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Help a bowhunter with a rifle question
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
JohnMC 24-Aug-23
easeup 24-Aug-23
Jaquomo 24-Aug-23
Zbone 24-Aug-23
butcherboy 24-Aug-23
smarba 24-Aug-23
bluedog 24-Aug-23
GLP 24-Aug-23
deerhunter72 24-Aug-23
LBshooter 24-Aug-23
wacem 24-Aug-23
JohnMC 24-Aug-23
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JohnMC 24-Aug-23
fdp 24-Aug-23
Heat 24-Aug-23
bghunter 24-Aug-23
Glunt@work 24-Aug-23
RK 24-Aug-23
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Kevin Speicher 24-Aug-23
cnelk 24-Aug-23
12yards 24-Aug-23
Jaquomo 24-Aug-23
Helgermite 24-Aug-23
DanaC 24-Aug-23
Jethro 24-Aug-23
HuntingAdict 24-Aug-23
wytex 24-Aug-23
Bowaddict 24-Aug-23
Wildan2 24-Aug-23
Scoot 24-Aug-23
70lbDraw 24-Aug-23
Stix 24-Aug-23
Corax_latrans 24-Aug-23
Phil/VA 24-Aug-23
PushCoArcher 24-Aug-23
Glunt@work 24-Aug-23
goelk 24-Aug-23
HDE 24-Aug-23
Jeff 24-Aug-23
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jjs 24-Aug-23
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Basil 24-Aug-23
fuzzy 24-Aug-23
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No Mercy 24-Aug-23
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From: JohnMC
24-Aug-23
So my daughter is 20. Fairly small 5'2" guessing 120lbs. She has shot a number of deer and antelope with a .243. She drew a CO unit 76 rifle tag. I want to buy her a rifle that will be just hers. For deer, elk, black bear, antelope sized critters. She been a heck of a shot. Recoil never seems to be a thought and want to keep it that way but also a rifle with more energy that a .243.

Not looking for brand of rifle advice at this time. But a do want a lighter rifle she can carry around the mountains. I am indecisive on caliber. I really like the 6.5 PRC but a little worried about future availability of ammo if its popularity peaks. 6.5 creedmoor maybe but seems a little light for elk. 270 in running but worried about recoil in a lighter rifle. 308 does get me excited. I know a 243 could get it done for elk but not interested in going that route.

Those are my top 4 ideas right now leaning towards the PRC. But still not sure.

For what it is worth leaning towards the Tikka or Howa rifles. I think I can spend $1500 and have a nice rifle and scope. Don't need the best out there but want something she can have for hopefully forever and is little nicer than say the $600 savage packages.

From: easeup
24-Aug-23
270,308 and 30-06 all all excellent. you dont need a cannon to kill elk. I have killed elk with a 30-30 and many others too back in the day.

From: Jaquomo
24-Aug-23
.270

From: Zbone
24-Aug-23
30-06, .270, or 25-06...

From: butcherboy
24-Aug-23
270 with a muzzle break. My favorite that I have used for many years is a 270 WSM. I have a muzzle break on it as well. Last elk I killed with it was close to 500 yds and the bullet went right through, expanded well, minimal damage. Shooting a 140 gr nosler accubond bullet. I also don’t shoot an adjustable scope but it does have extra crosshairs or tick marks for different yardages. Another good one is 7mm mag or 7mm WSM. 25-06 isn’t bad either or a 280. I just really like my 270 WSM and my 12 yr old boy will be shooting it on his December cow hunt.

From: smarba
24-Aug-23
I'd not hesitate to use .270

My dad's killed moose in AK with .270, it's a very versatile caliber. Don't go crazy, but I personally wouldn't worry about recoil. Shoot at range with sand bags/lead sled. On a hunt nobody notices even a cannon.

30-06 also has a huge variety of loads so a great choice.

Doesn't need to be any of the new "sexy" calibers to get the job done well, and with a lot more loads to choose from.

From: bluedog
24-Aug-23
My pick for your daughter would be 7-08. ....308 2nd choice

From: GLP
24-Aug-23
7mm08, 308, 270

From: deerhunter72
24-Aug-23
I have a 25-06 and it would fit the bill, but does have quite a bit of recoil and is very loud.

From: LBshooter
24-Aug-23
308 will take any of the game animals mentioned and do it with gusto. If recoil isn't a concern with her. The a second choice would be a270. The other option that most think of is a 25-06, it will do the job.

From: wacem
24-Aug-23
7mm-08 or .280, many bullet weights to choose from.

From: JohnMC
24-Aug-23
I want as little recoil as possible. It has never been an issue because a 243 really has almost none. So I want to keep recoil to a bare minimum. I am worried about the 270 in a light rifle. I don't want her to start think about it if that makes sense.

From: Bake
24-Aug-23
7mm-08. Great penetration. Light kick. Short action makes for a smaller more compact rifle. Lots of bullets and choices

From: JohnMC
24-Aug-23
Anyone with thoughts on the 6.5 PRC

From: fdp
24-Aug-23
The 6.5 cartridges are all good....they just won't do anything that the .270, 7/08, .308, etc. won't do.

Recoil of the 6.5 will be similar to that of the 7/08, but for my money the 7/08 has a better selection of ammunition available. Whether factory loaded or handloaded.

From: Heat
24-Aug-23
I'm also in the 7mm-08 camp.

From: bghunter
24-Aug-23
I would say 300 wsm. Small light rifle, very little kick, in my opinion for the caliber, but do have the browning boss muzzle break on it.

I have shot everything from Kudu 175 yards to Impala to Whitetail and mule deer under 200 and with the exception of blue wildebeest, literally dropped where they stood.

The problem is finding ammo can be like winning the lottery, not good odds. If you don't mind custom ammo or you can reload it is an amazing cartridge.

From: Glunt@work
24-Aug-23
I love the 6.5 Creedmoor. Mild recoil and usually easy to get very accurate with factory ammo. I've watched the 143gr ELDX take several elk. I set up an inexpensive Ruger for my son that shoots great.

Next choices would be 6.5 PRC, 7mm-08. Low recoil is a big factor in accuracy

I rarely have seen an elk lost with a medium caliber where I think a 300 Win mag would have made a difference. Its almost always placement.

From: RK
24-Aug-23
In no particular order

280 Remington, 7mm/08, 308

24-Aug-23
I don’t think 270 recoil will be an issue, I’ve shot a 270wsm since I was about her size and it never “turned me off” to shooting, and the regular 270 would have slightly less recoil than that of the wsm - but each individual is different.

That being said, I’d be looking real hard at the 7mm08. I haven’t shot one so I have no experience with recoil comparison to the 270, but as far as “takedown” goes, with 150 grain bullet there isn’t much in North America that I wouldn’t feel very confident packing a 270 for if I was to rifle hunt them.

I’d steer clear of the target-type calibers, for no reason other than that the target crowd changes flavors of the month regularly, and you’ll never know when a caliber that is all the rage today is going to be impossible to even find brass for in 10 years. This isn’t an issue with the 270win or 7-08, and you’re likely gonna be able to find atleast 270win ammo of some kind in any town in America that has a sporting goods store. I’ve even ran into some issues finding 270wsm brass, and there was many times I was real jealous of 270win owners.

24-Aug-23
I'm also a big fan of the 7mm-08, more than capable of what you are looking to do with it. The recoil is very minimal. Excellent round and, I have it in a Tikka and couldn't be more pleased with it

From: cnelk
24-Aug-23
You do know that the 243 is a necked down 308?

Also, I know you like to antelope hunt. I’d go with a 270. You can load it up with a 150gr bullet or down to a 100gr.

I shot my 1st elk with a 270 and many deer and antelope with a 270.

From: 12yards
24-Aug-23
Also would agree with 308, 7mm-08 and 270. Ammo available everywhere, lighter recoil, plenty of horsepower.

From: Jaquomo
24-Aug-23

Jaquomo's embedded Photo
Jaquomo's embedded Photo
This BHA member loves it some 6.5!

From: Helgermite
24-Aug-23
Ammo choice may be more important than cartridge. All the lighter one's mentioned above will work just fine with the right bullet / cartridge combination. I've hear that Federal Terminal Ascent takes the cake at all reasonable hunting ranges.

From: DanaC
24-Aug-23
7mm-08. 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip for deer etc. 140 grain Barnes X will handle anything lighter than a grizzly. As cnelk pointed out above, the 7-08 is also a necked-down 308. The 243 tops out around 120 grain bullets, the 7-08 will handle 150's easily, and be a bit flatter shooting than it's 'parent' 308.

If you lived closer I'd have her shoot my Remington Model 7. Best bet would probably be a Tikka T-3 or a Savage. Weatherby Vanguard 'Camilla' model might suit her as well. Good luck to her.

From: Jethro
24-Aug-23
7-08, 6.5cm would be my choices. IMO the recoil of a lightweight 270 would be a noticeable difference to her. With quality bullets, they all kill elk though.

From: HuntingAdict
24-Aug-23
7mm-08 with a 22" barrel 140gr accubond and she'll be good to go, impressive little round. Keep shots under 400 yards, aim small and nothing will ever know the difference between it and the magnums. On range sessions or varmits there are some really good factory 120gr loads and even some 120gr reduced recoil loads that kick like a 243.

From: wytex
24-Aug-23
Some thoughts, just because she is a female and smaller stature she may not react to recoil like you do. I loaded up some 308 ammo for my featherweight and let a guy shoot it, he complained about recoil and I laughed. Sometimes smaller stature takes recoil easier. We give with the shot.

I would go with a 7-08. a 308 while accurate drops like a lead balloon at longer range, I hunted elk with a 308 and not my fav caliber for elk.

From: Bowaddict
24-Aug-23
John, thought you were set on the 2 when we texted. But I got Ethan the 7-08 when younger on the advice of the neighbor, his wife and daughters have killed a lot of elk with that caliber. They love that gun and the boy still enjoys shooting his! As stated by much more knowledgeable rifle shooters than me, it’s compact, light and made for small framed shooters. Recoil is low, and good selection.

From: Wildan2
24-Aug-23
7-08 Tika,our girls use the 7-08 with no problems.I load 140gr.Accubonds for them.

From: Scoot
24-Aug-23
For what you're looking for, 270 and a muzzle break is a great option. Like Jaq said, it's not a trendy as the 6.5 options, but it'll get it done great just fine with the right load.

From: 70lbDraw
24-Aug-23
I had a Winchester 7mm short mag that kicked like a mile and just didn’t fit me well. I traded it in for a new Tikka T3 30-06 and couldn’t be happier. It’s lighter, the action is smooth and precise, my wife is comfortable with it, and I’ve take both deer and elk with clean one shot kills. It’s one of my favorite rifles when it comes to big game. It won’t break the bank so you can put a nice scope on it as well.

From: Stix
24-Aug-23

Stix's Link
I would stick with the .243 and improve with hotloaded ammo type like hornady superperformance or this Grizzly cartridge fodder.

24-Aug-23
Big fan of 7-08 myself; Remington Mtn Rifle is about the perfect package, IMO; mine wears a Leupold Compact in the 2-7 range.

I had a Ballistic Tip (140) ricochet right back out off of a whitetail doe’s rib about 25 years ago and haven’t touched that load since. Probably an example of early production which has been improved upon since then, but there are so many really good controlled-expansion bullets out there… I’m just not a fan of frangible bullets.

I wouldn’t shy away from a .308, either. Ammo on every shelf.

And I have a friend who shot deer professionally in the UK who had tried them all and killed literally thousands of deer of all sizes (from Muntjacs to Reds) with a .270 loaded with 150 grainers at 2800 fps. He favored a Hornady with some kind of lock on the core…

From: Phil/VA
24-Aug-23
7mm-08 would be a great choice.

From: PushCoArcher
24-Aug-23
I few years ago I was looking for the same thing for a rifle for my wife. Ended up with a 7mm-08 and haven't been disappointed yet I would think a 270 would also be a solid choice. Don't know anything about the 6.5 prc but have shot the Creedmoor and don't get the hype it's no better then a half dozen other cartridges that already existed.

From: Glunt@work
24-Aug-23
Thanks Jaq, now I'm triggered and will be filing a greivance.

From: goelk
24-Aug-23
Fan of 308

From: HDE
24-Aug-23
Go with either a 6.8mm-.06 or a .277-.06 and don't look back.

From: Jeff
24-Aug-23
7mm-08 all the way. Low recoil, my daughter’s has shot black bear, whitetail, 6x6 elk. Remington 700 lightweight a joy to carry.

From: Glunt@work
24-Aug-23
For recoil, stay with cartridges with a case capacity in the 50s and a bullet 120gr-150gr. At the same weight and speed, smaller diameter bullets will retain energy better.

I've seen several elk killed with a .243 and 105gr bullets. Worked great, all broadside in the sweet spot. Not my first choice but would be fine if that's all I had.

From: jjs
24-Aug-23
.243 should be fine for her with a Nosler Partition 100 gr., it will vaporize the internal organs, as was express it is a neck down .308 and the ammo is easy available, great cal. for large game., as with any rifle or gun have the trigger pull reduced down do reduce any flinching, just my own experience which doesn't mean much.

From: bluedog
24-Aug-23
JMO.... 243 and elk....... Cow? sure. Bull? ... NO

" Nosler Partition 100 gr., it will vaporize the internal organs"....... no, it won't... in my opinion

From: Basil
24-Aug-23
I’m also a fan of 7mm08 as well. Daughter started with a 6mm (244) & we were very disappointed with the performance on whitetails. The 7mm 08 has been awesome for her on mulies, whitetail, bear & elk. Stainless Browning A-bolt with muzzle brake has been an awesome package for her. Light recoil & great performance.

From: fuzzy
24-Aug-23
Look at something in 7mm-08

From: fuzzy
24-Aug-23

fuzzy's embedded Photo
fuzzy's embedded Photo
200 yard head shots on groundhogs aren't a big deal for the Model 7 Remington in 7mm-08

24-Aug-23

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
The stock fit has a huge impact on felt recoil. Look into the Savage 110 with a Proof Research Carbon fiber wrapped barrel. And the Accustock.

A highly adjustable stock that is designed very well, and reduces felt recoil.

Here is mine in .308 I filled the hollow plastic stock, painted it and added some foam under thin leather for the check rest. Look into how to measure and fit her length of pull and check rise. Face height

24-Aug-23

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
$1000

From: No Mercy
24-Aug-23
6.5 PRC is not going away any time soon - Hornady's marketing will not let it happen. That being said a 308 would be second choice in my book.

From: Bigdog 21
24-Aug-23
Stay away from long caliber they all kick. 308 has so much to offer loads from 110gr low recoil up to 190 gr elk droppers. Very accurate especially around 168 gr Btsp. Snippers love the gun. And there is plenty of loads out there. And still used by military . Cool ar 10 5 Rd. Mag be sweet low recoil. Browning bar another auto option to soak up some recoil. God luck

From: Smtn10PT
24-Aug-23
I would get a 270 or 308, load up with some accubonds, and hunt any antlered game in NA. You should be able to find ammo for either one just about anywhere.

From: KsRancher
24-Aug-23
I am a 308 fan. That would be my choice. As cnelk pointed out. It's the same case as her 243.

From: drycreek
24-Aug-23
The 7-08 would be my first and last choice. It will do anything she needs to do from elk on down. Proper bullet selection and proper bullet placement is more important than caliber anyway.

From: JohnMC
24-Aug-23

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
Thanks for thoughts. Bought Weatherby 7mm 08 and Leupod 3-9x40

From: Nyati
24-Aug-23
6.5 creedmoor with 143 gr Hornady ELD-X will kill everything up to and including elk as long as you’re not shooting elk at 500 yds. Very easy shooting for a girl especially with a muzzle break . A big plus is that it is extremely accurate with the 143 gr.

If a 60 pound bow can kill an elk a 6.5 creedmoor certainly can, you just have to hit them in the right spot. Rifle/bullet selection helps with that . Not developing a flinch with an easy shooting rifle helps too .

7mm-08 is an option also. I have both but I’m partial to the accuracy of the 6.5

From: RK
24-Aug-23
Very nice John. She will love it!! Watch out now critters !!

From: Old School
24-Aug-23
As many have said - 7mm/08 in a Remington model 7.

From: Zbone
24-Aug-23
With Leopold scope, very nice...

From: deerhunter72
24-Aug-23
Looks like a great set up!

From: PushCoArcher
24-Aug-23
Already comes with the right scope too.

24-Aug-23
I think you'll be happy with your decision, great looking set up!

24-Aug-23
260 Remington, 6.5 cdm, 308, 270, 280, 6mm, 7mm/08, and finally the 243 Winchester.

Personally, I think you’ve already got the perfect caliber for her and her needs. A 243 is a dandy. An under appreciated round in todays world. But, it’s a dandy for small framed hunters that need ample power on bigger game.

A 270 and a 280 are going to get heavy for her. And, not do anything the 243 can’t at the ranges she will be using this rifle.

A 308 is indeed mild and might be a better choice for bigger game. But, it’s just fire pit talk really. The 243 will get it done if she hits it like she should. And, not one caliber that has been listed will do a better job compatibly for her needs

So, buy a rifle she can handle. Which is going to be a short action. And, don’t over look more affordable options.

I personally wouldn’t hit a bull in the rear end with a savage rifle. Especially not a budget savage. They are shooters but ugly is an understatement.

But, I started a quest several years ago to build a custom rifle. I’ve got custom guns buil on Mauser, Winchester, and Remington actions. With upgrade barrels, pillars, lug bedding, etc…. But, this quest was different. I wanted a light, compact, ergonomic rifle in a .308 caliber. And, I bought a .308 compact in the river American. Instead of spending several $thousands of dollars. It just fit the bill.

It’s funny because my friends all haggled me for buying a $459 rifle and a high dollar scope. Until the held and shouldered it. The recoil is very mild as well.

Good luck. But, if I spent $1500 on a rifle today, it’d say Bergara on it.

24-Aug-23
Well, I reckon I should have read the thread before posting.

That 7mm/08 is a good one. But, she’s going to feel the recoil more than a lot of other calibers. I’m sure she’ll be fine though.

From: HDE
24-Aug-23
"A 270 and a 280 are going to get heavy for her."

At the age of 16, my small frame daughter handled a 7mm mag just fine. A .270 is a good choice.

From: Jaquomo
24-Aug-23
My wife is deadly with her Tikka .308, and the recoil doesn't bother her a bit.

Both the 7-08 and 270 are good choices, as are many of the other suggestions. Seems like you can find .270 ammo everywhere out here where she (and you) will be hunting. Anymore, finding ammo with any selection of loads is as much of a challenge as finding game.

Personally, I couldn't shoot a PRC because I don't look good in a man bun..

From: labxtreme1.
24-Aug-23
AK fish and game state it best... Shoot a caliber that you are used to shooting instead of buying a magnum that you shoot poorly because you flinch.

The .308 it's necked up version the .338 federal have killed a lot of animals for me. Only two have made it over 50 yds before expiring, the moose wasn't one of them. Minimal recoil in the .308 chambering, great caliber for those of us that don't handle recoil well.

From: JohnMC
24-Aug-23
Lou the real question is can you grow enough hair for a man bun? ;)

From: fdp
24-Aug-23
That will be a dandy rifle. And I'll bet it's a shooter too.

From: Nyati
24-Aug-23
I see u got the 7mm-08 Good choice. I would seriously look at Hornady Precision Hunter ammo. They make a 150 gr ELD-X for 7mm-08. Those long heavier bullets seem to be extremely accurate for most calibers and they are a good bullet for expansion and weight retention. Which is why most 6.5 creedmoor fans opt for the 143gr ELD-X as their bullet of choice. That would be a great bullet for everything up to and including elk and moose as long as range remains reasonable

24-Aug-23
Plenty of great suggestions here. My youth at age 12 yrs. shot a .308 and a .270. Both are readily available, especially the .270. Good luck hunting this fall.

From: RK
24-Aug-23
Damn funny Lou !

From: JohnMC
24-Aug-23

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
That is the ammo I got. Even got two free boxes thrown in plus a sling. Ammo this days is crazy pricey.

From: gil_wy
24-Aug-23
7mm-08 would be my pick for your daughter… 308 as a second choice.

From: HDE
24-Aug-23
The 6.5 PRC is essentially a .264 WSM.

A 6.5 CM is what drag queens use for long range competition. And, they shoot Mathews :^)

From: DanaC
24-Aug-23
Those 150's are a good choice for large critters. If the recoil is bothersome for her, look for Hornady with 120 grain pills. (Or, do you reload?)

From: bluedog
24-Aug-23

bluedog's embedded Photo
bluedog's embedded Photo
"The .308 it's necked up version the .338 federal"

My favorite rifle is my old Ruger 358 Winchester.. can do over 2500 fps with 225 gr bullets. It even shoots 357 pistol bullets very well. Just been a fun rifle. I have 358 brass these days but have made a lot just expanding out 308 brass in one pass with press. Many think it's just a "woods" rifle...not true at all. It's good to 400 yards with good energy all the way.

From: Glunt@work
24-Aug-23
6.5 CM is plenty. Guys using big rounds on North American hooved game are usually compensating. They generally also have12" wide 22" wheels with low profile tires on their truck and LED lights underneath. :^)

From: Glunt@work
24-Aug-23
Not common yet but the .277 Fury fits the bill. Consumer version of the new military round. I expect it to be offered by a lot of manufacturers.

From: Hawken
24-Aug-23
Bergara Rifles!

Excellent quality and accurate. I've had these on my range for several of our customers and they shoot excellent out to 1000 yards. Shot 6.5 and .308 both and IMO the .308 Winchester with a 150 grain bullet is hard to beat! I've had good luck with it for 50 years...hunting and competition.

From: Buffalo1
24-Aug-23
308 or 30.06 with a muzzle break. Wide variety of Bullets and brands to chose from and either caliber can kill anything in North America.

From: gil_wy
24-Aug-23
7mm-08 would be my pick for your daughter… 308 as a second choice.

From: W
24-Aug-23
7mm-08 with a brake.

From: RK
24-Aug-23
HE BOUGHT A RIFLE !!!

From: Glunt@work
24-Aug-23
Should fill the role nicely. 1.5" high at 100 and good to go.

From: BTM
24-Aug-23
Skip the muzzle brakes unless you want damage her young ears for life. Or make sure she uses hearing protection in the field. Better a little temporary soreness of the shoulder than permanently ruined hearing.

From: JohnMC
24-Aug-23
T-Roy mentioned Thornton to me. I probably screwed up not getting his advice. Wish you would have brought that up before purchase Troy.

From: Dirtman
24-Aug-23
I bought the exact same rifle and caliber, except a leupold 2-7x, for both my boys when they were 10. They 14 and 13 now and have taken around 15 deer with the set up. It’s been a deadly combo!

From: Mule Power
24-Aug-23
One thing as bad as recoil is the sick feeling of not recovering a wounded elk. I’ll cast another vote for the .270 with muzzle brake. A brake does wonders and it’s the perfect ingredient for getting smaller hunters or recoil shy hunters to be able to use a caliber more suited for killing elk.

From: t-roy
24-Aug-23
Honestly, he probably WOULD be be a good source of information on this particular subject.

From: Glunt@work
24-Aug-23
Brakes work great and they are awful. Great for reducing felt recoil, awful for your hearing and no fun for the guy next to you at the range or a buddy next to you on the side of a hill running binoculars when you shoot.

From: Bigdog 21
25-Aug-23
Nice sold choice. I was betting your pick was going to be a 257 Roberts . Funny know one said 7mm.

From: fuzzy
25-Aug-23
Good choice!

From: wytex
25-Aug-23
She doesn't need a muzzle break, good choice John. Try some different loads to see what it likes to shoot.

From: bghunter
25-Aug-23
Glunt,

You are so correct about muzzle brakes. My Browning has the BOSS brake, which is an amazing brake and really helps with accuracy, however shot once on the range without hearing by accident. OMG that was miserable.

Now I always carry a pair of surefire ear plugs when hunting to pop in before taking a shot

From: Thornton
25-Aug-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
6.5 Creedmoor is more than enough and the 6.5 PRC is even better. I own both, and have shot 3 bulls, several pronghorn bucks, whitetail bucks, and mulie bucks out to 375 yards with the Creedmoor. My buddy shot this big bull with his Creedmoor at 180 yards running, and he went straight down. John- the 6.5 PRC maintains a similar trajectory to the 7 mag from my research on Hornady's ballistics app. The PRC also outperforms the 270 past 500 yards just like the 7 mag. My cabelas has an entire shelf for these two 6.5 calibers.

From: Treeline
25-Aug-23
Excellent choice, John. I got my boy a youth 7-08 and it was deadly with the Hornady 139 gr Superformance. He made a pile of dead elk with it. Great scope choice as well!

From: Thornton
25-Aug-23
If you bought a 7mm08, I have heard plenty of good things about them. Public land hunter and Leupold sponsored Youtuber Randy Newberg often uses the caliber as well as the 308 and says they work great on elk with proper shot placement.

From: Lewis
25-Aug-23
I got my first 708 in the 70s its a Remington 788 with a 18 inch barrel it is deadly.I’m not saying it would be the best barrel for out west but in a 200 yard shot it’s a great gun good luck Lewis

From: PECO2
25-Aug-23
If you are going the 6.5 route, you can get a Tikka in 6.5.55 Swede. I have an old 6.5x55 Mauser and that round is amazing. Hard to find ammo on most shelves but you can order it easily enough. I have plenty of range ammo, and hunting rounds. They all hit the same spot.

25-Aug-23
I bought my son a 7mm-08 when he was 12. It was perfect and did a great job on elk. Low recoil and a great first gun. He has grown so fast he has taken my 257 Weatherby and says it’s now his. Now that I think of it…I need to sell it to buy me a new 257??

From: BULELK1
26-Aug-23
I've got a Winchester 30.06 with a 3 x 9 Leopold scope that I won @ an RMEF banquet, sure it's engraved with RMEF Sponsor Member but no name.

I'll give it to ya JMC if ya meet me 1/2 way and toss me a few bucks for my fuel.

I don't want to go thru the FFL to your FFL place.

Good luck, Robb

From: JohnMC
26-Aug-23
Robb very generous of you. I bought her a rifle a couple days ago though. Thanks a bunch for offer!

From: Ace
26-Aug-23
Why not Let her shoot a few and pick one? Sometimes it’s more about the weight and fit of the rifle than the caliber. I’d suggest the .280, , .270 or 7mm-08, but any of those mentioned here will do the job with good bullets and a well placed shot.

I’ll add the suggestion that if your budget is $1500, spend 500 on the rifle and 1000 on the glass. You’ll be getting a “pretty good” scope in that price range. Good scopes are not cheap, and cheap scopes are not good.

From: DanaC
26-Aug-23

DanaC's embedded Photo
DanaC's embedded Photo
7-08, Remington Model 7, 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip over Win 760 powder. Not bad for a gun built in the mid '80's ;-)

From: RK
26-Aug-23
Is that at 200 yards TB1

From: Rock121
26-Aug-23
A .243 under 300 yrds actually is better then a 6.5 creed. After 300 yrds the creed shines

From: Bigdog 21
26-Aug-23

From: Bigdog 21
26-Aug-23
Built in the 80s ha you should get a pre 64, M70

From: DanaC
26-Aug-23
Out of my price range. ;-)

From: RonP
27-Aug-23
DanaC, nice group. What is the barrel length on the Model 7?

From: Thornton
27-Aug-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
129 gr SST hornady oin 6.5 Creedmoor
Thornton's embedded Photo
129 gr SST hornady oin 6.5 Creedmoor
Rock - not so. Only things the 243 does better under is an inch or two in trajectory and it loses that advantage after 500 yards. Below is the hornady 129 SST in 6.5 creed.

From: Thornton
27-Aug-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
Here is the 95 gr SST in 243. Keep in mind, the SST series are the hottest factory ammo that Hornady produces.

From: cnelk
27-Aug-23
JohnMC - how does the gun shoot?

From: Thornton
27-Aug-23
Timex- The military chose the 6.5 creed because of it's short action and efficiency past 500 yards. The 260 rem doesn't beat it past 500. Speed is only part of the equation. I've shot big bucks with subsonic .30 call bullets going less than 1,000 fps and the bullets zipped right through and the deer died in less than 100 yards.

From: cnelk
27-Aug-23
My 340 Weatherby pushes a 225gr Hornady at 3200. ;)

From: HDE
27-Aug-23
Timex? - a medium range load for a .270 pushing a 150 gr bullet is less than 3,000 fps and way more than adequate for open country western big game.

From: Thornton
27-Aug-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
260 Rem 129 gr SST Hornady
Thornton's embedded Photo
260 Rem 129 gr SST Hornady
I certainly hope you don't think yourself to be smarter or more well I formed than the guys at Hornady. Here is the exact weight of bullet, the same series of cartridge, directly from the advertised Hornady ballistics chart on the 260 Rem. Note: at extended ranges, the 6.5 Creedmoor surpasses the 260 Rem in trajectory, energy, and velocity. A number of outdoor writers have addressed this already Timex, and the military has already ordered plenty of ARs chambered in the six five creed and the Hornady TAP ammo. Feel free to view Hornady ballistics in caliber comparison at your leisure. Also note, I own many, many calibers and actually prefer the 7 mag or 7 PRC.

27-Aug-23

Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Altitude Sickness 's embedded Photo
Nothing to do with the OP either. Like many above

Just got in the house from shooting my elephant rifle. 416 Rigby with a Trijicon SRO 1 For an accurate group, above Then fast bolt cycling and firing below. Ready for Zimbabwe ????

From: Glunt@work
27-Aug-23
The 260 has a slightly bigger case capacity. It CAN launch the same 6.5 bullet faster. Hornady's factory loads happen to launch the 129 SST 20 fps slower in the 260.

The Creedmoor's shorter case and shoulder angle are more conducive to long, higher BC bullets and generally will have faster twist barrels to accommodate them.

If building a custom rifle where you can choose twist and maybe a little longer throat in the chamber, the .260 will outrun it.

That said, it doesn't matter. Carrying a .260 vs a 6.5 CM won't be the deciding factor on how a hunt ends.

From: Thornton
27-Aug-23
I agree 100% on the hunt ending part. Deer or elk won't know the difference. I've always found it interesting in handgun and rifle caliber tests using controlled expansion or hollowpoints in ballistic gel resulted in very similar penetration results whether it was a magnum caliber or not. Have a good hunt. The only reason I speak up on the Creedmoor is there is a lot of bashing on the nearly perfect, mid-range caliber that I've used on 8 big game animals with excellent results. Most of the bashers have no experience killing big animals with it.

From: spike78
27-Aug-23
I just read the Creed with a 129 grain SST in Superperformance loaded ammo gets a whopping 20fps more then the 260 with a regular load of 129 SST. So then what is the regular loading velocity for the Creed?

From: HDE
27-Aug-23
Downrange energy trumps muzzle velocity. Because a bullet kills by energy, it matters.

From: DanaC
27-Aug-23
"I just read the Creed with a 129 grain SST in Superperformance loaded ammo gets a whopping 20fps more then the 260 with a regular load of 129 SST. "

That's gonna vary from gun to gun, depending on chamber dimension, barrel length etc. Totally not 'significant.' The 'popularity' of the 6.5 drove up the price of .260's and other 6.5's. Ballistically they're close but the faster twist of the CR means it stabilizes heavier-for-caliber bullets better. 'Real world'? Meh.

From: flybyjohn
05-Sep-23
My kids used a 7mm-08 with the solid copper/alloy bullets. They retain most all their weight so as not to lose any energy going into the critter. I just got the super cheap Savage arms with the plastic stock. Very light weight but plenty accurate enough. It shot less than a box of bullets before the kids decided they didn't really like hunting. They like shooting, just not hunting.

From: ILbowhntr
06-Sep-23
A fan of the quarter bore. Have a 257 Roberts, 25-06 and a 257 Weatherby.

Have no doubt in the ability of the 25-06 or the 257 weatherby ability to take a elk.

From: RK
06-Sep-23
.25 anything is a mistake with Elk in my opinion

Killed several with a variety of .25s. Tracked lots more than with the 30s and 33s

Do what makes you have fun and makes you want to argue

06-Sep-23
Timex, I mentioned the 260 if that’ll stop the humor. ??

From: spike78
06-Sep-23
Killing animals with a rifle has more to do with bullet construction than caliber of gun.

From: ILbowhntr
06-Sep-23
A fan of the quarter bore. Have a 257 Roberts, 25-06 and a 257 Weatherby.

Have no doubt in the ability of the 25-06 or the 257 weatherby ability to take a elk.

From: scentman
06-Sep-23
John. I don't know about rifle calibers I live in a part of New York that does not allow them, that being said, I'm a marksman with my .22 caliber, and a 20 gauge semiautomatic shotgun... past situations with higher caliber or larger shotguns made me flinch terribly and took away my confidence.

If their is a way to have her shoot different calibers or rifles that she feels comfortable with before purchasing one, I believe would be a step in the right direction. scentman

From: DanaC
07-Sep-23
re Spike - "Killing animals with a rifle has more to do with bullet construction than caliber of gun. "

That is far more true now than in the past. Back when 'cup and core' bullets were the norm and the Nosler Partition was still on the horizon, Robert Ruark's 'Use Enough Gun' meant going bigger and heavier. Today you can load really good 130-140 grain bullets in everything from 6.5 to big 30's and kill about anything that walks. If I take another deer with my 7-08 it will be with 120 grain pills. I may carry 140 grain Barnes TSX's for bear next week. I'd put that load up against anything this side of grizzly/brown bears. (Probably opt for a longer barrel...)

From: Thornton
07-Sep-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
Timex- not sure if you're looking at a reloading manual or what. These are the most common factory bullet and cartridge offering Hornady currently has. I use them because they seem to be as accurate as reloads or better, and the Hornady ballistics app is spot on as far as I want to shoot. To my knowledge, the factory Superformance series shoots faster than other factory offerings from other companies. Shot several bulls with the SST in 129 gr going 2950 fps out to 356 yards.

From: Thornton
08-Sep-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
.I get the same groups out of a few of my factory rifles with factory Hornady ammo. "Play past 500 yards" is one of my favorite pastimes as I often practice to 750 and 950 yards. 2 of my kills were 507 yards exactly with the Creedmoor. I do have a few old hunting rifles that do 1", but these two are not in that category.

From: Thornton
08-Sep-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo

From: Thornton
08-Sep-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
Once again Timex, I have a hard time believing you shoot very far with a scope that doesn't even have exposed turrets or much elevation under those caps to start with. Do you "hold over" for shots past 300 yards? I have 880 yards out my back door to fling lead. Got bored with it after ammo went sky high.

From: Thornton
08-Sep-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo

From: KsRancher
08-Sep-23
It looks like it's time to get out the tape measure

From: Glunt@work
08-Sep-23
Most important part is don't store them in a Liberty safe. Those guys are getting the Bud Light treatment at the moment.

From: RonP
08-Sep-23

From: Thornton
08-Sep-23

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
I don't have a hard time believing it, because I did it for years until I discovered dialing in is precise. Cut my teeth shooting 3-9×40 and fixed 4x on my 243, 7 mag, and 30-06 as a teenager in the wide open Flint Hills. Longest holdover shot I ever made was on a buck running straight away at 455 yards. 7 mag nearly somersault him and he died instantly. Never heard of Hawke. Wouldn't have bought one anyway because they're Chinese. I've mainly switched over to all Leupold. Bought a couple of these off Midway for $700 and they are indestructible. Rightly so, because the military used them for decades. Only thing I don't like is lack of zero stop and lack of first focal plane, but there is a company that makes custom turrets and I'm zoomed in on 14x when I make a long shot anyway so no first focal plane needed.

From: RK
08-Sep-23
I know Thornton is always right and I hate to correct him because he could go postal so I'll just ask. Thornton you want to take a stab again as to where Leupold glass comes from?

You probably don't so another question. What is that in your scope pic, looks like a golden retriever

From: Thornton
08-Sep-23
I full well know where all optics glass comes from. Unless the glass is ground by European optics companies, they buy them in lots, from Japan, the Phillipines, China, etc. What Leupold does do, is design, manufacture, and assemble their stuff right here in the USA with our internal parts-the stuff that matters when it's used hundreds or thousands of times. I can see how you might mistake that doe at 330 yards as a golden retriever, since you've bragged about killing. Feel free to shut your trap and stay off my conversations.

From: JohnMC
08-Sep-23
Thorton your blowhard self is the one that took over my "conversation" so kettle be careful what you are calling the pot.

From: Thornton
08-Sep-23
I'm not talking to you John, I'm talking to Timex. I figured your conversation was over after you bought the 7mm08 Vanguard.

From: JohnMC
08-Sep-23
Thornton no need to send me PMs calling people piece of ....

From: spike78
09-Sep-23
Got my popcorn and beer out for this thread.

From: Quinn @work
09-Sep-23
John,

I sure hope that 7mm 08 you bought 100 posts ago will do the job? Seemed like a good decision for what you needed.

But......Thornton will argue to death that he is correct forever because anything he does is the right way. We all know he is the authority on firearms here on bowsite. All someone had to do was mention his name. (Thanks T-Roy)

The best rifle threads are just like the best bowhunting truck threads. The best ones are always the one that the poster has, just ask them.

I for one, can't wait to see your daughter's picture here with an elk she killed with the gun you bought her. Good luck. The gun she uses don't matter.

From: DanaC
09-Sep-23
No doubt that 'factory' ammo and even 'entry level' guns have improved over the years. Better machining of rifle barrels and receivers, better alignment of chamber and bore, closer tolerances everywhere. Better cartridge designs and bullets, even in factory ammo. (Better brass, too.)

If I was starting out today I might not bother with reloading, but in the mid-80's it made sense to. There were exactly two factory loads in 7-08. Easy to improve on! I shot the then-new Nosler Ballistic Tips and then the Barnes X - the originals with no grooves. Even tried a box of the blue 'plastic' coated ones. (Anyone else remember those?)

Old enough now to say - danged kids today have it too easy! ;-)

From: fuzzy
11-Sep-23
You won't regret the 7mm-08. I don't understand the comments about recoil for that caliber. I've got two of them and can't see a significant difference in felt recoil to my .243s and .257 Roberts

From: DanaC
11-Sep-23
"The 7mm08 shoots a 140 @ 2600"

Umm, where did you get that number? Hodgdon lists loads close to 2800 (24" barrel, to be sure...) Even higher with a few powders. (I am itching to get my hands on some Win. Staball 6.5)

Nothing wrong with the 284 but I can't remember seeing ammo for it on the shelf.

From: DanaC
11-Sep-23
I've found the Hornady manuals are very 'conservative' compared to other data sources. The Hodgdon website (and their 'annual manuals') are excellent sources. The Nosler and Barnes sites are also useful.

From: wifishkiller
11-Sep-23

wifishkiller's embedded Photo
wifishkiller's embedded Photo
We have a tikka t3 compact in 308, great gun that has done it all. Light weight, sub moa and has killed moose, mt goat, deer, bear for us. I have a vortex pst 4x16 on it, which is a little overkill but it has zero problems 800 yards and in ringing steel. The pic is my wife with her moose from last fall.

From: KsRancher
11-Sep-23
Dang Timex. I have that same reloading book that my dad used when he started reloading. Mine is the hardback. That sucker is old. I bought a new book to compare and some things are quite a bit different in my new book

From: DanaC
12-Sep-23
Todd, what edition is that Hornady manual? I have the ninth, published in 2012. Their website says the newest is the eleventh. Mine lists 140 grain 7-08 up to 2900, from a 24" barrel. Nowadays seems like they all test with 24's, which is a sort of 'standard' even though many hunters opt for 22" in non-magnum calibers. If I were shopping again I'd look for a 22" Bergara...

From: DanaC
12-Sep-23
I started mid-80's with a Lee turret press. Press eventually broke, still have some turrets if anyone needs them (3 die version)

From: DanaC
12-Sep-23

DanaC's embedded Photo
DanaC's embedded Photo
These, I mean

From: JohnMC
15-Oct-23

JohnMC's embedded Photo
JohnMC's embedded Photo
I reckon the 7mm 08 will work for elk. Thanks for the advice!

15-Oct-23
That’s great to see John. Tell the young lady congrats. You should be proud.

From: Stoneman
15-Oct-23
Congrats to your daughter and dad! Really nice.

Beautiful photo as well. I would guess that one is getting framed.

15-Oct-23
Congrats guys!! Glad the 7-08 did the job!

From: Bake
15-Oct-23
Congrats!! My ten year old daughter is wanting an elk. I told her a couple years and a bigger rifle.

From: Jaquomo
15-Oct-23
Excellent!

From: Supernaut
15-Oct-23
Awesome, congrats to you both!

15-Oct-23
So what bullet did you settle on?

From: drycreek
15-Oct-23
Good choice on caliber and, evidently, good shooting too !

From: DanaC
15-Oct-23
Nice one!

15-Oct-23
Congrats again!

From: Kurt
15-Oct-23
Beautiful photo...really nice!

From: Glunt@work
15-Oct-23
Congrats!

From: sitO
15-Oct-23
Frame it!

From: t-roy
15-Oct-23
Congrats to your daughter, John! Beautiful pic, as well!

From: Treeline
15-Oct-23
Spectacular! Congratulations to your daughter! Nice bull!

16-Oct-23
Great picture. Congrats to her and pop

From: VAMtns
16-Oct-23
WTG , Great pic , great daughter , great cartridge ,proof is in the pudding

16-Oct-23
Good stuff.

From: RonP
16-Oct-23
what an amazing photo. as someone mentioned above, that gets a frame and hung on the wall.

congrats to both of you, well done all-around.

From: Bou'bound
16-Oct-23
Great job

From: Smtn10PT
16-Oct-23
Great pic, congrats!

From: JohnMC
16-Oct-23
Thanks guys fun weekend.

From: Bowbender
16-Oct-23
Congrats!!! Awesome pic!!

16-Oct-23
Way to go Dad! Tell your daughter congrats! Great memories made…thanks for passing it on and raising her right!

From: Hancock West
16-Oct-23
Congrats!

From: Gib
16-Oct-23
Wow!!!! Great shooting, beautiful picture and bull and daughter!!!! Thanks for passing on the tradition John,,, I would be proud as a peacock!!! Congratulations again,,

From: Bou'bound
16-Oct-23
Great job

From: fuzzy
16-Oct-23
Awesome! That's what makes it all worthwhile.

From: Scar Finga
16-Oct-23
What great end to post that got sevearly derailed!!!

Congratulations to father and daughter! I bet you're a proud poppa!!

God Bless!

From: ILbowhntr
16-Oct-23
Nice job on the 76 bull. We’re not very far away right now.

From: KsRancher
17-Oct-23
Heck ya! Congrats to the both of you.

From: GLP
17-Oct-23
Fantastic! Thanks for posting!!!

From: JSW
18-Oct-23
Great job on the elk. That is the same rifle I got for my 5'2" recoil shy daughter and she's killed more animals with it than half of the experts on this page. It has a 2.5x8 Leopold with B&C reticle. Nothing but Barnes x bullets. Congratulations

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