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Old February 26, 2013, 08:55 PM   #1
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What cartridge has suprised you the most?

What cartridge has suprised you the most?

Lets say for example you buy a rifle/pistol in a certain caliber that did not own or have never worked up loads before..... and after you got into the reloading and shooting/hunting..... the caliber/cartridge just really impressed you...?

Impressed can mean...... low recoil for what it does.... flatter shooting... accurate...etc...
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Old February 26, 2013, 09:05 PM   #2
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? I've been shooting for more than 65 years and reloading for everything reloadable for 48. After a short period of learning, back when I was new, I don't think anything has surprised me; ballistics charts predict what will happen when anything goes BOOM pretty well if you compare what the charts say. The particular case shape does less for accuracy than any other factor, IMHO.
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Old February 26, 2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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.264 Win Mag. It is capable of so much more than the published data states. I have loaded up stuff for it that chronoed 4060. Thats about 350 over what the books say its good for. It is also very accurate even at hyper velocity.
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Old February 26, 2013, 09:17 PM   #4
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The .243. I figured it to be good for large varmints/small deer. With the solid copper and Hodgdon Superformance powder it is a deep penetrating high performance round. It worked great on the last hog I plugged; through and through and he ran 30 yards. I was very impressed.
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:15 PM   #5
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I have really enjoyed a bolt action .223 with a heavy barrel. I haven't shot a lot of different caliber, but it has a very light recoil and I've worked loads up that shoot very well. Its just been a fun gun for me, and I like that my nephew or daughter can shoot it. My hopes are to get a .243 and have a similar experience.

Another that has recently really impressed me is a .38 special Ruger GP100 (I think a 3 or 4" barrel). All I can say is wow! Comfortable, balanced, accurate, light recoil, and easy.

Last edited by CS86; February 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM.
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:28 PM   #6
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after I started reloading for the 25-20 I found it a nice little gun for groundhogs, etc to like 100 yards. Its pretty accurate too, not a tack driver or anything but plenty accurate
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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.22-250 with 35gr Nosler LF... 4,435fps has to be seen to be believed. It's the closest thing there is to a handheld laser.

.243Win impresses me with it's versatility. Very few cartridges are legitimate groundhog to elk guns without being overkill on one end or marginal on the other. I was never a big fan until I started researching the "best" deer round. I dug and dug and every rock had the .243 under it. I did eventually go with .243AI instead but mainly because there's no downside for a handloader. Either way, it's incrdibly versatile. 55gr varmint bullet at 4,000fps or 80gr Barnes TTSX at 3,500... kill 'em all.
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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Oddly enough, the 6.5 Japanese Arisaka.
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:36 PM   #9
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The is very close to a jack-of-all-calibers...

I think the Barnes bullets was all it was ever lacking.

With this said, I seldom hunt with one.

Last edited by shootniron; February 26, 2013 at 11:44 PM.
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:41 PM   #10
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another vote for the .243 winchester...

this group was shot during one of our long range courses by a lowly Savage 110 (pre-accutrigger)... with a bit of glass bedding and a free floated barrel... and an OCW handload, I should add.

...actually, that 3 shot group was shot by 3 different shooters... the rifle was performing so well that others wanted to try it out...

And from my Douglas barreled .243 in 8 twist...

The .243 is not as forgiving in the handloading department as say, the .308 is, but when it's right, it's right...

Practical Long Range Rifle Courses...
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Old February 26, 2013, 11:50 PM   #11
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.444 Marlin
It is an incredibly versatile cartridge.

And, 8x57mm
A great cartridge. It's a shame it never caught on in North America.
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Old February 27, 2013, 02:51 AM   #12
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357SIG. Oh wait. It surprises everyone else on the firing line.
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Old February 27, 2013, 03:13 AM   #13
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The 30-30.
I shoot it in a 22" NEF Handi single shot so I can use just about any .308" bullet. Even with the old style case (tapered, rimmed & shallow shoulders) it always delivers respectable accuracy with most every bullet & load I try.

When I can shoot 2" groups at 100 yards with cast bullets or 1" groups with full power jacketed ammo with an inexpensive rifle and an old school cartridge, I'm happy.
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Old February 27, 2013, 04:13 AM   #14
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Re: What cartridge has suprised you the most?

7.62x54R, first rifle I owned bigger than a .22lr. Shot 30-30 and .308 before. I love the kick and muzzle blast from the 54R.
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Old February 27, 2013, 06:31 AM   #15
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25-06, has been wonderful so far but like these other fellas picked, I also like the .243 and its repeatabilty.
Thanks for coming!
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Old February 27, 2013, 07:16 AM   #16
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"the" one that suprised me the most was the 22 Hornet, with the addition of a faster twist barrel... I did an expirimental custom revolver in that set up, & was so impressed, I did the same 1 in 9" twist on a Ruger 77 - 22 Hornet... 68 grain bullets are my favorite in the FT Hornet in both the 6" revolver & the rifle...

the 8 X 57 suprised me in recoil ( especially in the old military straight stock carbine guns ) back 20 years ago, my FIL asked if I'd sight in one of his guns... I thought it was an honor... in reality, after about 30 rounds through the gun on the bench, the result was a 6" bruise on my shoulder... t-shirt, straight stock, steel butt plate, bench shooting, & 8 X 57 = bruise...
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Old February 27, 2013, 08:55 AM   #17
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50-70 Springfield. The first US Military centerfire cartridge. I have also been in awe of the accuracy of the Allins and rolling block that fire this old black powder round.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:50 AM   #18
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22 Cheetah. With 40 gr. Nosler ballistic tips, I've run it over 4700 fps, but it groups better at 4600, so that was the prairie dog load. They just disappear sometimes!
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:58 AM   #19
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Another vote for the 264 mag. 2nd place the 220swift.
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Old February 27, 2013, 10:15 AM   #20
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45 Colt is my favorite handgun and levergun caliber. I only started shooting it about five years ago, which is new for me considering I have been shooting for forty-seven years now.
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Old February 27, 2013, 10:21 AM   #21
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6.5x55SE. IMO there's nothing better for all around honors.
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Old February 27, 2013, 10:29 AM   #22
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The other experience I had that was a real surprise was shooting the Sharps in 45/70. This rifle was a gift for my 50th birthday and I had always wanted one to work with cast bullets. After "going to school" on bullet alloys, casting techniques and lube recipes I spent over a year at the bench shooting a variety of smokeless powders under them (no BP--been there done that). When I hit on the right combination I was putting five rounds in ONE HOLE, and using a tang sight to boot, at a hundred yards. THAT was eye-opening! Those old-timers could really shoot, even without fancy optics.

So I learned two things: a peep sight can work as well as a scope (at least to 300 yards) and the first cartridge rifles were excellent platforms for building an accurate rifle.
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Old February 27, 2013, 10:54 AM   #23
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375 H&H

All around cart. for any game in the world.

Accurate and flat shooting (velocity and trajectory is similar to the 30-06)

Good bullet selection. Conventional 375 bullets don't open up fully on light game such as antelope and small deer so there is little meat damage, yet give you all the penetration and expansion needed on heavy dangerous game.

Works well with cast bullets, giving you the velocity of the 30-30 with little leading.

Jacketed bullets can easily be made using a modified bullet mold and 3/8 OD Copper tubing.Making the 375 one of the cheapest rounds to load.

Kraig Stuart
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Old February 27, 2013, 12:40 PM   #24
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300 Blackout. Using .223 brass to form Blackout brass, 30 caliber bullets, and pistol powders all in a AR15 style rifle. Doesn't feel right to mix up all the above components but it sure is fun to shoot.
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Old February 27, 2013, 12:42 PM   #25
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Which cartridge has surprised me the most?

I'd have to say it was the .40 S&W I accidentally fired out of my .45 1911.
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