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Discussion Starter #1
Hope you gents don't mind a fairly greenhorn question:  Having just moved to Washington State from the east coast I'd like to try elk hunting.  I've shot three whitetails in my day, that's the extent of my hunting prowess.  What I'd like to know is is my M1A in .308 up to the task or should I invest in something more powerful? I know its not ideal, but I'm not sure if I'm going to get into it enough to justify the cost of that ruger # 1 in 30-06 I've had my eye on.  Given that I'm a careful hunter (I won't take a shot unless its a good one and I pass on pretty much anything over 200 yards), would I still be irresponsible to not get something bigger?  BTW, I'm a much better shot than I am a hunter.

Thanks all who reply.
 

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We don't have elk in SC yet but if we ever do I would take my .308 I am sure on occasion. Probably go with a 180 gr Partition or something like that for penetration. It sounds like you know how to shoot, that's better than 80 % of the hunters out there these days.
 

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I know there is a certain crowd that does not like to hear about bullet placement but that is more important than size\velocity. Your caliber \ bullet is entirely sufficient.
I have a friend\co-worker that uses a .243. He is also a bow huntr & rifle hunts the same way. I think there is a lesson \ hint in there someplace.
Happy Hunting.
 

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Troy
 the 308  properly placed will kill any animal on the North American continent, but you have to hit then "in the boiler works".It sounds to me you know that and can do it.
  tbc
 

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My low-end limit would be the outstanding 6.5 X 55 Swedish.


(Edited by Stranger at 1:45 pm on Jan. 9, 2002)
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I don't see a big advantage to the .30-06 and I'm a .30-06 user myself.  It's only a 100fps or so more than what you've already got, barrel length being equal.

Good bullets in the .308 will do it for sure, and if you just really have the itch for something new, why not step up a little.  I got ahold of a .338 Win Mag a while back and I'm really pleased.  The recoil was a manageable step up from the '06 and it really hits hard.

Having said all that my father in law uses a .280 Rem and it works fine.....
 

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I agree with Mike G.  I tried to find a .338 Win Mag but read Mr. Elmer Keith's book and bought a .375 H&H mag.  It is not needed to bring home elk stew,  the .338 is more than enough.  I dropped down to my 30/06 and have  7 more elk to my credit.  I think shot placement is everything.  If you think it's too far..... get closer.

That is exactly what I told my guide and my killing shot was 440 yds paced off by him!  He wanted me to shoot farther because of my so called "reputation".  I said no, it was beyond my skill, let's get Closer!  30/06  or .308 will do the job, but a .338 is #### near perfect.  All the best.
 

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Troy,

As Jeff Cooper has pointed out several times, the .308 Winchester of today is the ballistic equal of the .30-06 of the 1920's and 30's. A 180-grain bullet at 2700 fps is fine for elk today as it was then. Use a good bullet like the Hornady Interlock or Speer Grand Slam and you'll have plenty of elk steaks.
 

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Troy,
     One of the fellows at my shooting club routinely kills elk with 180 Core-Lokts in a .308. Personally, I generally use 165 gr partitions in my .308 and 30-06 and couldn't be happier with the way they perform. My father-in-law and I hunt together and he uses the .308, I use the 30-06. Your .308 will do fine.            IDShooter
 

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Yep, as the above posters said, a .308 with a good bullet, properly placed, will be just fine for elk. I've killed one bull with my Rem. 742 .308, 180 gr. Rem CoreLok. Also killed a nice fat spike in Mont. several years ago with my Rem. 725 .280 Rem., 160 gr. Nos. Partition. No problems with either, but both were standing between 175/190 yards.

I have been using a Ruger .338 for many years now, for elk, but I know the .308 will do the job. My cousin who lives in Boise, has hunted all over the west with his Win. 70 Featherweight .308, and he's killed everything from moose down to ground squirrels with his rifle. He's killed many elk, too, but he's a good hunter and a good shot.

You might find that M1A getting a bit heavy out in the elk woods, but if you wanna tote it, more power to you. Is there a restriction on center fire magazine capacity while hunting in Washington?? Most states have a five round limit.

Best of luck. L.W.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the advice everyone.  Looks as though I will stay with my trusty M1A for now.  Perhaps something different later on.

Leanwolf, I believe WA has the 5 round limit as well, but it's not really an issue as I picked up a 5 round magazine ftom Springfield Armory for just this reason.  Yes, the M1A (walnut stock with scope) is rather heavy, but I don't mind it that much.  
 
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