March 14, 2013
March Madness: The Sweet 16 of Long-Range Deer Cartridges: Division II
By Dave Hurteau
After more than 3,500 votes per matchup, the Division I Elite Eight cartridges are settled: The 7mm Remington Magnum obliterated the .260 Remington; the .30- 06 predictably crushed the .243 Winchester; the .257 Weatherby Magnum edged past the .257 Roberts; and, in our first upset win of the tournament, the .25-06 Remington took down the excellent 6.5-284 Norma.
And now, on to Division II. You know the drill. Layne Simpson’s seeded selections for this group are listed and explained below. Check out the bracket (you can click here to print out a copy if you want to fill it out by hand). Then vote for your preferred long-range deer cartridge in each matchup below to begin Division II play. We'll follow up with the Elite Eight, Final Four, and finally the F&S Long-Range Deer Cartridge Championship.
 .300 Winchester Magnum: Three out of five doctors recommend the .300 Winchester Magnum for shooting deer at long range. And plenty of Alberta outfitters who specialize in big whitetails and mule deer agree with the prescription.
 .264 Winchester Magnum: Winchester’s full-page advertisements in 1958 said the new cartridge “Makes a helluva noise and packs a helluva punch.” It still does and like most magnums it is at its best in a 26-inch barrel.
 7mm STW: Push a 140-grain bullet to 3400 fps, zero it three inches high at 100 yards and it strikes below point of aim a mere half the body depth of a deer at 400 yards where it delivers over 2000 ft-lbs of punch. Enough said.
 .270 WSM: A bit faster than the .270 Winchester, this cartridge is a great choice for the deer hunter who absolutely must have a magnum cartridge short enough to squeeze into a short-action rifle.
 .270 Winchester: The cartridge that Jack O’Connor built continues to offer excellent accuracy, a flat trajectory, plenty of downrange energy and a level of recoil easily managed by most hunters. Long live the .270.
 .280 Remington: Developed by Remington back in the 1950s for the company’s Model 740 autoloader, the .280 has become a favorite in bolt-action rifles. Try it and you will see why.
 .308 Winchester: Originally created for war, the .308 is now extremely popular among hunters. It is accurate, it doesn’t kick too hard, it kills deer dead enough, and many different rifles are chambered for it.
 7mm-08 Remington: A necked-down .308 Winchester, the “Seven-O- Eight” can be just as accurate. It also kicks lighter and kills deer just as dead, making it a wise choice in any short-action rifle.
You can click here to print out a copy if you want to fill it out by hand.