Best Elk Cartridge

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drayweb
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Best Elk Cartridge
 
Was wondering what the best brand cartridge would be for elk in 30.06.  Some people say the Remington Core Lokt.  I was looking at the ballistics for the Federal Nosler Partition and the Hornady SST's, which are about the same.  Hornady's a little less in price.  Should I go with 165 or 180 grain?
marksman
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Joined: Monday, November 21, 2005 - 10:53pm

What ever cartridge you are proficent at at various yardages out to 350 yds. Some people can shoot a 308 all day long and never miss a volleyball at 300yds the next person could not hit a basketball at 50 yds with a 22.

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dawgpound
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I have shot Elk with a 30-06 and 300 RUM.  Stay away from the SST's, I handloaded them and shot an antelope and ate a few chunks of lead in the steaks.  The Nosler Partition would be my number 1 choice.  165 or 180 grain, which ever your gun shoots best.  The last Elk I shot in Colorado was with the Winchester Failsafes, 165 grain, they performed great.

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The SST's aren't designed for a heavy-boned animal like an elk.  Partitons are - - either the 165 or 180's will be fine - - go with the one that shoots the best.  Lots of other goodchoices out there as well.  Just ensure that what you choose is designed with controlled expansion in mind.

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 Barnes Triple shock, Nosler Accubonds or Partitions in 165 or 180. The difference in a 165 and 180 gr bullet does not really matter until you get way out there at like 500 yds where BC and wind deflection really show differences. I would try a box of all of them and see what shoots best for your gun. might get a little pricey but elk hunting isn't cheap and the worst way to ruin a hunt is to not practice enough or use cheap ammo.

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How about Fusion Ammo?  About the same ballistics as the Federal Barnes and Nosler and only 20 bucks a box.  Plus Brock Lesnar uses them.

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Without checking into any data - - I believe the fusions are designed for deer-size game.  Am I right guys?

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SST in 30 cal and up increased their jacket thickness a few years ago from what I have read, they are supposed to hold together better now.

 

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Fusion would not be a good choice for elk.  They are designed for deer sized game.  As webs said above for elk hunting do not let price be a factor.  Buy the best bullets on the market and use them.  They are a hard animal to kill and you want a bullet that will hold together no matter what it hits.  Bullets such as  Barnes TSX,  Nosler Accubond,  Nosler partition,  Swift Scirroco,  stay away from any ballistic tipped bullets as they fragment way to fast.  Not that they wont work but you want something that will stay together.  I have two major elk hunts this fall and i am going to be working up some loads for my 300rum and the only bullets i am gooing to be expirementing with are the Barnes TTSX and the Nosler Accubond. 

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Joined: Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 12:00am

Webs is right - any name brand ammo with a premium bullet will do the job just fine.  The most important thing is shooting well. 
Never mind the less than an inch nonsense.  Far more important to be able to shoot well after running up a hill charged with adrenaline and testosterone, taking advantage of impromptu rests, various shooting positions and things like that.    Any bullet through the boiler room will kill elk just fine.  Busted legs and guit shots don't though.   Shoot, shoot shoot, and when you are starting to get good, then shoot some more. 
Good luck with your hunt!

325wsm
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Joined: Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 5:12am

I've shot 6 elk with SST's and in .30 cal and have never had the slightest problem with them. I reload several different calibers with SST's and have never lost an animal yet. They are very affordable and I wouldn't be afraid to shoot them at anything

model 70
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differant critter here, but the same question,which round.  my moose . I got it down to two bullets that my rifle really liked.  winchester premium with accubond and xp3.  I shot at various ranges with them both.  they were both 180 grain.  I really liked the accubond and that was what I wanted to use , but at the farther ranges it was the xp3 that took the win.  that is the round I used to take my bull.  Now, it wasn't at long range that I shot him at, but 1 shot throught the chest, 1 .30 cal. hole in and a silver dollar sized one out the other side, 1 step and 2 seconds later, my trophy.  Not telling you what to shoot, but I never used xp3 before and haven't again, but they are good rounds.  like was said before, shoot shoot and shoot.  lots of luck to ya.

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Joined: Saturday, December 1, 2007 - 8:41pm

 Some people might not agree with this but I do think in most circumstances with elk, one of the better shots is through the shoulders which definitely requires a tough bullet. Even with well placed bullets, elk can travel quite a long ways and anchoring them is key. Out in some of the rougher areas 200 yds can mean the difference between packing an elk out in a few hours or a few days. Just my thoughts.

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I shot a mule deer @ 200 yards with 300 win mag with 180 hornady sst and was completely satisfied at the performance. It held together and completely took out both front shoulders.

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+1 webs,  you gotta break em down and the shoulder is the way to do it. 

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here - i better answer this one - jiffy must be running to much for the marathon.   110 gn barnes TSX all copper will fly through them shoulders - go another 1000 yds and split a rock in two.  he he

ok ok --- 165 gn 30cal hornady GMX will do the job perfect.  

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Fusion bullets are bonded and I wouldn't hesitate at all to plug an elk or moose with one.

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Bonded - - but designed for quick upset.  Not saying they wouldn't work - - - but they're design is for deer size game.  Ie. may hold together, but won't drive as deep as other bullets designed for "larger-than-deer" game. 

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A lot of people I've talked to think I should have gotten a 7mm or 300 Win Mag, but I wanted a calibre that I could use for deer also, so I got the .06.  My uncle used to hunt elk in Wyoming with a 270.  For the 30.06, the 165 grain does have better ballistics at far distances, but the 180 would be better for close up shots.  Maybe I should use the 180 for the first shot, and follow up with the 165 grain if it runs very far.  I don't think the point of impact would be much different, would it?

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drayweb Said:
A lot of people I've talked to think I should have gotten a 7mm or 300 Win Mag, but I wanted a calibre that I could use for deer also, so I got the .06.  My uncle used to hunt elk in Wyoming with a 270.  For the 30.06, the 165 grain does have better ballistics at far distances, but the 180 would be better for close up shots.  Maybe I should use the 180 for the first shot, and follow up with the 165 grain if it runs very far.  I don't think the point of impact would be much different, would it?

Uh......I would stick to shooting the same bullets.

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drayweb Said:
A lot of people I've talked to think I should have gotten a 7mm or 300 Win Mag, but I wanted a calibre that I could use for deer also, so I got the .06.  My uncle used to hunt elk in Wyoming with a 270.  For the 30.06, the 165 grain does have better ballistics at far distances, but the 180 would be better for close up shots.  Maybe I should use the 180 for the first shot, and follow up with the 165 grain if it runs very far.  I don't think the point of impact would be much different, would it?

Actually it should be the reverse. The 165 may shoot flatter initially but energy and wind drift is where the 180 is slightly better. The difference in trajectory at 300 yds should be maybe 1/2" and the 180 gr. will have more energy. Find a cartridge both you and your gun like and stick with it. The last thing you want to think about is which size bullet is in the chamber when your about to pull the trigger.

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I think I'll go with the Nosler Accubond.  I was watching Magnum TV on the Outdoor Channel yesterday, and the kid on there dropped a mule deer at 350 yards with one shot.