We want to help you be a successful hunter when planning your next hunting trip to Two Falls Camps. Choosing the correct cartridge for your hunting rifle is one of the most important decisions you can make. Before we discuss cartridge selection for hunting, let’s define the parts of the cartridge. Yes, we all request bullets when buying ammunition, but really this is only a piece of the cartridge.
The cartridge itself is actually the whole package (if you will). It’s what you want to ask for when purchasing a box of bullets at your local gun or sporting goods store.
Cartridges, Caliber and Bullets. What do they all mean?
Cartridge:This is the shape and design (along with the dimensions) of the metal casing. Usually filled with smokeless black powder, and then capped off with a bullet (this is where caliber comes into play). For some reason, there is no universal sizing, so if planning a hunting trip in Europe, be sure to convert your cartridge selection to millimeters. For example, the .308 Winchester would be (7.62mm projectile with 51mm cartridge casing). Cartridges can be designated as either rimfire or centerfire cartridges. Here are the differences for each.
Rimfire Cartridges: Simply put, this is small game ammunition (small game season in Maine). The most common rimfire types are the .22 short, .22 long and .17 HMR cartridges. Rimfire refers to the primer location inside the casing, in this case, it means the primer is inside the rim (opposite end of bullet). Your gun’s firing pin, when it makes contact with the rim, will ignite the primer and cause the bullet to fire from the gun.
Centerfire Cartridges: By far the most common type of cartridge found in almost all other rifles and hand guns. It perfectly defines the location of the primer in the casing (Centerfire cartridges are the most common found in rifles and pistols. Centerfire cartridges actually have a visible primer and you can observe this by looking at the center of the casing head. Some of the most common centerfire cartridges are .30-30, .30-06 and .308 Win.
Caliber: This part of the cartridge is just one dimension. The diameter of the bullet. That’s it. Many of us may ask another fellow hunter, what caliber do you use for big game hunting? The problem is, many different calibers can be used for a certain caliber bullet, so stick with caliber and you are good to go
Bullets: When hunters ask to buy ammunition, they commonly will ask for “bullets”. Nothing wrong with this, as most of us call cartridges bullets, but the bullet is just the projectile that leaves the barrel of your gun and lands you that trophy sized deer, bear or moose.
Tip: buying ammunition online can be convenient, but if you have not hunted before, we recommend searching for a local gun store and speaking to them first. They can help you choose the correct cartridge (which is heavily dependent on the type of game you want to hunt), and they can give you great information on hunting technique and of course, gun selection.