By Arnold Scope
(With “note” from MamaLiberty)
No matter what you are using your guns for, be it hunting, target shooting or self-defense, when it comes to cartridges you have almost countless options. Popular rifles, like the Remington 700 are available in over 30 different calibers. Depending on the intended use of your firearm, there are some basics that should be taken into consideration when choosing one cartridge over another.
For home-defense a cartridge should excel when it comes to stopping power. Penetration, expansion and fragmentation are what will make the difference when you have to stop an intruder. Two popular options here are .357 and .44 mag rounds
When it comes to hunting, stopping power isn’t less essential, however, especially for long range shots. It can’t hurt to read a little into the flight path of the cartridge of your choice. While stopping power in terms of penetration and a more controlled expansion is needed for a clean kill, even a .308 or .300 Win Mag bullet will fail when it hits the ground instead of vital organs. Velocity and trajectory come into play here and determine if you bring home dinner from the woods or from Walmart on the way home.
The third and most “ammo consuming” activity is target practice. If you are shooting 150 yards and more, it’s probably not to prepare for facing a home invader. For long range target practice, stopping power becomes less important, and understanding recoil as well as bullet drop and velocity are essential for success. A .270 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield might be more suitable here.
Where ever or whatever you plan to shoot, the right ammo isn’t less important than the gun itself, and comparing cartridges, along with the technical detail, may be far more interesting (and useful) than you might think. The articles listed above hopefully provide some comprehensive examples.
Mama’s Note: Most serious gun owners and shooters have already looked into these things, but there are so many new people joining us that it seems wise to bring up the subject now and again. See an expanded article, with charts and graphs for a lot of other very useful and well researched ammunition topics as well. In fact, the entire site is a thoroughly researched collection of relevant and reasonable shooting and gun information. Check it out.
Posting this was NOT intended to rekindle the caliber wars, so those comments will be deleted. The author is using just a few examples here at The Price of Liberty, probably those he shoots frequently, to illustrate his point that the technical details can be most useful as well as interesting to learn. Let’s start from there, and everyone is welcome to share their own experience and findings. A URL to back your comment is most welcome.