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Thread: the magnum issue here and hunting ethics

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    the magnum issue here and hunting ethics

    ON most gun forums, its all about "power" of what your shooting, caliber itself, and then how big the bullet is, and how fast its going.

    I have been looking at the older threads of over 2 years ago in this forum, and see several odd things happening that make me cry an wonder if the "brother hood of cast bullet usage on animals" is just denigrating into a hood of screaming idiots.


    Skelton loved his .357 magnum. He loved that ray Thompson bullet made for 38 special cases to get it to become a .357 magnum load. He loved the hollow point version as well. Used it a lot. Recommended it to everyone. Skeeter had years of actually shooting things with his loads, and had and saw no reason to "fudge" things for readers like magazines do today.

    There is a thread that denigrated into basic shaming and insults, because a large portion of repliers felt that the man and his "low powered load" of a 240 grain bullet at 750 fps or so in a 44 magnum was merely a "warmed 44 special and inhumane, and just neutered the cartridge"

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...just-for-paper

    This thread is the same thing, but a merely different caliber. 45 acp versus the use of 44 special loads in a 44 magnum handgun. Yet the difference is amazing, 45acp and 44 special are considered "ballistic equals" in terms of down range usefulness and ability. But the ironic part is that guy who wondered if a heavy bullet of 255 at standard velocity would work, and everyone said it was super fine and dandy.

    IN that thread, several people mentioned experience with 45 colt and 44 special loads with those mentioned bullet weights and velocities to be capable of shooting through anything with 2 or 4 legs. And all was well and good with the world. But a few years later, and suddenly that load is BAD, INHUMANE, and UNETHICAL.

    Im used to seeing articles on how the .357 in a handgun is bad for hunting with. That its inhumane and worthless. Few years ago the DNR news rag had an article on handgun hunting. And the pencil pushers claimed the only legitimate 357 was 8" barrel, firing a 180 grain expanding bullet, and only humane when used to head or neck shoot deer at a maximum of 35 yards.

    Same article praised the 10mm as being a 100 yard gun just like standard pressure 250 grain jhp in a 45 colt SAA. The first considered nothing more then a rimless .357 in some gun forums. And the second being considered cow boy ammo that will blow through a deer at 50 yards.


    A lot of folks here, even those who hunt with a .500 sw or .470 linebaugh simply blow an extremely large bullet through the front shoulders to harvest a deer. Not exactly as "humane" as blowing the lungs and heart up, but a lot of rifle shooters of modern guns and bullets do the same routine through the front shoulders.

    Now another concept ive seen here is using a large diameter circle to determine your maximum range. Ive been used to the use of a 6 or 8 inch paper plate to calculate maximum range for you handgun. Ive now seen 12 inches as being the "maximum" diameter to keep your 6 shots in at your hunting range.

    The thing is, that's not exactly in the humane or ethical standards category, when you are hunting with a 8-1000 dollar revolver or single shot handgun that has a scope, or target grade adjustable sights. Is it?

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    There are many out there who write what they THINK! and not what they KNOW! We have seen many writings based on the 2-3 animals they have harvested, not on a multitude of animals or years of usage and knowledge based on experience & or fact. Some will make claims of what is best or better and have little to no carnal Knowledge of what they are talking about. Gotta burn a lot of powder,sling a lot of lead, closely analyzing the outcome and logging it to really have the TRUE KNOWLEDGE of what you're talking about. I have been on this great website quite a while, and am fortunate enough to have many guns a lot of tools and equipment (I am truly Blessed Thank You LORD!) I have found that you don't have to read very long to realize who has been through the school of hard knocks & who hasn't. I don't post much but I am THANKFUL to those who have seasoned knowledge and share it, and find humor and ignorance in those that BLOW! JIM

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    We have a lot of newcomers who have picked up casting in the last several years.
    They are learning and still have jacketed loading tendencies. It takes time and experience to change that thinking
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, wellllll...........like many others, I bought into the "HORSEPOWER" thing when I started hunting back in the '60's. Had to have a 30-06 to kill a deer, nothing smaller. Then I started handgun hunting, mid '80's. 44 mag of one iteration or another. Then started paying attention to some guy named Keith. Hmmmm. A44 cal. 250 gr. SWC? Really? A CAST bullet at that? No way!! But, YES, it really did work! That started me hunting with cast bullets. Anyone considering doing this needs to forget jacketed bullet performance and grasp hold of an understanding of lead bullet technology. That big flat point, even as small as on a .30 cal. cast bullet, kills all out of proportion to it's size! AND, at a speed that is much less than it's jacketed brethren need. NEED! Jacketed bullets NEED that speed to perform, cast bullets don't!
    "Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity.......and I'm not sure about the universe..........."

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    There is no right or wrong it's what works for me that I take a killing , and I hope you do as well . I seldom find myself under gunned ,because I have lost game that I know died a wasteful death at my hands .

  6. #6
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    I am thinking this will be an interesting topic. I am reserving any comment on the OP until later & I may not post again... but, I could see how this could be a very informative topic if folks behave nicely & with civility.
    Last edited by No_1; 05-21-2017 at 07:23 AM. Reason: Removed quote

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    centershot you've hit the nail on the head, and told basically my life story in ref. to guns and ammo. It has taken me years to get past the velocity fever and magnumitus, I am glad to say that I'm well now and am thankful for wisdom experience has taught. I have a love and a respect for that slow heavy thump now. Took my first castboolit deer about five years ago with a 358Win 50-50 WQ RCBS 35-200 boolit 26gr SR-4759 S&B primer just under 2000 fps Deer hit the ground in its tracks (Heart Shot) & expired quickly, HOOKED I WAS!! I read about a survey of vet. students autopsied several deer during a herd reduction in Texas I think and found that all Bang Flop scenarios had occurred in animals that had a brain aneurism caused by bullet impact while the circulatory system was under pressure from the heart beat. And all animals were shot by the same shooter in the same location Heart &Lung area using a 30-06 J-Word. The only true Bang Flop scenarios I've seen with castboolits is a hit to the nervous system in the neck. A few spinal shots and they hit the ground but expired soon after. Anybody experienced a true Bang Flop using cast to the vitals? Jim

  8. #8
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Something along the lines of the topic...
    http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Know...allistics.html

  9. #9
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Well I had my fling with high speed, accurate rifles. Over 3k fps with a .243 60 grain bthp and 30 grains of dupont 3031.

    Killed a lot of crows. But even with 100 gr bullets was not IMO enough gun for deer.

    Then I saw a 100 gr bullet hit a nice big standing buck at 250 yards. Hit him right in the breadbasket where I wanted to, right behind the leg.

    But the bullet hit a rib and blew up on the bone, never penitrated. I saw what looked like a paper plate bloom white when it hit then turn red. And I saw that deer run over the hill and even though I did my best to track it for 3 days never saw it again.

    I failed that deer, that was on me. And I never shot at another deer with that rifle again.

    Now, while I have gotten old, decrepit, low on energy, unable to do much, I don't hunt anymore. But if I had to, it would be big bore, 200 grain bullet or preferably 300 grains or better, and moving at no more than 1600 fps.

    .357 IMO will do it as long as some common sense is used as regarding range.
    .444 will do it.
    .44 mag or .45-70 will do it.

    The key as I see it, big bullet, fairly soft, not moving too fast, and lots of practice.
    You have to KNOW where that bullet is going to be.

    And the biggest thing, and the hardest thing. Is knowing when the shot you see is beyond your and your rifle's ability's. And not take that shot.

    Head shots with air rifles on small game is one thing. Head shot on a deer with that long neck with a high velocity small bullet is quite another.

    And everyone can find "something" to illustrate why the way they like to do it is ok.

    Its your life, your choices. Choose wisely.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    LOL nice quip.

    I am thinking this will be an interesting topic. I am reserving any comment on the OP until later & I may not post again... but, I could see how this could be a very informative topic if folks behave nicely & with civility.
    Wish I could have a fire here, but is too windy. Yes I've noticed the how "power needs" have changed over the years since the 70's. I just read and take all I can from discussions that are useable. I also try not to get to personal about things cause I had a lot of oldtimers, kept their patience with me when I asked dumb and unknowing questions when I was growing up. Todd/3leg

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by versa-06 View Post
    Anybody experienced a true Bang Flop using cast to the vitals? Jim
    First doe last fall hit through both shoulders at 40 yards 300Blk Lee C309-170F at 1600 fps. Hit the ground immediately and thrashed around for six or 7 seconds before expiring. Second doe just watched it happen. Shot her through both lungs right afterwards and she ran 50 or so yards and stopped, hit her one more time and she went ten feet and fell over dead. Put the bullet in the right spot and it will do the job.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Personally I don't pay much attention to the "magnum" and "power" thing. I have spent the last 20+ years hunting deer and elk with muzzleloaders and particularly with patched round ball, especially patched 45 cal round ball for large deer. The deer apparently didn't get the memo that a 45 PRB is so powerless at 100 yards that it will just bounce off. I do enjoy the discussions though. This year will be the first in decades I have hunted deer with a modern firearm (treating myself to an expensive "all-season" deer tag) and the loads I will be using will be pretty anemic by modern standards unless I get "el grande" with the 45 PCB first in the early ML season, of course.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilbilly View Post
    Personally I don't pay much attention to the "magnum" and "power" thing. I have spent the last 20+ years hunting deer and elk with muzzleloaders and particularly with patched round ball, especially patched 45 cal round ball for large deer. The deer apparently didn't get the memo that a 45 PRB is so powerless at 100 yards that it will just bounce off. I do enjoy the discussions though. This year will be the first in decades I have hunted deer with a modern firearm (treating myself to an expensive "all-season" deer tag) and the loads I will be using will be pretty anemic by modern standards unless I get "el grande" with the 45 PCB first in the early ML season, of course.
    Bless you, quilbilly, you're a man much akin to me! I do love to be in the woods with my .45 cal TC Seneca! Ahhh........I won't let the deer know we can't kill them with those 45 PRB's, LOL!
    "Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity.......and I'm not sure about the universe..........."

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    The mindset is heavily influenced by where as much as what .
    Daddy Bill , mom's dad had a 12 and 16 ga , a 270 and a 38 Special .
    Grandpa Joe and Grandpa Flowers had 06's and 12 ga's .
    Their fathers had 30-30s and and 12 ga .
    My dad had a closet full but loves the 25-06' , 22-250 and viewed the 06' as a basic fail safe cartridge of basic utility .

    I've read of well made shots with a 30-30 dropping deer at 200 yd . I've shot 130-170# pigs with 1100fps 265 gr 45s , 1 ran well over 200 yd before it collapsed heaving blood from nose and mouth , shot at 17 paces . 2 more moved all 4 feet once and neither flopped nor layed down but something in between .
    I killed a Mulie at about 90 yd with a 200gr cast at 1800 fps one reflex jump and it piled up .

    Every load , every bullet I make up/pour is done with the idea in mind that I will have to use 50 yd further and for a critter at least one step heavier than planned . With this in play I've wrecked a couple deer shoulders in deer taken too close .

    In the far West Mountain country it is not unusual to hunt above the tree line over barren open granite bowls ,domes and saddles . My 1st deer was killed at 350 yds across a bowl of more or less granite flagstone and shale slides . To successfully​ make a trophy class harvest , 200# hanging bucks don't get there hiding in places that are easy to get to , you have to either be able to judge a range of 2-400 yd plus or minus 10-25 yd or shoot a rifle that reduces that need to a no hold over for the first 300 yd . I can't speak to much of the country but in the desert west big game hunting is as likely to give you no way to get inside 50 yd except on a water hole when the game is forced to use them during the seasons , which are as likely to find you sweat soaking your boots every day as wadding through 3ft snow drifts . 200+ becomes the normal reach . The guy that hunts with a 12# plus single shot likely has or has made the time to make it possible to use lighter ,slower , fatter , cast happy cartridges . The guy that has time to find every low place divot in every saddle well you see my point .

    Very soon I'll be in the heart of the rusty Bible belt on the south edge of Tornado alley . Outside of the novelty of the 264WM and the ability to make water jugs vaporize in a dramatic way it'll be pretty useless . Even the 06' and 308 will be flirting with too much gun at full power . Goodsteel has a rather dramatic album of the 358 Win being plenty for big whitetail . I've seen a 160# pig killed shot in the snout with a 35 Remington , that bullet was found well back in the back straps via the brain pan .

    If I or we apply all of this then we come to a point where we have to decide what is going to work best where we are using it .
    Got a 10 twist 30 cal ? 2100 fps with a cast bullet from 90-250 gr now you have a place where real numbers show us that the 30-30 and 300 WM equals and the 7.62-39 just behind them .
    Heavier bullets is the only to beat drag and larger calibers are the only way to beat twist to beat the drag .
    We can't shoot a .264 120-40 gr bullet 3000 fps in cast in in the 8" twist 6.5s . Among other things I suspect there would a catastrophic bullet failure under 300 yd . For all I know the lead regardless of alloy might sling apart upon muzzle exit .

    To reach the range and energy demands (use whatever calculator you like) for a particular anticipated use you must have a balance of speed and weight and enough frontal area to make the hole needed .
    For 50yd paper poking a 20 gr 22 Hornet is plenty .
    There is the argument that a bazillion deer ,elk and even a published story of a Grizzly taken out with a 22 LR . Brothers I ain't going looking for a Koala bear with a 22 LR let alone a Grizzly and the idea of popping a 16' ft gator with a 22 mag has about as much appeal as sticking my finger in a wood chipper .

    I was lucky I guess to have never had the need for speed . Yes I have a 357 mag , but I don't run it full bore as a rule . Yes I load the top end of 45 Colts that's why I bought a Ruger BlackHawk . Nope I'm not going to run the 30-30 or 45-70 to make them a 308 or 458 WM .

    What about the sub 30s ? Plenty of them will reach what we need . Of course I don't plan on taking a reasonable 100gr game king head on neck shot with a cast bullet in a 257 Roberts on a hog because the the game king at 2900 fps would disrupt the spine not so much with a 2200 fps 120 cast . without the jacket to hold it together it's likely to break up , same bullets on a broad side neck or quartering boiler house sure . Even the 6.8 Rem at 2000 fps and 130 gr I'd trust for that job , 2000 fps because that's all it will give me out of 16" AR .

    I read arguments all the time about how much is needed to do the job . Well , do what you but I've found that most states have a minimum caliber, gauge , cartridge and in one way or another energy level . You can beat up on the rules , for example NV requires a hand gun case of 1.280 (at least that of the Remington 44 Magnum) and at least 24 cal (243 in a Encore) so legally I can grab a SAA repro slap a 4" 257 bbl on it and go hunt Elk with a 256 win mag . Would I ? No and I kind of doubt that even those that are quick to point out that Grizz die just fine with a 22 LR would either . Even the lowly 223 can make the 22+ cal , 2" OAL , 1000 ftlb @100yd . Nope not hunting elk let alone antelope with it .

    Why do we want to drive cast as fast as it will go ? For the challenge and/or to meet the above . A subsonic 535 gr 45 will make the or very nearly make the 1k/100 .
    Grab your latest , 48th or later , Lyman with a 405 the 45-110 TD will match the 458 WM . Might even out run it if there were 535 cast data for the WM . Do we need to push cast to jacketed speeds only to meet the law for killing stuff .
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Yes, wellllll...........like many others, I bought into the "HORSEPOWER" thing when I started hunting back in the '60's. Had to have a 30-06 to kill a deer, nothing smaller. Then I started handgun hunting, mid '80's. 44 mag of one iteration or another. Then started paying attention to some guy named Keith. Hmmmm. A44 cal. 250 gr. SWC? Really? A CAST bullet at that? No way!! But, YES, it really did work! That started me hunting with cast bullets. Anyone considering doing this needs to forget jacketed bullet performance and grasp hold of an understanding of lead bullet technology. That big flat point, even as small as on a .30 cal. cast bullet, kills all out of proportion to it's size! AND, at a speed that is much less than it's jacketed brethren need. NEED! Jacketed bullets NEED that speed to perform, cast bullets don't!
    i too, have sinned. it was always about how much "horsepower" do you get. i've tried a 44 mag in 200 & 240gr xtp with win296(slightly above max load), a 30-06, 308, 7 mauser, 7-08, 243, 30-30 and others. hornady, speer, nosler, sierra, i have used them all.

    until i used my 30-40 krag with a 165gr ranch dog and h4198 that goes roughly 1800fps. boy, does it put the smackdown on deer. 93 yards, bang, thwap, dead deer...i never seen a deer drop so fast. the boolit enter the front shoulder, tore up a lung, put a cigar sized or super sharpie hole thru the heart, tore up another lung, broke a rib and then exited. then i've tried the 444 with a 275gr ranch dog and rel7 that goes roughly 2000fps and boy does it drop deer. i use a ruger sbh(4 5/8" barrel) that is a 44 mag. i haven't shot a deer, but i do a 250gr mihek hp with unique in a 44 sp. its velocity roughly should be ?800fps(7.0gr of unique). my 45-70 handi rifle and 405gr fbfn and varget(1300fps roughly). it does well against a deer, i let my neighbor's son have my 45-70 (it is a "do you have gun i could use?"). the 405gr has accounted for 5 deer(2 buck and 3 doe) and the smile he has. i am waiting for MGM to finish a 500 linebaugh in a 23" heavy factory barrel with skinner sights. i plan on 1300ish fps with a 450gr lfn gc( either 2400 or hs-6 ).

    my own 270 and 6.5creedmoor have been regulated to the back corner. my 20 vartarg lets me sin a bit, but for deer/black bear you can't beat a cast boolit(.311-.512").

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    My wife use a 243 with jacketed bullets last year (100gr). And on 3 animals. I was not impressed with the performance. I've been working with a 338-06 that I believe. May be about the perfect cartridge. For any na game

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    There is no reason to condemn those who believe in "more horsepower", that certainly works. One of my favorite cartridges is the .257 Weatherby after all. But I have had great results with a .452" 255-grain cast boolit at 1000 fps too. There is too much hand wringing about what others use. If it works for the poster, then it is good. Is it a "requirement"? Not at all. There are many paths to success, don't condemn the "high horsepower" poster, but realize that less "power" can still be effective. Animals are living creatures and their response to trauma is not mathematical. S*** happens and sometimes it cannot be explained by equations or experience.



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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHawk View Post
    But even with 100 gr bullets was not IMO enough gun for deer.

    Then I saw a 100 gr bullet hit a nice big standing buck at 250 yards. Hit him right in the breadbasket where I wanted to, right behind the leg.

    But the bullet hit a rib and blew up on the bone, never penitrated. I saw what looked like a paper plate bloom white when it hit then turn red. And I saw that deer run over the hill and even though I did my best to track it for 3 days never saw it again.

    I failed that deer, that was on me. And I never shot at another deer with that rifle again.
    Your conclusion is my opinion on the 243. Yes, people had killed a lot of deer with the 243, but in my opinion it's a short range gun for deer-125 yards- and only with the right bullet. Most people would be better served with 30-30 at the same range. Why, heck, I even killed a deer with a 222 rem in the Black Hills once, but that doesn't make a 222 a deer caliber. I waited for a close-in shot, 26 yards, and shot him in the head.
    Last edited by Hickory; 05-16-2017 at 06:28 AM.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    That link was a nice thing to see, ballistic studies. but buried in that article on 45-70 work, is the following gem that

    "bigger and faster projectiles do not penetrate as well due to internal pressure buildup". and "jacketed FMJ in a .308 does the same on animals as the same fmj bullet in a .300 mag"

    When I was 16, the only gun you needed was a .308 Winchester firing 150 grain bullets. NOW at age 34, the .308 needs at "least" a 169-175 grain bullet. The 30-30 is now "target only, or super small deer under 90 lbs" and even the 44 magnum is "useless without a 350+ grain bullet at 1200 fps minimum."

    Now the skeeter and elmer loads that are known as "hot/warm" "44 spcl +p" were the original magnums, loads that pushed the bullet in a way that made it for interesting down range. Then those loads were considered perfectly fine. And recommended and well proven.
    Then the 44 magnum came around, and suddenly a 250-270 grain bullet at 800 fps was "worthless and inadequate" but the 240 grain JFP or JHP at 1400 fps was the miracle cure on hunting. nothing could escape it, it would tear the legs off a deer even if it missed.

    But yet now, its near the point that even those 240 grain jsp at 1400fps are insufficient now.

    I believe no one here would tell use that it was humane or ethical to take a 22lr semi auto pistol, a 10 round magazine, and fire it at a deer at a range of perhaps say 30 yards. But no one bats an eye when they give their kid a shotgun loaded with buckshot, loads were each tiny little pellet of buck shot is barely able to generate the same per pellet energy as that 22lr semi auto does.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    The reality is lots of people don't have enough real experience with enough different cartridges to understand just how little it takes to kill deer. As well, there is a lot of difference between killing small southern whitetails and heavy north western mule deer. Many people get thier ideas of what it takes from others and if "Billy Bob" the local deer killin' expert says a 338 Magnum is what a fella needs, it has a tendency to become "the law". The reality is most deer weigh less than 200 pounds on the hoof. The reality is most deer are shot from tree stands of one form or another and the reality is most deer as shot with too much gun. Most people think the 30-30 has killed more deer than any other cartridge, but the reality is prolly more like the 44-40 holds that title. No telling how many deer were killed with an 1873 Winchester in 44-40 as settlers crossed the Mississippi, and no telling how many folks in the east used it too. By todays standards it is a sorry excuse for a rifle, pushing a 200 grain bullet at a measly 1300 fps. But in the hands of men and women who could shoot it was very deadly. Still is. Talked to a fellow once buying his first deer rifle, talked to him at length about the 7mm-08. He'd never heard of it. He talked to people he worked with, they steered him to a 270 Winchester. For a woods rifle. I sighted the gun in for him. (a Weatherby Vanguard) he talks all day about it being a 350 yard rifle, but to my knowledge it is still sighted for zero in at 80 yards. Some people don't know anything and there is no point in talking to them or giving what they may say any credit. I certainly wouldn't give them free space in my head being upset over what they don't know.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check