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Location: Missouri
Joined: 02/05/2004
Posts: 5
.50 cal or .270?

Someday, maybe a couple of years, I would love to go on an elk hunt. I have done much research and read all the "controversey" over the .270 for elk. I have read many positive things about it, and some negative things and stories about the .270. I currently own a .270 and that would probably be the gun I would use. I love the .270's accuracy. But its all time weakness has been the lack of bullet size. I also own a .50 caliber muzzleloader. I am wondering whether the .270 would be better for an elk or the .50 cal muzzleloader would be better (which can hold up to 150 grains of blackpowder). Obviously the .270 has the much better advantage in range and if needed be much faster time for a second shot. I feel comfortable taking shots up to 125 yards with the muzzleloader (probably not much greater) having killed a deer with it at 150 yards before. Any ideas on whether a .270 or 50 cal? I am leaning towards the .270 because I love the accuracy and range, but if anyone has experience elk hunting with either a .270 or a .50 cal muzzleloader I would love any input. (Also, one disadvantage of the muzzleloader is it has a 4 power scope... but that seems fine for the range it is used for) Thanks for any replies =)

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One shot, one kill.

[ This Message was edited by: Lordgunner on 2004-02-06 20:42 ]

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
.50 cal or .270?

If you want to hunt (at least here in CO) during the rut your only choice of the options given is the muzzleloader.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
.50 cal or .270?

I live in Colorado and hunt the muzzleloader season every year. Being a resident, and owning a couple of modern rifles, I could hunt any season I wanted, pretty much. I choose to hunt the muzzleloader season for a couple of reasons.

First off, the muzzleloader season is in September, as bitmasher said, more or less during the rut. Secondly, It's not as bitterly cold (hey! I'm getting old and sleeping in a tent when there's 2 feet of snow on the ground and the overnight low dips below zero is just too much for me these days!). Thirdly, there aren't as many hunters in the woods during the blackpowder season (though there are still plenty!). Fourthly, and probably most importantly, I just like hunting with my smokepole.

Are there drawbacks? Well, if you want to be able to shoot an elk from 250 yards away, you aren't going to be able to reliably do that with any muzzleloader; especially considering Colorado's restrictions during muzzleloader season: no scopes, no sabots.

But do you really need to be able to shoot an elk from 250 yards? I don't think so. I've never seen an elk that far away that I couldn't get closer to. In fact, I can keep shots within a 3" circle out to a bit past 100 yards with my smokepole, but the furthest shot I've ever taken at an elk was about 75-80 yards.

In the end, it's up to you. Which rifle are you more comfortable with? How much do you enjoy the blackpowder experience? Do you want to hunt early in the year or later? All these things will enter into your decision. Whatever you decide, good luck!