The Final Four is finally here! On one hand, you have Michigan State vs. Butler and West Virginia vs. Duke. On the other, it’s .270 WSM vs. .270 Win. and .30-06 vs. .308. And it’s all going down over the same weekend—almost like we planned it that way.
What we didn’t plan is to have all chalk in our Final Four. (I originally started this post with a rant about all this chalk.*) But, on the upside, what we do have is a true battle of the big guns (except that they are cartridges, not guns), in terms of seeding (all one- and two-seeds), popularity (no surprise there), bullet diameter (everything under .277 inches is out), and firepower (with two of the three most-powerful original rounds still in). So we should have a couple of barn-burners. Here are the contenders, as originally seeded:
It’s been clear sailing for the top seeds so far, as the .30-06 (1), .308 (2), 7mm-08 (3), and .30-30 (4) all advanced easily in the first round of Division II. Now, with only eight cartridges left standing, the matchups get far more compelling.
With nearly 600 votes cast, we have our first-round Division I winners. And unlike this weekend’s basketball games, the results are all chalk. The closest match (I don’t mind pointing out) was between the 1 and 8 seeds, in which the .260 Rem (claimed by one prescient commenter to be radically under-seeded) gave the .270 WSM a mild scare, but couldn’t pull out a win (with such a blatantly unfair draw).
Moving on to the Elite Eight with the .270 WSM are the .243, .25-06, and .270 Win, which pretty much embarrassed the .257 Weatherby. Now we shift to the Division II matchups, featuring some very heavy hitters in the .30-06, .308, and .30-30—not to mention the sleeper 7mm-08. SHOT Business contributing editor Christopher Cogley has seeded the contenders as follows:
Last night, the NCAA college basketball Sweet Sixteen tipped off with Syracuse vs. Butler. Today, our own sweet sixteen gets started with .270 WSM vs. .260 Rem.
I am talking about the March Madness of whitetail cartridges. The Final Four of deer rounds. Bullet bracketology. (Okay, bullet-case-powder-and-primer bracketology, but you get the idea.)
We start with16 contenders for the title of Best Whitetail Round, which have been split into two divisions and seeded by SHOT Business contributing editor Christopher Cogley. We chose Mr. Cogley to help us because he is highly qualified and so I have someone to throw under the bus if necessary. His seeded selections (which you are free to take issue with, as my @$$ is covered) are: