The 20th Century's Top Rifle Cartridge

monish

AH elite
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
1,387
Reaction score
371
Media
1,093
Articles
86
Member of
AfricaHunting.com
Hunted
Tanzania, Nepal, Canada,
Christian ,

Rightly said , few blokes do undermine the versatility of this powerful lil cartridge as the .22 bullet tends to stray after 200 yards & then its death without wings.....

My first rifle at 6 was Winchester Sports Boy model 67 SS , I still have it & it does shoot straight. I have 2 more .22s one BRNO CZ 527 & a .22 LR semi by Weatherby . Fine rifles .

Monish
 

trigger creep

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
300
Reaction score
45
Media
4
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
USA
Christian ,

Rightly said , few blokes do undermine the versatility of this powerful lil cartridge as the .22 bullet tends to stray after 200 yards & then its death without wings.....

My first rifle at 6 was Winchester Sports Boy model 67 SS , I still have it & it does shoot straight. I have 2 more .22s one BRNO CZ 527 & a .22 LR semi by Weatherby . Fine rifles .

Monish
My dad bought me a Crickett in .22 L.R at age 4 or 5 I believe. It had an aperture sight and I loved it. I still had it two years ago, and I killed 2 chucks with it at 60-65 yards. I probably put over 1,000 rounds throught that thing. Now, like I posted previously my current .22 L.R is an open-sighted Savage Mark II.



Now, it appears I am probably going to add a new cartridge to my list of favorites. My dad is getting me a used Marlin XL7 In .270 on Saturday.:D
 

monish

AH elite
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
1,387
Reaction score
371
Media
1,093
Articles
86
Member of
AfricaHunting.com
Hunted
Tanzania, Nepal, Canada,
Christian,

Congratulations!!! for your new .270 , remarkable caliber ....

Monish
 

trigger creep

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
300
Reaction score
45
Media
4
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
USA
Christian,

Congratulations!!! for your new .270 , remarkable caliber ....

Monish
Thanks, I actually had a .270 Win. previously. It was a Winchester model 670. I liked it but it had safety issues so I traded it to my brother for a Remington model 721 in .30-06.


Also, me and my dad are picking it up tonight and not on saturday. My dad is going to mount a nice Weaver Wideview 3-9 on it for me. The minutes are going by like hours! LOL
 

Kiwi505

AH veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
169
Reaction score
37
Media
3
Member of
Terrace Rod and Gun Club
Hunted
Canada, New Zealand
Kiwi 505,

The heat is on , lets play ,we should be getting in the best of responses from our expert members on ballistics & calibers. The .30-06 , no doubt has taken more game on earth than all the calibers combined. The terrrain ,the area where & the game one is hunting also matters on the caliber choice, and it suits ones perception of selecting the best of calibers .
I am sure in America the .338 Win. magnum is a ultimate caliber for all sorts of hunting , & for Africa I believe .375 H&H magnum is a perfect choice for all the plains & dangerous game . As I said its individuals choice & the comfort level in using a certain caliber .

Happy Hunting friend !!!!!

Monish

I never did get around to answering this post! I have to disagree with the 30.06 comment, as I think that the good old 303 has taken at least as much game world wide!

What you say about the terrain having a infulence on the choice of cartridge is very correct as well. However game is equally important.

I also agree with you about the respective choice of cartridge for North America and Africa.

Indeed your last point is very real. It is not use hunting with a cartridge/rifle combination that you are scared of or otherwise do not trust.
 

trigger creep

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
300
Reaction score
45
Media
4
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
USA
I never did get around to answering this post! I have to disagree with the 30.06 comment, as I think that the good old 303 has taken at least as much game world wide!

What you say about the terrain having a infulence on the choice of cartridge is very correct as well. However game is equally important.

I also agree with you about the respective choice of cartridge for North America and Africa.

Indeed your last point is very real. It is not use hunting with a cartridge/rifle combination that you are scared of or otherwise do not trust.
I have to disagree, a lot of game animals have been killed in America and the .303 is not a very popular cartridge here. The .30-06 kills more game animals every year than any other cartridge in the world. The .303 has been lagging behid the '06 for quite some time. The .303 British is largely a forgotten cartridge in America, with newer and more flat shooting cartridges controllign the hunting scene. In fact, mosh hunters in America have never heard of or have no idea what it is. I have owned 3 different .303 British's in my short 5 years of owning guns, and a lot of people thought that the .303 British was some powerful cartridge that kicked like a mule! That just goes to show how unheard of the .303 is in America.


I am a big fan of the .303 British, I think it is a wonderful cartridge both in the woods and at the range. But I don't think it has killed more game than the '06. I would like to contribute to the number of animals killed with the .303 though, as I have my eye on a Ruger no.1 at my local Cabela's. My dad already has made a contribution to the number of animals killed with the .303, now it is my turn! Now I just need the near 1,000 $ to pick up the one at Cabela's..... What did my friend say about needing somebody to watch his kids? I'll have to give him a phone call........
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,646
Reaction score
4,191
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
I think the .303 has killed a ton of game, just not as much as the 30-06.
 

trigger creep

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
300
Reaction score
45
Media
4
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
USA
I think the .303 has killed a ton of game, just not as much as the 30-06.
That is what I think. The .303 probably has killed as much game as the .270, maybe a little more. Soon the .270 will have killed a lot more it as it kills the 2nd most game animals every year, at least that is what I hear.
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,164
Reaction score
6,328
Media
165
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
Overall since the two rounds, the '06 and the .303 have been around, I dont think the '06 comes close to the .303 in total bag. The .303 has been around longer and been used on every continent for much longer. The '06 didnt see Africa until long after the .303 did and the .303 has been very popular in Canada and still is, as well as India. I would say not even close in total numbers.
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,646
Reaction score
4,191
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
Overall since the two rounds, the '06 and the .303 have been around, I dont think the '06 comes close to the .303 in total bag. The .303 has been around longer and been used on every continent for much longer. The '06 didnt see Africa until long after the .303 did and the .303 has been very popular in Canada and still is, as well as India. I would say not even close in total numbers.

I was thinking along the same lines as you sestoppelman. The only question I had was there is much game back in the day as people talk about? While India doesn't have much now, did it when the .303 was in hey day? I'm sure it has killed a lot of game in Canada and Australia. And I'm sure it was popular in Africa, when the British ran the colonies. I'm guessing it has done a lot of killing.
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,164
Reaction score
6,328
Media
165
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
I dont think there is any question about it, the .303 hands down if we take into account its longer history especially in the hands of the Brits who hunted where ever they happened to be. And of course India had much game while under Brit rule.
 

timbear

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
424
Reaction score
21
Member of
SSAA, NZDA
Hunted
Germany, NZ, Australia
A point hardly known elsewhere about the .303 is the history of New Zealand deer culling. From the 1930s introduced deer had become so numerous that the forests were suffering severely. The NZ government send young men with army surplus .303s "out bush" to cull. The blokes were paid by the tail, and culls of over 50 (!) animals a day per culler are recorded. Frank Erceg shot 2255 deer in 6 months as recorded on the wall of the historic ranger's hut in the Landsborough. I have seen the inscription with my own eyes as I have often hunted the Landsborough while living in NZ. Link: Historic Landsborough Rangers Hut: South Westland. A good book about this time that started it's author's fame in NZ is "A Good Keen Man" by Barry Crump. In 1956, the "top" year of culling, 92.000 deer were killed, almost exclusively with .303s (link: /www.nzdeercullers.org.nz). I can not find total figures as the culls were often registered by region, and done under 3 different departments at different times, but the total must be quite staggering.
BTW, when markets for venison opened in Europe, the culled deer were at first exported. Later live catch operations (the famous "Chopper Boys") established the present NZ deer industry. There are still a lot of feral deer about, and NZ is a deer hunter's paradise. No hunting fees, very little restrictions, it's basically "grab your rifle and go". If you hunt DoC (Department of Conservation) land you need a permit which is usually done for a year free of charge, and it is considered polite (and wise) to let DoC know when you are going in and when you expect to come out again (so they have a chance of finding you if you get lost. Make no mistake - people die in the bush each year!). During the roar blocks are balloted (again, no fee) to avoid overcrowding and accidents. For hunting on private land all the common courtesies apply, you will of course need the owner's permission. All the huntable species are introduced and are considered "pests" by DoC. There are 6 species of deer: red, wapiti / elk (and hybrids of the two), fallow, sika, sambar and whitetail. Moose were introduced to Fjordland, but have not been seen for decades (there is a bounty for anyone who can prove they're still around). There are also himalayan tahr and chamoix in the alps, as well as feral pigs and goats. The .303 is still a popular cartridge, although it has by now been eclipsed by more modern calibers. Interestingly, Kiwis tend on average to hunt with smaller calibers than Europeans or Americans. .243 is considered adequate for all game, and 6.5x55mm or .270 are also popular. Every hunter I spoke to considered a .30-06 overgunned, and the gun shops rarely had any, and if they did, could not sell them.
So, finally returning to the thread's original topic, it's a cultural thing as much as anything. In my humble opinion, though, only a cartridge that can do anything from the rabbit for your survival dinner (leaving enough meat after the shot so you don't starve) to African elephant can be considered the top of the lot, which means we are back to the .375 H&H.
 

trigger creep

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
300
Reaction score
45
Media
4
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Hunted
USA
We can argue about this until we're all blue in the face, but without sufficient proof (for either side) it is impossible to prove it either way. Both the .303 and the .30-06 have killed freighter loads of game, and we all can believe what we want about which has killed more but none of us have sufficient evidence. You can say that the .303 had such a head start over the '06, but I can counter that with the simple fact that the .303 has melted away quite some time ago. Even the supposed Canadians that use all these .303's, I certainly don't hear much about them on the Canadian forums. I hear a little, but not all that much. Also, in Ontario there are certain areas where you can't use anything bigger than .270's. So, that affects the amount of aniamls that the .303 kills per year in Canada.



I respect the .303, but I do not believe it has killed more game than the .30-06. We all have biases, and maybe that is affecting all of our opinions? As the tootsie pop commercial used to say, "the world may never know". Or something like that.
 
Last edited:

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,164
Reaction score
6,328
Media
165
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
Christian,

You are correct that its about impossible to prove either way. But what evidence that does exist certainly suggests that the .303 is the leader for sure.
 

Double D

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
87
Reaction score
13
Media
4
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI
Hunted
South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Canada, Kyrgyzstan
Rifle cartridges have many uses, target, varment, military, hunting, big game hunting..... There is no top cartirdge for everything. But since this is Africa hunting .com we are attending then lets narrow it down to the point of our main interest "hunting africa and big game". My opinion is that the .375 H+H is the top hunting / big game hunting cartridge of the 20th century. I would bet that it if a vote was taken it would win be a landslide. Going Back to Laynes list at least half of the cartridges on his list don't belong there by anyones estimation. The 30-06 though is certainly a fine cartridge and no one can argue with that. As far as the .303 - 3006 debate goes there is no contest over which has killed more game. In the world the 303 is many times more common and used over the past 100 years than the 06.
 

lwaters

Bronze supporter
AH elite
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
1,835
Reaction score
1,826
Location
Manhattan Kansas
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
SCI
Hunted
Texas,Namibia,Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, South Africa, New Zealand
I think in North America the 30-06 wins hands down. In the rest of the world I think the 375 H&H wins. Now that being said I would never own either one. There is just to many cartridges on the market today that are better designed for the reloader and use powder more effieciently than these two. I myself like anything on the 375 ruger case and also the 300 rcm case.
 

BH206L3

New member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
He is such a blow hard to begin with and he is not worth reading. The single greatest hunting cartridge is the 7mm Mauser/ 7mm x 57mm or 275 Rigby. Everything that has come is just copy to some extent. The Rigby Patterned Sporters were and are some of the finest hunting rifles a person could get his or her hands one. Sure the 30-06 has a lot going for it, after all its patterned after the 7mm Mauser. Then there is the 303 British, it has a long track record in the world because it was the cartridge of the British Empire and they had a lot of game rich places to hunt. These days with so little dangerous game hunting, there is no real need for anything bigger that a 338 Winchester or the European 9.3mm's. But that would be oh so boring. I myself shoot a 7mm x 57 7mm Remington Mag 6.5 x 55 and a 338 Winchester.
 

sondhi470

AH member
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
23
Reaction score
1
Media
1
Personally I feel that a hunters opinion is also affected by the weight of the gun and amount of recoil it generates.If we took an opinion poll i think the 375 H&H would win. no one seems to have mentioned the 6.5x 54 as a good cartridge any opinions on that?
 

spike.t

Sponsor
Since 2013
AH ambassador
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
9,606
Reaction score
8,596
Website
www.takerireservezambia.com
Media
333
Articles
6
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
sci int, basc,wpaz
Hunted
zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe,Mozambique ,hungary, france, england
if i had to choose only one of my rifles, my vote would go to my 9.3x74r double. with this calibre you can take anything from the smallest up to the most dangerous game with confidence. and as has been mentioned this is an african site, and the 9.3x74r and 9.3x62 were extensively used through southern africa with great effect.
 

spike.t

Sponsor
Since 2013
AH ambassador
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Messages
9,606
Reaction score
8,596
Website
www.takerireservezambia.com
Media
333
Articles
6
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
sci int, basc,wpaz
Hunted
zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe,Mozambique ,hungary, france, england
trigger creap i think you under estimate how many people in europe there are that hunt.the fact that america provides the majority of people hunting in africa might have clouded your judgement. what you must remember is that people are still allowed to hunt a large variety of game in europe and they do. also what you must remember about the .303 / 30-06 debate is that the .303 was used throughout the british empire for hunting. in those days the sun never set on the empire so somewhere in the world at that time chances are someone was trying to get something for the pot, or maybe something bigger for 24 hours a day.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
35,632
Messages
665,043
Members
60,437
Latest member
GBAT 74
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

DGGardner wrote on Rare Breed's profile.
I'm sure I am a day late and a dollar short but if the deal on the .416 falls through let me know and I will buy it.
Pondoro wrote on Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS's profile.
Hello...could you please pm me regarding what species available on this fly-camp offer....can cape buffalo be taken for instance..? Trophy prices..?
matt vejar wrote on kevin masters's profile.
Kevin,
Played rookie league for the Yankees in Paintsville after winning the College World Series at Fullerton State, in1979. All I could think about was the movie “Deliverance”- lived up in a hollow with some other players. Refused to go on a moonshine run because it was a dry county-no way. Met some of the nicest people on the planet there! Van Lear the home of Loretta Lynn was highlight of summer LOL.
Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS wrote on jfowler812's profile.
hi Mr fowler

im happy to do these deals for 2021

i will knock off 10% off each deal if you take 2 so $18000 per package

look forward to your response

regards
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...
 
Top