Are Soft Point Bullets Good For Elk?

Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter, and OutdoorsmanOpens in a new tab..

Rifle hunting for elk is a popular pastime, but you will need to use the right bullets to kill an elk ethically. With such a large variety of bullets and ammunition, there are many options, such as soft point bullets. But are soft point bullets a good choice for bigger animals like elk?

Soft point bullets are excellent choices for rifle elk hunting. Most soft point bullets are designed for hunting purposes and are made to penetrate and expand as they enter an animal. This does much more damage and quickly and efficiently kills your target, even larger animals such as elk.

Soft point bullets are a great option for shooting elk. However, you still need to ensure that you are using the correct type of bullets and caliber, as well as making accurate shots. Continue reading to learn some of the best tips for soft point bullets when it comes to elk hunting. 

Are Soft Point Bullets Good for Elk

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Is Soft Point Ammo Good for Hunting?

Soft point bullets have a special design when compared to other types of ammunition. A soft point bullet is similar to a full metal jacket bullet, that as the name implies, has a full metal jacket all around the bullet. A soft point bullet, on the other hand, is made with a hole at the tip that allows for lead or other metals to be poured in from the front and leaves an exposed soft lead at the nose of the bullet. 

The reason soft points are the best options for hunting is because of the way it reacts when it hits a target. When a soft point hits soft tissue and muscle, the exposed lead core at the front will begin to squish inwards.

Because of this, the soft point will expand a great deal wider than the original diameter of the bullet and begin to tumble and rotate as it passes through tissue. This creates a lot more wounds and damage than a typical bullet that would pass straight through without tumbling or expanding. 

With a soft tip bullet, you get added expansion and damage when a target is hit. This is why soft tip ammunition was originally created and why they make the best choice for hunting. Elk are extremely tough animals that can take a hit, so it is important to use ammunition and bullet choices that will do the most damage. 

But even with the best soft point bullets, proper bullet placement is the number one factor in taking down and killing an elk while hunting. You must shoot the animal in the proper area on the body to ensure a quick, clean kill.

When you do this, combined with a quality soft point bullet, you will most likely be rewarded with a very quick and humane kill where the animal does not go very far for retrieval. 

What Bullet is the Best for Elk?

Elk are very big animals and extremely tough. Choosing the right bullet is a critical part of a successful elk hunt. At the end of the day, the bullet is the thing that will actually kill the elk. This is why it is such a good idea to do everything in your power in order to choose the right bullet for the elk hunt. Deciding on a soft point bullet is the perfect first choice. 

Once you decide on using a soft pointed bullet, you must then decide on the design, weight, and brand of bullet that you want to use. This is not a great time to try and save money, and you should carefully choose the bullet that is the best possible choice for elk.

Remember that a bullet that may work on smaller animals such as deer and bears may not also be a good choice for larger animals such as elk. 

Many brands offer excellent soft point bullets that are specially designed for elk hunting. These soft-tipped bullets even come in different designs and materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

It is important to also study the hunting regulations for the area that you are hunting, as there could be limitations on the ammunition and bullets that you are allowed to use on a hunt. 

What Calibers Are Best for Elk Hunting?

While the bullet is one of the most important aspects of rifle elk hunting, you must also ensure that you are shooting it out of a caliber that is large and powerful enough to kill an elk. As a common rule of thumb, try to stick with a caliber that is at least 270 Winchester size or larger. Some of the most popular elk hunting calibers include things like: 

As long as you are shooting a sufficient caliber for elk hunting, you can rest assured that your soft point bullet will cleanly and efficiently take down an elk. But with any caliber that you choose, remember that it is proper bullet placement that is the key to taking down big game.

Even the biggest caliber with the best soft point bullet will not properly kill an elk if you do not hit it in the right kill zone on their body. 

Top 5 Companies that Sell Soft Point Bullets

There are a ton of companies that sell them, but I’d say the top five would be (and all five of these are found on are:

Final Thoughts

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Because elk are so tough, you need a tough bullet to take them down. While it may not seem like soft point bullets would be the best option, they are actually an excellent choice for bringing down these animals. If you want the best possible bullet for a rifle elk hunt, you should be choosing a quality, soft point bullet for your next adventure. 

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Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. Since he was a child, he has been hunting and fishing and has over 20 years of outdoor experience. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channelOpens in a new tab. dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.


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Hi, I'm Sam! I used to work as a caregiver, and now I'm in medical school. My blog is about helping people get healthier through fun activities like archery, hunting, and powerlifting. If you like one of my articles, please share it with your friends and family so they can be healthy too!

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