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The perfect elk rifle.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by H&Hhunter, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    My elk rifle is a T/C Encore in .338-06. A super round without the recoil of the .338 Win Mag. For dense timber hunting I use a Ruger #1 in 45-70. Now a days, all my hunting is with a muzzle loader. Per Loyalist Dave, I am now using a Browning Mountain Rifle re-bored to .58 with a slow twist for Patched round ball. Haven't been lucky enough yet to fill a tag using this rifle, but i am sure it will get the job done inside of 75 yards.
     
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  2. James Collins

    James Collins Member

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    Agree. Found it to be a solid choice for me as well
     
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  3. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Mine hurts just thinking about it :cool:
     
  4. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Before you retire that piece, you might want to have a serious de-coppering done. I thought, myself, that my Israeli Mauser was getting worn, and I had cleaned it thoroughly. The bore looked shiny after all the years and rounds fired. My son got a kit for "deep copper cleaning", and I thought it couldn't have an impact on my Mauser. Mine is very clean, and I had used a copper scrubbing agent on it in the past. Well I was wrong, looking at all the gunk that came out of my "clean" barrel. The accuracy came back too.

    LD
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I never shot an elk. I have my first elk hunt planned, on private land, this season. I bought an "elk rifle" 25 years ago and only ever shot deer with it. It's a Savage 110 in 7mm Rem Mag. I have since won a little .308 carbine in a gun show door prize drawing, so I have another option, but I'm determined to shoot one with the 7 just because. Reading this thread, I'm wondering if I need a Barrett in .50 BMG, though. The 7 mm Nosler bullets only weigh 160 grains, after all. Sounds inadequate by reading this thread, but we'll see.
     
  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    The "perfect" hunting rifle is the one you are the most confident in, and most proficient with. Most of the time, we experienced hunters, match our tools with the style we are going to hunt. So today's "perfect" rifle for an all day sit in a stand, over a 80 acre bean field may be different than tomorrow's "perfect" rifle for a still hunt thru the heavy swamp.

    ....at least, that's my humble opinion.
     
  7. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion from reading this thread. Either your 7 or your .308 will work just fine on elk with the proper bullets. If anything this thread should have made that abundantly clear. Now if you’re cruising dark timber and kicking elk out of their beds there are some better choice. I’m guessing that’s not going to be your style of hunting in West Texas. There is also a huge difference between hunting low pressure private ground and high pressure public ground and the style of hunting you’ll be using. High pressured elk do not come out into the meadows during daylight hours. You’ve either got to get lucky and spot them at a distance or go dig them out of the timber at bad breath range. Different tools for different jobs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  8. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Exactly right. I tailor the rifle and the glass to fit the hunt, there is no reason not to if you've got the hardware to do so.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, according to Jack O'Conner, it was the .270. :D
     
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  10. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    According to Jack O the .270 was perfect. It really is in the same category as the 7 Mag for real life performance on game.
     
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  11. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 Member

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    I made the following choices:

    I have a Blaser R8 Kilombero with 2 barrels: .375 H&H and .300 WM. I bought the .300 WM specifically for Elk but it would also be great for other game. It takes about 1 minute or less to change barrels if I chose to lug both in the field - something I haven't done yet. However if I chose to take both barrels & the scopes I chose to go with them I think I could literally hunt any game in the Western Hemisphere from groundhogs on up. It's not a light rifle by any means but with the sling I have allows me to carry it like a back pack so isn't bad at all to heft.

    So that's why I chose that rifle.

    I chose the ammo for their ballistics, availability of numerous bullet types and their over the counter availability in even remote locales.

    IMG_3477s.jpg
    Vero Vellini Double Sling.jpg
     
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  12. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I've only hunted elk 4 times, all 4 were public land and over the counter tags. So no expert by any means. I have killed two bulls, both 5x4s, one in CO and the other in WA.

    Rifles used were an 8x68 (close to 8mm REM Mag in performance) in a Steyr and a .350 REM mag in a Rem MOD 7, both worked well for the conditions/terrain. The one I would change is the Steyr, which is just to freaking heavy to carry all day long in elk terrain. I've already semi-retired it in favor of a REM 700 in .300WM in a BC Alaskan TI stock that weighs 8lbs 5 ounces ready to go.
     
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  13. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    On my two successful elk hunts, I used a .30-06 Remington 721 with 220 gr Winchester Power Points on the first (big cow), and 220 gr Federal RNSPs on the second (5x6 bull). Both worked extremely well. I now have a left-hand 700 in .338 Win Mag and am currently shooting the factory Federal 225gr Fusion. I may look into loading some 300 gr Woodleighs RNSPs at a moderate velocity to duplicate the .333 Jeffery.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
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  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I like 7mm/.284 bullet selection, or did back then vs .270/.277. Things are much more even, now days with a much broader bullet selection in .277". I was going to get a .280 when I bought my mag, but I thought, why when I can, if I wish, duplicate the ballistics by down loading the 7 mag, thus I bought the 7. And, I mean, it's the only belted magnum I own. I never downloaded it, though, as I won that .308 and got totally into it. :D That little gun is da bomb. :D I will admit, though, that 7 does put up the numbers and the Nosler Partitions are quite impressive on game and on paper. Toughest game it's shot is Nilgai, got full penetration at 150 yards on a quartering shoulder shot. Wasn't MY nilgai, loaned my pastor my rifle for HIS nilgai hunt last winter.

    I've thought before that I could buy a barrel, a barrel nut wrench, and go no gauge for that Savage and change calibers to .338, but there's really nothing around me that needs that much killin'. LOL So, it shoots so well with the noslers, think I'll just keep it as is. Heck, I'm still kinda infatuated with .284" bullets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  15. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    That’d definitely poke holes through stuff!
     
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  16. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I’ve hunted for elk and been in groups where elk and moose were killed. I never really had a hankering to kill one myself, and more so just enjoyed being out in the boonies. I’ve definitely done my share of packing them out too. I’ve seen them killed with 30-30’s, ‘06’s, and a few other calibers.

    As others have said, proper shot placement will kill elk. The problem with elk is sometimes they travel a long way not knowing they should just save the effort and lie down and die peacefully. Nope, some just want to run to the next heavy patch of timber, into the deepest thicket, and force you to look for them. Moose, on the other hand, head out to the closest pond and collapse into the water! Their final “screw you” gesture!

    That said, if I were to go on an elk hunt in thick mountain timber, I’m gonna carry a heavy round and do my best to kill the creature where it stands. For me, that’s a magnum .30 caliber or larger with a heavy bullet and deep penetration. And on a broad side shot, I want an exit wound in case I have to hunt for my dead animal. I also believe a 45-70 would be an excellent choice as well.

    YMMV
     
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  17. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    My dream elk hunt of a lifetime was going to be in New Mexico. The outfitter had exclusive access to National Forest land that held a lot of 6x6’s. He said shots of 300 yards were about average, so I opted for a flat shooting caliber, the 7 Mag

    If you’ve got a well constructed bullet it should do well for anything for 30 to 300+ yards

    Unfortunately, now I can afford the hunt, but I’m not sure I’ve got enough left in the tank to do it physically
     
  18. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    My three elk rifles are: a T/C 30-06 with Nosler Accubond 180s for hunting open country where shots are up to 300 yards (my self imposed max range); a steutzen Mauser sporter 8x57 with 195 grs Hornady SSTs for hunting cover, and; a Krag -Jorgenesen Sporter in which I use 210 grs cast bullets at BHN 12, good out to 200 yards.
     
  19. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    A 30-06 is tough to beat. My favorite gun for elk is my Mark V chambered in 300 Wby with Leupold VXIII glass on it, though. It's heavy but has lots of snort and reaches out very well.
     
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  20. hillman23

    hillman23 Member

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    I was fortunate to grow up in elk country and have seen folks use and kill elk with an enormous variety of chamberings from 25-35 to 458 Lott. I'll make no claims of being any kind of expert but I've witnessed some disappointing cartridge/bullet performances in my time, as well. My elk rig is a New Haven made Winchester Model 70 stainless 338 win mag. I shortened the barrel to 23" to make it a bit handier in the brush and have a 2.5-8 Leupold VX3i mounted on it. The rifle is new to me but the chambering is not. 250 grain Accubonds have proven to be the bee's knees on both little blacktails and big Roosevelts. 1 shot, 2 holes, and a short tracking job. This rifle seems to like the 225 grain Sierra Prohunters so I'm gonna give them a try this fall. Looking forward to it. Good luck to you all.
     
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    I’ve got a .338 that is set up exactly like yours, 23” barrel and all. A perfect elk, deer/ whatever you want, all around rifle .
     
  22. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Yes sir, ^^^
    To quote a friend
    [If ya hit um in the foot you’ll kill um.]
     
  23. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    eventually
     
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  24. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    Older lever action Savage in .308 shooting 180 grain round nose soft tip ammo by Remington. Deadly performance for me every time!

    TR
     
  25. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    I love those old Savage 99’s.
     
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