“Which is better for…?”, is a question often posed on various rifle and hunting forums. With so many options today in rifles, cartridges, factory ammo and handloading components, it’s little wonder that newcomers to the sport of hunting are often confused by this proliferation of possibilities. On the other hand, with all the hype over new products, some feel they must have the latest and best of everything or they might miss out on something novel and exciting. Then, there is a bunch who seem to believe that some new cartridge/rifle combination will give results never before realized in their hunting activities.
Granted, some new powders and bullets, as well as new rifles, make some older cartridges better than ever in their history. But, a .30-cal something-or-other, is still a .30-caliber, nothing more, even though it may deliver the bullet at a muzzle speed of 200 – 300 fps faster than any of its predecessors. And though there are now monolithic bullets in .30-caliber, they don’t necessarily kill any better or faster than Nosler’s Partition that’s been around for the past 70 years! And, the Partition has the advantage of not stealing space in the cartridge that should be reserved for powder!
On the forums, there are dominant personalities that pretty much control the direction of discussions, and the puppies follow the lead dog. This would not necessarily be a bad thing as long as the lead dogs allow the puppies to freely “yap”, but, just like in the canine fraternities, often they are put down by a dominant tone, superior “knowledge”, criticism and even mud slinging!
On one forum, the “boss dog” is a “moderator”, and anyone who dares disagree with “boss dog” is immediately “shot”, and may disappear for a few weeks, months or forever! However, there are some of us who aren’t that easily intimidated because we are not on the Internet forums for reasons of proving how “great” we are. The main reasons for being “there” is threefold: 1) To get, or provide, information that may be helpful; 2) Fellowship, and the exchange of ideas; and 3) Make some new friends in the sports of hunting and handloading.
In the realm of practical psychology, of which I’ve spent my whole professional life in the study and use thereof, it is generally agreed by professionals that there are four broad psychological types. All humanity fits into one type or another. Within those very broad types, there are another four broad distinctions, making a total of sixteen distinct classifications. And, even then, those classes are like a spectrum where some may be closer to one end than the other. Why mention this? Because personality type (or temperament type) greatly influences how we think and react; what we think and do; and even how well we do what we chose to do or are forced to do.
That’s from the study of “normal” psychology. “Abnormal” psychology deals with mental aberrations or sicknesses, which is NOT what we’re talking about here. Some systems use different names, or terms, for designating personality types, but they all amount to the same thing in the end. Professional tests are used to determine aptitude for study or employment. Most have heard of, or used, the Briggs – Myers personality test for employment and even relationships purposes, as one example.
Most are aware of and use terms such as “introvert or extrovert”, “leader or follower”, “loner”, “independent”, “pioneer”, “entrepreneur”, etc., which all are making reference to a particular person’s personality type. Then, there are courses for “improving” personality! Some of that may help, but only if it takes into account the basic personality/temperament we received from parents, grandparents, etc.
WHAT HAS ALL THAT TO DO WITH EVALUATING BALLISTICS or IMPROVING THEM?
Well, it should be obvious that our innate motivation, caused by temperament, will to a large degree determine whether we are a “leader” or a “follower”, somewhat independent or dependent on what others do and say. That is, you may take the cautious route of NEVER going outside what the “books” say, or you may be an adventurer who MUST venture, even cautiously.
I’ve never been a person “who tiptoes cautiously through life to make it safely all the way to death”. I’m an adventurer in spirit! God made me that way. I’ve pioneered churches, relocated some, learned a second language so I could preach and teach in it, done conferences in two languages in the eastern half of Canada, the New England States, parts of Europe and West Africa. So, I’m a communicator of information and willing to venture outside the box, in the face of opposition, if need be.
For example: as a young pastor (age 21), in central New Brunswick in the dead of a brutal winter with temps at – 20 to -40F, I removed all the pews from their neat rows in our “main” church (among 3 others) and formed a semi-circle around the wood stove in the center of the church. When the members arrived, there was a new look inside the church, and they accepted it! Later, we raised that church and put a basement under it because the 40 young people were beating up the parsonage next door on Friday evenings! We had a dart board on one of the walls and mostly the darts were missing the target! The new basement under the church had cement walls and floor that darts wouldn’t penetrate! So, we played floor hockey along with other activities and studies.
It was in that parish of 1000 sq-miles/2600 sq-kms that I really got into big game hunting.
When I began handloading, several years later, I used Lyman as my main source of information. Then, as other manuals were added: Speer, Sierra, Hodgdon and Hornady, I analysed and compared information. Realizing there were sometimes great differences in the various sources, I ventured and began to learn how to determine when pressure was at or near top. I’ve since handloaded for enough types of cartridges, both old and new, to have a sense of when matters are still on the safe side. Yes, I still use manuals as references, and I have an older computer program in CUP, based on Powley’s work, but I’m quite secure in what I’ve learned thus far, and how I evaluate matters pertaining to handloads. More recently, a new friend has offered to use his QuickLoad computer program for evaluation of any new loads I may want to try or compare with others. I appreciate his offer, and he has confirmed some new loads in my 9.3 X 62 using RL-17. One day I’m hoping to have my own copy of QuickLoad. It takes a while for Canadian outdoor sports stores to catch up. Then, all things Canadian are more expensive than in the USA.
(QuickLoad says this result from my 9.3 X 62 (22.5″), 286 Nosler Partition, is 64,000 psi using RL-17. Credit: a friend subscriber to my blogs. The rifle on the header is my 9.3 X 62.)
Back to personalities: There is no right or wrong personality. We are what we are in our basic selves, no thanks to our choices. But temperament/personality affects everything in our lives relative to our partner/wife/husband, employment, education, income, politics, faith, and all other relationships. But, we need to avoid unfavorable/prejudical comparisons, even in matters pertaining to rifle ballistics.
So far, I’ve pointed out, by example, that a .35 Whelen may become just as capable on Alaskan fauna as a .338 Winchester Magnum depending on a number of variables, such as reloading components chosen, psi, rifle configuration (22″ vs. 26″), range, and personality of the handloader/hunter. And all of it apart from inherent accuracy of rifle and load, and skill of the shooter. There are far too many variables to be pontifical.
(From my tree stand to the bear bait is 126 yards. From here I’ve watched deer, coyote and bear. The rifle is the Ruger No.1 in .45-70 IMP. The load is 300gr TSX’s at 2645 fps)
Next time, we’ll compare the 9.3s with the .375s.