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Is the .308 a Suitable Elk Hunting Round?

OL's Shooting Editor tackles this reader question
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bull elk
A bull elk turns broadside. Outdoor Life

An Outdoor Life reader recently sent in this question:

I’m getting a new Ruger M77 Hawkeye in .308 Win. I love to deer hunt, but I might also get the chance to hunt elk in the future. Can the .308 take on elk or should I bring along something bigger?

Here’s my response:

Good choice on your rifle. Ruger has done much to enhance the accuracy of its rifles in recent years by improving its barrels and using better triggers, so your M77 should serve you well.

It wasn’t that long ago that a .308 Win. would have been considered on the margins as an acceptable elk round, but with improvements to bullet design and cartridge technology, you have no need to worry. Premium bullets such as the Nosler AccuBond, Winchester XP3, Barnes TSX, and other bonded or monolithic designs deliver both the accuracy and penetration required for larger game. Use one of these loads and place your bullet in the right spot, and the bull will be yours.

For more, go to: The 20 Best Elk Hunting Rifles Ever Made