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Thread: dangerous calibers to own together

  1. #1

    dangerous calibers to own together

    I am not that much of health and safety freak, but some of my friends think otherwise. I like to take care of the H&S at source if possible, so I don't have to think too much. So I was thinking what caliber combinations are there where the owner has to take extra care in not loading the wrong rifle with the wrong cartridge for serious consequences?

    So for instance a .308 winchester cartridge in a .270 Winchester rifle will blow it sky high. Obviously the shorter version of an earlier cartridge makes it dangerous as the rifle will accept it. In this case a .308 bullet in any 30'06 parent necked down smaller rifle calibre is a dangerous combo if the cartridge loads.

    Others might be say .338 Federal or .358 Winchester in a .308 Winchester? But would the cartridge load or not? I do not suggest anyone out there tries to do this with live ammo, dummies only. But you see what I mean. Has any one made a list of dangerous caliber combos for the sake of it? It could influence your decision on what calibers you might own.

  2. #2
    308 won't chamber in a 270...
    I get mildly worried about having a 243 and a 308, but from what I understand, all that happens is very poor accuracy!

  3. #3
    I once saw a 7x57 case which had been fired in a 270. The rifle survived unscathed.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by western woodsman View Post
    Has any one made a list of dangerous caliber combos for the sake of it?
    You shouldn't have to. If you need such a list, you shouldn't be shooting, or taking medications for that matter. I have a slew of rifles and handguns in dozens of different chamberings, and don't mix up my ammunition.~Muir

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    ...and don't mix up my ammunition.~Muir
    That has to be the key, I think.

    From that perspective, given the way the ammuntion is handled (in my case at least, by the cartridge-bag or pocketful) 12 and 20bore have to be top of the list.

  7. #7
    I've seen a 6.5x55 shot in a 25-06. Rifle and owner survived fully intact, Steyr Classic half stock the pre SBS version, but it put his biological washing powder to a pretty severe test.
    Current battery, Air Arms TX200 MK3 .177, Hawke Vantage SF 3-12x40, Anschutz 1427B .22LR Sporterised Biathlon rifle, A-TEC wave mod Nikon 4.5-14x40, Tikka M595 .222Rem Leupold 6.5-20x40 LR. Howa 1500 APC .308win Varmint Nikko FFP 6-24x50 Wildcat Evo. Sauer 202 Classic XT .243Win Leupold VX3 4.5-14x50 Wildcat Evo.

  8. #8
    I have a 308 and a 300WM, two very different rifles. Have never made the mistake "yet" of taking the wrong rounds..

  9. #9
    There is such a list around somewhere, but there are actually relatively few really dangerous rifle cartridge / chamber combinations. One notorious one that saw a few US GI rifles destroyed is 7.92X57mm in a .30-06 rifle.

    In examples where manufacturers base cartridges on a single case, they'll normally set things up so that a larger calibre version won't chamber in a smaller. A good example is .280 Rem and the older .270 Win both based on the necked-down .30-06 case. Remington moved the shoulder position forward on the 280 so it won't chamber in a 270 rifle - unless you hit the bolt handle with a mallet and force the round in by resizing the case enough, and there'll be some numpty (or 100) who'll no doubt have done that over the years.

    By far the greatest calibre / cartridge mismatch risk in common firearms use is in shotguns where a 16 or 20 Bore cartridge is mixed in with 12s in a coat pocket or similar. Placing the smaller cartridge into the chamber sees it slip through and lodge further down the bore blocking the barrel. If the user doesn't notice and then chambers a 12, it'll chamber OK but this invariably destroys the gun and often causes severe injury to the shooter's forward hand which is situated in the region of the blockage and where the barrel will explode.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tac29136 View Post
    I have a 308 and a 300WM, two very different rifles. Have never made the mistake "yet" of taking the wrong rounds..
    You're pretty safe there even if you were careless. The 308 is so much smaller than than a 300 mag both in length and case diameter, it won't fire when you press the trigger. The firing pin will just move the cartridge forward in the chamber such is the excess headspace, assuming that the case-head and bolt-face are anywhere near touching at the time anyway. Not that I'd like to try it, you understand.

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