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Some Old But Still Potent Cartridges from the Early 20th Century

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April 29, 2013

Some Old But Still Potent Cartridges from the Early 20th Century

By David E. Petzal

I’m old; I’m helpless; I’m feeble
And the days of my youth have gone by
It’s over the hill to the poorhouse
I must wander alone there to die

—19th century song sung by Flatt and Scruggs, which I find myself humming a lot these days.

But that’s not important now. Recently I’ve found myself writing about a lot of old (early 20th century) cartridges, and reflecting on the fact that most of them are anything but feeble. First on the list was the .257 Roberts which, as a light-recoiling taker of big game (It was originally conceived as a dual-purpose load for varmints as well, but is not much in that category.) and properly handloaded, has no betters that I can think of and damned few equals. I owned a Roberts in the 1980s, handloaded 115-grain Nosler Partitions to over 3,000 fps, and saw everything at which I pointed it fall down promptly. Ted Trueblood’s wife Ellen, as I recall, used to kill elk on a regular basis with a .257 Roberts.

I’m also reminded of the .300 Savage, which is ancient, but gives up very little to the .308. One of the many rifles which I no longer own but wish I did is a 1930s-vintage Savage Model 99 in .300 Savage. If I had it now I would have a scope mounted, and would be prepared to hunt just about anything.

Another round of which I have writ recently is the .303 British, which began as a black-powder cartridge in 1888, went smokeless in 1892, and percolated throughout the British Empire in the Lee Enfield rifle. The original loading was a 215-grain bullet at 2,050 fps, and this anemic-sounding combination killed just about every species of big game in India, Africa, and every other country the Brits stole. Lee Enfields were highly popular as hunting rifles in Australia and Canada as well, and they got the job done.

Alexander Lake, the professional hunter whose books infected me with the Africa bug, used a .303 in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, when Africa was really wild, took everything with it, and lived to write about his adventures.

There are lots of others that are old, but still as good as when they were young. The .45/70, 6.5 Swede, 7.62 Russian and 7x57 Mauser leap to mind, as do the .404 Jeffrey, which is being rediscovered, and the .470 Nitro Express. The list goes on and on.

In the world of rifle cartridges, usefulness is not a temporary condition.

Comments (57)

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from willie boy wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Dave nice article, but what i want to know is when in the hell will .22 LR ammo be back on the shelves!!

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from duckcreekdick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I have an 1886 Winchester in .33 WCF which years ago killed a big black bear like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

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from duckcreekdick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I have an 1886 Winchester in .33 WCF which years ago killed a big black bear like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

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from Harold wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Damn this computer!!

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from MReeder wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

It warms my heart to see these grand old cartridges being extolled again. They 25s-30s DEP lists were -- and are -- easy on the shoulder and ears and potent on the other end. They also cost far less to shoot than the various magnums and produce their listed ballistics in hunting-length barrels.
My first deer/big game rifle was a 7X57, 1908 Brazilian Oberndorf Mauser which produced as many one-shot kills, if not more, than any other rifle I have subsequently used. I still have it, still use it occasionally, and it still produces the same mild recoil and report and quickly dead mammals as it ever did. I believe one reason the 7X57 has such a good reputation for fast kills is that it a pleasant cartridge to shoot and enables more hunters to place bullets precisely.
I've always wanted a .257 Roberts and if I ever have enough loose shekels I will be looking to add a Winchester Model 70 Classic or Featherweight in that caliber to my collection. There is nothing a 6mm or .243 will do that a .257 Roberts will not do as well or better, and I own a .243.
I also indulged myself a few months back and picked up an old Savage made, WWII-era, sporterized Lee Enfield in .303 British, as much for the romance of it as anything else. In addition to Lake, the .303 was also a favorite of W.D.M. Bell and was the caliber Col. Patterson used to kill the Tsavo lions. I spent quite a few weeks cleaning it up and refinishing the stock, adding a red recoil pad, etc., and was surprised by how well it handles and how slickly it operates. There aren't too many elephants or lions wandering around the S. Texas brush country where I live, but I can't imagine a better round for feral hogs.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane Dave, and for introducing some younger guys to the virtues of these old warhorses.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

The only one I have owned is the 45/70 and it still does the job for me if the range isn't a factor. It beats the heck out of shotgun slugs. I did use a borrowed Savage 99 in 250 Savage one year in Wyoming when I was just out of college. Great rifle.

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from PbHead wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I was going to thank you Dave for the stroll down memory lane but it should be called the Cartridge Hall of Fame. I shoot my 250 Savage a little more than my 7x57. For variety, I throw in a few rounds from my 22 Hornet.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Your photo of the old box of 300 Savage ammo brings back fond mule deer hunting memories. Had to sell mine to raise a little necessary cash for college during the mid 50's. Still have my 257 Roberts with which I took my best Rocky Mountain Big Horn a long time ago. Have told my Son my 470 Nitro is not for sale while I am alive even though I may not use it again...well maybe one more buffalo. Recently was notified I cannot get a U. S. rifle permit from Cameroon this trip, so will be borrowing a rifle there. Sure it will be an old timer in caliber like me. Received some sad news a couple days ago, the young professional hunter my wife insisted I pick up to baby sit me was tragically killed by a bull elephant in Namibia. He was a fine young man, just 27, had a bright future ahead of him, while old codgers like me are still limping along.

I had never heard of Alexander Lake prior to your comments today, just ordered Hunters Choice and Killers In Africa from Amazon.

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from 99explorer wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

About ten years ago, a dream came true for me when Winchester chambered the Model 70 Classic Featherweight in 6.5x55m Swedish Mauser.
It is now my go-to rifle for a lot of things.

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from fng wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

.303, 6.5x55, 9.3x62, 7x57 (I still want to get an old mauser, get some bottom metal for AI magazines, and modify a few magazines for the old man in either 9.3 or 7x57 mauser), .45-70, and more than a few others always warm the cockles of my young, massive heart :)

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

and when you think about it, the .30-06, .375 H&H and .270 are also old, and still going strong.

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from 007 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

DEP, you hit the nail on the head (as usual) with the .257 Rbts. and the .300 Savage. I have a Ruger 77 Ultralite, my daughter a Savage 110 in Rbts. Handloaded with now-discontinued (thank you so much, Big Green) Remington 120 grain corelokts, they are lethal on deer. I also have my dad's 99 in .300 Savage, another solid meat hammer. Good hunting to ya.

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from Tim Platt wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Over the hills to the poorhouse... I like my -06 and 7mm Mauser. I have killed more deer with a muzzle loader than any other weapon, they had that either sex thing going 20 years ago.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

sorry for multiple posts, computer did not give me indication that initial post was already successful.

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from sarg wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Though not as old as the .300 Savage, I have a couple boxes of Sears .30-30Win priced at $5.49. I don't remember the last time Sears sold Ammo.

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from z41 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

It was interesting you mentioned "Ellen" Ted Trueblood's wife. Ed Zern, from Exit Laughing, always said "Ted Trueblood" was a fictional character invented by F&S and no such real person exist. So "Ellen" is fictional as we know Ed Zern would never steer us wrong. However, as a fictional writer I always enjoyed Ted's articles. However, this brings me a terrible thought did F&S invent Dave Petzal? Is he a pen name for Jim Carmichael to write under? In this age you just never know, but I enjoy DEP's articles and I hope F&S keeps him going forever. Z41

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from SL wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Happy to see the 7.62 Russian getting an honorable mention. I still hold that a better deal cannot be had, then getting an old Mosin-Nagant in the 7.62X54. For a little over $100 you have a rugged, dependable gun that is in the power range of the .308. You can still get ammo reasonably cheap, too, which you can't say about the other .30 caliber rounds mentioned in this article. For the money, the gun simply can't be beat.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I am restoring an old Savage 99F .300 Savage project rifle. It is not in bad shape, just needs a little TLC to shine brightly again. I think I will install a 1-4x Leupold on it to help these old eyes. The semi-buckhorn rear sight is damn near invisible. The Ruger 77 .257 Roberts needs no help, just use.

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from deadeyedick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Since I do not have the cash to go hunting all over the globe or buy a .398 thunder*&$#*er I,ll stick with what I have. Most of my hunting for deer and such critters is mostly in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and west Virginia. The guns I use most are a .300 savage made in 1951, a model 94 win in 32 special made in in 1952, and a model 700 rem in .270 I got from my wife in 1984. Every once in a blue moon I scrape together enough money to go hunt elk and that .270 has yet to fail me. I'm getting a little along in age myself but like my guns, I can still cut the mustard when the need arises.

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from deadeyedick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Hey Dave, what is up with .22 ammo!!! Please share with us your vast knowledge as to why there are no .22 anywhere

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from tom warner wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

It surely is a pleasure to discuss the merits of these various older cartridges, many if which I have tried out at one time or another. Every one of them did a fine job. None of them ever failed me. The fact is, if you hit your quarry in the right place, there is really no difference between any of them. Many years ago I switched from mostly using a '06 to a .308 because I liked the shorter cartridge for various reasons and that caliber is the one I still prefer, but also love the .270. If you just pick one rifle and one caliber and stick with it, you can't go wrong. Most of the newer cartridges won't do anything the older ones will still do just as well. If I were to pick a round strictly for survival purposes it would be a .22. All the rest is just chit-chat,...but fun!

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from huntslow wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I don't know how to get a message to Happy Myles. My son is moving to Cameroon and I would like to converse about the area. My e-mail is brucespurgeon@comcast.net

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from 357 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

i love my 300 savage it's my go to for deer and elk, I hope to shoot a black bear with it this coming fall season. i have a set of .257 "bob" dies I took as part of a trade and a 85 grain .257 mold looking forward to getting a Robert and shooting it.

Last season my cousin hammered an elk with our grandfathers 38-55 just because it's an old caliber doesn't mean it won't fill the freezer.

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from Douglas wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Does anyone ever hunt with 8mm Mauser? I have always been curious about the performance of that caliber for hunting.

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of leading a 14-year-old boy on an elk hunt. He shot his first elk with his grandpa's Savage 99 in 300 Savage. One shot, instant kill. I don't think he'll sell you that rifle, DEP. Some things you can't hang a price tag on.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Huntslow
Check your email. Kindest Regards

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from buckhunter wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Happy, I just discovered it was Erwin. What a great young man. He reminded me of my own son. This is very sad news.

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from Sten wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Hoping to take a caribou with a 6.5x55 swedish mauser this fall. Iron sights!

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Buckhunter,
Yes, a sad tragic event. Forgot you had met him. I believe he was Peters bow hunting specialist, so probably would have been your PH. So much enthusiasm, and looked like a choir boy. I was looking forward to spending a couple weeks with him. Several folks jokingly indicated he was so nice perhaps I would feel guilty and behave myself on this trip. He is one of several Professional Hunters, now gone, I have been lucky to have as comrades. Kindest Regards

Post Scrip
Sent condolences and flowers to his parents, but have not pressed for details, other than seeing what has been in press. Will keep you posted.

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from MReeder wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

SL,
Dittos on the 7.62X54R and the Mosin-Nagant.
I picked up one in near pristine condition a couple of years ago when Cabelas was running them on sale for, if memory serves, 99-bucks. Hard to resist a stout bolt action rifle of any kind at that price. If I'd had the money to spare I would have bought half a dozen.

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from Big Bob W wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Nice article Dave. I have taken possession of my Mom's model 99 in .300 Savage. She took 20 deer, three antelope and one elk with it. I have killed four deer with it and have regretted the times I haven't had it with me. I also own a 7x57 that began life as a German built 1908 for the Argentine Army. It has the DMw stamp on the receiver which along with the bolt are the only original pieces left. I had Sam May of Apex Rifle in Flagstaff, AZ put a new barrel on it and turn the bolt down. I later put a Timiney trigger in and glass-bedded the rig into a Fajen stock. It shoots 2 inch groups at 500 meters. Not bad for a reworked old classic. I am taking possession of Dad's Savage 99 in .308 later this year since he says his shooting days are over. I've had a number of .308's over the years and the only real difference between a .308 Win and a .300 Sav that I can see is that the .308 is more handloader friendly because of the longer neck. The difference in performance is less than the differential between the .308 and the Grand Old Cannon (30-06). I have two of those that my Grandfather bought between the wars and had sporterized. One is a 1917 Eddystone Enfield pattern and the other is a classic Springfield Armory model. The only other rifles I have carried for a big game hunt are a .270 Win. and two different .243 Win.

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from davidpetzal wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

To deadeyedick: As nearly as I can tell, it's panic buying. People who normally get a box buy a brick. People who buy a brick get a case. When you increase the demand for anything by 100 percent to 1,000 percent, you get shortages.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

As long as the sportsmen and shooters keep swooping the ammo shelves like hungry buzzards, the shortages will persist.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Mentioning old boxes of ammo, and the shortage of new supply, prompted me to notice two boxes of Peters 22 long rifle in the back of my ammunition magazine locked cabinet. As nearly as I can tell they belonged to my grandfather, I am 75 so they must be at least 80+ years old. Time sure has flown by.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Happy,
I found 2 boxes of Remington Klean-Bore .38 S&W ammo marked $5.75 from a store back in Alabama. Must have belonged to my grandfather's S&W that he had as Under Sheriff of Jefferson County back during the Depression (the FIRST one! LOL) I still have it and the ammo still goes BANG! We obviously aren't the only ones who are old and still potent!

WAM

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from Mark-1 wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

I shot, handloaded, and hunted with a 257 Roberts, a 35 Whelen, and a 7mm Mauser for years. Fiddled with a 22 Hornet for two seasons on gophers. Loved and love them all.

BTW is it my imagination or is there little killing power difference between the 35 Whelen and 338-06 and 338 Mag vs. the 30-06 with 200-220 grain bullets?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Nah, the .35 Whelen is better 'cause it's the biggest bullet, right? LOL

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Mark,
Have successfully used all four calibers. The 338-06 only on feral hogs, some big ones, had to follow one about 50 yards. The 35 Whelen killed a few elk and as I recall one mule deer. Have always liked that cartridge. Have no idea how many animals have taken all over the world big and small with the 338 and 06, two of my favorite calibers. In fact, have owned several rifles in each of these two calibers, all excellent rifles. For some folks the 338 recoil can be hard work at the range but worth it in the field. The 338 and the 300 Win Mag are a toss up for all around serious use around the world. But let's not go there today.

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from Harold wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Dave,

Shouldn't the 250 Savage be included in this category?

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from davidpetzal wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

To Z41: I am real, or at least I think I am, as is Ellen Trueblood. Ed Zern said that Ted was an invention, only once, in an Exit Laughing, and it caused Ted so much trouble that Ed did it only two or three times again. Ted got his credit cards canceled, among other things.

To Harold: Yes, absolutely, the .250 is one of the very best.

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from Tim Platt wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

Time to start a petition to get Heavey to say Dave is a figment of our imaginations.

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from Marion Johnson wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

I have a Ruger 77 in .257, purchased in 1974. I have collected several whitetails with Federal Premiums packing a 120 gr. Nosler Partition. All one shot. My teenaged son did so as well.

This gun has not posted tiny groups in limited bench sessions, but I have killed more crows with it and 100 gr.Winchester Silver Tips than with much better grouping rifles. To relieve the pain of writing/re-writing my Master's research, I taped a piece of plywood to a window behind my desk to make a "bench" and would whang away at them from 200 to 300 yards in our pasture. Once hit the fresh cow flop one was dining on, resulting in a cow pie explosion and a crow knocked silly for a couple of minutes. Wish I could have heard the story he told back at the roost.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

The 7.62x54 Russian belongs to that class of the 1880's-1890's cartridges adopted for military service by the European powers. They were, like the 1983 NFL quarterback draft, a great class of cartridges, born out of the minds of geniuses. Some adapted better for our modern tastes, but as a whole, they were all great.

The granddaddy of them all, the first smokeless powder round ever adopted by a country, was the 8mm Lebel, a rimmed, fat, severely tapered case that never gained popularity as a sporting round, but was a real breakthrough at the time.

The Germans countered with their own 8mm, although for them, it was really a 7.92 (7.92x57). This German cartridge, with its rimless design, relatively straight body and .473" base, would provide the foundation for several families of "modern" military and sporting cartridges, not only in its original 57mm length, but also in the short/.308 length, including the 250 and .300 Savage which preceded the .308, as well as the longer .30-06 length family. Although we call it the 8mm Mauser, it was really a German committee design, and Paul Mauser had nothing to do with it.

Then there's the trio of .30 Krag, .303 British and 7.62x54 Russian, all rimmed designs and offering more or less the same performance. Actually, all these rounds, including the 8x57, started more or less the same ballistically. .30 to .32 caliber, 210-230 grain bullets at around 1,900 to 2,100 fps.

The militaries decided that higher velocity was desirable for their purposes. Lighter bullets with better aerodynamics were in order. The French, as usual, led the way, starting the "spitzer" revolution in 1898, with their Balle D load which set a then unthinkable 2,400fps mark. As expected, the others followed. The German round proved modern indeed, capable of performing at an entirely new level. In 1905 the Germans came up with the "S" version of the 7.92, a .323" dia. 153 (or 154)-grain spitzer at 2,880fps. Due to their stronger rifles, both the .303 British and the 7.62x54 Russian were able to keep pace with the Lebel, by launching lighter bullets at 2,400fps+. The .30 Krag could approach this, but this stressed the relatively weak Krag-Jorgensen rifles, forcing the US to abandon the cartridge altogether and adopt a new one.

The Spaniards adopted the 7x57, a true Mauser design (although still based on the 7.92 case). It was adopted by several Latin American countries as well, but its true legacy would be as an all-time great hunting cartridge and as parent case for the .257 Roberts and 6mm Remington. Although it was the 173-grain military load that gained fame as an elephant-slayer in WDM Bell's hands, it was the faster 140-grain "Rigby" load that captured the hearts of British and American hunters.

Then there were the 6.5's, all firing those long 160-grain cigar-like bullets that penetrated till Sunday. The 6.5x54 Mannlincher-Schonauer was most celebrated in Africa, especially when it was housed in those incredibly handy and lightweight Mannlincher carbines. In proper hands, it could and had taken elephant. If 7x57 ammunition hadn't proven more reliable, WDM Bell might have stayed with the 6.5 Mannlincher.

Of the rimmed designs, the 8mm Lebel and .30 Krag were replaced by rimless rounds, although the Lebel served until the late 1920's, and even beyond in the Foreign Legion. The British stuck with their .303 until the 1950's, but eventually replaced it with the 7.62 NATO. The Russians are still using the 7.62x54 in their Dragunov SVD sniper rifle and PK machinegun, and they have upgraded its performance to where it now matches the .308 Winchester. When you consider that it started its life as a black-powder round barely touching 2,000fps in 1891, that's a major upgrade. It's now the last rimmed cartridge standing, and has now served as a combat round for 122 years.

After several years in the wilderness, in which it had several cartridges in service (.30 Krag, .45-70 and 6mm Lee-Navy), the US finally decided to adopt a new, standard cartridge and a new rifle to house it, the 1903 (.30-03), and later 1906 (.30-06) Springfield, essentially, the 8mm Mauser with a longer case and different shoulder angle. Just to prove that those Germans really did know what they were doing, the 1903 Springfield rifle was also an 1898 Mauser derivative. Mauser sued, and the US government paid up. Of course, both the 1903 rifle and the .30-06 round would become all-time greats in their own right, and the .30-06 would sire its own family of cartridges, including the wonderful .270 Winchester, the .25-06 and .280 Remingtons, and the great although perpetually star-crossed .35 Whelen. Shortened, the .30-06 case would give birth the .300 and .250 Savage, and the .22-250 Remington. The .300 Savage, modified slightly, would become the .308, starting yet another family. Dang, those Germans were really good.

The various factories are loading the Krag and .303 British approximating the "spitzer bullet" military specification (180 grains at 2,400fps), but it is the original roundnose loads (215-220 grains at 2,000-2,150fps) that are better for hunting. Even plain vanilla bullets perform well at this velocity without breaking up, and with bullet weight and sectional density both high, penetration is assured. Many British colonial settlers used their .303 Lee rifles to bash anything from hyenas to tigers to crop raiding elephants. It wasn't always ideal, but it did the job.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

IT should be mentioned that with its 2,300fps original velocity, the 7x57 was as revolutionary as the 8mm Lebel, and was responsible for triggering the performance upgrades of its larger caliber contemporaries (including the Lebel itself). From history books we know the British and American encounters with the 7x57 and the charger-loaded Mauser rifle (Boer War and Spanish-American War, respectively) caused both nations to not only aim for higher velocity but also to adapt their rifles for faster reloading.

For the British Empire, the result of that was the universal (same barrel length for infantry and cavalry) "SMLE" rifle, adapted for loading with stripper clips (chargers) firing the Mk VII round (174-grains, 2,440fps).

For the US, attempts to adapt the Krag rifle for charger loading and increasing the Krag round's velocity were only mildly successful. In the end, a new round and rifle were required. When the .30-03 appeared, it was like a big brother to the military 7x57. Same roundnose bullet, albeit heavier, and same velocity (2,300fps).

The faster .30-06 (150 grain spitzer, 2,700fps) was a response to the German 7.92x57 "S", which was a reaction to the Balle D Lebel.

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from Treestand wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

I HAVE used almost every calibers on White Tails from 22Hornet to 12Ga sluges,But my Meat Hammers are 7mm/08 and 243W, I feel they are the best of both Worlds in the States I've Hunted in,In my 60+years.With Two Moose Harvested with my 7MM/08 in Canida.

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from Joe Sixpack wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

The 45-70 and 35 Whelan are enjoying somewhat of a comeback in Mississippi & Louisiana with new regs on "primitive" weapons for whitetail hunting.
They have become so popular that they can be hard to find during the new hunting seasons.
I recently obtained my first 35 Whelan in a T/C Encore and have already become a fan of the cartridge. I can hardly wait to try it out on some nuisance hogs.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

As eloquently stated above, the .35 Whelen will hammer anything you hit with a 225 grain bullet. Trust me on that one.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

I remember family friend Bob Mohalt Page Oklahoma who owned two Rugers a #1 in 45-120 and a #3 in 45-70. The load in that #1 cannon in 45-120 slapped 350's as flat as a 180 out of a 30-06. As for the #3 in 45-70 was no exception, it was thumping 458 Win Mag velocity. Loaded hot, go figure!

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from CCMJS wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

35 Whelen, 30-06, 30-30. My oldies but goodies

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

The .35 Whelen deserves a permanent factory platform.

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from shane wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

I was told by a few experts on here that the .300 Savage was little more than a .30-30. Interesting.

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from 007 wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

WAM, don't make the Beekeeper and me have to talk to you about your .338-06 bashing there. haha.

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from DakotaMan wrote 50 weeks 8 hours ago

The 375 H&H recently celebrated its 100th birthday and hasn't lost any steam. Of all the oldies but goodies, it is my favorite. Not only does it consistently perform beyond reason, it slides into and out of the chamber slicker than any cartridge I have ever used. Not bad for an oldie.

Shane, the .300 Savage is almost identical in performance to the .308 Win. With IMR4064 and a 130g bullet it will top 3000 fps. Bad medicine for deer. The good old 150g will go 2800 fps. Factory loads over its life were typically slower than this because lever actions were the most popular deer rifle of its time (especially the Savage Model 99). Handloaders can get it moving for bolt actions.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 47 min ago

David,
How long has it been since you read Alexander Lake's books? If I had read them fifty years ago am sure I would have been less skeptical of some opinions and events. However, today, must confess am one of the amateur foreign hunters who's opinions amused and at times concerned him.
He certainly spent many years in Africa successfully working at all kinds of occupations using his faithful 303. His adventures make interesting, entertaining reading. However, this old, jaded African hunter found some of his geography puzzling, and his biology startling. A few of his shooting techniques would not work for me, but what the heck.
Hasten to add, still recommend them as a good read. Keep the suggestions coming. Kindest Regards

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from elmer f. wrote 49 weeks 6 days ago

old rifle cartridges never die. some of them are put out to pasture, like old gun writers. but both are sad days when that happens. some realistically feeble cartridges are still with us to this day, resurrected by the phenomenon of cowboy action shooting. for the life of me, i can not imagine what appeal the 25-20 has in real life. other than breaking bottles. but it is as cute of a cartridge as you will ever find. the 303 British is an awesome deer killer. while some may argue that, i have seen a few deer that never moved after receiving one of its high speed pocket rockets. and i would not hesitate to use it on much larger game. maybe not dangerous game, but bigger no trouble.

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from davidpetzal wrote 49 weeks 6 days ago

To Happy Myles: I first read Alexander Lake in 1952, when I was an urchin, and re-read both books just a couple of weeks ago. Lake never let the facts intrude on a good story, but as a teller of tales, he's far more accomplished than the average PH who turns to writing.

Remember if you want to write for a living that facts are only raw material.

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from O Garcia wrote 49 weeks 4 days ago

how about the .35 Remington?

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from Tim Platt wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

Time to start a petition to get Heavey to say Dave is a figment of our imaginations.

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from z41 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

It was interesting you mentioned "Ellen" Ted Trueblood's wife. Ed Zern, from Exit Laughing, always said "Ted Trueblood" was a fictional character invented by F&S and no such real person exist. So "Ellen" is fictional as we know Ed Zern would never steer us wrong. However, as a fictional writer I always enjoyed Ted's articles. However, this brings me a terrible thought did F&S invent Dave Petzal? Is he a pen name for Jim Carmichael to write under? In this age you just never know, but I enjoy DEP's articles and I hope F&S keeps him going forever. Z41

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from willie boy wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Dave nice article, but what i want to know is when in the hell will .22 LR ammo be back on the shelves!!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

As eloquently stated above, the .35 Whelen will hammer anything you hit with a 225 grain bullet. Trust me on that one.

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from CCMJS wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

35 Whelen, 30-06, 30-30. My oldies but goodies

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from Marion Johnson wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

I have a Ruger 77 in .257, purchased in 1974. I have collected several whitetails with Federal Premiums packing a 120 gr. Nosler Partition. All one shot. My teenaged son did so as well.

This gun has not posted tiny groups in limited bench sessions, but I have killed more crows with it and 100 gr.Winchester Silver Tips than with much better grouping rifles. To relieve the pain of writing/re-writing my Master's research, I taped a piece of plywood to a window behind my desk to make a "bench" and would whang away at them from 200 to 300 yards in our pasture. Once hit the fresh cow flop one was dining on, resulting in a cow pie explosion and a crow knocked silly for a couple of minutes. Wish I could have heard the story he told back at the roost.

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from davidpetzal wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

To Z41: I am real, or at least I think I am, as is Ellen Trueblood. Ed Zern said that Ted was an invention, only once, in an Exit Laughing, and it caused Ted so much trouble that Ed did it only two or three times again. Ted got his credit cards canceled, among other things.

To Harold: Yes, absolutely, the .250 is one of the very best.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Your photo of the old box of 300 Savage ammo brings back fond mule deer hunting memories. Had to sell mine to raise a little necessary cash for college during the mid 50's. Still have my 257 Roberts with which I took my best Rocky Mountain Big Horn a long time ago. Have told my Son my 470 Nitro is not for sale while I am alive even though I may not use it again...well maybe one more buffalo. Recently was notified I cannot get a U. S. rifle permit from Cameroon this trip, so will be borrowing a rifle there. Sure it will be an old timer in caliber like me. Received some sad news a couple days ago, the young professional hunter my wife insisted I pick up to baby sit me was tragically killed by a bull elephant in Namibia. He was a fine young man, just 27, had a bright future ahead of him, while old codgers like me are still limping along.

I had never heard of Alexander Lake prior to your comments today, just ordered Hunters Choice and Killers In Africa from Amazon.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Mark,
Have successfully used all four calibers. The 338-06 only on feral hogs, some big ones, had to follow one about 50 yards. The 35 Whelen killed a few elk and as I recall one mule deer. Have always liked that cartridge. Have no idea how many animals have taken all over the world big and small with the 338 and 06, two of my favorite calibers. In fact, have owned several rifles in each of these two calibers, all excellent rifles. For some folks the 338 recoil can be hard work at the range but worth it in the field. The 338 and the 300 Win Mag are a toss up for all around serious use around the world. But let's not go there today.

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from duckcreekdick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I have an 1886 Winchester in .33 WCF which years ago killed a big black bear like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

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from Harold wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Damn this computer!!

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from SL wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Happy to see the 7.62 Russian getting an honorable mention. I still hold that a better deal cannot be had, then getting an old Mosin-Nagant in the 7.62X54. For a little over $100 you have a rugged, dependable gun that is in the power range of the .308. You can still get ammo reasonably cheap, too, which you can't say about the other .30 caliber rounds mentioned in this article. For the money, the gun simply can't be beat.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

and when you think about it, the .30-06, .375 H&H and .270 are also old, and still going strong.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

The 7.62x54 Russian belongs to that class of the 1880's-1890's cartridges adopted for military service by the European powers. They were, like the 1983 NFL quarterback draft, a great class of cartridges, born out of the minds of geniuses. Some adapted better for our modern tastes, but as a whole, they were all great.

The granddaddy of them all, the first smokeless powder round ever adopted by a country, was the 8mm Lebel, a rimmed, fat, severely tapered case that never gained popularity as a sporting round, but was a real breakthrough at the time.

The Germans countered with their own 8mm, although for them, it was really a 7.92 (7.92x57). This German cartridge, with its rimless design, relatively straight body and .473" base, would provide the foundation for several families of "modern" military and sporting cartridges, not only in its original 57mm length, but also in the short/.308 length, including the 250 and .300 Savage which preceded the .308, as well as the longer .30-06 length family. Although we call it the 8mm Mauser, it was really a German committee design, and Paul Mauser had nothing to do with it.

Then there's the trio of .30 Krag, .303 British and 7.62x54 Russian, all rimmed designs and offering more or less the same performance. Actually, all these rounds, including the 8x57, started more or less the same ballistically. .30 to .32 caliber, 210-230 grain bullets at around 1,900 to 2,100 fps.

The militaries decided that higher velocity was desirable for their purposes. Lighter bullets with better aerodynamics were in order. The French, as usual, led the way, starting the "spitzer" revolution in 1898, with their Balle D load which set a then unthinkable 2,400fps mark. As expected, the others followed. The German round proved modern indeed, capable of performing at an entirely new level. In 1905 the Germans came up with the "S" version of the 7.92, a .323" dia. 153 (or 154)-grain spitzer at 2,880fps. Due to their stronger rifles, both the .303 British and the 7.62x54 Russian were able to keep pace with the Lebel, by launching lighter bullets at 2,400fps+. The .30 Krag could approach this, but this stressed the relatively weak Krag-Jorgensen rifles, forcing the US to abandon the cartridge altogether and adopt a new one.

The Spaniards adopted the 7x57, a true Mauser design (although still based on the 7.92 case). It was adopted by several Latin American countries as well, but its true legacy would be as an all-time great hunting cartridge and as parent case for the .257 Roberts and 6mm Remington. Although it was the 173-grain military load that gained fame as an elephant-slayer in WDM Bell's hands, it was the faster 140-grain "Rigby" load that captured the hearts of British and American hunters.

Then there were the 6.5's, all firing those long 160-grain cigar-like bullets that penetrated till Sunday. The 6.5x54 Mannlincher-Schonauer was most celebrated in Africa, especially when it was housed in those incredibly handy and lightweight Mannlincher carbines. In proper hands, it could and had taken elephant. If 7x57 ammunition hadn't proven more reliable, WDM Bell might have stayed with the 6.5 Mannlincher.

Of the rimmed designs, the 8mm Lebel and .30 Krag were replaced by rimless rounds, although the Lebel served until the late 1920's, and even beyond in the Foreign Legion. The British stuck with their .303 until the 1950's, but eventually replaced it with the 7.62 NATO. The Russians are still using the 7.62x54 in their Dragunov SVD sniper rifle and PK machinegun, and they have upgraded its performance to where it now matches the .308 Winchester. When you consider that it started its life as a black-powder round barely touching 2,000fps in 1891, that's a major upgrade. It's now the last rimmed cartridge standing, and has now served as a combat round for 122 years.

After several years in the wilderness, in which it had several cartridges in service (.30 Krag, .45-70 and 6mm Lee-Navy), the US finally decided to adopt a new, standard cartridge and a new rifle to house it, the 1903 (.30-03), and later 1906 (.30-06) Springfield, essentially, the 8mm Mauser with a longer case and different shoulder angle. Just to prove that those Germans really did know what they were doing, the 1903 Springfield rifle was also an 1898 Mauser derivative. Mauser sued, and the US government paid up. Of course, both the 1903 rifle and the .30-06 round would become all-time greats in their own right, and the .30-06 would sire its own family of cartridges, including the wonderful .270 Winchester, the .25-06 and .280 Remingtons, and the great although perpetually star-crossed .35 Whelen. Shortened, the .30-06 case would give birth the .300 and .250 Savage, and the .22-250 Remington. The .300 Savage, modified slightly, would become the .308, starting yet another family. Dang, those Germans were really good.

The various factories are loading the Krag and .303 British approximating the "spitzer bullet" military specification (180 grains at 2,400fps), but it is the original roundnose loads (215-220 grains at 2,000-2,150fps) that are better for hunting. Even plain vanilla bullets perform well at this velocity without breaking up, and with bullet weight and sectional density both high, penetration is assured. Many British colonial settlers used their .303 Lee rifles to bash anything from hyenas to tigers to crop raiding elephants. It wasn't always ideal, but it did the job.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

IT should be mentioned that with its 2,300fps original velocity, the 7x57 was as revolutionary as the 8mm Lebel, and was responsible for triggering the performance upgrades of its larger caliber contemporaries (including the Lebel itself). From history books we know the British and American encounters with the 7x57 and the charger-loaded Mauser rifle (Boer War and Spanish-American War, respectively) caused both nations to not only aim for higher velocity but also to adapt their rifles for faster reloading.

For the British Empire, the result of that was the universal (same barrel length for infantry and cavalry) "SMLE" rifle, adapted for loading with stripper clips (chargers) firing the Mk VII round (174-grains, 2,440fps).

For the US, attempts to adapt the Krag rifle for charger loading and increasing the Krag round's velocity were only mildly successful. In the end, a new round and rifle were required. When the .30-03 appeared, it was like a big brother to the military 7x57. Same roundnose bullet, albeit heavier, and same velocity (2,300fps).

The faster .30-06 (150 grain spitzer, 2,700fps) was a response to the German 7.92x57 "S", which was a reaction to the Balle D Lebel.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

The .35 Whelen deserves a permanent factory platform.

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from 99explorer wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

About ten years ago, a dream came true for me when Winchester chambered the Model 70 Classic Featherweight in 6.5x55m Swedish Mauser.
It is now my go-to rifle for a lot of things.

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from MReeder wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

It warms my heart to see these grand old cartridges being extolled again. They 25s-30s DEP lists were -- and are -- easy on the shoulder and ears and potent on the other end. They also cost far less to shoot than the various magnums and produce their listed ballistics in hunting-length barrels.
My first deer/big game rifle was a 7X57, 1908 Brazilian Oberndorf Mauser which produced as many one-shot kills, if not more, than any other rifle I have subsequently used. I still have it, still use it occasionally, and it still produces the same mild recoil and report and quickly dead mammals as it ever did. I believe one reason the 7X57 has such a good reputation for fast kills is that it a pleasant cartridge to shoot and enables more hunters to place bullets precisely.
I've always wanted a .257 Roberts and if I ever have enough loose shekels I will be looking to add a Winchester Model 70 Classic or Featherweight in that caliber to my collection. There is nothing a 6mm or .243 will do that a .257 Roberts will not do as well or better, and I own a .243.
I also indulged myself a few months back and picked up an old Savage made, WWII-era, sporterized Lee Enfield in .303 British, as much for the romance of it as anything else. In addition to Lake, the .303 was also a favorite of W.D.M. Bell and was the caliber Col. Patterson used to kill the Tsavo lions. I spent quite a few weeks cleaning it up and refinishing the stock, adding a red recoil pad, etc., and was surprised by how well it handles and how slickly it operates. There aren't too many elephants or lions wandering around the S. Texas brush country where I live, but I can't imagine a better round for feral hogs.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane Dave, and for introducing some younger guys to the virtues of these old warhorses.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

The only one I have owned is the 45/70 and it still does the job for me if the range isn't a factor. It beats the heck out of shotgun slugs. I did use a borrowed Savage 99 in 250 Savage one year in Wyoming when I was just out of college. Great rifle.

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from Joe Sixpack wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

The 45-70 and 35 Whelan are enjoying somewhat of a comeback in Mississippi & Louisiana with new regs on "primitive" weapons for whitetail hunting.
They have become so popular that they can be hard to find during the new hunting seasons.
I recently obtained my first 35 Whelan in a T/C Encore and have already become a fan of the cartridge. I can hardly wait to try it out on some nuisance hogs.

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from 357 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

i love my 300 savage it's my go to for deer and elk, I hope to shoot a black bear with it this coming fall season. i have a set of .257 "bob" dies I took as part of a trade and a 85 grain .257 mold looking forward to getting a Robert and shooting it.

Last season my cousin hammered an elk with our grandfathers 38-55 just because it's an old caliber doesn't mean it won't fill the freezer.

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from davidpetzal wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

To deadeyedick: As nearly as I can tell, it's panic buying. People who normally get a box buy a brick. People who buy a brick get a case. When you increase the demand for anything by 100 percent to 1,000 percent, you get shortages.

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from davidpetzal wrote 49 weeks 6 days ago

To Happy Myles: I first read Alexander Lake in 1952, when I was an urchin, and re-read both books just a couple of weeks ago. Lake never let the facts intrude on a good story, but as a teller of tales, he's far more accomplished than the average PH who turns to writing.

Remember if you want to write for a living that facts are only raw material.

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from Douglas wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Does anyone ever hunt with 8mm Mauser? I have always been curious about the performance of that caliber for hunting.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I am restoring an old Savage 99F .300 Savage project rifle. It is not in bad shape, just needs a little TLC to shine brightly again. I think I will install a 1-4x Leupold on it to help these old eyes. The semi-buckhorn rear sight is damn near invisible. The Ruger 77 .257 Roberts needs no help, just use.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

As long as the sportsmen and shooters keep swooping the ammo shelves like hungry buzzards, the shortages will persist.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Happy,
I found 2 boxes of Remington Klean-Bore .38 S&W ammo marked $5.75 from a store back in Alabama. Must have belonged to my grandfather's S&W that he had as Under Sheriff of Jefferson County back during the Depression (the FIRST one! LOL) I still have it and the ammo still goes BANG! We obviously aren't the only ones who are old and still potent!

WAM

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Nah, the .35 Whelen is better 'cause it's the biggest bullet, right? LOL

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from Tim Platt wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Over the hills to the poorhouse... I like my -06 and 7mm Mauser. I have killed more deer with a muzzle loader than any other weapon, they had that either sex thing going 20 years ago.

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from PbHead wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I was going to thank you Dave for the stroll down memory lane but it should be called the Cartridge Hall of Fame. I shoot my 250 Savage a little more than my 7x57. For variety, I throw in a few rounds from my 22 Hornet.

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from sarg wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Though not as old as the .300 Savage, I have a couple boxes of Sears .30-30Win priced at $5.49. I don't remember the last time Sears sold Ammo.

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from Mark-1 wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

I shot, handloaded, and hunted with a 257 Roberts, a 35 Whelen, and a 7mm Mauser for years. Fiddled with a 22 Hornet for two seasons on gophers. Loved and love them all.

BTW is it my imagination or is there little killing power difference between the 35 Whelen and 338-06 and 338 Mag vs. the 30-06 with 200-220 grain bullets?

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Huntslow
Check your email. Kindest Regards

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Buckhunter,
Yes, a sad tragic event. Forgot you had met him. I believe he was Peters bow hunting specialist, so probably would have been your PH. So much enthusiasm, and looked like a choir boy. I was looking forward to spending a couple weeks with him. Several folks jokingly indicated he was so nice perhaps I would feel guilty and behave myself on this trip. He is one of several Professional Hunters, now gone, I have been lucky to have as comrades. Kindest Regards

Post Scrip
Sent condolences and flowers to his parents, but have not pressed for details, other than seeing what has been in press. Will keep you posted.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Mentioning old boxes of ammo, and the shortage of new supply, prompted me to notice two boxes of Peters 22 long rifle in the back of my ammunition magazine locked cabinet. As nearly as I can tell they belonged to my grandfather, I am 75 so they must be at least 80+ years old. Time sure has flown by.

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from Happy Myles wrote 50 weeks 47 min ago

David,
How long has it been since you read Alexander Lake's books? If I had read them fifty years ago am sure I would have been less skeptical of some opinions and events. However, today, must confess am one of the amateur foreign hunters who's opinions amused and at times concerned him.
He certainly spent many years in Africa successfully working at all kinds of occupations using his faithful 303. His adventures make interesting, entertaining reading. However, this old, jaded African hunter found some of his geography puzzling, and his biology startling. A few of his shooting techniques would not work for me, but what the heck.
Hasten to add, still recommend them as a good read. Keep the suggestions coming. Kindest Regards

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from buckhunter wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Happy, I just discovered it was Erwin. What a great young man. He reminded me of my own son. This is very sad news.

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from duckcreekdick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I have an 1886 Winchester in .33 WCF which years ago killed a big black bear like a thunderbolt from Zeus.

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from shane wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

I was told by a few experts on here that the .300 Savage was little more than a .30-30. Interesting.

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from Harold wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Dave,

Shouldn't the 250 Savage be included in this category?

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from tom warner wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

It surely is a pleasure to discuss the merits of these various older cartridges, many if which I have tried out at one time or another. Every one of them did a fine job. None of them ever failed me. The fact is, if you hit your quarry in the right place, there is really no difference between any of them. Many years ago I switched from mostly using a '06 to a .308 because I liked the shorter cartridge for various reasons and that caliber is the one I still prefer, but also love the .270. If you just pick one rifle and one caliber and stick with it, you can't go wrong. Most of the newer cartridges won't do anything the older ones will still do just as well. If I were to pick a round strictly for survival purposes it would be a .22. All the rest is just chit-chat,...but fun!

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from 007 wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

DEP, you hit the nail on the head (as usual) with the .257 Rbts. and the .300 Savage. I have a Ruger 77 Ultralite, my daughter a Savage 110 in Rbts. Handloaded with now-discontinued (thank you so much, Big Green) Remington 120 grain corelokts, they are lethal on deer. I also have my dad's 99 in .300 Savage, another solid meat hammer. Good hunting to ya.

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from 007 wrote 50 weeks 1 day ago

WAM, don't make the Beekeeper and me have to talk to you about your .338-06 bashing there. haha.

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from elmer f. wrote 49 weeks 6 days ago

old rifle cartridges never die. some of them are put out to pasture, like old gun writers. but both are sad days when that happens. some realistically feeble cartridges are still with us to this day, resurrected by the phenomenon of cowboy action shooting. for the life of me, i can not imagine what appeal the 25-20 has in real life. other than breaking bottles. but it is as cute of a cartridge as you will ever find. the 303 British is an awesome deer killer. while some may argue that, i have seen a few deer that never moved after receiving one of its high speed pocket rockets. and i would not hesitate to use it on much larger game. maybe not dangerous game, but bigger no trouble.

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from DakotaMan wrote 50 weeks 8 hours ago

The 375 H&H recently celebrated its 100th birthday and hasn't lost any steam. Of all the oldies but goodies, it is my favorite. Not only does it consistently perform beyond reason, it slides into and out of the chamber slicker than any cartridge I have ever used. Not bad for an oldie.

Shane, the .300 Savage is almost identical in performance to the .308 Win. With IMR4064 and a 130g bullet it will top 3000 fps. Bad medicine for deer. The good old 150g will go 2800 fps. Factory loads over its life were typically slower than this because lever actions were the most popular deer rifle of its time (especially the Savage Model 99). Handloaders can get it moving for bolt actions.

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from O Garcia wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

sorry for multiple posts, computer did not give me indication that initial post was already successful.

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from O Garcia wrote 49 weeks 4 days ago

how about the .35 Remington?

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from fng wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

.303, 6.5x55, 9.3x62, 7x57 (I still want to get an old mauser, get some bottom metal for AI magazines, and modify a few magazines for the old man in either 9.3 or 7x57 mauser), .45-70, and more than a few others always warm the cockles of my young, massive heart :)

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from Treestand wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

I HAVE used almost every calibers on White Tails from 22Hornet to 12Ga sluges,But my Meat Hammers are 7mm/08 and 243W, I feel they are the best of both Worlds in the States I've Hunted in,In my 60+years.With Two Moose Harvested with my 7MM/08 in Canida.

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from deadeyedick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Since I do not have the cash to go hunting all over the globe or buy a .398 thunder*&$#*er I,ll stick with what I have. Most of my hunting for deer and such critters is mostly in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and west Virginia. The guns I use most are a .300 savage made in 1951, a model 94 win in 32 special made in in 1952, and a model 700 rem in .270 I got from my wife in 1984. Every once in a blue moon I scrape together enough money to go hunt elk and that .270 has yet to fail me. I'm getting a little along in age myself but like my guns, I can still cut the mustard when the need arises.

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from deadeyedick wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Hey Dave, what is up with .22 ammo!!! Please share with us your vast knowledge as to why there are no .22 anywhere

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from huntslow wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

I don't know how to get a message to Happy Myles. My son is moving to Cameroon and I would like to converse about the area. My e-mail is brucespurgeon@comcast.net

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from Clay Cooper wrote 50 weeks 2 days ago

I remember family friend Bob Mohalt Page Oklahoma who owned two Rugers a #1 in 45-120 and a #3 in 45-70. The load in that #1 cannon in 45-120 slapped 350's as flat as a 180 out of a 30-06. As for the #3 in 45-70 was no exception, it was thumping 458 Win Mag velocity. Loaded hot, go figure!

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from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of leading a 14-year-old boy on an elk hunt. He shot his first elk with his grandpa's Savage 99 in 300 Savage. One shot, instant kill. I don't think he'll sell you that rifle, DEP. Some things you can't hang a price tag on.

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from MReeder wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

SL,
Dittos on the 7.62X54R and the Mosin-Nagant.
I picked up one in near pristine condition a couple of years ago when Cabelas was running them on sale for, if memory serves, 99-bucks. Hard to resist a stout bolt action rifle of any kind at that price. If I'd had the money to spare I would have bought half a dozen.

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from Big Bob W wrote 50 weeks 3 days ago

Nice article Dave. I have taken possession of my Mom's model 99 in .300 Savage. She took 20 deer, three antelope and one elk with it. I have killed four deer with it and have regretted the times I haven't had it with me. I also own a 7x57 that began life as a German built 1908 for the Argentine Army. It has the DMw stamp on the receiver which along with the bolt are the only original pieces left. I had Sam May of Apex Rifle in Flagstaff, AZ put a new barrel on it and turn the bolt down. I later put a Timiney trigger in and glass-bedded the rig into a Fajen stock. It shoots 2 inch groups at 500 meters. Not bad for a reworked old classic. I am taking possession of Dad's Savage 99 in .308 later this year since he says his shooting days are over. I've had a number of .308's over the years and the only real difference between a .308 Win and a .300 Sav that I can see is that the .308 is more handloader friendly because of the longer neck. The difference in performance is less than the differential between the .308 and the Grand Old Cannon (30-06). I have two of those that my Grandfather bought between the wars and had sporterized. One is a 1917 Eddystone Enfield pattern and the other is a classic Springfield Armory model. The only other rifles I have carried for a big game hunt are a .270 Win. and two different .243 Win.

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from Sten wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

Hoping to take a caribou with a 6.5x55 swedish mauser this fall. Iron sights!

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