Elk load/rifle?

Discussion in 'Modern Firearms' started by GrouseAssasin, May 19, 2015.

  1. GrouseAssasin

    GrouseAssasin 12 pointer

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    Been about to die with a stomach bug, gets boring laying on the couch and I've done some bored pondering on my FIL's elk hunt. Figured I'd throw this out for discussion.

    Choice #1
    My FIL's pride and joy Ruger M77 .280 All Weather heavy barrel, Leupold 3x9. The only load I'm familiar with for this one is 150 grain ballistic tips that are devastating on deer and very accurate. He's easily killed deer at 200+ in years past. Heaviest out of the three.

    Choice #2
    My sporterized Mosin Nagant, 7.62mm, Bushnell Elite 3x9. I've seen loads up to 203 grain in off brand ammo. I've shot 150 and 180 grain with great results out to 125 yards. Havnt shot it beyond that.

    Choice #3
    My dads 700 7mm-08. Vortex 4x12, Not familiar with all available loads for it either. Lightest of the three but doesn't kick. You hear a bang, litte tap on the shoulder, that's pretty much it. Shot it to 200 with 150gr Hornady. Very accurate.

    so just for bored discussion, between these three which rifle/load would you suggest? It's almost gauranteed he'll want (me) to carry his Ruger, but I was wonderin from a ballistic standpoint if one would be better than another. Shot probably won't be over 100 yards, and really would like to get as close as possible. He's been a welder all his life and his eyes aren't what they used to be so we'll take any advantage we can get.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  2. Ash12

    Ash12 10 pointer

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    I would take the 7mm-08 but would use a heavier bullet.
     
  3. trust me

    trust me Troubled Loner

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    He should use what he is most comfortable with. The 280 would be just fine for elk (and anything else) and he doesn't have to get familiar with a new rifle. But skip the BT's for elk. He'll need more penetration.
     
  4. littleboots

    littleboots 6 pointer

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    you need a heavier bullet then anything you mention
     
  5. GrouseAssasin

    GrouseAssasin 12 pointer

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    Sorry I should have clarified. I know the above mentioned loads are light for elk. I was wondering if anybody has any personal experience with either of these calibers on elk, and could recommend a heavier load. The .280 hasn't been out of the gun safe in 5-6 years, he's been using a 30-30 on deer for the light recoil but as I said the .280 will be the likely choice. Just need to find a more suitable bullet.

    Several other threads on other forums I've googled up have just turned straight in pissing matches between people claiming that a .280 will simply bounce off an elks hide, and people claiming a .280 is the most lethal elk round ever worked up, spewing ballistic information back and forth that makes my head hurt more than it already does.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2015
  6. KYBOB

    KYBOB 8 pointer

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    The 280 has the edge over the 7-08 in that they both use the 7MM bullet dia, but the case being longer , it raises the speed. The 150, 160 or 175 bullets would all work fine. Bullet placement is key. As you already said, the 280 is his pride and joy. He likely shoots it accurately. Best of luck and looking forward to pictures of a successful hunt.


    BoB
     
  7. duckhunter175

    duckhunter175 Spike

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    x2 for the .280. Same diameter as the 7-08 but an edge on velocity and it's what he is most comfortable with. That set up with scope and rifle is more than adequate. I would look for a better constructed bullet not just a 'heavier' bullet. Go with a premium CXP3 bullet such as the Nosler Accubond and Nosler Partition, both readily available in .280. I would also look at the GMX and the Barnes TTSX all copper loads that also provide deep penetration.
     
  8. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    I'd suggest the 280 with the heaviest grain weight bullet offered. As for the bullet itself in my opinion there's only two that I would choose from concerning elk.....AccuBonds or Partitions.

    Which my daughter( adult-21 at that time) drew a firearms bull -week 1 in 2013. I let her use my 30-06 and set it up with 180gr Winchester AccuBonds which they use Nosler bullets on their higher end ammo. She made a downhill 165yd shot off my day pack at a screaming 6x7 surrounded by his harem of cows. The bull wheeled ...went about 20 ft ... collapsed and slid down the side of the mountain / ridge and landed in a road of the strip job we were own.

    Concerning distance .... at the suggestion of our outfitter ... I had her practicing out to 200 yds. But the gun / load was good nearly to 300 in case a longer shot was necessary. I'd say in most situations shots will be at 200yds or under pending the situation. Also.... just keep in mind elk are really big... heavy boned jokers.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


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    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  9. GrouseAssasin

    GrouseAssasin 12 pointer

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    So far looking online the heaviest I can find for the .280 is a 165gr core-lokt. Also found the 160grAccu-bonds in the Nosler branded ammo from Midway. Pretty much have to go with a factory load as we don't reload and don't know anybody that does. Finding the elk shouldn't be a problem, just want to make sure the old fart has the best chance at putting one down quick and not have to drag it half a mile back up the mountain, and not break his shoulder on the other end :(
     
  10. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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  11. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

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    i'd go with the 280 with 150 gr partitions. or the 7-08 with 140's.

    correction...........JD's link is the load i would go with.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  12. riverboss

    riverboss 12 pointer

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    Its hard to beat the 280 I've been shooting one since 1980 for deer I really like 140s but for elk 150-165 would be my choice something in a partition or accubond.
     
  13. GrouseAssasin

    GrouseAssasin 12 pointer

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    .280 it is. He's got a couple boxes of the ballistic tips I'll let him burn through them this summer and get a box or two of the good stuff for final practice and the hunt. Wont be able to tell him about it though, he'd have a coronary at the thought of $60+ for a box of shells. He's still living in the good ole days when stuff cost a nickel :eek:
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  14. JDMiller

    JDMiller 12 pointer

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    I'm just not familiar with 280 to know..... but on my 30-06 the ballistics were identical between the 180gr Winchester ballistic Silvertips and the Winchester 180gr AccuBonds.

    My daughter practiced with the Silvertips which were a little cheaper but not by much. I shot a few of the AccuBonds just to make positive they were hitting the same and ultimately she only needed one shell for the hunt. Which right now I basically got two $40 + boxes of AccuBonds in the safe... lol.

    Just saying .... your on the right track if he can practice with something cheaper and the ballistics are the same. However and maybe just me ...but I don't like to start making scope adjustments right before a hunt. I'd rather be out a little more coin and shoot the same bullet I'm going to hunt with if there's that much difference in point of impact. There can be some drastic difference in bullets between type and grain weights concerning how the gun shoots them.


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  15. 1wildcatfan

    1wildcatfan 12 pointer

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