Zent's Top 10 Cartridges

by
posted on May 29, 2009
2009529-10cartridges_fs.jpg

1.) .375 H&H
So many talk about one cartridge that can do it all, and H&H's classic comes the closest. Day in and day out, it ends stare-downs with elephant and buffalo, and then puts 30-pound antelope in the pot. Long range or up close, the .375 H&H's inherent accuracy, manageable recoil and knockdown power put the "able" in renewable resources.

2.) .22 LR
If you like to shoot a lot, here's a lifelong buddy. I hate to think about the world without the .22 LR. Nowadays, it's underappreciated for hunting, and worse yet, many kids have never shot a .22.

3.) 12-Gauge
If I had to own just one gun ... I'd rather plug deer and elk with 12-gauge slugs than try intercepting pheasants and mallards with a .30-06.

4.) .30-06
The all-time all-American caliber really can stop every game animal on this continent and has done so countless times. With the exception of pursuing King Ursus into the willows, any shortcoming of the .30-06 is on the shooter.

5.) .270 Win.
Thanks in part to great PR, the .270 Win. opened America's eyes to the prospects of shooting big game way out yonder. Let's pretend that stultifying "Is it good enough for elk?" argument never happened. With straight shooting, the .270 is good enough for anything short of dangerous game.

6.) .243 Win.
This is the gun culture's equivalent of the little engine that could. You certainly could fill your deer and pronghorn tags with the overachieving .243, and a pile of caribou tags to boot. You could also count on long-range predator performance.

7.) .500 N.E.
Though the Nitro Expresses aren't homegrown rounds, perhaps they should be. Given our big American obsession with raw power, how can we not be in awe of a sporting rifle that tosses a 570-grain, half-inch-diameter hardball at 2000 fps? When they get the bugs worked out of that Jurassic Park thing, this is what I'm taking.

8.) .30-30 Win.
Give gramps his due. The old .30-30 ushered in a new American century, helped to put blackpowder out of business (temporarily), and never met a 150-yard deer or black bear it couldn't whip.

9.) .284 Win.
With its rebated rim and feeding issues, the .284 didn't last long in the production-rifle arena. But its legacy lives on. The cartridge spawned a class of short-action, bantamweight rifles chambered for stubby-but-potent calibers.

10.) .300 RUM
Remington's supersized .30-caliber Ultra Magnum was all but dismissed as pointlessly powerful and too recoil-abusive, and then was left for dead when short-mag mania hit. But someone forgot to tell serious Western hunters, who go to great lengths for great trophies.

Latest

MAIN 2022 Oregon Waterfowl Stamp Winner
MAIN 2022 Oregon Waterfowl Stamp Winner

Oregon: ODFW announces 2023 annual wildlife art contest

The winning artist in each contest receives a $2,000 award and winning artwork is used to produce collector's stamps and other promotional items with sale proceeds benefitting Oregon's fish, wildlife and their habitats.

Primos Releases New Trigger Stick Gun Mounted Bipods

Primos hunting has announced its new line of Trigger Stick Gun Mounted Bipods, which come in short, medium and tall heights.

New for 2022: Browning X-Bolt Speed Ovix SR

The latest X-Bolt’s new Ovix camo pattern is suitable for a variety of environments, and its shortened, threaded barrel allows users to mount a suppressor while maintaining a reasonable overall length.

First Look: Franchi Instinct Sideplate

The new Instinct Sideplate sets itself apart with an elegantly engraved, color-case-hardened sideplate-style steel receiver, providing classical accents to its gold-plated trigger and complementing its rich AA-grade satin-finish walnut stock.

Savage Arms Announces Sponsorship of NRL Hunter Series Matches

Savage Arms is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the National Rifle League (NRL) Hunter Series—an evolving rifle competition that challenges participants with exciting ways to practice shooting skills in hunting-like conditions.

NSSF Retailer Surveys Indicate 5.4 Million First-Time Gun Buyers in 2021

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm industry trade association, revealed that at least 5.4 million people purchased a firearm for the first time in 2021.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.