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.270 too light for elk?

Old 11-28-2006, 07:16 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Shawnee, KS
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Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

ORIGINAL: RedRiverHntr

and remember that free advice is worth what you pay for it in most cases!!!!
I hear you RedRiverHntr, I just wanted everyone's opinion on the matter. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice
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Old 11-28-2006, 07:28 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

I asked my gramma your same questions as she was pulling back the hammer on that 'ol Hawken. Never again.
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:13 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Beautiful Western Montana
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Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

I can put my .223 bullets through an elks eye at 200 yards, am I taking to go kill a bull? Hell no. The shot placement argument has its limitations, and I doubt your going to get anybody on here to say that they wounded an elk with a .270.
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:40 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

I use to use a 270 and now I use a .338 Mag. and here is why:

One year I saw and fired and hit an elk from ~100 yards away, followed a blood trail for over a mile (per the GPS) saddly never did find the animal due to it getting to late. Now I know alot of people scream shot placement and while it is key, so is using enough gun.

I personlly believe the animal was hit near the lungs and the bullent went through and through, as blood would spray out a good couple feet from either side about every ~15-20 feet.

Did I most likely not put the bullet where it need to go? Yes, ill admit to that, but at the same time while hiking thought the trees I couldn't help but think "If I had used a bigger gun, maybee just maybee I wouldn't be spending over 4 hours tracking the animal."

Since then I have used a .338 mag for the past 4 years and each year I have taken an elk every time. Some drop in 15 feet, others travel ~100ft and drop, some have dropped without taking a step and then ~10 seconds latter gotten up and ran ~200 feet.

Like others on this board I have heard/seen people take elk with the 270 and for them it worked fine. But for me that one year it most definatly didn't work. In our camp the smallest calliber carried last year was a .308 and that was used by a 13 year old young lady. Everyone else had a .30-06 or a .338 mag.

I guess in all that rambling what I am trying to say is that while the .270 will kill elk, using a larger round wont hurt and in my experience only helps.
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Augusta KS USA
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Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

My .02 is the .270 Winchester would be my minimum. With some of the great bullet choices we have now it makes it amore viable choice.

Personally I have always used one of my 300 win mags or 300 wsm's and if I were buying a rifle specific for elk it would not be a 270 win.

The 270 wsm would be a better choice yet over the std 270 win. IMO
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:36 PM
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Location: Cedar Valley Utah
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Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

ORIGINAL: Whitehorn

I doubt that magnums are 100% effective all the time and I would imagine that there are stories where magnums didn't do the job as effectively as intended. And I am sure those stories won't see the light of day. The magnum people out there may staysilent with their negative experienceand may not respond with stories of how it got away from a 300 WinMag.
Whitehorn, you do bring up a good point and it's true that there is nothing 100% effective. But I do have to say I have never seen a .30 cal 180 grain or higher premium bullet explode on the shoulder (basically good shot placement) of an elk leading to a mile plus tracking job. Unfortuneately for me I can't say that about the "other" cartridge mentioned in this thread.

Now the .30 cal's (I hate the word "magnum") do the job when they hit heavy bone, that's why I like em and talk about em so much. I'm sure they have failed, but I've yet to hear of it. I like the 7mm Mag as well because you can put 175 gr bullets in it.

But I would be very open and interested about hearing about .30 cal failures. I think it would be a great discussion and I'm serious about that. There is no sarcasim or smugness in that comment. But I am just as tired as anyone with the .270 discussion.
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NW Arkansas
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Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

I would hope, if a guy had time and money to invest and plan for an elk hunt, that he would also have the time and money to buy a good .300 or .338 Win Mag.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:52 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 116
Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

A .270 will get the job done although it is not the best choose for the job.I would rather take a 300 win mag.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:49 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,356
Default RE: .270 too light for elk?

worked fine for me this yr at 379yd. With good shot placement I believe it will work just fine.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,429
Default RE: .270 too light for elk?


I'm going to tell a hunting story about a Magnum where shot placement wasn't ideal.

It was 5 minutes to dark. We had been calling to this bull for 3 hours.He just wouldn't step foot out of those aspens 250 yards away.I know it was 250 yards because I ranged the lower side of the ridge, that was whereI was hoping he would make an appearance.

We were throwing everythingat him we could think of. It was the next to the last day of a 7 day hunt. I had walked the soles off my boots.My legs felt like I had decided to climb everest. I wanted this bull. Not so much for the glory. NO more to the point, I wanted to end my self inflicted misery. All elk hunters no the sweet misery I'm talking about. The kind of misery that you remember years later when you're looking at your mount and know that you definately earned that one.

Just moments before dark he stepped out. Only he was above the aspens not below them. 'Quick, think! How far is that? 300+/ of back...squeeze' thats the thought process. KAWAP! The sweetest sound to a rifle hunter. "He went down, yelled Jared" The fog dropped in and I couldn't see through my scope. We started to celebrate, then the fog lifted and he was still standing..... "what the hell.....Shoot him again!" Bang...Nothing......"he's leaving" 'last rib, hold high.....bang....KAWAP!' Then it was fog city again.....

Walking out in the dark I was sick.. I kept playing it over and over again in my mind. I knew I had hit him..but how well? I didn't sleep at all that night. Next morning at daylight we were back. We ranged the shot it was 375 yards. "oh my god, what did I do?" We climb up the ridge to the spot and start looking for him... no sign.... I start to track him around the bend. Just then I see antler tip.. OMG its moving..... Shoot him again.

Well, he was bedded and wasn't going anywhere. He couldn't get back up. I finished him off. Now for the shot placements.... first shot busted front shoulder no vitals hit, Second shot clean miss, Third shot entered just in front of rear quarter severely angleing forward, Possibly taking out one lung. It certainly made him sick and he bedded up and I was able to finish him the next morning but not my best day of shooting.

What caliber you wonder.... 338 Win mag. Now I ask you would a 270 make him sick enough to bed up within 75 yards? I don't know the answer but I know the 338 did. Am I bragging about my poor shooting? Heck no! But, in the elk woods it sometimes goes down like that, it isn't like the hunting shows where ever oppurtunity is 100 yards broadside standing still....

For whatever its worth, heres my bull from 05:

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