First elk hunt. Leaning toward Tikka

Catskills

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Jun 29, 2018
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Among rile loonies, the word “need” is an interesting concept. If comparing lethargic factory 06 loads to premium 7mag loads, the 7mag is a step up(I’ve chronographed a couple of different 06 factory loads that didn’t even break 2600fps with 180s). Is it necessary for typical elk hunting? Not really. I’d have every confidence in an 06 loaded to its potential with 165-200grain bullets. Personally, I’d lean towards 180. At 06 velocities, I wouldn’t feel compelled to shoot premium bullets (I‘d probably start with Hornady spire points). FWIW, 160 accubonds will do just fine in a 7mag on elk...been there done that. I do feel strongly about bringing back up rifles on hunts... Perhaps you’ll find a “need“. I’m also a fan of Tikkas. All of mine are shooters. Loaded to potential, those light guns may surprise you with their recoil.
 

drdool

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Jan 21, 2011
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Texas
I have the mentioned Tikka 300wsm. Even with the slow twist factory barrel shoots factory Hornady 200gr ELD-x into 3/4 MOA to 300 yds. Mine has a good brake and limb saver recoil pad and recoil is not an issue.
 

C-Crist276

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San Jose
I have hunted Montana the last 5 years on similar elk/deer combo north of Dillon in the grass hopper valley. You do not need a 300 WM or a 7mm RM. 30-06 and 270 have killed more elk and deer than all other rifle cartridges combined and its not even close. Repeat do not "Need"

However, if you desire a new rifle, that is a different situation. 300 and 7mm care more energy than the 3006 but ballistics and range are going to be similar.

For elk I would think any cartridge with greater than 130 gr bullet is going to be able to do the job.

My elk in Montana were shot at 330 yard, 424 yard, and a 390 yards.

I personal like the weatherby mag, get additional velocity and the fall off is less.
 

Quintus

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Apr 15, 2013
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594
Accuracy will always trump velocity/energy assuming you have chosen the proper bullet. A 416 Rigby through the grass bag at 50 yards and 2 .5 tons of energy won't put that elk down. And true it over simplifies it to say an 85 grain TSX from a .243 in the right spot and down they go, but. If you are great with your ought 6 to 600 and your good to 400 with the 300 Winnie, guess what? your 06 is a better long range option than the 300. I would say use your 06 for your elk hunt, but still use the new gun money on a lighter weight, lighter recoiling, flatter shooting deer, goat, sheep gun. 🤔 Maybe a .257 Weatherby or 27 Nosler? (Both would make a nice elk gun as well)
 

Cred1

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portland
If you shoot great(MOA) at 500 with a 30-06 or bigger this comment isn't for you, but it's for a lot of us: I built a Lilja #3 (i think) on one of my tikka actions in 280 AI. Came in at around 6.5# scoped. (swaro z5) Shot clover leafs at 100 with my hand load Swift Siroccos. But I couldn't repeat that every time I pulled the rifle out because I just don't practice enough with -06 and up cases on light rifles. Gave it to my buddy whose a legit hunter, and he shoots it lights out every time. My point is, while dummies (gotta keep it interesting!) recommend going up in caliber to make up for bad shots caused by recoil....maybe guys like me should go down in caliber to make the dang shot in the first place!!! I don't understand how you all hit 95% kills at 500 yards and a magnum without a bench anyway, but I'd rather have a heavy bullet 6.5 with a solid (Swift, Barnes, etc) that I can hit the vitals with 95% than go bigger cuz I might hit it in the butt (me and 90% of people.)
But buy a Tikka? Absolutely. I have 3. I can hit MOA at 400 yards with the Win Mag. Prone. With a brake. And a rear bag. On a good day...YMMV
 

Sanford338

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San Antonio
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
Taken elk and muleys both. Used 3 different calibers... 338 RUM, 30-378 Wby and 300 Win Mag. All performed flawlessly, as long as I do my part. Longest shot was just a smig over 500 yds with my 30-378.. all dropped in the tracks..I’ve hunted with folks that have taken both with 243, creeds & the likes. Really about personal preference and your own abilities to put one in the boiler room when it counts... Good Luck and Good Hunt!
 

445 supermag

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Mar 4, 2015
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NJ Down the shore
Now your 06 is plenty for what the outfitters told you. Now need and want are way in opposite directions. You DON'T need a new rifle to go on this hunt. Want a 7RM. I am all for that as we all are. New toy. Yeah baby. 7RM will do great for anything in NA it's almost like 1 stop shopping. I like any and all flavors of 7mm. It just gives me that excitement for whatever reason goose bumps or whatever I smile when I see 7mm. .308 dont do that for me. But others are the exact opposite and that's great.

That's a hunt I would some day love to do! what if you dont mind me asking is a price of something like that? I am not sure it's in my ball park but curious. But that is definitely a hunt I would love to take. Best of luck.
 

Tom Wright

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Jan 10, 2019
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Florida
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
If you don’t have a magnum then I agree with the outfitter. I have shot dozens of animals with 7mm RemMag and 300 Win Mag. I’m not sure about IF you can find a 6.5 lb in either caliber, but in the 300 it make make shooting it problematic due to recoil/rise. I’ve used mine on 4 African trips threeSpain hunts, and hunts across US and Canada. Depending on game I shoot 150-200 grain bullets, with good success and ability to shoot out to 450+ yards. Not a custom gun but a Browning Xbolt. This gun has a milder recoil than my two Rem. 700’s in 7mm, and is lighter and easier to carry. I’ve found in looking for ammo, either is often accessible, but in South Africa you can always find 300, not so often 7mm. I’d just suggest you think about what you’d like to hunt in the next 15-20 years and buy that gun now. That’s what I did in 2005 with the 300 and 15 years later I have put kudu to steenboks to prong horns to ibex on the wall with it. Good luck!
 

WYO300RUM

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I like the way you think! That‘s the kind of thinking that filled my safe in a hurry. I have room for 1-2 more though. 🤔
Lmao ! Ditto ! In the 7 mag
I don't think you need 175 gr. out to 500 yds. 160-168 would be great.
I put a BC stock on my Tikka. Much better than the plastic stock.
 
Last edited:

azarcher10x

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Nov 12, 2012
Messages
89
I’m going to Colorado this fall. Checking and researching, I am taking my 30-06 with a Barnes 168 grain TTSX. There are all sorts of comments out there, non mag, mag. For me, I’m going with 30-06. It will do the job as long as the shooter does his/her job.
I've killed a lot of elk with that exact combination in CO. The longest being 456 yards.
 

SnowbirdUT

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Jan 30, 2015
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Salt Lake City
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
The Elk in the photo below was taken in Utah with a 30-06 at 150 yards.

I don’t recommend a new rifle to shoot beyond 400 Yards unless you want another project and have the time to develop a rifle to shoot accurately beyond 400 yards. Save your money and get some good gear for your trip such as new binoculars.

Lots of good advice in this thread. A super light magnum rifle is terrible to shoot without a muzzle break. My first 300 RUM was light and didn’t have a break and the barrel twist was too slow. I couldn’t shoot it without lacrosse shoulder pads. I rebuilt it several times. I’ve taken game with that rifle at just short of 1000 yards, however, the rebuild process and load development took years.

Optics are important. However, I wouldn’t focus on “glass”. You should consider a first focal plane scope so you can dial in your drop. Holding over works but much less certain as distance increases. I also recommend a good rangefinder that will automatically calculate and display the ballistic solution.

One of the threads above mentioned that shooting elk at distance is much more work. That is for sure true but it sounds like you have an outfitter. They can do most of the work.

If you are going to build a new rifle, I recommend using the heaviest bullet you can and choose a case with enough capacity so you can achieve aMV > 2,900 fps. Use the Berger twist rate calculator on line to make sure you get a barrel with a fast enough twist. I use a 230 gr bullet in my 300 RUM and 170 gr bullet in my 270 WSM. Both rifles are good on Elk and Mule deer >> 500 yards. I have worked with friends to develop LR hunting rifles in 300 WSM and 300 WIN Mag and neither case had sufficient case capacity to realistically use heavier bullets. The 300 WM had a MV of 2700 ish fps with a 215 grain bullet. The 300 WM works fine but is outperformed by my 270 WSM at distances > 600 yards.

All of the above suggests hand loads. You can buy ammo for a particular rifle from companies like Gunworks, but that can get very expensive. If you don’t already hand load, that is adds additional time on this project.

Have fun in Montana!
 

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Gone Ballistic

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I've killed more elk with my. 270 with 130gn
bullets than any other rifle in my arsenal. But, a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless shooting 7MMREMMAG with a muzzle brake and 140 grain bullets is what my son has taken his last 9 elk with up to 646 yards. If you shoot proficiently with your '06 with 150's or 180's you won't have a problem. 90% of the 37 elk I've taken were less than 200 yards.
 

Ninering62

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May 14, 2020
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46
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Orig from southern Md. In North Central Florida
2021. Montana elk and mule deer combo. I don’t own a magnum. I figured I’d take my 30-06 with 168gr Nosler Accubond and limit my shots to 400 yards.

A call to the outfitter this week may have changed my mind. He’s pushing the 300wm as his go to and the 7mm RM as a second choice. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve wanted a magnum for years now and I am leaning toward the 7mm (always wanted one).

I want a Tikka T3x Superlite. I’ve read that the slower twist rate could be problematic for the 175 grain loads. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

Outfitter says the average shot is under 300 yards but a 400-500 yard shot (Or longer) is not uncommon. I want to keep this rig light without breaking the bank. I’m not aware of another rifle that is under 6.5 pounds (regular t3x is my second choice but the same slower twist) and under a grand.
I went from primarily Rem 30.06 to a Browning A Bolt ll in 7mm Rem Mag with the tunable BOSS brake. Absolutely incredible rifle off the rack. Tuning the brake to switch ammo weight was not hard & made the gun a tac driver. 4-16x44 or 50 IDR exactly, Shepherd Scope on it. I did not shoot any 175gr bullets out of it, but many 140 & 168gr. For the money, theres nuthing I've liked better or found more versatile. Good luck with your choosing & best wishes for a successful hunt.
 

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