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The 20 Best Elk Hunting Rifles Ever Made

The 20 Best Elk Hunting Rifles Ever Made

Check out Gun Shots blogger John Haughey's round up of the 20 best elk hunting rifles. From lightweight backcountry guns to long-distance tack drivers, this list has them all.
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from vanbachbn wrote 5 weeks 5 days ago

Elk are thin skinned, so you don't really need a huge caliber. A 270 will do the job, though I think I'd vote for a 30/06 or 7 mm bolt action, just to get a bit more power. Weight depends on whether you are going to be on a horse or ATV or if you're hiking.
If you want to improve accuracy, you can add a rifle scope for A 270. You can read trusty reviews at www.riflescopecenter.net and buy it at amazon.com

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from lowcountry wrote 49 weeks 1 day ago

Does it really matter? Get a bow and learn to hunt.

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from drage wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

This is a great article for the novice hunter looking to get into elk hunting. However, after a certain point in the whole "best elk hunting rifle" debate it comes down more to personal opinion than field results. (2 cents)

www.elk-hunting.org/elk-hunting-equipment/elk-hunting-rifle

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from Sam Walker wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Moose. I have the 338MX (Blued and walnut stock).
Before I start with the description, I need to mention this. Production has been suspended until 2013 because of QC problems Marlins been having. They only recently did a run of the 308MX after suspending production on it for over a year. So you will have a hard time finding one until next year.

Back to the description.It shoots subMOA all day long with little drift from the barrel heating. (typical accuracy is .75 to 1.25 inches out of the box)

It was a joy to carry last year in Western Colorado. I have a Leupold 2.5x8 36mm scope on it. This kept the wonderful balance of the gun and it felt like a 4-5 lb rifle and was easy to maneuver in the tress and brush.

It has great stopping power. On Marlin owners, there are reports of elk, moose, and bison dropped with one shot anywhere from 100 yards to 300 yards. One member took out a coyote at 400 yards with a neck shot.

Recoil with factory loads is less than a 30-06 and more like a 308 Win.

Owners and users that got one (w/o the QC issues that stopped production) all swear this would be the only gun they'd keep if they could only pick one hunting rifle.

Of course there are those saying Marlin has dropped the rifle because they suspended production, but there are always the doom and gloom crowd in every bunch.

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from phowriter@msn.com wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I cannot believe that you bipassed the most improtant caliber, The 45.70 in Marlin or Winchester rifles. The 45.70 has taken every game animal on the planet (hogs to elephants) and is way better than the Marlin .444. So please tell me why the Marlin and Winchester in 45.70 Cal. was not mentioned!

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from MOOSE wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Someone shouting he's poor, one shouts I'm old and another just big-nosed bragger. Some folks probably didn't wanna share anything seeing all the negativity spewing from a few of you. A couple of you really killed this thread nicely. My thanks to those who tried to make a contribution here to get some talk going.
I didn't agree with all the guns selected but it was still a nice line up and I'm sure all would perform. I love bolt guns but also adore lever guns and am curios of the 338 marlin I hear mention of. May be one to replace my old Marlin 336 in 35 Rem for deer and bear in thicker woods but I'll never sell my 35. On deer/elk I like how the 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag perform. You can get ammo for them almost anywhere and not to painful as well. My father and I are getting Browning X-Bolts. Take care folks

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from RockyMtnClimber wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I'd never be assuming enough to claim I've harvested more Elk than anybody else here. I will say I have allot of experience in Colorado Elk camps both as a hunter and as a guide. My best advice is that a new Elk hunter find a gun that they are comfortable bolt action with that is at least a .270 caliber or bigger. Get the best optics you can afford, Burris & Leopold are great basic optics systems. I'd recommend you keep away from the big magnums as most folks don't shoot them well enough to take advantage of their power. As your personal experience develops you might want to up-gun but I'd recommend you stick with one gun you shoot really well, rather than a safe full that you barely know.

Finally, practice, practice, practice. When you can hit a 9" plate at 200 yards every time you are starting to get there. Now do it from shooting sticks, off your pack, sitting, prone.... ect.

The closest I've harvested an Elk (with rifle) is 40 yards, farthest is a tad over 350. Most opportunities fall inside of about 150 yards so "magnum performance" really isn't that critical.

My favorite gun is a Ruger 1B in .270 Win.. I also have a Ruger 1b that I had a 7mm STW barrel fitted to and it is a dandy!

Get out and HUNT.

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from hopper6 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Keep it simple. I hunt with a 30-06 and so did my dad and uncle. Probably killed more elk and deer than everyone else on this blog put together. You need a good quality rifle with the best optics you can afford. I use a Nikon Buckmaster ($230). Dont waste your money on a cheap rifle (Remmington model 770 from WallyWorld=trash)I have a Browning X-Bolt. My boy uses a Winchester 308 & has already killed 3 bulls, 4 bucks and he's only 14. No need to buy a canon. I don't buy into the 400 yd shots most of those guys are BSers. Practice shot placement with a good rifle and good optics ad you will be succesful.

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from blue ridge wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

The 444 Marlin made the list. I don't know about elk hunting but it's sure a hog walloper.

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from bman940 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

I had a Browning BAR in .300 Wim Mag., for me it was one of those rifles that I had always wanted to own. Think back 20+ years ago, While I killed a bunch of deer with it, I could never get the accuracy better then about 3 in. at 100 yards. It also cost me a huge Elk. Dang thing had froze up. Hunting Ore. above 5000 feet in the snow and wind had made my rifle a club. Yes, my guide had told me to make sure I had all the grerase and oil removed before arriving. I took it to a gunsmith who did just that. Anyway, I got rid of it right after that hunt. Fortunately the guide had an extra rifle he let me borrow so all was not lost.
On a positive note, I have shot the new BAR and they are night and day different in accuracy. Also, I recently had the opportunity to shoot Browning's new X-bolt and all I can say is wow! What a rifle, great accuracy and nothing I didn't like about it,well except the one I was shooting was right handed.

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from Sam Walker wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I have a 338MX, which I prefer over the MXLR for weight and handling. It has a 2' shorter barrel than the MXLR and a walnut instead of laminate stock.

Chrony shows only a 50fps difference between it and the MXLR.

Accuracy? 5 shot groups less than an inch at 100 yards NOT using a bench rest.

Recoil is about the same as a 308 Win or a hot loaded 270. Being a lever, follow up shots are quick.

Hunting reports on a Marlin forum are excellent. Hunters reporting of deer, elk, moose, and bison dropped with one shot. A number of them out past 300 yards. One guy, who's an excellent shooter, even dropped a coyote that wandered into the area he was hunting with a neck shot at 370 yards (lasered).

It's a great cartridge and gun. If you shoot lefty, it's a dream come true.

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from Sask.Elk.Hunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I've hunted elk for 21 years now, harvesting 15 bulls. The rifle I have settled on is the Tikka T3 Lite SS in .338 Win Mag. The caliber has given me awesome one shot kills. The model of gun, weighing in at 6.3 pounds, lets me cover many miles on foot without ripping into my shoulder and tiring me out. More miles = increased success. I loved my Browning .338 Stainless Stalker for years, but now that I'm getting older, the Tikka's accuracy and lightweight wins the vote for me.

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I agree with Alex Robinson's comments regarding recoil. Like Kong1965, I don't much recall recoil once the real shooting starts. Nevertheless, I do like to have a rifle come quickly to bear following each shot. Fact is, I choose a caliber that doesn't have to jump skyward to get the job done. It is a mistake to suggest this is a choice based on the fear of painful recoil. It is a choice based a sensible desire not to lose a big game animal for lack of a follow up shot. In answer to those who will say the first shot should be a killing shot, I shoot until they fall down and I will continue to do so. I have seen too many animals go a considerable distance despite 'killing' shots fired from whatever caliber to change that habit.
Recoil suffered from Magnum rifles at the range is a different matter. When I am experimenting with 300 Winchester loads, pain has taught me to take some preventative measures. It's pretty difficult to assess accuracy when you're flinching. The test at hand can be compromised by trying to play macho. The macho gets kicked right out of me if I don't soften the blow in some manner.

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from kalendrinn wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I just finished my own research on this topic, and I believe the rifles do exist and they aren't in the 20 listed. I have used the Browning BLR Lightweight and it is a really nice gun but still can be heavy. Try looking up the Savage 11 Compact Mountain, the Tikka T3 Lite, Tikka Bettue, and Browning X-Bolt Hunter or Micro Hunter. While the Micro is geared toward women and young hunters, the length of pull is only 5/16 of an inch shorter than the regular Hunter. All are under 6.75lbs, most come in magnums and most of them are fairly short and can have iron sights added.

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from Alex Robinson wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Kong1965,

You're right, recoil doesn't effect the accuracy of a rifle, but it can effect the accuracy of the shooter. It's important when you're practicing at the range all day. After all, we send more rounds at paper than fur. Recoil is also important in follow up shots. The better you are able to manage recoil, the easier it will be to deliver a second shot. Also, if you can manage recoil, it's easier to watch through your scope and see where your first shot hits. This is absolutely critical for long-range shooting.

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from Kong1965 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Sorry Buckmeister, didn't mean to offend you. Yes, I'm a good deal larger than you, and no recoil means very little to me, and frankly I've spent far more time actually SHOOTING big game rifles than reading about it from so-called experts. However, in all of the books and articles I HAVE read, not one of the so-called experts indicated that recoil affected the accuracy of the gun at all. Not one. Like I said, when the time comes to deliver a quality shot, the last thing in my mind is recoil. Sorry that's not the case for you. I was simply stating that I didn't understand the focus on it, not trying to be a jerk. I doubt you were doing the same.

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Every time there is a review of rifles, scopes or whatever product there will be those who complain about things that are out of their price range. It is fair enough to be disappointed that you can not afford the more expensive items but it is unreasonable and childish to suggest that it is wrong to present these high cost items in the review. What? Does it represent some kind of personal affront to you guys? Do you think the OL people are so nasty that they would deliberately sneer at those whose pocket books are thin these days? No, they are trying to put forward a broad cross section of goods and that usually means there will be a broad range of prices. There is the old adage about approaching life with your "cup half empty" as opposed to your "cup half full".. Those expensive rifles exist and myself and many others want to hear about them WHETHER WE CAN AFFORD THEM OR NOT! Make your own choices but don't try to impose them on the rest of us by censoring what is out there. In doing otherwise, you are defining your shortcomings and I am not referring to your bank account in this regard.

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from buckmeister2 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Kong....I guess you are just such a big tough guy that recoil doesn't matter. I'm 61, 5'7", 153 pounds, and it matters greatly to me. I have read hundreds of hunting books and articles in my life, and never, EVER has any author said "recoil doesn't matter". Virtually ALL experts have written articles on how to handle recoil...it does matter.

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from Kong1965 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I don't understand the focus on recoil at all. The only time it will be a factor is when zeroing the rifle. I can't remember the recoil of any shot I've ever taken at game. Usually I'm so focused on the animal and making a good shot that I could be shooting a punt gun, and wouldn't give a damn. Your shoulder may hurt afterward, but I'm always so pumped up when the time comes, I have to focus on calming down and breathing normally. I never think, "boy this thing is gonna kick." I think, "don't freakin' miss."

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from blue ridge wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I love my 444 Marlin. What a hog and bear whompper.

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from Sam Walker wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Nice to see the 338 Marlin Express on there. Has been getting great hunting reports on everything including elk, moose and bison. But difficult to load. Puleeese. What kind of morons can't load a lever gun?

BTW, the 338MX is just as accurate (mine shoots subMOA), has a 2 inch shorter barrel and is, in my opinion balanced better. Has recoil about the same as a .308 Win

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

This is an interesting list and it's nice to see the big bore Marlins getting some press. WAM, you are correct, that Benelli sure won't win a beauty contest. My current rifle for elk would be my Savage 116 300 Win mag.

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from czech444 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

This is in response to the author's comment of "One downfall is that this gun is not for the recoil-sensitive shooter." when referring to the Ruger Compact Magnums...

Now I can't speak for the .338 RCM, but I fired my Ruger Hawkeye in .300 RCM side-by-side with my father's Remington Model 700 BDL in .280 Rem and my grandfather's Remington 7600 in .30-06. The .280 and .30-06 have noticably more recoil. This is most likely due to the shorter barrel length and the use of proprietary powders in the RCM cartridge, but my point is, this statement holds no merit. The .300 RCM is an absolute pleasure it shoot.

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from Groffeaston wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I noticed some errors, mistakes, and/or omissions.

1) He forgot to mention the Savage 110.

2)there are 2 or 3 Marlin 336 series rifles in 2 or 3 different calibers instead including them under the one banner.

3) There are several calibers that were left out, under the descriptions, in many of the rifles.

4) A .243win For Elk? I feel it is too light for Elk, only a perfectly placed shot with the right bullet design would cleanly kill an elk.

5) I did not see any mention of the .30-30win. This cartridge probably has killed more deer, elk, and other similar sized game animals than almost any other cartridge since its introduction in 1894.

6) I do not call any rifle over $900.00 affordable. Especially to those who do not have $900 to spend on a new rifle.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Benelli Comfort Tech? That rifle is hideous at best! LOL

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from 25-06 guy wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

The Kimber hands down!!!!!! Enough said.

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from hmmmAnd wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I went with the Browning X-bolt SS chambered in a 7mm mag, Ziess 4.5-14x44, I am happy with it, I'll let you know how it turns out come December.

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

opps! ...I narrowed it down to one rifle which is almost on the list. It is not the Browning A bolt Stalker but the Browning X Bolt in 300 Win Magnum. This is definitely the best choice for me as the Caliber is right, the weight is right and the price will not put a dent in my wallet. I own one already. Wishing for more is fine, but sometimes, you have to be happy with what you have.

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Lots of choices here, I felt like a kid circling my favourite toys from the Sears, Eatons or Hudson Bay Christmas Catalogs. The kid in me still wanting one of each but that is no more likely to happen today than back then. I

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from LGIW wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

You overlooked the best affordable rifle full of features. The Mossberg 4x4 in .338 Win Mag. Light, easy to shoot, nice trigger, accurate, with muzzle brake and nice synthetic stock.

And teh best feature is the price. It allows you to travel and buy tags.

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from CCMJS wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Ruger 77, .300 win. mag.

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from res1956 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Imagine the gaul not to include the m/71 Winchester, and this guy calls himself a gunwriter,,,

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from NWM wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Finally!! A "best of" list that has relatively affordable rifles that the average hunter can purchase. Now, to save up for the elk hunt to use it on...

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Benelli Comfort Tech? That rifle is hideous at best! LOL

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from Kong1965 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Sorry Buckmeister, didn't mean to offend you. Yes, I'm a good deal larger than you, and no recoil means very little to me, and frankly I've spent far more time actually SHOOTING big game rifles than reading about it from so-called experts. However, in all of the books and articles I HAVE read, not one of the so-called experts indicated that recoil affected the accuracy of the gun at all. Not one. Like I said, when the time comes to deliver a quality shot, the last thing in my mind is recoil. Sorry that's not the case for you. I was simply stating that I didn't understand the focus on it, not trying to be a jerk. I doubt you were doing the same.

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from res1956 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Imagine the gaul not to include the m/71 Winchester, and this guy calls himself a gunwriter,,,

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from CCMJS wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Ruger 77, .300 win. mag.

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from blue ridge wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I love my 444 Marlin. What a hog and bear whompper.

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Every time there is a review of rifles, scopes or whatever product there will be those who complain about things that are out of their price range. It is fair enough to be disappointed that you can not afford the more expensive items but it is unreasonable and childish to suggest that it is wrong to present these high cost items in the review. What? Does it represent some kind of personal affront to you guys? Do you think the OL people are so nasty that they would deliberately sneer at those whose pocket books are thin these days? No, they are trying to put forward a broad cross section of goods and that usually means there will be a broad range of prices. There is the old adage about approaching life with your "cup half empty" as opposed to your "cup half full".. Those expensive rifles exist and myself and many others want to hear about them WHETHER WE CAN AFFORD THEM OR NOT! Make your own choices but don't try to impose them on the rest of us by censoring what is out there. In doing otherwise, you are defining your shortcomings and I am not referring to your bank account in this regard.

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I agree with Alex Robinson's comments regarding recoil. Like Kong1965, I don't much recall recoil once the real shooting starts. Nevertheless, I do like to have a rifle come quickly to bear following each shot. Fact is, I choose a caliber that doesn't have to jump skyward to get the job done. It is a mistake to suggest this is a choice based on the fear of painful recoil. It is a choice based a sensible desire not to lose a big game animal for lack of a follow up shot. In answer to those who will say the first shot should be a killing shot, I shoot until they fall down and I will continue to do so. I have seen too many animals go a considerable distance despite 'killing' shots fired from whatever caliber to change that habit.
Recoil suffered from Magnum rifles at the range is a different matter. When I am experimenting with 300 Winchester loads, pain has taught me to take some preventative measures. It's pretty difficult to assess accuracy when you're flinching. The test at hand can be compromised by trying to play macho. The macho gets kicked right out of me if I don't soften the blow in some manner.

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from blue ridge wrote 2 years 28 weeks ago

The 444 Marlin made the list. I don't know about elk hunting but it's sure a hog walloper.

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from RockyMtnClimber wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

I'd never be assuming enough to claim I've harvested more Elk than anybody else here. I will say I have allot of experience in Colorado Elk camps both as a hunter and as a guide. My best advice is that a new Elk hunter find a gun that they are comfortable bolt action with that is at least a .270 caliber or bigger. Get the best optics you can afford, Burris & Leopold are great basic optics systems. I'd recommend you keep away from the big magnums as most folks don't shoot them well enough to take advantage of their power. As your personal experience develops you might want to up-gun but I'd recommend you stick with one gun you shoot really well, rather than a safe full that you barely know.

Finally, practice, practice, practice. When you can hit a 9" plate at 200 yards every time you are starting to get there. Now do it from shooting sticks, off your pack, sitting, prone.... ect.

The closest I've harvested an Elk (with rifle) is 40 yards, farthest is a tad over 350. Most opportunities fall inside of about 150 yards so "magnum performance" really isn't that critical.

My favorite gun is a Ruger 1B in .270 Win.. I also have a Ruger 1b that I had a 7mm STW barrel fitted to and it is a dandy!

Get out and HUNT.

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from MOOSE wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Someone shouting he's poor, one shouts I'm old and another just big-nosed bragger. Some folks probably didn't wanna share anything seeing all the negativity spewing from a few of you. A couple of you really killed this thread nicely. My thanks to those who tried to make a contribution here to get some talk going.
I didn't agree with all the guns selected but it was still a nice line up and I'm sure all would perform. I love bolt guns but also adore lever guns and am curios of the 338 marlin I hear mention of. May be one to replace my old Marlin 336 in 35 Rem for deer and bear in thicker woods but I'll never sell my 35. On deer/elk I like how the 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag perform. You can get ammo for them almost anywhere and not to painful as well. My father and I are getting Browning X-Bolts. Take care folks

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from phowriter@msn.com wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I cannot believe that you bipassed the most improtant caliber, The 45.70 in Marlin or Winchester rifles. The 45.70 has taken every game animal on the planet (hogs to elephants) and is way better than the Marlin .444. So please tell me why the Marlin and Winchester in 45.70 Cal. was not mentioned!

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from drage wrote 1 year 14 weeks ago

This is a great article for the novice hunter looking to get into elk hunting. However, after a certain point in the whole "best elk hunting rifle" debate it comes down more to personal opinion than field results. (2 cents)

www.elk-hunting.org/elk-hunting-equipment/elk-hunting-rifle

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from NWM wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Finally!! A "best of" list that has relatively affordable rifles that the average hunter can purchase. Now, to save up for the elk hunt to use it on...

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from LGIW wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

You overlooked the best affordable rifle full of features. The Mossberg 4x4 in .338 Win Mag. Light, easy to shoot, nice trigger, accurate, with muzzle brake and nice synthetic stock.

And teh best feature is the price. It allows you to travel and buy tags.

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

opps! ...I narrowed it down to one rifle which is almost on the list. It is not the Browning A bolt Stalker but the Browning X Bolt in 300 Win Magnum. This is definitely the best choice for me as the Caliber is right, the weight is right and the price will not put a dent in my wallet. I own one already. Wishing for more is fine, but sometimes, you have to be happy with what you have.

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from hmmmAnd wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I went with the Browning X-bolt SS chambered in a 7mm mag, Ziess 4.5-14x44, I am happy with it, I'll let you know how it turns out come December.

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from 25-06 guy wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

The Kimber hands down!!!!!! Enough said.

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from Groffeaston wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I noticed some errors, mistakes, and/or omissions.

1) He forgot to mention the Savage 110.

2)there are 2 or 3 Marlin 336 series rifles in 2 or 3 different calibers instead including them under the one banner.

3) There are several calibers that were left out, under the descriptions, in many of the rifles.

4) A .243win For Elk? I feel it is too light for Elk, only a perfectly placed shot with the right bullet design would cleanly kill an elk.

5) I did not see any mention of the .30-30win. This cartridge probably has killed more deer, elk, and other similar sized game animals than almost any other cartridge since its introduction in 1894.

6) I do not call any rifle over $900.00 affordable. Especially to those who do not have $900 to spend on a new rifle.

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from czech444 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

This is in response to the author's comment of "One downfall is that this gun is not for the recoil-sensitive shooter." when referring to the Ruger Compact Magnums...

Now I can't speak for the .338 RCM, but I fired my Ruger Hawkeye in .300 RCM side-by-side with my father's Remington Model 700 BDL in .280 Rem and my grandfather's Remington 7600 in .30-06. The .280 and .30-06 have noticably more recoil. This is most likely due to the shorter barrel length and the use of proprietary powders in the RCM cartridge, but my point is, this statement holds no merit. The .300 RCM is an absolute pleasure it shoot.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

This is an interesting list and it's nice to see the big bore Marlins getting some press. WAM, you are correct, that Benelli sure won't win a beauty contest. My current rifle for elk would be my Savage 116 300 Win mag.

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from Sam Walker wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Nice to see the 338 Marlin Express on there. Has been getting great hunting reports on everything including elk, moose and bison. But difficult to load. Puleeese. What kind of morons can't load a lever gun?

BTW, the 338MX is just as accurate (mine shoots subMOA), has a 2 inch shorter barrel and is, in my opinion balanced better. Has recoil about the same as a .308 Win

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from Kong1965 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I don't understand the focus on recoil at all. The only time it will be a factor is when zeroing the rifle. I can't remember the recoil of any shot I've ever taken at game. Usually I'm so focused on the animal and making a good shot that I could be shooting a punt gun, and wouldn't give a damn. Your shoulder may hurt afterward, but I'm always so pumped up when the time comes, I have to focus on calming down and breathing normally. I never think, "boy this thing is gonna kick." I think, "don't freakin' miss."

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from buckmeister2 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Kong....I guess you are just such a big tough guy that recoil doesn't matter. I'm 61, 5'7", 153 pounds, and it matters greatly to me. I have read hundreds of hunting books and articles in my life, and never, EVER has any author said "recoil doesn't matter". Virtually ALL experts have written articles on how to handle recoil...it does matter.

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from Alex Robinson wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Kong1965,

You're right, recoil doesn't effect the accuracy of a rifle, but it can effect the accuracy of the shooter. It's important when you're practicing at the range all day. After all, we send more rounds at paper than fur. Recoil is also important in follow up shots. The better you are able to manage recoil, the easier it will be to deliver a second shot. Also, if you can manage recoil, it's easier to watch through your scope and see where your first shot hits. This is absolutely critical for long-range shooting.

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from kalendrinn wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I just finished my own research on this topic, and I believe the rifles do exist and they aren't in the 20 listed. I have used the Browning BLR Lightweight and it is a really nice gun but still can be heavy. Try looking up the Savage 11 Compact Mountain, the Tikka T3 Lite, Tikka Bettue, and Browning X-Bolt Hunter or Micro Hunter. While the Micro is geared toward women and young hunters, the length of pull is only 5/16 of an inch shorter than the regular Hunter. All are under 6.75lbs, most come in magnums and most of them are fairly short and can have iron sights added.

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from Sask.Elk.Hunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I've hunted elk for 21 years now, harvesting 15 bulls. The rifle I have settled on is the Tikka T3 Lite SS in .338 Win Mag. The caliber has given me awesome one shot kills. The model of gun, weighing in at 6.3 pounds, lets me cover many miles on foot without ripping into my shoulder and tiring me out. More miles = increased success. I loved my Browning .338 Stainless Stalker for years, but now that I'm getting older, the Tikka's accuracy and lightweight wins the vote for me.

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from Sam Walker wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

I have a 338MX, which I prefer over the MXLR for weight and handling. It has a 2' shorter barrel than the MXLR and a walnut instead of laminate stock.

Chrony shows only a 50fps difference between it and the MXLR.

Accuracy? 5 shot groups less than an inch at 100 yards NOT using a bench rest.

Recoil is about the same as a 308 Win or a hot loaded 270. Being a lever, follow up shots are quick.

Hunting reports on a Marlin forum are excellent. Hunters reporting of deer, elk, moose, and bison dropped with one shot. A number of them out past 300 yards. One guy, who's an excellent shooter, even dropped a coyote that wandered into the area he was hunting with a neck shot at 370 yards (lasered).

It's a great cartridge and gun. If you shoot lefty, it's a dream come true.

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from bman940 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

I had a Browning BAR in .300 Wim Mag., for me it was one of those rifles that I had always wanted to own. Think back 20+ years ago, While I killed a bunch of deer with it, I could never get the accuracy better then about 3 in. at 100 yards. It also cost me a huge Elk. Dang thing had froze up. Hunting Ore. above 5000 feet in the snow and wind had made my rifle a club. Yes, my guide had told me to make sure I had all the grerase and oil removed before arriving. I took it to a gunsmith who did just that. Anyway, I got rid of it right after that hunt. Fortunately the guide had an extra rifle he let me borrow so all was not lost.
On a positive note, I have shot the new BAR and they are night and day different in accuracy. Also, I recently had the opportunity to shoot Browning's new X-bolt and all I can say is wow! What a rifle, great accuracy and nothing I didn't like about it,well except the one I was shooting was right handed.

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from Sam Walker wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

Moose. I have the 338MX (Blued and walnut stock).
Before I start with the description, I need to mention this. Production has been suspended until 2013 because of QC problems Marlins been having. They only recently did a run of the 308MX after suspending production on it for over a year. So you will have a hard time finding one until next year.

Back to the description.It shoots subMOA all day long with little drift from the barrel heating. (typical accuracy is .75 to 1.25 inches out of the box)

It was a joy to carry last year in Western Colorado. I have a Leupold 2.5x8 36mm scope on it. This kept the wonderful balance of the gun and it felt like a 4-5 lb rifle and was easy to maneuver in the tress and brush.

It has great stopping power. On Marlin owners, there are reports of elk, moose, and bison dropped with one shot anywhere from 100 yards to 300 yards. One member took out a coyote at 400 yards with a neck shot.

Recoil with factory loads is less than a 30-06 and more like a 308 Win.

Owners and users that got one (w/o the QC issues that stopped production) all swear this would be the only gun they'd keep if they could only pick one hunting rifle.

Of course there are those saying Marlin has dropped the rifle because they suspended production, but there are always the doom and gloom crowd in every bunch.

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from lowcountry wrote 49 weeks 1 day ago

Does it really matter? Get a bow and learn to hunt.

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from vanbachbn wrote 5 weeks 5 days ago

Elk are thin skinned, so you don't really need a huge caliber. A 270 will do the job, though I think I'd vote for a 30/06 or 7 mm bolt action, just to get a bit more power. Weight depends on whether you are going to be on a horse or ATV or if you're hiking.
If you want to improve accuracy, you can add a rifle scope for A 270. You can read trusty reviews at www.riflescopecenter.net and buy it at amazon.com

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from Kody wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

Lots of choices here, I felt like a kid circling my favourite toys from the Sears, Eatons or Hudson Bay Christmas Catalogs. The kid in me still wanting one of each but that is no more likely to happen today than back then. I

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from hopper6 wrote 2 years 27 weeks ago

Keep it simple. I hunt with a 30-06 and so did my dad and uncle. Probably killed more elk and deer than everyone else on this blog put together. You need a good quality rifle with the best optics you can afford. I use a Nikon Buckmaster ($230). Dont waste your money on a cheap rifle (Remmington model 770 from WallyWorld=trash)I have a Browning X-Bolt. My boy uses a Winchester 308 & has already killed 3 bulls, 4 bucks and he's only 14. No need to buy a canon. I don't buy into the 400 yd shots most of those guys are BSers. Practice shot placement with a good rifle and good optics ad you will be succesful.

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