What cartridge and load are you using for elk hunting

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by A Seedy Lot, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    It seems that everyone has an idea of what cartridge works for elk, even if they have never seen an elk in person, so i am curious as to what people are actually using for elk hunting.

    I have only shot two elk. One was across a canyon at a range of 210 yards. I was using a 35 Whelen with a 225 grain TSX barnes bullet leaving the muzzle at around 2500 fps. The elk was walking down a steep hillside for water so shot was broadside on an undisturbed animal. The bullet hit no rib on entry or exit and did minimal damage to the lower lungs. My uncle actually thought i had a bad shot as there was not the response he is use to seeing. The bullet did not open up much and caused minimal damage, penciled right through, which i have learned is common with a Barnes bullet as the velocity starts dropping below 2400 fps and lack of target resistances since i did not hit a bone. With this shot the terminals performance would have been much better with a bullet traveling faster or a bullet that reliably opened up at a lower velocity.

    My second elk was an upper neck shot at 80 yards. I was using a 3006 with a 180 grain Woodleigh bullets traveling around 2550 from the muzzle. Any accurate rifle could have dropped the elk with the same shot, heck my 300 blackout with 110 barnes bullets would have been sufficient.

    My uncle who has over 40 elk to his name hunts with a 7mm Remington Magnum shooting 150 Barnes bullet running a little over 2900 fps.

    I still have not decided what load i want to use for elk hunting this year. In the dark timber it seems that when i finally get close to the elk they are looking over there shoulders at me facing away for a quick exit. This has happened enough that i now feel that i need to be able to take a reliable shot on an elk that is strongly quartering away. This would mean using a bullet out of my 3006 that is capable of very deep penetration. While i like my 180 Woodleigh load the bullet opens up to such a large diameter that penetration is some what sacrificed. I am leaning to using a 220 round nose Woodleigh bullet. Dark timber shots are rarely over 100 yards and the Woodleigh bullet traveling at 2400fps from the muzzle would still have enough velocity for full expansion out to 200 yards . This bullet would not only penetrate deep but would also create a great deal of internal trama to hopefully drop the elk quickly as a wounded elk running can easily get into some very ugly terrain.
     
  2. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Guide

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    Interested to read as well...

    Any comments to this, from me, would be educated guess, from reading and hunting different species as I have never hunted or taken a Elk.

    I have a few of what I would consider appropriate calibers starting with the 30/06, 7Mag, 35 Whelen and 358 Norma Magnum. (If I ever finish it.) :D:p:p

    CW
     
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  3. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    CW that 358 Norma would be a Hammer of Thor elk round with the right bullets out to further than I like to shoot durning hunting. I see they make a 225 Accubond that would still be traveling about 2200fps out at 350 yards or so.
     
  4. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I used to kill elk with a 300 Winchester mag with Barnes bullets. While it did pay off on a 450 yd shot on a trophy bull, I eventually came to see it as overkill. My last elk was taken with 308 Winchester, loaded with a Barnes 165gr X bullet. That was fired from a 14" SS pistol.

    I haven't hunted elk for quite a few years, but I'm set up now with a .308win rifle, in which will be a load with Barnes or a similar bullet - when I find what it likes best.


    Barnes bullets do not all perform the same. They control the expansion window through different heat treating. At least in .30 cal, they have various thresholds available. If you call them, they can tell you what you need based on your expected velocity. The load I used in that pistol was only starting out at 2400 fps, and expanded nicely at about 75 yds. My son shot a nice buck through the lungs at about 100 yds with a bolt action 30-30 and Barnes 125gr X, with similar devastating performance. Another consideration is that given the higher sectional density per weight and better weight retention, you can generally step down one weight lower than usual in a given caliber, with no loss of penetration - which gives a little advantage in velocity.
     
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  5. Zach Smith

    Zach Smith Tracker

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    When I'm hunting dark timber like we have here in the wet part of western Washington shots are rarely over 75 yards unless you happen upon a clear cut. My go to has always been a 45/70 with 300gr Remington soft points.
     
  6. Hawkcreek

    Hawkcreek Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Concerning the 220 grain bullets out of .30 calibers. The Woodleigh is supposed to expand down to 1900 fps according to the data on midwayusa while the Hornady bullet of the same weight and profile is a touch softer and according to what Hornady told me via email they should open reliably down to 1800fps. Not a huge difference but they are MUCH cheaper. Sierra also has a 220 as does Nosler but the latter has a semi-spitzer profile.

    This has been a great source for comparing bullets and calibers:
    http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/ballistics/methods.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  7. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Guide

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    I load that Accubond in my whelen on top of RL15 in the high 2500’s! (25” barrel)! Only taken deer with it.

    CW
     
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  8. Oldguy59

    Oldguy59 Scout

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    When I rifle hunted I used either my 45-70 or 7mm mag, I use a bow now. My dad used a 30-06 with 180 gr nosler partition . The issue your having is you bullets. They are too tough for the velocity your getting. Find one designed for lower velocity and you be good.
     
  9. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Guide

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    I have read before that the 45/70 is awesome in “dark timber” as shots are under 100!

    I imagion it would be . I shot a couple deer with the 300 HP bullets and HATED the preformance. Blood shot meat and poor penetration. I cannot imagion them on a tougher animal Like Elk!! Why you like so mush Zach??

    I never was a 220g bullet fan. I prefer the 200’s as a heavy in the 06. I have a couple hundred loaded at ablut 1950 for my Grandfathers 03/A3 as it shoots it shoots them so well in its two groove rifling. Its a older single heat treat gun and altho he loaded it warmer. I dont and dont need to chance it.

    CW
     
  10. injun51

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    7MM Rem mag.
     
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  11. A Seedy Lot

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    The Barnes bullet I used out of the 35 Wheelen supposedly opens up at lower velocities as it is meant for the Whelen but from what I experienced I did not get ideal expansion, the impact velocity was most likely right at 2000fps. I did shot a Whitetail at around 80-90 yards and the terminal performance was ridicolus, exit hole was tennis ball size.

    I already have the 220 grain Woodleighs and I like how they are bonded and retain 90 percent of there weight but open up to a very large diameter. Most my elk hunting woods are also home to Grizzly bears and I want the best odds in my favor of putting down on elk right away. I have heard the Hornaday 220 are on the very soft side for larger animals. The Sierra 220s use to be the goto big game bullet out of the 3006, i have read they retain about 50 percent of their mass.

    I have also thought about 200 grain bullets for the 3006 but the velocity is not much higher than the 220 and since I am only hunting dark timber the better BC does not get me any improvements.
     
  12. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    I'll second that motion.

    A Nosler partition might be a better choice in your .35 Whelen.

    My elk experience is muzzleloaders loaded with maxi balls or round balls and with 7.5 X 55 Swiss loaded with 180 grain old style X bullets. For ballistic purposes its pretty much a .308.

    The X bullets were the old school ones from quite a few years ago. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again in any suitable .30 caliber rifle.

    I had a 270 that I used to kill a boatload of antelope. But a son in law and grandson have killed elk with it at longish range and up close using Nosler partition 150 grain and Remington core lokt 150 grain. Both bullets performed very well.

    It's fun to overcomplicate caliber and bullet selection but in the end, for the .270 what turned out to be a great load was the factory Remington 150s ($17.99 a box at Walmart :) )
     
  13. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Guide

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    I'm not a fan of solid projectiles... You loose a little and for me and my game hunting its wasted $$. Cup N Core bullets are what I prefer.

    I have only shot a few head of game with them, but every time I get less blood to track. IMHO its the loss from additional would tracts a Cup and Core bullet affords by coming apart. Yes you get more bullet to penetrate and folks SHOULD be choosing them BEACUSE of that. I am generally not a magnum shooter, so My bullets are not subject to higher pressures on the bullets. Meaning a partition bullet isn't well served used in a 300 Black simply because its velocity range dosen't "tax" the designs of a cup and core. Where a 300 Ultra mag does. For example, people like them, but the 30-30 170 Partition is useless. The 30-30 simply dosen't generate the power to create a need for a premium bullet needed. The Nosler Partition like the Grand Slam and A frame and others, claims to fame is a soft nose and a harder tail end. Ensuring expansion at lower velocities and tough base so it dosen't over expand. The 30-30s bullets almost always expand, yet nearly, never over expand. That can never be said for about any of the big 300 magnums.

    I have had the Original 225 Barnes X fail to expand from my 358 & Whelen. I still have part of the box on my bench, I wont use them on game ever again. I shot 4-5 good sized 250+ Hogs with my Contender 7x30 waters and a 120 Barnes X. Again a original design smooth sided bullet. This one I cannot complain too loudly as the lil waters in a 14" BBl isn't moving very fast. I didn't loose any of the pigs but recovered every bullet! Some barely expanded to .284 while others expanded to almost 50 caliber. I tried the new 85G TTSX in my 25/45 @ 2800 + fps and had two barely expand leaving a 30Cal exit. I know folks love them, but they aint for me.:4::dblthumb:

    CW
     
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  14. Oldguy59

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    Did a quick survey of elk hunters here at work and the 2 most popular rounds were 300win mag and 7mm win mag followed by 338 win mag. 180, 175 and 225gr bullets .
     
  15. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I am convinced that a lot of elk hunters think the elk they hunt are a lot tougher than those I hunt. Or that they qualify as dangerous game. ;) The flat shooting magnums make sense for long ranges, but when I see what is essentially equal to a warm 30-30 load anchoring elk with one shot with golf-ball sized wound track and complete penetration, I think a lot of guys are into overkill.

    It is interesting to me that my FIL killed a lot of elk with the only rifle I know him to ever hunt with - his Winchester 94 30-30, with 160gr Silvertips.

    I never recovered any X bullet to examine the expansion. All my shots with it were pass throughs with the same golf-ball diameter track, and very little blood shot. Some close shots, some 200 yds or more. All with the same one shot drop results. I did see the Partition bullet come completely apart when hitting bone. The rear partition isn't any harder - it's just basically enclosed in a reverse cup with open base. If the bullet upsets enough to continue through the animal base-first, it can frag the whole thing. Not saying that it's a bad bullet, but it isn't failsafe either.

    It's quite possible that Barnes has fiddled with the design since I was using it, but I know that it is somewhat critical to match the right bullet to the game. My results with it from 300 mag to 30-30 were all perfect.

    edit: Correction as noted below (memory lapse)....I did recover one X, from a nearly end to end shot on an elk. That was a 165gr from the .300 mag at about 200 yds. It showed perfect expansion and retained almost 100% of its weight.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  16. fjcruisin

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    I also believe it is your bullet selection. I hunted elk for 12 years and shot 7, all with 270win with 130 speer or sierra bullets. it seems to me the farther u live away from elk the larger the gun and bullet need to be. your whelen shot was just a fluke in that it did not hit bone.
     
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  17. georgej81323

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    Remington 700 in 350 remington. Loaded with 225 grain Nosler partitions.
     
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  18. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I only ever lost one elk, to what I determined was a failed bullet. That was a factory Remington Core-locked in 300 win mag (my first elk hunt). The shot was good, and the range under 80 yds. The blood trail was scant, but I followed it for miles into the next hunting unit before I ran out of light. That was how I learned firsthand that high velocity on heavy game calls for a premium bullet. Took me a few years to realize that all that smoke and fury was unnecessary. ;)

    My BIL, BTW, killed most of his elk with a 30-06 and 180gr Partitions. Then he changed to a 280 Rem. My wife's uncle also killed a lot of elk, and never used anything but a 270.

    It ain't the arrow.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  19. A Seedy Lot

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    I think the Barnes bullets have there place and I have shot a couple deer with 130 tsx out of a 308 with good results as the deer were under 100 yards so the bullets were still cruisng fast. I have stayed away from them latley has i also have been bear hunting in the fall while rambling the woods and since i have already been charged by a wounded bear, archery season, I want to have a bullet that delivers the best combination of wide wounding and penetration, the Woodleighs seem to run this balance very well.

    Barnes bullets are loved by people who aim for shoulder bones, the secondary projectiles when a copper bullet hits bone is very impressive. I try to save as much meat as possible so stay away from shoulder shots and thus question cooper bullets.

    I started huntinting with a 7x30jdj at age 13 and tried the old Barnes x. They shot ok for accuracy but once i loaded them down and shoot into a test medium they did not expand. Ended up using 140 parition with the 7x30 for a lot of dead deer.

    One thing i am noticing is no one is jumping up saying how awsome their 6.5 is...
     
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  20. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I took a few deer with that 300 win mag loaded with my X bullet elk round. Every one of them dropped right in their tracks.....except for the one that was hiding behind my intended buck and received the pass-through bullet that dropped the first buck. That one ran 100 yards, but the shot placement wasn't ideal.
     
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  21. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    The interesting thing here is that we have seen exactly the opposite with the X. That's not to say I don't believe you, but that terminal performance is still something of a crapshoot, even with premium bullets. I don't purposely aim for bone, as a rule - but when I have made or seen those shots, I saw the opposite results. With the X drilling a small hole in the bone and the Partition making a fragged mess. The exception with the X was a shot from above where I purposely took out a vertibrae to anchor the elk in a touchy location. That bone was pretty much mush, but the X continued on through the heart.
     
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  22. 3855singleshot

    3855singleshot Supporter Supporter

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    38-55 with 300 grains bullet over 42 grains of 2ffg powder!
    20190212_170331.jpg
     
  23. longcruise

    longcruise Scout

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    I think that would make a great elk load. I wanted a 38-55 but determined that they would not meet the legal requirements in CO for big game. The rule makers are often led astray by velocity and ft lbs energy when it's wound channel that kills.
     
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  24. 3855singleshot

    3855singleshot Supporter Supporter

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    I hear ya! Colorado is a little strange to say the least.
     
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  25. Zach Smith

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    I have always liked 45/70 in my opinion a perfect thick timber cartridge and not too bad out to 200 if loaded right. I have taken several elk, white tail, bears and hogs with it all over the country. But if I know shots may be outside of 200 yards I take my 300wm.
     
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  26. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    I have have also hunted elk, but unsucessfully, with hard cast 0.315 meplat 310 grain bullet out of a 444 Marlin. I shot 5 deer with this round and i aimed for lower shoulder, once again the secondary sharpened was always impressive and leathal similar to how a copper bullet can be put to very good use.

    Partition defiantly fragment 40-50 percent of there weight. I really have been liking the performance of bonded bullets, big holes all the way through.
     
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  27. Oldguy59

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    This is how awesome the 6.5x55 is . I have about30 rifles for .22 up to 45-70 if I was to be limited to 1 it would be my little 6.5 carbine.
     
  28. Dancing Bear

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    For the situations you describe I would prefer Nosler Partition bullets. They expand with little resistance and penetrate deeply.

    In the .35 Whelen you would likely be pleased with a 250 grain Partition at 2450 or so. I use 225 grain bullets in my Whelen at close to 2600 fps (Bearclaws and Partitions but that is my preference. It gives up a little penetration but I have been happy so far.

    For elk in a .30-06 I have used 180 grain Nosler Partitions for many years. They work very well. I have also taken 3 species of deer, antelope and bighorn sheep with the load. For your raking shots though I would use a 200 grain Partition. You can get one to 2600 fps and that is p-lenty to 300 yards or further.

    I do not like to use Barnes mono bullets below about 2800 fps muzzle velocity. The 180's work wll in my .300 Weatherby for instance. If I wanted to use a Barnes in a .35 Whelen I would likely choose the 200 grain and in an '06 I wouldn't go over 168 grains. I believe your uncle is using a great combination and can likely tell you why.
     
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  29. Cwlongshot

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    OOh I agree 100%!!! I like the 45/70 allot!

    My question was what and why you prefer the 300g loading. Not so much the 45/70.

    When I bought my first 45/70 I didn't know allot and was naïve and thought the 300 was plenty as my other calibers where no where near 300g!! First deer had its lung blown "out" the entrance hole!! Shot was a close 20-25 yards broadside. Bullet never exited. That was a factory 300 Winchester. Every deer I shot high shoulder stopped the bullet with a near soft ball wound under the skin. I switched to a 400 Speer and a 405 Remington when I started to hand load it and was rewarded with about a 50 cal entrance hole and a silver dollar exit, thru and thru penetration excellent blood trails and far less blood shot meat.

    CW
     
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  30. Paul Foreman

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    all i can tell you is that my niece uses a .308 tikka for sub-400-yard elk, and her husband william uses a .300 win mag for longer stuff. he is building soft-recoiling loads for their oldest daughter's 6.5 creedmoor for closer in elk. my nephew-in-law has been after me for years to come out there to hunt prairie elk. probably past my time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  31. FreeMe

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    Wow - I've never seen so many comments about poor performance with the X bullets!

    When I was using them, there was only the original X - with which some people had problems with accuracy in their rifles (I did not). Now, there are ten different lead-free rifle projectiles, including the polymer-tip TTSX - which I suspect should be more consistent in expansion. Since I am gearing up again for elk myself, my question is - which version of the X were all of you having trouble with?

    As an aside to the OP....
    The Partition used to be THE premium big game bullet, back in the day. I think it is still a good choice, although there are a lot of other premiums that I think may be just as good or better. Not long after Barnes came out with the X, Winchester brought out the Failsafe - which is sort of a cross between the X and the Partition. I never tried it, because I was having great results with the X - but I always thought it would be my "plan B". Winchester discontinued the Failsafe and superseded it with the XP3. My suspicion (which I will have to try to confirm) is that the XP3 will be superior to the Partition - if for no other reason than the lead core portion in the rear is bonded, while the Partition is not. That lack of bonding has always been the Partition's weakness. If the X doesn't work for me, XP3 will be my "plan B".

    https://www.chuckhawks.com/winchester_supreme_XP3.htm
     
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  32. Zach Smith

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    That is a good question, I prefer 405gr but locally its hard to come by. When I go to town I hit up 4-5 stores each time and if I'm lucky I come home with 1 or 2 boxes of 45/70. I don't understand why no one here on the wet side of Washington state keeps it around. When I lived in Indiana Wal-Mart had it on the shelves not so much out here. I also prefer not to order ammunition online I just got home from town and no one had any in stock so I had my LGS order a few boxes of 405gr and a couple boxes of buffalo bore 500gr hard cast for when I head back up to Alaska in a couple weeks.
     
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  33. Birdman

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    I was going to open that can of worms, but deleted my post lol.
    The model 94 .30-30 I inherited has killed a whole mess of Roosevelt elk in the PNW timber over the years, but I'm always told the .30-30 isnt an elk cartridge.
    I guess the elk didnt get the memo.

    ETA: I prefer 170gr soft points. Been debating on trying the Buffalo Bore 190gr loads.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  34. oldpinecricker

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    I'm
    I'm a total 30-30 fan and levergun addict. If I had to only use one of my Winchester 30-30's exclusively I would be fine and dandy with that.
     
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  35. A Seedy Lot

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    I have hunted a few years myself with my Dad's 1953 Winchester 94 in 30-30, elk tag in pocket. I really like the 170 grain Sierra bullets, thinking of loading up a reduced load with these bullets in a 308 for my son, great lower recoil youth load.

    I have barterd off the 35 Wheelen to a good friend who is a Mauser 98 freak, after I got my lefty bolt 3006 Tikka i know i was going to hunt with no other.

    Barnes bullets seem to stop expanding to full diameter, 1.5 diameter, some were around 2400 fps. They perform the best speeding fast and this is why light for caliber bullet perform so well. Take a 3006 with a 130 ttsx at 3200fps and you have Weatherby performance.

    A calm broadside elk can be harvested with many differnt calibers, as long as the bullet expands and penetrates through the lungs. Many elk have been taken with a .243 Winchester.

    I seem never to find a perfect shot hunting, in fact they are usually less than ideal. I had a very large cow elk starring me down this year, she was quarterd away so much that if I would have attempted the shot I would have had to put the bullet behind the rear rib. That is a long way for a bullet to penetrate, I questioned if my 180 Woodleigh good have made it so I did not take the shot. This was after 20 hours and 10,000 total vertical of tough hunting, these are shots I need to be able to make to feed my family for the year so I am re-thinking the bullet weight I am hunting with so I can bring home the meat, and yes I do live around elk and i still think they are huge tough animals.
     
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  36. lmc8541

    lmc8541 Tracker

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    JO-and-Wyo-Elk-1944.jpg
    Can you say .270 Winchester? Jack sure did.
    Its all about time, place, situation and shot placement. The Swedes have been using the 6.5 x 55 to kill moose for over a century. The 30-30 has killed more animals on this continent than just about every other round invented. Its what your comfortable with and shoot the best. Now I'm not condoning shooting any animal with an under-powered cartridge but use the tool that is adequate for the task. I once had an 8mm Rem Mag, it had a short lived career I assure you, no one needs that but people always want what they think they need. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  37. Nick94

    Nick94 Scout

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    I've been lugging around a win 94 in 30-30, loaded with 170 grn game kings. haven't gotten one yet, but maybe this year's the year! Can't wait!
     
  38. Blackhawk45hunter

    Blackhawk45hunter Pronounced sim-bee-duh Bushclass II

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    I’ll be loading my favorite 30-06 load, a hornady 180 grain interlock, right at 2700 fps at the muzzle. I might have to give the new 178 grain ELD-X a try though, it looks pretty promising.
     
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  39. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    for a loooong time (30-ish years) is was handloaded loaded 165 gr Nosler Partitions (.30-06); I've since moved to Accubonds- still 165 gr and am not handloading anymore, just purchasing their trophy grade ammunition

    I have a new .308 that I plan on using this fall, it will be loaded w/ 165 gr Accubonds as well
     
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  40. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Guide

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    Ever been a .270 fan boy. My lil brother had one he liked it.

    I have read a few times that the 8MM MAG was the best of the elk cartridges. One above all others...

    CW
     
  41. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    So, which Barnes bullet have you been trying? When I was using the original X, two of my .30 caliber loads were only making 2400 fps at the muzzle. They both performed as advertised, with textbook wound channels. I can't testify to what the expanded diameter was because I never recovered a bullet from either of those loads from game. I do recall now that I did recover one that was nearly an end to end penetration on an elk - but that was a 200 yd shot with the .300 mag. That is the only recovered X I have, and its expansion looks just like their ads. I suspect that there is some misconception at work, because some are accustomed to seeing huge wound channels and blood shot from fragmented projectiles. The original X doesn't work that way - it's more like a heavy cast flatpoint in its terminal performance. When I talked to Barnes back in the early nineties, they stated that the .30 cal X in 125gr, 150gr, and 165gr were tested to expand reliably down to 1600 fps, and my experience bears that out. Are the newer designs not doing that?
     
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  42. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Nevermind, @A Seedy Lot - I scrolled back and see you named the slugs you used.

    Question - what velocity were you getting from the JDJ?
     
  43. PeterCartwright

    PeterCartwright Guide

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    I'm planning a Fall elk hunt with my secretary's husband this Fall. Two rifles are going with me. I restocked a Howa 1500 in .338 WM a decade ago. The rifle has a Timney trigger and a 1" Sorbothane butt pad. I've used the rifle some on deer hunts, for familiarity's sake. I like the gun a lot. I also have a re-bored Remington 78 Sportsman (the cheapest 700 Remington ever made). It began life as a .243. Now it's a .358. The little Remington is a light, handy rifle (also with a Timney trigger) with a 21" barrel. It's a joy to carry and I've no doubt it would handle most of my elk hunting needs. The circumstances of the hunt will dictate which rifle gets carried. (We're making day trips from a cabin on this trip).

    PC
     
  44. PeterCartwright

    PeterCartwright Guide

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    Pardon this addition: I'm no authority on elk rifles. I've only hunted elk one other time, and that was as an unsuccessful teen during the days I lived in Oregon. I hear and read a lot about how grandpa shot multiple elk with his trusty .30-30. Fair enough. I don't think elk are any "tougher" today than when grandpa lived. But I know they are more heavily pressured. When I was a kid, elk season lasted all the month of November. Locals often lived in the heart of elk country and targets of opportunity often came within easy range of open-sighted rifles riding in pickups or tractors or skidders. There aren't many rifles more handy in such circumstances than 94 and 336 carbines. And a properly placed 170 gr. bullet from a .30-30 @ 100 yards or less will kill just as well at a 180 gr. .300 whatever @ 500 yards. But here's food for thought: I think I'll have about 5 grand in my hunt this Fall. My opportunity will be between four and five days long. IF I get a shot at an elk, it may not be the perfect, broadside set up. The technology of both propellants and projectiles has upped the ante a bunch for many cartridges, but there are limits to what we should expect for performance. Speaking only for myself, I want enough gun to do the job. As always YMMV.

    PC
     
  45. lmc8541

    lmc8541 Tracker

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    I'm not either, but my point was is that most cartridges in the 2600 - 2900 fps category will do the job with good shot placement. The venerable '06 is good for most all North American game, and the .280 Remington(7 Mag performance without the recoil) is really hard to beat out to 600m. One of the best wildcats I ever used was the 6.5-06. That was almost 20 years ago. With today's powder and bullet selection that cartridge would really shine! But, everyone wants shorter and lighter which not always a good thing especially when dealing with recoil from a magnum velocity cartridge.
     
  46. lmc8541

    lmc8541 Tracker

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    My point exactly!
     
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  47. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    @FreeMe I honestley can not remember what velocity the Branes x bullets were traveling, I chronographed them but that was 27 years ago. I still have the bullets that I recovered from shooting into a piece of firewood at 200 yards velocities to check expansion.

    The bullet on the left was 140 grain from the 7x30jdj, next in line was a 200ish bullet out of a 338jdj#2 and finally is the.modern 168 TTSX shot with a mild load out of 3006 and recovered at 100 yards.

    Expanded diameter from left to right: 0.323, 0.390, 0.595 inches.
    20190214_075222.jpg 20190214_075308.jpg

    Here are a few of the bullets I have experimented with.
    20190214_080831.jpg

    https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/Homogenous+copper+bullets+can+be+inhumane.html
     
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  48. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Supporter Supporter

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    I talked to a Barnes rep myself about the 225 tsx and they assured me that is expands down to 1600fps. There is a difference between starting to expand and reaching full expansion. The elk I shot with the Whelen must not have expanded much because the damage to lungs was very minimal even thou the bullet was traveling ~2000fps when it contacted the elk.

    I have hunted elk since I was 12 but the elk numbers are low around here and lots of land for them to roam. Once I got serious about elk hunting I spent 5 hunting seasons trying very hard to connect with an elk, close but no luck until I shot my first elk with the Whelen, took me another 4 years before i got another opportunity. If I get an opportunity to potetially harvest an elk i am going to take it even if it is not an ideal shot for it might be years before i get another opportunity.

    My hunting partner this year has spent 19 years of hard hunting until he fianlly ended his dry spell harvesting a large cow elk this year.
     
  49. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    if i were to draw a tag and join my niece and her husband in colorado for a hunt, as it stands now, i'd build a heavy bullet load for my 6.5 creedmoor, and leave it that ...
     
  50. Cwlongshot

    Cwlongshot Guide

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    I have nearly Identical 1909 Argentine Mauser actions built into custom rifles in 280 & 6.506. My favorites net to the Whelen and 358 NM I am building. :D:D

    Seedy,
    Thats how and why I formed the opinion I have with Homogeneous bullets. I dont shoot magnums. I don't see ultra velocities, so altho the bullets expand fine, they do not fragment. That fragmenting is better blood trails and quicker deaths. I already get thru and thru (Most of the time)

    Your first pic is exactly what I found on the first half dozen Barnes I used.

    CW
     
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