We all have a favorite, regardless of what our intended quarry may be; that one rifle cartridge that is near and dear to us. Just as our favorite colors can be indicative of our personalities, our favorite rifle cartridge can tell an awful lot about us as shooters. Let us begin, shall we, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
1. .223 Remington
This is the Banty rooster of the bunch, the case with the Napoleonic complex; you embrace it believing you can take on the whole world with a microscopic cartridge, and you may just be right. You have no desire, whatsoever, to hear of any other centerfire cartridge, because your level of self confidence when armed with the .223 will send tactical zombie elephants running for their lives, wetting themselves at the very sight of your AR…
2. .270 Winchester
You are a gentleman, carrying your head high, while rocking a vintage red plaid wool hunting suit. Your claim to fame is the ability to sculpt an effigy of Jack O’Connor out of instant mashed potatoes at the deer camp table. Thirty caliber? Never heard of her.
3. .30-’06 Springfield
You’re the first born child, the apple of mommy’s eye. Although you never made the Dean’s list, mama hung every one of your art projects on the fridge, proud as a peacock. You did pretty well in life, and although you may not be the shining star you once were, you’re as loyal as a mutt, consistent and trustworthy. Modern bullets have given you a new lease on life, sort of like Viagra or Just For Men gel.
4. .308 Winchester
You are the middle child, the defiant one, who always lives in the shadow of your older brother, the ’06, but the two of you don’t speak at family parties. Although you aren’t mommy’s first born, you still strive to earn love and respect, hoping one day the family will realize you’ve been drilling distant targets like a boss for decades now. You’ll never be your older brother, and you couldn’t care less.
5. 7mm Remington Magnum
You strive to be different. Comparisons make you cranky, and you’re tired of sitting between the .270 and .30 calibers, with their claims to fame and fervent worshippers. In your best third grade voice, you put your hands on your hips and snottily explain your fantastic Ballistic Coefficients and better Sectional Densities, stick your tongue out, and look around the playground for your buddies Bryce Towsley and Jon Sundra. Screw the other guys, you’re going hunting. To you, fun is measured in millimeters, and the answer is seven.
6. .35 Whelen
You’re a loner. You really couldn’t give a rat’s rectum about other calibers, because the Almighty Himself chose Townsend Whelen to enlighten the shooting world, and that man could do no wrong. He may have used the (pathetic) ’06 case as a basis, but you know the .35 Whelen is the ultimate incarnation of the centerfire rifle cartridge. You keep a .35 Whelen cartridge on the night stand, so it is the last thing you see when you close your eyes, and the first thing you see when you wake up. And it should be that way, after all Col. Whelen also invented sunshine, smiles, bourbon and bacon.
7. .375 H&H Magnum
You’re a self confident, well rounded and well adjusted person. You are the Pete Postlethwaite of the cartridge world; never perfect for any role, but you show up in every damned movie. You are also a worldly person. You can order a drink in KiSwahili or Shona as if it was your mother tongue, and your luggage is well worn. Most of your passport pages are filled up, and you took out additional life insurance in the event you end up in some native village with a tire around your neck. Your daughter’s name is Holland, and like your favorite cartridge, you never go anywhere without a belt.
8. .45/70 Government
You sir, were born a century too late. You find solace in a fat, stubby, fire hydrant of a cartridge that throws projectiles larger than the batteries for the remote control. You have a serious man-crush on Yosemite Sam. When you shave that tiny part of your face that doesn’t sport facial hair, you finish with “Looking good, pardner.” The Cleveland Indians mascot makes you reach for your fetchin’-iron, and you don’t mind carrying enough lead in your cartridge belt to make your pants drop at light speed. Oh, you can also work a lever action with your feet.
By no means, dear reader, would these generalizations be aimed at YOU, they are aimed at all the other guys and gals who enjoy your favorite cartridge. Carry on.