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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To begin with, one needs to rule out some factors that will inevitably throw off the point I am making by introducing confounding variables. These will include bullet dynamics known as ballistic coefficient. Let us assume that these are held constant.

Then we can move on to illustrating how some rifle calibers fall into distinctive categories, based on initial velocity and the trajectory of the bullet. We can look at it is such a manner that we may assume some calibers are similar and smaller and larger members of the same class. This is most practical for deer size to anything lager excluding the big dangerous game round which are usually not fired from long ranges.

Considering velocity and trajectory: a 35 Whelen is a smaller 375 H&H(250 grain from Whelan is similar to a 300 grain 375H&H), while a 338 Winchester magnum is a bigger 30-06 (180 grain from 30-06 is similar to a 250 grain 338 Winchester magnum). Thus the 06 and 338 are faster and falter shooting with less weight. If you are satisfied with the velocity and trajectory of the 35 Whelen, but want more bullet mass, then buy a 375, but if you want to change to a faster velocity and falter trajectory with the same bullet mass, go for the 338, or 340 Weatherby.

Let is say that we use a 250-grain bullet. The 35 Whelen will shoot this at about 2500 fps is hot loads. A 335 Winchester magnum will shoot this at about 2700 fps and if you need more speed, the 340 Weatherby will shoot this at about 2900 fps as an average example. The point is not that these are always the velocity one gets, but the progression of speed. Therefore, is you know the mass weight you need to use, then you can judge which rifle will best serve one as to the velocity and trajectory.

Now suppose that the issue is that one needs a larger bullet. In this case, the 375 H&H will give you a bit better velocity with a 300-grain bullet. The same follows, if you need more velocity, that the less tapered case, such as the 375 Weatherby will give you about 2700 fps, as will the necked down 416 Rem, to a 375 JRS. If one needs more speed then one will have to consider the 378 Weatherby at 2900 fps approximately.

Now suppose you need something faster and flatter than a 30-06 and can magnate with a 200-grain bullet. Then a 300 Winchester magnum will do fine as it will push a 200-grain bullet at about 2850 fps and if you need more speed the full length magnum as in the 300 Weatherby will shoot the 200-grain a bit faster, as in true the RUM will shoot it even faster and the 30-378 that much more fast.

Just a note, the 270 and 300 Winchester magnum are a bit faster velocity and falter trajectory than a 30-06 and a 338 Winchester magnum, being a but lower in velocity and less flat in trajectory, yet the same is true for the 264 Winchester magnum being faster and flater than a 270, for this faster velocity and falter shooter, to go to a larger mass bullet, yet keeping the same velocity and trajectory is the 7mm STW and Remington ultra magnum. I know various bullet weights change the formula a bit but if you match these perspective ratios of weight, it comes out about the same. It depends on what gain you desire.

I have use examples of heavy bullets because I had this written before, but the same hold true foe smaller bullets.

Side notes: I am aware there are exceptions, such that one can get more speed from a 375 H&H with a 270-grain bullet, as close to a 338 Winchester magnum as with a 250-grain and more with the 250 Gameking. All these are exceptions and hold true. I am suggesting what you can expect using common maximum weights. Same with the 338 Winchester shooting a 200-grain as fast as a 300 Winchester magnum, yet these are the confounding variables I am speaking about, You can shoot well with a 165-grain bullet from a 300 magnum, but this would be small for a 338, just as anything less than a 250-grain is small for the 375. I am measuring maximum weights because it does reflect velocities at lower weight for comparable calibers.

None of this is perfect and open to much debate, yet the validity is that it does give one a model to begin to understand some basic thing, such as what rifle you need if you know the bullet size and then need to figure out how to find a rifle at the shooting range you desire. None of this is rocket science and most of what I am saying comes from shooting many different rifles and choreographing the velocity and examining the rate of bullet drop.
 

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I "think" he's saying you can slide up and down the list of common cartridges in weight and/or velocity, to achieve different goals. Don't quote me on that, but that's sorta what I get out of it, which makes some sense...if that's what he's actually trying to say.

Staying with the 30 caliber bullet, the most commonly used in the States, you can start with a 110gr bullet at 2000fps, from the 30 carbine and go all the way up to a 30-378 shooting a 200gr bullet at 3160fps. In-between those two extremes you can find a cartridge that will launch the bullet you choose at pretty much any velocity, to achieve your objective. This same logic can be applied across calibers to compare bullets of similar weight with differing velocity, or similar velocity with differing weights.

All of which doesn't say a whole lot, other than we've got a bunch of guns and cartridges to choose from, so if you can't find the one that "does it" for ya, you must not be looking hard enough. Um, I think? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
One way to look at it is to consider that some calibers have similar trajectory. For example, I like the trajectory of a 270, which will give me 2850 fps with a 150-grain bullet. Now if I want to set all my rifles to the same trajectory, but I need something bigger, I can use a 300 Winchester Magnum with a 200-grain bullet at 2850 fps and should I need to go bigger, the I could always get the 2850 fps from a 340 Weatherby. or 338 Jarret using a 250-grain bullet. The main point is all three rifles can be adjusted for the same point of impact and I do not have to compensate.

Now suppose I do not need the velocity of 2850 and 2700 will do fine. I can shoot a 180-grain at this speed and if I needed a bigger bullet, I could then push a 250-grain bullet at 2700. Again, I can adjust to this and whether I shoot on or the other, I have the same trajectory.

It is more a matter of have all the rifles deliver the same impact velocity and this is where it become necessary to match bullet BC and this is not so hard to do today.

If I use lighter bullets for caliber it will throw it off a bit, but not so much to present a major problem. My 270 will still shoot the 130-grain faster than the 06 will shoot the 150 and with better BC.

This is a general outline, nothing more than a guide. Some of my typing errors make it perhaps too difficult to follow?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Agreed on the trajectories. With most hunting cartridges in the same class, there is so little difference that it is amazing we can find the time to argue about them, at all. This is my favorite visual aid for such things:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Yeah, that ballistic coefficient thing kinda is the fly in that particular ointment. It's also what helps each of us decide on whether we like bullets that are light for caliber, heavy for caliber, or my favorite - just right smack dab in the middle.

Yes, that calls for some more head work. Now suppose you like a 165 grain 30 caliber bullet, which is a good one. Now the 270 with a 140 grain bullet will have a faster velocity, so, if you want that 165 grain to have the same velocity as the 140 from the 270, you can shoot it from a 300 Winchester magnum and it will be a bit faster than the 140, or you can shoot a 160 from a 7mm Rem magnum and be close. The main idea is to get to the point where all your long range rifles shoot about the same trajectory to the point of impact. Consider it like a decision tree for picking calibers and loads. You are correct that it can be tricky, but it is a general guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Agreed on the trajectories. With most hunting cartridges in the same class, there is so little difference that it is amazing we can find the time to argue about them, at all. This is my favorite visual aid for such things:
Yes, it has more relevance when one is shooting long range. You do not need to worry much on this when shooting at close range. I use the 44 magnum or the 30-30 without caring much about any of this.

I also do not need long range were I am now, so my trajectories are less than in your sample. The problem is I see many who wish make choices between cartridges that are not at all related, and I thought this might help, but I agree it is a bit complex, no matter how you try to illustrate it.
 

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NOT(!) Including Me

If you own a 26" bbl'ed .30-'06 and you hand load for it,you can accomplish magical things while hunting darned near whatever your little heart desires.

With the newer,hi-tech bullets of the day and the "better" powders,99.9% of the game animals can be humainly killed by 99.9% of the worlds hunters. Allow me to add....the worlds riflemen. The true riflemen. Shot placement and the range that the animal is engaged at makes a substantial difference.

Another thought ---> all the weapons and chamberings that are needed to effectively kill ANY and ALL game animals on the face of the earth were invented BEFORE 1950. Think about it. All the really great ones that killed all animals on the face of the earth came about before 1950.

Nowadays there are no new animals that we need to invent new weapons to kill. The good,efficient killers have been there for some 60years now. Simply pick one.

Now with this let me also add(here it comes) I do not own,nor have I ever owned a .30-'06. There,I said it,I feel sooooo much better now.

Ultimately....to each,their own. -----pruhdlr
 

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If you own a 26" bbl'ed .30-'06 and you hand load for it,you can accomplish magical things while hunting darned near whatever your little heart desires.

With the newer,hi-tech bullets of the day and the "better" powders,99.9% of the game animals can be humainly killed by 99.9% of the worlds hunters. Allow me to add....the worlds riflemen. The true riflemen. Shot placement and the range that the animal is engaged at makes a substantial difference.

Another thought ---> all the weapons and chamberings that are needed to effectively kill ANY and ALL game animals on the face of the earth were invented BEFORE 1950. Think about it. All the really great ones that killed all animals on the face of the earth came about before 1950.

Nowadays there are no new animals that we need to invent new weapons to kill. The good,efficient killers have been there for some 60years now. Simply pick one.

Now with this let me also add(here it comes) I do not own,nor have I ever owned a .30-'06. There,I said it,I feel sooooo much better now.

Ultimately....to each,their own. -----pruhdlr
I beg to differ, sir. I once watched a documentary about a fellow who traveled around the world "hunting" game with a cannon. Yes, an 1863 replica Civil War 12 pound cannon. He took everything from small game to large, and did it with ease. By your way of thinking, even a .30-06 has no place in an arsenal.

But, this is all besides the point of this topic, and thusly, we have no need to turn this in to yet another "caliber vs. humane kill" discussion, or worse yet, "which caliber is better?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Char, I never thought of a .300 Winchester Magnum as a faster 30-06, or a .338 Winchester Magnum as a bigger 30-06, but from now on I probably will. But that's lmost likely because I love the crusty old 30-06. All in all, a great post with tons of interest, opinion, and entertainment.
Glad you have gotten something out of the post. I have much experience with rifles, the problem is a am a terrible writer and typer.

This is just one example; using the 30-06, which I agree with you, it is about the finest big game cartridge for hunting one can choose. The post is the demonstrate what 30-06 will not do, not with any bullet, one needs to ask this question, "does my rifle not meet the need is based on needing a longer trajectory, or does it not meet my need based on bullet weight limitations and energy?"

If the bullet works fine, say on Elk as any 30 caliber 180 grain bullet does work fine, but you need longer range with retained energy, then the 300 Winchester magnum will give you about another 100 yards, this in a pictorial illustration, where the hunter is seen shoot the Elk at 225 Yards with the 30-06, you imagine the hunter moved back to where the distance is 325 Yards and all the dynamics are about the same. From this one might ask the question here; does anyone need to set themselves as hunter back further? I have taken many Elk but few were out of this range.

Now the 338 Winchester magnum is built much as if it was intended to be a bigger 30-06, it offers not so much to move back the hunter, but to increase the terminal power. It you are in grizzly country, or hunting the larger bears, then you might reckon a need for a bigger 30-06.

If you need both, to move back the hunter and increase the terminal energy, then something like the 340 Weatherby will do the job, shoot like a 300 Winchester magnum and hit as hard as the 338 Winchester magnum, but at a further distance.

One can use this to assess any cartridge, for example, the 7mm Remington magnum is a faster 280 Remington, which, in turn is a faster 7mm.08 Remington. Funny way to see it is a car analogy, the bullet is the car and the case, the engine. No matter what bullet weight, 140 grain to 175 grain, the 7mm magnum is faster than the 280, but do you need this speed? Same analogy, the hunter is moved back with the bigger case.

Now I hunt mainly is the Ozarks hills and some southern locations, were shots are usually within 150 yards. The whitetail deer I hunt, I do not need more than a 140 grain bullet and as the hunter, I am fairly close, therefore I can do as well with the 7mm/08 as with a 280, not that the 280 is too big, I just do not need it knowing what I know about ballistics.

You can make the same analysis with all the smaller rounds. For example, Mike G had the chart, look at how on par the 270 and 300 magnum are. Then notice one would needs to drop down to a 150 grain to make it close in the 308; here I would drop down in caliber, perhaps to a 280 using the 150 grain and it would fit his chart. What is not shown in the chart is that the 280 would have better ballistics and retain more energy at 200 yards.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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He's talking about you, Charshooter - CS= Charshooter.
 

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What's missing in the discussion is ballistic coefficient. I can load a 165 grain .308 bullet with a ballistic coefficient of 0.400 t0 2700 fps MV. After 300 yards it will be going 2067 fps and have 1556 ft-lbs of energy. If I replace it with a 165 grain bullet that has a ballistic coefficient of 0.500, I only need to fire it at 2565 fps MV to have that exact same 300 yard velocity and retained energy.
 

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I agree with what he has to say. My favorite hunting caliber for anything in north america is .338 WM, i like the trajectory, energy,S.D, B.C of the bullet weights offered in the caliber.

The 30-06 is very much the .338 WM's little brother, if it ever had one, this is the reason i decided on a 30-06 for my gf, using the same logic charshooter did.
 
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