Yo, yo, yo. It’s been a little while since I’ve given you a top ten list, sooooooo – here we go. This post is influenced by American Hunter (AH) magazine’s recent article on the top ten best hunting cartridges of all time. Here it is:
Sorry for the glare, but I didn’t feel like taking another pic. You’ll live. We’ll live. What the hell am I talking about!? We’re all gonna die.
Anyway, if you’re a member of the NRA you get to choose between 3 different types of magazines with your membership. American Hunter, a gun policy magazine, and a magazine with a gun smithing type slant. You see my choice.
The brief article actually gives you 3 top ten lists from 3 different writers. I’m not going to copy their list here. You’ll need to get an NRA membership to read them for yourself, but I will tell you, their #1 choices were: .308, 12-Gauge, and .375 H&H. I’m going to present the SHTFblog top ten.
Numba 10: .44 Remington Magnum
Whether you’re into handgun hunting or you use the Ruger .44 magnum rifle, this cartridge is sweet. In a handgun it’s about as big as you really want to go unless you’re into causing yourself wrist pain. She’s got knock down powah. Put it in a rifle and increase the velocity. It’ll git-r-done.
Numba 9: .300 Winchester Magnum
This thing borders on a bazooka . . . well not really, but it sure is big, BUT did you know it loads in various ways? It can be powered down, or it can be powered up. You just gotta pick (or load) the shells you want. It’s also sweet for putting a moose down or heading into Africa.
Numba 8: 30-06 Springfield
Look out! Here she comes! Man-o-man, this thing will really come right onto-ah, won’t she? Got Aught 6? No? Well, you gotta get her. The magazine article accurately states, “If you don’t have one by now you are weird, but there is hope.”
Numba 7: .223 Remington
This cartridge is scoffed at by many when it comes to large game, but, unless you’re on safari, it’ll surely get the job done. It’s fast and accurate. The magazine article refers to it as a “small-caliber 30-06, but more affordable.” Makes sense to me . . . . plus it also fits the mighty AR-15.
Numba 6: .270 Winchester
I used to see this as a 30-06 wannabe, but I’ve since changed that thinking. It has a slightly more mild recoil, flatter trajectory, and it’s a bit faster. Even if the bullet is a bit smaller than the 30-06 – exactly how much do you need?
Numba 5: 30-30 Winchester
It’s here, because it’s a damn classic – a classic, I say! If you don’t own a 30-30 lever action rifle . . . . *sigh* – talk to the hand!
Numba 4: .243 Winchester
Truth be told, if I’d been in charge of developing the M-16 (and all its variations), I’d have chambered it with the .243. It has mild recoil, it’s accurate, and there’s a bit more power than the .223. As quoted in the AH article, “this is the gun culture’s equivalent of the little engine that could.” Very nice round.
Numba 3: .22 (long rifle and magnum)
This round is the ultimate survival round. It’s small, cheap, quiet, and perfect for small game. Bump up to the .22 magnum and you can even move into mid-sized game. The minimum cartridge size for deer hunting in many states is the .223, but in Maine it’s the .22 magnum. It’s not widely used for deer, but I know of one person that has taken many, many deer with the .22 magnum.
Numba 2: 12 Gauge
As they write in the AH article, “What other round can be used for pheasants, ducks and clay pigeons on the wing, turkeys on the ground or, with modern slug ammunition, deer, bears or anything else up to 150 yards?” This thing ranks so high because of its versatility. It does a little of everything.
Numba 1: .308 Winchester
Ooooh baby. There’s a reason it’s the most widely used sniper round in the world. She hits hard, and the 180 grain round nose bullet is a Ranger Man favorite. It’s obscene. There’s also a plethora of 7.62 NATO cartridges on the market (just make sure you have a 7.62 rifle (vs. a .308 (confused? e-mail me (ranger @ shtfblog.com (I think this is the most parenthesis I’ve ever pulled off in a row (ever (cool, huh?))))))).
– Ranger Man