50 thoughts on “Cartridge Selection for Elk Hunting

  1. West Texan says:

    I once heard an elk guide state that he would rather someone show up to his elk camp with a 30-40 Krag that they shot really well, than someone with a magnum rifle that turned them into a flinching idiot. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. I also know that if pay for a guided hunt chances are you will get a closer shot because they know where the elk are. If you DIY hunt on public land you may only be presented with one shot so you need the cartridge that will deliver the blow at whatever reasonable range that may be. It's up to the hunter to decide what his or her limitations are and not to go beyond them. If you go with a magnum then learn to tolerate the recoil. If you can't then drop back to a good standard cartridge and limit your range to the cartridges capability and your shooting accuracy. You can have a cartridge that is capable for a 500 yard kill shot but if you are only capable of a 250-300 yard shot then that is your limit. Be truthful with yourself while making this decision. We own that to game we hunt.

  2. trevor dieringer says:

    What opinion do you have on the 280 Remington. I've killed 5 bulls with it. Now my son in law uses it. I'm using a 30.06 now. When I started Elk hunting with some old timers, they were using 7mm's and 300 WM. They all switched to 280's. They state the ballistics were similar to a 7mm ? I know the 280 is not that popular. My first bull I killed with a borrowed 300 WM. It;s the only bull i killed that dumped right in his tracks. The others I've had to follow some. Thanks

  3. tubesarebest says:

    I have used a 280 Remington 700 for almost everything since the early 70s. 150 Nosler
    Ballistic tips for Whitetails and Muleys and 160 patricians for anything bigger. The 280 will push the 150s
    to over 2900 FPS and the 160s over 2800. It doesn’t kick much and anything I’ve hit just seems to fall over.

  4. Vince F says:

    Good video- I bought two 325wsm for elk and moose. They have plenty of energy out to 600 for them. Flat shooting,lightweight rifles; and accurate thumpers without the recoil of a 338. Shame they didn't catch on too much.

  5. Rob Coenen says:

    I picked up a 30/06 with a 1917 obendorf mauser action, bishop stock & k5 post & hair weaver for 350$. My local Smith opened to Ackley for 80$. It shoots 180grs into a inch at 3050fps. Truly the poor man's magnum. Also have a 700 bdl 280 Ackley that will shoot 160 gr gamekings under a inch at 3050. For a cheap Bullitt you can't beat the old gameking. Ackley are so easy to load for.

  6. Glockasaurus Wrex says:

    Good video n info. I'm curious tho, does anybody use big bore for short range? Like 45-70? I hand load 405 grain Rem soft points to 1700 fps…I think out out 150 yards that should knock the snot out of them. Your thoughts?

  7. A A says:

    With great sadness to all y'all elk hunters I've had to retire my old 1940 pre 64 Winchester 06 afte 45 years of elk hunting cant compete with all these damn fancy rounds..? So for next season I'm going to purchase a 105mm howitzer nuff said these kids today have to shoot elk out beyond 800 to 900+ yards..? So if you can't beat them join them.

  8. Wolf6151 says:

    I think bullet design has really changed the "what cartridge" game that people play. Non fragmenting designs such as the Barnes bullets etc… has allowed hunters to use lighter bullets pushed at higher velocities, flatter trajectories, and deeper penetration than the old cartridges that required a really heavy bullets to achieve penetration because the bullets fragmented terribly.

  9. muledeer Jackson says:

    although you consider the 243 Winchester to light in the right hands it will work, I made a one shot kill with a 243 at 400 yards, my friend who was shooting a 7mm mag said he would back me up in case I just wounded it, I was shooting a post 64 model 70, with a Tasco 4 power scope sighted in dead on at 25 yards, I looked through the scope and held over about 9 inches, one 100 grain Remington Cor-loc broke it's neck and the elk dropped in its tracks, it is nice knowing the trajectory of your cartridge out to 600 yards, just like my 338 Win Mag with a 4 inch high sighting at 100 yards you are only 10 inches low at 400 yards, same with my 270 Winchester and a 130 grain Nosler Partition, I have loaned my 270 to various people for elk hunting with the 130 grain Partition, all have been one shot kills, it also helps when you have a shooting range to practice on out to 400 yards.

  10. adam shaw says:

    270 and 30-06 for everything. 140grain accubond in 270 and 180grain accubond in 30-06. Loaded by underwood for respectable velocities. 7mm-08 140grain accubond for women and girls. Those 3 with those loads will cover everything for everyone. Of course this is just my opinion.

  11. sean white says:

    I used 308 for the longest time . I made the switch couple years ago to 6.5CM. With your rule of thumb that means I should be good out to almost 450 yards. I know the gun can do it perfectly. I'm uncomfortable shooting an animal past 300 yards.
    I use 143g ELDX

  12. bryan Jaeck says:

    I started on the 30-06 for elk and was very successful, it was good to about 300 yards with 180 grain bullets, maybe 165 grain would be good. Later for long shots I went 300 Win mag and was very successul, out to 500 yards.

  13. Raymond Mathewson says:

    30 years using .338 win mag, in a Winchester super grade. Breaks done big bulls. 250 grain A frames are wonderful elk medicine. Big bulls tough country. Breaks those shoulders, bulls will go down.

  14. David Padilla says:

    Great video! I’m going on my first rifle elk hunt in NM next week, and am relieved to hear my 308 won’t be underpowered. I’m shooting a 165 nosler accubond and was hitting steel at 760 yds today with federal factory ammo. Only bow hunted so this should be awesome

  15. Mark Wheeler says:

    The late Jack O'Connor swore by the .270 Winchester. Shot placement was key for him, and the reduced recoil of the .270 was a big part of that. That and shooting with a rifle you're comfortable with.

  16. latorgator23 says:

    For the 7mm-08 how much would you limit your range? I’m comfortable out to 200 yds, so I should be fine?

    following your guideline on bullet weight for this cartridge.

  17. Choco Latte says:

    I can’t believe you did not show a 300 Win Mag. I’m guessing one of the most common rounds for Elk Hunting. Also, accurate to long distances having won competitions at 1,000 yards. Maybe it’s too pedestrian for you?

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