Rifle Ammo photo

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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.