Experienced Elk Killers Pick Your #1 Elk Cartridge

Experienced Elk Killers, Pick Your #1 Elk Cartridge

  • .22hornet - 220 Swift

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • 243 Win - 6.5X284

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 25-06 - 270 Win

    Votes: 11 5.1%
  • 7mm-08 - .308 Win

    Votes: 7 3.3%
  • 30-06

    Votes: 9 4.2%
  • 7mm mag

    Votes: 47 22.0%
  • 300 Win - 300 Rum

    Votes: 97 45.3%
  • 8mm - .338 Win

    Votes: 14 6.5%
  • .340 Wby - .338 Lapua

    Votes: 25 11.7%
  • 375 H&H - 375 RUM & larger

    Votes: 3 1.4%

  • Total voters
    214

elkhunter1104

Active Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
26
Location
Dibble, Oklahoma
I voted 7mm rem mag because 28 nosler wasn’t there. I have only killed a handful of elk. Of them, one was with a bow, two with a 300 WM at 300 yards and two with the 28 nosler at 1104 yards and 1245 yards. All in Colorado. I picked the 28 because i am comfortable with it and it shoots great. None of the elk were any deader than the other. I say pick a gun that has plenty of energy “I pick 1500 ft/lbs min” left at the distances you are comfortable shooting, practice and practice and practice and go have fun. Next year I hope to try out the 300 Norma or 338 Norma. It just depends on which one I get to shooting the best at distance between now and then.
 

35 Whelen

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
355
Location
Montana
I voted for the 270 Win. because I have used it. I have also used the 300 Win.mag. and the 35 Whelen. They all have did a fine job, one shoot kills. The 35 Whelen is my favorite for elk and most of where I hunt. If I was going to be were I'd be taking over 500 yard shoots I'd take the 300 win. mag. I would like to get a 358 STA for the same thing. I am a fan of the 270 win. but it is my opinion that it is the smallest for elk, all though I know some people that have used smaller calibers with good results. I would have voted for the 35 Whelen but no option close enough to it. Good bullets in a rifle you shoot well is a good place to start.
 

06mauser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
94
Location
Wyoming
I voted for the good old 30-06. I shot the majority of my elk with this round from ranges of 100 yds to just over 600 yds and never had a problem. But I really do like my 28 nosler and 264 win mag, both of those rifles have worked very well for me over the last few elk seasons but they were not on the list.
 

packgoatguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2010
Messages
203
Location
Rigby Idaho
My 14 year old son took his first elk this season with my 300wm (tikka superlite)... one shot, 320 yards.

That said, if I were to build a real long range elk gun, it would either go all the way with a big 338 that could do at least 2900 fps with a 270gr or heavier bullet...

OR

a really fast 7mm like a 28 Nosler in a 162-175 gr bullet

Both options have BC's at the top of list, buck the wind as good as any, and still have enough oomph for extreme long range shots.

I put together a spreadsheet that ranks various popular elk calibers based on the OTC Hornady ELDX and Nosler ABLR Trophy options.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/156KStH-VKLIwILKsmubbCZDm6XzUvyz47oro0nR5hxY/edit?usp=sharing
 

Golovkin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
84
My 14 year old son took his first elk this season with my 300wm (tikka superlite)... one shot, 320 yards.

That said, if I were to build a real long range elk gun, it would either go all the way with a big 338 that could do at least 2900 fps with a 270gr or heavier bullet...

OR

a really fast 7mm like a 28 Nosler in a 162-175 gr bullet

Both options have BC's at the top of list, buck the wind as good as any, and still have enough oomph for extreme long range shots.

I put together a spreadsheet that ranks various popular elk calibers based on the OTC Hornady ELDX and Nosler ABLR Trophy options.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/156KStH-VKLIwILKsmubbCZDm6XzUvyz47oro0nR5hxY/edit?usp=sharing

Very cool. I'd like to see you put the 230gr. ELDX in there at 3200fps (338RUM)

The 270 @ 2,900 would be an animal, and seeing the effective range comparison would be interesting. Another data point to look at is 2,600fps (the speed limit of hydrostatic shock on calibers below .35).
 

packgoatguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2010
Messages
203
Location
Rigby Idaho
Very cool. I'd like to see you put the 230gr. ELDX in there at 3200fps (338RUM)

The 270 @ 2,900 would be an animal, and seeing the effective range comparison would be interesting. Another data point to look at is 2,600fps (the speed limit of hydrostatic shock on calibers below .35).
As Hornady does not make a 338RUM in the ELDX precision hunter factory loaded cartridge, I did not have that data. I just added your 3200fps number to the spreadsheet. Is that a velocity you have gotten out of a 24 inch barrel consistently with that 230gr bullet?

As for the 2600fps threshold, as all of these cartridges fall short of that before 500 yards, I did not think to add it before.
 

mfk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
142
Location
Massachusetts
First post..
I live in Montana and in decent elk country. If i had to pick one: my long throated 280 Remington. If it's a Factory Chamber, it's 7RM all day long. Of course on Long hikes I have a skinny barrel 7mm08.. That being said, I've shot more elk with a 308 than any other cartridge. Practice + bullet choice is most important.
love the ballistics of 7mm.
 

mfk

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
142
Location
Massachusetts
It depends on where I am hunting and more specifically how. If I know I am going in to thick country and bugling an elk into 30 yards and he is ready for a fight I prefer a fast 33 and a stout bullet. Yes a hundred different calibers will work, but I like something that packs a 225plus grain bullet that will make two holes and punch through some mass if needed.
If I am planning more of an open country, glassing the opposite side of the valley hoping to find the unsuspecting elk at 500-700 yards then something pushing a high bc vld/eld bullet in a 6.5, 7mm or 30 works for me. Today I would prob walk out the door with my 260ai, or maybe the 7mag.
There is an advantage to living in the middle of elk country and being aboe to hunt 5 min from the house. Once you know the country your going into you can taylor your gear to it.
You live 5 minutes from Elk Country? You live the dream!!
 

Recent Posts

Top