The Old Tricks Still Work

By Matthew J. Hewett

Have you ever wondered why people need a .300 Winchester Magnum to take a pronghorn or a .300 Weatherby to take a whitetail deer? If so you are like me. With today's fads leaning towards magnum cartridges the old standbys seem to be out of place. Gun companies market shorter magnum cartridges because they know most people are uninformed. A person doesn't need a magnum cartridge to shoot a dear, nor do you need a magnum for long range shooting of big game.

In the days of the Old West cowboys used to take pronghorns and elk with their lever action .44 WCF and .38-55 Winchester rifles and they got the job done. Why you might ask? Because they knew how to use their weapons and they used cartridges that didn't cause them to flinch when they pulled the trigger.

Today's hunters are under the impression that because they can hit a bull's eye from a bench at a shooting range they are expert marksmen. But the moment they are in the field about to shoot at an elk they can barely hold their rifle still, much less shoot a canon with precision.

Many of today's hunters are leaning towards shooting at long ranges (300+ yards). If you can't stalk closer than 300 yards you need to rethink your hunting techniques. Remember that a .44-40 bullet in the heart is ten times more deadly than a .375 H&H Magnum in the gut or flanks, and it is more humane.

The next time you are looking at a new rifle, put the .300 Weatherby back and go for a more sensible cartridge like a .280 or a .30-06 or even a good old-fashioned .30-30, which has taken more head of big game than any other cartridge in North America.

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Copyright 2004 by Matthew J. Hewett. All rights reserved.