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Thread: .308 Elk Load

  1. #1

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    .308 Elk Load

    I'm looking for some input on an elk load for my Howa 1500, 20" barrel, chambered in .308 with a 1:10 twist. I'm looking at something in the 165-175gr range, using Varget powder, and would like to stay monolithic. I use 130gr TTSX,s in my 300blk for whitetail, and am considering using those or TSX,s in 165gr, or Cutting Edge MTH. Being from the midwest, I've never hunted elk, so any input from those that have, would be greatly appreciated. Shots would be no longer than 300 yards, as that's all I have the ability to practice to at the moment. Thanks for any help.

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    Last edited by JRiley87; 03-02-2021 at 09:35 PM.

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    I donít have the experience shooting elk, but Iíd be a bit worried that the .308 wouldnít carry enough velocity for reliable expansion to 300 yards with the heavier bullets. I think the Barnes billets are rated to expand as low as 1800fps. I think Iíd be looking at a 150gr instead. Without plugging it into a ballistic calculator, Iíd be hesitant with the 165gr and heavier monos. The best part of using monos is you donít have to worry about penetration as even light-for-caliber bullets seem to hold their own and penetrate well!


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  3. #3

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    Personally I'm not a big fan of the monos. A 168gr bonded bullet like an accubond or scirocco will do the job. You should be able to push them at or close to 2700fps from a 20" tube. Stay off the shoulder and it will kill elk just fine.


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    EUDE75's Avatar
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    A 165-168gr bullet will work just fine. Those two gr bullets were basically designed for that rifle and the 30.06. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot either 1000 yards or more. As another post states. Stay off the shoulder and it'll work just fine.

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    Mauser's Avatar
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    I've killed a fair number of elk, none with a 308 but I've used 7mm-08, 30-06, 280 AI, 6.5x55 Swede and 35 Whelen AI. They die if bullets are placed properly. That being said, use an appropriate designed bullet that can stand up to hitting heavy bone/muscle and still penetrate to the vitals. I'm a fan of Nosler Partitions or Accubonds and Barnes TTSX for this reason. I think you should stick with a bullet weight that keeps you in the 2800fps or greater at the muzzle for the range you're talking about.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauser View Post
    I've killed a fair number of elk, none with a 308 but I've used 7mm-08, 30-06, 280 AI, 6.5x55 Swede and 35 Whelen AI. They die if bullets are placed properly. That being said, use an appropriate designed bullet that can stand up to hitting heavy bone/muscle and still penetrate to the vitals. I'm a fan of Nosler Partitions or Accubonds and Barnes TTSX for this reason. I think you should stick with a bullet weight that keeps you in the 2800fps or greater at the muzzle for the range you're talking about.
    Looking at my Lee manual, it's looking like I may have to give 150gr a try to keep that velocity, which is fine with me. The rifle shoots 175's great, only had it to 100yds so far but i can get 3 inside a penny at that distance with factory ammo. 150's didn't work as well, but loading my own I think I can make them what I need. Thanks for the input, now to actually find 150gr TTSX's.


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUDE75 View Post
    A 165-168gr bullet will work just fine. Those two gr bullets were basically designed for that rifle and the 30.06. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot either 1000 yards or more. As another post states. Stay off the shoulder and it'll work just fine.

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    I will be picking up a chrono soon, I'm going to try some 150's and 165's. Being a bolt gun, I should be able to push the limits of the manual and hopefully achieve a high enough muzzle velocity, while keeping things safe.


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    Mauser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRiley87 View Post
    Looking at my Lee manual, it's looking like I may have to give 150gr a try to keep that velocity, which is fine with me. The rifle shoots 175's great, only had it to 100yds so far but i can get 3 inside a penny at that distance with factory ammo. 150's didn't work as well, but loading my own I think I can make them what I need. Thanks for the input, now to actually find 150gr TTSX's.
    I've killed at least 3 elk with my 7mm-08 shooting 150gr Nosler Partitions, 2 with 140gr Accubonds from my 6.5x55 Swede. I'd rather use my 35 Whelen AI because the elk knows it's hit with that one, but it's all about bullet placement. My velocity suggestion is more about simplifying a shot to 300yds than anything else. Those 175s pushed as fast as you can will have the same effect as long as you know your trajectory and can place the bullet in the vitals. Good luck finding any components you actually need.


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