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Top Elk Hunting Calibers.....
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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1895ss
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:55 pm    Post subject: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

I found this on another site and thought it was interesting. It seems Elk have gotten tougher to bring down........ why is that? Shocked Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

The top Elk Calibers picked by popular vote/survey:
(1939 Washington State Survey)

30-30 Winchester
30 Remington
30-06 Springfield
30-40 Kraig
35 Remington
300 Savage


Things did change from shooting these pleasant and very shootable rifles and carbines untill in 1999 the toughness of the elk had grown leaps and bounds and we were now forced to choose and use:

270 Winchester
30-06 Springfield
7MM Remington Magnum
300 Winchester Magnum
300 Weatherby magnum
338 Winchester Magnum

(Elk Foundation Survey) (both surveys from a superb article by the illustrious Wayne Van Zwoll in Guns and Ammo 2005 Annual titled, Scale Down for Elk!

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Hey...I took forked horn elk with my Winchester Mod 94 in .30 WCF. But they must have been softer skinned even in 1970 and that was up on Bluet Pass in northern Washington...

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Properly placed 22lr bullets can also kill big bull elks. My guess? At the time of the original survey, the cartridges mentioned were the popular deer rounds and represented the mainstay for riflemen/hunters. Iron sights were more common than scopes and the distances at which the elk were shot, I suspect, were shorter. Too, IMO, hunters were often more skilled and relied on that skill to stalk close and shoot accurately, afterall, if tags were required they were available readily over the counter and that gave our hunting buddies back then far more experience.
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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Howdy. You make some good points Handloader. Also if I'm not mistaken the 270 winchester and 3006 springfield were the only two on the second list that were available in 1939 I don't believe the last four listed had bin introduced yet.
Joe

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Dates the current popular ones were introduced:

270 Winchester - 1925
30-06 Springfield - 1906
7MM Remington Magnum - 1962
300 Winchester Magnum - 1963
300 Weatherby magnum - 1944
338 Winchester Magnum - 1958

Interesting to see the 338 Win Mag came out before the 300 Win Mag. Smile

I personally never shot a magnum rifle, and I'm not sure I'm going to get one anytime soon. Smile

Dimitri

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GooseHunterJr
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:56 am    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

I love my .338, but you do not need a big gun to bring down an elk. My dad I shot or first elks with the same .257 Roberts, both with a 120 grain bullet...it all about placement. I went to a .338 only beacuse I wanted the knock down power down range and also for Moose....and maybe Africa.

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sniper
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

1939, and things were tight! The depression would not end until WWII got well and truly underway. People used what they had for hunting, and most of the"old" calibers did very well, indeed.

Better hunters, familiarity with their weapons, (they likely only had the one)a real NEED to fill the storage locker, and less stressed animals, too.

Any of the calibers mentioned would do the job: perhaps not perfectly, but well enough .

Now some of the calibers have fallen into obsolescence, replaced by "new and improved", or some such.

The fact is, that the 30-06, .270, 7mm Mauser, .300 savage, .308 and 6,5X55mmSwedish are all that is needed for 90% of the hunting most of us will ever do.

The 7mm Rem. Mag., .338 Winchester, and .375 H &H Magnum. will do for the other 10 %!

Isn't it great that we have the discretionary income to have more than one rifle, or whatever, and don't have the necessity of getting an animal, or our family will go hungry? Smile Generally, life is good.
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Arizona Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Some authors would have you think nothing under a .340 Weatherby is enough.
Seems that with todays many super premium bullets, in standard rounds like .270 & 30.06, we are able to penetrate large animals at longer distances than in 1939. Still my limit is 300 yds for big game, although the longest shot I ever made on big game was 250 (black bear).

I'll just keep using my tried and true 30.06 with Barnes 180 XLC's.
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freedyf
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Hey; Your talking about something that I know about and have some experience in. The 30:06 will kill any elk that is hit reasonably well. Shot some elk with 25:06, dropped in their tracks. But it really give you self-assurance when you use a 300 Win Mag. Seems to thump them twice as hard as other calibers up to .30 cal. It has recoil, but not unreasonable, unless your scope is too close to your eye. Been there, done that. Freedyf

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1895ss
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

sniper wrote:
1939, and things were tight! The depression would not end until WWII got well and truly underway. People used what they had for hunting, and most of the"old" calibers did very well, indeed.

Better hunters, familiarity with their weapons, (they likely only had the one)a real NEED to fill the storage locker, and less stressed animals, too.

Any of the calibers mentioned would do the job: perhaps not perfectly, but well enough .

Now some of the calibers have fallen into obsolescence, replaced by "new and improved", or some such.

The fact is, that the 30-06, .270, 7mm Mauser, .300 savage, .308 and 6,5X55mmSwedish are all that is needed for 90% of the hunting most of us will ever do.

The 7mm Rem. Mag., .338 Winchester, and .375 H &H Magnum. will do for the other 10 %!

Isn't it great that we have the discretionary income to have more than one rifle, or whatever, and don't have the necessity of getting an animal, or our family will go hungry? Smile Generally, life is good.

I think you are correct sniper. Back in those days hunters could most likely only afford to have one center fire hunting rifle and they could shoot it very well. Plus the fact that there were less people hunting and spooking the animals during any of the seasons allowed them to get a bit closer. But I would be willing to bet that even today the average yards, "AVERAGE YARDS" that most big game animals are shot at would be less than 200 yards. I would also bet that the average weekend warrior/hunter estimates 200 yards to be more like 300 to 400 yards.

JMHO

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

With the coming of the internet and all the experts that come with it it would appear that elk are basically indestructable. Shot my first one at 50 yds. with a 32 Win Sp. he died where he stood. Even tho thru the years I have used different rifles in bigger cartridges not one of the many elk I have shot since was over 200 yds. ....well within the range of my 32 WS.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:47 am    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Isn't that amazing...I noticed that too. The game animals have gotten tougher...Won't be long when we'll need a .50 BMG to drop a deer...Oh-oh...Forgot...They are doing that now...

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sask boy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Hi I am new to the site, no one has mentioned the 375 H&H which a fairly old caliber. I just sold mine as I did not really need any longer.
I know a large number of people who shoot it here for Elk.
I used a 235 speers with IMR 4895 powder.
This was deadly for just about as far as you wanted to shoot.
I have also shot them with a well placed 277 in 130 gr Nosler partion.

Dan Very Happy Very Happy

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WileyWapiti
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

I live in big time elk country, I have had the opportunity to talk to several of the not so much "Old Timers" but rather the "Graciously Seasoned" folks, I was really surprised that the majority of the older crowd have switched from their .270 and .30-06 to .300 Win Mag's almost exclusively- while the let's say below 35 crowd have stayed with the first 2. I am really surprised to see that the .308 Winchester did not make the list. That is just a run-down of maybe 30 folks I have talked to and I am sure does not represent the overall, but it should give a good inclanation the times in support of your findings. Maybe it isn't so much that the animals are tougher, maybe it is just that todays hunters want to make the elk really, really, really dead!

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84jeepj10
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:29 am    Post subject: Re: Top Elk Hunting Calibers..... Reply with quote

Hmm, interesting survey. I chose my 30-06 because it's been around for 100 years and has taken every game known to man. I also belong to the 'below 35 crowd'. Heck I figure the '06 is 'mans other best friend'. Very Happy

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