Top Ten Most Widely Used Hunting Cartridges (Part 4)

Top Ten Most Widely Used Hunting Cartridges (Part 4)
These cartridges represent some of the most widely used hunting cartridges in North America.
.300 Winchester Magnum

The .300 Winchester Magnum is an extremely popular and highly favored big game cartridge. However, like its name, it can be a little big and a bit to much for some hunters to handle. The .300 Win Mag came onto the market in 1963. This cartridge was built to give greater performance than that of the .30-06, and it does this by an appreciable margin. However, one must consider the increased recoil and other expenses of this increased performance. Like the cartridge it was built to outperform, the .300 has found its place as a favorite in hunting, military and competition. Like the .270 and .308, there is a constant debate over which is better for any given reason, the .30-06 or .300 Win Mag.

Loading and ballistic data for the .300 Winchester Magnum is extensive. It includes bullet weights from 100 to 240 grains at a velocity range from 2,700 to 3,700 feet per second. These loads offer energy from 2,870 to 4,175 foot-pounds and a maximum level of momentum of 96 foot-pounds per second.

7mm Remington Magnum

The 7mm Remington Magnum is another extremely popular big game cartridge. This cartridge is thought to be faster than the .300 Win Mag and the comparison between them is similar to that of the .30-06 and the .270 Win, though not quite as spirited. The 7mm Rem Mag was introduced into the market in 1962. It quickly became popular as a fast big game cartridge.

Loading data has improved and increased in size and availability over the last few years. Newer bullet structures have given new legs and improved the application of this cartridge. The 7mm has bullet weights available from 100 to 175 grains and a range in velocity from 2,700 to 3,650 feet per second. This provides bullet energy from 2,800 to 3,500 foot-pounds and a maximum momentum of 75 foot-pounds per second.

.223 Remington

The .223 Remington is another great hunting cartridge known around the world. The .223 Remington’s NATO version, the 5.56x45mm, shares a similar life history as the .30-06 Springfield and the .308 Win. It was developed out of military demand and accepted in 1957. It has been used in multiple wars and military conflicts around the world, and has become a staple in the hunting world. This cartridge was tailor made to fire a 50- or 55-grain bullet at a range of 250 yards. Many found that even with the initial limitations in bullet weight and bullet structures, the .223 is capable of taking all shapes and sizes of game animals. Multiple Wildcats have been developed using the .223 Rem as their parent case. Many of these follow suit to the original purpose of the .223 Remington or 5.56x45 NATO.

Loading for the .223 provides bullet weights from 30 to 100 grains and a range in velocity from 2,700 to 4,000 feet per second. (Subsonic loads are also available). This range in bullet weight and velocity yields energy from 1,000 to 1,460 foot-pounds and maximum momentum of 32 foot-pounds per second. Like its military brothers the .30-06 Springfield and .308 Win, the .223 Rem is not only used in hunting applications but is also becoming a preferred round for competition. This has created a demand for better bullet structures, greater selection and better performing powders. The .223 has received huge benefit and greater application from the improvements offered over the last few years. Like the .22-250 Rem, available bullet structures range from nonexpanding solid brass bullets to bullets built with such explosive expansion that their names include TNT, Grenade and other such descriptions.

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The Top Ten list is provided by the Cartridge Comparison Guide:

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