Your 3 favorite hunting cartridges off all time

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by 505ED, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Talisker

    Talisker AH Member

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    BE AWARE that here is fake Turkish SS109 ammo on the market. I have hundreds of rounds of the stuff. It is easy to tell the real SS109 as a strong magnet can pick it up because of the steel penetrator core in the tip. The Turkish SS109 is simply lead-cored 62-grain FMJ, but it shoots the exact same 2.5 MOA as SS109 in my rifles and can be used for practice if you wish, and to obtain brass for reloading.

    Real NATO SS109 is NEVER headstamped as SS109, but the fake Turkish stuff is headstamped SS109 in the lot that I have. I have real SS109 62-grain steel penetrators that I will be reloading into the fake SS109 cases, and I want the SS109 headstamps for my own ID purposes. Real SS109 has green tips, but I will not be painting my reloaded ammo tips so I want the headstamps on the cases. Real NATO SS109 will have the circle with crosshair headstamp, but other military ammo does as well.

    I gave 37 cents a round in case quantity a long time ago for M855/SS109 and I hear it is basically sold out in the surplus market. Being waterproof and coming in waterproof plastic bags, I bought it for long term storage against rising commodity costs, which is now coming down on us. Like rising gas prices, we have only begun to see the massive price increases in ammo. The .224 bullets will see increasing use in hunting in the future, as new bullet designs allow use on game never once thought ethical in the past, and .224 bullets will be about the most that many folks can afford, and military brass is available for chump change.
  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Good to know, you learn something new every day. Thanks Talisker.

    Maybe you can confirm or deny another military theory that I have heard. Supposedly the FMJ bullets are strategicaly prefered because they often do not kill cleanly thus taking not only the wounded soldier out of the battle but also another 1-2 soldiers needed to care for the wounded soldier. Is there any truth to that?
  3. Talisker

    Talisker AH Member

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    We were taught the wounding theory of the 55-grain FMJ bullet, known as M193, in the military back in the 70's. However, I was in the Navy and I was on repel boarders detail. Only sailors with prior firearms experience ( I was from the boonies of northern Minnesota, no surprise I got picked) before entering the Navy were on that detail. Marine guards would waste no time training sailors from scratch, and in an emergency situation automatic learned responses usually dominate anyway, and that would take months of continuous training to develop in a person of no prior experience. The sailors only used the M14 in 7.62x51 NATO. We intended to kill immediately anybody who tried to board, as we had nuclear weapons onboard and nuclear missile submarines pulled up alongside for refit. M14, 12 gauge shotguns, and .45 ACP were the issued weapons. Never saw an M16 onboard. Only fired the M16 in basic training. Marine guards in internal nuclear weapons holds used the Colt 1911 .45 ACP and 12 gauge shotguns.

    When Fabrique Nationale of Belgium developed the SS109 round (renamed M855 in US military), it could penetrate both sides of a GI steel helmet at 600 meters. The M80 round in 7.62x51mm could not duplicate that feat, so the 5.56x45mm had a reprieve and the M249 SAW became the standard light machine gun. At the time I was in the Navy, M80 was the best penetrator, so we used M14 rifles.

    1:9" twist is ideal for M855, but since M856 tracer rounds must also be fired, the military twist rate is 1:7" in order to stabilize M856. The yaw and snap function of M855 is comprised because of twist rate, so a civilain can get better performance than the military does from M855. There is no expectation of yaw and snap even in a 1:9" twist 20"-24" barrel at 300+ meters, but the penetration qualities are excellent. If an M80 round will penetrate, then an M855 should do better, and with yaw and snap it should kill better than an M80 that zips straight through.

    It would be interesting to try M855 on African big game, as long as a PH with a big bore rifle was backing you up. Since .375 is the minimum legal caliber in much of Africa for dangerous game, it would be a risky move. I know a guy who has used M855 on mule deer in Montana, and he says it performs very well, but he is an expert shot with vast experience in the AR-15 family of rifles, and he knows to use 1:9" twist barrels and where to put the shot. An expert shot can bang-flop mule deer with a .204 Ruger all day long. It packs more energy at 500 yards than a .22-250 Rem with 40+ grain bullets. I know a guy who has killed 32 deer in Montana with a .204 Ruger, and he said every one was a bang-flop without taking a step (small calibers on big game is legal here, as most Montana hunters know what a rifle/bullet can and can't do, and where to put a shot.). The Hornady 45-grain SP is probably the best medium big game .204 bullet on the market right now. My rifle likes them better than 40-grain V-Max varmint bullets. Easily sub-MOA in a CZ 527 Varmint.

    On my brother-in-law's ranch, a sloppy shooting friend of his shot his mulie 4x4 buck with a .30-06, it ran and he gut shot it again, but managed to hit something vital the second time and it piled up about 200 yards away. Much of the meat was bloodshot and ruined. The day before, he had banged away at a buck at about 75 yards, emptying the magazine and not scoring a hit. I can see why .375 H&H is the minimum cal in Africa, for if I was a PH, I would be scared of a client getting me killed with his sloppy shooting.
  4. B9.3

    B9.3 AH Veteran

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    If I could add one more to my list , it would without doubt be the incredible 7mm Weatherby Magnum. I have owned several of these. It is an amazing long range game getter. This is a definate one shot, one kill cartridge.. So, 300 Weatherby, 340 Weatherby, 9.3x62, 7mm Weatherby.. All with Zeiss glass of course..
  5. colpittman

    colpittman New Member

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    .22 LR - Killed thousands of small game. Grew up with this cartridge.
    30.06 - Taken everything from praire dog to Chamois on 5 continents.
    .375 H&H - The "universal" cartridge - used on impala to Cape Buffalo.

    These 3 cartridges have probably killed more game in the history of rifle shooting than any others, and they still do! They don't cost a fortune, are available in most areas of the world in many loads and variations, and are deadly in the right hands.
  6. Talisker

    Talisker AH Member

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    .17 HMR
    .223 Rem
    .22-250 Rem

    These are NOT my personal favorites (except for .223 Rem), but judging by the amount of ammo that leaves the shelves they are the favorite centerfire rounds of Montana shooters. These rounds are typically found on the end shelves of dealers at sale prices in my area. 20 rounds of .223 Rem for $6.99 and 50 rounds of .17 HMR for $9.99 are current prices. American made, not Russian import.

    I pick up a lot of .22-250 brass when I am out and about. No doubt the .30-06 leads as the favorite big game round, but more ammo gets expended on varmints than on big game, since varmints are legal year round in Montana with no license necessary, and the .22-250 Rem is the only varmint round that comes close to .223 Rem in popularity....but .204 Ruger is rising fast.

    I pick up so much .45 ACP, 9mm Para, .44 Rem Mag, .223 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .270 Win and .30-06 brass on the government land I frequent that I would never need to buy brass for those cartridges. I might as well add .243 Win, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .357 Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, and .25-06 Rem to the list.

    The only foreign cartridge cases other than 9mm Para that I find in quantity is cheap steel cases from 7.62x39mm and 7.62x54R, which can't really be called brass. But of course, many worthless .22LR cases for every centerfire case you run across, and mostly the cheap bulk stuff. Seems I'm one of the few guys blasting away at prairie dogs with Stingers and Velocitors.

    7x57mm, .375 H&H, 9.3x62mm, .416 Rigby, 8x57mm, 6.5x55mm, .303 British and the other "great" European cartridges are almost never found in the mix. I guess Montana shooters are very conservative when it comes to cartridges they buy.

    Myself, I just ordered a new CZ 550 Lux in 7x57mm yesterday as CZ did a special production run at a special price, and I have long wanted to try that cartridge. I get a walnut hogback stock and open sights for well under $700 after dealer markup and shipping costs are figured in. Dealer cost is under $600.
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Congradulations on the CZ 550 Lux in a 7X57mm. I think CZ's are a fine rifle! And that is a terrific price for the quality of work, you will get with that gun.
  8. nitro476

    nitro476 AH Member

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    Favorite Hunting Cartridges

    My three favorites would be:

    7X64

    375 Dakota

    470 nitro express
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Talisker, You should love that CZ. My brother has the same gun and it shoots very well if memory serves, same caliber.

    nitro476, I have two 7x64's, a Ruger 77 ltd run rifle and a rare Frankonia-Franz Sodia 98 Mauser Safari Special sporter. Another rifle so chambered lurks on one of the gun sites that I have passion twitches for but...
  10. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    375 H&H
    30/06
    22/250
  11. Grey Morel

    Grey Morel New Member

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    Tough question for a cartridge nut!

    I would have to say:
    * 22 Hornet
    * 303 British
    * 450/400 3"
  12. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    North America

    .270 (What can I say...I cut my teeth reading Jack O'Connor)

    .358 Win (I am sure I will be the only one to list this one but it is FANTASTIC in the thick stuff for deer/bear/elk where you know you wont be shooting more than 200 yards in a lever gun like my BLR 81 or a Win 88)

    .300 Wby (Litterly could stop with just this one for all North American hunting but I like having different guns for different jobs)

    If Africa...swap out the .358 and put in the .375 H&H
  13. karibu

    karibu AH Member

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    270 wsm = new revelation
    300 WM = in case of daugt this is the caliber
    375 H&H = every thing with for legs in this world
  14. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    If I didn't own a .270 Win that shoots unbelievable groups with factory ammo I would buy the .270WSM :) But no way I am giving up that .270 Win...
  15. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    Apart from the hornet, I like the way you think. Instead of the hornet, I would like the 22-250.
  16. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    .257 Weatherby
    .300 Weatherby
    .375 H&H
  17. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Member

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    300H&H
    375H&H
    470 Nitro
  18. Bicholui

    Bicholui AH Member

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    here comes mine

    44 mag
    30.06 sprg
    300 rum
    375 h&h
  19. Jaco Zeeman

    Jaco Zeeman AH Member

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  20. bcarper

    bcarper AH Veteran

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    My favorite 3 would be:
    270 winchester
    7mm magnum ( have a 7mm saum, thats is sweet)
    375 H&H on a Weatherby Mark V composite stalk
    Should cover everything!

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