Just moved to Colorado from Tennessee, and the big game is a bit.... bigger than before. :-) I've been investing quite a bit in my .308 platforms, buying lots of ammo, and trying to perfect some loads. So I'd rather keep using it unless necessary, instead of investing in another hunting rifle and different ammo, etc.
So, any opinions on using .308 for either Mule Deer or Elk? If so, what are the preferred loads for those respective game animals?
Oh, and did any of the rest of you Colorado folks see they're putting in a Cabelas on the west side of Denver? It will be nice to have that to compete with the Bass Pro over on the east side.
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August 25, 2007, 11:27 PM
go with it. just use Remington Cor-Loc. my dads been using a .308 with Cor-Loc for 25 years. killed more deer and antelope than thinkable. great round. what rifle do you have? what scope?
August 25, 2007, 11:28 PM
The .308 will work fine for both, although I would try and keep any shots under 300 yards on the elusive wapiti. Any good bullet like a Nosler Partition will work on elk. I used their partition bullet in my .280 Remington when we lived in Montana.
Had a friend kill a nice bull elk with his .270 Winchester and a 150 grain bullet. One guy I know up there uses his .243 Winchester every year and gets his elk, but for me, the .243 is just a little too light.
August 25, 2007, 11:37 PM
I've got an M1a Loaded, with lots of different stocks I've been trying out for HiPower, tripod shooting, bench-rest, etc., trying to find the best for each. I am "upgrading" the scope to a SuperSniper. However, I'm using the 10x SuperSniper for more target shooting, so if someone has a better suggestion for a dedicated hunting scope let me know. I've never had a problem using MilDots for hunting, but then again I've always just kinda shot what I had available.
August 25, 2007, 11:42 PM
and you want to hunt deer with this? :scrutiny:
i was thinking bolt gun.
August 25, 2007, 11:45 PM
Your 308 is a fine deer or elk round, Use good shot placement and you'll be in good shape. I have reloaded using the core-lokt's in 150 grains for both animals with with good success many years now. The general consensus seems to "be use a heaver bullet" but I don't shoot unless I am presented a decent shot for either species, and I do just fine thank you, but then I wouldn't shoot a game animal where it shouldn't be shot even if I was shooting a large magnum.
August 25, 2007, 11:54 PM
and you want to hunt deer with this?
i was thinking bolt gun.
Is there a problem with the M1a on deer? I'm hitting 2.0 MOA with irons, and less with a scope, from all supported positions. I didn't figure it mattered, as long as you can get good shot placement with a decent bullet.
Care to back up your skepticism with a fuller opinion?
I'm more concerned about the cartridge than the platform. If I need to I can get another gun. Its more trouble for me to relearn a completely different cartridge choice, new reloading dies, etc., than it is to simply buy a Rem 700 or the like.
August 26, 2007, 12:16 AM
Forget the gunsnob , you're M1A will do fine , if YOU will . I dropped a Pronghorn at 514 yards with Super Match with SMK 168 grn.
Its where you hit that matters no matter what you are shooting .
August 26, 2007, 12:25 AM
Well, though mine is no Super Match, I've got lots of SMK 168's, so its good to know I can use them on pronghorn!
Any ideas on loads to use for wapiti?
August 26, 2007, 12:28 AM
I'm taking my M1A 'loaded' after deer this year as well. I typically shoot 168gn SMK, and wanted a bullet that was similar. I'm trying Hornady 165 SPBT this weekend to see how they shoot. I did some experiments with 168gn Barnes TSX, but could not get my rifle to function with them reliably.
Let me know what your using. I'd love to compare notes.
My M1A is currently topped with a Nikon Tactical 2.5-10x. I've used the SWFA SuperSniper in the past and it is a great scope. But where I hunt, there are too many short range shots in the trees and I wanted something variable.
308 will kill anything in CONUS with the right bullet in the right place, with no worries. My M1A will reliably shoot MOA or better with handloads, and I expect yours will too.
What powders are you using? In the past I've been using the standards like H4895 and VV N135, but I've been playing with ball powders lately because they meter so well and I get tired of weighing charges. W748, BL-C(2) and 2520 have been pretty good, with the latter performing quite well with 43.5gn in Winchester brass.
August 26, 2007, 12:28 AM
gunsnob? how so? never seen a gunsnob hunt deer with a Montgomery-Ward Mauser rebuild with 30 year old weaver scope. gunsnob, no. traditionalist, yes. whats the mag capacity on the M1A? i dont shoot them but they have a 20 round mag, correct? ive always seen deer hunting as a bolt, break, or lever action sport. the semi autos were for fun at the range. but thats all ive ever seen big game hunted with round here.
August 26, 2007, 12:41 AM
Kilted....you can obtain 5 round magazines for M1A's.
At that point, its no different than hunting deer with a Browning BAR.
August 26, 2007, 12:46 AM
No mag limit in Montana, but I typically use 10 rounders because they stick out less. I've had more than one opportunity to shoot both my tags at the same time. A semi might be handy.
I also like the M1A for bear in brush.
August 26, 2007, 12:48 AM
thank you for clearing that up. no need for.... "snob-calling"? i dont shoot them(never bought a gun over $500) and i have only seen them with 20 rounders, so i made a mistake in judgement. sorry if i offended anyone with my "old fashioned" ideas about hunting guns.
August 26, 2007, 12:50 AM
.308 is a suitable caliber for both mule deer and elk. Just make sure to get a magazine of the appropriate size. I believe you're limited to 5 round mags in Colorado.
August 26, 2007, 12:53 AM
its 5 rounds. same in AZ, NM, UT, NV, and maybe TX?
August 26, 2007, 01:22 AM
While AZ limits magazine capacity, both Utah and Texas have no such restriction. I'm fairly certain the NM doesn't have magazine restrictions, although their regulations are per species and there could be something tucked away in there.
August 26, 2007, 01:29 AM
Like you, I tried a number of stocks. I ran my M1A in a JAE-100 for a while, but it was too heavy for hauling around in the field. I've gone back to a GI fiberglass, carefully selected for fit.
I did all the accuracy mods: Unified gas system, guide rode, NM piston. I dropped in a Rader trigger set at 2.5 pounds and added a Karsten cheek piece. Very happy with the result and ready to kill some deer.
Here's the current configuration. Just your typical deer rifle. :)
August 26, 2007, 01:39 AM
im sure NM does. dad grew up there, grandfather has always lived there (with the exception of 3 years on an LST in the pacific).
August 26, 2007, 01:42 AM
Just wait until you try to get a deer, antelope, or elk tag. And Oh, by the way, if you are planning to hunt this year for big game you missed the bus by about 5 months. Unless you are one rich dude or a rancher, you will find out that Colorado has its hunting stacked against anyone not who can't afford to pay big $$$. Good luck with the hunting in Colorado. I am also in Colorado, and can't wait to get back to somewhere where the average Joe can hunt too.
August 26, 2007, 01:50 AM
CO has a draw too?
August 26, 2007, 01:55 AM
I don't remember there being anything in the NV hunting regs about a 5 round limit. Although its been a few years since I last read them....
August 26, 2007, 02:03 AM
Nothing wrong with your setup, other than being a little heavy. The only issues you may encounter is some spitzer bullets with a lot of exposed lead may tend to cause jams. Didn't have trouble with Remington Cor-Lokt's but did with Winchester factory.
My first deer was killed with an M1A with a Brookfield mount, Bushnell scope and handloaded 180 Nosler BT's. I used a 20 round mag with 3 rounds loaded.
My father-in-law kinda got his panties in a bunch (hunting @ the family farm) but I had deer 2 hours into my first day and coyote afterward. He never complained afterward.
He now hunts with a Remington 7400 with the composite stock and I often have to give him static whenever I see him with his "evil black rifle".
August 26, 2007, 02:18 AM
I love the JAE-100, but agree its too dang heavy to haul around in the field. I think its a nice system though, with the drop-in capabilities and no bedding. I'm using a GI stock currently, though its a bit pared down itself for weight. For hunting purposes, I think its great. I would use something else for benchrest or even for hipower, though (a McMillan, etc., and something with about four more lbs. of weight in the stock). What kind of scope mount are you using? It looks low, so I'm guessing the ARMS mount? How do you like that Nikon Tactical 2.5x10x? I've always used variable scopes, but the quality of the SuperSniper really drew me in. Hunting in Nebraska, My 3# stock trigger is a dream, actually, and I don't think I'm going to mess with it. I do like that Karsten cheekpiece. Nice setup. I've only got a bunch of 20 round mags and some 10 rounders. Any decent suppliers of 5 round hunting mags? Funny, I've been looking at ball powders lately too.
Birdbuster, yep, I didn't move here fast enough to get my tags in (though I may actually find a way yet). I agree, its a bugger getting tags out here. Still haven't figured out the system yet. I'll probably be paying out of state tags somewhere this year (though that could even be a positive, come to think of it.... state of choice.... Montana?).
And KiltedClaymore, naw, you're not a snob. I'm sure it would give you a start to see a bunch of "black rifles" being used on deer, but when that's what you've got to use... well anyways, I'd like to be able to turn this M1a into an all-around gun anyways, so I'll have at it.
August 26, 2007, 02:22 AM
more power to ya. u plan to drag your "black rifle" on foot or ATV?
August 26, 2007, 02:23 AM
165 grain Nosler Partitions seem to work OK on mule deer out of a .308, but I am weary of the .308 on elk, even little Colorado ones.
Too many times I've had them stumble on when their vitals had been shot to pieces.
Elk are tough; you will probably want to use something larger caliber if you have it, terrain allowing.
Let me amend that: Nosler Partitions kill mule dear dead! Nothing wrong at all with the other loads mentioned here.
August 26, 2007, 02:38 AM
Nope, don't have an ATV... wish I had one though to save some time! Luckily, my current work situation allows me to go out on the weekdays, so I'll have a bit more time to trek back deeper in this year, and not be in such a hurry.
Just to say, though, I love my dad's Rem 700 BDL in 30'06. Beautiful, reliable, accurate. I'm enjoying getting to know this M1a though. Feels like I can use it in a lot more situations than that Remington.
I've been using Nosler Partitions on deer for a bit now, and they sure do kill them quick. Just didn't know if they were as effective on Mule deer. Glad to hear they are effective.
August 26, 2007, 03:05 AM
I've been here for 2 years and I did finally get a doe antelope tag (6 day season), and I got a leftover deer tag for Nov 3-9 after not getting drawn again for the regular draw. That's only 1 animal for the season and you can only draw for 1 of the 3 seasons. Deer and elk seasons are broke up into 3-7 day seasons. That's it for the man that doesn't qualify for "RANCHING FOR WILDLIFE". That allows a "RANCHER" (I think 264 acres or more) to hunt for 90days, I think the months of Oct, Nov, Dec.
No one out here does Dove Fields either. Most haven't even heard of hunting doves. The ones that do hunt doves just set up near some natural flight path. I wish I could get a field of milo and/or sunflowers and show these guys what a real dove hunt is all about.
I'm in Colorado Springs btw.
August 26, 2007, 03:09 AM
KiltedClaymore -- you just made the same mistake that Jim Zumbo did...you just didn't stick the foot in quite so far and you came around a lot quicker. Good on ya.
August 26, 2007, 03:33 AM
Birdbustr read your DOW manual a little more you have 3 choices per season on big game. Unless you are dead set on a certain area then make sure you fill out all of your choices and options. I have only failed to draw for a deer tag once and never for an elk tag. Also another overlooked option for a lot of Colorado people is plains deer it has a longer season and if you are willing to put in the miles and homework you can find some good private land to hunt out east. If you live in the Springs you have to drive to hunt get used to it. If you are looking for dove hunting the closest place I can think of is Pueblo state wildlife area. Other than that head out east and you will find your sunflower and milo fields. Also look in to the new walk in access program for pheasants and geese for the winter. I agree that Colorado is pricier than back east but if you look in to it there is a lot more public land available to hunt out there than back east. I too live in the Springs and routinely drive two hours to go hunting. Yeah it sucks but I have gotten used to it now all I need is a four wheel drive that get's forty miles to the gallon and will haul me the dog the decoys and a couple of buddies to the field while towing a 20 foot boat.
August 26, 2007, 03:46 AM
You can still only draw for 1-7 day season for the year for deer/elk combined and then the six day antelope season. Having to work if you are "essential personnel" further narrows those days down. 7 days out of an entire year is just not enough in my opinion.
I might have to check out Pueblo for the doves. I also saw that Lamar is having a dove shoot on the 1st.
August 26, 2007, 04:20 AM
I was just on the website today looking at walk in hunting areas. That looks pretty intriguing. Yep, its more expensive out here, but I'm seeing quite a bit more places to hunt on public land. I'm actually getting fairly excited about the upcoming small game and upland game season. Birdbustr, if you ever want to hook up and try to slam some doves, give me a call. I was just down at the Springs yesterday, enjoying the grill at Ensonada. I'd be willing to drive a bit out east for those milo/sunflower fields, or else try out that Pueblo wildlife area.
Its a very different hunting culture out here, but I'm seeing a lot to get excited about. Just need to learn the lay of the land.
As for those leftover tags, I needed to submit for those as well several months ago, right?
Whats up with the pheasant/grouse hunting here? I've been driving out to South/North Dakota or Nebraska for several years now, but would like to find some here in Colorado. Is most of that back out east?
August 26, 2007, 04:43 AM
You can call the number on the site to see if you there are any left. There is a walk-in area at Turkey Creek that I checked out last week. It's the only one in El Paso County, but it's 8,800 acres. I don't think there is more than 5 trees on the whole place, but the DOW has put up some windmills that have watertroughs under them. There may be some some doves coming in and out, but they don't even open the gates until Sept 1. I don't know about the grouse/pheasant, but they are supposed to live out here wild.
Those milo and sunflower fields would be nice. When my dad used to prep a field he would start by plowing a few strips at 7 days before the season, then 4 days, and then the day before. We had doves on us like flies. At this point, I'm just trying to find a reasonable priced pay field. No luck yet, but I'll be sure to let you know if I do find one.
By the way, Fort Carson is nearby and may be worth scouting out for some doves, pheasants, etc.
August 26, 2007, 08:38 AM
You will have to go through the class on Carson to hunt. It is basically their own hunter safety/range rules. There are no pheasants but their is some quail down on the south end. Pueblo SWA is also decent for quail early in the year. Is Turkey Creek the area down by the power plant or is it down 115 towards Penrose. If you are in to coyote hunting there is a place called Squirrel Creek SWA in eastern ElPaso county that has quite a few running through it. You might want to ventur out there to scout out the Dove situation as well I know there is some watering holes as well as some surrounding ranch land but I am not sure about row crops. Just a few options for you guys.
August 26, 2007, 11:55 AM
getting drawn in az is easy IF you live here. if ya dont, dont try. i think my tag cost me $16.
August 26, 2007, 12:31 PM
The mount is a Sadlak titanium - which is a modified Brookfield. It's the best I've foun, and I have tried them all. The Nikon Tactical, now called the Monarch X IIRC, is great glass. This one is not the MilDot, and I picked it up very cheap - around $600 IIRC. It's actually got slightly better glass than my Leupold MkIV M3. At one time I had it on my 40X, but I decide to upgrade that to a USO ST-10, and the 2.5-10x seemed perfect for the M1A.
Here's the Sadlak mount
The Karsten Cheeck piece is a great add on for the scoped M1A, at about $60 bucks. If you can drill a couple of holes, you can install it easily.
Here's the rifle when I had it in the JAE-100. The best M1A stock bar none, but heavy.
August 26, 2007, 04:10 PM
Guntech, one word:
How long of a wait were those Sadlak's? And whats the difference between those and the Smith ones? Both look very well built, and are priced similarly from what I've seen (as in, pricey, but worth it).
PM sent as well
August 26, 2007, 04:43 PM
"...better suggestion for a dedicated hunting scope..." 2.5x to 8x. Or thereabouts. A 10x won't focus well at close range. The field of view is too small as well.
"...I am weary of the .308 on elk..." As in leery? There's no elk on Earth that a properly placed 165 grain .30 calibre hunting bullet won't kill.
August 26, 2007, 05:44 PM
Though I would not hesitate to use my .308s on any deer species, I probably would favor a hot, premium loading when using the .308 for elk. Yes, many elk have been killed with a .30-30, and probably even the lowly .243. But, when I just paid hundreds of bucks for a tag, and hiked my skinny butt off while covering 15 miles a day, I want to be packing a round that will allow a less-than-perfect shot scenario.
Using a normal cup-and-core bullet, the only shot you ought to take on that elk is a broadside lung shot.
Using a premium bullet, loaded hot (e.g. Federal's 180gr High Energy Partition elk load), you can have some more flexibility. It would suck to wound an elk, or not be able to take a shot, because I saved $10 at the checkout counter.
The downside is, most M1A variants cannot take the pounding of a high-energy load. That's the real reason you hardly ever see them in the woods of ColoWyoUtah -- they're pressure-limited. You do occasionally see them on the plains hunting speed goats, or in the the woods in a .30-06 configuration.
Best of luck!
August 26, 2007, 07:50 PM
The place I was talking about is the squirrel creek area. It's in Eastern El Paso of of Squirrel Creek Rd and Peyton Hwy. Anything to get outdoors. If I get a few doves that will be a bonus. I'm not expecting anything like what I am used to in South Carolina. Dove hunting is a serious matter the first Saturday in September. Of course, you can't hunt in the morning on opening day. It starts at noon due to so many birds were getting shot in the morning.
I haven't been able to dove hunt in the last 2 years due to deployment and workups.
Quicktime: Are you going to be home for any of this hunting season?
August 26, 2007, 08:07 PM
I plan on using my 30-06 Ruger No 1 for elk. My preferred bullet is 168gn Barnes TSX, but it won't funtion reliably in the M1A. Then again, I have no trouble putting a 165gn SGK into the 3 inch gong at 300 yards with the M1A.
Brownells has the Sadlak titanium in stock. All their steel mounts are going to the sandbox. If you want one, talk to me first as I get them at dealer cost. The Smith is decent, but is heavier and requires an additional tool.
I find the 10x fixed is great from about 200 yards out. It seems like too much at anything less. The SuperSniper will focus down to 50 yards, so you can use it. I used a fixed power 10X last year on my 40X with good effect.
August 26, 2007, 10:33 PM
Anyone had much luck with the Barnes 180gr. all copper TSX bullet? The reloading book says that 47.5 grains of AA 2520 should push it at 2669fps. I don't know how much this would tax the M1a, however.
Whatcha shooting there on that whitetail, Guntech? Nice looking gun.
Since I missed the drawing date for this year (unless I want to buy an over-the-counter elk tag for $500 bucks... and I don't), I've heard good things about Wyoming's antelope hunts. $40, or so its rumored?! After an entire day spent at hunting shops today, I'm confident that I can spend the rest of this year with plenty of time in the field, be it Colorado or Wyoming.
August 26, 2007, 11:10 PM
TSX just won't work in M1As. I made many calls to Barnes about this. Apparently, it's too 'slippery' and reduces port pressure to the point it won't always cycle.
It is not recommended to shoot heavy bullets in the M1A. Heavies can lead to a dangerous early unlock condition, which is the reason for the groove in the NM piston. If you manage to get TSX to work, let me know. I could only get semi-reliable functioning by going to a very heavy loading of BL-C(2).
I have not tried MRX yet.
August 26, 2007, 11:12 PM
BTW, are you looking at 308 loads, or 7.62x51mm loads? The latter is loaded to a lower peak and working pressure. Loading to 7.62 pressures, I can get 165 gn bullets to just over 2600 from a 22 inch bbl.
August 26, 2007, 11:16 PM
Great hunting caliber.
.308 on a Tule Elk, cow, 430lb. Used a Rem Core Lokt PSP. Didn't use my M1A since I couldn't find 7.62 hunting rounds, and I wanted a hunting specific bullet, like the Core Lokt. I used a R700 instead.
I thought that there was general agreement that modern 308 hunting rounds generated chamber pressures that varied from marginal to dangerous when used in milsurp weapons such as the M1A pattern?
I can produce a few different URL's with this discussion, including a few from THR.
If I was confident that frequently digesting potentially hotter hunting rounds wouldn't discomode my M1A, I would happily take it to the field.
August 26, 2007, 11:39 PM
I definitely wouldn't put a hot round in my M1A.
Max SAAMI pressure on 308 is around 62,000psi, 7.62x51mm is about 55,000 (3800 bar, IIRC). It doesn't help that the pressure is measured differently in the two rounds.
Most commercial 308 ammo is probably safe, unless you have a long chamber. If your headspace is over 1.636, don't use commercial brass - it's not strong enough
I don't think I would go much over 44 gn of 2520 in commercial brass. I stick with Winchester, as it has a good volume and is also strong. Remington brass doesn't seem to help up well in my M1A. Federal is too soft, and primer pockets get loose after a couple of firings.
August 27, 2007, 12:56 AM
GAIUDO - "Is there a problem with the M1a on deer?"
Nope, nor on elk, either, so long as you shoot well.
My only problem with the M1a, for me, is the weight.
I've hunted the mountains of Colo. quite a few times, and would not want to tote that much weight around. Seems the mountains here in the Rocky Mountain west get a little higher and steeper each year. :)
If you don't mind the extra weight of the M1a, go for it, and good luck.
August 27, 2007, 02:23 AM
Guntech, who makes a 7.62 in a hunting round? I've only shot 7.62 milsurp stuff.
Does the NM piston allow greater pressures than the normal issue? And can you use .308 brass to load 7.62 bullets?
August 27, 2007, 10:02 AM
Gaiudo, there are beaucoup hunting loadings in .308. For deer, any old 150-grain will do; the only reason for any one particular brand/style is how it groups from your rifle.
Sustained repetitive use of higher-pressure cartridges can hurt an operating rod, but the small number used in basic sight-in and shooting at Bambi won't hurt anything.
August 27, 2007, 11:09 AM
BTW, are you looking at 308 loads, or 7.62x51mm loads? The latter is loaded to a lower peak and working pressure. Loading to 7.62 pressures, I can get 165 gn bullets to just over 2600 from a 22 inch bbl.
Yes, I've got many options for loading the .308 rounds, however, GunTech had asked whether I was loading .308 or 7.62 loads. I'm not sure whether he means using .308 brass, .308 bullets, etc., and wherein lies the difference. I know there is a difference between the pressures on a .308 vs. 7.62 load, but not sure where that comes into play in the reloading process.
However, I can see where having the lower pressures in the 7.62 round would be attractive, as far as the oprod goes.
August 27, 2007, 08:18 PM
All right some great information here on this thread and some that is NOT right at all!!!
Sir you are giving out some REALLY bad information about Colorado hunting.
You can buy over the counter elk tags no problem no worries. You can buy left over elk tags online right now with nothing but the stroke of a key. I have two elk tags this year a bull tag in unit 7 10-20 through 10-28 and a cow tag in unit 471, 11-3 through 11-9. That is 16 days of elk hunting for $80.00 for the two tags. If that is big bucks to you sir you need to stay home. You can't afford hunting.
PS there are 1100 left over tags for bulls in unit 7 alone! thousands more in all the other units!
Go get on the Colorado DOW web sight and have a little look see under left over licenses.
I also bought a left over deer tag in unit 105 and an over the counter archery tag in 104 and 105. There are also left over antelope tags.
As far as bird hunting goes i hunt dove out here to the east. there are thousands of acres of planted sunflowers and other game bird attracting fields out here. Sometimes the dove hunting is Argentina hot some times it's cold it depends on the weather more than anything. I have never paid to hunt birds out here. Most guys will let you hunt on their property if you ask nicely.:)
The waterfowl hunting is also fantastic up north.
IT IS NOT TO LATE TO BUY A BIG GAME LICENSE AND GO HUNTING THIS YEAR. Do not let this piss poor information on this thread get you down. If you have any questions about how to buy a license for the 2007 hunting season please feel free to PM me. That goes for any of you guys wanting to hunt elk this year in CO.
AS far as the .308 and hunting elk or mule deer my personal get er done .308 Win load is the Federal HE 180 gr Nosler PT.
If your rifle will shoot them it is a "killer" load for the .308. 5 round cap for hunting in CO.
Just to reiterate there are THOUSANDS of left over licenses for elk for this season on public land they are $41.00 for a resident.
Go hunting and I want pictures of you and your elk and your M1.:cool::)
August 27, 2007, 08:47 PM
That M1A is going to get real heavy at 11,000 feet. You are going to be climbing some real steep slopes. The weather will go from below zero to 70 degrees or better in a day. The .308 will do the job. I use 165 gr boattails. My 308 is a Remington 700. I also shoot reloads. After the first year hunting for elk I got a .300 Winmag. I use 180 gr bullets in it. Better down range terminal ballistics. Last year I went to lighter rifle, a Winchester .325 with a fiberglass stock. Better terminal ballistics yet. 220 gr bullet. I would strongly suggest that you pick up a 30.06 with a 3x9 varabile with a wide field of view.
They have them on sale this time of the year. Sight it in with 180 gr bullets.
Pick a good hot accurate load. You can get over the counter left over tags. You just might not get the area you want. Good luck.
If you want a place to sight in PM me.
August 27, 2007, 10:16 PM
Here's the skinny on 308 vs 7.62x51mm that you have to worry about.
Typically, 7.62x51 military is loaded to slightly less pressure. Military brass also has much thicker case walls, so using milsurp brass, smaller charges give the same pressures. Of all the commercial brass I've tried, I like Winchester best. It holds up well and has more capacity so you can squeeze some extra velocity from it without running high pressure. Remington is too thin and Federal is too soft.
You'll get a max of about 2600fps from a 165/168gn bullet in a 22 inch M1A at reasonable pressures. This is more than enough to get the job done. Many loading manuals have loads specifically for the M1A as opposed to stabndard 308.
The few rounds you'll shoot hunting won't hurt the gun even if they are fairly hot. You can safely use just about anything sold over the counter, but stick to bullet weights under 175gn.
Just recall that this rifle was designed for ammo like M80 ball - rounds around 150 gns at about 2800 fps.
The current load I am playing with is 43.5 gn AA 2520 under a Speer 165gn BTSP. 165gn Sierra game kings also perform very well in my rifle.
Don't worry about blewing up the rifle. Just stick to loads in the middle of the range and work on accuracy. 2500-2600fps is normal and very effective.
August 27, 2007, 11:09 PM
GunTech ~ Nice! Might have to make room in 1 of the vaults.
Gaiudo ~ 308 will work just fine for both . . . as H&H said: Send pics!
Have a ball!
August 28, 2007, 02:11 AM
Unfortunately I will be missing big game season this year. I am home in December for a couple of weeks but I will not have time to prepare otherwise I would look in to a plains deer license. So I will probably just hunt small game and or geese. I will have to look on line to see what will be open season wise.
August 28, 2007, 02:41 AM
Great info, I'll be spending my time this week either reloading or else getting tags.
It sure is nice to be part of a community that can figure stuff out. Thanks! I'll post more questions as they come, as I try and figure this Colorado hunting thing out. I admit, its a whole new word out here! However, the incredible amount of public land and walk-in partnerships makes me want to learn the system really fast.
The only thing that complicates it is that I only got my CO driver's license a couple months ago. Boy, did THAT throw a chink in things! I went in yesterday to get tags, and they require six months after the license change, regardless of how long you've lived here. So, I bought all my smallgame and waterfowl as a non-resident, and will wait a couple months until I'm resident to see if I can still pick up some left overs. I just can't pay 500 bucks this time for an elk tag, when there's plenty enough otherwise to keep me busy.
I'll be getting into doves this next week, hopefully, and then spend some time exploring the area. I'll get a Wyoming antelope for now so I can get into some big game. Too bad, my ignorance did bite me in the tail this time, but I hope to make the best of it.
August 28, 2007, 03:19 AM
There's been some really bad information posted in this thread about CO hunting rules and regs. Go to http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting to get the real stuff. Seasons aren't all the same length, and you aren't restricted to one combined season. You aren't restricted to one license per specie. You aren't too late to buy a license, and finally, residency isn't based on when you change your drivers license, unless it's been changed in the last year or so (I don't think it has.)
August 28, 2007, 07:34 AM
I want to hunt elk this year in Colorado. All it would take is time off a plane ticket and don't tell my wife I came back and headed straight to the mountains. Just kidding it just happens to fall right outside of my leave schedule and next year if I come back the tax man will get me so I will have to wait until 09 but I have put in for preference points for all my tags as well as Bighorn preference points. So in 09 I will live on the mountain chasing big critters. Until then I will be content to chase varmints and waterfowl in December. And who know I might get to go to Africa next year since I am close already and have to stay out of the country. We will have to see how everything works out.
August 28, 2007, 09:59 AM
Seasons aren't all the same length, and you aren't restricted to one combined season. You aren't restricted to one license per specie. You aren't too late to buy a license, and finally, residency isn't based on when you change your drivers license, unless it's been changed in the last year or so (I don't think it has.)
Thanks you sir! And you are correct whoever told Gaiudo that residency is based on the amount of time you've had a Co DL is WRONG! I am guessing he went to a Walmart or some such to get his license and was edumatcated by one of them there license professionals.;) It is based on when you first moved here. I've seen that same crud posted at a walmart before it's wrong.
Poor guy has been getting some really lousy information.
I wish you the best for your upcoming hunting season and I am all for your Africa plans. GET ER DONE!
August 28, 2007, 10:15 AM
Yep, got the "walmart" treatment, was told that my DL had to be issued six months ago before I could apply. Also, the website license application requires a DL for hunting purposes, so I assumed that was the way it worked.
Just need to get someone to accept something like my electric bill or whatnot.
Thanks, THAT was enlightening.
August 28, 2007, 10:23 AM
My thought on the M1A is I ain't getting any younger and totin' that thing over mountain canyons would be a chore. I'd rather hunt with my little M7, myself. I'll also echo that I prefer my 2x10 Weaver to any fixed 10 power for hunting. I leave it set on 2x when walking, use higher powers only if needed. I ain't one for high power scopes while hunting on foot. Sitting in a stand, frankly, I'd rather have 4-6x, nowhere near 10. But, a variable cures any power problems.
August 28, 2007, 11:19 AM
I think scope power has a lot to do with terrain. Where I hunt, there is a lot of open country mixed with greenstrips. When I hunted antelope, I had a 3.5-10X leupold. I had it set on 10x the whole time, as shots were in the 300-500yard range. A fixed 10x would have been fine, and that is what I am going to.
Conversely, the area where we hunt whitetail ovccasionally has a shot over 300 yards, but you can also have snap shots a 50 yards or less, so I plopped a 2.5-10x Nikon on my M1A.
Yes, the M1A is a tad heavy, but after hauling around a 17 pound 40X last year, it's going to feel mighty light.
August 28, 2007, 11:58 AM
I limit my range to no more than 400 and hopefully less than 350. My range finder only goes to 400 yards and usually only about 350 due to poor target reflection, but that's fine cause I ain't making any longer shots. I'll get closer or I won't shoot. I have made 350 yard shots on coyotes with it set on 3x. I don't see the need for more than 6, really, especially for elk. Only time I ever use 10 is at the range. If you trip over a mulie in heavy cover, a 10x ain't gonna cut it. I've done that even in rough country with sparse vegetation in New Mexico.
My little M7 weighs about 7 lbs with scope and sling. It totes about as easy as my contender, LOL, and it is a 1 moa gun. That's what I'll tote in rough country. I've carried my Savage 7 mag in the mountains. It's about 9 lbs with a rather heavy 3x9x44 Weatherby Supreme scope on it. That thing gets old fast in rough country.
August 28, 2007, 05:23 PM
I haven't even tried for elk this year, nor do I care to hunt them due to the enormous size of the animal (Don't have the freezer space). I mentioned elk, but addressed my misfortune with deer and antelope. And if there is a way to hunt in more than one of the short 7-8 day deer seasons then I would like to know about it. If you think that Colorado has a hunter friendly system set up then you must have a screw loose. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.
As far as money, I don't recall knocking any such tag costs. I was talking about the costs of paid and/or guided hunts. Next year I won't have to deal with Colorado anyway.
You're right that elk and mule deer are larger than most white tailed deer. But it is thickness of the chest wall and shot placement that at a hunter needs to consider most of all. Even a 750 lb herd bull can not stand up to a well placed soft nosed bullet that strikes the chest from a broadside angle.
Doesn't really matter what the diameter of the bullet is as it flies toward the target. What DOES matter is how the bullet behaves when it strikes thick hide and heavy bones on it's path to the chest organs. For example, a Premium bullet fired from 6.5mm Swede will out penetrate 338 MAG. I know this to be true as I've guided many Easterners and Californians. I've seen the innerds of many bull elk!
I've taken 17 elk with my .308 and most fell to plain 180 grain Remington core-lockt bullets. No kidding. But since 2000, I've been greatly pleased with Winchester Fail Safe 150 grain bullets. Years ago, I was very focused upon hand loading the 165 grain Sierra Game King for maximum velocity and trajectory. But truthfully, it killed no better than plain 180 grain factory ammo.
You'll have no problems toppling Colorado big game with your .308 if you wait for a good shot and make the first one count. But plan to shoot the bull again in the chest. The magnum fanatics don't comprehend basic math but two well placed .308 bullets cause far more damage than one 340 Weatherby MAG bullet. Check the charts and do the math if you disbelieve me!
Good hunting to you.
August 28, 2007, 08:06 PM
I load 140 Barnes X bullets for hogs. Very tough bullet, solid copper, 100 percent weight retention, and the SD of a 160 grainer. They work great on hogs. Wondering if anyone has used 'em on elk, or at least a Barnes X of some weight? It's got a great BC, too, and shoots faster than a 150.
August 28, 2007, 08:42 PM
I saw a Barnes X taken out of a deer; wow. I imagine it would do great on Elk. GunTech, have you tried the Barnes X in the M1a? Or was that too "slippery" as well to cycle properly?
I looks like I'll be hunting antelope in Wyoming here in a bit, as the extra tags are only $41 (doe and fawn). Anyone know how to properly grill antelope? I've heard they can be kinda stringy. And as I'm in Aurora, can anyone suggest a decent area in WY to buy an antelope tag for? Looks like a friend of mine and I are going to head up there next month and crawl around a bit. If there are good locations in the South-Central/South-West portion of the State that could cut down our driving time. On ammo, I imagine those 150grain Federal partition cartridges would work just fine on antelope. Probably not as flat shooting as the SGK's, but I've got tons of the 150s to shoot up.
August 28, 2007, 10:51 PM
Have not tried X bullets. Haven't seen any for a while. I am curious to see if the Nosler E-tip will function.
For my turnbolts. I've been using TSX exclusively. They take a bit more work to shoot accurately, but they will shoot like match bullets.
Here's 5 rounds at 100 yards. 0.221 CTC
August 28, 2007, 11:16 PM
I've been thinking of picking up a lighter turnbolt for the longer mountain hunts, something like the Remington Mountain rifle, or similar models. Those TSX bullets would be quite the ticket to shoot through them. Any hints on the loads you're using?
August 28, 2007, 11:27 PM
+1 for Rem Core-Lokt.
Tightest groups for factory ammo in my .308.
And it did just what it's supposed to do against that black bear about 2 weeks ago.
August 29, 2007, 12:21 AM
They are awesome performers on game and as you can see are match grade in accuracy.
birdbuster you said you are looking for a way to hunt more than one deer season. Try either picking up a bow or late season plains deer.
August 29, 2007, 06:41 AM
Gaiudo I have heard of a bunch of antelope that like to roam back and forth between Colorado and Wyoming on the Western side. You also might want to check out the big public grassland north of Douglas. Or jsut pick up a left over tag for Colorado.
August 29, 2007, 10:36 AM
The load is on the target:
41.5gn VV N135
CCI BR-2 primer
The trick with TSX is to get the seating depth correct. Barnes recommends 0.030-0.070 off the lands. You will have to play with the depth until you find the 'sweet spot'. It will be very evident, as group sizes will suddenly shrink.
I load several rounds at each OAL - 0.030, 0.040, 0.050, 0.060, 0.070 and see which groups best. Then I tweak depth again in 0.001 incremenets when I have a rough extimate of ideal seating (did I mention I was anal?)
August 29, 2007, 02:31 PM
Quicktime: I never have got into bow hunting. If I really had the time and my own land I think I would be able to set up a place good enough for consistent close shots. I'll probably get a deer or two in NY late November. My in-laws have some land, and they are in the sticks. Beautiful place and big deer.
August 29, 2007, 04:16 PM
In New Mexico, you have to pick a season, either black powder or one of the three rifle seasons, but not one of each. Now, I don't hunt with a bow, don't know how they do that there. Other states, though, you can hunt primitive (black powder) AND rifle. Is Colorado one of those?????? The neat thing about the black powder season in NM is it's well before any snowfall and the weather is still decent. Also, with black powder, you get a month or there abouts. With rifles, first season is a 2 day weekend, then there's a 3 day season, 5 day, last season is 7. Me, I'd rather hunt BP if I lived there and get a month of fun even if I had to get real close for a shot.
Now, this is mule deer, don't know about elk, ain't done that, yet.
August 30, 2007, 08:11 AM
BP elk season is typically the last week or so of archery season. I am not positive if you can hunt both or not you would have to check with DOW. I hunt archery and rifle when I am there. Last year hunted archery elk, rifle elk, and late season plains deer. It made for three months of available hunting for big game. I could have extended that with Antelope tag as well but time off was kind of thin.
August 30, 2007, 08:17 AM
Birdbustr you need to look in to archery. There are several ranges in the Springs. A couple are indoor so you can shoot no matter what the weather. It is amazing how much more game you see when you are bowhunting. And the seasons are longer with a better chance of drawing for the trophy areas.
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