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What is the Best Elk Hunting Rifle – A Comprehensive review

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Do you hunt elk often and you are wondering if there are good rifles out there that could be of relevance to your hunting experience?

The question is usually if there is truly a perfect rifle for elk but let’s put it this way – Any good rifle with the right caliber will put down an elk if it is hit in the right place.

What is the best elk hunting rifle
Photo credit: Alex Andrews, Pexels.com

So what is the best elk hunting rifle?

For an elk hunting rifle to be perfect, it has to be durable and lightweight enough to get in the backcountry.

Additionally, it must be able to handle large calibers (without pumping them away) and shooting precisely at great distances. It must also be balanced and work fast enough to shoot-out-of-hand targets especially if you stumble on a bull in the woods.

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt if the rifle looks good and is available at an affordable rate. Additionally, a good rifle with the capacity to tip over animals of up to 800-pounds will make a good option.

In other words, we will talk about cheap, almost indestructible weapons with ultralight and a driver of up to 400 yards. How do they work? Are there weapons like that? Maybe not, but the following rifles in our review are very close.

Types of Hunting Rifles

Before you decide the elk hunting rifle to buy, you have to know the different types. Without the knowledge and proper understanding of the range of elk hunting rifles, you cannot choose wisely.

There are two general types.

Semi-Automatic

Semi-automatic elk hunting rifles are considered the second-best. They are usually not the first choice for professional hunters but that doesn’t make them a bad option.

However, this is not entirely detrimental. Semi-automatic rifles are known to be very useful for sustained second and third shots.

Bolt- Actions

This action rifles are popular with the military and deer fishing. They are known for their high accuracy, speed and reliability. They are the first choice of all hunting lovers.

We also recommend bolt action rifles for beginners who want to be safe and want their shots accurate.

What Makes a Hunting Rifle Good?

The features that make a shotgun great are those that you really need to worry about. Here are some great features.

Caliber

Caliber is definitely the most important factor to consider.

First, the caliber of the rifle that you buy must obey the laws of your country.

Second, caliber also affects your precision, accuracy and overall performance. Caliber is basically the diameter of the gun barrel and can be requested from the seller. This also determines the strength of your rifle, so choose carefully!

Stainless Steel Tube for Sustainability

The best elk hunting rifle has a durable construction. The most important thing besides the outer structure is the design of the barrel.

Stainless steel construction and materials ensure a long span. This also makes maintenance of the shotgun easier.

Long Distance

A good elk hunting rifle should be good for long distances. Even if you don’t really intend to hunt over long distances, this function must be available.

Long distance calls mean anything that is more than 600 meters and longer. With this feature you can use the rifle repeatedly and never miss a hunting opportunity.

Costs and Budget

This is also a very important consideration. You should go for a budget-friendly rifle because we can assure you that an expensive shotgun doesn’t always guarantee quality.

Yes, high-end guns may perform better, but not all. So, if you have a limited budget and want something a little easier in your pocket, pay close attention to this aspect.

You will definitely find plenty of cheap, budget-friendly rifles, all with extraordinary features.

Video: Best elk hunting rifle

This video reviews top rifles you can use in elk hunting.

Weight

Make sure the rifle you choose is light. A heavy rifle is only a barrier for you. This does not only make hunting difficult, but also makes carriage and storage difficult.

Now here are the top elk hunting rifles available in the market.

Browning BLR Lightweight

The ’81 series is one of the most versatile in the Browning BLR light series.

Buy this Browning 14103092HB BLR on Amazon

It is a shotgun with a pilot, lever action and carbine gun, which is equipped with aluminum alloy stock, twist lock system, 20-inch barrel and a moving rifle magazine.

It has four round boxes, which are released when the release button is pressed.

The Browning BLR is equipped with a straight or curved pistol and has a downloadable version for easy transportation and delivery that is widely known.

The short and long-acting model of 81s can record a variety of hard-hitting calibers, including 270 WSM, 300 WM, 308 W, 30-06, 358 W and 450 Marlin.

Advantages

With a circumference of around 7 3/4 pounds and 40 inches, 81 series not only collects a punch, but is also relatively easy to transport in the field.

Its short barrel makes it ideal for shooting from tree stands and wood. The easy-to-load magazines allow for fast shooting.

Additionally, the retail price of $900 makes it a medium size pistol in terms of durability and its flexibility makes it a good investment.

hat is the best elk hunting rifle?
Photo Credit: Harrison Haines, Pexels.com

Kimber Model 84M Classic

Standard 84M Classic is a conventional recurring rifle. At the same time, it is a new generation of ultra-light, mass-produced hunting rifles.

This gives the impression that half of them are made for private shooters. The chamber has a short action 243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem and 308 Win, including 338 Federal with a 5-round magazine. It has an adjustable trigger that releases 3.5-4 pounds.

Its overall length is 41 1/4 inches with a slight 22-inch contour. In terms of thickness, it weighs 7 pounds and is available in traditional warehouses made of matte blue and walnut steel.

Advantages

It is a good choice for backcountry hunting because of its low weight. The short barrel length, stable balance and light weight make it an outstanding recurring rifle.

Because elk hunters carry their rifles far more often than they actually shoot, light weight and short barrels are very important features to look out for in a rifle.

Due to the light frame and contour run, you can expect a slight retreat occasionally and this is not suitable for inexperienced shooters.

For experienced hunters, an adjustable trigger is one of the reasons why this ultra-light is known for its accuracy.

The suggested retail price of $1,225 keeps the rifle in the range of affordable rifles.

Ruger No. 1-S Medium Sporter

This is the average weight version of the Ruger 1drop block, a disposable rifle with a heavier contour barrel for larger bore cartridges.

This 1-S is only designed for two cartridges: 9.3x74R and 45-70. These are two classic cartridges that have continued to be useful regardless of their long existence.

It has simple security, two directions, a slidable rifle style and traditional walnut stock. It is 38 1/4 inches long with a 22-inch barrel and weighs around 9 pounds when equipped with a fourth rib and an integrated scope mount.

Buy this Ruger air rifle on Amazon

Advantages

1-S is a very good rifle. Thanks to its short action with a falling block and flat receiver. This rifle can be carried comfortably with the hand or hanged over the shoulder, although it is a bit heavy for a long hike.

Like the single-cartridge rifle, this rifle can be disassembled quickly and made available for use.

Although a little heavier than many of the other rifles on this list, it works so fast and its weight helps maintain balance when shooting.

The suggested retail price of $1,250 makes it an affordable investment.

Marlin model 338 MXLR

This is the precision version of the Marlin 336 chambered for the new Marlin Express 338 cartridge. Basically, it is a 42 1/2-inch-long range rifle with 24-inch stainless steel barrel and a liquid bolt.

This model also chambers Ballard gun, cartridge pressure hole, hammer protective block, safety plate, 5-round magazine and half-iron gauge. It weighs around 8 pounds when it is equipped with a wide and laminated wooden shaft that contains a deluxe backing pad.

Advantages

It is a good rifle with a long-range accuracy but still offers less discount in the price than similar rifles.

The stainless-steel frame offers better balance than traditional glue levers, but the precision and flat trajectory make it look like a recurring gun. In experienced hands, 338 MXLR is suitable for very fast refill and shooting, but beginners may find the length, loading process and weight a burden.

The suggested retail price of $930 makes it an affordable mid-range elk rifle.

Remington Model 673 Guide Rifle

With a heft of 8 1/2 pounds and 41 3/16 inches in length, this recurring gun is moderate in length and heft. It also has a capacity of 0.350 magnum cartridges, an adjustable iron mount and a ventilated 22-inch barrel rib.

The two ventilated barrel ribs and two-tone laminated wood makes it a unique rifle in terms of versatility. 673 was introduced in 2003 and stopped in 2004. It was built using the classic 600 rifle model and was based on the seven-action model.

Although this rifle has been replaced by Remington with Seven CDL and a 20-inch barrel, it is still resalable.

Click here to buy this Remington 700 on Amazon

Advantages

673 is light enough to move easily and also strong enough for balanced shooting. It has a recoil that can affect accuracy, but it is usually offset by soft and gentle triggers.

One drawback is that it’s probably one of the slowest action rifles on the list.

Remington Standard 798 model

Mauser 98, 798 Standard swivel rifle has full length triggers with controlled feeding mechanism. It also has an ejection mechanism mounted on the receiver, adjustable trigger, hinged floorplate and steel structure.

It has a 24-inch iron-free barrel in a 42 1/4-inch frame that weighs more than 9 pounds, with a range and brown-coated hardwood shaft. Calibers range from 270 Win, 7mm Brakes Mag, 308 Win, 30-06 and 300-Win Magnum

Advantages

Remington is a good rifle especially if you don’t intend to go hunting in the backcountry. The stock and heft handle recoil well and that is very important.

The latch knob is easy and fast to use. Versatile hunting rifle for various game species, especially elk. Estimated retail price: $1,000.

Winchester M70 Super Grade

The M70 Super Grade is a reincarnation that was revised and reintroduced from one of the most respected hunting rifles in the world. It features an improved MOA ignition mechanism, controlled feed, fixed pulling and pistol grip.

Notably, it maintains the classic Mauser action with two front locking arms and a 90-degree lifting screw. Built for 30-06 loads and a weight of more than nine pounds.  It also encompasses 24-inch barrels in a 44 1/2-inch frame.

Advantages

The weight makes it the perfect rifle for longer shots and you don’t have to worry about falling over when knocked by a recoil.

The new MOA trigger can be adjusted and the M70 Super Grade receiver makes cartridge filling fast and easy. Suggested retail price: $1,050.

Mark V Deluxe

This bolt action rifle has long had a reputation as “the most powerful bolt action rifle in the world” because of its unique bolt housing nine locking lugs. It has two security locks that close in a “safe” position to prevent accidental opening of actions on the ground.

It weighs about 9 1/2 pounds in thickness and has a 26-inch barrel with a total length of 46 5/8 inches. It can process caliber from 257 to 460.

Advantages

The precision, weight, and flat Mark V Deluxe cartridges make it perfect for long shots on the elk side. It also has a maximum standby distance of 320 meters.

Smooth wrists and three-dimensional cones of the forearm ensure stable balance. Its actions are also fast, smooth and calm. Suggested retail price: $1,775.

Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker

These pistol bolts are available in various calibers with long and short action, but are best suited for elk at 338 Win mag.

It has a matte finish and a black synthetic stock and a composite fiberglass handle. There are also black rubber pads and spinning bolts installed at the factory.

Some models are available in the left hand and BOSS is available in some calibers. Out of range, it weighs 7.3 pounds with a 26-inch barrel in a 46 1/2-inch frame.

Advantages

Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker is the most economical of all the A-Bolt models. It remains true to its name and it is an excellent rifle for traveling.

This rifle has long been a favorite of hunters throughout the country and it is an exceptional value at a suggested retail price of $ 820.

Browning Bar MK. Safari Grade II 338

Basically, the same Browning 1885 rifle with different modifications.

The modifications include the Pachmayr Decelerator Retreat Cushion and Satin Stock (originally designed by John Browning at the end of the Buffalo Hunting era).

This rifle is designed for big elk hunters who have a special respect for history, if not for practicality. The rifle offers adhesive hammer, user-adjustable triggers (about 3.5 to 5 lbs.), an ejector and blue barrel movements.

Selected walnuts, straight handles and forearm are also come with the offer.

Since the re-introduction under the name Winchester, High Wall 1885 has been available in various caliber calves including 30-06 Springfield, 270, 7mm, 300 and 325 WSM.

Advantages

Browning Bar MK. Safari Grade II 338 is not just extraordinary, but also a heavy rifle is favorable for timber. It is very accurate in the shooting but has a limited maximum point range of 190 yards.

Unfortunately, it is probably the slowest shotgun from this list.

Suggested retail price: $1,340.

Remington Model 700

Remington 700 is the best-selling bolt action rifle in history. It is renowned for its capacity to kill an elk at 270 Win, 30-06, 7mm Rem. Mag. And 300 wins.

Like the new 700, 700 CDL also has an externally adjustable X-Mark Pro trigger. It also comes from the factory with an average image weight of just under 3.5 pounds and a 2-pound setting.

Like one of the most popular calibers in their brand – Springfield 30-06, the rifle weighs 7.5 pounds and is equipped with a 24-inch barrel.

Advantages

This is a classic elk rifle with a price tag of around $800. The 700 model is a very popular rifle that has earned a reputation as a precise and reliable shooter.

Remington still claims that this is “the most accurate rifle on the set”.

Winchester Model 70 Classic

The recurring bolt-action gun is no longer called the ‘Sporter’ as it was when it was introduced in 2006. It is based on a conventional Mauser bolt with two front locking bushes and a 90-degree lifting bolt.

It has a controlled feed and solid extractor. It weighs 8.75 pounds with scope and has a 26-inch barrel in a 46 3/4-inch frame. It is very lethal in 388 Win Mag.

Advantages

M70 is well proportioned and easily borne. Suitable for shooting from a still or standing position. The long barrel can cause difficulties with wood. Controlled feed and fixed extractors make landing relatively easy.

Suggested retail price: $860.

Savage Arms Model 111FCNS 30-06

This bolt gun features the AccuTrigger triggering Savage itself and the AccuStock bed system, a pioneering achievement of the main hunting rifle.

AccuStock is coated with columns in synthetic compositions that drastically reduce movement and increase accuracy. It is a 6.9-pound shotgun without sights and scope. It has a 4-round magazine and 22-inch barrel in a 42 3/4-inch frame that can be moved.

Advantages

Among the most accurate hunting rifles, the 30-06 caliber offers a lot of punches.

The relatively light-weight of the rifle means it is suitable for still-hunting and stalking in wood.

This rifle is not a beauty queen, but a price tag of $675 makes it cheap.

Cooper Arms M52 Classic 338-06

Cooper Arms is a very young company. It started operations in 1990 but has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of fine and precision workmanship.

Cooper’s M52 Classic, has a wide range of features including an 8 1/4-pound shotgun with a 26-inch barrel.

Additionally, it is equipped with a 3-lug locking mechanism, a booster, and a rigid three-round magazine with a retractable magazine.

The Cooper Arms offers a variety of ejection plate features, which are processed with solid bars, multi Pachmayr, French point and walnut shops.

Advantages

It has all the precision and delicate properties expected from rifle manufacturers. It is also a very good-looking rifle.

The suggested retail price is rather high at $1,650.

Benelli R1 Comfortech

This semi-automatic rifle features a polymer barrel that is preserved by Benelli ComforTech. With a piston-driven system that softens the rhythm of Win Mag 338.

The receiver is drilled and threaded to install the scope mount and the Picatinny train. It has the capacity of three cartridges and weighs 7.3 kilograms without scope if installed in a 46-inch frame with a 24-inch barrel.

This rifle is available in 30-06- and 300-Win Magazine Calibers.

Advantages

Lightweight, durable, fast loading, and offers excellent accuracy for long distances. However, the main advantage is being able to absorb the retreat and allow the shooter to remain on target.

Suggested retail price: $1,000.                

Vanguard Deluxe

This recurring rifle contains many Weatherby Mark V Deluxe features, but at a much lower cost.

The large port and magazine feature a two-step quality matching that offers additional release and “creep-free” searches set from 0.008-0012. The Weatherby trigger can be adjusted for towing up to 2.5 kg.

The rifle weighs about 9 kilograms with a 24-inch iron barrel on a 44½ inch frame. The rifle is available in 257 Weatherby Magnum, 270 Winchester, 300 Weatherby Magnum, 300 Weatherby Magnum and 30-06 caliber Springfield.

Note that many hunters hunt elk on public land, where there is great competition with other hunters. This is essentially okay for ordinary hunting units where there is good access and no hunting quota.

Some of these pleasant spots are called “patch gourds” because of the many orange flames. You can hunt for a full day by scouting around the area first and identifying the places used by large elk.

Conclusion

Price, range and caliber are some of the most important factors to consider when buying the best elk hunting rifle.

A good and versatile rifle is always suitable for various hunting occasions.

A good hunting rifle is needed not only to ensure safety, but also to improve your hunting experience.

That is why this review of the best brands in the market will definitely help before you make a very important purchase.

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