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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Please move this thread if in the wrong category please moderators)

Good day all ye far more intelligent than I (so... everyone)!

So I have searched the threads on using an M1A/M14 for hunting - which is the "primary" purpose of my Scout that has yet to be cleaned and fired. It seems there is a general consensus that between 50-300 yards it is a very capable weapon to shoot most anything on 4 legs in North America, varying in distance on the game being targeted.

The part I am still unclear on is the best / recommended ammunition specifically for elk, rather than deer. I have figured by the various threads that 165 or 168 grain is the way to go, rather than heavier, as the Springfield M1A specifically prefers eating sub-170 gr rounds if I understood all the threads correctly. I also think I understand that I want as much of a jacketed round as possible so it is not deformed in the feed from the magazine. Beyond that - from a rules perspective - there is nothing really about ammunition that restricts or forces one type over another beyond the statement of "expanding bullets" as found in the Parks & Wildlife guide statement about rifle and ammunition:

To legally hunt elk with a rifle in Colorado, you must use a rifle that fires expanding bullets with a minimum caliber of .24 cal. or 6mm, a minimum weight of 85 grains that delivers at least 1,000 ft. lbs. of energy at 100 yards. The rifle must also have a minimum barrel length of 16 inches and if a semiautomatic rife, can hold no more than six rounds in the magazine and chamber combined.
To be clear: I am asking what off the shelf (Sportsman's Warehouse, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, etc. type accessibility) ammo is the best recommended for elk. Not bullet specifically, as I do not reload... but what ammo can I go out and buy, practice with, sight my future optics in with, and then use that will safely, humanely, and definitively take down a Colorado size elk?

I am happy with a forthcoming list of recommended rounds as I definitely plan on practicing over the spring and summer to figure out which the gun likes the best / is most accurate out of the rifle w/optics before settling... I just need to know what, as I stare at the 73 different varieties of .308 on any of the aforementioned retailer's shelves, would be say the top 10 to consider and try out.

For reference - if it matters - I am planning on acquiring an ATN X-Sight II HD as my optics of choice. I've never been good with ballistics calculations (or pretty much any math) and having to do it on the fly when the supercomputer in my "scope" can utilize preset ballistics calculations based on my ammo choice, determine elevation and temperature and such with GPS hook up to confirm, do all of that stuff for me if I just tell it wind speed and direction... AND record the shot on video to boot... yeah, that's for me.

Thank you all in advance for your insight and experience on this.
 

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you would want a .308 bullet that is heavier than what your M14 can normally fire without damaging your op rod.
 
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Anything with a 165 grain load will likely do the trick in CO. What works best in your rifle is up to you to test. I'd point you to certain ammo, but I reload only. Some bullets preform better than others on certain game. IMO, you get what you pay for. Do not use match ammo!
I wouldn't use the same ammo on a bear that I would use on a pronghorn...but, that's why I have different firearms for different jobs.
 

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you would want a .308 bullet that is heavier than what your M14 can normally fire without damaging your op rod.
I can't see how this can be true if his state thinks that a .24 Cal, 85 Grain load that has only 1,000 Ft/Lbs @ 100 Yards is adequate. Even my 150 Grain Whitetail loads have more than double that.
 

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Stay with 150 to 168 grain soft point bullets and it will do the job if you do yours.

Look at the link below. You should be able to find those at the stores you mentioned.

CMI, Springfiled makes five round capacity mags.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/3...-grain-pointed-soft-point-boat-tail-box-of-20

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/4...chester-165-grain-spitzer-boat-tail-box-of-20

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/2...-grain-rapid-controlled-expansion-polymer-tip

This year I am going to use Speer 150 grain SPBT bullet on top of 41.5 grains of IMR 4064 on my M14
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Do not use match ammo!
Question: why not "match" ammo? Wouldn't that be the most consistent precision load you can get from a factory?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Question: why not "match" ammo? Wouldn't that be the most consistent precision load you can get from a

Hollow points do not penetrate they come apart. You would wound an animal and more than likely never find it. Unless your planning for head shots leave the match grade hollows for paper or milk jugs.
Roger that. Makes sense.

As I said above federal premium ammo loaded with nolsler partition would be your best bet on elk sized game.
So - this stuff: http://www.federalpremium.com/ammunition/rifle/family/vital-shok/vital-shok-nosler-partition/p308e
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
165gr Nosler Accubond. Hogs or deer.
I am not finding any factory ammo using that bullet when I google for it. Like I said - I don't reload so bullet w/o a factor load behind it a moot point for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Woops, missed that sorry.
No worries at all.
I hope to eventually get into reloading - but at the moment I have no place to set it up. I need to clear off a few teenagers in the next 2 years and then I'll be able to purge out their stuff from the basement and set up a work area.
 

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Yes that would be a good round for elk. Border line heavy for a m1a, I pretty sure they make the same ammo in 150 or 165 if not both. If you sight in your rifle and only shoot this ammo for hunting I personally don't think a few 180 gr rounds will hurt it. Stay away from they hornady superformace or anything that says light magnum. As these are very hot loads regardless of bullet weight.
 

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Get on all the bullet manufacture's websites and look at their hunting bullet pages. You can gain info about the different projectiles and loaded ammunition there. They'll all tell you theirs is the best of course. Be ready to drop some coin for loaded hunting ammunition.

Match bullets come apart upon impact. As others have said, you may have to put several rounds into an animal, follow a blood trail for days, or flat out lose the animal...major fail. You can effectively use match ammo on varmits or small predators (no exit wound saves the hide).

There are many guys I know that don't know crap about rifles and ammunition, yet pull game out of the woods every year. They use Remington core-loct ammo. I don't use it, but I know it's killed many animals over the years. It should be easier on the pocket book vs. the premium hunting loads.
 

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Get on all the bullet manufacture's websites and look at their hunting bullet pages. You can gain info about the different projectiles and loaded ammunition there. They'll all tell you theirs is the best of course. Be ready to drop some coin for loaded hunting ammunition.

Match bullets come apart upon impact. As others have said, you may have to put several rounds into an animal, follow a blood trail for days, or flat out lose the animal...major fail. You can effectively use match ammo on varmits or small predators (no exit wound saves the hide).

There are many guys I know that don't know crap about rifles and ammunition, yet pull game out of the woods every year. They use Remington core-loct ammo. I don't use it, but I know it's killed many animals over the years. It should be easier on the pocket book vs. the premium hunting loads.
Nothing at all wrong with the rem coreloct bullets they work.
 
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