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Old 10-15-2019, 01:18 PM   #1
matthews1227
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Default Elk rifle minimum question.

Iím heading to Pagosa for the 3rd rifle season and planned to take my 260 but now I am second guessing myself. I have plenty of other options but like the 260 because it is the model 7.

In for your thoughts.


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Old 10-15-2019, 01:19 PM   #2
panhandlehunter
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It’s an elk not an elephant. 260 will be fine.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:25 PM   #3
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Youíll be good. Shoot quality projectiles and keep the range reasonable. And be aware of shot placement. Nosler sells factory loads for your rifle. Something in the 130-140g partition flavor should get you 1,500 lb/ft of energy out to the 300 yard mark with ease. 260 is great elk medicine, stay away from the big front locomotive bones and muscles and go for the lungs would be my strategy.


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Old 10-15-2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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I’ll be going in a few weeks with my .260 pushing 130gr Accubonds@ 2890fps. I feel it will be plenty of gun in side 400 yards.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:28 PM   #5
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Been a bunch of em killed with a lot lot less gun.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:30 PM   #6
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Shot placement.
I've shot a Gemsbock with a .270 and it dropped like a brick.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BLACKFINTURKEY View Post
Iíll be going in a few weeks with my .260 pushing 130gr Accubonds@ 2890fps. I feel it will be plenty of gun in side 400 yards.


Perfect combination right here! Should yield excellent results. Good luck BFT!


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Old 10-15-2019, 01:37 PM   #8
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Do a quick youtube search for elk and the 6.5 creedmoor! Tons of people are taking it to the elk woods with success. The creedmoor and the .260 are virtually the same in ballistics so if it works, your .260 will work just as good if not better.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:41 PM   #9
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Plenty of elk killed with a .243/6mm. You’ll be just fine.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:45 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Hopefully I can share me elk pictures in a few weeks!


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Old 10-15-2019, 01:46 PM   #11
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Worry more about holes through both lungs than caliber. They will all die after that.
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:54 PM   #12
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As has already been said, 260 is plenty of gun.

I would lean toward Ammo with either the 125 g son Nosler Partition or 130 grain Accubond.


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Old 10-15-2019, 02:01 PM   #13
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This guy gave his grandson the green light to pop a bull with a 243 shot it 5 times before it finally stopped. So yes less can make it happen but I'd reccomend a larger caliber.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:10 PM   #14
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This guy gave his grandson the green light to pop a bull with a 243 shot it 5 times before it finally stopped. So yes less can make it happen but I'd reccomend a larger caliber.
I would too. Reminds me of that first kill 6.5 PRC video where they shot the bull four times before it went down. A good old 300WM is a useful tool for anyone to have in the safe.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:15 PM   #15
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If a 180gr. Accubond from a .30-06 could Nilgai that 260 accubond ought to be fine for elk.

Shot placement and a quality bullet are just as important how big the bullet is.


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Old 10-15-2019, 02:33 PM   #16
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This like Ford or Chevy type of conversation or what broadness to use. In my opinion, it’s borderline. I’ve killed many elk and a perfect broadside shot with good placement would probably be fine. However a not so good shot or frontal might not be. Elk are so tough. I’ll just say if I had a client make a non-fatal shot on an elk and used an undersized cartridge, I would say, “well yeah, you should of used a larger caliber”. My humble opinion only.

Shot placement always sounds good until your heart is pounding at 200 beats per minute and you can see the breathe of a 900lbs monster.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:37 PM   #17
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My Dad lives lives in Montrose. He said all the locals can tell where all the other hunters are from just by asking what round they are shooting. 270/308/243...they are locals that kill elk every year. 300 Win Mag/RUM Weatherby.....they be from Texas...
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:42 PM   #18
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Good friend of mine just got back from New Mexico. They lost an Elk with a .338 Lapua. Bad shot placement. Personally I've never shot an elk, but with any animal shot placement is key.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:43 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by 175gr7.62 View Post
My Dad lives lives in Montrose. He said all the locals can tell where all the other hunters are from just by asking what round they are shooting. 270/308/243...they are locals that kill elk every year. 300 Win Mag/RUM Weatherby.....they be from Texas...
Some of us would rather bring a gun to a knife fight then the other way around.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:48 PM   #20
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Some of us would rather bring a gun to a knife fight then the other way around.
Totally up to you what you shoot.....but when the guys that kill elk every year for 20-30 years shoot a 243 or a 308.....maybe you really aren't in a knife fight.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:51 PM   #21
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I hear tell if crazy folks killing elk with a bow and arrow!😂👍
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:51 PM   #22
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You'll be fine. They are big but they aren't that big.

Get a high quality, heavy bullet and put it where it should go.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:00 PM   #23
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My great uncle knocked down well over 20 in his time with a Savage 250-3000
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:05 PM   #24
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I know everyone is saying smaller calibers. I went with a long-time outfitter out of Wyoming this year, and after a few decade of experience, he will not allow anything under 30 cal in his camp. 300 Win Mag is his preference. Now, this is most likely due to the fact that a lot of people can't shoot. He said he lost count of the number of bulls they have lost wounded to 7 mags. I personally believe you can easily kill an elk with smaller calibers, but when you are talking about possibly a once in a lifetime hunt, then my caliber is the last thing I want to be worrying about.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 175gr7.62 View Post
My Dad lives lives in Montrose. He said all the locals can tell where all the other hunters are from just by asking what round they are shooting. 270/308/243...they are locals that kill elk every year. 300 Win Mag/RUM Weatherby.....they be from Texas...
pretty sure your dad just became my best friend...Telluride is the most amazing little ski town/resort in the land...and I use to live in Lake Tahoe...I'll take that area of Colorado ANY day!!! Lucky dude!!
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:20 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44mAG View Post
I know everyone is saying smaller calibers. I went with a long-time outfitter out of Wyoming this year, and after a few decade of experience, he will not allow anything under 30 cal in his camp. 300 Win Mag is his preference. Now, this is most likely due to the fact that a lot of people can't shoot. He said he lost count of the number of bulls they have lost wounded to 7 mags. I personally believe you can easily kill an elk with smaller calibers, but when you are talking about possibly a once in a lifetime hunt, then my caliber is the last thing I want to be worrying about.
Not sure I would trust a guy that told me I could use a 30-06 but not a 28nosler
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:28 PM   #27
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I’d go bigger.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:29 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44mAG View Post
I know everyone is saying smaller calibers. I went with a long-time outfitter out of Wyoming this year, and after a few decade of experience, he will not allow anything under 30 cal in his camp. 300 Win Mag is his preference. Now, this is most likely due to the fact that a lot of people can't shoot. He said he lost count of the number of bulls they have lost wounded to 7 mags. I personally believe you can easily kill an elk with smaller calibers, but when you are talking about possibly a once in a lifetime hunt, then my caliber is the last thing I want to be worrying about.


Really 0.284 vs. .300 makes that much of a difference? Come on man.

Shot placement first, good projectile second, caliber last...mostly. Donít shoot a .22.


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Old 10-15-2019, 04:32 PM   #29
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Not sure I would trust a guy that told me I could use a 30-06 but not a 28nosler


No kidding. Or a 30-30 over a 7mm wby, 7 stw, 7 LRM. The list goes on.


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Old 10-15-2019, 04:33 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lodgepole View Post
Really 0.284 vs. .300 makes that much of a difference? Come on man.

Shot placement first, good projectile second, caliber last...mostly. Don’t shoot a .22.
Again, this is not me, a one-time elk hunter talking. This is from one of the top outfitters in Wyoming with hundred of elk killed under him. I just thought it was a good data point for the OP. I think basically what he preferred is a 300 win mag over a 7mm-08, 7mm mag, .243, .270. etc. I am sure he would be fine with some of the custom juiced-up rounds.

I personally killed my elk using a 300 Win Mag shooting 180 gr Nosler Accubonds. But, I shoot my 300 Win Mag for whitetail when I am hunting my target buck, so I didn't have any thinking involved.

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Old 10-15-2019, 04:35 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bphillips View Post
Not sure I would trust a guy that told me I could use a 30-06 but not a 28nosler
Old school outfitters hated the 7mag, get handloaded to hot with cup and core bullets.... not my agruement just what Iíve listen to from many an outfitter.

Think modern bullet constructive has corrected the mid-conception.


Iíve killed many a cow elk out of my alfalfa and corn with 22-250 so I have no dog within anyoneís agruement for or against.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:51 PM   #32
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260, Your comfort level, and shot placement
Go for it......
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:09 PM   #33
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Quote:
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Some of us would rather bring a gun to a knife fight then the other way around.
So he shouldn't use a Kabar to kill his elk?

Elk are tough critters for sure but we kill them all the time with arrows and 60 lb-ft of KE. A .260 with a good bullet will do just fine. Using a larger caliber is good, but if you can't lug it up the mountain while walking elevation 10 miles+/day, then that extra .040 inches ain't getting you anything but a sorer back
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:17 PM   #34
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Make sure you use a tough bullet. Buddy of mine killed his bull with a 260. Personally, I'd go a little bigger if you already have the guns. Heavier bullet will normally perform better at quartering angles. Broadside it doesn't really matter.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:18 PM   #35
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All the other aside, I'm taking a decent weight 30 cal., especially if it's thick where I'm hunting. I'd hate like hale for a twig to cost me a bull....or a cow. Ain't got nuthin' to proove and would rather have pics and backstrap than "regurts"!lol
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:43 PM   #36
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my question is, to all that are saying " oh yeah you will be fine" how many of them have ever killed a elk or an elk sized animal?


I shot my elk with a .257 wby mag. carried it because I liked the rifle. 1st day in, at last light, a big mature bull steps out; two shots at 260 yards and he was done. a split second before I pulled the trigger I wondered to myself " man I hope I have enough gun for this...." Next year I went and got a .300 win mag.


Elk, especially on OTC public land or limited entry units, are hard to come by. You can hunt for a week and only have 1 split second opportunity. Why would you compromise your trip, all the time and money by carrying a .260 Remington? Shots get long, angles get bad, a lot of times you don't have a rock-solid rest....hedge your bets with a bigger caliber. Your not shooting deer out of a blind over a feeder....you don't always have time to get a good rest and pick your shots exactly how you would like them.


You don't need a .338 but I would bring a bigger gun than a .260 Remington.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:51 PM   #37
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I think the 260 is fine if you stay 300 yards and in. I personally think closing the distance on elk isn’t that tough as I have killed several with a bow. It’s much better to hit that bull in the chest with a 260 vs the a&$ with a 300! My good friend guides a bunch and his go to round is a 7mm-08. Another outfitter I know has had numerous clients kill bulls with his 6.5 creedmoor. The results that I have seen have been impressive. I watched my wife kill a huge longhorn steer with a 7mm-08. One shot and done. My stepson killed a bison with the same round. One shot.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:55 PM   #38
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Quote:
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my question is, to all that are saying " oh yeah you will be fine" how many of them have ever killed a elk or an elk sized animal?


I shot my elk with a .257 wby mag. carried it because I liked the rifle. 1st day in, at last light, a big mature bull steps out; two shots at 260 yards and he was done. a split second before I pulled the trigger I wondered to myself " man I hope I have enough gun for this...." Next year I went and got a .300 win mag.


Elk, especially on OTC public land or limited entry units, are hard to come by. You can hunt for a week and only have 1 split second opportunity. Why would you compromise your trip, all the time and money by carrying a .260 Remington? Shots get long, angles get bad, a lot of times you don't have a rock-solid rest....hedge your bets with a bigger caliber. Your not shooting deer out of a blind over a feeder....you don't always have time to get a good rest and pick your shots exactly how you would like them.


You don't need a .338 but I would bring a bigger gun than a .260 Remington.
Of my own elk.. 3/w 22-250, 25-06, 257wby, 270, and bow....

watched 2/w 30-30, 2/w 7-08, 3/w 270, 3/w 308, 3 w/300win, 1/ 6.5-284

You had doubts because people put them in your head. Not because it wasnt capable. Head stamp is a product of range more so then any thing. I wouldn’t use a 300 win mag with 215 vlds if my max range is 300
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:56 PM   #39
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If you have no problem hunting over on Brokeback Mountain then carry one dem girlyman calibers that don't kick. Otherwise something in the .30 cal size with 165-180 gr bullets is good. .338 would be even better.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:58 PM   #40
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Of my own elk.. 3/w 22-250, 25-06, 257wby, 270, and bow....

watched 2/w 30-30, 2/w 7-08, 3/w 270, 3/w 308, 3 w/300win, 1/ 6.5-284

You had doubts because people put them in your head. Not because it wasnt capable. Head stamp is a product of range more so then any thing. I wouldnít use a 300 win mag with 215 vlds if my max range is 300
On the elk you shot with a .22-250, where did you shoot them? I would assume the head. Not being confrontational, just curious. Thanks!
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:22 PM   #41
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On the elk you shot with a .22-250, where did you shoot them? I would assume the head. Not being confrontational, just curious. Thanks!
I finished off a 600lb 5x4 on a big high fenced ranch about 8 years ago with a 22-250. Guy had shot it in the ham with his recurve and I ended up driving up on it the next morning. Only shot I had was the very top of the head or tight behind the shoulder. 60gr Nosler Partition at about 140yds. Went about 30yds and did the stanky leg. Hit a rib going in and went between ribs going out. Bullet was just under the skin on the far side.

Definitely on the light side for an elk but a quality bullet in the right place and he could tote it very far.

If you feel you NEED to use a 469 Nitro Creedmore Weatherby Magnum, by all means, go for it. You are wrong, but it isn't hurting anything.

The chief complaint I hear when talking to guides my dad works with is out of state hunters. They think they need big magnums to kill their elk. It is a once in a lifetime trip and they buy the meanest thing they can come up with to take on their trip. The don't handle the recoil well, they haven't shot it much, and basically they just aren't proficient with it. The results often are not good.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:32 PM   #42
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22 Magnum 22LR is a little on the small side
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:35 PM   #43
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Im a fan of .300 Win or Rum, I just cant leave home under .300 caliber, whats in your wallet?
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:35 PM   #44
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On the elk you shot with a .22-250, where did you shoot them? I would assume the head. Not being confrontational, just curious. Thanks!
Two spine(one behind ear, other neck/shoulder crease which is spine, one lungs. Pretty sure I was using 80gr TSX

Obviously two dropped, third went 80 yards and fell over. Iím not saying it a great choice, itís all I had at the time, it was also in a section of alfalfa and corn stubble.... so tracking is more just getting on top of the truck... , the point is we over think things, and if we spent as much time shooting as we do agruing heads Stamps we would care less about headstamps.

We do more harm with these threads then good. All we do is kill confidence in a very justifiable cartridge
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:40 PM   #45
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The chief complaint I hear when talking to guides my dad works with is out of state hunters. They think they need big magnums to kill their elk. It is a once in a lifetime trip and they buy the meanest thing they can come up with to take on their trip. The don't handle the recoil well, they haven't shot it much, and basically they just aren't proficient with it. The results often are not good.[/QUOTE]


This is the issue not the head stamp.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:55 PM   #46
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260 is plenty. Shot placement is everything
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:59 PM   #47
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Day 5 of an expensive elk hunt, 15 minutes of shooting light left. A big 6x6 steps out 300 yards away, quartering away from you, you have mere seconds to get off a shot. The shot will have to pass through a couple feet of paunch to take out a lung and bust the far shoulder. Do you want a .260 Rem or a .300 Win Mag in your hands.
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:11 PM   #48
bpa556
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Kinney County
Hunt In: Terrell County
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Originally Posted by 175gr7.62 View Post
My Dad lives lives in Montrose. He said all the locals can tell where all the other hunters are from just by asking what round they are shooting. 270/308/243...they are locals that kill elk every year. 300 Win Mag/RUM Weatherby.....they be from Texas...


Yep. I hunt Pagosa every year (public land DIY). Got family stretched from there up to Grand Junction.

Go into any gun store in SW Colorado and marvel at the number of 25-06s in the rack. They sell a lot of them because thatís what a large portion of the locals hunt with. Flat shooting, mild-recoiling killer with 120 grain Core-Lokt ammo. Fun for the whole family!

Most locals donít take 500 yard shots at elk either. Itís not particularly difficult to get within 250 yards of them. The majority of the work is generally put in locating them to begin with.

I cannot count the instances where I was looking at elk inside 150 yards and really wishing my bow was a rifle. Sneaking into bow range, setting up, and drawing without some wary old cow blowing you up is a rush that is as indescribable as it is rare.

All that rambling to say this, take whatever caliber you like. Shoot a quality bullet (no varmint bullets), get within a reasonable range for that round and have fun. If youíre comfortable toting/shooting a .300WM, take it. If youíre more comfortable toting/shooting a .260, take that.

Youíll be better off shooting a rifle you are comfortable with than some unfamiliar cannon you bought because Joe Blow internet-hero said you canít kill elk without one

Recoil-anticipation/flinching with big calibers is responsible for far more wounded animals than ďnot enough gunĒ. Any elk guide worth his salt will corroborate this assertion.


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Old 10-15-2019, 07:43 PM   #49
Venison4Dinner
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Join Date: Nov 2018
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My dad shot a big bull at 250 yards with a 30-06 using a Barnes Ttsx 180 gr.
It took 2 shots to seal the deal.
I shot a cow at 150 yards with a 7 mag using corelokt 150 grain. She took a few steps and then took a dirt nap.
Then switched over to the 338 RUM and took a bull at 525 yards.
.
As mentioned earlier, there are no easy shots out there. Things happen fast.
In the area we hunt, it seems like shots are averaging 300-400 yards.
I think it comes down to how comfortable you feel shooting your rifle. Practice and understand how your bullets drop or drift at long distances.
Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:20 PM   #50
Sackett
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Richmond, TX
Hunt In: Sutton County
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Originally Posted by Phillip Fields View Post
Day 5 of an expensive elk hunt, 15 minutes of shooting light left. A big 6x6 steps out 300 yards away, quartering away from you, you have mere seconds to get off a shot. The shot will have to pass through a couple feet of paunch to take out a lung and bust the far shoulder. Do you want a .260 Rem or a .300 Win Mag in your hands.
.260 Rem. Been shooting it extremely well and have confidence that the bonded bullet will hold its form and do everything it was designed to. I've yet to meet anyone that enjoys shooting a .300 mag.
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