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Are bigger cartridges really better?

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Are bigger cartridges really better?

Old 07-20-2008, 09:21 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Are bigger cartridges really better?

It seems to me year after year guys who hunt big game try to get a bigger cartridge. I'm sorry, but I just think it is overkill. Plus, there have been countless guys who have taken large grizzly bears with smaller calibers, so surely a 300 win mag type caliberwill do the job with no issue.

Many guys will tell you thatshot placement is the most critical thing, but then they tell you to get some monster recoilcaliber. It would stand to reason the larger the caliber the more recoil, which would reduce accuracy most of the times. A well placed round from a 300 win mag is better than a poorly placed shot from a more powerful cartridge IMHO.

It just seems that every year I here that you need a 700 nitro type caliberto take a grizzly. To me the proof is in the pudding, anda lot of guys have nailed even huge bears with "smaller" cartridges. If I am way off my base please don't hesitate to say so, because it has happened before (see my wife). As of right now I would have no problem grizzly hunting with a 300 win mag.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:30 PM
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

I read an interesting article recently on the subject of the magnums for elk, moose, and other big game.

It pointed out a good fact, that sure any cartridge can take just about anything if the bullet is placed in the right spot at the right angle.

So certainly a .25-06 on a elk broadside will get the job done, but the point the writer made was on the less than desireable shot, the 1/4 away, etc.....when that bullet has to go through more hide, bone etc...to get to the vitals is when the .300 win mags, or .338 mags, will do a better job than say a .25-06.And an animal doesn't always cooperate, so knowing this, may mean being unable to take a ethical shot with a .25-06 vs a .300 mag.

Valid point I thought.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:38 PM
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

ORIGINAL: salukipv1

I read an interesting article recently on the subject of the magnums for elk, moose, and other big game.

It pointed out a good fact, that sure any cartridge can take just about anything if the bullet is placed in the right spot at the right angle.

So certainly a .25-06 on a elk broadside will get the job done, but the point the writer made was on the less than desireable shot, the 1/4 away, etc.....when that bullet has to go through more hide, bone etc...to get to the vitals is when the .300 win mags, or .338 mags, will do a better job than say a .25-06.And an animal doesn't always cooperate, so knowing this, may mean being unable to take a ethical shot with a .25-06 vs a .300 mag.

Valid point I thought.
Good post. I agree, but a lot of guys think even a 300 win mag is too light of a caliber to hunt grizzly with.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:50 PM
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

I've looked at quite a few griz/brown bear outfitters websites, and think overwhelmingly they suggested that the brown bear cartridges began at .300 win mag, and the .338 and .375 being much more ideal.

I was looking at my .340 cartridge recently and thinking, this is big? .300 mag casings pack a whollup sure, but to me it doesn't look like a big cartridge, in the sense of big dangerous animal, when that gun goes off I wanna know its being hit with some umphff. I think the .338 and .375 are quite ideal for brown bear.

My .340 also kicks less than my .300 win mag, so my view is that case size is all about the same kick/recoil. They're close/similar in recoil though. Also if you have a guide backing you up that does change things, but this is hunting and with dangerous game I wouldn't want to count on anyone else.

Also I think shooting a brown bear with a 300, certainly will kill a brown bear, I think the main argument with the bigger bores, comes when having to "stop" a charging animal, and when talking about that, bigger seems to be the conscensus as to stopping anything, bigger bore, bigger mass.


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Old 07-21-2008, 12:29 AM
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

When hunting game that has the potential to send you home in a casket, why use a cartridge that is merely adequate? sure the .300 Win Mag CAN kill a big bear, but so can a .22LR, big animals, warrant the use of big cartridges, either accept that fact, or stay at home. For the big bears, nothing smaller than a .338 Mag of some kind, that seems to be the popular opinion of hunters, and guides alike.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:11 AM
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

ORIGINAL: robbcayman

It seems to me year after year guys who hunt big game try to get a bigger cartridge. I'm sorry, but I just think it is overkill. Plus, there have been countless guys who have taken large grizzly bears with smaller calibers, so surely a 300 win mag type caliberwill do the job with no issue.

Many guys will tell you thatshot placement is the most critical thing, but then they tell you to get some monster recoilcaliber. It would stand to reason the larger the caliber the more recoil, which would reduce accuracy most of the times. A well placed round from a 300 win mag is better than a poorly placed shot from a more powerful cartridge IMHO.

It just seems that every year I here that you need a 700 nitro type caliberto take a grizzly. To me the proof is in the pudding, anda lot of guys have nailed even huge bears with "smaller" cartridges. If I am way off my base please don't hesitate to say so, because it has happened before (see my wife). As of right now I would have no problem grizzly hunting with a 300 win mag.
I haven't posted here in a while, probably two years but this sparked my interest.

This issue is one that has been a hot topic for as long as I've been a member here and probably will continue to be for as long as we chase critters with firearms.

It's great to see people that can see reality. The one thing I've always felt, in the words ofold Beaver Jack, huntin ain't bench shootin. There are a lot of variables in hunting like wind, uphill and downhill shots, animal movement, mis-judging distance or trajectory and the average guy is just not a military trained sniper so we will make mistakes. The larger cartridges (notice I didn't say caliber, caliber is only half the equation, the powder behind it and bullet selections are the other half) are recommended for the less than perfect shots. It's true that if you gut shoot an elk with a large magnum cartridge it won't make a difference, I'mnot talking about grossly misplaced shots I'm talking about the shots that are just a little off. Do not be fooled by the "shot placement" is everything argument. It's important and we should do all we can to be as good with our rifles, bows, etc as we can be. But mistakes will happen and a larger cartidge will help you punch through the thick part of an elks shoulder or something along those lines.

I think we all agree that a 22 LR isn't enough and a .50 cal Howitzer is a bit much so we will always continue to debate what is and isn't enough.

Here are some pics of a shoulder shot bull that someone didn't find. Didn't find the bullet frags so I can't say for sure but you can make your own judgement. The entire skeleton was present and the bull was hit in the thick part of the shoulder. This is why some recommend larger cartridges.

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l310/kmarble9000/ElkShoulder.jpg

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l310/kmarble9000/ElkSkeleton.jpg
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:21 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

ORIGINAL: robbcayman

... As of right now I would have no problem grizzly hunting with a 300 win mag.
I've used a BC outfitter who's been guiding in the Flathead Valley (prime interior Grizzly country) for 25+ years. He views the .300WM as the perfect rifle for everything (including grizzlies) in his territory. "If you buy a .300, you'll never need anything else".

If you're intimately familiar with your .300, then go forth & whack 'em!

FC
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:24 PM
  #8  
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

A .300 cal be do the job withvery little issues.
Yeahgenerally its shot placement,bullet selection and a cal that you can handle.
*BUT PEOPLE HAVE TO KNOW,
The issue will always come down to the individual hunter and his confidence in himself, and the resiliance of the animal,when unexpected things happen.
My cousincrawled to the top of a crested mountainto spot deerdeer huntingand was charged by a sow grizzly who was protecting her cubs.the grizz at the time wasabout 200 yrds away.
He told me that Grizz covering ground so fast he panicked bolted dropped his gun his pack and bolted.
My brother and 3 others had to go up there with him the next day to grab his gear.
He still hunts with a .300 mag, me with a 30-06, some of us with 7mm,and 6.5 but we never ever hunt alone in this area anymore.
Just because of the high density bear pop.
As far as I'm concerned anymore, 2 bullets flying at the same target in the same spot are better than one.
Choose whatever cal you want, alot will work,I have never been charged but I do hunt in areas that have a high density bear pop.
To me its not the huge caliber I carry as much as it is knowing there is backup.






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Old 07-21-2008, 02:21 PM
  #9  
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

This issue has come up fairly often, ask what most Alaskan guides are shooting and they tell you 30-06 with a solid construction 200 gr bullet. That's not to say they're shooting solids, but you get the drift Aframe, partition, x bullet, etc.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:44 PM
  #10  
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Default RE: Are bigger cartridges really better?

To me it seems like a personal issue. From my point of view though if a person can kill one with a bow and arrow, then pretty much any rifle will do.
I have killed several with a 30-06 shooting 180gr ammo, but if someone wants to shoot a magnum caliber what do I care? Do what you do, and have fun doing it.
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