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Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

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Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

Old 04-15-2009, 02:07 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

Go with the .30-06 like said above! So many different types of loads and weights for it. Everything from 110 gr up 220 or so. And the recoil will be very manageable for you. I got my 1st '06 when I was 12 and never looked back.
-Jake
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:37 PM
  #12  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

I live in a shotgun state and am used to hard kicking muzzeloaders and slug guns. So kick isn't a big issue. My uncle plans on taking m out of state to hunt whitetail or elk. I was thinking about a .338 win mag, but is that to large for whitetails? I'd like a big caliber like the .338 because I'm scared to death of bears!
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:58 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

ORIGINAL: nickyb567

I live in a shotgun state and am used to hard kicking muzzeloaders and slug guns. So kick isn't a big issue. My uncle plans on taking m out of state to hunt whitetail or elk. I was thinking about a .338 win mag, but is that to large for whitetails? I'd like a big caliber like the .338 because I'm scared to death of bears!
If you want to hunt elk whitetails and have big bear protection....30.06 is the right gun for you.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:37 PM
  #14  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

Whether or not you can handle hard kickers is one thing, but light kickers are easier to shoot well, for anyone.
I remember being 12 or 14 and having a .270 rattle my brains..., now it's a puppy dog.

if considering a .308 family member I'd get a 7mm-08.

.30-06 if you want something more yet still very manageable and a great all around.

.338 win mag. if you're set on a all around magnum. Would do a great job on whitetails, quite a few guys use em actually, probably less meat damage than a .270.

Some other considerations might be .300 WSM, .325 WSM , .338 RCM

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Old 04-15-2009, 06:38 PM
  #15  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

.300 Wby. Mag. Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

I shoot a .300 RUM and 200grn TSX bullets. Last four have gone a combined total of 10 yards.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:04 PM
  #17  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

Out to 400 yards the 06 is the ticket. Beyond that you may look to the 300 WM. If you are skilled enough to shoot beyond 400 yards (Most are not) and reloading is an option the 300 UM is the ultimate factory cartridge in my opinion. I limit my shots to 350-400 yards so the 06 is all I will ever need. Keep in mind that the 06 ammo is much cheaper than the magnum ammo and will allow you more trigger time to develop your skills. If you are new to rifle hunting trigger time is more important that power by far.
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:15 AM
  #18  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

The best rifle is a good 7mm or .30cal family member that you CAN SHOOT ACCURATELY. I see a lot of people recommending pretty severe recoiling cartridges on here. If you flinch, I don't care how big a boomer you have it will not make up for your bad shot.

I shoot a 300WM, but I also am capable of longer shooting than average (my bull was 683 yds last year). When I hunt the dark timber I reach for my 50 cal muzzleloader.

A nice, basic Savage in 30-06 shooting 180gr bullets (premium ones like Nosler Accubonds) is the way to go. Great elk medicine. I would be perfectly comfortable with that gun in bear country, and I hunt bear country.
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:47 PM
  #19  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

i'd suggest the 30-06 and some accurate 180gr bullets (nosler partitions, a-frames, etc.). buy some win power points or federal blue box stuff and practice. the 30-06 has cleanly killed everything you are likely to hunt (in your lifetime). practice with your rifle and learn to shoot it accurately. you won't need anything bigger imo. good luck young man.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:07 AM
  #20  
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Default RE: Best Elk Cartridge for hunting in Montana or Colorado?

ORIGINAL: nickyb567

I live in a shotgun state and am used to hard kicking muzzeloaders and slug guns. So kick isn't a big issue. My uncle plans on taking m out of state to hunt whitetail or elk. I was thinking about a .338 win mag, but is that to large for whitetails? I'd like a big caliber like the .338 because I'm scared to death of bears!
If you shoot a magnum, and hit a deer anywhere near anything you want to eat, you'll be leaving it for the scavengers. I hit a muley at 438 yds with my 300WM, out where it had slowed down significantly, fortunately I missed the shoulder because the damage was massive. High power rifles damage far beyond a shotgun slug or ML due to velocity. I let another hunter shoot a whitetail with my 300WM at 200 yds, he took a shot I would certainly have passed (from the rear), it completely destroyed a rear quarter and liquified everything inside up to the neck.

If I really planned on shooting deer/elk at ONLY 400 yds and closer, I would NOT go bigger than 30-06. IMHO the increased performance in a bear defensive situation of a 338 would be marginal. Perhaps with a 30-06 you could even get a second shot off where you would not with a heavy hitter. Remember that grizzleys are protected strongly -- you better have claw marks on you to kill one out west, it'll be investigated like you shot a person and the punishment is severe if your life was not in danger.

Final thought, I see a lot of people think they shoot a 338WM well but their targets at the range show otherwise. I'd rather be able to HIT what I'm shooting at rather than make a lot of noise!
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