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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: Heym06] #16525540 10/13/21
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Originally Posted by Heym06

What would you suggest? I have also found dead not recovered elk, but I can't say any of them were because a .308 didn't do its job! Even with old green box, ammo. No way of telling with what caliber they were shot. Could have been a .22 or a 460 weatherboom. Shot placement.


I have shot and seen plenty of elk killed with plain ol' c&c bullets--which is why I prefer premiums. Cuts way down on the elk drama. My family has owned land in the high country of west-central Colorado for several generations. I've been finding dead, unrecovered elk since I can remember. In some cases the elk were fresh enough to find bullet holes, and most had bullet holes in the front half. A one lunged elk can cover a lot of ground in a short time. In dry conditions and thick timber, it can be very difficult to find an elk that travels 500+ yards before it dies.

Partition, TTSX, or E-Tip are my first choice. One can spend a lot more money on the boutique premium bullets, their terminal performance isn't any better, but a particular rifle may prefer them.

It's not the cartridge, it's the bullet that counts. I have a pair of 243's that have now accounted for 15 elk with 100g NPt's--mostly in the hands of youngsters. Hunters being hunters, we still want to focus on the cartridge, when we should be thinking of the bullet.


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: alpinecrick] #16525566 10/13/21
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Originally Posted by alpinecrick
I've been finding dead, unrecovered elk since I can remember. In some cases the elk were fresh enough to find bullet holes, and most had bullet holes in the front half. A one lunged elk can cover a lot of ground in a short time. In dry conditions and thick timber, it can be very difficult to find an elk that travels 500+ yards before it dies.


Yup - anyone who spends any time in the high country late October knows all about this. There are a LOT of unrecovered animals.

The Partition and TTSX are pretty good bullets - I would put them solidly in the 2nd tier but still recommended. I have never seen anyone use the E-Tip but it's probably similar to Barnes X bullets.

The advantage of heavy for caliber A-Frames, Bonded Bear Claws, and Northforks is that they almost always give a pass-through so you get good blood for tracking, but give a wider wound track and less chance of a failure to expand than Barnes.

The partition sheds a lot of weight until you get to the middle bores where they move the partition forward. For .30 it's just pretty good. For .338+ it's quite good perhaps first tier.

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: Llama_Bob] #16525876 10/14/21
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Originally Posted by Llama_Bob
…they almost always give a pass-through so you get good blood for tracking, but give a wider wound track and less chance of a failure to expand than Barnes.

If those are your criteria, then lumping all Barnes bullets together doesn’t make much sense. The TTSX and LRX tend to expand more rapidly and leave a wider wound channel than the X and TSX, for example, and while I’ve never experienced evidence of expansion failure with a Barnes bullet, online reports of failure to expand are drastically reduced with the TTSX/LRX, as well.

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16525961 10/14/21
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I have had excellent experiences using the 160 grain FTX ( hornady) in the 300 savage.

But I would encourage using 165/180 grain bullets in the 308 on elk. It is what I have used.

I think a monolithic copper based projectile in 150 grain class would also work.

If your buddy can get close……Heck ,get closer. Best of luck!


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16525967 10/14/21
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I guess I’ll be the odd man out. While I’d prefer a 165, most bullets behave pretty well at .308 velocities where I don’t feel “premiums” are needed.

Can’t think of an elk hunt I’d feel under gunned with a 165/168 BT.

But I also don’t see the number of dead heads others claim. I run across more in our “primitive” units.

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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: Owl] #16526120 10/14/21
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Originally Posted by Owl
I lived in UT in the late 70' thru the mid 80's. I used a .30-06 with Hornady Frontier 150 gr Spire Points (cheapest Ammo a kid could afford). SHOT PLACEMENT is where it's at. If you do your job, the .308win will do it's job.[u][/u] Over a 10 year period, I took 7-8 elk in the Monte Cristo area between Huntsville and Woodruff UT.


One thing that a great many do not realize, as they have never chronographed their ammo, is that a substantial amount of 30-06 factory ammo is very close to .308 velocities, or at .308 velocities.

Years back I had some green box Remington stuff that someone had given me that was the same projectile weight (165 grain) as the .308 handloads I was shooting. I recall that the listed velocity on the box and what the actual velocity was, was significantly different. Remington's 30-06 was a good 200FPS slower than what the box said. The .308 handloads were faster by a little bit. I don't recall the exact numbers but it was 30-40 fps range.

In spite of all the talk about how poor the 150 class projectiles seem to work on elk, I will stick with 155 Scenars in my little .308.. They seem to have a very consistent track record of putting elk in my freezer. smile


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16526140 10/14/21
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The 308 is famously easy on bullets. I've used premiums, and non-premiums with it to take elk. My 308 is currently loaded with 165 Sierra Game Kings, and I'd not be worried a bit to use a conventional Cup and Core 150...


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16526179 10/14/21
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Originally Posted by dirtyharry

A friend of mine is going Elk Hunting. His rifle is a 308 bolt action. He has killed a fair share of Deer with it.
He want's to know if it will be OK on Elk. He has 150 gr. Rem.--Win--Fed.-ammo, all soft point factory loads.
I told Him true the boiler room and He will be OK.
WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?

Dirty Harry



He'll be fine. If there's any doubt, look up Steve Timm's (dogzapper) thoughts on the 308 for elk.

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: Mackay_Sagebrush] #16526331 10/14/21
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Originally Posted by Mackay_Sagebrush
One thing that a great many do not realize, as they have never chronographed their ammo, is that a substantial amount of 30-06 factory ammo is very close to .308 velocities, or at .308 velocities.

Years back I had some green box Remington stuff that someone had given me that was the same projectile weight (165 grain) as the .308 handloads I was shooting. I recall that the listed velocity on the box and what the actual velocity was, was significantly different. Remington's 30-06 was a good 200FPS slower than what the box said. The .308 handloads were faster by a little bit. I don't recall the exact numbers but it was 30-40 fps range.

Agree 100%. Once you spend some quality time with a chronograph, the difference between the 308 and the 30-06 with factory ammo becomes mostly psychological.


Okie John

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16526388 10/14/21
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Okie John: I believe what you said is correct however, it is my experience that if reloading for both it becomes harder for the .308 to keep up with the .06. As to the original question, the .308 is a fine choice for elk.

IC-B

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: Mackay_Sagebrush] #16526474 10/14/21
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Originally Posted by Mackay_Sagebrush

One thing that a great many do not realize, as they have never chronographed their ammo, is that a substantial amount of 30-06 factory ammo is very close to .308 velocities, or at .308 velocities.

Given that the entire purpose of the .308 was to duplicate .30-06 velocities in a short action, this should surprise no one. Through a combination of case improvements (the .308 has the same shoulder diameter as the .30-06 AI) and powder improvements they succeeded. But there are many who are ignorant of history. The .308 has acceptable velocity for a non-magnum hunting round. Where it sometime falls down is twist rate and as a result availability of heavy hunting loads.

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16526520 10/14/21
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Handloaded to equal pressures with appropriate powders in equal barrel lengths, the 30-06 is approx 175 +/- fps faster IME.

Having said that, I hand's-down prefer the 308, and my chronograph reports similar findings as Mackay Sagebrush with many factory loads. The 308 kicks noticeably less in similarly stocked/weight rifles, and in a lightweight (sub 7 lbs all-up), the difference becomes even more noticeable.


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16526588 10/14/21
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I personally find the .308 is more than sufficient to meet my needs for the typical hunting and shooting of game animals where shots are in the mid 400s and (hopefully) closer. The 30-06 is really a cartridge (in my opinion) that in order to be utilized to its potential, needs to be properly handloaded. When done so, that is where it really starts to outperform the shorter .308.

Similar to Brad's observations, in my lightweight little 20" Edge stocked T3, the .308 has enough recoil to be notable and you must really focus on solid fundamentals to achieve precise accuracy in the field, especially when you are dealing with often below freezing temps and less than optimal shooting positions. The lightweight rifles are difficult to shoot well, and the lightweight .308 is where I find my Goldilocks point in a rifle that will allow me to make a longer range precise shot, and is enjoyable to carry.


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16526613 10/14/21
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I've always kind of thought of the .308 as being one notch down from the 30-06 in capability for pushing bullet weight. What a 30-06 will do with a 180, a .308 will do with a 165. What a .308 can do with a 150, a 30-06 can do with a 165. It's pretty close, and today's bullets are pretty good, even in the 150-165gr weight class.

Last edited by JPro; 10/14/21.

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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16527057 10/14/21
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I am no expert but agree with what has been written that a .308 is sufficient.

A bit of trivia:
I have reloaded for several .308 rifles with 165gr Accubonds or Partitions loaded to the Nosler Reloading Manual max with Ramshot Big game that will duplicate the velocity of the same bullet in my 30-06, both rifles having the same barrel length. The caveat is that not all rifles like that specific load. My A7 .308 does but my A-bolt does not. That is why my A7 Edge stocked is my go to handy dandy rig. FWIW, early model A7's had a lightweight stock that closely matches the weight of an Edge.

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16527125 10/14/21
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One can learn much using a knife cleaning big game. Having the opportunity to do so having used 308, 06, 338 win and 243 headstamp means little in the real world in shots in the chest. Headstamp will effect trajectory, though, sometimes by a lot but usually not as much as you might assume. .


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: Mackay_Sagebrush] #16527821 10/14/21
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Originally Posted by Mackay_Sagebrush

I would suggest a 155 Scenar pushed by Varget .

This is my chosen .308 elk load.


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16530189 10/15/21
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I have a buddy who has been killing everything out here for the past 50yrs with 150 corlokt. His rifle is a Browning BLR (first run too) and he put a humongous Burris 3x10x50 on it ( he loves how it gathers light in the black timber) ha He has tried the 180 round nose, but felt it didn't open up that much, so went back to the 150. He usually uses factory but handloads too, but the 150 corlokt still. He has even shot plumb through a cow bison around 200yds.

Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16530198 10/15/21
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150's will do it. I've killed a lot of elk with 150's in a 270. We have guys on here who talk about shooting elk with their 243's and 25-06's. If those little bullets will do it, why won't a 150?
That said, I've killed a fair number with 165's out of a 30-06.


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Re: 308 for Elk [Re: dirtyharry] #16530370 10/15/21
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Of the three 150 grain factory loads which bullets are loaded in them? If one had to pick the best one for elk it is hard to say unless you know which bullets the factory put in the cases. For instance I have had more consistent results with Winchester's Power Point than I have had with the current version of the Corelokt. The 150 grain bullet in the cheapest Federal load can vary from a made by Federal bullet to a Speer 150 grain Hotcor. If I had to choose from this ammo I would pick the Winchester Power Point ammo.

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