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I just returned from my first Elk Hunt in Colorado. We had no shots at any required 4 x 4s but learned alot. Plan on a return next year.
I carried a loaner 338 Mauser conversion that convinced me to consider a new barrel for my Encore for which I currently only have a muzzle loader and .260 . What do you guys suggest for elk from short to long range. Have any of ya taken an elk with an encore? We met one guy that had shot an elk multiple times with a 30-06 and another that had a beautiful 6 x 6 with a 7 mag and one shot. I will probably also use the barrel for large mule deer bucks . Thanks :)
 

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I'm putting together an Encore combination of 6.5-06 and 209-50 and intend to use it for elk, and everything else I hunt. If I had your combination, I'd put a 140 gr bullet in that .260 and practice, practice, practice. Just my humble opinion.
Shotgun
 

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The 30/06 and 7mm RM are both fine elk cartridges. Just be sure to use the proper bullet weight and design and either of these will make all the elk cartridge anyone needs.
 

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I have an encore 30-06 26" stainless barrel and it prefers the 150gr weight bullets for accuracy. Just something for you to consider if you're thinking about getting another barrel. I'm plan on working up a load using the 150gr triple shocks and I'd use that if I ever get a chance to go elk hunting.
 

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I have taken three elk with the 30-06 with the encore setup. Two were taken with the pistol; one at 75 yards, one at 150 yards. The third was taken with the factory rifle barrel at 125 yards. All three were taken using the 180gr. Federal High Energy. All with one shot in the heart/lung region. One dropped in its tracks. One ran 50 yards and one ran 100 yards. Shot placement is everything.
 

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300wsm or 300 win mag. the hornaday light mag with the heaviest bullet in 30.06 will be very good also
 

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You could take care of business with the 260, but you have a very legitimate reason for adding another barrel to the collection. Personally I would recommend the 30-06, but the 7mm Mag would also make a nice addition. The 30-06 has plenty of factory loads and is easily found at just about any store in case you needed extra ammo in a pinch.
 

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Deanmac said:
Not the caliber, it is the shot placement.

I know a guy that took a big 6 X 6 with a .243.
I will agree with shot placement, but a 243 is to small in my opinion. Will it work, sure it can, but why? There are a lot better choices out there.

animal, I would recomend a 30-06 or 300 Win Mag with a 165 to 180 gr. bullet. We all know shot placement is first, but make sure you have enough gun.
 

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remington core lokt has a 220 grain 30-06 bullet. i think it will be very good, i consider 243 small for deer and i wouldn't use it for elk
 

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Another vote for the 30/06 or 300wm. This has to be the first thread I have seen where people are actually recommending a 30/06 for elk. Normally I see alot of posts recommending some behemoth magnum to take an elk. Good to see some down to earth posts.
 

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Another one you might consider if you reload is the .338/06. I think it would be my first choice if I were putting a rifle together for Elk. That said the only Elk I ever killed was with a .270 and 150 grain Nosler Partition, one shot DRT.

JMO

Bob
 

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For what its worth. The Elk and Mule deer are tough. I've tested 270, 270 WSM, 30 06, 300 mag, 7 mm. The one that is best with marginal shot placement is the 300 magm no question. I could tell the stories but if you shoot the 300 and can hit a 6 inch plate, it will be better. saying that the 270 is best for white tail 130 gr bullet, in the world. WSM 270 a little better. 30 06 is great cartridge, 300 mag better just faster and hydra shock, 7 mm overrated white tail gun, on mulies and 170 gr bullet expect 30% bullet retention, no good thick skinned game.. My story and have much experience Loco
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you all for your replies and help. I do reload for most of my firearms and will probably pick up a 24 " 30-06 barrel although the 338-06 may be better I'd have to get cases and dies.
 

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Redhawk1 said:
Deanmac said:
Not the caliber, it is the shot placement.

I know a guy that took a big 6 X 6 with a .243.
I will agree with shot placement, but a 243 is to small in my opinion. Will it work, sure it can, but why? There are a lot better choices out there.

animal, I would recomend a 30-06 or 300 Win Mag with a 165 to 180 gr. bullet. We all know shot placement is first, but make sure you have enough gun.

Agree I would not take anything smaller than a 30-06
 

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back in the 30-06's "hay-day" it was the biggest and baddest around. they were used ethically about everywhere including africa. the 7mm rem mag will take a elk easy. its like a 300win mag and it will take a elk. a 7mm08 is basically a .308 ecept the little size in both bullets.
 

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It still comes down to shot placement. I've been to Colorado 3 times elk hunting and have shot 3 times and gotten 3 elk. My furthest shot was a laser range 354 yards. I shot all 3 elk with a 308 and 165 Gr Nosler Partition. They dropped like a rock. The last time I went out was with a guide and 9 buddies who gave me griefe for such a small cartridge. They were all shooting various super mag type guns. I had the only 1 shot kill of the group with a small number in the group shooting their elk over 4 times one elk being finished by the guide. For what it is worth, the guide carried a 243 and said that he has taken elk in 1 shot at distances farther than I shot mine. So, take the 260, or get something bigger. But, practice with what you take so that you can shoot it well. If you flinch with a large caliber then stick with the 260 and hit where you aim.
 

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I used to believe the Elmer Keith stories of elk hunting and believed the .338 Win Mag was THE elk rifle. After forty years experience I don't find elk any harder to kill than deer. Harder to find, yes, but not harder to kill. As many others have said, it is all about shot placement. For the past 15 years I've used only the 6.5x55 or 30/30 and see no need for anything bigger.
 
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