Help chosing an Elk Cartridge.

Elkeater

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Dec 3, 2017
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976
I know it wasn’t in your list but I love the .300 Win Mag. I load one of mine with 180gr accubonds and honestly it just plain thumps elk. Most make it no more than a few steps. For me the recoil isn’t an issue. I’ve killed 10 elk in a row with that rifle and for me I’ll likely never use a different caliber on elk.
 
D

Deleted member 25294

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All great choices, but if you want lightweight and low recoil get the 6.5 prc.
Trust me it's plenty for elk at 400 yards.
I built a lightweight 6.5 SAUM, and with the 147 @3050 have taken bulls from 350 to 940 yards. Not my first choice over 700 yards but it works.
My buddy took a really nice 6x6 @ 280 yards this season with a 6.5 Creed, his dad shot a cow with it @240 yards.
If you want lightweight then you'll want to keep the recoil light as well..
Otherwise you will hate shooting it.
The 270 is my second choice
 

Troutslayer2

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May 28, 2010
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450
Since you want a SA I would say 300 WSM. Manageable recoil even in a lightweight mountain rifle, more so if you’re shooting lighter bullets. I’ve killed quite a few elk and had one that I wounded badly and never recovered. My next build that will be for elk mostly is going to be 300 Norma, now I shoot and love 280 AI. I hunt all public land, as a weekend warrior, and opportunities to take an elk don’t come around all that often so when I get that chance I don’t want to second guess my firepower. Power to the people who are out there taking them with .243s, I think they are crazy.
 

John Spadaro

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Nov 11, 2018
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58
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Honolulu
John, your first 3 choices are great and I'd add the 300WSM. I gotta say that the Tikka T3 Lite is a nice lightweight platform but I'd suggest the Limbsaver 10010 pad for it. They may have improved on the T3X model.

According to the recoil table the 300WSM has considerably more recoil than the 30-06 when using the same bullet weight. That is why I left the 300WSM and 300 WM off my list.
 

John Spadaro

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All great choices, but if you want lightweight and low recoil get the 6.5 prc.
Trust me it's plenty for elk at 400 yards.
I built a lightweight 6.5 SAUM, and with the 147 @3050 have taken bulls from 350 to 940 yards. Not my first choice over 700 yards but it works.
My buddy took a really nice 6x6 @ 280 yards this season with a 6.5 Creed, his dad shot a cow with it @240 yards.
If you want lightweight then you'll want to keep the recoil light as well..
Otherwise you will hate shooting it.
The 270 is my second choice


Based on the responses I don’t see any love for the 270WSM. I thought it would be have some additional energy with recoil less than the 30-06.

A custom gunsmith told me that the 270WSM is no longer in favor and recommend the 6.5PRC instead. He said that the WSM cartridges sometimes have problems feeding. I not sure why the PRC would feed any better since it also has a fat case.
 

corsair4360

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Feb 2, 2013
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342
Location
Northern Utah
Based on the responses I don’t see any love for the 270WSM. I thought it would be have some additional energy with recoil less than the 30-06.

A custom gunsmith told me that the 270WSM is no longer in favor and recommend the 6.5PRC instead. He said that the WSM cartridges sometimes have problems feeding. I not sure why the PRC would feed any better since it also has a fat case.
I have a 270 WSM that was just re barreled which I use as a second elk rifle companion to my 338 Win Mag. Do not have loads sorted out for it yet
 

FIGJAM

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Sep 1, 2013
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Southeast, Idaho
I LOVE my 270 wsm - i have it in a browning xbolt. Its light and it hits hard. I shoot the 145 gr eldx and took a nice bull elk at 431 yards this fall. It has turned into my go to rifle for deer and elk. I have never had a feeding problem. Its subjective, but I don’t think the recoil is bad at all. I have never owned a Tikka but I had narrowed it down to the xbolt and tikka when I was going through my decision making process a few years ago. Both of these are lightweight, but I won’t deter somebody who wants to go the custom route. There usually isn’t a lot of love for the 270 wsm until you own one. I think it’s a killer round. I am a fan of flat and fast rounds. My next gun is probably going to be a 26 nosler or 6.5 SS. Good luck with your decision!
 

Buck300

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Jan 15, 2011
Messages
269
Out of the choices you listed the 3006 would be my first choice and I own and use one. I like the 150 gr. TTSX or 165 or 180 gr. accubond. It is easy to shoot accurately, light, and ammo is everywhere and its cheap to feed. Its just a very effective cartridge, which is why its so popular after 100 plus years.
 
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Deleted member 25294

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Based on the responses I don’t see any love for the 270WSM. I thought it would be have some additional energy with recoil less than the 30-06.

A custom gunsmith told me that the 270WSM is no longer in favor and recommend the 6.5PRC instead. He said that the WSM cartridges sometimes have problems feeding. I not sure why the PRC would feed any better since it also has a fat case.
The 270 wsm is a great round, however the recoil is pretty stiff in a light rifle.
I had a tikka 270 wsm and even with 130's it recoiled quite a bit more than my 6.5 saum.
My wife developed a bad flinch shooting it, now she shoots my saum
 

35 Whelen

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May 21, 2018
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355
Location
Montana
All the ones you list will work fine. Out of all of them it would be between the 270 Win. and the 30-06, The 270 Win. Is one of my favorites but the 30-06's using heaver bullets gives a slight edge with penetration. I have become very found of the 35 Whelen, it shoots about the sane as the 30-06 but with a heaver bullet and only very slightly more recoil. In a short action I'd go with the 270WSM or 308 Win. My 270 WSM's recoil is about the same as the 30-06, but my 308 and 270 win.'s are not much less, not much that I notice any may. My wife on the other hand can notice the difference in her 270 Win. with 130 gr. bullets and the 150 gr. bullets. I don't. I have 270win, 270wsm, 308win, 30-06, 300win. mag., 35whelen, and there all grate. If recoil is a big concern for you I'd go with the 270 Win. or 7mm-08. 270 Win. ammo may be a tad easer to find in small towns. Other wise pick the one that really intrigues you the most, it's kind of like looking for a wife, the one that your heart calls out to is the one you will be the happiest with. Happy hunting and shooting.
 

el matador

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Jul 30, 2008
Messages
647
378 Weatherby has pretty good ballistics out to 400 yards with the 300 grain Accubonds. Might need a brake for a light weight gun.
 

FIGJAM

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Sep 1, 2013
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1,560
Location
Southeast, Idaho
I think it was brought up before, but hornady makes some customlite low recoil ammo in several calibers - 243, 7mm08, 270 win, 30-06, 7mm Rem Mag and 300 win mag I think. I have only used it in a 243 when my kids were shooting at the range, but it was accurate ammo and the 243 felt more like a 223. I think they were decent SST bullets too. If you want to buy factory low recoil ammo instead of rolling your own, you might start with any one of those (7mm08 and up).
 

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