A bit of discussion with a few mates shows that we have differing views on modern ie after 1970 cartridge and rifle design.
American design philosophy seems dominated by making things that fit the std ar platform dimensions to generate more sales with “the world’s most popular rifle”. This is largely irrelevant to the rest of the world, ourselves included so why should we fall in step.
These are my thoughts on the subject. Please feel free to disagree.
Modern cartridge developments have produced case designs that are more efficient at turning powder into velocity
than those of 125 years ago, and powders have come a long way from cordite and balle D.
Bullet design has also skipped ahead from the days of soft lead, the spitzer, boat tails, and even monolithics were around 100 years ago so really modern designs just tweak that which has gone before.
However the basic function of a rifle has not changed, that is to deliver a little lump of metal accurately at distance.
When it comes to hunting there is only one kind of dead, that counts, Dead!. Not slightly dead, mostly dead, or soon to be dead.
It is shot placement that kills, a bigger faster bullet in the wrong place is no better than a small slower one in the same place in this regard.
With a few exceptions eg sub calibre rounds like the 204 Ruger and 17 Remington and the long range Lapua 338 that have been designed for specific end uses, the modern run of short, super short and ultra magnums I believe offer the average hunter or shooter little advantage over those already available, and in some cases offer the decided drawback of short barrel life, excessive noise and recoil out of all proportion to any gain in range, accuracy or actual
New cartridges and rifles for them are usually the result of a company’s desire to introduce something new to keep sales going, or occasionally to tap into the results of some “bloke in a shed tinkering” with a commercial round that gets a large following that needs commercilisation.
Examples of wildcats that have become mainstream are the 22-250, 243, 270, 280 Remington, 300 AAC, 7-08, 6.5 Grendel, 308 Norma Magnum, and the Ackley improved and magnum families plus a whole host of others.
So before you run out and buy the newest thing to improve your shooting remember this.
Most shooters myself included don’t extract more than a fraction of the potential that their current rifles have to offer and believing getting the newest thing out will make you a better shot is quite frankly delusional. Its trigger time, practice and familiarity that makes for a good shooter.
I recall as a young fella entering a hunting comp, I had my then new sako forester in the mighty 270 and tasco scope and along with a few friends similarly kitted out we were rather scornful of the older guys with cut down 303s, sugar bag pikaus etc and were confident that with our new gear coupled with our age and mobility we would hose all over the old buggers.
At the briefing the organisers made a comment about don’t write off the 303 crowd in the corner. Naturally, we laughed.
Guess what, at the end youth and enthusiasm proved to be no match for old age and experience.