Home Forums Hunting Firearms 30-06 Elk Hunting

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  • Avatarmontiironman
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    Post count: 63

    I am going to apply for elk tags this coming January.  I currently own a 30-06. I know this gun will work great for elk. My question is this: would a 300 win mag be a better choice or not enough of a difference to justify buying one? I know it has more velocity better energy at impact etc. I love the 30-06 just wondering if the purchase or trade to a 300 win mag is worth it?

    AvatarDeputy11
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    Post count: 31

    Unless you just want to buy a new gun stick with the 30-06.  You said you love the gun, it will do the job on elk.  If you shoot it well why change.  There would be a big difference in recoil for very little gain in performance.

    Avatarteton
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    Post count: 93

    I would stick with the 30-06 for your elk hunt. I shoot a 300 Winn Mag and love it but if you are comfortable with the 06 that is what I would use.

    ECFirearmsECFirearms
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    Post count: 1356

    IMHO, 30-06 will take down an Elk, no problem, as long as the shooter does his job with accurate shot placement.

    I would suggest you look for 30-06 ammo that is designed for larger game.  Something like Hornady Outfitter GMX 165gr or 180gr and make sure you shoot it ahead of time to confirm that your rifle likes that ammo.

    “Second Amendment – Either you are helping pull the wagon, getting a free ride in the wagon, or trying to take away the wagon. Which one are you?” -- IAShooters

    WhipWhip
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    Post count: 2407

    Lots elk have been killed with 06 and 270. If you shoot it well and limit yourself to shots out to 300 yards it will be great. If your thinking about 400 yards and further they’re better options. But you pay for the extra range with lots of recoil and typically a heavier rifle.

    Whip

    AvatarLarry Richard
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    Post count: 453

    I have shot 26 elk with my 30 06 and 25 went home with me.  165 grain Nosler Partition has performed well at nearly 2900 feet per second.  In fact everything I have shot I have used the weapon, and the only failures I have is one elk, and a grizzly, which I blame on bullet failure, having switched to a180 solid copper blue tip of brand X.  I recovered two from the moose I shot, which were fragmented and did  not perform as well as the Nosler.  The guide said the hair puffed at the ideal spot, but we never recovered the bear.  My African guide said he would rather have a hunter with a familiar rifle, than one with a new magnum.  Shoot what you shoot well, use premium ammo,  spend your money on other things you need for the trip.  Doc

    AvatarLarry Richard
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    Post count: 453

    hey, somewhere, I lost a lot of posts,  (not to be confused with the lost post).  Having been a member for over a decade,  I know I was over 2000.  My picture in the sidebar has disappeared as well.  I spect that is  what I get from being absent for so long.  Doc

    WhipWhip
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    Post count: 2407

    Larry good to see you back. I had similar experience with all cooper Barnes triple shock  on a bull elk and a cow elk due to suspected poor performance. Killed another bull elk with the same bullets but the first shot went to pieces on contact the final bullet penetrated. I sent the bullet company a picture and they responded by telling me it was excessive velocity or I hit something before the bull. I fixed the issue by changing back to lead bullets. I will suggest you use a quality bullet with the 06. I have killed a lot of elk with my 270 and 130gr Nolser Solid base and 130gr Nolser Partition. Shot placement is way more important than caliber.

    Whip

    Avatarmontiironman
    Participant
    Post count: 63

    Thank you all for responding. I know the 30-06 is a great rifle for big game in north america. I do love the gun and you all answered my question. Very good advice and I am so looking forward to going to Wyoming this time next year. Thank you for the ammo advice. Not going to lie I probably would have bought 180 grains of something cheap. Thank you all again.

    Avatarmontiironman
    Participant
    Post count: 63

    Hoping the trip turns into an every year thing.

    paulblair4paulblair4
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    Post count: 3

    I would stick on 30-06 for the hunt. And you?

    AvatarGreg 57
    Post count: 28

    Whip.

    I take it you were useing a 270 when shooting the elk with the cooper plastic tipped bullets?

    I had a simular experience with Horaday SST out of my 30 06. This was when Iowa allowed bottleneck cartridges in the southern two tiers of Iowa.

    I hit a small doe high in the ribs. Well let’s just say I went to another bullet. Although the next year they eliminated that season saying it was too effective. In other words it dropped the deer to a more manageable heard in a very short time.

    Have you tried the cooper solids qith just a hollow point?

    This is the bullet I was going to try on elk in Colorado.

    AvatarCRIA1576
    Participant
    Post count: 581

    My suggestion is 180 grain Federal Premium Trophy Bonded or 180 grain Federal Premium Partitions.  Both are fantastic big game rounds for elk and with a 200 yard zero you have very little hold over at 300.

    To get on paper, you can get the 180 grain Federal Power Shoks for about half the cost of the premium ammo.  My local Wally World has them for around $18/box.  The premiums will cost you double.

    FWIW, I emailed Federal asking about the effectiveness of the Power Shoks on elk out to 300 yards.  Their response was, “…the 180 grain Power Shok is perfectly capable of ethically killing elk out to 300 yards out of a .30-06 and .308.”

    Good luck!

    *EDIT- If you are hunting with an outfitter, you may want to see if they have any caliber or bullet minimums for their hunts.  We are headed to NW Montana in September 2021, and the outfitter has a 160 grain minimum.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by AvatarCRIA1576.
    AvatarGreg 57
    Post count: 28

    Cria1576

    I only take my 30 06 as a back up. I have a 338 RUM that I use for my primary rife.

    It seems these all cooper bullets fail at times, especially the plastic tipped ones.

    I should start a new thread and not highjack this one.

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