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Old 02-24-2012, 08:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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.260 Remington for Elk?

Anyone filling the freezer with a .260 Rem?

I've been dreaming of a all around hunting rig / long range plinking rig that I could actually afford to buy/ build and actually feed.

.260 delivers on the long range in spades and is cheap to load, but does it deliver on the beast?

Seams like a little pill, to deliver to a big animal. I don't take marginal shots, but I like to see them drop on the spot.

Want! New Savage .260

Range on beasties would be sub 400yds.

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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At sub 400 yards I don't see it making that much difference versus say, a 308. I have not hunted Elk but I can't believe that a 139 or 142 SMK at 2800fps isn't going to sail right through it. I would guess that lots of Elk have been taken with a 30-30 shooting a 150gr bullet at 2200 fps. I would guess energy on target would go to the 260 over that.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would have to say no. Elk are big tough anmials 30.06 is as small as I would go but 300 win or 338 mag would be better
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would have to say no. Elk are big tough anmials 30.06 is as small as I would go but 300 win or 338 mag would be better
Completely agree, very tough skin, and they can take a hit. I use 300rum, but this year I will be using my new 338 lapua


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Old 02-24-2012, 09:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, there you go.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My $.02

A 260 will kill an elk, just not where it stands. Those damn things are tough.
That said, a 260(7mm-08, 25-06, 257Rob) with a good bullet in a good spot will produce meat.

Good luck! The planning and anticipation of getting a new rifle is almost better than having it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would have to say no. Elk are big tough anmials 30.06 is as small as I would go but 300 win or 338 mag would be better
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Completely agree, very tough skin, and they can take a hit. I use 300rum, but this year I will be using my new 338 lapua


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I am going to disagree with you both. I have hunted elk many times with my .30-06 as have most of the guys in my hunting party and while I've never had the chance to take one, the guy's I hunt with have taken 10-12 in the last 5-8 years, one of them with a .308. Most were 1 shot kills, some maybe two, but the .30-06 is plenty for an elk. You won't be making any 700 yards shots with it to bring down and animal, but you should have too. Elk are not some mystical modern animal.

I do however agree the .260 may be a little light duty for Elk. You could carry it, but know you limitation as far as range goes. When that big trophy bull shows up outside the range of your rifle you'll have to stalk it or wave bye bye.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So, a .270 with 140gr bullets at 2,900fps is ok, but a .260 with 140gr bullets at 2,750fps is to light?

I use that as a reference since the first four or five elk I ever shot or had seen shot were killed with one shot each from a .270 Winchester using off the shelf factory loaded 140gr bullets. All but one of these shots was a complete pass through. The one that wasn't was a quartering on shot. The elk was hit in the front shoulder, the bullet recovered in the off side ham.

Or, lets get a closer comparison. The 6.5x55, using a 140gr bullet traveling along at a leisurely 2,650fps, is used by all kinds of people in Europe to harvest MOOSE. None of them feel the slightest undergunned by using that cartridge.

So, what makes the Rocky Mountain elk, or Roosevelts for that matter, some mystical bullet proof, needs a fawking nuk-you-lar warhead to kill, super animal?

I will agree that the .260 shouldn't be used to try shooting at an elk 700 yards away, but with most of the average shots a hunter will take being within 50-400 yards it will do the job just fine. If you can't get closer than that to the elk, maybe use the money you spent on a super magnum shoulder relocator rifle to buy some hunting lessons.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Or, lets get a closer comparison. The 6.5x55, using a 140gr bullet traveling along at a leisurely 2,650fps, is used by all kinds of people in Europe to harvest MOOSE. None of them feel the slightest undergunned by using that cartridge.
I was going to bring up the 6.5x55 as well. I really want to get.one for deer hunting. It would be perfect for where he hunt here.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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So, a .270 with 140gr bullets at 2,900fps is ok, but a .260 with 140gr bullets at 2,750fps is to light?

Or, lets get a closer comparison. The 6.5x55, using a 140gr bullet traveling along at a leisurely 2,650fps, is used by all kinds of people in Europe to harvest MOOSE. None of them feel the slightest undergunned by using that cartridge.
Looks like 2800-2900fps is possible with factory ammo.

.260 test

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I was going to bring up the 6.5x55 as well. I really want to get.one for deer hunting. It would be perfect for where he hunt here.
Why would you choose the slower Swede?
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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So, a .270 with 140gr bullets at 2,900fps is ok, but a .260 with 140gr bullets at 2,750fps is to light?

I use that as a reference since the first four or five elk I ever shot or had seen shot were killed with one shot each from a .270 Winchester using off the shelf factory loaded 140gr bullets. All but one of these shots was a complete pass through. The one that wasn't was a quartering on shot. The elk was hit in the front shoulder, the bullet recovered in the off side ham.

Or, lets get a closer comparison. The 6.5x55, using a 140gr bullet traveling along at a leisurely 2,650fps, is used by all kinds of people in Europe to harvest MOOSE. None of them feel the slightest undergunned by using that cartridge.

So, what makes the Rocky Mountain elk, or Roosevelts for that matter, some mystical bullet proof, needs a fawking nuk-you-lar warhead to kill, super animal?

I will agree that the .260 shouldn't be used to try shooting at an elk 700 yards away, but with most of the average shots a hunter will take being within 50-400 yards it will do the job just fine. If you can't get closer than that to the elk, maybe use the money you spent on a super magnum shoulder relocator rifle to buy some hunting lessons.
Get out of here with your logic and all.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I would consider .260 a little low on the energy side for elk, but I've killed them with a stick and string before


It's all about shot placement, velocity at impact, and bullet construction. At 300+ yards I would want something in the 06/180gr energy range minimum. A .260 140gr would be ok at moderate range, but 400 yards would be pushing it IMO.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The Swedes have been killing moose and elk for a hundred years with a 6.5x55. It works. Shoot well and be done with it.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The Swedes have been killing moose and elk for a hundred years with a 6.5x55. It works. Shoot well and be done with it.
People have been killing 'em with spears for thousands of years too. I'm sure poachers today are using 22LR for the same animal.

I've used my -06 for elk for years and it has always done the job and is a good all around round for deer, elk, hogs, etc. I've never owned one, but have always heard a 270 should be the minimum for elk. I prefer to put the animal down as quickly and humanely as possible while doing as little damage to the meat as I can.

OP, if you haven't already purchased the rifle then look at a 30 cal. 7.62x51 is cheap and can be found everywhere same as the 30-06. Both can be good all around rounds. I work with a guy that competes with the 260 Rem and he is damn good at 800+ yards with that round. He doesn't hunt so I don't know how it performs when hunting big game.


I've been looking at a new rifle as well and am really liking the 7mm Rem Mag, it is flatter shooting and carries more energy at distance than my current -06. This can be beneficial if you plan to hunt animals that may require longer shots like oryx or for your long distance plinking. Where do you plan on hunting? Different areas of the country have different distance requirements that can be expected for game as well as some states requiring minimum calibers for the game you plan on hunting. Hopefully I can report on terminal performance this coming fall.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Why would you choose the slower Swede?
It's only slower with factory loads, you can hand load it much faster then what you buy off the shelf. Also, I just like the 6.5 caliber and the 6.5 Swede seems like a logical choice. It's different enough from the .30-06 to justify me having one. And the wife Grandfather is a huge 6.5 Swede fan, he's taken many deer and elk with it in Washington.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The .308 shoots like a rainbow compared to (everything) the .260.

I already own a 7WSM. I was thinking of liquidating it for $ and it's spendy to shoot. The recoil is Ok, but not shoot all day fun. It's light, ported and LOUD.

It looks like I should hang on to it for a little insurance on Elk.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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7wsm is one of the best all around rounds there is, don't get rid of it if you plan on shooting more big game in the future.

I wouldn't shoot a 260 at a deer, let alone elk. Everyone has a different ideal hunt, mine doesn't include 3-4 hours of tracking after getting a hit though
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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7wsm is one of the best all around rounds there is, don't get rid of it if you plan on shooting more big game in the future.

I wouldn't shoot a 260 at a deer, let alone elk. Everyone has a different ideal hunt, mine doesn't include 3-4 hours of tracking after getting a hit though
Next try aiming for the vital organs instead
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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IMHO, .270 or 7mm-08 would be minimum for elk....and I'd rather have a 2,600fps 175gr bullet out of the 7mm-08 than a 2,900fps 140gr out of the .270...and then for moderate ranges.


7mm and 30-06 are elk-killin machines!!

.300WM and .338WM are a tad overkill, but when you don't often get a shot every year, nobody really looks down their nose at you for being "overgunned" if you have a dead elk in the back of your pickup!


I'd have to disagree with JediJesus on not using a .260 on a deer. Millions of deer have been killed by .257Rbts, .25-06's and even the lowly .243.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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IMHO, .270 or 7mm-08 would be minimum for elk....and I'd rather have a 2,600fps 175gr bullet out of the 7mm-08 than a 2,900fps 140gr out of the .270...and then for moderate ranges.


7mm and 30-06 are elk-killin machines!!

.300WM and .338WM are a tad overkill, but when you don't often get a shot every year, nobody really looks down their nose at you for being "overgunned" if you have a dead elk in the back of your pickup!


I'd have to disagree with JediJesus on not using a .260 on a deer. Millions of deer have been killed by .257Rbts, .25-06's and even the lowly .243.
.223 have kilt em plenty dead too, but I wouldn't feel comfortable using it. That's all I was saying, not that they aren't capable


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Next try aiming for the vital organs instead
Which ones are those?

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:26 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Looks like 2800-2900fps is possible with factory ammo.

.260 test

Why would you choose the slower Swede?
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The Swedes have been killing moose and elk for a hundred years with a 6.5x55. It works. Shoot well and be done with it.
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Originally Posted by Diesel Smoke View Post
It's only slower with factory loads, you can hand load it much faster then what you buy off the shelf. Also, I just like the 6.5 caliber and the 6.5 Swede seems like a logical choice. It's different enough from the .30-06 to justify me having one. And the wife Grandfather is a huge 6.5 Swede fan, he's taken many deer and elk with it in Washington.
I <3 my 6.5x55. If you want to get frisky with slow burning powders, 2800 fps with a 140 grain bullet is quite possible. That puts it right up there with .308 energy, and 6.5x55 spanks .308 when it comes to long range work. If you load down a bit, the 6.5x55 is a pussycat, too. 140 grains at 2600 fps = minimal recoil and fun to shoot, and will still get most any job done.

If numbers are your thing, check out the sectional density of .264" vs. .308" bullets...

.264"
120 grain = .246
140 grain = .287
160 grain = .328

.308"
165 grain = .248
180 grain = .271
200 grain = .301
220 grain = .331
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:43 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I wouldn't shoot a 260 at a deer, let alone elk.
Funny, the two bucks my daughter has shot with her .260 haven't taken a single step after being hit. The doe I shot with her .260 made it all of 15 yards. The last doe I shot with my .338 WinMag ran 150 yards across an open field & another 50 yards into the woods :shrug:

Glad the 6.5X55 comparison came up so early. In my 3 trips to CO for elk, I've run into TONS of locals who swear by them along with lots of .25-06's and .270's. And most of them are using the cheapest ammo available. With premium bullets, reasonable range, and a proper hit in the vitals I see no reason a .260 wouldn't take down an elk. Not my *first* choice, mind you. Doable though? Absolutely.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The redeeming feature, other than remarkable inherent accuracy, of the .264 caliber has always been, and always will be high sectional density. Go back to the Kennedy magic bullet shooting, clean through three men. Yeah, I know, .268 Carcano FMJ (edit: round nose)but it makes the point. I didn't think anyone shot .308 with 200 and 220 grain bullets. Doesn't that take up case space and really slow it down ???? Will that even feed in Short action rem ?

The Elkys I know say minimum one ton on impact. Then they use a .270 Different strokes for different folks. Swede or .260 barely one ton at muzzle.

My vote is an accurate placement as close as you can get....

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Old 02-26-2012, 12:44 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I wouldn't risk it. Can it take down an elk with the right shot, yes, but hit the wrong spot and all you are doing is injuring the animal. I lost a bull because of this exact reason this year. We were shooting from about 400 yards, sometimes that is the only shot you may get, and the 30-06 rounds in our group we found were barely penetrating, the 300 win mag was the only solid penetration. I now believe you cannot be over gunned.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #25 (permalink)
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What do you mean by "barely penetrating"?
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