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best .30-06 bullets for elk hunting for the money?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by coosbaycreep, Jul 12, 2010.

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  1. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Member

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    Just like it says, what's the best .30-06 bullets for elk hunting for the money?

    My dad has a .270, but I'm eventually going to give him a .30-06 because I figure it's better for elk (I know lots of people kill elk with .270s just fine, but he can probably use all the help he can get), and I want to load up a bunch of ammo that's suitable for elk hunting for him.

    The gun is a winchester 670. I've shot factory 165 and 180gr ammo through it, and all of the stuff I tried was plenty accurate enough for hunting. I recently loaded some 150gr nosler ballistic tips, and those shot real well too, but they're fairly expensive, and I would imagine a little on the light side for elk hunting.

    From what I've seen, the 180gr hornady interlocks seem to be some of the most affordable bullets. I haven't tried that particular bullet, but all the other hornady bullets I've used were accurate and seemed to be some of the best for the money.

    I'm not interesed in any fancy or expensive stuff. Everyone I know has been using corelokts and silvertips their entire lives. I just want to find a bullet that offers the best bang for the buck that is suitable for elk. I'm not too concerned with pinpoint accuracy either, as I'm sure I'll be able to come up with a load that is accurate enough for the ranges my dad will most likely hunt at.

    How about the heavier bullets, like 200 and 220gr? Personally, I've never shot anything heavier than 180gr in a .30-06, and I'm not sure if that caliber has enough velocity with heavy bullets to be worth the extra cost of the bullets.

    thanks
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Corelokts and Silvertips are one of the best bangs for the buck.
    They were available at very attractive prices in bulk when bullets were still available BO. (before Obama)

    Personally, I think the 165 grain bullet is the ideal weight for the 30-06 if you look at a combination of trajectory and performance on the receiving end.
    The 180 is also very good for larger game.

    200's and 220's, not so much. You are pretty much looking at round nose bullets when you get to 220 grain .30 cal hunting bullets.

    rc
     
  3. OYE

    OYE Member

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    Have used 150, 165 and 180 core lokts with no failures in the past. You might try the 190 grain hornady interlock BT, if your gun will shoot them. About the same price as the 180 Horn. Interlockts. No failures with these either. Best
     
  4. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    the old Hornady Interlock is hard to beat.I like the 165.
     
  5. lvl1trauma

    lvl1trauma Member

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    It isn't a popularity contest and the elk isn't gonna know what you whacked it with. 150 Gr. .270 or 165 or 180 Gr. .30 cal. The two I have whacked were with a .348 bullet I cast at about 1800 FPS and the other was with a 165 Gr. Sierra at about 2900 FPS. Both were DRT.
     
  6. 375shooter

    375shooter Member

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    For elk, I think the best bang-for-the-buck will come from either the Hornady Interlocks or Remington Core Lokts in 180 gr.
     
  7. janobles14

    janobles14 Member

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    i like the interlocks myself but corelokt are good as well. heck send me a postage paid envelope for the weight and ill send you a few 165 interlocks to try out. i got tons of the flat base interlocks and they are my daily shooting and hunting loads.
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have become a big fan of the Nosler AccuBond bullet. It is a little expensive but IMO why take a chance on losing a Elk. I like 165gr bullets in the 30-06 but 180gr bullet well work just as well if they shoot better in your rifle.
     
  9. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    All my elk (and deer, ground squirrels, rabbits, etc.) have all been taken with the Hornady 165 grain Boat Tail Soft Point bullet in my .30-06 hunting rifle. None have taken more than a couple of steps and most were one shot kills.

    Long, long ago, I settled on one bullet for everything, and the 165 grain BTSP proved the best.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Friend of mine shot multiple elk and mule deer with the 200 gr Sierra Game King.
    Then he ended up with a .280. I don't know what bullet, but he said it did NOT bounce off the hide as he had been warned would happen with a non-magnum.
     
  11. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    Federal HI-Shock 180s is what I would use. I don't think they make HI-Shock anymore, but if rolling your own a good Nosler/Speer/Remington 180 would be fine.
     
  12. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Why go cheap on an elk hunt????? Everybody I know who has hunted them could've taken five or six African plains game animals for what they spent on their elk hunt. One particular acquaintance hunted several years before getting one. Is there somewhere you can hunt them for free that I don't know about???
     
  13. ScratchnDent

    ScratchnDent Member

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    Hard to go wrong with CoreLokts, IMO. They sure have put a lot of elk in the freezer over the years.
     
  14. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    CraigC,

    All my elk have been taken on public land in Colorado and Oregon. One was with an over the counter tag, and the others were all from draws in limited hunt areas. You don't need an expensive guide to hunt elk.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  15. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I'm going through the same thing myself. I'm leaning towards the Federal Premium Vital Shock with Barnes Triple Shock X-Bullet in either 165 or 180 grain. I'm curious to see what others here are using.
     
  16. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    We've always had good luck with 150gr Hornady Interlocks. They are accurate and get the job done.

    It isn't overly expensive in several western states. It gets expensive when you buy an out-of-state tag and pay a guide to find you an elk. Resident elk tags are $140 in AZ if I remember correcty. I should know, I just bought one a few months ago... anyway the cost saving is pretty significant between Interlocks compared to Barnes. And they do get the job done, just because they aren't the most expensive doesn't mean they are garbage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  17. redactor

    redactor Member

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    I plan to load 200 grain Nosler Accubond for my upcoming (first) elk hunt. The Nosler manual has loads for that bullet at over 2600 fps in the .30-06, which I don't think is bad for 300 yards an under. The BC and sectional density of that bullet are both pretty high.
     
  18. 375shooter

    375shooter Member

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    My answer for the original question was to use Core Lokts or Hornady Interlocks because he wanted something inexpensive, and that will get the job done.

    However, if it was me hunting elk, I would be sure to go with 180 gr. Barnes TSX or TTSXs. They are always my first choice for big game hunting.
     
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