30-06 Factory ammo for elk

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by dailordasailor, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. Tra3

    Tra3 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    390
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    391
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    Namibia
    @Scott CWO im curious to read your observations regards the difference between a .30-06 and a .338 WM on elk. Having mostly shot elk with a .27o and a 7 mm RM, I am tempted to test other calibers. I like the longer range capabilities of the 7mm RM, though. I don’t need another rifle...
    @Bullthrower338 what is your thought on the difference?

    This summer I’ll use my .375 H&H for PG in Namibia. My son will like use his 6.5 CM. The .375 H&H (Sako) has a barrel band, so not set up for a bipod for longer elk shots.
     

  2. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Messages:
    407
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    291
    Take this with a grain of salt, but I’m honestly curious what you all have experienced when “hunting” with various rounds. I’ve been hunting for 40 some odd years (elk, deer, etc) and used pretty much whatever soft tip ammo was on sale from one of the major manufactures and whichever of their “bullet stories” on the box was the most interesting to me that day. Haven’t had one of these rounds not knock the crap out of whatever I was hunting, not penetrate deep enough, not cause extensive damage, and not kill the animal in one shot, or two shots if I was having a bad day on my end of the equation. Have you all seriously had trouble with X round vs. Y round when actually hunting where the round caused you to lose the game? I’m finding some of the ammo talk we read all over the Net a bit hard to swallow. Maybe I’m naive on this, and/or had 40 years of good luck, but I’m pretty sure that if I randomly grab 180 grain, 300 win mag rounds off the Walmart “on sale” shelf and shoot an elk where I’m supposed to with it, that elk is hitting the ground within 30 yards. If you have other experiences I’d honestly love to hear about it.
     
    7x57Joe, dtec41, Trogon and 1 other person like this.

  3. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Messages:
    407
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    291
    Any of these calibers will work fine on elk. I’ve recently switched to a 300 win mag from my old 308 win, but either of these, a 30-06, your .270 and 7 mm RM, etc. are all excellent elk droppers. I normally use rounds on the heavier side for caliber and have never had an issue dropping elk or deer. Borrowed a 7 mm RM on a hunt years ago and found it to be an excellent choice for elk, so would say you already have one of the best options available.
     
    ack and Scott CWO like this.

  4. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    767
    Video/Photo:
    75
    Likes Received:
    849
    Hunted:
    South Africa, USA, Canada
    Watched an elk go down with a good shot in about 50 yards when shot with 140 grain rem core lokt out of a 7mm mag this year. So i agree with those who say a decent bullet placed in the right spot is all that is needed. I have shot an elk in shoulder bone/ball with 160 grain TB bear claw that broke left shoulder/leg but didn’t penetrate into vitals. Animal was recovered 2 days later but not by tracking. Just lucky enough another hunter in my party crossed paths with it. Bottom line, shot placement is important, especially on big critters.
     
    7x57Joe, ack and Fastrig like this.

  5. Dirtdart

    Dirtdart SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    326
    Video/Photo:
    150
    Likes Received:
    181
    Member of:
    Life Member SCI, Benefactor NRA, NMLRA.
    Hunted:
    RSA, Namibia
    These were the gold standard in a factory .30-06 round when they were available IMHO DSC02677 (1).jpg . This same combination is now loaded by Swift and should be just as good if not better. If you run across any old stock somewhere don't be afraid to try them.
     

  6. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Video/Photo:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Location:
    WA St, USA
    DSC_0638.JPG Here's what that 30-06 will become when it grows-up
     
    Tra3 and Scott CWO like this.

  7. Dirtdart

    Dirtdart SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    326
    Video/Photo:
    150
    Likes Received:
    181
    Member of:
    Life Member SCI, Benefactor NRA, NMLRA.
    Hunted:
    RSA, Namibia
    It would be nice if you could find that same load in .375 H&H for the prices you find that RUM.
     

  8. MPN

    MPN AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Video/Photo:
    5
    Likes Received:
    108
    Hunted:
    USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand
    Off the shelf TTSx in 180gr has served me well on both Elk and Moose. Find a quality round your rifle "likes" and get on with it!
    :)
     
    Fastrig, Scott CWO and Ridgewalker like this.

  9. Scott CWO

    Scott CWO AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    511
    Video/Photo:
    56
    Likes Received:
    790
    Member of:
    SCI, WSF, RMEF, GSCO, and NRA
    Hunted:
    Zimbabwe, Mozambique x3, Tanzania and CAR. Tajikistan, Canada, Mexico, AK, WY, NM, SD, CO, UT, AZ, NV
    Elk are one of the tougher animals to put down in North America and their will to live and escape has amazed me several times. I think of them as a spooky, wary and smart 800 pound whitetail. Mule deer, caribou, moose, etc... just don’t seem as tough-minded in my experience. My guides and I run bull elk hunts from September to January 15th here bordering Rocky Mountain National Park. Our unit is the only unit in the state with bull elk hunts in December and January. Therefore, we guide a bunch more elk hunts than any outfitter I know. That said, I have noticed problems with shoulder shots and also some heavy quartering shots on elk with NP bullets. I prefer a mushrooming bullet that opens up and (in my opinion) causes more damage and a wider wound channel throughout the ENTIRE path of the bullet. After several long tracking jobs, I have seen several NP bullets on shoulder shots where the tip blows apart but the unexpanded base doesn’t do as much damage as an expanding bullet with a proper mushroom- such as a TSX or a Swift A-Frame. If only one lung is perforated with an unexpanded bullet, elk are tough enough to live for hours. The bigger the hole in that one lung the better.

    Like I have said before, a NP will kill elk but on large game, why take a chance with a bullet that doesn’t drive forward with a mushroom? IMHO, the NP is not as good in large or dangerous game. Several outfitter/guides I know in Alaska do not allow them for brown bear and several PHs on this site prefer the Swift, Barnes, North Fork, etc... for DG and large PG like eland.
     
    Fastrig likes this.

  10. Scott CWO

    Scott CWO AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    511
    Video/Photo:
    56
    Likes Received:
    790
    Member of:
    SCI, WSF, RMEF, GSCO, and NRA
    Hunted:
    Zimbabwe, Mozambique x3, Tanzania and CAR. Tajikistan, Canada, Mexico, AK, WY, NM, SD, CO, UT, AZ, NV
    If you limit shot angles to broadside or slight quartering away and the distance to no more than 300 yards, my clients and I have had great success with 7mm calibers, .270, .280, .30-06, etc... Perhaps the .300 Win Mag is the best all-around elk cartridge. I have a .338 Mag that I use on elk, moose, grizzly, brown bear and plains game in Africa. I like that the .338 Mag with a 225gr Swift A-Frame because it shoots about the same trajectory bullet path as my .30-06 loaded with 165gr bullets. I am used to that trajectory. In addition, with my .338 Mag, I can take some tougher angled shots at reasonable ranges than I feel comfortable in doing with my.30-06.

    As for my choice of a 165 grain bullet for the.30-06, I find it works well for pronghorn, deer and elk (with limitations) and I am not constantly switching weights and bullets and trajectories.

    A lot of these things are over-thought. Heck, a properly placed arrow will kill an elk! But I do believe in reducing the variables as much as possible so therefore, I prefer a mushrooming bullet over a NP. I have nothing against Nosler and I use their Accubond and Ballistic Tip bullets for proper circumstances.
     
    Fastrig and Tra3 like this.

  11. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    4,116
    Video/Photo:
    152
    Likes Received:
    8,588
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Member of:
    Life Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Huntin' Fool, DSC and Pope and Young Club
    Hunted:
    USA, Mexico, Canada, RSA, Australia NT, Zimbabwe
    @Tra3 Happy New Year! I don’t enjoy any subject more than Elk Ana rifles used for hunting them. I started hunting elk with a 7mm RM and filled out family freezer every year with it. I loved the 7 mag, probably because the guy that taught me so much about hunting shot one in a Ruger 77 tang safety model and he was an elk killing god in my eyes.
    We both shot 175 grain Grand Slam bullets and they worked wonderfully until the day I lost my first elk at 22 years old. Still troubles me to this day! The very next day I skipped hunting and drove to Missoula and bought a Remington 700 and a Nikon scope for it. If I remember correctly I bought Federal Premium 225 partitions, sighted it in and killed an elk the next day with it. The way that 338 smashed that elk started my love affair with the 338WM and eventually the RUM. I don’t know how many elk I have been a part of but it is a bunch, seen them killed with 243’s up to 416’s and they all died, 300 Magnum and up have seemed to perform better and definitely required less follow up. But, with that proper bullet placement is king, the larger caliber cartridges give you more options on taking a shot. I will take a shot with a 338 that I would never consider while using a 30-06. I have seen many elk taken with the 30-06, 7mm Mausers and 243’s so I would never say they are not perfectly capable but less than optimum for elk sized game.
    0A0696CD-2254-4C15-9A3C-1241D5099F6C.jpeg
    My son’s first elk using a Model 7 Remington chambered in 243 using Trophy Copper bullet, she went about 50 yards.
    9E38452A-674C-45B4-B885-BD3EE217B4E5.jpeg
    338 RUM with a 250 A-Frame taken at 25 yards. Fell at the shot
    6918515E-DEEC-4CB4-84D6-9D6F06E15085.jpeg
    Shot with 30-06 using 178 gr Hornady ELD-X

    At a touch over 200 yards. First bullet centered the lungs, fragmented horribly and stopped in lung tissue. The bull acted like nothing had happened. Second bullet took the top of the heart and I recovered pieces of the bullet while cleaning him. I wish I would have had a 180 or 200 grain A-Frame.

    Sorry for being long winded and hope I answered your question which short story is yes, there is a noticeable difference in the terminal effects between ‘06 and 338 in my experience.

    Cheers,
    Cody
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2020

  12. TMac

    TMac AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2019
    Messages:
    76
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Oregon
    Hunted:
    US (AK, WA, OR, MT, WY, SD, NV, UT, NM), Canada (Alberta, BC)
    Thanks. I’ve killed a pile of cow elk with moderate cartridges, damage tags, most well under 200. Always broadside, fairly controlled conditions. Used a variety of cup and core and one with the aforementioned 175 gr. partition. The partition worked well, but was 75 yards and broadside, bullet exited, and she trotted 30 feet or so and fell over. Not much else to go on relative to the partition, ergo my query.

    The last two Bulls we took were both with Barnes TTSX, impressive results. So I will probably go back to TTSX’s in that 280 and not replenish the 175 partitions. Appreciate your time.
     
    Scott CWO likes this.

  13. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Video/Photo:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Location:
    WA St, USA
    Bullets aside, that photograph with the barrel pointed at what appears to be about a foot away from the boys head really makes me cringe.
     

  14. Tra3

    Tra3 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    390
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    391
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    Namibia
    @Fastrig sounds like you have had good luck! But most likely you have just chosen to take high success shots, which is very wise.
    I think any bullet from .22-250 on up will kill an elk when placed right and the shot is inside of 100-150 yards. I never cared about bullets until a few years ago when I had (1) more money to be picky, (2) more time to shoot more game and more targets, (3) more time spent reading about hunting.

    My experience has been everything works inside of 100-150 yards (with a good shot) Over 350 yards things start to change. With that said: nosler ABLR’s work well, so does the Hornady GMX. Lately I’ve been shooting Berger hunting VLD’s.
    @Bullthrower338 exceptional bull in the snow! I’m tempted to get a .338 WM or a .300 WM. I have a gap between the 7 mm RM and my .375 H&H...
     

  15. Standard Velocity

    Standard Velocity AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    153
    Regarding the Partition

    I will take those who have taken elk and lost elk at their words regarding performance. Heavy bones and an animal the size of a small car are a different game.

    I have had good success with Partitions. They act like a small cup n’ core followed by a FMJ. I shot a 98lb doe this afternoon with a 7mm Rem Mag, 160 gr Partition at nine yards. Not an ideal circumstance but it was the last day of the season.


    The bullet entered the top right shoulder blade and exited the left brisket. DRT. I expected a mess but it did exactly what you expect a Partition to do. It blood shot a couple of inches of the shoulder, damaged the very top of the heart and left a 1/2” exit. The bullet went at least from my fingertip to elbow into the soft ground (that’s as far as I could reach without a shovel).


    Of course a 98lb whitetail deer is not the best indicator of bullet performance but I do prefer the Partition design. Maybe I would step up to an A-Fame on elk. Would definitely choose the A-Frame over the Partition for buffalo. In fact I have a pile of 375 A-Frames waiting their chance.
     
    ack likes this.

  16. Standard Velocity

    Standard Velocity AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    153
    I too have found a caliber gap between 7mm/30cal and 375. A 338 Federal or 35 Whelen have been calling my name but the 338 Win Mag does do a lot of heavy lifting.

    Then I’d have to do something about the 400-458 caliber deficit. It just keeps getting more expensive.
     
    Tra3 and Fastrig like this.

  17. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2017
    Messages:
    2,188
    Video/Photo:
    33
    Likes Received:
    1,665
    Location:
    Cairns, Australia
    Excellent and I appreciate your posting.
     

  18. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    4,116
    Video/Photo:
    152
    Likes Received:
    8,588
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Member of:
    Life Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Huntin' Fool, DSC and Pope and Young Club
    Hunted:
    USA, Mexico, Canada, RSA, Australia NT, Zimbabwe
    Well, I appreciate your concern but the unloaded firearm is not pointed anywhere near the boys head!
     
    TOBY458 likes this.

  19. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,535
    Video/Photo:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1,313
    Location:
    WA St, USA
    Firearm safety rule 3 :treat every gun as if it were loaded.

    In thirty+ years of instructing and testing hunter safety I've heard the comment "my son's rifle was not pointed anywhere near the person" or variations of it. But since it's nothing to me, I can say: Whatever.
     

  20. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2019
    Messages:
    407
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    291
    I'm pretty picky about shot placement before I'll pull the trigger. If I don't know I can make the shot then I stalk to a position where I can. I've taken all the elks I've shot with my old 308 win with the exception of the one I got using a borrowed 7 mm rem mag (fantastic rifle!). All were between 125-275 yards or so. Really don't believe in luck, so guessing that the majority of factory ammo I've been buying on sale is perfectly adequate for an elk hunt...honestly couldn't tell you the bullet that was used on any of my hunts outside of they weren't FMJ rounds but soft-point expansion type rounds. The ammo was from Federal, Hornady, Remington, Winchester, etc. and 165 to 180 grain. All knocked the elks to the ground.

    My point was more that I think folks spend a bit too much time worrying about rounds that get an 58.7 extra fps, 2% more energy at X yards, etc. rather than just practicing putting decent, GP hunting rounds in a 5" kill zone at various yardages, practicing in lousy/windy weather, with both open and scoped sites, etc. To me, it's all about shot placement, in a variety of conditions/distances, and nothing is going to improve that but practice, I don't care what round someone is using. I use a 308 win to practice because decent ammo can be had on sale for 60-80 cents a round and it's a great 300 yard in hunting caliber, which is where 95% of all game is taken. When I get ready to go to the field, now that I've switched to a 300 win mag, I take that rifle to the range and run through a couple of boxes....it's amazing how well the 308 practice transitions to the 300 win mag shots.
     
    7x57Joe and Tra3 like this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice