Comments for Is a 308 rifle enough for elk hunting?

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Feb 19, 2020
308 for Elk? You Bet
by: Loki

I'm a Montana mule deer and elk hunter. My gun safe has several specialty rifles. I have put down more animals with a 308 than all of my other rifles combined. This season will be my 50th year in the field pursuing big game and I'll be ther with my 308 in hand. Good luck.

Aug 02, 2018
270 cal
by: Anonymous

I have used a 270 cal in model 700 Remington to kill 4 elk in Montana. Everyone has been shot using the Federal Premium 130 grain Partition bullet. All were taken with one well placed shot. In my opinion I would trade the power of the larger magnums for the accuracy and lighter recoil of the 270.

Aug 18, 2017
.308 is perfectly fine, I even use a smaller round
by: JC

I actually hunt bull elk with a 6.5mm Grendel round.
Essentially a .264 LBC.

only 123 grn.

Shot placement will trump everything.
I took a 5x6 bull last year, and a nice large cow the year before with the same round.
Hornady 123 grn 6.5mm Grendel SST.

However, I am a HUGE fan of the Hornady Predator rounds, and will likely use the 178 grn in my .308 this year - just for some added punch.

Mar 05, 2016
.308 is excellent
by: Anonymous

Your .308 is an excellent elk round. It has plenty of power, if you can shoot it accurately. My .308 is a Winchester Featherweight which weighs 6 lbs. 12 oz. and is a joy to carry. I use a 165 Barnes TSX bullet handload consisting of 46.0 g of Varget for a velocity of 2750 fps. Sighted 3" high at 100 yds., it is dead on at 242yds. and only 4" low at 300. The 165 Barnes gives all the penetration you need. Again, though, you need to be a decent shot and not just a blaster.

Mar 05, 2016
.308 is excellent
by: Anonymous

My Winchester Model 70 in .308 is a joy to carry and shoot. It weighs 6 lbs. 12 oz with a 22" barrel. I use 46.0 gr. of Varget with 165 Barnes TSX for a velocity of 2750 fps. Sighted 3" high at 100 yds., it is dead on at 244 and 3 in. low at 300. Plenty of power and fun to shoot. My last elk was typical. Stalked close enough for a good shot. That's the fun anyhow. I had some of the elk meat for lunch today!

Jun 16, 2015
Plenty of Gun
by: Jarrod

A little late to the party Skip but your .308 is plenty of gun. I will throw my two sticks on the fire and say as well "a well placed shot does the job". Where will you be hunting this fall?

Nov 12, 2014
308 is plenty
by: Anonymous

I use a 270 WSM. 308 is plenty. Buy premium bullets. Most people make 2 mistakes hunting large game. 1 They don't hit the vitals or hit shoulders which tend to ruin meat.
2 They don't wait after their shot to give the animal time to lay down and die. Lots of times you shoot an Elk and it runs for miles. My cousins wife shot a cow last year and it laid down right there. She thought it was hiding. There is a spot, broadside where you can miss the vitals but it's unusual. Remember, you can hear the bullet impact and then wait15 min to 1/2 hr.

Feb 27, 2014
.308 is rifle enough...
by: Anonymous

Got home from Trade College in 1970. Bought a used Win mod 88 in .308 (circa 1958). I hunt mostly in the Avon to Helmville, MT area. I have harvested 32 elk and countless mule deer with my rifle. I've never felt the need for anything else. Most were one shot kills...the drop in their tracks kind! My 165 gr Hornandy Spire Points have done the job. The drawback? I wouldn't attempt a shot over 270 yds. This is not a 500 yard rifle, but in the terrain that I hunt, a 200 plus yard shot is rare. Opinion? You don't really need a shoulder fired cannon to get the job done. Know where your rifle is going to hit and trust it.

Mark Bartosik
Helena, MT

Sep 19, 2013
Shipping Game Meat Home
by: Dave,

I just checked FedEx, plugged in Denver to Flagstaff, since I didn't know where you're hunting. 135 pound package would cost just under $100 FedEx Ground, 2 Business Days. You might have more weight, counting head and dry ice.

Sep 19, 2013
How to get the meat home?
by: Skip Shephard

Now that I have decided to take my 300 Win. Mag on my elk hunt in October I am wondering about getting a head and or meat back to my home in Arizona? I eat what I harvest and we like elk meat. Any suggestions on getting the meat etc. back to Arizona? I am flying round trip so I would not be driving back to Arizona. I have no idea how to do this or the costs involved. Thanks fellow elk hunters.

Sep 19, 2013
Rifle change to 300 Win Mag.
by: Skip Shephard

After conferring with my outfitter, he suggested the Win. 300 Mag. Shooting 168 grain bullets . I decided to take his advice and try' Berger bullets. Any thoughts?

Sep 18, 2013
308 Rifle and elk
by: Skip

Thanks to all who have sent me comments..

Sep 18, 2013
308 good for med range
by: Brian Bond

The 308 is a solid med range rifle.Looking at the generic ballistics on a 180 grain projectile, You should be good up to about 250 yrds. After that you'll have massive drop.

Range Velocity Energy Drop Drift
(yrds) (fps) (ft-lbs) (in) (in)
0 2570 2639 -1.5 0
50 2418 2336 1.3 0.5
100 2271 2062 2.7 2.2
150 2129 1812 2.3 5.2
200 1993 1588 0.0 9.5
250 1862 1386 -4.5 15.3
300 1737 1206 -11.5 22.8

Sep 10, 2013
by: Steve

The .308 is absolutely enough gun for elk hunting. I live and have hunted in Colorado for more than 45 years with a .270. I use the Federal premium cartridges with the Sierra 150gr gameking bullets and have never lost an animal. Your .308 will serve you just as well. I used to reload with Noslers, Hornadys, Barnes, etc. but for the past 10 years have used the Federals. I highly recommend them. Enjoy.

Aug 17, 2013
yes the .308 will kill Elk!
by: mountain walkerAnonymous

I would not shoot past 300yards with it, just using your common sense! As for the lead weight 165 gr. and up is a good plan. Some rifles have 1 in 12 rifle twist, like mine. Then 165 or 168 grain solid copper or bonded bullet could be what you want! Federal and Hornady make this bullets. Good Hunting! Be Safe!

Jul 12, 2013
My reputation...
by: Pat Cassidy

Dave (and Skip), my reputation is at stake here!
I do believe you will be happy with the all-copper bullets offered as they have served me well.

Good luck and if you have no luck have a good time.


Jul 07, 2013
Copper Bullets
by: Dave,

Pat, because of you I bought Federal Premium Copper Trophy bullets for my 300 WM this year.

Jul 07, 2013
Bullets for a .308
by: Pat Cassidy

Your .308 is plenty of gun for elk at modest ranges (which is the best anyway) but I would carefully choose bullets.
My personal all-time favorite is the Sierra 220 grain round-nose at about 2100 fps. I have killed many elk with this bullet and have found nothing that kills faster and cleaner.
The Barnes X-bullets and probably all the copies out there that are of solid copper construction are also an excellent choice.
I think I would stick with 180 grain and up for your .308.

Jul 06, 2013
30 caliber for elk
by: Dave,


Let's get past the pat answer first, "Any well placed double lung shot is good enough." A friend of mine kills elk with a .243 taking only broadside, easy double lungers.


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