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Which firearm should I take Elk hunting, T/C encore or BDL 700 30.06

I getting my gear together for a 2012 elk hunt in western Montana.  I'm torn between which rifle to take.  I have a T/C encore and an old Model 700 BDL 30.06.  I have never hunted in big country that require long shots.  I was asking this question so I can get started with shooting longer distances now so I will be ready for 2012.  Any info will help.

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Both same cartridge?

Are they both in .30-06?  If so, I would opt for the bolt action for the ease of followup shots.  Assuming they both shoot similarly in the accuracy department. 

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re elk hunt

No, I have not yet purchased a barrell for my encore.  Thinking a 300 mag.  But with the price of encore barrels, I might be able to pick up a good used but not abused 700 300 mag for around the same price.

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Encore

The Encore is a fine platform and should be a great choice for the hunt you are planning. As already mentioned any hunter's first shot is the most important, by far, and when the plan comes together properly, is normally all that's needed. The only hunting a single shot is not especially suited for is dangerous game at close range, IMO.  Although the '06 would make a fine elk chambering, I like your mention of a .300 mag a bit better. I'd also suggest that you look seriously at getting a barrel in .35 Whelen for your Encore too. I have an Encore and the .35W is one of the barrels I have purchased for it.

The .35 Whelen has loads that would give you a 200gr bullet @ 2900 FPS and a 225gr bullet well over 2700 FPS. The .35W is based on the same case as a 30/06 and uses less powder than a .300 mag while giving you the opportunity to use a much larger bullet with lots more frontal area. The Whelen was actually developed with elk sized game in mind. You'd be giving up little to nothing in MPBR to the '06 and getting much more horsepower in return. To my shoulder recoil falls in between the '06 and .300 when shooting heavy loads out of the .35W and I actually prefer it over either for most any application.

Just a thought for you to consider. Big smile  

 

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If you like the challenge of

If you like the challenge of a single shot then by all means go for it.  A lot of hunters put way too much emphasis on follow up shots when if you have done your job and made the first shot count there is no need for them.  In all of my years hunting (and it is over 40) if I didn't make the first shot count I hardly ever got the animal once they started to run. 

There are times when I am hunting with my T/C Contender pistol that I think that it is the only thing to hunt with.  With one shot you know that you have to make it count and hunt accordingly. 

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Definitely the bolt gun

The 30-06 is a fine elk cartridge.  Given the choice I will always opt for a rifle with a magazine over a single shot, so the choice is clear to me.  There is no way I'd pick a Thompson Center Encore over a Remington Model 700 BDL so long as the Remington's cartridge was adequate for elk.  The 30-06 is clearly adequate and the right load can be effective at the longest ranges that you want to shoot at.

Regardless of which you choose I highly recommend a LOT of practice at long range shooting with teh rifle of choice and the same ammunition that you plan to hunt with, if you plan to take those shots.

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I'd also stay with the 30-06

I'd also stay with the 30-06 and go with a 165 or 180 grain bonded bullet for your elk hunt.  I'm partial to Hornady and use their BTSPs on antelope in my 25-06 and 150 grain for deer in my 30-06s.  Their Interbond is just the ticket for elk for great penetration before maximum expansion takes place.  I'd go with them if your rifle groups them well and it probably will.  You can take an elk out to around 300-350 yards with no problem with that gun, but get plenty of practice and zero it at 200 yards!  On you hunt I would recommend a bipod or preferably a tripod for shots of any length.  I always carry my camera tripod out in Wyoming and am confident out to 350 yards with it just like if I was on the range bench.

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30-06

the 30-06 is hard to beat, I killed my first elk with one . A hundred years from now someone will still hunting with a 30-06. The reason being they will kill anything on the north american continent along with the largest bullet selection of any caliber. Beyond 400 yards I'd opt for the 300 win . Chances are you won't have to shoot that far . definitly you'll want the bolt action , my elk would have died after one shot but he was heading for a cliff sometimes it's nessesary to put em down right away, will a single shot work, sure it will, but you usually only get one opportunity to kill an elk per trip,and people miss all the time, It's hard to go wrong with any of the popular elk calibers bullet selection is more important. IF you already have a 30-06 thats what I would use .spend the money for the best scope you can afford. the last thing you want is a scope that won't hold zero when you are in the back country . that happend to my buddy this year on our deer hunt, a $40 scope will show you no mercy!!

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Just to echo what everyone

Just to echo what everyone else said, the 30-06 is a fine caliber for elk.  And, unless there is some underlying reason that you want to use a single-shot, then I wouldn't hesitate to take the 700 BDL.

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I'd go with the 30-06 for

I'd go with the 30-06 for sure, its a great elk round, there is no such thing as over kill(?)but i hear people all the time say you need that 300 mag for elk. I say BS. I've killed plenty of elk with the old trusty 06 and never need a follow up shot. It really comes down to what gun do you feel the most comfortable with.

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elk hunt

Some very great information from experienced hunters.  I think I will stay with the 30-06.  I also like the Hornady ammo and use it myself for deer hunting.  What do any of you think of Nikons Buckmaster 4.5-12x40 scope with side adjustment and BDC?  Will it be good enough to handle back country hunting.  Also who makes good gun chaps for model 700, and where can I find one.  Thanks for all the comments, there is some really good advise.

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