Can 308 Stop an Elk? (Using 308 for Elk Hunting)

When planning to hunt for elk, one of the first things you must resolve is what riffle or cartridge to use. You want something that is powerful enough to do damage. Some people approve of the .308 Winchester for elk hunting. But how true is this? Can 308 stop an elk?

When selecting a rifle for big game hunting, there are two main areas you must focus on. First, it needs to be paired with the right ammunition. Secondly, you must be accurate with your shots; after all, even the best rifles can be useless in the hands of someone without skill.  

Based on experience and what we know, the .308 is GOOD for elk hunting. The cartridge offers moderate recoil, a maximum effective range of around 300 yards, and can deliver enough energy and penetration to take down an elk with a well-placed shot.

308 for Elk

Can 308 Stop an Elk?

Yes, with the right ammunition and proper shot placement, the 308 Winchester can take down an elk. Not just an elk, but other big games. However, you will need to pair it with the right ammon. 

For instance, you must use a bullet that is meant for big games; anything less might not deliver the intended result. Some popular bullet choices include bullets like the Barnes TSX, Nosler Partition, and Hornady Interlock. 

These bullets are designed to expand and penetrate deep into the animal, delivering maximum energy and causing sufficient tissue damage for a clean and ethical kill.

Besides your armor, you must also get it right with your shot placement. Thankfully, the .308 has moderate recoil, so it’s easy to handle. 

What Is 308 Effective Range for Elk Hunting?

In general, 308 is effective for killing elks at ranges up to 300 yards or more. In fact, anything between 300 to 500 yards will get the job done with a perfectly placed shot. 

Having said that, factors such as skill level, cartridge setting, terrain, and the condition of the weather can affect your range.  

Ultimately, you want to get a lot of practice first before going into the wild. This will help you determine your own effective range for making accurate shots.

Of course, you will need the right ammo. 

For the best 308 Ammo for elk, there are three options we recommend:

Hornady Superformance GMX 

Overall, the Hornady Superformance GMX is a well-regarded choice for elk hunting. The GMX bullet is made of copper and is designed to expand and penetrate deeply, which can help ensure a clean and ethical kill. It provides increased accuracy and velocity for long-distance shots, which reduces your chance of getting detected. 

Federal Premium Vital-Shok Trophy Copper 

The Federal Premium Vital-Shok Trophy Copper is another popular choice for elk hunting. Like the Hornady Superformance GMX, the Trophy Copper bullet is made of copper and is designed to expand reliably and penetrate deeply, making it a good choice for hunting large game like elk.

One of the benefits of the Trophy Copper bullet is its high weight retention, which helps ensure deep penetration and a clean, ethical kill. It’s also effective over long distances. 

Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond for elk

The Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond is another popular choice for elk hunting. The AccuBond bullet is designed to expand reliably while still retaining a high weight, which can help ensure deep penetration and a clean kill.

One of the benefits of the AccuBond bullet is its polymer tip, which helps improve accuracy and also helps the bullet initiate expansion upon impact. This can be especially helpful when hunting at longer distances or in challenging conditions.

As you can see, all three options have excellent ballistics, accuracy, and terminal performance, making them perfect for elk hunting.

What’s Better for Elk 308 or 270?

The .270 Winchester is a popular cartridge for elk hunting. Compared to 308, It provides a flatter trajectory and higher muzzle velocity. This makes it perfect for long-range shots.

However, the 308 has an edge over the 270 in terms of bullet weight and penetration.

The 308 can deliver heavier bullets with higher sectional density, which provides better penetration through an elk’s thick hide and muscle tissue. Thus, the 308 is a better choice for elk hunting than the 270.

7mm 08 vs. 308 for Elk?

The 7mm-08 Remington is a popular cartridge among hunters who prefer a smaller caliber than the 308 for big game hunting.

Although the 7mm-08 has lower recoil and a flatter trajectory than the 308, it falls short in bullet weight and sectional density, making it less effective for elk hunting.

While the 7mm-08 can take down elk at close ranges with well-placed shots, the 308 is a more reliable cartridge for elk hunting due to its higher energy and penetration.

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 308 for Elk?

The 6.5 Creedmoor has a low recoil compared to the moderate recoil of the 308. Also, it has a flatter, making it an ideal choice for long-range shots. 

However, when it comes to elk hunting, the 308 is better overall as it delivers more power and deeper penetration. While the 6.5 Creedmoor can take down elk at close ranges, it may not deliver enough power for humane kills at extended ranges.

308 vs. 30-06 for Elk?

The 30-06 Springfield is a classic cartridge that has been a favorite for many hunters for over a century. It has a larger case capacity and can deliver heavier bullets than the 308, making it a powerful and versatile cartridge for big game hunting, including elk. 

However, the 308 has lower recoil and can deliver sufficient energy to take down an elk with proper shot placement. 

The choice between the 308 and 30-06 for elk hunting ultimately comes down to personal preference, as both cartridges are capable of delivering clean and ethical kills when used with the right ammunition.

Is .308 Good for Big Game?

Yes, it is. Besides elk, the .308 can also be used to hunt big games. Some of these include deer, bears, and moose. 

Besides offering a moderate recoil, it is readily available, which explains why it’s so popular. As long as you pair it correctly, it will deliver plenty of damage, enough to bring down any big game. 

In the right hands and with a well-placed shot, it’s a damn good game medicine. 

Conclusion: Is 308 Good for Elk?

The .308 can be used for elk hunting as long as it’s paired with the right ammo. Of course, you need to be flawless with your shots. 

Ultimately, the best 308 ammo for elk hunting is the one that can deliver sufficient energy to penetrate the animal’s thick hide and vital organs. Some of the best options are the Hornady Superformance GMX, Federal Premium Vital-Shok Trophy Copper, and Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond.

The 308 can be effective for ranges up to 300 yards and beyond. While other cartridges may offer some advantages in certain areas, the 308 remains a reliable and versatile cartridge for big-game hunting. 

Remember to keep to the hunting regulations in your local area!

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