Long range hunting is as much of an art form as it is a science. On one hand it requires diligent practice and a lengthy range, and on the other hand you’ve got to know how to adjust for wind and specific loads.
One thing’s for sure, though, certain cartridges make your job as a long range hunter a whole lot easier. What you’re really looking for are those flat-shooting, hard-hitting cartridges that have a proven track record for delivering when a trophy is on the line. Fast magnum cartridges have always been favored when hunting at long range, but velocity isn’t the only consideration you’ve got to make. It’s mostly shooter preference, especially when it comes to recoil and reloading for maximum cartridge performance.
We’ve broken it all down for you here, giving you the 8 best long range hunting calibers. They aren’t a replacement for practice, but they sure make the job a whole lot easier.
- The hunting and shooting market doesn’t need any more .30 caliber cartridges, but it seems like they just keep appearing anyway. The .300 was once considered one of the fastest of these loads, but today it has been eclipsed by several other fast .30s that shoot pancake flat. So why is it included on this list? First, the .300 Win. Mag does shoot very flat, and it produces a level of recoil that is manageable for most shooters, doling out far less punishment than the really hot .30s. The .300 Win. Mag also benefits from a wide selection of premium .308 bullets, with stacks and stacks of available load data. It may not be the fastest cartridge on this list (or even the fastest .30-caliber), but the .300 Win. Mag is no slouch. It’ll push a 150-grain bullet around 3,200 fps and 180-grainers about 3,000 fps. Ammo is available in most sporting goods stores, and there are lots and lots of factory loads to choose from if you don’t load your own.