Need help with a long range elk rifle

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by 338RUM, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. 338RUM

    338RUM Member

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    Hey guys, I have been looking on the site for a while and have decided it is a good place to be, So I need to ask the knowledgeable people here that have hunted Elk before which of my rifles I should take on a Colorado elk hunt. My choices are:

    25-06
    270 WSM
    30-06
    300WSM
    338 RUM
    416 Rigby

    Now I am figuring that the 25-06 and the 416 Rigby are not viable options, 25-06 being too lite and the 416 just not enough reach. I was told the average shot is about 300 yards with shots out to 550 not uncommon. This is a whole new world to me as I am use to hunting the thickets of the Appalachian mountains where shots are no more than 200 yards. I have shot my rifles out to 300 yards and all of them shoot reasonably well at around 4 inches. Now I know I will have to practice and have the range to practice at I am just concerned that I will pick the wrong rifle. The bullets I use in each are as follows .277 inch is 140 gr Game King the .308 is 180 gr Swift A-Frames and the .338 is 250 gr Accubonds.

    So if I could have some experienced advice from you kind folk it would really get me going in the right direction!

    Thanks,
    Joshua
    338RUM
     
  2. meatyrem

    meatyrem Well-Known Member

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    You would be just fine with everything in the middle of the two you mentioned would not work. Leaning towards the 30cals. On the longer shots go towards the bigger 30cals and of coarse with premium bullets too.
     
  3. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting how if you read the websites of many of the elk outfitters, they will say the same thing that you did - "the average shot is about 300 yards with shots out to 550 not uncommon." Yet I've talked to many hunters and guides (hunts I've been on + patients who hunt, and one pt who is a guide) who freely admit that the average is probably closer to 125-150 on a guided hunt.

    Having said that, I think that you will be well served to be prepared to shoot 300+ but not be surprised if it is much closer.

    The 25-06 can do it with a 115gr Nosler Partition, but since you have other options...

    any of your middle 4 would serve you well. Whichever rifle you can carry up and down mountains easily and shoot well, that's the one you take. More important, take time to practice before you go on the hunt so that you know the rifle well. The 30-06 is probably #4 of 4 but only if one of the WSMs is in a rifle that can be carried just as easily. The 338 RUM is a ? for me because they're often heavy rifles and you have to be willing to commit to lug it around. Unofficially the 300WSM is probably first on my list as a result.

    Let us know what you decide!
     
  4. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    They all kill elk just fine, just based on cal I've smoked elk with my 270 WSM in the ranges your talking, more gun than the 06. The 300 WSM would rock as would the 338 RUM but for me most RUM configurations are either to harsh on the shoulder, ears or legs. A lot would depend on the configuration and which one you shoot the best and have the most confidence in. Also if you haven't taken elk doesn't hurt to give yourself some leeway with a larger cal.
     
  5. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    IF it is not a problem to take, I would take 300wsm and 338 RUM, sounds like you own the calibers listed? Then you have a back up if need be, Ive fallen on rifles,dropped them, and had the horse tune them up
     
  6. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

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    I agree with 6x6. bring both the wsm and ultra. A back up gun is worth its weight in gold if something happens to your primary.
     
  7. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    For those distances, it would be the 06 or either WSM. Like other said, it's a good idea to carry more than one rifle.

    Tank
     
  8. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Take the 06 and the 300. Both good to 600 yards with the right load and a practiced fella lookin through the scope.
     
  9. 338RUM

    338RUM Member

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    I do own all of the above stated calibers and was leaning to the 338 RUM just because it is a gun I have complete confidence in, I never really thought of taking an extra and am glad for the input. This will be my first elk hunt and the guy I have been talking to is my future father in law so I don't think he is leading me astray, I really am hesitant to take my 30-06 as it is a 1955 Model 70 Featherweight and I would be devastated if it was marred up as it was a gift from a now deceased friend of mine.

    I will probably go with the 338 RUM and the 270 WSM as the 270 WSM does out preform my 300 WSM as far as groups are concerned. What is a good bonded bullet in 270 cal as I really want to make sure it is not going to blow up on a bone and slowly kill a majestic animal by infection...
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    The second rifle is a good idea, I never think of it because I don't really have to drive to be in elk and my buddy and I can shoot each others rifles and practice with them, elk country can trash a rifle in a hurry, I've ridden more than one rifle down a bad spot and do not take a rifle that you are afraid to scratch or have get worked over!
    The 140 Accubond is excellent elk medicine in the 270 WSM, I've shot through some tough bone with them and it still keeps trucking but still prefer to wack them behind the shoulders and low. I like it on elk so much it replaced a 300 WBY!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  11. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    Of any of the rifles you listed, I would use any of them if I only had one. I would feel no need to run out and buy another one just for that hunt. That said, since you do own a 338 RUM, dont kid around. Put the boots to him. When it comes to elk, I will always use the heaviest hitter I have up to 338 cal.
     
  12. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

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    Which ever of the 30 cals or 338 you are most accurate and confident with
     
  13. squirrelduster

    squirrelduster Well-Known Member

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    How can you beat the 338 RUM?
    Since your name is 338 RUM I am betting you can shoot it accurately.
    I shot a 5x6 last year in Colorado with a 300 win mag. 227 yards. Take tha artillery and don't look back. The bigger the better in my opinion.
    They are tough and the bigger bullets will make a difference if the shot is less than perfectly placed.
    Yes all your rifles will kill an elk but the 338 is hard to beat.
     
  14. 338RUM

    338RUM Member

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    i can shoot my 338 RUM out to 500 yards but and am confident it will do the job as will my other listed rifles, I really need to practice with these guns to be able to be confident with the shot I make, now here is another question, My 338 RUM does not have a scope on it, I sold it to a guy that was in need of one and I really didn't like it anyway so what king of scope would you guys suggest? And lets keep the price range around 500 or less.

    I am sure you guys get these questions all the time and am glad so many chimed in to help! I definitely will be sticking around because you guys are top notch