Elk Ammo Guide - How to Choose the Best Round for Your Elk Hunt – Foundry Outdoors
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Elk Ammo Guide - How to Choose the Best Round for Your Elk Hunt

Elk are one of the largest deer species in the world and can reach up to 1,300 lbs. in weight. This size of an animal is built to withstand the harshest of conditions; and cleanly taking an elk in the field means you have to be equipped with the right bullet. With so many options on the market it can be overwhelming trying to decide which ammo is right for your elk hunt.

Here are some of the most popular rounds for Elk hunting:

270 Winchester

300 Magnum

308 Winchester

6.5 Creedmoor

7mm Remington

338 Winchester

To help narrow your search you should first think about your hunt, what does it look like? Are you going to be covering a lot of ground on foot, sitting on a run, or using different modes of transportation from one spot to the next? Evaluating what your movement will be comprised of can help determine how quickly fatigue will set in. Covering miles of terrain on foot each day will likely mean you want a lighter rifle whereas if you are sitting a heavier rifle like a 50 cal would certainly pack a big punch with the right grain bullet. You want to be comfortable and confident in your setup so know what your body is capable of.


Now that you have an idea on the size of rifle you want to be carrying on your elk hunt it is time to look at ammo. Remember the caliber isn’t as important as finding a bullet with the right weight. When considering the correct bullet grain keep in mind these points:

  1. Heavier bullets increase accuracy downrange while maintaining velocity
  2. Lighter bullets will travel faster and therefore flatter
  3. A denser hide (elk) will require a bullet that can create a great deal of penetration in which a heavier bullet should be used


    This means a lighter bullet generally creates more expansion because of the fast speed it travels at, but offers less penetration. A heavier bullet travels slower creating less violent expansion then a light bullet, this maximizes penetration. With elk hunting a heavy bullet should be used, as penetration is absolutely paramount on a big bull. You have to be able to sink that bullet into the elk as far as possible to ensure that the greatest amount of damage is achieved on the internal organs. Some of the most popular elk rounds like the 300 mag, 7mm, and 338 magnums all provide less expansion that ultimately increases penetration. Remember that no matter what the ammo, shot placement is and should always be priority number one when hunting any animal; therefore knowledge of the vitals paired with practice is key for success.



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