Best Elk Hunting Cartridges for Young Hunters

VD October 10 2021

Are you a young hunter who wants to start his journey on this road by hunting an elk, but your standard rifle cartridge is not enough to put an elf down? Sometimes the standard cartridge might even fail to put a normal animal down let alone Elks who are heavy-bodied animals. You'd need to game up to hunt an elk without much hassle; for both you and the animal. The appropriate Elk hunting cartridge will make the work easy for you, and there are many cartridges to choose from. So which one is appropriate? Which one would suit your needs?

This article provides information about the best elk hunting cartridges for young hunters. It also discusses how to take care of your gun when you go out hunting, what safety precautions need to be taken, and a few others.

Now let's have a look at some information that may help you decide which cartridge suits your needs.

6 Best Elk Hunting Cartridges Newbie Hunters Can Use

Here we'll briefly talk about the 6 best cartridges you can use for hunting elks. Let's jump in!

7mm-08 Remington Cartridge

This rifle elk hunting cartridge is similar to the wildcat cartridge. It was made around 1958, also known as the 7mm/308. The recoil of this cartridge is pretty tolerable for someone new at hunting. Ideally, you have to hit the elk with just above 1700 ft/lbs at 300 yards. It has enough energy to put down the elk while having endurable recoil for those new at hunting.

The 7mm-08 is mainly suited for hunting elks who are up to 400 lbs. This cartridge can be used for other game animals too, but it's not recommended because it has less range than other options available.

This cartridge was designed with the intention of being used by hunters who need a lighter rifle for carrying through heavy brush or while climbing mountains. It excels in this field due to its incredibly fast twist rate that screws 1 turn every 10 inches/ 24 cm which makes it ideal to use heavier bullets needed for longer ranges.

.30-06 Springfield

This elk hunting cartridge has less recoil of 17.81 foot-pounds which is less than a lot of other magnum cartridges. .30-06 has one of the best-offered ranges, giving you a reach of 1000 yards. USA Army had this cartridge in 1906.

The .30-06 is the most versatile cartridge when it comes to elk hunting, traveling long distances, and shooting targets at various heights. It has a 10% chance of one-shot kill or 130 yards. However, this cartridge has a bit more recoil than other options available which might disturb hunters who are new to firearms.

It's not best suited for young hunters but can be used by them if they are ready for some serious kickback. We'd recommend you only use the .30-06 if you know how to handle high recoil cartridges properly.

.338 Winchester

Winchester Repeating Arms introduced this elk hunting cartridge in 1958. Its recoil is 30.2 foot-pounds, free recoil energy at a velocity of 14.7 fps. The fps of .338 Winchester is about 2800, enough to hunt down an elk without much difficulty.

The range of this cartridge is 1000 yards.

This elk hunting cartridge has less recoil than the .30-06, making it a great choice for young hunters. It's also one of the most versatile cartridges concerning self-defense, big game hunting and long range target shooting.

.243 Winchester

This elk hunting cartridge is actually very powerful and produces 9 pounds of recoil. The drawback about it is that its range is not much, i.e., 300 yards. And then it's not clever of you to choose only 50 yards distance to fire at them since that'd put you in serious trouble by the elk! 

.243 Winchester is best suited for elks that do not weigh more than 400 lbs.

This cartridge works great on the small to medium game, so it might be good to start with this one if you're new at hunting and need some practice before using higher calibers.

The recoil of .243 makes it unsuitable for inexperienced hunters; however, some people would give some preference towards that due to its portability leading to less fatigue after carrying through some distance or while climbing mountains.  

.270 Winchester

This elk hunting cartridge has a range of 270 to 460 meters (300 to 500 yd). It was made by Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1923. The recoil of it is a little more than 7mm-08 Remington and .338 Winchester.

This elk hunting cartridge is heavy-duty which makes it suitable to use on a big game. It also has enough velocity along with the required energy for shooting down an elk at 1000 yards.

The drawback of this excellent cartridge is its high price, but there are chances that you might be able to avail one in your budget range so do check out offers available online before making a decision.

.300 Weatherby Cartridge

Made by Roy Weatherby in 1944, the .300 Weatherby elk hunting cartridge has a pretty good range of 1100 yards with the capability of shooting the bullet at 3100fps. I think the only reason it's on the number six here is its recoil of 30-foot pounds. It's a heavy-duty cartridge, but the recoil puts it on the lower end of the list.

We'd recommend you use this cartridge while hunting in open areas to take advantage of its high velocity and long-range. Also, remember that it is not suggested for green shooters which makes .300 Weatherby Magnum technically less suitable for young hunters.

The best elk hunting cartridges can be selected according to your knowledge and experience level; however, we do not think that you will make any bad decisions if you choose anyone from our recommendations. If you're planning to go after an elk with a rifle, pick one from these and we would bet that you won't be disappointed!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Which are the best elk hunting cartridges for youngsters?

A. 30-06 Springfield and 243 Winchester.

Q. Is the 270 win good for elk?

A. Yes, it has good power and range is better too. Although for youngsters, the recoil of it can cause difficulty.

Q. Which are the most popular elk hunting cartridges?

A. 243 Winchester, 270 Winchester, and 30-06 Springfield.

Important Thing To Know

While it is essential to know the ballistics of elk hunting cartridges, keep in mind that it's for the person too if he can excel at aiming and shooting correctly. Give the animal the minimum trouble and free yourself from the hassle of capturing the half-injured animals.  

You'd need to know the range of your cartridge and be able to shoot accurately. No animal deserves a bad shooter as its killer. So, practice more and then only pick up the gun!

While choosing any hunting calibers, you should always keep in mind that it's not for an individual hunt but for your future hunts as well. The biggest game will always require a bigger caliber: don't ever make the mistake of thinking otherwise! Always look forward to good reviews from others about different cartridges before making a decision on which one you want to go with next time you head out elk hunting!