Skip to comments.**RIFLE VANITY** Long-Distance Shooting and Hunting
Posted on 12/17/2011 9:34:30 AM PST by rabidralph
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Depends on the load and the amount of overbore.
Some magnums, eg, the .264 WinMag, .30-378 Wby and other over-bored cartridges can burn a throat in as little as 800 or so rounds. If you start rapid fire stages on an overbored magnum, you eat up the barrel even faster. Some guys aren’t content to shoot an overbored magnum - they have to stoke it until the primer is cupping around the firing pin. They want that pill going downrange at Mach-infinity velocities...
Now, for guys who have a gunsmith who will work with them, and who aren’t blithering idiots, if they catch the throat erosion early by using a borescope, their ‘smith can set the barrel back and ream out the throat to remove the erosion.
Magnums *in general* are a ploy by the gun industry to get gun owners to buy something new all the time. What does a .300 WM do that a .30-06 won’t do for hunting? Especially with modern powders... Not much. Makes more noise, perhaps. Weatherby magnums? A solution in search of a problem. Venturi effect? Please.
In hunting rounds, had more people known of the .35 Whelen and the 9.3x62, much of the magnum nonsense since the 70’s might never have happened. The 9.3x62 has been around longer 1905, and it has laid low everything there is to shoot in Africa. Guys in North America need more testimony and results than that? OK, so let’s say you’re going to take on charging bull elephants. The .505 Gibbs has been improved upon... how? By a .50 BMG?
My point is that there’s very little substantially new in the field of cartridge development in the last 50 years that is worth all the hullaballoo. People might better have spent their money learning to shoot well rather than chase the latest gun rag marketing.
As Townsend Whelen said waaaay back in the early 60’s of the .280 Remington: “If you already have a .30-06 or .270 which you shoot well, you need read no further. If, however, you’re looking for a hunting rifle in the .30-06 or .270 class, consider the following about the .280 - which can do just a little bit better.”
And that was, as I recall, the title of the article: “Just a Little Bit Better.”
If a writer for a gun rag wrote honest words like that today, he’d be fired, pronto.
Now, with today’s 7mm projectiles, the .280 has a very real advantage over the .30-06 - you’d have to go up to a 210 to 220gr pill to achieve the Bc’s of the 7mm pills in the 160 to 180gr range.
Back to my point of allocation of money:
I own more than one match-grade .22LR rifle, and a match .22LR pistol. They’re not cheap. Match .22 ammo isn’t cheap compared to Walmart .22 bricks... but it is cheap compared to centerfire ammo. .22’s provide me with more practice for less bucks than anything else one can own. Why so many shooters invest so much money in nonsensical magnums which burn through their limited funds for practice is also beyond me. The cost to practice with high levels of accuracy involves the amortized cost of barrel replacement. Even with saving my brass and reloading, my .338 costs me over a buck a round to reload. Before I go hunting, I typically shoot at least 60 to 80 rounds at ranges from 100 to 300 yards to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be. I expect the barrel life to be in the range of 2000 rounds. That’s an expensive day at the range, to be sure.
A .22LR match rifle barrel, with proper care and sparing use of cleaning rods and brushes... should last at least 10,000 rounds. I’ve had .22 match shooters tell me that they’re still using barrels with over 50K rounds on them - and they’re still winning. More .22LR barrels are killed by cleaning rods and brushes than ammo. Amortized cost of that level of accuracy in practice is now much lower than a high power rifle.
After that, a .308 or .30-06 is a drop-dead cinch for a “one-rifle” guy to own. Cheaper brass or surplus ammo, lots of projectiles to choose from. Lots of practice for the bucks.
Good post as always. Thanks.
I mentioned the 6.5x55 in relation to high BCs. I love the 6.5x55 and it is not that far off the .30-06 in concept and even effectiveness, unless you step up to Elk or Grizzlies.
Yep, Magnums were a cure in search of a disease. Then they went to the short fat mags for another cure in search of a disease.
Can’t go wrong with a .30-06 or .308, let alone .270. The premium bullets offered today have really leveled the playing field quite a lot.
I just like the 6.5x55 but I know it is not intrinsically better than anything else out there such as the ought six. I think penetration is more important than diameter and I like the low recoil of the 6.5x55. But yes, I’ve got a .30-06 and .308 as well and they all work.
Like you said, the 7mm Mauser is all we really needed.
bmfl Great comments in this thread
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