, Aug 9, 2018.

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  1. drtony

    drtony Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2018
    Is the 6.5 CM "enough" caliber for elk hunting out to 400-500 yards? Or would I be better served with a 300 WM or 7mm Mag? The large caliber would have a single use: hunting in the west which may not happen too often. The 6.5CM will have the ability to be used closer to where I live and can hunt on a more regular basis. But, I for sure have an elk tag and need a gun that can get that job done first and foremost!

    It would just be nice if the 6.5CM can do both :)

    Also, I am aware that shot placement is everything. But I want to have leeway in case of less than perfect situations.
  2. JJMoody

    JJMoody Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2015
    Given your parameters, Creed'll do it. 7'll do a bit more, 300'll do it all.
  3. djm670

    djm670 Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Yeppers! What JJMoody said.

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    If you want another rifle OK! Doesn't sound necessary though. Pick a good bullet, in a rifle you like and go with it.
  5. dfanonymous

    dfanonymous Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2016
    Creedmoor is great, especially the amount of power you get for such little recoil, but a 200 plus (heavier) grained big magnum will always be more lethal, especially if you know how to dial your drop
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  6. the hunter

    the hunter Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2017
    That is why I have a 6.5 creedmoor of yotes and steel, and 300wm for every thing'els.
    bigbulls, WildRose, Wlfdg and 3 others like this.
  7. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    It will do the job; I'd get as close as I could though. Elk are tough. A bigger caliber (as in diameter) is better on elk, personally I like my elk rounds to begin with a ".3". The bigger rounds give you better outcomes in less than perfect situations.
  8. Hbomb11

    Hbomb11 Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2018
    I have exclusively used my 7mm rem mag on elk. It is a great elk killing round. I have not had an elk go more than 20 yards without dropping. I currently have my 7mm shipped off getting work done and if I don't get it back by October I will be taking my 6.5 creedmoor. I'm not to excited to use it on elk to be honest but I have faith it will get the job done. I know I will definitely be more precise with my shot placement using it. If you keep it under 500 I don't think you should have any issues.

    As far as back home, what other animals will you be hunting? If you are getting strictly a deer and elk gun I would go with 7mm.
  9. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2014
    If looking for one rifle for deer and elk, then I would rather over kill deer than under kill elk...300.
  10. BigGrizz

    BigGrizz Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
    ATH is on point. As is everyone else for the most part.

    I don't use anything less than a .30 on elk and the bullets are all 200gr+. Personally, I'm not a 6.5 Kool-aid drinker. It's neat, but lets not pretend it's something it's not.

    My bull from last year took a 338LM 250 grainer to the chest at ~50yds~ and made it away. He lived for another hour until I could catch up. I can't explain it and it was one of the worst hunting experiences I've had in terms of how poorly I felt I had performed my job until I saw the shot he took. It was illustrative of the will power and toughness these animals have.

    I've seen several elk take BIG hits, and walk off. Not nearly as many as those that end DRT, but I've seen it happen multiple times over the past decade. It's nothing I can explain and part of the reason I hedge with big guns- especially when I'm hunting dark timber. I wouldn't trust a smaller round to fast, closer quarters hunting situations.

    If you're going to use a 6.5 put a Partition in it. You really will want to hit the animal with authority.
  11. L.Sherm

    L.Sherm Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Jul 26, 2017
    I have shot elk with 6.5's, 7mm's and 338's there is no doubt the 338 hit them the hardest out of all 3. That being said my go to is a 6.5x300wsm. If I was building a gun another gun for both deer and elk it would be at least a 30 cal.or bigger, you can always load down if it's just a deer situation if you want but it's pretty hard to load up if your maxed out with a smaller caliber.
    Barrelnut likes this.
  12. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

    Mar 25, 2007
    Everybody knows that elk cartridges start with a 3 and use at least 70g of powder.

    In all seriousness, I do believe there is no replacement for displacement. I also am much less afraid of small cartridges than I once was. Regardless of what cartridge you are using I think bullet choice is more important than anything else. An elk bullet must be capable of getting through the shoulder of an elk. They are not always broadside. An elk bullet must be able to handle the heavy muscle and bone whether or not the vel is high or low.

    Your creed is capable of handling elk out to your started yardage. A bullet like our 130g Sledge Hammer and you will be fine.

  13. Rum Man

    Rum Man Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    Most of my Elk have been taken with one of my 3 300 Rums ...but this year I'm taking out the 338 Rum for a spin !

    If you have the 6.5 creedmore and can shoot good with it ..then take it !
  14. jmcmath

    jmcmath Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2017
    The great thing about hunting multiple animals and areas is the free excuses for extra guns.

    Buy one of each.
    Graymun, Target Tamers, JTB and 7 others like this.