Best caliber for elk

pigslayer

Member
Messages
41
I plan to elk hunt in 2022. I have a 30.06 and 270. People I’ve talked to say they have shot at elk up to 500 yards. My 30.06 I usually shoot a 165 grain my 270 130 grain. Never shot at anything over 300 yards. What do you think is my best gun and grain?
 

bonepicker

Very Active Member
Messages
1,293
You’re set with your 30-06. Shoot 165’s or 180’s and keep it under 300 yards and you will do just fine. As with anything, be sure to practice, shot placement is far more important than caliber.
My son killed an elk with one shot with a .243 a couple years ago. dropped it in its tracks. I have also known people that have shot elk with 300 win mag and 338 that were lost.
 

wweaver79

Member
Messages
90
Nothing wrong with a good old 30-06. Just use a bonded high BC bullet if you want that 300 plus range with enough energy. 165 at over 2800 or 180 at over 2700 fps. Try a Swift Scirroco or Nosler Accubond, they will get it done to 400 at least.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,488
You are set with your ‘06 and the 165. Use a quality bullet and you are good to go out to 400. Yes, it will kill farther than that but you never have and you shouldn’t start on your first elk hunt.

People use 270s all the time, but I just want a little bigger bullet for elk. If you take the 270, limit shots to 300
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,488
Whatever you shoot the most accurate. The .270 is plenty capable of killing elk and its killed thousands upon thousands of them over the years and despite what the ballistic experts say it gets the job done quite well past 300 yards from personal experience..
Yes it does. And my absolute go to gun is my 270. In fact, it has more power than, dare I say it, the 6.5 creedmore 😳

But my personal preference is to have a bit more lead for elk. Since he has both, and asked which he should take, the ‘06 gets the nod from me. There are just instances where having that bigger bullet might be make a difference
 

timbuck2

Member
Messages
47
An old rule of thumb is that you need 1,500 ft-lb of energy at whatever distance you are going to be shooting. That 30-06 with a 180 grain nosler partition should be good elk medicine out to 400 yds.
Exactly what I was going to recommend before I read your post… 30.06 with 180 grain nosler partition. Get real confident shooting 400-500 yds and 300 will be easy. Shot this combo for years very successfully 👍
 

BrianID

Very Active Member
Messages
1,813
I agree with those that take say take the gun you shoot best. Both will kill an elk well past 300 yards if you are capable of making the shot. Using a quality bullet is more important choice than 270 vs 30-06.

Make sure you practice for whatever range you intend to shoot. Unless you practice taking shots at 500 yards, then you have no business shooting at an elk at 500 yards. Calculating your drop based off a ballistic calculator or even worse the information on your box of ammunition will only put you in the ballpark. Being 20% (about a 3" error) off on your drop calculation at 300 yards isn't a problem. Being 20% (about a 12" error) off on your drop calculation at 500 yards will likely result in a problem.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,488
For any old guys on here, do you remember an outdoor life article by Patrick McManus called “Gunrunning past your wife”?
 

CCity65

Member
Messages
79
Is that the one where he gave tips to help increase your arsenal ? If so I remember it, though the details are fuzzy. I grew up waiting for the latest additional F and S to come so I could read him and Ed Zern- as well as the articles. When he compiled his stories in books, I thought I had died and went to Heaven! Funny funny writer!!
 

wweaver79

Member
Messages
90
Wait if we remember those funny articles in outdoor life we are old? Dang it. Sort of like the other day i realized everything I listened to in high school is now “classic rock”.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,488
“Gunrunning past your wife”

First you buy a new gun and put in your gun safe when your wife is not at home.

Now is the hard part: you have to wait a few months without getting it out of the safe.

Then one Sunday afternoon you bring it out into the living room and clean and inspect it. And of course your wife asks: “is that a new gun”

At this point you say honestly: “Oh no, I have had this gun a long time”

This has become a joke between me and my wife. Whenever I have a gun out doing something with it, she asks: “is that a new gun?” To which I reply “Oh no, I have had this gun a long time”

But it works the other way too. I ask her: “are those a new pair of shoes?” To which she answers: “Oh no, I have had these a long time!” 🤪 And because I am a smart man, I never question those purchases!!
 

Jerry

Active Member
Messages
353
“Gunrunning past your wife”

First you buy a new gun and put in your gun safe when your wife is not at home.

Now is the hard part: you have to wait a few months without getting it out of the safe.

Then one Sunday afternoon you bring it out into the living room and clean and inspect it. And of course your wife asks: “is that a new gun”

At this point you say honestly: “Oh no, I have had this gun a long time”

This has become a joke between me and my wife. Whenever I have a gun out doing something with it, she asks: “is that a new gun?” To which I reply “Oh no, I have had this gun a long time”

But it works the other way too. I ask her: “are those a new pair of shoes?” To which she answers: “Oh no, I have had these a long time!” 🤪 And because I am a smart man, I never question those purchases!!
A 7 REM Mag is another great killer with 150 Nosler Partitions- or 175 ‘s. Put a great muzzle
brake on it, use your ear 👂 plugs 🔌, you’re ready with a Superb 3x10! Scope. 😃🤩🤩
Jerry Gold - Windsor, Colorado 🍀🍀🍀
 

WVHUNTER

Very Active Member
Messages
1,052
I guess I'm old because I do remember reading Patrick McManus. He was on the last page of the magazine. I would turn to it and read it first.

The quote that better fits me and my wife is:

"Tell her that a gun collection is like wilderness. Even though we don't use all of it all the time, we need to know that's it there."

So when my wife tells me I never shoot all of those guns I just tell her I don't use that operating room at the hospital very often but I like knowing it's there.
 

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