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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Amigos,

I know that much has been written about the best caliber for the every possible situation; and I've read a lot of it. But I thought I'd be selfish and ask for your opinions on my specific situation.

I'm newer to hunting big game, but I managed to take my first buck last year with my Remington model 700 in 270 win. This year I'll be elk hunting and I'm wondering about the best gun for me.

Now, before you go off, I'm aware that my 270 will kill a bull (and I may ask it to this fall). I'm aware that shot placement is more important than caliber. I'm aware that there are a variety of loads for each caliber that all have their own ballistic profile.

Let's just say that I'm itching to buy a new rifle that is exclusive for elk hunting (I won't be selling my 270). Let's also say that I'm sticking with Remington 700 to make it easy. And let's say that while I'm asking a technical question, I'm only partially asking about the technical stuff, because my experience level will not bring out the minor differences in performance; I'm as interested in what you guys think is cool/appropriate/wont make my look like a hippie/newbie. What caliber should I buy?
 

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Get something other than a Remington 700... then you can really agonize over a bunch of details that don't actually make any difference! Don't get me wrong, I totally support what you're doing; but a guy sitting on a .270 Rem 700 and asking to get something new? Get whatever the heck you want! Just keep wandering around until something calls your name. A Ruger No.1? A Scout Rifle in .308? A Sako in .338? Something stamped .375 Holland and Holland? How about any of a million AR-10 designs? You always have the .270 for back-up so go with whatever pulls at your heartstrings. Other people and practicality be damned. If you wanted practical, you'd own a Rem 700 in .270... which you do!
 

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And whats wrong with old hippies:hippie:
 

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For an elk specific rifle for a guy who already has a 270, I would go with an all weather 700 in one of the following Calibers: 300 Win, 338 Win, 300 RUM, 338 RUM. If you wanted to be really cool you could find a 700 Classic in 35 Whelen. Anything in 7MM or the lighter 30's will pretty much duplicate your 270. If you want to go bigger, go WAaaaaay bigger.----SS
 

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I bought a Tikka T3 Hunter Stainless in 300 wsm and love it. I really like my Remington, but it doesn't shoot nearly as well as my Tikka.
Remove that Rem stock, grind off the barrel bump in the channel. Replace stock. Now go shoot sub MOA groups. :D

My 270 shot ~3moa ... ground off that stupid bump and it turned into a tack driver.

-DallanC
 

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I bought a remington 700 ADL in 30-06 in 1993 and have been trying to talk myself into a new big game rifle for the last 20 or so years and ya know what--I really can't improve on what I have and I don't think you can either. So my advice would be to put that money towards some really nice glass (Leupold VXIII or better) and some ammo and really learn your gun. Spend your $ on experiences and not extra play toys--you can't lose your experiences, plus when your kids inherit all your guns when your dead they are just going to sell em anyway--dang kids!;)

OR go buy a 338 win mag--those are super cool and are the 'king of the elk calibers'. It will look nice in your gun cabinet--all mine look super nice collecting dust :D
 

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When I was 14 my dad took me to an ogden pawn shop and bought me a Savage model 99E 308 win for my first rifle. I killed every deer and elk for the next 20 years of my hunting career with a Savage 99 of various models but always a 308 win. Why? It just worked for me. A few years ago I got an itch to finally broaden my horizons and get something with more reach specifically with elk in mind. The Rem 700 all weather stock in 300 win mag just called out to me and I LOVE it. My advice would be like Troopers. Just go get whatever calls out to you. Unless you sell it; that trusty 700 270 will be ready and waiting.
 

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Go handle a few rifles, feel the way they fit you. Test the trigger. Buy it.

Honestly my only advice is to buy a fairly common caliber that won't break the bank to shoot. Unless you reload, I'd stick with something like a .308, .30-06, .300 WM, or a .300 WSM. Not because they are bsllistically superior, but because you can easily find ammo and practice with it.
 

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Since you have a 270 I would go for a few bore sizes larger. Any of the .338's would do for extended reach and knock down power. I am partial to the .340 Weatherby and mine will shoot moa groups as long as I can stand shooting it. It is what I used on my Africa Safari and while I felt over gunned on a couple of the animals I didn't on the rest as far as the ranges that I was shooting at.
 

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For an Elk specific caliber go a fast .30 or any of the bigger bores. As for the rifle, pick one that matches your hunting method, a nice Kimber Mountain Accent for a hiker or maybe an Accu Mark for a ridge sitter or another 700 if that's all the budget allows.
 

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Might as well get a 338 lapua just in case the elk is over a mile away. Bad part is it takes up half a paycheck just to buy a box of ammo. I actually went with a 338 win mag for my bison hunt last year and plan on using it on my elk hunt this year.
 

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Might as well get a 338 lapua just in case the elk is over a mile away. Bad part is it takes up half a paycheck just to buy a box of ammo. I actually went with a 338 win mag for my bison hunt last year and plan on using it on my elk hunt this year.
Anymore you need to reload if you want to shoot.

I figured out the cost of my reloaded ammo for my safari and it came to less than $1.00 a round. Factory rounds were $100.00 for a box of 20 with the same bullet
 

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If you want a new rifle, get one! Sure, the 270 you have will definitely do the trick, but so will plenty others. Personally, I don't mind the 338 WM. I won't say it's the most pleasant round to shoot, but it sure knocks the snot out of whatever you point it at (Including the guy behind the trigger at times :grin:).

When I'm done with med school and get back West, I'll be toting a 338 WM for elk hunts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You always have the .270 for back-up so go with whatever pulls at your heartstrings. Other people and practicality be damned. If you wanted practical, you'd own a Rem 700 in .270... which you do!
Thanks Trooper. The .270 is very practical. I love mine.

And whats wrong with old hippies
Dunkem, It's the smell!

I bought a Tikka T3 Hunter Stainless in 300 wsm and love it.
trclements, I've heard great things about the the Tikka for the money, and I love stainless. My .270 is a stainless barrel. I think I'd own a Tikka today if it had a tougher name.

For an elk specific rifle for a guy who already has a 270, I would go with an all weather 700 in one of the following Calibers: 300 Win, 338 Win, 300 RUM, 338 RUM. If you wanted to be really cool you could find a 700 Classic in 35 Whelen. Anything in 7MM or the lighter 30's will pretty much duplicate your 270. If you want to go bigger, go WAaaaaay bigger.----SS
Thanks SS, How much of difference do you notice between a 300 and a 338?

Spend your $ on experiences and not extra play toys
Airborne, Great advice, and I may do just that. Some might say that "you'll have nothing to show for it", but I find that cool experience last better than cool things.

When I was 14 my dad took me to an ogden pawn shop and bought me a Savage model 99E 308 win for my first rifle.
3arabians, My dad has a Savage 99 in 250-3000 that he got from my grandpa. He killed his first deer with it a million years ago. I don't know what I'd do with it, but I'm working like crazy to position myself to inherit it over my brothers.

Unless you reload, I'd stick with something like a .308, .30-06, .300 WM, or a .300 WSM. Not because they are bsllistically superior, but because you can easily find ammo and practice with it.
Thanks Bax. I don't reload, but I'm hoping to make friends with someone who does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am partial to the .340 Weatherby and mine will shoot moa groups as long as I can stand shooting it.
Critter, I appreciate your comments. I'll look at the .340 Weatherby. Shooting tight groups at the range is fun, but when it comes to hunting I'm less worried about whether my rifle will shoot moa groups and more worried about controlling my heavy breathing, adrenaline, racing heart.

or another 700 if that's all the budget allows.
Thanks Cooky, So far my 700 shoots better than I do. I haven't yet found interest in long-range hunting; I think I might be going the other direction and trying to learn bowhunting in the next few years.

I actually went with a 338 win mag for my bison hunt last year and plan on using it on my elk hunt this year.
Thanks Shunter, good luck on the elk hunt. Does the recoil from the 338 bother your accuracy?

When I'm done with med school and get back West, I'll be toting a 338 WM for elk hunts.
waspocrew, I once heard a wise man (ski lift operator) say, "If you can afford to go to college, then you don't need to." Good luck in med school; I'm sure we are growing a huge bull out here for your graduation present.
 

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Fishspook,
Welcome to the hunting/rifle purchasing addiction. I have spent more than 30 years asking the same question you just did...only difference is I started with a 7X57 Mauser (now a .260 Remington) 32 years ago....and now the safe has 30+ rifles in it and each time I bring one home....the wife says...."so what does this gun do that all others can't?" The point being, if you love to hunt and shoot, you will eventually acquire more rifles..if nothing else because they are fun to shoot and tinker with. I have at least 10 different manufacturers represented in my safe currently. For years, I was partial to Remington but their quality control and triggers have gone down hill in the past 5+ years. Personally have a Rem 700 in .260 Remington that "slamfired" when shutting the bolt hard and now Remington has replaced all of my triggers on numerous rifles, for free, because several others reported having the same problem. So..for the price, I think you can currently do better than Remington. I agree with trclements on his recommendation both for caliber and for manufacturer. I have several Tikka T3s in Stainless and they all shoot .50 groups or better with handloads and submoa with good factory ammo. For the price, Tikka's have the best trigger in any over the counter rifle. If you don't believe me, go to Sportsman's Warehouse, ask to dry fire an assortment of rifles, and see or yourself. If you want to jump from a $600 rifle to $1,000 the Sako A7 Big Game Hunter is superb. (Sako makes Tikka) I have numerous fast .30s and though I love my 300 RUM and 300 WM and I have made some very long kill shots with them, my Tikka in 300 WSM is inevitably the gun I reach for when chasing elk, deer and anything in between. Light weight, shorter barrel, super accurate, and if you shoot a 168 grain Barnes TTSX through it at 3050 to 3100 fps there isn't an elk around that you can't take with a well-placed shot. Just my 2 cents after 30 years of trying to answer the same question. I hope you enjoy your new rifle. PS..get an aftermarket Bell and Carlson stock for the Tikka with the aluminum bedding block and glass bed the action. I do suggest reloading but the Federal Fusion ammo shoots very well in a Tikka.

Trent
 

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................................................I'm as interested in what you guys think is cool/appropriate/wont make my look like a hippie/newbie. What caliber should I buy?
What I think is cool is to be able to hone your outdoor skills in such a manner you can get so close to an elk that it doesn't matter what caliber you have.

.
 

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So many options...so why limit yourself to the most over rated rifle in the world as the 700? I owned two and my happiest days with each were when sold. They were both terribly inaccurate and the 30-06 had really heavy recoil. Certainly, hundreds of thousands of people use them and love them and have done for decades, however that doesn't speak at all to its own merits. I have since been converted to the world of Savage for just a little more money and decreased my MOA to about a third as much with much more tolerable recoil. These are just my thoughts and my experience. I think the best way to know is to shoot some, kind of hard to know what you like by just feeling them w/o any idea of accuracy, recoil, etc. The Browning A Bolt and X Bolt are both superior options too in a similar price range. What is it that you like about the 700? Just the tradition?
As to caliber, too many to list. I personally like the Winchester Short Mags, but there are tons of options. I like the 300 WSM for the ballistics and the way that I can use the same 308 bullets to reload many other calibers, but everyone's priorities are a bit different. When people suggest the big bores I always think of the study done on accuracy as it relates to recoil. Statistically speaking accuracy declines as recoil increases. Much of that is due to recoil creating flinching, etc.
 
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