Gun Digest


With regard to the terminal performance of centerfire rifle and handgun ammunition, the written word has probably used up enough paper to deforest a national park. Not only is it a favorite topic for gun writers to pontificate on, it fuels a lot of gun counter conversations and campfire arguments. Why isn’t there the same interest in the terminal performance of rimfire ammunition?

I think this is partly because a lot of critters shot with rimfire ammunition are relatively small, not life threatening or not considered a trophy, at least in the same sense a mature mule deer buck might be. Proportionally and for what it’s worth, the power-to-game-weight ratio is very similar between centerfire and rimfire cartridges, with a maximum practical limit of about 2 to 2.5 ft-lb of energy for every pound of game weight. Put another way and in the vaguest of terms, if a 1,000-pound animal—a moose—is considered the maximum practical limit for the .308 Winchester, then a 40-pound animal—a large coyote—would be a reasonable maximum limit

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