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

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

  1. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I'm all about does it fit in a lever gun, but there are zero wide open spaces. If 45 colt wont kill it 45-70 will. I would love a 454 but that's not in wide use yet.
     
  2. HVACguy

    HVACguy Member

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    That straight wall thing. Always forget about that being in Missouri. See, that’s why I asked! Does anybody make factory loaded sub sonic 350 ammo?
     
  3. HVACguy

    HVACguy Member

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    Same. OEF! But I do still hog hunt with a 6.8!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
  4. 270OKIE

    270OKIE Member

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    Don't tell me how to spend my weekends!! ;) (I love 270, I think it's very potent hunting ammo and holds up even next to the newfangled stuff today. A Noreen BN36X3 in 270 and 30-06 is my dream rifle)I have noticed through the ammopocalypse of 20-21 that the weird stuff like 350 Legend and stuff like that seemed to stay on the shelf a bit longer than all the others... However, in the past couple weeks, I have noticed at Cabela's and the Academy's in OKC they have had all kinds of 9mm, 45acp, 40SW, 223 and 308 and 6/6.5 Creed and all kinds of 12/20/410 ammo too. It's crazy awesome to see people finally stop panic hoarding! So now it's a matter of time before I can walk in to a LGS at 5pm on a Saturday and actually see ammo on their shelves.
     
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  5. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    The factories started pumping out mass amounts of the most popular rounds not taking down machines for caliber shifts. This increases their production volume and increases profit, due to losses in down time. They will do their best to maximize profits and protect their largest customer base.
     
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  6. mokin

    mokin Member

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    BIG +1
     
  7. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I believe Winchester did from nearly the very beginning. I know they announces a sub-sonic load with the initial release of the cartridge, not sure how long it took to actually hit the shelves. There is proably more on the market and lots of reloaders loading for sub-sonic 350 Legend.
     
  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I never really got into ARs until cartridges besides the 223 came about in them. I also toted an AR for our rich uncle and didn’t give a rats for the 5.56 so I avoided them in civilian life.

    Add to jurisdictions allowing some straight wall cartridges that happened to be designed around ARs and the rest is history for me.

    I have 224 Valk, 350 Legend, and 450 BM for ARs and no 223/5.56 in an ar. I have a Remington 7615 in 223. And I only have that to hopefully one day do a conversion to 450 BM.
     
  9. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Simple, large capacity magazines in a semi-auto rifle. That is by and large todays litmus test for most all firearms; How many rounds will it hold and how fast can I reload? Think about it- If big game hunters were limited to a bolt action rifle with a 5-round internal magazine, does anyone really think they'd carry said rifles chambered in .223, .300 BO, .350 Legend, 450 Bushmaster, et al.? Of course not, there'd be no point when, without changing anything about the rifle, they could have them chambered in more powerful, flatter shooting cartridges.

    35W
     
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  10. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I have to disagree, I believe there certainly would be people carrying those chamberings.....I used a 6 shot ADL in .223 for deer, and my mini-14 rarely had more than its factory 5rnd mag fitted. My 300aac was a 5 shot rotary, my .350 legend AR was given away and will be replaced with a 5 shot bolt action. My Grendel was a 3 shot after I lopped its mag, and will be replaced with another bolt action ARC or Grendel when I can find one I want.
    Ive got stuff upto and including a .375 ruger, and .458 Winchester, and as flat shooting as 7mm, and 300 magnums.

    Plenty of folks use bolt action guns in states that require straight wall cases.

    A cartridges utility and enjoyability isnt limited by fitting in an AR, i feel its more that fitting in an AR simply broadens the market for a new cartridge. I happen to not really enjoy ARs, but I love some of the rounds that they chamber.
     
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  11. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Something else to consider, especially with the big bores, is that the standard AR15s bolt is fragile compared to a full size modern turnbolt. You stick a 450 bushmaster, 50 beowulf, or .458 socom in a full size bolt gun and your limited by the strength of the case.
    That gives you some pretty serious capacity to play with in a short action rifle.
     
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  12. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    With there always being the possibility of moose and bear, I don't ever see the ar platform being a viable hunting gun where im from. “Magnumitus” is still going strong here. Ive run into a few guys using ar’s for caribou though. Im on the .270 or 30-06 band wagon, .375 if i go to montague or kodiak.
     
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  13. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    An AR15 in 5.56 was the first center fire rifle I bought myself. I got it to prove you could make an AR as accurate as a bolt rifle (it just costs more to do it). I then switched to 30 caliber rifles and I probably have a lifetime supply of ammo in 30-06 & 30 Carbine. Lastly I have gone to 6.5 Creed to split the difference and get something light for hunting. I always wanted a 6.5 Swede and this is the modern equivalent.​
     
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  14. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Depends on how large the game is and what the environment is like. For whitetail, there's no need for anything larger in many areas. Where I hunt I'll never take a shot further than 50 yards because the woods are thick, and most shots are closer to 25 yards. A .357mag lever action does fine for me, and I had the option to go larger but didn't see the need. If I needed to buy a deer rifle today I'd look heavily at an AR upper in .350 legend, even though I'm limited to carrying 3 cartridges in my rifle in Ohio.

    But I tend to agree with you if we start talking about game larger than whitetail or in areas where shots start going beyond 100 yards.
     
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  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Shifts by physical retailers towards JITD and by consumers to online buying have also driven this trend. Passive measurement is vulnerable to an observation bias error - as companies change their inventory management strategy to reduce inventory on hand costs, and as consumers shift more and more towards front door delivery, we see a disproportionate bias of reduced inventory on hand at local retailers.

    We sell what sells to who buys it where they buy it, so we stock what sells so those which do can buy it.

    There’s also a disproportionality in utilization. The typical gun and ammunition buyer of two generations ago was buying a hunting rifle, and didn’t do much shooting. Today, hunting is at an all time low and in further decline. New gun buyers are not buying hunting rifles or ammunition - they’re buying to shoot. Which means the days of grandpa’s old rifle with the same 4 boxes of ammunition he bought new 40 years ago, only missing the number of rounds commensurate with the number of deer he has shot since then are over.
     
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  16. mcb

    mcb Member

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    With current AR magazine it is hard to get more than 7 rds of 450 Bushmaster to feed reliably. Most 450 Bushmasters ship with 5 rd magazines. My two hunting AR are in 450 Bushmaster and 30 Remington AR and I use 4rd magazines. The 450 Bushmaster in a bolt gun is very popular especially in locals with straight-wall limitations and given the performance increase you can realize as a handloaded. Even 458 SOCOM that is more magazine friendly tops out at about 12-13 rds in a 30 rd 556 magazine. Capacity is certainly an asset for some AR applications and cartridges but with the big bore AR cartridges capacity is not really one of them.

    Exactly, 450 Bushmaster and 458 SOCOM are both limited to 38.5 ksi and 35 ksi respectively due to the bolt strength issues. Look at the wildcat 45 Raptor (built on the AR-10 and operating it 62 ksi) or what others are doing with 450 Bushmaster in Bolt Guns and the performance increase is eye opening. The bolt guns mostly being built on short actions lets reloaders load 450 BM longer then SAAMI spec and run the pressure up over SAAMI spec safely.

    I would hunting anything in North America with an AR in 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM or 50 Beowulf. With properly chosen ammo those three cartridges from an AR can safely take any North America game as modest ranges. The doe in my picture earlier in the thread was shot length wise. The bullet went in about 4 inches behind her ear into the neck. The bullet broke the neck, two ribs going into the body cavity and exited just in front of her hind legs through her abdomen. I found the bullet two week later with my metal detector and it had penetrated another foot or so of hard Tennessee chert-rock filled dirt. The bullet still retain 95% weight. I would not feel under-gunned with that load against anything in North America.

    Vatz1fTl.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  17. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    Around here not so much interest in 6.5 Grendel but interest in 6.8 SPC is picking up.
     
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  18. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Not at all. I hunt with mine with a 5 round magazine. I won't bore you with all my reasoning why I prefer to hunt with mine over my bolt rifles but magazine capacity is absolutely not a factor.
     
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  19. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Back in the dark ages 30/06 and 270 suited my hunting conditions and I finally chose 30/06 because of the availability of ammo. I also chose a lightweight for the times rifle to shoot it. It is a hard kicker but wasn't a big deal back then. Now with surgically repaired shoulders and loss of muscle mass to soak up it's recoil I won't consider shooting it with regular loads. I am considering doing some light lead loads in it as it is still a very nice gun. It is me, not the gun that is deteriorating.

    Given the vast number of choices in calibers and rifles to shoot them in today I would probably choose something like the 6.8 SPC in a G2 Contender for my deer rifle today. 250 yards or so have been the longest distances I have taken deer at and all were one shot kills. I always passed on anything I couldn't get an almost sure kill on. That attitude resulted in me returning home with nothing for the freezer more than once but I always enjoyed my hunts, meat in the freezer or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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  20. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Should also look into the stuff that mad dog weapons systems builds. They came up with a oversize bolt and receiver extension with an improved lug design. It still fits in a standard AR15 upper but is a lot stronger than a standard bolt and extension. They are able to run a 308 bolt face cartridge up to 60 ksi. They have a range of cartridges from 22 to 45 raptor. I have their 358 yeti, which is basically a shortened 358 winchester. It pushes a 180 grain bullet to an honest 2600 fps from a 16" barrel though I have mine backed down to 2510. I am also thinking about getting their 45 raptor but a guy only needs so many big bores.

    17637003-274-D-4-CA2-827-A-06929-F7-C58-A3.jpg
     
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  21. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    The trend here seems to be similar. I've noticed a few "older" hunters are eschewing their 270s and '06s for 6.5's and 7mm-08's; which I can understand given the difference in recoil between the two families. Heck, I've began to transition from the '06 to a .243 for just that reason and I'm not even that old. And I was tempted by the 6.5 at the time, but the only thing that steered me to .243 was the cost of the barrel. But, a lot of guys are satisfied with what they have. The mentality of "if ain't broke, don't fix it" reigns supreme, and many wonder why they should spend money where the don't have to. Having said that, I've noticed a lot of young hunters going to the "modern" calibers like 6.5, etc. And again, I can't blame them. But they have the mentality that they're going to be the next Chris Kyle/Carlos Hathcock/et al. Realistically, most shots here are limited by timber to around 100 yards. There are some places (such as my hay field) that offer longer shots, but most people don't have the opportunity to hunt them. Add to that these youngsters aren't the best marksmen, and we observe that the 6.5/etc will indeed gut-shoot a deer just as well as the '06/etc. can, regardless of the platform it's in.

    What I haven't noticed is a lot of AR's in the woods; most guys are still using bolt guns. The ones that are using ARs have IR scopes on them for hog hunting at night, and there probably aren't 10 of those in the county. The rest of the AR owners are shooting rocks in the gravel pits and hunting with a different rifle. Some of the varminters have gone to AR's though, and seem to like them well enough. I personally have no interest in owning one, but they seem to do the job for those that do.

    One of my old friends is fond of saying: "how does this apply to you?" when talking about hunting guns/cartridges/misc. And that's a good question if you'll think about it. For some the new calibers offer a lot more; for others, not so much.

    Mac
     
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  22. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    My primary hunting rifle this year will be my Ruger American 450 BM.

    This will be for here in GA and up in MI. I wanted something that I could use in MI but still get decent utility value in GA where normal rifle cartridges are legal in most places. The 450 fit better than the 44 Mag rifle I used to use. Either would have worked well enough but the 450 makes a little more sense.
     
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  23. N9NWO

    N9NWO Member

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    The whole family of rounds based off of the 762.x51 (6.5CR, 7-08) are dominant these days. I believe the 7mmRM is out performing the 300WM as well.

    The older (100 or more years old) rounds are not only becoming expensive but very hard to find.

    Where the 350 Legend outshines is that it is replacing the .30-30 as a close in and brush gun. That it uses the same casing and bolt as the .223 (5.56x45) where the 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel and 450 BM have larger bolts and often different magazines.
     
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  24. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I really wish there was more push to innovate a bit on tubular magazine lever actions.

    New cartridges and such based around them. The last one I remember coming out as a factory option was the 450 Marlin.

    Many folks are pining for 9mm, 10mm, and 45 ACP lever guns. (These would be useless to me but I read about it often on here)

    I wouldnt mind to see a lever action friendly factory offering rimmed cartridge with a 1.8” case length for straight wall areas. Something like a lengthened 45 Colt. This would negate the head spacing and tubular magazine problems of using straight wall rimless cartridges in lever actions.

    But alas, we are beholden to the relatively cheaper and generally boring AR as the platform of interest right now. Maybe one day.
     
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  25. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    This is absolutely number 1. A lot of people shoot, very few by comparison hunt. Changes in the AWB contributed some, but honestly the 9/11 attack and subsequent wars of the past 2 decades completely changed people's mindset about firearms. Rifles used to be a niche item and describing them as primary self defense tools was truly uncommon in the past. Now they are ubiquitous and no one is surprised to see them at stores or ranges.

    Number 2 is changed hunting regulations -- slug guns ruled the Midwest for decades not because they were great but because they were the only legal options. When the laws changed to allow handguns and eventually rifles using straightwall handgun cartridges, we saw an immediate shift away from the shotguns. I can fairly well guarantee if all states went to standard bottleneck centerfire as legal for hunting the demand for 350 legend and similar rounds would disappear. Moose or elk is only a tiny sliver of the rifle hunting world. Realistically choices are driven by deer as that's the most common quarry so whatever is good for 200 pound critters is just fine for the masses in terms of power. If that happens to be the ammo that fits the most popular current rifles, than that's what people will use.
     
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