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Need advice on calibers.

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Need advice on calibers.

Old 05-24-2004, 08:06 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
Default Need advice on calibers.

I've been shooting for some while now, mainly for pest control. I'd like to start deer hunting, but I don't know what all the jargon means. I don't want to start an argument on which caliber is best, I just want to know what things like 30-30 and 25-06 mean. What's the "-" for? I've also seen it written as 30/30. Is it the same thing? Also, is it true that the larger the caliber, the more power it has. ( Yes, I know it depends on bullet weight etc.) Would a .300 have stacks more power than a .243, and also more recoil?
Any help much appreciated.

....Here in UK, I've herd the 6.5x55 is an almost perfect deer round. Do you agree and why?
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 57
Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

30-30 and 30/30 are indeed the same. The 25-06 is the same cartridge case as a 30-06 necked down from a 30 caliber bullet to a 25 caliber bullet. Generally the larger calibers have more power primarily because they have larger cartidge cases and therefore have a larger powder capacity. The 30-30 is a good deer round but for ranges not more than 100-150 yds., depending on how well you shoot the rifle. They are good rifles to use in heavier cover such as forests where the game will be encountered at shorter distances.

The greater the powder capacity the greater the kick a rifle will give. However, the weight of the rifle makes a difference in recoil. Lighter weight rifles with the same round will ususally recoil harder than heavier rifles. The shape and fit of the rifle also affects recoil.

I use a 25-06 for deer hunting. The recoil is pretty comfortable and it also makes a good varmint rifle with the smaller bullets. The 25-06 or higher power rifles are better at longer ranges due to the higher muzzle velocities which result in longer flater trajectories.

There are a lot of good rifle calibers for using on deer. If you ultimately want to shoot bigger game a 30-06 would be a good choice. I believe if you are going to have just one rifle for hunting that the 30-06 is the best choice. It has the knockdown power for just about any North American game and ammunition is very available just about anywhere you go.

Hope this helps,
stress-relief is offline  
Old 05-24-2004, 09:24 AM
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Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

Thanks Val.

What does the hyphen in 30-06 mean?
(I think what i'd like to know, is what is the diff between a 30-06 and a .30?)
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Old 05-24-2004, 10:02 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

The world of cartridges is a complicated one. The nomenclature can be very confusing.... and indeed, sometimes the names/number descriptions are merely marketing terms.
Having said that, I shall try to help you with some basics. 30-30 : this cartridge started life as a blackpowder cartridge, in the 1890's. The nomenclature "30-30" means... 30 calibre bullet/ with 30 grains of black powder used as the propellant. In that era, this became the common way to designate cartridges - once the "unitary cartridge" had taken over from previous designs. Now, all commercially-loaded cartridges use smokeless powder as the propellant (it is, after all, vastly superior). In the case of the 30-30... the name stuck. Another, similar cartridge still around today is the 45-70. Same idea as presented above - (though now, of course, these are loaded with smokeless powder, also). As it happens, the 30-30 and 45-70 are the only two of these "old" cartridges to still be in common use today. (There are some others which are still manufactured - but only in limited use... designated as "obsolete ammunition".)
That was the simple case.... it only gets more complicated from there. The term "25-06", for example, refers to a 30-06 case (perhaps you have heard of this cartridge)... that has been "necked down" (the case neck re-formed) to accept a 25-calibre bullet. There are many variations on this theme, today. Perhaps you are familiar with the "7.62 x51... or 7.62 NATO" round, yes? Commercially, this is known as .308 Winchester. The .243, which you mentioned, uses a .308 case, necked-down to accept a smaller bullet (approximately 6.2 mm). And so on... and so forth. As you can easily see with the (above) example, the nomenclature does NOT always follow a uniform set of rules. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, ammunition manufacturers have always tended to follow their own whims when naming cartridges (so we have ".308 Winchester" commonly used, instead of "7.62 x 51"). Second, many cartridges actually begin life as "wildcats" (cartridges developed by individuals, rather than commercial enterprises).
There is some movement toward commonality in this regard.... years ago, USA manufacturers did not publish info as to the case length (and in fact, the actually bullet diameter). The .30-06 is a good example. You might think that ".30" refers to a bullet exactly .30 inches in diameter. No, actually the 30-06 cartridge uses a bullet of .308 inches in diameter.... as do most ".30 calibre" cartridges. The designation: 7.62x 51 attempts to describe exactly the bullet diameter in millimeters.... followed by the case length (also in millimeters). However, even this designation contains some abiguity. 7.62mm = .30 inches.... the desination SHOULD BE 7.82 x 51 (in order to be truly an accurate description). Nevertheless, the system of describing cartridges by diameter of bullet x case length is a big improvement, in my opinion, over the "old" system. This is a European invention, by the way. In the commercial realm, here in the States, most cartridges are still given non-dimensional. marketing- driven names. So, you see, the 6.5 x 55 is a 6.5mm bullet, in a 55mm long case.
Moving right along.... your next question. GENERALLY SPEAKING, the larger the bullet diameter, the more powerful the cartridge (as measured by so-called "muzzle energy"... expressed in ft./lbs here in the States). As this is actually derived from both the bullet weight and the velocity, there are many exceptions to this (general) assertion. A .243 rifle round, using a 100 grain bullet, will produce more muzzle energy than a 30-30 round, using a 150 grain bullet- larger in diameter - generally speaking. This is due to the higher velocity (considerably higher, in fact) of the .243 round. In your example, a .300 (there are many different rounds with this name... .300 WM, .300 WSM, etc.) in most cases, because it is a high velocity cartridge, like the .243, will produce lots more muzzle energy than the .243... in this case due primarily to higher bullet weight. You see,
it's really rather a case of comparing apples to apples. Recoil is another, but similar, matter. Again, GENERALLY SPEAKING, the larger rounds will produce more recoil. This is governed by bullet weight, velocity (propellant charge)....and also, the weight of the weapon firing the cartridge. (A heavier rifle will produce less recoil, if all other factors are equal.) In order to really know the technical differences between cartridges, it is necessary to consult ballistics tables.
Now, having said all of that.... (and you are not the least bit confused, are you ?)... let us move on to the final point. You asked if the 6.5x55 is "an almost perfect deer round". I would say, given the ballistics of this round... and the fact that I do not think that you have any game animals in the UK which weigh more than 200 kg... the 6.5 x 55 would be nearly ideal. This round, as it happens, is VERY popular in Europe, for exactly the purpose you intend. It has a very good reputation for accuracy and killing-power. It is not so popular here in the States, though... except with handloaders... who seem to love it. If you are considering a rifle chambered in 6.5 x 55, for your uses, I would say that this would be an excellent choice.
I hope that, at least, some of this information will be helpful to you. Welcome to the forum....and welcome to the "club" (the "club" of deer hunters, I mean). If I can be of further assistance, by all means please write.
Best Regards.
targetpuncher is offline  
Old 05-24-2004, 10:09 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

The hyphen in "30-06" is simply used to separate the parts of the name. 30-06 is a particular cartridge... .30 is a general term, referring to bullets .30 inches in diameter - not any specific cartridge. Please see my previous post.
You see, this subject can get VERY confusing !
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

Targetpuncher gave you some very good info. It is confusing.

The only part he left out was, when it comes to the 30.06, the .06 stands for the year of it's development, 1906. It was originally designed and designated as the 30.03 in 1903, but after cartridge and rifle improvements were made, they redesignated it to 30.06. I'm sure there was some other cartridges designated this way too. So you see, it can be very confusing as to the second set of numbers. 30-30, 30.06, 25.06 and then like he said, all the "European" designations.
Danny45 is offline  
Old 05-25-2004, 01:19 AM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

Thank you all very much! your knowledge is very much valued.
Thank you especially to Target puncher. Your information is just what i was looking for and more. I think that I'll be getting myself a 6.5x55.

Thanks again and God bless.
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:14 AM
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Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

the (.30) in 30-06 actually specifies the bore diameter, not the bullet diameter.

A .30 rifle such as .30-30, .30-06, .308, .300WM, etc, has a .300" bore and generally has the rifling cut .004" deep for a .308" sized bullet.

The 6.5x55 is a very good medium sized game cartridge IMHO, The old Swedish military rifles have a very fast rifling twist allowing them to shoot bullets up to 160 gr very accurately. I have a few of the M96 rifles which make excellent target rifles- being more accurate and better made on average than most production rifles today, but they are way to long and heavy for hunting unless you are hunting over open fields.
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
Posts: 111
Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

BTB, I think you will be very happy with the 6.5x55. It has plenty of power for most large, non-dangerous game (especially if you use heavier bullet weights). I know that in Sweden this is still a very popular caliber for moose, so it should do almost anything you want to do unless you go after bears or africa's "big five". (Which I believe are elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, lion, and leopard) Best of luck, and keep the info coming to this side of the pond. I would like to hear more about the experiences of hunters from other places.
Big Al C is offline  
Old 05-29-2004, 11:53 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 52
Default RE: Need advice on calibers.

Thank you for the correction (as to the ammo nomenclature referring to bore size, not bullet diameter). You are quite correct... my mistake.
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