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Suggestions for a 180gr -06 Elk load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Lennyjoe, Apr 4, 2007.

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  1. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Finally got drawn for an elk tag so I need to start working on an accurate, deep penetrating elk load for my -06.

    At this time I have IMR 4350 which works great with 165gr Sierra Gameking loads out of my rifle. As for bullets, I have 180gr Barnes X bullets and some 180gr Nosler Partitions on the way.

    Anyone have a tried and true -06 load they use for elk?
     
  2. Chief 101

    Chief 101 Member

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    Lj, first of all good luck. There's nothing on the continent as you can hunt that will be as great as great Wapiti. There's no rocket science associated with making loads for hunting elk. Use the 4350 you have and whatever heavy bullet you choose and make sure you are sighted correctly. Load one at a time as you will only need one shot if done right. I put more focus on the hunt than the firearm, let me say that again, enjoy the hunt and be in awe of the great American Elk. Chief
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    If you've already decided on the 180 grain bullet, I'd recommend the Nosler Partition Jacket and a max load of H414 or Reloader 22. This should give you around 2,700 fps -- perfect for elk.
     
  4. PotatoJudge

    PotatoJudge Member

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  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    All three of my elk have gone down to my 30-06 with 165 grain Hornady SPBT bullets. The last one was one shot at 147 yards, and he went about 20 yards and was down and out. That was a really heavy bodied 5 point Roosevelt elk here on the coast. The Roosevelt elk tend to be heavier than the Rocky Mountain elk, but have smaller antlers.

    The first one I got was a Rocky Mountain elk in Colorado. That one took two rounds at a long distance to put down. The only shot I had was at over 400 yards and he went down with the second shot about 50 yards from where he was standing. The first bullet went through both shoulders and the second went from the front brisket to where I recovered it just inside the left rear hindquarter.

    A lot of people swear by the 180 grain bullets for elk, but mine have never complained about being taken down with the 165 grain Hornady. I like them because they're flatter shooting and do the job. I use IMR 4320 in my loads and I've never had a reason to complain about the load.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred

    PS: Since this appears to be your first elk hunt, just be advised you don't throw them over your shoulder and carry them out. Find a good bone saw and carry it with you, because you're going to need it! And have some strong buddies on standby, unless you've got horses or ATV's to pack it out.
     
  6. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    My younger brother shoots his elk with a pre-'64 Winchester mod70 featherweight in .308 with 150gr Nosler Partitions. So, your .30/06 will more than do the job. (Me and my older brother are '06 shooters.......)

    My favorite '06 load with a 180gr bullet is the Nosler 180gr Partition over 60.0gr of RL-22. This gets 2,800fps from a 24"bbl. Bullet seated to 3.325"Oal. Accuracy is amazing.

    #2 is 55.0gr of H4350 under the same bullet. Good for about 2,750fps.


    However, most any good 165gr bullet will do just fine for elk. I would even suggest you stick with the Sierra 165grGK and the IMR-4350. 56.5gr was the accuracy load for my first '06. Gave 1/2" groups and 2,775fps.

    Remember.........Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.......
     
  7. countryrebel

    countryrebel Member

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    I shot my elk with a 180gr fusion from a 30-06 and he went down hard.I found the bullet on the other side of him just under the hide,perfect mushroom and high weight retention.Either of the bullets you have should work fine and use your IMR 4350,no need to go out and buy other powder.
     
  8. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Another vote for the 180 Nosler Partition with RL-22. Accuracy and power...I am a sucker for it every time :).

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    H4831SC and Sierra 165 grain up to 180 grain Gamekings...:) ReloaderFred is correct about the friends... I would also make sure that your friends have a lot more braun then brains if you don't have a horse or ATV...:D
     
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    But avoid Sierra boat tails -- I have had them shed their jackets on white tails. A friend, Ernie Pagette (an NRA Director) had two of them fail on a black bear, which crawled into a laurel hell. Ernie had to crawl in after him and finish him off with a .357
     
  11. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Hummm...Put a 165 grain Sierra HPBT into a White tail and never saw any part of the bullet. Went clean through. Small hole in, big hole out. Hit him in the shoulder and went not a step...:)

    Not to say that it didn't seperate, but there was no bullet or jacket in the deer.

    Hi Vern...How ya doing theses days...
     
  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I've had two fail on deer, and Ernie had two fail on that Black bear. Ross Seifried wrote about boat tails generically tending to shed jackets.

    As I see it, the boat tail does nothing for me at hunting ranges, so why use it?
    Doing fine -- turkeys are strutting all over the Ozarks these days.
     
  13. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    Many, many years ago, I used 180 grain bullets on elk.

    But with the newer bullets, like Barnes "X", Winchester "Fail Safe" etc, I use 150 grainers.

    I've been using 150 grain Barnes "X" bullets on elk for years with excellent results. I get the flat trajectory of a 150 grain bullet, and BETTER penetration than most 180 grainers. I've never had an "X" bullet stay in a critter, and I've never lost a critter shot with one..:)
     
  14. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    My 165 grain Sierra Gameking loads work great on deer. Under 1" @100 yds accuracy from my -06 using IMR 4350. The last 2 deer I shot were thru and thru with no bullet recovery. The 165 BTHP had a bigger exit wound than the 165 BTSP bullet. The soft point put the deer down in its tracks where as the hollow point deer ran 25 yds before giving up the ghost.

    I figured the 180 would be better on the heavier bodied animal.

    Of the four of us that applied for the draw, only 2 of us got tags. All 4 are still going up and we are now shopping for back packs/saws and such for packing out meat.

    Thanks for all the inputs so far.
     
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    4064 works very well in the '06. I have some 180s with H414, but I haven't checked for accuracy, yet. The book says that the max load is a bit faster than the max load with 4064.

    Art
     
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