Favorite Elk, black bear, antelope, and mule deer cartridge.

cobbc03

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Aug 12, 2020
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I'm hoping to draw an Elk tag in the next couple years, and want to do some hunting in the midwest. What's everyone's favorite caliber, and fairly lightweight rifle for elk, bear, mule deer, and antelope? I have a model 70 in 30-06 so I have plenty of gun, but I'm looking for something a little more flat shooting. Lets say my budget for rifle only is $1000.
 

Diamond K

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Jan 12, 2020
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West Central Missouri
You will get several opinions on this one. I have taken everything you are after with a Win 270. However with being said my main go to is the 7mm Rem Mag. I have been carrying that for 40+ years and will again this fall for elk.
Good luck and be safe. Mark
 

ArcherAdam

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Jun 18, 2019
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If I didn't shoot a 30-06 i would probably shoot a 7mmRM or a 300wsm.

I know you want a new gun however I suggest you consider what you are going to do when you are out there and realize you will want to keep going back! I prepped years ago for that darn near once in a lifetime hunt to realize it turned into an obsession. If that money is truly burning a hole in your wallet look at your scope and if lower quality maybe consider an upgrade.

Best of luck.

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6mm Remington

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I'm hoping to draw an Elk tag in the next couple years, and want to do some hunting in the midwest. What's everyone's favorite caliber, and fairly lightweight rifle for elk, bear, mule deer, and antelope? I have a model 70 in 30-06 so I have plenty of gun, but I'm looking for something a little more flat shooting. Lets say my budget for rifle only is $1000.
You have a perfect rifle already and the 30-06 is not as bad at distance as a lot of folks think. A 165 gr. Accubond or Partition can be safely and accurately loaded to the 2900-3000 feet per second range and work pretty darn well. I sight in with my 30-06 at 100 yards and have it hit 2 1/2 - 2 3/4" high at that distance. It only puts me two or three inches low at 300. Plus it has plenty of energy and it just works. Shot lots of elk, deer, and antelope with that load.
 

John Kimble

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Apr 10, 2017
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I have shot everything on your list except for pronghorn with a weatherby wilderness in 308. It's 8 lbs loaded. Great rifle with low felt recoil which helps my accuracy. I paid just under 1k for it and put a timney trigger on it.

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cobbc03

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Aug 12, 2020
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There is no doubt that the -06 is arguably one of the most versatile rounds out there. I think its a good excuse for a new rifle, maybe even a semi. I already plan on budgeting for a $500-$750 scope, I know I could easily save the money and double that for a scope, but I don't feel that is necessary. I have thrown around the idea of jumping on the 6.5 Creedmoor bandwagon, or 6.5prc. This does not mean I would not take my -06, but I would like to broaden my horizon.
 

NMframed

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May 11, 2020
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.270 Wthby Mag or 7mm Rem Mag. I like both calibers with a 150 grain accubond

I have a Winchester model 70 chambered in .270wthby with a muzzle break and it will get the job done on any of the game you mentioned
 

thinhorn_AK

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I’ve used 30-06 for all those except for antelope, I only ever used a 257 weatherby and a 240 weatherby for those. We didn’t hunt antelope much at all when I was younger, maybe 3 times in 20 years of hunting down south.
 

Marble

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May 29, 2019
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I dont have a real favorite cartridge. I have experienced the best results with fatal elk kills using the magnum cartridges in 28 and 30 caliber.

The top cartridges I have experience with is:

7 stw
7rem mag
300 wm
300 rum


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rileybassman

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Kalispell
Another 30-06 vote here... if you can, play with reloading... I have a load for 130 TTSX that is in the mid 3300s. My tikka has a slower barrel, but back when I had a kimber, I could get mid 2900s with a 180 AB and 3000ish with 168 TTSX (Tikka is 2800 and 2875 respectively with same load. Very versatile caliber.
 

6mm Remington

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There is no doubt that the -06 is arguably one of the most versatile rounds out there. I think its a good excuse for a new rifle, maybe even a semi. I already plan on budgeting for a $500-$750 scope, I know I could easily save the money and double that for a scope, but I don't feel that is necessary. I have thrown around the idea of jumping on the 6.5 Creedmoor bandwagon, or 6.5prc. This does not mean I would not take my -06, but I would like to broaden my horizon.
Well now that changes things. Try a 280AI on for size! That or a standard 280 Remington. Both are fantastic cartridges. I had a 280 Remington for years but had a semi-custom rifle built and chambered in 280AI. Man I love that rifle. Shot my grizzly bear with it last fall. I had a Winchester Model 70 Classic Sporter turned into my dream rifle. A Ruger 1B in 280 Remington if you can find a used one would be sweet also. I love the Ruger 1B rifles.

How about a 6mm Remington? Light for elk yes but it will work. It really works well for coyotes, deer, antelope, black bear, sheep, and mountain goats. Accurate and fast shooting. 100 gr. Nosler Partition, 90 gr. Accubond, or 90 gr. E-tip are great game takers.

The 6.5 PRC sure looks like a winner, but so would a 6.5-06. Simple to run 25-06 brass to neck it up slightly.
 

rkcdvm

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Mar 24, 2020
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Location
texas
My 3 rounds that i shoot are 300 win mag, 28 nos, and 7-08.
With that said, you can find .270 and 30-06 in almost any market, store, shop , back alley on the planet.
 

Sanchez

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Apr 23, 2019
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I researched it a few years ago and concluded the 270 WSM with a 140 grain accubond bullet in a Tikka rifle was right for me. I thought about a 30 caliber like the 300 WSM or 300 Win Mag., but concluded the small increase in recoil could cause flinching or shooting discomfort that out weighed the benefit of a larger caliber bullet.

Modern bullets are constructed better so you do not need as heavy a bullet to do the job as in the old days.
 
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