Hurteau: The Elite Eight of Whitetail Cartridges

Now things should get interesting.

It's been clear sailing for the top seeds so far, as the .30-06 (1), .308 (2), 7mm-08 (3), and .30-30 (4) all advanced easily in the first round of Division II. Now, with only eight cartridges left standing, the matchups get far more compelling.

Those of you itching for an upset should be salivating over this round of play, with the .270 WSM facing the .25-06 and a pair of classics squaring off in the .308 vs .30-30 matchup--which should be an absolute barn-burner. Here's a complete list of our Elite Eight, as originally seeded by SHOT Business contributing editor Christopher Cogley:

Division I:
(1) .270 WSM -- By improving on the ballistics of the original .270, this could be the best deer round in the woods today.
(2) .270 Win. -- The standard bearer in deer cartridges. It is cheaper to shoot than the .270 WSM, but its ballistics aren't quite as good.
(3) .25-06 -- Gentler on the shoulder than the .270, but not quite as much energy or overall performance.
(4) .243 -- It's small. But light recoil helps you put shots exactly where they need to go.
**
Division II:**
(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.

All eight teams will play in this round. Vote for your preferred cartridge in each matchup below to determine which cartridges will advance to the Final Four.

Enjoy.