Sometimes the old ways are the best ways…
When you’re shopping for a rifle, the list of possible cartridges can be outright confusing. Short Magnums, Long Magnums, Ultra Magnums, stubby cases with long bullets, long cases even longer bullets; the list goes on and on. Some cartridges take root in the hunting world quickly, others fade just as fast. Some cartridges that were once the darling of the hunting world have faded into obscurity. While I realize and appreciate the efficiency of some of the newer offerings, I’ve always had a strong connection with the past when it comes to hunting cartridges. Here are a handful of cartridges that have fallen out of favor with the general hunting public, but are, in my opinion, still worthy of time in the fields and woods.
.300 Holland and Holland Magnum
The competition among the .30 caliber cartridges has always been heated, and why wouldn’t it be? I mean, how do you stand out among the kings of hunting like the .30/30 WCF and the .30-’06 Springfield, not to mention the .308 Win. and .300 Win. Mag.? Holland’s Super .30, as the cartridge is also known, is a classic in itself. Yes, I know the drawbacks: longer action, belted case that can cut down case life, but if you’ve spent any amount of time behind the trigger of the .300 H&H, I’d wager that you enjoyed the experience. The long, sloping shoulder makes the case feed like a dream, and the Super .30s I’ve have been very accurate. Pushing .30 caliber bullets about 150 fps faster than the aught-six, without a huge increase in recoil, the .300 Holland deserves to see the light of day in more rifles.
If you hunt the woods, where shots seldom approach 200 yards, a slower cartridge is no handicap to you. If you hunt the woods where larger creatures live, such as elk, moose or bears, a larger caliber than normal may be warranted. Col. Townsend Whelen saw the wisdom of this thinking when he necked up the ’06 case to hold .358” bullets, creating the .35 Whelen. Winchester, who saw the genius behind the .308 case, didn’t waste time necking it up to .358”, giving us the .358 Winchester. Is it a long-range sniper cartridge? No. Is it a speed-demon? Certainly not. But, it is a great woods gun, giving plenty of frontal diameter and more than enough horsepower for hunting the species I mentioned above. House it in a petite bolt gun with a 22” barrel, or an easy-to-carry lever gun, and you’ve got a companion for many autumns to come.
Read more here