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Gun/caliber selection for Elk

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View Poll Results: Best choice for 1st Elk hunt
Winchester model70 Supergrade-300WM
85.71%
Benelli Lupo- 30-06
14.29%
Marlin 1895M- 450 Marlin
0
0%
Cva Scout- 35 Whelen
0
0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

Gun/caliber selection for Elk

Old 03-29-2022, 03:15 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Gun/caliber selection for Elk

First timer here with question geared towards my first elk hunt. I have 4 rifles that I adore using from punching holes in paper to hammering whitetails here in the Midwest but also suitable for larger game. The first being fully dressed at10lb Winchester model 70 in 300wm. Second would be a Benelli Lupo chambered in 30-06 coming in at 8.5lbs with 5 rounds loaded. Third is a 450 Marlin 1895M weighing a smidgen over 8lbs and lastly a Cva Scout single shot 35 Whelen also coming in at 8.5lbs.

I've never climbed 4000ft packing gear uphill both ways in the snow so I'm not sure which rifle would be best for the application. Also, never shot at game as large as Elk but all rifles mentioned blow through deer with ease so no worries in that department. What concerns me is their overall weight and the average distance most Elk are harvested. All of my rifles are accurate and usable to 200yrds. All but the 450 Marlin is good to 300yrds with me squeezing the trigger which is where I normally call it quits with any caliber on game shots. My gut tells me my 30-06 is the best option for me for all situations but my over thinking head says I need more velocity with 300wm or a bigger hole with 35 Whelen.... In all honesty I think all would work great in most situations but I want to be prepared for that once in a lifetime opportunity. Thanks for any and all advice, fellas.
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Old 03-29-2022, 06:06 PM
  #2  
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my selection of the options would change If I knew the terrain you would be hunting in,
and likely ranges, the 300 mag, with a 180-200 grain projectile, is more universal due to potential extended reach.
all the others will work if the ranges are shorter, personally I like the 450 marlin and 35 whelen, and Ive used both plus the 30/06 they all work
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Old 03-29-2022, 06:51 PM
  #3  
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I choose none of the offered choices. My rifle of choice is and has always been a Rem 700 in 7mm Mag that I have been using since I was 13 and I'm 58 now. I have shot elk with the 30-06, the 450 Marlin and the 300 Mag. Never shot one with a 35 Whelen but I have shot a couple with the 350 Rem Mag. After taking 25 elk myself and seeing over 100 others taken I'll stick with the 7mm Mag. It flat out works at the ranges I will shoot at which is normally 350 yards and less but I have gone out to 500 a few times to stop wounded elk.
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Old 03-30-2022, 03:54 AM
  #4  
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I have shot 6 elk all with a Ruger 30-06 ultra lite. I have a 3 to 9 Zeisse scope on it. The bare gun is 6 pounds and compact to carry. My longest shot has been 125 yards on elk but I have harvested 3 caribou out to 267 yds with most a 1 shot kill. I normally zero at 200 yds on elk and use Barnes 180 gr TSX bullets. To the OP I think all your guns are capable and my advice is to use whatever you shoot best. Weight does play a part though since elk hunting is way more physically difficult due to steep terrain and thin air. Good luck.
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Old 04-01-2022, 07:43 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by flags
I choose none of the offered choices. My rifle of choice is and has always been a Rem 700 in 7mm Mag that I have been using since I was 13 and I'm 58 now. I have shot elk with the 30-06, the 450 Marlin and the 300 Mag. Never shot one with a 35 Whelen but I have shot a couple with the 350 Rem Mag. After taking 25 elk myself and seeing over 100 others taken I'll stick with the 7mm Mag. It flat out works at the ranges I will shoot at which is normally 350 yards and less but I have gone out to 500 a few times to stop wounded elk.
the OP doesn’t have a 7mm
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Old 04-01-2022, 03:12 PM
  #6  
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I didn't take your poll because it's hard to narrow it down to a single rifle with the information you provided. Of the above calibers, I'd lean towards the 30-06 and 300WM.

Are you hunting with a guide, friends or solo? What's the terrain and elevation like? Are you using horses, quads or just footpower. If you're hunting with a guide or friends, they can tell you what to expect in terms of terrain, length of shots and if you're using horses, quads or just hiking. If you're going solo, that's something you'll have to figure out. In general, you might want to extend your usable range to 400 yards. It's great if you can get closer but sometimes it's just not in the cards.
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Old 04-01-2022, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 270sniper
the OP doesn’t have a 7mm
So what. The title of the thread is "Gun/caliber selection for elk" and lists 4 things. That is what you see when you open the thread. It isn't until further down that the OP says what he has. I wouldn't choose any of the ones listed so I gave him what I would use. It is advice and he doesn't have to take it and neither do you but I have seen a huge number of elk fall to my suggestion.
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Old 04-11-2022, 08:51 AM
  #8  
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the expected ranges youll be likely to have a potential shot at game has a great deal of influence on the more ideal caliber/cartridge youll select,
but its consistent and accurate shot placement and use of a decent relieable projectile, that has a huge effect on rapid lethality.
my first two elk were killed with a 220 grain bullet from a 30/06 both shot at under 120 yards, it did the job,
and shot placement was precisely where I intended it to be, neither elk dropped instantly,
but neither elk made more than 30 yards from the spot shot either.
I was not impressed,with a 30/06 and swapped to a 340 wby, with a 250 grain bullet, the next elk dropped instantantly to similar shot placement.
it took a few decades, before I realized, from watching results and dresssing out game,
that theres a great many more factors to the results you get vs CALIBER OR RIFLE USED, AND SHOT PLACEMENT IS CRITICAL
Ive had excelent results with a 450 marlin, 405 grain bullet, 35 whelen and 250 speer bullet and 358 win 250 grain speer bullet,a 270 grain bullet from a 375 H&H,, obviously you don,t need the power some of the combos I used provide,
but I have complete confidence, in the results I get from decades of experience using those rifles.
but keep in mind over 45 plus years of hunting elk almost every elk I shot was at under 200 yards in heavy timber, only about 3 were shot at over 250 yards, and only one at over 400 yards, simply because where I hunt you can't see further.
Ive seen elk dropped with a 257 roberts and 6.5mm swedish mauser,
so shoot what you shoot well,and consistently accurately,
and use quality bullets with a high sectional density and youll do ok.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 04-12-2022 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 04-12-2022, 10:37 AM
  #9  
Spike
 
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Default Beat selection

The 2 obvious choices are the 300 WM and the 30-06

I went with the ‘06 soley on weight. You REALLY dont want to have to carry a rifle as heavy as your 300 in the mountains. Really!

Out to even 300-400 yards there is not a smigen of difference between the 2 for elk.
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Old 04-12-2022, 10:44 AM
  #10  
Spike
 
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Originally Posted by flags
So what. The title of the thread is "Gun/caliber selection for elk" and lists 4 things. That is what you see when you open the thread. It isn't until further down that the OP says what he has. I wouldn't choose any of the ones listed so I gave him what I would use. It is advice and he doesn't have to take it and neither do you but I have seen a huge number of elk fall to my suggestion.
I also have a 7 mm mag that I have used since my 20s on elk. I am 64 now. I love mine. But I did vote on his list and didnt mention the 7mm mag. His poll and question clearly states that he wants to choose from these guns if they are adequate. His title does say: Gun/caliber selection for elk. Not “Best gun…”

Out to the range he states and beyond, the guns listed are clearly more than adequate. No reason to buy a new gun. Especially in this market, both for guns and ammunition.

but hey, this is the internet and you are free to give you opinion, as are we



Last edited by txhunter58A; 04-12-2022 at 11:03 AM.
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