grains for an elk hunt


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Psyco Tyco
August 16, 2010, 01:48 AM
hey yall im getting ready to start sighting in and start practicing for an elk hunt i won from a boy scout camp auction. however im not really sure what to expect as far as shot wise, ive scounted the area its the potato canyon near weed NM (in the event i have some locals reading)

its newly growing back from a terrible lightning storm fire about 7 years ago so seeing all over an adjacent hill 350 to 400ish yards away is really easy

though im stuck on what grain bullet to use, ive decided to use my 300 win mag because the accuracy on it is quite better than my 30-06 weatherby

my only other experience on this large of game was my oryx hunt and i hit that sucker at 50 yards in the a lung and the liver with a 180 grain from my 30-06 and still had to finish the job when we got closer and realized he was still kicking (literally) im considering a 150 grain bullet though i could just as easily load 165s or 180s, hell id even load up some stout 220s if needed but i want to know if yall folks think a 150 is enough i know it should have more kinetic energy and that elk arent nearly as muscularly built as oryx.

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hoghunting
August 16, 2010, 02:12 AM
Stay with the 180 gr, but try using the Nosler Partition or Barnes TSX. If you are using factory loads, Federal loads those bullets.

dakotasin
August 16, 2010, 08:39 AM
165 grain or heavier.

Art Eatman
August 16, 2010, 10:57 AM
Not bumrapping elk for tough, but oryx are said to be tougher to kill, and I've read that the heart is located somewhat more forward than in deer or elk. (IIRC) So, the common-practice shot might be aft of the good spot.

Most '06 and .300 WinMag folks go with 165 and 180 bullets on elk. The more experienced elk hunters often comment that they've been quite content with their results from 150s.

As near as I can tell from messing around, the Sierra 180-grain GameKing gives good penetration, which would be The Deal where the target of opportunity is at some inconvenient angle. I've found that the trajectory isn't all that much different from the 150-grain SPBT or the 165-grain HPBT in my '06 to 500 yards...

Whatever...

sonier
August 16, 2010, 12:05 PM
My elk was dropped with a 150 grain spitzer boatail at an EST. 475 yards. The bullet landed where it would at 475.

the 220 grain willl effectivly just punch a hole through the elk, bigger bullets do not mean better performance. If you are really that worried you can always load some partitions, or buy nosler custom with partitions. If you are hunting elk sometimes the shots can be a strech. You already said your 300 win mag was more accurate then your 30/06 weatherby, I must assume you will be taking long range shots.

For bullet weight at long range shots id recomend 165 grain for the 300 win mag, take advantage of the flat shooting light bullets, a 165 grain partition for elk that is very flat shooting is beyond exceptional. Elk are not bullet proof I tested a .22lr on a elk shoulderblade and the .22 had no problem at 15 yards penetrating all the way through.

Good luck :)

wankerjake
August 16, 2010, 12:08 PM
Most '06 and .300 WinMag folks go with 165 and 180 bullets on elk. The more experienced elk hunters often comment that they've been quite content with their results from 150s.

I gotta agree. I've never had any trouble killing them with 150gr bullets out of a 30-06, but I am moving up to 165 gr this year. 165gr-180gr is probably optimal, but don't let folks tell you that 150's won't work. They absolutely will.

sonier
August 16, 2010, 12:15 PM
I have even thought about switching to a nosler 150.165 grain nosler ballistic tip for hunting elk. I wasnt to impressed with the 150 grains expansion from a normal sierra spitzer. I also dont think many have used BTs for elk either lol

bpl
August 16, 2010, 12:40 PM
I have even thought about switching to a nosler 150.165 grain nosler ballistic tip for hunting elk.

I think that would be a poor choice. BTs are constructed for rapid expansion, penetration is not their strong point. At least pick the pick the Nosler accubond or the Hornady Interbond if you want a "BT-profile", aerodynamic bullet.

snakeman
August 16, 2010, 01:41 PM
I would go with a 165 or 168 and keep my shots within 300 yds. Then you don't have to worry much about bullet drop or wind deflection. I personally like hornady sst but I don't hunt elk so I am no expert.

sonier
August 16, 2010, 01:57 PM
I know BTs dont have good penetration thats not what there designed for. Ive also seen in the field that penetration has never been an issue on an elk. Ive just been curious to see if the Nosler BTs will penetrate deep enough. I will probally just load some and do a broadside shot on a cow im going to butcher and see if it works.

Iggy
August 16, 2010, 02:07 PM
.Nosler Partition 180 minimum

HGUNHNTR
August 16, 2010, 02:32 PM
Any 150-180 that is heavily constructed would be just fine. Nosler partitions, TBBC's, X bullets, A frames, Sciroccos, etc. etc. Stay away from Ballistic tips, SST's, Ballistic Sivertips (winchester's polymer tipped bullet).

Captcurt
August 16, 2010, 02:34 PM
Go with a controled expansion bullet. Nosler Partition, Accubond, Speer Grandslam, Barns, or Winchester Failsafe. Any of these in 180 gr would work for me in my 300 WSM.

courtgreene
August 16, 2010, 04:10 PM
federal's new trophy bonded bear claws have BT's. their claim to fame is weight retention, so do they count as a "tbbc" or as a "bt" (HGUNHNTR mentioned them)

Justin Holder
August 16, 2010, 05:14 PM
I think some guy named John developed a pretty good .30 caliber elk bullet a while back.

Oh yeah now I remember, it was called the Nosler 180gr. Partition.

sonier
August 16, 2010, 05:35 PM
the partition is by far the best design i think ever made for elk, end of story. now the only real argument is what weight ;) I prefer 150 or 165 but thats due to my ranges my shots can get to be about 600 yards, I practice extensively and can make ethical shots at such range. close up id go with bigger rounds 180 200, long range id use lighter 150 165.

tehweej
August 16, 2010, 06:33 PM
I will have to add that 150 gr FailSafe's out of an 06' work very well.

monwa
August 16, 2010, 10:50 PM
On typical west slope areas I would use 180 grain.

In some of these areas 150s and 165s might be more applicable because the range may be greater but the 180s seem good at up to 300+ yards which is where most of the business happens.

I think up to 300 yards, no matter the terrain, 180 grain is the right choice for elk with an '06.

Captcurt
August 16, 2010, 11:46 PM
Here is what I have come up with. All with a 200 yard zero.


Bullet BC FPS 300yd 400yd 500yd
150 420 2800 -8" -23" -47"

165 440 2700 -8" -25" -50"

180 480 2600 -9" -26" -53"

200 540 2500 -9.7" -28 -56

This is conserative. I've seen 180 gr pushed at over 2800.

For 6" differance at 500 yds I'll take 180 gr.

Flintknapper
August 17, 2010, 07:43 AM
180 gr Accubond.

Captcurt
August 17, 2010, 05:23 PM
180 gr Accubond.
I'll drink to that.

Psyco Tyco
August 17, 2010, 08:59 PM
pretty good consensus to stick to 180 or more so thats probably what ill start loading, just need to order some bullets in that grain...

o and art actually the vitals on an oryx are farther front than deer and elk, theyre totally encompassed by the shoulderd and upper rib cage, getting a good hit without going through bone is near impossible, hence my low lung and liver shot being from fragmented bullet off the shoulder

Captcurt
August 17, 2010, 10:29 PM
Psyco,

I load the 165 gr accubond in my 300 WSM for whitetails. I hit one center shoulder and when I skinned it the next day there was a 6" bruise around the entrance hole. So help me, it is the honest truth.

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