Periodically, I get a letter that reads: “Dear Dave: I am going antelope hunting for the first time and need a rifle that can take them at 1,322.5 yards. What cartridge do you recommend?

Well, I went antelope hunting this past week and took along a 6.5 Swede which fired a 130-grain Swift Scirocco handloaded to 2,750 fps. With this clearly inadequate rifle, I killed a nice buck at 170 yards and a
doe at 130. A friend who was with me also tallied two animals at about the same ranges using a woefully lacking .308 and 150-grain Winchester factory ammo.

That is more or less typical antelope hunting. If there is something the matter with you and you want to blaze away from an adjoining county, you are welcome to, but the fact is that the antelope is not the brightest creature God put on earth, and they can almost always be stalked to within a couple of hundred yards and, in many cases, a lot less.

What our ballistically underprivileged rifles did not do was tear huge hunks of meat and bone out of the goats or pulverize them into soup. I’ve had this experience with high-velocity cartridges, and that is why I use the Swede. Even if you do get a 300-yarder, the little round will hack it. That Swift bullet is very long and very streamlined, and while it doesn’t start out with gobs of fps, it holds on to the ones it has very nicely.