45 replies [Last post]
Location: Western states
Joined: 03/10/2004
Posts: 4
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

This past season in Idaho I took a nice anuff 6x6 bull. I used a 300 Rem SAUM. 165gr factory load.

This next season I'll use a Tikka T3 SS Syn 300wsm with a handloaded 165gr Sierra HPBT GameKing at 3100fps.

That load shoots under 2inch groups at 300yds. I can live with that. Outlaw

Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

Joined Apr. 1st, 04. I must be one of the new guys on the block.
Was a die hard 30-06 fan with 180gr Partitons. Tried the 300win mag, too much push on the bones for comfort. Plus, the gun was long and awkward in the trees.
Bought a Browning Micro Hunter in 300wsm. Haven't had it out yet, but have put about 80 round through it and am very impressed. With 180gr Failsafes or 200gr Accubonds it should be a good stopper. It weighs in, ready to hunt, at 7 3/4 lbs. with a 22" bbl. and throws a 180 at 2960 with no signs of pressure. Could probably add another grain or so, but why.
Also, the recoil is noticebly less than the 300win mag and feels about the same as the 30-06 with same weight bullet.
These short mags from Winchester are very impressive.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 04/04/2004
Posts: 7
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

Hit the nail...

Fuzzy...you got it...

Shoot whatever YOU shoot best. If it feels good as far as weight, recoil, etc, shoot it. You will always shoot it better than another gun touted to be a better caliber for a particular game animal.

I have seen charts that show the 300 WM recoil as LESS than the WSM - go figure! Who's right??!! Really doesn't matter.

Shoot what you are comfortable with (as long as it falls within a reasonable energy range for the game).

And enjoy the hunt!

Personally, for cow elk, deer, and antelope, I'll always prefer my .280 Rem. I love how it shoots and it's like an extension of me. But for bulls... especially big ones, I prefer the 300 WM. I'm not afraid of the kick, but I couldn't describe it as an extension of myself YET. And... it weights just a bit more.


Joined: 09/30/2002
Posts: 5
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

Shot one elk with an old lever action .30-.30 at 65 yds. Another with a .308 at about 70. Shot 8 elk between 40 and 125 yds. with my savage 110 .30-.06 (165 g Winshesters). I'll stick with my savage just because I've got confidence in it and my ability to hit where I aim with it. Put alot of deer and antelope down w/it as well. However, alot of good guns, calibers, loads, will do the trick. As long as the shooter stays within the effective limits of the load, and his/her own effective range, you'll put down your elk.

I've been debating weather to take my 13 yr old elk hunting this year. Her brother shoots the .06, but but she is tiny and just can't handle a gun that size (to big, not the kick). Bought her a single shot .243 for deer. Know it'll put an elk down, but.... pretty light. Wouldn't let her shoot beyond 100 yds with it and she can shoot a 1/2" group at that range. Will have to mull it over. A double lung at that range should put a cow down, but would prefer a little snow in case one has to track any distance. What do you think guys? Small load, but at that range? Next year I'll have a .308 or .06 barrel for it for her.

Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

The last elk I took was with a 7mm Rem Mag at 100 yards using a 160 grain PMC factory load. It was effective.

Some time ago, one or two of the hunting mags did an analysis and determined that the best cartridge for elk was the 338 win mag. I can't really argue with that, especially now that I have a rifle chambered for that cartridge. Although my self-imposed limit on shooting at big game is 250 yards, I have every confidence that 250 or even 300 grain bullets out of this firearm are more than effective at longer ranges. I can easily get 2 tons of energy at the muzzle with either projectile, with well over 1 ton left still at 400 yards. This compares impressively with the stiffest of 300 mag loads. The heavier bullet carries the momentum better, which I think helps to anchor the animals a little more at extended ranges. The recoil factor keeps me from advocating hotter loads than this, even though I am a pretty big fella, I don't like getting abused at the range any more than the next guy.

Point is, after the magazines published the article, they caught a lot of flak from their readers, and they rebutted by stating that no one cartridge was the hands down best for elk hunting; that ultimately it was whatever you could shoot effectively, which goes with earlier postings in this thread I think.

Now for the bad news. I was informed last week by the doc that I have developed busitis in my shooting shoulder. I found out what that means yesterday at the range, when I pulled the trigger on my 375 winchester and about dropped the damn thing. It sure sucks getting old. That 338 is gonna punish me this year!

Location: Boise, Idaho
Joined: 10/04/2004
Posts: 10
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

Lever - I agree with saskie on staying under 100 yards. I wouldn't ever recommend a hollow point on elk either. You want the mass retention of a solid point to penetrate the thick hide, muscle, and ribs of an elk.

With any weapon you pick, shot placement is everything. A lot of hunters mistakenly aim for (and hit) the shoulder when they should be aiming just behind and below at the heart/lungs. I've never seen a heart or lung shot elk go more than a couple hundred yards with a larger caliber solid point bullet.

I've hunted elk with bow, rifle, and muzzleloader. I keep my shots with the muzzleloader under 100 yards. This seems to be an effective range for the load as well as for the open iron sights.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 10/05/2004
Posts: 126
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

I'm usually partial to my .300 wthby tossing out 180 gr trophy bonded bear claws, however this year i'm using my 7mm mag with 160 Nosler partitions on cow elk and muleys....

Location: centennial, co
Joined: 03/24/2003
Posts: 59
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

.300 Win. Mag. spittin' 180 gr. Nosler Partitions.

Location: Burkesville K.Y.
Joined: 11/19/2004
Posts: 6
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?


Joined: 09/23/2004
Posts: 137
What is your favorite elk caliber and rifle?

I took this 296 2/8" 6 x 6 at 400 yards with a 338 win mag pushing 225 grain nosler partition at 2800 fps

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