Renaissance Shotgun Cartridge | An official journal of the NRA

Over the past two decades, we have seen a significant increase in the number of shotgun shell offerings. Hornady’s 6.5 Creedmoor has certainly seen a meteoric rise in popularity, and the company has followed the launch of the 6.5 Creedmoor with the release of the 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC and .300 PRC, all of which seem to be winning the hearts of hunters and shooters alike. . based on the number of new rifle chambering options. Winchester’s new 350 Legend was designed to meet the needs of deer hunters in straight wall states only, and this round has proven to be very popular and effective. Members of the new Nosler family of hunting cartridges, particularly the .28 Nosler, are gaining fans in regions that demand flat-firing cartridges for big game.

This new generation of deer hunting cartridges, however, has serious competition with older cartridges. There’s been a resurgence in popularity of some old favourites, and recent changes to hunting laws have helped shine a light on some classic rounds that might otherwise have been overlooked. Here is a list of five hunting cartridges that are finally getting the appreciation they deserve.

30-30 Winchester with antlers on white

  1. .30-30 Winchester

The .30-30 Winchester has been around for 125 years, and although it is not a modern cartridge in terms of architecture and ballistics, it remains a fan favorite among hunters. The .30-30 isn’t particularly sexy and therefore doesn’t get a lot of press, but if the sales numbers tell us anything, this round remains one of the most popular cartridges on the market. For years, the .30-30 has remained in the top 10 of cartridge sellers, and when the recent pandemic saw store shelves sell out nationwide, .30-30 ammunition was, at the surprise to many, one of the first cartridges to disappear. . The .30-30 ballistics aren’t mind-blowing – with a 160 grain bullet it will do 2,400 feet per second to the muzzle and generate about a ton of energy, which is about the same amount of energy that a .270 Winchester bullet carries 300 yards. But the .30-30 is a low recoil cartridge well suited for hunting at moderate ranges and it is chambered in lightweight and practical lever action rifles. The ballistics might not be that impressive, but the .30-30 is a deer killing machine.

Hunter poses with the classic .45-70 government rolling block on dead buck

  1. .45-70 Government

The .45-70 government was in production when the .30-30 debuted, which means it’s 150 years old. By modern ballistic standards, it’s a dinosaur: the .45-70 fires a 300 grain bullet between 1800 and 1900 fps. Thus loaded, the .45-70, when sighted at 100 yards, drops a foot 200 yards. Ballistics doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as the .45-70, with its heavy, slow bullet, offers ample stopping power without too much meat damage. The recoil is stiff but not unmanageable, more of a thrust than a thrust, and for white tails at moderate ranges a .45-70 with a good bullet kills deer as effectively and quickly as any cartridge developed at the over the century and a half since its creation. I used a .45-70 in Texas while hunting for bucks during the rut and it was an ideal round, dropping deer instantly at ranges under 100 yards without over-expanding the bullets or destroying the meat.

280 Ackley Improved beside rifle with ammo box

  1. .280 Improved Ackley

PO Ackley liked to play with standard cartridge designs to improve performance, and although handloaders have enjoyed his designs for decades, it wasn’t until the .280 Ackley Improved became mainstream that Ackley became a household name. . By changing the barrel taper and shoulder angle of the .280 Remington, which was already a good cartridge in its own right, Ackley created a cartridge that performed like the 7mm Rem. Mag. with much less recoil and muzzle blast. Additionally, the Ackley design allows shooters to use Remington .280 ammunition in a snap, allowing for brass to be chambered .280 AI. I’m one of many hunters who have become .280 AI enthusiasts over the past few years, and now that Nosler and Hornady are offering ammunition and Kimber, Christensen Arms, Savage and other manufacturers are offering .280 AI rifles. factory, it looks like the .280 AI is here to stay, which is good news for hunters. And while it’s damn close to the perfect open country deer cartridge, the .280 AI is also a very good option for hunting larger game like elk and black bear.

.450 Bushmaster cartridges alongside the band

  1. .450 Bushmaster

The .450 Bushmaster is a large caliber cartridge capable of operating in AR-15 rifle platforms to provide sufficient stopping power out to 250 yards. When firing a 250-grain Hornady FTX round at 2200 fps from the muzzle, the Bushmaster carries nearly 1,300 foot-pounds. energy at 200 meters. Plus, it offers a flatter trajectory than some of the other rounds listed here: With the FTX ball, the Bushmaster hits just 4 inches high at 100 yards when zeroed at 200 yards. Also, to convert your AR-15 5.56 to .450 Bushmaster, you will simply need a new rod and magazine instead of buying a whole new rifle. If you prefer to hunt with a bolt-action pistol, there are plenty of Bushmaster .450 options, including the Patriot from Mossberg, the American Rifle from Ruger, and the Mesa from Christensen Arms. If you want performance rivaling the .45-70 from an AR or Turnbolt rifle, the Bushmaster is your best bet.

Man firing .357 Magnum

  1. .357 Magnum

The .357 Magnum is certainly not a powerhouse, but it does command attention as a rifle cartridge for close-range deer hunting. New loads like Federal’s HammerDown, which is designed to work in lever-action shotguns, push 170-grain .357 Magnum bullets over 1610 fps and generate nearly 1,000 ft-lbs. energy to the muzzle. Handy .357 lever action rifles like the Marlin 1894 and Winchester 1892 generate very light recoil, but are compact enough to maneuver in blind ground or a tree. For deer shooting at around 100 yards, the .357 Magnum is an excellent choice, especially for young or short hunters who are not ready for the recoil generated by a .45 caliber bullet. If you’re hunting in thick brush or like to smack bucks up close, a .357 Magnum lever action pistol makes perfect sense, generating enough energy for a clean kill without much recoil, muzzle blast or meat damage.

.357 Magnum hollow points with wood and ammo box