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.308 bullet choice for elk?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kingcreek, Mar 29, 2016.

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  1. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Most likely washington state elk. I'm reloading and testing loads and I am out of my old Nosler partitions. I have some promising loads with the Sierra 165g soft points.
    Should I pick up some 165 Nosler partitions? or try some of the newer accubond or? or are the Sierras adequate?
    I've also never tried any of the various copper solids but willing to.
    .308 Tikka T3 with Leupold VXIII 3.5-10 w CDS so if I can dial in a good dual purpose elk AND deer load, that's even better (since I haven't redeemed my custom turret coupon yet) I have new nosler and LC match brass and imr4895.
    any suggestions welcome, Thanks!
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The AccuBond bullet is a very good choice. I have a feeling Nosler would love it if everyone who is now shooting the Partition bullet would switch to the AccuBond. They are easier and cheaper to make but still perform. The AccuBond bullet will do what you need to do. (IMO of course)
     
  3. Orcon

    Orcon Member

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    It really depends on what your typical/expected ranges are. Any of the bonded bullets or an A-frame would be a fine choice at 165 grains and up. Monolithic bullets would be dead last on my list of candidates but then again I don't take tail-on shots or points of aim that would meet heavy bone. I do prefer 180 grain for elk sized critters.

    You know, growing up we always used the ol' 180gr corlokt bullets and took elk every year they presented themselves to us. But then again we were poor hillbillies from the Cabinet Mountain range of western Montana, we didn't know any better. Shot my first one at 140 (or so) yards with a 300 savage, the 99F lobbed that 180 grain round nose at a measly 2300fps but the elk never seemed to know the difference.
     
  4. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    I second the accubond. My .308 has killed quite a few mulies with the 165g accubond over Rel 15. Expands reliably but holds together very well.

    I did take a deer with Sierra 165g hollow point game king (165g). Accuracy was great but it kind of blew up and I lost a lot of meat.
     
  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I love the SGK BTHP for whitetails, but definitely wouldn't use it on elk because of it's rapid expansion.

    As far as loosing meat, don't shoot them in the meat. :evil:
     
  6. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

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    Personally, I'd stick with the Partitions. I love Partitions. I run them in all my hunting loads from .223 up to 7mm Rem Mag, .30-30, everything.

    You can actually get seconds at Shooters Pro Shop at about half the cost of new and they perform just like firsts. I recently got 170gr Partitions for my .30-30, and got 200 for $60 shipped. Can't beat that.

    Plus if you're military (AD or veteran), LEO or Fire, you get a discount.
     
  7. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Partition or Accubond, either one in either 165 or 180 grain.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    ^^^^ Would be my top choices as well. I'd lean toward 165 gr Accubonds. But it would depend on what was available and what shot best in my rifle.
     
  9. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    Thanks I was leaning to the accubond or tried and true partition. I have used the game king HP on deer with devestating effect. I wouldn't use them on elk even at .308 velocity. The Sierra 165s I have are the soft points.
    I'll try some accubonds in 165gr the WA state elk aren't quite as big as Montana bruisers.
     
  10. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    As everyone else has mentioned, I don't think you'll go wrong with either.
    Partitions have been getting the job done for about 65 years now. Game animals haven't changed during that time as far as I know.
     
  11. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Partitions are where it's at.
     
  12. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    The last elk i brought down here in wetern Washington was just over 1100#, how big do they get in Montana? Back to bullets though, the 165 game kings do seem a little fragile, the core loct 180s in a 30-06 work good though. Should be good with an acubond on the 165 from what I've heard. Btw that last bull was with a wasp broadhead, not the 30-06
     
  13. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    That's an above average elk for sure. Mine usually come out in pieces so I've never got to weigh one. Yours up there are Roosevelt aren't they?
     
  14. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    Yeah, big healthy Roosevelt elk. The one i got was kinda small in the rack and kinda massive in the body. 5X5
     
  15. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Out of a 308 I think either a SGK or Hornady Interlock North of 150 gr will perform well.
     
  16. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I have used the 220 gr RNSP for all of my elk- no need for anything else.
     
  17. dgod
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    dgod Contributing Member

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    I don't know if you have tried other bullets, But I can speak with Certainty, My son and I are finalizing loads for 30-30/308/30-06/ and 300 WinMag.

    For all but the 30-30, we have been shooting the 200gr and 220gr ELD-X by Hornady, in all 3 calibers we were getting 2/3 to 1/2" groups at 100 Yards.

    The Ballistic Performance you can see for yourself. The bullets are designed and Tested for Long Range. Check there data sheets for performance.

    Good Luck
     
  18. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    If you're not stuck on Nosler, then consider the Hornady interbond. I loaded the 139gr. interbond for 2 .280's and one 7-08 and a couple of .308's with the 165. For the whitetails, at least a dozen kills, all DRT,(Dead Right There).

    When they first came out, I did a bunch of expansion tests in water jugs;

    HQ%20close%20up.jpg

    image7.jpg

    Rifle is my 300 WSM loaded to 3000 fps. Slower speeds from a .308 would/does show less expansion. Retained weight was average of 85%.

    My experience was you could drop down one notch in bullet weight with the interbond, achieve the same killing power because of higher retain weight.

    The sierra game king soft point would work for broadside rib shots, but through shoulders would not provide enough penetration.
     
  19. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Nothing wrong with the accu-bond either. Here's some shot in my 300 WSM again into water jugs;

    results-back.jpg

    accu-bond.jpg

    image1_1.jpg

    Less weight retention, smaller frontal expansion. Take your pick.

    Again a Hornady interbond;

    interbond.jpg

    A poster said the Remington core loct. I had some 180's laying around, so I loaded a couple in the 300;

    rem%20core-loct.jpg

    Good weight retention, good expansion. These bullets are from the 70's, there's been changes in just who makes the Remington line of bullets since then.
     
  20. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    Find the bullet that shoots the best in your rifle.
    For general elk work we've used the Hornady 165 gr interloc bullet with great successor 40 years. I am also a fan of the 190 gr inteloc, it doesn't go fast but shoots flat enough to make shot placement to 300 yards easy enough, and penetrates like a bunker busting bomb.. Not all of our 308's shoot that bullet well, and the recoil is a bit stiffer than the 165's.
     
  21. Bama Drifter

    Bama Drifter Member

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    FWIW...

    I've got a nearly identical setup as you Kingcreek: .308 Tikka T3 stainless, with Leupold VXR scope. Took this rig to Namibia a couple years ago for a plains game hunt using Hornady 165gr Interlock factory ammo (before I got deep into reloading).

    The Hornady ammo performed flawlessly. In spite of being "old fashioned" not bonded bullets, I was able to cleanly harvest a 750 lb kudu with a 200yd shot off sticks. The bull ran about 85 yards before collapsing in death. Meat processor didn't have much bullet left for me (exploded inside the shoulder), but I wouldn't call that a "bullet failure". :) Used the same 165 gr load on springbok, jackal, gemsbok, blue wildebeest and impala. No reason it shouldn't work on elk. :D
     
  22. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    One of my coworkers and his son used 165gr factory interlocks in their .308's for decades with great success on Colorado bulls. This past year he used a .300WM, again with factory 165gr interlocks, and knocked down a big Wyoming bull and a nice Colorado bull. I wouldn't be worried about using interlocks, but when I was working up my elk load, I just went with 180gr SGKs because my rifle likes them and I've had great luck with the 165's on deer. Unfortunately the elk didn't let me test them out last season, but hopefully this year they will.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  23. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    Kudu are probably around Elk size.

    I have used 180gr. Accubonds to great effect, as I have 180gr. SGK's. I have no doubt that Partitions are equally as good.

    My personal observations are that partitioned bullets are slightly less accurate than a bonded bullets, not material on a hunt though.

    At 70 yards a 180gr. Accubond at 2 620fps MV whistles through a Kudu standing broadside leaving about a 11/16ths exit wound. A SGK disintegrates and turns the chest cavity in a bloody mess. Both kill the animal effectively, prefer the result of the Accubond when it comes to dressing the animal.

    Further out they SGK's become less frangible.

    I think we get too bent out of shape with the "premium bullets" but this for another thread. I would rather have an accurate load with a SGK than an iffy load with a Barnes. Shot placement is a great leveller of "premium bullets".
     
  24. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    I won't use anything other than monolithic copper bullets on deer, elk, moose or whatever. For handloads I like Barnes TTSX bullets. For factory ammunition I've had great results with Federal Trophy copper. I'm not sure who makes the bullet for Federal but it looks like a Nosler to me.
     
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