Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday and the .308

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving.  My family ate around 1:00 pm yesterday afternoon.  It was the only meal that I ate all day, and I am still not very hungry.
Does this mess look familiar?
My wife left with some friends about 1:00 am this morning to get to the big post-Thanksgiving day shopping craziness. They have been gone for almost 14 hours now.  I hope our bank account can take it!  If it was up to me, all of the shopping would be done cyber-style with all the stuff delivered straight to the front door.

As the men in the family sat together in the man-cave yesterday, talking about deer and rabbit season, good hunting dogs, and the latest firearms purchases, I began to think about something that is obvious, but not really expanded on much today... the .308 Winchester as a wildcatters platform.  My dad and uncle both deer hunt with .243 Winchester rifles.  My granddad was a great fan of this caliber and has used it on many successful hunts, even taking a Canadian black bear with one.  I recently posted on the Browning BLR in .358 Winchester that I have enjoyed shooting and reloading for, and I also own a nice Weatherby SVM in 7mm-08 that I have been trying to develop a pet load for, but haven't had the opportunity to fully flesh out.  So, what does this have to do with my sudden epiphany?  Well, I was wondering about the .308 family of calibers that have been created and how successful that all seem to be (within reason considering the .358 and possibly 7mm-08) and why other calibers haven't been brought to the public as an actual chambered caliber.  Now, I am certainly no firearms/reloading/shooting expert, and I know that there is nothing new under the sun.  I simply wonder why some calibers that seem to make sense haven't become popular to the shooting public.

Let's look at the .308 family of calibers, you have, by my humble estimation, the following:

  1. .308 Winchester (original chambering)
  2. .358 Winchester
  3. .338 Federal
  4. 7mm-08 Remington
  5. .260 Remington
  6. .243 Winchester
All awesome calibers that can be fit into most shooter/hunters arsenal to take most all North American game. I guess my big question is this, what about a .308 based cartridge using the .270, .25, or .22 caliber bullets?

Again, I'm not foolish enough to believe they haven't been tried.  In my brief internet searches last night, I even found a guy who had created a .22-.50 cal round.  It took a lot of shimming to make it work, and I don't know if it has ever been fired, or why it was even done other than he just wanted to see if he could do it.

I may even answer my own question in suggesting that there isn't enough of a difference in ballistics to create .25 or .270 caliber round when we already have a .264 and 7mm round out there being mass produced by major manufacturers.  But what about the .22 caliber?  Is it too overbore to be practical? I could see that being the case with small 45 - 55 grain bullets.  What about the bigger 62 - 80 grain bullets?  Couldn't these bigger bullets and the .308 case be used to make a round that most shooters are familiar with and have a history with already?  Has this already been done using the new super short calibers?

Just a little deep thinking on a cold November day.  Am I delusional from a turkey/tryptophan overload, or do I have a valid point?  Tell me what you think.

Blue Steel

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