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Joined: 02/25/2009
Posts: 2
New Elk Gun Needed

I'm relatively new to big game hunting (lifelong upland and waterfowl hunter) and I'm looking to step into a higher powered rifle for elk hunting. I already have a .270 BAR, but felt somewhat under-gunned on my first elk hunt a year ago.

Currently I'm anticipating that elk will probably be the biggest game animal that I'll go after, but would like a gun that would give me the flexibility to go after larger North American game in the future. I'm not a ballistics expert, but I like guns that have a flat trajectory. I have been leaning toward the 7 mm Remington, but am more than open to suggestions.

Also I’m a bigger guy (6’ 4”) and some guns don’t fit me very well. I’ve had spacers and recoil pads added in the past, but I am apt to choose a gun based on how it feels on my shoulder in the store, because I feel that if it doesn’t feel good it probably won’t shoot good. This is pretty nitpicky, but if there’s another big and tall shopper out there that has any helpful suggestions I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

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Location: Umatilla Rez, Oregon
Joined: 12/10/2007
Posts: 150
New Elk Gun Needed

7mm rem mag, that is a nice elk gun, 2 of my partners use this. I use a 300 win mag and a 338 just cause I want to. But I really want a 7mm rem mag just to have one.

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
New Elk Gun Needed

The .270 is of course enough gun for elk, but if you're looking for an excuse to buy something new, I'd go a little larger than a 7mm Rem Mag. It's very popular, it works and the recoil is within most men's tolerance levels. But, it's not a big step up from a .270. But it also depends on how recoil tolerant you are. I don't know why this is, but I've noticed that a lot of larger men don't tolerate recoil very well. Maybe it has something to do with gun fit, or maybe bigger bodies don't "give" as much as smaller, whippier ones. If your BAR fits you well, Browning has all sorts of good elk calibers available. The .300 Win Mag is rightfully popular, .338 is the epitome of an elk cartridge, and .325 WSM seems a great compromise between those two. Personally, I haven't yet shot an elk with anything larger than a .280 and I haven't recovered a bullet from an elk yet. You don' "need" a new gun for elk, but if you want one, and since you've asked for some advice, I'd suggest a Browning BAR in .338 Win Mag.
If you'd like something in a bolt action, how about a Kimber Montana in .325 WSM? However, the stocks seem to be about 1/8" shorter than the BAR, whose lenght of pull is 13.75". Have you played much with Ruger or Sako rifles? I just know my Ruger 77 feels like it has a little longer length of pull than my Winchester M70s.

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Joined: 02/01/2009
Posts: 12
New Elk Gun Needed

you can't go wrong with either a 300 win mag, 30-06 or .308 i have one of each and have drop plenty of elk, deer and bear with them and i know people who have used the same guns for moose too..there all great all around calibers for any game you could want to hunt

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
New Elk Gun Needed

I also think your 270 is more than up to it. Use 150gr bullets. The 7 mag just isn't that big a step up, neither are the 30-06 or the 308, but, all are more than adequate. If a need is really felt to step up, and your not to recoil sensative, I'd go to the 338 mag with 250gr bullets. There's nothing in North America I wouldn't take on with that. Then again there's not much I wouldn't take on with my old 308 either!

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Joined: 02/25/2009
Posts: 2
New Elk Gun Needed

I went to the gun show this weekend and saw a few guns that I liked; the Ruger M77 .300 Win Mag and a 7mm Browning A-Bolt. But it's all moot now since I bought a 9mm CZ 75 SP-01 with 2 18 round extended magazines. From my cold dead fingers Obama!

So I'll be using my BAR next year and then looking to grab a .338 at some point in the future. Thanks for the help.

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