Why the 30 Caliber Magnums?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Pheroze, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2017
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  2. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    IMO all of the .30 and 7mm Magnums are wants not needs. The late Jack O'conner said "A man only needs 3 rifles a .22, a .270 and a .375 H&H with those rifles he can hunt anywhere in the world and never feel under gunned". I would agree with that statement but I do own several 30-06's, a 300 WM and my favorite a 35 Whelen, at practical ranges I feel the 35 Whelen is a better choice than the 300 WM but if you need to shoot past 300 yards the 300 WM is hard to beat.
     
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  3. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    O'connor surely loved his .270 but I think the data says better things abound. A 6.5x55 handles heavier bullets, as does a 7x57. He was thinking American but the Europeans had the better alternatives. I think your dad would agree with me.
     
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  4. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    +1 on the 6.5x55!! :A Clapping: It is my absolute favorite cartridge!!!

    I apologize...There has to be a name for this symptom I have where anytime someone mentions the 6.5x55 I just feel this undeniable urge to pat them on the back and say "you got good taste in rifles!" The Germans probably have a word for it. They have a word for everything.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
     
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  5. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    In later years Mr. O'Connor said that he regreted the "270 box" that he had been relegated to (sorry). While he truly loved the cartridge, his promotion of it prevented him from being a serious authority on the virtues of other cartridges. When comparing cartridges it is necessary to keep in mind that cartridges that are inferior may be shown to be superior by the simple means of running the pressure to a higher level.
     

  6. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    An "inferior" caliber is often a very subjective viewpoint. If the golden age of hunting rifles and calibers was sometime around the turn of the previous century, the golden age of bullets and gun powder is NOW. I wasn't around and certainly not an authoritarian on the development of rifles during that time, but I would have to believe that the development process was greatly based on trial and error.

    No computers or simulations to help you out. Hell they didn't even have calculators. As such I have a great deal of respect for the time and effort it took in developing those rifles. But there's one problem that skews everything, and that's the fact that in comparison to that time the bullets and powder they had to work with was terribly inferior to what is available today. There's no doubt that power/bullets available to them at that time influenced how the calibers were designed.

    As such, it's a difficult comparison to make between two similar calibers and say one is inferior to the other. My younger son's rifle is a M70 FW in 7x57. Yes it can shoot 175gr projectiles, but that's not what I loaded for him. I put 140gr North Forks in the rifle for him and he killed stuff in quite dramatic fashion. That light bullet makes the recoil feel like a pop gun. There's not a chance I'd think that rifle is superior to a .270 that can only shoot 160gr pills. I'd take a .270 with a 150gr North Fork against any and all calibers of similar size any day of the week. Then again I'd take that 7x57 in the same loading against any and all calibers of similar size any day of the week. The point being that if you take advantage of the newer bullet technology, these differences in the calibers that seem so important fade to being minor details.

    I said earlier in this thread that I have my magnums too. And I do believe that in certain circumstances they offer an advantage over their non-magnum counterparts. But I'll be the first to say that those circumstances often don't come along. My wife shot a Red Hartebeest at 150 yards with her .30-06 and a 165gr North Fork, dropped dead. I can't imagine how my .300WM would've killed it any quicker. Had that animal been at 350 yards, perhaps a different story.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if you like the advantages a magnum offers, buy it. If you don't like the recoil, then don't. But I would encourage anyone looking for an extra advantage to get into hand loading. It's really not that difficult to learn and there's a great deal of advantage to be gained using bullets such as the A-Frame, North Fork and I'll add Peregrine to the list for the mono-metal guys. @Hank2211's recent experience with the TSX has me hedging on adding it to this list.
     
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  7. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    rookhawk,

    I agree with you on this.
    Furthermore, I seem to recall O'Conner writing, toward the end of his Scribe career that, he actually just slightly preferred the .30-06 but, made a good living writing about the .270 (in my words: "So, he rode that wave, all the way to the beach").
    Trivia: When he and his wife, Eleanor O'Conner went to hunt in Africa , she brought a .30-06.

    Anyway, it remains a mystery that, when Winchester introduced their .270 cartridge, Remington did not answer it right away, by chambering their standard bolt action of the day (Model 30) in caliber 7x64 Brenneke.
    For unknown reasons, it was not until decades later when the .270 had reached almost cult status that, Remington sluggishly introduced their ".280 Remington" cartridge (ballistic twin to the excellent 7x64 cartridge, which likewise pre-dated the .270 cartridge by a decent margin).
    The Brenneke also enjoyed a near cult status, in Europe and the German Colonies.
    Sadly, the day late and dollar short .280 was received by most N. American Hunters with a collective yawn, perhaps due to thousands of hunters already owning a .270 Winchester.

    Imo, the 7x64 is well suited for the same category of animals at longer ranges that, the American .270 is, when it's loaded with similar weight bullets.
    However, the gloves come off when pressing a 7x64 to hunt larger animals, such as moose or zebra in thick cover, because 7x64 ammunition can be bought with factory loaded 175 grain bullets (goes for Remington's .280 as well).
    With you specifically, I know I'm preaching to the choir but, maybe there are others just getting started in searching for a decent African rifle battery, and hopefully my rant here might be of some interest to one or two new to International Hunters here.

    So as to avoid several tons of hate mail from .270 owners, I do like the .270 and having owned more than one or two rifles in this caliber, I've shot deer, caribou and vermin with it.
    It is excellent for long shots on small to medium sized, thin skinned game (deer / impala / caribou / nyala / pronghorn / springbok, etc.)
    However, at the moment I do not own one, because much like yourself, I have both a 6.5x55, as well as a 7x57 plus, so as to not completely rip off this thread, I finally got it through my thick skull that, anything I could consistently hit with my .270 / 130 grain spitzers, I could also hit consistently with my .30-06 / 150 gr spitzers.
    So, my bases are covered, so to speak.

    As the above cartridges compare to the .308 Norma magnum and similar ballistic cartridges, the .30 is better suited to using bullets of about 180 grains and upwards, when hunting larger / tougher animals.
    There is no chance I personally would select a 6.5 or .270 to haul half way around the world to hunt the largest African antelopes or zebra but, in the absence of a larger than .30 caliber rifle, (renting a rifle from the PH), I might consider hunting them with a .30-06 or .300 Magnum / 200 gr or heavier premium bullet (A-Frame being my personal favorite but as PHOENIX PHIL said, there are several excellent brands now).

    I totally agree with PHIL and others that, newer tougher designs of bullets make the smaller cartridges more effective on largish animals nowadays.
    And so, such premium bullets likewise make the .300 Magnums suited to what the .338 Winchester used to be sort of a minimum preferred cartridge for.
    But, as much as I have to scrimp and save for years at a time to enjoy my few and far between hunting trips, to rip off Robert Ruark, I prefer to "use enough gun."

    Blah, blah, out,
    Velo Dogmatic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  8. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    My reason for quoting Jack was to demonstrate that a .30 caliber magnum is a want not a need. When I went to Africa last year I took my 35 Whelen and 30-06 but thanks to Delta airlines I did have to use my PH's 270 on my zebra and kudu. If I had to pick one of Jacks guns to hunt Africa it would be the 375 not the 270.
     
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  9. Jwg223

    Jwg223 AH Veteran

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    Chuck Hawks has his own opinions...

    That said, the .30 magnums are popular because that caliber has spawned some amazing bullets. So what did wildcatters and companies do? They took amazing bullets and made them go faster. I think they are popular because their development was economical. It's the same thing we are seeing with the military looking at 6.5-7mm chamberings currently. It works great, and it already "exists" at the component level.
     

  10. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I was using a 180g Sierra Gameking
     
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  11. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The equation for killing an animal is to put a bullet into either the animal's central nervous or it's oxygen transport systems and have that bullet arrive with sufficient ability to cause sufficient disruption. The most important aspect of the bullet is its construction, not its weight or diameter.
    The other aspect of killing an animal involves convincing the animal that it is dead- for that job the weight, diameter and momentum/energy are added to construction as important criteria of the bullet.
     

  12. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    The 30-06 is loaded very mild in factory ammo due to some very old rifles still in use. Reloading manuals also hold down the loads for same reason. If you have a modern rifle with a 24in. barrel the old 06 using good handloads is within a 100fps of the factory loaded 300 mag. The old chrono makes them factory loads tell the truth.
     
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  13. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    I was surprised my Vanguard had no problems cranking out 2800 with a 180 accubond at well under maximum
     
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  14. Alchemist

    Alchemist AH Senior Member

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    When going hunting, the first rifle I pack is the 30-06 with 180gr Nosler AB. This rifle can effectively put any animal down on the farms or ranches I hunt on. - no dangerous game -
    The second rifle will be determined by the terrain, bush or plains, expected distance and size of animal.
     
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  15. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog AH Veteran

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    Every big-game guide I have ever hunted with is very happy when a client shows up shooting a 30 mag, and puts rounds on target during zero-confirmation. You will be instantly liked if you show up to an elk, plains game, aoudad, sheep, or red stag hunt with a 300 mag.

    There are plenty of internet experts that shoot everything with a 243, but guides who make money and garner a reputation from putting big animals down absolutely LOVE the 300 magnums because they flat-out work when the shot is a little on the longer side and animals don't always present a perfect shot.

    I prefer the 30-06 loaded hot with the lighter 165-168 grain bullets, but have a great deal of respect for the 300 mags.

    No matter what it comes out of, if you can get a 180 grain projectile to leave a muzzle at over 3,000 ft/s, it is going to perform well on heavy animals out to a good distance. You don't have to like the 300 magnums, but you can't argue with the results either.
     

  16. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    You don't get much out of a magnum until you reach 30 caliber.
     
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  17. fiocchi

    fiocchi AH Veteran

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    People seem to move 'up' the calibre spectrum with age, until they reach a point of age/wisdom and skill sets to get close and put the bullet in the boiler room reliably,,then they move back down the spectrum again and usually settle for a sensible calibre ;-)
     
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  18. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    My choice of firearm on my last Elk hunt was the determining factor for it's success. It was the second to last day and the elk decide to take the long way out of the dead falls and appeared 500 yards away in a small meadow in the last light of the day. The bull was the last to appear and he stopped in front of a solitary pine. My 300 Weatherby was able to close the distance and dropped him where he stood. If I'd been shooting my 270 I'd never have attempted the shot.
     

  19. RolandtheHeadless

    RolandtheHeadless AH Veteran

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    Hawks's only argument for the '06 is less recoil. In fact, his article shows an almost excessive fear of recoil.

    If the recoil of a .300 magnum doesn't particularly bother you, there is no advantage to a .30-06, and Hawks doesn't suggest one.
     

  20. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Years ago my primary hunting rifles were 270, 308 & 30-06, all bolt actions. I recall that follow-up shots were very quick because while the rifle was still recoiling, I had let go of the pistol grip and started cycling the bolt. With my dad's passing, I inherited his 300 Weatherby DeLux, with scope weight was less than 8 pounds. The recoil was not particularly objectionable, but it did slow the follow-up shots since I needed to hang-on to the rifle until the recoil had subsided. I don't recall ever having to shoot anything twice, so follow-ups have turned out to be a non-issue.
     

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