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Looking for an elk rifle

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Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Aggiejon » 10 10, 2017 •  [Post 1]

Planning an elk hunting trip coming up for 2018. I've been dreaming of going since I was 21. Now I'm 38 and have decided that I need to quit making excuses and just go. I have most of the gear assembled. Doing a DIY on public land in the Southwest corner. I have a Winchester 70 in .270 with a 3-9x40 leupold scope. I have read all the posts about "use this caliber", don't use this caliber, etc. I honestly want a larger caliber rifle so I don't have to worry about a longer shot having the punch to drop an elk. I have been shooting my whole life and am proficient with my ability. But being a first timer in the elk woods, I don't want to poke a bull and not be able to effectively drop him.

If I stay with my .270, what size bullet should I look for? How many FPS and grains?

I really want a .300WSM or .300 WinMag, but if I can effectively use a rifle I already have, that will be easier on making the trip. I plan to upgrade the scope to a 4-12x50 or similar. I plan to buy a stainless with synthetic stock so I don't have to worry as much about the harsh conditions I will likely encounter with the hunt. I tend to dedicate tools to certain jobs. If I buy a new rifle, it would be my elk rifle.

Thoughts/opinions?
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Dorobuta » 10 10, 2017 •  [Post 2]

Your .270 is going to have very good sectional density for penetration. I'd go with as heavy a bullet as possible, with a premium construction. Like a Barnes. I shoot Barnes in both my .338 and in my .280 both rifles have been extremely effective on elk. (Ultimately it comes down to shot placement)

.270 may be on the light end for some folks, but if you can shoot it well, shot placement trumps most everything else.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby RAMMONT » 10 10, 2017 •  [Post 3]

Shooting all your life doesn't necessarily make you ready to shoot an elk, if you've hunted other game then I'd expect that you wont have any surprises but if all you've done is shoot from a bench you might find that field shots on game aren't anything like shooting paper. One of the things that most people don't recognize is how angled shots effect your point of impact, study up on it and do some practice if you can. I don't know what you consider to be a longer shot but the farther away your target is the more important these things are.

All that being said, I think that the .270 is the bottom end of my preferred rifles for elk and I would pick a Barnes TTSX bullet in the 130 to 150 grain weight range. I wouldn't take a shot past 400 to 500 yards (although I don't recommend shots past 300 yards with any rifle) with that weight bullet though because the energy level drops pretty low past those ranges.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Fridaythe13th » 10 10, 2017 •  [Post 4]

Your 270 is fine. And yes on the heavy bullet. Hit the range and dont take a 500 yard shot.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Elkhntr08 » 10 10, 2017 •  [Post 5]

The .270 will work just fine if you choose a good bullet and do your part. If you looking for a reason to pick up another rifle, I would look for a Model 7 in the 300 wsm. I have a 673 in 300 saum and love that gun. Topped with a Leupold 3.5-10x40, I feel it's my perfect elk rifle.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Aggiejon » 10 10, 2017 •  [Post 6]

Rammont - I'll clarify, hunting all my life. Whitetail, hog, varmint. Our terrain is rolling to hilly, no steep inclines. Probably the area that I am going to have to adjust and rely heavily on my rangefinder. Bench shooting when I buy a new rifle or to make sure the scope is still zeroed in. But bench shooting was never too exciting to me. If I go to the range, its to shoot skeet or sporting clays. I can gauge distance around here, but the mountains are different.

Elkhntr08 - Could you tell I was looking for a reason for a new rifle?? Yes, I would prefer, but I think getting this trip through committee (wife) will be much easier if it doesn't require dropping $1500-$2000 on a new rifle/scope combo.

I have already started working at the range with the .270. Getting off the bench, getting on the ground, kneeling, off a stick. I have a lane along a cornfield at the farm and have t-posts marked out from 50 to 500 yards. Quartering away shots are tough until fall when the corn is harvested. But I've been doing that with lighter bullets.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Elkhntr08 » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 7]

Keep your scope. Load a premium bullet from Nosler, Swift or Barnes, I've never had much luck getting Barnes to group, 150 grains plus. Pick up a quality synthetic stock if you want. Go elk hunting and like I said, do your part. Spend the remaining money on good boots and a good pack.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby RAMMONT » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 8]

I'm not trying to lecture you on ethics but if you want to be successful then you need to be prepared for the truth rather than basing your hunting dream on commercial marketing or braggarts that tend to stretch the truth.

One of the things that I hear from eastern hunters is that they expect to make long range shots - maybe (most people think that long range is anything over 300 yards even though technically it's not). On antelope yes, you'll always have an opportunity for shots that can range out pretty far (even then most hunters like to stay under 300 yards because antelopes aren't all that big so it's hard to hit them well) but on elk you'd better be willing to get in to the trees or you wont get very many chances at harvesting one. I've lived out west all my life (over 60 years now) and I've never had a shot over 200 yards on any big game animal. I've seen game beyond that range but I've never taken the shot because I knew that even if I hit the animal it would take me so long to get to it that either the meat wouldn't be worth eating, the animal would be miles away if I wounded it, or I wasn't willing to carry the meat out through the country that I was in. While the western states give you wide open spaces to look at, the animals are still holding out in the trees, especially elk. If you get lucky then the first thing in the morning you might get an elk to stand in the open long enough to get a long range shot but after the first 30 minutes of shooting light most often you'll never see another elk unless it's the last 15 minutes of shooting light or you work your way in to the trees. Contrary to all the TV shows and YouTube videos, western hunting isn't 1000 yard shots and 450 B&C elk. Look at the pictures that people post of their successful western hunts and pay attention to the background, I think you'll notice that most often it's a small open area surrounded by trees or that the animal is within heavy timber. All those exotic videos are made to sell equipment and get viewership, they don't reflect reality very well.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Aggiejon » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 9]

RAMMONT wrote:I'm not trying to lecture you on ethics but if you want to be successful then you need to be prepared for the truth rather than basing your hunting dream on commercial marketing or braggarts that tend to stretch the truth.

One of the things that I hear from eastern hunters is that they expect to make long range shots - maybe (most people think that long range is anything over 300 yards even though technically it's not). On antelope yes, you'll always have an opportunity for shots that can range out pretty far (even then most hunters like to stay under 300 yards because antelopes aren't all that big so it's hard to hit them well) but on elk you'd better be willing to get in to the trees or you wont get very many chances at harvesting one. I've lived out west all my life (over 60 years now) and I've never had a shot over 200 yards on any big game animal. I've seen game beyond that range but I've never taken the shot because I knew that even if I hit the animal it would take me so long to get to it that either the meat wouldn't be worth eating, the animal would be miles away if I wounded it, or I wasn't willing to carry the meat out through the country that I was in. While the western states give you wide open spaces to look at, the animals are still holding out in the trees, especially elk. If you get lucky then the first thing in the morning you might get an elk to stand in the open long enough to get a long range shot but after the first 30 minutes of shooting light most often you'll never see another elk unless it's the last 15 minutes of shooting light or you work your way in to the trees. Contrary to all the TV shows and YouTube videos, western hunting isn't 1000 yard shots and 450 B&C elk. Look at the pictures that people post of their successful western hunts and pay attention to the background, I think you'll notice that most often it's a small open area surrounded by trees or that the animal is within heavy timber. All those exotic videos are made to sell equipment and get viewership, they don't reflect reality very well.


Rammont, thank you. I appreciate your candid response. I've just always had in my mind long distance shots. I suppose there was a part of me that wanted to make sure that "if" i had to take a long shot, it would have enough punch to cleanly dispatch. Yes, I may have bought into the mystique of glassing a bowl from a ridgeline and seeing a huge herd down below and picking out the biggest bull and dropping it at 800 yards.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby RAMMONT » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 10]

I wont say that taking an elk at long range has never been done, clearly we all know that it has, but for the average guy there isn't much of a chance of that happening unless you've gotten hooked up with some private hunting outfit. The nice part is that it's your hunt, make it what you want, if you want to shoot long range then find the best spot for that possibility and practice a lot between now and then. But I will say that it's far more likely that you'll have a better chance at getting an elk by working hard in those heavily treed places than waiting for that long range shot. Your .270 will work well inside of 300 yards as long as you make a good shot.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Indian Summer » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 11]

Time out! First of all your question is like asking what kind of clothes should I wear hiking over the weekend and you are getting answers from people in 49 different states!!!!

You need to think about the area you are hunting. But there's no way to know if you will continue to hunt there or not. Realistically my guess is that since it's your first elk hunt at some point you'll try somewhere else. So maybe a better idea is to think about the kind of hunting you prefer. I see elk at distances of 500 to 1000 yards all the time. I've shot many over 300 yards and I've passed on shots further away only because I hadn't done my homework.... but I damn sure wish I had!!! If a hunter hasn't shot an elk at over 200 yards it's because he hasn't tried to and probably doesn't want to so he doesn't look for them at distances like that. He's a timber hunter. Nothing wrong with that and I live by the words to each his own.

Hope for the best but plan for the worst. I've killed elk still hunting in timber. But it is definitely NOT my preferred method. I don't think anyone here can honestly say they've shot more elk than they've spooked doing that. I'm a spot and stalk hunter. I get as close as I can. But sometimes I can't get close enough.... for my abilities.

The other thing I'd like to hear about are your thoughts on recoil. Also have you considered buying an elk killing machine and adding a muzzle brake to reduce recoil? I'm just going to quit beating around the bush here. Why guys buy short mags is beyond me. If you don't like recoil either add a brake or buy a smaller caliber. Those guns remind me of Chevy Camaros with 4 cylinder motors in them. What's the point? My advice would be buy that .300 Win Mag. or one of the other guns known to drop bulls in their tracks at whatever distance you are capable of shooting them at.

Scope choice is the same. Leupold makes a 4.5-14 which is an awesome choice. Even if you are a timber hunter there will come a day where you see elk in the open at further distances or across a canyon. Zooming in means less margin of error. If the crosshairs block out 12 inches of your target then that's the best possible group you can expect to maintain and that's not small enough to be ethical. A scope is as much or more important than the gun it's mounted on. I shoot a 6.5 to 20 by 50. I've killed a couple bulls under 100 yards but not many and the scope was fine. Sit down at a bench at 100 yards and you'll quickly decide that 20 power isn't overkill. At 300 yards it sure the hell isn't! By the way I use a Caldwell Deadshot Fieldpod for a rest. Can you tell I don't like missing or wounding elk? I don't care for letting them walk away either! Opportunities at elk, especially mature 6 point bulls are too valuable to not BE PREPARED for. Can you tell I was a Boy Scout too! :D
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Elkduds » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 12]

After 20 years of hunting elk w a 7mm Rem mag (shots from 60-225 yards, 9 one-shot kills, 1 total miss, many shots not taken), I got a 270 because w mono bullets it is ballistically equivalent to the 7 mag with a bullet 20 grains heavier. Meaning 270 sends a 140 grain bullet as fast & has same drop @ all ranges to past 400 yards, as a 160 grain bullet from the 7 mag. These 2 rifles are about equal in recoil, since the 270 is 3# lighter than the 7 mag. The one elk I shot w the 270 (so far) dropped when shot @ 150 yds, which is rare even w the 7 mag. IMO knockdown power is a myth when shooting elk, unless you hit the central nervous system. They are so large that a broadside shot through ribs or shoulder is unlikely to knock one down, even w a 300 mag. So you might as well shoot what you shoot most accurately, and get within range. A gutshot or leg shot elk will go miles before dying, and may not bleed enough to track. Like Indian Summer wrote, I want no part of that.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Indian Summer » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 13]

Elkduds your words are always wise. But 140 seems light to me. For the record I use the words "knock down an elk" loosely. I guess that just means making sure his steps are limited to the point where I know I can find him for sure. I shoot 200 grainers from a .300 Rem Ultra Mag and they still don't drop in their tracks although some have which backs up your bullet placement theory. I'll stick with that 7mm Rem Mag though. That's all I owned before I decided I needed a stainless gun with a synthetic stock and went with the cannon and I still love it. I have "dropped " both elk and caribou with it very effectively using 160 grain missiles.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Indian Summer » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 14]

Aggiejon wrote:Rammont, thank you. I appreciate your candid response. I've just always had in my mind long distance shots. I suppose there was a part of me that wanted to make sure that "if" i had to take a long shot, it would have enough punch to cleanly dispatch. Yes, I may have bought into the mystique of glassing a bowl from a ridgeline and seeing a huge herd down below and picking out the biggest bull and dropping it at 800 yards.


That's not mystique or even far fetched. There are guys who shoot elk at 1000 yards plus CONSISTENTLY every year. 500 yards isn't that far really if you have the right tool for the job and take a minute to learn how to use it.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby RAMMONT » 10 11, 2017 •  [Post 15]

...500 yards isn't that far really if you have the right tool for the job and take a minute to learn how to use it...


I disagree, 500 yards may not seem like a long shot to you because you've done it for a long time but it is pretty far for the average shooter. I ran a range for several years and I've seen what the average shooter can typically do, they aren't very good at ranges past 200 yards on a target range let alone on game animals in the field. I know that you're trying to say that it doesn't take a superman to shoot at long range, and I agree, but it does take a little more than a minute to learn how to use the kind of equipment that 500+ yard hits require, more like several months be at least reasonably proficient. We both know that you're talking about high end rifle optics, range finders, high end rifles, and lots of practice setting up the shot.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Dorobuta » 10 12, 2017 •  [Post 16]

Indian Summer wrote:Elkduds your words are always wise. But 140 seems light to me. For the record I use the words "knock down an elk" loosely. I guess that just means making sure his steps are limited to the point where I know I can find him for sure. I shoot 200 grainers from a .300 Rem Ultra Mag and they still don't drop in their tracks although some have which backs up your bullet placement theory. I'll stick with that 7mm Rem Mag though. That's all I owned before I decided I needed a stainless gun with a synthetic stock and went with the cannon and I still love it. I have "dropped " both elk and caribou with it very effectively using 160 grain missiles.


while my .280 has been effective, I switched to a .338 for elk sized critters. A 225gr monolithic bullet penetrates and seems to anchor them. Bullet placement is still key, but it is a lot more forgiving if it encounters a rib or shoulder on the way in or out. I wouldn't hesitate to use my .280, but I love using my .338
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Indian Summer » 10 13, 2017 •  [Post 17]

Rammont 6 or 700 yards is getting far but 500 isn't. Those people at the range are shooting small calibers more often than not preparing for deer season and their scopes rarely go above 10 power, 12 at the most. In my opinion the scopes alone limit their capabilities.

I will say that another limiting factor in out of the box guns is weight. The guys I know who are killing game at 1000 yards use heavy barreled guns with big flat bottomed stocks. And yes as you mentioned a range finder is an essential tool for long distances. That far out trajectory is like an arrow so just as with archery it's critical to know the exact distance to your target.

But I also know guys with regular 26 inch barrels and standard synthetic stocks shooting 1000 yards. A friend puts his 12 year old kids on mulies at that range and they obviously aren't seasoned vets. I have another friend shooting a 300 Ultra Mag that has put 2 different ladies on 1 shot kills on mountain goats at 900 and 990 yards. He sets everything up and they just peeked through the scope and touched the super sensitive Timney trigger. It's the right tool for the job and once you have it you're set. 500 yards can easily become a slam dunk for anyone if they want it to be. Most people never even think about it.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby redtop » 10 14, 2017 •  [Post 18]

Your 270 will get it done if you do your part. Hunt more shoot less.
I shot my first elk when I was 19. I'm 63 now and I've taken an elk every year since that first cow. Probably half or more of those were with an old 270. Never lost an elk. I only shoot when I know i will kill it.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Indian Summer » 10 14, 2017 •  [Post 19]

Red Top where have you been buddy? I have a friend interested in a knife. We'll be in your area for 2 weeks starting today. Maybe we can stop by?

I agree with you too. We got off topic a bit but there's nothing wrong with a .270 especially if you reload. Jack Oconnor killed everything on several continents with one right!
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Lefty » 10 14, 2017 •  [Post 20]

Dorobuta wrote:,... I switched to a .338 for elk sized critters. A 225gr monolithic bullet penetrates and seems to anchor them. Bullet placement is still key, but it is a lot more forgiving if it encounters a rib or shoulder on the way in or out. I wouldn't hesitate to use my .280, but I love using my .338

Lots of good advise.
If I wanted a dedicated gun I too would go with a .338.
If I wanted an all around bigger game gun, one of the .30 mostly because of bullet selection.
I shoot mostly my 7mm. on coyotes deer elk bear and antelope and moose 120-160 gn.

Bullet placement is still key,
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Roosiebull » 10 14, 2017 •  [Post 21]

Make sure your 270 shoots heavy bullets well before anything, some don't, my 270 liked 130 grain bullets, didn't shoot any 150's well that I tried.

Know your limitations and don't exceed them, both in cartridge, distance, and personal ability.

I wouldn't hesitate sending a 130 grain partition at a broadside bull inside 300 yds...but that's me
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Aggiejon » 10 23, 2017 •  [Post 22]

Great conversation guys. I appreciate it greatly. I'll chime in on a couple of things I have gleaned: Obviously, proper shot placement is key. A gut or leg shot may never be recovered. I get that. I know these are big tough animals and won't simply "drop in their tracks". But poking a hole through both lungs ensures they won't take too many more steps. I will not take a shot that I don't feel confident that I can access/recover, or cleanly kill. These animals are too majestic to wound and hope you can find them. If I pull the trigger, I want to make sure that he will be able to come home with me.

I also want to ensure that I can get bullets easily. I have a good friend who owns the local gun store, and I know can get me anything that I need, but just in case, I want to carry a caliber that I can pick up in a local town without too much trouble. Again, not ideal, but worst case scenario. I will stick to rounds I can obtain quality loads off the shelf.

I think I will focus on using the .270 and if funds allow, may step up to the .300 if I can get it early enough to put enough rounds through it to become proficient. And likely improve my scope.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby RAMMONT » 10 24, 2017 •  [Post 23]

Indian Summer wrote:Rammont 6 or 700 yards is getting far but 500 isn't. Those people at the range are shooting small calibers more often than not preparing for deer season and their scopes rarely go above 10 power, 12 at the most. In my opinion the scopes alone limit their capabilities.

I will say that another limiting factor in out of the box guns is weight. The guys I know who are killing game at 1000 yards use heavy barreled guns with big flat bottomed stocks. And yes as you mentioned a range finder is an essential tool for long distances. That far out trajectory is like an arrow so just as with archery it's critical to know the exact distance to your target.

But I also know guys with regular 26 inch barrels and standard synthetic stocks shooting 1000 yards. A friend puts his 12 year old kids on mulies at that range and they obviously aren't seasoned vets. I have another friend shooting a 300 Ultra Mag that has put 2 different ladies on 1 shot kills on mountain goats at 900 and 990 yards. He sets everything up and they just peeked through the scope and touched the super sensitive Timney trigger. It's the right tool for the job and once you have it you're set. 500 yards can easily become a slam dunk for anyone if they want it to be. Most people never even think about it.


Again, I disagree. I've done my share of 1000+ yard shooting having grown up in open desert country, spending 20+ years in the military, and been an amateur member of a long range shooting club. I'm sorry but anything over 200 yards and the average shooter isn't going to hit reliably well in the field, that's a provable fact. The kill zone that I subscribe to for elk is about an 8 inch circle centered around the heart, that's a 4 MOA target at 200 yards. Field conditions are rarely comfortable or simple, wind, cold, angled shooting, misjudged distance, adrenaline jitters, etc., all those things make your shot much harder to accomplish. At 300 yards that shot is a 2.7 MOA target, at least twice as hard to hit as 200 yards and most hunters believe that a 2 MOA group at 100 yards is a good standard. By the time you get to 500 yards you are talking about a 1.6 MOA target and most hunting rifles/shooters wont even hold that small of a group at that range. As you mentioned, most hunting scopes cover more area than that at 500 yards so you can't even get that accurate unless you buy a high dollar long range scope.

You mention that guys killing game at 1000 yards are using heavy barrels and big flat bottomed stocks, why not call them what they really are - benchrest guns - those aren't cheap or light and you wont be humping the hills with those 15 to 20 pound machines. You mentioned that you have a friend that sets up the equipment and all the shooter has to do is barely tap the trigger, that's not hunting my friend, that's just murdering for the fun of killing. I can exercise the same precision on paper, what's it prove when you put that bullet in to an animal instead of paper, especially when you are just a novice that didn't do anything except pull the trigger? The only thrill that novice experienced was killing that animal at long range, they didn't have to go through the hardship of tracking the animal or exercise their knowledge of the terrain or the animal's habitat, they did nothing but kill for the pleasure of killing. That smacks too much of the spoiled rich people sitting around and clapping while gladiators killed each other, killing for the pleasure of killing is not hunting. Timney triggers, benchrest rifles, expensive long range optics, range finders, as I said, lots of expensive equipment and for what? Murdering a game animal instead of hunting one, just butchering it with a long range shot that, as you pointed out, anybody can do with the right setup, that's not hunting, that's just spending lots of money to kill something, it just removes the fair chase concept of hunting, it makes it in to a rich man's game that eliminates any real challenge. This whole long range "hunting" concept was born of wannabes that dreamed about being a military sniper and after my time in service I'm not very impressed at all. Maybe i will be when the animals start shooting back.

To be blunt, I don't like long range shooting at game, I wont even give it the respect of labeling it as hunting. If you lived out in the woods and had no other source of meat for your family then I'd respect your choice to take that kind of shot but when you can drive down the road to the local store and buy all the meat that you need then there is no excuse for "having" to take a shot across a canyon, that's just a selfish attitude of having to win regardless of the situation. I prefer to go home without an animal and say that I worked hard, I used my eyes to find sign and tracked it, I tried to use the terrain and my knowledge of the animal's needs to find my game and came up short than to say; yup, I sat there on that mountain top, set my $3000 benchrest rifle up on my $500 portable benchrest table, and spent 3 hours spotting for game with my $2000 spotting scope until I sighted a nice bull elk at 1000 yards. Then I checked the wind, temperature, and barometric pressure with my $600 Kestrel meter and the range with my top of the line $900 range finder and Bluetoothed the data to my phone app to get my drop and lead, a then setup my $2000 scope and squeezed of my half pound Timney trigger to kill that elk. That's all mechanical, there is no humanity in that at all. Just push a button and boom, you've killed something.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby cohunter14 » 10 24, 2017 •  [Post 24]

Rammont, that is such a poor take. I don’t know how you got elected to decide the difference between hunting and murdering an animal, but here’s some food for thought: how is it not “murdering” an animal when you decide to shoot one at 100 yards with your rifle when someone else uses their hunting skills to close that distance to 40 yards and punch their tag with a bow? Or how is it not “murdering” an animal at 40 yards with a bow when someone sneaks inside 20 yards to punch their tag with a trad bow?

Maybe you’re right, maybe it’s just a money thing. I’m sure if I go buy the most expensive bow on the market with the most expensive sight I’ll immediately be able to fire arrows 100 yards and hit my target. Or, in your scenario, but an expensive rifle and scope and go fire bullets into the bullseye at 1,000 yards. For anyone who has ever tried either of these, they can certainly tell you that it’s not that easy. In IS’s post, he talked about others being able to take game long range with someone else’s setup. That can certainly happen, but someone has to put in the time and effort to solidify a drop chart and learn to read wind and conditions. Hell, getting an accurate range on an animal over 400-500 yards is a chore.

Finally, how is utilizing one’s hunting skill to get as close as they can to an animal and ethically filling their tag not hunting? I personally put a ton of time into learning to shoot my equipment longer than many folks. But that time spent has been the difference in meat in the freezer and having to pay to fill the freezer. Am I less of a hunter because I couldn’t get inside of 500 yards or 200 yards or 20 yards? I guess maybe I’m not “rich” enough to just go to the store and buy all my meat so instead I put the work in ahead of time to give me every advantage I can ETHICALLY get. :roll:
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Don » 11 02, 2017 •  [Post 25]

I have read many of the responses to your question and don't disagree greatly with the vast majority of the responses. I did not see anyone mention that you don't take shots at elk (or most any game) at ranges that you have not personally practiced shooting from. I have elk hunted for about 20 years and have come to the realization that I am getting too old and broken down to continue. I have a Remington 700 XCR stainless steel 300 RUM (MFG# 27181) fully equiped with Zeiss scope and several boxes of ammo. Rifle and scope look new and it shoots MOA. If you are interested in knowing more, contact me at don.murray@okstate.edu. Good luck with your 2018 elk hunt - it is a wonderful adventure!!! I will miss it.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 11 03, 2017 •  [Post 26]

Don, welcome the forum. Sounds like you've been down the road. Hope you hang around to talk elk Hunting with us. Good luck on finding a new home for that rifle.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby baddaddy » 11 05, 2017 •  [Post 27]

Aggie, go ahead and use your 270. Load it with a 140 or 150 Barnes tsx and you will be good to go.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby husky390 » 12 05, 2017 •  [Post 28]

I use a .308 and don't feel undergunned at all since shot placement is key with any caliber. Your .270 is fine.

I can tell you that lugging around a large magnum heavy ass rifle all day gets old, really fast. Especially if you're not used to the altitude or mountain slopes. Hence the reason I carry a small rifle and am confident out to 300 yards. 400 yards + and bullets can get pushed a lot by winds you can't see IMHO.

Just a small piece of advice, elk typically do not drop on the first shot. If you have a cow tag and stumble on a herd of cows, zero in on the one you shoot and make sure you only shoot that cow. And don't shoot a moose. Good luck and bring a camera, there's beautiful country out here.


https://wildlife.utah.gov/dont-shoot-to ... w-elk.html
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby pointysticks » 12 16, 2017 •  [Post 29]

The debate against long range hunting;

You could go in any direction. What about a compound bow only guy debating ; saying all rifle hunters have it to easy. 200 yards? That’s cheating.

Then the compound bow guys gets grief from the traditional only archer.....

It won’t end.. well if barehand hunting is a thing. I guess it could.

Bottom line. Hunt the way you want, and do it to the best of your abilities.

Personally I think a 270mis plenty for most applications of elk. Jack O’Conner loved that caliber for elk. He made a living talking about it.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby scubohuntr » 01 03, 2018 •  [Post 30]

Starting out rather off topic- I've got no heartburn with someone being able to hit at 800 yards. It can be done- if you want to carry enough crap along to make it happen. If you don't have a really good spotting scope, rangefinder, Kestrel, rest, and all the other accessories it takes, and many thousands of rounds at the range, you're wasting time and animals.

The problem as I see it is recovery. Unless you get a DRT hit you will be tracking, and finding the exact spot where an elk was standing half a mile away across the valley is not easy. Even if he never moves, a dead elk in brush is remarkably easy to miss. Maybe your bull was rubbing on the only saguaro cactus in Idaho when you pulled the trigger, so you can walk right to the spot, but chances are he was standing in one of hundreds of identical little clearings, near one of thousands of identical trees, all of which look very different when you get over there. If you miss the spot by a few yards you may never find a blood trail, and conclude you missed. The dead elk lying just over the ridge will feed some wolves and vultures, just like the other bulls you "missed".

Of course, the people selling the ultra-long-range Kool-Aid have film crews and support staff that can stay at the shot point and vector in the tracking crew by radio. More power to you if that's the way you want to hunt. I made my longest shot ever this fall- 216 yards. I only took the shot because the deer was standing broadside in the open right next to a distinctive tree, and there was snow on the ground. I had no doubt I would be able to walk right to where the deer was standing. Even then, I went to the wrong tree at first, because I had to detour around a ravine and things looked different from there.

It's not that I can't shoot longer; I shot competition out to 1000 yards for years, with open sights. Because I have shot at those kinds of ranges a lot, I know that a twitch in the 600-yard wind flag can push a 10 into the 7 ring. That's a double lung shot into a gut shot. I also know that the wind can be blowing several different directions over that distance. The last time I shot at Bismarck, I had my rear sight cranked all the way left and I was holding on the edge of the next target over. That's over thirty feet of windage, and a bunch of sighters to get it dialed in, with a spotter watching every shot. Yes, it was windy, but I've hunted in a lot worse. And it's a funny thing- most of the places I hunt don't have wind flags.

I have several options, depending on conditions. In open country I have a 7MM Remington Mag with a 2-7 Leupold on it. I can dependably ring an 8" gong at 400 yards with it. I'd be comfortable taking a 300-yard shot on deer, or 250 on elk, provided I had a good rest and there was little to no wind. For thicker cover I have a .375 H&H with a Leupold 4X Compact. I didn't carry it this year because I couldn't afford enough ammunition to sight it in properly (.375 H&H factory ammo is over sixty bucks a box!), and my reloading equipment is still in storage two states away. When it is sighted in and I am confident in it, I'd shoot out to 200 with it- limited by optics, certainly not by ballistics. It's a little heavier than the 7. I have a .270, but I don't hunt with it because it doesn't do anything the others don't do better. There's nothing wrong with it for elk- if it was lighter than the 7 I'd certainly use it. If I can break loose enough money over the next year or so, I'm hoping to pick up a Barrett Fieldcraft in 6.5 Creedmoor. That one will be limited to about the same ranges as the 7 by ballistics, but at under six pounds I can get it into a lot more places.

To bring this ramble all the way back to topic, I'd never tell anyone he has enough rifles. Thousands of elk have been killed with a .270. If you want to get a .300, by all means go for it. In my opinion (and you know what they say about opinions), it's a great caliber for elk. It kills on one end and cripples on the other (this from the guy with a .375 H&H), but if you shoot it enough to be comfortable with it, it's a great elk caliber. I like to keep my hunting scopes down to about 10X max, and carry them on minimum magnification so I can be ready for quick shots if the opportunity arises. I agree with stainless/synthetic for rough conditions. Get a good sling and learn to use it properly. Whatever you end up shooting, go with the heaviest premium bullet you can shoot accurately. Shoot a lot of them at the range. Some folks will say shooting off a bench is meaningless for a hunting rifle, because you won't have a bench in the field. I disagree. The error in any shot is cumulative- the sum of rifle, optics, ammunition, weather, and shooter. Shooting a lot from the bench will allow you to minimize the first three. Once that is dialed in, practice from prone, sitting, and offhand to minimize the last one. You know the rifle, optics, and ammunition will do their job, so it's just a matter of developing the proper techniques to do yours. Even dry firing from various positions will do a lot of good for minimizing shooter error.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Roosiebull » 01 03, 2018 •  [Post 31]

I would probably use this as an excuse to buy another Browning BAR safari grade in 338, I had one for a bit and am mad at myself for letting it go, but it was too pretty for me.

Very fun to shoot, easy on the shoulder, plenty accurate for normal hunting range, and a great cartridge.
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Re: Looking for an elk rifle

Postby Elkhntr08 » 01 08, 2018 •  [Post 32]

My Remington 673 ready for action.
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