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.30-30 for elk?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by joshk-k, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. joshk-k

    joshk-k Well-Known Member

    Hi all!

    I've never hunted an elk before but would like to this fall in NW Oregon. I would like to use my lever action .30-30, possibly with a peep sight on it. From reading around and talking with neighbors, it seems like many shots are taken within the .30-30's range, although I know I won't be able to "reach out and touch them." As far as stopping power goes, though, is a .30-30 an appropriate cartridge for an elk?

  2. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Well-Known Member

    1000's of elk have been killed with a .30-30. Just keep the shots to within reasonable range.
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    If you hang around here long enough you’ll find someone that’s killed a water buffalo with a squirt gun; however, a 30-30 is a little on the small side for Elk IMO.
  4. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Well-Known Member

    Your 30-30 is "adequate" for elk at reasonable ranges. Not an ideal cartridge but not a reason to buy another gun either, unless you intend to shoot across canyon at them.

  5. countertop

    countertop Well-Known Member

    Huh??? Why??

    Since when is a .30 caliber on the small side?? Sure, its not going to be the gun to go to for a 250 yard shot - but if your within 100 yards there's no reason you couldn't use a .30-30 (unless your a writer at a gun mag or work for an ammo company - and then of course the only thing worthy of an ELK is the newest short_long_magnum_kaboomer)
  6. bearmgc

    bearmgc Well-Known Member

    Definitely with good placement. They make factory ammo 30-30 in 170gr Nosler Partition. I'd use that.
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    If you can get close enough. I'd rather have my .308 or 7 mag, but heck, .30-30 has killed about everything that walks North America including the big bears. I know an old fellow that was an indian agent after the war in Alaska. He said the Inuit used .30-30 for everything up there back in those days, was about the only caliber they could get ammo for, I reckon. Just gotta know how to apply the tool.
  8. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    hornaday leverrevolution ammo, look at it- should give you another 50 yards at least
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    The .30-30 was once more commonly used for elk than it is now.

    Of course, back then, hunters usually had good horses with them, stayed out for weeks at a time, didn't have to apply for tag lotteries, and didn't mind tracking their wounded prey for miles, sometimes losing it altogether...

    I think the best answer is, "No."

    I know someone who dropped an elk with a neck shot at a fairly decent range with a .22-250, though. That's just what he had in his hand when the elk popped up, and he had a tag. It's still a story passed around this group of hunters, with the caveat that you shouldn't go out LOOKING for elk, carrying a .22-250.

    Barnes does make a TSX for .30-30. That ought to help the old cartridge in terms of effectiveness. I'd be more inclined to go TSX than LE. The LE round's advantage probably comes into play at 100+ yards. What you want is something that's as effective as possible out TO 100 yards.

    Do you not have access to anything but a .30-30?
  10. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    Don't take anything but a picture perfect broadside shot. The .30-30 will kill any elk, or any other animal for that matter if conditions are perfect. If he is quartering away however, it may lack the punch neccessary to get the bullet where it will do the most good.
  11. bearmgc

    bearmgc Well-Known Member

    Be real guys. Good placement at reasonable distance for caliber will put meat on the table. Been there done that. If he is serious about 30-30 for elk, he will practice like a maniac, use a good bullet design and go for it.Don't be snobbish. I'm from Wyoming.
  12. NELSONs02

    NELSONs02 Well-Known Member

    Well I often take down water buffalo with a squirt gun so a 30-30 should be fine for elk.
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    That's the key.

    In the real world, that's a reason to use a cartridge that some people call "overkill." Conditions are seldom perfect.

    I'm not advocating .338-378 Weatherby as a minimum for hunting coyotes or anything. But a little more bullet weight, a little bigger caliber, a little more velocity than the bare minimum required can be a good thing.

    Sometimes, there are posts that seem to suggest that you get "extra points" for hunting with the lightest possible caliber. I think that pushes the boundaries of hunting ethics.
  14. bearmgc

    bearmgc Well-Known Member

    I'm assuming that he is asking about the 30-30 because that's what he has to use. A bigger caliber wil not insure a kill if placement is not right. A bigger caliber with smigging is a widely held, AND dispelled myth. I appreciate the concern for good conditions with a 30-30, but facts remain. A good ol 170gr Nosler Partion in the boiler room will, not likely disappoint.
  15. NELSONs02

    NELSONs02 Well-Known Member

    If guys can kill elk with a bow then a 30-30 should work just fine.

    Thats my logic at least.
  16. bearmgc

    bearmgc Well-Known Member

    Whoo hoo, logic. I like it. Good logic. Once again, simple but profound response, alluding to those who Do not drink the hype kool aide.
  17. 3pairs12

    3pairs12 Well-Known Member

    30-30 has probably killed more elk in the history of centerfired rifles than any other caliber.Sure it has its limitations but stay within them and you will be fine.
  18. bearmgc

    bearmgc Well-Known Member

    Exactly. There's no implied effort to hunt with with the "lightest caliber possible." That's simply what the fellow has to hunt with. No extrapolations needed. Today's world might mirror that of the 1930's, with gun available, and meat needed. I can really relate to that. No need to get technical, when years of experience has already spoken to this issue.
  19. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Well-Known Member

    I seem to recall a survey taken about 10 years ago, about which caliber was the most used for Elk in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Montana--the .300 Win Mag was ahead of the others.

    Unfortunately, load and ballistics were not in the survey.

    However, ballistics of the .300 Win Mag and the .30-06, both with a 180-gr bullet, are not that wildly dissimilar--in factory form, we're talking 100-200fps, give or take.

    I don't see the .30-06 at all as a bad choice for elk--provided the bullet is well-constructed, it has good sectional density and it is not used wildly for cross-canyon shots, as someone else has observed.

    Know what shots to pass up, and you'll do well with a 30-30, as our grandfathers surely did.
  20. Big Bill

    Big Bill Well-Known Member

    All I hunted with here in Idaho till I was almost 30 yo was my pre 64 Winchester 30-30 and it was all I needed for the elk I killed.

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