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Top Five Overrated Rifle Cartridges

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Top Five Overrated Rifle Cartridges

The myriad selection of rifle cartridges today has a metric ton of overlap, duplication, and some downright silly designs. Some of these designs boast wonderful claims, but not all of them measure up. In order to be overrated, you have to be rated at all, so that leaves some of the more obscure designs off the menu.

.300 Weatherby Magnum
I can feel the hot needles already. Roy Weatherby had a passion for the pursuit of velocity, and in some instances it made for a fantastic cartridge. However, the .300 Weatherby, based on a blown-out .300 H&H case, and featuring Roy’s signature double-radius shoulder, may have been the hottest on the market in the 1950’s, but it has been pushed off the stage.

.270 Winchester Short Magnum
Why do my feet feel like they’re on fire? When you have a cartridge that is as flat shooting and hard hitting as the venerable .270 Winchester, improving upon it isn’t easy. The Winchester Short Magnum series of cartridges have their own unique set of issues (they’re very finicky to reload for, not to mention the feeding issues), but to try and push the bullets even faster, out of a shorter and lighter rifle with more recoil, doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.

.220 Swift
Yes sir, that was a needle in my eyeball. Good thing I have a spare. How dare I insult the .22 centerfire velocity king? Well, here’s my thinking. The .22-250 Remington, which performs around 150 to 200 fps slower than the Swift, will hit distant targets very well, with less powder, a shorter action, and is every bit as accurate as the Swift cartridge is.

.458 Winchester Magnum
The idea of replicating the ballistics of the .450 Nitro Express, in an easy-to-produce bolt action rifle, was a very sound one. However, Winchester’s claim has historically fallen short of the mark.

.223 Remington
Yes, I said it. Look, the .223 works, and works well for most of its intended purposes. But, I truly believe if the U.S. Government hadn’t smiled upon it, the cartridge would have a small fraction of the followers it does today.

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