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Location: Missouri/Arkansas
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 891
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

This is a sort of continuence from another thread. I made an argument that the 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag are not the first and last words in big game cartridge selection. It seems as if they have taken on mystical proportions. An important thing to keep in mind is that they are really a matter of preference.

The 7mm Remington Magnum doesn't have all that great of an edge over the 280 Remington until bullet weight goes north of 150 grains. The whole purpose, if I have the function of the magnum cartridge pegged correctly, is to handle the medium and heavy-for-caliber bullet weights more efficiently. Same with the 300 Winchester Magnum and the 30-06. The difference isn't all that remarkable until you reach 180 grains. In fact, with lighter bullets, the 300 is actually LESS efficient, retaining roughly 55 percent of it's original energy with a 150 grain bullet at 500 yards, as opposed to 60 percent for the 30-06 with the same bullet weight/BC.

The 7mm-08 Remington is a proven round, having been used on game from wild turkeys to moose. It does not turn up the velocities that the Big 7 does, but it is plenty of cartridge with the proper bullet and load. Same with the 308 Winchester. Some 180 grain loads for the 308 hit as hard at 300 yards as the 300 Winchester Magnum does at 400. Neither delivers as much push on the shoulder as their magnum counterparts.

The 243, 25-06, and 260 Remington make great choices for deer, black bear, antelope, goats, and rams. All three have been successfully used on elk and moose, although they are by no means ideal. The 270 Winchester is also a very good choice for deer hunting, and is proven effective elk medicine.

Magnum rifles have their useful applications, but there's no reason they should be thought of as magical, or the only way to go. There are situations where they have advantages, but at the typical ranges at which most people shoot, they offer little advantage over the non-magnum big game cartridges.

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Location: NONYA,thats in MONTANA
Joined: 07/22/2005
Posts: 242
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

Depends completly on where you live and where you hunt,average shots for game out here in the big open country of Montana require a cartridge that can throw a 150-180 gr bullet out to the 300+ yard shots that are quite common here.If I hunted in an area where the shots were typicaly shorter and all i was hunting is deer i would definetly consider a round like the 25-06 or 6mm,any time Im hunting elk at any range I wouldnt consider using anything lighter than a 30-06.Do we need magnums?I do. Thumbs up

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Location: Western Canada
Joined: 03/27/2005
Posts: 77
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

Here's my opinion, I think "Magnums" come into play when throwing bullets long distances and keeping fairly flat tragectories while maintaining usable bullet energy at the desired distance.. Up here in Canada long range shots are common. Specially when hunting mountain goats, moose, elk etc..

But i do agree that magnum rounds can be down loaded only so much before they aren't as efficient. But then again that has to do with the original bullet Gr specification for the cartridge, which usually correlates with the ideal sectional density and ballistic coefficient. You only have so much leeway up or down from that original spec bullet. You may be able to go a little lower or higher but you won't be doing much good.

Eg. I know the reloading books give specs to load 100gr bullets into a 300 win mag. but to me that is a waste. There are way more efficient/ accurate rounds that shoot a 100 gr bullet better then the 300 win mag.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

Magnum is a fast and loose term, that is almost useless by todays standards. It is my understanding that a "magnum" cartridge was one that could deliver a muzzle velocity of at least 2550 fps. The need to label things "magnum" is an old term that occurred around the time that black powder cartridges were switching to the new rage: smokeless powders.

By this definition, many "non-magnum" cartridges (those that do not have magnum in their name) are in fact "magnum".

If I hunted in high density forests on mostly flat terrain on crowded public land, I would not want (or want anybody else) to hunt with high power, long range cartridges for obvious reasons. Personably this is why some eastern and southern states only allow slug guns.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

I have hunted most of the western states and a variety of terrain for 35+ years. Never found the need for a belted (magnum) round. Never used one to hunt with. I've owned a 7 rem mag, a 300 win mag and a 340 wea mag. Never did see the neccesity for any of them. Sold every one.
The 270 win, 280 rem, 30-06 in standard cases. The 243 win, 7-08 rem, 308 win in short cases. Have very efficiently covered any and all of the hunting In the lower 48.
I have recently taken a liking to a 338-06. Which will do anything a 338 win mag will. And, of course the heavy rainbow trajectory rounds, for arms length hunts.
If you want to consider the newer WSM's, magnums. Then I would say that I have taken a favor to 2 magnums. The 270 wsm and the 300 wsm. Exceptional rounds. I would have to say, the new 270 wsm with a 140gr or 150gr bonded core bullet out performs the 7 rem mag. Also, the 30-06 in the hands of a good marksman is a better choice than the 7 rem mag.

If it's accuracy your talking about.
The .264 (6.5) and the .338 diameter bullets are the leaders in long range accuracy. The latest development being the 338 Lapua as an S/O extremely long range round. And, we all know how accurate the 6.5/284 is at 1000 yds.

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Location: NONYA,thats in MONTANA
Joined: 07/22/2005
Posts: 242
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

how is the -06 any better than the 7mm Rm when hunting elk witha 160-180 gr bullet?LOL Think

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

I was always baffled about all the debate over magnum vs non magnum. The antis are saying magnums are not needed because you only gain a couple hundred FPS which is true. The pro magnum crowd are saying you do need them for distance but you only gain minimal yardage and hold-overs over standard cartridges at normal hunting distances (under 400 yds). As far as I can see, there is not enough difference in a magnum vs standard cartridge to worry about one way or the other. If you want to shoot magnums go ahead... if you want to shoot standard cartridges go ahead. You are not doing anything wrong either way. Bullet selection should be discussed more often then how fast it flys. Efficiency of powder and recoil are the only real reason I see for using smaller cartridges not velocity or range.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

Do we really NEED magnums? No. But then, we don't really NEED to hunt at all. Nor do we really NEED lots of things. That's what's great about living in a free country. It's not a question of what we NEED, but of what we WANT. Some people WANT magnums and they are just as entitled to pursue their wants as anyone else.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

Less powder to throw a comparable bullet.
Bigger selection of bullets, at a larger diameter.
Cheaper factory ammo.
Anywhere you go looking, will have a box of 30-06.
Can be loaded to potential with a greater span of burn rate powders.
Works well with either standard rifle primers or magnum rifle primers.
Cases are cheaper.
I'm sure I left out, a few of the reasons why a 30-06 is a better choice than a 7 rem mag. I'm still working on my first cup of morning coffee.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

I enjoy shooting accurate rifles without regard to what calibre it is. I do most of my field hunting with my REM 700 Sendero SF in 300 RUM because the rifle is accurate and I enjoy shooting it.... a lot. By no means is this calibre needed where I use this rifle. My pre-set distance is 350 yds and the field is marked in various areas to that point for easy ranging. My 30-06 would be fine for this task as would my .303 and .308 (as well as a host of other calibres) I enjoy this rifle in this situation. I don't take it when I am stalking in the thickets but this has more to do with weight and size of rifle than calibre. I bought the rifle because I wanted another calibre that is not all that popular up here and the 300 RUM fit the bill at the time. The marketing at the time probably helped in my choice but it is a choice I have never regretted. Is it hard on powder... sure is but even with the most expensive powder I am only "wasting" $0.25 or less per shell over a 30-06 for instance. I like the idea of all the gun manufacturers bringing out all of these new calibres for us to try. We decide, as shooters and hunters, what we want to shoot with and all this disagreement on such a minute subject is just a waste of breath. Save it for lobbying against the anti-gun and animal-rights activists. We are all sportsmen and women here. We all share the same passion in the shooting sports.

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Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 383
Do we really need a MAGNUM?

I could have purchased any magnum caliber I wanted and instead ......... decided to keep things plain and simple with the versatile 30-06.

If hunting extra tough or large game with the 30-06, using Federal High Energy or Hornady Lite Magnum ammo is all that's needed.

No sense insisting on a magnum when the '06 will do, but magnums can give the shooter an extra measure of confidence providing his shoulder has taken enough pounding at the range to accurately shoot the rifle with very good results.

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