Monday, 4 May 2009

calibre 2.0

When I'd had that first had the opportunity to hunt a whitetail  I knew it was something I'd want to do again. So on my return to Blighty I started the slow process of learning about Deer Stalking (as deer hunting is called here). Not coming from a shooting family all my limited shooting experience had been with pellet guns in back yards, so it's not been the quickest of process's.

When started thinking about buying a rifle I assumed I'd be buying a .30-06 because that's what everyone on the interweb said they used to shoot whitetails, (the english hadn't really started blogging about deer stalking then). 
I started reading David Petzal and his advice was along the lines of  'decide what you want and buy one calibre smaller' and at the time he was talking up the .270.  For readers not familiar with his writings Mr Petzal would be putting himself out of a job if he just championed one calibre. F&S has to sell next months issue after all so his advice would be someting along the lines of  'buy the biggest cupboard you can and fill it'. For example

Then I met James Marchington who pointed me in the direction of the .308 and its cheaper lower pressured NATO twin, before caveating the choice with 'not legal in France though', but that was in the days before the Great British Rupee, when we could still lord it over our neighbors with our super currency.  I've spent a bit of time in France and at the time rural france was pretty affordable, I've got a connection to get involved in the Battue so I thought it may happen sooner than later. I doubt I'll be going there again in a while. Sadly gordon has blown all our chips making ill advised bets on on people without jobs being able to pay morgages on rabbit hutches. Still at least I'll be able to tell my grand kids something totally unbelievable yet true. I can hear them now

 'Grandpa Bushwacker's confused again mum - he says it was Euros to the Pound!'

It's been a bit of a steep learning curve, but as with most steep learning curves it's also been a lot of fun. Then I threw the question out to you dear readers, the results are in and if I understand you all (please comment if i've got the wrong end of the stick as it won't be the first or last time).

James .308 - accuracy and range

Andy .30-06 - hits 'em harder

Albert .300 win -  hits 'em even harder

Karl 7mm Rem - flatter

Holly .270 - flatter 

Rick 30-30 or whatever's to hand - dead is dead

Chad 6.5x55

Tom .308 for availability - but it should really be a .375!

Bill .270

Mo .30-06

Dennis 6.5x55 or for longer ranges .270

Mdmnm .308 for availability or 7mm-08 Rem for trajectory

Envirocapitalist 30-06 when in north america

Hodgeman .30-06/270/.308 and 6.5x55 - which ever is easist to buy

Clearer now? No me neither.

The Choice seems to come down to:

Do I prefer Flatter and Faster Flying or Bigger and Harder Hitting? 

Yes I realise there isn't a a direct correlation between those criteria - hence a whole internet full of gun nuts arguing the highly subjective personal preference it comes down to.

Then the question becomes, what's Available, Legal, Appropriate and Affordable?

The the hardest question of all - What's your definition of a compromise between the above?

Now to brand and model:I'm looking for ideas at two price points 'money no object' and 'for the price of solving a significant domestic drainage or heating problem'. Remember I'm a Mac user so I will pay for utility and design - but I'm also an honorary Yorkshireman so I'm looking for a bargain. 

Suggestions on the comments page please.