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  • dteer7

Apply Logic to Selecting the "best" Bullet and Firearm.

The sewers of the internet are overflowing with question like "What's the best rifle or bullet?" This question pops up far to often, but reality is that the most important question needing to be ask, is not for the internet masses, rather it's for yourself, ask yourself inside your head! 1)What do I need my gun to do? and 2)What situations or contexts will I be applying the answer to question 1? Everything has a purpose, and can be perceived as "best" in the right context. This is where we must apply logic and sift out the useless noise.


For example, everyone wants a general purpose rifle. Well AR15's are always what's recommended, but then immediately someone says "oh but I want to hunt with it too" and then arguments ensue…and an embarrassing display of humanity unfolds, whilst simultaneously all the intelligent people excuse themselves from the conversation so they don't get mistaken for moron.

Lets break this down with some real examples and see if logic makes sense of it.

I know from experience and from buddies who do exactly this, that one can easily hunt with a $450 Ruger 308, or something like this 6.5CM package from Savage and get the job done without issue. Are you going to win precision matches at a high level? Or would I take this as a sniper rig for WWIII? No....but I don't need to do either of those things, and most you reading this don't either. What the above examples WILL provide you, is a solid no frills hunting rifle that will handle 80% of the game in North American for the next 10 + years.

But people want to look cool I get it…and humping around a 3.5 foot long bolt gun through your hallway to deal with a bump-in-the-night/self defense/no-shit situation is not ideal, nor is it easy. But, to contrast my prior point and take this conversation in a sharp left turn...for $1500-ish you can get an AR15 SBR (plus the $200 tax stamp) throw a mid-level 1x6 LPVO (Low Power Variable Optic) on it, and have a deer rifle AND a home defense gun. Sounds stupid right? If you go on any gun forum and ask "hey strangers what's the best general purpose/SHTF/hunting rifle?", You'll get 500 answers, 499 different suggestions, and not a single one would be "get an SBR". People would be virtually smothering their laughter to avoid waking their disappointed parents who's bedroom is unfortunately directly above the basement.

But I want to talk about this, because there is actually something to talk about here. Since we all love the AR15 platform, and the consensus is that every American should own one, let's use it's ballistic capabilities with some Barnes 62 gr TSX for example. Using a very generous 50 FPS as an average loss in velocity per inch of barrel length for 223/5.56 (which is way over the norm of almost anybody's chrono data….just ask alexa, I'm sure she won't notify the FBI that you're interested in the velocities of sawed off barreled guns), You should get somewhere around 2600 fps at the muzzle, minimum! This gives you just a shade past 300 yards until you reach the "recommended" minimum muzzle velocity for max expansion.

*PSA - Please keep in mind, that bullets do NOT magically lose their killing ability after this recommended velocity or energy threshold, it's simply no longer optimal. *

Field & Steam, and the team at Realtree both did some research on this back in 2022, and I started looking at this because I was curious to see others experiences and realities aside from my own, which is basically 25 years of hearing 2nd hand accounts of old codgers about eyeballing yardages...and the average shot distance for deer hunting, according to their insights, is right around 100 yards. And that average is skewed a little due to some of the open plains areas in CO, WY, MT, etc. In the South and Midwest regions the average is likely less, which is exactly my experience. My farthest deer shot was 120 yard, and doing predator hunts it drops to maybe 50-70 yards.

I think it's also worth noting that this 120 yard deer was taken with 45gr 22-250 Remington Core-lokt. The moral of this story is that don't need big rounds, or big guns to take down the vast majority of game animals in North America, you just need to not suck at shooting.

Now this is an extreme example, but the moral of the story remains the same. Be real with yourself and determine what you NEED, then layer in what you WANT. And buy the gun that matches all the needs, and as many wants as possible. And remember, being able to afford to train, and become proficient, will yield far better results than buying a Gucci gun you can't afford to shoot, and missing your opportunity in the field to put meat in the freezer. Or worse…not being able to protect your family when they need you most.

This is not to say the large calibers don't have their place, or that high end expensive accessories are useless...of course not, all of these things exist for a reason. If I'm going grizzly hunting in Alaska I am NOT bringing my AR. However, I'm also not going to buy my first or even second or third firearms with the prerequisite that it must be good for home defense, deer hunting and grizzly's. As we come full circle, and bring this conversation to a close (for today) logic reigns supreme, and test if for yourself, because much if this is my opinion too. Look it up, validate, and see where logic takes you.

Until next time!


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