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Rifle recommendations for an Elk hunt...

6845 Views 79 Replies 60 Participants Last post by  sourdough44
OK, I figure that I'll ask this on a few different forums and take the nuggets of info I get and throw them in the mix with my thoughts on what I'll need...

I got a sniff of the chance to go on an Elk hunt next year; I'm going to outfit one of my Dr's for his trip, and he said that one of the party is talking about backing out, freeing up a slot for me. First things first, he's looking at getting a .270 for the trip. I think thats a little on the small side, and recommended the .30-06 as the smallest I'd go. Am I accurate in that recommendation? What are ya'lls thoughts on best cartridge for elk under 200yds? Initially, I thought that a .300WSM was the way to go, but the more I've read says that the venerable '06 should be fine, throwing 165gr deep penetrating rounds (partitions or the like) or larger. Of course, if 165gr is enough, what about some stout .308Win loads? I like the shorter action stuff...

Next, I'm thinking that this will be a great opportunity to build a Mauser-based piece for myself, especially if its going to be an '06. Could I do a Mauser in a short mag? Can the actions stand the extra pressure that those stubby little cartridges produce? If they can, how about feeding those fireplugs from the Mauser magazine? Tons of questions...

Anyway, heres my plan (based on an '06 chambering)...Large ring Mauser (we've got an Argentine Mauser at work that has been butchered and is an '06, IIRC), 20" Wilson barrel (makes it a little handier, and there isn't alot of oomph lost in the 2", is there?), laminate stock from Boyd's (with a Hogue pillar bedded as an alternative), and a decent aftermarket trigger with side safety. I'll replace the bolt shroud with a commercial piece to clean it up a little, and I've got to figure out an iron sighting system that will work for me. I really like one I've seen that was done on a Rem 700 that looks like an AR rear, but don't know the best way to make that work; need to do a little more research on that one.

Also, I'm not sure on the optic; do I want a scout system (I have a Savage Scout with a Leupold Scout Scope in .308 and LOVE it), or something more conventional like a low-power Leupold or Trijicon 'dangerous game' type setup? Thoughts?

Thanks!
Byrdman
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OK, I figure that I'll ask this on a few different forums and take the nuggets of info I get and throw them in the mix with my thoughts on what I'll need...

I got a sniff of the chance to go on an Elk hunt next year; I'm going to outfit one of my Dr's for his trip, and he said that one of the party is talking about backing out, freeing up a slot for me. First things first, he's looking at getting a .270 for the trip. I think thats a little on the small side, and recommended the .30-06 as the smallest I'd go. Am I accurate in that recommendation? What are ya'lls thoughts on best cartridge for elk under 200yds? Initially, I thought that a .300WSM was the way to go, but the more I've read says that the venerable '06 should be fine, throwing 165gr deep penetrating rounds (partitions or the like) or larger. Of course, if 165gr is enough, what about some stout .308Win loads? I like the shorter action stuff...

Next, I'm thinking that this will be a great opportunity to build a Mauser-based piece for myself, especially if its going to be an '06. Could I do a Mauser in a short mag? Can the actions stand the extra pressure that those stubby little cartridges produce? If they can, how about feeding those fireplugs from the Mauser magazine? Tons of questions...

Anyway, heres my plan (based on an '06 chambering)...Large ring Mauser (we've got an Argentine Mauser at work that has been butchered and is an '06, IIRC), 20" Wilson barrel (makes it a little handier, and there isn't alot of oomph lost in the 2", is there?), laminate stock from Boyd's (with a Hogue pillar bedded as an alternative), and a decent aftermarket trigger with side safety. I'll replace the bolt shroud with a commercial piece to clean it up a little, and I've got to figure out an iron sighting system that will work for me. I really like one I've seen that was done on a Rem 700 that looks like an AR rear, but don't know the best way to make that work; need to do a little more research on that one.

Also, I'm not sure on the optic; do I want a scout system (I have a Savage Scout with a Leupold Scout Scope in .308 and LOVE it), or something more conventional like a low-power Leupold or Trijicon 'dangerous game' type setup? Thoughts?

Thanks!
Byrdman
 

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For an experienced rifleman, a heavy magnum is fine. For someone not used to shooting, it is not such a wise choice unless they are willing to spend the time needed to develop real familiarity with the rifle. The .30-06 is an excellent recommendation. Used with 180 gr. Nosler Partition bullets or an equivalent bullet from Swift, etc., the .30-06 will kill effectively any elk you will shoot at distances measured in less than light years. If someone plans on raking shots at long angles, a heavy bullet with good sectional density will enhance penetration. Do consider that elk have heavy bones, another argument for penetration as well as expansion. A .308 Win. is fine with ligher bullets and will do well with 180gr. bullets, but the .30-06 w/ 180 gr. Noslers is just an excellent rig that has proven ability to put meat in the locker.

Building a rifle, a mauser action is a good start. Be advised that there is a lot of work involved in getting a basic military type mauser ready for use. Commercial mauser actions are available and will be readily usable. Feeding with any round other than standard will require adjustment. This is a job for a genuinely experienced gunsmith.

For sight/scope, think about what sort of hunting/distance you will encounter. If you will be on a stand, weight will be no real concern. If you must walk a significant distance to and from hunting sites, you will very much want to keep weight down. A good fixed power will be slightly lighter than an adjustable scope. Unless you really mess up, you will not need iron sights. I have used iron sights for hunting small/large game for 30 years. But if I were spending a lot of money and time on a hunt that I might not again get to go on, I'd not mess around. I'd buy a good commercial .30-06, put a Leupold on top, load it up with 180 gr. Noslers, practice till I could hit a 200 yd. target from field positions and then I'd go hunt some elk!

Also, I'm not sure on the optic; do I want a scout system (I have a Savage Scout with a Leupold Scout Scope in .308 and LOVE it), or something more conventional like a low-power Leupold or Trijicon 'dangerous game' type setup? Thoughts?
 

· AAAMAD
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A 270 will do fine, with proper placement. However, I would recommend a 7mm mag or 280 Rem or larger for a little extra insurance.


Your 06, with scope, would be a fine choice. I would recommend a good 180 grain bullet though, just in case you take a close range shot. You want a bullet that will hold together.
 

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I think a 30.06 is an excellent recommendation. That said, a 270 can and will work on elk as well. My last elk was harvested with a 7x30 Waters Thompson Center Contender handgun - 94 yards- one shot -and she was down. Point being - shot placement is always important regardless of the caliber of your ammo.
 

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7mm MAG FTW. .30-06 would be okay too. 7mm would probably give a little more range and power at longer ranges..
 

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I am not an elk hunter but those of my acquaintance shoot .300 Win Mag, .30-06, and the one oddball with the .280. If determined on the Mauser action, I would stay with the standard head diameter and not try to magnumize it. Certainly given one already set up in .30-06, that would be the simple way to go.
 

· George Tucker
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The 270 win has taken lots of Elk,the big Magnums are fine if recoil does not bother you, i use a 338-06, the 30-06 would be fine also, i used to use the 300H&H pre 64, still do off and on, shot placement is everything, however i have only been hunting Elk for 50 yrs, George.
 

· Pinche ******
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The big magnuns are overhyped for Elk IMHO. Up intil 5 or 10 years ago almost everyone I met in CO used 7MM Rem Mag or .30-06, but many DID use .270.

I like the Mauser idea though, I have a buddy who is on an -06 kick and had a .338-06 built and is having a 6.5-06 built, he LOVES that .338-06 and it is super accurate and has a lot more punch than .30-06 without much more kick.


ETA: from my own personal experience both 7MM and .30-06 are great calibers, but the '06 has a broader range of load data (by far) and available bullets and is more fun to shoot.
 

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I've never hunted elk, but if I couldn't take a .338 Win Mag., I'd certainly consider the .35 Whelen. It's based on the .30-06 case and delivers quite respectable ballistics with 225 gr. and 250 gr. bullets. Plus, the .35s, from the .35 Rem. on up, are quite effective killers. It won't shoot as flat as a .338 WM, but inside 200 yards, it should do fine.

You'd probably have to reload your ammo, though.
Bob
 

· Triggered!
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A .270 will work, if you can shoot straight. That being said, nothing will work if, you can't shoot straight. Around here 30.06 and 7mm mag. are popular. I use a .308 because it's what I shoot best with. I know people who still use 30-30's.
 

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A 30-06 will do the job just fine - the Boone & Crockett largest elk for many years ( based on rack size) was taken west of Crested Butte, Colorado - with a Winchester 95 in 30-40 Krag - ballistically close to 30-06.

Here's mine in 30-06 -





Good luck and good shooting !!!
 

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Always thought the Winchester 95 was top drawer. I remember reading one was used to win the Wimbledon Cup.
 

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I hope the trip works out for you. I've never hunted elk but would like to some day. Regarding the 270, Nosler sells 160gr partition bullets that should be effective on elk at reasonable distances. I really like this bullet and have killed a number of deer with it, though a 130gr 270 bullet would have had the same effect on the whitetails I shot.
 

· Pinche ******
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A 30-06 will do the job just fine - the Boone & Crockett largest elk for many years ( based on rack size) was taken west of Crested Butte, Colorado - with a Winchester 95 in 30-40 Krag - ballistically close to 30-06.

Here's mine in 30-06 -





Good luck and good shooting !!!

Always love it when you post pics of that '95 OJ!
 

· Some Dude
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I wouldn't go with anything smaller than the 30-06. Most .300s have more KE at 300 yrds than the 30-06. If you are not going to exceed 200 yrds, then a 270 or 30-06 will be fine. The 30-06 would be the smallest, IMO, that I would take. I hunt with a guy who uses a Weatherby 270mag, but he is a very accurate shooter; his kills have been 300+.

Enjoy!


:wavey:


red
 
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