Drew a NM Elk Tag! Now which rifle and bullet combo?

cb4128

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I was lucky enough to draw a Unit 36 NM bull elk tag for the first rifle hunt.

Now I'm starting to try and prep for my hunt and get my rifle dialed in.

I am either going to take 1 of my 3 existing rifles if possible:

7 SAUM - 22" barrel, 7.5lbs without scope - currently shoot the 175gr elite hunters and 160gr accubonds
300 win mag - 26" barrel, 8 lbs without scope - currently shoot the 215gr berger hybrids
300 RUM - 26" barrel, 7.5 lbs without scope - currently shoot the 230gr berger otm hybrids

I was also looking into the Barnes LRX bullet potentially for the 300's, in case we got into elk in the thick timber at under 200 yards.

***Assuming I would outfit any of the above rifles with the same scope (so weights are all going to be very similar), what would you take?

Depending on where we find the elk in the unit, we could be in cedar flats in 6,000ft up to 9,500ft in the timber.

 

cb4128

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I laid out a mature Red Stag bull at close range last year with the 300 wm and 215gr berger combo - bang flop at about 100 yards. Also shot a whitetail buck at 783 yards last fall - I've been very impressed with the versatility of that bullet so far.

I've read some good things about the 230's as well and have a good load setup for it - may just depend on which one shoots better when I stretch them out next trip to the range.
 

Spreedizzle

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36 is relatively open country with a lot of rolling hills and draws. I’d also recommend one of the 30’s as there is a good chance that you will have a longer shot with a decent wind.
 

SoTxShooter

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Congrats on the tag! I tried the lottery odds of the Unit 36 archery tag as a nonresident. Didn’t have high hopes there!

Agree with the .30 cal that you shoot the best.
 

duramax

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I was lucky enough to draw a Unit 36 NM bull elk tag for the first rifle hunt.

Now I'm starting to try and prep for my hunt and get my rifle dialed in.

I am either going to take 1 of my 3 existing rifles if possible:

7 SAUM - 22" barrel, 7.5lbs without scope - currently shoot the 175gr elite hunters and 160gr accubonds
300 win mag - 26" barrel, 8 lbs without scope - currently shoot the 215gr berger hybrids
300 RUM - 26" barrel, 7.5 lbs without scope - currently shoot the 230gr berger otm hybrids

I was also looking into the Barnes LRX bullet potentially for the 300's, in case we got into elk in the thick timber at under 200 yards.

***Assuming I would outfit any of the above rifles with the same scope (so weights are all going to be very similar), what would you take?

Depending on where we find the elk in the unit, we could be in cedar flats in 6,000ft up to 9,500ft in the timber.
Congrats on the tag, I'd go with the RUM.
 

Spreedizzle

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Another thought.....I always bring at least 2 rifles. Typically, I bring one with a FFP scope if I am anticipating a longer range shot as I am more comfortable with FFP and wind calls at distance, and then a SFP scope for when I am still hunting in the thicker timber for quick and easy reticle acquisition.
Just my preference......
 

OSOK - Crash

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Don’t have any experience hunting elk. So can’t recommend which one to take. But it seems like you got an overwhelming consensus. Lol

Just wanted to say congrats more than anything on your tag man. Definitely let us know how your hunt goes. I live precariously through you western boys and your great hunting adventures. 🤣
 

terrapin

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It’s sacrilege to draw a great tag & not use it as an excuse to buy a new rifle or two. I would take two rifles, one set up for long range (300 Win Mag with 215gr Bergers ~20+ power turret scope, bipod… approx 12 lbs) and one walking around gun (30 caliber or larger, 2-10 scope… lightweight).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cb4128

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thanks for the feedback guys - hadn't thought about bringing 2 rifles but can't hurt to have a backup in case of a disaster equipment failure or something.

I'll keep this thread going with updates on how the 2 big 30's do when I stretch them out and hopefully this fall I will have a write up with some pics with a big bull!
 

cb4128

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I just noticed something - all the info online has the 230gr Berger hybrids at .717 G1 BC. The boxes I have all have .743 G1 BC on the box.

Do these older ones have a higher BC or were the numbers simply corrected now for the Actual BC?

Thanks if anyone can help!
 

Broz

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I just noticed something - all the info online has the 230gr Berger hybrids at .717 G1 BC. The boxes I have all have .743 G1 BC on the box.

Do these older ones have a higher BC or were the numbers simply corrected now for the Actual BC?

Thanks if anyone can help!
Should be the same bullet. There was a correction done with more in depth radar testing and the BC's were adjusted after.
 

Lancetkenyon

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Definitely take at least 2 rifles.

When my daughter and I go to NM for pronghorn, I take 4 rifles between the two of us. A main and a backup for each.

This year, I am going solo, and will be taking 3 rifles.
 

hokiepride44

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Definitely take at least 2 rifles.

When my daughter and I go to NM for pronghorn, I take 4 rifles between the two of us. A main and a backup for each.

This year, I am going solo, and will be taking 3 rifles.
Show off 😂😂😂😂.

Seriously, taking a backup is a really good idea. I have a elk hunt in Wyoming this fall, I will have a backup rifle with me.
 

cb4128

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Was able to go out to a range about an hour from my house and shoot both my 300 win mag with 215gr hybrids and my 300 RUM with 230gr otm's out to 1,800 yards.

Both shot pretty dang well, but the RUM with the 230's was really dialed with almost zero vertical on the 1,800 yard target. I was pleasantly surprised that my dope was within a 1/2 moa all the way out there.

The 300 win mag was slightly less consistent, honestly don't know if it was the fact that my load needs some tweaking (threw it together last week) or if the 215's just started really losing steam at that distance vs the 230's.

Both had about a 5.5 moa wind hold at that distance to get an impact on an 18" square target. Lots of fun to stretch out my hunting rifles at that distance!

I'm feeling ultra confident in my RUM now and am planning on taking it to NM in October.

Will update this thread as I continue to work on practice with both until the hunt.
 

DEW

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Sounds like a good call to take the rum. Let us know what you find out with you Win.
 

duramax

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I was lucky enough to draw a Unit 36 NM bull elk tag for the first rifle hunt.

Now I'm starting to try and prep for my hunt and get my rifle dialed in.

I am either going to take 1 of my 3 existing rifles if possible:

7 SAUM - 22" barrel, 7.5lbs without scope - currently shoot the 175gr elite hunters and 160gr accubonds
300 win mag - 26" barrel, 8 lbs without scope - currently shoot the 215gr berger hybrids
300 RUM - 26" barrel, 7.5 lbs without scope - currently shoot the 230gr berger otm hybrids

I was also looking into the Barnes LRX bullet potentially for the 300's, in case we got into elk in the thick timber at under 200 yards.

***Assuming I would outfit any of the above rifles with the same scope (so weights are all going to be very similar), what would you take?

Depending on where we find the elk in the unit, we could be in cedar flats in 6,000ft up to 9,500ft in the timber.
Congrats on drawing the elk tag
 

Goosedog02

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Congrats on the tag! We've laid several big bulls and cows with the 300 RUM 230 OTM. Win Mag with 215's has proven itself, lots and lots of times. Our RUMS and 230's, we've taken game from 10 yards to 780 yards and we have zero concern with too close or too far. Our 7 mags don't make the trip out west anymore. Those we save for deer, when we get bored with the RUMS, ha.

What's your load data for each, fps included?
 

Tex Savage

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Not to put a damper on your draw, which by the way congratulations! I was wondering that since they issued a complete closing of all state and national parks in New Mexico through year end if that will mess up your drawn tag? I just saw the announcement last week, and living in the Texas panhandle, I was wondering what they will do for hunting season. I've not seen too many states ever give money back. Will be interested in your response and what you find out. Good Luck!!

Oops - Edit - The State of New Mexico changed it's mind (from their Facebook site - https://www.facebook.com/santafeNF):

Santa Fe, Carson, and Cibola National Forests to change closure end-date to July 18
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, May 18, 2022 — To better provide for public and firefighter safety due to extreme fire conditions in parts of New Mexico, beginning 8 a.m. Thursday, May 19, 2022, the Santa Fe and Carson national forests will implement forest-wide closure orders, and the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands will implement a closure order for the Sandia, Mt. Taylor, and Mountainair ranger districts. The closures will remain in effect until July 18, 2022, unless rescinded earlier based on conditions. This date replaces the termination date indicated in an initial release yesterday, which was December 31, 2022. The new closure date reflects a timeframe closer to potential monsoon weather, and the closures will be revaluated at that time.

Hope they get rain, get the fire out, & your hunt is a massive success!!!!!!!!!!
 
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cb4128

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Well shoot didn't realize all the wild fires going on out there, hope they get it extinguished and no one's livelihood is affected...

I was able to get back to the range and shot my 300wm again, this time suppressed with my TBAC Ultra 7 - which is my go to hunting suppressor.

My load is the following:

New Lapua brass, chamfered, deburred and ran it through a mandrel for 2-3 thou neck tension
215gr berger hybrid
77.0gr of H1000
215m primer
.006" off the lands
2,920 fps avg, ES-9

I was shooting this load previously at .026" off the lands and got the attached group without a suppressor at my recent range trip - which is pretty solid, but I think it wasn't quite good enough what I was asking out of it.

I went to the opposite spectrum and loaded up several at .006" off the lands, and shot suppressed and got the 2nd attached group. That's about as good as I can shoot in the conditions I had at 100 yards and am very happy with how this rifle is shooting now. ES is still 9, so I am betting it will be more consistent way out there.

***Now the only other thing I'm concerned about is my scope. I recently picked up a Mark 5hd 5-25x56 to try out and really like the layout of the scope, weight, floating dot moa reticle and the turrets. However, after going back thinking about my impacts and misses a few weeks ago - I'm wondering if the scope is tracking correctly?

I guess I will find out next range trip when I can stretch it out - because my velocity, height of my scope above the bore and general dope are pretty dialed at this point.

Anyone else had any issues with this scope in MOA? I had some issues with the smaller version - the 3.5-18.

Thanks for any input!
 

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cb4128

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in regards to the 300 RUM load, here it is:

New ADG brass, chamfered and deburred
230gr Berger OTM Hybrid
88.7gr of VV N570
215m primer
.040" off the lands
2,939 fps avg, ES-10

I had a 1.5gr wide "flat spot" in my velocity testing around this load, so I started right in the middle of it to hopefully give myself my flexibility over time to be consistent. I have no doubt there's a higher node with this combo, but it's already a barrel burner so I'm just going to stick with this lower node for now.

After reading several guys posts on the N570, and hearing from local buddies, I've been cleaning after every 30-40 rounds to avoid the dreaded carbon ring as well.
 

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cb4128

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Bringing this thread back up as I'm getting gear together for this 1st Rifle Hunt - starts Oct 15th.

I feel confident in the 300 RUM but I've been playing with a 7mm rem mag and 180gr berger hybrids, it has a 22" barrel, so I can run it suppressed and is about a lb lighter overall. Hopefully going to shoot next weekend and stretch it out to see if I can get it dialed in.

I'd like to take both rifles, to have a backup in case of a disaster or fall.

Anyone have personal experience with Elk and the 180gr Berger Hybrid out of a 7mm? From the reports I've seen online, it appears to have a similar reputation to the 215gr Hybrid and 140gr 6.5 hybrid - both of which are extremely popular.
 
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Broz

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Bringing this thread back up as I'm getting gear together for this 1st Rifle Hunt - starts Oct 15th.

I feel confident in the 300 RUM but I've been playing with a 7mm rem mag and 180gr berger hybrids, it has a 22" barrel, so I can run it suppressed and is about a lb lighter overall. Hopefully going to shoot next weekend and stretch it out to see if I can get it dialed in.

I'd like to take both rifles, to have a backup in case of a disaster or fall.

Anyone have personal experience with Elk and the 180gr Berger Hybrid out of a 7mm? From the reports I've seen online, it appears to have a similar reputation to the 215gr Hybrid and 140gr 6.5 hybrid - both of which are extremely popular.
We have killed dozens of elk with the Berger 180 and the Berger 215. Sometimes on the depredation hunts we did we used those two side by side. 100% of the time the 215 spanked the 180 in all aspects and all distances from 200 to 1K. Especially putting the elk down quicker. There is no real decision to be made there as far as my experience goes. For the record we took 106 elk that season. I was there for every one of them. 215 Hybrid for the win, from the Win.
 
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