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Elk have been taken with the 25-06 cartridge as well but, especially with the smaller calibers, you must be able to place your shot where it will reach the vitals. That means textbook broadside or quartering away shots on a standing animal.
At the distance you shot this elk, you could also consider a shotgun slug.
 
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I've fired a 300 Win Mag and have no interest in doing it again. For what it's worth, I took my first (and only) bull elk at the same distance (115 Yards) with a 7mm-08. It went down with one shot, after running less than 25 yards.

I prefer to shoot close (under 200 yards).
If I'm shooting antlerless at 100 yards, I take headshots. No suffering, and no meat damaged from bullet holes and adrenaline. Consider focusing on being a better shot. My last 3 cow elk were headshots with a 77 grain BTHP 5.56 in the ranges of 120 to 150 yards. I would have no reservations headshooting one at 115 yards with your 140 grain.

If you can't shoot accurately off hand, don't take the shot. Get yourself a rifle mounted bipod and carry shooting sticks so you can place more precise shots, in the events you don't have a tree or rock you can shoot supported from.

If you do need more gun, a legit muzzle break will significantly reduce magnums' felt recoil. Total game changer. SJC Titan Extreme is a legit option. I run them on a couple rifles; but there may be even better breaks out there.
 

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I would be more interested in what that 150 gr bullet did. if it hit a rib and blew up, that would be a bullet failure. If it went between the ribs and did not hit anything solid or vital that would be a targeting problem. [ not ammo related]. 308 is plenty of gun to take Elk. I prefer a good heavy for caliber bullet for most things that need to be shot. But without evidence that the bullet failed i would not be too quick to blame the bullet.
Old school bullet makers had problems keeping the copper jackets from separating from the lead cores in high velocity bullets. the bullets would strike a heavy bone and blow up into tiny slivers of lead. This made very ugly wounds that were not deep or immediately fatal. The solution to this was the Partition bullet. then along came bullets that Bonded the core to the jacket, like Remington's CoreLoc, Bonded Core, and A frame bullets. The Partition was just the first, and its still a good bullet. But most bullet makers have learned to make bullets that retain most of their weight all the way through the animal.
So unless I saw evidence of a bullet failure, I would not lose faith in that bullet. I would go with heavy for caliber. 180 gr are proven in big animals from a 308. The difference in 150 and 180 is the 180 will be a little slower and have a trajectory that drops faster but at 200 yds or less it won't make much difference. Good Luck DR
 

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Back in my Georgia days, I shot a deer running away from me. I hit it in the rump with a Sierra 150-grain .30 spire point and found the bullet under the skin at the base of the buck's ear. It was a perfect mushroom and still weighed 149-something grains. For a bullet that literally passed from one end to the other, I could not have asked for better performance. After moving out to WA and AK, with bigger game and longer distances to consider, I switched to the 165-grain Sierra SPBT and never had one to disappoint me.
 

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The difference between a 300 Win Mag, and a 308 is velocity. They both shoot a 30 cal bullet. and an expanded bullet from either will be about the same size. The 300 WM's claim to fame is that it shoots nearly flat almost 3 times as far as the 308. So if the hunter is limiting his shots to under 300 yds he is not giving up much by sticking to the 308.
Now if you need to make 300 to 500 yd shots the 300 WM and 7mm mag come into their own! Then the flat trajectory becomes worth the recoil. DR
 

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Most of my elk kills have been with a .30-06 using the factory 220 gr RNSP loading- no lost animals, minimal to no post shot animal travel. I like heavy for caliber bullets at moderate velocity when hunting elk, and don't play in the plastic-tipped or all-copper wonder projectile game.
 

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I suspect that the bullet that stopped at the rib had already encountered something pretty hard. If a 150 grain bullet is what shot best out of my gun, I would stick with 150 grain bullet.

Sometimes it take more than one shot.
 
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