Saturday, May 1, 2010

While we're at it

Take a look at this page. 180 grain loadings in .30-06 and .308. The '06 is rated for large, thin skinned game. But the same projectile, launched 80 fps slower out of the .308, is only good for light thin skinned game. Then take a look at the 180 grain .303 British chart. Lose 200 fps off of a 180 grain thirty caliber bullet, and you're back into big, thin skinned game. What gives?

Ok, now look at the 180 grain .30-40 load. It starts off slightly slower than the .303, but according to the Winchester people keeps more velocity past three hundred yards. As far as I am concerned, no real difference. So why are they willing to label the British round for large game and not the Krag? Do they put tougher bullets into the '06 and .303? The .303 measures .311, so it's a different bullet. But I seriously doubt Winchester is using up manufacturing space to make two different 180 grain power point bullets for the American 30 calibers.

I'm one of the dozen or so people out there to own and shoot a .307 Winchester. So I took a look at its chart next. Tube magazines require flat nose bullets, so the .307 is less aerodynamic than the others and loses velocity downrange. It starts off faster than the .303 or the .30-40 though. I don't buy that the .303 is magically a more efficient missile of destruction than the .307, but I could possibly swallow some argument about flat nose as compared to spitzer bullets. Maybe. Still don't buy that 80 fps makes that much difference in the .30-06 and .308. There could be that much difference caused a little variance in chamber tolerances. For that matter, I bet the .308 load is faster out of a model 70 rifle than the '06 is out of, say, my 7600 carbine and its 18 inch barrel. Can anybody explain their reasoning here? Is it just the work of stupid marketing people, or is there something going on I should know about?


  1. If it works use it. I think the marketeers have more input for those charts than any hunters...

  2. For DG purposes, the standard of DRT performance is FN solids, not hollowpoints.

    Marketing and selling "new" and different...

    RSA Game Officers use R-1s (7.62/.308) regularly for culling elephants. If you thread the bullet where it needs to go, it works fine. If you don't a .375 H&H often fails. Quite a few eles have been taken with .257 Roberts, FWIW.

    I've got a .30-40 Krag, .30-30 Contender barrels, .308s, .35 Rem, .30-06, .300 Win and H&H Mags, on up to .458 Lott, and even a couple .303s and some .500s of various sorts. I'd hunt anything on the planet with any of them.

    Stay within the performance envelope of the cartridge and they all work for most things, although I personally would prefer to be overgunned than undergunned with thick skinned DG. Like Elmer Keith said more than once, "Is it possible to 'overkill" an animal?"

    I killed a Zebra mare at about 335 by the laser rangefinder with a 55 grain SP in her ear. She weighed in at a bit over 800lbs.

    Magazine talk is magazine talk. Shot placement and real world results are what matters.

    When I lived in Colorado in the 90s, my main Elk rifle was a .30-30 trapper because it was quick and handy stalking on mountainsides. Never wounded and lost a single animal, and only had to shoot one twice.

    Friend has a game park in RSA and for American "non-hunters" with limited abilities who are likely to have horrible shot placement he prefers they use some sort of magnum such as .300 WinMag or better because it will usually make the wounding shot by the moron easier to track and finish off, but he mostly hunts the same animals on his property with .223 and .308 because he's a reserve policeman and gets the ammo for free :-)

  3. Gunsmithy friend works with GS Bullets a lot in RSA. He gave me this URL a long time ago and it's still valid and the feller regularly updates it as to REAL WORLD wound ballistics, as opposed to magazine propaganda.

    It's long but it's worth reading.

    Take care and happy shooting.