January 14, 2010
Petzal: Our Most Popular Big-Game Rounds
By David E. Petzal
My thanks to John Blauvelt for this one.
Here’s a list of the most commonly used North American big-game cartridges, compiled over the past three years by Boone and Crockett. These loads were used by hunters who entered trophies in the B and C listing. I’ve entered more or less intelligent comments of my own after each one.
1. .300 magnum—18 percent (This is all .300 magnums, and is not a surprise.)
2. Bow/crossbow—16 percent (This a surprise.)
3. .270—12 percent (Well deserved. Still one of the very best big game loads around.)
4. .30/06—11 percent. (Huh? WTF? Fourth?)
5. 7mm magnum (Another surprise. I’d have thought it would place higher.)
6. Muzzleloader/shotgun—10 percent (A modern muzzleloader bears little resemblance to what Jim Bridger or David Crockett carried.)
7. 6mm—3 percent (I think there are better light-kicking big-game rounds, but what do I know?)
8. .338 magnum—3 percent (The best all-around NA big game cartridge. Nice to see it on the list, but it should be higher.)
9. .257—2 percent (As a .257 Roberts or .25/06, much better than the 6mms.)
10. .30/30—2 percent (What can I say? It still works.)
11. .308—2 percent (Another WTF? I think if you surveyed a much broader base of hunters this would place much higher.)
12. .375 magnum—2 percent (Yes, it’s a cannon, but it’s an effective one.)
Everything else—8 percent.
Have at it.