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Rifles: cartridge and scope trends?
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Despite the hype from shooting magazines and the plethora of new cartridge development, two emerging trends continue, at least in our little gun shop. I wonder if they are widespread or simply local.

By far the most popular cartridges continue to be standard classic ones. Some magnum sales continue (338WM, 300WM, 7RM), but, the hyper magnums gather dust. In fact we have had to reduce the price on several for the RUMs to attract any buyers (Remington SPS, 300 RUM, $439 for example, and its still sitting there). The RSAUM and the WSSMs are dead and we only get one if it is on special order with deposit. The 300 WSM continues with some steady sales. OTOH, the 375 H&H and 375 Ruger sell well, along with the 416 Rigby and 458 WM/Lott. But, then, those big bores are in a seperate class.

Buyers are becoming wiser about optics, too, it seems. While variables conitnue to sell well, high quality fixed powers are gaining in popularity. It makes sense. They cost less and offer better optics for the money, and are lighter and more durable. Leading the fixed powers are two: the Leupold FXII in 4X and 6X.

Finally, the obsession with light weight rifles seems to be moderating. The more discerning buyers are evidencing more concern for balance and handling characteristics than mere light weight.

Standard cartridges, fixed power scopes, good handling. I'd like to see this trend continue. I believe it will.
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twofifty
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

imho, this is a good trend and hopefully will teach the manufacturers a lesson. Imagine the extra mfg. cost of reaming all those fancy-pants WSM, WSSM, RUM and RSAUM chambers... who pays for that?

The hunters and shooters have spoken. We will not buy chamberings that essentially duplicate ballistics that are already available, just for the sake of novelty. New actions and looks in practical functional calibers where ammo is $20 rather than $50 a box is what folk want.

Now if only there were more rifle choices when it comes to the .260Rem. lol.
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Thing is I think most hunters are realizing now that sure you can kill a deer at 600 yards with a 300RUM but will you hit it after the recoil of the rifle makes a VERY experienced and skilled gunsmith with decades of experience shoot 18 rounds just to get the rifle zero'ed cause even on the fixed rest it wanted to move with each firing. Confused

I got a M1A on order and its coming in January! Standard round, rugged and will end up with a 4x or 6x scope I'm thinking on the rifle. Smile

Dimitri

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Handloader. You mentioned the larger calibres, but failed to mention the lesser calibres such as .270, .30-06, .30-30 etc...How are the conventional calibres doing..??

Absolutely agree with the trend to fixed power scopes. I have a 3 X 9 and use the 4X or 5X and rarely us any lower or higher. My next scope will be a fixed power...

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Bushy,

The calibers you mentioned are what I believe he is refering to as "Standard" calibers who's sales are strong. Smile

Dimitri

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Doublejs
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Handloader,
While I do own a 338RUM, I will be happy to take a lightweight rifle in say a .308 win with a detachable magazine off your hands!! Very Happy

As for the scopes, I always spend the money for a quality variable scope and will continue to do so. If I ever do get rid of a gun, I remove the scope for the next one.
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
Handloader. You mentioned the larger calibres, but failed to mention the lesser calibres such as .270, .30-06, .30-30 etc...How are the conventional calibres doing..??

Absolutely agree with the trend to fixed power scopes. I have a 3 X 9 and use the 4X or 5X and rarely us any lower or higher. My next scope will be a fixed power...

Dimitri's post nails it, Bushy, and the cartridges you mention are tops in sales. Arizona is a state that one would associate with "wide open" country and probably with the advantages of magnum cartridges, yet, our top selling chambering is 308Win with strong sales in the 06 & 270Win. The 280Rem, 7-08 and 243 sell regularly, too. But, one of the consistent sellers is the Marlin 336 in 30-30. A summary of big game killed in Arizona, including antelope, show most kills at ranges of less than 100yds.
In 8 years of guiding elk hunts in Idaho, the longest kill was 170 paces.

I have distain for those that would attempt the 400+ yard shots on game unless they have superbly accurate rifles and know well how to shoot them. Hunting isn't snipping, IMO, rather includes the skill to stalk close enough to assure the probability of a clean one shot kill. Most of us are beyond the point where the game we kill means the difference between eating or starving; hunting has evolved into a sport which invokes different ethics, to my way of thinking, although the ego continues to do battle. Bullet technology has improved along with rifles more accurate and higher quality optics than in bygone years.

Those realities are becoming clearer as we move into the future and the more experienced hunters, many of whom have always known it, continually refine their rifles and optics to reflect both trends.
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skb2706
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

I am guilty of working my way up into the magnums and even bought into the light weight poorly balanced rifles. Old age and better sense has me working my way right back down too. Would gladly swap my .300 mag for a .308 in a standard sporter weight.
Hey but its guys like me that keep the flow of trends coming.
My last three scopes have been fixed power but up until then I was on the bigger variable bandwagon.
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tracker
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

[quote="HandloaderI have distain for those that would attempt the 400+ yard shots on game unless they have superbly accurate rifles and know well how to shoot them. Hunting isn't snipping, IMO, rather includes the skill to stalk close enough to assure the probability of a clean one shot kill. Most of us are beyond the point where the game we kill means the difference between eating or starving; [/quote]

Hear hear, sir. I couldn't agree more.

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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Handloader wrote:
I have distain for those that would attempt the 400+ yard shots on game unless they have superbly accurate rifles and know well how to shoot them. Hunting isn't snipping[sic], IMO, rather includes the skill to stalk close enough to assure the probability of a clean one shot kill.

I couldn't disagree more.

As long as the rifle and the shooter are "minute of deer", I applaud their efforts. Long range shooting is as valuable a skill, maybe even more so, as being able to get close.

Long range shooting gives you more options when hunting and is a preferred tactic when in a confrontational situation (which I hope none of us ever have to exercise, but you never know). Hunting can be sniping, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as the hunter is capable of making a humane kill. The rifle doesn't have to be a sub-moa platform for humane kill at 400 yards.
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Joe Boleo
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

Excellent thread and I agree with Handloader. The gun shops around here do well with standard calibers. The short, fat magnums are rarely seen at the range. The bulk of the brass I pick up is in .30-30, .30-06, .308 along with some .270 and .243. If I see a short, fat case, I leave it behind.

Regarding long-range shots, if you can do it well then do it. I dislike folks that blast away at long range and then brag that they "got shooting", but no deer. The average hunter cannot hit a 9-inch paper plate from the standing position at 200 yards. Why in the world would they want to try a 400 or 500 shot? Most hunters cannot estimate range very well either, but that is another subject. Take care...
Joe
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tracker
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

FALPhil wrote:

Hunting can be sniping, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as the hunter is capable of making a humane kill. The rifle doesn't have to be a sub-moa platform for humane kill at 400 yards.

I agree with the principle Phil, I've just seen too many people who think they shoot that well, but the reality isn't quite the same. I believe your point about making the humane kill is essential to what we are all saying.

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

tracker wrote:
FALPhil wrote:

Hunting can be sniping, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as the hunter is capable of making a humane kill. The rifle doesn't have to be a sub-moa platform for humane kill at 400 yards.

I agree with the principle Phil, I've just seen too many people who think they shoot that well, but the reality isn't quite the same. I believe your point about making the humane kill is essential to what we are all saying.

On the farm lands of eastern CO, if you can't shoot and make clean kills at 400 yds. you should probably take up tennis or golf. Hunting there would be totaly out of the question. From harvest to spring, winter wheat gives you about 2-4 inches of cover in a field that is flat as a table. Your 'self imposed' limit of 400 yds. would be just that....self imposed. It also assumes (incorrectly) that we all hunt the same terrain/cover and area, obviously we do not. I grew up doing it, suspect that others haven't a clue because they did not.
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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

skb2706 wrote:
I grew up doing it, suspect that others haven't a clue because they did not.
Yeah, I learned to hunt deer over soybean an peanut fields, and shots out to 400 yards were not uncommon, but 250 yard shots were much more common. Since I moved from that area, I have not made a shot over 70 yards unless I was out west.
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skb2706
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Rifles: cartridge and scope trends? Reply with quote

We hunt deer and antelope on farm fields that are either cut wheat stubble or winter wheat. If the animal of choiice happens to be some where near the center of a section of ground you can easily be faced with a 400 yd. shot. These are animals that have no reason or desire to move unless chased (we opt not to chase them). Getting closer would be possible if you were six inches tall and dressed in brown. It can be extremely difficult to even get to within that 400 yds. afterall you can see in a direct line for five miles.

To make a blanket statement that shooting over 400 yd. is either not sporting, not hunting or unexceptable would demonstrate a total lack of knowledge of that part of the world or hunting in general.
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