Cartridge Conundrum

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Lately it seems we are being bombarded by an unending list of “NEW” calibers and cartridges.  But honestly are any of them any better than what is already out there or are they merely capitalizing on our love of firearms and the hype of advertisement? 

The old standard reliable tried and true calibers that have killed more big game than just about any of the others combined are the 30/30,257 Roberts,308, 30/06, 270,25/06,243, 35 Rem, 7mm rem mag, 300 win mag. and a later worthy addition is the 7mm/08.  Then we have the venerable long line of Weatherby belted magnums.  Everything from the 224Wby mag all the way up to the 460Wby mag that is just about the most powerful commercially available cartridge in the world.  With this huge selection of cartridges it is hard to see how there could be any legitimate room for new cartridges. Now with that being said I love a lot of the new cartridges that have come out recently.  This doesn’t change the fact that a lot of the new stuff almost mirrors an existing cartridge’s ballistics.

Let’s look at the 300 Blackout.  What an awesome cartridge.  I happen to own 2 rifles chambered in this round.  I own a bolt action and an AR 15 both are meat getters.  Realistically its ballistics are no better than the 30/30 Win. In velocity or down range performance.  The difference comes in its being capable using the huge numbers of different types of projectiles which is good but we are talking terminal ballistics on deer sized game.  If the 30/30 were offered in the same rifle platforms then it as well could be loaded with those same projectiles and its performance would be equivalent in almost every ballistic way.  Now I know everybody is going to jump on me saying things about hand loading and using subsonic ammo with cans etc.  I understand all of that because I hand load and use a can on both of my rifles in 300.  We are not talking about anything but ballistics such as effective ethical killing range and performance on deer sized game.

Then there is the newest of the new the 6.5 Creedmoor. What a cartridge, but doesn’t its ballistics look awfully familiar. The 6.5 comes in at 2965fps and 2343ftlbs. With a 120grn bullet and the 25/06 slides in at 2990fpsand 2322ftlbs with a 117grn bullet.  The 7mm/08 comes in at 2840fps and 2489ftlbs using a 140grn bullet. The 243 Win. Comes in at 2975fps and 2103ftlbs with a 107grn bullet.  The 243 only drops around 6 inches at 300yrds and the 7mm/08 comes in at just over 6 inches at 300yrds.  The 6.5 comes in just about 6 inches low at 300.   These are just the standard nonmagnum cartridges.  Compared to the 257Wby mag the Creedmoor is a pumpkin chunker.

I know I know there are a dozen reasons why the Creedmoor is superior to everything in existence.  I will most likely have one before this deer season is over just because I love everything new and exciting and just about have to shoot it for myself. I am in not saying anything bad about any of the new cartridges that are being developed in fact I love that companies and individuals still love us enough to keep  giving us new toys to try.  I guess my point is that before you jump out and buy one of these new wildcats look into the old standards who have stood the test of time and came out on top.  There are dozens of wildcats that have came and went and these bad boys are still here.

Story by Jeff Stweart


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