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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Western Indiana
    Posts
    221

    Default Advice Sought - New Elk Rifle

    Being from the midwest I am a lot more comfortable talking about muzzleloaders or bows than a good elk gun. So I am looking for those who definitely have more experience to provide some advice.

    Getting started later in life, I have only been elk hunting a couple of times but do plan to go a few more times before the ticker gives out. Before my first trip I bought a Tikka 7mm Mag Hunter series. The Tikka has proven to be an exceptional shooter out of the box. For the money I think Tikkas are hard to beat. But for my next trip (2019) I would like to lighten my load up a little. The Hunter series is definitely not your lightest rifle and my hunts (I hope to continue them) are back pack style at 9,000-11,000 feet, meaning I think shaving 3-4 pounds would be beneficial. Also, my shoots would be limited to 400 yards or less (just my comfort zone).

    I am considering a new Tikka T3x Lite in 6.5 Creedmoor or .308 Win. Do you see any particular advantage of one caliber versus the other? I know there is a lot of guys/gals use the .308 Win for elk. What about the 6.5? Do you think it is adequate?

    I have also thought about a Tikka in .260 Remington, but finding ammo for that caliber in this part of the country is difficult. But have not ruled it out by any means. Can always order ammo on-line.

    Of course I could stay with 7mm Mag in the T3x, but was thinking I would like a little less recoil.

    Any recommendations and why?

    I appreciate your input and will continue to search the forums for insight.

  2. #2

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    I like a 30 caliber bullet for elk. Seems to help with blood trails.

    That said, I wouldn’t be afraid to shoot one with a 6.5 either. But out to 400 yards, the 6.5 doesn’t really start to show its advantages over a 30 caliber bullet.

    So I’d probably go with a .308 if I were in your situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo and Ned
    Thin out their numbers

  3. #3

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    If I weren't reloading, I'd do the .308.
    Oh give me a home with a low interest loan,
    a cowgirl and two pickup trucks.

    A color TV,
    all the beer should be free,
    and that, man, is Rancho Deluxe.

  4. Default

    Personally, I use a 338 win mag in a stainless Savage model 16/116. Excellent accuracy and the horsepower to anchor an animal when you don't want it to go over the next ridge. Also depends on your price point. I really like the new Browning rifles like their Western Hunter, but you can find the 16/116 or 700 sps stainless for less than $600 I've hunted with my 7mm rem mag and the 150gr accubond LR did excellent on whitetail. I know a lot of guys love the 6.5 Creed but a 140gr bullet at 2700 fps doesn't impress me for elk/bear. Most shots are inside of 300 yards and the high bc of the Creed really shines much further

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Kalispell , Montana
    Posts
    299

    Default

    I would go with the 308 with a 165 nosler ..
    I'm sure there is a few guys here with a great bullet for 308 for Elk hunting .
    Im stuck on the Rum's for out west hunting !!

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MT.PERCHMAN View Post
    I would go with the 308 with a 165 nosler ..
    I'm sure there is a few guys here with a great bullet for 308 for Elk hunting .
    Im stuck on the Rum's for out west hunting !!
    I do like the sounds of the 338 rum and the 300 rum is a mean cartridge too. Pair that with a 200 gr ball and that's some good elk medicine. I've seen people using a 243/6mm for elk but on marginal shots I like having the authority to make it count.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Kalispell , Montana
    Posts
    299

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Easternhunter338 View Post
    I do like the sounds of the 338 rum and the 300 rum is a mean cartridge too. Pair that with a 200 gr ball and that's some good elk medicine. I've seen people using a 243/6mm for elk but on marginal shots I like having the authority to make it count.
    I got the 338 Rum diled in with 285 Eldm and h-1000, I'm ready for some Montana Spring Bear hunting !!

  8. Default

    If you're looking for a lighter weight rifle and less recoil I think the .308 would be a good fit. Lots of people kill elk with less but I've seen them take some lead before they tip over and as long as you use a good bullet I'm sure the .308 will do just fine at sane ranges. Randy's shown that many times on his show.

  9. #9

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    Unless your current Tikka has a monster scope on it, you probably aren't going to be shedding 3-4#s. A cheap alternative to loosing some weight would be to restock your current rifle. A OEM stock, a Bell & Carlson or if you want top of the line I'd look at McMillan or Manners. Since you don't reload and mentioned lighter recoil, I'd consider mostly the 308 Win and/or 270 Win. Both will be the same weight in a Tikka as they use the same action and balistically they are pretty much kissing cousins.

  10. #10

    Default

    I'm trying to figure out how we went from .308 vs 6.6 CM to .338 win mags and Rem ultra mags..
    Oh give me a home with a low interest loan,
    a cowgirl and two pickup trucks.

    A color TV,
    all the beer should be free,
    and that, man, is Rancho Deluxe.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rancho Loco View Post
    I'm trying to figure out how we went from .308 vs 6.6 CM to .338 win mags and Rem ultra mags..
    ...in theory; natural selection noun.
    The process in nature by which, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characters in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated.

  12. #12

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    Of the calibers OP mentioned I'd stick with the 7mag....of the two OP is leaning.....308.

  13. #13

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    ...they all float around the 30cal selection...

  14. #14

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    I wouldn't fix something that isn't broken. If you want to cut some weight I'd suggest starting around your midsection...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Hill AFB, UT/Opheim, MT
    Posts
    497

    Default

    reloading the 6.5 will be fine. same with the 308, if not reloading then 308 as ammo selection is just larger.

    3-4 pounds off all the gear will be great and just enough to not be to noticeable I think, but every pound saved is nice.

    Back on topic, a 308 will be more than enough 400 yards to topple an elk, we all know it and we all also know just about any bullet put properly into the vitals will take care of em. Just make sure you have plenty of range time behind the new rifle, don't be afraid to shoot from odd positions also.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by noharleyyet View Post
    ...in theory; natural selection noun.
    Made me laugh. Kinda what I was thinking. mtmuley

  17. #17

    Default

    A Tikka light would be a nice little mountain rifle. Of the two chamberings mentioned, I'd go with the .308 for elk. But why not split the difference and get a 7mm-08? It would be another excellent choice.
    Also, remember that you can make a light rifle heavy by putting a heavy scope on it. There's a huge variance in scope weight, so pay attention. I think the Leupold vx-3 2.5-8x is a great choice for this kind of rig.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Western Indiana
    Posts
    221

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ShootsManyBullets View Post
    I wouldn't fix something that isn't broken. If you want to cut some weight I'd suggest starting around your midsection...
    I agree with the midsection thing, but at 61 it is getting harder. Having said that I have lost 15# this year. Soon to be at my "hunting" weight, which has come after some lifestyle changes. Eating habits have changed. Love for craft beer, not so much.

  19. Default

    If it was between the 6.5 Creed or a 308 I would probably have to side with the 308 and go into the season knowing exactly how to shoot that rifle. They kill moose in Sweden all day long with 6.5x55's but I've seen elk talk a ton of punishment. A 165 gr bullet at 308 speeds should be good. With a small increase in recoil I would use a 7mm mag with a quality 160-175 great bullet.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Muley Junction, Arizona
    Posts
    60

    Default

    If I were looking to shed weight but keep up the horsepower for elk, I'd go .308
    A hunt based only on the trophies taken falls far short of what the ultimate goal should be. -Fred Bear

  21. #21

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    I would not choose 308 over 7HT(7-08) except in this circumstance: if I want to shoot buckets of cheap surplus ammo.

  22. Default

    A .308 with a 150gr monolithic bullet or 165gr bonded/premium bullet would be the ticket, I'd think. The 6.5 CM has a tremendous following for good reason, but a lot of it is marketing, and a lot of the benefits are at longer range, which has already been covered above. The .308 in a lightweight package will buck pretty good, but if you're used to your 7mm Mag, it shouldn't be a problem. The beauty of the situation is that you can't make a wrong choice here. 6.5CM, 7mm-08, or .308 will fit the bill nicely for what you're asking.
    As far as the platform itself, Tikka, Howa, Bergara, and Savage all have tremendous factory offerings that are all around the same price point, so if I were you, I would go in and see which feels best. I suspect that since you already have a Tikka, that platform will feel the most familiar to you, which will aid in muscle memory for when the shot presents itself.

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