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Underappreciated Cartridges

So, I've been reading an agriculture book and another book on safari rifles this afternoon and this thought came to mind: what cartridges do you think are underappreciated, but do very well within their niche. In other words, the Rodney Dangerfield of cartridges because they get "no respect". (I have a few in mind, but will reserve them for another post.)

Enjoy friends. :)

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280 Remington. It had a goofy start in semi-autos. It was loaded a little light for longevity, bit the same rifle was also chambered in 270. Makes no sense. Then it was loaded hotter as the 7mm Remington Express, but people who can’t read would mistake it for 7mm Remington Magnum. So, it was renamed 280 and loaded the way it should have. Similar velocities as the 270 with a wider variety of bullets. A little less recoil and higher BCs than the 30-06 if that really matters. Just a great cartridge.
 
In a lot of ways, many older cartridges that came out before 1950 are now under-appreciated. People claim the 308 is pretty much equal to the 30-06. They even cite the tests from the 50s showing that. Thats 308 loaded to max pressure vs M2 Ball. Load 30-06 at the same pressure in a modern rifle with H4350, RL19, Big Game, or H4831 with heavier bullets, and its a much more capable cartridge.

Call it the 300 Whelen Express if 30-06 seems too boring.
 
While I’m at it, the quarter bores aren’t getting any love these days. The 6mm and 6.5mm bullets on each side ofnit have much better bullet options, but the 250-3000, 257 Roberts, 25-06, and the 257 Weatherby are awesome deer cartridges. The 25-06 is my least favorite because the 270 fits in the same rifles and does everything just as well with a bigger bullet.

But, if your niche is hunting deer or antelope where ranges stretch beyond 200 yards but are within 400 yards, its a great choice. Or, even if you’re a little recoil sensitive. Great predator cartridge in the wind, but so is the 243 with 105s.
 
A few come to mind:

  • .22 WMR: Yah, it costs way more than .22LR, but it is a damn fine small game cartridge.
  • .32 H&R and .327 Federal: Same as above. I'd love an ultra light, ultra short, SBRed lever-gun in one of these.
  • .22 Hornet. Dwarfed by all the screaming .22 centerfires, but, well, it works. One of my ag teachers had one and only one rifle in said as a young farmer in southeast Africa and it took care of business, according to him. Not my first choice, but I don't doubt for a second his report.
  • The 6㎜s: This actually was what got me to thinking of this notion.
  • The .40 S&W. True enough anything 9㎜ can do the same in this day and age. It, turned out, to not be the answer to the brainless 9㎜ vs .45 ACP debate. Forget all the hype and BS, bottom-line: as an automatic cartridge that works in common platforms, provides good terminal ballistics, and can cram in a ton in the magazine envelop, it is viable. (I just got an AIM email that they had police trade-in Glocks. The .40s were priced a c-note less than the 9s. Whatever.)
  • 9.3×62㎜ Mauser: As an all around cartridge, one could do much worse. At least one of my family members in Argentina runs one on his patch. I was tempted by a fine CZ, with a glorious set trigger, in said some years back, but I couldn't justify the acquisition, particularly with a bun in the oven. I suspect because it is metric and weird, my fellow Americans aren't hip to said. Call it .36 Stars'n'Stripes and it might sell better. :p
  • 10-gauge. Perhaps outdated now, but anything that flew, I could take down with that AA-gun of a setup. (Funny story from early days in my marriage: I patterned a 10-gauge one afternoon. My shoulder was totally bruised up afterward. Whilst disrobing for bed my wife asked "What happened to you? Mule kick you?" I said "No, it was just the new shotgun." She replied with "Ay, I can see that." :s0112:)
 
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280 Remington. It had a goofy start in semi-autos. It was loaded a little light for longevity, bit the same rifle was also chambered in 270. Makes no sense. Then it was loaded hotter as the 7mm Remington Express, but people who can’t read would mistake it for 7mm Remington Magnum. So, it was renamed 280 and loaded the way it should have. Similar velocities as the 270 with a wider variety of bullets. A little less recoil and higher BCs than the 30-06 if that really matters. Just a great cartridge.
280 and 280AI are fantastic cartridges.
More versatile than 270.
 
  • .22 Hornet. Dwarfed by all the screaming .22 centerfires, but, well, it works. One of my ag teachers had one and only one rifle in said as a young farmer in southeast Africa and it took care of business, according to him. Not my first choice, but I don't doubt for a second his report.
  • The .40 S&W. True enough anything 9㎜ can do the same in this day and age. It, turned out, to not be the answer to the brainless 9㎜ vs .45 ACP debate. Forget all the hype and BS, bottom-line: as an automatic cartridge that works in common platforms, provides good terminal ballistics, and can cram in a ton in the magazine envelop, it is viable. (I just got an AIM email that they had police trade-in Glocks. The .40s were priced a c-note less than the 9s. Whatever.)
I always wanted a Winchester 1885 Low Wall in 22 Hornet. But with the 17 HMR and 223, it was hard to justify the $1200 price tag.

17E2092F-47C5-415D-BDB9-DA955DD74578.jpeg


I’ll always prefer calibers that start with a .4 over a 9mm. But, I get my 9mm for free so I’ll carry it. Begrudgingly. 9mm 147gr HST next to 40 S&W 180gr HST. Bigger bullet going equally fast = mo betta.

A64D6744-AF24-423C-9616-3614C55DC291.jpeg
 

OldBroad44

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.44 special. With modern guns and loads you can throw a 200 to 260 grain slug at speeds up to about 1000 fps for 500 or more ft lbs. That is, the power of a hot .357, but with a heavier fatter bullet going at subsonic speeds--that is much less likely to bust your eardrums when shot indoors or from in a car than a .357 mag. And why don't we have threaded rifles in .44mag for shooting these nice subsonic .44 special loads?

.45 Colt. Same advantages as the .44 special in modern firearms and with updated rather than anemic loads.

.45 Colt +P. Up to about 1100 or 1200 ft. lbs. with modern guns and loads. That is, hot .44 mag matching loads, but with a substantially fatter bullets.

.44 mag +P or +P+. These are for just the beefier guns such as Ruger Redhawk, Ruger Super Redhawk, and Anaconda. NEVER Smiths. The individual ammo manufacturers spell out which guns are appropriate for such loads. Consider the Buffalo Bore 340 gr HC LFN .44 mag +P+. They report a velocity of 1478 fps from a 7.5" Ruger Redhawk. This is 1649 ft. lbs. That is, a full .454 Cassull level of power, but from a .44 mag revolver with the full versatility of a regular .44 mag revolver.
 
280 and 280AI are fantastic cartridges.
More versatile than 270.
In my side-business FFL, I had a .280 AI come in in the form a plastic-stocked Savage. I handled the paperwork for the young man and did a hearty belly laugh and said "Fine rifle, but this one might kick a little, amigo." Don't get me wrong; it is an underappreciated cartridge.

8mm Rem Mag is THE prototypical elk cartridge.
Word.

.380 ACP. If you think it is a mouse gun have someone shoot you in the chest at close range 2 or 3 times with it. For conceal carry and a pistol that you will always carry it is a great choice.
I carry one all the time in the form of a PPK/S, even when finding funky friends. :s0155:

9x19. It'll do it all!





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Ura-Ki

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I always loved the .243 and the 6.5X55 Swede, almost perfect for up to deer size animals and beyond if you know what your doing! :D
Some of the Old Classics that don't get the luvin now days, 7X57 Mauser, .300 H&H, 9.3X74R .375 H&H,
.404 Jefferies, .405 Winchester, .458 Winchester
 

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