Centerfire Rifle: Choose the Best All-around Bullet Caliber

Posted by AJ Koenes on Apr 12th 2019

Centerfire Rifle Statistics: This video will show you how to use our chart to find the BEST caliber for your next hunting trip.

Use this rifle ballistics chart to get the best all-around hunting caliber so you can enjoy your hunting experience from small to large, and even dangerous game.

Hello and thank you for watching! Today, what I'm going to show you is how to work your way through this Cedar Mill fine firearms center-fire rifle cartridge chart. Now what this is, is a chart or Google Sheet designed to display information in a spreadsheet so that you can isolate and identify different rounds for whatever purpose you have in this case. This one is designed for hunting. Now the first thing you notice is likely you'll be zoomed in on this monitor. It zoomed in about this far. We're going to zoom out to about 80 percent here. You can see it up in that little corner there. And this will give us the ability to look at the entire chart completely which will be a lot more helpful than looking at one half or the other half. The other thing you'll notice when you load this up is that there's a lot of dots on here and a lot of information. Now this will help you work through how to use this information and how to isolate for just a few rounds. Let's start off here where you're going to see is you're going to see two halves. You're going to see the recommended take down power half and the half ____does your rifle shoot half. Now, of course the right half is for accuracy in the left is for muzzle energy of velocities and what they consider recommended take down power. Now of course this recommended take down power is of course just a recommendation. It depends on bullet type and placement which play crucial roles in any hunting experience and which are paramount to what this chart recommends.

This chart will give you a basic idea and a statistical graph on how different rounds stack up against each other. So we're going to start on the left side here. What you have is you have your chart here and then you have a table there. And then right here you have what numbers went in to segregate this between deer, elk, kind of dangerous game and very dangerous game. Now of course this is a recommendation but according to my research the minimum required take down power in Africa is actually a governmental law. So if you are on Expedition overseas in Africa on a safari. This is more than a recommendation from my understanding there are actual standards as to how much energy I think it's foot pounds of energy is needed for a particular game animal when you're on safari. So, now for both charts if you highlight a certain dot. I'll tell you what bullet that is like I highlight this blue one it's a 460 whether it be Magnum tells you your velocity, your muzzle energy and then the bullet weight over on the other side. We'll take a look at the 338 Lapua. This chart will isolate the velocity, the ballistic coefficient and the muzzle energy. So there's a lot of different dots and quite a few different colors but quite a few are grayed out as well. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to take a look at military cartridges so I'm gonna pop this up right here. You can see where I click that.

And this is the same on the desktop as well as a mobile versions both I'll provide links to down in the description and as you can see once you pop that open you have every round checked. Now the first one I'm going to start with is the 5.56 now because this is the first round you see it's checked but when you highlight it this option only pops up. So click only for the first round you want to check. And that will place only that round on the charts. And then we will do the 7.62 and looks like we have the Russians the NATOs and the Russians which of course this is more of a 308 round. I'm not sure what is different between the NATO and the Russian. It looks like one is slightly longer. I'm a bit new to the 7.62 rounds but here we go because I'm doing military. Let's do all of these and we'll see how they stack up against each other.

So, now we have 4 bullets chose. I recommend doing between 3 and 5 and now as we look down on the chart here we will start on the left hand side. Looks like. The 7.62 by 54 millimeter Russian definitely has the most energy but it definitely does not have the most velocity. Most velocity of course is the 5.56 which is pretty typical least velocity and the least amount of energy of course is the 7.62 by 39 which in my experience I do find to be pretty consistent.

Now one thing you will notice is that this is in the green area whereas these go up to the orange and the red area. This is typically deer, this is typically elk or bear you know and then up here you have your safari, safari animals. So, it looks like the longer the more 308 style cartridges are more capable for elk and bear whereas a smaller military cartridges, the 39 millimeter and the 5.56 are better suited for deer which in my experience I find that to be pretty consistent but depending of course on shot placement and bullet type you can go elk hunting with 5.56. So that gives you a general idea if we look down at the chart here we will get more granular data on these rounds specifically hundred yard and two hundred yards statistics. This will tell us on these bullets what the muzzle velocity will be at after 100 yards and after 200 yards and this is where you really get the meat of this chart because even though the muzzle velocity and the muzzle energy are high some bullets really drop off once you get out to 100 or 200 yards. So this chart is where I will go in and take a look at the details to find specifically which round you want to use. So once you have that and once you have idea of which round you would like to use for take down power then I recommend going over to the accuracy side here. Now on the accuracy side this one's a bit more to difficult to read. It's not exactly the closer to the left or the bottom the better or closer to the top. It's really kind of a balancing act between ballistic coefficient and your muzzle velocity.

Now of course the higher muzzle velocity, the flatter your bullet will shoot but also the higher the ballistic coefficient the flatter your bullet will shoot. So for this chart the closer to the bottom left corner the worse and the closer to the top right the better. So you kind of have a balancing act here on which is more accurate. Your 308, your other 308 NATO or your 5.56. Now ballistic coefficient plays a very very important role and because of the varying ballistic coefficients you'll have to consider in this chart that even though it looks like these bullets are comparable. The ballistic coefficient of .47 on this 308 style round is crucial in its accuracy and as I found the 308 is more accurate than a 5.56. Now if we go down to the granular data in the table here this will be backed up by showing us that over the two hundred and fifty yards drop the 5.56 only drops 6.7 Inches and the 308, the Russian or the NATO drop 7.6 and 7.8 respectively. So they are pretty head to head in that manner. Now of course the 5.62 Russian it has about a 13 inch drop 14 inch drop. So if you're shooting over 250 yards you might want to choose a different gun. So that is a overview on how to use this chart.

Now of course this is the desktop version which is very useful if you're on a computer but if you want to check it out on a phone we do offer a mobile version both versions will be down in the description. And I thank you very much for watching. If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them. You can find a link to this on Cedar Mill fine firearms website, on their Facebook page. I'm not sure if this will go up on Instagram and likely won't go up on Pinterest but you can find Cedar Mill firearms on both those channels as well. Thank you very much for watching and have a wonderful day.