Here at Myhuntingear.com we love data, we love reloading, and we love the 223 Win/5.56 NATO caliber. When researching reloading information it is not uncommon to have, what seams like, a dozen or so tabs open in the web browser. Each tab with a different data source, each more difficult to navigate than the last. In this post we are trying to simplify your (and our) lives a small degree.
Below is an interactive data table for reloading 223 Win / 5.56 NATO based on Hodgon’s reloading data. We hope this will be a helpful resource as you put together new loads. If you find this helpful, let us know! We would love to expand this to include more calibers.
As always be smart and safe when reloading. Double check all load data and use the manufactures recommended loads for the 223 Win Caliber.
We know that you are mostly here for the data, but we do want to share a few other recommendations when reloading 223 Winchester. These guidelines apply across most calibers, but since we are talking mostly about reloading the common 223 Win 5.556 NATO we have tailored these suggestions.
Selecting a reloading press for reloading 223 Winchester/5.56 NATO:
Selecting a reloading press can sometimes leave people with doubt because they are unsure if they selected the best one for their needs. Lets face it, reloading equipment is expensive and we want the most bang for our buck! Selecting a reloading press can be difficult and you may be asking some of the following questions:
Do I need a progressive press?
The short answer is no, you don’t need a progressive press. Especially if you are getting started, go with a basic high quality option. You will be reloading 223 for years to come! The press that I use is still a basic RCBS Partner Press. Reloading 223 Win is fun! Getting a press for less than $100 is a great option. If budget is not a concern for you, there are some incredible presses available.
How much should I pay?
The cost of reloading press varies from one reloading press to the other. Although the region sometimes determines the cost of the reloading press, size is the most determining aspect. Prices may vary due to from single press, progressive press, and a turret press. The progressive press comes with inflated prices as it can perform many functions as compared to other types of reloading press in the industry. A single reloading press is cheap and easily accessible.
The following are some factors to consider when choosing the best reloading press for your needs.
1. Consider your shooting practice
The number of times you will be loading ammunition and shooting is a crucial determinant to the reloading press you would prefer. Loading a lot of ammo and shooting on a frequent basis, you will require an ergonomic reload press so that it can be comfortable on your hand. Moreover, frequent loading and shooting require that you invest heavily in your reloading press to increase its effectiveness.
2. Consider your gun collection
Do you plan on reloading calibers other than the 223 Win? The other types of calibers you plan to reload is an essential determinant when one is choosing a reloading press. Ammunition varies in size and a large majority of presses only accept limited sizes. If you buy a press specifically to load 223 Win/5.56 NATO, don’t expect to start reloading 50 BMG on the same press! It is important to consider a reloading press that will either do many sizes that will fit your firearm needs or select one with only the size you need. Understandably the price will go up the more sizes the press offers and vice versa.
3. Space Considerations
Space considerations always come into play when the size of the item under consideration is of concern. The modern reloading press can be quite tall. Before buying a reloading press, you should evaluate the amount of space that you have. People with workshops and large garages should not be as concerned about the size of the reloading press. Moreover, the stable mounting arrangement that is necessary for presses also takes an ample amount of space. Consider the amount of space that you have at your disposal before making a decision on which reload press you want to purchase.
While reloading 223, or any other caliber, you will have a variety of tools, notebooks, supplies, etc which you will want to keep close at hand. Make sure you have plenty of space and storage to make your life easier.
4. Time vs. Money
Individuals with sufficient time to practice using a press might want to consider a cheaper press. A cheaper press does not mean poor quality but rather sometimes just time consumption. If someone wishes to spend less time using a press then they should consider spending more money on an automatic press.
To wrap it all up, one has to consider the factors highlighted above before choosing a presser. Reloading presses available on the market are different in regards to quality, cost, effectiveness, compatibility, and amount of space required. Therefore, it is important that you choose what works for you so that you can optimize your shooting practices.
We recommend only buying what is need for your purposes. No need to get carried away when reloading 223 Win.
Brass and bullets! Reloading 223 Win / 5.56 NATO
Collaboration between Roy and Annie Grace Wilson. Annie did all of the heavy lifting with this post and I added some of my personal experience and recommendations reloading 223 Win. Annie is a Public Relations Specialist for Diamond K Brass. She regularly produces content for a variety of blogs that cover topics from reloading press information and tips to ammunition and firearm safety.
Shopping for a rifle scope is maddening these days. There are so many options at so many price points from so many manufacturers, those looking to buy a scope for a deer rifle are probably pulling their hair out as they try to navigate what has become a very confusing marketplace.
We can cut through all of this uncertainty if we set some simple parameters, however, and in very little time and with few words wasted, we can identify a selection of scopes that will help get you out in the field preparing to hunt, and not pouring over product reviews in front of your computer screen.
When we’re looking for a deer rifle scope, we need to be clear about what we need. First, as ethical hunters, we’re looking to take shots within about 300 yards, or maybe 400 yards, if we have an appropriate rifle and are skilled in its use. So, we need a scope that suited to that distance, and as a rule of thumb, a 3- to 9-power scope will serve very well out to 300 yards.
Next, we want to consider our budget, and with that in mind, I’ll select three tiers of scopes, from budget glass to more expensive options.
Of course, we’ll also look at fit and finish, features, and performance to help make our decision.
Leupold, Weaver, Vortex, all great options depending on your needs
Budget Scopes Under $300
I’m not looking at ultra-budget options here. These scopes won’t require you to sacrifice performance in the field to save money. The truth is that, yes, more expensive options may provide superior performance, but our selections won’t hamstring you on your hunt.
The fact of the matter is, I think you’ll be happiest with your purchasing decision if you spend as much as you can afford to spend on a quality scope for your rifle. You don’t have to break the bank, though, and these options offer quality optics for very reasonable prices.
A brief word on reticles: Bullet drop compensator (BDC) reticles are very popular, in no small part thanks to the influence of the long-range shooting enthusiast community, but for my money, nothing beats a plain ole’ duplex reticle. Hunters have been bagging bucks for years with this simple setup, and the duplex reticle’s versatility and simplicity are by far preferable in my humble opinion. Plus, duplex reticles are usually cheaper, and you probably won’t need to use those fancy hold-over points on other reticles while hunting anyway.
Basic Reticles are just as deadly as fancy/more expensive options
Nikon is known for making quality optics, and the Prostaff line doesn’t disappoint. This scope features high-end performance at a low price point and also includes some additional features that are worth considering, including compatibility with Nikon’s Spot On Custom Turrets.
Constructed of aircraft grade aluminum, this scope is fog- and waterproof, very durable, and simple to use. It’s a no-frills scope that will get the job done during deer season.
Vortex Optics Diamondback 3-9×40 mm w/V-Plex reticle: $199.00
This is an excellent scope for the price. This one-piece scope made from aircraft-grade aluminum is lightweight, durable and both fog- and waterproof.
The line also features multi-coated optics and quality construction. This is another no-frills scope that punches well above its weight class when it comes to optical clarity and performance. I’ve also had to the chance to use the Vortex Crossfire II scope in a similar configuration, and I can say I’m very impressed with Vortex Optics’ offerings.
Medium-priced Scopes from $300 to $500
Though our price range is somewhat arbitrary here, I’m mainly considering scopes with more magnification power and high-quality optics. One theme you’ll probably notice is that both of the scopes I’ve recommended so far are simple to use. Complicated features such as parallax adjustments and illuminated reticles may appeal to long-range shooters or varmint hunters, but in my opinion, these are unnecessary for deer hunting.
Our mid-tier options don’t have a lot of bells and whistles, and they’ll do the job just as efficiently regardless. Almost any modern scope will serve well in low-light conditions, and there isn’t an optic in existence that will allow you to shoot any earlier than first legal light … that is unless you don’t mind possibly losing your hunting license and facing other legal ramifications.
Leupold Optics has a reputation for manufacturing high-quality scopes, and its VX-3i line is no exception. This piece of glass features a versatile magnification range with slightly more oomph than a traditional 3- to 9-power scope, and lens surfaces treated with Leupold’s DiamondCoat 2, an ion-assist coating designed to improve light transmission and lens durability.
Leupold’s scopes have generous eye relief and are fog- and waterproof. This is a simple-to-use scope featuring single-body construction from aircraft-grade aluminum, and it doesn’t feature illuminated reticles or other newer features. In my experience, Leupolds hold up very well under hunting conditions, are lightweight, and offer excellent, highly regarded optics performance.
Weaver V series 4-16X42mm w/Dual-X reticle: $299.95
This scope has more power than others I’ve highlighted, but other than that, it’s a well-made, simple-to-use scope with one additional feature, namely an adjustable objective lens, allowing for parallax-free shooting.
Like the Leupold, the Weaver is fog- and waterproof, and is highly resistant to rough handling. It also has very good eye relief and sports a multi-coated lens designed to enhance light transmission. Weavers have excellent, clear optics, and you won’t go wrong with this scope, especially if you’re a more experienced shooter confident in taking shots on game out to 400 yards.
Money-is-no-object Scopes from $500
To be honest, I think the vast majority of hunters don’t need much more than what we’ve already covered, and higher price points only go so far in improving performance here. You can definitely go all out and buy a $2000 or $3000 scope and put it on your hunting rifle, but I think you’ll be spending more on bragging rights than usable features.
That said, there are excellent optics in this price range, and if you can afford it, by all means, drop the cash and get a fantastic scope that will last forever.
Vortex Viper HS-T 4-16x44mm: $569.99
Like the Vortex Diamondback scope listed above, this is an excellent no-frills scope, but with improved optics and none of the overdone features common on more expensive models. It has everything you’ll need at a very nice price point.
I admit I’m biased, in that I’ve recently purchased a (now discontinued model) Leupold scope for myself, but I love this company’s optics and believe this is one of the best scopes you can get in this price range. It’s perfect for hunting applications, doesn’t have unnecessary features, and the image quality is second to none for less than $1,000.
The optics industry seems to be pushing scopes with more features and adjustability, which is absolutely fine, and many of these scopes are excellent and offer long-range shooters the tools they’ll need to hit targets out to 700 yards and well beyond. However, I’m of the opinion that you just don’t need these features for a hunting scope. Keep it simple, find a piece of glass that fits you, offers a bright and clear image, and won’t empty your wallet, and you’ll be happy for years to come.
The grain variations give hunters clear choices for the need they have.
Competition shooters like the long-range power of the 300 win mag. Many law enforcement and military personnel find the long-range capabilities to be ideal for their particular needs.
The 308 is a slightly different cartridge. This bottlenecked rifle cartridge was created in 1952. It was derived from the same round as the 7.62×51. NATO took on the 7.61×51 mm for military purposes including being used in Vietnam.
Of all rounds in existence for hunting, the 308 model is one of the all-time most popular selections for many shooters. Because it is a short-case bullet, the 308 caliber works well in short-action weapons, such as the ever more popular AR-10 platform.
Since it is a favorite cartridge for hunters and competition shooters, the 308 is apt to see a long life ahead.
Technical details of the 308 vs. 300 Win Mag comparisonWhich has more “kick” or Recoil?
When we talk about recoil we are referring to the “kick” you receive when the cartridge powder is ignited.
So which one, 300 win mag vs. 308 has the stronger recoil? When we have shot both cartridges, the 300 responds with a stronger push back.
But we need to deal in specifics to gain a more precise comparison.
The 300 win mag generates approximately 27-33 ft/lbs. of pressure.
The 308 generates approximately 21-25 ft/lbs. of pressure.
Various powders, projectiles, and loads of different the different cartridges will affect the recoil each cartridge generates in ft/lbs. of pressure. So what does that translate to for the shooter?
Well, how tough is YOUR shoulder??!
No, recoil may have a factor in how effective your hunt is. You need to know yourself. If recoil is a significant factor, we recommend borrowing a friends gun before buying. Choosing a lighter load, lighter projectile, or heavier gun can help reduce the felt recoil.
The above statistics are based upon factory loads. The results from someone reloading their own cartridges will differ.
What does the Ballistic Coefficient Tell Us?
Ballistic coefficient is not an academic “puzzle” to cause you dismay. It is a way of taking various aspects of different cartridges to compare and contrast important points.
Ballistic coefficient is how air drag and the overall effect of the bullet as it cuts through the air. The better a bullet is streamlined or travels through the air, the higher it’s coefficient.
In varying tests, the 300 win mag proves to have less drag making it more streamlined.
How is that important for the 308 vs. 300 comparisons? It means as you hunt, a 300 win mag will handle better at greater distances.
Velocity is a Major Telling Point.
Velocity of the 300 Win Mag and the 308 Winchester
How the 300 win mag vs. 308 handle velocity makes a big difference.
The overall speed of a bullet is affected by many environmental factors. How fast the wind is blowing. The pull of gravity. If a duck flies in the path of the bullet. (Ok the last one seems a bit extreme.)
But the environments input is lessened the faster a bullet reaches its target.
At distances up to 500 yards, both 308 and 300 win mag velocities seem to be equal. Past this point and the differences become more apparent.
The 300 win mag with its higher powder load is going to continue further. This means the velocity maintains its speed for more accuracy. Thus we can agree that the hunter is more apt to select the 300 win mag for longer shots.
300 Win Mag vs 308 Winchester Velocity Chart v2
The Trajectory or Which Drops More
Ballistics Graph of the 300 Win Mag and 308 Winchester
The further out a projectile travels, it will experience an eventual drop from its line of travel. This information is essential when hunting. As a bullet travels, the distance of its drop for every 100 yards makes a huge difference.
At up to 300 yards, the trajectory of the 308 vs 300 win mag has minimal variation. This translates to both calibers meeting close to the target at this range.
However, as the distance increases, the payload of the 300 win mag affects its maintaining a flatter line of travel. Even though the bullet is more substantial, the 300 carries more powder.
The 308 in comparison, will exhibit increased drop with every 100 yards. Its effectiveness in a kill is best at up to 400, maybe 500 yards.
At up to 300 yards both the 300 win mag and 308 travel similar lines.
At the 300 yard marker, the distance difference in drop begins to increase.
The closer the 300 win mag vs 308 get to 600-700 yards, a difference in the drop of up to 20 inches appears.
The Energy Involved is Crucial.
Energy for the 300 Win Mag and the 308 Winchester
What are we talking about with energy concerning the cartridge? At its basic form, the energy is the force applied on the target, or animal.
Time could be spent in figuring overall mathematics in deciphering the formula involved. But for our purposes, we simply need to understand one thing:
As the cartridge travels, its foot/lb. pressure will decrease over distance.
The 300 win mag starts over 3,000 ft/lbs. and is at approximately 1500 ft/lbs. at 500 yards. At a similar distance, the 308 starts at nearly 2700 ft/lbs. and drops to about 1,000 ft/lbs. At that distance, the 300 win mag will be more effective at bringing down an elk cleanly vs the 308.
Where deer are involved, both calibers will do the job.
300 Win Mag vs 308 Winchester Energy Chart v2
Penetration is also important.
The fact that the avg bullet weight of the 300 win mag is more than the 308 will affect penetration.
The 300 win mag with slightly heavier projectiles and higher grain capacity, the bullet penetration will be slightly deeper. However, a 308 penetration will be just as effective in an overall kill. It merely needs to reach vital organs or be able to sever bloodlines.
So How About Accuracy?
The previously mentioned points influence overall accuracy.
The most important factor in accuracy will come down to the shooter’s abilities.
Yet, we can still factor in the basic comparisons between the 308 vs the 300 win mag.
The ballistics, velocity, trajectory, and energy all point to the 300 win mag; however, to be fair, those are based upon factors over a large distance, let’s say 300 yards for our arguments.
As the distances increased, the 300 win mag exhibited far superior results. Within the ballpark of 300 yards, both calibers appear to have about an even match.
So if you can shoot well, your groupings on a target should be similar up to three football field lengths.
Pricing and Availability of Both Calibers
Not going to lie. Purchasing either the 308 or the 300 win mag is easy to do.
They are both available through sporting retail shops and online. These are favorites for many hunters, and their availability is not soon to disappear.
The 308 is generally less expensive than the 300 Win Mag. That comes from its shorter size. If you plan on purchasing the 300 win mag, you will pay more for the same model of rifle.
It comes down to one thing. How involved in hunting are you, and which cartridge (300 Win Mag vs 308) meets your needs
Applications for Both Calibers
What is your preference in hunting?
Are you a deep woods hunter?
Do you go where you will have some distance from the prey?
Once again, the numbers and facts speak volumes. At under 300 yards, both the 308 and the 300 win mag are proficient and comparable. It’s when you get out past the 300-yard distance that the negotiation for performance changes.
The 300 win mag proves to have the stronger trajectory, the greater velocity, and the increased penetration. These and other specs seem to make the 300 a clearer choice when the shot distance is increased.
Knowing both weapons should be a part of every big game hunter. The more you understand and have experience with, the better the outcome of your hunt.
The Best Rounds to Go With.
There are various manufacturers of the 308 win and the 300 win mag.
These seem to be top choices based on comparative shopping and being put to the test.
For hunting the Nosler Trophy Grade, Partition 200gr stands out. Why?
Glad you asked.
For 300 Win Mag, the Nosler exhibits greater stopping power and better trajectory from many of its compatriot choices.
There are cheaper rounds, but we are talking about hunting. That means you want the best to bring down the animal…effectively.
Nosler Trophy Grade Ammo 300 Winchester Magnum 200gr Partition – 300 Winchester Mag 200gr Partition 20/Box
For the 308 the Winchester Fusion ammo provides proven round for the 308.
You should do your own tests, but these are some of our choices.
Federal Fusion Ammo 308 Winchester 150gr Bonded Bt – 308 Winchester 150gr Bonded Bt 20/Box
Hunters have their caliber of choice. There are more that have yet to be touched upon.
For the purposes of comparing the 308 vs the 300 win mag, we hope these specific points help you in deciding.
There really is no way of saying one round is better than another simply from these factoids. The facts and opinions laid out here are merely to allow the ability to compare notes.
All the numbers and comparisons can do is educate you about what options exist. Your hunt will depend upon your abilities as a shooter and understanding your weapon.
Hopefully, we have given you enough information to make an informed choice between the two cartridges!
The only thing better than having a beautiful well-made knife is having a knife that is perfect for the intended job. In this article we outline how to choose the best skinning knife.
Specifically, we will share information about the best knife for skinning deer and other large game. Of course, each of our recommendations would make great skinning knives for other sized game, but for smaller game we might add or remove some knives from this list.
We recommend you read through the entire article before deciding on a knife. But for those that want to cut straight to the point, below is a summary of our recommendations.
What you should look for in a skinning knifeBlade shape
For skinning, you want to avoid blades that have distinct points. The points can snag and spear the flesh of the deer.
Dagger style blades are great for defense, to impress your friends, or if you are a serious knife fighter, but for skinning deer and other game you want a blade with smooth lines and plenty of “belly”.
Recommended blade types for skinning
Blade types to avoid for skinning:
For blade length we recommend a skinning knife between 3″-5″
A shorter knife is easier to maneuver while a larger knife will make longer cleaner cuts.
If you are trekking through the backwoods you may want a relatively small/light skinning knife. Having a knife that you can easily carry in your backpack or on belt is a great option.
A replaceable blade knife can be a great portable option as they tend to be lighter. Be sure to pack extra blades!
You want a skinning knife that fits well in your hand.
Choose a knife that will not create “hot spots” on your hand. Although skinning a deer should not take too long, you want to avoid knife handles with ridges prominent edges/rivets. These knife features may look good, but they can cause blisters and discomfort.
Skinning, gutting, and processing a deer requires cutting through hide, hair, and tendons. You are going to want a skinning knife that can take and keep a sharp edge.
Blades with very hard steels (S30V, S90V, Elmax, M4, etc.) will hold an edge longer but can be very difficult to sharpen. These harder steels are also more expensive.
Blade steels that are not as hard will not hold an edge for as long but can be sharpened more quickly. These steels can be found on many less expensive but high-quality knives.
If your skinning knife stays sharp you won’t need to use excessive pressure or saw back and forth to make your cuts.
Using a dull skinning knife is annoying and can be dangerous. When you have to apply excessive pressure or use it as a hacking tool you are more likely to hurt yourself. It’s like my 10th grade shop teacher used to shout at us “a sharp tool is a safe tool!”
Using a sharp, high-quality knife will create clean cuts and is a lot more fun to use!
Another option is to use a knife with replaceable blades. We will get into these knives in more detail later. There are pros and cons with replaceable blades knives, but they can be a great choice!
Stay within your budget! Don’t feel like you must spend a lot of money on your deer skinning knife. There are a lot of expensive skinning knives with “super steel” blades and other high-end features. Don’t feel like you need an expensive steel to get the job done. Having a less expensive steel is easier to sharpen and you won’t have to break the bank.
If your budget allows for a more expensive deer skinning knife, go for it! There is nothing like having a well-made tool that you really enjoy using.
Types of Skinning Knives to choose from
When deciding the best form factor for your skinning knife, there are a few questions to ask yourself. Will this be a dedicated skinning knife? Will you be using the knife for other tasks as well? Do you plan to carry the knife with you on backpacking trips? How hard are you on your tools? Do you like sharpening your knives? Do you prefer the convenience of replaceable blades?
Folding Skinning Knife
Folding knives are portable! Throw it in your pack or clip it to your pocket and off you go. Many of these knives are great multipurpose knives and work well for skinning.
Going with a folding Skinning Knife is not a bad option, but If you are planning to have a dedicated skinning knife we recommend going with one of the other form factors. Many of the skinning knives we recommend are a little big for every day carry. We advise buying a good folder for your go to carry knife and get a knife specific for skinning, butchering, and other related work.
We love fixed blade skinning knives! This is the classic form factor for a reason. Fixed blade knives have been working for thousands of years and will not be going out of style any time soon.
No moving parts. Folders or swing blades are not as robust as a good fixed blade knife.
Easy to clean. Without a hinge and with fewer crevices fixed blade skinning knives are easier to clean up. As a boy I used a multi tool for skinning chickens, and trust me, you don’t want to clean blood and flesh out of all of those cervices.
You can find a gut hook on any of the form factors on this list. As described before, gut hooks can make skinning much easier and faster.
Having a gut hook can make certain jobs a breeze! For example, slicing through hide and tendons is precise and accurate.
The gut hook helps avoid overcutting or spearing the flesh you don’t want damaged.
A gut hook can be a pain to sharpen.
If you are using your skinning knife as a general-purpose knife for jobs other than skinning, the gut hook can come in handy (i.e. cutting rope)
We briefly mentioned this before but will go into more detail here.
Having a deer skinning knife with replicable blades can be very convenient. Replacing a disposable blade is a lot less time consuming than putting an edge back on a traditional knife.
A drawback of replaceable blade skinning knives is that there are generally more crevices and moving parts where blood and flesh can collect. This means that they can be a little more difficult to clean than a fixed blade knife.
The replaceable blade knives are generally not as robust as other knives. These knives are not as good for hacking/chopping if that is your style.
Serrated vs plane edge
We recommend plane edge knives. Plane edge knives create cleaner cuts and are easier to sharpen.
A sharp plane edge skinning knife will be able to cut through everything you need it too while skinning a deer.
A Swing Blade knife has a blade on one end and a gut hook, saw, or other tool on the other that folds into the handle.
Knife Detailed ReviewsBuck Omni Hunter
Buck Omni Hunter Skinning Knife
The Buck Omni Hunter skinning knife is well balanced, made of high-quality materials, and it looks great.
The 4” drop point blade comes with or without the gut hook, and there is a smaller version with a 3-1/4” blade (although we prefer the 4” blade). The 420FHC steel along with Buck’s heat-treat process means this knife has a good balance between edge retention and sharpenability.
The handle is made of a rubberized material. The handle has an ergonomic design with a slight drop towards the butt of the handle. You can choose between a black or camo look for this knife.
The Omini hunter comes with a synthetic material sheath. The sheath will work for it’s intended use; however, this is not a stand out addition. This sheath will eventually break down over time. The materials and design used for the seath help keep the overall cost of the knife down meaning when you buy the knife the money you pay goes to the knife itself and not necessarily to the sheath.
In summary, this is an excellent option for a skinning knife. The blade is what we would look for in a skinning knife. Buck uses high quality materials and if you take care of it this knife will last for years to come. Overall, we love this knife. Our main complaint is the handle. We prefer a more traditional grip. Although the handle design looks great and feels good when you are holding it, the handle can cause hot spots in the hand after extended use.
Things we like:
Blade material – 420HC Steel
Things we don’t like:
Handle Design and Material
Benchmade Saddle Mountain Skinner
Benchmade Saddle Mountain Skinning Knife
If you appreciate well-made tools this is a great option for you. Everything comes together with this 8.73” fixed blade skinner. The Benchmade Saddle mountain feels great in the hand and has the dimensions we look for in a skinning knife.
The blade is 4.17” long and can be purchased with or without the gut hook. Benchmade used CPM-S30V steel for the drop point blade.
Saddle Mountain Blade
S30V is a very hard steel that will take and hold an edge very well. The draw back of S30V steel is that it can take some effort to sharpen. S30V steel also carries a higher price than some less expensive steels, but if you have the budget we feel this steel does strike a good balance between price and performance. S30V is one of our favorite knife steels.
The Benchmade Saddle Mountain Skinner comes with a wood or G10 handle. Both are great options, we prefer the look and feel of the wood handle, but that comes down to personal preference. The handle does not have any big ridges and the rivets sit flush. This is a knife that can be used for extended periods comfortably.
Benchmade Saddle Mountain Leather Sheath
This skinning knife is full tang, meaning the blade extends all the way down the handle. At the butt of the knife is a lanyard hole which is a nice touch.
The Saddle Mountain Skinner comes with a high quality leather sheath. The leather sheath is well made and durable. This is a sheath that can take some wear. In our experience these benchmade leather sheaths develop a great looking patina and look better as they age.
This is an all around great knife, but it is on the higher end price wise. If you have the budget we highly recommend this knife.
The Phoenix Hunting Survival Knife and the Phoenix feather is a product that has recently caught our attention.
The Phoenix combines many of the tools you need into one package. The Phoenix survival knife is an 8”, full tang, drop point knife, which we love! But what makes this knife stand out is the following:
Gut hook with replaceable surgical steel blades
Prominent drop point blade with grip hole
Integrated survival features
Everspark fire starter
Tinder Quick storage
Sharpening plate built into the sheath
Storage for replacement blades/tool
Optional “Phoenix Feather” add on knife
The 3.22” blade is made from 9CR18 and features an exaggerated drop point design. For skinning the blade shape and design are great. The gradually sloped design of the knife enables the user to made long clean cuts even though the blade is on the shorter end of skinning knives we recommend. This blade design and size should create a good balance between maneuverability and keeping the cutting edge in contact with the what you are cutting.
Having a replicable blade takes away our biggest complaints of a gut hook, sharpening! Without a doubt having this gut hook on board is a great feature. Always being razor sharp makes this feature very attractive!
The survival features of the Phoenix Talon make it a good knife to keep in your pack!
This knife has had some prototypes, but mass production is still in the future. We contacted the owner of Outdoor Element to ask a few questions. Outdoor Element is working towards a full launch of this knife which we hope is available soon. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as we learn more.
Things we like:
Blade shape and design
Removable blade gut hook
Integrated sharpening plate
Things we don’t like
The safety features in the handle could create hot spots after extending skinning sessions
We would like to get our hands on this knife to try it out!
Hunting is an outdoor sport that many people love and enjoy! Many hunting veterans know what needs to be done. But not knowing where to start should not stop novice hunters from pursuing their hobby. We have put together a checklist to help you pull together the gear and equipment you will need for your hunting trip. This deer and elk hunting checklist is also a helpful reminder for the seasoned hunter.
The Ultimate Checklist for Deer and Elk Hunting
The first item on the list is to Check local regulations: Every state has regulations about what can be or cannot be worn for hunting, specific weapon regulations, the timing of hunting, and an endless list of other laws that we won’t be able to cover in this article. Make sure that you understand and follow local laws.
Your go-to EDC (every day carry) knife. We highlight some knife makers on our site. A knife maker we recently learned of, and one that is worth your time to check out, is Perkin Knives.
First Aid Kit
Backup Fire-starting tools
Magnesium fire starter
Gun cleaning gear
Newspaper for fire-starting
Sleeping pad / cot
Extra Socks (sleeping in clean socks helps keep your feet warm)
Food for meals
Snacks (in addition to main meals)
Fire roasting sticks
Extra change of clothes
Jacket/cold weather gear
Extra pair of boots
Clothes to sleep in
Wet wipes (give yourself a wet wipe bath before bed to get off all the sweat and dirt and you’ll sleep warmer)
Entertainment and other items that are nice to have
Now that we have gone through the full deer and elk hunting checklist we will go into more detail on some of the essential items. Reading through the detailed reasoning will help you understand why some things are so important.
When you are packing for your hunting trip, you will need to think about four things:
Before you head out for the hunt
During the hunt
After you have completed the hunt
The local hunting rules and regulations
When you have that clear in your mind, you will be able to pack in everything. All the equipment and gear that you pack should make the hunting experience a positive one! Here are the things that need to be checked off of the list for your hunting trip:
An Absolute Necessity: There is some gear that is crucial for your hunting experience. Without this gear, you cannot have a successful hunting trip. The list of equipment and gear includes:
Safety/survival gear: The most important think on your elk or deer hunt is safety. Pack these items first. Elk and deer hunts usually don’t go as planned. The challenge is what makes the hunt fun, but if things turn south you will be grateful you are prepared with the right gear.
First aid kit
Fire starting tools (we recommend having at least two methods of starting a fire)
Magnesium fire starter
Optical Gear: You will need to a pair of high range binoculars and spotting scope. We recommend a tripod or other mounting system for your spotting scope. You need to look through these for hours to find elk and deer! It is best to take along top of the line binoculars and scope. Specific optics often come down to personal preference but just don’t go without them.
Firearm/Bow and ammunition: Do we even need to include this on the list? YES! It will be a long drive back home or an expensive trip to the local ACE hardware if you get to the campsite without your gun.
Tools to process game: Once you bag your game, you will need a good skinning knife, the right tools to transport the kill back to camp, and supplies to transport the meat home.
Cooler for meat
Good to Have Gear: While some gear is an absolute must, some will enhance the hunting experience. of this kind of gear includes:
Calls: Depending if you are hunting Elk, Whitetail, or Mule deer you may need the appropriate calls.
Rangefinder: A rangefinder can help you to measure the exact distance to the point of the shot. It can help you to shoot a perfect shot.
Support for Rifle: It is always a good idea to carry a support to reduce barrel shake! This will help novice and professional hunters alike to stabilize the gun and keep your shots on target.
Bi-pod or mono-pod
Now, you have a checklist to help get you ready for your hunting trip! Pack it up and get out there. This list is a good guideline but let us know what you would add to the deer and elk hunting checklist! The checklist will vary based on preference, hunting location, time of year, and other factors. Use your head and think ahead for other items that you will need.
The science of projectiles and firearms, or in other words, the info you need to make the kill!
If you are looking for the 270 vs 308 vs 30 06 ballistics chart, the 5.56 trajectory chart, the 300 Win Mag Ballistics data, or the 30 06 trajectory chart; you are in the right place!
Here are a few suggestions for using the below dashboard:
Select specific calibers and cartridges by using the filters
Hover over graphs and lines to see more detail
Click around to highlight specific data or to apply detailed filtering
Don’t forget to try out full screen (there is a button on the bottom right, below the graphs)
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Additional calibers/cartridges that you would like to see?
Other data that is important to you? Ballistic Coefficient, longer range, more detail, etc.
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Explanation of Ballistics Data
Ballistics includes the understanding of trajectory, velocity, energy, as well as other factors as they pertain to projectiles and firearms. An understanding of these principles is essential to shooting accurately and selecting the right caliber/round for the job.
We have compiled ballistics data for some of the most popular calibers around.
Our data-set includes detailed information for:
223 Winchester (5.56 NATO)
30 06 Springfield
300 Win Mag
More to come soon
The ballistics charts (trajectory graph, velocity chart, and energy chart) can easily be filtered for the specific calibers (223 Win, 5.56 NATO, 270 Win, 308 Win, or 300 Win Mag) that you are interested in. We have compiled ballistics data for over 80 different cartridges that you can choose from!
Below is some important information about trajectory, velocity, and energy. We hope that this helps.
Trajectory – the path your bullet takes from the muzzle of your rifle to the target down range.
We measure trajectory as the bullet drop in inches or the MOA (Minute of Angle). In our trajectory graph, we show how much the bullet drops in inches from the zero point. In the data set if you filter on a specific caliber such as the 223/ 5.56 Trajectory chart. The average drop at the 100 yards is 1.3 Inches up, but then at 200 yards, the bullet drop is at 0 (200 yards is the zero point or the range the rifle is sited for).
MOA made simple
MOA or Minute of Angle is a common way people describe accuracy and trajectory. One minute of angle equals one-sixtieth of one angle. There are 60 minutes of angle in each degree, 360 degrees in a circle. When your rifle is pointed down range, there is a total of 180 degrees to your immediate left, right, and everything in between. See the example below.
Minute of Angle (MOA) explained
If we shine a laser down the end of your barrel in a perfectly straight line, we can describe the variance from this line in MOA. If the barrel is rotated 1 MOA, and we shoot out another perfectly straight line the difference between where these two lines hit at 100 yards will be about 1 inch at 100 yards. About 2 inches at 200 yards and so on.
What is Minute of Angle
It is common for the adjustments on optics to be made in MOA. If a scope has ¼ MOA adjustments, it will take four clicks to change the impact point by about one inch at 100 yards. In the below table you can see the MOA adjustment vs. the change at 100 Meters/Yards. In our example of the 223/ 5.56 ballistics, if your rifle was shooting ½ inch high at 100 yards, and your optic adjustments were in ¼ MOA you would want to adjust your scope down two clicks.
MOA Sight Adjustment Table – 100 Yards
Velocity is the speed at which the bullet travels. Pretty simple right!
Velocity is usually measured in feet per second (fps). For any given projectile, as you push it faster, you will, of course, have improved trajectory and higher energy output. When you compare velocities of projectiles with differing weights, you will want to take all of the data into consideration.
The smaller calibers, such as the .223 Win/5.56 NATO, generally have a projectile weight of 50 gr-62 gr. The .223 Win (5.56 NATO) bullet FLIES out of the muzzle anywhere from 3,000 – 3,500 fps but the velocity drops off relatively quickly. The heavier projectiles from larger calibers, such as the 300 Win Mag, come out of the muzzle a little slower but do not lose that velocity quite as quickly.
We have put together a heat map for the average velocities and the rate at which the velocity declines for each caliber. In the heat map, green is higher and red is lower. Again with the .223 Win/5.56 NATO, which has the highest velocity coming out of the barrel, but also the highest rate of decline in that velocity. The .300 Win Mag, with a bullet weight of 150 gr – 200 gr, has an average muzzle velocity of 2,980, but the projectile with heavier mass holds that speed better than the lighter options.
This discussion about velocity in relation to projectile mass is directly related to the energy of the projectile and makes for a nice transition!
Average Bullet Velocity – FPS
Bullet Velocity Lost every 100 Yards
Having just discussed velocity and its interaction with bullet weight, it will come as no surprise to see that the energy produced by the .300 Win Mag is significantly higher than the .223 Win/5.56 NATO, and noticeably higher than the other calibers.
Energy is measured in foot-pounds and represents the kinetic energy of the projectile. Energy is a factor of the bullet mass and the bullet velocity. Energy has a linear relationship with mass but an exponential relationship with velocity. In other words if you increase the projectile mass by two the energy will also increase by two; however, if you increase the projectile velocity by two, the energy will increase by four times!
When the projectile strikes, the target, energy is transferred from the projectile into a target. This massive release of energy is what causes much of the damage which will create a fatal wound in the intended game.
Average Energy – 223 Win – 5.56 NATO -270 Win – 300 Win Mag – 30 06 – 308 Win
We hope that you find this data useful, and we hope that you will let us know how we can improve this tool. We intend to continue adding calibers, cartridges, and additional data so please bookmark this page and come back often. If you have suggestions, please let us know! We have selected .223 Win/5.56 NATO, .270 Win, .300 Win Mag, .30-06, and .308 Win because they are some of the most popular calibers, and some of our favorites. We will be adding to this list and building out some fun and new graphs, tables, charts, and visuals.
The .270 and the .30-06 are the two most popular big-game cartridges among American hunters, and the 270 vs 30 06 debate can get heated!
Both cartridges are versatile workhorses that get the job done. Both are capable of bringing down the most popular North American big game – including whitetail, mule deer, elk, and black bear. Also, due to their popularity, the load selection is extensive, and there are plenty of factory model firearms chambered for each.
Before we get into the details of our comparisons, let’s take a look at the data. We want to share our caliber comparison dashboard. We have included 270 vs.30 06 data, as well as several other calibers for reference.
This dashboard combines 270 vs. 30 06, trajectory, velocity, and energy data ranging from Muzzle to 500 yards.
You can filter for 30 06 Springfield and 270 Winchester for this comparison, or you can compare the 270 Winchester or 30 06 Springfield to any of the other calibers in the list. You can also select specific cartridges/loads for a more detailed analysis.
Check out some options for your ballistic needs in the field:
.270 Winchester versus .30-06 Springfield: A Brief History
Developed by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, the .270 Winchester (or 6.8×64mm) was introduced to American shooters in 1925. Developed specifically for their bolt-action Model 54, the .270 is basically a necked down version of the .30-03.
The .270 Winchester gained popularity mostly due to outdoor writer Jack O’Connor, who sang the cartridges praises in the pages of Outdoor Life magazine.
Almost entirely a hunter’s caliber, the .270 has not been a popular cartridge for match competition. Although it delivers great long-range accuracy, there are few match-grade options available. However, the .270 Win. was designed for hunting big game, and it hasn’t been tainted by alterations or additions designed for other shooting applications.
In general, if you purchase .270 Win cartridges, you can rest assured they were designed for one thing and one thing only, to bring down big game effectively.
While the .270 has its background in hunting, the .30-06 (pronounced “thirty-aught-six”) cartridge has a military history. Introduced to the United States Army in 1906, the .30-06 remained the U.S. Army’s primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for half a century.
The military’s sweetheart for decades, this is the cartridge famed Marine sniper, Carlos Hathcock II, used both as his military sniping tool and to win the Wimbledon Cup. Hathcock is best known as the “White Feather Sniper” of the Vietnam War. Hathcock’s made the second-longest sniper shot (1,200 yards) with a .30-06 Springfield.
When it comes to hunting, the .30-06 is the number one choice for whitetails in the United States, although it has killed every big game animal in North America
.270 Winchester versus .30-06 Springfield: Performance
History is great, but how do these cartridges perform in the field against the most popular game animals in North America? Let’s break it down.
Recoil and Shootability
Recoil (sometimes called “kick”) is the rearward movement of the firearm when fired. Felt as impact on our shoulder when we shoot, the amount of recoil generated by any rifle load depends on several factors, including the weight and design of the rifle. Therefore, the felt recoil of any specific cartridge will vary according to the specific firearm used to fire the round.
Perceived recoil, or what the shooter feels, is purely subjective. For example, recoil is the last thing a hunter is thinking about when he has a big elk in his crosshairs. However, the amount of recoil felt affects second shot accuracy and the overall shootability of the firearm.
Most shooters agree the .30-06 generates more recoil than the .270. Generally speaking, the .30-06 cartridge is loaded with more propellant and is shooting a heavier projectile, so this seems to make sense. However, most .30-06 rifles tend to be heavier than their .270 counterparts, absorbing much of the recoil by the heavier weight of the gun itself.
Still, if you want cold hard facts, here are the numbers laid out for you to compare. Just keep in mind that the amount of recoil generated may not be what you will feel when you shoot, especially during the excitement of the hunt!
The Ballistic Coefficient of a rifle bullet basically refers to how well it cuts through the air. When it comes to ballistic coefficient (or BC), the higher the number, the better a bullet will resist drag and wind drift, giving you more consistent downrange accuracy.
The shape of the projectile and the speed it travels will affect the ballistic coefficient. For example, a round nose bullet will have a lower BC than a Spitzer. On the back end of the bullet, a boat tail reduces drag, increasing the ballistic coefficient.
When it comes to 30 06 v. 270, there is little difference in the general ballistic coefficients of both cartridges. Both have a long, thin tapered design, which helps cut drag and stabilize the bullet in flight, producing impressive ballistic performance.
.30-06 cartridges are typically available in heavier grain weights than the .270. A heavier bullet is harder for a crosswind to push around, helping improve the general ballistic performance of the .30-06. However, the improvement is minimal, and there is no clear trend favoring one load over another, especially when comparing cartridges with matching grain weights.
Simply put, trajectory is the path your bullet takes as it moves toward your intended target. As your bullet leaves the muzzle and travels downrange, it is affected by both gravity and air resistance. Air resistance causes it to slow, and gravity pulls it toward the ground. With a loss of speed, gravity’s force increases, causing your bullet to drop more quickly.
If you chart your bullet’s path through the air, it will resemble an arc or a parabolic curve.
When it comes to long-distance shooting, the flatter a bullet’s trajectory, the less the shooter must compensate for distance, and the more accurate those long range shots will be. When we say “flat,” we are referring to the parabolic curve. A bullet with a flat trajectory will have less drop in altitude as the bullet travels distance.
When comparing .270 and .30-06 rounds of similar weight and design, we see almost no difference in short range trajectory. However, we start to see a small difference once we move out past 400 yards.
The .270 has flatter trajectory options compared to the .30-06. However, unless you are shooting out past 600 yards, you aren’t going to see a significant difference.
270 vs 30 06 Long Range Trajectory Graph
The accuracy of any given round is hard to determine. Besides the specific cartridge being used there are many variables, including wind conditions, the specific firearm, and the individual shooter.
When it comes to long range shots, the .270 may have a slightly flatter trajectory than the .30-06. However, the heavier weight of the .30-06 will be slightly more resistant to crosswind. The differences in the two are negligible, and certainly not enough to qualify one as being more accurate than the other.
As far as recoil goes, the .30-06, as we mentioned earlier, has slightly more recoil energy than the .270. Although the exact numbers of felt recoil vary, for some shooters, this could initiate a flinch response, potentially affecting accuracy, especially on those follow-up shots.
All these factors create only minor differences in the accuracy of these two cartridges. When the rubber meets the road, the cartridge that delivers better accuracy is likely to be the one being used by the better shooter.
Accuracy is an important factor in any cartridge selection. But for the hunter, terminal performance is even more important. The amount of stopping power your ammunition delivers is largely what puts meat on the table.
Even the most perfectly placed shot will be ineffective if that shot doesn’t deliver enough expansion and penetration to provide a clean kill.
Both the .270 and .30-06 cartridges were designed to travel long distances and still pack enough punch to drop a big game animal. Carving an effective wound channel to deliver a quick and humane kill is largely determined by the individual bullet design and its terminal expansion.
With so many loads available, today’s big game hunter has plenty to choose from when it comes to how a bullet expands once it hits the target. There are projectiles that mushroom or fragment upon impact and those that are designed to pass cleanly through with no expansion.
With so many variations, it is impossible to cover them all. Instead, we will focus this article mainly on energy transfer and penetration.
Once a projectile leaves the muzzle of your gun, it carries kinetic energy. Generated by the force of the gunpowder and the bullet’s weight, this energy is transferred to the target upon impact.
The force of the impact causes some effective organ and tissue damage regardless of penetration. It doesn’t take bullet penetration to cause serious damage. Blunt force trauma can devastate. For example, being hit by a truck can be pretty catastrophic.
When comparing similar grain weights, there is little difference in energy transfer between the .270 and .30-06 loads. On average, both cartridges will deliver enough kinetic energy to take down larger game.
Regardless of which cartridge you choose, be sure to look for a load that delivers at least 1,000-foot pounds of force. This is the minimum force necessary to take down most big game effectively. If you are in pursuit of larger game, including elk, bear, or moose, you may want to look for a load that delivers an even harder impact.
However, keep in mind that kinetic energy is just one variable in the equation. Tissue disruption and penetration also play vital roles in how effectively and humanely an animal is harvested. And of course, nothing is a substitute for a well-placed shot.
270 vs 30 06 Average Energy
When hunting large game, you need a round capable of penetrating through tough thick hide and still keep traveling far enough to reach deep vital organs.
There are several factors that determine how well a given round will penetrate, including the bullet’s diameter and weight, the velocity it is traveling, and the bullet’s design. Bullets with a higher density, traveling at a higher velocity, will usually deliver deeper penetration.
However, as with most things related to ammunition, penetration is slightly more complicated. For example, a highly bonded projectile will penetrate more deeply than one that mushrooms or fragments upon impact.
In this case, deep penetration doesn’t necessarily equate to higher lethality. In general, bonded bullets with deeper penetration create less tissue disruption and are less effective, especially when used on the largest game animals.f
Conclusion and Recommended Applications
After laying the performance of each cartridge type out for comparison, I think we can all agree the differences between the .270 and .30-06 are minimal. Both cartridges are an excellent choice for hunting big game. With the proper bullet weight, both cartridges are capable of humanely harvesting whitetails, mule deer, wild hogs, and even elk.
For hunting moose, bear, and other larger game, the .30-06 may have a slight advantage. The .30-06 is available in bullet weights capable of delivering higher energy transfer and more effective killing wounds. A .30-06 cartridge loaded with a 180 grain bullet is going to be more effective against a big moose than a .270 loaded with a 130 grain bullet.
On the other hand, the lighter grain weights typical of the .270 round make it more practical for smaller game (including whitetails) where you might not need the stopping power or recoil of a .30-06 round.
While there are a few differences between the two, both the .270 and the .30-06 are capable of excelling in most North American big game hunting situations. Choosing which one will work best for you is best discovered on the shooting range. If you have the opportunity, try shooting several different loads of both. Ultimately, the “best” cartridge is the one you feel most confident shooting.
It is easy to understand why the 270 vs 30 06 debate is often so heated. They are both great cartridges for big game hunting. Choosing which one is “best” is really just a matter of personal opinion.