March 29, 2010
Hurteau: Sweet Sixteen of Whitetail Cartridges, Division II
By Dave Hurteau
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:
(1) .30-06 – It’s hard to argue against the 06 being the greatest hunting cartridge of all time. Deer included.
(2) .308 – Not quite as much speed or energy as the .30-06, but arguably more accurate.
(3) 7mm-08 – Flatter trajectory and more long-range energy than the .308, but with less recoil. Because it’s not as popular as the .308, however, ammo is slightly less available.
(4) .30-30 – Its ballistics aren’t the most impressive, but no one can argue with the historical results.
(5) .280 – Flatter shooting than the .06, but doesn’t pack the same punch, and can’t match the versatility.
(6) .30 Rem AR – The performance of a .30 in an AR platform. It’s not completely mainstream, yet. But watch out.
(7) 7x57 Mauser — Good ballistics make it hard to ignore, but its lack of popularity is carrying it toward extinction.
(8) 7mm Rem Mag – Generates tight groups at long distances, but might be overly aggressive for whitetails. –Christopher Cogley
You know the drill: Vote for your preferred cartridge in each matchup below to begin the first round of play for Division II. After a couple of days I will announce the winners and we will have our Elite Eight. Later we’ll move on the Final Four and National Whitetail Cartridge Championship in a couple of weeks.