Episode-451- Seven Underrated Centerfire Rifle Calibers

I need a bit of a fun change up today after the recent server issues (which are now solved for a while) so I though I would break out with some lesser known rifle calibers.  In out current world shooting seems to revolve around the 223, 308, 30-06, 30-30 and a host of the magnums.  Sure there are quite a few 270s, 7mm-08s and 243’s out there too but what about the other roughly 500 cartridges, is there any place left for the oddball or the old classic that is no longer innovative?

Join me today as we discuss…

  • Why even break the mold, do we really need more then a dozen solid center fires
  • The “common caliber myth” why the common calibers will dry up first not last in a crisis
  • Why reloading should be part of your skill set and how it mitigates any “odd” caliber
  • What is a “wild cat” cartridge
  • What does “burn rate” have to do with velocity
  • The 22 Hornet – at one time it was the varmint round
  • The 25-06 – a true “magnum” with out the punishment
  • The 6.5x55mm Swedish Mauser – the little round that has killed millions of Moose
  • The 280 Remington – every bit the game getter of the 7MM mag without the abuse
  • The 338-06 – the perfect medium bore cartrige
  • The 44 Magnum – yes it is for rifles too
  • The 45-70 – an old solider that won’t die nor fade away

Resources for today’s show…

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10 Responses to Episode-451- Seven Underrated Centerfire Rifle Calibers

  1. What is your opinion of using a Handi-Rifle in 357 magnum to hunt deer here in Texas?

  2. Modern Survival

    We have killed three deer with one along with several exotic rams and a few small feral hogs. It is damn deadly with 158 grain flat points, stay away from hollow points. It is a 100 yard or less round the only reason I don’t really like it for Texas is because you get some 200 plus yard shots but if you don’t mind stalking and accepting the limits or hunt the pine forests in the eastern part of the state it is fine.

    Don’t let anyone tell you it ain’t enough, you get 357 Maximum velocities when you put the Mag through a 22 inch barrel. Info on the Max is here


    Consider those numbers roughly equivalent to what the mag does in a handi rifle.

  3. Great episode Jack. A Tikka T3 in 6.5 swede is high up on my wish list. I love my 30/06 but at 6.5lbs it’s not fun to shoot.

    Also, Chuck Hawks has a great article on the 6.5×55mm Swede and sectional density. (hope it’s ok to post the link)


    Another problem with “popular calibers” is that in a SHTF situation the military would probably need to acquire even larger quantities of ammunition and likely buy up a lot of what would have gone to the civilian market, making it even harder to acquire.

  4. I love my Marlin 1895 in 45-70. It is a hoot to shoot and fun to reload for.
    You can load those rounds hot enough to bruse your shoulder, or light enough to plink all day.
    Black powder, smokeless, light or heavy bullets. With the right handloads you can drop a white tail or defend yourself from a angry Grizzly.
    Still hoping that one day I can get an elk with that rifle…

    I called in to you during the height of the “Great Ammo shortage of 2009” about my observation of the absence of “common” calibers. That experience led me to buy my Savage .17HMR, since I could find ammo everywhere.
    So you could say the Obamammo shortage led me to a rifle that will shoot 1/2inch groups at 50 yards!

    As always thanks Jack!

  5. I’m surprised you mentioned some wildcat rounds I’ve never even heard of but did not mention 8mm mauser or .300 savage. It was an interesting topic, regardless, Jack.

  6. Jack, we don’t have 350 pound white tails here in Maine. Anything over 200 is considered big. Now, moose are another story…

  7. Modern Survival

    @Bob, good call out on me there, that was a 250 that became a 350 when I got into BS campfire mode for a moment. Easy to do when talking about guns.

  8. Outstanding show Jack. I truly appreciated the discussion of rifles and different calibers. I actually observed the same exact situation of availability of these odd ball cartridges when the ammo was thin at the stores. I had to listen to the show 3 times, it was that good!

  9. Now that i have a 357 handgun it really makes me want to get Handy-Rifle.Or a lever action.

  10. Rifles chambered for pistol rounds have become popular in recent years. After a fair bit of research it seemed to me that the .357 Keith cartridge was well suited in a lever action, and could also shoot .38 caliber too. Have you ever stopped to wonder why a .38 isn’t really thirty eight thousandths?

    What does .45-70 signify? The first number is the nominal diameter of the bullet (though see above); the second number
    is how many grains of the old, smoky black powder were used behind the bullet. The advent of modern smokeless propellents allowed for completely new cartridges, but many (like .38) continued on.

    Using .38 “cowboy” loads recoil is nothing and fine for plinking and having fun. I have a Henry lever action, it is a wonderful rifle, but technically speaking an Uberti might have been a better choice, it is identical in function to the original.

    .38 and .357 also have the advantage of being simplest to reload, being straight wall cases. Don’t reload yet but have that in the back of mind, saved the brass. We set back quite a bit of ammo before buying the rifle.