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  #1  
Old 12-17-2007, 06:33 PM
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.308 for elk and moose


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Would you guys feel comfortable taking an elk or moose with a .308 winchester, with a good 180 grain bullet of course.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2007, 06:36 PM
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I'd wanna be a bit closer perhaps, than if I was shooting a .30-06 or a .300 magnum, but with a properly constructed 180 grain bullet and good placement it should certainly get the job done.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2007, 06:47 PM
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Here in NH, most shots are within 50 yards of moose. .308 is #1. 165gr is the norm. Jim
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2007, 07:04 PM
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Lots of moose and elk have been killed with the 308. Premium bullets in the 165 grain range and up work very well. Now that I've said that I also have to say I prefer rifles with more energy. Elk can be a tough animal to kill and if your hunting in really steep country can go quite a ways packing a bunch of lead. My elk rifle is the 8mm Rem mag pushing a 220 grain spitzer boattail at 3080 fps.

If you've ever had a big elk wounded run to the bottom of a canyon and had to pack it piece by piece up over blowdowns and brush and really steep slopes you'd sure think about something with a little more stopping power. I finally got to the point where a front shoulder shot anchores them about the best.

Lots of folks say elk aren't bullet proof and any good shot will kill them and to a point they are right, but after you pack a few that were dead and didn't figure that out til they ran 800 yards straight down into frying pan canyon it makes you rethink your choices of elk rifle.

Dig one out of the bottom of a canyon like this once or twice and not only will you appreciate a power saw winch, but that 300 win mag looks really good.

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  #5  
Old 12-17-2007, 07:42 PM
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Well I've been using a .308 Hornady 165gr BTSP #3045 for years running them at a modest but honest 2500fps. It's taken several Elk and nearly two dozen deer for me. A friend who I recently set up for reloading got a nice cow Elk two weeks ago with the same load at a lasered 270 yards.

Up close <50Y it will exit and farther than that, the bullet is usually found in a classic mushroom shape pushing the skin out on the other side.

While I usually like more penetration (perforation), the bullet has shredded the heart and lungs with every chest shot yet and the lower velocity leaves very little bloodshot meat.

There was an old Canadian hunter by the name of Thor Strimbold who shot a whole mess of moose up in the hinterlands and used the lowly .30-30 by choice for years, even returning to it after using other rounds. He said that moose were easy to kill even with the .30-30.

What's all that mean? I feel that the .308 and a 180 or 165gr is more than adequate for Elk and Moose.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2007, 08:07 PM
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There's been a whole lot of moose killed with a .308 here in Alaska. Can't comment on the elk......none of them critters are in my area.
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2007, 08:27 PM
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I've never shot a moose with anything, but elk are readily handled with the 308.

While I agree with Bob's points to an extent, I don't think any cartridge guarantees a quick kill on an elk. I once saw an elk run after getting a shoulder broken with a .416 Rigby. He stumbled and almost went down at the shot, but then ran a couple hundred yards (albeit not very quickly). By way of comparison, about ten years ago, my hunting buddy shot a 6x7 bull on opening morning with his only rifle, a 270. The bull reared up and fell backwards, kicked a while, and was dead from the single high-chest hit.

I don't mean to say that a 270 is a better elk cartridge than a 416. I just mean that results can vary with any cartridge, and a 308 is a perfectly adequate round.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2007, 10:33 PM
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ID shooter is absolutely right, a bad hit with my big magnum will wound just as well as a bad hit with the 308. It's really amazing how much punishment an elk will take and still run like the dickens. In the country I hunt I feel more comfortable with a little more power than the 308 and I have one of them and a 280 Remington.

Would I feel OK with taking a shot at an elk with either the 308 or the 280, why under the right circumstances of course, though I have to say I'd feel even more comfortable with the bigger gun. I've killed a pile of elk with either the 308 Norma or the 8mm Rem mag and have several friends that hunt with the 308 and mostly they do fine. I read somewhere that the 30-06 has probably wounded more elk than any other caliber. Folks forget though that the 30-06 probably shoots more elk than any other gun also.

I've got friends whom guide hunters and their view of a hunting rifle and hunter is they would much rather see a hunter with a 308 that he can make a killing shot with at reasonable ranges than with a shiny new Magnum rifle that he is unable to shoot well and tries to shoot at ranges longer than he can make killing hits at. I know that I've seen folks that flinch so bad sighting in their new magnums that they durn near jump off the benchrest when they pull the trigger.

On the other hand I've seen folks take shots at elk that the gun and bullet they were shooting were simply not designed for, either to far away or a shot at an elk running away from them and a bullet that simply wouldn't reach all the way from stem to stern and still do enough damage to vitals to kill the animal. Those are the one's that either you never see again or drop dead in the bottom of frying pan canyon so that you gotta pack them out straight up the mountain side.

Keep in mind that with some of todays new bullets shots can be taken that will kill now that wouldn't a bunch of years ago. Oh for some reason moose just don't seem near as hard to kill as elk. For that fact I simply don't have an answer.
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2007, 12:53 PM
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wouldn't hesistate to shoot any moose with a .308 - it is a reliable piece of work. Don't buy a bullet that is frangible, bloodshot and or a runaway moose is then on your plate. The .30-30 is a very good moose gun as well - with the right bullet. Bullets are key to being successful. Once you have chosen the proper bullet then make sure your knife is sharp. Have fun.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2007, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faucettb View Post
Lots of moose and elk have been killed with the 308. Premium bullets in the 165 grain range and up work very well. Now that I've said that I also have to say I prefer rifles with more energy. Elk can be a tough animal to kill and if your hunting in really steep country can go quite a ways packing a bunch of lead. My elk rifle is the 8mm Rem mag pushing a 220 grain spitzer boattail at 3080 fps.

If you've ever had a big elk wounded run to the bottom of a canyon and had to pack it piece by piece up over blowdowns and brush and really steep slopes you'd sure think about something with a little more stopping power. I finally got to the point where a front shoulder shot anchores them about the best.

Lots of folks say elk aren't bullet proof and any good shot will kill them and to a point they are right, but after you pack a few that were dead and didn't figure that out til they ran 800 yards straight down into frying pan canyon it makes you rethink your choices of elk rifle.

Dig one out of the bottom of a canyon like this once or twice and not only will you appreciate a power saw winch, but that 300 win mag looks really good.


I think this post has the bases covered, bigger is better. The 08 will work but when the game gets bigger so does my choice of caliber.
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2007, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akpls View Post
There's been a whole lot of moose killed with a .308 here in Alaska. Can't comment on the elk......none of them critters are in my area.
Bushkins knock over meese all the time with .308s.
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2007, 09:26 AM
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One of the fellas that works for me always gets kind of nervous when a hunter shows up with a .270, or a .308 for example. He privately says to me " Don't you know those bulls (moose) can carry off alot of lead??!!" Well that's been my experience over the years, and I realize it's probably only coincidence, but the bulls that have been shot with the "smaller" calibers have carried the lead alot shorter distances than the ones that were motivated by the larger/faster bullets. I'm not including any of the situations where shot placement was on spine or marginal either. I'd use a .308 in a heart beat.
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2007, 07:07 PM
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I've killed two or more elk each with '06, 280 Rem., 35 Whelen, and .444 Marlin. My longest shot may have been nearly 100 yds. but the norm is more like 40 - 60 yds. All died from the first shot and none ran more than about 80 yds. before dropping with 25 yds. being a good average.

My formula for success:

unalerted quarry + short range + good shot placement = elk to pack out

To be honest, I missed two easy kills by poor shooting. Both were attempted neck shots, offhand, and I simply blew it.

I would feel very comfortable taking a .308 after elk.
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2007, 07:22 AM
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Guys, y'all need to quit leading .308 Hunter astray. Y'all know that a .308 or any other standard caliber will hardly kill a small deer and is better suited for coyotes. To kill large deer, elk, and moose, y'all know he has gotta have the latest .300 or .338 or better yet a .375 RemchesterRugerHornady Short Mag.

All joking aside .308 Hunter a .308 will kill a moose if you do your part.
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2007, 06:17 PM
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Yes, i have seen i elk killed with a .308 win. this i a great caliber. I bought a second hand ruger mark2 in it for 300 dollars but i sold it to my buddy and purchased that new marlin 308mx..

depending on ur distance and shot an elk should not be a promblem for this caliber.....
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2007, 06:59 PM
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Smile

Nothing wrong with a .308 caliber and a good 180 grain bullet! You don't need magnum velocities to kill big game animals and besides, most shots are under 200 yards or less in the wild.
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  #17  
Old 12-28-2007, 02:09 AM
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I'd use a .308 on a moose. But, I'd also qualify that by saying that it would have to be with the right bullet at the right range. There is no magic caliber, as much as we'd like there to be.
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2007, 03:43 PM
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I've never used a .308 Winchester on elk but my hunting partner does. He does not reload, he used to use 180 gr Hornady factory rounds but has switched to 165 gr Hornadys the past 6 or 7 years. An elk a year just about every year speaks for it's self. I don't recall him ever loosing an animal. The calibers I have used which are close to the .308 in power and trajectory are the 7X57 and 7MM 08. Both worked very well. Both calibers were handloaded, the 7X57 usually with 140 gr Nosler Partitions, the 7MM08 with 139 gr Hornadys. I did use a 150 gr Ballistic Tip in the 7X57 when they first came out about 20 years ago on a cow elk. Broadside straight through the slats, it exited, the cow died within 50 yards. Spend your money on ammo or componets and shoot, shoot, shoot!
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2007, 04:18 PM
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Given the right shot elk can be killed with any legal cartridge. The problem comes when given the wrong shot. That big bull is running dead away from you and your guided hunt is up. Your only shot is 450 yards across a canyon. You've spent several thousand bucks on this hunt and it's shoot or go home empty handed. What do you do?

Bottom line is will the gun/cartridge combo do the job and are you sportsman enough to pass up that marginal shot? I've seen lots of folks that would shoot and take the chance rather than watch all their money for that hunt go down the drain. Shame that happens, but it does and frequently here where lots of folks come in for guided hunts. The fella with the 300 mag, given that he can shoot it is much better equipped than the fella with the 308.

I'm in perfect agreement with the guides that say a fella with a gun he's unable to shoot should shoot a lighter recoiling gun, but if your going to pay top dollar to hunt then getting a good 7mm mag, 300 mag or 338 and learning how to shoot it at the ranges it's capable of hitting elk sized animals should be a must.

Lots of our local folk I know hunt with the 06, 270 and 308, but most of them won't take shots that are marginal, though some do. New hunters or folks that I've heard say well I shot at several today and none fell down exist everywhere and it's a shame, but still happens.

I remember a friend that took his son on an antelope hunt in Southern Idaho a few years back and as they were looking over a heard and discussing how far away it was and finally agreeing that it must have been at least a thousand yards the kid let fly with his 270. Down went an antelope and the kids hunt was over. No one ever told him he simply couldn't shoot that far.

Bottom line is if your a true sportsman and know the abilities of your weapons then the 308 will do fine, but if you want a rifle that will allow you those longer shots and shots that would be tough for a 308 you might want to consider something a little more powerful or flat shooting.

I have a 308 and a 280 Remington, but when I'm out elk hunting the 8mm Rem mag goes with me. Those long reaching 220 grain spitzer boattail bullets reach deep thru an elk and offer me the advantage of a 500 plus yard shot if I need it.

I just can't tell you how heart broken a fellow hunter was when he turned down that 550 yard shot at a bull of a lifetime because he felt the 308 he was packing wasn't enough gun. Good for him for passing up the shot, but bad for him for not learning how to shoot a 7mm mag or a 300 win mag and bringing a rifle that was able to harvest that nice bull.

He had a great hunt, but went home empty handed. Sometimes perhaps memories are enough, but that bull is hanging on my wall now. I take a pix of it once in a while and send it to him. He bought a 300 Ultra-mag and learned how to shoot it and two years later harvested a nice bull at 485 yards.
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2007, 06:12 PM
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I have only nailed 2 elk. First one years ago, with a long barreled 30-40 Krag, 220 grain bullet at about 100 yards, second with a .338 WM 250 grain Sierra boat tail at 500 yards shooting down hill. Both dropped with one shot, except the long shot took 2 rounds for me to get the range.

Two most successful Idaho elk hunters I know, one ever used an 8mm-06 with the old 225 grain Speer bullet, he was also a Camp Perry competitor so he knew his guns. Except he pampered his bull barreled .308. The old Mauser was his horse rifle. He got an elk a year for many years.

The other guy, a full time cowboy, ever used his Winchester 88 lever action .308. He also nailed his elk every year, using 150 grain bullets. He was always after a cow elk though.

The .308 is such a light sweet accurate little rifle its hard to leave behind. An elk is a much larger creature than a mule deer, a white tail, or an antelope, more than twice or even more than three times as big, with a much thicker hide. Like Tailor said, "use enough gun". But don't be taking a new unfamiliar weapon out on an important hunt. Stick with something you are familiar with.

Good luck.
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