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I was watching some GunBlue490 videos on YouTube the other day (his videos are very informative, by the way) and he was talking about how cartridges come and go over time in the marketplace. New cartridges will hit the market, they’ll be hot for a few years, but over time many fade into obscurity. One of the ways he looked at sustainable cartridges was by the number of new rifles offered for sale. His market perspective, which I think is pretty solid, is that gun manufacturers don’t want to make products that won’t sell, so they will mostly focus on chamberings they believe will continue to attract gun buyers.

That idea sort of stuck with me and piqued my curiosity, so I did my own market sampling. I went to a few websites where new guns are sold, entered the data in an Access database, and tabulated the results. I limited it to just the cartridges shown in the attached summary sheet, and also did not include some which I already know are popular. In particular, I did not record any data for 223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridges. I think it’s pretty clear that there are plenty of new rifles offered in those cartridges, and consequently semi-automatics are under-represented in this sample. I also recorded the sale price for each rifle, it’s action type, and some model data. It was a fun exercise as far as it went, and altogether I recorded a total of 2,640 rifles in the database over a three-day period.

Going into this I thought that 308Win and 30-06 would run neck-and-neck for most popular chambering. I was half-right, 308Win was by far the most popular (432 guns, 16.4% of all; as a footnote, 43 of those were semi-auto). However, it was educational for me to see that 30-06 was surpassed in the new rifle market by 6.5 Creedmoor, 300WinMag, and even 243Win. Altogether, 30-06 represents 7.8% of all the new guns I entered in the database. And despite some comments I’ve read on other forums, the 7mm RemMag is not exactly fading away since that chambering represents 5.5% (146 total) of the new guns in this sample. At the other end, the poor 358Win was represented by zero – yes, zero -- new rifles. Not a single one out of 2,640. That made me sad because, personally, I enjoy the hell out of my BLR in 358Win.

I expect, or I at least hope, that this sample size may be fairly representative, but of course this isn’t scientific, just a fun pursuit of information. Anyway, I thought I’d share the attached summary sheet (as a PDF file) with the rest of you in case you find it of interest. I know it’s a bit nerdy, but I guess guilty as charged…
 

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I was watching some GunBlue490 videos on YouTube the other day (his videos are very informative, by the way) and he was talking about how cartridges come and go over time in the marketplace. New cartridges will hit the market, they’ll be hot for a few years, but over time many fade into obscurity. One of the ways he looked at sustainable cartridges was by the number of new rifles offered for sale. His market perspective, which I think is pretty solid, is that gun manufacturers don’t want to make products that won’t sell, so they will mostly focus on chamberings they believe will continue to attract gun buyers.

That idea sort of stuck with me and piqued my curiosity, so I did my own market sampling. I went to a few websites where new guns are sold, entered the data in an Access database, and tabulated the results. I limited it to just the cartridges shown in the attached summary sheet, and also did not include some which I already know are popular. In particular, I did not record any data for 223 Remington or 5.56 NATO cartridges. I think it’s pretty clear that there are plenty of new rifles offered in those cartridges, and consequently semi-automatics are under-represented in this sample. I also recorded the sale price for each rifle, it’s action type, and some model data. It was a fun exercise as far as it went, and altogether I recorded a total of 2,640 rifles in the database over a three-day period.

Going into this I thought that 308Win and 30-06 would run neck-and-neck for most popular chambering. I was half-right, 308Win was by far the most popular (432 guns, 16.4% of all; as a footnote, 43 of those were semi-auto). However, it was educational for me to see that 30-06 was surpassed in the new rifle market by 6.5 Creedmoor, 300WinMag, and even 243Win. Altogether, 30-06 represents 7.8% of all the new guns I entered in the database. And despite some comments I’ve read on other forums, the 7mm RemMag is not exactly fading away since that chambering represents 5.5% (146 total) of the new guns in this sample. At the other end, the poor 358Win was represented by zero – yes, zero -- new rifles. Not a single one out of 2,640. That made me sad because, personally, I enjoy the hell out of my BLR in 358Win.

I expect, or I at least hope, that this sample size may be fairly representative, but of course this isn’t scientific, just a fun pursuit of information. Anyway, I thought I’d share the attached summary sheet (as a PDF file) with the rest of you in case you find it of interest. I know it’s a bit nerdy, but I guess guilty as charged…
Outstanding work, sir.

The popularity of the .243 surprised me.
 

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As Florida deer tend to be smaller than elsewhere, the. 243Win is very popular here too. And especially among women and younger hunters. For the same reason, Thutty-thutty is still highly popular.
 

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That’s interesting! Thanks for sharing your findings.

I used to hunt with .25-06 and .30-06. .308 is the cartridge to hunt with out here now though.
I hear a LOT of chatter about the 6 and 6.5 cartridges at the gun range. I’m not surprised to see those are popular. I am surprised to see .300 WinMag so popular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That’s interesting! Thanks for sharing your findings.

I used to hunt with .25-06 and .30-06. .308 is the cartridge to hunt with out here now though.
I hear a LOT of chatter about the 6 and 6.5 cartridges at the gun range. I’m not surprised to see those are popular. I am surprised to see .300 WinMag so popular.
Hi Dutch --
I think I may have some additional data to shed light on the 300 WinMag popularity, at least based on my experience here in the Northwest (particularly eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Idaho). Hunting here can sometimes offer more opportunities for long-distance shots, so there is a need to be careful about cartridge selection to ensure humane kills. I did an analysis of some select cartridges (the ones I have at my disposal) based on sectional density, velocity, recoil, impact energy, etc., and charted the results by color-coding applicability to Elk and Deer based on range. I've attached the summary of that analysis as a PDF file. For Elk my requirements were (1) sectional density .2785 or above, (2) velocity 1800 fps or above at point of impact, and (3) impact energy of 1500 foot pounds or above. Deer requirements were sectional density .2145 or above, velocity 1500 fps or above, and impact energy 1200 foot pounds or above. The yellow cells on the attached chart are those which indicate acceptable hunting ranges for Elk for the different cartridges, and the green cells indicate acceptable hunting ranges for Deer. You'll notice that the 300 WinMag is the only cartridge (of those analyzed) which is effective for large game up to 750 yards. It is just barely better than the 6.5 PRC, 7mm RemMag, and 338 WinMag, but better it is. Remember, this is a "paper analysis" so certainly real-world experiences may be different, and I'm not someone who makes 750 yard shots (!), but at least from a confidence perspective this analysis points me in the direction of taking the 300 WinMag with me whenever I head out on an Elk hunt. If this paper analysis is aligned with real-world experiences, then it may at least partially explain why the 300 WinMag's popularity is so high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Once you get bigger than .338 cal cartridges there are less people that shoot them other than the 45/70. Pretty much only big & dangerous game hunters buy them,and that's a small percentage of hunters.
Hi Tx --
You're right, of course, but I have to somewhat sheepishly admit that I acquired a 416 RemMag some years ago. Not because I needed it. Unless I win the lottery hunting in Africa will probably always be nothing but a fantasy. I just wanted it for some reason. Even today I'm not exactly sure why, probably just an ego thing to shoot a beasty now and then, but dang if I don't enjoy that rifle...
 

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Hi Dutch --
I think I may have some additional data to shed light on the 300 WinMag popularity, at least based on my experience here in the Northwest (particularly eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and Idaho). Hunting here can sometimes offer more opportunities for long-distance shots, so there is a need to be careful about cartridge selection to ensure humane kills. I did an analysis of some select cartridges (the ones I have at my disposal) based on sectional density, velocity, recoil, impact energy, etc., and charted the results by color-coding applicability to Elk and Deer based on range. I've attached the summary of that analysis as a PDF file. For Elk my requirements were (1) sectional density .2785 or above, (2) velocity 1800 fps or above at point of impact, and (3) impact energy of 1500 foot pounds or above. Deer requirements were sectional density .2145 or above, velocity 1500 fps or above, and impact energy 1200 foot pounds or above. The yellow cells on the attached chart are those which indicate acceptable hunting ranges for Elk for the different cartridges, and the green cells indicate acceptable hunting ranges for Deer. You'll notice that the 300 WinMag is the only cartridge (of those analyzed) which is effective for large game up to 750 yards. It is just barely better than the 6.5 PRC, 7mm RemMag, and 338 WinMag, but better it is. Remember, this is a "paper analysis" so certainly real-world experiences may be different, and I'm not someone who makes 750 yard shots (!), but at least from a confidence perspective this analysis points me in the direction of taking the 300 WinMag with me whenever I head out on an Elk hunt. If this paper analysis is aligned with real-world experiences, then it may at least partially explain why the 300 WinMag's popularity is so high.
I sometimes forget other places and people have a different hunting experience. Where I tend to hunt elk a 250 yard shot is about the farthest you're ever going to get. There's one rock outcropping overlooking a valley that goes to 360 yards. Which is just a touch far for my .308. My longest shot at an elk was probably short of 200 yards.
 

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I sometimes forget other places and people have a different hunting experience. Where I tend to hunt elk a 250 yard shot is about the farthest you're ever going to get. There's one rock outcropping overlooking a valley that goes to 360 yards. Which is just a touch far for my .308. My longest shot at an elk was probably short of 200 yards.
This year I hunted CO for Elk and my friend shot his cow at approx. 320yds. That was about average for the area we were hunting. There were a couple of dense timber areas we hunted but for the most part all the animals were spotted in the sparse timber or clear cut areas.
 
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