What is the best ammo for a .300 WSM, 7mm mag, and 30-06, when it comes to hunting elk?
This question can be so subjective but I will try to answer by picking the ammo that I personally use. Let’s look at each caliber separately starting with the .300 Winchester Short Magnum.
The .300 Winchester Short Magnum is the caliber that I hunt elk with. This choice came after hunting elk with a .270 caliber rifle for years and with great success. I never lost an elk that I had shot with the .270 using the 150 grain bullet. What made me change my rifle was having to let really good bulls walk because they were at 200 yards plus range. Most all my elk were taken at 100 yards or closer with the .270.
Good choices for .300 WSM ammo would be in the 150 and 180 grain bullets. The 150’s shoot a little flatter and the 180 has more velocity and energy out at 300 yards. It is a tradeoff it seems. The 150 has an energy of 1861 ft-lbs at 300 yards and the 180 has 2382 ft –lbs at 300 yards. Trajectory shows that the heavier bullet drops no more than an inch more than the 150 grain bullet at 300 yards. So my choice would be the 180 grain bullet.
The bottom line is to choose your ammo and practice , practice , practice. These long shots are hard to make and it isn’t fair to these magnificent animals to take a chance on wounding them.
Next we will look at the 7mm Magnum. Good choices for 7mm mag ammo would be the 150 grain and 175 grain bullet. The same is true of 7mm mag ammo and .300 WSM ammo. The 150 grain bullet will be flatter shooting but at 300 yards it beats the 175 grain bullet by 1 inch. The 175 retains more energy and velocity than the 150 grain bullet. Again, I would go for the heavier grain bullet.
Last the 30-06. The 30-06 is one of the most versatile rifle calibers out there. It doesn’t shoot quite as flat as the .300 WSM or 7mm mag. For this reason I would choose the following ammo…….. 165 grain Accutip boat tail by Remington. This will give you enough bullet weight retention, energy and velocity and be flatter shooting.
Some people really get hung up on the ammo and go into reloading. That can have its advantages but I stick to factory loads and my favorite brands would be Remington and Hornaday. Boat tail bullets are flat shooting and Nosler partitions are good for lighter gains because they hold together for greater impact upon striking the target.
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There is great news out for lever action rifle fans who want to hunt elk. Marlin has teamed up with the Hornady ammunition company to produce a cartridge that is the power and distance to hunt any North American game out to 400 yards.
It comes in a potent 200 grain bullet weight with ballistics to match the 30-06 out to 400 yards. The new rifle comes with your choice of stainless steel 24 inch barrel or the traditional blued barrel in 22 inches. They weigh in at 7 ½ pounds and 7 ¼ pounds respectfully. This is exciting news for hunters that grew up hunting with a 30-30 lever action rifle.
Some of my fondest memories are of hunts carrying my old Marlin lever action afield. One of my memories was not as fond, the day I missed the largest whitetail buck I have ever seen. The buck stepped out into the field at about 250 to 300 yards, I held over what I thought would be the right amount and fired. The bullet struck the ground about half way to the buck and he trotted off leaving me with only the memory of not having enough gun to make the shot.
Lever actions have always been known for their handling and reliability, but not for long range shots. These new rifles will be no different other than the much improved caliber choice and long range distance. I always liked the Marlin “Guide Guns” but they were chambered in the 45-70. It had lots of bullet weight and knockdown power but at short distances.
This new rifle and ammo more than takes care of that issue. Using the new bullet was made possible by new technology that allows a sharp pointed bullet to rest end on end in the tubular magazine without the danger of touching off the primers. This was accomplished with a sharp but soft flexible point on each round.
The new caliber is the 338 Marlin Express. Get a ballistic chart and check out the statistics on the new long range lever gun and ammunition. This is going to be a great big game rifle ammo combination.
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What is the best 270 elk bullet? With many bullet weight choices in the .270 caliber rifle, knowing which one to choose can be confusing. I personally hunted whitetail deer in Alabama with my .270 and felt like it was the perfect caliber.
Whitetail deer are a much thinner skinned animal than the elk. I have seen elk tear down a barbed wire fence and not even show a scratch. Because of the toughness of their hide, and the larger size of elk, they require a heavier bullet weight.
Of course, there is a compromise or trade off in deciding the best .270 elk bullet. The heavier bullet will penetrate the elk better but you will lose distance. The heavier the bullet, the more bullet drop. That is known as the bullet’s trajectory.
Bullets are weighed in grains. A .270 starts at 100 grain and goes up to 150 grains. When I hunted for whitetails, I used 130 grain bullets and when I hunted elk, I used the maximum 150 gain bullet. This bullet gave me all of the knockdown power I needed and a moderate range of shooting distance.
I zeroed my rifle at 2 inches high at 100 yards. This meant that at 200 yards I would be in the bull’s eye, 3.6 inches low at 250 yards and approximately 9.5 inches low at three hundred yards.I really don’t recommend making a shot from that distance because the bullet looses so much of its energy and knock down power at that range.
The bottom line is to use the heavier bullet weight, know your own shooting capabilities and don’t take a careless shot that could only wound the elk. The .270 is a good rifle for elk and I have harvested many with it.So what is the best 270 elk bullet? In my opinion, it’s the 150 grain.
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