.264 Win Mag on Elk

Prerylyon

Veteran member
Apr 25, 2016
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Cedar Rapids, IA
So, I have an opportunity to grab a NIB model 70 featherweight in 264 Win Mag at a fire sale. I know the short barrel will loose some speed-I have the exact same gun in 280 Rem-but I really like the short barrel in the field and I just love these rifles. For deer, sheep, antelope I think it would be a sweet rifle-little argument there-however heard mixed info on its adequacy for elk inside of 500 yards.

I'd like to hear from anyone with real life experience using a 264 Win Mag on elk or anyone that's seen 1st hand what it can and can't do on elk? Seems like 140 gr Partitions could be a way get there? Rifle has the old school 1:9" twist, so it wouldn't be best suited to stabilize the newer, longer, heavy 6.5mm pills.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
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midwest
I have not shot elk with my 264 win mag but have shot a lot of deer with one. I shot my best muley with my 264WM at 180 yards at a hard quartering angle with a 140gr Accubond started at 3000fps. That bullet entered just in front of the hip and ended up near the front of the offside neck. It performed excellent and retained around 60% of it's weight if I remember right. I would not hesitate at all to use that bullet on a broadside elk. I never kept another one in a deer. Later I switched to a 140gr Berger for deer at 2914fps. It does not penetrate like the Accubond but has never let me down either.

I have taken elk with a 140gr Accubond started at 2950fps from a 270 Winchester. I had complete pass throughs on a lung and neck shot at 614 yards. The bull wobbled backward after the first shot and left only his neck exposed so I put the second one there. I shoot until elk are down.

I also finished off a muley another hunter had wounded with a 400 yard shot from my 270WSm with a 140gr Accubond. The buck had a back leg broken about a 6" above the hoof by a guy lobbing shots from further up the mountain from me and he was out of ammo trying to finish it. The shot angle was slightly worse than the shot on my muley with the 264WM, and the result was the same. Excellent performance. The other hunter tagged the buck and we helped him get it packed out on our way back from our hunt. His buddies and him gutted the deer and were trying to drag it out rather than quartering it. We quartered it and helped them, they were new to western hunting.

I have other stories of the 264WM and what a long sleek 140gr bullet can do, but long story short I'd not hesitate to use it for elk. The loads my rifle prefers are not hot ones and can likely be matched in your barrel length. I lost accuracy in my barrel when chasing speed. A couple friends with 264's did not.
 
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Prerylyon

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Its an old caliber that some would call a dinosaur and something of an a oddball, but it seems, on paper and the merits of others experiences, to be able to do a lot without crazy recoil. I realize I'd gain some recoil pain in that light rifle, but I'd expect it to be similar to my .280 lobbing heavier pills on its top end.
 
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Bonecollector

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Mar 9, 2014
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I've never heard a bad thing about this caliber. It's like a quite round that is not flash or get a lot of attention, but hits a sweet spot that is often over looked. I know there a couple forum member on here who use them. One even has the cartridge in his user name.
Hopefully more folks will chime in quickly as it sounded like time was of the essence (fire sale).
 
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Winchester

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Mar 27, 2014
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I've never heard anything bad about this caliber either. It should be a great gun.
I've also never shot an elk with one and I'd definitely lean toward something a little larger for an animal as big as an elk.
That being said, with modern bullets and proper shot placement I have no doubt it will kill an elk.
I'm sure we have some folks on here with personal experience that can help.
 
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BrettKoenecke

Member
Jun 28, 2013
137
5
I have a .264, an original M70 with the 26" stainless barrel. Its plenty gun for elk. Partitions, AccuBond or Barnes, all good bullets.

One of my hunting buddies has a 6.5Creedmoor and was telling me on a mule deer hunt how much better it was than my chambering, going to take it elk hunting as well. "A real death ray" he said.

"Huh, that's interesting. Your gun shoots a 6.5mm bullet at 2700, mine shoots the same bullet at 3250. By all means, go on about the 6.5CM and how superior it is..." Point being, lots of people shooting less gun and killing elk every fall.
 

mcseal2

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Mar 1, 2011
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midwest
I've shot a lot of animals with a 140gr bullet at around 3000fps. No matter if it's shot from a 6.5, 270, or 7mm they don't go far. That performance level is my personal minimum on elk. Not my ideal, but my minimum. It does the job excellent if my shot placement and shot angle are right. Kinda like the 243 and 85gr bullet I've used for antlerless deer hunts quite a bit. Not a ton of extra horsepower or overkill but plenty if things are right.

On deer size game with a Accubond or similar bullet I feel like I have the horsepower for the tough angles with the 140gr at 3000fps. Not many angles I can't make work there in a pinch.
 
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Joseph

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Jan 25, 2014
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Creston BC Canada
Every post you see about the 6.5 Creedmor declare it plenty for elk, if shot placement is right, if the angle is good, I don't see why a 264wm(6.5mm) wouldn't do the trick. Maybe not the ideal caliber but if you're good with the rifle it'll do the job.
 

Prerylyon

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Apr 25, 2016
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Cedar Rapids, IA
264 would be very close to your 280 you already have.
Yeah, I hear ya; however, when I run the numbers in a few ballistics programs, it 'looks' like at and below 140 gr pill weight (s), even with the short bbl, I'd get some extra speed for use on potential long range targets, like antelope over my .280. I know energy isn't everything, but I think at 500 yards with a 140 partition (again a computer simulation!), the .264 had a slight edge over the .280. So, why I'm asking people with real world experience with it, or seen their buddy or acquaintance use the .264. 😉

With max pt blank range zero in the program with 140 partitions, 3,000fps for the .264, and 2,900fps for my .280, it spits out:

(at 500 yards)

.264 Win Mag = 26.4" drop, 1,349ft*#s
.280 Rem = 32.1" drop, 1,122ft*#s

The .280 will make a bigger hole in the elk.
 
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Bonecollector

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Mar 9, 2014
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Ohio
Unless you really like this particular rifle or simply want a .264 it is not that much diff than your current offering. I'd look elsewhere IMHO, but you could buy it and then keep looking. We never have enough guns!
:p
 
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idcwby

Member
Jun 23, 2015
77
4
Idaho
Got a cow a few years back at 330 yards with mine. Was shooting Hornady 129gr InterBond at 3130FPS. Bullet went in front of the close shoulder, hit the heart/lungs, and than hit the ball joint in the off side shoulder and shattered it.
Second cow was this last winter. Different setup. Shooting the Nosler 142got Long Range AccuBond at 3200fps. Shot was 380 yards bullet went in right behind the shoulder and exited the other side with a golfball size hole. Massive damage to the lungs and heart.
Hope this helps. I love the caliber, been very impressed with it.

idcwby
 
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hardstalk

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Sep 13, 2011
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vegas
I can answer in about a month hopefully! Little different setup because im rocking a 26" barrel on mine. chronod berger 140's at an average of 3080 fps on the now "mild" loads. Was pushin over 3300 on the last loads but couldn't shoot em with ambient temps above 80*... Finally started stretching it out this past weekend 10" steel at 1100 yds 6.8 mils of elevation. Pretty darn confident to use it to fill all of the tags this year, including the cow elk.
 

graybird

Active Member
Feb 22, 2011
338
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Colorado
I have a very similar cartridge in a custom 6.5x68mm with a 25" Kreiger barrel. For all intents and purposes, the 6.5x68 is a ballistic equivalent cartridge to the 264 WM, but gains an extra 100-200 fps with similar bullets.

My current load in the 6.5x68 is using a 127 gr Barnes LRX bullet at about 3260 fps. I've shot this same bullet over 3400 fps, but prefer the lighter load trying to prolong barrel life.

All this to say, I'd have zero hesitation to use my 6.5x68 on elk, and in fact, plan on doing so this fall to fill my WY cow tag. I've killed two elk with my 7mm-08 using the 120 gr Barnes TTSX bullet with neither going more than 15 yards after accepting the bullet.
 
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hardstalk

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vegas
Follow up on this. Will it work? Yes. Would I do it again..? Probably not.. Shot my cow Friday with the .264. Hunt lasted all of about 20 minutes. Looking back, I probably should have asked my dad if I could borrow his 300 ultra mag. Damn elk are tough! My cow took 2 140 bergers to the lungs and 1 to the heart before she finally called it quits. Found one bullet between the skin and opposite shoulder, perfect mushroom but it didnt slow her down much. If the .264 was all I had access to I would probably face the fact that its going to cost me a bit of front shoulder meat to kill an elk faster. Meaning I would tuck that bullet real deep into the front quarter rather than the outlook I had of staying to the outskirts of the front shoulder to not waste any meat.
 
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Prerylyon

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Follow up on this. Will it work? Yes. Would I do it again..? Probably not.. Shot my cow Friday with the .264. Hunt lasted all of about 20 minutes. Looking back, I probably should have asked my dad if I could borrow his 300 ultra mag. Damn elk are tough! My cow took 2 140 bergers to the lungs and 1 to the heart before she finally called it quits. Found one bullet between the skin and opposite shoulder, perfect mushroom but it didnt slow her down much. If the .264 was all I had access to I would probably face the fact that its going to cost me a bit of front shoulder meat to kill an elk faster. Meaning I would tuck that bullet real deep into the front quarter rather than the outlook I had of staying to the outskirts of the front shoulder to not waste any meat.
Waaaylll....I haven't bought the rifle yet-but probably will anyway since I fell in love with it. 😍 lol Its not quite the urgent matter it was, as I found these guns reasonably priced and available at Bud's in KY. Wife says I have to sell something 1st... (maybe a couple of the kids? 😂)

Thanks for sharing your field experience; 1st hand knowledge is far more valuable than solely conjecture on the mathematics and physics involved.

Will it kill elk? You and many others prove it can; but no arguing the merits of its big brothers in putting elk down either.
 
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graybird

Active Member
Feb 22, 2011
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Colorado
Follow up on this. Will it work? Yes. Would I do it again..? Probably not.. Shot my cow Friday with the .264. Hunt lasted all of about 20 minutes. Looking back, I probably should have asked my dad if I could borrow his 300 ultra mag. Damn elk are tough! My cow took 2 140 bergers to the lungs and 1 to the heart before she finally called it quits. Found one bullet between the skin and opposite shoulder, perfect mushroom but it didnt slow her down much. If the .264 was all I had access to I would probably face the fact that its going to cost me a bit of front shoulder meat to kill an elk faster. Meaning I would tuck that bullet real deep into the front quarter rather than the outlook I had of staying to the outskirts of the front shoulder to not waste any meat.
Perhaps a better bullet than a Berger should be considered?
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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Follow up on this. Will it work? Yes. Would I do it again..? Probably not.. Shot my cow Friday with the .264. Hunt lasted all of about 20 minutes. Looking back, I probably should have asked my dad if I could borrow his 300 ultra mag. Damn elk are tough! My cow took 2 140 bergers to the lungs and 1 to the heart before she finally called it quits. Found one bullet between the skin and opposite shoulder, perfect mushroom but it didnt slow her down much. If the .264 was all I had access to I would probably face the fact that its going to cost me a bit of front shoulder meat to kill an elk faster. Meaning I would tuck that bullet real deep into the front quarter rather than the outlook I had of staying to the outskirts of the front shoulder to not waste any meat.
Elk are hard animals to kill at times. I've have had them drop like a rock and I have seen them absorb a lot of bullets before they dropped all from the same rifle and loads all put into the right place.

But I do have to agree on trying a different bullet other than Bergers
 
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