Comments From The Gunsmith
Today we are seeing a new group of cartridges appear on the market. These cartridges are being held out as the best thing ever. There is a price for everything. These cartridges show great promise in some areas and create problems in others. The idea of using one rifle with varying cartridges for every job is just a theory. When considering a new rifle-cartridge combination, you should start with the task it will be used for most.
These cartridges do have a place, but they also carry a price. Will you
be hunting in hot conditions? The cartridges are operating at higher
pressures then we have seen in the past. On a hot day we are seeing blown
hard bolt lifts with factory ammo. These rounds also heat a light barrel
very quickly. Some of the cartridges are also showing feeding problems
and reduced mag. capacity.
Before choosing any cartridge, be sure to carefully consider all of your
options. There may be another cartridge that will do the job as well
or better when you consider the overall picture. We find that the .338-06
a 180 gr. bullet at almost the same velocity (within 50 fps.) of the
.300 win mag and of the .300 wsm with much less felt recoil, and no
pressure or feeding
problems. A rifle weighing the same as a Model 70 feather weight .300
wsm will hold 2 more rounds in the magazine.
There are times when velocity and accuracy are the two most important factors on a gun, but generally only when dealing with a speciallized type of rifle. In a general hunting rifle, accuracy should be at the top of the list of important factors, and velocity should be used to achieve better accuracy.
There is also a lot of talk these days about how flat a rifle shoots at
a given distance, say 500 yards. There are a new crop of scopes with
ranging reticles that you have to learn how to shoot. There is a system out
that is almost foolproof. It requires nothing more than a pocket rangefinder
and an ability to place the shot. This system is offered only in Leupold
To use this scope, simply decide on a load to use, then take that info and place a number of bullet drop dots on the crosshair. Now you simply range and hold on. No math, no calculators, no circles. This is the simplest, surest system we have ever used.
I would much rather use this system and be able to use a cartridge that is problem free when paying for a hunt away from my home area.