Which is more powerful?

andyk

Well-Known Member
There seem to be regular discussions on here about a couple of common issues with FEOs, being (i) not to allow anything more powerful than a .243 for newcomers, and (ii) to be extremely difficult about anything larger than .30 cal, either refusing an application or putting utterly stupid conditions on them.

Now, the purpose here isn't to argue about whether a backstop for one cartridge is good enough for another but to consider whether there is any truth to the idea that a more powerful rifle is actually more dangerous to the public if used negligently, i,e. without a backstop.

So, I've plugged some figures into a ballistic calculator for some varmint, deer, big bore and long range sniping cartridges at muzzle, 250m, 500m, 750m and 1000m.

I’ve put big bore cartridges in red.

.223 Rem: 1,209 - 607 - 274 - 129 - 87

.22-250 Rem: 1,562 - 806 - 380 - 167 - 99

.243 Win: 1,933 - 1,239 - 757 - 447 - 278

6.5 Creedmoor: 2,402 - 1,826 - 1,364 - 1,000 - 724

.270 Win: 2,686 - 1,872 - 1,268 - 830 - 535

.308 Win: 2,620 - 1,830 - 1,241 - 832 - 553

.300 Win Mag: 3,598 - 2,542 - 1,747 - 1,165 - 764

.338 Lap Mag: 4,787 - 3,858 - 3,076 - 2,424 - 1,889

.375 H&H: 4,614 - 2,901 - 1,738 - 1,027 - 685

.416 Rem Mag: 5,117 - 2,838 - 1,512 - 934 - 703

.458 Win Mag:
5,133 - 2,638 - 1,400 - 964 - 749

.50 BMG: 13,058 - 11,127 - 9,430 - 7,940 - 6,642

.505 Gibbs: 5,903 - 2,873 - 1,442 - 975 - 747

What jumps out is that while the big bore cartridges have very high muzzle energy, they don’t keep it. Beyond 500m there is very little to call in terms of the energy difference. I would also add that, aside from the 6.5 Creedmoor, I used bullets with ‘average’ BCs rather than ELDs etc, so the ‘normal’ cartridges could close the small gap with a change of bullet.

Making a bit of an assumption, I would think the risk to the public (what little there is) is more likely to be at longer range than shorter, when looking at negligent shots with poor backstops.

Having done this, I’d go so far as to say there is no appreciable difference between the big bores and normal deer cartridges out passed 500-600m in terms of the energy on target. Given how robust most big bore bullets are, I’d wager they may be less dangerous to a human than a more frangible deer bullet at those ranges but that is a little beside the point.

Based on this, I cannot see any particular justification for the approach that FEOs take to big bores. If you’re hit with a centrefire anything within 400-500m (the range where the big bore has a particular advantage) your day is going to be ruined regardless of what cartridge. Beyond that, it’s still going to be ruined but there is little difference to by how much.

I guess the bad news is it does show a real difference in ballistics at those ranges between varmint and deer cartridges, with even the .243 lagging behind in the long range energy department. So could justify a slightly different approach between say a .223 and .308.

Also, the long range sniping cartridges (apologies, I couldn’t think of a better name) do show much better energy retention and, on that metric alone, could justify a more cautious approach by the FEO.

Other views are appreciated, so please comment away! I just thought it would be interesting to put some figures to what many of us probably suspected.
 
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andyk

Well-Known Member
Don't worry about which is the most powerful or dangerous as they will all kill you at 1000 yards.

Precisely, but the impression the FEOs appear to have is that somehow you would be far better off being hit by a 6.5 at that distance than a .375 but the figures just don't back that up.
 

Foxyboy43

Well-Known Member
Ahem! I think you will find that it is all politics and presentation. One simply cannot have all those nasty big bore WMDs out there in the hands of those shady deerstalking types, shades of the recent 50 cals debacle. Similar nonsense in NI with “bands” (not the flute type!) - they will all kill at distance. In some ways a bit like the “black guns/high capacity mags” debate in the US. Pure Politics, Presentation and of course Pish!
Just saying.
🦊🦊
 

g.u.y

Well-Known Member
The mind boggles at the power of the .50bmg. More energy at 1000 yards than any of the others at the muzzle 😳
 

andyk

Well-Known Member
@Rewulf - yes, the BC is what sets the Creed apart and, as I say, I otherwise used more 'standard' BCs. My thinking was if I used the slipperiest bullet for each it wouldn't be properly representative but, seeing as the Creed is regularly loaded with slippery bullets, it seemed fair to use the ELD-X for the calculation.

@Foxyboy43 - you may be correct but sometimes I wonder if it is simply ignorance (this side of the pond at least) and that FEOs just assume a bigger number means more danger, without any understanding of the underlying ballistics. I think there was a chap on here recently told that while he couldn't have the .308 he asked for, he could have a .270. That just strikes me as ignorance.

@g.u.y - I thought that too, the idea that it sticks more energy on target at a KM than a .505 Gibbs does at the muzzle is quite something. The .338 was also quite interesting. It really shows the importance of BC beyond about 500m.
 

Namman

Well-Known Member
There seem to be regular discussions on here about a couple of common issues with FEOs, being (i) not to allow anything more powerful than a .243 for newcomers, and (ii) to be extremely difficult about anything larger than .30 cal, either refusing an application or putting utterly stupid conditions on them.

Now, the purpose here isn't to argue about whether a backstop for one cartridge is good enough for another but to consider whether there is any truth to the idea that a more powerful rifle is actually more dangerous to the public if used negligently, i,e. without a backstop.

So, I've plugged some figures into a ballistic calculator for some varmint, deer, big bore and long range sniping cartridges at muzzle, 250m, 500m, 750m and 1000m.

I’ve put big bore cartridges in red.

.223 Rem: 1,209 - 607 - 274 - 129 - 87

.22-250 Rem: 1,562 - 806 - 380 - 167 - 99

.243 Win: 1,933 - 1,239 - 757 - 447 - 278

6.5 Creedmoor: 2,402 - 1,826 - 1,364 - 1,000 - 724

.270 Win: 2,686 - 1,872 - 1,268 - 830 - 535

.308 Win: 2,620 - 1,830 - 1,241 - 832 - 553

.300 Win Mag: 3,598 - 2,542 - 1,747 - 1,165 - 764

.338 Lap Mag: 4,787 - 3,858 - 3,076 - 2,424 - 1,889

.375 H&H: 4,614 - 2,901 - 1,738 - 1,027 - 685

.416 Rem Mag: 5,117 - 2,838 - 1,512 - 934 - 703

.458 Win Mag:
5,133 - 2,638 - 1,400 - 964 - 749

.50 BMG: 13,058 - 11,127 - 9,430 - 7,940 - 6,642

.505 Gibbs: 5,903 - 2,873 - 1,442 - 975 - 747

What jumps out is that while the big bore cartridges have very high muzzle energy, they don’t keep it. Beyond 500m there is very little to call in terms of the energy difference. I would also add that, aside from the 6.5 Creedmoor, I used bullets with ‘average’ BCs rather than ELDs etc, so the ‘normal’ cartridges could close the small gap with a change of bullet.

Making a bit of an assumption, I would think the risk to the public (what little there is) is more likely to be at longer range than shorter, when looking at negligent shots with poor backstops.

Having done this, I’d go so far as to say there is no appreciable difference between the big bores and normal deer cartridges out passed 500-600m in terms of the energy on target. Given how robust most big bore bullets are, I’d wager they may be less dangerous to a human than a more frangible deer bullet at those ranges but that is a little beside the point.

Based on this, I cannot see any particular justification for the approach that FEOs take to big bores. If you’re hit with a centrefire anything within 400-500m (the range where the big bore has a particular advantage) your day is going to be ruined regardless of what cartridge. Beyond that, it’s still going to be ruined but there is little difference to by how much.

I guess the bad news is it does show a real difference in ballistics at those ranges between varmint and deer cartridges, with even the .243 lagging behind in the long range energy department. So could justify a slightly different approach between say a .223 and .308.

Also, the long range sniping cartridges (apologies, I couldn’t think of a better name) do show much better energy retention and, on that metric alone, could justify a more cautious approach by the FEO.

Other views are appreciated, so please comment away! I just thought it would be interesting to put some figures to what many of us probably suspected.
I totally agree with all you are saying. In fact I believe in the grand scale of things larger bores are safer .
However we are controlled by ignorance and certain FEO'S who appear to go out of their way to be obstructive. Firearms licencing in this country is inconsistent among Police Forces and even within the same force.
 

Namman

Well-Known Member
There seem to be regular discussions on here about a couple of common issues with FEOs, being (i) not to allow anything more powerful than a .243 for newcomers, and (ii) to be extremely difficult about anything larger than .30 cal, either refusing an application or putting utterly stupid conditions on them.

Now, the purpose here isn't to argue about whether a backstop for one cartridge is good enough for another but to consider whether there is any truth to the idea that a more powerful rifle is actually more dangerous to the public if used negligently, i,e. without a backstop.

So, I've plugged some figures into a ballistic calculator for some varmint, deer, big bore and long range sniping cartridges at muzzle, 250m, 500m, 750m and 1000m.

I’ve put big bore cartridges in red.

.223 Rem: 1,209 - 607 - 274 - 129 - 87

.22-250 Rem: 1,562 - 806 - 380 - 167 - 99

.243 Win: 1,933 - 1,239 - 757 - 447 - 278

6.5 Creedmoor: 2,402 - 1,826 - 1,364 - 1,000 - 724

.270 Win: 2,686 - 1,872 - 1,268 - 830 - 535

.308 Win: 2,620 - 1,830 - 1,241 - 832 - 553

.300 Win Mag: 3,598 - 2,542 - 1,747 - 1,165 - 764

.338 Lap Mag: 4,787 - 3,858 - 3,076 - 2,424 - 1,889

.375 H&H: 4,614 - 2,901 - 1,738 - 1,027 - 685

.416 Rem Mag: 5,117 - 2,838 - 1,512 - 934 - 703

.458 Win Mag:
5,133 - 2,638 - 1,400 - 964 - 749

.50 BMG: 13,058 - 11,127 - 9,430 - 7,940 - 6,642

.505 Gibbs: 5,903 - 2,873 - 1,442 - 975 - 747

What jumps out is that while the big bore cartridges have very high muzzle energy, they don’t keep it. Beyond 500m there is very little to call in terms of the energy difference. I would also add that, aside from the 6.5 Creedmoor, I used bullets with ‘average’ BCs rather than ELDs etc, so the ‘normal’ cartridges could close the small gap with a change of bullet.

Making a bit of an assumption, I would think the risk to the public (what little there is) is more likely to be at longer range than shorter, when looking at negligent shots with poor backstops.

Having done this, I’d go so far as to say there is no appreciable difference between the big bores and normal deer cartridges out passed 500-600m in terms of the energy on target. Given how robust most big bore bullets are, I’d wager they may be less dangerous to a human than a more frangible deer bullet at those ranges but that is a little beside the point.

Based on this, I cannot see any particular justification for the approach that FEOs take to big bores. If you’re hit with a centrefire anything within 400-500m (the range where the big bore has a particular advantage) your day is going to be ruined regardless of what cartridge. Beyond that, it’s still going to be ruined but there is little difference to by how much.

I guess the bad news is it does show a real difference in ballistics at those ranges between varmint and deer cartridges, with even the .243 lagging behind in the long range energy department. So could justify a slightly different approach between say a .223 and .308.

Also, the long range sniping cartridges (apologies, I couldn’t think of a better name) do show much better energy retention and, on that metric alone, could justify a more cautious approach by the FEO.

Other views are appreciated, so please comment away! I just thought it would be interesting to put some figures to what many of us probably suspected.
As others have stated , it's all to do with BC.
Usually the bigger bores like 375, 416, 458 , 505 are loaded with round nose bullets designed for relatively close range work. However if you load streamlined boattail bullet in say a .375, then the picture changes!
 

Tazz

Well-Known Member
There seem to be regular discussions on here about a couple of common issues with FEOs, being (i) not to allow anything more powerful than a .243 for newcomers, and (ii) to be extremely difficult about anything larger than .30 cal, either refusing an application or putting utterly stupid conditions on them.

Now, the purpose here isn't to argue about whether a backstop for one cartridge is good enough for another but to consider whether there is any truth to the idea that a more powerful rifle is actually more dangerous to the public if used negligently, i,e. without a backstop.

So, I've plugged some figures into a ballistic calculator for some varmint, deer, big bore and long range sniping cartridges at muzzle, 250m, 500m, 750m and 1000m.

I’ve put big bore cartridges in red.

.223 Rem: 1,209 - 607 - 274 - 129 - 87

.22-250 Rem: 1,562 - 806 - 380 - 167 - 99

.243 Win: 1,933 - 1,239 - 757 - 447 - 278

6.5 Creedmoor: 2,402 - 1,826 - 1,364 - 1,000 - 724

.270 Win: 2,686 - 1,872 - 1,268 - 830 - 535

.308 Win: 2,620 - 1,830 - 1,241 - 832 - 553

.300 Win Mag: 3,598 - 2,542 - 1,747 - 1,165 - 764

.338 Lap Mag: 4,787 - 3,858 - 3,076 - 2,424 - 1,889

.375 H&H: 4,614 - 2,901 - 1,738 - 1,027 - 685

.416 Rem Mag: 5,117 - 2,838 - 1,512 - 934 - 703

.458 Win Mag:
5,133 - 2,638 - 1,400 - 964 - 749

.50 BMG: 13,058 - 11,127 - 9,430 - 7,940 - 6,642

.505 Gibbs: 5,903 - 2,873 - 1,442 - 975 - 747

What jumps out is that while the big bore cartridges have very high muzzle energy, they don’t keep it. Beyond 500m there is very little to call in terms of the energy difference. I would also add that, aside from the 6.5 Creedmoor, I used bullets with ‘average’ BCs rather than ELDs etc, so the ‘normal’ cartridges could close the small gap with a change of bullet.

Making a bit of an assumption, I would think the risk to the public (what little there is) is more likely to be at longer range than shorter, when looking at negligent shots with poor backstops.

Having done this, I’d go so far as to say there is no appreciable difference between the big bores and normal deer cartridges out passed 500-600m in terms of the energy on target. Given how robust most big bore bullets are, I’d wager they may be less dangerous to a human than a more frangible deer bullet at those ranges but that is a little beside the point.

Based on this, I cannot see any particular justification for the approach that FEOs take to big bores. If you’re hit with a centrefire anything within 400-500m (the range where the big bore has a particular advantage) your day is going to be ruined regardless of what cartridge. Beyond that, it’s still going to be ruined but there is little difference to by how much.

I guess the bad news is it does show a real difference in ballistics at those ranges between varmint and deer cartridges, with even the .243 lagging behind in the long range energy department. So could justify a slightly different approach between say a .223 and .308.

Also, the long range sniping cartridges (apologies, I couldn’t think of a better name) do show much better energy retention and, on that metric alone, could justify a more cautious approach by the FEO.

Other views are appreciated, so please comment away! I just thought it would be interesting to put some figures to what many of us probably suspected.
I think the basic issue is that you come from a point of knowledge and some research I am not sure that’s always matched consistently by all the firearms depts
 

andyk

Well-Known Member
As others have stated , it's all to do with BC.
Usually the bigger bores like 375, 416, 458 , 505 are loaded with round nose bullets designed for relatively close range work. However if you load streamlined boattail bullet in say a .375, then the picture changes!

Indeed, but in most cases you won't get low drag bullets in those calibre, and mores cartridges (at least as far as I know). I guess the point I am trying to make is that in real world conditions, these don't present the risk to public safety that FEOs seem to believe they do.

I wonder what calibre the FEO would rather be shot with, at any of those distances ?

It's about time FEO's, had to have even some moderate knowledge about firearms, and ballistics, rather than making stupid, uninformed decisions !

Certainly, it would be nice to think they could become a bit more evidence based but there isn't much indication that they will.

To answer your question, I'd go with the 458 Win Mag, I figure someone would have to be doing well to connect with a target at a km with one of those!

Cheers but those ballistics don't seem right. 416 rem should be blitzing the 458 pumpkin past 100 yards.

You may well be correct, I was using the Hornady reloading manual for the BCs and velocities. I guess their DGX isn't too slippery in 416.
 

muddy42

Well-Known Member
I read somewhere you only need about 6 ft/lbs to puncture skin (a bit more to break bone, less to damage eyes etc.) On that basis they are all deadly at any of the ranges you cite.

243 has a place, but if you want something bigger, just ask for it, citing home office guidance etc. Plenty of advice on here. Personally I think the application in the UK for something bigger than 30 cal is pretty limited.
 

andyk

Well-Known Member
Personally I think the application in the UK for something bigger than 30 cal is pretty limited.

Hmm, I would agree that there is no need (in the strict sense) for anything more than a .30 cal for U.K. species, but don't agree with the usual FEO position that this means you shouldn't be able to use one on U.K. species. It's not an issue for the quarry if its shot with something bigger, so the only good reason not to allow people to use what they want is safety. I suppose the point of running the numbers is to show that except at closer range, there really isn't a difference. Yes, there is for the 50 cal or the .338, but not for the big bores which are so commonly conditioned so they can't even be used in the U.K.

I can see if you hunt boar or need to drop Sika/Red stags in their tracks somewhere recovery is difficult that it could make sense to hit them with something bigger than a .30, even if it's not 'necessary' in the strict sense.
 

Namman

Well-Known Member
I read somewhere you only need about 6 ft/lbs to puncture skin (a bit more to break bone, less to damage eyes etc.) On that basis they are all deadly at any of the ranges you cite.

243 has a place, but if you want something bigger, just ask for it, citing home office guidance etc. Plenty of advice on here. Personally I think the application in the UK for something bigger than 30 cal is pretty limited.
Using a bigger bore is covered in the HOG for the larger deer , particularly if the sportsman goes abroad. However HOG is often ignored and only adhered to when it suits certain FEO'S to restrict. There is no maximum calibre in the Deer Act and no such thing as overkill. The table of calibres for various quarry species in HOG is a guide and is stated as such in the guidance. Applications are supposed to be considered from the point of view of the applicant not from an objector's point of view.
Do FEO's have any formal National Training and regular reviews of their performance to ensure consistency?
 
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