A Couple Thoughts And Observations On Caliber And Cartridge Effectiveness

Discussion in 'misc hunting and range related' started by Grumpy, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    Tom was over last night and over coffee we got to talking about next year and a combo mule deer and elk hunt hes planning, he brought over a 270 win BAR rifle he has used for at least 30 years ,and wanted to know if I wanted to buy it or knew anyone that might as he wants to buy a 300 win mag, because he was under the absurd impression a 270 win he has used for decades would not effectively kill elk?
    ( I don't know if I convinced him but a 270 win , loaded with a decent 150 grain bullet,
    will certainly be more than effective if he shoots accurately)
    he brought up the fact that I generally used a 340 wby, and asked me why?
    I explained I really trust that rifle, after using it for 40 plus years,
    but its certainly not the only good choice,

    Id previously used a 30/06 and it was 100% effective and lethal,
    but it had not nearly the same immediate effect,
    there has been a noticeably more impressive reaction when you hit elk with a 340 wby
    ,and I've had excellent results so I stick to using it or the similar 375 H&H.
    that I did not see with similar hits using a 30/06,
    on my first two successful hunts using that 30/06 with 220 grain bullets,
    that the guys mentoring me swore were ideal.
    (keep in mind the area they/we hunt shots over 125 yards are rare!)

    both rifles and cartridges were lethal with one shot.
    but in my experience, you don't get the same reaction to nearly identical hits
    while I fully agree its consistent and accurate shot placement,
    not power that will be far more important to being successful.

    but as always hitting the games vitals consistently from field positions with your rifle of choice,
    and knowing the games anatomy is critical to getting good results

    over 5 decades I've generally taken the effort to to spend at least a couple days and most years several weeks making out of state hunts,
    I really prefer hunting elk in COLORADO, but many years , available time, previous obligations,
    and lately the cost, and difficulty in getting a license in an area I prefer to hunt have limited that option.[​IMG]
    So I have on some years been restricted to hunting mule deer in , CALIFORNIA, IDAHO, WYOMING, or whitetail deer , in FLORIDA, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, TEXAS.
    generally made these hunts with two to three other guys that split the transportation costs involved as we drive out in one or two trucks from FLORIDA where I live, and yeah its about a 42-47 hour drive from FLORIDA to COLORADO and a bit longer to WYOMING depends on weather, traffic , road construction, etc, and what vehicles we take, the guys driving etc.
    we generally camp in tents for the 7-9 day season time frame we have available.
    over the decades I've seen a rather wide selection of rifles and cartridges being used, and I can assure anyone reading this that ,
    I have been paying a good deal of attention during the hunts and resulting field dressing
    procedure's, I've seen several elk killed with a 257 Roberts and 100 grain speer hot core and 120 grain grand slam bullets ,
    and 6.5mm Swedish Mausers with Hornady 140 grain interlocks
    (hardly magnum cartridges)
    and I've seen plenty of big game killed with a 270 win, 30/06 and 308 win, so you certainly don't need a magnum to be successful.
    one guy I hunted with for 20 plus years used a marlin 45/70 ,using handloads,
    cast bullets that weight 350 grains and moving at only about 1700 fps
    and had zero issues putting game in the freezer.
    I've generally used a 340 wby and 250 grain HORNADY bullets or a 375 H&H with 270 grain HORNADY bullets
    my late hunting partner used a Browning BLR in 358 win for decades loaded with a 250 grain hot core, speer bullet,
    and one of the most popular cartridges and rifles, used by the guys I hunt with is,
    is the 7600 remington in caliber 35 whelen, using the same 250 grain speer bullet.
    if your worried about the rifle you have, DON,T be,

    as long as you can learn and practice being able to consistently place your shots in about a 3" circle,
    shooting from a field position at 100 yards ,
    you'll generally do OK if you spend enough time actually hunting vs sitting around camp.

    don,t worry about needing a long range flat trajectory, while thats great,
    if you have that rifle and useful , its not generally required as most of the big game has been shot at well under 250 yards,
    its the skill, knowledge , and experience in the field,
    and persistence of the guy holding the rifle,

    more than the cartridge selected that maters

    read these links






    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  2. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    well I spent an hour or so at the local rifle range helping TOM right in his browning BLR , with one of the hand loaded ammo, combos I've used for decades in my BAR.
    I used speer 150 grain bullets over 52 grains of WW760 and a 215 fed primer, as thats a combo thats been very well documented to be consistently accurate in several browning BARS.

    now TOM has not been overly impressed with his BARS accuracy so before we went to the local range I had him clean his rifle,
    I watched him and it was all too obvious he is clueless about proper cleaning, his existing buffer was well past its useful life and there was no surface lube in the gas system under the fore-
    arm the action was filthy, the bore was filthy but I think that was mostly due to his admitting it was several years since he used the rifle or cleaned it other than an occasional bore and action soak in WD40
    I replaced the buffer shock absorber plate.,
    a good cleaning with a tooth brush and solvent and some moly spray lube on the internal action components and 45 minutes of a nylon bore brush and 40 plus linen patches soaked in hoppes copper solvent




    worked rather well on the bore condition
    the result was 1.5" 3 shot 100 yard bench rest groups rather than the previous 3"-3.5" groups

  3. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member



    these nylon recoil buffer inserts for the browning BAR hunting rifle ,
    are a wear item like fan belts and brakes on a car,
    I generally keep a handful on hand
    numerich gun parts, and midsouth and midway and my local gunsmith are currently out,
    or on back order and Id like to purchase a few
    but the only ones I currently find are listed for $27 EACH vs the typical $5 each they normally sell for

    your correct that they usually don,t need to be replaced ,
    but they are a potential wear item so about every two years I replace them,
    just as I disassemble and clean and lubricate all the moving parts
    and I darn sure inspect them after and before every hunt or trip to the range.
    I also replace springs and small parts at the first sign of wear

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  4. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I just got back from a trip to the local; outdoor 100 yard rifle range, where I sighted in a couple of my "go-too", hunting rifles
    I checked the zero on my browning BLR in caliber 450 marlin with its preferred load of a remington 405 grain bullet over 50 grains of IMR 3031,
    and my ruger #1 in caliber 270 win with its speer 150 grain, over 53 grains of WW760 , both loads, use a federal 215 primer.
    both rifles are sighted in to impact 3.5" high at 100 yards over a center hold on a 1/2" orange paste on dot,
    this allows a very useful center of chest hold on any game out to about 250 yards without having to calculate anything,
    and its very useful as I rarely have the opportunity or need to shoot at ranges exceeding 200 yards in the areas I hunt.
    after using the bench and sandbags to verify the rifles zero was dead on, I spent a great deal of time and effort ,
    carefully placing shots from a siting position with the sling resting my elbows inside my knees, as you might on a hunt.
    sometimes with my harris bi-pod and at times without the 13.5"-27" bi-pod
    Harris S-25C Bipod Sling Swivel Stud Mount 13-1/2 to 27 Kryptek (midwayusa.com)

    the range officer stopped to chat, and he mentioned how rare it was to see anyone not using the bench to sight in his rifle.
    I mentioned the extreme lack of concrete benches in the correct location when they are required in the field while hunting and we both had too laugh\
    because most of the guys shooting those bragging size groups off the bench would be seriously challenged to hit a 6" orange dot at 100 yards.
    if they were shooting from a rapidly acquired field position.
    yeah, its rather interesting to see how much the group size increases once the bench is no longer used or available to steady the rifle,
    in fact the guy on the next bench over though I was wrong, so I challenged him to a friendly bet,
    of $5 that on the next relay ID place a 3" orange dot on the target backer, at 100 yards range,
    and if he could hit it on his first shot using his rifle from a sitting position,
    he had won, $5 from me, if not I won $5 from him
    he was close but the sticky dot remained pristine and I got $5, so I purchased us three, people, (he, the range officer and I ) a couple cokes, out of the vending machine
  5. labdad

    labdad Member

    Prior to an African hunt I was loading for both the 375 Improved’s and the 470 nitro doubles my son in law and I were taking. Knowing we would likely have to shoot our game using shooting sticks I fashioned a pair and used them exclusively. It took a bit of practice, and the 470’s with the 500 grain Barnes and 108 grains of IMR4831 beat me up a bit, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

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