Best elk cartridge,elk rifle and elk scope recommendations
I’ve hunted elk for 53 years. The elk have been taken with many different bullets in every desirable caliber and from distances of 25 yards to 700 yards. I’ve hunted for my own elk, with family, friends, and clients.
Many years ago I decided, based on my shooting and the others that I was with at the time, then from feedback from our clients, that the 7MM was one of the very best options for taking down elk, effectively and reliably every time.
Specifically the 7x300 Wby., 7x.404 Wapiti Express [my development over 30 years ago], 7MM STW and the 7MM RUM, using 175 Nosler Partitions, driven along at 3140-3200 fps have become my top recommendations.
The 175 Hornady Interlock and 175 Swift A-frame are very good also.
This combination will take elk at any angle from close up to far [my recommendation is no more than 800 yards, but that is for another blog]. It is a very easy to shoot caliber and combined with a top accurate rifle, from our shop, of course, will help any competent shooter to be an excellent option for hunting elk or other big game.
I prefer to use scopes with reticle systems to match every yardage from 400 to 700 yards, or Leupold CDS Scope system. Scopes from 3-9, 3-10 and 4-12 are ideal for the situations you’d find on any elk hunt. Truly, scopes of higher power are not that useful, add weight and cost. I prefer the reticle systems, hands down. I’ve tried many, many other systems with knobs for adjustment and sooner or later find them wanting over the simple but very effective reticle system.
A straight 6x scope is more than adequate. I like a rifle weight of 9 to 9.5 lbs, scoped, with the cartridges and sling. Larger scopes don’t give that much more advantage to make it worth the weight and balance difference, in my opinion.
As mentioned above, I’ve been on many elk hunts, by my estimation over 800. Those experiences convinced me on what the best options are for any elk hunt. A big Seven, loaded to the velocities I’ve indicated, a good, reliable reticle scope and the 175 gr bullet, placed correctly will always bring home the meat.
It is my firm belief that no one should ever attempt to take any game the size of elk, or larger, with lightly constructed target bullets, and should always adhere to a 2000 ft. lb. striking energy as the distance increases.