Noticing a generational shift in calibers. Older ones harder to find

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by N9NWO, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. N9NWO

    N9NWO Member

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    Seeing a shift. Not universal but still large numbers I see the younger hunters going towards the AR platform (5.56/350 Legend/450 Bushmaster/300 BLK/6.5 Grendel) and 6.5CR over the older calibers. Thus those cartridges that are nearly 100 years old are harder to find. .270, .243, .30-30, .30-06 have not had the demand that they had when we Boomers where in our 20s and 30s..

    Also here in Indiana we have seen a huge shift in hunting as modern firearms have been allowed. Fewer slug guns for deer and more 6.5CR, 350 Legend and 450 Bushmaster. I see little demand for the T/C Encore lines these days as hunters now use AR platforms or bolt guns.
     
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  2. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    That is something I have been paying attention to over the years. I have been noting how much shelf space is dedicated to different ammo at my local big box sporting goods retailer which carries a pretty huge variety of ammo. Last fall 6.5 creedmoor became top dog with 23 different varieties on the shelf, narrowly besting 30/06.

    I am always debating this with my father in law, he likes 243 and 270 and I like all sorts of new and old oddball stuff he has never heard of. I am always keeping him on his toes.
     
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  3. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    Well, I'm nearing 70 and plan to buy a rifle in 350 Legend before fall.

    Us old pharts can learn new tricks,!
     
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  4. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    The 350 Legend ammo has always been on the shelf at our walmart during this shortage.
     
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  5. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Here in Ohio at least the change in firearms used for deer hunting is do to a change in regulations. We are no longer limited to shotguns, which has caused an explosion in sales of straight wall cartridge guns that are approved for deer.

    Really regulations here meant that those 30-06, .270's etc never were that popular to begin with. Sure, people owned them but never really had a reason to shoot them other than punching paper. The .223, .22-250, even .22 hornet and .22 mag were much more popular for coyote and ground hogs but you didn't see too many people go out and shoot a .270 just for fun.
     
  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Hunting has changed too. The magnumitus craze that ruled the 20th century has no practical application for hunting smaller and smaller acreages over a pre ranged food plot or feeder.

    hell I haven’t been hunting in half a decade myself because of losing access.
     
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  7. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    While not at a Walmart 350 Legends and 6.5 Creedmoor have both been available throughout the whole year at one or another gun stores here.

    270 when and 30 30 have been sold out, or at the very best sporadic. 30-06 has been available As have most of the other traditional big game cartridges.
     
  8. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    I love the 6.5 CM, but just doesn't tick as many boxes for me as the Legend.
     
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  9. wbm

    wbm Member

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    Nope. Not supposed to. Still laugh at Elmer's old gripe about Americans that came to Africa with big bore heavy recoil rifles that they could not shoot well..."if you can't hit it with a 30-06, nothing bigger is going to help."
     
  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I made a 350 Legend AR just because ammo was so plentiful around me. Have 450 BM, 224 Valk, and 35 Rem, 444, 45-70, and 223.

    A bit of old and new.

    Here’s the 350 Legend. Trying to figure out the moderator situation still and I need a retro lower and a pencil barrel.

    653EC6D1-4647-4917-BC82-522D4482A978.jpeg
     
  11. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I have absolutely no use for it since we have no straight wall rifle law, I already have a 358 yeti I deer hunt with, and I have a 357 maximum contender, but for some reason I am in the mood to build a 14.5" 350 legend with a krink brake pinned and welded on.
     
  12. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    I think it's less a shift in calibers than it is a shift is platforms. Everybody wants to carry an AR and are shoe-horning the cartridges so chambered into hunting roles. When I was growing up, the .223 and similar cartridges were considered medium range varmint cartridges that could be used at short range on small deer. Now hunters slap in a 30 round mag and take off after 200-250 lb. hogs, and leaving lots of wounded ones out there. I saw on another forum where a hunter was taking his .300 BO chambered AR "out west" and wanted to know what load in that caliber would be best for elk.:what:

    That said, some of the other calibers chambered in the AR platform should be great medium range hunting cartridges for medium size game.

    35W
     
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  13. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I have hunted the past 6+ years with an AR most of that time. First in 450 Bushmaster and then its little brother 30 Remington AR.

    ETA:

    My 450 Bushmaster with a nice doe
    zxRT0LEl.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
  14. N9NWO

    N9NWO Member

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    It has been as much a shift in platforms. The 350 Legend and 450 BM are at best good for 300 m. The 7.62x35 (300 BLK) is too light. And at best 200m. Indiana has a straight wall law. But that is better than just having rifled slugs out of a shotgun. The 6.5CR might do well on Elk. I have seen folks using 6.5x55 Swed.

    The real question is how the new Army caliber, 6.8x??, will do. As the announcement is for October, might be next year. Wonder if SIG will win with the 277 Fury (6.8x51)?
     
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  15. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I never understood hunting with an AR until I tried it and now I am sold. As long as it is suitably chambered.

    BE5-A9132-FFD0-44-C3-BACB-742-E1-F25537-A.jpg
     
  16. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    In the 70's I came up to a hunting party who had a .22-250, a lever action, and an M1 carbine with armor piercing, plus a standing gut shot deer already half processed from the .22-250, and they were leaving. Too small no tag. Hunters of old weren't all that. If anything it was the surplus of WWII ammo which pushed the use of those rounds long after they had been superceded in the Army. When I started hunting in the early 70's the traditional guys were out there and I was the oddball with .308.

    Now I have a 5.56 pistol for alternate season, 6.8 SPC for deer, and Im building a .375 SOCOM. The first is cheap plinking but $25 deer ammo, the second is $35 deer ammo, and the third? Will force me into reloading with $75 deer ammo. A 20 round magazine holds 9 tho, so, no, I won't go blasting away in the woods. Not at $4 a round. Nope.

    In my experience I hear the bolt action guys actually doing that, the report is distinct compared to intermediate rounds, and the cadence is very clear as they rack the bolt and empty the internal mag. Those of us hunting with AR's here in MO have a ten round max, and for the most part I hear one or a very fast second shot. Not bang boom bang boom boom boom. I have frequently strolled over after they left their stand to see the results, no deer, 5 casings in the leaves, and at least 7 cans. Been hunting 45 years in the same spot and it's no better now than then.

    At 68 I realize I was an outlier and early adopter, and those older hunters were just drinking and plinking. It was deer camp, and what happened at deer camp stayed at deer camp. They seemed to get by tho, and those of us getting attention were carrying HK91's, SKS, and 98K's. I now realize it was because the Agents hadn't seen one and were really just curious. We were the new generation in the 70's and most of us moved into AR's since then. Those traditional old guns? Slow to reload, unwieldy and ammo quit being cheap - no wonder hunters moved on. Don't miss them at all.
     
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  17. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I saw some sales numbers a a couple of years ago. In bolt rifles the 6.5 CM accounted for about 1/2 the new bolt rifles sold in 2018. The 308 accounted for about 5%. The 270 and 30-06 didn't make the top sales list, but were in the "Other" category. I haven't seen numbers for more recent years.

    There have been several new bolt rifles introduced in the last few years that don't even offer 270 or 30-06 as options. Shooters are either going to the short action options, or various 26, 28, or 30 caliber magnums.

    I still see the 350 Legend and 450 BM as niche guns which will be popular in certain areas of the country with limits on big game cartridges. For the rest of the country 6.5 CM, 7-08, and 308 are the new normal. Those 3 do 99% of what you can do with a 270 or 30-06 and do it in lighter, more compact rifles with less recoil.
     
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  18. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    I think you're right, mostly. Me? I'll still be a little old school in platform with a Ruger American Ranch rifle (thanks, Armored Farmer!).
     
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  19. HVACguy

    HVACguy Member

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    Not being a smart a$$, but what boxes does the 350 Legend check off that the Creedmoor doesn’t? Besides close in, thick cover hunting, I can’t think of a single thing the legend does that the creedmoor doesn’t do drastically better? Just an honest curious question!! My main hunting rig is an AR in 6.8 SPC by the way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
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  20. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Fitting in an AR-15 platform would be a pretty big one.

    The market has spoken NOBODY wants an ar10
     
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  21. HVACguy

    HVACguy Member

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    Agreed. Had an AR-10 for a short time. I guess being a ballistics nerd I was focused on round performance!
     
  22. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    Out west in big country the big centerfires still rule. I have killed many Elk and deer with a 25-06, and also use a .270 WSM a .300WM, and a 30-06. I have various other options as well (.243,.270, 35Rem). A local favorite is 7mm RM. But no straight walled stuff, no ARs for hunting (other than using my AR10 for hogs in Texas, but that is a whole different story).
     
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  23. mcb

    mcb Member

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    As alread stated, fits and was designed for the AR-15 platform
    Meet straight-wall cartridge requirements in locals with that restriction
    Delivers significantly more energy in suppressed subsonic application.
     
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  24. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I am 45, and spent enough time in the field with an AR-platform for Uncle Sam that the last thing I want to do is use one for big game hunting. I really don't get the fascination with the whole "it fits in an AR" fetish.
     
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  25. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I think a lot of it was a reaction to the sunset of the 94 AWB in 2004. There was a fairly vocal anti-gun faction that said you can't hunt with an AR. So when the 94 AWB sunset those that made AR-15 platform set out to make the AR platform as flexible as possible for as many applications as possible including a wide range of hunting. This included a huge rash of new cartridges specifically designed for the AR-15 platform in caliber ranging from 20-cal to 50-cal. I have used an AR for most of my hunting and other shooting for the past 10+ years and honest can't remember the last time I grab one of my 556 chambered ARs. The AR-15 gets so much more interesting chambered in anything else.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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