Popular rifle calibers
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    Talking Popular rifle calibers

    Something to get you all arguing....but I was sitting in the throne room reading a Feb. "American Rifleman" article on the "magnums". They went through the history from express rounds to nitro express (smokeless replaced black powder) to 1955-65 when Roy Weatherby was king and the .300 and 7mm mags were born to the recent (1998 to 2008 according to the author) short, non-belted magnums.

    Now, seems of late, the star has novaed on the magnums. With exception of the .300 Winchester Mag, none even sell in the top 10. Wasn't THAT long ago when 7 mag was in the top THREE! Now, this author didn't like 7 mag, apparently, said it was no better than -06. Well, it has a little more velocity than the naught 6 and a lot better ballistic coefficients and sectional densities and at least WAS, not that long ago, the darling of long range hunters on those goofy outdoor channel shows. I'm not sure where the 7mm STW fit in. It was a good 300 FPS faster than the 7 mag, but apparently it doesn't exist anymore. I'm sure you can still make brass out of SOMEthing, though. IIRC, it was based on the defunct 8mm Rem Mag which was based on the H&H magnums and was a full magnum length case which meant it wouldn't fit in a standard 30-06 action. THAT IMHO was its early demise.

    So, this character says he can't understand why the 6.5 Creedmore is all the craze now, yet he explains it'll fit AR10s. He thinks it's the long range competitions that made it popular, but he does point out that the 6.5x55 is ballistically the same and it's been around forever. Well, I've got one explanation he never mentioned, though he does say it fits the AR10. It's TACTICOOL! Yes, it fits an AR platform and nobody on EARTH considers a bolt gun anymore unless it LOOKS like an AR. The country is AR crazy! There are guys claiming the .223 is good for elephant and brown bear, will stop anything on earth. Okay, might be an exaggeration, but let's put it this way, I have better big game calibers, even medium game calibers, in my old fashioned bolt action muskets.

    He points out that .300 Win Mag is the most popular belted magnum and the only one left in the top ten. Well, lessee, who was it touted the caliber in his book "American Sniper" and what belted magnum is the only one used by SOCOM besides the .338 Lapua which, itself is popular and I contend for the same reason. These magnums have killed people in conflict, so they're accepted, indeed sought after! It's the mall ninjas, the computer commandos, that push gun sales now days! He never mentioned THAT.

    Hunting is dying. There are fewer that do it anymore. I see guys give lip service to it that have never hunted in their life, say they'll just kill a deer if the stuff HTF, yeah right. You go Elmer. Kids aren't getting introduced to it. BUT, they all play commando video games on their XYZ boxes! It's to the point that when anyone mentions "rifle" even I assume they mean AR. 50 years ago, if I didn't think bolt gun, I thought lever gun and Chuck Conners.

    See, the good side to all this tacticool stuff is that some of it IS getting used for hunting, a lot of it for shooting pigs. I rigged up my M4 with a light, but decided I didn't care for the ACOG scope on it as it don't gather light worth a toot for night hunting. So, I put my laser on a less tacticool, but effective pig gun, my $75 SKS. It's a good pig slayer and I don't normally have to blood trail anything with it while I don't have to shoot expensive bullets with it. Of course, I could just rig the light on one of my bolt guns, just kinda want a quick second shot when pig hunting. They often run in packs. This is what makes the AR platform, either 15 or 10, a popular choice to shoot pigs with.

    Anyway, I don't know why this yahoo misses the obvious in the change rifle caliber popularity, the change in the CUSTOMER! Hunting is NOT the driving force behind rifle/caliber sales anymore, good or bad. Today, it's all about tacticool, less about Elmer Fudd. This may shine a bad light on rifle consumers politically, but OTOH, the numbers of ARs flying off shelves are astounding. THAT is a good thing in the political arena IMHO and, frankly, I don't care what the left thinks. Their propaganda is politically feckless IMHO, because 99 percent of the time it's totally ignorant of fact. They're so stupid they can't even make up the facts and make them sound believable.

    ALL JMHO. I grew up a country boy. I have no military experience, have been hunting since the age of 7 and am 66 years old now, so that should clue you where from I speak.
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    I have been hunting since I was big enough to beat the brush for the shooters on a deer drive about 60 years ago and reigning king of hunting rifles in my opinion and that of my friends and family is still the bolt action .30-06.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbusmech View Post
    I have been hunting since I was big enough to beat the brush for the shooters on a deer drive about 60 years ago and reigning king of hunting rifles in my opinion and that of my friends and family is still the bolt action .30-06.
    Depends on range, of course, but just for deer, I'd be fine with a lever action .30-30 or my semi-auto version..the SKS in 7.62x39. .30-06 is a fine choice and can move up to elk, but not many folks around here use one. This is heavy woods, lots of thuddy-thuddies around herel

    I started hunting with my grandpa's rifle which I later inherited and it's still a good choice out to 350 yards or so. I hand load it to its potential. It's a Remington M722 (superseded by the M700) in .257 Roberts bought back in the 50s. If I'd not bought that 7 mag nor won my .308 in a gun show raffle, I would have killed every deer I've ever shot at with that rifle. Might have had a little more difficulty on a New Mexico mule deer I shot at over 350 yards with my 7 mag, but I think the gun could have dropped THAT deer. It was a 300 lb deer, significantly bigger than any whitetail I've ever shot.

    I got the 7 mag just for elk hunting which I have never gotten a chance to do until this coming season. My .308 could do it with my Barnes bullet handload, but I'm going to use the 7 because I have it. Truth be told, the .308 is a fine caliber for up to and including elk. I didn't have that .308 when I was planning that elk hunting expedition I never did back in the early 90s, but I kinda like the Savage 110 I bought in 7 mag, accurate rifle. All 3 of my bolt action hunting rifles are accurate or I wouldn't keep 'em around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NativeTexan View Post
    Now, seems of late, the star has novaed on the magnums. With exception of the .300 Winchester Mag, none even sell in the top 10.
    I'll agree with you on that. At my store in eastern Oklahoma, when hunting season rolls around, the .308, .30-06 and .30-30 fly off the shelf while the .300 Win Mag and 7mm gather dust. 6.5 Creedmore does seem to move fairly well.

    Quote Originally Posted by NativeTexan View Post
    So, this character says he can't understand why the 6.5 Creedmore is all the craze now, yet he explains it'll fit AR10s. He thinks it's the long range competitions that made it popular, but he does point out that the 6.5x55 is ballistically the same and it's been around forever. Well, I've got one explanation he never mentioned, though he does say it fits the AR10. It's TACTICOOL! Yes, it fits an AR platform and nobody on EARTH considers a bolt gun anymore unless it LOOKS like an AR.
    We don't sell "tactical" rifles at Walmart any more--even the Mini-14s are gone--but we do sell two different makes of 6.5 Creedmore bolt action rifles. I think the reason we don't sell more in my area is because most deer hunters don't need the long range in eastern Oklahoma.
    Quote Originally Posted by NativeTexan View Post
    Hunting is dying. There are fewer that do it anymore. I see guys give lip service to it that have never hunted in their life, say they'll just kill a deer if the stuff HTF, yeah right. You go Elmer. Kids aren't getting introduced to it.
    My experience in my store runs counter to your assertion. I see a good number of fathers introducing their sons to hunting every year--and also their daughters, and even mothers buying licenses for themselves and their children! If there's anything I don't see as much of as I would have expected, it's duck and geese hunters.

    Quote Originally Posted by NativeTexan View Post
    See, the good side to all this tacticool stuff is that some of it IS getting used for hunting, a lot of it for shooting pigs. I rigged up my M4 with a light, but decided I didn't care for the ACOG scope on it as it don't gather light worth a toot for night hunting. So, I put my laser on a less tacticool, but effective pig gun, my $75 SKS. It's a good pig slayer and I don't normally have to blood trail anything with it while I don't have to shoot expensive bullets with it. Of course, I could just rig the light on one of my bolt guns, just kinda want a quick second shot when pig hunting. They often run in packs. This is what makes the AR platform, either 15 or 10, a popular choice to shoot pigs with.
    No argument with that.

    Of course, this is only my observation from behind the sporting goods counter...
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    Quote Originally Posted by OKNewshawk View Post
    I'll agree with you on that. At my store in eastern Oklahoma, when hunting season rolls around, the .308, .30-06 and .30-30 fly off the shelf while the .300 Win Mag and 7mm gather dust. 6.5 Creedmore does seem to move fairly well.


    We don't sell "tactical" rifles at Walmart any more--even the Mini-14s are gone--but we do sell two different makes of 6.5 Creedmore bolt action rifles. I think the reason we don't sell more in my area is because most deer hunters don't need the long range in eastern Oklahoma.

    My experience in my store runs counter to your assertion. I see a good number of fathers introducing their sons to hunting every year--and also their daughters, and even mothers buying licenses for themselves and their children! If there's anything I don't see as much of as I would have expected, it's duck and geese hunters.


    No argument with that.

    Of course, this is only my observation from behind the sporting goods counter...
    I'm glad to hear that somewhere there are young hunters coming along. I'd still be duck hunting, but I just am not physically able anymore. I can hardly walk across the yard now without huffing and puffing, let alone the mud in the marsh. So, I've given it up after all those years of loving it. That sux, but you can't be young forever I suppose. With the help of my ATV, I can get around in the woods at least. I stumble out to my box blind and if I shoot anything, I have the ATV to retrieve it.
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    Weeeeelll...to be fair, Nemo Arms makes a .300 WinMag AR rifle...of course, I can get a perfectly accurate Savage in .300 WinMag for a whole lot less (the going rate from Nemo is ~$4000 )

    I also agree on the hunting aspect - it's a skill that I wasn't raised with, and though I've been hunting several times since returning to the US, I've not yet had any luck (the deer always stay on the neighbors property when I'm in the field...the bastiches!). I also recognize that I'm youtube clueless when it comes to field cleaning game (so I usually go with a buddy who has much more practical knowledge, until I get hands on experience). This is an area that I am desperately lacking and am attempting to address...wish the farmer grew corn!
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    Quote Originally Posted by NativeTexan View Post
    I'm glad to hear that somewhere there are young hunters coming along. I'd still be duck hunting, but I just am not physically able anymore. I can hardly walk across the yard now without huffing and puffing, let alone the mud in the marsh. So, I've given it up after all those years of loving it. That sux, but you can't be young forever I suppose. With the help of my ATV, I can get around in the woods at least. I stumble out to my box blind and if I shoot anything, I have the ATV to retrieve it.
    I have a regular customer who is an amputee (one leg below the knee) who still hunts. He shows me pictures he takes when he stops by. Deer hunting seems to be the most accessible type of hunting for the physically challenged.
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    I've never been hunting and have zero desire. I grew up on a farm and spent plenty of time outdoors in all weather, herding (or chasing) cows. I'm not interested in going out at 3:00 am and sitting in the rain to spot a deer that I don't want to eat anyway. Hunting seems a lot like fishing--a "justifiable" way to get away from the wife and be left alone for inordinate amounts of time. I'd rather be with my wife than apart from her.

    That's not to say everyone who hunts has that sentiment, but from what I've seen it is pervasive.

    There are all kinds of recreational activities and this is one. I won't disparage yours if you don't disparage mine (doing nothing).

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    Good start on an interesting subject. For many years now, I've been partial to the 7mm-08. With the right handload I believe it is capable enough for any game animal in the lower 48. Not casting judgement on anyone else's reasons for hunting, but I eat what I kill. If I was camping or hiking in the Rockies where a real bear threat existed, I'd probably tote a lever-action in .45-70 or .450 Marlin, or a 12 gauge loaded with slugs.

    My shooting partner, or SP, of 25+ years now could tell you that I've been interested in 6.5mm cartridges even before the introduction of the .260 REM. I kind of get the point regarding the 6.5 Creedmoor, it's a very interesting cartridge that is growing so fast that if you ever needed to, the day could come when it's even available at the local Mom & Pop country store along with .223, .243, .270, .308 and .30-06. But having said that, it really won't do anything that can't be done with the 6.5 x55mm or the .260 REM. The latter 2 capable of being stretched in performance in their Ackely Improved while the 6.5 CM doesn't have much room for improvement. It already has less body taper and a sharper shoulder. In reality, however, and again with the right bullet and load, it's already taken Elk and probably somewhere by now, Moose. Nordic hunters have been taking Moose with the 6.5 x 55mm probably since the cartridge was adopted for military service in Sweden and Norway in 1894.

    I've always liked the old quote that says, "Beware the man that only owns 1 rifle because he probably knows how to use it!" That kinda makes things a bit tougher if the man wants to take anything from prairie dogs up to Elk & Moose. With all of the cartridge offerings that exist today, there really aren't a lot of rifleman looking to do that, but it could be that some flavor of 6.5mm might come closest for the lower 48.

    Also beware that when you get below .30 caliber, .300 Win Mag for instance, the higher pressure rounds mostly gave us the term over-bored. The first cartridge I'm aware of to get a pressure rating of 54,000 CUP, it was given to the .270 Win in 1925. Another top candidate for the 1 rifle rifleman. How I would define the term is when cartridge pressure has that same pressure max or named .xxx Magnum. Particularly when the .264 Win came out, it quickly earned a reputation for short-lived barrels which Winchester addressed by making rifles with stainless steel barrels to help cut down on rapid throat erosion. As typical for them, Remington brought out the 6.5mm Rem Mag at 53,000 CUP and 1000 CUP lower, but having to seat bullets very deeply for the rifles it was intended for kept it from ever really getting off the ground.

    Even without reaming to 6.5 x 55mm AI, in modern rifles, handloads can be much warmer than what the 1894 Swedish Mausers were capable of with the pressure limit of 45,000 PSI. The .260 Rem should have been spec'd at 62,000 PSI,52,000 CUP rather than the 60,000 PSI it was given. 6.5 CM was spec'd at 62,000 PSI and why it is capable of matching .260 Rem performance. Newer cartridges like the 6.5 PRC are essentially Magnums which I wouldn't have any interest in because of the short life span of barrels. It will be interesting to see if there ever is a 6.5 or .264 Short Magnum, because it will suffer the same handicap as the 6.5mm Rem Mag where heavier bullets will require deep seating. One reason why when Winchester introduced the 6.5 x 284, it didn't catch on. It was a short-action cartridge that again, Winchester didn't realize the deep seating issue. So, Norma turns around and gives us the 6.5 x 284 Norma made for standard actions with a 62,000 PSI Pressure Max. It doesn't offer much in comparison to the .270 WIN except for the higher BC bullets where .264" bullets are tough to beat!

    But other than the twist rate of 1 in 8", the 6.5mm's might be the best compromise for the one rifle does all scenario which includes the guy that wants it with an AR10 chambered in .260 Rem or 6.5 CM. Originally, REM gave their .260 Rem rifles a slightly slower 1 in 9" twist which would be better suited for lighter bullets up to say around 120/123 grs. About the only production rifle I'm aware of that bucks that trend is the CZ 550 and 500 American before it in 6.5 x 55mm Swedish Mauser and a twist rate of 8 2/3".

    Interesting dilemma really, so we shouldn't forget all of the praise that Jack O-Conner heaped on the .270 Win.
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    Ok, let me start off by saying I'm very disappointed in you NT. you literally start by defining your post as a trolling post. It makes me sad. That said, there are still pretty good numbers of bolt guns being sold that don't look like AR's. Savage and Mossbergs are the most notable low end ones with Tikas and even kimbers being up there in numbers. If you can't find a bolt gun you like in a chambering you like, you're just not looking. It does however sound like the current market is AR-centric and bolt guns take a back seat to the EBR craze. That said, the creedmoor was more a secondary thought of a longer range cartridge that just happens to fit an AR10. you might actually be able to push 5-600 yards out of the 6.5 CM whereas with a 7mm bolt gun, a 700 yd shot isn't that difficult. The remainder of the newer cartridges are based on whether they'll fit in an AR first and worry about the ballistics later. With bolt cartridges, they look at application and ballistics first then determine if they can make a chamber and bolt that can handle it reliably. With AR's you can wildcat off of maybe 50 cartridges with fair to midland performance. With a bolt gun, as long as you can dream it, you can build it.
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