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Enough Elk Gun

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by txcookie, Jun 16, 2013.

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  1. txcookie

    txcookie Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    Little Rock AFB
    Ever get bit by a chigger? Its itches for weeks and leaves a little red blister that fills up everytime you pop it.

    I have a 270. Its a CDL and it is one of the ones that your lucky to by as it shoots as good as you could ask a rifle too. I chose the 270 as I like multi purpose cartridges and considered it to be a fine Hog, Deer, and elk rifle. I started reading online about the 270 and was stunned to see SO MANY people say it was a Whitetail only cartridge???? Some even said it was marginal for Mulies.

    I am no elk hunter but its still causing a dang red blister on me. How can someone say that this round isnt capable or even IDEAL for elk on down? Its ballistically not to far behind the 7mm Rem MAG at 300 which many consider to be perfect? It loses its punch after 450-500 yards but Most elk are killed well within that range right?

    Any how I was just yhinking about all the elk that have certainly been mis informed that the 270 that just blew thru their ribs was not enough gun and they should keep on walking. It got me to thinking further. The 270 has been around WAY longer than all the belted Mags so in its time it was the go to Elk cartridge,,,, what changed..

    I aint argueing that a 7mm rem mag or 300 win Mag isnt a FAR better choice for a dedicated Elk rifle I am just saying that a man who can shoot his rifle well and knows he can put it in the ribs shouldnt be afraid to choose a rifle chambered in 270 for elk.

    There I scratched my itch
  2. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

    Jan 23, 2003
    Munising MI
    May not be ideal but its surely adequate.
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    The 270 has always been darn near a perfect choice for elk. With newer, modern bullets it is even better. I chose a 30-06 forty years ago and never saw much need to own both 270 and 30-06. With my knowledge today I'm not sure I wouldn't go 270 today. In fact the 308/7-08 are looking even better as all around hunting rifles.

    If you ever have any doubts about a 270 working on elk, even at long range, just look at this video. If a 243 is a 700 yard elk gun, think what a 270 will do.

  4. T.R.

    T.R. Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Manatee County, Florida
    270 in skilled hands has been toppling North American big game animals for many decades. The advent of Premium bullets has added to the lethality of this popular cartridge. Yet the late Jack O'Connor did okay with standard bullets.

    I'm no elk expert as I've slain only 7 of these beasts. My rifle is a Remington in .308 shooting 180 grain bullets. None got away.

  5. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    While I prefer 7MM-08 for Elk, and Mulies, the .270 is just fine, especially if you reload.
  6. Loosenock

    Loosenock Member

    Jan 2, 2010
    The .270 was caliber of choice by the famous hunter and "Outdoor Life" writer Jack O'Conner. You really can't find a higher recommendation than that.

  7. joed

    joed Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    You have to watch what you read now days. The gun mags seem to push the new cartridges to help sell guns for the manufacturers, and there are a lot of parrots that echo how the writers are correct. Of course the parrots have never owned one of the old classic cartridges and can only base their opinion on what they bought.

    One of the guns in my safe is a .25-06, a fine rifle that hasn't failed me in 36 years. Yet if I believe what I read it's junk. It has no match bullets and it's a long action, two strikes. I'll tell you a secret, on a hunt I'll put it up against any of the newer guns.

    You're in the same boat with the .270, no match bullets to hunt with and it's a dreaded long action rifle. But I guarantee it will work great for you, just use a hunting bullet (that's what they were meant for) and you also won't notice that extra 1/2" of bolt travel.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  8. Abel

    Abel Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Eastern CONUS
    While I would prefer to have my 3o-o6 for elk, I could 'get by' with a 270 just fine.
  9. WCraven

    WCraven Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    I enjoyed my 270 back in the day but i'm now a 7mm-08 owner and if this lady can kill 2 hogs with one shot of a 7mm-08 then i couldn't think an ELK is any thicker skinned then 2 boars..

  10. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Hawkeye East
    No caliber can be ideal for every situation with every animal, if it were, I'd apply for an elk tag and take an 800 mile shot with a 300 RUM to save gas money. What is often read is often misguided information meant to encourage folks who haven't hunted a particular game to bring enough gun. Unfortunately for the uninitiated, the calibers selected by writers seem skewed toward high performance, long-range without consideration given to geography or ability, let alone average kill distance.

    If I were to believe all that I read I might suspect the classic 30-30 to be little more than a 40 yard squirrel gun.
  11. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Expansive magnums and proprietary cartridges are the marketing rage these days. "Sportsman" style hunters have chomped down on that lure hard, and it seems to be making rifle companies some money.

    Stick with a cartridge you know how to shoot. running out and buying a heavy magnum is a great way to develop a flinch, and start loosing game.
  12. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Member

    Dec 26, 2011
    Seattle area, Washington state
    my designated Elk rifle is a 66+ year old 8mm Mauser, that is obsolete and anemic compared to today's rifles.
    But it is accurate and deadly. I'm sure your 270 will be just fine, with some heavy for caliber Partitions or A-frame's;
    If you don't reload, stick to the premium series ammos from Federal, Hornady, etc ...
  13. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    North Texas
    EXACTLY. Between TV shows and internet videos of "hunters" shooting at elk over distances better measured in fractions of a mile and marketing departments of firearms makers, cartridges such as the .270 are suddenly less powerful, and thereby less adequate than they used to be.

    Same can be said of scopes. Where a 3-9X scope used to be plenty, if not overkill for 99% of big game hunting, folks now are led to believe they need scopes capable of studying the craters of distant planets and whose objectives are the size of the trash can in my garage.

  14. Vaarok

    Vaarok Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    Elk were almost eradicated with the .30-30 Win, and people used to kill them with .54 and .36 caliber Hawkens.
  15. Flatbush Harry

    Flatbush Harry Member

    Mar 31, 2008
    With 140gr AccuBonds, and just recently, 150gr AccuBonds, a 270 is plenty out to 300 yards.

    Now I like my my .375 H&H with 260gr AccuBonds...because you can never tell when you're gonna be charged by a crazed groundhog or squirrel, but I'd trust my .270 Win any day for elk. The hard part of elk hunting is finding one in daylight hours, field dressing him or her, and packing it out on a cold night down a steep, rocky, tree trunk riddled slope two miles back to camp and a warm sleeping bag. Oh, and BTW, for an elk by yourself, that's probably four trips.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2013
  16. natman

    natman Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    If I were choosing a rifle from scratch for elk I would prefer a bit bigger and heavier bullet so a 270 wouldn't be my first choice, but if that were what I had I'd get some 150 grain premium bullets and go hunting.
  17. GR8GIFT

    GR8GIFT Member

    May 16, 2007
    What he said .270 should be fine it's shot placement that counts. I prefer my .338 Win Mag but that's because it was my first big game rifle and I'm used to it. It has take everything from coyotes to Alaska Moose all with one shot stops. But I wouldn't feel under gunned with a .270 either. It's all in the shooter and shot placement.
  18. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Jan 28, 2003
    A .270 win will kill elk just fine. In fact I killed my first 3 or 4 elk with a .270. The secret is to have perfect shot presentation and keep your range realistic.

    What you gain with a larger heavier bullet say a .338/ 250 gr or a .375. 270 gr or some such, is increased shot opportunity. I can take a rear quartering shot with one of the rounds above mentioned and never have to worry if my bullet is going to penetrate deep enough to get to the goods.

    I've killed a number of elk that were busting out of the timber at closeish range (under 200 yards) as they were headed away. You simply don't take a shot like that with a .270 or a .30-06 or a 7MM on elk. I won't take that shot with a .300 mag either unless I'm shooting a heavy super good bullet like a 200 ge TSX or something like that even then it's marginal. When you step up to a .338 with a 250 gr premium bullet you increase your margins significantly. A .375H&H with a .270 is just a about the same category as the .338 with a 250.

    So by definition is a .270 win adequate for elk? Yes, but not in all circumstances. BTW IMO opinion the 7 RM is one of the worst elk rounds ever built. Not that there is anything wrong with a 7 Remington Mag but a lot of the guys who use them think they are long range death bolt on elk. They are not anymore effective on elk at long range than are your .270 .30-06 class round in real life field conditions that is. On paper they do appear better but not that much better if actually know what you are looking at.

    It all boils down to knowing the limitations of the your rifle and sticking to them.
  19. Beentown

    Beentown Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    I am a bow hunter so a .270 seems like cheating. Plenty of rifle. The fun for me is how close I can get to game not how far I can shoot them.
  20. mokin

    mokin Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    Western Colorado
    Interesting thread. Back in the 80s when elk season rolled around there was plenty of talk among us in high school as to which was better. The .30-06 or the .270. I know of plenty of elk that were killed by both. As someone stated above, I would prefer a heavy .30-06 but wouldn't feel unprepared with a .270. I mean how much farther do you want to drag that carcass anyway.

    What H&Hhunter said about the much bigger cartridges was very insightful. Thanks.

    @Beentown, it's pretty cool to be within a stones throw of such a big animal isn't it.
  21. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    I completely agree. It's a disease. Elmer Keith infected people into believing you need a .33+ caliber magnum for elk. He even called the .270 a decent coyote rifle, which is of course ridiculous. Elk aren't any tougher than when we used to slay them with pointed sticks. They aren't uparmored nowdays. While they are large, tenacious critters people need to dispel the notion that you need a piece of field artillery to pursue them, or that such a piece is even beneficial in most circumstances.
  22. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    I have a .270 and an -06, I would use either, but I would defer to the -06 because I can push a heavier bullet. But I'm not taking hunting shots past about 300 yards. If I can't do it with a .270, I probably can't do it with anything else either.
  23. blindhari

    blindhari Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    My brother-in-law got his once in a lifetime buffalo tag here in Arizona after waiting 19 years. Knowing he was only going to get one chance he took his elk rifle, a 1970 Remington 700 in 270. He had used it for everything for over 40 years javelina, coyote, bear, mountain lion, white tail, mule deer and an awful lot of elk. I guess you could call that practice. I had pneumonia so we bought our son plane tickets to go on the hunt. According to our son 3 shots into a moving herd of 13 Buffalo. Cold winter conditions in snow, all 3 turned out to be heart shots when they cut it up. Yeah a 270 will take an elk.


    HEAVY METAL 1 Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    "Elk were almost eradicated with the .30-30 Win, and people used to kill them with .54 and .36 caliber Hawkens."

    and they are still killed today with arrows....
  25. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

    Sep 23, 2006
    What was done in the old days had little to do with sport and there was probably no lack of wounded and lost animals.
    Today primitive elk hunts are conducted during a very vulnerable time for the elk in which they can literally be called into touching distance if one is not careful.
    Elk are much different to hunt during the general rifle hunts in unlimited areas so as not to expect a standing shot at 50 yds to be common.
    The 270 is on the low end of what I would advise a new hunter with its main drawback being the 150gr max bullet weight most common in a factory load. H&H summed up the case of elk rifles well and I would add that close encounters during rifle season happen very quickly and by close encounters I'm talking 200yds or less so one needs to be fast and know your target and the anatomy of the beast because while at broadside they are not bullet proof but at other angles you might think so.
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