Are You Using the Appropriate Cartridge/Caliber for Hunting? (Rifles Part 1)

Use the chart below the article as a guide to help you choose an appropriate cartridge/calibre.

Whether you are a seasoned hunter with years of experience or someone new to the field; most have a general understanding of what calibers to use for the target game. But are you choosing the best cartridge for your target game?

Now bare in mind that a lot of people will argue that some calibers can be used for other target game and I completely agree…to a point. You need to choose a calibre powerful enough to humanely kill the game but not so overpowered that it ruins the meat.

A good starting point when choosing the correct calibre of ammunition is keeping the type and size of game in mind when purchasing ammunition or more precisely the cartridge. Calibre is the measure of the bullets diameter; the higher the calibre the larger the bullet, the bigger the bullet the bigger game it can be used for. However keep in mind calibre is just one aspect that makes up a cartridge. There are also different bullet types, shapes, amount of powder behind the bullet (Grains), bullet tip materials

Safety Note: Please ensure you are using only the exact cartridge that is stamped on the barrel/receiver of your firearm.  Using any other cartridge can result in serious or even fatal injury to you. At the least, it will cause damage to the rifle. For example if it says, “.300 Win. Mag.” you must use .300 Win. Mag., NOT .300 Wby. Mag. or .300 Win. Short Mag. or .300 Rem. Ultra Mag.

Which Style of Bullet Should You Use?

The style and construction of a bullet are also important considerations. If you shoot a lever action rifle with a tubular magazine, your bullet style will usually be limited to bullets that have a round or flat nose to prevent a chain reaction detonation of the rounds that are lined up tip-to-primer in the magazine. However, most bullets feature a pointed or “spitzer” tip, for increased ballistic efficiency. The main exception to this is large-for-caliber bullets, such as the 220 grain bullet for a .30-06 Springfield rifle. Such bullets often feature a round nose as well, as they are generally designed for use at short ranges or heavy cover. The construction of a bullet will depend on the size of game being hunted. Varmint hunting requires a bullet with a thin jacket and soft core, for rapid expansion and fragmentation inside these tiny targets. At the other end of the spectrum, bullets designed for the largest of North American wild game feature a thicker or tapered jacket, often bonded to the bullet’s core. Thicker or tapered jacket provides for deep penetration and controlled expansion while retaining most of the bullet’s weight. For deer-sized game, bullets are generally constructed with a softer point, as these animals lack the thicker hides and tougher bones of moose and bears.

Many of the most popular bullets today also feature some sort of polymer tip atop the lead slug. These tips help to prevent deformation or damage to the soft lead bullet that can result from repeated loading and unloading in a rifle’s magazine and chamber, which can then hurt the bullet’s ballistic efficiency and performance.

What Kind of Ammunition Grade Should You Use?

Premium grade ammunition usually carries a premium price, but it is generally well worth the added expense. These loads generally utilize higher-quality components, including the brass, bullets, powders and primers, and are loaded to strict specifications with tighter quality control tolerances. The result is ammunition that is generally more accurate and consistent from shot to shot. When you consider the amount of money we spend to hunt big game, and that we might only fire a few rounds a year, a few extra dollars spent to buy the best factory ammunition available is a good investment.

I do not claim ownership of this information in anyway. All information from this post is referenced from;



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