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I just read an interesting article in the June issue of Guns & Ammo about the newest entries into the B&C record book. It took slightly over 1200 of the newest entries and divided them up by both game animal and caliber used to harvest each animal.

The animals listed include: Brown and Grizzly Bear, Moose, Bison, Muskox, Elk (2 types), Caribou, Mule Deer , Whitetail Deer, Blacktail Deer, Goat, Sheep, Pronghorn, Black Bear and Cougar.

The calibers listed include: 6mm, .257, 7mm, .270, 30-30, .308, 30/06, .300 mag, .338 mag, .375 mag. Some caliber groups were lumped together, such as 6mm/.243, 7mm mag/7x57, .300WM/.300WSM, .338/.340, etc.

Animals were listed with each caliber's number of newly input trophies listed in that caliber (caliber used is not required info for the record to be recorded BTW).

We pretty much all consider the 30/06 to be the most, or among the top 2 or 3 most versatile calibers around. Keeping that in mind, the overall results were, to me at least, rather surprising to say the least.

By far, the most prevalent caliber/cartridge used to put a new animal into the "book" was the .300 mag. Of the 17 different animal categories, the .300 mag was first (nine times) or tied for first (1 time). It only trailed the venerable '06 in two categories and one of those two, was still led by the .270 and not the '06.

The '06 only led in one category, blacktail deer, and it's total number there was only 8 which led two other calibers that had 6 (.300 mag was one of those). The .300 mag's total number of animals listed was very nearly 70% HIGHER than the next closest caliber, the .270. The great '06 was 4th trailing the 7mms as well as the other two calibers already mentioned.

How popular was the .300 mag? Well if you added the 30/06 and .308 results per animal together, that number would not have been higher than the .300 mag except for one listing; the Black Bear, where the duo of '06/.308 would have led the .300 mag 30 to 29.

What does this tell us? Well, honestly I'm not exactly sure. But I do think that this might tell us that some firmly held ideas about magnumitis and the problems that it causes(?) may not be quite as drastic as many are prone to say. It, perhaps, tells us that the .300 mag is today's 30/06. It outpaced the .257s, 7mms, and .270s in the harvest of record book ANTELOPE.

The .270 only led one category. Drum roll, please.... Whitetail Deer! Not the Mule Deer. And the .270 only tied for first in one other category, mountain goat. Tied who? The .300 mag. Who lead that special category of Mule Deer? The .300. The .300 outpaced the next three calibers in line behind it for sheep, COMBINED.

As I mentioned already, I found this information quite interesting. My personal feelings? Well I do own two rifles that are .300 mags. But, I own 8 or 9 '06s and 7 or 8 .270s. I actually simply feel it shows that the shooting of a magnum caliber, need not hurt a person. One could say, I'd suppose, it might even help them.

Whatever. It certainly tells me, at least, that claiming magnums cause bad flinches and/or bad shooting is more than likely "Much ado about Nothing" (IMHO).

Other notables: the .338WM(340), led in no categories, the .375 H&H led in one, Brown & Grizzly Bear and the 30/30 and .308 were the worst two overall with the 30/30 actually adding up to one more than the .308. They were both beat, overall, by the .375! The .308 did, however, achieve a great honor as the caliber used to harvest the new world's record non-typical Elk, perhaps the greatest overall trophy of this edition.

Interesting stuff!
 

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It’s just a question of the times or should I say decade?
Ask your library for a copy of S.R. Truesdell’s book: The Rifle and its Development for big Game Hunting. Truesdell did the same type of research for his 1947 vintage book.
It would be interesting to have an estimate of the shots which did not result in recovered game by caliber. Still, I enjoy this type of discussion because I find “our” selection of cartridges and rifle actions interesting.
 

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Maybe this suggests that guys who put in the time and effort to pursue trophy book animals want a cartridge that is truly up to the task, so they go big? I'm surprised the 300WM would lead in the Pronghorn category...I'd never think to use such a powerful cartridge for prairie goats. What would be really interesting is to see some numbers on what "average" hunters harvest their game with, not just trophy animals. I bet that is where you'd see some of the traditional rounds take a substantial lead.
 

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I use my 300 RUM for very long range Elk type of hunting. In the past it has been up to 200 yards, because of my vision and the scope I was using. I just ordered a new scope up to 32 power so I think I can go out to around 400 yards.

Most large game, 308 win or 30-06 should do. Small game, 22 LR to maybe 243, depending on range and what you are shooting at.

There are many calibers that can handle many things, some are classics and others are just repackaging the performance of other cartridges.

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maybe this suggests that guys who put in the time and effort to pursue trophy book animals want a cartridge that is truly up to the task, so they go big? I'm surprised the 300WM would lead in the Pronghorn category...I'd never think to use such a powerful cartridge for prairie goats. What would be really interesting is to see some numbers on what "average" hunters harvest their game with, not just trophy animals. I bet that is where you'd see some of the traditional rounds take a substantial lead.
I'd certainly agree with the notion that the calibers used by the average hunter, harvesting an average deer would more than likely look a good bit different. This is what perplexes me a bit. The trophy animals are being harvested with cartridges other than what the average hunter chooses to use, for the most part. Just what does that tell us? I certainly have no clue. For the record, I've used the .300 mag in the harvest of two deer and I don't think I've ever even had occasion to hunt with a friend that used a .300 mag, when we hunted deer together.

I know that I was totally disgusted after reading another unrelated article a while ago, in which the author (a fairly well known gun writer) claimed the .300WSM to be the best caliber for hunting.... Mule Deer! He actually said that the '06, .270 and 7 mags might not quite be up to the task. I was truly disappointed that someone with that kind of experience would suggest that the .270 was not up to the task of harvesting any Mule Deer that ever walked. I reckon that just goes to show you just how little I know. The top dog for trophy Mule Deer IS the .300mag. This when so many use the fine 25/06, .270, 7mmmag and '06. Go figure!
 

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mag

Hi all,
At least us old goats know to take a 30.06 along. I remember when the 300 mag started to gain ground. With all these new rounds lately-like the WSMs-it's almost like brainwashing, there are so many new mag type loads that not that many hunters are still around to remember when there were only a handful of loads. In Wisconsin in rifle counties the 06 was king combined with a great action like an early Wln 70 or a Rem 700 or even an 8mm Mauser, and several others. Now many of those once great guns are worn out sitting behind the glass. The new breed sure seems to have been sold on the mags. Back in the day you would have trouble finding a box other than 3030, 270, 308. or 06. in a hardware store up in the sticks. It must be partly marketing-and of course performance behind the change. In the old days our guns were made better and the price was fair. Now-for the price of a decent walnut rifle-why not buy more gun. But us old dogs will stick with what we know works. There's a place for mags, but a whitetail will be just as dead with less power and less meat loss the way we learned. In sum, it's a new generation's turn to learn by doing. Perhaps a few will get the point when they have to throw out a bloodshot quarter.
Mike
 

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Maybe this suggests that guys who put in the time and effort to pursue trophy book animals want a cartridge that is truly up to the task, so they go big? I'm surprised the 300WM would lead in the Pronghorn category...I'd never think to use such a powerful cartridge for prairie goats. What would be really interesting is to see some numbers on what "average" hunters harvest their game with, not just trophy animals. I bet that is where you'd see some of the traditional rounds take a substantial lead.
Jim I agree with you 100%, i just think while the average Joe bags a record book animal from time to time, the majority of them are taken by hard core trophey hunters who have both the time and the $$ it takes to put the time in the field to find that one trophey. and when they do, you can bet they want to put it down where it stands right there and then.
 

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Mag Vs Non Mag

What is the difference between a mag and a non mag....bullet speed. That's it,nothing else.

Simple huh ?? -----pruhdlr
 

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That is definitely surprising information... Although it won't persuade me to buy a 300WM, in fact, it makes me want to use my .25/06 even more, at least its good enough to shoot does!
 

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These are some interesting findings. What would also interest me is how these animals were harvested. Were they guided hunts or DIY hunts like probably most folks do yet.;)
 

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What does this tell us? Well, honestly I'm not exactly sure. But I do think that this might tell us that some firmly held ideas about magnumitis and the problems that it causes(?) may not be quite as drastic as many are prone to say.

...................................................................

Whatever. It certainly tells me, at least, that claiming magnums cause bad flinches and/or bad shooting is more than likely "Much ado about Nothing" (IMHO).

Gotta agreee with these observations.

Yep.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What is the difference between a mag and a non mag....bullet speed. That's it,nothing else.

Simple huh ?? -----pruhdlr
To agree with your supposition, I believe you'd have to change your comment to say that the difference is in speed AND energy. That is what the extra speed gives you; extra energy. Note, I did not say it gave it better killing "powers", simply that a magnum ups the ante in both velocity and energy within a same caliber, same bullet weight scenario.
 

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How many deer kills were covered in that article vs. how many occur each year? Even if it were 10,000 deer kills were covered in that article, that's not that many compared to how many happen in any given year recently.

Also, I think more and more often, trophy deer are coming off those managed places that charge a bit to hunt. I'm not sure to what degree being able to afford those hunts has on which calibers are used.
 

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Wait, we're talking about serious trophies and world records here. These are not new hunters, they have likely hunted their whole lives and gotten a rare permit or tag and have spent a lot of time working with their rifles.

Among that group, I would agree that the flinch factor is much lower, but in the overall population, most do not hunt with the 300 WM or other Magnum (30-06, 270, 308, and 30-30 still the most popular)
 

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Matt, I have to agree with you. I've been working with heavy 12 gauge loads, and .300 WM+ for several years. Something fun to do, if you have a friend that wants to shoot a "mag". Load it for them. Then at some point, leave the chamber empty. I've seen guys jump as much as a couple of inches, trying to anticipate recoil.
 

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Something fun to do, if you have a friend that wants to shoot a "mag". Load it for them. Then at some point, leave the chamber empty. I've seen guys jump as much as a couple of inches, trying to anticipate recoil.

Tang, you sly dog you. I'd a never thought you were so sneaky!! :eek:

Personally I find no real relevance in the findings. Like was posted earlier, most trophy hunters have the $$$$$$$$ and time to spend traipsing all over God's creation looking for big racks OR they've paid someone else to find it for them.

JM2CW

RJ
 

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Tang, you sly dog you. I'd a never thought you were so sneaky!! :eek:

Personally I find no real relevance in the findings. Like was posted earlier, most trophy hunters have the $$$$$$$$ and time to spend traipsing all over God's creation looking for big racks OR they've paid someone else to find it for them.

JM2CW

RJ

Dont forget the "pay to hunt zoos", where you can pay for a standard animal or trophy animal.


As far as being sneaky, let someone shoot a boat paddle .338 a time or two, and then watch the flinch begin. The shoulder begins to look like a grilled steak from that thin thing they call a recoil pad.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dont forget the "pay to hunt zoos", where you can pay for a standard animal or trophy animal.


As far as being sneaky, let someone shoot a boat paddle .338 a time or two, and then watch the flinch begin. The shoulder begins to look like a grilled steak from that thin thing they call a recoil pad.
The one good thing about the B&C and P&Y record books is that they do NOT allow any animals harvested on any type of fenced (high fence) preserve. P&Y actually also restricts the amount of let-off allowed for bows used as well. All hunters have to sign waivers stating that all game laws/rules were followed and that the hunts were cunducted in a legal and ethical manner. You are certainly correct in saying that many trophy proprtion animals are shot in such places, which also use the record book "scores" to sell their hunts. Any of those animals, however, are not allowed to be listed within those record books.
 
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I'd think if they didn't combine the 30 caliber mags, the '06 would rule the roost fairly easily. Did they just combine the Win Mag and WSM or all the others with it? That right there is quite a few cartridges.
 
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