Non-Experienced Elk Hunters, Pick your Cartridge!

Non-Experienced Elk Hunters, Pick you Cartridge!

  • .22 hornet - 220 swift

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • .243 Win - 6.5X284

    Votes: 4 2.2%
  • 25-06 - 270 Win

    Votes: 9 4.8%
  • 7mm-08 - .308 Win

    Votes: 10 5.4%
  • 30-06

    Votes: 10 5.4%
  • 7mm Mag

    Votes: 56 30.1%
  • 300 Win - 300 RUM

    Votes: 78 41.9%
  • 8mm - 338 Win

    Votes: 6 3.2%
  • .340 Wby - 338 Lapua

    Votes: 10 5.4%
  • 375 H&H - 375 RUM & Larger

    Votes: 1 0.5%

  • Total voters
    186

Msgt William Toprock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
60
Location
Grand Forks, North Dakota
***ERROR- Switch "25-06" and "6.5X284" places, this is a mistake I can't edit - Sorry!***

This is or people that have not harvested an elk **
(Another poll will be created for those that have.)

Pretend you get chosen to go on a once in a lifetime Montana elk hunt in a district with all types of terrain, thick lodgepole to wide open plains. Choose the cartridge you take. (if your ideal cartridge isn't listed, pick the closest one to it).

Feel free to explain.
As in the past I would stick with my 270 for any North American Game, even big bears. The 270 will do the job using common sense and given good shot placement.
 

gator378

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
322
***ERROR- Switch "25-06" and "6.5X284" places, this is a mistake I can't edit - Sorry!***

This is or people that have not harvested an elk **
(Another poll will be created for those that have.)

Pretend you get chosen to go on a once in a lifetime Montana elk hunt in a district with all types of terrain, thick lodgepole to wide open plains. Choose the cartridge you take. (if your ideal cartridge isn't listed, pick the closest one to it).

Feel free to explain.
300 Weatherby. Been shooting for 30 years and used to it. Love it
 

20calshooter

New Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
2
300win mag with a muzzle brake. Mine makes my 212 eld-x reloads managable. Since it's a lifetime hunt, the last thing you want is to be undergunned.
 

crkckr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
338
Location
In the woods outside of Warrenton, MO
I've only killed 2 elk in my life, mine, with a .338 Win Mag and another guys, after he shot it in the kneecap and it rolled down a hill and fell in a creek. I had my .270 with me and killed it with a shot thru both lungs. In both cases was using Nosler Partition bullets, a 210 gr. in the .338 and a 150 gr. in the .270. While just about any caliber will kill an elk (eventually) after talking to quite a few guides, I chose the .338. To a man they all said there are more elk wounded with the 7mm Mag than any other caliber. Do note, this was quite a few years ago and things have hopefully changed some since then. I would say that if you are the type of hunter that will not take the shot unless conditions are just perfect, than the 270's and even 30-06's are, in many cases (and in my not so humble opinion), be a little short on energy. Today, I find I like the 300 RUM (with a 200 gr. Partition) and up to be decent elk medicine. The 7mm Mag is ok, *if* the hunter can actually shoot the thing. I f8nd that most people who own one (certainly not all, of course) are scared to death of them and shoot accordingly. Conditions, especially on that "once in a lifetime" hunt are seldom perfect and watching that Royal strut into the woods because you're too far away or the angle isn't right is just too tempting for many. So bring enough gun to cover all the conditions you would be willing to take shot in and make **** sure you can shoot it accurately. If you can't do that, maybe staying home is the best option. I say that after a guy with a .270 shot three elk before one of them died where they could find it, so there's a bit of experience behind my thoughts.
Cheers,
crkckr
 

mustang58

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 22, 2010
Messages
296
Location
Tendoy,ID
This is a little off topic but pertinent. I used to chat with Elmer Keith early morning when he came to the cafe for tea. He said if I couldn't afford a 333 OKH then a 35 Whelen was next best.
 

SavageHunter11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
527
Location
East River South Dakota
I've only killed 2 elk in my life, mine, with a .338 Win Mag and another guys, after he shot it in the kneecap and it rolled down a hill and fell in a creek. I had my .270 with me and killed it with a shot thru both lungs. In both cases was using Nosler Partition bullets, a 210 gr. in the .338 and a 150 gr. in the .270. While just about any caliber will kill an elk (eventually) after talking to quite a few guides, I chose the .338. To a man they all said there are more elk wounded with the 7mm Mag than any other caliber. Do note, this was quite a few years ago and things have hopefully changed some since then. I would say that if you are the type of hunter that will not take the shot unless conditions are just perfect, than the 270's and even 30-06's are, in many cases (and in my not so humble opinion), be a little short on energy. Today, I find I like the 300 RUM (with a 200 gr. Partition) and up to be decent elk medicine. The 7mm Mag is ok, *if* the hunter can actually shoot the thing. I f8nd that most people who own one (certainly not all, of course) are scared to death of them and shoot accordingly. Conditions, especially on that "once in a lifetime" hunt are seldom perfect and watching that Royal strut into the woods because you're too far away or the angle isn't right is just too tempting for many. So bring enough gun to cover all the conditions you would be willing to take shot in and make ---- sure you can shoot it accurately. If you can't do that, maybe staying home is the best option. I say that after a guy with a .270 shot three elk before one of them died where they could find it, so there's a bit of experience behind my thoughts.
Cheers,
crkckr
I tell you what, the thought of a once in a lifetime trophy buck getting away because I felt undergunned is a scary thought. I almost want to change my vote from 7mmRM to 338 Lapua on that thought alone.
 

crkckr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
338
Location
In the woods outside of Warrenton, MO
I tell you what, the thought of a once in a lifetime trophy buck getting away because I felt undergunned is a scary thought. I almost want to change my vote from 7mmRM to 338 Lapua on that thought alone.

As long as you can handle the recoil & muzzle blast, I would say a change is not required (but feel free anyway!). The problem lies in that a lot of people say they can, based on three or four shots getting on paper and a couple of 5 shot groups, not always on the same day. Nothing standing, laying down or in an awkward position, nothing at actual long range because they checked the charts and 'know' where it will hit (the guy I was hunting with was a perfect example of that, I learned the hard way!). Getting to know your rifle really well is important. Do you need 3 or 4 foulers before the hunt for the rifle to settle in? Is the first cold barrel shot always x" high? Does the bolt get difficult when the temps drop into the toilet? The list is actually pretty long and it takes a bit of time and dedication to get this info. And meanwhile, you get enough lead down range to know if you're going to really be able to handle the rifle when the moment comes! No matter what caliber you choose. The 7mmRM will put a big bull down just as dead as a .338 as long as you are using the right ammo (elk are tough and want to live!) and you really can handle the rifle. For that fact, I'm pretty sure the 7mm is a flatter shooting cal than my favorite .338. As long as you know where it's going to hit within your comfort range and you can really shoot it, you will do well. Just remember, elk can tenaciously hold on to life. Sometimes they get hit just right and they fold up like a taco. Other times they get hit "almost" just right and can walk for miles with a fatal (eventually) shot. There is no caliber short of a nuke (or *maybe* a 50 BMG) that can completely eliminate that part of a hunt. Be prepared!
Cheers,
crkckr
 

SavageHunter11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
527
Location
East River South Dakota
As long as you can handle the recoil & muzzle blast, I would say a change is not required (but feel free anyway!). The problem lies in that a lot of people say they can, based on three or four shots getting on paper and a couple of 5 shot groups, not always on the same day. Nothing standing, laying down or in an awkward position, nothing at actual long range because they checked the charts and 'know' where it will hit (the guy I was hunting with was a perfect example of that, I learned the hard way!). Getting to know your rifle really well is important. Do you need 3 or 4 foulers before the hunt for the rifle to settle in? Is the first cold barrel shot always x" high? Does the bolt get difficult when the temps drop into the toilet? The list is actually pretty long and it takes a bit of time and dedication to get this info. And meanwhile, you get enough lead down range to know if you're going to really be able to handle the rifle when the moment comes! No matter what caliber you choose. The 7mmRM will put a big bull down just as dead as a .338 as long as you are using the right ammo (elk are tough and want to live!) and you really can handle the rifle. For that fact, I'm pretty sure the 7mm is a flatter shooting cal than my favorite .338. As long as you know where it's going to hit within your comfort range and you can really shoot it, you will do well. Just remember, elk can tenaciously hold on to life. Sometimes they get hit just right and they fold up like a taco. Other times they get hit "almost" just right and can walk for miles with a fatal (eventually) shot. There is no caliber short of a nuke (or *maybe* a 50 BMG) that can completely eliminate that part of a hunt. Be prepared!
Cheers,
crkckr
I'm currently building a 280A.I. ,which is almost a 7mmRM, but I have a Lapua I'm very comfortable with. Only downside is it's a 12.5lbs rifle. If I draw elk tags this year I don't know what rifle I would take.
 

memtb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
1,825
Location
Winchester, Wy.
SavageHunter11, If your only option, other than the 12.5 pound .338 Lapua.....go with the 7 MM. Unless, you will “not” be doing “any” walking, 12.5 pounds is too heavy for an elk hunt in mountain country....unless you are a competitive tri-athlete! I have a friend, a very tough, physical young man. He used his Lapua once on an elk hunt....said it was just too heavy for hunting, if a lot of walking was involved!

With good Bullets, and proper placement the 7MM is a good elk cartridge. Not my first choice, but a good choice! memtb
 
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SavageHunter11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
527
Location
East River South Dakota
SavageHunter11, If your only option, other than the 12.5 pound .338 Lapua.....go with the 7 MM. Unless, you will “not” be doing “any” walking, 12.5 pounds is too heavy for an elk hunt in mountain country....unless you are a competitive tri-athlete! I have a friend, a very tough, physical young man. He used his Lapua once on an elk hunt....said it was just too heavy for hunting, if a lot of walking was involved!

With good Bullets, and proper placement the 7MM is a good elk cartridge. Not my first choice, but a good choice! memtb
A lot of walking is involved but the terrain of the South Dakota Black Hills is not as extreme as other elk rich states located in the Rocky Mountains. While I think i could toat around the Lapua you are probably right in saying a 8.3lbs 280A.I. would be better suited.
 

Bmccart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
173
Goin on my first elk hunt next year and will be packing my 300 wby and taking a 35 whelen as a backup
 

GregBFL

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
30
Location
Central Florida
I picked 7mm Mag because my Remington 7mm Mag has been used for Whitetail and Hogs for the last 40 years and it has never failed me. I would feel terrible if I didn't let her go with me on my first Elk hunt! If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
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